March / April 2013
Tell a Tale
Follow us on Twitter & Tumblr
hen planning this year‘s themes, I decided to do something different for this issue of Femnista. I knew my writers were good at writing wonderful articles but I had to find out: how good are they at writing fiction? Naturally, some of them were hesitant to tackle it, since not everyone who loves a good story can write one! But by the time this issue was complete, most had loved the experience and begged me to make it a regular feature. (We‘ll see!) Those who faced their fears and were brave enough to share their fiction (in some cases, this is the first one ever written or shared!) are featured here, and each is terrific! Some chose more serious material, others went for quirk and style. You may laugh, you may cry, but each will make you smile. In these pages, you‘ll find what the fanfiction community call ―one-shots,‖ or single-scene short stories sparked by a moment in a book, film, or television show. Writing a one-shot is simple: it just takes the desire for more and a willingness to write. It‘s my hope that this issue will inspire future fiction writers to never let what is on screen (or on the published page) be enough. With amazing stories and characters, there‘s always room for more. So read, be inspired, and next time maybe you‘ll be brave enough to submit a story of your own!
Happy Birthday, Elizabeth! (April 25) Read interviews with our authors on Charity’s Blog.
3 Les Misérables 4 Major Crimes 6 Lord of the Rings 8 Pirates of the Caribbean 10 Place in the Sun 12 King Arthur 14 Doctor Who / Hogfather 16 Revenge 18 The Merlin Books
20 Star Wars 22 I Capture the Castle 24 Hart of Dixie 26 Captain America 28 Jane Eyre 30 The Bible 32 Robin Hood 35 A Person of Interest
Charity Bishop Les Misérables
should have felt cold. Maybe I even was—but I didn‘t know it. The only thing I felt was a strong pair of arms around me. Marius held me close, pressing me to his chest. His lips touched the top of my head. Was this heaven?
the gutter—a lowly inn until my father lost it. Marius went to school, had ambition and a future. I helped my parents cheat wealthy men out of their coins. My only ambition was to live another day—to eat.
Marius never noticed me —at least, not in that To have Marius way. He considered me a hold me. friend—just a friend, just poor Eponine. Blood seeped through our fingers—his hand He came from wealth. I and mine. I hadn‘t came from as good as thought, just reacted to save him. He‘d not even
known it was me until later, until now. It seemed a fair price, a life for another, a gutter rat for a gentleman‘s grandson.
I was worn and streettough; she was pretty and sweet. But she wasn‘t here. Marius, however, sat at my side. He held onto me and I‘m not sure but that he cried a little into the rain.
Even if it meant he‘d spend his life with her. I cried too, out of happiness. My life for his —yes, this she could not Cossette was nothing like me, give him. my opposite. I had dark, mangled hair; hers was It was mine alone. ♥ the color of sunlight in the spring. My hands were rough and tired; hers were clean and soft.
Carissa Horton Major Crimes
esisting the temptation to close her eyes, Sharon dug her nails subtly into the crisp upholstery of her nearly new Hyundai Genesis instead. Rusty made a right turn, the front tire bouncing off the edge of the curb and jostling her already gritted teeth. ―Oops.‖ Rusty shot a sideways glance at her before easing carefully into the flow of traffic. The light ahead turned yellow and then a blaring red. He slowed the car to a halt, a few scant inches from the vehicle in front.
Sharon‘s pulse pounded in her temples, but she still managed a calm, ―Very good, Rusty.‖ Praying that perspiration hadn‘t popped out on her forehead, Sharon ran through the scenarios she‘d used with her own kids while teaching them to drive. Rusty‘s attention to detail while driving was excellent, but distractions still assaulted him on all sides of the vehicle. With summer break in full swing, Sharon gestured for him to turn into the high school parking lot that loomed
up on their right. The tightness in her chest eased the moment they turned but renewed full force when Rusty hit the speed bumps. Her knees flew upwards, hitting the underside of the glove compartment. Just as she reached down to stabilize herself, Rusty hit another speed bump. Her fingers accidentally locked into the handle for the compartment and insurance papers, halffolded napkins, plastic spoons still shrinkwrapped, a shiny registered gun, and several CDs cascaded to her feet.
―Rusty, pull over, now.‖ The car lurched to a halt in-between two parking spaces, and Sharon leaned forward to collect the paraphernalia sprinkled liberally across her expensive pumps. Brow wrinkling in that familiar whipped puppydog expression, Rusty sat silently in the seat next to her, worrying his lower lip with his teeth, arms tensely crossed across his chest. ―You know, Sharon, I actually am a responsible driver. My school instructor can tell you that. It‘s just that
children after they‘d witnessed a fight between her and her husband, well, it was ―Yes, well, Rusty, that Rusty‘s laughter echoed nearly impossible to stay wouldn‘t be far wrong, in the confined space. He irritated with Rusty. now would it?‖ reached across the narrow gap between Replacing the glasses, The glove compartment them and tapped her she tugged on the clicked safely closed and lightly between the eyes. seatbelt, making sure it she leaned back into her ―I like people with laugh was securely fashioned seat, removing her lines because it means across her lap. ―I think for a little while we glasses and pressing her they‘re good-natured.‖ fingers into the bridge of He gestured between his might try driving in an her nose, distancing eyes and across his empty parking lot where the only things you them from any other forehead. ―My mother handles she might has lines here, and they might possibly hit are suddenly decide to open deepen every year. I can inanimate objects.‖ in a compulsive play for guarantee they‘re not freedom. laugh lines.‖ She sensed his grin, but didn‘t face him as he started the engine, put A small noise at her side ―So my wrinkles don‘t drew her attention and offend you?‖ Sharon the car in reverse, and she caught Rusty staring noted the way he gripped pulled back out into the main lane in front of the at her, head tilted in the steering wheel curiosity. ―I don‘t think harder now, as if it were school. They circled I‘ve ever seen you his life line. safely around the lot, him adjusting to the without your glasses.‖ ―No. I… I‘m sorry. I don‘t sensitive nature of the She raised an eyebrow. know why I end up gas pedal on her vehicle, saying such nasty things and Sharon trying to Hands tapping idly on to you sometimes. remember the Lamaze the steering wheel, he Defense mechanism, I classes she‘d taken when pregnant. declared, ―You‘ve got guess. Forgive me?‖ wrinkles around your eyes. More than I When handling Rusty it After half an hour, Rusty thought. No wonder you was always best to keep a faced her with a twinkle wear glasses.‖ modicum of control in his eye. ―See, no because he had proven problem!‖ Any good feelings himself capable time and towards Rusty quickly again of manipulation. His attention distracted, vanishing, Sharon‘s testy Still, with him reminding Sharon grappled for the side won out. ―Young her so much of her own you make me nervous. man, do you want this It‘s like driving in the car lesson to stop right with my mother!‖ now?‖
steering wheel, but too late. ―Rusty!‖ The car eagerly plowed up and over the curb, its front wheels digging deep ruts into the xeriscape mulch. In a moment of panic, Rusty hit the gas instead of the brake and the car plowed on up the embankment, narrowly missing a Canary Island Pine tree. The branches scratched across the paint of the Genesis, Sharon‘s mouth open with no sound coming out, and a pine cone flew right through Rusty‘s open window, ricocheting off his head, and landing between them on the console. Once the car landed on the other side of the embankment, Rusty braked to a halt and sheepishly faced her. ―Do you want to drive home?‖ ♥
Jeanna Marie Lord of the Rings
môr henion i dhû. Ely siriar, êl síla. Ai! Aníron Undómiel!
It was the eve of a historic day. The coronation of Isildur‘s long-awaited heir would unite the warravaged people of Middle Earth—a land thought to be forever divided, forever lost. Aragorn, son of Arathorn, King Elessar of the House of Telecontar, had finally come home. In blazing glory, he‘d united his kingdom and guided her to triumph in the War of the Ring. The Dark Lord Sauron was defeated and the Ring destroyed. Mordor, not Gondor, lay in ruins. Evil and tyranny,
so long prevalent, could once more become but a stranger, for good had prevailed.
the magnificent doors hiding the royal throne room from view. A man became apparent as he opened the doors quietly Above the city of Minas and slipped inside, slowly Tirith, millions of stars walking, aided only by the shone like glittering light of the moon, into the jewels, joining a luminous darkened space. His moon in applauding stride was noble, his head Middle Earth—and her held high. There was no king—its victory. Minas manner of deceit in him. Tirith seemed to drink in No misplaced pride. He the peace of the placid belonged here somehow, night, only occasionally despite the furtive interrupted by the approach. rustling of the newly flowering tree outside its As he paused in the center throne room. Until… his chest rising and falling in a deep, gentle breath, A moving shadow crept he gazed at the throne. across the courtyard Tomorrow, a king would housing the White Tree of occupy that seat. His eyes Gondor, creeping toward boldly traveled to one side
of the space and then the other, taking in the stone statues of the kings of old lining the walls. Finally, one more king of Middle Earth was to be welcomed into their midst. Suddenly, a change overcame him. His gaze faltered; his head, so proudly held a moment ago, now drooped. The noble, broad shoulders slumped. Ever so slowly, his right hand crept up his strong chest and rested on something—a glittering pendant encircling his neck. Reverently, he reached up and unlatched the delicate clasp. His gaze focused intensely on it, twinkling in the rays of
the moon, shining with an effervescent glow. The room and even the throne itself seemed to dim as it recognized the presence of the glorious object, or, rather, the someone it recalled.
