Sunday, 7 October 2012

A sample from my German Teddy story...

Vor nicht allzu langer Zeit lebte ein kleiner, brauner Teddybär im Zimmer vom kleinen Peter. Peter war ein lieber Junge, der jetzt schon groß genug war, um in die sechste Klasse zu gehen.

Sein Teddybär, Teddy, hatte dunkelbraune Knopfaugen und einen weichen, braunen Pelz. Er war Peter am allerliebsten und durfte als einziger in Peters Bett schlafen. Teddy war sehr glücklich, daß Peter ihn jeden Abend mit ins Bett nahm, und Peter fühlte sich immer wohlbehütet, wenn Teddy dabei war.

Eines Tages, an einem sonnigen Morgen, wachte Teddy aus einem schrecklichen Traum auf. Mit schläfrigen Augen schaute er sich um. Dort lag Peter, mit geschlossenen Augen träumte er sanft. Teddy rieb sich langsam die Augen und richtete sich auf. Das kleine Zimmer, in dem Peter und Teddy regelmäßig spielten, war in ein sanftes gelb getaucht. Die Sonne schien freudig durchs Fenster, und Teddy sah eifrige Vögel von links nach rechts und rechts nach links fliegen.

Es war ein schöner Tag, doch Teddy konnte diesen schrecklichen Traum nicht vergessen. In seinem Traum wurde Teddy in einen dunklen Karton gepackt, wo er fortan Peter nie wieder sah. Teddy erinnerte sich, wie Peters Mutter in dem Traum sagte: "Peter, du bist jetzt alt genug. Du brauchst deinen Teddy nicht mehr." Und Peter meinte: "Ja, Mutter, du hast recht. Wir sollten Teddy weggeben, damit andere Kinder mit ihm spielen  können." Teddy war darüber sehr erbost, doch soviel er sich auch wehrte, keiner schien ihn zu hören oder zu sehen, und er endete in einem dunklen Karton. "So ein doofer Traum", seufzte Teddy. "Peter würde so etwas bestimmt nie machen. Er hat mich einfach viel zu lieb." Teddy schaute zu Peter, der immernoch in einen tiefen Traum versunken war. "Ach, Peter, du bist mein bester Freund."

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Download my German children's story now from Lulu

I have just e-published my German children's story "Ein Teddybär auf Wanderschaft" on at only £0.99. I hope you like it...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Another silly animal antic...

Here is another instalment from my silly animal stories. I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think.

Tom the Timid Tiger

Tom lived in the jungles of India. Every morning he went hunting. He was very good at stalking and never had any problems getting close to his prey. However, he was often too afraid to catch large animals. They simply scared him. He usually ended up with a bird or small mammal, which didn't really fill him up, so he had to go hunting several times a day, and by the end of the day he was really tired.

The other tigers in the jungle were a lot braver and they called Tom the Timid Tiger. Tom was very embarrassed by that and knew he had to change something if he didn't want to go to bed every night very tired and still half hungry.

One day Tom woke up with confidence. He decided that it was time he would no longer be shy and timid. From now on hee would be brave and bold. Today he would hunt the largest gaur he could find. Tonight he would go to bed with a full stomach and a chest full of pride. It was going to be the start of a new Tom. From today onwards he would be known as Tom the Tenacious Tiger.

So Tom got up, cleaned himself and made for a clearing where he knew would be a great many antilopes. There it would be easy to find a really big specimen and hunt her. Tom felt really excited and much braver than before. He raised his head high as he approached the clearing. As he expected, in the clearing there were great number of animals and in particular a nice group of large gaur. He scanned the animals and found a particularly large one that he decided to hunt.

He slowly walked along the perimeter of the clearing to find a good place for an ambush. The animals hadn't noticed him. He carefully placed one paw in front of the other to avoid making a noise, and the while he kept his eyes on the group of animals drinking from the water or cleaning themselves. He had picked out those that were on sentry duty and made sure he was downwind from them. Everything was going to plan.

Tom was ready for the attack. He crouched down and took a few moments to look around, listen for any strange noises and sniff the air for any unusual scents. It seemed the coast was still clear. The sentry animals looked relaxed and the whole group of gaur was calm and composed. It would be the perfect hunt.

Tom had to make his attack. The moment was perfect and the longer he waited, the more the risk of being discovered increased. However, Tom suddenly felt a small nagging feeling. His confidence seemed to slowly seep away. He thought about those beautiful animals in front of him. How strong they were and how fast they could run. He worried that he might not be able to catch them after all, or that he might get hurt during the hunt. He thought that other tigers might be watching him and tease him even more if he failed today. It was becoming too much, and instead of crouching down ready to jump, Tom was now actually just lying down, like a cat ready for a cuddle.

Suddenly Tom heard a roar from the distance. It was from another tiger who was clearly approaching the clearing. Tom had to do something. This was his clearing and he was not going to give it up. He jumped up and started his attack on the gaur. It took the animals a good few seconds before they realized what was happening, but by then it was too late. Tom was among them and had already brought down one of the gaur. It wasn't the biggest of the group, but it was still a good catch and would feed him for a good few days.

As Tom was reaching the end of his attack, he saw the other tiger standing by the edge of clearing, clearly impressed by what he saw. The other tiger gave a little nod to Tom and then quickly ran away back into the jungle.

Tom had done it. He had overcome his fear and he had protected his territory at the same time. He was really proud of himself and rightly so. From that day on, Tom was getting more and more confident. He still had days when he was too afraid to hunt large animals, but he was definitely getting better, and after only a few weeks the other tigers in the jungle had started calling him Tom the Tenacious Tiger, just as he had hoped. Tom lived in the jungles of India. Every morning he went hunting. He was very good at stalking and never had any problems getting close to his prey. However, he was often too afraid to catch large animals. They simply scared him. He usually ended up with a bird or small mammal, which didn't really fill him up, so he had to go hunting several times a day, and by the end of the day he was really tired.

The other tigers in the jungle were a lot braver and they called Tom the Timid Tiger. Tom was very embarrassed by that and knew he had to change something if he didn't want to go to bed every night very tired and still half hungry.

One day Tom woke up with confidence. He decided that it was time he would no longer be shy and timid. From now on hee would be brave and bold. Today he would hunt the largest gaur he could find. Tonight he would go to bed with a full stomach and a chest full of pride. It was going to be the start of a new Tom. From today onwards he would be known as Tom the Tenacious Tiger, just as he had hoped.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Amazing Animal Antics

I know it's been a long time since my last post, but I've finally got my hands on a tablet and have been busy setting it all up and writing some new material.

Below is the first of a series of children's stories that I plan to publish as a collection. I hope you like it and let me know what you think.


Claudia the Cranky Caterpillar

Claudia was a little caterpillar that one day would turn into a beautiful butterfly. For now though she was crawling around on a juicy cabbage munching on its leaves, slowly becoming fatter and fatter.

One day a ladybird landed on her cabbage to rest and clean itself when she spotted Claudia.

"Hello there," the ladybird said. "Aren't you quite fat enough yet to coccoon? You have nearly finished the whole cabbage. Where are you going to go next for more food?"

Claudia just looked at her for a short moment and then continued eating. There wasn't much time left and she still had to put on more weight.
"Are you ignoring me?" the ladybird continued. "How rude," it said before it flew off.  

The next day a stag beetle landed on her cabaw Claudia he stared at her for a good minute before he said: "Gosh, you do look ugly, don't you? And rather plump. I thought I was a big insect, but I think you set a new record."

Claudia felt cross, but she simply continued munching the cabbage leaf she was on and decided to ignore the stag beetle.

"You've got nothing to say for yourself, have you," the stag beetle said and flew off.  

So the days went on and every day a diferent insect landed on her cabbage and told her how ugly she was - or how fat - or something else that was insulting. Claudia was getting crosser and crosser with every passing day, and the caterpillars in her field started to call her Claudia the Cranky Caterpillar.

One day Claudia had enough of the rude comments and decided that whoever would arrive next would be put in his place. It didn't take long and a hungry looking jackdaw landed next to her cabbage. He slowly eyed her up and down until Claudia stopped munching and looked back at him.

"Hello there," was all that the jackdaw was able to say before Claudia let off her anger.

"Yes, what are you going to say?" she started to say. "I've heard it all before. Do you think I'm fat? Or ugly? Can't wait until I coccoon so you don't have to look at me any longer? Something else?"

As she was talking she crawled closer and closer to the jackdaw, while the jackdaw slowly inched back step by step. As Claudia uttered her last word she launched herself forward and the jackdaw scrambled for a quick takeoff and flew away, cawing as he went.

"I knew they were all cowards," Claudia said and then calmly continued munching her cabbage.

The caterpillars on the cabbages nearby had stopped eating and were trying to hide when they had seen the jackdaw land, but when Claudia had launched into her angry tirade they all crept out again and were mightily impressed when the jackdaw flew off.

