Tag Archives: horror

Reading, Writing and Psychotic Creators

I am most unusual for a fantasy, sci-fi and horror fans for the fact that I don’t actually read or watch much of the big famous stuff like Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Angel, Being Human, 24, etc.

I don’t do it on purpose, it is almost always accidental or because something has got into the way of me being able to watch or read it, finances or simply not having access to a certain television channel or the time to watch copious amounts of TV in general.  I am also unusual for modern humanity in general, I watch approximately six hours of television a week and that is about it, unless of course it is a special occasion, such as Spring Watch and the other Watch programs or the BBC Proms, Crufts or the RHS shows.  Then you have to consider I don’t watch a lot of what I want to watch because I sometimes lose my hearing completely due to an ear disease I have and regular infections.

I am also an extremely slow reader.  An average reader reads at the rate of 250 words a minute, I can barely read 180 words a minute, 150 words a minute ensures I comprehend at least 73% of what I’ve read and can relay it, and I’ve done an online test for that.  http://www.readingsoft.com/index.html#results

All of this is strange because when I read non-fiction I must faster and I have a better comprehension rate, I can read about 300 words per minute with a comprehension of 84%, but I can understand it – when I read fiction I visualise too much, like I am watching a movie, I read it with a voice in my head; when I read non-fiction the voice goes and I more or less skim read but I actually remember what I am reading more.

Anyway the cusp of the subject for this post is that I am not well versed in the subjects I love the most simply because I don’t read as much as the average fan of those genres, or at least what I do read are very obscure to present fans of those genres because they are from authors who are hardly known or were a big thing in the Victorian age or the 60s, 70s and 80s. 

I tend to stumble upon movies and forgotten television series that had flopped, sank or got axed due to lack of interest from the public or were simply rated as B movies.  So after talking to several fans of these genres about what I love the most, they often say to me “So you really love crap then huh”?  This hurts, because I find those so called B movies more diverse and fresh than the big stuff.  OK the acting is often poor along with the special effects but the imagination for bigger things is there, but the average observer doesn’t see that, especially if they are not creatively inclined.

For me, a lot of my ideas come from these forgotten (or tucked away in shame) shores.  Told this, those people who know me can’t understand how my work is as good as it is, they say to me “but surely if you fill your brain with such rubbish you will produce rubbish, I think you should lay off these things in case it starts polluting away your actual talent”.  I feel flattered for that, but I also feel that if I started to read and watch the more popular big stuff, then I will start to look like everyone else and I won’t come across as fresh.

Now, I have had almost an instinctive inclination to NEVER read or watch certain fantasies especially.  I never knew why my instinct acts up whenever I try to read a handful of the big stuff, but it became clear to me in the last couple of days when I actually ignored this instinct and decided to read the first book in The Game of Thrones.  I am only 76 pages in and I have almost lost the will to continue the 2 fantasy novel ideas I had because there are 7 major things in this book that matches exactly what I have been writing for the last decade, even down to names and clothing descriptions.  Now I am trying to sit myself down and talk to my inner creator rationally about how it is not such a big thing because those are just names and names of events etc. the actual idea is not going to be copyright invasion because it is going to be a very different story, but my inner creator hasn’t stopped whining about this yet.  My inner creator was sure that I may have accidentally slipped up online a few years ago about my plans, but I had to remind my inner creator that this book was published when we were 17 and we only started on our idea when we was around 21.  I do have to treat my creator self as though I am a separate person because this is how I cope with it all, so excuse me if I sound a little you know… psychotic. 

I have an idea so far into the book that is a similar story to the war of the roses but with a fantasy twist, this is how Game of Thrones looks to me so far.  My story isn’t like that, my story is much different, yes there are royals and there is war, but the factions are not warring against themselves, families are not warring with each other if they are blood related, there is a different factor.  I am also trying to tell my inner creator the idea of the 12 banners I had can still be effective, because in ancient Earth cultures every clan had a war banner, this is not going to harm my novel or our reputation at all.  But she still panics.

