Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I WROTE A NOVEL!

Yes, I wrote a novel. I'm so happy. I entered a competition for a word count goal of 30000 words (that's a lot). And I made it! Two months of hard work. But I love to write....
This is my winner's certificate.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Science, Fate, Religion- Is it really real? Do we doubt it?

Is science real?

Science is in some ways real. You can prove several things in science, like what an onion skin cell looks like, or the differences between mammals and fish, or what chemicals react together. In most cases, people do not doubt science. It's been proven. It's real.

But think about this- what does an atom look like? We can't see atoms, with or without a microscope. We've just guessed what they look like. But where's the proof? Yeah, I know, documents, chemical reactivity, blah, blah, blah. How can we be so sure atoms look like that?
Say an alien came to earth and that alien could see atoms. And you show him a picture of what you think an atom looks like. What if he said, "What is that thing, dude? Atoms look like miniature, different colored and textured moons." What would you say?

The reason why most people don't doubt Science is because they think, "Oh yeah, that's true. Obviously it is because some scientific GENIUS said this was like this and I'm not that genius."

There are things science can't prove. Actually, (and sorry to you science people out there) science can't prove most things. Here are two examples of things science can't prove:


  • wether the dinosaurs were wiped out by some huge meteorite. (That's a theory, based on lots of convincing estimations.)
  • If mermaids, unicorns, REAL magic (not the kind you see at a fair, but pixie dust), fairies, dragons, elves, and other such creatures exist. Maybe they're invisible to humans? Maybe they live in a parallel universe? Maybe they lived a long time ago, but when they die their bones disappear into thin air? Who knows?




Is fate real?

Fate, to me, is only real when you meet it.
This is a quote I came up with : “Think about the past- for even if it is gone, remember it to not make any mistakes now. Be in the present- it is you as you are now. Forget the future, do not think of it, for the future never exists and never will.”

People doubt fate because they don;t know for sure what it is.





















Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dragon Rider, Cornelia Funke

My independent reading book at the moment is Drachenreiter (Dragon Rider), by Cornelia Funke. I've read this book so many times in English (it's an amazing book), so I decided to read it in German, wich is the original version.

This is the blurb of Dragon Rider.




"Ein Drache. Ein Junge. Eine Reise. Lung, ein tapferer junger Drache, und ein einsamer Junge namens Ben, gehen auf eine magische Reise um der legendären Ort, wo Silber Drachen f
ür immer in Frieden leben können, zu finden.


Als sie über Moon- geleuchtete Länder und Meere fliegen, entdecken sie außergewöhnliche neue Freunde und einen Mut, den sie nie gekannt hatten. Gerade auch, weil ein herzloser Feind mit einem alten Groll ist nie weit hinter denen ..."






" A dragon. A boy. A journey. Firedrake, a brave young Dragon, and a lonely boy called Ben, set out on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace forever.

Flying across moonlit lands and seas, they discover extraordinary new friends and a courage they never knew they had. Just as well, because a heartless enemy with an ancient grudge is never far behind them..."


___________________________________________________________________________


 1) What is one thing you learned about yourself after reading today? Was there a character or an event in your reading that led you to this new understanding? Tell us about it. 

One thing I learned about myself after reading today was that I can find the humor in phrases in books. A very good example of this is one of the characters in the book, called Sorrel (Schwefelfell). Sorrel is a woodland forest brownie that comes from the highlands of Scotland. 
She has a catlike face, a sulphur- yellow coat with cream- colored spots on it, and she is no bigger than an average human child.

Sorrel's personality is a "furry grumbleguts." Brownies, it is said, are never happy without something to complain about. Here are a few passages that define what others think about her and also her personality:

"'Du weisst nicht gerade viel über das Ziel deiner suche, Lung!' , näselte die Ratte besorgt. 'Du bist nicht geübt darin, deinen Weg nach den Sternen zu finden, und Schwefelfell ist meistens so sehr mit Pilzen beschäftigt, dass sie Süden mit Norden und den Mond mit dem Abendstern verwechselt.'" 

Seite 26-27


"'Now listen, Firedrake,' said the rat anxiously, 'you really don't know much about what you're looking for. You're not used to navigating by the stars and Sorrel's mind is usually so full of mushrooms that she could get North and South mixed up and confuse the moon with the evening star.'"