Since then every caterpillar in her field knew her as Claudia the Couragous Caterpillar, but Claudia didn't know. She was cosily tucked up in her snug coccoon. Now it wouldn't take long until she would turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The first chapter from my children's story

I'm just translating my children's Teddy story into English. Here is the first chapter from the book, which you'll soon be able to download on your Kindle. Please let me know what you think.


Not too long ago, a little brown teddy lived in Peter's room. Peter was a lovely boy, who was in year six in school. His little teddy, Teedy, had dark brown button eyes and a soft, brown pelt. He was Peter's favourite and was the only one allowed to sleep in his bed. Teddy was very happy that Peter took him to bed with him every evening, and Peter felt well protected when Teddy was with him.
One day, on a sunny morning, Teddy woke from a horrible nightmare. Sleepily he looked around the room. There was Peter who was sleeping sweetly, his eyes closed tightly. Teddy slowly rubbed his eyes and sat up. The small room, in which Peter and Teddy played all the time, was dipped in a soft yellow. The sun was shining happily through the window, and Teddy saw busy birds flying from left to right and right to left.
It was a lovely day, but Teddy simply could not forget the terrible dream. In the dream Teddy was put into a dark box and then saw Peter never again. Teddy remembered how Peter's mother had said in the dream: "Peter, you are now old enough. You do not need Teddy anymore." And Peter replied: "Yes, mother, you are right. Let us give Teddy away so other children can enjoy playing with him." Teddy was really angry about it, but as much as he resisted and fought, nobody seemed to hear or see him, and he ended up in a dark box.
"Stupid dream," Teddy whispered. "Peter would never do such a thing. He simply loves me too much." Teddy looked over to Peter, who was still in a deep dream. "Oh Peter, you are my best friend."

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter... everyone. I hope you've had lots of chocolate eggs, lambs, bunnies, chicks or otherwise. I've been a little quiet for a while. I've been working on translating my children's story into English. After that I'll be posting more material from my sci-fi book.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

It's hotting up in my book...

Cities of Refuge
Jenny and I had gone down to Homeland again. It didn't take much to convince her to go. The promise of a sweet after our stroll through the park had been enough.
"So, which sweet would you like, darling?" I asked her.
"Can I have a chocolate éclair, please?" Jenny replied, smiling one of her usual cheeky smiles.
I thought I would order the éclair and ask her to wait, so I could nip over to Laura and find out whether she could make the safe for me.
"Jenny, I have to go across the road again. Will you wait here for me and eat your éclair, sweetie?"
"Yes, I will. I'll eat my chocolate éclair and wait for you."
"Good. I won't be a minute, all right?"
I ordered the sweet and paid the check, then left the diner. As I walked through the door I took a final look around to check whether Jenny was being a good girl, which she was, so I was happy to go.

I walked into the street, which was fairly quiet. The sun was shining and there was a lovely warm breeze blowing between the tall buildings. I made my way through the parked cars, crossed the street and walked over to Laura's apartment block.
I pressed the doorbell and a few seconds later her voice came through the speaker. "You're early. C'mon up and let yourself in. You can make yourself comfortable in the lounge. I won't be a moment." The buzzer went before I had a chance to reply.

Upstairs the door to her apartment was left ajar, so I went inside, closed the door behind me and went into the living room. The apartment was as tidy as usual.
"I'll make myself comfortable on the sofa then, shall I?" I shouted.
"Yes, please. Won't be a sec," was Laura's reply from somewhere.
I sat down on the sofa. I had been to her apartment before, but I had never been long enough to really see what her place was like. The only thing I had noticed in the past was that it had always been very tidy. Mind you, I had only ever seen the hallway, living room and her bathroom, so I couldn't really say what the rest was like.
She had mentioned once that her study was a right mess and I imagined it to be a little like mine: printouts scattered on the floor with a few magazines sprinkled in between, various pads displaying different information or running hack sessions, a couple of used plates, some cutlery, a few cups and glasses, the odd pizza box or take-away tinfoil container and maybe some items of clothing for good measure – socks, ties and the like.
"Hang on just another minute, I'll be right with you," her voice flitted past the living room door. I quickly turned around but she had already gone. The smell of sweet perfume wafted in. I had never noticed perfume on her before. Was she planning to go out later?
"Help yourself to a drink or something,” her voice floated in.
"Yes, thanks," I replied.
"Sure, no probs," Laura said. "The drinks are..."
"...right in front of me," I finished her sentence.
"Yes, that's it," she said and then I heard the noise of a hairdryer.
I got up from the sofa and walked over to the drinks cabinet. She had an eclectic selection of drinks: vodka, good Russian vodka that is – whiskey, both Scotch and Tennessee – dry gin, rum, sherry and Campari. There was also an ice bucket and a little jar with fresh lemon slices. The glasses were on the shelf below.
I picked up a small tumbler, added a couple of ice cubes and slowly poured some nice Scotch whiskey over them. I put the bottle back onto the cabinet, took a sip from the glass and then had a look around the room.
There were a small number of photo frames on the wall: her in a park on a nice, sunny day; her in a woolly jumper somewhere indoors; her wearing a party hat, cheeks painted red, like a clown and pulling a silly face; her balancing on one foot in another park somewhere, arms stretched out and an umbrella in one hand, apparently helping her to balance; and a few more besides.
All of the photos seemed to be fairly recent and only showed her. There wasn't a single one showing her parents, siblings or friends. As far as I could remember I had never asked her about her family, friends or anything about her past. I had never felt it appropriate to do so. I guess it was a kind of unwritten hackers' law. You didn't want to compromise each other's identity. The thing was, I knew where she lived, so I already knew more about her than I should have.
"Tadaa!" Laura's voice suddenly came from the doorway. I turned around and there she was. She looked absolutely stunning. She was all dressed up and wearing make-up – another thing that I hadn't noticed before. I could see a twinkly necklace – a silver heart with a tiny sparkly jewel as its pendant – and a pair of shiny earrings.
"Laura, you look absolutely amazing," I said, suddenly realizing that I had been looking at her for a good few seconds with my mouth open.
"Thank you very much," she replied and started to smile.
"You're going out later, aren't you," I wanted to know.
"Well, yes. I have a date," she said and her smile widened.
"Ooh, lucky you," I replied, trying my best to smile back, but somehow it felt awkward. I didn't realize it immediately, but I was starting to feel a little jealous, which was odd, because I had never thought of Laura in that way before. I had always really enjoyed chatting to her on the computer or talking to her on the phone, and I was always very happy to see her – but I never thought we were more than just very good friends.
"Oh, it's actually to do with a project I'm working on," Laura explained, as her smile quickly disappeared from her face.
"Oh," I said, puzzled.
"I think this guy has some information I need, if you see what I mean."
"Oh! I see. A project. Of course. Very clever." I suddenly realized what she meant. It wasn't a romantic kind of date – she was going out with this guy to find out a password or something which would help her to hack into whatever system she was trying to get into.
"Yes, that sort of date. I've been working on this for a couple of weeks now. If I play it right I should be able to go further tonight."
"Go further?" I asked. "How do you mean?"
"Well, if he gives me the information I need, I should be able get past security and launch phase two of my hack."
"Oh, of course. Go further with your hack. Phase two. Sure. I understand."
I realized I was talking gibberish. When she said she would go further I immediately assumed she meant with the guy – my jealousy was obviously very real and very strong. I felt more for Laura than I was going to admit to myself.
"What did you think I meant?" Laura wanted to know. She was looking at me inquisitively with her beautiful eyes, having her head slightly tilted to one side.
"Oh, I don't know. I just didn't understand what you meant," I said, looking away. I started to blush.
"You're not jealous, are you?"
"Yes. Jealous. Are you jealous of the other guy?"
I looked at her again.
"No, I'm not jealous. Why should I be jealous?"
"Exactly. You have no reason to be jealous," Laura said with a bright smile and winked at me. "Now, you said you needed help with something?"
What did she mean? I had no reason to be jealous. I was starting to get nervous. Did she like me?
"Oh, yes, I need your help. Sorry."
I explained to her that I was constantly keeping various hardcopies for my hacks which contained incriminating information that could get me into trouble with the offs1. I was hoping she could build a customized safe for me which would destroy them if it was tampered with, triggered remotely, or if it hadn't been opened for a given amount of time.
"You're not asking much, are you," Laura said.
Her face had become quite serious. I was worried that I was being a little bit too ambitious.
"How big does it need to be?" she wanted to know.
"Well, not big. It'll have to store a stack of... say... 500 pages or so."
"Hm, you're right, that's not big. Do you want to hide it somewhere in your place  – or would you rather have it in view?"
"I guess if it was hidden it would be better," I said.
"Fine, that shouldn't be a problem. When do you need it by?" Laura wanted to know.
Her face had lightened up again. She obviously knew what she was going to built for me. I was relieved.
"Well, how quickly can you make it?" I really hoped I could have it as soon as possible. Every day that I left the papers just lying around in my office, the risk of being discovered was increasing. Yet I didn't want to put any pressure on her, particularly knowing that she was busy with her own project.
"Hm, let me think. I don't have time tonight... and if I get the information I want, I might need another day or two..."
"Laura, is there any chance you can get this safe ready for tomorrow night? I'm really starting to get itchy with all the pages that accumulate every day."
I looked at her pleadingly.
"Stop it. How can I say no when you look at me like this? You're too sweet to resist," she said. "I'll have it ready for you tomorrow night, no problem. I can work on it during the day – and another day or two won't make any difference to my project, even if I get the information tonight."
"You're an absolute star, Laura. I really owe you big time now. If there's anything I can do for you, just say – your wish will be my command," I said and smiled at her.
"Hm, I might just take you up on that offer," she replied with a wink. "Now, I really have to go or I'll be late for my date."
"Sure, no probs. You're going far?"
"Yes, across the settlement to the far end. The guy doesn't know where I live. He thinks I'm just down the road from him."
"Oh, of course," I said. "I guess I'll see you later then. Thank you so much again for getting this done for me so quickly. You're a star."
"No, stop it. You're the real star," she replied with a huge smile on her face.

