Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Picture puzzle

What's this rather hazy feature and which side of the channel were the red lights?

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Westeros Cup: The Hall of Memories

"And this is the Hall of Memories" said Sam, candle in hand.

Gilly looked around, intrigued.

"All these books" she said.

"And drawings" said Sam. "Records of the greatest ever yachts to enter the Westeros Cup. Each tells a story."

Gilly looked at the first, a gaff rigged cutter. "So what happ'n to 'em?"

"They won" said Sam. "But then the crew were kissed with poisonous lipstick and they all died."


She moved onto the next, an elegant catamaran in what looked like tropical waters.

"And this?"

"It would have won, but was attacked by a dragon and burnt to the water-line, along with the crew".

She made a face, but then cheered up at sight of a lovingly drawn picture of a young girl sailing a tiny dinghy.

"Oh, she's so sweet! Not dragon fire I hope?"

Sam made a face. "No, not a dragon" and steered her onwards.

The next was a noble yacht, schooner rig with a giant stag on its sail.

"So what happened here?" she asked.

"On the final leg of the deciding race they turned the windward mark first and thought they had it in the bag. Then the other yacht rammed into them, boarded, and slew all of them."

It was Gilly's turn to make a face.

"Every race, they seem to end the same."

"Not the same, this wasn't dragon fire. Swords, daggers and lances...." his voice trailed off.

There was one drawing left, of a yacht with darkened timbers and the sign of the Night's Watch.

"Oooh, did you sail this one?" asked Gilly.

"Was that baby Sam?" asked Sam.

"I didn't hear anything."

"You better go and check."

She left, leaving Sam alone, staring at the yacht with darkened timbers. Outside the light was fading.

The silence was broken by the craw of a crow.

"Never more" it cried and the candle flickered and went out.

Sam was alone in the cold with his thoughts as dark as night.

Winter is coming.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Westeros Cup: The winter challenge

The two guards looked out across the snow covered landscape, sheltering from the wind. Neither said a word.

One stirred to shake the snow from his straggly beard. "Oi, mush, wake up" he said.

"I was awake" said the other. "You think I'd sleep after what happened to ... you know."

There was a pause.

"Don't want to think about it."

"She did no wrong. They did no wrong."

There was no reply, and no sound but the soft patter of flakes compressing.

"You want to hear a story" said the one with the beard. "Of what happened here hundreds of years ago - the Westeros Cup's winter challenge!"

"Here?" asked the other. "There's no water! It's fecking freezing! You're making it up!"

"True story."

"How could they have held a yacht race here?"

"Didn't say they had a yacht race, just they hosted the Westeros Cup. It was the idea of the Lords of FIFA, to hold a yacht race where no yacht race should be held. They got bags of gold from the Lannister mines and buggered off to Dorne."

The other spat. "The lords of FIFA!"

"Aye, that's the anger that keeps you warm during a long, cold watch."

The two men watched as the snow fell ever deeper around their Lord's camp.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Westeros Cup: The Targaryen Challenge

"So where is this wonder yacht?" asked Tyrion.

Daenerys shielded her eyes from the bright sun with her fair hand and searched the bay.

"There!" she said, pointing.

Tyrion followed her outstretched arm and squinted.

"Jolly bright" he grunted, wincing slightly.

"You drank far too much wine last night" said Dany.

Then he saw it: he had taken it for a gull, so fast and graceful did it move, the curve of its white cloth sail like a giant wing.

"It has two hulls" he said, as if complaining, as if his eyes weren't to be trusted.

"Catamarans are faster, lighter" she said. "This is how they sail in the southern isles."

Tyrion watched, entranced. It seemed to fly over waters, free. Yes, with this yacht she could indeed win the Westeros Cup.

"It's amazing" he said, grinning.

Then the sun's heat and light were eclipsed as a shadow fell over the bay.

"Drogon!" cried Daenerys.

The black dragon swooped down and engulfed the little yacht in a ball of fire. Even from this far distance they could hear the screams. In rage it snorted again and again, kicking the ablaze mast into the waters.

When there was nothing left but ash scattered across the waves it flew off, south.

As tears ran down Dany's face there was no sounds but the gentle lap of waves on the shore.