Archive for September, 2009

you are not worthy unless you have a child in today’s society

UNLESS YOU GIVE BIRTH YOU ARE NOT WORTHY IN TODAY’S SOCIETY

With Britain’s younger mothers becoming more prominent on the streets of our cities and towns, pushing their push chairs very proudly, shopping to their hearts content while regular tax payers contribute to their forever growing offspring, and the attitudes that coincide with this new trend does rather make one question how worthy those of us who do not have children in our twenties and thirties really are to society?

True that our “stay at home mums” would not have a leg to stand on without the twenty/thirty/forty year olds who have focused on their careers and contribute steadily to Britain’s pot of money that provides these baby machines with their chosen life styles. But the government’s approach to the girls that see fit to get “knocked up” during their teenage years and not progress to a worthy career or even a steady job is not what concerns me as much as the attitudes that society have to those of us who have chosen to “better” ourselves and the sheer disgust placed upon us to have the Goddamned right not to want children.

Not only do these girls patrol the streets, running down old people, crashing into wheel chairs and knocking over service dogs, but then they look at their victims as though it was their fault. They get on public transport, not bothering to take their child from the push-chair and fold it up so elderly people and disabled people can sit at the designated seats at the front of the bus, and then grumble when asked to move their push-chair. Then there’s always allowing their children to run around the supermarket or mall when they are old enough to walk, screaming and causing a basic nuisance of themselves without ever being reprimanded by the lazy parents who look on with such pride.

So this behavior seems to apparently be acceptable by society and what’s worse, is that those of us who don’t coo and cuddle society’s offspring are deemed cold and what’s worse, often invisible.

You can be having an adult conversation with someone and then all of a sudden, someone shows up with a baby and your conversation is abruptly interrupted and over while they coo and goggle at the infant. And don’t ever try to strike up a conversation with anyone when they are near a baby, you will be shot down with, “aren’t you so beautiful? O what a lovely smile. You are so cute, o yes you are!” Sense does not seem to exist around those who have children or want children, all they know is stupid baby sounds and are seemingly incapable of constructing a sentence let alone upholding a decent conversation.

Nothing those of us who are childless holds any clout. We may as well say nothing for the result we get, nothing. We may as well be pointing out the weather for as much good as it will do us. If there’s a child within the vicinity, then you have no option with expressing your views. But if a mother of a child speaks up, then everyone must listen and adhere to her oh so “wise?” words. And don’t you DARE question them, no matter how ridiculous their point of view or plan is. That is a severe offense.

Another thing to note, it is not wise to make any sound or move anything or change the channel on the TV set in case it “upsets” the baby. So all you have ever done must now revolve around a child that isn’t even yours. Crazy how society wants even those of us who don’t have children to love and want them around us all of the time and make the same sacrifices as those who have children by choice.

In conclusion, those of us who choose a life away from offspring are deemed cold, crazy and selfish. Hmm, I know which I’d rather be? there’s more to life than children.

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PIRACY, WHAT’S THE DEALIO?

PIRACY, WHAT’S THE DEALIO?

With the introduction of the internet, it made it so easy to upload music and share it through pier to pier sharing sites or software. Even before we had the internet, how many of us borrowed our friends CDs and copied them and even before then, how many of our parents copied tapes? The truth is, technically, piracy has been around for generations. Does it make it right? In the eyes of the law, no, but in the eyes of the average consumer, not always.

Most of us know or know of someone who sells pirated CDS or DVDS or video games; whether any of us have purchased these or not is a private issue. Some of us may have gone a step further and downloaded music, movies, games or software “illegally” from these pier to pier sites ourselves.

Earlier this year the owners of one of these such sites, the pirate bay were jailed for pirating media content. Many would argue they were only hosting the torrents that are basically a downloadable file that when used in a torrent client will connect to seeders and you can obtain the enclosed media of that torrent file. Many within the downloadable field have argued that this is technically not illegal but history was made when the owners were jailed.

Many artists are furious with the piracy world and in part I can understand this. While many download the content for free, the artist is not getting any of the revenue from sales. My argument is, shouldn’t the artists be taking a lot of this issue up with the record companies. The reason people download content for free is because of the crazy prices put on music and movies and games nowadays.

Depending on where you purchase music or movies will depend on the price tag. Most albums and singles are under £8 in the UK Itunes store, most singles selling for £1.29. However, these may be lower but if you buy your music from a high street store, you are looking at least at a price tag of £12.99 for an album, £13.99 for a DVD and £2 or £3.99 for a cd single. How much of that goes directly to the artist? A very small percentage. If the albums were cut to a lower price tag, more consumers would shy away from the piracy world and be happy about purchasing music or movies from a legal source but as long as the record companies remain in charge, the high costs will stay and the artists will struggle to make money from their music.

HOW WILL FUTURE GENERATIONS AFFORD TO ATTEND UNIVERSITY?

HOW WILL FUTURE GENERATIONS AFFORD TO ATTEND UNIVERSITY?

This week it was announced that employers want the “quality” of university teaching to be increased and this is how they aim to achieve this.

They propose that by increasing tuition fees to around five or six thousand pounds per year, putting interest rates on student loans and abolishing student grants is the only way to “improve” teaching standards.

I ask though, is it not keeping the working class out of higher education? As a former student coming from a working class background, I know without the option of attaining a student loan I would not have been able to attend university at all. By putting interest rates upon student loans, taking away any financial support would only perturb potential students from working class backgrounds from attending university.

Don’t we then end up with generations of low self esteem, low morality and keeping the working class in that class structure? Or is it perhaps that exactly the effect these people are hoping for?

After being through a recession most of us are aware that the university intake has dropped this year and partly due to the economic climate but how severe would this make the intake rates? I can see why the employers partly theorize this plan in the essence that smaller class sizes would equal “quality” of teaching but by doing it with financial discrimination is not the correct way to go about this situation. University students should be assessed on academic status not what their parents class placement is. There could be a danger of depriving some of the most intelligent students by implementing these proposals and what would that do to our social ladder? Only widen it and increase the gap between working class, middle class and upper class that much more.

For hundreds of years only the rich attended university; we need to be moving forward in our attitudes not backwards.

