Eliza’s Fancy

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Updated 3/1/2015

Eliza’s Fancy; a faery romance.

A Quick Note:

As there has been a rather unexpected rise in the amount of downloads, it is probably best for me to keep you few and dedicated readers updated on where things stand. I do not enjoy the thought of what torment you must be going through wondering ‘Is he still writing? Will I ever know the end? How will I survive without a new influx of epic poetry I probably didn’t even mean to start reading because I thought it was prose?” Alas, the anguish must be so great in you, I am sure. It pains me to know that I may well be the cause.

But worry not. It will be finished someday, that is not in question. The delay has been due to a combination of personal life (finding a faery-princess of my own who required no insignificant amount of effort to wrestle from the hands of all her other suitors) and intellectual trepidation about how to move the story from where it was to where I wanted it to be.

Luckily, the intellectual trepidation is no more, and I have even begun slowly churning out stanzas once again. I finally have settled on the complete story arc, and now it is but a matter of finding the time to put it into poetics. And I assure you, I am focusing far more on the meter and flow with these last four Parts than I did with the First, partially because I have hopefully improved as a poet, and partially because whereas the first Part was very careless in story as well as meter, and thus the loose flow matched the mood, these last parts are far tighter in both.

I deeply appreciate everyone who has asked me about my progress on the story, I sincerely didn’t expect anyone to read this unless forced upon them by my insistence. Those few strangers who have said such sweet words in reviews and shown such unwarranted interest have my humblest gratitude. And to  you friends who always ask about how it is going even though you likely do not truly want to hear me babble once more about it, thank you for continuing to humour me and for pushing me to finish.

My hope is now to at least get the first draft of Parts Six and Seven done by the end of the year. It is likely overly optimistic, but writing has been clipping along the last few weeks, and so I will hope for the best for as long as hope will float!

Thank you for reading my measly addition to a long-dead genre, I can but hope the ending I have will make the long wait worth it.

This page will be continuously updated as the progress on Eliza’s Fancy furthers. It will provide the best estimate as to the completion of the next Part, as well as periodic updates as to length in total and estimated release dates, though all such estimations are only that, and are thus subject to constant change.

Chapters in italics indicate currently in progress, or sketched out in content.
Chapters in bold indicate finished in skeletal form, to be reworked in some noticeable amount.
Chapters in regular indicate finished in near complete form, with changes being mostly in style or wording.

Parts will be released via Smashwords in chunks of nine chapters (one to two Parts released at a time), the first Part being free.

Currently:
Looking to wrap up art work, then release it to the world. Soon, though not soon enough.

Part One

Released: February 25th, 2011

Part Two
Part Three

Released: February 25th, 2011

Part Four

Part Five

Released January 24, 2012


Part Six – Writing

Chapter XLVI – 1407 Words
Chapter XLVII – 2104 Words
Chapter XLVIII – 1216 Words
Chapter XLIX – 1610 Words

Chapter L – 758 Words
Chapter LI – 685 Words
Chapter LII257 Words
Chapter LIII324 Words
Chapter LIV

Part Seven – Plot hatched, basic outline in progress

Eliza’s Fancy is a faery-romance set in a whimsical world full of sylphan magic and demonic temptation. When Eliza wanders into an enchanted forest, she sees amidst the trees a Black Knight who steals her heart before riding off into the unknown distance. Pulled by this sudden love, she sets out to find him once again. Along the way, she meets fantastic friends and faces formidable foes in an adventure that delves into both the life-giving power and the dark-sided danger of love.

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The Six Young Sailors

Under the moon, on deck they stood,
saying
“For change! For progress!
For the greater good!”

For two long years the schooner hopped,
like a bullfrog between lilly pads,
from island to island carrying crops
‘tween Turner Cay and Trinidad.

Ne’er before had the Captain led
to bad port or dangered reef,
keeping stocked with rum and bread
keeping trips easy and brief.

But to-day, the winds had suddenly turned
and becalmed the ship in open water;
Oh! how the crews face did darken
though they still feared the Flogger.

Six young sailors gathered ’round
at night as the moon shone brightly down,
and the sail covered her face like a silken shroud
as if she wished to hide her frown.

