Cyrances wiped her sweaty hands down the sides of her white linen skirt, staining it brown, and placed the broom in a recess along the side of the courtyard wall. She was relieved to walk in the cool shadow of the cloisters. Singing accompanied by music plucked from stringed lyres floated through a tall arched entrance way. Cyrances was just about to walk through the archway when she heard a hushed call from across the courtyard. She turned. A grey haired old man dressed in a fringed skirt beckoned urgently to her. This was Urkal – one of the elder high priests. Cyrances hurried over to him. He pulled her into the shadows of the cloisters.

‘Cyrances. I thought you would be here.’ Urkal wheezed as though frightened.

‘What is it, Urkal? What troubles you?’

‘I have news for you. We must be careful though. Amurabis has ears everywhere. I fear for my safety if caught imparting this information to you but King Hannouken was kind to me and the fairest of our rulers.’

Cyrances lowered her head, hiding the tears glistening across her eyes.

‘Your children. They have been seen.’

‘What? Nampur and Zayana? Where are they?’ Cyrances asked impatiently. ‘I must see them.’

Urkal swallowed hard and shook his head. ‘No, Cyrances. You cannot. They have been seen incarcerated in a wooden cage driven through the streets on a cart.’ He stroked his long grey beard to stop his hands from shaking whilst looking from side to side checking that no-one was listening.

‘Where? Who saw them?’ Cyrances asked urgently, desperate for information about her two children.

‘A young slave. I overheard him in idle chatter amongst the slaves, yesterday He knows no more, only that they were in the hands of Amurabis’s men, and that other children were caged with them.’

Cyrances wiped her eyes and breathed deeply to compose herself. She was relieved to hear news of her children but alarmed as to what fate awaited them.

‘Th-Thank you, Urkal,’ she stuttered.

‘I only wish my tidings could have bore more hope for you.’ Urkal gazed mournfully at Cyrances, then turned quickly. A tall dark haired man strode purposefully from the temple. A fearful look passed between Urkal and Cyrances. Had they been overheard by Zekel? He walked towards them, his sly dark eyes observing them intently as though he was trying to penetrate their minds.

‘Gossiping with slaves now, Urkal?’ He glanced with contempt at Cyrances and brushed the side of his long dark skirt as though he may have been contaminated with fleas from her.

‘No – No. I was just reminding the slave to change the sacrificial offerings to Hakken, our God of War.’ He turned to Cyrances. ‘Find Ammen or Kanukka. They will slit the throat of a young goat for you. Now hurry!’ he scolded her. ‘And when you have done that, make sure you sweep this courtyard again. It isn’t good enough.’

‘Yes – Yes, my lord. I am sorry. I will hurry.’ Cyrances kept up the pretence and vanished through the arched entrance.

‘Good to see you are keeping her busy. Work her to a standstill until she succumbs to Amurabis are our orders. Flog her if necessary,’ Zekel chuckled.


Cyrances squinted at the bright sunlight hitting the marbled floor beneath her feet. Damp tresses of dark hair clung to the sides of her face. The morning was already uncomfortably warm. How had this happened? Her fall from Queen of Nephatimis was almost complete but she would not succumb to Amurabis’s demands that she join his harem. He would have to kill her before that happened. Tears of anger and sadness glistened in her dark brown eyes as she thought back to the days when she ruled this land with her husband, King Hannouken.

The people truly worshipped King Hannouken. Many years ago, his descendants had the vision to transform the village settlements along the banks of the two rivers – the Nisai and the Ephramun – into a thriving inland settlement by means of land irrigation. No longer would the people have to eke out a living on meagre crops and a few animals. Vast fields of wheat and barley now thrived in the once desolate flatlands. Groves of date palms, olives, oranges, lemons, pomegranates and other trees swayed in the warm winds offering fruits to the people and shade to the large herds of sheep and goats grazing beneath them. The settlements grew into thriving cities surrounded by man-made canals that allowed merchant ships to sail out into the Galgao Sea to do trade with neighbouring countries and islands. As a result almost one hundred thousand people now inhabited Anun, the main city of Nephatimis.

