Alfheim: Movement and Light 4/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

24 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Karin Heyer and Mina Polen

 

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Hope

by Karin Heyer

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Long ago the same moon and
the same sun lay before us,
just like now and
and the three-strand rainbow bridge
that spanned then
from Asgard to Midgard
was meant for men
to fight and walk across
into a future life!

What life?
A life where the elves of light
should shine over the dark,
where men become real, visible men
with sharp wits and a feeling heart,
responsible for their actions:
accept the cross,
live for love and peace
to all men.

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Shining

by Mina Polen

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Shining
it might be just a dream
a little voice small and fair
a blinding sun inside of you

moving
it might be just a parasite
………………………an idea
a voice that it isn’t there

becoming
something at every step
something that you might deny
something that you might follow

growing
it might be just a cloud
………………………………expanding
something like a blinding mist

shining
it might be just a maggot
a little bit of light ……….moving
something that you might ignore.

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Find out more about Karin and Mina here:

Karin Heyer

Contact ArtiPeeps

Mina Polen

aldebaranylosnarvales.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/minafiction

 

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As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 3/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

15 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Nat Hall, Lenka Monk and Jim C Mackintosh

 

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Guardian Angel from the Ninth Realm

by Nat Hall

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You,
luminous loving being,
so much more than a thousand suns in
darkest corner of my head,
you are sensitive to
my tears,
so far away from fern, foliage,
evergreen feel of
thick forest,
Light Bokeh style –
the untouched side of Freyr’s world…
To
avoid eyes,
hiss and whisper from
haunting mare,
my mantelpiece littered with stones
I once collected from a now
dormant volcano where
hardened rock dances with salt,
leaping fury from young ocean,
I light candles night after night,
chisel your smile out of cold wax, and
seek wisdom out of
a match.
You,
luminous loving being,
you rescued me from the cliff edge.

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And lead me to temptation

by Lenka Monk

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Inspired by story of Freyr and Gerðr

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Through the eyeglass, inner mist
Tempted fate, now I can’t resist
Lips that haunt, curves that taunt
A tortured sigh.

In a drunken fog, endless hunger
Bittersweet taste, spell I’m under
asunder bursting mind, lifetimes find
A Divine comedy.

Wrong feels right, heartbeat elevates
one lustful look, reason obliterates
Resonates with force, no remorse
A string less puppet.

The heart, the insurgent of reason
that beautiful face, led it to treason
seasoned sixth sense, forget consequence
A complete surrender.

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under the heavens dome

by Jim C. Mackintosh

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under the heavens dome
the halls tower in this place
where maddened spirits bind
the claws of ravens haunting
blind trees and bright rooms
enclosing his hypnotic power
unseen to those for whom life past

beneath the high throne of Freyr
circled by meadow throngs
floating on pillows of gold
the words of the wish-giver
in bundles tied with sinews
of outlaws crucified on the way
speared in the crossfire of elf shot

felled in the grapple of light where
dark elves stripped them of belief
a thin path winds through briar rose
where a thousand eyes, black spots
in the gloom sense the fear
dripping from the pilgrims folly
seeking to kiss the feet of Freyr

yet destined to leave empty handed
happy to escape the elven grasp
to answer their quest elsewhere
and rid themselves of this brothel
built in the tangle of angels hair
nourished by the rot of souls
quietly disappeared, lost forever

in remote corners of all realms
where the light elves prey upon
battle weary warriors, robbing them
of their exhausted glory to light
the bloodied moss halls of Alfheim
their fine mesh weave of gold to
line the dark walls of winter nights

under the canopy where Freyr sleeps
and confused sayers fall at his gaze
fighting over the scraps he scatters
in return for the lure of his mystery
/ so why are you still here?
so why do you believe this sermon
will lead you to anything but your betrayal?

through the valleys of temptation
they will swoop down and lift your eyes
to where the single, deadly snake coils
hissing promises of everlasting glory
a ticket to cross the rainbow, only to die
under the wheels of martyrdom
to be denied by your band of brothers

where the Gods assemble to divide
the spoils of your blood and tears
gathered by the scrum of vultures
/ let your death join me
in the salvation of our tomorrows, free
from the shores of false dawns
where your heart will awaken

in sanctuary from blunted threats
where the earth and the sea and
the stone and the roots and the rain
are true and the stag will roar again
and the kiss of blood, the unity
of your ken folk will ease
your righteous birth once more

