Dog House carpentry projects

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Build your own doghouse:

Some of us are not as creative or skilled enough to design our own doghouses. This instructional document is to help the novice or semi-experienced carpenter to create their own doghouse for their children or even pets.

This doghouse was specifically built in a certain manner. The picture on the front cover was the doghouse built for this plan.

Some modifications were made to simplify this plan for the novice. However the original was designed to be 4x6x5 doghouse with insulation. There are options to place doorways in different places.
There are also 2 different doorway sizes, (1’6”x 2’0” and 2’0” x 2’6”)

There are two different plans: one plan is for the doorway to be in the front (The four foot section) and another plan is for the doorway to be on the side. (On the back half of the six foot side.)

These instructions are a guide to build a 4×6 doghouse that is roughly five feet tall. The housing area is one foot from the ground and the roof is five feet from the deck.

On Kindle

For Nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dog-house-ronald-rex/1117524681?ean=2940148276319

 

Here’s a simpler plan for a 4×4 doghouse.

 

 

Then there are many other guidebooks:  Check out this trailer

 

 

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The Last Dark Weapon: fantasy excerpt

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12

The ship’s creaking and groaning was a rhythmic sound, even with the random intervals of a ripping saw echoing below the deck. The waters of the Lunerdeen River splashed against the hull, rocking the ship in odd sideways turns. Ka’s eyes lingered across the ship’s deck, consuming the sounds of random hammers that clanged underneath the deck and the saw that ripped into wood. Tirelessly, the Dead repaired the vessel as it sailed.
A dead soldier used his arm as a pin as the workers labored to rebuild the pinrail surrounding the mizzenmast. Two Dead cleaned the deck, scraping off barnacle and coral from the green wood; three Dead coiled ropes around pins and their arms; Dead soldiers patrolled along the battens. Remtil watched.
The magic shimmered against the patched sails, and pushed the ship against the westerly wind.
The Great Harbor of Lear drifted into the eastern horizon, and the night sky emerged out of the dusking sun. As the Great Harbor echoed with renewed noise of war; the armies, the wagons and torches disappeared behind the darkness of the Lunerdeen River. The roar of a new battle fizzled into a whisper and then a memory. The war quaked to a start like the low rumble of thunder before the dark clouds rolled over the sky.
The ships cruised silently against the river. Across the southern shore, the abandoned ruins of Minor Lear stretched from stone to woodland.

 

Learing once ruled most of the south and some of the northern shore, but the Learing had been pushed out by the Esnors from the north and the Saelish from the southwest. Minor Lear had been their capital city in the center of the Learing Empire, but now it was known as Minor Lear. At first, the Grismers named it Minor Lear to needle the Learing’s ego, but eventually the Learing accepted it. Ka was sure that the Lear were trying to retake enough land to overcompensate for their losses from an age too long ago, for no one who was old enough to remember. Even for a Lear.
Minor Lear was a desert of stone and random trees. A tower stood high in the middle of a forest, an abandoned dock sat alone along the Lunerdeen shore, and sagging walls drooped over a ridge. After seeing the capital of Lear, Ka could only imagine that the old capital had been just as magnificent. Enlarged beetles were the remaining habitants roaming about the ruins, but no Learing or Saelish were present.
Suckle moths swarmed about the ship, tiny creatures latching and nibbling onto flesh. Ka and Draft swatted away the moths, but the Dead continued to labor without hesitation as the troublesome insects nibbled at the few strands of flesh clinging to their bones.
Ka glimpsed at Draft when she thought he wasn’t looking. She was amused by they way he dawdled on the deck. The suckle moths’ flapping wings matched the patter of her heart as she considered touching Draft’s arm like she had in Lear. The memory of the feeling warmed her heart in the cold night. It scared her to have these feelings for him. She thought they had to be wrong, a mistake. A family with him was impossible, so she presumed such feelings were unnatural.
A Dead worker scraped the deck in front of her. Ka searched through its black sockets; she considered that the soul was trapped somewhere in that body. Mindless Drolls serviced to Remtil. She figured Remtil was planning to use the Dead for more than just building a ship and ferrying them across the river. She would have asked, but Remtil spent most of his time isolated. None of them argued, otherwise.
Remtil postured on the poop deck, watching the eastern horizon. The Firthtin moon returned the favor by eyeing him. He was motionless, silhouetted by the moon. The eerie Doren gave her pause, and she tried to ignore him. But she could not help but wonder about his motives, or his new army. She was naïve about his motives when he had helped her destroy the Warlock, but the shadows that had roamed his castle gave her hesitation to approach him as a friend. Remtil’s heart was not like her own and was misplaced in the world.
Remtil gave orders to his army with the slip of a casual spell from his lips. He sometimes raised the Book of Elements to his eyes and read the menacing spells aloud. At the last spoken word, the Dead would pause and then shift to new duties. The Book had changed as well. Ka would have asked about it, if she did not fear his cryptic personality. His change bothered her.
Her eyes found Draft leaning against the bowsprit, trying to be inconspicuous amongst the Dead. Ka knew he could disappear into a living crowd, witnessing him in the Blentiun Legion and the Lear village, but she figured he felt uncomfortable around the dead army. His living form was a stark contrast to their emotionless features. Ka smiled. She thought it was cute the way he tried to hide his discomfort in the unhallowed environment.
To Ka, it seemed normal going through one alien environment after another, like a casual walk through a typical village; passing Doren surrounded by shadows, under tree spiders and talking snails, meeting Lucefaun cryptically standing in her burnt village, a garden of insects tending for tree creatures; a border of upside down trees and floating rocks. To Draft, it wasn’t worth stealing.
She watched a tiny spider crawl across the pages of her book, and she was content to watch it cross until it reached the edge and dropped off. It scampered away and then spiraled over the side of the ship. She guessed even the unhallowed state of the Dead was too much for the simple insect. Again, she looked to Draft while amused by her thoughts.
Draft turned his head to see Ka smiling at him. He reciprocated a queer smile and then pretended to stare at the Trellid Moon that washed his body with light. When she realized her error, Ka wiped the smile from her face and reminded herself that Draft was a liar and a thief.
Ahead of the ships, a stray raft drifted down the river; its stern was submerged. The raft bounced off the caravel and slid into the larger hull of the cruiser before plummeting. Other debris came from the west and seemed to suck under the cruiser’s hull as they passed. Another ship perhaps? There was nothing evident on the western horizon, no ships, no fleet, not even a rowboat for native fishermen, except for a submerged town and tall cliffs.
Tops of buildings emerged from the northern side of Lunerdeen. A pack of silent dogs huddled and played on the roofs, using them as docks, a Silent Dogs’ Wharf.
The silent dog was a strange creature, devoid of sound, not even a whisper. A vacuum surrounded the creatures as they amassed to playing and eating random parry sharks. Something in their rubbery and dark-gray skin absorbed the sound that any other animal could produce.