The centre of the city was occupied by sprawling bazaars and workshops for craftsmen who turned out beautiful trinkets and jewellery, finely crafted pottery, richly woven carpets and rugs, garments of the finest silks and cotton. The air was rich with the aroma of countless herbs and spices, exotic fruits and vegetables. People thronged through the winding avenues and streets of comfortable white bricked houses and mansions in a hubbub of noise and excited barter and haggling.

No one went without in the reign of King Hannouken and Queen Cyrances for this land of plenty was shared with all strands of society. All able bodied were in some form of employment or education and the old and the sick were comfortably cared for.

There were occasional skirmishes between the rival cities, arguing over irrigation rights and petty jealousies. As a result all cities were protected by towering walls and each boasted its own army. Amurabis commandeered the ten thousand strong army of Nephatimis. Amurabis himself had been brought to Nephatimis as a slave, working in the temple for the Grand Sorcerer and either by luck or cunning had eventually gained his freedom. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to he joined the army and swiftly powered through the ranks by his ferocious strength and bravery which no one dared to question.

Had they been asleep to Amurabis’s plans? How had the army of King Hannouken, to whom it sweared its allegiance, turned on them? The morning they dragged King Hannouken from his slumber had left deep scars in Cyrances’s mind that could never be healed. The look of bewilderment on his face as he was jostled from his wife’s embrace by brutish guards, their demonic eyes glowering wildly, insane laughter cackling from sneering mouths. Cyrances never saw her husband again – not as she knew him that is. His kind smile. His loving eyes. His gentle words. The last time Cyrances saw her husband’s face was when Amurabis forced her to the city’s gate to view King Hannouken’s head impaled on metal spikes.


‘That’s awfully mean of Pater, don’t you think? Do you never get jealous of Pater’s ladies? I mean to say, Pater was mawwied twice before you came along and wescued him.’

‘Jealous? Jealous?’ Mater chuckled to herself. ‘No, of course not Agatha. It wasn’t Pater’s fault his mawwiages didn’t work out, you know. His first wife, Ophelia, suddenly decided she wanted to be a man and had the mawwiage annulled so she could have a gender change. And his second wife, Heidi fwom Hanover, why, she suffered fwom tewwible home-sickness and wan off with a German shot-putter duwing the Munich Olympics of ’72. By all accounts, according to Pater, she looked like she was the one who undertook a gender change.’

‘He does like his ladies on the large size, doesn’t he Mater? Not that you’re large, Mater. I’d say you’re more…more….’

‘Voluptuous is the word you’re looking for, Agatha, my dear.’

‘Is it?’ Agatha frowned and blinked her magnified owl eyes quickly.

‘Yes, voluptuous,’ Mater purred and became dreamy eyed.‘Why, when we were courting, Engelbert used to say I weminded him of Mae West.’ Mater then smiled provocatively and spoke in an American accent of sultry tones, ‘When I’m good, I’m vewy good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.’ Mater’s face suddenly flushed red and she squealed in embarrassed laughter as though she couldn’t believe as to what she had just said.

‘Oh Mater!’ Agatha laughed. ‘You’re such a scweam.’

Mater quickly fanned her face with a tea towel. ‘My Lord, I don’t know what came over me. Must be the fumes fwom the beetwoot wine.’ Mrs. Sparrow giggled and caught her breath and continued in a more controlled manner. ‘Oh, Pater knows which side his bwead is buttered. Gweat Gwandpapa Howatio made his fortune in tea plantations. If ever Pater seems to be getting too fond of his ladies I just ask – “more tea Vicar?” and smile innocently. Engelbert soon falls back into line.’

Mother and baby owl exchanged innocent smiles and burst into owlish hoots.

‘You’re such a card, Mater,’ said Agatha as a flash of inspiration to match Mater’s cunning sparked through her mind.

‘I say, Mater. Surely you don’t need to give all twelve bottles of beetwoot wine to the fete. Why not save a bottle or two for you and Pater? Help with Pater’s migwaine after an evening with his ladies? May even spark off Pater’s memowies of the wesemblance between your good self and Mae West’

‘Hmmm,’ mused Mater. ‘I say, Agatha old girl. That could be an excellent idea. An excellent idea indeed. Although Pater does find it exceptionally powerful stuff. On second thoughts maybe not.’