In the dark, on deck they stood,
saying
“For change! For progress!
For the greater good!”

“The Captain brought us to this fate,
his methods have long been out of date.
All but his officers he most certainly hates,
the Captain has led us to this fate.”

“The Navigator is his right-hand man,
he is the one who writ this plan –
he knew the globe would stop her fan!
The Navigator is his right hand man.”

“The Quartermaster has late been rather stingy –
drinking with the nobles and acting fishy.
He wishes not for it to be breezy,
the Quartermaster has late been rather stingy.”

“The Flogger has gained from our plight,
he flogged ten people just last night!
He’s no sailor, that’s quite right.
The Flogger has gained from our plight.”

Having chose who were at fault,
the six young sailors planned revolt,
the next night they would strike
as blindly as a lightning bolt.

In the shadows, on deck they stood
saying
“For change! For progress!
For the greater good!”

When the moon returned and hid her eyes
behind the mast and crossing ropes,
the six young sailors called upon
all the crew who’d lost their hope.

“Come friends! Come friends!
Listen here!
The Captain has sold us all,
though for what is unclear.”

“He and the Navigator did plan the route,
He and the Quartermaster do nightly flout,
He and the Flogger with glee do clout,
The four of them all have sold us out!”

“To arms! To arms!
It is not mutiny
if they deserve all the harm
when we beat them bloody!”

The boys did cheer and praise the six
for finding the cause of their predicament,
grabbing bats and bars and guns,
a little revolution did foment.

Amidst the crowd, on deck they stood,
saying
“For change! For progress!
For the greater good!”

They bagged the Captain first of all
and hauled him before their fellowship,
charged him with lying through his teeth
’bout the reason for this curs-ed trip.

“Did your business pals back on land
promise, at exorbitant price, to buy
if you would take this dangerous path
though all us poor sailors die?”

“No! No!” the Captain cried,
“We’ve actually been this way before,
sometimes the sea is cruel and harsh
and strands you far, far offshore!”

“Off the gangplank!” said the sailors,
ignoring all his desperate pleas –
and with cannonball attached to foot
sank the Captain into the sea.

Next was the Navigator, they caught him ‘midst
trying to trace the path they took
on one of the hundreds of detailed maps
in one of the hundreds of dusty books.

“How kind of you to trace
this path into motionlessness.
I’d bet the Captain paid you well
to sacrifice us to richness!”

“No! No!” the Navigator cried,
“I don’t control the weather!
I get paid exact the same
whether stopped or floating like a feather!”

“Off the gangplank!” said the sailors,
ignoring all his desperate pleas –
and with cannonball attached to foot
sank the Navigator into the sea.

The poor Quartermaster was grabbed
while sorting through all the rations –
though the last two had been higher-up,
hoarding food stirs higher passions.

“We’ve seen you bringing all the best
of wine and rum and bread and fish
to the Captain’s quarters every day
while leaving the rest of us to famish!”

“No! No!” the Quartermaster cried,
“I’m only showing which food got wetter!
I’ve eaten the same portion as you –
and the Captain only little better!”

“Off the gangplank!” said the sailors,
ignoring all his desperate pleas –
and with cannonball attached to foot
sank the Quartermaster into the sea.

By now the crowd was quite unruly,
and the Flogger got the worse of it –
for each man he’d flogged for flagging,
thrice did he get whipped.

“Oh, Taskmaster! Did the Captain give
promises of name and fame
if you beat all us blind
in order to keep our class tame?”

“No! No!” the Flogger cried,
“I only do the job I’m told!
I’ve never even met the Captain!
I’ve never seen an ounce of gold!”

“Off the gangplank!’ said the sailors,
ignoring all his desperate pleas –
and with cannonball attached to foot
sank the Flogger into the sea.

“We’ve won! We’ve won!
Their dastardly plans are foiled!
For change! For progress!
For the greater good we’ve toiled!”

Carrying the smell of newer places
the winds picked up quite suddenly!
The casks of rum were broken open,
a cry was raised of victory!