When I got back to the diner and Jenny was still sitting where I had left her. She had finished her chocolate éclair and was doodling on a napkin. I intended to visit the information bank2 later and find out as much about Imbissen as I could. The more I knew about his background, the better my chances of finding a way through the back door into Sesk. I wanted to be well prepared before I started.
Previous experience had taught me that only about the first three hack attempts into a well secured system were safe. After that, the chances of getting caught were dangerously close to 100% – and it was basically impossible to hack into anything from prison, even though I had heard that a handful of people had done it.
I walked over to Jenny. "Hello, sweetie, how was your éclair? Did you enjoy it?"
"Mmm, yummy," she said without interrupting her drawing or looking up.
"Ooh, that looks nice. What are you drawing there darling?" Jenny was really artistic and had been drawing for quite a few years now. She seemed to be able to memorize scenes very quickly and then draw them later at home or at school. All of her drawings had been true to practically every detail of what she had seen.
"It's a man," she replied, still not looking up.
"Oh, very nice, darling. Is this Sully?" The portrait was very detailed indeed and I assumed it was someone like the host of her favourite TV show.
"No," she said.
"Oh? Who is it then? It's very good."
"The man who was here just now," she explained.
"Oh. So the man has gone then?" I wanted to know.
"Yes, he left just before you came back."
"Oh, did he," I said. "This drawing's very good, sweetie. You're a very talented artist. Are you going to hang this up with the others later?"
"No, the man told me to give the picture to you," Jenny said and looked up at me, smiling, before looking at the paper again to finish her drawing.
I got worried. A stranger talking to her? Here? Who would ask her to be drawn and then ask the drawing to be given to me? Who knew I was here? Maybe it was someone from school – a teacher or a parent.
"Who was this man, sweetie?"
"Haven't seen him before. Look, I'm finished now. That's him," she said and showed me her drawing. She was very proud of it and smiled at me.
I looked at it. It was very detailed and lifelike. She had drawn everything perfectly – wrinkles, strands of hair, reflections in his eyes – the whole expression of his face was there. He looked like he was confidently smiling to himself, like a man who knew he could achieve anything he wanted, without having to try too hard – like everything in life would come to him easily.
"Do you like it?" Jenny asked.
"Yes, it's very, very good, sweetie."
I tried to work out who this man was, but the face didn't look familiar – it didn't look like anybody I or Jenny knew.
"Sweetie, let's go home. I have some more work to do."
I wanted to get us out of here and back home as quickly as possible, but at the same time I didn't want to alarm Jenny. I didn't think she had realized what potential danger she had been in. She was quite vulnerable and it would have been easy for the man to convince her to come home with her.
"Sure, let's go. I'm done. I couldn't eat another thing," Jenny said and got up.
"Oh, I don't blame you darling. The éclair looked rather big," I said to her, smiling. I knew the moment we got home she would want to eat more chocolate. She had an amazingly sweet tooth.

On our way home I kept looking around every few minutes. I wanted to see whether anybody was following us, but whoever it was seemed to have long gone – or was very good at not being seen. He certainly knew what he was doing and appeared to know more about us than I would have liked.

1Offs - short for officials. It is what hackers often use to describe government officials from the secret service, police or other law enforcing agencies. Usually it is used in a derogatory fashion.
2Information banks took over from libraries as more and more books were published electronically. Books are now either downloaded and read on-screen or printed on demand, and information banks provide computer access to everyone. However, libraries still exist, and a hardcopy of every book ever published is still archived there, but now libraries are no longer open to the public.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Some poetry... just to change the subject a little.


Unity is when two people
form a single entity,
and together those two people
become one for all to see.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fancy another excerpt from my book?

Here goes...



The brief moment of complete recall had unlocked something in the deepest parts of my brain. It had opened up an area of memory that I never knew existed. Now that I could access it again, it horrified me.
Apart from the dozens upon dozens of tests that had been carried out on me, there was one incredible and terrifying experiment that had not only changed my appearance, my thoughts and wants, but also my ability to communicate. I was dreading what I was about to reveal as I delved deeper into the innermost recesses of my brain. It was too horrific to contemplate, but I had to do it, since it was fundamental to why I was what I was now.
I closed my eyes in the hope it would help me to remember the operation that had been carried out on me. More flashes of past events flickered across my mind's eye, briefly unveiling what had happened.
I saw two people leaning over me. Every few moments they changed the instruments they used, putting one down and picking up another.
Even though the memories came back only in short bursts lasting a fraction of a split second, they seemed to form a sequence, like the thousands of film cells, which when put together, created the illusion of movement.
In the short space of time I remembered what they had done. The operation they had carried out on me. That it involved transplanting my memory from my former human self into the brain of a rabbit and then reprogramming the basic instincts from that of a human to that of a rabbit.
I was still able to think like a human, but instead of wanting to slouch on a comfortable sofa I preferred to lie in the grass; instead of eating a delicious mixed salad, I now much rather ate fresh grass and roots; instead of relaxing with a nice book, I was happy to run round and jump into the air; and instead of having a nice, warm bath, I loved licking my pelt and getting it shiny and smelling of me.
It all sounded absurd, like the fantasies of a mad science-fiction author or the delusions of a deranged mind – but my memories were unmistakable. I once had been a man – and now I was a rodent.
They had successfully reprogrammed me, but somehow I didn’t feel comfortable in the body that I now occupied. The mere thought of what they had done to me sent shivers down my spine, and it was unbearable to imagine that I would be like this for the rest of my life, with the memory of what I once was eating away at me. I had to undo this somehow – I had to get back into my human body... somehow.
The only problem was, how to go about it. As a rabbit I didn’t have a lot of options. I couldn't to speak and I couldn’t think of another way of communicating. And even if I did find a way to make myself understood, there was nobody around here to approach. The situation seemed hopeless.

I decided to get up and make my way back to my burrow. I suddenly started to feel uncomfortable being out in the open like this. I wanted to get back to my new home and lie down. I needed some time in my shelter and collect my thoughts. I knew I had found ways out of impossible situations before and I was hoping I would be able to do it again. Yet I had never encountered anything this bad, so my confidence wasn’t particularly high – but I had to think positively and not give up hope.
I slowly hopped over the grass and headed for the closest entrance to my burrow. The area was still completely calm – no movement whatsoever. After a few more hops I slipped through the access hole and squeezed through the narrow tunnel to my main nest.
It was dark and damp, but also warm and cosy. I felt a lot more comfortable here. It was a place where I had control over what was happening, a place of safety. It was my new home until I figured out a way to become my original self again.

I must have lain in my burrow for a long time, trying to come up with options, ideas or anything, but it seemed useless. Whatever plan I imagined always required me to somehow communicate with someone.
I had to approach this from a different angle. I had to find out where I was, so that I could establish whether there was anybody around. Once I had found that out, I could try and find a way to communicate with them. I was trying too hard and was too many steps ahead of myself. I had to take this a step at a time. That way the situation wouldn’t look as hopeless as it did now.
I smiled to myself – as far as that was possible as a rabbit. I decided to crawl out of my burrow and explore the area more. I had a feeling that I had to make my way through the forest to find a village or town or some other kind of settlement – maybe even just a farm.

When I got out of my burrow, the sun was starting to set. I knew that no other animals were about – or at least I was very sure that there weren’t – but my instincts still told me that night-time wasn’t the best time to be out and about. I was starting to consider postponing my trip until the next morning, but the urge to return to my original self was so strong that I threw out any worries.
I slowly made some cautious hops towards the forest, always listening for noises that might indicate danger, and occasionally standing up on my hind paws and having a good look around to check that there was no danger. The closer I got to the forest, the more confident I became.
Yet, as I arrived at the border to the dark forest and saw the tall, old trees towering above me, I started to get worried. Although the glade had been completely deserted, I couldn’t be sure the forest would be the same. My instincts told me that there would be plenty of nocturnal creatures, most of which were after small prey like myself.
I decided to stop for a moment. I knew what my instincts were telling me, but I also knew that those instincts were that of a rabbit – and not of a human being. Maybe my instincts had been planted into me to ensure that I never escaped the dell and never attempted to make contact with humans. Yet a rabbit travelling through a forest was faced with completely different dangers to those of a human.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t be certain which of my emotions were real and which ones were implanted, so I decided not to ignore my instincts completely and proceed on my journey with care. After all, I had no chance of making contact with anybody if I got swooped up by an owl and ripped to pieces.