In my opinion, if they implement this there will be uproar for the rights of individuals. Depriving an education and the opportunity to “better” yourself should not be based on your parents financial background and we are all aware that most working class parents cannot support their children with university costs.

If they implement these ludicrous proposals then I foresee fewer students attending university for the wrong reasons.
class structure

Student Life Prepares You for the Real World!

Student Life helps Later ON!

A strong statement to say the least but the simple truth of the matter is that anyone who moves to student accommodation is forced to become equipped in the real world. University students are often deemed as lazy and incapable of taking care of themselves but the majority of students learn and become all rounded individuals after the trials and tribulations of student life.

Many students are forced to feed themselves and this is probably one of the first daunting tasks they must undertake. But by doing so gives them the power to know they can actually survive on the basic means so the rest of their money can be used on other luxuries they desire, [alcohol, cigarettes, fancy techy toys] oh, and of course the essential uni materials.

So pot noodles, frozen meals and toast become a student’s best friend. It is not, how mummy dear perceives it and the students just “cannot take care of themselves”, it is more of a case that the students would rather go out and spend their money on other essentials.

Time and money management are huge responsibilities when first leaving home and doing both of those things, on top of taking care of yourself is often a task hard to juggle. But by the end of a uni stint in halls or student housing, it becomes apparent that not only have students “survived” but they have super-exceeded everyone’s expectations, [especially their own!].

Doing a three thousand word essay at 6:30 in the morning before its due in whilst making your breakfast, [toast] while suffering from a killer hangover and lack of sleep and sorting laundry because you have no clean clothes to go out in that night after the test you have this afternoon is easy after a few years of practice. Once classes are over you then decide the twenty you have left in your wallet will go on the afore mentioned night out and you study while balancing your check book and making soup from hot water and stock cubes with a few pieces of stale bread that act as croutons in for good measure. Laundry is achieved after the test and you are either using your own or a borrowed hair dryer to dry your fave shirt as the dryer at the laundry place was out of order and you really need that shirt. You clean the place, knowing there’s an inspection the next morning while you get ready for the night out, eating a french stick that you bought from the clearance section of the supermarket for a ridiculous low amount and reading the chapter on something major for the next morning class. And once you come home, drink way more and dirty the clean kitchen, you crash for a few hours to start a similar, crazy routine at 7 AM.

So this crazy and hectic schedule that most students do keep up, will prepare anyone for a life of work, pleasure and yep, even the responsibilities that come with life.

What makes me….?

What Makes me Love you?
What makes me want you?
Is it the smile you wear,
Or the clothes, the scent of your hair,
The faded way you keep it,
Or the gangsta way that you sit,
Or maybe it’s the laugh from deep within,
Whatever it is you’ve surely pulled me in.

Could it be your swagger,
The way you put it on me,
Your eyes that light up with your mood,
Or the way you talk while eating your food,
The scent of gucci or Armani that cloud you,
Or the way you tease me and make me do the things I do.

Or else is it your demeanor?
The attitude; both kind and meaner,
Your strong arms that keep me safe within,
Or the gorgeous, insaciable grin?
Maybe its how safe you make me,
Or how you make me see so differently.

Is it how you inspire my craft?
Or the crazy things you say and do to make me laugh?
Or how about how you hold my hand,
When none of your homies are around,
The kisses you bestow
And shh me so no one will know.
Or maybe its how you take care of my needs,
Running baths, wrap me up and yet let me still lead,
How you let me do me,
And I’ll let you do you,
We fit together you and I,
Especially when its just us two.

So whatever the reasons,
Or whatever they may be,
I’m thankful for all that you do,
shopping sprees,
taking care,
Being amazing,
But most of all,
Loving me!

Enchantress of Los Oceana: Chapter 2

Chapter 2
The Enchantress of Los Oceana

Hope wasn’t sure how she knew what she was doing but she re-entered the castle and turned right and started to walk down a long maze. After around ten minutes she came to a door and pushed it open. A blinding light of color erupted in her eyes as she saw many colored gem stones lining the walls, ceiling and floor. There was a white throne at one end and several smaller ones all around the room. On those thrones were people like the girl she had seen in the rose garden mere minutes before.
“Welcome Hope,” A tall bearded man spoke to her from a throne to her right. “I’m Theodore Lexon”. Hope gasped in shock and was welcomed by another balding gentleman and finally by Rose Lexon herself who was sitting in a throne beside the big white one.
“Come and take your place Hope,” She said gently. Hope stood there, stock still for a few seconds and then inched her way forward.
Hope stood before Rose and smiled.
“My heart is telling me to do the right thing and my curiosity is feverish for knowledge of this place,” rose smiled at Hope warmly.
“Hope you will make an excellent enchantress!”
“What if I do something wrong?” A booming laugh came from behind her. She turned sharply to see the plum man with long silvery hair laughing jovially.
“With all us ancients to help you? How could you go wrong?” Hope smiled shyly.
“You will all help me?”
“Yes Hope,” Rose touched her hand and Hope felt a surge of warmth shoot through her body. “You have us to guide you but you’re a strong and intuitive girl. I have no doubt you’ll be able to handle your duties with little effort.” As Rose released Hope’s hand, a white dressed engulfed Hope and a faint pink light surrounded her. She could hear voices echoing in her head.
“We the ancients of Los Oceana, give you all the power we are able to give and proclaim you enchantress of Los Oceana!” A swirling light engulfed Hope and she found herself seated on the huge white throne.
“We will always be nearby, we always know,” Jessica informed her.
“I’m not sure what I’m to do,” Hope felt very uncertain of her next actions and looked around the room for guidance.
“You’ll know,” Theodore kissed her hand. They escorted her out and the pink light diminished and she was left in a beautiful white dress.

“Hope?” Ray looked up from the table in the Amber room.
“Yes father,” Hope grinned back at him. “I accepted”.
“I knew you would,” He hugged her.
“I’m going to change,” Hope left the room, with a clear idea of where she was heading. She had opened Rose Tower and knew her room was there.

Hope walked up a set of marble stairs that spiraled beautifully. As she reached the top landing, where the windows allowed a beautiful view of the mountains outside, a oak door stood with a knocker in the shape of a rose hung. She looked around her. The silvery light from the moon streaked the marble stairs and floors and the stone walls. She looked at the door and wondered how to open it. She reached out and as she touched the door, it opened. She smiled.