When you want to be a writer you have to separate yourself from your work to maintain some sort of sanity and control over your initial tantrums, your initial emotions, you have to sort of step outside of yourself and talk to yourself like you are somebody else.  If you struggle in doing this, then these sorts of things will consistently stop you from writing and you will not finish anything; because you throw your novel across the room in a fit of rage about the unfairness of the world and sulk for the rest of your life about it, whereas it is totally unnecessary because your book will be very different.  If you sit back and view the whole situation as a second person, you will rationalise it all and be able to continue the work you love.

I have had such irrational things spout out of my inner creators mouth that I had to more or less act like a patient psychiatrist to my inner creator and say to them… “Look, how can this be so?  The author who has stolen your BIG idea died in 1886” see how irrational your inner creator can get sometimes?

Just write whatever you want to, don’t worry about copying someone else or having someone else copy you, because you need to get over this first draft, then you can weed these similarities out.  The first draft doesn’t really matter that much, because there will be many, many drafts after it before it is polished.  That is how you can write and finish your book.

Also, if you need more convincing on this matter please read this book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, I consider her a genius on this kind of stuff.  Elizabeth Gilbert tells us that ideas are alive, they have a spirit of their own, they go from person to person looking for someone to write about them but sometimes the ideas are not happy with the result so they go on and on until they feel perfected by someone and oftentimes many people will get the same idea at the same time, but all of them with their individualities will be slightly different to each other.  No one can be 100% identical in the way you write, what you write, how you write it, how the ideas came to you and how others are going to feel about the work. 

Yes there are coincidences in the world, this is a world of constant coincidences and that is all it is “Coincidence”, synchronising a little from other brain waves, but never being 100% the same, just similar and you can’t get sued for being a little bit similar, unless of course you have copious amounts of sentences in your book which matches people identically, but that’s a different subject for a different time.

So stop procrastinating by reading this post and get on with your work.

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Casey’s Crown

There are some distant church bells chiming across the foggy moors, ghostly songs are being sung, songs of a thousand years.  Casey is chilled to the bone; her grey shredded shawl flaps clumsily around her, making her image seem fragmented in the distance.  The ghostly song soon turns into evil menacing laughter and in the distance, a carousel spins, the decorative horse eyes that surround the carousel in their beautiful jewels and golden poles are aglow.  A demonic voice beckons Casey to go forwards, towards the carousel, welcoming her to the fair, welcoming her to sights never seen before, welcoming her to yield to the desires of them from the unknown.

Tentatively she steps forwards towards them, compelled by their magic.  Her footsteps are soft and delicate like tiny faeries dancing on the petals of roses so softly that the petals are unharmed.  Casey soon notices that her grey and brown rags are changing, but she doesn’t care, she just carries on towards the demonic fair, tip toeing like a ballerina in jade silk slippers.  Her clothes are turning into beautiful jade and gold coloured silks and white laces, her muddy hands are transformed to the hands of a beautiful clean lady, her fingers slender and rich, her nails polished and long… she is not Casey any more, she doesn’t know who she is turning into, but the feeling is glorious.  The demons at the fair cannot be seen nor heard any more.  There is a strong looking soldier standing by the carousel on guard – but Casey is not sure of what he is guarding.  He salutes Casey and a fanfare then erupts around them, an unseen army is marching she senses, not far behind the carousel, playing a robust brass band as they go along. 

A smell of roses accentuates the air around her.  Then, in the clearing of the fog, as she walks around the carousel, she sees them, the marching brass band and their soldiers in tow of a beautiful gilded litter carriage.  Peering into the window of the litter carriage Casey saw a beautiful young woman, in a golden gown with jade jewels bestrewed around her, her hair is unseen for it is covered by a beautiful jade scarf.  The woman, of which Casey presumes to be a queen, waves her hand towards a man presumably a steward to open the carriage door.  He does so, he calls to the soldiers in the band to halt and abruptly the music stops and all is still.  The Queen descends her carriage gracefully and on tippy toes walks elegantly towards Casey and takes hold of her shoulders, smiling sweetly down at her.  She is a pretty lady, very sweet and tender looking, like a mother attending to her infant.  Slowly the Queen stands aside and gently pushes Casey towards the opened carriage door and placing her crown upon Casey’s head, then walks away from Casey, slowly turning into a rag ridden young urchin and disappearing into the fog.  Confused Casey stays looking back into the fog for the queen, tentatively feeling for her crown, it felt strange upon her.  