I took a deep breath, got up on my hind paws and had another good look around. Then, while still upright, I swivelled my ears forward and listened into the forest to try and make out what was going on inside, if anything. I could only hear the wind which was blowing through the branches of immense trees and made them groan as they swayed from side to side – but nothing else.
I got down on all fours and made a few cautious hops into the forest. I tried to be as quiet as possible, but that was virtually impossible. Inevitably a small twig would snap under my feet, and as I squeezed through the undergrowth there was an audible rustle. I tried to ignore the thought that dozens of eyes were following my every step and were just waiting for the right moment to pounce.

I had travelled quite a distance as the sunlight started to fade. I thought it would be wise to find a safe resting place for the night. I didn’t want to be on the move at the same time as potential predators. I found a nice, small, thorny shrub, and squeezed myself underneath, where there was lovely soft moss, which was going to be an ideal pillow for a good night’s rest. I knew I wouldn’t sleep deeply, my subconscious always listening for potential danger, but at least I would sleep better here than out in the open forest.
Before I lay down to sleep, I gave myself a good clean. My fur had picked up various twigs, leaves, spines and other material and I carefully removed all of them one by one with my mouth. Then I licked my coat until it was nice and shiny and I smelt of myself again. I had a final look and listen and then threw myself into the moss and closed my eyes. One of my ears remained perked up scanning the vicinity for sounds. I was rather tired and the noise of the wind and the creaking trees soon lulled me into a deep sleep.
Tomorrow was going to be an exciting day and I decided to carry on for as long as my feet would carry me. I had no idea whether I heading towards human habitation or whether I was just going to get deeper and deeper into the forest until eventually I had to turn around and try a different direction. This journey could turn into one of a lot of trial and error, with a lot of hope and disappointment on the way, but I was determined to at least give it a go.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Goldfish

From time to time I post other pieces of my writing. Here is one of them...


The Goldfish

Once upon a time, there was a goldfish in a goldfish bowl. He was a happy goldfish with a lovely castle in his bowl where he could hide and peek out at the world.

One day, the goldfish was swimming round and round his bowl. He loved swimming round and round... and round... and round... and round and round. And round and round. And round.

And round and round and round and round... and round. And round. And round and round again. Round and round he went. And round and round. And round... round... and round... and round.

Suddenly he spotted a pair of eyes staring at him. A pair of glowing, dark eyes. The goldfish looked at the eyes and said "Hello!" Then he continued swimming round and round and round... and round and round... round... round and round and round again.

Until he saw a pair of eyes starting at him. A pair of glowing, dark eyes. The goldfish looked at the eyes and said "Hello?" Then he continue swimming round again... and round and round... round some more... and round and round and round. And round and round.

Until he saw a pair of eyes starting at him. A pair of... swoop... and the goldfish was gone.

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Sunday, 12 February 2012

It's getting more exciting...