“That was easy,” She beamed at her self walking steadily and yet nervously into the moonlit room. As the door closed behind her, engulfing her in moonlight, small lights all around her turned themselves on. It gave the room a celestial glow. as she stepped further into the room, she gave a small shudder at the coolness of this room. She knew that no one had used this room for at least a century and yet it looked so clean and inviting but the chill was evident. as these thoughts flew around her head, she felt a heat coming from her right. She stepped further into the room.

Inside the room she saw a round room with a door she had just come through at one end and a large, glass door at the other end. She stared at it. To her right was an open fire place, where a warm fire was now burning brightly, and a huge comfy looking sofa with white covers all over. The fireplace was done in white marble and in the centre of the room stood another staircase, also made of white marble. There were curtains hanging from the doors at the far end of the gigantic room and everything, including the carpet was white. she stepped onto the bottom step and slowly ascended the stairs. a pinkish glow emitted from everywhere.

At the top step, she stepped onto white carpet and this room was probably as big as the one below but the ceiling was pointed. She looked across the room and saw a huge bed that moulded itself the rounded circumference of the walls. a wardrobe stood opposite another fireplace, this one also alight, emitting a gentle glow. Beside the bed was a dressing table and at the far end of the room was a huge window. In the corner of the room, by the window was a huge rounded bathtub with a piece of equipment that looked awfully like a oversized shower-head. She smiled gratefully. The room was beautiful! She was so pleased with its beauty and elegance.

She knew she wanted to change her outfit and so with a little curiosity she strode over to the giant wardrobe and opened the door. Inside she found countless robes of varying colors and styles. She pulled out a sky blue one and swapped it for the pretty white one. She placed the white robe upon a hanger and placed it carefully in the wardrobe with the others. she closed the door gently and smoothed down the robes and smiled at herself in the mirror.

“So what’s next?” she asked herself, looking into the mirror.
“Supper,” a voice said.
“Who’s that?” She spun, searching for the voice rapidly around the room.
“I’m down here,” a little voice retorted with a slight giggle. She looked again and then saw a little fairy like creature sitting on the bottom of her mirror.
“What’s your name?” Hope knelt to see the fairy closely. She was very pretty with blonde fluff for hair and a beautiful set of silver wings.
“I’m flora,” She giggled. “I’m your servant”.
“O, I don’t need a servant thank you Flora,” Hope said kindly. The fairy began to weep. “O no, what’s the matter?” Hope asked urgently.
“Flora is no good for enchantress; Flora must be banished from fairy kingdom!”
“No, no,” Hope said urgently, afraid she’d offended Flora. “You are very good I’m sure, I’ve just never had a servant before. I wouldn’t know what to do”.
“O well its very easy!” Flora stood up proudly now. “You ask me to do something, and I do it for you!”
“O, OK, like what?” Hope inquired, curious of how a fairy could possibly lift a cup of tea or coffee or make breakfast.
“Make your breakfast, bring you some cake! Anything you want!” Flora informed Hope.
“O, OK. How about you bring me a nice cup of tea?” She was doubtful but within seconds, a cup of tea was on Hope’s desk.
“That’s amazing!” Hope congratulated the fairy.
“O that’s easy!” Flora boasted now with a renewed sense of confidence.
“O yeah?” Hope challenged the cute little fairy. “So can you help me change?”
“Absolutely!” Flora lifted a tiny little wand and soon the white dress was out of the wardrobe and on Hope’s body again and the blue one was back in the wardrobe. Hope gasped. The fairy flicked her wand again and put the pretty white dress back into the wardrobe and the pretty blue robe was back on Hope’s body, crease free.
“You’re amazing!” Hope complimented Flora.
“Thank you!” The fairy curtseyed cockily.
“So what is to be done around here about the decoration? I like the pinks and whites but the brass stuff has got to go. And Flora, how do I listen to music?”
“Woa, slow down Miss Hope,” the tiny fairy giggled. “What would you prefer instead of the brass?”
“Silver of course,” Hope smiled warmly.
“Then use your wand,” flora smiled proudly. Hope shrugged.
“I don’t have a wand Flora. I’m not perfectly trained at the minute.”
“OK, never mind. All you need to do is to ask someone of magic to change the color for you. And as for music, your radiolious is on the table by the window”. Hope walked over to a brass box that had no buttons or switches on it.
“How do I get it to work?” She asked her fairy companion.
“Magic,” Flora said dismally, knowing her mistress couldn’t yet perform magic sufficiently.
“I hope I start school soon,” Hope sat on her bed. She heard a slight tap on her door and told the knocker it was safe to come in. It was Ray her father. He entered her bedroom smiling. she was confused for a second and then Flora spoke again.

“If someone knocks, you can hear i even if the music is playing or you’re up here as though you were standing right by your tower door, Miss Hope.”
“Thank you, Flora,” Hope smiled gratefully and then turned her attention to her father who was sitting on a brass chair.

“OK, I’ve registered you at the Loso Tierras School for Magical Arts. You begin lessons on Monday. Hope I have been thinking you should live at school, spend the nights there, not separate yourself from the rest of the student population.”
“And what about my duties?”
“You can perform them from school sweetheart,” he smiled warmly. “You’ll do a great job. And there’s someone downstairs waiting to see you”. He left and she sighed, what other nasty surprises had he in store for her?