The above story is a shortened version of a novelization I am working on and have been working on since May 2017. 

I wanted it to be a series of horror books, because Casey will have adventures and will lead into adventures of new characters along the way.  The thing is, I am not sure how many books this will potentially be or whether or not they will ever be completed, so I felt that it would be relatively safe to post this up on the blog.

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Things of December

Recently received books and movies via gifts or personal purchase have been;

Clash of the Titans DVD the 2010 version with Liam Neeson

Blue Planet II a hardback book

Paul O’Grady’s “country life” hardback book

Raising the Dead: The Men Who Created Frankenstein by Andy Dougan (gift from nephew to me)

RHS What Plant Where Encyclopaedia by DK Publishing

Hobgoblins–The Secret Histories by Ari Berk (A gift to my son from his best-friend but I read it first)

The Box-set of The Hunger Games DVDs

All of these came into my house in the month of December 2017.

Other purchases or gifts I feel match fantasy or horror are…

Quite a few different types of gemstones, especially hypersthene, a tigers eye pendulum, a lapis lazuli gemstone for Henry, A black onyx pendulum, a Rhodonite pendulum for my Henry, an apatite, a large rose quartz the size of a small hot crossed bun and last but not least a hematite thumb ring. 

I bought incense and a new incense charcoal burner in the shape of a Chinese lotus flower.  The scents were vanilla, cinnamon, patchouli, dragon’s blood, rose and lily.  I can’t burn these things when Henry is at home; I have to do them when he is at school and open all the windows afterwards because he is prone to headaches.

I was gifted a fairy house garden ornament in the shape of a mushroom at Christmas from my husband Paul and Mrs Tiggy Winkle acting as the old woman in the shoe ornament and a wolf trinket box.  I do like weird stuff.  He bought me a good sized wooden box too, the shape and style of a pirates treasure chest and it fits all of my gemstones in perfectly with room for half again!  It really does look like a real pirate’s chest now with all of those gemstones in it.

I am a big kid, anything remotely regarding fantasy or horror and I like it.  Depends what it is however but my house certainly shows what I love in every nook and cranny!  I am not averse to having marvels cushion on my sofa for example!

It is difficult when friends and relatives visit because they presume I allow Henry to rule the roost, but the look on their faces when I say “No, it’s for me, I wanted it there”.  They do ask occasionally whether or not I should put such things in my bedroom?  I can’t put everything there!  Besides, what is wrong with a marvel cushion?  A soft toy of the joker on my PC desk?  3 snow globes on the bookshelves?  Four different types of calendars in the living room, Gothic, minions, marvel, wolves and then there is DC comics in the dining room with an RSPB one.  The first of every month is interesting for me, I like guessing which 1 of the many calendars around the house my husband will forget to change!  Me and Henry take bets with fruit pastilles!

I love the fact that I can be so free to be more me, with Paul lately.  He always wanted me to be me, but I was never confident enough to make it reflect in my home and for the first 5yrs living together it was all cream and browns around the house to make it look more like a normal household – yeurgh.  But now it’s green, yellow, with the occasional quirky wallpaper.  In the living room on just one wall there is wallpaper that looks like pastel version of the trees depicted in the movie The Lorax.  In the bathroom it is mostly white tiled but we are going to buy dolphin and coral wallpaper next month.  The kitchen is kitted out with tiles a harlequin would love, also next month we are buying wallpaper for just one side of the kitchen and that will be in the style of Mediterranean food.  Our bedroom is royal purple and soon I will be adding cerise to the other side of the wall, I also wanted to get door murals to make the doors of the house look like medieval castle doors!

I refuse to grow up.

Anyway, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR all of you ❤

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Vikings & Hob-Goblins

During the last week of December I have been researching mostly by accident Hob-Goblins and by design Vikings and their respective histories, customs and superstitions around the world.

I have had a Viking story brewing in me for decades but with no firm story grasped and I have had some new ideas regarding this, but because I know very little about Vikings as a collective, I felt that some research was necessary.  I found it weird that an idea I had about Odin actually clashed with mythological truth, it must have been something I learned once but had forgotten it.  The bit about the 8 legged horse.