 

Naturally, the creature used its abilities to determine direction and distance of their enemies so they could avoid them. They weren’t vicious by nature but an intruder could be knocked away quickly. Two long pectoral fins on each side eased their passage through water, three fluke caudal fins tailed the creature and four pectoral flippers propelled from the front. Its size and mass could overwhelm any outsider.
Ahead of them, the cliffs shadowed over the drowned city, the home of Pendle, the maker of the magic sapphire that was lodged in Ka’s hand. His desire had been to make pure magic that could only be wielded by a good person; it had drove him to perfect such items till his death. After the war, the Learing nobles had concluded it was their corruption of magic that forced them to lose so much land. Pendle had been killed by his own soldiers and buried under Esnor boots.
Ka arose from her sitting position and made her way to the starboard side to get a closer look at the creatures. Five dogs rubbed against the hull, enticing the ships to play like they were larger silent dogs. Tired and annoyed of being ignored by the large vessels, they swam back to their wharf. Their blubber and skin was worthless to any butcher, collector or hunter. Pendle managed to create membranes from their skins, and now those membranes roamed the Whistling Trees.
She began jotting notes about the creatures in the book of Creatures Past. “Mistress Ka?” It was Draft being more respectful than usual, and she barely nodded in response. “Can we lose the dead army and its master?” She paused from writing in her journal, considering the emotion behind the question. “I don’t trust him. Or his dead,” Draft added.
“I don’t think he can follow us too far. Not if we are to sneak past the Saelish unnoticed.” Ka thought for a moment and added as Draft began to shuffle away in disappointment from her answer, “Or anything else that may lie dormant out there.”
“What do you mean by that?” Ka never answered, thinking the thief was good as gone once they reached the shore.
The bridge and Pendle’s Mine had been swallowed under water since the river had been rerun by the Esnors, but the mine was still attached to the sunken city that was now the Silent Dog’s Wharf. On the eve of the two moons eclipse, the waters would recede to reveal the bridge, making it possible to enter the mine. She learned this from the pages of Notes of the Three Moons. The writer of the book was unknown. It always bothered her that she couldn’t investigate the author as much as the material in the book. But the person appeared to understand the moons.
The Exiled Moon drifted into the heart of the great Trellid Moon. The encompassed eclipse of the two moons darkened and then brightened. The power of the frail third moon coupled with the strength of the Trellid Moon pressured the river waters to succumb to its demands. The waves billowed in torrent and childish fits. The quaking water disagreed with bowing to the moons, but it conceded.
The water receded. A stone bridge emerged from the angry waters and was illuminated by the Trellid Moon. Connected to the Silent Dog Wharf, the bridge led on a curved path into the dark entrance of Pendle’s Mine. As the moons revealed the bridge, the crashing waves scared the silent dogs to dive into the river and swim towards the farthest buildings. The bridge was more intact than Ka had suspected; decorated in Learing sculptures, still grappled in angry profiles while killing large insects.
Draft was quick to hug the starboard side railing, eager to get off the ship. He was so intense that he looked like he was going to leap into the river and swim after the silent dogs. Grodic formed into his bipedal shape and saddled to Ka’s side also anticipating the loss of Remtil and his Dead. Remtil was nowhere in sight, which proved helpful to Ka so she didn’t have to feign an insincere goodbye.
The duo craft steered into the wharf and gently rubbed into the nearest building. Grodic was the first to hesitantly step onto the roof, taking subtle pokes with his foot. He smiled and reassuringly signaled the others to follow. Draft leapt onto the roof, and Ka followed close behind after taking another look behind her to find the mysterious Doren Thist.
The sails unfurled and the battens swiveled as the ship groaned. The ship twisted from the building and drifted backwards from the wharf; then breezed to the northeast. It headed straight into the northern shore like it intended to ram through it. Ka saw Remtil shadowed on the poop deck while holding out the Book of Elements. He had come out of hiding, just in time to direct his next mission. It was not necessary for Ka to hear the words from his lips; she was sure he was casting more spells into the air, fouling it with his toxin.
She became nervous while pondering his motives and the changes he had made to himself and to his kingdom. She regretted having to allow him to proceed to his ambiguous quest without trying to leash him. She knew he could enact terrible things without the slightest care. His motives were a mystery to her.
Ka noticed that Draft was beckoning her to follow him onto the bridge. She leapt behind him, catching his arm to avoid falling into the river. They exchanged pleasant smiles of relief, but then she quickly turned away in embarrassment. Internally, she verbally scorned herself for dropping her guard towards the thief. Perhaps it was the relief of exiting the ship of Dead, she concluded.
They sprinted across the bridge to reach the safety of the mine’s high ground before the eclipse ended. Ka and Draft were scared of drowning once the waters returned to their proper height, but Grodic only feared for Ka’s safety. Heedless, they rushed into the mine’s entrance and were swallowed into darkness.

 

Copyright 2010, 2014

 

by Jax E. Garson

 

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Tree of Sorrow, excerpt 7th edition

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8

While the storm brewed over the Chamber of Skills, the Sister of Terror seized the City of Tyrines. She surrounded it with the rumbling giant machines and then pulled in cage after cage of Soul Eaters. Like wild animals, the Soul Eaters vehemently gurgled and clawed at the soldiers. Wary eyes were passed between Derkbocas, wondering if their future lie in death or transformed into those creatures.
Sister of Terror walked atop the tallest machine, her shadow passing between hoarding gaps. Screeching commands, her voice grated against the baritone wind. She ordered the remaining Derkbocas to accumulate stones in separate piles; obsidian, black diamond, slate, coal and white chalk.
While the Sister of Terror brewed, the Blentiun soldiers napped against rampart walls, taking advantage of the lull in combat and recognizing that once the storm was finished that Terror would continue her assault. The Queen waited for the change, too exhausted to sleep and eat; her adrenaline trumped her needs. While considering her next move, she rubbed knuckles against her shield and sucked on her leather strap. It tasted sour.
On the top of the mountain and behind the walls of the fortress, many soldiers were more confident in their defensibility against the Sister’s attack, especially with the abundance of supplies reserved in the Chamber. Fenarius wanted their supplies behind them, rather than with them. She horded the extra supplies in the Chamber of Skills, too tall for the fodder to reach its height from the enemy’s original northern position.