‘But surely Pater needs it, if only for medicinal weasons. You know how cwanky he can be if he gets a migwaine.’
Mrs. Sparrow hesitated and strummed the edge of the cardboard box with her podgy fingers. ‘Well, maybe just one tiny glass. I suppose one tiny glass can’t do any harm – can it?’

Agatha grinned. She knew full well that Pater would soon get a taste for the beetroot and Mater would resemble Mae West more and more with every sip. Slipping out to see her bestest friend in the whole wide world would be a piece of cake. Yes, thought Agatha, the Lord does work in mysterious ways.


‘I’ve had a tewwific time, Mater. Emily is such a dear fwiend. She’s my bestest fwiend in the whole wide world. I can’t wait to call on her tomowwow.’

‘You won’t be calling on that demon girl tomorrow or any other day, Agatha,’ the Vicar interjected, eyeing Agatha sternly through the rear mirror of the car. ‘She’s the Devil’s child is that one. The seed of Satan.’ He crunched the gears in annoyance.

‘B-But Pater…..’

‘No buts child. You will be coming to the Church Fete tomorrow where we can keep an eye on you, my girl.’

Agatha frowned and begged Mater sitting by her side with pleading eyes. Mrs. Sparrow blinked her owl eyes rapidly and patted Agatha’s knee reassuringly. ‘The Lord works in mysterious ways, Agatha. Mysterious ways indeed.’

Agatha smiled, knowing the Lord would probably help her without upsetting Pater too much.

Just then a blur whizzed past the side of the car. ‘Oh, look Mater. Why, I do believe it’s Michael!’ Agatha pointed excitedly at the large figure cycling down the pavement, wending through pedestrians like an Olympic skier on a slalom course.

‘God preserve us!’ snapped Pater. ‘Is that troll another one of your new friends?’ The Vicar’s voice squeaked in fear. He pulled at his dog collar and stretched his neck as though trying to escape the responsibilities of his garments before the demon turned on him.

‘Why, n-no P-Pater,’ Agatha stammered.

‘Tell me child. Have you been associating with that brute.’

‘N-No Pater. Definitely not, Pater.’

The Vicar’s eyes burned into Agatha’s reflection. ‘God will know if you are lying Agatha. I will ask you one more time. Have you been fraternising with that monster?’

Agatha gulped. Her magnified owl eyes looked up at Mater for some guidance but none was forthcoming.
‘N-No, Pater. You must believe me. I just know him from school.’ Agatha denied Mad Mick’s friendship for the third time. Agatha squeezed her eyes shut tight. A cockerel crowed from the allotments by the side of the road. ‘Forgive me St.Peter,’ Agatha muttered, praying she wouldn’t be crucified upside down for her sins.

‘Humph!’ The Vicar grunted and crunched the gears yet again as he slammed the gear stick into fourth and accelerated into an unfamiliar speed.

‘You can help me with the beetroot wine when we get home, Agatha,’ Mater smiled. ‘Pater has his ladies coming round. He won’t want us under his feet.’


Ben somersaulted through a tunnel without walls, a dazzling brightness pulling him towards its centre. Nothing remained of Ben’s body, he was a thought in a sea of consciousness with an infinite knowledge of everything that had passed and what was yet to follow. Any fear had melted away with the molecules of his existence. He was an electrical impulse now travelling through the matrix of reality stopping occasionally, dripping through a fibre of energy into a scene of life.

‘She’s murdered him!’ Henrietta screamed, her red rimmed eyes bulging crazily from their sockets. ‘I knew we shouldn’t have let him go off with that thug. He’s her accomplice.’

Percy affectionately stroked the tactile photo frame standing on the mantle, gazing into Ben’s blue eyes underlined with deep shadows.

‘Well…What are you going to do about it, Percy? Eh? What are you going to do?’

Percy shook his head, frustrated by his wife’s hysterical rants and gently embraced her.

‘There’s nothing we can do, dear. We must leave the police to get on with their investigations.’