Page 28




"'Steig auf, Schwefelfell,' sagte er. 'Oder sollen wir Ratte mitnehmen, damit du jemandem zum Streiten hast?' 
'Nein danke!' Ratte trippelte erschrocken ein paar Schritte zurück. 'Kein Bedarf. Mir reicht es, wenn ich die Welt aus Geschichten kenne. Das ist wesentlich ungefährlicher.'
'Ich streite sowieso nie,' brummte Schwefelfell wit vollem Mund und kletterte auf den Drachenrücken. 'Diese Spitznasen sind eben sehr empfindlich.'"         

Seite 28


"'Climb aboard, Sorrel,' he said. 'Shall we take Rat too, to give you someone to quarrel with?'
           'No thanks!' Rat took a couple of small steps backwards in alarm. 'There's no call for that kind of thing. I'm perfectly happy to know the world at second hand. It's a lot safer.'
'I never quarrel with anyone anyway,' Sorrel mumbled as she clambered up onto the Dragon's back. 'Pointy nosed persons are over- sensitive.'"

Page 29




 2)  Find a passage you felt was especially well written and describe what you found interesting about the writer's craft. 


"'He said he'd return? But he was a human being, right?' asked Sorrel. She laughed. 'Oh, come on! You humans don't return from the World Beyond. You lose yourselves there. Either you lose yourselves there or you forget the world you came from.' 
'How do you know that's true of all human beings?' asked Zubeida Ghalib. 'I know you can enter the other world whenever you like, Sorrel. All fabulous creatures can, except for those who die a violent death. But there are some human beings who believe we to have only to become a little better acquainted with death to be able to return, if we want to. So who knows, perhaps there really is something of the old dragon rider in Ben.'
          The boy looked at his feet uncomfortably. 'Oh, come on!' Sorrel chuckled skeptically. 'We found him in a pile of old packing crates. A stack of crates and cardboard cartons, on the other side of the world, and he didn't know a thing about dragons and brownies, not a single thing.'
'That's true,' said Firedrake. He bent his neck over Ben's shoulder. 'But he has become a dragon rider now, Sorrel. A true dragon rider.' (...) ' One thing fits, anyway.' Firedrake nudged Ben and gently blew the hair away from his face. 'He's as pale as the moon. In fact, rather paler at the moment, I'd say.'
Feeling rather embarrassed, Ben grinned at the dragon.

'Huh!' Sorrel picked up one of the fragrant petals and held it under her nose. 'I'm a dragon rider too, you know! I've been a dragon rider ever since I can remember. But no-one's making a big fuss about me.'
           
         'You're not exactly as pale as the moon, are you?' said Twigleg, scrutinizing her furry face. 'More the color of storm- clouds, if you ask me.'
Sorrel put her tongue out at him. 'No- one did ask you,' she snapped. "

Page 320- 322




"'Wiederkommen? Aber er war doch ein Mensch, oder?' fragte Schwefelfell. Sie kicherte. 'Ihr Menschen kommt nicht wieder aus dem Anderland. Ihr verlauft euch dort. Ihr verlauft euch oder vergisst die Welt, aus der ihr gekommen sind.'
'Wie willst du wissen, ob es für alle Menschen gilt?' fragte Subaida Ghalib. 'Ich weiß. Du kannst die andere Welt betreten, sooft du willst. Alle Fabelwesen können das. Außer denen, die eines gewaltsamen Todes sterben. Aber einige Menschen glauben, das auch wir den Tod nur ein bisschen besser kennen lernen müssen um zurückzukehren, wenn wir wollen. Also, wer weiß, vielleicht steckt  wirklich etwas von dem alten Drachenreiter in Ben. '

           Der Junge sah unbehaglich an sich herunter. 'Ach was!' Schwefelfell kicherte spöttisch. 'Wir haben ihn zwischen Kisten gefunden. Zwischen Pappkartons und Kisten, auf der anderen Seite der Welt, und er wusste nichts, vin Drachen und Kobolde, gar nichts.'