 

She found this strategy helped strengthen their chances, allowing them to pull their supplies whenever they needed and avoiding the risk of them smashed. And it worked. When they retreated, they entered a stronger and heavier supplied fortress. They had the high point overlooking their enemy, the walls were better fortified and there was less territory for the Sister to hit. Even the Mastadonians felt more comfortable in the encampment. But it was a lie and Queen Fenarius knew it. The Sister of Terror gained better ground and the Tree of Sorrow.
Known as the Chamber of Skills, the fortress crowned the mountain. A few towers were erected on crests, and the back wall was lined with catapults. The floor was mountain stone, no planking was set down to make the walks between towers and ramparts easier to tread. Only rough paths crisscrossed between walls and battlements throughout the encampment. An elongated building stored most of the supplies to the south. The fortress’ simplicity made it easy to defend.
In the past, the Warlock used the fortress to experiment on Droll slaves with his dark weapons. When the Blentiun army had delivered it from the Warlock’s control, nothing had prepared them for the masses of dead souls abandoned in the fortress, stacked and piled like rotten planks. The Warlock’s soldiers had slept in the fortress, the farthest point they were allowed to keep from the Dominion. The Derkbocas had sacrificed sweet dreams for ghoulish nightmares to suffer while surrounded by carnage, just so they could put some distance between them and the Warlock’s evil. Still, their bodies’ stink permeated from the walls, even after so many years.
Histirin did his best to present his normal happy self while taking trips back and forth with a pot of stew for the hungry soldiers. Some of them refused to eat, but he placed a bowl next to their legs, hoping they would change their mind. He understood that their adrenaline from battle fed them a false sense of strength. He took on the burden to console their woes with food and laughter like he was still tending to his customers.
Histirin’s heart saddened when roaming its walls. The stone felt like hollow vessels like the life’s energy had been scared away and drained. It was a causality of so many innocent people sacrificed at evil’s altar. On other days, he felt embarrassment that his people could perform such horrible tragedies. It was a crime; they carried their sins for centuries before fully purged.
As they slept, night crept over the Tree of Sorrow. The storm drizzled down to a strong gust of winds and a few crackles of green. After rounding up the last of the Soul Eaters and locking them away, Sister of Terror stationed the machines around the Tree of Sorrow and shrilled new orders to the Derkbocas.
The Queen watched the ranks of the Sister’s army take formations, preoccupied with the Blentiun army staring from above. The Queen spotted Terror descending down the machine’s staircase, holding a strange creature in her claws. The Sister was a Grismer with silvery spots delicately marking her body. Her clothing altered shape and material like it evaporated into a gas and then reformed into something else. Her clothing seemed translucent at times as it shimmered and altered. She moved confidently through the conquered city. Terror did not concern herself with the Chamber and was preoccupied with the Derkbocas digging under the slate and obsidian mounds where the entrance led into the Tree’s underground tunnels.
After pondering Terror’s actions, Fenarius realized that Histirin was correct; the Sister was interested in the Tree and not the city. Although, she destroyed the city. Queen gritted her teeth, thinking they may have a lost a chance to impair the Sisters if they had burnt it down. But then again, she knew the Derkbocas would never have allowed it.
“They pursue the undergrounds of the Tree,” the leading Mastadonian spoke to her, giving out a wild yawn that shook his head. “How can we perceive their evil devices to conquer them?”
“I do not know. But we better think of something.” Fenarius sighed.
“Another approaches. It is of Death.”
Shrouded in four layers of garments from head to foot, Sister of Death emerged from the south forest, and a centipede wagon crawled after her with a content Esnor strapped to it. “That’s two of them. Where’s the third?” Fenarius whispered the comment to herself more than to the others who were crouched around her.