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Find out more about Nat, Lenka and Jim here:

Nat Hall

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

nordicblackbird.weebly.com

Lenka Monk

Contact ArtiPeeps

 

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 2/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

10 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Tom Murphy and Eleanor Perry

 

Alfheim

by Tom Murphy

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inside the fence
I know you as I walk towards me
seeing everything through your eye
I see it on my face
as you step into the firelight
we smile the same smile
as you look at me
and see the toll you’ve still to pay
you see the sons we will sire
the daughter we lost
the eye you have yet to lose

in my pocket
I have the apple I will offer you
before you offer yourself
the ninth knot

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washrag nouns

by Eleanor Perry

Snipped washrag

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Find out more about Tom and Eleanor here:

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

 

Eleanor Perry

https://twitter.com/nellperry

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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The Nine Realms Update #6: July

8 Jul

nine realms8

 

June seems to have sped by and a lot has been going on in relation to The Nine Realms. All the poetry is now in, with over 80 + poems being created over the 9 months. 40 poems have now been selected for the experience itself.  The realm poetry for Alfheim is still being posted out on ArtiPeeps on a weekly basis. With all the poetry from the  ninth realm in it has meant that we could crack on with:

1. The DVD

Over the last month and a half we have had 10 editing sessions with the sound technician at Future Radio.

Putting all the audio, realm music and art together in a multi-media format has taken more time than I anticipated. However, what has been created is unique, and the music fits the poetry perfectly. I have to say that this project feels like it was meant to be!  The  wallet for the DVD itself has been designed  by illustrator Gary Caldwell and has been printed  this week. The master, which will be the entity that is manufactured, is being formatted presently.  Please find below a taster of the wallet and the ‘onbody’ design. The DVD is going to be fantastic, a really artistic symbol of our collaborative endeavour.

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Gallery Audio Tour

I am presently creating an audio gallery tour of the 19 art pieces in our event in September. This is to support any visually impaired attendees who may come, and will sit alongside the mp3 playlist Soundcloud on our ArtiPeeps Ipad. It is one of the requirements of our funding.  Between the two applications the whole experience will be made 100% accessible. There’s quite a knack to describing pictures thoroughly and dynamically I’ve found. I’m doing one a day and then will edit it all in Audacity or Adobe Audition.

There’s a very useful article on how to create a successful gallery audio tour here.

The Community Officer from the Norwich disability team will be coming on the set-up day of the event to give the tour a trial.

Minecraft

The delay in the DVD editing has also meant I have been unable, as yet,  to get any audio files to  Adam Clarke who is creating our project Minecraft world.  This has been very frustrating. However, now with the master in place, I’ll be able to send him the separate realm files of the music, poetry and art which he can then insert them into the realms.  It looks like the majority of the work on our world will be done July/August.

Our boat

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Figurehead Lit

Figurehead Lit

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Mark (Crowley), our woodcarver has also finally come up with a name for our boat and the title is….drum roll….’boat’. He wants to keep the title simple and clear. Mark is aiming to get a picture of the initials on the boat to me by the middle of July. This will be turned into a card which Mark will sign: acting as a certificate of authenticity for initial reward backers from our Indiegogo Campaign and the cards will be available for sale at the Experience as well.

Promotional Material

All of the  the copy for the promotional material for the experience has now  gone off to the designers and printers in King’s Lynn. I am presently compiling the Schools’ book and interactive pdf. There’s a lot of momentum at the moment….. Caitlin, our Norse expert, has been absolutely brilliant over the last month checking all my Norse material before I send it to the printers. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Future Radio

Future Radio

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In relation to Future Radio and the opportunity of being interviewed on one of their arts programmes- well this is now under-way and all the audios from the Vikings that they recorded are with the arts programme producer. She will be editing everything together into a programme which will be broadcast before the event. There will be another programme bookending the event which will have within it any realm-backer poems and music etc. The programme will be part of our project evaluation for Arts Council England, created so that it almost parallels/comes in line with the oral tradition within which our project rests.