'Das stimmt', sagte Lung. Er beugte seinen Hals über Bens Schulter. 'Aber er ist ein Drachenreiter geworden, Schwefelfell, ein echter Drachenreiter. (...) 'Eins stimmt auf jedem fall.' Lung stupste Ben an und blies ihm die Haare aus dem Gesicht. "Er ist bleich wie der Mond. Im Augen-blick ist er, glaube ich,  sogar noch ein bisschen blasser.'
Verlegen, lächelte Ben den Drachen an.

'Pfff.' Schwefelfell hob eins der duftenden Blätter und hielt es sich unter die Nase. 'Ich bin auch ein Drachenreiter. Schon seit ich denken kann. Aber davon redet keiner. '
             
         'Du bist auf jeden fall nicht blass wie der Mond,' sagte Fliegenbein und musterte ihr pelzigen Gesicht. 'Du hast mehr die Farbe von Regenwolken, wenn du mich fragst.'
Schwefelfell streckte ihm die Zunge raus. "Dich fragt aber keiner," fauchte sie."


Seite 274


I found this passage very interesting. This passage shows Cornelia Funke's broad imagination, and how vividly she can express what things seem like and what the characters are like. I also chose this section because it is funny, obviously it revolves around Sorrel. Sorrel is for me the representation of humor in this book.
















Monday, 12 November 2012

Peter Pan

QUESTION:

If Peter Pan came knocking at your window one night and asked you to come to NeverLand with him, what would you do or say?


If Peter Pan came to my window one night and asked me to to come to NeverLand, my first reaction would be to freak out silently in excitement. This is a small story about what I would do.



I lay awake in bed, wondering if all my dreams, childhood ones, too would disappear when I became fourteen. I didn't want to grow up, and so every night I dreamed the impossible, that Peter Pan, the boy of my dreams, would come and ask me to come away with him to NeverLand.



The moon was full, bathing my room in a silvery light. I was about to close my eyes when I heard a tapping at my window. Three sharp taps. It couldn't be. I was just imagining it. Yet I decided to have a look. I opened my small window and peered out.
"Look up," said a whispering voice. I did so, and was about to scream when a hand of flesh and blood clamped over my mouth. "Shhh! Let me in and I'll explain." I nodded, and the hand was taken off. I stepped back from the windowsill just in time to see a small ball of light dart inside, accompanied by a burst of sweet, melodic bell chimes. "Shush, Tink." I spun around to find myself looking at a dark figure, standing boldly, legs shoulder width apart, hands on hips. The figure advanced into the moonlight. I saw it was a young boy, about the same age as me. But he was no normal boy. His face was sunburned, his hair a tousled mass of red hair, and he wore tattered island rags, with a short dagger at his waist.

Could it possibly be? I thought. Out loud I said, "Peter? Peter Pan?"
"Yes, but- how do you know?"I gestured at my bookshelf. "I don't see," he said.
"Look," I switched on my desk lamp and took out the books Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Peter and the Sword of Mercy, and Peter Pan and Wendy ; By J.M.Barrie.
"I can't exactly read," he said.
"These books are all about you." I looked at my copy of Peter Pan and Wendy. "The number of times I wished to replace Wendy in this book." I sat down on my bed next to him. "You're famous, Peter, famous. You're known worldwide as the boy who lives in NeverLand, and the flying Boy that never grew up."
"Then why don't they call me? I want to be famous."
"It's not that simple, Peter."
"Why not?"  he demanded.
"For several reasons. Mollusk island, or NeverLand, was removed from our world by a Starcatcher and put into a parallel universe. We can't access it. This is one of your famous phrases in the book Peter Pan and Wendy, 'Second star to the right and straight on t'ill morning.' We can't fly like you can, Peter. The truth is, everyone on this planet thinks you're an idol, maybe, but they think you're a fictional character. That you were made up by this author J.M.Barrie, and you're not real. People don't believe in magic. At least, most people don't."
"Then how come I came to you?"
"I believe, Peter. I believed in you. I dreamed every night about you, that you would come and give me an adventure. You were not just a character in my life, Peter. You were the boy of my dreams."
"I was?" Peter exclaimed incredulously.
"Shhh! Not so loud! You don't want to wake anyone up!"
"Right. Sorry." A chime came, and the golden light sitting on top of Peter's head had turned a shade of orange.
"I don't want to know the meaning of that," I said, grinning.
"No, you don't" he answered, returning the grin. Then his expression turned serious. "I have to go now. Alone. Unless you want to come with me."
"C- come with you?" I asked, dumbstruck.
"Well, I understand if you don't want to."
"Of course I want to! All my life I've been waiting and hoping for this moment! You can't possibly think I'm going to let your offer slip through my fingers!" He smiled, his face aglow with happiness, whilst Tinkerbell, still nestled in his hair, turned an even deeper shade of crimson.
"Well, what are you waiting for? Come." He was already hovering several feet off the floor.
"Hang on. I must leave a message." I sighed. "Although everyone is just going to think this is absurd and that I've been kidnapped. Anyway..." I wrote a neat note on a sheet of paper, which I left lying there. Peter Pan's taken me away to Neverland. Believe me. It's true. I'll visit when I can. Love you.