They had left me alone for hours now. I was starting to get cold. I was naked and this ark of theirs didn't seem to have heating of any sort. I was tired and my face was hurting where they had beaten me earlier. I was sure that I was black and blue all over. I could feel a drop of blood slowly rolling down my left cheek.
I needed to escape somehow. Being cold, tired and hurting all over wasn't going to make it any easier for me to get out. I looked around as much as my shackles allowed. I couldn't see much. On my left and right there were huge shelves, backed with metal sheeting and full of pipes, beams and other heavy looking metal items. I couldn't turn around enough to see what was behind me, but there was a partition wall in front of me which blocked my view in that direction.
I seemed to remember that Judy and Lucius had walked past me and then carried on walking behind me when they had left me after the beating. Their steps had echoed through the big hall, which made it a bit hard to identify exactly which direction they had taken, but I had been able to hear them disappearing behind me. A few moments later I had heard the sound of a door being opened and closed.
I had the impression that they had walked along the shelves behind me for quite a distance and then entered an office or something, because after the door had been closed, the sound of their steps and their voices was still audible, though a bit muffled.
It was likely that the exit to this huge warehouse wasn't too far away from there. This meant that if I was going to escape, I probably had to get past their office. I was sure that Judy and Lucius were smart enough to make sure they could see everyone coming and going. Actually, they were probably able to see me right now.
I would have to wait until they were gone or asleep, if I had any chance of escape. Also, there had to be more exits than just the one that I thought was next to their office. I didn’t believe this place was more than just a simple warehouse, which usually have several bigger and smaller doorways. There had to be some sort of delivery entrance or gate which was probably nowhere near the office and would be a much better route of escape.
I tried to see how much my shackles would give, since I had to get rid of them first before I could even consider finding a suitable escape route. The shackles were fastened tight around my wrists and ankles and there was a strap around my waist. I pulled as hard as I could to try and free my hands but there was no give.
I then tried to slide my hands out of the shackles, but they were fastened too tightly. The same was true for my feet, so I tested the strap around my waist. I leaned forward as hard as I could and pushed and pushed and pushed, but without success. It seemed really hopeless, given the state I was in, so I decided to rest for a bit and gather my strength before trying again.
As I was thinking this, I suddenly heard Judy’s voice behind me.
"Oh, I see. So we haven’t broken your spirit yet. Good. That’s what I was hoping for. We have really done an excellent job when we reprogrammed you last time. We have grown you into a strong person and made your will to survive as hard as steel. I’m proud of you, Cornelius."
Then she started walking towards me. I couldn’t see her, but I could clearly hear her footsteps. When she was just behind me, she started talking again, whispering into my ear.
"You have grown into a very handsome man, Cornelius. I have always found you attractive, which made my work so much more enjoyable – and this time round, it will be even better. Even thinking about it makes me really excited."
She whispered in a very sexy way. I had never heard her talk like this before. I was a bit confused and not sure whether it was just an attempt to win me over, which would make breaking me later easier, or whether she really meant what she said.
"I was never able to tell, because you were in so much agony, but I always had the feeling you were attracted to me right from the start. If you think about it, we know each other so well – or at least I know you very, very well. But even so, there are still so many things that I don’t know about you."
She started to lean closer. Her lips were gently brushing my ear lobe as she spoke. I could feel her breath on my cheek and neck, and her sweet perfume was filling my nose.
"I still don’t know how you feel about me. You must despise me, fear me, hate me, loathe me and have all sorts of negative feelings towards me after what I have done to you. Yet I think you also admire and respect me for my skill, knowledge and superior intellect."
She was leaning over even more now and her chest was half resting on my back. It was hard to tell, but whatever she was wearing was certainly very thin, as if she wasn’t wearing a bra and only a thin, silky blouse. Even though I couldn’t see her, I felt her eyes inspecting me over my shoulder, studying the front of my body, my sinuous arms, the muscly chest, the firm stomach, my strong legs and my manhood – which seemed to feel the touch of her gaze and started to react.
"You obviously had time to work out and get yourself into shape during your time in prison. You certainly look very toned," she continued, "and you obviously like me," she added, this time speaking a little louder and sounding rather happy, nearly giggling.
I flinched for a moment. It was just too spooky how I knew that she was looking at me without seeing her. It was as if I could read her mind.
"I never had this effect on you in the past, which I used to find rather disappointing, especially because you always had such a big effect on me. I’m very glad you think more favourably of me now. It’s much nicer this way – for both of us."
After she had said that, she obviously straightened up again, since I couldn’t feel her any longer on my back or near my ear lobe. I wasn’t quite sure what she was doing but I could clearly hear the sound of fabric brushing against skin. What was she doing? It was hard to tell, but it sounded like she was undressing. Why would she do that though? This didn’t make sense, but somehow it started to arouse me. The sound continued even as she started speaking again.
"Well, I guess it’s a bit unfair that I can see you and your luscious, handsome, strong body, but you can’t see mine. I bet you have been fantasizing about me for some time, probably about how you could take revenge and punish me and show me how cruel I had been. Over time these fantasies probably changed and your feelings turned into the wish to correct me, show me that my ways were wrong and how I could be a better person. Am I right?"
I didn’t answer, but she was so close to the truth. I had despised my tormentors for a very long time. I had hated them and had wanted to take revenge and do to them what they had done to me. However, over time my brain started to make me forget the horrors I had endured bit by bit, so that my hate got lessened to the point where I just wanted to convert the two offspring from hell and show them that they could use their devilish genius in better ways. Judy had really sussed me out – she knew practically exactly what I was thinking.
I could hear her starting to walk around me, and as I looked to my left I could see her. Her skirt was just sliding down her legs as she was walking past me and she had already taken off her blouse. She looked absolutely stunning as she was parading in front of me wearing only her underwear. Her skin appeared to be soft and smooth, yet firm. Her legs were long and sexy, and her bottom nice and round. As she turned around to face me and stand in front of me, I could see her toned stomach and amazing chest.
"Now, what do you think? This is a lot fairer, isn’t it," she said with her hands on her hips. "We’re not quite even yet though, are we? I’m still wearing more than you. Let me rectify this, Cornelius."
With those words she reached around her back to unclasp her bra and release her perfect breasts. Then she waited for just a brief moment, dropping the bra on the floor and giving me enough time to admire her, before she slid her hands along her waist towards her hips, picking up her panties along the way and pulling them slowly down. As she was leaning forwards she lifted one leg, then the other, and stepped out of her underwear, leaving it were it landed. She straightened her body again to present it to me in its full splendour.
I was awestruck – she was so beautiful. I had never looked at or thought about her in this way. She had the most amazing body and made me want to get up and grab her, feel her skin and touch her body. I was probably reacting so intensely mainly because I had been in prison and not with a woman for such a long time – and not just because she was so stunning. However, she certainly attracted me and even the cold in the warehouse couldn’t stop me from showing my lust.
"Cornelius, Cornelius. Even though your mind is still keeping your mouth in check, your body is quite revealing… and very talkative." As she was saying those words she looked me up and down excitedly, and her eyes eventually rested on my manhood. At the same time she slowly ran one hand from her chin down her neck, then between her breasts, over her stomach, circling her navel for a moment and finally moving further down.
She knew exactly what she was doing. She knew that she was slowly bringing me to a point when my excitement would become unbearable and I was going to lose it. She was in total control of the situation – not because I was in chains, but because she knew me so well and knew how to control men.
"Cornelius, you’d really like to touch me now, wouldn’t you," she said as she was touching herself. "You’d like my hand to be yours, so you could feel me and feel how excited I am. You’d give anything and everything for just one touch, one kiss, one moment of pleasure. You are yearning for me, wishing that I was not the same person who had so cruelly tormented you before, erasing your past and preparing you for a new future. You can’t understand how somebody so beautiful can be so evil, so you tell yourself that it can’t be true and that deep down I’m actually a gentle, caring person, whom you want to spend the rest of your life with."
She was changing her stance now, crossing her arms in front of her body, slightly changing the weight of her body onto her left leg, making her hip stick out seductively.
"Well, Cornelius, I must disappoint you. I am the same cruel person who has tortured you and given you pain that stayed with you for a very long time – the same person who is standing in front of you now, completely naked, teasing you and driving you absolutely wild."
It was unbelievable. She knew that she didn’t have to show any remorse for what she had done, that on the contrary she could show how proud she was of it all, and that she would still keep me wanting her desperately – lusting after her. She was exceptionally good. She was a genius. Once more she got exactly what she wanted.
"Cornelius, Cornelius. When will you finally learn? You really think you have worked me out, don’t you? You think you know exactly what I feel and what I want? Yet, you don’t have a clue as to what my part in all of this is, what it is that I’m after. You want to know, and I will tell you one day – but by then it will be too late."
She looked me in the eyes very sternly and for a moment I thought she had opened herself up to me and that I could see deep into her soul and touch her innermost feelings – but suddenly she looked away and walked past me again, gathering her clothes on the way.
"I think you need some time on your own now, Cornelius. You need time to think and let everything sink in. You’re only at the beginning of your journey. There’s still so much more that you will learn and experience. You will go through some dramatic changes that you never thought were possible. Oh, Cornelius, if you just knew what was coming," she said from behind me with a very serious voice – and that was the last thing she said. Her footsteps slowly disappeared behind me.
I was furious. My emotions were in turmoil. I felt abused, degraded – mentally as well as physically. She hadn’t touched me, but it felt like she had actually raped me. Feelings of revenge, so familiar to me not too long ago, started to form in my chest. Feelings that I had forgotten and that time had slowly turned into something more proactive – the intention of converting Judy and Lucius into better people. Now, all this was gone. All I wanted was to get out of my chains, find Judy and abuse her physically – but unlike her, I wanted to actually rape her.
"No!" I shouted. I couldn’t believe my thoughts. What had she done to me? This was her work. She wanted me to be angry. This was all part of their plan. If I was angry, I wouldn’t be able to think clearly and it would be a lot easier to do with me as they pleased. I had to get my feelings under control again, so that I stood a chance of escaping their clutches. I couldn’t let them win.
I started to control my temper by consciously breathing in and out... in and out... in and out... deep breaths... in and out... in... and... out... in... and... out... until I finally calmed down.
That was better. My heartbeat had slowed down and I was relaxed. I slowly sank back into my chair and started to feel the cold again. It was time to go back to finding a way out of here. It wasn’t easy since some of the hate and anger that I felt before was still there and fading only slowly. However, I knew I really had to continue working on a way to escape, so I finally cleared my head and collected my thoughts.
What I had tried earlier forced me to accept that the chains were too strong and would never break. So I had to look for something else. The chair seemed to be bolted to the ground, but I had to make sure. I tried to get on my feet and leant forward as much as I could. Then I started straightening my legs in an attempt to stand up, but the chair wouldn’t move. So I pressed my feet on the ground and tried tilting it backwards, but again without success. I got the same result to the left and to the right. That conclusively proved that taking the chair with me wasn’t going to work.
What other options did I have? The way I was tied up didn’t allow me to reach for one of the pipes or some other kind of lever, let alone use it to break the chains. For the moment it seemed hopeless. I obviously needed somebody to either free me or at least provide me with a tool that would aide my escape, neither of which seemed likely, since the only people who I would be able to ask for help were my captors. However, maybe this warehouse was not completely deserted. Maybe there were other people here. I hadn’t noticed any other voices or footsteps, but maybe it was just a matter of time for somebody else to turn up.
I wasn’t sure, but I had the feeling that Judy and Lucius were using this warehouse not merely to keep me prisoner in, but also to store their equipment, some of which was likely to be rather precious to them. Consequently it was likely they employed guards to watch the building and prevent unauthorised access to it. If this was the case, I had to try and get one of the guards to free me or at least provide me with something that would allow me to free myself.
First though, I had to find out whether I was right and whether there were guards, so I decided to use the next opportunity to talk to Judy or Lucius and break my silence. I was fairly sure that they were just waiting for me to start talking, since it would indicate I was starting to accept the situation and become more obedient. I just had to be careful what I said and asked, since I couldn’t let them know what I was planning.
To paraphrase what Judy said, I would tell them about my plan eventually, but by then it would be too late.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

To make up for the wait...

Here is another piece. Please post your comments. I'd really appreciate it.


I was browsing through the news services to keep up with current affairs. There had been another breakout from a prison back on earth. This was the third in only one week. Apparently a group of ten people from a terrorist organisation called The New World Order had broken into the high security prison in Red Lake, Ontario, killed three guards, severely injured another six and freed one prisoner called Cornelius Kerethites. Kerethites was imprisoned for computer espionage. He had hacked into government computer systems six years ago and had been caught, charged and found guilty the following year. He had already served five years of his seven-year sentence and now spent the remainder as an OPS, after prison psychologists had assessed him as a low risk to society.
The truth probably was that he had used confidential information that showed the government in a bad light to blackmail them into giving him a light sentence. Hacking into computer systems was classed as a major criminal offence and breaking into government information stores ranked as highly as murder. That he got away with seven years was certainly suspicious. Whatever the truth really was, it just showed once more how powerful information had become these days and how dangerous it could become in the wrong hands.
This made me wonder. If I was to disclose SESCC's security holes to the world, as I had originally intended, somebody could use the information to their advantage by breaking into SESCC and wreaking havoc. I had to be really careful what I did with my discovery. My intention was to give society a thorough shake and show them how much information on unsuspecting individuals was held by governments and what they were doing with it. I had no intention to put society into any danger.
I decided that it would be better to prove my point by breaking into SESCC myself and disclosing a small part of the information I would gain access to, rather than by documenting the security holes of the system itself. I would still be able to show society that everyone's life was recorded and everybody constantly left an electronic trail, and I would make it impossible for criminals to use what I had discovered to their advantage.

There was more on the news services, but it was only the usual reports on the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Near East Alliance1, a little information on the ongoing workers' unions' strikes in the USA and stories about the uprising in the slums of Brazil, which was now being silenced by extreme military force. There were also some boring articles about the latest scientific discoveries and inventions, closely followed by highly twisted stories on radical animal activist groups destroying laboratories and attacking the homes of scientists as well as the scientists themselves. It was the usual blood and gore reporting that attracted the general public's attention and sold well.
These days it was page views that counted. They had become the equivalent of the print run from the times when newspapers were still being printed on paper. One copy sold in the old days now equalled a dozen or so page views. A story only had to be displayed on-screen to be counted as a page view. Every click was recorded and analysed, whether the story was actually read or not.
Systems had become quite sophisticated and they adapted to your preferences. The more news you read the better the news service accommodated to your reading habits, thus increasing the chances of you returning and reading even more news. This was practically impossible in the old days when everybody was presented with the same set of news as everybody else. Customised, up-to-date and fast moving news was the key to success, incredible financial wealth and, in effect, immense power.

