booksandstories.com

April 2003 Review

Web Page Progress

I have noticed over the life of this website that the people who purchase access to my stories tend to be predominantly women. It's difficult to judge whether this is also the case for all the visitors to my site as I can only identify those who buy. Those who pop in to read the Short Stories or just the free chapters I only know from IP addresses, the computer's address on the internet. I don't really do much with this information except to find out where in the world most of you are. That seems to be the USA. I shouldn't be surprised because the USA must be the biggest English speaking/reading market.

Speaking of statistics, it may be pertinent with the third anniversary of this website looming in May to mention one or two winners. First of all Mandy is my overall best visitor and reader so far. She wins hands down.

Congratulations Mandy!

Secondly "The Look Of Love" is my most purchased book. "An Affair Of The Heart" comes a close second. Third and the highest placed science-fiction story is "The Lost Girls".

It's very interesting that my two top sellers are wholly romantic stories. Yes there is a slight bit of criminal activity in both, but that is just to spice things up. Where would any love story be without some threat? But most of the threats are very everyday ones, and so it is nice to see these two stories at the top.

As for "The Lost Girls", well what can I say? Destroyers (more about them later), castles, school girls with hockey sticks and a dragon to beat and eat all. It's a good mix of science-fiction and fantasy with female characters to die for. And there is romance too. None of my stories are really without it (apart from the one at the bottom of this page under the Short Story heading!).

Letters

I have received a couple more emails. These were both from my very best, most loyal and perfect reader, Mandy:

Hey DG,

I just finished almost everything that you have available on the website, and I am very impressed. I loved the whole of the sci-fi fantasy stories and I can't wait until you finish "The Friendly Ambassador". I am hooked on them!! Too bad they aren't books to buy, cause they would be on my bookshelf. How did you get the idea for that type of story? And what inspired you? Like for the Destroyers? Anyways I really enjoyed reading them. Good Job!

Sincerely,

Mandy

What can I say? Thank you again, Mandy. I'm glad you enjoyed everything. I think I said at the very beginning that I would prefer you to read my stories rather than just go away, and you seem to have read the lot, so I am very pleased and satisfied. Which was your favorite? And why? And did you read "The Look Of Love"?

In my reply to Mandy I answered her questions in detail. What follows are some of the things I told her.

I too wish my work was in print. Maybe they would need changes, but in essense they are all okay. I think the ending of "The Return Of The Sixpack" and the "Tale Of The Comet" could do with a little more attention. And of course I have all those other adventures of our intrepid girl bandits to write (minus the hockey sticks!). A few of them were referred to in "The Return Of The Sixpack", but the number could be limitless. I may begin adding them to the Short Stories. As for ideas, they just come to me. But I do think that the Destroyers need a little introduction.

The Destroyers, or Androktones as they are more correctly referred to in "The Friendly Ambassador", are an established male fantasy. They are of course the epitomy of the perfect woman, but the warrior aspect makes them more interesting. Men have this thing about warrior women, and what I didn't realise until after I wrote the "Tale Of The Comet" was that the Amazon is also a female fantasy. I think it is because they break away from the norm. They won't allow themselves to be bossed by men or to be forced to accept second place. They challenge men and the role of men, and they beat them on their own terms. They are very strong female characters. They are very attractive female characters.

When I began "The Friendly Ambassador" I did a little research, and even in Greek legend and myth Amazons are considered to be in opposition to male rule. They were considered then to be emancipated women, an image that was considered dangerous. It's not surprising that warfare broke out. My Destroyers are based on what I propose is the true background of the Amazons. It's a fantasy of course but I think it can be just as valid as any other legend concerning them or Atlantis. In "The Friendly Ambassador" I have attempted to blend Greek Myth with science-fiction, giving reasons for what became legend. The Amazons, or Androktones (which actually means "killers of men"), are perfect, beautiful, heroic, fearless, brave, skilled fighters, the list is endless.