“Who will be our new Captain?
Who will lead us home?
Who will be our Navigator
to guide us through the breaking foam?”

But none of the sailors really knew
what the Captain did really do;
none of the maps in the Navigators room
could give them a single clue.

All of the crew began to mutter
about how they wanted more butter,
so they took to the Quartermaster’s clutter
and on their bread put more butter.

“This can’t be allowed!
We’ll run dry!
We need a new Flogger
to protect the supply!”

But none were as strong
as the one they drowned,
and of the six young sailors
no Flogger was found.

So six younger sailors gathered round
at night as the moon shone brightly down
and the sail covered her face like a silken shroud
as if she wished to hide her frown.

In the dark, on deck they stood,
saying
“For change! For progress!
For the greater good!”

Six months later, by chance one day,
crashed on a reef the ship was found –
filled with corpses, starved or shot,
but a few short miles from the ground.

Scrawled on the deck, carved in the wood
was a saying:

“For change! For progress!
For the greater good!”

The Fable of the Young Turtle

There once was a young turtle, his shell had just hardened and his mother, though prone to worrying, finally let him out to play with the rest of the animals.

So the young turtle went first towards the trees, and in the branches sat a charm of tiny finches, singing their little hearts out. And the young turtle called out to them, “Little birds! Little birds! You sing so beautifully! Teach me how to sing!” But no matter how hard they tried, the finches could not teach the turtle to sing. The young turtle was sad, and when he left, the finches worried to each other, saying “How sweet is the young turtle, though he can’t sing. I hope he will visit us again.”

The young turtle next went towards a pond, and on the lillypads were a knot of tiny frogs, jumping to and fro as high as they could. And the young turtle called out to them, “Little frogs! Little frogs! You jump so high! Teach me how to jump!” But no matter how hard they tried, the frogs could not teach the turtle to jump. The young turtle was sad, and when he left, the frogs worried to each other, saying “How sweet is the young turtle, though he can’t jump. I hope he will visit us again.”

The young turtle next went towards a field, and in the grass ran a coterie of prairie dogs, digging and digging as fast as they could in the packed ground. And the young turtle called out to them, “Little dogs! Little dogs! You dig so fast! Teach me how to dig!” But no matter how hard they tried, the prairie dogs could not teach the turtle to dig in the packed ground. The young turtle was sad, and when he left, the prairie dogs worried to each other, saying “How sweet is the young turtle, though he can’t dig. I hope he will visit us again.”

Home the young turtle went, face long and heart heavy, for he could do nothing the other animals could do. As he walked, he passed by an ancient, wizened tortoise who, though old and slow, knew much of what was happening in the forest. When he saw the young turtle walking so dejected, he called out “Young turtle! Young turtle! Why is your face long and your heart heavy?” The turtle replied, “I can not sing like the birds, nor jump like the frogs, nor dig like the dogs! I can do nothing but feel sorrow, so I will go home and never talk to the other animals again.”

The old tortoise replied, “Early this morning, I saw a charm of finches fly by, and they were saying ‘How sweet is the young turtle, though he can’t sing. I hope he will visit us again.’ At noon, I saw a knot of frogs hop by, and they were saying ‘How sweet is the young turtle, though he can’t jump. I hope he will visit us again.’ This evening, I saw a coterie of prairie dogs walk by, and they were saying ‘How sweet is the young turtle, though he can’t dig. I hope he will visit us again.’ What need you to sing, when you have the love of the birds? What need you to jump, when you have the love of the frogs? What need you to dig, when you have the love of the dogs? Your talent is to love, and it is far greater to have love than to be able to do all the things you wish to do. If you could sing but cannot love, who would you sing to? If you could jump but cannot love, where would you jump to? If you could dig but cannot love, who would you dig with? Little turtle, little turtle, you have the greatest gift of all!”

So the little turtle went home with a happy face and a light heart, and when he wished to hear a song, he went to the birds to play. And when he wished to see an acrobat, he went to the frogs to play. And when he wished to explore the earth, he went to the prairie dogs to play. The little turtle was never lonely, and grew to be as old and wizened as the ancient tortoise.