I closed my news browser and returned to the problem of analysing the information I had gathered about SESCC, or Sesk as I started to call it, in order to break into the system and steal large chunks of information. I flicked through the heaps and heaps of printout I had produced over the last few nights. There were hundreds upon hundreds of pages of information printed on stacks of paper. The paperless office certainly hadn't arrived in my home yet.
I started up my highly optimised search engine software to scour the Gigabytes of data for a few keywords. My first attempt was to find some sort of back door2 into Sesk that would allow me to access the main system as well as every subsystem directly using only one username and password. The search for "back-door" returned hundreds of results, and I printed out the references so that I could look through the paper copies later.
My next attempt was to focus on finding an administrator password or some sort of default password that Sesk would be set up with as standard when first installed. A search for "password" returned another set of several hundred references. My printer kept on churning out pages of search results.
Finally I tried to find references to potential erroneous system overflows which might open the possibility of inserting my own code into Sesk and gain access that way. The search engine returned even more results for "overflow". My printer was going to be busy for a little while longer.

I decided that this would be enough for one night. It was already half past eleven and Jenny had been in bed since about ten o'clock, after she had watched her favourite talk show "O'Sullivan", or "Sully" as she usually called it, on Channel 321.
I went into the kitchen to get something to drink. I opened the fridge and took out a can of grapefruit crush. I walked over to the window and looked outside. It was rather silent. A police patrol was quietly passing by, making sure that the local community could safely sleep in their beds – or as in my case, could safely hack into a top secret government computer system and commit a major breach of law and order.
I opened the can of grapefruit crush and took a sip. Then I walked back to my room. When I turned round the corner and walked through the door I saw Jenny sitting on my chair in front of the computer looking at the screen. She seemed to be reading, her finger slowly tracing the words on the screen, pronouncing each word in a whisper.
"Hello, little lady, what are you doing there?" I said.
She turned around quickly, looking at me with large, worried eyes. "I can't sleep."
"Oh, Jenny, are you all right? You haven't slept very well for the past few nights. You are not coming down with something, are you?" I asked her.
"I don't know. I'm hot and my room is hot and the duvet is hot and everything is too warm. I just can't sleep. I'm probably just coming on," she replied rather annoyed.
"Well, it is quite warm today. Do you want a cold drink?"
"Yes, please. Can I have some cold water, please?"
"Of course you can, darling. You go back to bed and I get you a glass of fresh, cold water, all right?"
"Yes, please. Thank you," she said, got up and walked out of the room towards her bedroom.
"I'll be with you in just a minute, sweetie," I called after her. Then I went over to the computer to find out what she had been reading. The last set of search results was still on the screen. A long list of file names and short excerpts from the documents themselves. I was satisfied that if Jenny was to repeat anything she had read to anyone, it wouldn't be a problem since it wouldn't make much sense just on its own. It was another lucky escape.

I walked back into the kitchen to get a glass of water and took it to her room. The door to her room was closed, so I knocked at the door, waited a moment and then entered. Jenny was lying on her bed, the duvet only covering her feet. The room was fairly warm. I gave her the glass of water.
"Thank you," she said and started drinking eagerly.
I walked back to the door and turned the air-conditioning up a little. I could feel the cool draft from the vents increasing slightly.
"Right, darling, it will be cooler in here soon, so please try to go back to sleep. All right?"
"Yes, I will. I'm very tired. Sully said that sleep is important so that your brain can learn things," Jenny told me.
"That's right. Your brain needs some rest to sort out what you learned during the day and file everything away properly. Sleep well, poppet, and sweet dreams," I said.
"Night, night," she replied, closed her eyes and turned onto her side.
I turned around and went back to my room.

The printer was still busy printing out the long list of search results. I picked up the first heap of paper and started looking through the references. Then I looked up the corresponding articles in the stack of documents I had printed out the previous nights. It seemed a rather daunting task to find clues to breaking into Sesk in the huge stack of paper. It seemed even more daunting than finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. I had done this sort of thing before though and knew that it took only a couple of clues to find even more clues and eventually, usable results.
However, Sesk was unlike any other system I had hacked into in the past. This was the jackpot as Laura had called it. After breaking into Sesk, everything else was going to look like a walk in the park on a sunny day with a cool ice cream. I knew it was going to be tough to break into Sesk, but knowing that it was the ultimate hack meant it was a big incentive.
I decided I was too tired to approach this task tonight and expect to find any clues or leads, so I switched off the computer screen and left the printer and computer to produce hardcopies of the search space I was going to roam tomorrow night. Then I switched off the light, left the room, closed the door behind me and locked it. I didn't want Jenny to read anything else and repeat it in front of a teacher or another pupil. I didn't want her to know anything about it.
1The Near East Alliance was formed on 15 May 2023 between Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt to unite the countries' military and political forces against Israel. The countries were soon forced to abandon their diplomatic relations with the USA and the EU who strongly opposed this new alliance.
2 A back door is a way of getting into a protected system. It is usually installed by the original programmer or programming team and remains active after the completion of development. A back door even remains available if alterations to the protection of the system are applied at a later date.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

After some abstinence more of my work

I am sorry it has been so long, but finally here is more from my latest book. Please don't be shy and let me know what you think. Every comment is welcome.

Floodgates of the Heavens

Yesterday's flashbacks wakened me. I was still in my burrow, lying on soft moss and grass in one of my nests. I slowly raised my head and sniffed the air. The smell of fresh earth filled the tunnels. There was no other scent. I slowly got up and hopped to the nearest exit hole. Carefully I poked my head outside, put up my ears and sniffed the air once more. There was still no sign of anything else. There was only a fresh breeze blowing over the clearing.

I decided to have breakfast and with a couple of hops I was out in the open. I started to graze and dug up a couple of delicious roots. The digging helped me get the sleep out of my joints. A quick stretch and a thorough clean also helped.

 After the little exercise I was awake, bright and fresh. The nightmares of the previous days had become a silent echo, barely audible. I was looking around and appreciated the beauty of my new surroundings. I could start a new life here, refresh and recharge before I went back to solving the secrets that my mind was keeping from me. I had too much to explore, too many other things to think about. It was time for me to take a break from the tortures I had endured and instead concentrate on this beautiful place, this paradise.
I didn't know how long it would be until I was caught again and put away. I knew that all of this was simply too good to be true, that the wood, which was surrounding the clearing on all sides, was hiding something from me. I knew that something had happened to me, that my head had been tempered with. I was certain that some sort of experiment had been conducted on me, but I simply couldn't let this opportunity of pure enjoyment and relaxation go to waste – nothing should spoil it for me for once.

I lay down on the grass and stretched out. It was wonderful. The warm sun was shining on my pelt and I lowered my ears in complete relaxation. I slowly dozed off into a gentle dream, only now and again opening my eyes to check my surroundings very quickly, then closing them again and continuing my snooze.

 Eventually I woke up. I must have been asleep for several hours, because the sun was high up in the sky now. I was lying in the middle of the lawn, out in the open, but I was so confident that nothing would happen to me here that I had ignored my natural instincts and had relaxed and fallen asleep. I felt refreshed and recharged, ready for more adventures.

I quickly cleaned myself and then started to dig a little – just for fun. The soil was so nice and fresh, it was such a pleasure to burrow my paws into it and feel the dirt between my claws and smell the fresh grass.
Then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere came this flash of memory. For a split second I saw what had been done to me. The image returned and this time stayed a little longer. The image itself didn't hurt me, but the memories it dragged up out of the deepest recesses of my brain were terribly painful. Memories of being fed some sort of powder which invoked severe stomach pains, incredible spasms which lasted for hours and in the end made me faint with exhaustion. Memories of creams being rubbed into my eyes, making them painfully sore and swollen, usually so bad that I couldn't see properly for days afterwards. Some sort of solutions had been sprayed onto my coat, into my mouth and into my eyes, making me smell horribly and burning my skin down to the flesh, making it impossible for me to eat, drink or move.

Every experiment felt like it was going to kill me, but somehow I always survived and was nursed back to health, just to endure the next set of tests, every one more painful and more severe than the last. Neither my body nor my mind was given a chance to fully relax and forget what had happened. I had just recovered when I was exposed to another potion and more pain.

During every experiment there had been two people in white coats who administered the substances to me. A man and a woman with rubber gloves, test tubes and all sorts of instruments. They used saws to open my skull and inspect my brain functions. Even though they didn't give me any anaesthetic I managed not to faint.
I had never worked out what this experimentation was for or what it tried to prove. There clearly was no relationship between those cruel people and me. There were hardly any parts of my anatomy or physiology that were similar to theirs. I was a herbivore and they were omnivores; I had a fur coat, they were wearing white coats; I had whiskers and the man had a beard. Where was the connection?

But my mind dragged up more of what had happened. It wasn't only the daily experiments and treatments that I suddenly remembered. There was more, something about this terrible experiment had changed me completely and fundamentally. I had suppressed these feelings for such a long time, and it was only now that my brain finally decided it was time to remind me.

I suddenly knew what they had done to me.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Teasers continuing...

Here is yet another teaser from the new book. Please continue to post your thoughts and suggestions. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you for reading...