"Oh yes, and I must pack."I grabbed a large purple backpack, put all of my Peter Pan books in it, and a few other novels, as well as a torch, my penknife, and clean clothing. Turning to Peter, I said happily, "Alright. I'm all set."

"Let's go." Hoisting my heavy pack on my shoulders, I stepped up on the windowsill next to Peter. He took his hand in mine. Then, reaching into his hair, he took a complaining Tinkerbell out of it and shook her over me. A shimmering golden substance washed over me, melting away as it touched me. I felt like the happiest and most lucky person alive.
Peter flew out, and gripping my hand tighter, gestured for me to lean forwards. Instantly I felt myself rise off the ground. "Oh, Peter! This is amazing!" I flew out to join him, and he began to teach me how to fly. We quickly gained altitude, but it did not get more difficult to breathe. However, It was slightly foggier and windier.

After about an hour of flying, Peter shouted, "Hang on to my hand! And make sure you hang on tight! Really tight!" I did as instructed, and suddenly we were soaring, faster than the wind. Then, out of nowhere, came a burst of brilliant golden light. I felt my body jerk forwards, and then everything was still.

We were looking down at an Island who's highest peak was a volcano. The whole of it was covered in lush greenery, except for a few bare patches here and here. It was rimmed by a thick line of white sand. The water around it was a light turquoise, that gradually got darker as you went further away from land. On one side of the island lay a light- blue lagoon, that shimmered in a thousand colors with the sun. This was it. NeverLand.

"How long are you going to stay?" Peter's voice launched me out of my trance. A loud burst of chimes answered, but Peter ignored the little fairy.
"Oh, I don't know," I replied. "Maybe a few years. I'll visit my family every now and then, but I'll be honest with you. I don't know if it's the right choice, but I don't want to grow up. I want to stay carefree and have fun. I know I'll be sacrificing so many things, but it's what I really want. Could I stay forever? Maybe?"
Peter's face lit up."Of course you can! It would be wonderful!" And, to Tinkerbell's great dislike, I hugged him so hard that he reddened like a beetroot and almost fell out of the sky. He took my hand again and said, "Then I suppose I'll show you our hideout that I share with the lost boys."






What do you think? What would you do or say if Peter Pan came knocking at your window one night and asked you to come to NeverLand with him?

Please answer in the comments box below. It would be great to hear what your reaction would be.









Friday, 9 November 2012

Drawings

I decided to share some of the drawings I do for fun at home. I draw from my head, not from the things around me. Hope you like them! Please comment about your thoughts.








Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Point Of View- Final


There’s no such thing as ghosts

I stand in the haunted ruins of a castle in the deserted countryside of Scotland. I look down at my feet. The cobblestones are cracked and the whole ground is a gloomy green and enveloped in weeds and slimy moss. What a joke. Ghosts don’t exist. They’re just figures of people’s imagination.
“They never did exist and they never will.” I say out loud. The sound of my own voice comforts me.
But how I got here, I can’t remember, All I can remember was that I smashed my phone on the ground because there was no signal.

The air around me is icy cold. It was early November, but never in my experience had it ever been so cold before at this time of the year. I shiver, and, biting my lip to stop my teeth from chattering, I decide to take a stroll around to warm up my freezing limbs.
I walk at a brisk pace to the castle’s courtyard which is a plaza surrounded by high, gothic arches. A statue of a gargoyle sits high above me, the last drops of water from yesterdays rainfall dripping sadly from its beak. The gargoyle's face was twisted up, a forced smile on its stony face. 