 
The Mastadonian glared towards the south once again and announced to her, “She curses to the south, guided by the lost souls of the two. They will die on their journey and they will fall. Many will perish in their wake, by Pain.”
Fenarius concluded that the Mastadonian had some psychic connection with Pain to divulge such accurate knowledge. “The two?”
“Yes.” He turned back to her, his eyes glowing and then diminishing.
“You have some sight?”
“No, I have a specific sight. That is why I came here with my regiment. The others travel another secret route to steal away our precious things. My people sometimes have a specific connection to others. We commonly have such sights with Trellids, but mine seems to gather around two.”
“Ka and Grodic.”
The Mastadonian nodded. “They are being incited to leave their people by Pain. And she will follow them.”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
The Mastadonian took a moment to comprehend the statement that the Queen said. “No, it is not.”
The Queen gave a wry smile, understanding that her people’s way of speaking sounded just as strange to them as they to her. “Are they in any immediate danger?”
“When the initial course took form five years ago, my people and I did not understand it, until much later. Then my visions closed in on the two creatures, an honored Trellid and his friend, the Nagling. My waves are present, not psychic. They tell me what has happened, not what is to come. Only the power of Firths can wield such thoughts. However at a young age, I was recorded to say ‘that a young creature was born to change.’ I am the Chropikae. The follower of Ka.”
Silently listening, Histirin then pointed out, “She can’t be far. These are the Three Sisters from Estillianes. They are not known to travel far from each other. And I’m not talking about distances. The Sister of Power uses the Three Sisters from Estillianes as one. Whatever one of them is doing, the other two are a part of it.”
Chropikae looked painfully at the Derkboca. The Queen noticed that the Mastadonians had a distasteful look that always expressed on their faces concerning Derkbocas; they pulled back their anger towards the Derks like swallowing a piece of vomit trying to make its way up the pipe. A prejudice clung to their minds; they hated the Derkbocas for the suffering of their people. In the beginning, many of her own people had to exercise tolerance from the same heated, angry burdens. But Chropikae was matching this challenge better than his comrades.
Chropikae asked the Derkboca, “How do you know such things about them?”
“Frizzel,” Histirin said the name, like he had just remembered it. “One of the Warlock’s personal agents, until he and the others were drowned in the magic pool to revive his life. The agents were my most frequent customers, and they would tell stories of the fall of Estillianes.”
Histirin inhaled slowly before he recited the tale. “The Three Sisters, who made the Temple of the Three and once maidens in a brothel, destroyed the Thist nobility. They apparently killed the other maidens by gas, fire and ice water. The one known as the Sister of Pain flood the basement with freezing water and trapped some maidens in there. The one known as the Sister of Terror gassed some others in their sleep. And the last, Sister of Death burned the brothel down. The three stood outside the walls as the fire consumed the last of the living and the dead. No one could save them. The doors were locked.
“Thus the beginning of the fall of Estillianes. No one’s called it by that name for years. Just knew the place as the Temple of Three. And that’s another wonderful story.”
Fenarius raised her hand. “I don’t need to hear that story. My husband spoke of it once and that was enough.” The Queen nodded. “Shardife, I think they are here to take back the Eastern lands. But they might see Ka and Grodic’s legacy to be something they have to quash.” She thought to herself, realizing that the empty city and the crumbled walls were not enough to gloat over their accomplishment. “There might be something else.”
“Estillianes?” Chropikae asked.
The Queen answered, “Small town south of here; east of the Brandy Shop. There’s a small inn that was built about three years ago, since the curse was lifted by Ka’s victory over the Warlock.”
“If she has power, perhaps such a small creature with the greatness of the Trellid can overcome the Sisters?” Chropikae inquired of the Queen.
“No. That was different. Her gifts were needed to destroy the Warlock.”
The Tree of Sorrow shuddered. The Sister of Death, the Esnor package and the Sister of Terror entered the underground passages. A calm whispered in sighs from the enemy Derkbocas as the Sisters left the battlefield. Once the Sisters were deep underground, their shoulders relaxed and they started to murmur to each other. Evidently, their fear of the Sisters kept them in disciplined lines.
The Derkboca from Tyrines, the Grismer from Gren and the Mastadonian from Masto were glued against the wall, failing to notice Jostil who approached from behind. Beaming with excitement, Jostil waddled up to the three introspective comrades. “We can do it.”
The Queen knew from experience that Jostil had a tendency to speak in sentences that were missing prologues and explanations. “You can do what?”
“We can fire on the machines without hitting the Tree.”
“You pounded the machines as they entered, but you couldn’t make a dent in that armor. I think you may have bent a couple of tubes…?”
“From the front, but not from the top. I inverted the catapults. They will toss them straight up, arc, and then land on those crowns. There is no armor around those areas on top.”
Fenarius turned to the besieged Tyrines and noticed the platforms filled with Derkboca archers and erected tents but no roof was present to cover their heads from the storm. The crenellation was made of wood and stone, but no hoarding protected from above, and the deck was simple wood planking. She beamed a bright smile. “Are you ready?”
“Well. Almost, yes… we’re aiming now. Twelve cats for eight machines.”
Histirin wrinkled a brow at the Queen. “Are you intending to hit them now?”
“They are stationary and very handsome targets.” Fenarius then spun to Jostil. “On my signal.”
“Yes my Queen. Catapults!” Jostil shouted as he ran back to position.
Histirin shrugged and looked back at the Tree of Sorrow. “I hope we miss the Tree.”
“I’m sure it will forgive us.”
When the enthused Jostil reached his station, he conferred with his operators. One by one they gave thumbs up signaling that they were aimed, armed and ready. Shuffling soldiers along walls and patting backs, the Queen wrestled to keep her people alert and prepared for another onslaught from the Sister. An excitement stirred in her as she anticipated the preemptive strike derailing the Sisters’ plans.
Once finished addressing her people, the Queen gave the first signal and the fodder was lit. She waited for the fires to consume most of the oil before signaling to release them into the air. At first glance, twelve balls of fire shot straight into the sky twirling like lost suns. The first fireball tumbled down and smashed into the closest machine’s crown. The ball of fire simmered for a few seconds as Derks rushed to quench it with water but then the crown collapsed. The fire spread throughout the mechanisms, and the Derkbocas jumped from the machine in sporadic directions.
The other balls fell, destroying five of the nine machines. The fire warmed Fenarius’ face as she smiled brightly at the mayhem that ensued throughout the city. She had angered the enemy so critically that the Sister of Terror stormed out of the Tree’s underground. She eyed the wrecked machines splintering and collapsing. Two machines timbered to the earth with a violent rumble, and the fire spread into the Soul Eater cages; the creatures screamed in violent frenzies as they were consumed in green flames.
Doubtless, Fenarius had her archers save their arrows, expecting the charging attack that was to march up the mountain. She didn’t want to attempt hitting the enemies circling in chaos. There would have been wasted arrows missing their targets. At least in a single file march, they would be able to bottleneck them.
The Sister of Terror may have been angered, but she soon honed her evil senses and herded her soldiers to gather obsidian in small canoe-shaped structures.
To the Queen’s left, Histirin remarked under his breath, “What is she doing?”
Shaking her head in agreement, the Queen knew it wasn’t good, whatever Terror was scheming. When the canoes were filled, Terror poured a liquid over them that melded the stones into solid spikes, and then the Derkbocas loaded the spikes into the four remaining machines. Before Jostil had time to reposition the catapults for another assault, four spikes speared through the air and landed beneath the Chamber walls, burrowing into the rock. Then the spears stopped. The stones sparked and sizzled into thousands of crystals converting, teeming like ants, and then burrowing farther into the mountain.
Signaling aggressively and yelling in accord, Fenarius waved frantically while pulling Histirin behind her, “Back off, back off, back off!”
Some of the soldiers heeded quick enough, pulling away from the battlements before it erupted into chunks of stone raining over the mountain, forest and city. Scraping hands and knees against the rock floor, Fenarius stumbled back to her feet and leaned into a fallen stone. She had no time to gather her senses when a fluttering sound thumped through the air, and she looked up to see two engrossed sapphires wobbling towards them. They plopped onto the mountain with a thud. The Queen waved for her people to back away while keeping a weary eye on the sapphires, awaiting for whatever dark magic to discharge.
Hundreds of smaller sapphires were congealed into one large sapphire, inherently sewed together. The sapphires began thumping in a reverberant heartbeat that grew in intensity. As the hearts pounded, the surrounding debris gravitated towards them and formed around the sapphire hearts. Soon, the sapphires and debris assembled into towering Mud Stalkers with hearts the size of wagons, and arms and legs the length of towers. As the debris pulled together, a poor soul was trapped between a crate and wood beam; he screamed to be set free while he dangling from the creature. Behemoths of bulk towered over the Blentiun army, heaving the final pieces of debris like inhaling a gulp of air, before triggering chaos through the Chamber fortress.

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The first Mud Stalker swept across two towers, crushing them to earth. Arrows and slung stones were fired at them but nothing penetrated the naturally armored behemoths.
Fenarius knew how to destroy the creatures by shattering their hearts and stammered towards Jostil to get into shouting range. “The hearts! Smash the hearts!”
The second Stalker smeared the east wall as its partner raked away soldiers before dumping them over the mountain’s edge. Bodies and debris flew in aimless directions as the Stalkers tore into every wall, tower and catapult that was in their path. Getting a catapult in functioning order, Jostil released a collage of swords, spokes, and balls into the Stalker’s chest. The collage bounced off the heart and scattered into its belly.
“We are done,” Chropikae proclaimed to the heavily panting Queen. It took her a moment to realize the truth of it and then she nodded heavily.
The Blentiun army once stood strong over the Eastern lands, defending them from the terrors of the Sisters; but today, they were weakened and fled while the Sister’s creatures wreaked havoc on the mountain fortress. In the hurry to retreat, soldiers pulled bodies from wreckage and then rushed down the mountain side, plunging into the south forest. Halfway down the mountain, Fenarius began coupling soldiers together to refortify their numbers into one unit before anyone was lost in the frenzied escape from the Chamber.
All at once, the army stopped near a circular stone sculpture. Soldiers checked the dragged bodies, some dead and others barely breathing free. They scrambled to tend to the wounded and buried the dead under a blanket of snow.
“They do not pursue us further,” Chropikae assured the Queen. She nodded in agreement; her heart pounding to aggressively to verbally respond.
Fenarius surveyed her surviving army and tried to pull a smile to her lips to extend some cheer into their hearts. She was accustomed to seeing looks of pride and joy in their faces, but today they felt their first defeat. She was uncomfortable being relied upon to focus their moods like a gear’s lever switching tracks. But it was her duty to drive their spirits high so it did not burden their bodies. A sad soldier could determine his own deathly fate by his mood.
Even under the blanket of a heavy winter, Queen Fenarius recognized the forest land. In her younger days, the forest would be flocked with leaping Dorves, and the tree branches would be filled with the whistling tunes from birds. As she reminisced, she saw the stiff body of a fallen bird buried in snow. Its glass eye was frozen like a jewelry bead.
For years, her family would track and hunt through most of the northeast forest. The trees and forest life were their backyards. They ate in the woodland at their own pleasure and spent more time out there than in their own home. Her grandfather would joke that they only returned home to clean out the cobwebs.
If someone had told her twenty years ago that she would marry into royalty, she would have laughed her socks off and knocked him from a bar stool. She could only imagine her future continuing the family lineage as trackers and trainers of lylecats. Nothing in her soul would have warned her of a different future.
She noticed a soldier making himself comfortable within the circle of the stone sculpture. Fenarius kicked him out of the hole, trying to avoid desecrating something she knew little about its origins. Even her family evaded the sculptures that marked the territory like vague memories of a lost race. Whatever fate that had befallen the ancient race, it drew a shiver down spines.
Ka had analyzed the mysterious sculptures for the Queen, but she had gathered little information about the remnants of the people who created the underground chambers under the Two River of Sauns and the many structures throughout the East and West. All the races knew that they were a powerful and secretive race that wielded magic at their leisure and destroyed at their pace. They offered gifts when it suited them and took what they wanted when they desired it. Other than that, they were a complete mystery to the races. Ka did learn that they were older than the Sisters. Fenarius never liked dealing with old remnants of a forgotten world. It made her weary of curses and things that she felt should be left to remain dead or asleep.