Tiro! Êl eria e môr. I 'lîr en êl luitha 'úren. Ai! Aníron…
A distance from Minas Tirith, deep in a crowded woods, the peaceful quiet still reigned. Had it been a week earlier no one would ―Arwen…‖ The name, have dared sleep without uttered so softly, so a guard in such a silent, reverently, still echoed dark forest, but no more. loudly throughout the The quiet was no longer great, lonely hall. menacing; it was welcoming. In a particular The man haltingly clearing in the lush, green stumbled to the steps that forest, an encampment of elves slept—their tents led to the throne. There, his knees gave way, and neatly pitched, embers of he fell upon the stone their fires glowing. Only steps, the pendant still the sound of the soft cradled in his hand. A tear breathing of the immortal slid down his bearded creatures broke the calm cheek, closely followed by of the night. Almost. a steady flow of salty companions. All but one elf maiden was sleeping. Quietly, so as Upon the steps that led to not to disturb the others, the throne he would take she rose from her tomorrow, Aragorn, son makeshift bed and of Arathorn, the King emerged from her tent. Elessar, wept, with his Lightly stepping across whole body shaking. He the ground in her bare cried for the elf maiden he feet, she moved had so long loved and effortlessly away. A deer could not have—for the nearby watched her drift beautiful Evenstar of her across the ground, its people had traveled to nervous heart soon Valinor to live her relaxing as the animal immortal life. And he had realized there was nothing no way to follow. to fear from her.
the elf in darkness and only succeeding in making her all the more beautiful when it passed and moonlight revealed her upturned head. The sparkling light reflected the kindness in her eyes, the exquisite gentleness in her movements. The deer moved closer, seeming to sense something different about the divine maiden. She must have sensed the deer‘s interest, for she turned and smiled on it. ―Mae Govannen!‖ she whispered in the Elvish tongue. The deer shot away from the clearing in a speed that rivaled lightening, leaving the elf to softly chuckle. ―Beyest lin!‖ she called after it. Her gleaming blue eyes shone as she turned and fixed her gaze on a gathering of flowers newly rooting in the ground. Excitement shimmered through her, and a smile spread across her lips as she gracefully knelt beside the new life. ―Wise little plant, you know it, too!‖ she whispered. ―Aragorn is to be crowned king tomorrow. And I….‖
beautiful pendant, her namesake, usually lay. A single tear for the man she loved slid from the corner of one eye and down her quickly paling cheek. ―Estelio…‖ she whispered, her eyes sliding shut. ―Estelio…‖ The curious deer now returned, moving from its protective covering out into the open clearing once more, prompted by the now grieving maiden to apologize for its fearful exit only a moment ago. There was no way for the poor animal to know the one needing the proffered comfort was not she. The sadness passing from her in but a moment, the elf‘s eyes flew open. With a strength unknown to even the bravest man making the night air electric, she rose from her knees and looked up once more at the bright moon, her eyes clearing of tears. A soft smile again graced her lips. ―Trust in us, Estel,‖ she whispered. ―I‘m on my way.‖ ♥
English translation of ―Aniron‖: 1st line: ―From darkness I understand the night: dreams flow, a star shines. Ah! I desire His shoulders shook more The maiden stopped a fair vehemently as a cry of distance from the camp, Her sweet smile faded, Arwen Evenstar.‖ excruciating pain escaped in a place where the forest her apparent joy dimming 2nd line: ―Look! A star rises out his lips. For though he was not so dense and she as her fingers lifted to her of the darkness. The song of the star enchants my heart! had gained a kingdom, he could look up and see the neck in uncharacteristic had lost his own heart and vivid night sky. A cloud speed, traveling the Ah! I desire…‖
passed briefly over the white moon, shrouding
length of her chest and tracing where her
Pirates of the Caribbean
he last thing he saw before the world went dark was the gaping mouth of the monstrous beast. Next thing he knew, he blinked in the brightness of an overbearing sun. Cold damp was replaced by a sudden rush of heat, heat that went unabated by even a breath of wind. Captain Jack Sparrow lay on the floorboards of his ship, inert and bemused. Slowly he rose to his feet, steadying his wobbly sea legs and adjusting to the sudden motionlessness of the Black Pearl’s deck. But
then, Jack Sparrow was usually unsteady on his feet with the constant stream of rum that ran thicker than blood through his veins.
―Davy Jones‘ locker. What a miserable, pestilent place in which to find oneself,‖ he muttered under his breath. He was utterly alone, without even that There’ll be nary a drop infuriating scoundrel of of rum to be found in a cursed monkey for these doldrums, was his company. The Black first thought as he Pearl was Jack‘s trusty surveyed the bleak sailing companion and landscape surrounding had been for more than a him. Endless sand dunes decade but wasn‘t much stretched to the horizon for conversation. He in every direction could talk to her, but she without even a rock to wouldn‘t talk back. True, add texture to the dry Jack was known to talk plains. Jack began to to himself more than to fully comprehend his others, but every now situation. and then it was a nice
change to have a listening pair of ears. Now Jack didn‘t even have that indulgence. The lack of rum was the worst part, however. With rum, the situation might have become vaguely tolerable, but without it Davy Jones‘ locker presented an indisputably dismal prospect. Jack paced the deck of the Pearl, wearing out the soles of his boots and the faded wooden planks simultaneously. His head felt unusually
sound and his thoughts were lucid. Evidently, all traces of rum had worn off; either that or one of the many curses of Davy Jones‘ locker was the ability to clearly understand the hopelessness of the situation.
unfathomable, and I‘ve even traveled the path to immortality and returned! I am Captain Jack Sparrow and I refuse to give into this madness!‖ he cried as he grasped his ship‘s wheel.
―Indeed you will not. If you did then this entire And Jack understood his ship will go to pot!‖ a situation very well. He voice answered. was stranded in his own personal brand of hell, Jack shot up straight as separated from the open an arrow and jerkily waters of the sea and turned to look beside condemned to spend the him. He blinked but that rest of his days (or didn‘t help; he still saw forever, he wasn‘t really double when he opened sure) in an accursed his eyes. Not an exact sand wasteland. He double to be sure, this wasn‘t sure how long he Jack didn‘t have a hat, could hold up against the coat or even a shirt, but sun before his mind otherwise it was like shriveled up like a raisin looking into a mirror. and succumbed to madness. ―What did you say? Has my ship not gone to pot? Minutes, hours, days, Because it looks that way months, years… the time to my eyes, matey!‖ Jack blurred together into one growled to his double. long heat wave. No wind, ―And why are you here no water, no relief from when you should be the baking sun even in elsewhere? I have the shade. An ordinary frequently reminded man would have myself I am alone and succumbed long ago to you aren‘t helping the the elements, but matter. If you looked like Captain Jack Sparrow my dearly departed was no ordinary man. mumsy offering rum than perhaps your ―I‘ve escaped from worse presence here would be a than this before. I‘ve comfort in my isolation, seen sights unseen, but I do not need a accomplished the reminder that I am the
only presence in this God-forsaken place. Away with you, irksome delirium!‖ ―How about two reminders Jack?‖ another strangely familiar voice said from behind the Captain.
Sparrow and he would command his mirages as he had commanded his crew from Tortuga. Davy Jones‘ locker would not get the better of him, at least not yet.
How long did this continue? Jack didn‘t know. Managing himself ―What? Another one of was as difficult as managing his real crew. you?‖ Jack couldn‘t believe his eyes. It His doubles grumbled, occurred to him that his complained, talked back and did shoddy work mind must have finally yielded to the pressure. too. The final straw ―What good will this do occurred when he saw me? I cannot seem to be one of his hallucinations rid of you confounded sitting down to a meager delusions! If a crew is dinner, tucking in his what I need, then a crew napkin and gathering up is what I shall have. his fork. The arrogance Perhaps then we can of the man to eat when salvage this situation. To he, the Captain had not! the masts with the both Jack had only one shot, of you and be quick but what did that matter in Davy Jones‘ locker? A about it. They be in serious need of second later the gun was trimming!‖ smoking in his hand and one offensive Jack was soon seeing hallucination was no triple, quintuple and more. even duo decuple. More than a dozen Jacks ran Jack leaned over the about the deck, table, took his rightful small morsel and said performing duties that were rendered totally first to his corpse, then meaningless by the lack to the rest of his apparitions, ―My peanut. of ocean. Each hallucinatory Jack Haul the halyard. possessed an aspect of Slacken braces!‖ ♥ himself, but none truly encompassed his character. He was the genuine Captain Jack
Patti Gardner A Place in the Sun
This is based on the classic film A Place in the Sun. While some people see George as no good, I view him in a more sympathetic light, and have written my story as I see him.
at first. God must have been looking with favor upon him, though, because the next time he saw her—at the party at his uncle‘s house—she‘d not only noticed him, but talked and danced with him for hours. By the time the evening ended, George knew there could never be any other woman for him—he was completely, totally, and Angela‘s exquisite beauty forever in love with Miss had captivated him from Angela Vickers. They saw the moment he saw her. each other again and to Never had he seen such a the utter shock of a poor stunning creature; truly, boy such as he, Angela, in Like the proverbial ―life she took his breath away. all her beauty and wealth, flashing before the eyes‖ final thoughts of a dying She hadn‘t noticed him or loved him in return. What man, the pictures flashing given him the time of day, he had ever done to be fter a long, hot summer, the early September night air felt chilly—downright cold even—to the man paddling a shabby canoe on the far side of Loon Lake. A shiver racked his body. It wasn‘t just the setting sun‘s lack of warmth that brought it on, though. No, it was much more than that… it was the venomous, coldblooded thoughts coursing through his mind.
