#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 205, #POET’SCHOICE #Tanka #Poem #Excerpt #YA #Fantasy

I’m deep in complicated edits for the second in my YA fantasy series – The Curse of Time #2 Golden Healer, and they are driving me crazy! As it’s Poet’s Choice I’m going to share the opening poem and a short extract, (which still needs a final edit so please bear that in mind.)

The story opens with two dear old friends, Leanne the owner of the magical crystal cottage and Eruterac, the creature, who is the caretaker of the cottage. The below link is to Carolina Russo’s wonderful blog.

Carolina has created two amazing art portraits of my characters which you can see below – Esme the mirror girl and Eruterac the creature at: https://yesterdayafter.com/

© Carolina Russo

The creature is getting impatient! So off we go…

The Creature and Leanne Share Some Tea

Worms, caviar too,

Two unlikely friends share tea,

And Chit – ter – Chat – ter,

That Chiastolite, oh my!

And Amelina’s bloodstone.

Come with me…

Through a gated door leading to a herb and rose garden where two strange companions Leanne, and Eruterac the creature share a rare moment together.

Today, they marvelled at the beauty and fragility of the rose petals which created a dazzling display of white, yellow, pink, and darkest crimson blooms. The delightful fragrance of roses and herbs filled the air, bursting with sweetness. In the backdrop, a quaint old cottage with shuttered windows rested as if waiting for a passing stranger to dare to cross its threshold. Within, skylights alighted on all manner of crystals as they twinkled, longing for a release from their embedded position on the walls. The ground around the cottage stirred, breaking and settling as if the cottage might be drawn back into its hiding place: the earth.

In the surrounding courtyard, there were cages and feeders for birds which hung from the trees. White doves cooed and preened themselves in bird baths.  

The creature Eruterac paid no attention to the antics of these exquisite birds, instead he fidgeted as he tried to rearrange his tall skeletal frame into Leanne’s dainty, wrought iron chairs.

Leanne sat opposite him. Except for the tulle layers of her silken gown, her tiny frame appeared lost in the chair. She tilted her head with an air of grandeur as if she was about to join a garden party frequented by the finest royalty, or perhaps the Gods themselves.

Eruterac had no such attire, except for his knitted rasta cap with sun-cured palm leaves which covered his matted dreadlocks.  

His needs were a thing of the past, for now his concerns were reduced to the worms that crawled across his bony frame. He held one such wrigging creature inches from the gap where his mouth used to be and edged forward dangling it in front of Leanne’s nose.

“Dinner,” he joked as he bobbed his skeletal head.

Leanne shuddered. “No worms, thanks, dearest creature. Caviar for me!” She picked up her finest china teapot and poured the liquid into a cup. It flowed slowly, twinkling with a myriad of brilliant colours. When it filled the cup, it turned the colour Leanne expected. She’d thought of green tea and magical green tea it was.

Eruterac choked and spluttered on clods of earth as he laughed. “That’s foul. Green tea, how can you drink such muck?”

“Easy. I do so with a smile, unlike … poor you! I see worms continue to ooze gunk where your dear mouth used to be,” replied Leanne, reaching forward to pat Eruterac on his skeletal shoulder.

They rested for a moment, her gentle hand on his bones.

 “I’ll try not to drink such delicacies!” replied Eruterac, cracking his bones for a joke.

“Wise fellow. Forgive me for changing the subject but your new hat is very fetching! I’s so brown and earthy with that Chiastolite death crystal, completed by that black cross embellishing  the cap’s centre.”

“Indeed, it’s a dark beauty, like an honourable death,” he said, his skeletal arm reached up to touch the crystal on his hat.

“Take heart, dear Creature, forget about death, and being bound to this cottage. Let us rejoice in the simple pleasures of life which we take for granted…” Leanne pointed at their sublime surroundings.

Eruterac sighed. ”Yes, there are times when amidst such tranquillity and beauty that I forget everything.”

A white dove landed on Leanne’s slender shoulder, she turned and smiled. But the dove thought better of it and alighted on the Creature’s hat. It pecked away at the worms making the creature smile.

“Cheeky doves, always favouring Eruterac’s sunny hat.”

“They know who provides them with a constant dinner of worms. And who’s boss.”

“Huh!  A boss? You? That Chiastolite’s making you big-headed.  Oh, my days! The protectors, you, and my dearest doves are all that I and my dear cottage need… But, I mustn’t forget, I have news to impart – the midsummer fly is up to his tricks.”

“Where’s that stinking fly been to this time?” asked Eruterac, leaning forward, sending worms tumbling towards Leanne’s teacup. Her eyes grew wide as she placed a protective hand over the top but a few swift worms landed in the saucer. She swiped them away.

© M J Mallon

More to come, there is a mention of the bloodstone in the latter part of this opening chapter, find out more when the book is complete. It continues to be my most challenging writing project, so it may be a while. Be patient with me dear readers.

Any feedback would be greatly received.

While I am editing book two here is the link to the first book in the YA fantasy series The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone, the blurb and some review quotes.

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone

Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Do you like the opening chapter?

I’m thrilled to announce I am included amongst some wonderful poets in Colleen Chesebro’s poetry book store with my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius: https://colleenchesebro.com/poetry-books-for-sale/

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