Hope made the journey downstairs to the Amber room where she discovered her younger sister sitting with Erida and Thawson, smiling and happy.
“Luna?” Hope hugged her tiny sister who was a few years younger than her.
“Hi Hope,” Luna’s face was filled with excitement and curiosity. “What is this place?” And what are we doing here?” Hope smiled warmly at her younger sister.
“Well Luna” Hope took her sister’s hand. “This is white Rose castle and I’m an enchantress of Los Oceana. It means I have to protect the entire kingdom from any evil”. She heard Erida snigger behind her. Hope had taken a distinct dislike to her older half sister as apparently she had of Hope. “Do you have something to add?” Hope spun to Erida.
“O no, no,” Erida sniggered. “You’re handling it just beautifully, just has daddy would hope you would”.
“Are you being sarcastic?” Hope hadn’t come across many mean people before today but now it felt like a little person had a grip on her heart and was squeezing it tightly. A shock of pink rose into her cheeks and she felt herself glaring at Erida.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Hope stood abruptly from where she had seated herself.
“Just that,” Erida sniggered.
“Now, now, come along girls,” Thawson stepped in now quite awkwardly. “What is this all about, you young ladies are sisters.”
“No, she’s my half sister,” Hope spun to Thawson, “As you are my half brother. Luna is the only real sister I have.” Thawson looked crestfallen.
“I-I apologize,” he stepped back.
“I wouldn’t want to associate myself with dirty scum anyway,” Erida sneered.
“Meaning?” Hope snarled.
“You’re not real magic,” Erida snapped.
“Then explain how I became Enchantress and you didn’t if only being half magical is such a terrible thing?” Hope screamed. “I’m new to all of this’’’”
“Exactly!” Erida yelled. “What are the ancients thinking, giving the Enchantress’s crown to a half witch who hasn’t even got her own wand yet”.
“How dare you question the Ancients decision!” Hope snarled greatly. Suddenly a red light surrounded Hope and Luna was knocked off of her chair. “You shall never insult the ancients in my presence again. Any more of that Erida and you shall be heading straight to Thorn Prison! Do you hear me?” Erida nodded and left the room sheepishly. Luna stood up as Erida left and gazed at her sister.
“Wow! What was that?”
“That Luna,” Thawson knew Hope wouldn’t know what had just happened to her. “Was Hope’s enchantress powers kicking in and as a true enchantress should, she was defending the ancients and judging by the strength of that aura, Hope here is going to make an extremely powerful enchantress”. Hope felt her cheeks blush and she smiled as she sat at the table again.
“I’m sorry Thawson,” Hope felt a touch embarrassed about her dismissal of him. “I didn’t mean to be rude. You must understand it was a great shock to discover my father had a whole new family before us and we knew nothing of you or Erida.”
“It’s OK Hope,” Thawson touched her hand with his shovel like hand. “I understand”.
“I have another question,” Luna looked around. “Why couldn’t mum come with us?”
“She can’t?” Hope stared at Thawson, hoping he could provide an answer.
“Carrie has openly dismissed our world and as a result, she cannot exist in it. Most true mortals are able to survive our world but it is extremely difficult without magic or a magical family. The ancients see fit that she cannot live here as she forbade father to show you and Luna magic.”
“I can understand that,” Hope sighed. “Am I allowed to visit her?”
“Of course,” Thawson returned reassuringly. Hope sighed with relief.
“What’s there to do for fun around here?” Luna looked around, apparently having noticed as Hope had the lack of entertainment they had both been accustomed too.
“Well, there’s sonic ball,” Thawson told them. “But first I need to teach you both to fly a broom”.

Thawson, Hope and luna spent the afternoon on the huge lawn by the river, Thawson teaching the girls to fly beautifully pristine brooms. Hope felt herself learning so quickly and before she knew it, all thoughts of Tamorik, her mother and the sadness of leaving her friends had gone. She was loving the freedom and even the crisp air of Loso Tierras. The feeling of flying on a broom was unbelievably unreal and surprisingly magical.
“This is wonderful!” Hope exclaimed to Luna as they sped along on the brooms, across the river, up to the highest tower and back again.
“So how do we play sonic ball?” hope inquired.
“It’s a very complicated game but I’m sure you two will learn fast. But first of all, I need to take you shopping for wands and your school supplies.”
“The mall?” Luna asked curiously.
“Cast Away Avenue,” Thawson grinned. “The only place we have all the wonderful magical things we witches and wizards need. I bet you girls would like a Dragon Fly each”.
“A what?” Luna grinned.
“A broomstick,” Thawson smiled taking the 12 year old’’ hand.
“OK, let’s go,” Thawson grinned at both girls.

At Cast Away Avenue, Hope realized that witches and wizards shopped just as much as humans did but with much more passion. They had flown to Cast Away Avenue on the unicorns Hope had flown to White Rose castle on and landed a few feet from the entrance to the Avenue. Luna gaped as she spied many unicorns and other modes of transport left in what appeared to be the parking place for the magical community. There were carpets, brooms tied to what looked to be the magical equivalent of a bike wrack, even a vacuum cleaner and to Hope and Luna’s ultimate shock, a bright, neon green dragon tethered to the far fence with a huge sign above it reading,
“Magical Transport, capable of injuring pedestrians.”
“It’s a dragon!” Luna gasped looking at Thawson with fear in her young eyes.
“It’s probably had its flamer removed,” Thawson said calmly, looping the unicorns chains to a nearby post.
“what are their names?” Hope asked, timidly petting the nearest unicorn to her.
“Moonshine and Smog,” Thawson informed Hope, indicating the one nearest to her was the one named smog.
“That’s a terrible name for a beautiful creature like that,” Luna piped up quite indignantly.
“Well I didn’t name them,” He looked quite taken aback by Luna’s sheer aversion to the unicorns name.
“Who did?” luna asked, with a look upon her face that suggested to Hope and Thawson that she might just have to take this matter up with the namer personally.
“no one knows,” Thawson smiled at hope and she nodded, understanding what he was conveying to her. “Unicorns whisper their names when they come to us. Moonshine and Smog are White Rose castle Unicorns, they were born there. Legend tells how Lily Lexon had six unicorns come to her and when she was slain in the battle of Fleuresse, we are told the unicorns fled into the Forest Magique and bred for hundred years until Hirmira became enchantress and brought them back to the castle. They have lived in the castle grounds ever since and live primarily in the Forest of Enchantmente. So Luna, we don’t name the unicorns”. He took her hand and she looked slightly perplex that she would never be able to name her own unicorn.