As a teenager I ventured into spirituality first by learning about Norse witchcraft, the runes, the drumming, the festivals etc., but I never learned more about the mortal Viking history, like I am doing now.  I did know about their war traditions and their units, such as the screeching women and the berserkers through a game I used to play called Rome Total War.  Regarding Viking warfare and general ancient warfare, I would fare well in writing about it because of the amount of historical research I’ve done throughout my life regarding the subject as well as coming from a military family background.

By and large though, I know more about Spartan and Roman day to day life than I do the Vikings.  Which is why I am disappointed to find that the books I am finding at the library are mostly mythological.

I know it sounds funny to think about it, but I have learned more from watching “The Hairy Bikers” and “Gordon Buchanan’s” ventures in Scandinavia regarding food and dance than anything I’ve learned in books.

In fact, even more laughable is the fact that it is easier to learn more about the superstitions of the Hob-Goblin or Santa Claus than about the ancient Viking people.

There is one thing I have learned though and that is in Viking times it was a derogatory term to be deemed “A Viking” for it literally means “PIRATE”.  This was very interesting to learn.

I am learning accidentally about Hob-Goblins because of a book my son was gifted by his friend Alice.  This is the fourth calling to learn about Hobs and house folk in the past 18 months, something is pulling me towards them.  I have no idea what it could be, I have no idea of any story interest I might have in writing about them… yet.  But something is definitely trying to get my attention with this little creature.

I am a very spiritual person, so I believe in little folk like these and recently when I have been reading about them more actively and reading snippets out loud for my son Henry to overhear, I have noticed that the whole house is becoming more accident prone with food and drink and according to legend, this is a sign of a hungry or thirsty and very ignored little house hob.

Funnily enough, along with this, my husband has discovered that his tea is going down faster these days.  So now we have started to make an extra cup of tea in the kitchen and it seems to have stopped the accidents and weirdly enough an inch in the cup has gone down!

I have a lot of experience with all kinds of spirits in my life.  I have never done drugs and I rarely drink, if there is anything to wander about it is my sanity I suppose – but why do we shrug such things off and think someone nuts when little jewels like this are revealed?  Why is it so hard to believe in little fair folk and ghosts but it is fine to believe in God?  Really now, what is the difference?  Oh and for those hard-core atheists, just remember you can’t see ultra violet light and infrared without technology but it exists doesn’t it?  I rest my case.

I was told by a friend recently that my little forays into the spirit realm should be a subject for my blog, because it aligns with fantasy and horror for many people.  This is why I am starting to mention such things.  It has always been a part of me; I just never put it in the blog. 

Hob-goblins in particular have always been something I have been nervous of because of the stories of boggarts and trolls, though trolls are very different to boggarts and hob-goblins.  The nervousness stemmed from a horror movie I watched when I was little and it gave me nightmares, but these days I realised the movie was actually a fantasy comedy and I can’t help laughing every time I see it now.  “Troll” where I believe the real first Harry Potter came from!  A young boy’s sister is kidnapped into fairy world by an evil troll who was formerly a wizard who went bad and got turned into a troll as punishment by his former fiancé – the witch known as Eunice of whom the boy known as Harry Potter befriends in order to save his sister and all his neighbours in their apartment from the evils of the troll unleashing fairyland into the mortal world once again.  The movie was made in 1986 and stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Obviously also, hob-goblins are found in the wonderful movie “Labyrinth” starring the late David Bowie, one of my most favourite all time fantasy movies where a young girl called Sara makes a wish she will soon regret, regarding her baby brother Toby.  The King of Goblin City descends upon her and makes a bargain that she has just 13 hours to find her baby brother in his labyrinth of surprises and dangers or else her baby brother will become a goblin forever!  A wonderful story, full of inspiration!

I wonder what my mind will make of these Hob-Goblins someday… I can’t wait to find out!