 

Copyright 2008, 2010, 2014

 

Written by Jax E. Garson

 

The second volume of the Fires Trilogy

The Three Sisters return to the east to re-conquer it. The loss of the Warlock and the advent of a stronger Eastern army has them troubled. Tree of Sorrow is a powerful symbol to the East and now it will be lost in the hands of the Three Sisters.

Queen Fenarius leads a mixed army of races to defend against the Three Sisters. With all their strengths, they are no match against the Sisters of Terror, Pain, and Death.

As the Blentiun army fights to maintain control over the Tree of Sorrow, the Pendle is causing Ka (the liberator of the East) immense pain. The magic weapon that helped destroy the Warlock is now useless in her hands and she must remove it before it kills her. Ka and Grodic seek out the Firthtins, hoping the power of such tree creatures can alleviate her of the mysterious weapon.

King Grove investigates the isolation of Parisonia. Many allies joined the Blentiun Kingdom in wake of the Warlock‘s fall, but now their alliance is fraying . His grasp on his kingdom is only skin deep but his loyal General is always there to prop him up. Between the oddly long and violent winter, the missing messages from Parisonia and the lack of news from his wife has King Grove concerned. He tries to present a hopeful outlook on the face in the midst of so much doubt, dread and dismal thinking.

The Three Sisters conjure a vile creature to stalk Ka. They know that Ka’s destiny interferes with the desires of the Sisters. Stalked by a monster, shunned by her people, burdened with pain, worshipped by believers and followed by a thief, Ka feels trapped between her hopes and her destiny, in the face of so many believers.

She now must make a choice to follow her destiny or abandon the races. Both choices leave her alone and abandoned.

Contains fantasy action

Watch this trailer:

 

Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tree-of-sorrow-eric-john-ladwig/1110599043?ean=2940014480598

Kindle (Amazon):

 

Buy on paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1478246421

Dog House carpentry projects

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doghousesm

 

Build your own doghouse:

Some of us are not as creative or skilled enough to design our own doghouses. This instructional document is to help the novice or semi-experienced carpenter to create their own doghouse for their children or even pets.

This doghouse was specifically built in a certain manner. The picture on the front cover was the doghouse built for this plan.

Some modifications were made to simplify this plan for the novice. However the original was designed to be 4x6x5 doghouse with insulation. There are options to place doorways in different places.
There are also 2 different doorway sizes, (1’6”x 2’0” and 2’0” x 2’6”)

There are two different plans: one plan is for the doorway to be in the front (The four foot section) and another plan is for the doorway to be on the side. (On the back half of the six foot side.)

These instructions are a guide to build a 4×6 doghouse that is roughly five feet tall. The housing area is one foot from the ground and the roof is five feet from the deck.

On Kindle

For Nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dog-house-ronald-rex/1117524681?ean=2940148276319

 

Here’s a simpler plan for a 4×4 doghouse.

 

 

Then there are many other guidebooks:  Check out this trailer

 

 

Chicken Coop w/ Sliding Shelves

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Chickenbox

Chicken Coop w/ Sliding Shelves

Instructions on how to build a 4x6x5 chicken coop, box shape, with ramp to reach second level. The back wall opens like a doorway to enter the back, slide out the nesting areas in order to clean or pluck eggs.

These instructions are a guide to build a 4×6 chicken coop that is roughly five feet tall. The housing area is 6” from the ground and the roof is five feet from the deck.

Cost: The price for the materials to build this project would be dependent upon what material that you purchase. Some lumber is more expensive than others. However, the original structure was built with standard pine so the general cost would be around $400, that would include hardware.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chicken-coop-w-sliding-shelves-ronald-rex/1121680408

 

 

By Ronald Rex, 2015 copyright

Animal Pack: coop, doghouse, birdhouse etc.

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animalpack

Animal Pack is an instructional guide to construct a 4×6 doghouse, a 4×6 chicken coop, a 6x6x10 fort, a birdhouse and a 3x3x3 cat fort. This guide is for the do it yourself carpenter who wants to fill his place with forts and structures for their many beloved pets.

https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Pack-Fort-Guidebook-19/dp/1721188142

 

 

Carpentry Instructions to build a Chicken Coop

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CoopCoverlrge

Build your own chicken coop:

This chicken coop was specifically built in a certain manner. The picture on the front cover was the chicken coop built for this plan.

These instructions are a guide to build a 4×6 chicken coop that is roughly three and a half feet tall. The housing area is two feet from the ground.

I would like to point out that the instructional drawings are not to scale. They are renditions to help visually explain certain details, not to be taken as scale models. They are approximate shapes and patterns but very easy to follow.

I would recommend that you thoroughly read the entire instructions before proceeding with construction. There are options, choices and special notes that may be of interest to you.

Cost: The price for the materials to build this project would be dependent upon what material that you purchase. Some lumber is more expensive than others. However, the original structure was built with standard pine so the general cost would be around $200, that would include hardware.

Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chicken-coop-ronald-rex/1117261985

Kindle:

 

Buy on paperback ($7.99)
http://www.amazon.com/Chicken-Coop-Fort-Guidebook-Volume/dp/1493790412/

Amongst the Shadows: Dystopian Sci Fi

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After the Earth was ravaged by wars, the governments collapsed and the corporations thrived. Humanity evolved with animals, converging human and animal DNA together making the breeds. Robin Luddites become crime bosses that hire contracts to balance out the corrupt corporations.

Darius Jones returns to Dallas to investigate the deaths of his brothers. After Darius’ supposed death and hiding for over ten years, he has to navigate through the corporate corruptions to find the killers. He assembles an unlikely crew to achieve his goals and runs into trouble every step he takes. The mystery reveals secrets to his own past that brought him to his current fate.