The Flight of Meaning

There is an empty idea traipsing about in the political world today that seems to be accepted everywhere with nods of heads and polite claps, yet it seems to be like a hot air balloon, floating further and further from reality with every blast from the newspaper-fed furnace. On Christmas Eve it culminated with a ‘gift’ from our president, which is much like a robber stealing your nice winter coat and handing you back the hood ‘in the spirit of Christ.’ I feel less grateful, and more annoyed that the Spirit doesn’t get a say in the matter.

This idea began, as most ideas do, firmly planted on the ground in the days when ideas were allowed to do such a thing. Our forefathers called them ‘rights,’ and kept them squarely lined up and penned in, shoo-ing off unnecessary additions and otherwise being quite miserly and judicious in their use of the word. Like every child, we grew up and decided to spite our fathers, and now we have rights spilling from our noses and ears, and there may very will be more ‘rights’ than ‘wants’ left.

It is quite curious that, in the golden age of liberalism and revolution, the Rights of Man were grounded in ‘God and nature’. How ‘inalienable’ and ‘inherent’ they were, the basis of freedom and justice, spread out upon our hearts and planted in our minds, so that we knew who was slave and who was free. Ah, how that knowledge has gone, and now the Free-man is slave to the State, and the State slaves for the politician. For now, the word ‘right’ has spread its wings and taken flight from its meaning!

In a newspaper just the other day, I stumbled upon this: ‘Despite all the compromises, it has finally been possible to ensure something so fundamental, as the right of every American not to be financially shipwrecked when their health fails them.’ Here we see the flight of meaning – nonsense on the back of an eagle, a ‘tongue dropping Manna.’

Let us propose, for fancy’s sake, that it is a Right to be granted health care without means of payment. Now, let us suppose that this doctor wished to vacation – perhaps a week to rest his wearied body from providing all the patches and band-aids his poor hands could wrap up. But a crisis of sorts occurs, perhaps a mass golfing-accident, or an epidemic of broken noses, and the hospital is short a doctor. How far does this ‘right’ go? Is the doctor recalled from his vacation for the good of the state? If none of these men can pay, does he work for free? What if, in a strange occurrence, all the doctors were to disappear to, say, the Bahamas. What of our ‘right,’ now? Do we ship the sick to the warmer clime to follow them? Or maybe we take the Bahamas by force, so that we once again have a population of doctors ready to work for us?

If it is fundamental for every American to be provided for, who is to do the providing? Why, this doctor of course, and fie on his rights!

For this ‘fundamental right’ does nothing more than trample on the rights of other men. A ‘right’ that requires a service is no more than the imposition of slavery. We do not have the ‘right’ to blueberry pies on Tuesday nights, though I often desire one, and feel it would vastly benefit the humour of the population. We do not have the ‘right’ to whiskey on long days, though I often fume that Templeton cannot provide it, and curse their heartlessness for being short of it. And we do not have the ‘right’ to a doctor to care for us, though I may be sick as a dog and wheeling rapidly towards deaths door.

The Rights of Man are grounded, and once uprooted they wither and die. That God granted man Life does not mean he granted him Health, for to say that is to ignore the very fabric of life. That God granted man Liberty does not mean he granted him Housing, for to say that is to ignore the very world surrounding us. That God granted man the Pursuit of Happiness does not mean he granted him Happiness, for to say that is to ignore our own hearts.

Yet this is what is being spouted and applauded by our politicians and our journalists, absent of sense and absent of support. They pulled an idea out from the ground and let it fly to the air, telling us it is more beautiful brown and brittle than green and glossy. For ‘their thoughts are low; to vice industrious – to nobler deeds timorous and slothful; yet they please the ear’.

For the Child at Heart, on a Rainy Day

When the rain fell, the sky split
sending half itself down,
found the ground and fit
into puddles and pits.

The moon shattered,
now a thousand little discs,
that dropped and pitter-pattered,
in a thousand places scattered.

Look! the clouds flee
and where once was water
now, there, heavens be!

In each one, the moon’s children smile,
haloed in stars,
creation now an ethereal tile
decorating the streets with empyrean style!