Most of the stones that once composed the walls hundreds of years ago lie broken at my feet, covered in moss.

Sick of looking a the gargoyle's terrible features, I decide to venture to the gardens. Weeds and ivy have overgrown the flower beds and vegetable patches, making the place messy and forgotten. The plants and flowers were withered and dead, apart from one lovely crimson rose, popping out from all the brown and grey. The only living thing in sight. Before I leave the gardens, I look back at the little flower one last time. The flower, once a healthy thing, now lies on the paved stones, its roots completely ripped out of the dirt.

This act freaks me out so much I back away, stumbling over my own feet. My teeth start to chatter again. Wether it was fear or the cold, I couldn't tell. I go to the moat. The whole pit is empty of water, save for a couple of inches, and a few rotting fish carcasses float as if sleeping at the surface of what little water remains. No bird dares touch them. There should’ve been the sound of a swarm of buzzing flies around the corpses, but there was none. The water is a sickly greenish grey colour. The drawbridges’ metal hinges have rusted over, making it almost impossible to close it up.

I climb up the main tower, where the king and queen’s bedchamber was. This tower was supposed to the best one in the whole castle. After all the effort I had put in that project for boring history class, I knew almost everything about a medieval castle- from how to tell the difference between Gothic and Romantic arches, to what a 
machicolation was (that's the slits in the battlements used for firing missiles onto attackers below). The tower, pretty much like everything else, was soon going to give way in probably the next big thunderstorm.

Dust covers everything. Creepers have started to climb into the room from the windowsill, like green octopus tentacles. For a few moments I stand in the doorway, transfixed by what I see as I try to picture what this room looked like a thousand years ago. Dustless, with people walking around the whole castle in magnificent robes.
I bend down and examine a few scratch marks on the wooden floor. It probably came from the royal family’s pet cat, leaping up onto the Queen’s lap. I make my way across the room to the four- poster bed. There- the same scratch marks. I smile for the first time since I found myself in this godforsaken, grim place.

Through the window, I can see the land for miles. Lush greenery, prairies, stretching out for miles beyond the battlements. A small black figure prancing around in the fields and making extremely irritating sounds indicates that a black stallion lives somewhere around here.
Towards the north, however, there is a huge forest, standing out clearly against the low fields that surround it.  I finally force my gaze away from the breathtaking view.

I investigate further and find a chest, locked with a heavy- looking brass padlock. With an axe I find in the corner, I break the padlock and open up the chest. Inside, I find moth eaten silk suits and velvet dresses that once would have looked beautiful. There is also a chain mail shirt that surprisingly hasn’t rusted. I lift up the nicest, least moth-eaten dress I can find and brush the dust out of it. When I get to the ruffs on the left sleeve, I feel something hard underneath my fingers. Cautiously, I stick my hand in and pull out a small, neat mahogany box. It had been hidden well, almost as if I wasn’t supposed to find it. I lift the latch and find a golden, heart shaped locket studded with diamonds. It glitters radiantly in the sunlight. I open the locket. A small door with a handle awaits me. Tempted, I turn the handle and a tiny golden key half the size of my thumb falls out. The top of it is decorated with swirls and other decorative patterns.

‘This is it. There’s no time to lose.’ I think. I visit almost every room in the castle, including the stables, trying the key on everything I find. When I emerge from the stables, I am surprised to find out that the whole world has suddenly crystallized. The floor has lost its strange ugliness and has transformed into a glittering white sheet that seemed to reflect every single ray of light that touches it. The snow comes all the way up to my ankles. I hear a crunching sound behind me and spin around. The stallion, who was still whining, was following me. It nuzzled me on the shoulder, but I batted it away.
“Go away.” I say.
It doesn’t.
“Go away!” I almost shout at it, raising my voice.
My voice echoes through the castle. The horse takes a few steps backward with an offended air. I continue walking. The stupid creature snorts and paws the ground. I sigh and it looks at me so reproachfully that I let it come with me. It happily follows me , jumping up in the snow and making such a racket I begin to think whether the whole castle would fall to pieces because of that. It was enough to drive anyone mental.

