I started this little blog to show how a New Writer was coping with the minefield in front of her and to encourage a few others-If an idiot like me can have a go then…. I had written a novel which is still being edited (professionally now) because my punctuation is so awful!
- So what happens, I end up writing a book of short stories and putting them on WattPad! You just never know where the river of life is going to throw you up next. You may not like them but hell I did it, from 0-almost published, and that’s what matters to me!
Tom opened his eyes, the Magister was standing in the doorway with an anxious look on his face.
“Sorry to wake you but we have a problem”
The apprentice sat up and rubbed his eyes.
“What kind of a problem master?” He said hoping it wasn’t going to take too long.
“A big one Tom, come and see for yourself.”
He led the boy out on to the landing where there was a picture window. “Notice anything”
Tom stared, there was the park and old General Kepi was standing on his plinth as he had done for over 100 years.
“Look again” the Magister said quietly.
Then he saw it. Old General Kepi was still standing on his plinth. This was strange because usually he sat.
“That is really very odd” he said.
They watched the General climb down and join a group of other statues who were playing cards.
“A trick of the light?” Tom said hopefully.
The Magister shook his head.
“Every statue in Paris seems to have taken the night off. There are Magister’s out all over the city trying to put things right.”
“How has this happened?” said the apprentice struggling into his boots.
The Magister frowned “I think someone is playing tricks Tom. Last week one of the Magister’s Monsieur Allain lost an important book on just this sort of thing. He thought it was mislaid but now we know otherwise don’t we.”
“Where are we going Master”
“We have a job to do Tom, General Kepi and his friends out there are no threat but there are others which might be.”
Gruffeau was ready with the carriage, they climbed in and took off through the night.
They passed Pere-Lachaise where Abelard and Heloise had departed their tombs. The famous lovers appeared to be having a furious argument and Tom was sure that he heard the sound of a graceful marble hand as it slapped a stony cheek.
Still they didn’t stop.
Finally Tom said “ If not to the cemetery then where Master?”
“To the Cathedral Tom, our great Notre Dame” “It is covered in statues. I hope we can stop whoever it is before it’s too late”
It was too late. Gruffeau pulled the horses up sharp as a great winged creature landed on the road in front of them. It hissed and a snaky tongue shot out of its dripping mouth, worn smooth by centuries of funnelling rainwater from the roof.
Behind it roared a Minotaur escaped from the Tuileries hotly pursued by a stone Theseus. They roared off, the bellows of the monstrous bull could be heard echoing into the night.
“This must be the work of a madman Tom” “These ancient creatures are probably the most dangerous in all Paris” the Magister cried leaping out of the cab.
“They are carved to show what evil and the tortures of hell will look like”
Tom was too busy to hear, he was battling off the trunk of a stone Elephant which had set about him.
The statues and gargoyles crawled over the cathedral like ants, pulling off great lumps of stone.
“Master” Tom cried “over there, look”
A large gryphon like creature held a boulder the size of a melon.
Directly underneath it cowering in terror was a young boy.
The Magister leapt and rolled taking the youth with him into the safety of a doorway. Seconds later the rock smashed into the space where the boy had been.
Tom realised that he had been holding his breath. He let out a huge sigh of relief. Moments later a fist sized piece of masonry hit him on the back of the head and knocked him out cold.
The Magister sat up. “Give it to me” he said firmly.
The boy handed over a small red book
“Monsieur Wellbeck’s most excellent treatise on animation” he said putting the book into his pocket.
“I thought it would be amusing to see all the statues dancing” the boy said.
The Magister sighed, “don’t tell me, you couldn’t turn the magic off again”
The boy nodded
“Who is your Magister, he is not teaching you well?”
“I don’t have one” the child said “I am boot boy to a Magister but he thinks I am too stupid to train”
The Magister said “Monsieur Allain I presume. He and I will have words about this in the morning. What is your name child?”
“Jacques” the boy told him
The Magister smiled, “I am a Jacques too.” “ Well Jacques lucky for you I know what you used to do this, it will all end at sunrise”
Another large missile crashed down beside them. The boy jumped.
“We will just have to sit tight until then.”
Tom opened his eyes. He was inside the carriage laying on the floor.
His head ached and he still felt dizzy.
Outside in the moonlight Gruffeau was stroking a big white horse. He ran a hand over its cool marble neck and grunted softly. The horse whinnied. It was one of a pair that stood at the entrance to the gardens.
The other horse was busy eating grass, it looked up. Suddenly they turned and galloped out of sight.
The sun was coming up and all over Paris old men like General Kepi climbed back onto their plinths and settled down for the day. The creatures from Notre Dame meekly took up the positions they had held for a thousand years and the stone lovers returned to their tomb and slept slightly further apart!
“Come Jacques” the Magister said “we need to get you home”
Tom sat hunched in a corner of the carriage, his head ached and he was more than a little unsure of what had been going on.
The Magister got in and lifted the startled boy. “Well Jacques home first for breakfast and to see to Tom’s broken head. Then you and I will visit Monsieur Allain together.”
When the Magister arrived home later he found Tom in the kitchen grumpily eating soup.
“What happened?” he asked putting down his spoon.
“Monsieur Allain has agreed to take the boy as an apprentice, on trial of course.”
Tom snorted, “ but he is only a child and far too young” he said. His head ached and his mood was low.
The Magister smiled and thought to himself. ‘He is exactly the same age you were when I found you and gave you your chance.’ But he said nothing. Tom had grown and so had he. He knew exactly when to keep his mouth firmly shut!