through George Eastman‘s mind came fast and furious… instantaneously almost… one thought right on top of another. Barely three minutes had passed, but an entire summer‘s worth of life was re-lived in his mind, bringing him to his reason for being on a remote lake just as the sun was setting.
given such a gift, he didn‘t know. All he could do was thank his lucky stars for it. With Angela by his side and in his arms, life for George promised to be pure bliss. George‘s delirious joy— and the vivid image of Angela‘s stunning beauty—was eclipsed by another face, one he did not love and, in fact, had come to hate. He had never loved Alice, not for a minute. She had been nothing more than a kindhearted person with whom he could spend time. God knew how lonely he was, how
knew Angela was lost to him forever, George realized he couldn‘t go through with his plan and murder Alice. It was one thing to hide his actions from everyone else, but it With the word ―murder,‖ was entirely another to the image of his devoutly hide from God. To stay in religious mother came to the sun—that beautiful, A new image moved into his mind. She and his late warm, radiant, place he knew with Angela—would George‘s mind: a baby‘s father had devoted their require him to try to hide crib. He couldn‘t believe entire lives to the call of his one night of passion God, and had instilled a from God for the rest of resulted in pregnancy. knowledge of God‘s Word his days, and he knew that such an endeavor was Now she was insisting he into their son. The sixth marry her, something he commandment, ―Thou futile. He‘d have to leave didn‘t want to, and could shalt not murder,‖ filled the sun in order to be able to live with himself. not, do. To marry Alice his mind. It was a sin to would be to lose Angela kill someone. George forever, and he‘d just as knew that. But, he argued, The image of Angela‘s soon die as be without no one would ever know it beautiful, beloved face her. Angela was his was murder; they‘d think moved once more into his reason for living, his sun, it was an accident and mind. Goodbye, my darling. I’ll always love moon, and stars all rolled he‘d be in the clear. On into one. To be separated the heels of that thought you were his thoughts from her would be more came Jeremiah 16:17: ―I before Alice stood up in torturous than anything am watching them closely the far side of the old He‘d never loved Alice; he had ever known. If and I see every sin. They canoe, causing it to tip liked her, yes, but never only there was no baby… cannot hope to hide from precariously to one side and capsize completely, love. He‘d also never lied if there was no Alice… me.‖ Someone would and told her that he did. know what he had done. sending them both into So how it was that they There was a way to While he might be able to the dark, cold water of the mountain lake. By the ended up in bed together, remove Alice from the hide the truth from he was never sure. Just situation, and it entered everyone else, and maybe time George resurfaced, loneliness, he guessed; George‘s mind. He knew even be able to deceive Alice was nowhere to be loneliness that engulfed she couldn‘t swim, and it himself, he could not pull seen… ♥ both of them. Things had was for that reason that the wool over God‘s eyes. just gone too far and he‘d he had come up with the Even now, God could see spent the night with her. plan to take her out in a the evil in his heart. God How he wished he could canoe. It was easy: all he would know the truth. No turn the clock back and had to do was capsize and matter where he went or relive his choice; he would Alice would drown. He‘d what he did, he‘d never be have walked away from swim to safety… back to able to hide from God. Alice before indulging in, Angela. Alice would die as his mother would have on the far side of Loon Brokenhearted because he starved for friendship and someone to talk to. Moving to California to take a job at his uncle‘s factory, George had fully expected to be welcomed into the family fold and be part of their social circle. Alas, nothing could have been further from what he got. While his uncle gave him a job at the factory, feeling obligated to, no doubt, friendship with the family was not part of the deal. They looked at him as the poor relation, and George knew it. He wasn‘t good enough to be in their social circle so they ignored and looked right through him as if he wasn‘t there. But George was there, and he was desperately lonely. How he longed for a friend, and Alice offered it to him.
said, the sins of the flesh. It was that one mistake, that one ―should never have done it‖ moment, that was now coming back to haunt him, and threatening to rob him of Angela and the happiness he knew with only her.
Lake and no one would ever be the wiser; no one would know it wasn‘t an accident; no one would know that George, in fact, had murdered her.
Laura F. King Arthur
t was unnatural, Lancelot had decided long ago, to be tied to a land not one‘s own, to be forced to serve any master but oneself. For fifteen years, he‘d chafed in service to the Romans, fighting their wars alongside his compatriots, rendering unto Caesar the service their fathers had promised him generations ago. In those years, he‘d seen countless good men die violent, painful deaths — to what end? Despite the flattery the Romans used when speaking of the Sarmatians‘ service, they
all knew the truth: Britain was a failed experiment. His Sarmatian brothers who died in conflict died in vain, for Rome was withdrawing. With the ever-present threat of the native Britons now compounded by the threat of the Saxons invading from the north, Rome had admitted defeat and turned tail in order to protect its more valued territories, not wanting to waste more time, energy, or men on a sure disaster. Today, he and his fellow Sarmatian cavalrymen
had the papers guaranteeing their freedom and safe conduct across the Roman Empire in hand. Lancelot felt the weight of the scroll pressed against his side, where he had tucked it between his hauberk and his shirt. Freedom felt different than he‘d expected when he‘d fixed his mind on the subject during dark, rainy British nights with only the smell of dank wood smoke to accompany his thoughts. In his mind, freedom had been liberating, a delicacy he could relish in honor of
those who had died before they could taste it. He‘d also anticipated a good deal of drinking and wanton behavior involved. In reality, his freedom did nothing to abate the heaviness in his heart. Instead of feeling liberated, Lancelot felt akin to the thick black smoke rolling against the green British plains in anticipation of the Saxon attack. Villagers fled on foot and in wagons; the Sarmatian knights accompanied the procession on horseback insofar as it took them
surely face defeat. Merlin was revered, but he was not a military strategist. Against the Saxon hordes, his men would die. With Arthur, they had a chance of survival, of victory. A slim one, granted, but a chance nonetheless. A greater chance, Lancelot thought grimly, than any of his Sarmatian brethren had of finding their families or reestablishing the home lives to which they had told themselves all these years they wished to At the sound of Now Arthur, too, was Lancelot‘s gruff laugh free of Roman bonds. He return. They were not breaking through the had rejected them for family men now; they were warriors. He didn‘t thick air, Gawain service to a higher glanced at him curiously cause—God, perhaps, or think they could ever from where he rode the right of all men to erase that from their blood. Perhaps some of nearby. Lancelot shook live free in the land of his head. Gawain their nativity, or the them could, he conceded shrugged, turning his hope of uniting the —Galahad, especially, had struggled to gaze forward once again. Britons under his kingship. Arthur would maintain a sense of When he was honest make a good king, the normalcy amidst the bloodshed. But him? No, with himself, Lancelot knight mused as the fully acknowledged the sound of two of Bors‘ he had no pretensions of fact that Arthur had children shouting truly returning home. been as much a slave as imposed on his thoughts. Even if he could find his he, forced to serve at the Arthur‘s unshakable tribe, he had been young mercy of the Empire‘s beliefs and compassion when he left; surely much had changed and whims. But Arthur was made him a beloved half Roman and, for no leader and friend to the the reality of his family— reason Lancelot could men he led. And people if any still survived—was no better than the ever understand, truly without a leader were believed in the Roman doomed—if the Britons memories nursed in his cause. In Arthur‘s eyes, did not unite against the mind to survive long days and nights after the Roman armies were Saxons, they would toward Gaul and the rest of the Roman Empire. Arthur, however, stayed to fight the Saxons. Arthur and Guinevere rallied the Britons and planned to defend this land against its invaders. Thinking of it now, Lancelot laughed aloud at the irony that, here at the end of things, one who‘d been a member of the Roman invaders chose to stay and fight to protect the Britons against a new invasion.
missionaries as much as militants, spreading Christianity to the heathens of foreign lands. But Lancelot had never believed that any more than he believed in Arthur‘s God. The Romans were not missionaries; they were plunderers who took what they could and left decimated native cultures in their wake, channeling all wealth and knowledge back to Rome.
battle and slaughter. I will die in battle. Of that, I am certain. But hopefully a battle of my choosing. When Arthur appeared through the smoke on the crest of that distant hill, Lancelot‘s own words from their fight came back to him, unbidden. Arthur had chosen his battle. It was time now for the rest of them to choose theirs. Freedom lay both before and behind them now, differing only in quality and kind. And so it was that, at Arthur‘s silent call, Lancelot turned back his horse along with his compatriots, because if he had no greater cause of his own, no family, no religion, no hope beyond the rush of battle and the clash of swords, then at least he could die in the service of a friend. ♥
Charity Bishop Doctor Who / Hogfather
he heard was a peculiar sort of ―wump-wump!‖
―Susan!‖ A face peeked around the edge of the door. ―There‘s a monster in the basement again!‖ Thump! Her book snapped shut, and high heeled boots hit the floor. ―Go back to bed!‖ Susan shooed the children into their room and shut the door behind them. She took a poker from the hearth and went downstairs. She stopped. Her brow furrowed. She lowered the poker.