Henrietta pulled at a handkerchief, held between her bird-like hands, as though she was about to rip it apart. Veins bulged between the sinews of her neck. She jumped up from the two-seater settee and grabbed a plastic model of Darwin’s ship, The Beagle. She flung it to the floor and jumped up and down on it until it was scattered across the carpet. Franklin, the family’s highly strung Yorkshire Terrier, scurried from beneath the drop-leaf table and scampered into the kitchen.

Ben tugged at his Mum’s dark green cardigan.

‘I’m here Mum. I’m okay. Mr’s O’Kell is innocent.’

Henrietta rushed back to the settee and buried her head into a floral cushion, sobbing wildly. Percy stooped to salvage what he could of his plastic ship. Ben tapped his Dad’s shoulder.

‘Dad, I’m here. Everything’s going to be okay now. You can call the police. Tell them to release Mrs. O’Kell.’

Percy rubbed his forehead and sighed heavily. That ship had taken him two months to complete. How could she? How could she? He placed the largest pieces onto the table and went to the kitchen. Ben followed him.

‘Dad! Dad! Can’t you hear me?’

Percy rummaged through a cupboard beneath the kitchen sink and pulled out a brush and pan set.

‘Dad! Dad!’ Ben shouted but Percy didn’t respond. Franklin did though. He ran to Ben and sat at his feet, jumping up at him and barking excitedly.

‘Whatever’s got into you?’ Percy snapped angrily at the small terrier jumping up at empty space, and left the kitchen.

Ben shook his head despondently and stroked Franklin’s head. ‘You can see me. Why can’t they?’ Franklin wagged his tail and licked Ben’s hand. ‘What am I going to do, Franklin? What am I going to do?’

Ben didn’t have time to wait and find out as his body was sucked back into the meshwork of his perceived reality. His existence raced through a network of holographic dimensions and streams of thought until it dropped into another reality, as water would fall from a dripping tap.





The arrows split the gnarled bark as two small figures dived behind it’s protective shield.

‘I can’t run anymore. I can’t….I can’t….I can’t,’ the frail boy cried.

‘We have to. They’ll kill us this time if we stay. Come on Mezbah. Grab my hand.’

Baying hounds accompanied the ominous sounds of the long hunting horns, their slender golden bodies glistening in the dappled sunlight.



Two spears vibrated in the large tree trunk, their shafts shivering, emulating the fear quivering in the boys’ hearts.

‘Leave me. You go. I want to die. Let me join our Father in the Otherworld.’

‘No,’ Nampur hissed, grabbing his brother’s arm and dragging him to his shaky feet. ‘You’re coming with me. We’re nearly there. Look!’ Nampur pointed to a sandstone wall at the edge of the forest. A golden gate adorned with serpents’ heads stood ajar, tempting them to take the next few strides to safety……………….or death.

A loud crack of twigs diverted their attention. A young boy darted from the safety of the foliage, his eyes screaming alarm. He ran for the open gate but stumbled in a mass of trailing vines. He rose to his feet and glanced at the excited shouts behind. A flurry of arrows thudded into his back dropping him to the ground like a trembling porcupine.

‘Now,’ screamed Nampur dragging Mezbah towards the exit before he had time to object. Twisting black arrows whistled past their ears and smashed against the stone wall. Frenzied yapping yelps increased in volume as the hunters released the pack of tesem, ferocious hunting hounds, used by Amurabis, the ruler of Nephatimis to appease his lust for hunting children.

The Magical World Of Spirit

6 years ago I thought anyone into Spiritual stuff and mediumship was away with the fairies. That was until I was railroaded into this arena. I attended an evening of mediumship with my wife. The medium asked me to stay behind after the show. He said I had the gift and advised me to visit a Spiritualist Church to learn meditation. I attended 2 sessions at a local Spiritualist Church and behind stifled laughter I listened to tales of their meditation experiences. I decided it wasn’t for me.