I have imagined the Amazons to be descendants of an alien female race, the Klysanthians, who lived in a Matriarchy, where the women ruled. They ended up on Earth and interbred, their genetic legacy slowly diluting. But on their arrival the differences were more stark. True Amazons are the offspring of those who came and their male human lovers. They take the strength of their fathers and the spirit of their mothers and go on to cause havoc, fighting the Athenians in the Attic War, supporting the Trojans at Troy, doing anything that the Athenians and their allies would resent most, mainly just for the heck of it. I have tied the basis of these myths into "The Friendly Ambassador", and many of the Klysanthian names are known Amazonian names. The myth is that the Amazons are descended from Ares, the God of War, and Otrera, and I have continued that in my own science-fiction style.

The Amazons caused brief mischief on Earth and their passing is greatly mourned, but I have made references in later chapters of "The Friendly Ambassador" that suggests that they my not be entirely extinct.

My Destroyers are the same as the Amazons but different. They have been genetically bred for war from the same source as their Amazon sisters. They share the same blood and parentage. But they have also been "genetically modified" giving them additional abilities and specific instincts. These "add-ons" have a down side. They have been robbed of the expertise and sophistication of true women. L'Karn describes it best in "The Return Of The Sixpack":

"I had heard that Destroyers could read a man's body, and that they could trace his path through the forest in the dead of night, hours after he had passed. Legends say that the Destroyers traded their laughter and tears for these skills and that is why they cannot laugh or cry. It made them powerful, but they were greedy for more. So in order to pull the swords from their own backs they next gave up their hearts and their souls. Destroyers don't dance or sing, they feel no joy in the cry of their newborn babies, and they feel no grief in the death of their sisters. We should pity them because the sun brings them no joy and life no reward. They are hollow and shallow."

My Destroyers take the mystique and heroic appeal of the Amazons and alter it slightly. The differences are few but the result is an alien female clone who you would not one to get on the wrong side of in a dark alley.

Mandy picked up on the male/female fantasy aspects of Amazons in her next email:

Dear DG,

I had a friend tell me that he loved girls that rode motorcycles or that could drive stick shift. He said it was because they were doing "guy" things and it was sexy. This came to mind instantly when you described the Destroyers. And I don't think it's a just a male fantasy, I mean, I think most girls secretly wish to kick ass and be tough yet of course still beautiful. Lord knows I wish I could, I used to wish I could be Buffy or Xena but alas I am a real girlie girl.

I liked the whole Greek mythology thing. Maybe you have been visited by aliens and that is why you know the secret of our history? Anyways, I think it was inspired. I love Greek mythology, so I got all the references and the appropriately named people and ships.

I can't wait until you finish "The Friendly Ambassador" I have a feeling that it will become one of my favorites. And I would really like to know what happens to Chen-Soo on earth. But maybe you should finish the stories you have already started (like "The Friendly Ambassador", cause I'm dying to read it) and then get to the ones in your head. I like to write, but I'm not a very good writer so what I have is a load of stories only most of them are either one paragraph or one page long. I can't seem to finish them. But then maybe if you start to write them down, you won't forget them. Oh well, it's a no win situation so I guess the only solution is to write faster.

Thanks for taking the time to write back!

Sincerely,

Mandy

P.S. "The Look Of Love" is next, I haven't read it yet.

Try writing them down, Mandy. You never know...

Following on from my conversation with Mandy, and from the statistics I mentioned above in the Web Page Progress section, it seems that I have accidentally latched on to a market with my stories that possibly isn't being suficiently covered by mainstream fiction where male characters in leading roles tend to dominate. This appears to be the same in the printed form or on television and the cinema. Female characters are often in the secondary or supporting roles. And if women are featured more prominantly it tends to be in the more lighter, sympathetic, romantic or softer "womensy" style of story. Occasionaly there are stonger women featured, but apart from the odd "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" movie these characters also tend to be in supporting roles. Electra in "Daredevil", for example. This is okay if you like romance, and most women do rather like romantic stories, as the popularity of "An Affair Of The Heart" and "The Look Of Love" on this website seems to suggest. However, a lot of women also like to read about strong female characters. And many also like the Amazon type, either in period fantasy, such as in the television series "Xena Warrior Princess", or in the modern world as with "Alias". Some men also share this interest. My stories seem to satisfy this need.