It wasn‘t a bogeyman, a dancing skeleton, or even the Death of Rats. It was a strange, large Blue Box, omitting clouds of smoke. Her head tilted. The door flew open. A curious sort of man with wild brown hair tumbled out. ―Right, so, leave that lever alone in the future! It causes spontaneous combustion! Good to know!‖ Soot billowed off his brown suit. Dusting himself off, he caught sight of her. ―Oh, hello! Who are you?‖ ―Who are you?‖
He grinned. ―The Doctor! And this is the TARDIS.‖ He put his hand on it and jerked it quickly away. ―Ouch! Hot! We were just in the nebula galaxy and had a bit of a… uh… mishap. Stars exploding, planets hurtling into a black hole, that sort of thing. No reason to panic, so long as I get back there in…‖ he checked his watch, ―nine minutes. Where am I?‖ ―Ank-Morpork,‖ she said suspiciously. He neared, curious of her hair. As he watched, it rearranged itself. He
jerked back in surprise. ―Oh, that‘s really clever! Does it do that naturally or just when you‘re cross? You see, right now your face is… are you human or something else? And where might AnkhMorpork be?‖ Her eyes narrowed. She crossed her arms, still holding the poker. ―Discworld.‖ ―Ah, Discworld! I‘ve never heard of it. There really is something odd about you.‖ He whipped a small instrument out of his pocket and aimed it at her. It whirred. He
smacked it. ―Must have gotten fried when the console exploded. Never mind, I can fix that. So, not all human then.‖ He put scrawny hands on bony hips and looked her up and down. ―What are you? Who are you?‖ ―I‘m Susan,‖ she said. He grinned. ―Posh, that‘s just a name! Names can mean any old thing, like ‗The Doctor.‘ There‘s more to you than just your name, isn‘t there? So what is it?‖ Irked, her hair curled tightly around her face. She couldn‘t help it. Her Voice came out. WHY? He jumped. ―Oh, that‘s new! Never ran into that before. New town, new planet, new galaxy, new whatever-you-are. Do it again!‖ She ignored him. ―Where did you come from?‖
and snatching a top hat off the banister, he burst outside. Snowflakes drifted from the roof. In the window upstairs, two eager faces peered out at them. ―So, what have you got here, then? What sorts of things? Aliens? Cats? Humans? Trolls? I love a good Troll! Haven‘t seen a Troll in ages!‖ ―And dwarves, wizards, the occasional tourist,‖ said Susan. ―Didn‘t you say you had to go in nine minutes?‖
Dodging through the hall
―Yes.‖ He looked at her as if she were a present under the
He took off the hat. ―Keep it,‖ she said.
―I‘m his granddaughter. I can walk through walls, and make things happen, go places no one else can and see all the nasty things that hide under beds that no one wants to talk about. I‘m the person nightmares fear. Everything that goes bump in the night has me to worry about.‖
The Doctor‘s eyes glittered. ―Ah! Yes, I can relate. Tell me about him, ―Five, but I can make it in then. Tall, black hood, three.‖ He put on the hat. scythe, all that?‖ ―I like top hats. Top hats are cool.‖ Sticking his face She nodded. in hers, he said, ―My sonic screwdriver recognizes ―How did he—uh, how are every species in the you—?‖ galaxy… except yours. Why is that?‖ Bits of snow floated up. ―My father was his Her brow twitched. ―It apprentice. My mother hasn‘t met Death.‖ was adopted. Hadn‘t you better go?‖ ―Death,‖ he repeated dully. ―Oh, it knows about ―Got two minutes left.‖ death…‖ Susan studied him. ―No, not about death,‖ ―You‘re the last of your said Susan. ―Death as in kind, aren‘t you? I know the actual Death, a the look. I could make you supernatural being.‖ some tea, if…‖
The Doctor sprang up the stairs. ―Here and there, now and again, back and forth, but originally Gallifrey. I suppose you‘ve ―… ah,‖ he said. ―And this world… has one?‖ never heard of it.‖ ―No, I haven‘t!‖ She ran after him, poker in hand.
tree on Hogswatch. ―And you’re—?‖
―Best not,‖ he said in a quiet voice. ―Must save the world and all that. ‖ Heavy footsteps carried him indoors. Susan put the poker back and took him into the basement.
Twinkling at her, he put it back on his head. His watch beeped. ―I‘m off. I don‘t suppose you want to come along. Might be useful to have you around.‖ ―No, but thank you. AnkMorpork suits me fine.‖ He started inside, then paused. ―About the voice…‖ Her eyes rolled. ―Oh, very well.‖ GOODBYE, DOCTOR. The walls shook. Boxes rattled. The Doctor smiled. ―Bring a Troll next time! Love a good troll!‖ He darted inside. With a ―wump-wump‖ the TARDIS faded and disappeared. In its place stood a terrified, dazed looking bogeyman, his horns askew. I feel sick, it moaned. OUT, she said. Everything was back to normal. ♥
Ella G. Revenge
mily Thorne sat before a blazing fire, but it didn‘t warm the coldness and deadness she felt in her heart. She had sacrificed so much of her life— both by her own choices and by the hands of other people—but this was too much. She gazed at the yellow Labrador, Sammy, lying before her. She glanced at the man crying next to her: Jack, her childhood friend and first love. The man who did not know that her DNA revealed she was really someone named Amanda Clarke. The little girl he‘d frolicked
in the sand with, the one incarcerated in prison he‘d pretended to marry and later killed there, so many years ago. while his daughter was sent to foster homes and Amanda Clarke had juvenile detention ceased to exist; ―Emily‖ centers. The name had made it so. When ―Clarke‖ was poison one heard the name throughout the country. ―Amanda Clarke,‖ they That‘s why Amanda had would hear and swapped identities with remember David a fellow ―delinquent‖ Clarke—her father. He‘d named Emily. She could been framed for a crime now do what Amanda he didn‘t commit; people couldn‘t: such as make believed he had been in connections, and league with terrorists reestablish herself as a responsible for taking philanthropic millionaire down Flight 197 which thanks to some money had killed many her father had stored innocent lives. David‘s away. And she could pleas had fallen on deaf gain access into the lives ears; instead, he was of the Graysons,
Hampton royalty and the family responsible for her father‘s demise. Her goal in life was to take them down and make them pay for their horrible deeds. She‘d do whatever necessary to see justice done. She‘d even marry their son, her fiancée, if she had to. She would live in the house she and her father had, right along the Atlantic shores—the one where FBI had raided in the night—if she had no other choice. Emily looked down at Sammy. She blinked back tears as she realized
one simple truth. He was dying. He was old and had done his time. But with his death, one of last living tangible reminders of her father would be gone. He had been the one to give her Sammy as a pup. They had spent hours running along Hampton‘s shores together and Sammy had delighted in giving her father kisses. When David Clarke had been taken by the police, Sammy was given to Jack—who had done a fabulous job taking care of him—up until now.
teaching me about loyalty and friendship. Thank you for teaching me how it‘s okay. You go now, okay? You go play. We‘re right here.‖
These were words that Emily wanted to say yet couldn‘t. She had to keep her cover. She wanted to blurt out to her first love her real identity, that she had never forgotten him or Sammy. Silently, Emily thought out her own goodbye to her beloved dog, the one with whom she had been robbed of memories. I’m sorry Sammy. I am so Though trained to turn sorry we didn’t run on off her emotions, Emily the beach more often. could not blink back the I’m sorry I was there to tears any longer. She was see you grow up into the not a heartless woman big boy you are today. only bent on revenge as But Jack took care of you—thank you for some, had they known her true identity, would taking care of him for have surmised. She had me. Thank you for feelings. She still knew watching out for him, grief and loss. All of her for being his best friend life had been about loss. and helping him through some of the Beside her, Emily heard toughest moments of his Jack talking to the dog. life. I bet you were a ―Sammy, thank you. comfort after his dad Thank you for being died, since I couldn’t do such a good friend, such it. Thank you for coming a good listener and for back here, Sammy. Back making me smile. Every to the home where we day, even on the worst of lived with Dad. You them. Thank you for knew, didn’t you? You
knew my real identity and you wanted to say goodbye. Now you can go, Sammy. And if you see Dad, tell him I love him. Tell him I will always honor his memory and I’ll always be his little girl.
Jack needed her. Their lips met in a kiss, a kiss that spoke of chemistry, try as they might to deny it.
The kiss deepened. She knew she it would be better to pull away now, but she couldn‘t. Her ties Emily and Jack looked at to Jack were as tight as each other. Sammy had those to her departed drawn his last breath; father. She could be his yellow body had no Amanda Clarke right now—a girl who was more life or fight left in it. Nor did Jack, it grieving with a friend appeared. He reached over a beloved pet. She for Emily and she held didn‘t have to be Emily him. She stroked his Thorne. No one was dark hair as tears flowed. around to see her open There was no denying up and reveal her true the bond between the side. For a few moments, two of them. How could she could be free from Jack not know that she, revenge. Emily, was really Amanda? Here in Jack‘s arms, everything felt… Jack raised his head and looked at Emily, his eyes Oh so right. ♥ full of grief and longing. He‘d already professed his love to Emily once recently—and she had turned him down. To have accepted would have meant she was turning her back on her vendetta, on her mission of clearing her dad‘s name. But here, in this moment, with no one around, Emily felt her self-made walls crumble.