They entered the avenue and were pushed along quite feverishly by the crowd.
“everyone’s rushing to get their school supplies,” Thawson stated quite matter of factly. “Come on, we’ll grab your school books, cauldrons, ingredients, robes and if any of you want a pet and not to mention your wands”.
“And brooms?” Luna asked hopefully.
“Of course,” Thawson grinned. He was thirty-three with shocking black beard and hair that gave the impression he was much older and more severe than his age.
“Good Afternoon General Midway,” People kept calling to him on the street. “how’s your family? Your father OK?” Thawson seemed well liked and respected here.
They were busy buying Hope’s and Luna’s things for school and Hope kept smiling as she saw other people doing the same thing. Luna begged Thawson for a cat which he permitted she buy as long as she promised to take care of it properly. Luna named her cat Midnight as the cat was a deep inky blue/black color.
“She’s just beautiful,” Luna kept cooing.
“Yeah, she is pretty,” Hope smiled proudly. She hoped she saw her phoenix soon. She was missing her.
They finally wandered into a huge shop with many shelves with wands placed upon them. Hope felt an instant magnet draw her towards a purple box with the description reading:
“Stardust based, rosewood material, meant for women!”
“Try it,” Thawson urged. She pulled the purple wand from the box and waved it as he demonstrated. A rabbit appeared on the floor.
“I didn’t, I mean, I’’’”
“It’s OK, that’s a test,” Thawson grinned. “You’re good to go, if you liked it?” She nodded. Luna had found a pink wand that was comet rock based and made of beech wood.
“Now girls, you can practice good magic only at home. I recommend the simple book of spells and Hope you will have to take wandology as a class until you get the hang of your wand. Normally first and second years have to take it but you will have to join in for a little while. I don’t think it’ll take long for you to pick up the general gist of using the wand”.
“So what other classes are there?” Luna asked, stroking her cat through the basket.
“Spellology, meant to teach you all the basic spells you may need,” Thawson began to tell them about their new school as they walked toward the sweet shop. “Then there’s Combat class which teaches you to defend yourselves. And, potion class, study of biology including plants and animals, astronomy studying the stars, history, magical sports and elementation. I’ve probably forgotten a few. I teach combattment and Erida teaches potions. The head Ebony Heartley teaches spellology, she’s very nice. I’m sure you’ll love all of your teachers”.
“What’s elementation?” Hope asked.
“Study of the elements, how to control them and how to create them. You, as enchantress,” he lowered his voice “Will need this class more than anyone”. Hope nodded understanding.
“What’s our school like?” Luna asked.
“It’s in a old castle, built in 1183 and Rose Lexon bade all magical children should be taught there.”
“They like their castles here in Loso Tierras don’t they?” Luna asked giggling. Thawson smiled gently at his youngest sister, feeling his relationship between Luna and Hope was what he’d always wanted from Erida. She was cold and mean most of the time and extremely selfish. He understood she had been devastated when their mother Ursula had died but Thawson always knew deep down that Erida wanted to be enchantress no matter what it took. She scared him sometimes with her mean ways and forbidding mind. He knew if she wasn’t careful she would get herself thrown into Thorn prison.
“Thawson, can we go inside?” Luna was asking him as he was deep in thought.
“What?” he looked up uncertainly and then grinned and nodded. “Of course!”

They arrived back at White Rose castle around eight P.M that evening bundled up with parcels and packages.
“I’m going to pack,” Luna ran up the crystal staircase treasuring her cat’s basket in her arms. Hope smiled to herself, looking at her wand and then having a sudden thought. She wandered down the long hallway that was decorated in blue velvet and as she pushed open the door to the sapphire room she knew what she was looking for. She walked toward the portrait of Rose Lexon and peered in her hand. In the pale hand sat a purple wand, very similar to her new one.
“Wow,” she stepped backward and sat in a chair. “You were so beautiful and so brave!”
“Thank you Hope,” Rose smiled from her portrait. “You will be too!” At that moment she heard a flutter of wings and the pink and gold phoenix flew into her lap.
“Hello,” she stroked her beautiful plumage. “Stardust,” she echoed. “That’s your name”. The bird cooed with agreement.
She leaned back in the chair, wondering how the next few days would go. If any of the past few months events had anything to go by, she expected nothing but incredible things to occur.

Hope returned to her room with a nice hot bubble bath waiting for her.

“Thanks Flora,” She smiled, stepping into the tub and relaxing. As the bubbles gushed all around her, she knew life was not going to be easy but it would somehow be one of the most enjoyable things she undertook.

Enchantress of Los Oceana, Chp 1

Enchantress of Los Oceana
By
M.J Phoenix
Chapter 1
Finding Hope

Hidden away in a multidimensional landscape of hills, oceans, rivers and lakes is a surprise bigger than anyone patrolling the streets of Los Oceana could ever comprehend. The island dates back centuries and its history longer than that. Most of the inhabitants are like you or I, ranging from the celebrities in Cherry Hill to the gangs of Cardinale. Nothing is unusual about Los Oceana unless you know the truth.

Deep in the Los Tierras Mountains is entirely separate world from the real one. It is the world of magic and there is a history greater than any has ever seen to this day. For several centuries Los Oceana has been governed by an enchantress, appointed by the ancients to protect and guard Los Oceana not only from outsiders but to protect the magical world from the human one and vice versa and it is here where our story begins.

“It is almost time,” A girl with long blond hair spoke as she stepped from the shadows in front of 3 men and 2 women.
“That I am aware of Rose,” a tall bearded man stood and walked to her.
“Violet is doing little good to protect Los Oceana,” Rose argued irritably. “She is putting us in grave danger of discovery”.
“It is Frederick the foolish all over again,” Jessica sighed.
“Do not speak of my grandfather in such tones,” the man with the beard chided.
“I’m sorry Theodore but the truth is the truth for goodness sakes. She will single-handedly destroy everything we have worked for for the last 4 centuries, for what your daughter salvaged.”
“I agree,” Rose snapped, standing tall and staring into her father’s eyes. “I did not lose my family and strive for peace for 20 years of my mortal life just to have that silly girl take it all and throw it away”.
“I don’t disagree but a new enchantress has not yet been appointed and if we dismiss Violet now, what danger will we be putting ourselves in?” Theodore’s brow furrowed with worry.
“Better to be unprotected for a few hours than let her go ahead with her feverish plan to expose the entire world,” Falcetto input. He was a plump man with an immense head of silver hair and a beard to match.
“I say we remove all her powers,” Rose put in pacing the room brightly decorated in opals.
“And what do you propose we do for an enchantress miss Rose?” Calcinum piped up.
“Surely we have one in mind Theodore?” Jessica asked ignoring Calcinum.
“Yes,” Theodore scratched his long beard in penance. “Ray Midway’s daughter has been on my radar for years. Since her birth almost. However, Carrie, Ray’s mortal wife took the children to Tamorik, she wanted them as far away from magic as possible. The child will be 16 now but not one bit trained in magic”.
“She’ll learn,” Rose got a look of pure mistiness over her face now. “She’ll know the prejudices the no magical world brings and yet understand that magic is a wonderful thing”.
“If Ray was allowed to show her magic,” Theodore was pessimistic. The child may never have known of her heritage.
“Contact him,” Jessica advised.