Finally, just as the sun begins its descent from the sky, I go to the big hall across from the church.


The library was the most wonderful place. The stallion shoots inside before I can even get a close look at the room. Heavens curse the animal. I should’ve never let it come with me.  
Although a thick layer of grey dust covers all of the tables, the floor, and mothballs litter the place, the closed books that rest on the bookshelves were almost begging to be opened and awakened from their thousand year slumber. The bookshelves were as high as the ceiling and a ladder protruded from every one of them. 
I search for hours for the slightest clue as to what the key could possibly be or could open, yet I find nothing of use to me. Bewildered, I sit on the dusty ground, twirling my messed up red hair around your fingers.

Then it comes to me, just as darkness settles in through the stained glass windows. Dark, dark, so cold. The dungeons. As you cross the library, you discover an abandoned cloak. You find yourself once more in the courtyard, once again underneath the watchful gaze of the gargoyle whose outline is just visible in the moonlight. The air is colder than when I last stepped outside, and I wrap the cloak around myself, feeling grateful for the warmth it offers.

I slowly find my way down the curving stone stairwell that leads to the dungeons. The steps have an odd, curved dent in the middle, carved out by the feet of people that once made their way up and down the stairs countless times throughout more than a thousand years.
The air inside suddenly becomes freezing, and I tighten the cloak around myself.
Groping around in the darkness, I find a torch. Its soft golden glow leads me through the dark corridor to the nearest door. It creaks as I push the door open.
I find a chest in the far corner of the room and try the key in its lock. It fits. Excited, I turn the key, and with a last click, the chest springs open. I peer inside but what I see disappoints me. Instead of the suspected gold and jewels, all I find is a leather bound book with an almost faded stamp of a golden lion on it.

I open it at the first page and groan. Latin. I know how to read latin, but I can't stand it. I flip through to the middle of the book and to my relief, that bit is written in english. I continue to go through the weathered, spotted yellow pages until the end. At the very back of the book I discover a piece of parchment with faint letters that I can just make out. Initials of some sort. ‘Pr. E.J.’

A clatter behind me. I spin around. Nothing. Nevertheless, I slip the parchment in my pocket, grab an unlit torch, the key and the book, then hurry back to the courtyard. I glance once more at the gargoyle who somehow has lost its almost friendly appearance. Now I can see its face clearly underneath the full moon. Its posture seems to have changed from a slouching position to an attacking one. Its wings are outstretched and its beak open. I feel the sweat streaming down my sides as I cautiously retrace your steps backwards to the library. Its eyes flash red. I scream, turn around and run as fast as my tired feet will go to the library. When I arrive, I bolt the heavy wooden doors and lean against them, exhausted and panting.

I'm being followed. What it is, or who it is, I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s going to be back. Soon.














The Thing

It sat, crouched in the gargoyle, the creature that was so proud to haunt the scottish castle. The castle was the perfect place to roam.
It watched the human girl from its uncomfortable seat. Her hair shone a fiery red in amongst the dull, greyish walls that were falling apart. A fiery red, just like its eyes, blazing eyes that reflected hatred for the world (apart from its master). It wanted to destroy the intruder, but only fear for its master kept it from doing so. It spat out a glob of clear spit through the slightly ajar mouth of the statue angrily.

The girl had just appeared. At first she seemed frustrated, and she threw a small object on the floor that sent a ripple of excitement through the Thing, and sent out a loud clinking sound that echoed across the battlements, ending with a ringing silence.
She mutters something and hugs herself. Her breath came out in misty plumes. Yet the Thing did not feel what she felt. The Thing was immune to feeling- whether it was love, sadness, anxiety, coldness. The only thing it could feel was hate.
The Thing followed her out of curiosity, fear and loyalty. Loyalty and fear for its master, of course, not the girl. Yes, this must be the human its master had predicted would help them. The one that would find the key. That would unlock the mysteries of this castle. Oh yes. And when she had found the key and whatever it unlocked, the Thing would destroy her. A shudder ran along the spine of the Thing as it thought of its prize. Ripping open her throat, spilling blood...