Carol Starkey The Merlin Books
without consequence, the words her father would say clear to her even before he uttered them. She‘d ignored them, but with the nausea, could ignore the signs no more. She would have a baby and must be ready to guard his paternity with her life. After leaving the cave, she had refused to look back at what had happened. They‘d made Before it, though, she‘d their choices and she felt a quickness, a shift in her awareness and must deal with the known she would pay for consequences. that last afternoon of love. Her visions came Niniane hid the more frequently, things pregnancy for the first iniane left the cave without looking back. She guided her pony almost without thought toward home. She knew what could happen as a result of falling in love with the prince. The first few weeks after he‘d gone had been quiet, uneventful… then the sickness came.
few months, wearing looser garments. This was easy in the winter months, but as the snow melted and warmer winds blew, she had to cast off the layers and cloaks, and come the middle of spring, it was apparent to all that she was with child. Her father, the king, entered her room one day. Bushy eyebrows jutted over his eyes and his anger directed itself at her. ―I hear you are with child!‖ It was not a question, and Niniane did not deny it. How
could she, when her rounded stomach told the true tale? She simply nodded. ―Who is the father?‖ But this question she would not answer. She remained dumb when he asked again, then yelled at her, ―I will know who the father is if I have to whip the skin off you! No daughter of mine will go whoring like a common slut!‖ And he was true to her word. He whipped her until the blood ran down her back, and still she
kept her silence.
for one incident. In her seventh month, heavy ―She will lose the baby; with child and sleeping, you will kill her!‖ her she had woken suddenly. ladies‘ in waiting finally ―Where is my father? I cried, and only then did must see him!‖ So the beatings stop. But insistent was she that she refused to tell even one of her girls went to them, though she heard fetch him and brought the tales they whispered, him to her in full stories of demons and hunting gear. Again, that incubuses and familiar scowl as he looked at spirits who had preyed her, and he spat out, on her, a young and ―What is it, wench?‖ innocent maid. ―You must not go!‖ she If her father could not cried. ―I have seen your beat her, he could ignore death. Your horse will her. Niniane was forced jump over a log, land to stay in her rooms for wrong, and fall on you. the rest of the You will not return.‖ pregnancy. No visitors; no friends could visit Niniane sighed deeply, her, none but her maids. then sank back against During this time, her pillows. If anything, Niniane felt her power her father‘s scowl increase. Every month as deepened, but he did not the baby within her belly go hunting. When the grew and changed, her men came back, a horse Sight grew stronger, so had jumped over a log much that sometimes and landed wrong, she‘d speak and not breaking its leg. recall what she said. And with her growing power, The long months passed the tales about the slowly as the baby grew. bastard‘s father grew as Spring became summer, well. Most who lived in and the end of summer her house were sure he brought Niniane‘s baby. would be the devil‘s son. It was laid at her breast, and as he lay suckling, a Throughout these long falcon flew through her months, the king refused window. He lighted to acknowledge her, save above the bed, cocked
his head at her, and looked at her with eyes that reminded her of her lover. It was then Niniane named him Merlin. She pressed the baby closer to herself and kissed his black hair. He looked up at her with eyes that knew more than they should and smiled at her. Not the infant‘s smile of gas but a smile that showed he knew his mother. She started and almost pushed him away, but then hugged him even closer. If this was the gift the prince had given her, she would write and tell him. Perhaps now he‘d come and acknowledge the boy, an heir to succeed him when he became king. She had seen it, seen the greatness in him and known he would hold power. But though she wrote, he did not reply. The baby grew into a gangly toddler, one with secret ways and not liked by the other children. His eyes were often suspicious and his movements furtive. But Niniane loved him. She saw his father in him
and was surprised that no one else did, though she was glad of it. And as the Power grew in her son, she gave up hers. When she felt it come, she turned her thoughts to weaving or the care of her son or to talk of common things among her maids. And finally there came a day that she could not see even if she wanted to. ♥
Hope White Star Wars
wo years after the battle of Yavin…
He didn‘t come out for three planetary days.
After learning of her death, he swore to never return.
and the few expensive decorations.
As he wandered through it, he could almost feel The thought was like a her warm hands touch snake latching onto his And now he was walking his face. mind, sinking its teeth the passageway to her in, unwilling to let go. apartment again. He Ani! Ani! Like poison, it spread deactivated the code, the through all his thoughts. door sliding open. He flashed open his eyes. When his mind lapsed, He hadn‘t heard her he realized he was Like a beautiful dream voice so clearly in years. daydreaming of her fused with a hideous giving birth on some nightmare, nothing had He circled the couch, The day Darth Vader taking in everything yet received the intelligence, ship with her last dying changed. The same he simply walked off the breath. bluish gray walls and forcing himself to steely carpet; the floor-to remain detached. He bridge of his Star Those thoughts were -ceiling windows let in stepped back, his foot Destroyer and went to his chamber. what had led him back to bright sunlight, soaking hitting something Coruscant. the sleek, beige furniture underneath the couch. Skywalker. The Rebel who had destroyed the Death Star and single -handedly singed Vader‘s pride was a Skywalker. How many Skywalkers could there possibly be in the universe? How many force sensitive Skywalkers?
To his wife‘s apartment.
He pushed the furniture away where underneath a small hologram device lay on the floor. He stooped down and picked it up, running his fingers over the slender electronic. He placed it on a hologram player in the corner of the room, a blue, hazy image projecting above it.
let me serve if she learns of this, and the Jedi order could throw you out. But I don‘t want you to worry. Every moment I think of you. I‘m afraid for you.‖
He groaned within himself, her voice haunting him from that fatal day on Mustafar, when she begged him to leave with her.
But don't you see, Padme? We don't have to run away anymore. I have brought peace to the Republic. I am more powerful than the Padme. Chancellor. I can overthrow him, and He couldn‘t hold it in together you and I can She was alive again, anymore; he grabbed the rule the galaxy. Make immortalized in a hologram in his palm holographic image, things the way we want them to be. beautiful with her long, and smashed it against curly brown hair resting the wall. For a moment his eyes blurred while on her shoulders, her Vader strode out of the stifling room onto the black silk gown revealing his body took over. His mind was a supernova of balcony. Outside he her pregnant stomach. anger and jealousy, love could see a steady and pain; emotions and stream of flying vehicles ―Anakin, I don‘t know memories woke from the crisscrossing the whether or not this dead, rising out of message will get to you eternally-lit city. graves, walking through beyond the Outer Rim. his mind again. All he So far communications Luke Skywalker. between Coruscant and could see was a blood red motion blur— He would find Luke your battalions have been intermittent as the before the emperor did. war seems to do nothing Until he finally dropped He would put all of his his lightsaber on the will, all his time into it. but escalate. As always this message is encoded ground, everything The emperor wouldn‘t and cannot be opened by around him destroyed. know his true intention. Vader‘s officers wouldn‘t anyone but you. Come away with me, question him seeking out ―I‘m pregnant, Ani.‖ She Anakin. Help me raise the Rebel responsible for our child. Leave the Death Star‘s smiled tenderly, her everything else behind hand caressing her destruction. while we still can. stomach. ―I know what this means—I doubt the Every force-sensitive Queen will continue to person must die. She reached out her slender hand for him. ―Whatever happens, our baby is my greatest strength and joy. I will always love you.‖
The emperor had decreed that just days after Vader had survived Mustafar. He had agreed wholeheartedly, personally hunting down every remaining hindrance to the Empire. But Vader wouldn‘t kill Luke. Instead he‘d open his eyes to the Force and his true heritage. He‘d lure him to the Dark Side just as the emperor had ensnared him. If he had to force Skywalker to his knees, eventually he‘d break. He‘d see the truth. Together… rule the galaxy. There had never been a together with his master. Vader was the slave to do his bidding, so entangled in the emperor‘s strings that if he tried to pull himself out alone, he would sever his own head. Luke wasn‘t just another chance for Vader to get free. He was his answer. To make things the way he wanted them to be. ♥
Veronica Leigh I Capture the Castle
write this no longer sitting in the kitchen sink, but behind a desk, in my very own office which I have dedicated solely to my writing. It offers quite a professional perspective. Yes, at last, after much speed-writing I ventured to write a full-fledged novel, which has been published to critical acclaim. I had completed my last journal entry quite a few years ago, thinking that my story had ended, but as the future unfolds, I must add a little post script.
Rose and Neil are expecting their second child. ―If it is a girl this time, you should name her after her Auntie Cassandra,‖ I teased in one of my letters to them.
me not get started about Or so I thought. them.‖ I think she misses communing with nature. I was listening to the BBC and there was a Thomas received a news bulletin. Germany scholarship to Oxford. and the Soviet Union He is quite proud and have invaded Poland. speaks about it every Appeasement with Hitler chance he gets. has not worked. England Father is visiting and France vow to America on one of his So, as you can see, I am avenge the Polish lecturing tours. Now he alone here in the castle, people. War is speaks on both ―Jacob trying my best to capture inevitable. With this new Wrestling‖ and ―The Cat its present state. An development, I can‘t go Sits on the Mat.‖ Topaz American edition of my chasing after my dreams accompanied him, but in novel is to be released. I when my king and a missive to me, she considered joining country needs me. I wrote that, ―American Father and Topaz and do must do something, society is stifling and a little lecturing of my anything, to support my unromantic. And the own. country. My dreams will American women… let always be there and after
this is all over, I may have new dreams. Perhaps I can be a war correspondent.