Theodore did just that and within moments, a tall, slender man with shocking dark hair and bright blue eyes appeared in front of the ancients.
“Ray,” Theodore strode around the room. “We are curious to know of your daughters?”
“Erida, Hope or Luna?” Ray looked perplex, as though his presence in front of these magnificent beings was surreal.
“Hope,” Theodore smiled broadly. “Is she in training yet?”
Ray shook his head solemnly. “Carrie will not allow it sir, may I ask why?”
Rose stepped forward.
“Hope has displayed signs of magic, has she not?”
“Yes, she has Miss Rose,” Ray smiled broadly. “Unfortunately though, Carrie, my wife has forbade me teach Hope and Luna magic at all and has told the girls magic does not exist”. A sharp intake of breath echoed around the room as this statement was uttered.
“OK, so Hope knows no magic,” Theodore sighed deeply. “You know I had her in mind for enchantress the day she was born, yes?”
“Yes,” ray retorted quietly. “I believe she could do it Theodore”.
“So do I,” Rose put in. “She is our only Hope for survival.” Rose touched her hands to her chest and pulled from her pink robes a heart shaped crystal. “A yes, she will resist at first but Hope Ostara Midway shall become Los Oceana’s next enchantress”. A flash of light erupted around the room and ray smiled as he left with a box, holding the invitation. This was his daughter’s big chance and his opportunity to reunite his entire family in one world.

Hope was chilling at the beach with her I-pod, waiting for her friends when a shadow fell over her. She looked up and saw her father.
“What are you doing here?” She demanded to know, shoving her I-pod back into her back pack and sitting up, ensuring her teenage body was covered modestly in her father’s presence. He sat down on the sand.
“Happy birthday Hope,” he kissed her forehead and placed a box into her arms. She scrunched up her nose, unsure why he was giving her another gift. She slowly opened it and peered inside. There were books with ornate writings upon them, one was bound in purple silk, there was an amulet and in Hope’s opinion, it seemed like all the objects in the box looked like props from a movie.
“Father, what is this?” Hope felt a little angry for the joke being played upon her on her birthday of all days.
“Keep looking,” Ray smiled and Hope peered inside and found a pink glowing envelope. She pulled it and thought it was pretty paper. She opened it and a letter sprang out almost independently.
“What?” She breathed as a voice emitted from the paper.
“Hope Ostara midway, we the ancients of Los Oceana invite you to White Rose Castle to appoint you as enchantress,” She stared and then laughed.
“O dad you are funny,” she hugged him.
“This is serious Hope,” ray smiled seriously.
“What? Enchantress? White rose castle? What is this all about? Some kind of surprise party dad?”
“You’re a witch Hope,” he smiled warmly.
“Dad I’m sorry for being a little ungrateful,” Hope looked astonished. “But there’s no need to call me names. I think you went to a lot of effort”. Ray smiled and pulled a wand from his trousers.
He cast a simple spell and produced a rabbit.
“Simple but real,” he saw his daughter’s amazement. “I’m a wizard, you’re a witch, and so is Luna”.
“Mum?” Hope enquired.
“No,” he shook his head. “Your mum is mortal”.
Hope sighed and pondered this information for a minute. “Where is this white rose castle then?”

As the news had sunk in, Hope allowed her father to escort her to this white rose castle; partly believing it was still all a big joke. They began to walk away from the beach, Hope gathering her things quickly and Ray tucking the box into his trousers much to Hope’s disbelief.
“How’’’?” she began but Ray silenced her as he took her hand and gripped it tightly while uttering, Dipascio” and suddenly Hope wasn’t in the warmth and bright sunshine, she was standing before a snow covered mountain with a beautiful castle sitting on top.

Out of nowhere appeared two white unicorns pulling a slay. Ray lifted his hand and they stopped just in front of Hope.
“Welcome Miss Hope,” a voice said timidly. Hope looked around in bemusement to where the source of the voice had come and finally found it. Sitting in a little chair at the front of the coal black slay was a tiny dwarf.
“Wow,” Hope exclaimed and stared at her father. She couldn’t believe her eyes. A dwarf was a shock in itself but the unicorns too was too much for Hope to take in. Ray nodded and smiled.
“Welcome to the Magical world,” He took his daughter’s hand and led her to the slay and sat her down whilst the small dwarf placed a rug around her shoulders.
“Magical?” She inquired cynically. “But mother has always told me that magic doesn’t exist. And here you are showing me unicorns and dwarfs. Dad, what’s going on?” Hope was incredibly confused. For most of her childhood, Carrie, her mother, had strictly forbade fairy tales and any such talk of magic to be discussed in the house and now her dad was showing her things that were simply not real. How could he?’ she thought disappointedly but as the dwarf put his fingers to his mouth and blew a long, high pitched whistle, the unicorns started to gallop and with one incredible whoosh, up they flew into the starry sky with the dwarf, Ray and Hope sitting comfortably on the slay.

“This isn’t happening,” Hope covered her face, willing herself to wake up. But as she heard the comforting swish of the unicorns’ wings flying through the night sky, she slowly pulled her hands from her face and looked down upon the immense landscape.
“What is this place?” She asked her father gently.
“Loso Tierras,” Ray said gently. “It’s an ancient language and translated into English means, lost world”.
“But it’s not lost? You know where it is,” Hope pointed out.
“But humans don’t,” Ray returned smiling at his daughter. Hope looked down across the snow covered mountains and saw buildings, forests, rivers and lakes dotted around. It was a whole new world and one she could never have even imagined, not even in her wildest dreams.