2 years later, my wife dragged me to another evening of mediumship. Again, this medium told me I would be working for the Spirit World in some form or other and she told me to attend meditation classes. I laughed but I was also intrigued. Why was I being told this again? Nervously, I attended the meditation class again. The teacher remembered me and asked why I had left. Embarrassingly, I told her that I found it all a bit silly and thought they were all nuts! She smiled and reassured me that it was real and that it would all unfold slowly, so I persevered and very slowly my belief that this 3D World was all that existed began to fade away.

Over the last 4 years, I have caught a butterfly spirit orb on video. I have been transported to other dimensions (which always leave you with regret when you return) and I now have a Spirit Guide called White Arrow channelling through me. There are an infinite number of invisible dimensions all around us if we will open up our minds and hearts to the possibility. There is so much more to this life if you are willing to open up your minds and expand your consciousness.

Never Give Up

‘Something Inside So Strong’ by Labi Siffre. That is a song I play over and over again whenever some injustice has been done to me or if I need to build my Spirit up so that I keep going and don’t give up. It is such an inspirational song about the apartheid imposed against the indigenous South African black people. If I was a coach of a rugby or football team I would have that song blasting out in the changing room. The words would certainly fire any team on to success.

You should never give up no matter what life throws at you. It is so easy to give up but so very difficult to keep going. It gets more difficult the older you get, but you should always try your best to persevere. The top sports people, the top business people they don’t give up. That’s why they are successful. Defeat is for losers.

The moment you give up could be the moment that success was just about to knock on your door. When you are at rock bottom in health, finances or emotionally and you are just sick and tired with life that you would rather end it all, pray with all of your heart and your words will be answered. The answer to your prayers may not be spontaneous for your Spirit is being tested. Diamonds and gold are created after enormous amounts of pressure and heat over thousands of years. So it is with your Spirit. If your Spirit did not go through pain and suffering, it would never grow. When your Spirit has overcome all of life’s trials and tribulations it will shine so brightly it will blind you. Those are the words of Labi Siffre not mine.

So remember, in every one of us there is something so very very strong. It is the Great Spirit within you. Trust in the Great Spirit around you and you can only succeed.

Out Of The Mouths Of Children

I am a chocaholic. I love chocolate and I need my fix of chocolate every day. I remember one day, when my son was about six years old, I bit into a chocolate bar that I had been looking forward to eating. As my son entered the room, I slowly hid the chocolate bar out of his sight so I didn’t have to share it and I covertly broke off another piece of chocolate and stuffed it into my mouth whilst my son played with his toys. Whilst I was enjoying the smooth taste of the chocolate, my son came over to me and pulled a bag of sweets out of his pocket and asked me if I wanted to share his sweets with him!! I felt so ashamed. What depths had my love of chocolate dragged me down to?

On a serious note, here was my little boy, teaching an adult how to selflessly share what was his. We can learn a lot from little children. They see the world with complete honesty. They have no prejudices against the colour of a person’s skin, or religion or financial status They live for now. They have no ego. Theirs is a world of magic and fun. Theirs is a world of Spirit.
Maybe we should look to the little children to learn how life should be lived. If you are wondering, I gave the rest of my chocolate bar to my young son.


When we were children we believed in fairy stories and wizards and magic potions. We believed in flying carpets and genies in bottles who would grant us three wishes. We believed in Father Xmas and the tooth fairy. It was a magical world to live in and it was so real to us as children. As we grow in to adults we have this magical world taken away from us and it is replaced by a scientific material world. If it can’t be proved by science then it isn’t real. We are controlled by governments, the media and financial institutions. You get a job, pay your taxes, get married, have children and die. We are conditioned, brainwashed and controlled. The magical world of childhood has had an evil spell cast upon it and it has been turned into a drab grey weary life.

It doesn’t have to be like this though. You can remove this evil spell. Still your mind and expand your consciousness and you will open up the doorway to the magical world of Spirit. There are infinite dimensions all around but you don’t believe in them because our amoeba sized brain and five tiny senses can’t see or hear them. The only obstacle is you and your material mind of doubt and disbelief but open up your heart and mind and the magic will slowly unfold before your very eyes. You will be laughed at. You will be ridiculed and scoffed at. Old friends may turn away from you. Your life may be turned upside down, but with trust and patience all the knowledge of the Universe will be yours and everything is possible. Now that’s magic.