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One random thought

I drew a skeleton but it came out as a cartoon style skeleton, wasn’t my intention, I had hoped for it to look like some serious gothic artwork, but no, it’s comical instead.
Then a few days later I drew a cartoon style hedgehog and the expression on its face is more sinister than my attempt at the gothic skeleton, funnily enough I put both of these into a drawer and forgot about them for several months, then when I was sorting through my drawers I came across the two pictures and put them into the art pile I made, both were cut out and around. I didn’t realise it until I walked away and came back with a drink, that they both, together looked rather comical. The hedgehog was between the legs of the skeleton looking upwards at it, the skeleton looking nervous and the hedgehog sinister, made me think of a silly idea for a short story about a demon hedgehog gynaecologist and this skeleton being its patient – however, this idea is too dumb; I am not going to do it.

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Rediscovering Vampires

I love fantasy and yes, there are many popular fantasy TV series and books I have never ever experienced in any format; they include ‘The Game of Thrones’, ‘Season two of Once Upon a Time’, ‘Grimm’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Shannara Chronicles’, ‘Supernatural’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and episode four and beyond of ‘The 100’ to name but a few of those missed experiences.

Along with those television series there are several books I have never read too and they are; all the above that have novelizations.  Book four and beyond of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ series of books, the third book and beyond of Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’, ‘The DragonLance Series’ and ‘Goosebumps’ to name but a few there too.

Now, I am currently trying to make amends for all of that.  I am currently re-reading the first book of ‘The Vampire Chronicles’ by Anne Rice with the aim to read right through all the chronicles by this time next year – next week this will be put on hold right after I have finished ‘Interview with a vampire’ because I have ordered from my local library a trilogy from Michael Moorcock ‘The Eternal Champion’ because I am curious about a symbol I am rather fond of which apparently originates from these novels.

I am also watching some of the above mentioned television series, back to back, one to three per night – the ones I have started with is the box-set I have bought of ‘The Vampire Diaries’.  You are probably wondering why I have bought something that expensive if I have never watched one of the episodes first.  Well, it’s about vampires; I know I will love it.  Its touch and go in regards to Twilight but I guess because it has vampires I might find it tolerable, who knows… Twilight is another vampire movie I have never watched and I am a die-hard vampire fan, go figure.  Well I was too busy to keep up to date with my vampires for about a decade, so I am forgiven right?

The vampire Diaries has me hooked by the way; I have watched five episodes this week so far.  I am scrutinising the whole thing because I specialise in vampires in my novels and I don’t want to clash too much with anyone and I was nervous at first because something in the vampire diaries has clashed with my novels (the corvid) and the fact that a few of my vampires have the ability to roam the day too.

I am also hooked because Damon gets my hormones going… but let’s not talk about that, we’re talking about vampires in general and fantasy, not my hormones on some women’s health site. 

So, yes, I am happy to find that this series hasn’t brutalised vampires too much for me like True Blood has, I feel True Blood went too far in de-romanticising vampires.  I was distraught about that.  In the True Blood series you couldn’t tell the vampires apart from anything you see in a normal human to human slasher movie, werewolf movie or zombie movie, vampires in my opinion are much more far removed than those other movie types and I found it hard to chew.

Although being a horror fan I did love the brutality, but I was too angry that it was caused by vampires drunk on blood, dripping with blood and acting like psychotic corpses.  A lot of people will argue with me that vampires are just that ‘psychotic corpses’ but I will deny that is what vampires are, vampires to me, love very deeply and have a gentle demeanour about them, they are not rabid animals.

So, yes, I am returning to vampires.  I am returning to my love for them and with this reunion come rediscovering my hidden identity again.  I feel like I am filling up the hollowness in me and I am feeling more like who I was meant to be, rather than some obscure faint shadow.

I don’t do short stories of vampires unfortunately.  I linger too much on my vampire novels that I am ashamed to say they are epic sized.  I can’t stop adding things to them.  I think ‘War and Peace’ will have nothing on one of my vampire stories.

So that’s it for today, more to come tomorrow. 