They began to swoop lower and soon Hope saw they were landing in what would be the castle’s grounds. They were huge! A river ran around the right side of the castle and around to the rear, a huge woodland stood to the left and in front of the marble steps was a huge sign in golden lettering saying,
“Welcome to White Rose Castle! Any intruders will be dealt with severely”. Beneath the lettering was a picture of a wolf with snarling teeth.
“Father,” Hope pointed nervously. “Who’s that?”
“There’s been a wolf on castle grounds since the first enchantress was appointed. Rose Lexon, that’s the first enchantress had a wolf as a pet who guarded her. Its tradition to have a wolf to guard the enchantress as well as a warrior. The current enchantress has been relieved of her duties so other animals protect the castle at present.”
“What is an enchantress?” Hope stared at Ray with pure curiosity and a thirst for information as she asked the question.
“A woman who protects Los Oceana, both magical and non magical”.
“So why do I not know about her?” Hope looked astonished to think someone in a protective role had not been presented to her before now.
“Only magical people know who she is Hope,” ray sighed. “Before Rose was made enchantress, there were rulers of Loso Tierras but one of those rulers decided to allow the rest of Los Oceana aware of the magical world. A huge war broke out, humans killing magical folk because they were afraid the magical people were going to take over their world. The last battle and worst by far was the battle of Fleuresse,” Ray sighed deeply.” It means the battle of the flowers. Rose had 3 sisters, each named after a flower as she was. Lily, lilac and Jasmine. All of whom were killed. Only Rose survived and so did her flowers. Each girl had a flower planted beneath their tower room windows in a garden purely meant for them. After the battle, only the rose garden survives and remains. No flower has ever been able to grow in the old gardens. That’s why this castle is named white Rose Castle, because Rose was the only survivor of her family that day and brought Los Oceana back to a steady medium.” Hope stared in amazement as they walked through the oak doors into a great hallway decorated in crystals. “Each room,” Ray continued to tell his daughter of the magic of this castle. “Is decorated in a precious metal or gemstone. This is the crystal foyer. The family dining room is called the silver room and decorated purely in silver. The enchantress’s private room is called the Topaz room, the guest dining room is the gold room while the grand ballroom is the diamond room. The towers where the Lexon girls lived are all decorated in the colors of their flowers. Only one tower opens for each enchantress, depending on the qualities you have. The last enchantress was quite dreamy and so she had Lilac tower, 4 enchantresses before her have all had Jasmine tower as they all loved books as did Jasmine Lexon. Whatever your qualities or what you seem to be, only the castle itself and the ancients truly know”.
“The ancients?” Hope inquired as they walked into a beautiful room decorated with blue sapphires. The walls shimmered in different shades of blue; the floor was tiled in an ornate mosaic with different colored blue tiles. The sofas and chairs were all covered in sapphire colored silks and on one wall were many portraits. Hope walked to these portraits and stared at beautiful women and girls with smiling faces, all wearing a beautiful white dress.
“Who are they?” Hope was mesmerized by their beauty. Ray walked and stood beside Hope, smiling.
“Hello Ray,” a portrait moved to Hope’s right, causing her to leap in the air in fear. “It’s OK Hope, I’m Jessica”.
“Hello Jessica,” Ray grinned at the pale girl in the picture with long dark hair. “Erida and Thawson are waiting for you in the Amber room. They are glad you are here.”
“Thank you Jessica,” He took Hope’s hand as they left the room.
“Who?” Hope inquired, fearful of what her father had brought her too. “Dad, who are these people, why did that picture talk and move?”
“Hope, Jessica is an ancient; she can enter into pictures of herself and communicate with humans.”
“She’s dead?” Hope asked urgently.
“Her spirit has moved on,” ray explained. “Once we die, if we die naturally or are killed in battle, we leave our mortal body and move onto the spiritual level, no longer needing food, water or any sustenance to survive. If we die of our own hand, then we are doomed to haunt and never rest. The ancients are great men and women of our past who did great things in their lives. Jessica was the thirteenth enchantress and saved Los Oceana from a terrible flood. You have so much to take in my darling, please just relax. There are two people I really want you to meet”.
He swung open a door into a room decorated in pure amber. Sitting at a wooden table were two people. A tall muscular man with a dark beard and bright blue eyes, like Hope’s and a small, squat woman with a rat-like face with scraggly dark hair and dark eyes. Their appearances were not shocking until Hope spied their attire. They were both wearing robes and the girl was twirling a long stick in her hand.
“Father,” she jumped up as Ray entered. “Good to see you!” Hope glared at her.
“Erida,” Ray hugged her. “Hello Thawson, you both OK?”
Thawson stood and walked to Hope, peering into her young face.
“It’s so wonderful to meet you at long last,” He went to hug her but Hope backed away frantically.
“It’s OK Hope,” Ray put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “This is Thawson, your half brother. And this here is Erida, your half sister.”
“What?” Hope stared at her father in complete disbelief.
“Yes Hope, Erida and Thawson are my children from a previous marriage. They are pure magic and have known about you and Luna for a very long time”.
“And now we’re getting to meet you at long last,” Thawson grinned boyishly.
“Dad, what is going on?” Hope demanded. “Who are these people?”
“That’s charming,” Erida snarled from the table,
“They’re my oldest children Hope,” She glared insolently at her father.
“But I thought I was your eldest,” She walked out of the room at fast pace while yelling. “I don’t know why I am here anyway; I wanna go home, I don’t wanna be a protector of anything! I hate this place, I wanna go home!” She ran blindly down a hallway and down a set of wooden stairs and burst through a door, along another corridor and found herself standing before a beautiful statue of a unicorn. Its white marble sheen almost blinded her beyond her tears. Beyond the statue she could see another door which led into a garden. She opened the door and found herself in a beautiful Rose garden. The flowers seemed to glow in the awesome silver moonlight, even brighter than the snow upon the mountains.
“How do you grow?” Hope knelt on the edge of a fountain, staring at the scenery. The mountains were covered thick with snow and yet this garden was in bloom as though it was summer. The water was warm to touch and yet as she stared below, she could see even the river was dashed with crystals of snow. “This isn’t normal,” her hand felt a rose, almost believing they weren’t real.
“It’s very normal,” Ray was standing behind his daughter. “This is the rose garden I told you about Hope. Everything here is protected by magic so that nature doesn’t ruin everything that grows here. The castle has many spells cast upon it by many different enchantresses and if you become enchantress, I’m sure you will add your own touch to it too”.
“I’m not becoming enchantress,” She said with a little less insolence this time. “I wanna go home”. Ray smiled and nodded. Suddenly, a huge shadow covered the moon and a bird came into sight. It was no ordinary bird though. It had plumage of pink and gold and was flying straight at Hope.
“What is that?” She pointed in fear and curiosity at the bird heading her way.
“That Hope,” Ray grinned warmly. “Is a phoenix”. The beautiful bird swooped down toward her and landed gently on her lap. It cooed affectionately and Hope was astounded by its sheer beauty. The feathers were as soft as silk and its gold eyes sparkled as if by magic.
“Why?” Hope couldn’t finish her question. Ray sat on a marble bench and sighed deeply.
“Hope, Theodore Lexon came to me the day you were born and indicated that one day, when you were old enough, maybe you would be in line to become enchantress. He has been an ancient for the longest time and therefore, what he usually says, usually comes true. I thought long and hard about your name and decided that it should be Hope. For many years, an enchantress has not met the usual criteria and my dream was that one day, my daughter could meet that criteria.”
“But Erida,” Hope remembered with angst the scraggly-headed girl she had met just met minutes before.
“But the ancients hadn’t approached me about Erida had they hope?” He smiled gently at her before continuing. “I was also asked by Theodore to give you a name along with the ones your mother and I chose. I asked him what and he said, Ostara. Not until recently have I learned why he asked that of me Hope.”
“Why dad?” Hope said with bated breath.
“Legend tells of an enchantress,” born under the Ostara moon in one hemisphere who meets a boy born under the Ostara sun in the opposite hemisphere, who when combined possess a power no one has ever seen. Theodore is hoping you’re that enchantress. You were born at midnight on the 23rd of September Hope, at a full moon. He suspects the legend can come true”.
“Talk about pressure,” Hope sneered looking into the bird’s eyes. “What has this to do with the phoenix?” She suddenly remembered her original question.
“Not many enchantresses have ever possessed a phoenix. Only two that I know of. Hirmira and Rose”. He grinned. “Hope, it’s almost written that you will become enchantress, whether you like it or not”. He watched his daughter take in all this information and sighed as he stood. “But it is after all, your decision”. He left her sitting alone, contemplating whether to run back to Tamorik.