Stephen nodded. ―It will back I can‘t understand be just like the old days.‖ why. I always knew what I wanted from life, but I We went to the kitchen. I was still very much a set straight away to child. And now I am a As I listened to those heating it up on the woman. somber words, I heard stove while he sat at the the front door open and table and watched. That ―When do you go back to close. Who could that look—the one I used to the states?‖ I asked. be? I hastened to the call ―daft‖—reappeared. I foyer where I found a felt self-conscious and He shook his head. ―I tall, handsome blond hoped to distract him. don‘t, I can‘t. My country Adonis. His strong ―How is Hollywood? needs me. I am going to features and muscular Meet any famous movie enlist.‖ frame made my heart stars… Shirley Temple, palpitate. Judy Garland or Clark I gulped. ―But—what Gable?‖ I asked. about your contract? ―Miss Cassandra?‖ Will they allow it?‖ He answered in the My mouth gaped. affirmative and spoke a ―I only signed for seven ―Stephen?‖ little about his life in years and I am not going exotic California. He was to renew it. Not until this He bashfully put out his a well-known British war is over.‖ hand. I disregarded it actor in his own right, at and hugged him. MGM and I had heard I‘d come to the rumors that he was to realization that ―It‘s been years!‖ I said. star in a picture with everything I once ―What are you doing Vivian Leigh. believed was wrong. I here?‖ had never given Stephen My former resolve a second thought and ―I came home on a melted at the sound of now… holiday,‖ he said, his voice and my knees following me into the knocked as I carried over We reminisced for a parlor. ―Then I heard the two steaming cups of hot couple of hours and then news and wanted to see chocolate. I tried to pay the time came for him to you and your family. attention but found leave. As he was about to Where is everyone?‖ myself comparing him to disembark, he turned the young man I knew. back around. ―Miss ―On various pursuits,‖ I He was always sweet and Cassandra, may I write replied with a demure very devoted to me but I to you?‖ smile. ―Care for some never noticed him. My hot chocolate?‖ heart had belonged to ―Yes, I would like that.‖ I Simon Cotton. Looking bit my lip. ―Stephen, be
careful.‖ I stood on tiptoe and kissed his cheek. Our mouths were only a couple of inches apart, until we closed the gap. Everything tender and beautiful was wrapped up in one delightful kiss. We parted smiling. ―I‘ll be seeing you.‖ Stephen whispered. I stood in the doorway and watched him leave in his car. This is a new beginning. I have loved, I do love, I will love. ♥
Rissi C. Hart of Dixie
here am I? And what have I done?
These are the first thoughts that flit across my mind as I step off the bus onto a gravel road in the middle of what looks like… nothing. I force back a groan as clouds of dust cover me from head to toe when the bus pulls away leaving only me, my luggage and five-inch heels (which are looking less and less like a good idea!), watching as my past in New York metaphorically and literally disappears. My tired, limp body feels
like I‘ve travelled a greater distance than to just outside of the tiny Bluebell Alabama. My hair hangs in limp, damp strands that would cause my mother to gasp with horror at my less-thanpristine beauty routine; the dark curls are rarely styled and my highlights haven‘t been tended to in months.
to go for it. Instead, the words of my E.R. boss haunt me as I remember our last conversation, one that suggested I‘m not good enough. All I‘ve ever wanted is to be a heart surgeon like my father but I didn‘t get the fellowship that would have assured we‘d work together, all because I‘m not a ―people person‖? I don‘t need to know the names of a Looking in all directions, I patient‘s grandchildren to see nothing remotely be a good doctor! All I resembling civilization need is honors from my and for a moment I graduating class, the best consider running after the work ethnic at the bus, begging for it to stop hospital, and the skill to —my situation is just go with it. I aced all three desperate enough, and I of those requirements, so don‘t think I‘m too proud why am I now on the
verge of a breaking point? I can‘t believe a doctor, a perfect stranger from Bluebell, kept in touch with me all this time. The only time I met Harley was at my graduation—he asked me to accept a position in his general practice. It was out of the question—I was chasing a place at my father‘s operating table, not in a small town in the middle of nowhere-ville. Now, Harley‘s offer is a saving grace. This is ridiculous! Here I am, standing in the ninety -degree sun, waiting for something to magically
happen. I‘m Dr. Zoe Hart! Graduating from medical school wasn‘t as a result of being handed a diploma without effort! I‘m an intelligent woman. I make things happen. Who needs transportation? Gathering up my things, I begin walking, keeping an eye and ear tuned for anything resembling human life. How long I walk, I don‘t know. It feels like hours yet probably is no more than a half hour. In the distance, there‘s a sound that resembles a vehicle. Looking back, I see a cloud of dust but best of all, there‘s a beat up truck in it. Slowing, the truck pulls up next to me and comes to a stop. The person inside rolls down the window, a pair of blue eyes and winning smile coming into view. ―Need a lift?‖ Hesitantly, I answer, ―Yes. I need to get to Bluebell.‖ ―That‘s just where I am going,‖ Blue Eyes says, his voice dripping with a southern drawl. He gets out and walks to where I‘m standing. He picks up my luggage and places it
in the back of his truck. My dumb-founded expression registers with him. He stops and quips, ―You know, I‘m not some serial killer.‖
of pleasantries strikes up.
perfectly coiffed hair.
―What brings you to Bluebell, Dr. Zoe Hart, business or pleasure?‖
As I step out of the truck, the day feels unreal.
―It‘s business. I‘m here to Since it is said with such a work.‖ charming smile, I can‘t help but muster one of my ―Funny thing is I don‘t remember the doctor own. Blue Eyes seems a pleasant sort and I‘m not mentioning a new hire.‖ about to keep walking in the dust in five-inch heels. Not sure how to answer, I My training kicks in and I simply state the obvious. stick out my hand, ―Actually he doesn‘t even thinking professionalism know I‘m coming. It the best. wasn‘t something that was a part of my plan. It was news to me only a few ―Dr. Zoe Hart.‖ days ago.‖ ―Pleased to meet you, Dr. Before I know it, we pull Zoe Hart. I‘m George Tucker.‖ into a small town. George‘s conversation As he opens my door, the blurs but I do manage to stranger seems perfectly get his welcoming me to normal; nothing about his Bluebell and an explanation that he needs demeanor screams psycho but you can never to stop at a local bar be too careful on a lonely called the Rammer dirt road. This isn‘t a day I Jammer to return the want to walk into a truck to a friend. twisted scenario only Looking around town, I Alfred Hitchock would understand. get the feeling I‘ve just stumbled onto the set of George gives me another The Andy Griffith Show. devastatingly handsome Everything looks like it smile, easing my nerves, should be a part of a and stands by the door as movie set. The women I slide into place. Once walking the streets are we‘re travelling on the wearing dresses that are positively archaic, with road, a conversation full
I want New York. Here it is hot and nary a Starbucks in sight! Even I look out of place in my ruffled blouse and dark pencil skirt. There is definitely something wrong with this picture. Then my eyes meet his. Standing in the doorway of the bar, he‘s handsome in a boy-next-door sort of way, and looks nothing like the 1960‘s. Maybe, this isn’t going to be such a horrible year. It‘s not in my nature to welcome change. Finding myself so far off of my career path makes me nervous. Perhaps it‘s time to shed the past. It‘s now or never to make the best of the situation I‘m in. With a smile, I make my way to my luggage. I am resolved. Good-bye, New York. Hello, Bluebell. ♥
Caitlin Horton Captain America
aptain Steve Rogers pressed through the freezing mud that clung to everything, including the better part of his thick blue cargo pants. Behind him the Howling Commandos followed, their own internationally flavored clothing in about the same condition. He glanced down at the caked mud on his boots. Without the Super Soldier Serum his feet would‘ve been frozen blocks by now. He sometimes admittedly forgot he was so different from his team, but now was not one of those times. He called a
halt at the edge of a recent human activity. shelled field and allowed a half hour‘s rest. This last mission had gone very well and Rations were hauled out another factory of The of packs and he left them Red Skull‘s was sitting around to do a completely obliterated. little scouting ahead. The It was the miserable bombed out field and the traveling conditions recent snowfall melting until they reached Allied into it made it nearly territory that made every impassable. They would victory seem like they need to skirt around it, were on the losing side. but which way? He eyed It was exhausting, cold both routes carefully, work that nobody trying to determine if enjoyed, but it had to be they were wired. done. Heading down the right hand trail, Steve That field had been followed it for several intact when they passed minutes before kneeling through previously, but down and examining the that had been a week ground for traces of ago. During war one
false move meant death, which is why he always went first. The serum would heal him, most likely, and he couldn‘t ask his men to act as land mine fodder. He was so focused in his searching that the tiny snapping of the twig registered two seconds later than usual. He whirled around, his pistol clenched firmly in his right hand, his round Vibranium shield in his left. Two pairs of little eyes stared out at him from a bush. Human eyes. Some inner realization
made him pause, made him lower his gun a few inches, made him think about what he was seeing. ―Come out.‖ He tried to inflect authority into his voice, not an easy task for a guy still not used to weighing more than 100 pounds. Dead leaves rustled and two tiny figures emerged from the growth. Their clothes were filthy, caked with mud and torn from shrapnel fragments, their faces thin and cold and above all, terrified. Steve held out a hand and knelt back down. Neither child could have been more than 7, one looked much younger, around 4, and neither wanted to come closer. He pointed at his shield and again at his helmet where the A was emblazoned. ―American. Allies.‖ The older girl suddenly began to cry and charged at him, flinging her arms around his neck. The other little girl held tightly to her muddy rag doll and just stared at him. She pointed at his uniform and whispered one word.