The Ark

"So, here we are then. Do you like it?"
We had eventually arrived at our destination. I didn't know how long I had been unconscious and had no idea where I was or how far away I was from the city. I only remembered waking up occasionally and being beaten unconscious again.
When we arrived, I was doused with ice cold water to revive me.
"It's our little Ark. It will be the cradle of our New World Order. This is the place where we will look down onto our creation and smile contentedly."
I was tied to a chair and couldn't move. I was completely naked – as God intended so to speak. It was a little chilly in this huge hall. I looked up and saw a man and a woman.
It was the man who was speaking and whose voice I had heard in the van. I shuddered for a moment, partly because of the cold, but mainly because I recognized them both from my nightmares. It was the Devil and his right hand.
"You do remember us, don't you, Cornelius?" the main asked.
"How could you forget us, Cornelius?" the woman added.
This ark, as they called it, looked more like a warehouse than a ship. However, very much like ships, it was damp, cold and generally unpleasant. I expected a big, fat rat to run across the floor at some point – but my surroundings were the least of my worries. It was the two people in front of me who I was afraid of.
I still didn't understand how they could have been in my nightmares and why they had become reality now, but if my dreams turned out to be echoes of past events, then these two people were the same two evil minds that had given me a great deal of pain in some distant past.
"You were our first patient, Cornelius. You were the first to witness our expertise, Cornelius – our genius," the main said.
They both paraded up and down in front of me.
"Cornelius, you must remember. Just think back a few years," the man continued.
They suddenly stopped walking and stood side by side in front of me, their devious eyes fixed on mine.
"Well, do you remember us? Do you know our names?"
I hesitated. I started to realized that my dreams had to be real memories that I had somehow lost, but that my subconscious mind had kept and brought back to me again and again in my sleep. That meant I knew who the two people were and that I had to know their names. Yet, despite my deepest fears and state of confusion, I didn't want them to feel any form of control over me. I didn't even want to give them the satisfaction that they could make me answer their questions. I was terrified of them, but I also despised them and instinctively knew that I had to try and resist as well as I could.
"Answer, Cornelius," the man suddenly shouted, but his voice quickly calmed again. "Or let me answer for you. You do remember us, I know that you do. But you are stubborn, as you used to be.
"As you know, I am Dr. Lucius Abaddon, an expert in the area of human anatomy, master of torturing the living body and keeping it alive just long enough to reveal its deepest secrets. I am sure you remember that, Cornelius, don't you?
"As you also know, this distinguished lady is my honoured colleague Dr. Judy Wormwood, an expert in the area of the human mind, master of twisting and bending people's thoughts and completely re-programming a person's brain, breaking their will and ultimately their body. I am sure you remember that as well, Cornelius, don't you?
"Judy is just too good at her work. She is unforgettable. She is a genius at her art," Lucius said and then sniggered. Judy just smiled at her fellow colleague who had described her so well.
"You do remember us, don't you, Cornelius? You might as well admit it. We know that you do. We made sure of that. We may have erased most of your memories, but we saved the memory of your torture so that it would remain with you as a warning and as a testimony to our work until such time as we needed you again."
I couldn't resist any longer. I had to show them how I felt. I pushed my fear aside and spat at their feet in a desperate attempt to show strength.
"So you do remember then. I see, defiant as before. But let me assure you, Cornelius, we will be able to break your will again. You will be our puppet, our slave, and you will fulfil our every whim once more. This time it will be much easier, because you know how painful it was before and how long it took. This time you will give in easily, because your fear will break any resistance you would like to put up," Lucius said.
I realized he was right. Everything he had said about my memories having been erased somehow made sense. Even though it sounded unbelievable, but deep down I knew that I had forgotten parts of my life. I also knew that if the pain I lived through in my nightmares was the same pain I had endured in the past, then the two didn't have to try very hard this time. It was clear now that I had to get out of here quickly. If they attempted anything right now, they would soon have me begging to stop. I would rather do whatever they wanted than go through this pain again. Anything would be better than their torture.
"Cornelius, you must be wondering what we want from you. Well let me explain. It is very simple really. Even you should be able to understand and execute it. We would have done it ourselves and we would have done it much more elegantly and efficiently than you ever could, but we simply cannot be linked to this horrendous and evil plan.
"As the parents of a new family which will soon roam the length and breadth of the World and Settlements, we cannot get involved, so we need you to do it for us. Do you see what I mean, Cornelius?" Lucius asked.
I had no intention of answering his question, but I probably didn't need to. He was obviously certain that I would do whatever they asked if they simply threatened torture.
"Don't answer, Cornelius. I know what you're thinking. You want to get out of here. You feel you can't resist our genius. We are simply superior to you. You are insignificant – you are nothing. Actually, you aren't even that. We have made you, without us you wouldn't even be here now. Without us you wouldn't even have had the chance to end up in prison.
"Anyway, let me come back to what it is that we want from you. Let me explain what your makers ask from you. You have finally ripened to the tool we designed you to be. You have grown in strength and confidence. You have grown in size and ability. Now you have matured enough and deserve to serve. Now you are finally alive."
With that Lucius turned around and started to laugh viciously. His laugh echoed through their Ark, making his laugh sound even more sinister than he had probably intended.
Judy still just smiled. Her look was fixed on me. Not even for a moment did she take her eyes off me. She hadn't even blinked once since Lucius had started to talk. Her eyes were sparkling, little flames inside her pupils flickering. There was a fire inside her burning strong, that was obvious. Her role in this was simple. Follow Lucius' wishes without question and do as told. Be his little helper, his right hand.
Yet she had her own hidden agenda. I could see it in her eyes. She knew that Lucius would only be the key to unlock the gate to her own paradise, the sandman who would put mankind to sleep so that she could live her dream.
I slowly started to remember more of my nightmares and the things they had shown me. I realized that these two people had appeared in my dreams and it came back to me who they were.
I recalled that I feared Judy most, because she didn't just have the ability to torture me beyond comprehension, but she evidently had the will to inflict any kind of pain, any level of terror, if it brought her closer to her goal.
Lucius was just mad, unpredictable, but he had neither the knowledge, nor the strength, nor the determination to be successful. Judy on the other hand had all of this and more. She was not simply determined; she was convinced that she could do anything she wanted if she set her mind and abilities to it. For her it was never a question of trying — it was about succeeding. She could break my shell and rip my heart out without even trying.
She wasn't sinister or evil. She wasn't being unnecessarily cruel or mean. She simply did what needed doing to reach her goal – no more, no less. She was efficient and clever, thoughtful even. Judy wasn't Lucifer's daughter or the Devil's spawn. Judy was simply a genius who had chosen to bring this world closer to her ideals. I didn't know what her actual motives were but I suspected she did it out of revenge – she seemed bitter.
This New World Order that Lucius was talking about didn't seem to have much in common with Judy's dreams. Still, Judy's alternative didn't seem to be very appealing either because it seemed to require a lot of force and brutality. Whatever it was that she was after, I knew that Judy could only realise and maintain her Ideal World with force and dictatorship, and that was why she had teamed up with Lucius.
I knew that I was only speculating and had no proof that Judy wasn't simply as evil and mad as Lucius, but I couldn't shake off this intense feeling that she was trying to do good – in a very bizarre way.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Something from a chapter later in the new book...

Please always let me know what you think about the writing. It's still in quite a rough form, but you should get a good feel for it. Here goes...



"Can I have another orange juice?" Jenny asked. Her bright eyes looked at me pleadingly.
"Please," she added a moment later. "Freshly squeezed, please."
I wasn't paying her any attention at all. I was miles away. I was thinking about what I had found the previous night. The information was going to be invaluable. It was the key to getting access to the SESCC. It was the ultimate hack. It would open doors for me which I never thought existed. It would let me manipulate whole countries. It would give me complete control. I knew that I would never actually use the power I was soon going to have, but nevertheless it was a strangely comforting sensation that I was feeling.
From the beginning I had planned to publish the defects that I was about to uncover in the security of the SESCC, so that people would wake up and realise that the government had too much power in their hands. There was too much information in the hand of too few people.
"Can I, please?" Jenny asked again breaking my trance.
"Sorry, I was miles away, darling. What did you just say, Jenny?" I replied.
"Can I have another orange juice, please?"
"Freshly squeezed?" I asked her.
"Yes, please," she said and smiled at me.
I ordered her another orange juice.
We had gone down to Homeland, Jenny's favourite diner. I had promised to take her there the night before last when she had caught me hacking into various security systems.
"Would you like a sweet?" I asked her.
"Oh, yes, please. Can I have a chocolate éclair, please?" Jenny replied with an even bigger smile on her face.
I knew she wouldn't say no to a sweet. She has always had a sweet tooth, so I ordered an éclair.
"Jenny. I just have to go across the road to drop something off. I will be back in a minute. Will you stay here and wait for me, please?"
"Yes, I will. I will drink my orange juice and eat my chocolate éclair."
"Good. I won't be a minute, all right?"
"All right."
I got up, walked to the door, turned around and winked at Jenny.
"I'll see you in a bit," I said to her. "Don't move, OK?"
She was too busy eating her éclair to hear me.