Those who read my stories will quickly find out that nearly all of my stories feature women prominantly. They tend to dominate in numbers. My science-fiction and fantasy stories feature a multitude of women who are strong, smart, and kick ass frequently. But they can also be very endearing. There is romance here, too. And my purely romantic stories also have a very female bias in both the story and in the point of view of the story, and that maybe why these are the most popular. As I said, my most read story is "The Look Of Love". As it's my favourite as well, that is highly pleasing. At the moment I am concentrating on my current science-fiction story, "The Friendly Ambassador", and although it is dark and violent in places, it is populated with numerous strong female characters and it also contains romantic elements as well. In time I will start on another purely romantic story. And as I enjoy writing about women, whether romantically or in adventure style, I will continue to write both kinds of story and put them up on this website hopefully for you to enjoy.

For those of you who are into Buffy/Xena/Alias type female characters, there is an awful lot of written fiction of this type available in book form. A site to visit is Whoosh. Just click on the link below or on the smaller ones now on the Home and List Pages. On the left hand column of red square links you will find Message Board and Chat. In this section you can then find extensive references to tough, Amazonian type female fiction. It's a good site for women who like strong female characters. Have fun.

Writing Progress

I'm still writing and still trying to get noticed. I have recently begun to contact Literary Agents in the USA, as those in the UK only seem to be interested in established writers, celebrities who can't write but who cares, or something written in the style and format as something already successful. I don't seem to match any of those criteria so I guess I had better give up. Or get famous. Or just keep on plugging away in obsecurity. It looks like it will probably be the latter, so I've started to email and write letters. If I get noticed I'll let you know (particularly Mandy, who wants my books on her shelf).

Progress on my main project goes well. "The Friendly Ambassador" is up to about thirty-two chapters and it's all getting wild and out of hand, so I'm happy. I also seem to have found some extra time for my writing and that has speeded things up a little. How long before it's finished? I don't know. At the moment I don't even know how many chapters it will be. What I have noticed is that some of the chapters are rather large. I keep thinking about splitting some of them, but somehow they don't feel right like that. I'll just have to see how they go on.

For those of you with a darker disposition, the second part of the Curfew is included as this month's Short Story. Please remember that this is an exploration of the dark side of one's imagination, and although it's not as graphically violent this month, a romance it is not. For those of you who missed it, Part I is already on the List Page. See you next month with a lighter story.

April's Short Story: The Curfew: Part II

Ah, I see you have returned my little cautious ones. Want to know more do you? Not satisfied with just the odd brutal killing? Sexually excited you, did it? Well, I will not delay your pleasures for long.

The Curfew is a delightful little law. It gives those with interests and habits such as mine the opportunity to exercise our needs in the most exquisite of ways. Take a little look at these laws shall we? Yes, you remember from last time don't you? But a recap for the timid and newly arrived is in order.

In the year 2008, between the hours of seven in the evening and seven the following morning, all laws governing the protection and civil liberties of individuals under the age of eighteen were revoked by our illustrious government. That meant anyone under eighteen years of age who were caught out and about during the Curfew hours had no rights and no powers unless they were in the custody of the police. It was the only exception, and it meant that they could be detained and punished by anyone, even by people like me.

The Mannerheim Curfew Act was intended to relieve the immensely heavy burden of arrest and detention of young misbehavers from the state and pass it on to the public sector. And to help it also allowed parents to be fined for damages caused by their children during the Curfew hours. And even those who suffered damage while detaining children on behalf of the state had the right to claim compensation for these damages against the parents.

Magic isn't it? In essence it meant that little girls who were caught out and about in their finest after seven pm had no human rights whatsoever.

What, not boys too? I hear you ask.