Greetings Cards

I am picking up the final two sets of cards this week which will go alongside Rob Fitzmaurice’s Niflheim card. The second card in the three pack features the realm Nidavellir. The photograph is by Viking Tony Adams and the poetry by Viking Eleanor Perry who has had a lot of fun with plucking randomised text from the Poetic and Prose Eddas and turning the process into poems. The third card will feature the realm Midgard showcasing Viking artist Raymond Bentley and Viking poet Jim C Mackintosh. I’ll include some images of the cards in my next update in August.

Schools

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photo

 

 

As you may well  have noticed Millfield School in Somerset have been contributing to our project. Five of their Yr 9 pupils have written Norse inspired short stories under the theme of ‘exploring the art of storytelling’. The pieces have been posted out on ArtiPeeps over the last three weeks. The quality of the writing has been outstanding!  You can find the links to their sagas below, if you missed them.  We will be reading their pieces out at both the experience in King’s Lynn and in Norwich. As mentioned above a little mini pamphlet book of their work is being produced at the moment. The book, I hope, will be the first of many, that we produce as we move forward as an organisation celebrating the work of the schools with whom we collaborate in future projects.  This will be under the umbrella name of ‘Classworks’.

Millfield Story Saga Links:

Olivia and Natasha- here

Reanna and Harriet- here

Martha- here

Our First Patron

I also have some exciting news about our first patron! However, there are a few official things I have to confirm and that need to be agreed upon  before I officially announce who it is. Watch this space!

 

As ever, thank you for your interest.

The Art of Storytelling: Norse Sagas from Millfield School Pupils #3

3 Jul
IMG_0799

Image by Nat Hall

 

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Year 9: Norse Sagas

Featuring

Martha

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Our Year 9 pupils have studied the craft of story-telling, and what better way to learn than by reading the Norse sagas, with their epic storylines and memorable characters? We gave them a brief to create their own variations on the Norse saga, drawing upon the old tales for inspiration, but taking them into new territory. Everyone in the English teaching team was impressed by the boldness and skill of the stories our young pupils wrote. Here is [ part 1 of ] a small selection. I hope you enjoy them. Our thanks go to Nicky for giving Millfield pupils such an exciting platform for their creative writing!

James Baddock

Head of English, Drama & Media
Millfield, Somerset, UK

ArtiPeeps has been thrilled to have  Millfield’s pupils working in tangent with one of our projects (The Nine Realms), and to see their talented, creative pupils on our site once again. It just goes to show how inspiring the Icelandic sagas still are and how alive the art of story-telling still is! For the past three weeks we have posted out 5 short stories from 5 of their very creative pupils. Below is the final saga and story.

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My Viking Saga

by Martha

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The Fegr province was regarded as one of the most beautiful lands in all of Iceland. Its snow- capped, mountainous peaks interlaced the horizon with silhouettes of all the interesting shapes imaginable to man. Wisps of glistening snow crystals illuminated like shining jewels by the effulgence of the moon shine, drift in the wind from the icy mountain tops, patterning the skyline. Its incomparable allure, a fit location to be the home of only the most divine of beauties. On the Northernmost peak, Iss Fjell, Ice Mountain, lived the most celestial of beings, angelic, and fair. Her name was, Sassa, the Ice Princess, the daughter of the great King Eeirikki Egilson, son of the once vigorous, candid ruler of Iceland itself.

Sassa had long white hair cascading in perfect curls down to her waist, her sapphire blue eyes were striking against her fair complexion, slender and tall, she had an certain elegance and grace that would be enviable to all women. Her loving and gentle nature was adored throughout the Fegr province, she would often visit the small town beneath Iss Fjell, where the inhabitants would approach her and could not help but feel at ease in her presence, as if she was part of their community. Sassa was young, only seventeen years old, she had an ignorance, a beautiful ignorance, making her pure, innocent… Her eyes had a light that should always come with youth, and her effervescence was enlightening. Her father rightly felt that only the finest of men would be fit for his daughter and, on the day of her eighteenth birthday he invited young suitors from every corner of Iceland to compete for her hand in marriage.

