Why Moms Should Limit Their Kids’ Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is something that many people use on a daily basis to keep themselves alert and awake. Many children have begun to consume caffeine by way of sodas and caffeine-packed sports drinks. While you might not think that your child is affected by the amount of caffeine they are consuming, there are some negative effects that you might want to think about before you continuously provide caffeine to youngsters. Let’s take a look at why moms should limit their kids’ caffeine intake.

It Can Cause Anxiety and Mood Swings

Caffeine can cause your body to have a large upswing in energy. When that caffeine wears off, the result is a large drop-off of energy. When a young child’s body experiences such drastic highs and lows, it can lead to them feeling very panicky or anxious. This isn’t an emotion that a child should have to experience at such a young age. It can set them up for anxious feelings for the rest of their life.

It’s Addictive

Caffeine is completely legal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a substance you can become addicted to. You don’t want a child to begin life with such an addiction. Some industries have a very serious stimulant abuse problem that originates from caffeine. Using it in the morning to wake up and get going is enough to trigger that desire each and every morning. It’s not a healthy or good feeling to be so dependent on anything each day.

Children Are More Sensitive to Caffeine

It might take two to three cups of coffee each morning for an adult to finally feel as though they are awake and ready to go. Children are much more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. They can start to feel jittery or anxious with just a few sips of coffee or soda that has caffeine in it. It’s ok to have a little cup of soda with caffeine in it at a party once in a while if that’s all that is available. However, this shouldn’t become a daily beverage choice for a child.

If your child shows negative effects from consuming caffeine, it is probably a good idea to completely remove caffeine from their diet. You’ll want to pay close attention to what they are drinking. There are plenty of caffeine-free options that they can enjoy just as much.

For more information about changes you can make to your family’s diet, take a look at this other article on how to transition to a vegan diet!

Vegan Nutrition During Pregnancy: What Vegan Moms-to-Be Need to Know

It is incredibly important to eat healthily and take care of yourself when you are pregnant. After all, you have another human being inside of you that are counting on you for those nine months of pregnancy. People assume that being vegan will affect pregnancy in a negative way. As long as you pay close attention to your diet and the vitamins that you are supplementing with, you can very easily manage pregnancy and can still be vegan. Let’s take a closer look at pregnancy and nutrition and how it affects being a vegan who is expecting a child.

Make Sure You Hit All Your Nutrient Needs

You can still be vegan, there are a number of vitamins and nutrients that you need in order to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. For instance, folic acid is something that is incredibly important during the first trimester. It prevents conditions like spina bifida. You also want to make sure that you’re getting enough iron. Anemia can negatively affect your baby. It can also cause you to feel more run down and nauseas than you already are. Also, improper nutrition has been cited as a cause of premature birth.

Shifting Your Diet

If you’re craving foods that are outside of your typical vegan diet and you feel comfortable, feel free to indulge once in a while. If you are planning on sticking to your vegan diet strictly, you’ll want to make sure you’re working certain food groups into your diet. You’ll need plenty of protein from beans, soy, etc. Your prenatal vitamin probably has a good dose of iron and B vitamins, but you can also get these things from natural sources like green, leafy vegetables. Calcium won’t come from milk and dairy products for you but get your fill from citrus fruits.

Don’t Let People Make You Feel Guilty

People who don’t understand your vegan lifestyle may criticize you while you’re pregnant. Even if you haven’t asked for their opinion, they may express to you that they are worried you’re not giving the baby what he or she needs. You can simply let them know you are paying close attention to your diet and making sure you’re eating all the major nutrients that are needed during pregnancy.

If you have questions about how you can manage a vegan lifestyle while you are pregnant, you can speak to your OBGYN or a nutritionist. A professional will be able to help you design a meal plan that works for you during these nine months.

4 Fun Ideas for Your Next Family Vacation

The family vacation is always a highlight of the year. To ensure that everyone in your family comes away with amazing memories, be sure to choose a destination that is fun for all ages. Here are four ideas to help get you started as you begin planning your next family vacation.

Disneyland Paris

It is no wonder that Disneyland Paris is such a popular vacation destination for families in the UK. Not only is it just a train ride away, but this theme park mecca also delivers a magical time to all of its lucky visitors. Your children will delight in meeting all of their favorite Disney characters, taking in the daily parades and fireworks shows, and riding all of their favorite attractions in this fairytale setting.

Enjoy the Ocean

While most people think of Hawaii when they think of America’s best beaches, the Gulf Coast actually boasts an abundance of stunning coastline. While visiting this idyllic region, you can check out some of the ocean-themed parks the Gulf Coast has to offer. Travellers of all ages will delight in the opportunity to get up close and personal with marine life at the Ocean Adventures Theme Park in Gulfport, Mississippi and the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

New York City

This American city has no match in this world. A trip to the Big Apple should be on every family’s bucket list. Kids will marvel at the noise and energy of Times Square just as much as you will appreciate the chance to burn off energy in gorgeous Central Park. Take in a Broadway show, sample some classic New York pizza, and soar to the top of the Empire State Building all in one day. There is enough to keep you busy for weeks in this bustling city.

All-Inclusive Mexico Resort

An all-inclusive beach vacation in Mexico is a true treat for every member of the family. Children will love the chance to splash in the ocean and enjoy the kids’ activities while adults will appreciate the opportunity to truly relax and rejuvenate. You will not even need to worry about leaving the tranquil grounds of your resort when you choose the all-inclusive option.

Wherever you decide to spend your next holiday, you are sure to create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. The most important thing is that you are together, relaxed, and having fun.

If you’re going to be travelling with a baby, here are some great tips for parenting babies on the go!

Got a Hot Date? Here’s How to Pull Out All the Stops for an Up Market Night Out

Dating, especially when it’s for the first time with someone new, can be terrifying. That’s because you don’t know this person very well yet. You’re unaware of their likes and dislikes. That’s what dating is, after all, getting to know someone and finding out if they’re interested in you. In order to land a second date, you’ll need to pull out all the stops. You’ll want to be stylish and charming and show that you put some effort into the occasion. Women love to see that a man is invested. Here’s how you impress her.

The Clothes

Being nicely dressed for a date is crucial. That’s because it shows a woman you put time and thought into getting ready. You don’t have to pull out a suit and tie. According to Art of Charm, you should let her know you put some effort into your appearance because you wanted to look good for her. The clothes you choose will depend on where you intend to go, but even if you’re just grabbing drinks at a pub, you need to dress stylishly. A woman will look at every aspect of your outfit from your shoes to your sunglasses, so don’t skimp on any part of it. Either a nice pair of slacks or jeans is a suitable look for a first date. Combine that with a good shirt. If it’s chilly, a denim or leather jacket (unless she’s vegan!) is appropriate. Better yet, consider a sports coat. You should also pay attention to the little things like shoes, cologne, and accessories. Small added touches like a nice watch or a pair of sunglasses can make a big difference.

The Transportation

Women love to be treated like a princess by the man who is courting them. You can enhance a date is by paying special attention to the transportation. A limo service will help you impress the lady. According to Callahan’s, limos can be safer than other transportation options. You can show her that you truly put some planning into the evening by finding a chauffeur to safely drive you both to your destination. You also won’t have to worry about walking around at night to retrieve your car or locate a taxi. Having someone else drive also gives the two of you time alone to get to know each other. Limos are comfortable and private. They will take you directly to the front door of your destination. They’re perfect if the two of you are going to a play, an opera, or an upscale restaurant. When you’re ready to say goodnight, your limo will drop your companion off at her front door, assuring she arrives home safely and in style.

Above all else, a woman simply wants to see that a man made an effort. It shows that he cares about her and about the date. Dressing stylishly and renting a limo are two ways to let her know you’re invested in the courtship.

Another way to impress a woman is to show her how you can cook. Check out these other articles on food for inspiration!

How to Make Bugs Hate Your House

Bugs make a way into our homes using a variety of methods. Though there are pesticide companies that claim to exterminate them, many people want to use simpler, safer options to get rid of indoor pests. One of the best ways to fix a pest problem is to make your house as inhospitable to them as possible. Luckily, this doesn’t require poisons or huge amounts of cash. Following a few simple steps will help you create a home that pests don’t want to go near.

Do the Dishes

Pests love food. That’s why leaving dishes covered in crumbs or caked-on food in the kitchen for any period of time is inviting a pest problem. An easy fix is to do the dishes as soon as a meal is over. If you own a dishwasher, rinse and place dishes in the dishwasher after you eat to keep insects from being attracted to your home. Leaving dishes in the sink or on the counters overnight gives pests plenty of time to sniff out food remains and invade. Once they are in the house, it’s difficult to get rid of them. Start a dishes-after-meal routine to avoid bugs altogether.

Clean with Vinegar

Insects don’t like vinegar, and that’s enough of a reason to embrace it as a tool for cleaning the house. Ants especially don’t like it when vinegar has been sprayed in a home, so using it to wipe down counters, spray windows, and clean doorknobs will keep these creatures away. Due to a renewed interest in cleaning with natural products, it’s possible to find recipes everywhere that will tell you exactly what to mix with vinegar to make it a strong cleaner and a pest deterrent. Baking soda and lemon are good choices, and a diluted vinegar cleaner saves money on both cleaning products and exterminators.

Deep Clean Regularly

Deep cleaning may not be your favorite hobby, but if you want to see fewer pests roaming your home, it’s absolutely necessary. Regular deep cleaning of the more obscure areas in your house can discourage pest infestations. It also keeps pest invasions that have started under control before they become unmanageable. Many pests like to congregate in the areas of your home that you touch the least often. For example, German cockroaches are often found in dark, warm, humid areas close to sources of food and moisture. Many bugs will retreat to the nooks and crannies of the kitchen when an exterminator puts out traps. They aren’t gone, simply waiting to reemerge when they feel safe. Keeping these areas clean will take away the safe haven these pests depend on and make your house inhospitable for bugs.