The Thing follows her, a dark shape flitting through the stones and walls, to the gardens of the castle. Poisoned ivy, the Thing’s favourite plant, have obscured the flower beds and vegetable patches. Such a sight could not please the Thing more, as the plants and flowers there were withered and dead, apart from one horribly alive red rose, popping out from all the brown and grey. How could this be? That won’t do. The Thing oozed through the cracks in the wall and swept over the flower. It instantly died, the petals going a brown color and moulding. Then it tore the plant, roots and all out of the dirt, and flung it onto the cracking cobblestones for good measure. Satisfied, it oozed like a black liquid through the wall, only to materialize again on the other side in its usual cloaked form. Its evil gaze was fixed on the girl.
The girl was scared- her face revealed her emotions- her green eyes were wide, and her lip was trembling. The pallor of her face showed up clearly against her bright hair. Every step she took seemed either hurried or reluctant. Anyway, even if she wouldn’t have shown her fear, the Thing would have sensed it, for it fed on fear. It fed on fear, and everything else that left a permanent black mark on the world.
She stumbled towards the drawbridge. It was open, its far side digging into the mud on the other side of the banks of the moat. It had been left like that from the last invasion the building had experienced. The Thing passed over the chains holding the wooden plank to the empty archway. As its cloaked form glides over the metal, a thick layer of red rust forms. The Thing is pleased with itself.
She walks towards the water, peers in, and recoils. The dead fish floating on the surface are merely the Thing’s latest prey, which explained the absence of insects. The moat reeked of death, and the water was a beautiful shade of greenish grey, like the shade of someone who was terribly ill.  All feared the Thing, who took pleasure in torturing living things, then eventually killing them, the creature that, some people used to say, took pride in tearing animals apart limb to limb.

Looking disgusted, the human walked away from the moat, and went to the main tower. The Thing remembered the praise he had gotten from its master for murdering the royal family as they all sat in their bedchambers, doing royal things. The princess Elizabeth was the first to die. She had just disintegrated into thin air. Then came the dog, Prince, and the cat, Muffin, then the prince, the queen, and the king.
The Thing resumed its stalking the girl, and waited patiently for the girl to find something. The Thing was beginning to lose hope in this useless girl, yet it could not stop tracking its prey. It was tedious, watching her explore, yet the Thing still patiently waited.
She let out a gasp. The Thing, invisible, peered at what she was holding. The key. The Thing was sure of it- it could feel the warmth radiating off the golden object. It was too shiny- it would have looked better if it was rusted.

The girl spins around and knocks a hundred- year old vase to the floor, shattering it to pieces. For a normal person, this may have been dangerous, but to the Thing it was a weapon. The Thing absorbed a sharp shard of clay from the floor, and resumed following the girl. It now felt more evil than anything. In its sudden surge of power, the Thing forgets the human girl and instead stays in the furnished bedchamber of the king and queen, as if paralysed by evil joy.

The evil radiated off its icy heart. It spread into the heavens, making the sky turn black, with rolling grey clouds blotting out the sun completely. The skies froze, turned white as, forced by its hatred, the skies wept cold, fragile tears, each unique. As the snow fell upon the broken cobblestones and bricks, it transformed the castle into a glittering white palace.

The Thing was jerked out of its trance by a sudden slamming of doors. The girl. Furious with itself, it glided effortlessly towards where the sound was coming from. She had gone into the library. The Thing waited outside until she came back, enveloped in a cloak that once belonged to the king. Her footsteps made eerie, crunching, echoing sounds that rang through the battlements.

She looked bewildered. The Thing was starting to get impatient. But still it waited. Its red glare swept over the crystallized battlements of the ruined castle.
There was the sound of shuffling footsteps. The girl had found the entrance to the dungeons. With the key in a firm grip, he descended the cold, stone spiral stairs. The Thing watches as she lights a torch and finds her way to the nearest door. Inside the room lay a single chest, padlocked with a tiny golden lock that seemed to give off the same uncomfortable warmth as the key. Slowly, a look of terror on her young face, the girl puts the key into the lock. It fits. There was a soft click as she turned the key, and the lock opens, crashing to the floor. The girl opens up the chest. Inside, to the Thing’s utmost disappointment, lay a book.