Jacques shrugged, his arm wrapped They were French then. protectively around little Steve tapped the star on Emilie. ―At that time this his chest. ―Why? Well, was safe ground, held by Star Spangled Man… the Allies. They could Allies!‖ not have known the German bombers would She stepped forward and take out one home in the shyly offered her hand, middle of nowhere.‖ which he took. Steve let out a deep His men were shocked at breath. War really was the condition of the hell and sometimes, children, even more so at when you saw the little their presence in a war casualties, it hurt so zone. Steve wiped their much more than you faces with water from ever knew was possible. canteens and gave them ―Okay, we‘re heading rations before French out. I think the right Private Jacques Dernier hand path is safest. Dum questioned the older of Dum and Gabe, you the two girls. carry the girls. Bucky, you take point with me ―Ah, their names are and Jim and Jacques, Colette and Emilie. They you take the back. Keep are sisters who used to the girls in the middle. live in a farmhouse not Let‘s go.‖ far from here. Colette says it was bombed They reached Allied yesterday and their territory quickly, in spite caretaker was inside of the new cargo, and when it happened. She upon entering the large thinks their parents are American camp working for the Allies, everyone stopped what she used to overhear they were doing and them speaking about stared. The little girls sat their work. Their names on Dum Dum and Gabe‘s are Hugo and Antoinette shoulders, singing Les Agnès.‖ Marseillais loudly, though Emilie didn‘t Steve‘s brow wrinkled. know all the words and giggled a lot during it. ―Why would they just Peggy Carter, her usual leave them here?‖ radiant self in brown
uniform, whisked the girls away to hot baths, another meal, and bed before contacting the French Underground. Their parents arrived two days later and Steve witnessed the reunion, just before he had to leave for England. The Agnès had heard their home had been bombed through a reconnaissance air flight and feared the worst. Yet miracles still happened in the middle of war and seeing them clutch their little girls tightly, kissing them over and over made Steve realize something important. If they had trudged across that field or gone to the left, those girls would never have been found. They‘d have died out there yet didn‘t. God knew and Steve believed wholeheartedly that divine influence guided his actions. Life would continue to march on and take him with it, but the image of those little girls, safe, he would carry for the rest of his life. It gave him hope in tomorrow. ♥
Shannon H. Jane Eyre
dward Rochester laid in bed face up with his only hand on his chest, feeling the pulsating beats of his heart. This night was his last as a bachelor, for he was to be married the next day to Miss Jane Eyre. He fixed his blurry gaze at the ceiling. He could not sleep. An overwhelming sensation of excitement and fear gripped him; he was looking forward to finally being happily married, but he was still afraid. Would Jane reject him again? Of course not! He shook the thought from his mind. She loved him too much
to reject him this time.
what seemed like hours. Days and weeks had It seemed as if it were come and gone. He had only yesterday that a spent time outside the plain governess came to great house that until reside at his home for Jane came into it had the purpose of educating felt like a prison, waiting his ward, Adele. He for his beloved to return. remembered accusing Heâ€˜d occasionally take to her of bewitching his drunkenness despite his horse. The mere thought hatred for such a state. made him chuckle a bit. He had prayed tearfully and feverishly every His thoughts turned night for God to return tragic as he remembered Jane to him, but nothing Jane leaving upon happened. finding out about his wife, a demented soul Then had come his hidden in the attic. The dream: that he saw Miss moment she left, he had Eyre and ran towards entered the room where her but she was she stayed, sat down on swallowed by smoke and the bed, and wept for flames, which roused
him from his sleep. He awoke to the smell of fire in the house and traced it to the attic where Bertha had broken a window and climbed onto the roof. Nearly blinded by the flames, he tried to coax her inside but instead, his wife fell to her death. Thornfield was nearly in ashes and he had lost his left hand and his sight, but not his love for Jane. Every night after the fire, heâ€˜d prayed to God that Jane would return to him. Humbled by his condition, heâ€˜d also begged for salvation, for mercy, and forgiveness.
Then, one day in his study at Ferndean, he had heard a familiar voice, ―It is Jane Eyre.‖ Hearing it, he first found himself delusional but when she embraced and kissed him, he felt tears of joy fall from his blind eyes. God had heard his prayers and granted him mercy, he thought. The past no longer mattered and aside from Jane teasing him a bit, he had finally gruffly asked the plain governess (now a wealthy woman thanks to an inheritance) to be the wife he‘d wanted for so long. Edward shook himself
out of his reverie but his thoughts turned to the future. Tomorrow, he would become, for the first time in his life, a happily married man. He imagined the honeymoon in Paris and Rome. He envisioned his wife cradling a little bundle of joy in her arms and rocking it to sleep. She would make an excellent mother someday, he knew. But dreams mattered less than what God had given him for the moment. Jane Eyre was a strong woman, strong enough to respect her faith and reputation and leave him when she had discovered
his lies, even when she loved him to say no to his advances however much she may have wanted them. Now, God rewarded them for her faithfulness. He had given them a second chance at happiness. Not happiness stolen, but in a union He could bless and that the church would honor. The knowledge humbled him. Jane was still in her beliefs, strong enough to stand at his side as his wife, no matter what happened in their lives. At that moment, Edward said a prayer of thanks to God for his future bride.
And still in thought, he drifted off to sleep. The next morning, he appeared at the church with his soon-to-be bride, Jane Eyre. After vows were exchanged, the two were declared husband and wife. Mr. and Mrs. Rochester sat next to each other in the carriage ride home. His only hand held his wife‘s as she put her head on his shoulder. And for the first time in his life, Edward felt truly happy and blessed. ♥
Christy McDougall The Bible
have seen him before,‖ he whispered. ―The moment I heard him speak I knew it. It was nearly twenty years ago— he was a child—but there is no mistaking the eyes of him. I have never forgotten it, though I thought I had.‖
speaking to a small group ever have forgotten his of people near them. eyes? They were the eyes of something ancient and ―That child, ten or twelve wise, not the eyes of years old, speaking like an something that has lived old man after years of only twelve short years on study and wisdom. One this earth. day, just after the Feast, there was a commotion in ―He spoke to Gamaliel as a corner where several of if they were peers, the elders were gathered. consulting together over We all crowded in to hear, some question in the Law. ―Forgotten what?‖ and then I saw who they The child asked questions whispered his friend. The were gathered around. as if he already knew the two men were giving a Not some venerable old answers and wanted to very good impression of sage but a child, a young provoke some new being in grave and boy. Unremarkablethought in his hearers. He important conference and looking, dressed in the asked, ‗Why does the being completely unaware humble clothes of some LORD forbid adultery, of the young man child from the country, and why does He hate supposedly in disgrace but his eyes—How could I divorce?‘ He asked, ‗Why
do we not wear clothing made of two kinds of material?‘ He asked, ‗Why did Jacob wrestle with a stranger in the darkness?‘ Why, why, why? He wouldn‘t be satisfied with answers that explained away the surface of a thing but insisted on plumbing to the depths and bringing to light its very soul, so that we had to search inside ourselves for answers we had never known we knew or could come up with. He was teaching us how to question and how to understand, we who had spent our whole lives
questioning and understanding the Law. Three and a half days he talked to us—‖
may not be forgiven of a father.
―And the child! He revealed to us for the first ―Three and a half days?‖ time then that he really Joseph interrupted. was a child, because he ―What about his parents, asked his mother in the his family? Why was a most innocent way in the child alone in the world, ‗Why were you Temple?‖ looking for me?‘ Only a child would ask such a ―We hardly thought of question when he had that at all. It was like he disappeared from his was a special visitation family for three or four from the LORD. You don‘t days. But then he asked ask an angel where his them, the way he‘d been parents are.‖ questioning us, ‗Didn‘t you know I have to be ―Angels don‘t come in the doing my Father‘s work?‘ form of children.‖ And his father‘s eyes nearly started out of his ―I know, I know. You had head, because by the look to have been there, of him he was a laborer, Joseph, to understand. strong, muscular, a You wouldn‘t have carpenter, maybe, by no thought of his parents means a teacher or either, until the fourth prophet, so whatever the day, when we heard a boy thought he was doing, shriek from across the it certainly wasn‘t his temple court, and a father‘s work. His mother woman shoved her way was equally confused, but through us as only a she lapsed into silence for frantic mother can and quite a long moment, fell on him, embracing staring at him like she him and kissing him and was seeking out crying and demanding something inside him she why he had disappeared. had often been trying to The man was only seek out before. He had marginally less frantic his eyes from her, though and more polite, knowing she never gave him that that things may be ancient look. forgiven of a mother that ―Well, then he simply
hopped down from his seat, thanked us courteously for our hospitality, and left with them, leaving us all a bit dazed and unable to speak of anything else for days, weeks. Gradually he faded from our daily thoughts, and I—I think I haven‘t thought of him in years. But at that moment I believed that there was something unearthly about that child, something never before seen in any prophet of the LORD. But what? What, Joseph? You never heard the questions he asked.‖ ―I saw what he did last week,‖ Joseph said quietly. ―He came into the Temple, looked at the money-changers—you know how they shortchange the ignorant country people—and his eyes blazed with fire. He was like—the priests say like a madman, but I never saw anything less like a madman in my life. A madman doesn‘t know what he is doing and is carried away by some uncontrollable force inside himself. He knew what he was doing. The priests tried to stop him, but he was like a force of nature. And he said—‖ Joseph grasped his
friend‘s sleeve. ―He said, ‗Do not make my Father‘s house a house of trade.‘ ‗My Father‘ again. What does he mean?‖ ―I have to find out. I have to.‖ ―You can‘t just go ask him. He is in deep disgrace with the priests. You can‘t risk your position, Nicodemus.‖ ―I know. If only I could go see him in private some time when he is alone.‖ ―I know where he‘s staying,‖ Joseph said suddenly. ―You could go to the house tonight.‖ ―Why don‘t you come with me?‖ ―I don‘t dare. Anyway, I have to make an early start for Arimathea in the morning. I‘ll show you the house, and you must promise me you‘ll write to me and tell me what he says.‖ ―I will,‖ Nicodemus promised, and they left the Temple courts and the young man from Galilee speaking there under the disapproving eyes of the priests of Israel. ♥
Camille Gaffney Robin Hood (BBC)
Setting: Four months after Marian’s death in the Holy Land. Robin Hood and his band have recently acquired a new member, Tuck, after he brings the distressed group together again following a passionate meltdown (Season 3, End of Episode 1).
he early morning chill nipped at Much‘s ears as he lay bundled in his tattered burlap sheet. He‘d folded it lengthwise the previous evening, hoping the majority of the holes in the upper right hand corner would be covered by duplicating the fabric. He lay restless, cocooned between John‘s massive body and the dwindling fire. Allan slept on the other side of John next to the dirt wall. Much pulled his cap down farther over his ears, and tried to ignore the cold. He turned his back to the cooling embers and listened to the quiet
rumble of John‘s snore.