Thank you for reading and do post a comment below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NaNoWriMo & The Monster

I needed a pep talk on the NaNoWriMo website tonight, because I have never written thousands of words down towards a novel without revising each paragraph for weeks at a time.  I am not used to word vomit.  But I am doing that with NaNoWriMo because the motto there is to ‘just write’ and that’s what I am doing and I am finding that my story is unemotional and non-descriptive and generally trashy I have to say.  But, fellow Nanos told me, it’s meant to be like that initially, you’re just piecing things together, it’s not meant to be perfect first hand.  It’s supposed to be a little more than planning stage, it’s still part of the planning, and it doesn’t start to look like the story until draft two or three or four.

So this got me thinking.  I started to think that you know what?  If they are right and professionals do write like this on a consistent basis then a novel is like Frankenstein’s monster.  You get an arm, a leg, a hand, etc. and you sew it all together and then with each new draft you make after NaNoWriMo you are trying to find the secrets to life, eventually you will get to the grand finale, you will get that lightning bolt of life you need for your monster, the story and he shall come alive!  I hope my monster comes alive by the end of this anyway!

Good Luck to all who are doing NaNoWriMo this year!

 

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Fantasy Art & Gnomevember

Gnomevember is something I found whilst using WordPress reader and looking for the tag “Fantasy” as I love to do every day.  I am really glad I found it and I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think it should be just an artist thing – I think it should also be used for writers as well, write a gnome story for Gnomevember, but of course, because I am both an artist and writer, I shall be trying to do them both throughout the month, if I have time along with NaNoWriMo.

I also learned that there are other months too, MerMay, Junicorn, Smaugust and Orctober. 

Now you’re probably wondering what are you talking about?

Well, where I found all these delightful things, simple, here https://rachelillustrates.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/gnomevember/ Gnomevember aims to get fantasy artists concentrating on gnomes throughout the whole of the November month, a gnome a day.

MerMay simply concentrates on mermaids and mermen.

Junicorn obviously concentrates on unicorns and so on.

It’s all in the spirit of Inktober and NaNoWriMo creative kick up the backsides.  It’s to get you doing something every day, working as a team to motivate each other, which helps not only to increase your creative social circle, but helps make you more productive, more regularly and get you into doing some of your art each day.  I think it’s wonderful and we should invent something for every month of the year, as we all, even professional artists and writers feel very sluggish sometimes.

I think there should be a Dracember (a dragon a day month for December).

I also think it would be cool to do one off days, not whole months.  Perhaps Howlaween, making sure you create a werewolf or a wolf for Halloween, either as a story or a piece of art?

Anyway, get visiting Rachel’s website, the link can be found above and get stuck into Gnomevember.

 

 

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Dreamer of the forever night

 

I am the dreamer of the forever night

I am the watcher of the everlasting pains of humanity

I resemble fear and yet I have none

I do not know what I’ve become

I cannot vanquish this loneliness

I cannot escape the joylessness

I can only watch you weep your tears

For hundreds and thousands perhaps millions of years

I hunger for your release

 

 

 

 

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The Watchers of the forbidden world

copyright Tina Cousins FantasyFed 2016

copyright Tina Cousins FantasyFed 2016

 

The cloud rises, twists and twirls around the forbidden mortal world
Hues of blue and grey and white forbids the passage to their sight
Unseen we are the hidden ones, forbidden to enter, forbidden to come
No one knows we are here, their cries of sadness we often hear
Forbidden to answer their prayers and cries
Forbidden to help them, unless they die
We cannot go to take their pain, we can only watch and hear in vain
We cannot cross through their gate

We can only watch their terrible fate
We are the gods they pray will come
But it’s not our world, it is not our sun
We cannot control what goes on there
Only guide them to the heavenly stair
We are forbidden to touch and be, where the mortals live and breath
We are the watchers of their endless plight
The protectors of eternal light
We are your warriors we are your knights
We tuck you into dreamtime at night
We are not evil, we are not cruel
It is not our place to rule mortals
We aren’t heartless, we aren’t depraved
We are there and ready to save
You are mortals and we are not
We are the ones that you’ve forgot
We are tender and we are true
And we’ll always be there for you
But we cannot enter through the mortal gate
We can only watch your fate
And lend a hand to the path of death
At the time of your last breath
So carefully we will take your hand
And take you to our immortal lands
Where life has set you free to be
Another watcher like me

 

 

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