Little did her father know, Sassa, wasn’t interested in being married off to these great nobleman. She had fallen in love with the village huntsman. She had met him in the woods almost seven years ago, when they were both children. From that day forth she had met him most days. They would spend hours hunting together, and slowly they fell for each each other. The huntsman was a strong young man, named Vidar, he wielded an axe, simple and plain unlike the fanciful decorated weapons of the noblemen and had a bravery but yet a sentimentality lacking in most headstrong youths. Vidar was a descendant of the great warrior Bryanjar Erlingson, and it was evident he had inherited many of the qualities of an exceptional fighter. Of course the King could never approve of such a romance between the pair, a village huntsman in the eyes of the King wasn’t good enough for his crown jewel, Sassa. So Sassa kept their meeting a secret, a secret she had kept for many years.

One the Day of her matching, Sassa had decided to approach her father, she couldn’t keep her secret any longer. She told him of her disapproval of the matching ceremony, and of her dislike of the suitors he had selected for her.
‘Father I simply can’t marry any of these men, for I’m in love with another man’ Sassa pleaded.
‘And who is this other man!’ The King demanded, his tone burly and authoritative. His snowy grey beard shook with rage.
‘He is a huntsman’ Sassa replied proudly, yet her inner fear of her father’s anger showed in her timid expression. ‘He’s a brave man, strong and kind, he loves me with all his heart, isn’t that what you want for me father, to be happy?’
‘Not if it is to marry someone of such a low class in our society, a huntsman is not fit to marry for a princess, the men I have selected for you are of the finest in Iceland, surely that is good enough for any girl’, the king spat.
‘My huntsman is a far finer man and better warrior than any of these suitors, I would stake my life on that’ Sassa replied. There was an honesty in her voice, something that could convince anyone that her words were genuinely the truth. The king may have not been willing to believe this, but he knew his daughter believed that the man she loved was stronger than the suitors.
‘Than he shall prove to me, he shall prove that he is a better man and stronger warrior than the noble men I have selected for you. What I propose is a series of battles, If he defeats all the suitors , than you shall marry him, if you wish, yet if he is defeated, you will marry the single and first suitor that defeats him, you will no longer have a choice of the suitors and the huntsman not killed in battle will be banished to another Kingdom. If this agreement is broken, he shall be executed for treason’ the king suggested. Sassa had no other option if she didn’t want to lose her true love. The agreement was made and the next day Vidar came to the palace, to fight to the death for the girl he loved.

From a distance. The palace on Iss Fjell looked like it was entirely made out of ice but as you neared it was apparent that it was in fact a crystal palace, with spired towers, magnificent pillars, and decadent ballrooms. Every little detail within the palace was intricately designed, masterfully placed. Vidar entered into the cavernous marble hallway at the entrance to the palace. His footsteps echoed throughout the room, the sound bouncing off the high ceiling above. At the end of the hall was a throne, made of marble as the rest of the hall was, on it sat the King, his piercing glassy blue eyes examined Vidar sending chills through his body. Next to the throne stood four suitors that he would face in battle. The first suitor named Bryanjar was dressed in full armour, his steel plated appearance revealed his most well known trait, his coldness. He was a good soldier and the son of a great nobleman but was no warrior. Stood next to him was a young man named Cuyler, he was not as well built as the other men, he was small, and slight, however he had superior agility and speed, his skill was with a bow, it was acknowledged well that he would never miss. The next suitor was named Fritjof, he is a descendant of the God of tricks Loki supposedly. Fritjof was not a kind man in any respect, he had long dark hair and dark black eyes, like a snake, he had a sceptre glowing in an eerie green glow. As his name indicated Fritjof was known to steal many thrones and the peace of many kingdoms, by tricking his way into the many various kingdoms he had conquered. The final suitor was Hagen the highest son of the present ruler of Iceland Eirik Halvardson, his family were known to be ancient descendants of the God of lightning Thor, Hagen was handsome and notorious for his charming demeanour, any princess would have married him, yet he was desperately in love with Sassa, who he had known since they were children, the King was very good friends with Eirik Halvardson. Although Sassa had great respect for Hagen she didn’t love him. Hagen did not just have charms and good looks on his side, he was stronger than any other man in Iceland and was almost a giant in size, he was muscular and broad, Vidar knew that he would be perhaps his toughest competition, as Hagen didn’t have just sheer size and strength he had the same sentiment as Vidar, he was genuinely in love with Sassa.