Keeping bugs out of your house may seem challenging, but it is very possible with a little bit of effort. Small changes can make a drastic difference when trying to keep bugs at bay. They are house guests that no one wants, so make your home as uninviting to them as possible.

If you’d like to stick to environmentally friendly methods to get rid of your pests, check out these 3 tricks to make your spring cleaning better for the environment!

3 Amazing Gift Ideas for a Child Who Loves Star Wars

The Star Wars franchise has fans of all ages and interests. You can make your child smile from ear to ear by incorporating their favorite Star Wars characters into a special gift perfect for any occasion. Here are three gift ideas for the child who loves Star Wars.

Celebrate the Stars Wars Way  

What better way to celebrate a special occasion than with a Star Wars themed party? The possibilities of fun are endless with this versatile theme. Party games involving lightsabers are always a hit with the younger kids. Or create a unique balloon bouquet designed to resemble lightsabers. It is easy to plan a menu with Star Wars food and drink. For example, a little blue food coloring in almond milk helps recreate the famous milk from the movies.

Disneyland

Taking your child to Disneyland to visit the new Galaxy’s Edge land will be a dream come true for any Star Wars fan. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens May 31st, 2019, and is expected to have a large crowd. Be sure to get a jump start on the planning so that you can secure your reservation. For the first few months of its opening, Disneyland will require a separate entrance ticket with a window of time in which you can visit. The new addition is designed to be a truly immersive experience. This new area boasts two new attractions, interactive shopping opportunities, fun activities, and special food and drinks options. Stepping into this land will make your child feel as if they entered an entirely new galaxy of fantasy and fun.

Star Wars Room Makeover

A bedroom makeover that incorporates the Star Wars theme is an ideal present for any occasion. Part of the fun is getting your child involved in the decision-making process. Together you can scour the internet for ideas and then make your list of ways that you want to carry the theme through the room. There is an abundance of fun ways to turn any bedroom into a galaxy far far away. This is a gift that your child will truly enjoy for years to come.

This expansive theme makes it easy to celebrate in a big way. Your little Star Wars enthusiast will be delighted in any of these three ideas, designed to make them feel special by incorporating all of their favorite characters into the celebration.

Looking for the perfect book to give to your child for their birthday? Children of the Elementi is the perfect middle grade novel for sci-fi lovers!

3 Tips for Transitioning to a Vegan Diet

Transitioning to a vegan diet can have a range of different mental and health benefits, while it also helps the planet and helps save animals. However, the transition can be difficult for some. Below, you will find 3 tips on how to easily transition to a wholesome, good-for-you vegan diet.

Cookbooks Are Your New Best Friend

One of the hardest things about transitioning to a vegan diet is learning to cook meals in a whole new way. That’s why cookbooks will be your best friend. While a vegan diet may seem limiting at first, there is actually a wealth of different options and recipes out there for you to try. Before you begin transitioning, find some good cookbooks that can give ideas on the different kinds of vegan meals you can make for yourself. Urban Taste Bud has a list of a few recommended vegan cookbooks you might consider trying out. These cookbooks will also give ideas about how to use vegan ingredients in fresh and innovative ways.

It might be a good idea to choose vegan cookbooks which has foods that you already eat int hem. For example, pies, curries, macaroni cheese etc. These usually taste much better than their pre-made counterparts from the store and it helps to prevent you becoming a ‘junk food vegan’. This is a trap that I have fallen into a few times but as I know that I can make the food better myself, I always get back on the healthy vegan wagon – eventually…

Use Vitamins if Necessary

The one thing you should be aware of is that you may need to substitute your diet with vitamins after you transition to a vegan diet, often new vegans will make the mistake of not supplementing with vitamins. One of the vitamins that most vegan take is B12, as this vitamin is commonly and mostly found in animal products. A lack of B12 can cause anemia and nervous system damage. Most other vitamins can come from whole foods, including all those fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes you’re eating anyway. According to ASEA, whole-food sources are a better source of nutrition because they consist of key vitamins that synthetic sources do not, and they naturally work better with your body.

The Vegan Society have a multivitamin called Veg1 that contains all the essential vitamins that vegans can fall short of which include, D3, B2, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Selenium and Iodine. It a good insurance policy to make sure that the basics are covered. These can be bought on Amazon but it sometimes pays to shop around: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VGR5920/

Take Your Time

Depending on your personality, transitioning into a vegan lifestyle can be difficult. For one, you are changing most, if not all, of your eating habits, and your lifestyle will experience a great shift. Often new vegans will make the mistake of transitioning too quickly. Transitioning will take time, effort, and a fair bit of education. Don’t feel bad. It takes time to completely eliminate certain things from your diet, like dairy products. Instead, be happy with the small changes and choices you make each day that gets you closer to being 100% vegan. Over time, with dedication, you will get there.

If you are feeling side effects like skin problems, don’t worry this is your body getting used to a new diet. It should pass. However, if you are feeling unwell for a longer period of time, have a chat with your doctor. It may be nothing to do with veganism but you may have an intolerance/allergy to something you didn’t realise you had before or you could just be unlucky and are unwell. Basically, it could be something or nothing and sometimes you just need to be checked out by a health professional. Doctors are paid megabucks for a reason and if nothing else they’ll be able to put your mind at rest.

By investing in vegan cookbooks, making sure you get the right vitamins for your body, and by taking your time, you can make an easy transition to the vegan lifestyle and diet.

3 Little Known Oral Health Concerns in Kids

Despite strides in overall healthcare for children, oral health continues to lag in many areas. This often-neglected health issue can lead to a host of serious problems if it’s not taken seriously. Here are three little-known oral health concerns in children and what you need to know as a parent to properly diagnose and treat them.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Parents of infants need to be informed about the dangers of baby bottle tooth decay. Also called early childhood caries, this condition occurs when sugars from drinks like fruit juices, milk, and formula sit on the child’s teeth for an extended amount of time. Because bacteria in the mouth feed on these sugars, tooth decay is often a result.

To prevent this condition, be sure to clean the child’s teeth after each feeding thoroughly. Do not ever dip pacifiers or bottle nipples in sugar or honey to make it more palatable for the infant. Paediatricians recommend that children transition from using a bottle to a sippy cup by their first birthday.

Oral Thrush

This condition presents with creamy white lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks. Invasive cases of thrush can spread to the back of the throat, the roof of the mouth, and gums. Breastfed babies can pass the condition back and forth to their mothers through nursing.

Oral thrush clears up in about two weeks, although it can take longer in some cases. The proliferation of Candida albicans fungi on the lining of the mouth causes this condition, so the probiotics in yoghurt can prove helpful in clearing up the issue. However keep in mind that yoghurt should not be used as a replacement for prescribed medication.

Early Tooth Loss

Although you may think that caring for baby teeth is no big deal, premature tooth loss can come with a host of issues. Children can lose their teeth early for a variety of reasons, including tooth decay, lack of jaw space, and acute injury.

Without these baby teeth acting as placeholders in their proper positions, adult teeth might come in crooked or misaligned. If your child loses a tooth earlier than expected, it is essential to go to the dentist to inquire about space maintainers.

It is critical to remember that the teeth are still there even if you cannot see them. Whether it be baby teeth or adult teeth ready to erupt, it is vital to treat the whole mouth with preventative measures to ensure the best oral health for your child.

Concerned about your child’s health? Read this one next: Why We Stopped Using Amazon Prime Video

4 Hidden Health Hazards Threatening Your Home and Family

Homes are a sanctuary from the outside world where you can always feel safe. Most of the time, this is true. However, you want to make sure you keep it that way, especially for your children. As much as you might not want to think about it, there are intruders to be aware of. Oftentimes, they are already with you but are hidden from view. These are four possible hazardous intruders in your home and what you can do to eradicate them.

Mold

Mold might be growing in areas of your home you might never discover unless you do a little bit of inspection. Furthermore, when it dries, mold tends to break apart and become airborne.

Window sills are often subjected to dampness from precipitation, and they only get good airflow during the summer if the windows are open. Make sure to wipe off any moisture as often as possible and to clean the window tracks.

Air & Allergy old, peeling wallpaper likely has mold that has started underneath where you can’t see it. If you wish to have wallpaper on your walls, first apply treatment with a mold-resistant primer, and avoid using wallpaper in basements or bathrooms, which tend to be damp.

If you have any kind of water leakages in your ceiling, mold could be developing in your attic. You want to check your attic periodically for mold, and make sure that you have proper air vents. Have any leaks repaired immediately.

Water from cement floors or wet crawl areas can quickly travel to your carpet pad and, at some point, your carpet. Make sure to vacuum your carpet at least once a week, and have it professionally cleaned periodically.

Dust Mites

Surprisingly, used mattresses and pillows are storehouses of fungi and dust mites that can create major health issues for individuals, especially children, with allergies and immunodeficiency issues.

A study from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom found that there are typically as many as 110 mites per gram of mattress dust. The use of hypoallergenic pillows and bed covers will help solve this hazard. Also, depending on air humidity, allergen and dust mite collections may vary. Make sure your room is dry, and use a dehumidifier if needed.

Airborne Chemicals

Nowadays it is common sense to install safety latches on cabinets to keep children from ingesting dangerous cleaning products. However, when these products are used, the airborne particles merge with dust particles and settle on floors and other surfaces, which is especially dangerous for babies and small children who play on the floor.

ASEA explains that toxins and the air we breathe can negatively affect our health, even on the cellular level. Many research studies have reported that a vast range of chemicals used daily makes the indoors a haven for dangerous chemicals linked to cancers and other health hazards. To solve this problem, experts advise switching out poisonous cleaning items with safer, more ecologically friendly choices.

Antibacterial Soaps

It’s easy to think that antibacterial soaps and cleansers successfully prevent the spread of germs; however, there is no scientific evidence favoring these cleansers over any others. In fact, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlawed sales of antiseptic products containing triclosan and another damaging antimicrobial, triclocarban.

Even so, the FDA’s restriction doesn’t include hand sanitizers or wipes, and triclosan is still an approved ingredient in some toothpaste. Check your personal care products for phthalates; these chemicals are frequently used in shampoos, hair sprays, aftershaves, and nail polishes. They are connected to reproductive problems.

While these hazards do exist in your home, there is no need to live in panic. If you take some precautions and opt for eco-friendly products, you and your family will live a safe and healthy life.


Here’s another article about house and home we think you’ll find interesting!

3 Tricks to Make Your Spring Cleaning Environmentally Friendly

Now that spring is in the air, people are thinking about tackling some heavy-duty cleaning projects. Unfortunately, cleaning your home can be harmful to the environment, and that is a problem if you are trying to be as eco-friendly as possible. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to clean your home without using toxic products and wasteful practices.

Be Mindful of Water Waste

You might be wasting thousands of gallons of water every year without even realizing it, and some of that waste could be the result of your cleaning habits. According to Home Water Works, the best way to conserve water while cleaning is to upgrade to a high-efficiency washing machine and dishwasher. Some studies have revealed that those devices can reduce your water consumption by as much as 6,000 gallons a year. You should also make sure that all of your faucets remain off until you need to use them. Even a low-flow faucet could waste well over one gallon of water per minute.

Use Essential Oils as Cleaners

There are quite a few reasons why you might want to pick up some essential oils for your spring cleaning. doTERRA points out that not only will lemon, grapefruit, and orange essential oils help get things clean, they will also boost your mood and provide you with energy throughout the day. Certain essential oils are good for keeping unwanted critters out of your home as well. When you put oils like lemongrass or thyme in a humidifier, it will deter flying insects. For other pests, you can make a homemade pest-control mixture from warm water and a few drops of peppermint oil. That homemade concoction can then be sprayed around doors, vents, windows and other openings.

Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaners

Avomeen says that many people don’t realize just how many cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals. Luckily, you can easily make your own cleaners with a few household ingredients that are completely safe. One of the best homemade cleaners is a little bit of white vinegar mixed with warm water. That cleaner can be used on streaky windows, bathroom tiles and kitchen counters. Another non-toxic cleaner that many people enjoy using is a simple blend of white vinegar and non-toxic dishwashing liquid. You can even add your favorite essential oils to those mixtures to give your home a fresh scent while you clean.

Traditional cleaning products can be expensive, damaging to the environment and harmful to your family. With a little bit of ingenuity and some elbow grease, you can clean every inch of your home in an environmentally friendly way.

Looking for more guides to simplify your life? Check out Ceri Clark’s handy selection here.

3 Fun & Unique Outdoor Party Game Ideas for Kids

Ah, childhood. Home to many different festive occasions, from Christmas, Easter, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, school concerts, to other school events. There are, of course, birthday parties too. All these are important events that create great childhood memories for your youngster. Naturally, not just any birthday party will do. In order for it to be a fun event for everyone involved, you also need to have a whole host of great games for everyone to play. Consider some of these suggestions for great games:

Find the Gummy Bears

One really unique game that your kids will have great fun playing would be to find the gummy bears. Part of the appeal of this game would be the fact that it is hilariously funny and messy, two things that all kids love. First of all, you need to gather up your materials, which will be either canned whipped cream or cool whip, gummy bears, and a plate for each of the participants.

The object of the game is to retrieve three gummy bears hidden within a mountain of whipped cream on that plate. The twist is this: the use of hands are not allowed! This is one of the reasons why your party-going kids will enjoy it so much. It’s also a great game where you won’t have to mess with too much safety equipment.

Source: Party Game Central

Archery Tag

In order to have your kids play archery tag, the first thing you need to do is acquire some foam tipped arrows that can be fired like real bows and arrows. The materials are definitely safe for indoors and outdoors, safety equipment isn’t required but can be used, and the bow and arrows can be used in a number of different games. For example, your kids can play in a dodgeball-style tournament, with a full round lasting only 8 minutes. Thus, the game can be played quickly, and cleanup is a breeze.

Source: Hop N Party

Balloon Stomp

Balloon Stomp is a fun game where your kids basically have to stomp their way to victory. You attach two balloons to each child and tie them with a string. After that, the game is similar to musical chairs as the children walk around in a circle. However, it gets really fun when the music stops. They then have to try to stomp their friends’ balloons. This is definitely a game that will get the kids moving, laughing, and generally just having a great time.

Source: Push2Play


These games all have a number of advantages that they bring to the table. Each one of them is sure to evoke fond memories for each of the young participants!

Everyone loves coloring, so why not check out our coloring books too?

5 Parenting Tips to Keep Your Kids Away from Drugs Forever

Keeping a child drug-free begins in the home, yet many parents don’t know how to keep their children away from illicit substances. Today’s parents probably grew up with the “Just Say No” campaign that was a part of the war on drugs, but that didn’t take into account how complicated drug abuse and addiction can really be.

You obviously know your children better than anybody else, but you can still keep these five tips in mind if you need some extra help.

Model Positive Behavior

You can tell your children that drugs are dangerous and why they should stay away from them, but that doesn’t do a lot of good if you have a substance abuse problem yourself. Having an addiction isn’t entirely your fault, but you should still seek treatment for yourself if you don’t want to look like a hypocrite. The same goes for any other potentially risky behaviors that you might engage in. Your children will do as you do and not as you say, so make sure that your behavior remains positive.

Source: https://www.allprodad.com/

Open Your Home to Your Child’s Friends

Young people often begin using drugs because of their peers, but you cannot control who your child keeps as friends all the time. What you can do is open your home to them and be involved in their lives. This will not only allow you to keep track of which ones might lead your child to risky behaviors, but you might become a positive role model to someone besides your own children.

Source: https://www.betterhelp.com/

Don’t Let Kids Self-Medicate

When we tell you not to let children self-medicate, we mean more than just allow them to take medicine on their own. Self-medication can take many forms, from staring at a smartphone at all times to playing too many video games in order to escape from school stress or bullying. Anything that can be used as a coping mechanism has the potential to become an addiction. It can lead to substance abuse problems for those with an addictive personality.

Encourage Extracurriculars

Children and teens who participate in extracurricular activities such as sports are less likely to engage in substance abuse. Not only does it keep them busy enough to prevent them from seeking out drugs and alcohol, but it gives them an outlet for their energy and creativity and allows them to better socialize with their peers. Speak with your child about any sports or other activities they might find interesting. If their activity of choice isn’t offered through their school, there is bound to be an opportunity to get involved with it elsewhere in your community.

Source: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/

Be Open and Honest

Part of the reason why so many anti-drug programs fail is because they aren’t always honest with children and teens about what substance abuse is about. They often try too hard to scare children away from drugs simply by saying how bad they are, but they don’t always go into details about their effects. If you really want your children to stay away from drugs, let them know what happens when they are used, both the “good” and the bad. If you don’t know, then take some time to educate yourself.

Source: https://childmind.org/

Overall, the best way to keep children away from drugs is to keep on communicating with them. Some of them may make the wrong choices occasionally, but they will stand a much better chance if they are provided with knowledge from an understanding adult.

Here’s another article talking about parenting we think you’ll find interesting.

Why We Stopped Using Amazon Prime Video

Child watching television

We’ve been having a bit of a problem with the old television lately. It’s not that it’s gone kaput or anything although it does have a few gremlins, (it seems to be crashing a lot). However, this is not what this post is about. Our adorable little six year old has discovered narrated video games on Amazon Prime Video.

I have made my peace with him playing games. I see a lot of benefits from him playing these on the PlayStation. From his hand-eye coordination, his problem solving, strategic thinking and even his reading but I see no benefit from him watching other people playing games on the television. There is one caveat, I don’t mind him watching the Minecraft Videos with Stampy Cat as there is usually some science angle to them.

Now whenever he is given the tablet or PlayStation time he is constantly narrating what he is doing. His social skills have taken a dive and I’m a little worried. This has prompted us to ban Amazon Prime Video from our house. To be honest we don’t tend to watch it anyway. We buy Amazon Prime for the postage not the streaming service. The only thing I watched it for was Lucifer and that’s gone to Netflix so there is no point in keeping it.

Should he be having screen time at all?

Imaginative Play
Imaginative Play from Pexels.com

I’ve read some articles in the past that advocate cutting screen time altogether but I genuinely believe that everything is good in moderation with the obvious few exceptions, (poisons, playing chicken walking across the road etc). I really don’t mind him watching television as long as there is some educational aspect to it. This could be social or science or problem solving. It has to be something. The Stampy videos show how to program using Minecraft, Ninjago shows team work and social skills, his games are all about problem solving. These are things I can get behind. The whole video game narration thing? – not so much.

How is the absence of Amazon Prime Video going?

So how is it going? I’ve upped the reading time and I swear the tantrums have gone down a bit. My nerves are a lot better. Listening to the same inane description of game play for the fiftieth time really made me tense up with frustration. This was followed by Mario Cart and my stress levels went through the roof. It is all banned now and we are finding new ways to entertain ourselves which is leading to a happy mummy and better behaved little boy.

Should we cancel Amazon Prime?

We won’t do this simply because we need it for the postage. If Amazon were ever to unbundle the streaming service from the postage then we would stop it. We’ve removed the icon from the menu on our television so our little one can’t find it. We’ll obviously still have it but we will have to jump through a couple of hoops to get to it. By the time our son works out how to do this hopefully he will have grown out of the phase.

Takeaway Thoughts

While I honestly believe that our son should be able to do what he wants, it has to be within limits, I have to be the dragon on occasion and ban things which are unhealthy. We won’t be using Amazon Prime Video for the foreseeable future as it will be too much effort. We will probably start watching it if some amazing show comes on and our friends rave about it but apart from that the choice that comes with it appears dire (for us) and in my eyes, inappropriate for my child at least.

Annus horribilis – My 2018 year in review

I am not saying that 2018 was the worst year in my life but it was way up there for me. In an attempt for a bit of catharsis, I am going to write down what I achieved (or didn’t) last year. This was my annus horribilis!

Health

It started off great. Sure, there was the old sniffle but hey, this is me, that is always going to happen. My eczema was behaving itself, my asthma was giving me the cccasional problems but all was going well.

Until, cue dramatic music, dum dum duuuuum! My adorable son caught chicken pox. He spent a few days at home, one day wrapped up in a duvet in front of the television and he was up and ready for school. Phew, one childhood disease out of the way, or so I thought.

A few days later I started to feel unwell, then the spots started to appear. I immediently rang my mum who assured me that I had chicken pox in primary school. Fine it can’t be that, except it was. Long story short, I was plastered in sores and ended up at my doctor’s who sent me to hospital. I then spent a week rested up in isolation treated for two types of nasty bacteria in my blood. Thanks chicken pox!

Ill and hiding. Public domain from Pexels.com

You’d think that would be that but for the next few months, I was in agony. Eczema and chicken pox do NOT mix. The damage was so bad it wasn’t until November that my skin cleared up. I feel as if all I did last year was feel sorry for myself which is not strictly true but this is what this blog post is all about. I’m going to see if I can turn a fail into a win!

Career

Some of my books published in 2018

As you may have guessed from the rest of my site, my chosen and actual career lies in books. I used to be a librarian and now I create them. I do several types from fiction, to manuals, a few colouring books and now diaries and journals. All of which are helping me to keep afloat on the financial sea. So here are the books that I have published in 2018.

Children’s Activities

  • Jumbo Animal Letter Tracing (age 3+)
  • Multiplication Drills (age 8+)
  • Pocket Multiplication Drills (age 8+)

Christmas

  • The Christmas Checklist

Budget Books

  • The 2019 Busy Lady’s Budget Journal
  • The Busy Bee Budget Planner 2019

Colouring Books

  • Bible Stories Coloring Book
  • Treasure Island Pirates Coloring Book

Diaries

  • Meownificent Cat Diary
  • It’s a Dog’s Life 2018-2019 Diary
  • Daily Diary 2018-2019
  • Daily Diary 2019
  • 2018-2019 Masonic Diary
  • Masonic Diary 2018-2019
  • Gratitude Diary
  • 2018-2019 Dyddiadur Academaidd (Welsh language diary)
  • 2018-2019 Dyddiadur Addysg
    (Welsh language diary)
  • Get organized! (A paperback time calculator to find spare time)

Food Related

  • Cool Cats Recipe Journal
  • Family Recipe Journal
  • Pocket Food Allergy Diary

Journals

  • Cocky: The Cocker Spaniel Journal

Manuals

  • A Simpler Guide to Gmail

Password Books (Disguised as other books)

  • Cocky: The Cocker Spaniel Rebellion
  • Hold Your Horses
  • For Those Goldfish Moments
  • History of Wales
  • Hogs and Kisses
  • Horsing Around
  • Made in Germany
  • Made in the USA
  • Monarch of the Glen
  • Permanent Rainbows
  • Shit I’m Always Flockin’ Forgetting
  • UK Made
  • Wolf

So there you have it 36 books in 2018. I honestly did not realise how many I made in 2018 until I collated this list for this blog post. Suddenly, 2018 doesn’t seem to be such an annus horribilis after all. Still, could have done without the chicken pox though!

What have I got planned this year?

What will 2019 bring? Who knows? I will definitely rewrite A Simpler Guide to Gmail, I have a couple of fiction books in the mix and I will have to update all the books like diaries for next year. My health is now good. I have done a clear out of my house, (more on that in a different blog post) and I really have no more excuses. This year will be a productive year. I can feel it in my bones. Let’s hope it’s not arthritis. Ahem.

So what do you think guys? Is 2019 going to be your year?

Vegans! When is a Vegan not a Vegan?

Veganism can be an emotive topic for many. There are a few definitions floating around the internet but the Vegan Society says it is:

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

Vegan Society

I do notice the words ‘as far as possible and practical’. The reason I am writing this blog post is that I now identify myself as a Vegan. Some may take umbrage at that because of the way I got here and the reasons I stay vegan.

Duck photo from Pixnio.

I am inherently selfish. There I said it. I am not a vegan for the animals but by being a vegan, I help the animals from exploitation. If it quacks like a duck, talks like a duck, walks like a duck … you know the saying.

Why am I a Vegan?

I have lived with eczema and asthma my whole life. I have been very ill up to the middle of this year in fact. I have been making gradual changes to my life and I have been improving but it wasn’t until five weeks ago that I saw dramatic change. That is when I switched to a plant based diet. It’s not all about a plant based diet though. I wash in olive oil soap (even my hair), my creams consist of coconut milk and I don’t own a leather jacket. I don’t even have a pet! …because you guessed it, I’m allergic to them.

Since I became vegan, my skin has cleared up and I take my asthma pump less. There has been only one hiccup which when I accidentally drank something with lemon in, (I am still very allergic to citrus fruits – veganism can’t help with that one!). I’m unfortunately still recovering from the lemon incident but the effects would have been a lot worse prior to becoming vegan.

There are certain things that vegans believe in or do. I’m going to say where I fit into these categories and I’ll let you see whether you think I qualify for the term vegan!

Beauty

I’ve never agreed with animal testing. It’s not about hurting the animals (although I don’t like it) but I don’t see the point of it. It is illogical. Animals are (obviously) animals and we are humans we are going to have different reactions. On the couple of times in my life that I did check out dubious cosmetics from big brands, I have been allergic to them. Testing on animals is just pointless and cruel for no reason. To be extra, especially honest, I don’t actually wear cosmetics anyway these days. I used to wear it for a job interview or a special night out but since I usually get an allergic reaction regardless of how ethical it was made I tend to avoid it for the most part unless I really, really need to. Those situations are rare.

Some soaps are based on animal products. I just think that’s yucky. You are meant to be washing with it not putting remnants of dead corpses on your bits. I use olive soap for everything. Also, when I clean the house, a far as I know, bleach and vinegar haven’t been near animals either.

Medicines

The Vegan society, say we shouldn’t worry about that one, so I’m not.

Fashion

Let’s be frank here, no one would ever accuse me of being a fashionista. I’m a jeans and long sleeved t-shirt gal. I have never owned a fur coat in my life and I never will. The only thing that might have animal products in, might be my trainers and they feel man made to me. Plus they were bought before I made the decision to be vegan.

Entertainment

I’m not sure how this would apply. I think circus animals have been banned but I haven’t been in a circus since I was 12 anyway. I haven’t been to a zoo since I was a kid but I have been to a safari park (not the hunting kind). I think zoos and safari’s have their place as long as the animals are treated well. In a lot of cases they are dying out in the wild and while I still think they would be better off in their natural habitat, I’d rather they existed than become extinct – with the caveat that they are well looked after.

I think the conservatives aim of bringing back fox hunting is abhorrent and I’m not keen on horse racing. I may have tried my hand at gambling a few years ago but I mainly bet on football teams and they get paid enough to play their games!

Vegan Food

People who eat a plant based diet are called dietary vegans according to Wikipedia. Take off the dietary and you have the word vegans – so I’m laying claim to it. I have been going vegan for a very long time. I used to joke I was either a meat eater or a vegan, there was no middle ground. This is because I am allergic to dairy. There was no way I could become a vegetarian. So, 5 weeks ago I completely eliminated all animal products from my diet. It wasn’t actually hard and I don’t miss it. It was easy at the beginning. I just switched burgers to vegan burgers, sausages to Linda McCartney sausages etc. Now, it is getting harder because I am trying to be more healthy as well as not eating meat, dairy or eggs. I used to like the odd salmon sandwich but that is out as well. Still I am learning every day and there are recipes out there to help us newbies and I’ll get through it. It has helped I’ve been dairy free since I was a child. I can still have my scrumptious raspberry ripple cheesecake.

Christmas as a vegan will be the true test but there is so much food out there that is ready made like Fry’s vegan sausage rolls and I’m dying to try out a nut roast. I’ve known vegetarians who are s-o-o strict the rest of the year but have the ‘end of the roast beef’ during Christmas dinner. I definitely won’t be doing that!

The benefits of being a vegan have been good. My health has improved and my hair is getting thicker. I did lose a bit of weight at the beginning but it has stabilised now which is boring. I think that possibly cutting back on the vegan chocolate might be an idea!

So what do you think, do I qualify? I might not be doing it for the animals but the effect is the same.

Nothing Found

A password keeper for every taste from animals to diesel engine repair

Password keeper

Looking for a password keeper? I’ve made a range of password journals to fit different tastes. Love animals? How about a password book that looks like a kitten or puppy password book? Like Knitting or love tinkering with car engines? Then there’s Knitting for Beginners and a Diesel Engine Repair Manual made just for you.

Every password keeper has alphabetical tabs running down the right hand side with space for all your important login information for websites.

Hidden in plain sight

What makes these books really special is that can be hidden on your book shelf and most burglars won’t give them a second look. Would you suspect a book on Fly Fishing or Hiking to be a password journal?

Some of the blurbs on the covers are a little tongue in cheek but most won’t give these books a moments notice among all your other books. If you like romance novels, take a look at Broken Hearted, if you like Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice deserves a place on your bookshelf. If thrillers are more your thing then Contact or Password would be a better fit.

If novels don’t float your boat then the Knitting,Hiking, Fly Fishing and Diesel Engine Repair password books are designed to look like any guide or manual you may already own. They are larger than the novels and animal password keepers so are great if your handwriting is quite large.

Did I mention animals? There is a password keeper with covers including a kitten, cat, puppy, bird and bunny. Feathered and furry delights!

A password keeper with tabs

As mentioned above, all these password books are tabbed so you can find all the information you need when you need it. Some password books on the market don’t have tabs, and this just makes it awkward trying to find that password in a hurry!

Password Advice for your offline password keeper

Creating secure passwords are important and you need to have random passwords but also passwords you can remember. Wouldn’t it be great if you only had to remember the one password? Well now you can. There is a section in the book detailing how you can have a long and tediously difficult password to remember written in the password keeper but another easy to remember one in your head that you attach to the written down segment. The two parts make one complicated password which is impossible to guess. Just don’t write down the part of the password you are supposed to remember!

Wifi information

All that WEP, LAN etc information has to be kept somewhere. There is a section in these books for just that.

Software License Information

If you have copies of Microsoft, Adobe or other software, keeping track of software can be a hassle. these books contain pages just for this information.

Notes

Finally, these books have pages in the back for stuff that won’t fit in the rest of the book. Your favourite recipe sites? Write them in the back and then you can go back in to the actual book and find the login information.

Click on any book below, to find out more.

You’re Owl-Ways on My Mind: A discreet internet password organizer (password book) (Disguised Password Book Series)
Inspirational Bible Quotes: Behold I command thee, take courage, and be strong: A discreet internet password organizer  (password book) (Disguised Password Book Series)
The Law Is a Ass: Charles Dickens Quote Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information 6 x 9 Inch (Quill Password Books)
Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Wolf: A discreet password book for people who love wolves (Disguised Password Book Series)
Vincent Van Gogh Almond Blossom: A Disguised Internet Password, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Periodic Table of Elements: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Llama Remember: A Disguised Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | Llama Design 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Birds A Secret Life: A disguised password book and personal internet address log for bird lovers (Disguised Password Book Series) (Volume 3)
Monarch of the Glen: A discreet password book for people who love deer and Scotland (5.06″x7.81″). (Disguised Password Book Series)
Meh, Whatever: Jumbo Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Password Book (Diesel Engine Repair Manual): A discreet internet password organizer (Disguised Password Book Series)
UK Made: A Discreet Internet Password Book for People Who Love the UK (Disguised Password Book Series)
The Lone Wolf: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Claude Monet Impression, Sunrise: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Star Gazing: A Disguised Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Bunny Find Your Hoppy: A disguised password book and personal internet address log for rabbit lovers (Disguised Password Book Series) (Volume 4)
Password Book (Secrets of the Freemasons): A discreet internet password organizer (Disguised Password Book Series)
Forget Me Not: Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | Flower Design 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Password Book (Whittling: Wood Carving for Beginners): A discreet internet password organizer (Disguised Password Book Series)
Hiking and the great outdoors: A discreet internet password book for people who love nature walking (Disguised Password Book Series)
The Great Wave off Kanagawa Hokusai: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Wassily Kandinsky Squares with Concentric Circles: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Claude Monet Water Lilies: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Gustav Klimt Tree of Life: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Internet Password Organizer (The Secret Lives of Cats): A discreet password log book for people who love cats (Disguised Password Book Series)
Flowers & Kittens: Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | Kitten and Flower Design 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Football Secrets: A Password Keeper and Organizer for Football Fans (Disguised Password Book Series)
History of Wales: A Discreet Password Book for People Who Love Wales (Disguised Password Book Series)
In Bloom: Large print password book with phone numbers, birthdays and other information to keep everything in one place | Flower Design 8.5 x 11 Inches (Quill Large Print Contacts & Password Books)
Contact: A discreet internet password organizer (password book) (Disguised Password Book Series)
Soccer Secrets: A Password Keeper and Organizer for Soccer Fans (Disguised Password Book Series)
Wassily Kandinsky Yellow Red Blue: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Meow-nificent Kittens: The Secret Personal Internet Address & Password Log Book for Kitten & Cat Lovers (Disguised Password Book Series) (Volume 1)
Shit I Forgot Again: Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Made in the USA: A Discreet Internet Password Book for People Who Love the USA (Disguised Password Book Series)
The Humble Frog: A Disguised Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Johannes Vermeer Girl with a Pearl Earring: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Hold your Horses: Keep all your phone numbers, passwords, birthdays and other information together in one place (Disguised Password and Address Books)
Horsing Around: Horse Themed Combined Contacts, Phone and Internet Password Address Book with Tabs (8.5×11 inch) (Disguised Password Books)
Leonardo da Vinci Head of a Woman: Disguised Password Journal, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Made in Canada: A Discreet Internet Password Book for People Who Love Canada (Disguised Password Book Series)
What the Elephant Forgot: A Disguised Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | Elephant Design 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
My Password Book: Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information For Kids and Teenagers | 6 x 9 inches (Quill Password Books)
Edvard Munch The Scream: A Disguised Internet Password, Phone and Address Book for Your Contacts and Websites (Quill Contacts & Password Books)
Facts About Hedgehogs: Large print password book with phone numbers,  birthdays and other information to keep everything in one place | Hedgehog … (Large Print Contacts & Password Books)
Baseball Secrets: A Password Keeper and Organizer for Baseball Fans (Disguised Password Book Series)
Made in Germany: Passwortbuch: Verschleiertes Passwort-buch für Login-Daten und Passwörter (German Edition)
Password Book (Knitting for Beginners): A discreet internet password organizer (Disguised Password Books)
Puppy Love: A Disguised Password Book With Tabs to Protect Your Usernames, Passwords and Other Internet Login Information | 8.5 x 11 inches (Quill Password Books)

All my password books are available at Amazon.

ACCIDENTAL IMMORTAL CHAPTER 35 – MISSING (SERIALISATION)

Accidental Immortal serialisation

There are fates worse than death…

#amwriting #books

Welcome to the serialisation of Accidental Immortal. Chapters will be published four times a week so the serialisation will be completed at (roughly) the same time as on Wattpad, if not a little sooner!

If you would like to start from the beginning, please head over to chapter one. There is also a contents list at the bottom of each post.

–Ceri Clark

Chapter 35 – MISSING

Arkan and Lynsey arrived back at the house to find it empty. The tables and gunpowder were still there but it was otherwise deserted.  Lynsey turned at Arkan.

“They must have gone back to the camp. They were supposed to stay here though.” Her voice trailed off.

“I agree,  it is indeed strange.“ Arkan poked his head down the tunnel but there was no light to show anyone was down there. “We must go back to camp. The rescue must happen tonight or we will have an irate dragon on our hands when he is freed. From your description that would not be the best option.“

They hurried across the city, Lynsey clutching her head scarf against the breeze. There were plenty of people in the streets but no one gave them any attention. The last thing they needed was for her hair to draw attention to them.

The park was some distance from the temple. She didn’t usually expect to see the city residents at this hour but usually there were nomads milling around among the trees. It was really quite and she noticed there was a tang in the air as they approached. There was no one around. Arkan began to speed up beside and she broke into a trot to keep up. The smell got worse and smoke pervaded the air. She gasped, what had obviously been tents were smouldering on the ground. Treasured cushions were scattered in the mud as if there had been a struggle.  Lynsey ran through the remaining  tents, shouting for Illyara. Arkan followed moments behind. The communal tent was still standing but it was deserted as well. Her heart sank and her arms dropped to her sides as she reached the centre. Someone must have found out about their plan. They were gone – all of them.

“There is no blood.’ Arkan’s voice was quiet.

“Sorry?”

“There is no blood and no dead bodies. They are alive. If they wanted them dead they would have left them here as an example.”

A rustle behind them made her twirl to see Mewlli appear near the threaded tent flap.

“They took them.”

“Who took who?”

“The King’s guards, they took everyone. I was coming back from the house and turned invisible before they could see me. They have Illyara.” His voice sounded small.

“Mewlli, it will be okay. We will get them back.”

Arkan pulled Lynsey aside. “How exactly are we going to do that?”

“We find out who betrayed us, why and how much they already know. If they don’t know about the explosives then we can still go ahead. Not everyone knows about our plan and those who do know wouldn’t tell. It might not be all bad.”

Arkan looked at Mewlli then back at Lynsey, sighing.

“They would have taken them to the palace it is the only place with cells big enough. I can’t see why they would want everyone unless it is to try and find you. If we go after them they will catch you.”

“If it wasn’t for me, Illyara and her family would be safe in the desert. They risked their lives for me.”

He sighed. “Lets face it, they want to use you to fulfil some prophecy which the Dragon Brotherhood probably gave them so they could justify their own Sekhmet. You don’t really owe them anything. ”

“I know, but I would have died, well maybe not died but it would have been a fate worse than death in the desert. I probably would have been a walking skeleton or something.” She shivered. “I don’t know how it would work but I can’t die.” She rubbed her arms. “I would be continually reset with only my Earth memories. If I die here my body will resurrect and I will lose my memories of this place, including you.”

“That may be but it will be dangerous to go into the palace. They will be expecting us. I can get in to the palace easily but the cells will be harder – unless…” Arkan’s voice tailed off. “There will be a guard on every corridor on every level.”

“We have to try.”

“Please.” said Mewlli.

The sun was high when they got to the palace and the majority of sensible people had found a reason to be inside. Lynsey and Arkan skirted the outer walls until they reached a secret entrance.

“Doesn’t the king know about all these security leaks?”

“Why should he? This castle is at least three hundred years old. There are dozens of ways to get in if you know where to look. The king thinks having guards at each public entrance is enough. He probably doesn’t stop to think about any other ways in unless he wants to bring in his mistress.” He pointed at a window hidden by a creeper. “After you?”

She smiled sweetly and hauled herself through the narrow gap. The space they entered was dark. Her nose wrinkled at the musty smell, nobody had used this entrance in a while. Arkan was already a few steps ahead so she drew up to stand beside him at the inner door. To her surprise, the door made the smallest sound as he opened it a crack. Considering the smell of the place she’d expected it to sound like a door in a haunted house. They peered into the corridor. There was no one there so they started moving through the palace.

“I think the best thing to do is to go below the cells and come up through them.”

She nodded and followed him down the stairs from the kitchen. It’s not like we can storm the gates she thought sarcastically.

“Where are we going? What could possibly be down here?”

The steps were steep and Lynsey had to keep one hand on the stone wall to steady herself. The deeper they ascended the quieter and cooler it got until a subtle blue light began to dance on the wall in front of them. The stairs stopped abruptly to reveal a large cavern with water spreading as far as she could see. Algae glowed on the cave ceiling and Lynsey saw pinpricks of light reflected against the back of rats eyes as they scurried along the edges – but Lynsey wasn’t paying attention to the rodents but at the cavern itself. The reflection against the water looked like constellations.

“This is gorgeous!”

“The king has his own source of water, this is was why the palace was built here all those years ago. I believe it was a village in its own right to start with.” He seemed immune to its beauty.

They skirted the wall. Lynsey was loathe to touch the slimy stone but the floor was treacherous from the water splashed by the rodents. Were they going to bring the children back this way?

As they moved up another set of steps, Arkan moved his fingers to his lips.

They crept through another door which led to a chamber loaded with implements. “Torture”. he whispered. She shuddered in response.

There was no guard on the next two doors and they crept through to the cells. The tribe were there, separated into men on one side and women on the other. They could see the children sitting on filthy straw in cells further along. Ghareg in the nearest cell was the first to see them and his broad smile told her that she had done the right thing.

“The guards are just outside the door.” He whispered. Lynsey nodded. Arkan pulled out a set of tools and started with the locks. It opened with ease and he moved onto the next one. The nomads rose and gathered by the door. He put his finger to his lips at each gate. Silently, they flocked in the centre of the room and Ghareg spoke. “They took Illyara somewhere else. It was Faroushk who betrayed us. He said if there were two Sekhmets it made sense that the one that was real would be the one who had the most worshippers.”

“Where have they taken her?” Asked Arkan opening the last cell.

“The king took her, she is held somewhere else. They were going to kill us one by one until she agreed to give you up and work for them. These people are animals.”

Contents

Chapter 1 - Duat
Chapter 2 - London - Present Day
Chapter 3 – Lynsey on Duat
Chapter 4 - Nomads
Chapter 5 - Scorpion
Chapter 6 - The Dragon Temple
Chapter 7 - Assassin
Chapter 8 - The Luscious Luna
Chapter 9 - Arkan Blade
Chapter 10 - Kidnapped
Chapter 11 - Rescue
Chapter 12 - Modesty
Chapter 13 - Banquet
Chapter 14 - Arkan
Chapter 15 - Dancing with the King
Chapter 16 - Dragon Brotherhood
Chapter 17 - Pico
Chapter 18 – The Dragon
Chapter 19 – Settling Down
Chapter 20 – Danger Revealed
Chapter 21 – Betrayal
Chapter 22 - A Meeting of Minds
Chapter 23 = Invisibility
Chapter 24 - Desert
Chapter 25 - Escape
Chapter 26 - Gathering
Chapter 27 - Search
Chapter 28 - Temple Camp
Chapter 29 - Decision
Chapter 30 - Baserius
Chapter 31 - Sekhment
Chapter 32 - Miracle
Chapter 33 - Kathryn
Chapter 34 - Grolmak

ACCIDENTAL IMMORTAL CHAPTER 34 – GROLMAK (SERIALISATION)

Accidental Immortal serialisation

There are fates worse than death…

#amwriting #books

Welcome to the serialisation of Accidental Immortal. Chapters will be published four times a week so the serialisation will be completed at (roughly) the same time as on Wattpad, if not a little sooner!

If you would like to start from the beginning, please head over to chapter one. There is also a contents list at the bottom of each post.

–Ceri Clark

Chapter 34 – grolmak

Grolmak was dreaming. He was flying high in the clouds, the wisps of the clouds made his skin cool where they brushed him. The sun was hot and he rolled to feel the sun all around his body. He whooshed down to the ground letting himself fall until he almost hit the mountain top but then pulled up at the last second letting his great wings take the strain as he strived to go up. He went higher then dived again. The feeling was exhilarating. All too soon it was fading and he felt the dull heat of the cavern invade his senses. He felt his spirits sink as the cramps from sitting in a confined space reminded him of where he was. He kept his eyes closed trying to recapture the dream of his youth.

He heard Sekhmet walk in. He thought she could understand him in the beginning but he must have imagined it. She had hesitated the once and he thought she could but she’d shaken her head and continued. A brief hope dashed in seconds.

How long had he been here? He had no way of knowing. That girl had been interesting. It would have been better to share his imprisonment with someone, anyone, even a human.

He felt despair and anger but they faded as soon as they arrived. Nothing mattered his misery was complete.

Grolmek opened an eye.  Sekhmet was close, she was studying him like a spider. He might have done the same thing to the creatures he had studied during training but they weren’t intelligent. His body shuddered at the thought. To treat a thinking being like the way they treated him. He wasn’t even an animal to them just a source of blood.

She’d started talking.  Grolmek started to pay attention.

“…girl is like you.  She can heal but we don’t  know if she is exactly like you yet. ”

She means immortal, he thought. Did it matter? He wished she would go away.

“She was here again you know. Telling me that you are intelligent.  But we knew that already didn’t we?”

Grolmak stiffened. His eyes swivelled to look at her.

“Oh yes Grolmak.  I’ve known. It just wasn’t important to know. Would it have been easier if I talked to you while taking your blood?” Grolmek felt her soft ape hands slide over his back. She was stroking him!  He shuddered but remembered his chains were loose. If she found out…

“I need to know how you came here.  I am from the same place as the girl but I cannot heal without your help.” Grolmek snorted.

“I’ll see you in hell before I help you.” He snarled and tried to bite her. She stepped back easily as his collar jerked against the chain. Luckily it held. He berated himself. She was taunting him.

“You are obviously from a different planet. But the girl, she is from my planet and she has the same abilities as you. It must be the way you came here.”

She wasn’t even talking to him anymore. She reached out and touched his side.

Suddenly he was back on ilogac. The sun was hotter than usual and he was there to warn the Ministry of Weather.

“You must shut down  all energy sources for 24 hours.”

“We cannot do that. The president will be arriving this afternoon. He will not be able to land.”

The stone backless chairs were carved for their appearance rather than comfort.  Grolmak had been sitting in his for an hour before the Minister had even arrived. He should be glad that the Iloga had even turned up. Weather scientists were not high on the prestige list and the color of the Minister scales denoted he was of the highest ranks even before he achieved his position. Grolmak clenched his fingers tighter around the data crystals.

“You cannot be serious. His space ship will be a sitting duck. ”

“This visit has been scheduled for two years.  I do not think a simple solar flare should delay his trip. ”

“A solar flare can wipe out communications on this planet and we have an atmosphere! ”

“He is on his way. That is all.”

Grolmak scrutinized the minister. His blue scales glinted in the sunlight flowing through the pillars. They had been polished recently, betraying his narcissistic nature.  More interested in himself than his job, he thought. The other Iloga had already turned away showing there was no talking to him. Grolmak sighed. He had done everything he could do. It would be a matter of public record that he had.  He moved to the nearest pillars and dropped off the floor.

The Ministerial offices were built into the side of the tallest mountain in the province. Grolmak pumped his wings, feeling the pressure of the air. He rose slightly and he pumped again until he was again as high as he had been. He looked through to where the meeting had been but the floor was again empty. He shook his head and flew out clutching the evidence the Minister had refused to look at in his hands. He had one last chance to warn the president to delay his trip for a few days but it would take hours to get there.

The air was thinner at this altitude and it was difficult to catch the currents but one of his specialities was weather conditions and he knew which way the wind blew.

How could the Iloga be so stupid? If they didn’t implement protocols they would be cut off. They were the furthest outpost. They couldn’t do anything to jeopardise their position.  Taryk 55 would assume something was wrong when the president didn’t call in but that would take days. Who knew what could happen in that time. Emergency services would be inactive, schools would be closed.  Although he knew someone who would be happy with THAT. Grolmak’s razor sharp teeth flashed as he thought of his son’s delight if the school shut down.

Even if the ship landed safely,  the planet would be in to much turmoil to even think about the presidential visit.

A loud beeping filled the air and Grolmak’s eyes looked skyward. It was too late, it was starting. He had to get back to Frehal. He changed direction and slunk in the air, beatng his wings as fast he could. Clouds were billowing his way and he flew harder to stay ahead but more were coming from a different direction as he flew over a mountain range. Lightning danced in the clouds. He knew fear as a lightning strike went for him…

“So you both were hit by lightning.” Sekhmet mused. “Thousands of people get hit by lightning but not all turn up at the pyramids there must be something else that happens.”

Contents

Chapter 1 - Duat
Chapter 2 - London - Present Day
Chapter 3 – Lynsey on Duat
Chapter 4 - Nomads
Chapter 5 - Scorpion
Chapter 6 - The Dragon Temple
Chapter 7 - Assassin
Chapter 8 - The Luscious Luna
Chapter 9 - Arkan Blade
Chapter 10 - Kidnapped
Chapter 11 - Rescue
Chapter 12 - Modesty
Chapter 13 - Banquet
Chapter 14 - Arkan
Chapter 15 - Dancing with the King
Chapter 16 - Dragon Brotherhood
Chapter 17 - Pico
Chapter 18 – The Dragon
Chapter 19 – Settling Down
Chapter 20 – Danger Revealed
Chapter 21 – Betrayal
Chapter 22 - A Meeting of Minds
Chapter 23 = Invisibility
Chapter 24 - Desert
Chapter 25 - Escape
Chapter 26 - Gathering
Chapter 27 - Search
Chapter 28 - Temple Camp
Chapter 29 - Decision
Chapter 30 - Baserius
Chapter 31 - Sekhment
Chapter 32 - Miracle
Chapter 33 - Kathryn

ACCIDENTAL IMMORTAL CHAPTER 33 – KATHRYN (SERIALISATION)

Accidental Immortal serialisation

There are fates worse than death…

#amwriting #books

Welcome to the serialisation of Accidental Immortal. Chapters will be published four times a week so the serialisation will be completed at (roughly) the same time as on Wattpad, if not a little sooner!

If you would like to start from the beginning, please head over to chapter one. There is also a contents list at the bottom of each post.

–Ceri Clark

Chapter 33 – kATHRYN

There were hundreds of them and they all believed she was Sekhmet. She marvelled at them. She looked at her arm but there was no sign of the cut she’d made. She let go of the knife and it dropped to the floor. Lynsey stared at the upturned faces. It wasn’t right. She ran out of the tent. The words kept rolling around in her head. This wasn’t right, this wasn’t natural. What had she gotten herself into? She ran hard and didn’t stop until she reached the city gates. Directly behind her Arkan kept pace but stayed a few feet behind.

As he passed through the gates she looked at the distant hills. The desert ran the other side. She could go and disappear. This was a turning point if she carried on, some of those people would be dead tomorrow. For what? For a traveller like herself trapped by religious nutters. This wasn’t his world or hers but shouldn’t travellers stick together? The nomads didn’t deserve to die though. It shouldn’t be their problem.

Arkan was still there waiting patiently. He was standing against the city walls. His foot was scuffing the earth scattering the sand. That was a man of contradictions. He professed to love her. He’d followed her when he could go and blend in anywhere. He was of this world and would survive whatever he chose to do – unless he joined this escapade and it failed. Did she love him? Every time she looked at him her heart did a little flop, her pulse raced and she dreamed of a life together. This man was an assassin. He might have killed hundreds of people. It was his job. Could she love someone who killed for a living? Was it any different than loving a soldier? Both occupations were dangerous and it was acceptable to marry a soldier so why not a government sanctioned assassin? Surely that was what soldiers were anyway?

She shook her head what was she kidding, she would follow him anywhere. She was trapped by the attraction she felt. She couldn’t imagine being apart from him and didn’t want to.

The plan could work but was just ever so dangerous. If it failed everyone of those nomads would be executed as traitors. If they succeeded the nomads would still be exiles. They would have to depose the king as well or he would use them as a means to grab more power.

Maybe there was a third way? Lynsey thought for a moment maybe the Sekhmet of the temple didn’t want to hurt the dragon. Maybe she didn’t realise it was intelligent and had feelings. If she could just talk to her!

Lynsey turned to Arkan. “I need to talk to the other Sekhmet.”

“Why?”

“I think we should give her a chance to help us. She may not understand what she is doing If I can talk to her, find out if there is a way to free the dragon without bloodshed. Surely that is worth a shot?”

“Lynsey, I am not sure. Sekhmet needs the dragon to stay alive. She has a vested interest in keeping him. If they have promised a prolonged life to the king so does he. I don’t think there is another way.” He moved closer. “You know I care for you and if you feel you need to do this before we commit ourselves to risking the lives of others then I will support you.”

Lynsey felt the heat of his body next to hers. She was grateful for his support. She needed to make sure and this was the only way.

They talked at length for hours about the best way to approach Sekhmet. She never left the temple but did leave the environs of the cavern each night. Sekhmet had a suite of rooms away from the other brethren in the outer regions of the Temple. Arkan had seen them when casing out the temple. They would go there.

It was easy to get into the temple even with the extra guards after the publicity that Sekhmet was alive and well. Arkan led Lynsey to a creeping plant to the north of the building. It was in shade and no one noticed while they crept up to the second story window. The window was in the pantry and rows of pots, urns, bowls and bottles were lined up neatly on each side of them. Arkan led the way and Lynsey followed quietly behind. There were very few guards on this side of the building. They were concentrated on the front door and around the entrances to the Dragon. They were clearly confident that no one would bother Sekhmet.

Sekhmet’s rooms were luxurious. There were silk drapes hanging from the ceilings separating different parts of the room. She had a large bed with more silk drapes hung on a wooden frame with colourful cushions scattered on the bed.

There was a bathroom, visible by an open door to their right and a desk and chair were placed before the window giving a view of the mountains in the distance.

Lynsey and Arkan decided to wait in the bathroom. It wasn’t long before Sekhmet glided in. While she had pleaded fragility outside in front of the populace, here she strode in with the grace and danger of a wild cat. She closed the door and hung her robe on the back. She was wearing a deep red dress that covered her from head to toe.

She sat at her desk and her head went up.

“You wanted to see me?”

Lynsey looked at Arkan. They came out and saw the woman smiling into a mirror they hadn’t noticed.

“Hello again.”

“Hello. I’m Lynsey.”

“I know. Have you come to kill me?”

“No! I just want to talk to you. Did you know that poor dragon is in pain and understands what you do to him every time you take blood?”

Sekhmet stood up and strode towards them. She stopped at the bed and regarded them. “Did you know that we are very alike Lynsey? Lynsey is not a common name on Duat but then neither is Kathryn. I had to change it to blend in. It is quite strange here. Don’t you think? We spend our lives on Earth just trying to muddle along, meet someone, look after them and die. It’s not a life I ever wanted.” Kathryn’s eyes blazed. Lynsey took a step back.

Here, life is what you make it. I came here in the 1820s. I suppose it is a little different now. “

“You are from Earth?”

“Why yes, obviously from an earlier time. I think we came by very different ways though. How did you arrive?”

“I was struck by lightning and found myself here.”

“Interesting, I came here by the way most people did. My father was an Egyptologist. He was fascinated with the pyramids. I wasn’t that struck but it meant delaying the whole getting married and having children noose. We were promised that we would be shown a pyramid never before seen. Virgin territory as it were. My father couldn’t resist and of course I joined him for company and to be his unpaid assistant. Look this is going to take some time. Why don’t I show you?” Kathryn darted forward and grabbed Lynsey’s arm. She felt the bracelet hit something metal. Lynsey’s eyes widened as she realized that Kathryn had a bracelet too. She felt herself toppling over into darkness.

“Father, can you trust the man?” Lynsey heard a voice say.

“You cannot be certain but he has never let me down before. We need the money, that damned bank will take the house if we cannot pay the death duties. Your debutante ball was a washout and we have received no offers for your hand. We need to take risks.”

Lynsey/Kathryn turned and caught her reflection on a window hanging on the bathroom wall. Her chestnut brown hair was tied up in a knot. Her blue eyes looked through a pair of spectacles and her dress would have been old fashioned even for then.

Lynsey tried to make Kathryn move but found she was a passenger and all she could was watch.

“Pico,” she called, but there was no response.

“I’m not sure about this father.”

“We have no choice.” Was his curt reply.

There was a knock at the door and Kathryn skirts swished as she went to open it. It was the short stout man that they were expecting. He led them out of the room down to some horses waiting outside. There were even more mosquitos out here than in the room. How she detested this place.

“What, no camels?”

Her father gave her a quelling look and Kathryn subsided. She was used to riding so she hooked her parasol on to the saddle and hitched up her skirts to get on the horse. They were already moving off by the time she was comfortable. She trotted to catch up to them.

They rode in silence for an hour over cold empty desert. Her reservations were taking on an even darker form while she imagined them to be murdered where no one could hear their screams and their possessions taken from the hotel room. The last laugh would be on them though as they had nothing of value to steal but they did not know that.

After a while she saw some men working in the distance. They were soon close and she could see an opening had been cleared in the sand. Underneath a cream awning, stone steps led to a corridor that went underground. She looked at her father whose excitement was barely contained.

Their companions motioned them to go down the steps.

“Father, where is Felippe?”

“He must have been delayed.”

“We can’t talk to them without him.” She said.

“It will be okay.” She followed him down the steps and discovered a long low corridor. They stooped and moved in deeper. Rooms covered in treasure like she’d never seen dazzled them as they descended. At a fork in the tunnel, her father pointed for her to go one way and he went another. She was reluctant but she walked down the incline until she came to a bare room. She pulled up her candle and noticed through the disturbed dust sparkling in the candlelight that there were pictures on the wall. She drew nearer to recognize Osiris. Her fingers began to trace the outline.  The colours were amazing. She touched the green of his skin and some paint crumbled against her fingers. She drew back horrified at what she’d done.

Suddenly she felt dizzy. She covered her eyes to blink and she found herself in another room. She cried out for her father but he didn’t answer. She twisted but it all looked unfamiliar. The room was bigger with only three walls. She felt frightened, all the more scary for being an unfamiliar emotion.

Lynsey felt herself topple again and found herself back home. Daytime television was on and she was wrapped up in her blanket with a bowl of cornflakes uneaten on the table. God she felt ill. Her very bones ached but she knew she was getting better so was happy. She had an extension on her dissertation and she would be able to finish her degree next year. Things were looking up.

Lynsey next found herself a few months later waiting at the bus stop.

Kathryn was discovering how she had got here she realized. She saw herself head for the trees and then the lightning strike coming down…

Back in the room, Lynsey looked at Kathryn who had stepped away to stand before the bed again.

“So.”

“So.”

“So you are from a long time ago. You can still stop hurting the dragon. His name is Grolmak.”

“I know.”

Lynsey looked confused. “Oh you know because you got it out of my memories.”

“No, I know because he told me.” Kathryn pulled her sleeve up her arm and the Osiris band became visible. “You are not the only one who can talk to dragons.”

“You know he is an intelligent thinking being yet you treat him like you do?” Lynsey’s voice was rising in incredulity.

“Why should that be any different from keeping slaves?”

“You can’t do that!”

“I think you’ll find I have been doing that for over two hundred years.”

Contents

Chapter 1 - Duat
Chapter 2 - London - Present Day
Chapter 3 – Lynsey on Duat
Chapter 4 - Nomads
Chapter 5 - Scorpion
Chapter 6 - The Dragon Temple
Chapter 7 - Assassin
Chapter 8 - The Luscious Luna
Chapter 9 - Arkan Blade
Chapter 10 - Kidnapped
Chapter 11 - Rescue
Chapter 12 - Modesty
Chapter 13 - Banquet
Chapter 14 - Arkan
Chapter 15 - Dancing with the King
Chapter 16 - Dragon Brotherhood
Chapter 17 - Pico
Chapter 18 – The Dragon
Chapter 19 – Settling Down
Chapter 20 – Danger Revealed
Chapter 21 – Betrayal
Chapter 22 - A Meeting of Minds
Chapter 23 = Invisibility
Chapter 24 - Desert
Chapter 25 - Escape
Chapter 26 - Gathering
Chapter 27 - Search
Chapter 28 - Temple Camp
Chapter 29 - Decision
Chapter 30 - Baserius
Chapter 31 - Sekhment
Chapter 32 - Miracle

ACCIDENTAL IMMORTAL CHAPTER 32 – MIRACLE (SERIALISATION)

Accidental Immortal serialisation

There are fates worse than death…

#amwriting #books

Welcome to the serialisation of Accidental Immortal. Chapters will be published four times a week so the serialisation will be completed at (roughly) the same time as on Wattpad, if not a little sooner!

If you would like to start from the beginning, please head over to chapter one. There is also a contents list at the bottom of each post.

–Ceri Clark

Chapter 32 – miracle

Illyara waited as the crowds gathered. She saw some cousins at the back of the crowd but stayed invisible. She moved quietly, avoiding the out flung arms and legs of the excited crowd, keeping to the edges until she was near the stone steps. A metallic smell emanated from the woman’s blood, pervading the air around the steps. Illyara instinctively covered her nose but she still felt queasy. She crept behind Sekhmet to stand by the door and waited for the ritual to end.

As before Sekhmet healed dozens of people saving the worst for last. This time it was a man with one leg. He hobbled up to the steps on crutches and two priests rushed down to carry him up. He had an arm around each priest, and couldn’t have weighed much under his rags. Even so, their faces scrunched with the effort. Behind them, another priest carried his crutches and handed them back up to him at the top of the steps.

Sekhmet gave a wintry grin. Illyara shivered beside her. There was no concern in the other woman’s expression.  Sekhmet strode towards the man and bade him sit on a chair brought forward. He pulled up his trouser leg to reveal a stump, long healed over.

“No longer will this man be forced to beg.” She cried out. “Behold the power of Sekhmet!”

She slashed her arm once more, filling a chalice to the brim. She tottered but waved away a priest who moved forward. Another bowl stood ready, still half-full from the previous supplicant. She closed her eyes for a moment and handed the chalice to another brother standing by. The priest handed the cup to the one legged man. When he began to drink the first brother splashed the blood from the bowl over the old man’s stump. The crowd gasped. The man cried out in agony. As the crowd watched, bone started to jut out from his scarred flesh, spurting blood over nearby watchers. New muscle and skin quickly formed to extend over the glistening bone. Within minutes the leg formed before their eyes. The entire crowd dropped to their knees. There was no need to say anymore, Sekhmet turned and went inside.

Illyara followed the woman through the Temple into the corrider leading to the basement, keeping close so that she could pass through the door directly behind her. They passed guard after guard until they reached an ornate wooden door.

The woman stiffened just as she was about to open it and turned quickly. Illyara pressed herself against the cool wall. Her heart was racing. Had she heard her? Sekhmet cocked her head to one side then shook it. She opened the final door and Illyara followed closely behind.

The room was warm and dark and the smell! Lynsey had never mentioned the smell, it made her want to wretch. It was the same smell as outside. Illyara stayed near the entrance and watched as Sekhmet strode up to the dragon. His head rose an inch before settling down as if he didn’t care. What had they put him through? Sekhmet took a knife from a  nearby table and slashed at the dragon. He barely whimpered. Bright red blood steamed from his arm falling on to a deep plate which caught it.

The woman lifted the plate and raised it to her lips. Illyara turned her head away as the woman drank. Her gulps audible in the stillness. Illyara looked again to see Sekhmet wiping away blood from her lips with a cloth and turn away to the door. Before she left she said two words.

“Thank you.”

Illyara waited a few more moments before moving. She skirted a table and stood before the dragon before letting herself be seen. He didn’t even acknowledge her presence.

“I’m so sorry.” She whispered.

That got his attention and great head swung to look at her.

“I know you can understand me. Lynsey said that you could. I need to tell you that we are going to get you out. I know you have been here too long but with Lynsey we have a chance to free you. They will come tonight under the floor and they will blast you out. I will go now. The next time someone comes in it will be to free you tonight. Will you be able to fly out?”

The dragon raised his head and she heard a chain clank on to the stone floor.

“Of course, you are chained. Let me help you?”

She took a knife concealed in her belt and placed it in the lock around its neck. The lock was stiff but she pressed hard and twisted. Her tongue protruded from her teeth as she concentrated until it clicked. She let out a sharp exhale in relief. She stood up, leaving it closed but unlocked. She then moved around his body and did the same with his legs and tail.

“You should be able to shake your chains off when you hear the first blast.”

He nodded as if he understood.

Illyara looked around the room and spotted a chair beside the table. She moved it so it faced towards the dragon. She sat down with the back to the door. She would be able to hear it opening.

“I have to wait until they open the door so I may as well tell you the history of our tribe since you left while I wait.

“We looked for you when you went missing. We left the oasis and went roaming. We promised we would never settle down until we found you.” She paused. “We searched for a hundred years before we heard about the Dragon Brotherhood. We came here but we couldn’t get to you.“ Tears streamed down Illyara’s cheeks. “It is our eternal shame that we could not free you until now.”

The dragon shifted until he faced her.

“We travelled and waited. We heard of the first Sekhmet that we think is the same one that hurt you earlier.”

He nodded.

“She was powerful and had armies. We could not have rescued you then. The power of Sekhmet has waned. The kings rose to challenge them and were for the most part kept in check by bribery and arms but now is the time when we can defeat her.”

There is a war with the others, the king is ambitious, the brotherhood is running out of money and we have a new Sekhmet!”

The dragon raised his head. She took it as a question.

“I’ve seen Lynsey heal, she talks to people in their own tongue and does not realize it. She even looks like Sekhmet in human form with her blond hair. If we do not succeed this time, we do not deserve to.”

A creaking behind told her the door was opening and she made herself invisible. She swiftly strode to the door and waited patiently while someone came in. It wasn’t the woman but a man carrying a plate full of meat. He laid it before the dragon and sauntered back to the corridor. Illyara followed him silently until she reached the main temple complex and then hurried out of the building. It took minutes to enter the building that Arkan had found them and she found Lynsey in the basement filling up mini-barrels with black powder.

“He will be expecting us.”

Lynsey nodded and placed a top on to the keg and nailed it shut. She placed her arms on to the new surface and smiled at her friend.

“We are ready then, we just need to put these barrels next to an outside wall in the temple and Kaboom no more wall. Grolmak should be able to just fly out. I just need some help with taking the barrels down the tunnel.”

“I will see if my cousins are available.”

Illyara rushed off and sped to the park. She was surprised to find everyone gathered in the main tent. Faroushk was standing in the circle talking but she could barely hear with the muttering around her. She pushed through until she stood before him.

“What is happening” She asked him.

“We are going against Sekhmet by doing this.”

“What are you saying?”

“We cannot stand against a god.”

“She is not a god.”

“Illyara, we saw her with our own eyes: how she healed those people. There were cripples there, people with no legs yet we saw them grow in front of us.”

“That woman is stealing from the dragon. I saw her drink his blood. If she were really Sekhmet do you think she would age like she has? That is an old woman.”

Faroushk paused and everyone looked at him to see what he would do next.

Illyara took over, “This is the only chance we have of defeating the Dragon Brotherhood. She is not the real Sekhmet. She is too old and she is using the dragon for her powers. She is a fraud.  The real Sekhmet has no need for a dragon to heal.”

The muttering increased until they heard a voice from the entrance.

“I can heal too. If the dragon’s blood can heal others, I can too.” Lynsey stood in the doorway of the tent. Her face was flushed as if she had been running.

“We shouldn’t test the gods.” Illyara cried out but Faroushka overruled her.

“Yes we need to see this. How can we believe in something that we cannot see?”

Lynsey nodded at her friend and Illyara subsided. She never felt more ashamed of her people until that moment.

Faroushk pointed to the corner and called out for Edruter. An old man hobbled forward on a cane guided by hands. “We will see who is the real Goddess.”

“Has anyone got a knife” Lynsey asked.

A few knifes were offered and Lynsey took a small paring knife. She took a goblet that another offered.

Gritting her teeth she sank the knife into her wrist and let the blood flow into the goblet. It didn’t hurt that much she reflected. The goblet filled up a third before the gash healed up. She placed the cup between the blind man’s hands. They shook slightly but the man drew his hands up to his lips and drank deeply. Immediately they could see changes. The white covering his eyes were melting away and leaving the characteristic blue eyes of their tribe. He was silent for a moment before letting out a great shout. The goblet dropped to the floor and his family joined in hugging him. There were tears in his eyes as he turned back to Lynsey.

“I believe.” He said simply and then he went off to stand before his wife. Lynsey felt near to tears herself as the old man raised his hands to his wife’s face and traced its shape. Illyara knelt before her. One by one the others began to kneel until the whole tent was on their knees and Lynsey was the only one left standing.

“We will follow you. “ Faroushk said, looking at the floor. He then looked directly at her eyes and smiled. Sekhmet on Duat, we will follow you wherever it will lead.

Contents

Chapter 1 - Duat
Chapter 2 - London - Present Day
Chapter 3 – Lynsey on Duat
Chapter 4 - Nomads
Chapter 5 - Scorpion
Chapter 6 - The Dragon Temple
Chapter 7 - Assassin
Chapter 8 - The Luscious Luna
Chapter 9 - Arkan Blade
Chapter 10 - Kidnapped
Chapter 11 - Rescue
Chapter 12 - Modesty
Chapter 13 - Banquet
Chapter 14 - Arkan
Chapter 15 - Dancing with the King
Chapter 16 - Dragon Brotherhood
Chapter 17 - Pico
Chapter 18 – The Dragon
Chapter 19 – Settling Down
Chapter 20 – Danger Revealed
Chapter 21 – Betrayal
Chapter 22 - A Meeting of Minds
Chapter 23 = Invisibility
Chapter 24 - Desert
Chapter 25 - Escape
Chapter 26 - Gathering
Chapter 27 - Search
Chapter 28 - Temple Camp
Chapter 29 - Decision
Chapter 30 - Baserius
Chapter 31 - Sekhment