I walked out into the street. It was a lovely day and very busy. The sun was shining and there was a lovely warm breeze blowing between the tall buildings. I squeezed through two parked cars and crossed the road, dodging the traffic. I wanted to see a friend of mine to give her a copy of last night's findings.
The information I had discovered had to be distributed as much as possible, so that I wouldn't lose everything if the government raided my place and deleted my computer account — and any of my other accounts.
The copy I was about to give to my friend was securely encrypted. Even the government wouldn't be able to decipher it. The encryption was for two reasons: firstly I didn't want the information to get into the wrong hands and secondly, and more importantly, I didn't want my friend to get into trouble for being in possession of classified information. Even though the government didn't like people having encrypted data on their systems, there was nothing they could legally do about it. Not too long ago this was different, thanks to the famous RIP Act1.
The friend of mine was working for a small computer firm and, just like me, spent a lot of her time hacking into computer systems. The only difference was that I did it to make a living, whereas she saw it more as a hobby. I had met her when I had hacked into the local police station's system and found a trace of another hacker, who later turned out to be her. She had quickly become a very good friend and we often helped each other out if we ever happened to get stuck with our shared interest.

I had reached the building across the street and walked to the entrance. I pressed the buzzer and waited for a reply.
"Hello?" came the answer through the speaker.
"It's me," I said into the microphone.
"Oh, hi there. C'mon up."
The buzzer hummed and I went inside. I climbed the three flights of stairs to her apartment and then knocked at the door. A moment later the door opened and there she was.
"Hello, Laura. How's life?" I said to her.
"Not too bad. Come inside," Laura replied.
"No, can't stay long. Just wanted to drop this off," I said and showed her the CC.
"What in God's name is on it this time?" she wanted to know. She was used to my dropping off hot information on CC for her to check out.
"Can't tell you just yet. It's quite amazing and all top secret. Government of the highest calibre is all I can say."
"Oh, so you've cracked the jackpot then, have you?"
"Well, I suppose you could put it like that. Look, keep this safe and be careful. It's encrypted but that doesn't mean that you can't get into trouble for having it. Ditch it straight away if there is any sign of danger, all right?"
"Yeah, don't worry. I'm not stupid."
"I know. I'm just worried. This is really hot stuff, hotter than anything any of us has ever touched."
"Yeah, yeah. Don't worry. I'll ditch it if it bites. You sure you don't wanne come in?"
"No, thanks. Would love to, but can't stay. I'll speak to you soon, all right? You take care now," I said to Laura.
"Yes and you," replied Laura. "Speak to you soon."
"Oh, and thanks, “ I said as I was about to go back downstairs. “I really appreciate your help. I'm deeply in your debt. You don't know how much."
"Oh, never mind that crap. Just don't get caught, will you. You look after yourself and I'll look after myself, all right?"
"Yes, Laura. Thanks," I said and walked down the stairs. At the bottom of the first flight of stairs I stopped, looked back up and waved Laura good-bye, who was still standing in the door to her apartment.
"You're an angel," I said.
"I know, you little devil," she replied with a wide smile on her face.

When I got back to the diner, Jenny was waiting for me. She had finished her sweet and the orange juice. She looked at me as I walked through the door.
"Can we have the check, please," I said to one of the waiters and sat down next to Jenny.
"Did you like it, Jenny?"
"Yes, thank you. It was really nice. What are we going to do next?"
"Hm. How about if we go to the park?" I asked Jenny and expected her eyes to light up and her mouth to produce a wide smile.
"Oh, yes, that would be great," Jenny replied and as expected her eyes lit up and she smiled.
"Well, let's go then."
I paid and Jenny and I left the diner.

After a few minutes' walk we finally arrived at the park. Jenny couldn't wait and started to run ahead.
"Be careful, darling. I'll catch up with you at the lake," I shouted after her.
"Yes," she shouted back.
All the way from the diner to the park I felt like we were being watched and as if somebody was following us. Whenever I turned around to check, I could see a figure disappear in a side street, behind a bus shelter or something. I wasn't sure whether it was always the same person, but it was certainly unusual.
The park was a wide-open space and it would be easy to find out whether we were indeed followed. Had the police or a Fed already traced me back here? That was very unlikely, but if somebody was clever enough and knew enough about me, they could have deduced my whereabouts. I had to be careful and see whether my suspicions were right or whether I was imagining things.
I slowly caught up with Jenny. I acted normal and only when I finally reached the lake I turned around to see whether there was anything unusual. There weren't many people in the park, but nobody look suspicious. I decided to sit down next to the lake and keep an eye on what was going on around me while watching Jenny inspecting the pond life.
"Look what I got," Jenny shouted across the water. She was holding something in her hand. "What is it?" she wanted to know.
"Bring it here and I'll have a look," I replied.
She slowly waded through the water, cautiously holding her discovery with both hands. She had lowered her head and was looking at the water to see where she was going. She was always very careful not to step on anything because she wanted to make sure that she left the pond in the same way as it was before her visit. She felt that she could inspect the pond and its inhabitants as much as she wanted as long as she made sure that she returned every specimen to where she had found it. She also felt that her careful and rare intrusions would not upset the balance of the lake and its ecosystem. She was really very considerate.
"Well, let me have a look then," I said when Jenny had finally reached me and had sat down next to me. She slowly lifted her left hand from her right to reveal her discovery.
"Look. It's all wriggly," she said giggling.
"Oh, it's beautiful. It's a little dragonfly larva," I explained. "You know, dragonflies spend their childhood as little larvae in a pond."
"It's not beautiful," Jenny disagreed. "It's grey and boring."
"Well, it just looks like this now, but when it hatches it becomes a beautiful dragonfly."
"Dragonflies are boring too," Jenny insisted.
"But their wings shimmer in beautiful colours," I said. "Don't you think that they look beautiful? A bit like fairies really."
"Yes, their wings look beautiful, but this larva is boring and not like a fairy," she explained. "I'll put it back in the pond."
"Yes, darling, you do that," I said and smiled to myself. Once she had made up her mind about something, she stuck to it. She was a very confident young woman. So, off she went back into the water to return the larva to where she had found it.
I used the opportunity to have an inconspicuous look around the park to see whether we had been followed. At the other side of the lake children were playing and their parents were deeply involved in conversations about the latest child fashion, how brilliant their little ones were for their age, how expensive toys were these days and how quickly they broke, their concerns about the dozens of jabs children were given and other topics of smalltalk.
On my left there was a young couple sitting in the shadow of a big weeping willow holding hands and exchanging affectionate looks and caresses. All around the park people in office clothes had come to spend their break in a relaxing environment.
Behind me there was a man on a bench reading a newspaper. He was completely dressed in white, even his shoes – and he was wearing a white bowler hat. Suddenly he lowered his newspaper and glanced over to me. He smiled and slowly nodded his head once and then resumed with his reading. I kept looking at him to see what he would do next. A moment later he lowered his newspaper again, looked at me smiling and then nodded – as he had done before.
Then he got up and started to walk in my direction leaving the newspaper behind on the bench. After about ten paces he stopped, looked around and then sat down on the grass facing my direction – still smiling.
I started to feel a little bit uneasy. He didn't look a particular tall or strong person and didn’t appear threatening, but his smile radiated so much confidence and superiority that I felt very vulnerable.
"Jenny, I think we should go now, darling," I said without taking my eyes off him. "It's getting late."
"Oh, do we have to?" Jenny complained. "I'm not finished yet."
"Come on, we have to go back home sweetie."
"Just one more minute, please," she pleaded. "Please!"
"No, we have to go now," I said firmly while turning around to face her. "Come out of the water and put your shoes back on."
She looked at me with a grim face, her lower lip sticking out, showing how upset she was. Her whole body language made it very clear that it would take me some convincing to get her out of the water. Her arms were crossed, fists clenched, her legs close together and her eyebrows expressed the strongest conviction.
"Oh please, don't give me that, Jenny. You know it's late. We'll be back here tomorrow afternoon and then you can carry on with your investigation," I said. After a moment I added, "Please darling."
Her face cleared a little and she uncrossed her arms.
"Oh, but…," she started to say. "I…," she added a moment later. "All right – but you have to promise that we go again tomorrow," she finally said.
"I promise – tomorrow afternoon – and I'll buy you an ice-cream too, OK?" I suggested.
"OK – but it has to be vanilla," she replied.
"I promise. Vanilla it is. Let's go then, sweetie," I said turning around again to see whether the man had come any closer – but he had gone. I looked all around the park but couldn't find him. He had disappeared.

1RIP Act – Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act was a piece of legislation originally introduced by the British Government and later adopted by other governments on Earth. Among a lot of controversial rights given to the government, the Act in particular meant that the police gained full access to personal e-mails and data on personal storage. If the data was encrypted, police could force the individual concerned to hand over the decryption key. The burden of proof lay with the individual to show that he or she did not have the key. If proof could not be provided, the individual was faced with imprisonment. Eventually the Act was revoked.