The battles took place on the tower arena of the palace, it had a semicircle of seating and a stage that hung off the edge of the tower to a great drop below. Many came from all over the land to witness the choosing ceremony. Vidar fought Bryanjar first, Vidar refused to kill anyone in these battles, his only aim was to win and not get killed himself. Bryanjar was no match for Vidar’s skill with an axe. Bryanjar’s amour protected him from any major injuries but he soon conceded, Vidar had proved to the king he was a far mightier opponent for the suitors than he could have ever imagined. Next Vidar faced of Cuyler, this battle was less hand to hand combat, Vidar was forced to dodge Cuyler’s arrows of fire aimed directly at him, he hid behind the obstacles in the arena, he found some branches as wood on the ground and used his knowledge and hunting skills to quickly create his own arrow. Vidar grabbed an arrow that had landed in the ground behind him and loaded his new weapon. He waited for the right time before releasing the arrow which hit Cuyler directly in the torso, Cuyler was taken out by this unexpected attack, and Vidar had again proven not just his might but his cunning and intelligence. 

Vidar then faced Fritjof, it was night now and only the moonlight illuminated the arena, Sassa sat nervously watching attentively, her fear was perhaps greater than Vidar’s. Fritjof’s sceptre gleamed on the cool moonlight. Vidar charged at Fritjof with all his speed and force he faced certain injury, and, possibly, inevitable death. Fritjof dodged to the side in one fluid move. His enemy swivelled in his direction. His menacing eyes were a blazing red and his dark hood made the rest of his features indistinguishable. Vidar’s opponent thrust his sceptre forward, only to be met by Vidar’s axe. The two weapons met in the air with a resounding ‘clang’. Vidar was surrounded now by at least ten images of Fritjof which one was real he could not tell. He swung his axe around at each of the figures, slashing the real Fritjof across the face, the wound healed almost immediately. Fritjof thrust Vidar against the wall, his axe skidded along the ground, Fritjof was choking him with his strong left hand, Vidar although he knew Fritjof had superior magical qualities, he matched him in strength, using his free hand Vidar pulled a dagger from his pocket and stabbed Fritjof’s torso. Fritjof recoiled in pain, giving enough time for Vidar to escape his grip and bring Fritjof to the floor. Grabbing his axe he held it to Fritjof’s throat indicating it was time for him to surrender. But suddenly the image of Fritjof lying on the ground in front of him disappeared and the real Fritjof plunged his sceptre into Vidar’s back, a hollowing gasp escaped the audience and Vidar collapsed to the floor. Fritjof now stood over him, Vidar used this as an opportunity to throw his axe at him killing him leaving Vidar injured but the winner of the battle.

Hagen upon witnessing this battle saw how brave and strong a man Vidar was, he knew that he was good enough for Sassa and he also knew he would probably lose if he were to fight him, Hagen loved Sassa but in doing so wanted what was best for her. He could see how much she loved Vidar, and knew if he were to defeat him in battle how unhappy she would be married to the man who killed her true love no matter how good of friends they were. Hagen addressed Vidar personally.
‘You are better than any man I know, you are truly the perfect man for Sassa’ Hagen said, his statement was humbling.
‘Thank you, you are fine man for doing what is right’ Vidar replied, before Sassa ran up to him and told him her father had approved of their marriage. Vidar smiled and nodded in respect to Hagen before carrying Sassa away into the woods to be married.

 

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More creativity from Millfield:  

You can find some other poetry and writing from Millfield pupils here and here (their Freshly Pressed ‘Sense of Place Poetry’ 1 & 2) and their ‘QUEST short story openings‘ here.

Thank you for your interest.

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 1/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

30 Jun

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Shirley Golden  and  Joanna Lee

 

 Fairer than the Sun

by Shirley Golden

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I feel the pull of it. I slip in through the crack between mortar and sill.

The child sleeps across the room, mouth partially open, revealing the missing lower, front incisor. His bedroom is dimly lit by a nightlight, not that I need light to find my way. I step over an action figure in combat gear, face down, still clutching his gun. I smell mint toothpaste, milk and talcum powder.