Gus Sips is a naive Loader, trying to find someone to hire him for criminal jobs.

Wimpy is a old school grunt. An arrogant mercenary who lives and breaths the chaotic gun toting, blood soaked streets of the dying cities.

Dr. Steiner is a quirky Tech Farmer, with little business and poorly run staff.

Magis Dern is a loud mouthed tool with little ambitions and various experiences.

Tu Fasse is a slick, clever woman. An escort on the side and a ruthless contract during the day.

With this team of misfits, it seems doubtful that Darius will come out of it alive but he has to try…because Gerrick was family.

This contains adult material, sex, violence, language and adult situations. Now with illustrations

 

End of Dry Days: classic high fantasy 9th edition

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End of Dry Days: ninth edition

newdrys

1
Where the sun rises from the south and sets in the north, the East suffered through wars from the Warlock’s army of Derkbocas. The Warlock was a mysterious sorcerer and harnesser of evil magic, punishing and reigning evil over the races. The Five Sisters wielded Warlock like a scepter so they could ruin the world and then controlled it.
The territories were divided by suspicions and prejudices; horrors partitioned between towns and cities, and curses lingered over the graves created by the Five Sisters.
The Derkbocas were an army of enslavers that acted upon the wishes of the Warlock. Their deep patrol ransacked the town of Naglim and herded the surviving Naglings towards the Warlock’s caves to serve his greed. Down a forbidden road and deep into the Doren Woods, they heeded none of the rumors of a vengeful spirit that destroyed travelers. They arrogantly believed that their master’s evil grasp on them would protect them against harm.
The Naglings were tired from the violence, weary of their doom but they were determined to free one of their people from enslavement. While their enslavers were mindless of their actions, the adults freed a nine year old child and coaxed her to flee.

EDDch1 029
Cut loose by her own people, Ka (Kae) raced through the open forest. She followed the thick and clumpy leaves like a paved road. On a normal day, she would have found the darkness suffocating and frightening, but not that darker night. That muggy night, the forest seemed open and free as she hurtled across overgrown roots and bushes, her raven black hair fanning behind her like a sail.
Her captors pursued aggressively, their boots clomping against the hardened earth in heavy strides. Their heavy groans and pants trailed behind her, bouncing against the gloomy haze. Her people were naturally agile and quick, but even with the three jointed legs, her captors kept pace like an enraged Lylecat.
A flash of lightning struck the night’s sky; no thunder responded after it. Another strike of lightning outlined the crumbling silhouette of a stone tower waiting up the hill. She altered her course for the stone walls, hoping to find the means to evade her captors. Behind her, she heard the faint whistling of an under-thrown spear; it thudded to the earth and rattled down a ravine. The fear of death put a maddened skip to her race.
If she could only lose them; lose their interest. What was one Nagling compared to all of her people? Why pursue this far when they have thousands to enslave? For that matter, why did her people assist in her release? Ka wondered.
Another strike of lightning filled the horizon with light and highlighted the crumbling tower from a forgotten kingdom in front of her. The lifeless tower was so much closer than she expected that she almost stumbled backward, as if the stone walls pursued her.
No longer was the tower able to fortify its battlements, protect against its enemies, or spy over its own people. Tonight, Ka would give it a chance to save one lost soul. She coiled inside a gash in the tower’s rock wall to enter its hollow entrance. The tower opened into a dark abyss. The rest of the castle was buried beneath her feet. There was no sign of battlements, ramparts, hoarding or castle’s peak.
She searched the horizon for her pursuers. She could not see their bodies but she could hear their harsh breaths approaching. They paused, slowing their pace and their breathing. Her pursuers’ hearing was better than most; their eyesight was worse compared to a Nagling who were gifted with excellent sight and was said to have been the offspring of fairy creatures of old.
At first, she saw no one. Their boots did not thud against the leaves. Their breathing was no longer hardened by the struggling gasps through thick air.
But then, there it was. A bulky form crossed up the hill, pausing every step while searching the surrounding woodland. They knew that she was close. She controlled her breathing by taking shallow inhales but nothing could stop the wild pitter patters of her heart. As the Derkboca moved closer, she slowly cowered into the tower’s gaping wound.
The lightning struck hard, and this time, the thunder howled after it. The storm was coming, but the third moon peeked like a spying eye between the clouds creasing the sky. The clouds were determined to storm, filling the sky and sending gusty winds to sway the trees, but the elements still avoided the third moon, allowing it to watch the Nagling from its perch in the night sky.
Ka wished the rush of howling sounds would disguise her thumping heart and heavy breathing. She had limited experience in the real world, a few outings beyond the Naglim border, but nothing as serious as the exciting things that she had read in books.
Lightning flashes lit the Derkboca’s harsh teeth, long and pointy daggers of ivory. The teeth were knives hammered into flat jaws that rattled against one another as they walked. Their faces were wrinkled with deep ravines that intertwined like many vines, and their eyes were large gashes cut into the faces. She had seen pictures of her captors before in school books; they had frightened her even into her ninth age. Those pictures did not give them the ugly tribute they deserved, she thought.
The armor and weapons complimented their deformed features, with overlapping straps and multi layers of metal and stone. The colors of their uniforms were mixed with grays and blacks with a spattering of white chalk that discharged a white powder puffing around their short and bulky bodies.
The second Derkboca emerged behind a tree, closer to the tower and young Ka. She held her breath and tightened her arms about her body to keep her pursuers from hearing her shiver. She wondered if they could sense her frightened soul. Many times, she had read about the unique magic that could sense creatures and detect ailing spirits. But she had no means to ward away their evils.
To calm her nerves, her fingers rubbed the fur that was beginning to grow on the outside of her left arm. She closed her eyes and mentally hummed a calming tune, something she did often when she was upset by her peers while trying to fall asleep in the orphanage barracks.
Peering around the tower’s side, Ka saw that the first pursuer had disappeared behind some growth, so fixed on the closer Derkboca that its peer had slipped from her mind. But the one that was closer seemed to gaze at her. It kept staring; its weapons rattling against the strength of the wind. It stared for long moments and then tilted its body towards the east.

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As she held her breath, she realized that tears were gently falling from her face. Could they hear the pittering of the tears on the leaves? Could the creature see her through the darkness of the night?
The Derkboca moved away while grunting to its comrade. In response, the other Derkboca emerged behind some trees and shrugged its entire body; it shifting and tilting like rings jostling on a pike.
Another flash of light beamed from the east, but it did not come from the storm. It was a bright blue that filled the forest on all sides and darkened the trees in red. The Derkbocas looked in the direction of the east where a shimmering figure hovered in a cold haze on top of a hill. The figure seemed out of place from the world like it was painted on top of another painting. Its body was translucent; a bluish shimmer flowed over its body. The ghost was armored and uniformed. By its angry but narrow eyes, Ka could tell that it had been spirited from the world but was never released from its burdens of duty.
A couple of seconds passed after the flash of light and then the Derkbocas crumbled like loose rocks scattering on the leaves; their weapons clattered to the ground.