Sighing, the girl sits on the hard, stone floor and begins to leaf through the pages. A minute or so passed and the Thing became restless. It began to glide back through the dark corridor, when it accidentally dropped the shard of the clay pot the girl had smashed earlier on. The fragment shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. The girl lifted up her head. Her eyes were wide with fear. She stood up, and fled. As she passed the Thing, the Thing saw what it had missed before- a piece of parchment, clutched in her right hand. It had to become her second shadow.

And so it followed her, a dark form against the glittering snow.

Monday, 5 November 2012

A book Review- Peter and the Starcatchers


This story, Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, is the first book of the Peter and the Starcatchers series. In this teenage version of Peter Pan, orphaned Peter and 4 other orphan boys (James, Prentiss, Thomas, and Tubby Ted) set out on a journey  from the dusty streets London across the ocean to a distant land called Rundoon, aboard a ship called the NeverLand. Once aboard, Peter and his friends have only one future ahead- becoming slaves for the king of Rundoon, His Royal Highness King Zarboff the Third. But one day, Peter learns about a mysterious trunk, and being curious, sneaks along the deck at night with a sailor called Alf, into the place where the trunk was kept. There, a girl called Molly tries to stop him from getting to the trunk. He had met Molly the first day aboard the ship, and knew that if she said she was going to do something, she meant it. But then, after posing a threat to Peter, Molly shows him what is inside the trunk: the legendary Starstuff. Molly flicks open the locket that hangs around her neck, and a golden glow fills the air. Molly demonstrates what she can do: hovering in the air, just a few feet above the deck of the NeverLand. Slowly, very slowly, the Starstuff wears off and Molly floats back down to earth.

Meanwhile, the most feared pirate in the world, Black Stache, and idiot Smee, and the rest of the pirate crew aboard the Sea Devil are hunting the Wasp, the fastest ship that has ever sailed. Aboard that ship is Molly’s father Lord Leonard Aster, senior Starcatcher. Lord Aster is in danger, and Stache is after a black trunk with the most powerful element on earth inside it- Starstuff.

Molly and Peter are warned of the Pirate by a porpoise named Ammm. But will they save Lord Aster in time? Will they be able to get hold of the Starstuff without being killed by it? And hardest of all- will they be able to warn everyone about the pirates and escape the jaws of Mr Grin, a feared crocodile who is the Savages‘ weapon on the island where they are washed ahore?


 Later on in thier journey, the Neverland is shipwrecked on a small tropical island called Mollusk Island. Only a tribe of 'savages' lives there, along with an oversized crocodile named Mister Grin. The Mollusks do not approve of outsiders, but they eventually learn to befreind Peter. Due to the arrival of the Starstuff trunk on the island, Mollusk island changes. The Starstuff leaks into the waters around the island, causing fish to become mermaids.


Black Stache is also shipwrecked on the island in the same storm as the NeverLand after he captures Lord Aster and the 'Wasp'.

Once on the island, Peter, with Molly, must find a way to stop Black Stache and the Pirates from getting hold of the Starstuff. If they fail, Black Stache will have the power to exterminate the Mollusk tribe, and kill everyone else on the island.


One of my favourite scenes, which repeats itself through the book, is when Smee does something stupid again, (like tripping over a fort, or by doing the opposite of what Stache says). This is how one of the scenes would be like.
(Smee trips over the  fort.)
 Stache says "Smee, you are a supreme IDJIT!" (which is an extremely funny way to say blithering idiot in pirate language)
"Yes, Cap'n. I mean, no Cap'n. I mean-"
"Smee."
"Yes Cap'n?"
"Shut up."
"Yes Cap'n."


Another one of my favourite scenes is when Molly tries to talk porpoise to Ammm. She is not very skilled in speaking porpoise, and when she tries to say hello, or communicate, she can only manage “my teeth are green”. Ammm’s reaction to this is very funny, as he first looks very puzzled, but then politely says “your teeth are green.” It is a very interesting scene, which is why I like it. It can also appear to be a bit confusing!

I gave this book five stars because it is very well written. I have always liked the story of Peter Pan, but this story actually explains how Peter became a flyer, how he always stays young, and all of the adventures he has with Molly before Wendy enters the scene.