Of course it applied to boys too. It was designed for the little gits, but I have never cared for them. Once you've killed a few it gets boring. I try, but stabbing youths with various garden implements brings little joy to me anymore. I've tried drowning and hanging, garroting and shooting. Even the use of chainsaws and other powered devices can't sustain my interest. Nowadays I just run them over with my car. Sometimes I have to reverse over them once or twice, and it is a chore, I know, but if you are going to do it you have to do it properly. It's my duty as a citizen. At the beginning, yes, like everyone else I too was tired of the arrogance and insulting impudence of our younger generation. I took the opportunity as many did to vent my spleen on those who caroused noisily in the night, those who robbed and vandalised, those who generally behaved as if the sun shone out of their arses. I took great pleasure in showing them how other things could be inserted into the same orifice. I took pleasure in snipping off fingers and toes, plucking out eyes, burning bodies and impaling victims on suitable iron railings. All while the little gits were alive of course. And all perfectly legal of course. But my anger and interest soon waned. Not that I have ever stopped killing them of course. If they are out and about during the Curfew hours they are legal game. I kill them, but I kill them quickly. Girls are different.

I have never lost the buzz and sensual excitement the torture and death a young girl can bring. It's so satisfying. It leaves my whole body, even my mind, refreshed and enhanced. And each erotically endured death takes me ever higher. I can never have enough, I always lust for more. And it seems my imagination has no limit to the methods and style of the fun and torment that must be endured, it knows no bounds. Once captured, a girl can keep me entertained for hours. But once morning approaches, the fun has to stop. I could turn them over to the police of course. But there are things I do to them, disgusting, beastial things, that are best kept hidden, especially from your eyes my little cautious ones. Call me callous if you like, call me a pervert or call me a sexual psychopath, but I just can't help it. It's something I have to do, like one more cigarette, a last bet, another fix, or just one last drink for the road.

I am not alone in these dark thoughts. I am not the only one who has these feelings and needs. Look to those who share the journey to and from work with you on the bus or subway. What about that man on the seat on the train opposite to you? Or even the men in the office who work with you? But here at least are people you know, eh, my little cautious ones? These men do not fill you with fear. You talk freely with them and they smile and laugh with you. But do you really know them? Do you really know what lurks behind the smile and the eyes that look out at you so intently? Maybe they see what I see. Maybe they watch you as I would. Maybe I am one of them...

But enough of me! Now to our victims! I have watched them, I have seen them going and coming. I know their habits! I know their appeal! Such lovely things, oh, so sweet and ready! I have killed them a thousand times in my mind, each time better and even more outrageously than before! But now it will be for real! Now is the night of my release! Now comes the choosing of those who will receive my special love! Let me introduce you to them, my little cautious ones.

-o-

"What did you think of Harris?" Sarah asked as she and Michelle walked through Altrincham on their way to the Metro Station.

The two of them were on their way home from school, it was just after three twenty in the afternoon. It was warm and as usual Michelle had worn her blue skirt as short as possible without risking being sent home. And now that she was out of school she had pushed it lower down. With her short white blouse and her blue jumper tied around her hips it allowed a tantalising view of her lower abdomen. Sarah's skirt was also short, but she wore hers at the usual height. With her jumper also tied around her and her blouse pulled out and knotted in front, her upper abdomen was on show, her navel just peeping out above her skirt. Both their uniforms were blue and they were finished off with white ankle socks and blue and yellow diagonally striped ties. Both ties were pulled loose.

There were a hundred or so similarly dressed schoolgirls of different ages walking through the centre of Altrincham on their way home. Most of them were in the same blue uniform, but green was also prevalent. And many of them had suitably altered their uniforms to better reflect their characters and personalities. Skirts were longer, short, very short, plain, pleated, blue or green. Black tights were in the majority but no tights and white socks were the preference of many of the older girls. And ties had been loosened or removed, blouses pulled out or tied up and jumpers or cardigans were either worn or tied about them. All of them carried bags, most of them wore trainers, and all of them laughed and talked as they walked. But they were not alone.

Boys in uniform in similar colours were peppered among them. Several also walked alone in clumps. Just like the girls the boys were on their way home and a multitude of heights and ages were to be found. They also laughed and talked. But many of the taller ones were more interested in talking with the girls.

Among the procession of students were a large number of boy and girl pairings. These pairings would often loiter in quieter spots to embrace and kiss. And the Metro Station and the many bus stops quickly became focal points for more lengthy and groping embraces. Most of the people in Altrincham were used to it. It came from having two grammer schools close together in the town. And the rush would only last a short time. Many parents came to collect their children, but many were also content to let them go and come under their own responsibility.