In a single bound, I land on the graphic print Superman beanbag. I don’t need wings.

Lego and train track sprawl across the floor. I skip around the boy-sized teddy bear and freeze. Loki points at me with one hand, his sceptre in the other, a green cape flows across bronze-coloured armour.

It takes me a moment to see, he is just another toy. I gain pleasure in pulling faces at him without fear. I step closer, remove his dagger and chop, chop at his synthetic, black locks. I admire my handiwork, not so handsome now, punk god.

I climb a stack of books and puzzle boxes, and make my way along the duvet, towards the child’s pillow. He whimpers in his sleep as if my presence has snaked into his dreams. He’s left a note. Dear tooth fairy, I really good like Mummy told me. Please leave a pound. Sam x.

Fleet of foot and nimble, I search, fingers reaching, clawing until I find my treasure, and I grin.

Back on the window sill, I brush fairy dust off my palms, spit on the coin and buff until it shines. Quite a night’s work; Freyr will be pleased. I slip out of the crack between mortar and sill without a backward glance.

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To light up a sky that never ends

by Joanna Lee

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An early summer comes dappling
over green banks, as hard to cup
in human fingers
on the heels of May’s cruel caress
as the wide-blue of childhood memory;
as a lust poem bathed in riverlight
after all these lonely months;
as heaven to those
with no faith left. Yet

the sunshine is so real you can almost touch it,
and the dawn’s blushing break
like waves on a white sand paradise
holds out the hope
of Ju-ly fireflies luminous
enough to light up
a sky that never ends, enough
to make you believe in magic
once more.

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Find out more about Shirley and Joanna here:

 

Shirley Golden

shirleygolden.net

https://twitter.com/shirl1001

Joanna Lee

 https://twitter.com/la_poetessa
the-tenth-muse.com

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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The Art of Storytelling: Norse Sagas from Millfield School Pupils #2

25 Jun
IMG_0799

Image by Nat Hall

 

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Year 9: Norse Sagas

Featuring

Reanna and Harriet

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Our Year 9 pupils have studied the craft of story-telling, and what better way to learn than by reading the Norse sagas, with their epic storylines and memorable characters? We gave them a brief to create their own variations on the Norse saga, drawing upon the old tales for inspiration, but taking them into new territory. Everyone in the English teaching team was impressed by the boldness and skill of the stories our young pupils wrote. Here is [ part 1 of ] a small selection. I hope you enjoy them. Our thanks go to Nicky for giving Millfield pupils such an exciting platform for their creative writing!

James Baddock

Head of English, Drama & Media
Millfield, Somerset, UK

ArtiPeeps is thrilled to be having Millfield school working in tangent with one of our projects (The Nine Realms), and to see their talented, creative pupils on our site once again. It just goes to show how inspiring the Icelandic sagas still are and how alive the art of story-telling still is! For the next three weeks we will be posting out 5 short stories from 5 of their very creative pupils. Watch out for another two stories next week.

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Vikings

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Viking Saga

by Harriet

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WANTED : STRONG MEN, ANY AGE. That’s what the sign said. I wanted to go but that decision now just filled me with regret. Why would I leave? All I wanted was for my family and friends to think that I was brave, but the truth is; I am just a coward. Killing people isn’t brave it’s cruel. How could I let myself be so cruel?

I shook violently. I had the visions again. It had been four days since our ship arrived back in the village of Shlaahra. Shlaahra was a beautiful village off the west coast of Scandinavia, Shlaahra was small but it had enough to provide any person with the essential equipment that they would need to survive. Massive trees sheltered the whole village and the crystal clear lake stretched out until it stroked the feet of the mountains on the horizon. My face had been slit open and I had lost a lot of blood but I was recovering slowly but well. I had grown up in the village of Shlaahra and spent all my time here as a child, never really wanting to leave, until I was about the age of seventeen. Leaving the village no longer sounded scary. It no longer felt dangerous. I would be fine. Oh how very wrong I was. I remember the day that those huge men who wore furry boots up to their knees and long flowing capes that were decorated in purple and gold. They came to our village looking for warriors. I felt an urge in my stomach telling me to go. These men that had come to our village were brave nothing could scare them. Every single one of these men had a strange look in their eyes I couldn’t work out what is was an first I thought it was just bravery but only now I have realised that it was something more, they had pain buried deep under their stern faces. I know this now because I feel the same pain, the pain of regret.

