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{Gothic Angel}
During the latest forced reorganisation of my room, I came across my GCSE original writing. It's actually quite good (If I do say so myself lol) for the time. This was written in year 10 (I was 15) for my English language GCSE. for some reason, my english teacher chose this as the one piece we had to write out by hand, which meant I ended up writing 11 pages, and having to cut it down to 6. This was not amusing. This is it in its entirity.

Comments are very welcome. My writing style has changed since then, so critique is also welcome, but largely pointless. And it got me an A* so I don't care biggrin.gif

Temah admired herself in the mirror. She wished her old gang could se her now. Dressed up in a ladies’ finery, wild hair piled up on top of her head, skin cleansed of the layer of dirt and grime which frequently coated it. She carefully slid the delicate pin that her… employer had given to her into her delicately curling tresses. Interesting. She had never imagined hat such a useless ornament could serve as a last line of defence. The deep red colour of the dress set off her eyes nicely, she thought, and the jewelled green pin matched them. Smiling at the thought of herself as a lady, she slid her nails into an abrasion on the surface of her table, until a barely audible ‘click’ sounded, and a compartment opened. She lifted out a small glass phial, and a ‘borrowed’ letter. She held the bottle up to the light, revealing a flowing, sparkling, silvery liquid. Not for drinking… Laughing to herself, a soft, sweet sound, she lightly danced out of the room.
The glittering hall was a sight to inspire any mind. Long tables lined the walls, with a sumptuous banquet laid out for the gentry to feast upon. The pillars and ceiling were constructed of white marble, overlaid with rich gilt ornamentation. The walls themselves were draped with curtains of red velvet; alcoves filled with plump cushions broke up the red. The most amazing thing, though, was the size. The room was vast – tall and grand and wide. Temah whistled softly to herself under her breath. In all her years alive, she had never seen so much finery. Handing her ‘borrowed’ letter to a clerk, she glided down into the hall.
Later, standing beside a pillar, crystal glass in hand, she began to examine the room in greater detail, considering ways to move towards her job. She noted slits in the wall between the drapes, and a glint of metal. A gallery behind the curtains then? But the metal… bowmen? Surely not for a formal event? Unless the hosts had some inclination of what was to come. Temah smiled inwardly. She loved a challenge. Now, how to get into the gallery…
“Well, well. If it isn’t Skinny Temah.”
The soft voice sounded right next to her ear. She whirled around.
“That’s Lady Darisc to you, Essendris.” She hissed. She took a step back, and curtsied gracefully, regaining her composure. “At least for tonight.”
She was pleased to see the tall man blush. Dressed in dark blue velvet, Essendris looked very different to how Temah remembered him. His delicately carved features and angelic blue eyes seemed wrong to her somehow, in this fine setting, more used to seeing him in their street home, and last time, she seemed to recall, with a knife in his hand.
“You’re here on business?” He asked, bowing in return, still speaking softly. “And by the way, that’s Sir Morhallen… at least for tonight.”
Temah glanced over his shoulder to see a portly woman approaching; arms spread wide, gems glittering at her throat and fingers. Essendris turned and his eyes widened.
“Don’t look so greedy.” Temah whispered. “There’s plently for both of us.”
She opened her arms to match the woman’s gesture.
“My dear child!” She was swept up in a heavily scented embrace. “How lovely of you to join us.”
“How kind of you to invite me, my lady.” Temah replied. “I don’t believe you’ve met Sir Morhallen.” She grinned at Essendris over the woman’s shoulder. Leaving him to his fate, she began to circulate again, greesting many old friends and acquaintances of ‘Lady Darisc’.
By the end of the evening, the grand, stately affair had lapsed into a state of merriment. The ladies and gentlemen of Fairport laughed and danced freely, relaxed. Overconfident, thought Temah. Many of the guests had retreated to the stately gardens outside, Temah’s sharp ears picked up slivers of conversation and laughter. She made her way through the now less crowded hall, and slipped out of the servant’s door and into a dry, dusty stone corridor. She peered around, allowing her eyes to adjust to the gloom. Satisfied that she was alone, she shed her fine dress, revealing a practical, flexible ensemble – dark wool leggings; a matching jerkin with many pockets and hooks; a light shirt; soft, sturdy leather boots. She slipped the discarded dress under an alcove table, presumably designed to hold food on the way to the big tables, and padded off down the tunnel.
