Bella of the Whispering World

Be wary of hate, and those many terrible things which come from it.

For like a wounding of the body, hate is a wounding of that which lies within.

And if left untreated, like a festering of the wound of the body the wound of that which lies within will fester too. And in time where once within was peace and clarity of sight, will now be nought but the terror and the turmoil of hate, blind to all else, through which love and all those great things of a life worth living may never be known again.

Be wary of hate, for it is a terrible thing.


The tale of Bella of the Whispering World is currently being written.

With luck it will be finished and published by the Winter of 2017.

In the meantime, below are a small number of selected passages from the early stages of the first draft; hopefully soon to be added to, and concluded…


“The deep black of night crept in and suffused the room from outside, seeping like soft mist through the two small, identical windows which dotted either side of the cottage. And in with it too came the deep quiet of the Forest, marked occasionally with the groan or rustling of a swaying branch, or the far-off movement of some small creature in the shadows; the quiet marked, but never broken. For the calm and the quiet of the Forest were never truly broken, never truly outdone by anything within. The Forest was too big for that. Too old. Too quietly powerful and assured of its peacefulness to let any other being within challenge the soft, dark beauty of its gloomed serenity for long. And this night was even softer and quieter than most…”


“The route to the north-eastern border took them deep into the marshes, but held well back from venturing altogether into their centre, skirting fortunately around that bleak swamp of cavernous, fear-born night. Even the small, infrequent hinting of the sun’s distant presence here was better by far than that…”


“Bella opened her eyes to look straight into a set of one of theirs: big and round and mottled blue and black in the dark, though also they seemed to contain within them a distant light of their own. Almost she could see herself in them, or see at least what they saw of her…”


“But as her eyes adjusted and she began to glimpse out through a grogginess she found she couldn’t shake completely, she realised just how much all else around her had changed. Changed… but hadn’t changed. A great confusion of familiarity and foreignness played against each other in Bella’s mind. There was grass around them; there were skies above. It was the same world through which they travelled. Yet it was a wholly new and different world nonetheless…”


“Bella knew nothing of what had set all this off, well before she was even born, beyond some arguing of men and kings she didn’t know, in great cities and palaces far away that she would never see. But its effects were clear and all around her nonetheless. And she was amongst it all now. Part of it…”


“The sky in particular was horrible, beyond horrible; both oppressive in its size and its scale and the weight of it bearing down upon her, yet at the same time also searing and terrible in its openness and emptiness. Bella felt naked, exposed, raw to the world in a way she hadn’t known since… In a way she hadn’t known for a long time. She put the thought aside, refusing the beginning of memory…”


“The world was suddenly small and close and heavy about them once more, and Bella hated it. She felt tired. Though they had been moving for hours now, it felt like she had only just awoken. Or perhaps not even that. The close, hovering swirls of grey around her seemed almost a reflection of her own mind, hazy and dull and yet at times sparking with a sudden squall of movement and energy. She couldn’t explain the feeling; she was exhausted, drained, yet for the briefest of instants occasionally as they continued along the trail it was as though her thoughts and her mind were suddenly on fire, blazing fierce and wild beyond her control… before just as suddenly the feeling evaporated and was drawn away, lost upon the wind…”


“It happened slowly at first, thin shafts of first a lighter grey then something brighter and more colourful shining in long, warming beams across Bella’s path. But then after Bella had been running for what must, she guessed, have been nearly an hour, the last lingering remnants of the grey haze were, as one it seemed, swept up on the breeze and the tide of the sunlight and cast out, and the world of day was finally revealed…”


“Trail and root and flower and leaf and amongst it all time itself merged together into a single, endless moment Bella couldn’t pick apart and tell as anything other than a vast, swirling whole. The lights of the Forest shone, the music of the Forest played…”


“For the world, little Bella, is more than merely that which you can see, and touch, and taste, and hear, and smell. Much more. There is another, greater realm of the world which resides above all the rest, though for the most part it is hidden. It is the beginning and the end; the question and the answer; the cause and the effect. It is all the beauty and all the terror of the heavens made real for us in the world… This is the realm of Magic, little Bella…”


“Bella opened her eyes, and turned to look about her. She stood in the open at the summit of a wide, gently-sloping hill, which rose bare and alone above this otherwise flat region of the Forest. Hard, rough rock pressed up thick from below to push close against the underside of the thin covering of grass, spilling through the soil in places in small eruptions of jagged greys and blacks, most covered on one side with a dull green sheen of moss. No trees or other plantlife grew here; there was nothing at all close-by to bar Bella’s view in every direction as she turned slowly on the spot and looked out across mile after mile of the Forest to north and south, east and west. In the distance in some narrow bearings other high places of the Forest rose up, some to even greater heights than here. But in all others it was as though she was looking to the very edges of the green world itself…”


“The warmth and life of the world had only just returned to the Forest after many long months of darkness and cold, but it had returned now with speed and power in the past days, as though keen to make up for lost time. And in the low, warming rays thin tendrils of steam rose, at first alone from each glistening pool and glinting, rain-soaked bud and root and blade of grass, then after a time joining together around head-height into a single, wavering mist, at times thick and deep and at others little more than a thin haze, so that Bella walked for a long while through a soft, curious dreamscape of bright and fading whites and greens…”


“It was a wide, sprawling place; a great void in the heart of her knowledge of the Forest, like a black, charred hole burned through a map…”

2 comments on “Bella of the Whispering World

  1. Pingback: Bella’s Story… | The Núminway

  2. Pingback: Whispers from the Whispering World… | The Núminway

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