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In one moment, Ka was relieved, and then her bewilderment became fear. The ghostly figure hovered over the crumbled corpses like Death loitering over the inevitable. The ghost turned towards Ka like it rotated on a pedestal revolve.
Ka was sure that the spirit could see through the dark night and spot her shivering form in the bowels of the tower‘s shadows. She shook her head like she could ward off its evil from penetrating her heart with such a simple gesture. The ghost continued to stare for long seconds, unwilling to release its gaze; fixing a quiet stare on her scared soul. It opened its jaw to speak but only the howling of the storm burst from its lungs. Her heart pounded in her throat; her hands slipped off the tower stones. She felt a cold breath touching her body, but instead of it coming from the ghost, it came from behind her, somewhere deep within the graves of the tower.
And then she fell.

***

She remembered her books. Lots of books lined the bottom of her bed, stuffed and stacked in long rows. Her favorites were tucked beneath her mattress and her current read was hidden beneath the pillow so she could paw its binding as she slept. They were all gone. Every word and every picture had been transformed into ash.

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The village was burned, and her people were enslaved. For years, the Warlock used Derkbocas to terrify and conquer the East. They slowly stormed through one village, a city, a town and then another, until there were no more free races. Her people had been next. Slowly, people were disappearing from the world, either by hiding, death or slavery.
She was sad for her people but she doubted that her village would be sad for her. She was no one of interest, just a curious child.
Ka feared that she would be alone in the world with no one left to share her interests. She may have been tolerated by the Mother, but she would miss the noise of the orphanage. She would miss her friend Phalae. Living there, she stood alone among the dozens of children who were abandoned by the death of their parents, just like her.
She saw the panic of her people. She saw the death of the few brave soldiers. She saw the buildings burn and crumble.
She thought that her people would disappear like many of the races who were destroyed by the Warlock and the Five Sisters. The Trellids, the Firthtins, the Caravoon, the Doren, the Brethren…

***

The columns looked like trees, giant stone trees carved from root to branch. Ka was not sure if the columns had been carved from stone or had existed as petrified trees. After so many years, the columns held the ceiling up, preventing the earth from caving inside, but the ceiling was cracked from vines, roots and stalagmites fighting for supremacy over a broken foundation.
She lay on the floor of a large room, the inside of once a great hall; the last remains of a castle trapped underground like a coffin. Behind her, a stairwell led into a dirt wall, never to ascend anywhere. Doors were broken, and archways were collapsed.
She noticed an orange glow emitting behind the column so she crawled around it and spotted the fire. The flames fanned fiercely as if attempting to fight away an abrupt death. Two ragged chairs warmed themselves in front of the blaze; a rickety table cradled some bread and water of to the side. The fireplace was once carved with unique designs of a language, now chipped and dulled. Above the fireplace, the portrait of an angry man glared forward but it retained its perfect colors, its beautifully etched frame and its angry brow.
Ka did not like the look of the man in the portrait; it upset her.
“You fell. You fell into my castle.” A man in a two layered robe strolled from behind the column. She did not think he was hiding, just that she hadn’t noticed him. His outer coat lay below the waist, and the second coat draped over the legs, dragging across the floor. The coats were different colors, but the fire’s vibrant glow prevented her from distinguishing the colors. His beard was lazy and so was his walk, but sad.
He pressed his fingers onto the table and it wobbled in disagreement. “Some measly scraps to rebuild your strength, and then you can go.”
“A ghost…” she began to speak of the horror she witnessed and then changed her mind. “He looks very mean.” Ka gestured at the portrait.
“My father was mean. Of course, when your kingdom sinks below the earth because of a curse…well, I will not bore you. I will not bore you with such trivial things that a young one cannot resolve. You have your own problems to contend with.”
Ka watched the food; her stomach agreeing with her mind that she must eat. As she eyed the food and crept toward it, the mysterious man scanned the young Nagling’s smooth and silky face as she brushed her long black hair back so none of it was eaten with the food.
Finding courage, she found the bread edible and the water went down well enough.

“There was a ghost. A…fuzzy creature that…”
“Yes. Yes, you had begun to speak of it but then turned away.”
“It destroyed them.”
“Odd,” the man considered. “Usually, it scares most away and destroys others. It destroyed others and scared you within. Very odd.” The man moved to a book that was set on the mantle and began to read the foreign tongue, muffling the words under hissing breaths.
Ka did not recognize the language, and she was the best in her linguistics class, familiar with all the current languages spoken aloud throughout the eastern lands. She assumed it was a dead language, or a forbidden one. She thought she recognized one word that meant “young noble one” or “princess,” what her people would call a “Free One.” Her proctors had been very encouraging with her studies, even for an orphan.
Naglings were also known for their education as well as their swiftness. They were not known for their abilities with steel or machines of war. Most of her people who had traveled to other lands would serve as advisors.
Ka had studied many of the races and had immediately recognized the Derkbocas from sight. Similarly, she recognized the man as one of the Brethren’s race. His nose parted down his face and then split into two nostrils wrapping around the cheek and facing the ears. The ears stretched long across the sides of the head and down the neck. The cheeks were lined with five gills that rippled when he spoke. The lump on his back was his hind arms, folded casually behind him. Making him appear like he were blind, his two eyes were completely green with no pupils or capillaries. This race was commonly known as Thist, but this one was obviously Doren, or what was left of the people.
“Why did it do that?” she asked between nibbles of bread.
“Perhaps you should ask him?” At the man’s suggestion, Ka’s eyes turned white while shaking her head. The man conceded, “Perhaps not. I would avoid him. You may have been lucky.” The man slammed the book close and then tilted to the side. He eyed her from that angle for long seconds. Ka was tired of being stared at for one night and pretended to look around the room. “Very lucky.”
“Who are you?” she asked.
“I am the last of the Doren. My people are gone or buried or migrated to another kingdom.” He pointed to the ceiling. “He was the only guard who was not here when the curse took place. He’s filled with emotion, as with most shades of the netherworld when they do not return in bliss. He must be filled with a feeling of regret or a desire to fulfill an obligation. An obligation usually set in stone, in prophecy. A prophecy foretold by some fool who no one would believe or listen to until everyone realizes their mistake. And here we are. A buried castle, a lost heir, a ghost roaming the walls, and a little girl.”
“I won’t be staying.”
“You most certainly will not. You may sleep the night off, but by morning, I will shove you out. Good night.”
The man of Doren stomped away and threw the door closed on the way out. The door clanged on the archway and defiantly crept back open. Ka watched the blackness through the doorway for a second. The man shifted from rude to curious like a teetering pendulum.
Ka curled into a chair with the least holes and stains, and tucked her legs beneath her jade tunic. She pawed about her clothes, checking the tunic for the book and the small dagger, and then patted the brown umber vest that carried the empty vial. When exploring the forest, she had used the vial to collect specimens so she could investigate their elements when returning to her books.
She pulled herself into a ball, a common shape she was taking recently, and laid her fingers against the line of fur on her left arm. Phalae was her favorite adult friend whose right arm had two lines running down it, but the Mother had shaved her line once a week.
Ka would have removed her small black shoes, but thought better of it, just in case she had to run again. Still scared but feeling a little safer, she felt compelled to be ready at the slightest noise, the eeriest of sounds; the harshest of calls.
She noticed the rug. At first glance she thought it was patterned in random shapes, maybe even stains. But it wasn’t. It was a map of the surrounding lands. Doren was centered; the Nagling homeland was in the wrong place. In fact, Naglier occupied more territory and lay closer to the other races. She studied the map trying to plot her direction for tomorrow. Eventually, her study hypnotized her to sleep.