Michelle and Sarah walked along together amidst a larger group of girls. Several boys were among them, but Michelle and Sarah walked a little way ahead of them, happy in their own company. Michelle was blonde haired and blue-eyed. Sarah's hair was light brown and she had brown eyes. They were both sixteen years old with the same above average height and attractive build. They were nearly women, but not quite.

"He fancies me rotten!" Michelle replied to Sarah's question rather satifingly.

"Are you going to do it with him?"

"Not bloody likely!"

"But I thought you liked him?"

"There's likeing him and there's likeing him," Michelle explained.

Sarah sighed. "He seems alright to me."

Michelle looked across at her friend. "You fancy him yourself, don't you?"

Sarah blushed. "Is it that obvious?"

"Oh, you nit!" Michelle exclaimed. "Why didn't you say something if you fancied him?"

"I thought you liked him! Anyway, he fancies you not me, like you said." She looked crestfallen by the statement. "It's always the same! Every boy I fancy either fancies someone else or just doesn't fancy me!"

"Rubbish!" Michelle retorted. "You get just as much attention as me! Anyway all boys fancy you because all boys fancy girls! All you have to do is say yes!"

They both laughed at that, but Sarah wasn't convinced of the simplicity.

"I know what you mean, but I don't want to do it yet."

"Neither do I. But a kiss and a cuddle is alright. You just need to be a bit more relaxed."

"But that isn't where most of them want to stop, is it?"

"They're just trying it on. They want to find out how far you'll let them get before kicking them back. It's part of growing up. You just have to remember to keep in control. You must never let them get the upper hand."

Sarah looked across at Michelle. "How far are you going to let Harris get?"

"Well, now that I know you like him, not as far as he thinks!"

They laughed again and linked arms, continuing to talk as they wandered along. The topics changed as the thoughts came to them, but because they were both sixteen the subject of boys and sex never left them for long. For girls and boys of their age sex and it's discovery was the most important thing in life. When they had reached Altrincham Station and had squeezed onto a noisy tram, the subject, in the form of Harris, returned once again. But not before the usual banter that took place between adolescent boys and girls cramped fortuitously together.

"Hey! Shell! Are you wearing thongs?"

"Wouldn't you like to know."

"Give us a twang!"

"Piss off, Mark!"

"Hey! Sarah! If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?"

"Only if I was wearing chain-mail."

"Hey! Shell! Do you want to see my new trick?"

"If you try undoing my bra again, Peter, I'm going to kick you in the bollocks. And I don't care if they haven't dropped yet."

"Hey! Sarah! Do you want to know how to take a baby's temperature!"

"Why, are you feeling cold?"

"No! No! It's fun, really!"

"Oh, been practising on yourself have you?"

Where one eager boy went, others quickly followed. But it wasn't long before the quality of the banter deteriorated.

"Hey! Shell! Make a poor boy happy and sit on me face!"

"Okay. Which end is it?"

"Hey! Sarah! Sit on me knee and I'll look after you!"

"Bog off!"

"Hey! Shell! Bend over and give us a kiss!"

"Piss off!"

Most of the heckling directed at the two girls died away when the tram finally moved off. It was probably due more to the availability of many more girls as potentially acquiescing targets than it was to the constant rebuffs. But at least it meant that they were left alone for awhile. And that gave Sarah the chance to bring up a tricky subject.

"What time are you meeting Harris?" she asked as the tram made it's way towards Timperly.

"About half past four at his place," Michelle replied.

Sarah looked alarmed. "That doesn't give you much time."

"My dad's picking me up."

"Oh, that's okay then."

Michelle smiled at her friend. "Don't worry about me, or about Harris. I'll blow him out."

"He'll be pig sick."

Michelle shrugged. "Tough. You're my best friend, he's just a boy."

Sarah smiled and they hugged affectionately and the tram around them was instantly filled with shouts and whistles.

"Get it on, girls! Go for it!"

"Piss off!" Michelle replied while Sarah remained red-faced.