Many other corridors joined the main one, but Temah kept to it until she found one which sloped upwards. Going with her instincts, she headed towards what she hoped would be the gallery she had seen earlier. Several flights of stairs and another corridor led her to a door. Pressing herself into the shadows next to it, she lifted something from her boot. Even in the dimness of the shadows, the blue steel blade of the dagger glinted. Holding it point up against her palm, she produced seemingly from nowhere a small, grey ball. As a point of personal pride, she would rather not have to use the dagger.
Silently, she opened the door a crack and squeezed her delicate frame through into the shadows of the other side. Standing perfectly still and silent, she took in her surroundings. A pair of guards stood in the middle of the gallery. One leant against the arrow slit, chin on hand, almost looking as if he was dozing. The other gazed blankly at the tapestries lining the walls. Temah grinned in the gloom. Piece of cake.
She gently lobbed the small grey ball towards the dozing guards. As it hit the flagstones by the feet of the first guard, a flash of searing white light exploded down the corridor. The guards spun around, fumbling for their weapons, then fell back, reeling, blinded by the flash. A puff of spores emerged from the ball, floating towards the hapless guards. Peering around, they searched desperately for their unseen assailant, but they stood no chance. The spores engulfed them, filling their mouths, their noses, their lungs. The first toppled over, and the second slid gently down the wall.
Temah waited a few minutes, before emerging cautiously. Alert and on guard, she padded up to the disabled guards. She gingerly extended a foot, like a cat testing its prey, and prodded the nearest. Heaving a sigh of relief, she relaxed. Suddenly, a presence loomed up behind her. Before she could turn, an arm wrapped around her waist, pinnig her arms to her sides. At the same time another hand slid over her mouth, preventing her from crying out.
A mouth appeared beside her ear.
“I believe the party you were attending is downstairs, Lady Darisc. Or have you decided to become my little Temah again?”
She could hear the amusement in his voice.
“Since when am I ‘your’ Temah?” She hissed, knowing her frustration showed, and not caring. He removed his hand from her mouth, trailing it down her neck.
“And I thought you weren’t here on serious business. Tsk tsk, Temah, lying to me.” He slipped his fingers down one of the pockets in the front of her jerkin, ignoring her snort of indignation. He lifted out the small glass phial she had brought with her. Holding it in front of her face, he chuckled softly.
“Now, are you going to tell me what’s going on here?”
“Fine. Give me the bottle.”
He released her, and she snatched the bottle from him. Turning, she saw that the tall man had also changed his clothes. His attire was now similar to hers; leggings, jerkin and high boots. He was looking down questioningly at the guards.
“Unconscious.” She said. “Alchemists may be good for something after all.”
He chuckled again.
“So, why are you here?”
“The owner of a house has a black staff. I want it.” Nobody in her profession could expect her to give away the name of her employer. Besides, she thought, imagine how he would laugh if she said she believed a God had come to her in a dream and charged her with it. If not for the bottle, she wouldn’t have believed it.
“And that?” He indicated the bottle still clutched in her hand. She shrugged.
“If he doesn’t want me to have it.” She smiled grimly. “And you?”
“He also has a white rod. I want that.”
“Fine. Let’s go.”
As she scampered along, trying to keep up with Essendris’ light stride, the thought struck her that she had just formed an instant alliance with the man she most despised. They had met occasionally on the streets of Fairport before this, but his usual reaction was to taunt her, and hers to snap at him. In any case, how was it that their jobs were so similar? Something about it made the back of her neck prickle. Everything about it reeked of deception. She was too aware of the way Essendris strode along beside her, the way the tapestries flowed past, the way her feet made so much noise on the stone floor. Like pressure building before a storm, she felt something bad about to happen. She would have to watch her back.
Essendris stopped.
“This is it.” He whispered, turning to her, and then “Gods, girl, did you see a ghost? You’re white as a sheet.”