***

Some sleep came to her but the cold awoke her randomly. Her knees quaked and her nose felt like an icicle. She pulled her clothes tight around her, but it did not help. Opening an eye, she looked to the fireplace and wondered why the fierce blaze couldn’t ward off the chill in her bones.
On the table, beetles fought over the few bread crumbs remaining on the plate. The portrait was covered in shadow, except the frame that shimmered lightly in silver. The book seemed to glow, but Ka assumed that was impossible.
A familiar cold feeling rushed through her body, starting with her toes and running up her body like racing beetles. Suddenly, she shook wildly to scare away the feeling. She felt eyes on her body, a focused glare following her emotions.
Ka saw the ghostly guardsman. At first, it appeared like a satin silk curtain wafting against the breeze that would flow through an open window. Then it shaped into the guardsman. She was not sure what to do; she remained quiet and still as if she could hope to outwit the ghost by pretending to be a statue.
The guardsman stood in front of the fireplace with open arms; the fire was still hot. The ghost moved through the blaze and into a room on the other side. Ka had not noticed the room before that moment. Still not sure if she should fear or trust the ghost, she watched it hover away. It patiently waited on the other side of the fire. She tried to convince herself that the fireplace was walled up and there was no other room on the other side of it; it could have been some evil and ethereal illusion. She shook her head defiantly, thinking she was delusional, tired, or still sleeping. She returned her gaze to the ghost and discovered it still there, waiting.
“I am not following you.”
The fire stopped. Like turning off a lamp, the logs ceased to burn.
Mostly out of curiosity, Ka stood from the chair and glanced through the opening. She wondered if it was possible that the ghost contained some magic and could wield it so easily. The guardsman had saved her from the Derkbocas and didn’t seem intent to hurt her. Although, she knew nothing about magic or the world of the “unliving” and couldn’t be sure. It made no sense to invite terror into her life; her unknown journey had spiraled her towards a frightening storm.
On the other side of the fireplace, there was nothing but the waiting ghost and more broken walls. Boldness pushed her, and she leapt over the logs. The excitement dissipated from her quickly after she took a long look at the ghost. The boldness drained away, leaving her pale and cold. Reconsidering her brash action, she checked the exit. The logs remained cool, and the opening remained viable.
Looking back, the ghost had vanished. In its place, a pedestal carried a sapphire winking at her. The sapphire blew shapes in the air like smoke from a pipe. First, it formed a dove, then a dagger, and last a crescent. She reached out to the gem but before she could touch it, it leapt from the pedestal and planted into her palm.
Pain.
The sapphire seared into her flesh, burrowing a hole into her hand. She opened her mouth to scream but she could only make a crackled squeak. Tears escaped her eyes. Her knees buckled and she dropped to the floor. When the sapphire stopped burrowing, she wiped the tears and sweat from her face with a sleeve.
She waited. Still, there was no ghost. She waited some more, keeping her palm facing down, too afraid to see what had happened to her hand. Thinking of the suffering she had been enduring, she was angry with the ghost, and then the Doren man, and even the Mother who treated her poorly. All of her feelings rushed through her like a rage mopping up memories in a series of brush strokes.
The sapphire glowed. It lit her face in blue light enveloping her hand and filling the room. Slowly turning her hand around, she saw that the sapphire was embedded like a stone dropped in mud. Desperately, she scraped at it to try plucking it out. Nothing worked. The sapphire was ingrained into her hand.
Tears returned to drench her face. “This isn’t fair!” she cried out. “No fair.” Ka slumped to the floor and pulled into a ball. “I don’t want this.”
“How did you get in there? What’s unfair?” The man of Doren peered through the fireplace opening, rubbing his hand on the stonework. “There was no opening here. How did you…?” He stopped. His head cocked like a dog’s ears sensing the pounding sound of boot heels marching against the crumbling stonework. He did not recognize the footsteps, only realizing intruders had entered his great hall. Ka knew the Derkbocas had returned for her. “Child, this hole in the wall must have an exit other than through the fire.” While he was speaking, he grabbed the book from the mantle and opened it towards the logs. He spoke two words and a fireball leapt from the pages and re-ignited the tired logs. “Find an exit.”
“No, there isn’t one…” While shaking her head in confusion, she spotted a staircase leading upward. Turning back to the fireplace, where there was an opening, there was now a wall. Behind the fireplace wall, she heard metal screeching against stone and the harsh grunts of Derkbocas. Another fire crackled louder than the fireplace, like someone had dropped a burning house into the room. She was familiar with that sound after hearing it when the Derkbocas set fire to every house in their Naglim village.
Without considering any more thoughts, she rushed towards the staircase and ascended.

Copyright 2008, 2014

by Jax E. Garson

If you enjoyed this except please feel free to purchase a copy or watch the trailer.

The Warlock enslaves, seizes and terrorizes the eastern lands at the urging of the Five Sisters. The Five Sisters have wreaked havoc across the world, leaving the scarred earth of the Eastern lands in the hands of their cruelest servant, the Warlock. The Warlock sends his army to enslave the fairy nymph race called the Naglings.

Where the sun rises from the south and the night is dotted with three moons, a young Nagling escapes her enslavers with the help of her people. Confused by her freedom and the outside world, she convinces herself to try and free her people. Along her journey, she acquires a great and loyal friend, a rock creature called Grodic. They become fast friends and share an innocent zeal for life and curious interest in the unique world.

On the journey, her presence invokes awe and hope from citizens believing she is the sign that the end of the Warlock’s reign is close at hand. While being stalked by an enigmatic and dangerous spirit, Ka enlists the help from a wanderer, a conjuror, two thieves, and a mercenary. The thieves are driven to follow her because of their persistent greed, despite the horrors that she awakens. The mercenary pursues her out of his own cruel ambitions above that greed. The conjuror’s motives are ambiguous.

Usually isolated from other races, Ka learns the difference between “what is said, what is read, and what is true.” Behind the odd assortment of traveling companions, a tracker trails their course for a General who leads an army with a mind of it’s own. Ka’s ambition to save her people may change the course of the East for all races in this alien world. But at what cost to herself and those around her?

A hope lingers that these are the end of Dry Days.

The first volume of the Fires Trilogy and start of the Kadic Series.

Watch this Trailer:

At Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/end-of-dry-days-eric-john-ladwig/1110599030?ean=2940014469609
On Kindle: