Lots of New Stories are out and More are Coming.

Back in January 2020 I wrote a story before the lockdown not knowing that we were in a pandemic… so that is why I left this story on the backburner.

It is about people left behind following the evacuation of citizens after a zombie apocalypse. I mentioned on twitter that I was tempted to publish it now… and people seemed to encourage me to do so. I went ahead and made a cover. I’m quite impressed with the cover tbh.

What do you think? Because it was already completed and edited 2 years ago I only need to go over it once or twice for last minute edits and checks, as such I’ve set a 31st August release date.

My short stories: In Our Home & On Our Graves have done extremely well peaking at no. 2 to no. 4 in horror short stories so if you downloaded and read thank you. I think the free promotion is still on so grab copies now for life, otherwise you need Kindle Unlimited to read them. Number #3 In Their Minds is being edited and will be out this week. Then I’ll release In The River which should round the series off.

So as you can see since Beach Town ~ Survivors was released, and I am so glad it has, I’ve been busy. Granted I kept all these things on the low side because I was wanting to promote Survivors more than the others. I have more time now to dedicate to writing and with multiple stories in editing, and being written I’d say I have my hands full.

At the end of the day if I want to be a writer and be known as one I need to put my work out there. I see so many writers on twitter who started publishing only 2 years ago who have loads of fans and tons of stories out, with good ratings. It is my hope to become one of them, although maybe my work isn’t good enough. You need to tell me if that is the case.

My New Official Title!

Sir Michael Grantham-James-Stewart III

Wizard identity revealed

My new title, or should I say, my official title. I am so damned blessed to have such a long name! That is all! You might find me by other, more boring names, but this was all for show anyway. How many of you are alive?

Fist Fighting the Undead (Cont.)

Welcome to this short story post. I decided to start a story on Medium to give me something to write on that platform. It really will be a short story. I don’t usually write in first person but oh well. I am also letting you go to read the first part by clicking the link at the end of this post. Hope you enjoy. This is an ongoing story.

The foul stench of death breezes under my nose and the woman cradles my torso. Lingering fear slips beneath my shallow breath and tickles my throat. “We fight to the death,” I add. She sits up and slumps her head on her hand and gazes into my eyes. I feel the doubt creep into my mind. We should fight, and we must. But the nameless wanderer like me, had that pale look of desperation and weakness.

“I can’t fight, I’m too weak,” she says, her thick European accent is hard to figure out, could be French. I was not in the mood to ponder such thoughts so I just glared back hoping she’d go to sleep. But sleep was not easy, wolves howled, seemingly closer than before, and seemingly in larger numbers.

“Don’t worry, we will be okay.” She lays back down and huffs. I know I can’t keep myself from worrying and have to open the tent netting. The fresh cool air brushes my face and the smell of mildew is already filling the fields. There is nothing to see and nothing to do but wait. Sunrise was many hours away, and they’d have to endure the isolation just a little longer. But no, through the thick black and slivers of moonlight I see not one but several corpses sway toward us. I go to move, and the stench creeps around the tent and claws inside…


Read the first part on Medium now 👇 All feedback is welcomed. Criticism is welcomed.

https://medium.com/@thomas_maxwellharrison/fist-fighting-the-undead-4f63b257b79?source=friends_link&sk=ac5ef2189a1655f3fb046b983ea83e49

Find the back cover and blurb for the upcoming novella – Beach Town: Survivors – due for release over the summer period (aiming for August latest).

Lots of Money & Wizard Nebula

A couple have won £184,262,899 on the lottery. I used to think ‘wow, that is great,’ but now I just roll my eyes because they all act so noble by saying something like ‘I will continue to work,’ WHATEVER. The reality is you will never work again and you know it, so stop with the attempts at trying to look like a superhero you fools. Oh, and the lottery company are going to keep you tightly controlled as well, because when you win you get a ‘personal advisor’ who will stay with the winners throughout the process, sometimes decades after the win, and access to a panel of ‘specialist advisors’ who help navigate their new life and wealth.

Listen closesly, if I won that amount, I would not be interested in advisors who work for the company dishing out the money. I’d hire my own. I can guarantee these advisors and specialists from camelot are not free of charge. They invented something called ‘sudden wealth syndrome too.’ I wish people would wake up. When you win, go and take the money far away and say ‘goodbye you sticky fingered peasants’ to camelot.

They say to beware of people begging for money and ‘new friends’. Interesting, because if I had that money, I would give it away, little by little. I would happily pay so-called friends money. Why? Because I can’t think of any bank who is going to protect all of your money. £184m is not protected in one place. You can’t even deposit that anymore. I’d buy loads of properties and then fill them with poor people. Yes. Camelot ‘suggest’ a bank which I find highly suspicious considering it is private banks. I am not comfortable with this. Camelot probably own the bank in small print. My point is that winners should be free to use their brains and go live their life. They cannot possibly spend all of that money quickly. So, why not give a lot away to the disadvantaged? I wish people had better morality and ethical goggles. I might also invest in a zoo, so some luxury. But in my defense I would run said zoo (again). I’d also pay to have my books made to movies. It cost £365m to make Avengers Endgame. You know that money could have solved half the problems in LA. I love how the rich are self obsessed to the point they don’t even realise it. Then they play camaraderie at the ass licking Oscar event. Host: Kiss my ass, Will Smith. Will Smith: Hold my gun while I slap this bitch.

Beautiful Wizard Nebula. It is all there is and ever will be. A globe, the earth, which floats through space for eternity. Stars streaked across the sky, a black hole full of debris. God is watching us in the abyss. We should learn to escape to the other side. If we did, we might be scared or relieved.

Psychonaut

What say you, might psychonautus?

Choose to be a good person out of the reality that is your true nature, an intelligent and loving being created by God. ~ Wizard

I see that the man with all the pennies is now buying about twenty acres of land. I also noticed he had got rid of his old cat. That is a shame, but I suspect the cat was beginning to use his audio device to listen to the old man’s neighbours. That isn’t an unfounded allegation by the way, I saw that cat out in the streets, talking spy language with other cats. Anyway, there is the possibility the cat was sent to defector prison. What say you, you beautiful human? “Meow.” Okay fair enough, ciao. Cat chowder.

Castles (5)

Welcome to episode 5 of the Medieval England History series. You can access all the episodes by going to this link here. I hope you are enjoying this nostalgic adventure into the heart of what England was during the time of the black death. If you do like what you read then be sure to follow because new episodes are posted regularly. Today this episode is about medieval castles!


Castles in medieval England served a very important purpose, they were designed and built primarily as the homes and fortresses of a monarch or noble. Early castles would have been built from earth and wood, but as the times moved on, by the 12th century most castles were built from stone.

The roof of the castles were built or covered with slates, clay tiles or wooden shingles. The castle had to be well guarded and defended both by men and in terms of the position and structure, because a poorly built castle meant almost certain doom for the occupants. That is why they built castles on steep hills or at the top of rock cliffs, sometimes beside the sea. The positions meant that the castle automatically had an advantage from attack, as potential invaders had to get up the hills or cliffs before getting into the castle. It was still possible though, and the use of other weapons like catapults certainly helped this.

If the castle was not built to house a monarch or noble then it could have secondary uses or purposes. Notable is the use of castles as barracks to house soldiers (spearmen, militia, swordsmen, archers, crossbow men, knights, billmen etc). They could serve as prisons, armories, treasure houses, and the center for local government… yes, they still had a government in medieval ages, albeit under the rule of the monarch. Other less violent uses included using castles as brew houses, laundry, workshops, dovecotes, and stables. It was not uncommon to have a few of these things mixed together in a castle grounds, along with a barracks for example.

The castle would be surrounded by a huge wall which would be many meters high and dense. They were not just walls, they were 3 layers thick consisting of; a rough stone inner shell, a thick solid filling of flint and rubble, and an outer layer of stone called ashlars. The wall would have a flat walkway which would allow guards to keep watch and to notify the other guards should an intruder be noticed. The archers if there were any would be able to use a embrasure, which would allow them to shoot whilst protected by the wall. And, don’t forget the medieval ages was brutal, so the openings in the wall allowed boiling water or stones or even waste at times to be thrown down onto any attacking enemy. Most castles had a moat too, which was an added level of protection, a stream of deep water that surrounded the castles. Castles built near lakes or rivers could use that water by digging or channeling water to the moat. A drawbridge would allow access across the moat and would be raised if an enemy approached.

Stokesay is the most well preserved castle sites in England. Worth a journey to spend a day looking around.

Inside a castle was a little different to outside. They did not have what we have today, but did have quite a lot of things that we might be surprised at. They didn’t have central heating of course, they had alternative more costs effective means of keeping warm (that is a joke, it didn’t cost anything to light a fire back then). Only the Lord and Lady of the castle had used a main fireplace, along with thick, heavy blankets, mattresses made of feathers, fur covers etc. So the Lord and the Lady (nobles) or the Monarch (I suspect a lot more than just blankets, including women for kings). The workers, or anyone not a noble had to sleep in the towers which were cold and damp, and you can imagine the winter. In summer though, the castle would still remain cold for the workers.

A castle hall was the biggest, grandest room in the entire fortress. The middle ages saw it common place to sleep in the hall. It was the place to dine and to drink and socialise. Lords of the castle would host social gatherings and people gathered in the hall for a massive feast and listened to music (yes, the played musical instruments, played by minstrels, or wandering singers). Occasionally the Lords might also host a jousting event in a field outside. There were laundry too, and bedding and clothes were washed, and everything was maintained. Everyone in the castle had a job, even if it was to provide entertainment and this resulted in castles being loud and busy.

Attackers could use moveable towers to climb over the walls, could tunnel under the walls, and of course use catapults, which were employed later on. Attackers could stop the supply of food and water and other resources and even kill assisting soldiers coming to the castle.

Waste disposal in castles was not as good as the personal hygiene. Castles did not have plumbing which means the waste would remain in one place until it was cleaned by chamber maids (they still did it, and for a pittance), although a poor sanitary waste system was a lot better than a lower class citizen. People in medieval ages had regard to personal hygiene and washed their hands, took baths and brushed their teeth! They brushed their teeth using something called a miswak, brushing or scrubbing the teeth until they ‘felt’ clean. Others could use a cloth or their fingers. Personal hygiene was advocated for as early as the Vikings, who encouraged use of combs and act of washing. People would get their hair cut by a barber, who also performed minor surgeries to the teeth and pulled out rotten teeth, talk about a worthwhile visit.


Thank you for reading episode 5 castles in the Medieval England History series. If you enjoyed this then stay tuned by liking, commenting, reblogging, following and more! The next in the series will be a little more about the life in castles, particularly focusing on the roles within it, starting with the cooks! Cooks are a very important roles in the castle of medieval times.

Viking

Days when the axe cost more than the bread

bread ate by fearful citizens

of a baron land

seas filled with ships of destruction

destroy settlement and lambs

murder innocent children

fill their hands with the flesh of their enemies

this is past

but we are the future. 

Dragons (4)

Welcome to the fourth post in the medieval England series, this is the dragons section. If you have followed the series so far you will recount Alchemy(1), Knights(2) and Wizards(3) for the previous posts. Hopefully you enjoy reading and you can of course listen to the audio version via Spotify. Thanks you and enjoy this episode.


Dragons! The most feared creatures within the land during the medieval ages. A knight or group of knights known were known as Orders of Chivalry, like the knight Templar. Those orders were sometimes called upon to slay a dragon. We have legends like St George who slayed a dragon.

The story of St George is well known to England. He successfully tamed and slayed a dragon which had both demanded and consumed human sacrifices. The dragon would extort villages of livestock and trinkets, like gold. Eventually they turned to offering humans once a year, because they simple didn’t have the livestock or jewels to give the dragon. This horrific practice continued until eventually a beloved princess was chosen as the next offering. St George rescued the princess from the dragon.

St George and the Dragon! (source-wikipedia)

Lesser known is the slaying of the dragon by St Margaret of Antioch, who was swallowed alive by a dragon. Whilst inside she made the sign of the cross – which could have been using her sword – which caused the dragons belly and stomach to burst open! She used to be quite the revered saint in England during the medieval ages, and was associated with protecting women in childbirth. This destroying of the dragon using the sign of the cross ties into a religious idea about dragons, which is talked about further down. The story though was disputed by Jacobus de Voragine, who had written the Golden Legend which St George was a part of.

Enter another legend, Beowulf. Based on the epic poem. Not quite English and around the 6th century, a Scandinavian legend, but a brutal final attack about a dragon slaying. 50 years after defeating Grendel’s mother Beowulf slays a dragon, but is mortally wounded in battle and dies! A final courageous battle for a fearless man, one man alone who chose to fight the dragon solo. The people were fearful after his death, because they believed without him that they would be defenseless. It’s a great story and you can even watch the movie which was released in 2007 (I still remember watching this with my dad and brothers, it was a good time).

Beowulf slays the dragon, before dying from wounds.

Dragons still play a significant role today in society through the various multitudes of artwork, sculptures on public display and movies. Due to the dragon being associated with religion, particularly the devil, it was said during medieval times that to see a dragon was a reminder to not sin and to be a good person, particularly when saw in church. Said to have been the tempter of Eve in the garden of Eden.

All this mythology is great, but what about something close to real? Meet the Wyverns, a common dragon in medieval heraldry. Commonly depicted in artwork. Not that these are any more real, but certainly the more common types that were known in England and Wales.

Wyvern

Wormhill dragons, around 700AD named by the Anglo-Saxons. The hill at Knotlow in Derbyshire (I used to live in Derbyshire) was the base or lair of the dragon. Couple them with legends like the Longwitton dragon, of Northumbrian legend. Each dragon brought bad things. No medieval village or settlement was safe with them around.

What makes dragons so scary? Well, for one they fly with their huge wings. This gives them an automatic advantage when attacking villages or castles. In order to hide from a dragon people would have had to be inside a stone building or underground. They have extremely strong scales which are akin to armour, and a lot of knights could not kill them with their swords and stronger weapons were needed like catapults or cross bows. Fire they breathe… yes the fire is death and destruction and it could rip through a village and kill everyone very quickly. Unless you had some way to appease it, and most people didn’t, then you’d be killed. They can use their huge mouths and teeth to just simply chew you up. In the Hobbit movie, Smaug is unstoppable and has been for many years, and can only really be stopped with courage and powerful weapons.

Before we end let’s look for a final time at what a dragon symbolises, among other things: psychic abilities, honesty, fearlessness, passion, magic abilities, medieval times, uncertainty, faith. The story of St George is significant to understanding exactly what a dragon was that they all saw. Below are depictions of the dragon he is supposed to have slayed, and they all resembled jurassic creatures. Could dragons of medieval times simply have been ancient dinosaurs which so happened to fly? It is not far fetched at all, it is also possible that dragons might actually be real, or were at some point in history.

Undoubtedly the biggest threat in the medieval ages after the black death, hunger and the inquisition. Although we don’t have pictures of them from the medieval ages, you can watch many films with dragons. Dragonheart – highly recommend it to see a proper dragon. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the film is dragon from start to finish. Game of Thrones of course has dragons and so many more.


Thank you for reading episode 4 – dragons – in the medieval England history series. If you liked then please like, comment, reblog and follow and as usual, have a lovely day.

I Want

I want is a farce

you see, it is desire and fear

driving you to appear... most humbly 

bumbling around the coal shed

avoiding your wife in bed

still you need

want and long for a material item

I want freedom, so walk outside

I want food, so eat some

I want love, then find it

I want a caring mother, sorry I cannot help you!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.