She stroked the bird’s plumage with a single finger and it cooed warmly while nestling into her arms.
“What is your name?” she asked with a slight smile.
“He’s yours now Hope, name him what you will,” A voice spoke, sending Hope into a state of fear. She flipped around to see a girl standing on the fountain’s edge.
“Who are you?” she jumped, clutching the phoenix in her arms that hadn’t seemed to have noticed the disturbance.
“I’m Rose Lexon,” She smiled warmly. “This was my rose garden. The phoenix is beautiful, isn’t she?”
“Yes,” Hope looked down at the phoenix and then quickly returned her gaze to the girl with long blonde hair, bright green eyes and a dazzling smile. “You were the first enchantress, right?” Rose nodded. “But why are you here?”
Rose stepped off of the fountain and Hope realized she wasn’t human but not a ghost either. She was real but somehow unreal.
“I have come to speak with you Hope. Explain all the questions you need answering. I know your father tried but he is desperate to make you happy. I’ll give you the truth and nothing but the truth”.
“OK,” Hope sat down on the bench and allowed the phoenix to settle into her arms again. “Why did you say the phoenix is mine? She just flew to me, I have never seen her before in my life, or anything like her for that matter.”
“Well, the thing about these mystical creatures,” Rose gazed at the bird warmly. “Is that they are owned by no one until they choose to be owned at all. Once their chosen owner has left them, they shall never be owned by another human being again. I had a phoenix once Hope. Not long after I was appointed enchantress, a beautiful silver and orange bird came to me, I called her sunset, and when I moved on from the mortal world, she left my room, singing a sad lamentation. I see her sometimes when I visit the castle, she’s still around, if you see her, say hello for me, won’t you?” Rose looked hopefully at the younger girl but Hope didn’t give an indication that she was sticking around in the slightest so Rose chose to go on. “Your phoenix chose to come to you Hope. No one really knows why a phoenix chooses its owners, or how, but I believe these magnificent creatures know when they are needed and see the good in a person. Phoenix are very useful creatures Hope, if you choose to keep her, you’ll see”.
“If I choose to become enchantress, what does that mean?” Hope stared at Rose, urgent for the information.
“Well,” Rose sighed. “Your job is to protect Los Oceana, magical, non magical and everything in between. If an enemy should arise, you should deal with it. You have a strong warrior army, Thawson is general at the minute and they are at your personal defense. Not only humans will protect you and Los Oceana hope, the magical creatures will too. You treat those around you with respect and kindness and you will receive loyalty and integrity from all. Hope, I know in your heart you’ll know what to do”.
“I know nothing about magic!” Hope said defiantly, suddenly realizing she was running out of reasons to not become enchantress.
“You’ll learn. You’ll go to the school here in Loso Tierras”.
“A school for magic?” Hope stared at Rose in disbelief. “That kind of thing is real?”
“Yes, it is,” Rose stood. “Any more questions Hope?”
“What if I don’t want to become enchantress?” Hope said nervously.
“We will never force anything, just have a little think, hmmm?” Rose turned and walked away into the night and Hope was left in the silvery moonlight, with a pink and gold bird nestled into her arms, listening to the running water.
“What should I do?” She asked the beautiful bird. “Should I go back to Tamorik? Should I go back to my friends, mother and sister? Or should I stay here and find out if this is just a dream?” She leaned back and saw another shape fly across the moon. Her eyes followed the shadow and saw it was a magnificent white unicorn, landing to graze by the river. Hope stood and the phoenix cooed gently, leaving her arms and flying off into the night. Hope knew she would see him very soon.

Hope took one more look of the Loso Tierras mountains, draped in an dusting of snow, across the beautiful river, to which she did not yet know its name; back to the rose garden shimmering beneath the moonlight and took a deep sigh and returned through the door back into the castle.

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