At Brooklands Station a boy rushing off the tram bumped into the back of Michelle. She was knocked forward into Sarah and her breasts instantly drooped. She quickly restrained them both and turned to bellow after the rapidly departing and smiling boy.

"Peter Blythe you are dead tomorrow!"

"Swing 'em!" was the tart reply.

Michelle turned back to Sarah as the doors closed behind her. "The little git!" she remarked.

Sarah couldn't help laughing. "Never mind. He did it to me yesterday."

"He does it to everybody! He's a pain in the arse!"

"Turn round and I'll fasten it."

Michelle turned her back on her and held onto her two breasts while Sarah reached under the back of her blouse. The tram burst into noisy life once more.

"Where's me camera?"

"Here, I'll fix it for you, Shell!"

"Bog off!"

Michelle's bra was sucessfully refastened by the time they reached Sale Station, and the two friends got off the tram to a range of passing remarks.

"Is it knicker arranging tomorrow?"

"Will you get 'em out next time?"

"Piss off!"

They stopped off at a shop to buy chocolate and Pepsi before wandering down Northenden Road. They were on their own now, just two girls walking along talking about homework and what they were going to do tomorrow. But the usual topic soon returned.

"You don't have to drop him, you know," Sarah suddenly said.

"Oh, it's alright, Sarah. He's not that important. He's okay, but he's not important. Like you I haven't really found anyone I really like, not in the way of staying with for ages, you know?"

Sarah nodded. "It's difficult thinking ahead, that's why I don't want you to miss out because of me."

"I won't miss out. Harris is fun, but I'm not his Miss Perfect either. He's got wandering eyes, so you better remember that if you go chasing him!"

"He'll probably blow me out."

Michelle put her arm around Sarah and gave her a gentle hug. "Then he won't have deserved either of us."

Sarah smiled and they walked on slowly. Sarah was getting dreamy.

"I sometimes look at boys and make up in my head what they're like," she remarked. "I even dream about getting really close to them, about doing it with them. I sometimes dream that we're going to live happily ever after. Do you do that?"

"Fantasise?" Michelle nodded. "Mmm, a bit. I suppose we all do."

"And do you sometimes think about doing it with a boy?"

"Yeah, sometimes. But it never works out that way. Fantasies aren't real, and the person you start mooning over never matches up. It's a mistake. You have to find out what the real person is like and forget the fantasies. You can't do it with a fantasy. When I do it I want it to be with the right person. I don't want to do it with anybody just for the sake of it. And I was never going to do it with Harris. Like you said, it's difficult. I don't know what I want to do yet, so I don't want to get stuck with kids before I even start."

They had paused on the corner of an intersection.

"Maybe we should join a convent?" Sarah suggested.

Michelle shook her head. And then they both smiled and said, "Nah!"

They embraced and kissed affectionately.

"I'll see you tomorrow," Sarah said.

"Yeah! First thing."

"Take care."

"You too. I'll phone you later. Love you."

"Love you."

They parted it seemed almost regretfully. Each went their own way, turning every few steps to wave and smile until they were out of sight. Home was only a short distance away. For one of them a night of homework and television beckoned, for the other a brief romantic interlude before a similar end to the day would follow. At some point they would talk on the phone, and a blow by blow account of proceedings would be recounted. But for one of them events were not going to go quite as planned.

-o-

So, now that we have introduced our luscious little victims, which one is it to be, my little cautious ones? Which delightful and innocent young thing will fall into my grateful arms and which one will elude me? Which one will kick her long legs in torment as I slice her skin? Which one will I gut in the early hours of the morning as the sun rises? Which one will be grateful to die when it happens? And how will this delightful gift to me be presented? Shall I dress her up for my pleasure, or will she come to me in her finery? And how will it happen do you ask? But in the end do you really care which one I kill so long as you can watch me do it? You will only find the answers to these questions on your next visit, because part of my cruelty, a greater part, is in the drawing out of my pleasure and your suffering. And the fact that you will return is an admission of your own secret desires...

End of Part II. Part III in two months time.

Copyright © D. G. Richards 2003

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