―Sorry, my friend, I did not mean to startle you. I ―If someone could bother simply saw you stirring, to stock the fire during and heard you speak,‖ the night, I always do it replied Tuck from the for supper,‖ he huffed, bench on the other side hoping the others would of the fire. subconsciously pick up the message through Much was unsure their sleep. He doubted whether he wanted to his technique would admit to the mutterings. make any difference. It ―I didn‘t mean to wake never had worked before. anyone,‖ he half-lied, remembering the reason ―Everything all right, for speaking in the first Much?‖ A deep voice place. startled him in the night. For an instant Much was ―You didn‘t wake me.‖ alarmed and half sat up Tuck smiled, rising from before he realized the his bench. He grabbed source. two more sticks, kindled the fire, and added them to the coals. ―Many years ―Tuck.‖ in a monastery with men
vowed to silence gives ample time for sleep. I‘ve more than had my fill.‖ Tuck‘s eyes twinkled as he added, ―Those years also gave me an acute ear for the whispered prayers of others.‖ Much carefully sat up all the way, being careful not to disturb his sleeping neighbor. He scooted closer to the fire, running his hands briskly along his legs to warm them. They both sat in silence for a few minutes, listening to the crackle of the wood, before Tuck spoke. ―Is something troubling you? You‘ve tossed and turned all night long.‖
Much kept his chin tucked in, face towards the fire. His pensive eyes lifted, but he gave no indication of sharing his thoughts.
For that, Much was grateful. If Tuck could accomplish that, maybe he could help sort out the jumbled mess in his head.
―I traveled with King Richard to the Holy Land,‖ Tuck began.―I‘ve been on many battlefields with burdened men. Sometimes the greatest weight can be lifted by sharing your troubles with another.‖
―Is Robin gone?‖ Much looked behind him to ensure the others were still asleep.
Much hesitated. Should he trust Tuck? After all, he‘d traded the gang to Gisbon, trusting Robin to rally and rescue them. It had worked to provoke Robin from his depressed complacency, but the penalty for failure would have fallen on Much, John, and Allan, not Tuck. Nevertheless, it had worked. The others had tried for months to reason with Robin after Marian‘s death. They‘d travelled all the way from the Holy Land, yet Robin grew increasingly more vengeful with each passing mile. Only Tuck was able to reach Robin‘s tortured soul. A semblance of normalcy had finally returned in the camp.
think he‘d rather have died.‖
prevent the Sheriff from killing it.‖
Much half smiled, looking at the fire.―It‘s just that it doesn‘t make sense.‖
―A decoy, well done! Did the bird make it back to the King?‖
Much started to pace in ―Marian‘s death? Death front of the fire. ―That often doesn‘t make foul Sheriff and Gibson; sense.‖ how are they always one step ahead of us? Like ―Left about an hour ago.‖ ―I know… but I knew when the Black Knights Marian—she was smarter met to sign the Great Robin was prone to night than that. She wouldn‘t Pact, Robin knew he had wanderings to the tree have challenged Guy to stop them. But his where he‘d proposed to without any weapon or knives were stopped by Marian and later buried protection. She knew their hidden body her ring. He left after the how volatile he was. She shields! Why do we never others fell asleep and watched him burn her have the upper hand? returned before dawn. house down!‖ Why couldn‘t Marian Everyone pretended they have had such hidden didn‘t notice. ―Sometimes the heat of armor?‖ battle makes us act Much hesitated. ―I… I hastily.‖ An audible groan came just can‘t believe she‘s…‖ from the wall where ―I suppose, but she and Allan lay.―There‘s no ―Gone? I understand.‖ Robin had dreams, plans, sleeping with you Tuck gave him a sad everything! After he talking!‖ smile. ―I wish I‘d had the proposed, they had a chance to meet her. It deal: ‗Find Lardner, warn ―You!‖ Much cried. ―All sounds as if she brought King Richard, defeat the that time you spent with out the best in Robin.‖ Sheriff, and get Marian in the castle. The married.‘‖ least you could have done ―Then you two have was to teach her some something in common,‖ ―Who was this ‗Lardner‘? self-defense!‖ replied Much, kicking a Did they find him?‖ log into the fire. ―The girl kept daggers in ―Yes, but he wasn‘t a her hair! She didn‘t need ―Don‘t underestimate man—he turned out to be much instruction if you yourself. The reason a messenger pigeon used ask me.‖ Robin ran away when for King Richard. We had you returned to England a difficult time getting ―Well, you could have was because he couldn‘t him back to the King. We done something!‖ bear to lose anyone else. I had to use a decoy to
―Let‘s not forget that I risked my life posing as the Nightwatchman to distract the Sheriff.‖
now awake. Much stopped pacing, but still fidgeted in the corner.
―But Gisbon threw Robin into the river north of Nottingham, not south. I didn‘t think anything of it Tuck tried to ease the at the time, but why ―Good for you, a single tension.―Let‘s not place would the Sheriff be good deed in the midst of blame, it can‘t change the looking for something on your scheming to help past.‖ the south side?‖ the Sheriff.‖ Much sat down in the ―Much,‖ John sighed, ―I did do something else, dirt, knees to chest, ―give it a rest, would speaking of body armor— giving Allan a sideways you?‖ I bartered for some of glance. ―I‘m not talking that special armor Djaq just about the past. When ―All I know is something liked. You know, the we thought Robin was isn‘t right! Robin had a Damascus steel? When I dead and I was in the plan with Marian–and realized I had little dungeon, every day the the plan wasn‘t finished. chance of smuggling it to Sheriff sent out scouts Call me sentimental, but Djaq, I gave it to and demanded a report I don‘t think this is how Marian.‖ of the south border of it should have ended. I‘m Sherwood Forest.‖ going to find breakfast! ―A second valiant deed,‖ You all keep the fire muttered Much. ―Nothing abnormal in going.‖With that, Much that,‖ Tuck aid.―Everyone stomped off into the ―MUCH,‖ a loud voice was on the lookout for woods. suddenly thundered.―Sit Robin‘s body.‖ down, NOW.‖ John was
A half hour later, as Much reset one of his traps, he heard a soft bird call, Robin‘s signal. He turned to find Robin standing behind him. Robin held out a small piece of rolled paper in a trembling hand. ―Lardner…‖ Robin grasped for words, ―came to our tree. Will sent it...‖ Much took the paper and unrolled it. There, in tiny print, he read six words: MARIAN ALIVE. SHERIFF ON HER TRAIL. ♥
Gina Dalfonzo Person of Interest This is set at the end of the pilot. Finch built a Machine that can see crimes about to happen, and needed help stopping those crimes. Reese was desperately in need of a job and a purpose when Finch found him.
he tall, darkhaired man with a bruised face stood square in the middle of the sidewalk, apparently oblivious to passersby, and stared into the red eye of the camera mounted above the traffic light.
information the mysterious Mr. Finch had given him about that all-seeing red eye.
Strange, then, that for the first time in a very long time, there was peace in his own eyes, even the hint of a smirk hovering around his Knowing what he knew mouth. Strange that, now, he was trying to instead of fear, he felt figure out how he should something that lifted his feel about it. Nervous, he chin and pulled his supposed. No—no, shoulders up and back as nervous wasn‘t quite he turned and merged strong enough. Afraid into the crowd. might be a better fit. Or how about paranoid? If ———— anything called for going out and getting fitted for The short man with a tinfoil hat, it was the glasses limped across the
room, coming to a halt before a bulletin board crammed full of clippings. His board of lost chances. His pale blue eyes traveled slowly over them, though he already knew them by heart—the faces that kept him awake at night, the words that were burned into his mind. Shot. Stabbed. Murdered. Unsolved. How many hundreds of times had he stood here like this, feeling his utter helplessness before that mountain of words and
faces? How long had he been waiting for someone who could do what he couldn‘t? Slowly, without a change of expression, he reached up and unpinned one picture from the board. He held it lightly balanced on his palm for a moment, before setting it on the table. Then he pulled off his glasses and, with one quick, furtive movement, wiped his wet eyes with the back of his hand. ♥
Some of the most beloved works of fiction are Children’s Literature. Join us June 1st to relive your childhood (or discover new favorites!).
Inside This Issue: Louisa May Alcott Noel Streatfeild C.S. Lewis J.K. Rowling Cat Royal Black Beauty The Secret Garden The Princess & the Goblin Anne of Green Gables Bridge to Terabithia Nathan T. Riggins Little Women Crusade in Jeans The Melendys The Witches The Boy in the Striped Pajamas My Father‘s Dragon Caddie Woodlawn
This issue is full, but if you have a good enough idea, we’ll make an exception! E-mail us at email@example.com
In this issue: Les Misérables, Major Crimes, The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, A Place in the Sun, King Arthur, Doctor Who, H...