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Ann Haines

Copyright 2012 by Ann Haines

Published at Smashwords

For Jon, the real Jonathan Brunswick.


My Dad, who taught me “there’s no such thing as can’t”.


A deep vastness loomed over everything. Places that were once green and lush were now dying, the darkness was seeping slowly and menacingly in to everything and without a doubt the people here knew that it was spreading faster.

At the heart of this darkness stood its maker. A tall tower of thick stone walls that were as black as the sky that surrounded it. The sun never shone here, the place was a constant night. Outside these walls the land was bare, nothing was now living, it looked as though it has been swept clean of everything and the remains had since turned to dust. The tower itself was almost like a chess piece. Its base large and sturdy with its length sweeping upwards to reach a single window that harboured a balcony with which to view the land. It was here that It stood, watching.

The towers walls looked as though they had been charred with flames. Inside the large oak doors there was hustle and bustle as the guards and Its captives work. Weapons were made here, swords, lances, shields and amour made to measure for Its army. To the left side of the hall was the start of an enormous winding staircase that could take you to the very top of the tower. On the way up there were many floors which held the guards quarters and holding rooms for captives or traitors. Even Its own deepest secrets. To the right of the staircase was a huge oak door leading to a room for Its closest adviser. She was strong and wise and could see visions of what was to come. She used her attributes well to serve It and had not let It down so far. Guards patrolled the outer walls to watch for attack, so far there had never been a battle of any kind and it was thought that there was never likely to be. They had seen some people once or twice when the tower had first made its home here. Clearly it was from curiosity and after a while it seemed that no one was interested, but It knew different. It had seen them, cloaked and disguised to blend in among the darkness. Scouts, that’s what they were. Not many of them but often enough for It to know that It was also being watched. To what end It did not know, but It was prepared for anything. It was convinced that it should not underestimate any of the inhabitants of this place.

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