I had been stuck in my bed whilst the rest of my comrades had been out celebrating the success of the raid and the new land that they had conquered. If I said it didn’t bother me that I wasn’t able to celebrate I would be lying but the guilt was still eating from the inside out. I sighed and looked up at the ceiling the beams of wood that had always held my house tall and strong somehow looked weaker. The gash across my face burned as I applied one of the herbal remedies the doctor had made me. I touched the opening on the left side of my face it started just below my hairline and finished on my collarbone. I got up slowly and struggled over to the door. My hand wrapped around the door frame and I watched the little children playing in the grass, remembering when that was all I wanted to do all day. The visions of the children faded away and a breathe of fresh air tickled my spine, my eyes had been taken over by the memories that I so wanted to forget.

I was back on the boat. We were sailing towards the village that we planed to raid and conquer. The sea spat on my face and the wind danced with my hair. I asked myself “is it bad to be excited?” I looked up a grey blanket of cloud filled the sky. Fog engulfed any light that tried to be seen. Nobody made a noise. Sea birds flew alongside the boat screaming and screeching. The man sat behind me whispered to the man sat next him. “we’re close”. My heart started to beat faster and louder. The skeleton of a tree emerged from the fog.

I started to shake uncontrollably. I blinked hard and fast. The sight of the children playing came back into focus. I was now sat in the doorway breathing heavily I didn’t want to remember what happened next but I couldn’t control the thoughts from crawling back into my head.

I was now running up the beach, seawater splashed up my back. The adrenalin flowed through every inch of my body. My heart was pumping so fast I could hear the blood flowing through my ears. As we got closer to the village I heard screams and yelling. I smelt something burning and smoke filled the air. The men that had run ahead of me were burning down the houses of the locals. At this point I knew I should have run. I should have hidden, but I didn’t, I kept going. A man charged towards me with a sword. For a moment I was completely stunned, the man flung his sword towards my stomach. I dodged it. The man slit my face. The axe that I was holding in my right hand swung around, I hit the man in the side…not once…not twice…but three times. His blue eyes stared at me as he fell to the ground. I left him lying there dead with his long brown hair swamped in blood.

I started to tremble. This was the memory I wanted to hold back. My eyes started to fill up with water and I shut them tight. The images of that man that I killed so barbarically will never leave my mind. My memories with forever taunt me.

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Fire

 

Saga

by Reanna

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She came to us in our time of need, the Phoenix of the gods, Thyra. She was a great sorceress, she stood at six feet tall, with scarlet hair and piercing yellow eyes, said to be so bright she burned what she stared at. She wore a maroon elk’s skin, which she was given by the her grandmother on her death bed. She had the wrist bands of Thor, protecting her from any blows, stronger than the strongest shield, with a shirt formed with the hair of Sköll. She was adorned in a flowing grey Cape, and wore the armour of Freya, with the cunning of Loki, and the courage of Odin himself. She was so strong she created flames hotter than the sun, but this was not all the time.

She lived in this very village, a young girl, who hid a secret. She was said to be fuelled by the underworld, creating fire out of nothing, a pyromancer. She helped those she could, fuelling fires for the people of our village, warming the homeless and poor, she was highly thought of by the Chief of our village. He presented her with the Phoenix gem, a perfect kite-shaped jewel said to have been chiseled by Asgard’s finest craftsmen, and given a blessing by Nótt. The chief told Thyra that only the purest may control the raging flame. She never took that necklace off, and it served her better than any other.

She also was given Thrain that day, her beloved horse. Her father said he was the descendent of Hrímfaxi, the horse of Nótt, the night, who pulled his chariot across the sky, and gave us the peace to rest. He was a small horse, only 15.2 hands, but he was brave. He was a shining dark bay, with a luminous white sock on his left hind leg, and a bright white star on his forehead. He had a jump that could take you to the stars, and a spirit so strong he would never back down; he would face the mightiest of beasts and refuse to retreat. He never left Thyra’s side, and he was her closest friend.

In the darkness of Hrímfaxi’s sky, Thyra was out riding on Thrain, using the old leather bridle her father had made for her, and an old saddle that she made herself out of an elk’s hide. She was with the daughter of the chief, Astrid, a young girl of 10 years old, who had beautiful golden hair, with a black coat on over her white shirt, and brown, tight pants that she always wore, despite her father’s hatred of them, and her little iron grey pony, Carr.

They were slinking between the trees, Thrain’s coat glittering in the moonlight, Carr marching proudly at his side, his little brown eyes twinkling with what was normally mischievous intentions. The soft wind brushed through Thyra’s silky hair, her bright eyes seemed to glow in the darkness. Astrid was chatting away, as she always did, and Thrain was listening, as he always did on these little adventures. The Great Grey Owls were hooting, and the bee-eaters were hopping from branch to branch, disturbing the trees around the four explorers, as Astrid liked to refer to their little convoy. 

But this night was different. There was a shriek, and a strong wind followed. Carr jumped at this, but Thrain stood strong, and blew at the direction of the sound. Astrid whispered to Carr, trying to calm him down. Thyra moved Thrain between Astrid and the direction of the sound. She dismounted, leaving Thrain to stand with the diffident pony, and walked towards the sound’s origin. She summoned a bright flame to her palm, which flickered as she sneaked through the bushes.

Thyra approached a clearing. Glowing ashes were floating around her, their dying light illuminated her pale face. There were five great oak trees fallen around her, charred. She ran her hand down one, lifting some of the ashes into the air. There were dark scorch marks in the ground, but they did not seem of fire, but lightning. Suddenly, there was a snap of a twig behind her. She turned, her palm ablaze with a large blue flame, which was roaring as she stopped. What she found was a rather pleased looking Thrain, accompanied by Astrid and the little Carr, who had obviously been munching on a near by bush, as he had leaves poking out the sides of his little mouth.

Astrid had now dismounted, and was inspecting one of the trees lying on the ground, while Thrain and Carr were poking each other with sticks they found, and seemed to be having a good time. Thyra was looking to the sky, hoping for a sign of the creature that caused this destruction. She was soon graced with an answer, as Ara, the Banshee Knight leaped from the cover of the trees beyond the clearing.

 It screeched as it pinned Thyra to the ground, producing a blackened purple blade from its sheath on the creature’s belt. Its eyes glowed a deep violet, its rotten, yellow teeth dripped corrosive pearls of venomous spit from a sepulchral, grotto of a mouth. Astrid gave a scram and ran behind one of the standing trees, and Carr followed. The monstrosity clicked as it formed an electric charge in its hand, making it turn a luminous purple. Thrain has begun to gallop over from where he and Carr had been standing. He angled his head so that the stick he was carrying was driven straight into the Banshee’s side. It wailed in pain as the makeshift pike impaled its exposed chest, and shrieked as the gelding placed its weight onto the fiend’s torso. There was a large crack, followed by a blood-curling scream from the banshee, and Thrain stepped back off the squirming monstrosity that now lay before him.

Thyra stepped on the creature’s wrist to remove the sword from it, and threatened it with a dancing red flame in the palm of her hand, the Phoenix gem glowed on her neck, making her eyes seem to flow with a look of inclination. Her wrist bands were coated with the beast’s drool, and the light of the flame made then twinkle like the stars above them. Thyra ended the monster’s suffering, with a swift downward blow to the head from its own blade. The creature squealed for a moment, but then lay still as the blade passed through the back of its skull.

The creature disintegrated into dust, only leaving its foul armour, which Thyra had no use for, but amongst it was a shimmering white gem, which piqued her interest. She removed it from the centre of the pile, and set the rest alight. She attempted to examine it in the moonlight, but Thrain had taken quite an interest in it also, and tried to eat it whenever she lifted it to view. Astrid was hitting a tree with her sword, with Carr standing behind her poking her with the stick he had been playing with earlier. They mounted and left the forest for the town, using the stars to guide them home.

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More creativity from Millfield:  

You can find some other poetry and writing from Millfield pupils here and here (their Freshly Pressed ‘Sense of Place Poetry’ 1 & 2) and their ‘QUEST short story openings‘ here.

One more saga coming from Millfield next week!

Thank you for your interest.

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