“I’m fine.” She replied, voice sounding just a little too shaky for her liking. She looked away, examining the doors they had stopped by. Huge, heavy oak doors, blackened by something. Fire? Another wave of wrongness swept over her. She slapped Essendris’ hand away from the wood.
“It’s trapped.”
She motioned him to move out of the way, and they each moved to one side of the door. She picked up a bone china vase from a nearby table and placed it next to the door. For a moment, nothing happened. Then the vase exploded into a shower of shards, flying out in all directions, sending the thieves diving for cover. A heartbeat later, a searing jet of flame plunged down from the ceiling, scorching the remaning fragments, burning at the back of Temah’s eyes, prickling her face with heat, crackling.
The jet snapped out, and there was utter, deafening silence. Temah and Essendris tuned to each other, shocked. Essendris raised his hands and signalled to her, cautious now, unwilling to speak.
What was that?
That was a trap, idiot.
She replied in the same form.
He rolled his eyes and moved towards the door, noting the crossbow bolts embedded it. Pressing his ear to the door, he listened intently for a few seconds.
There’s one man in there. Think we can take him?
Temah grinned. The feelings of wrongness had dissipated, almost, since the trap’s release. She took her dagger in one hand, noting her partner – How strange, that she should be calling Essendris that! – Taking his own blade from his belt. She didn’t tell him what was on her dagger, or her hairpin. Not for drinking…
Their eyes met. Temah nodeed. Adrenaline surged in her ad Essendris pushed open the door. A richly decorated room flashed before her eyes, drapes of red silk and velvet. In the centre, an ivory alter, a grinning skull with ruby eyes, candlelit. And a tall, lanky man, kneeling on the floor before it, twisted around, staring at them through eyes narrowed with hate.
“You fools!” He screeched. “You’ve been sent by the worshippers of your false god! But they know not that there is but one true god, and he sends you to test me! And I am ready!”
He lunged for Essendris, screaming with Righteous fury. Essendris nimbly stepped out of the way, sending the charging priest careering out of the door. He stopped and spun around, a spiked mace appearing in his hand. Where in the nine hells had he got that from? thought Temah, as the priest charged towards her. She stepped to the side, sticking out her leg, the priest fell, sprawling, to the floor, but as he fell, he grabbed the front of her shirt. Off balance, she fell with him, pinned under her adversary. He grinned maliciously, murder in his eyes. She couldn’t move, couldn’t escape. The man raised his mace, rising up like an angel of death, Temah writhed desperately, trying to escape, the mace swung down… and fell from his fingers, clattering to the floor. His eyes rolled back in his head, and choking noises rose in his throat, then a nasty bubbling sound. He slumped forward onto Temah, She lay there, shaking, weighed down by the fallen priest. Looking down, she saw Essendris’ dagger in his back, her hairpin in his side.
She felt sick. The body was hot and heavy. Thick, sticky blood oozed sluggishly onto her from his wounds. Closing her eyes, she braced her elbows on the floor to push him off, wanting to be anywhere but here.
After a few minutes which felt like hours, she and Essendris managed to roll the corpse off her. He put and arm around her shoulders.
“Are you ok? You’re shaking.”
“I’ll be fine.” She said it shortly, but did not shake his arm off. “We should find our magic sticks and get out of here before someone else comes.” Better to just get out of this hellhole.
They both turned towards the alter., and Temah froze. Cold fury begin to rise in her veins.
Laid before the grinning skull was a twisted staff, two staves intertwined to form one, one of ivory, the other of black ebony.
Temah stared, aghast, then let out a snort of disgust. She snatched it off the alter and brandished it furiously at the heavens.
“For this you put me through that?! Double crossing son of a whore!” She screamed, and threw the staff to the side. It clattered against the wall, and landed on the dead man.
Essendris tugged gently at her arm.
“C’mon. Let’s go. I never had much time for the Gods anyway.” He grinned, and white teeth flashed in the gloom. “Besides, look on the bright side, we don’t make a bad team.”
She looked out of the window into the starless night, then back to him, and smiled. And suddenly, without anything quite changing, they were gone, and all that was left were the silk drapes, swaying gently in the breeze.
=) eheheh.
=) eheheh. very niiice.
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