Children! remember! remove your shoes,
for where heaven has fallen,
God’s love does effuse.

For moon and stars were first a gift
to tired-eyed angels in the firmament,
so whenever the sky does lovingly rift
your toes must show ever so swift.

When the moon finally gathers her children
and marshalls them off as a squadron
and the sky turns ‘to a fire-red cauldron
and the sun peeks over the grassy fence
and the waters begin to rinse
the air with a scattered fog,
rejoice! and remember your muddy footprints
will float like a soothing incense
to God’s own throne.

The Farmer and the Eagle

The Parable of the Farmer and the Eagle

There once was a farmer whose land was infested with hares, and whose crops were constantly eaten. One day, an eagle flew over his land, and saw the many hares, and found the place good. So the eagle hunted in the farmers land, and the farmer became proud of the eagle, and told his neighbors how it defended his crops. Soon, in his mind, the majestic creature was his, and all it accomplished he accomplished.

But after a time, the eagle had hunted many of the hares, and there was little left to eat, and it moved to another farm. The farmer was angry, and accused his neighbor of stealing the eagle, and set out to capture it. So with snares and nets, he brought the eagle down, and tied the birds foot to a rope, and put it in a cage, and fed it meat from his table. Not long after, the hares came back, and ate the farmers crops again, but the eagle had forgotten how to hunt. The farmer’s land was no longer protected, and he was left with nothing but a caged eagle and a ruined farm.

The Fable of the Three Birds

The Fable of the Three Birds

On the edge of a forest lived three birds: a songbird, a crow, and a mockingbird. Every morning, the songbird woke and flew to the highest branch in her tree to sing to the forest a most beautiful song – the joy of her tiny heart bubbled and fizzled and burst out through her beak, and the song would float along the wind and into the sky . But the crow, a nasty and spiteful beast, would daily land on her branch, and with the smell of carrion on his breath, lambasted the little songbird with jeers and biting words. “Who do you sing to, little bird? The wind? The sky? They hear you not, and they enjoy it not! How your little tweets and hoots are wasted on deaf ears, and how you do make such a fool of yourself to the forest!” And the mockingbird, a mis-shapen and dark-minded beast, would daily land on her branch and sing his own mocking song, but it had not the beauty or heart of the songbirds, and it’s song would fall flat to the forest floor.

One day, a torrent raged upon the trees, and the branches were whipped to and fro, and the birds knew that it was only a matter of time before the tree they lived in was swept away. But the songbird worried not, and flew to the highest branch and sang, the wind crashing like waves on the tree, but her voice flying ever higher, and the rain couldn’t drown her melody out. The crow flew to her branch, and while the branch swang wildly, laughed a most hideous laugh, and said “Why sing such a beautiful song, poor wretch? Don’t you know this tree will be carried off, with us in it? This storm will end us, and no one will ever hear you sing again!” And the crow, with his chest puffed and his pride bursting, laughed and walked to the edge of the branch, where the wind picked him up and threw him off deep into the forest. And the mockingbird waddled his way to the songbird, and blasted his dissonant tune that fell even faster than the rain, stopping only to cackle at the songbird, until the wind picked him up and threw him after the crow. And as the storm grew stronger, so did the songbirds song, until she too was thrown into the forest.

The next morning, the three birds, with their wings broken and nests scattered about, sat on the forest floor, yet still the songbird began to sing her most beautiful tune, and it was lifted up into the freshly cleaned forest, and seemed to wash it again with her soulful cry. And the crow grew hot with fury, yelling “What makes you sing, damned fool! Your wing is broke and nest is shattered, and there is still no one to hear you!” And the mockingbird sang his most mocking song, shaking the leaves and boiling the puddles, and the screeches burrowed into the ground like worms.

But the songbird’s song was carried by the wind, and reached the ear of an elderly woman who walked the forest, and had often stopped to listen to the songbird. She knew the voice, and found the songbird with her broken wing and scattered nest, and scooped both up and brought them home. She mended the wing and rebuilt the nest in a light-fixture above her front door, and every morning the songbird would sing for the old woman, and every night the old woman would feed the songbird, and both pleased each other’s soul greatly.