I must confess that years ago I began writing a fantasy story about a world I invented named “Oderian”. To my surprise, what I managed to write (a couple dozens of pages) is pretty darn good! My only problem with it is that after re-reading it numerous times it became clear to me that whatever nonsense I thought I’ve imagined was actually a pretty good description of my unconsciousness. Growing up surrounded by people who frowned upon independent thinking, emotions and personality I had no other way to stop myself from going completely nuts than write “nonsense”. It’s just fantasy, right?

Anyway, these days I hardly contribute anything to this story and it has been sitting on my hard drive for years without getting beyond the “captivity” part. For those unfamiliar with traditional fantasy writing – the books usually begin with the introduction of our second most important character (whom we mistake for the most important character, silly us) who witnesses some kind of injustice (like war with an evil overlord who keeps people captive), swears to defeat the evil maniac, forms an alliance, loses and then meets the really important character, doesn’t believe in him but still teaches him everything and then sends him to war. The main character than proves everybody wring and kills the overlord. Everybody’s happy, the end. Anyway #2, even though I don’t contribute to the story by writing an end for it I do enjoy doodling the characters and I wanted to post some pics (yes, that’s what all that blabbering was about).

Here are some old sketches:

Histah, the white goddess of Darkness

 Walking her evil walk.

 Dancing a little dance after receiving a blood sacrifice.

 Histah and her brother – the god of light punishing the god of fire (god, that’s a really old one *nostalgic*).

Shidass, a lower goddess

Funny thing is that I don’t remember whether her looks were my idea or a friend’s, but I’ll give him the credit if only for the chance it was him.

Al (more of a nickname than actual name) – one of the three leading roles:

Together with the two other main characters.


 As a kid.

 All grown up.

 Grown up Allen with younger M.

M (also nickname, nothing to do with actual name) – a dual personality that results in different looks.

Personality #1

Tea with Histah.

Personality #2:

And here are 3 newer sketches of Al, Allen and M:

That’s it for today! Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane 🙂


The Story of James

This is a story I wrote years ago but still am very fond of it. It’s a shame that I have to put up such an oldie but I haven’t written much lately.

-“Ed! Ed!”

They were calling me. Mom and dad. They stood on the beach with the luggage by their feet and the sea behind them.

They were late to the cruise they decided to take this summer. Late because of me, and still they stood there, smiling and waving to me.

I remember mom’s hat, the one with flowers. She looked so pretty wearing it…

And then they got on board. I ran towards them, but the ship was out of reach within moments. I could still see them on the upper deck, laughing and shouting something at me.

-“Ed! Edward!”

Suddenly, everything turned dark, cold and wet. Mom and dad merged into this new face, and it came far closer. And it looked a bit like…

-“James!” – I cried out, jumping, still half asleep. I had put my hand down into something wet trying to get up, a moment later I realized that I was sitting in a puddle. My hair was wet, clinging to my face and getting in the way, but I could still see James standing by, holding a bucket and chuckling. His bastardly joy got on my nerves.

-“Mommy! Daddy!” – James twittered, raising his voice to high, fake, levels while skipping around me on the tips of his toes.

-“No! Please don’t go! I love you!” – He laughed – “Damn, Eddie, I didn’t know you’re like that! If I didn’t wake you up you would cry!”

James’s arrogance and pettiness can sometimes really bring out the demon inside me.

I tried to kick James but ended up slipping on the wet floor. The bastard almost chocked with laughter. The sounds and the funny movements he was making while jumping around me were like those of a chick having just laid an egg.

A hand appeared in front of me and I grabbed it. James pulled me up.

-“Enough with the bullshit kid, we have some business to attend to” – He growled at me, rolling his eyes. I scratched my head, because something in these words didn’t quite make sense. I eyed him with suspicion.

-” Didn’t you…?” – I began saying, but James has already turned his back to me. He did that a lot, especially when I was talking.

I followed his eyes. He was looking at the big hole in the ceiling. Now, I might not always be very bright or firmly attached to reality, but I did clearly remember the ceiling being whole when I went to sleep.

-“What’s that?!” – I demanded. My voice broke in the middle of the sentence. James turned back to me. He looked very serious.

-“It was there when I woke up.” – He said and sat at my feet – “I really hope it’s rain or… Or something like it” – He continued and sighed. And then, suddenly, he went for my legs.

-“Let go!” – I chirped, falling right on top of him. He shouted and loosened his grip.

We struggled silently for a few minutes, until I finally managed to get up. I hissed at him, furious, and pushed him away. He made an offended face.

-“I was only joking” – he sneered at me.

James checked his clothes for tears and dirt. He was very neat, a gentleman really. Well, he was also somehow beautiful – a long face, quite thin, with large purple eyes. James was very thin in general and had long, pretty fingers. His hair was long and smooth, like the rest of him, and it was more or less blonde, or at least generally bright, tied in a ponytail.

To me, he looked gay and sometimes he acted gay too, now for example.

However, he was very strong, and I carried concrete evidence of the fact under my eye.

Myself, I was just a kid. I wasn’t even that tall.

*  *  *

We only just met a couple of days ago. I’ve been wondering around some wrecks and suddenly stumbled across the remainders of a fire and a brand new pack of matches.

Well, matches aren’t easy to find in those places. To tell the truth, nothing is easy to find here, except ruined, old buildings, empty as the sky above. So, of course, I jumped on the fortunate opportunity. And then, something jumped on me. Literally. There is nothing in the world brings in a sense of reality like someone sitting on your head. And he was.

Only later I knew it was James. Back then it was just someone, and maybe even a hungry someone.

No, we didn’t fight. I think I passed out for a while, and what kind of fight is that?

*  *  *

A noise, made by a pot rolling on the floor woke me up from my daydreaming. James looked a bit angry and was breathing heavily. I asked him what was he doing with the pot. I’m sure I was very polite, but James got offended nevertheless and spit in my direction. I got up and headed towards the door, but he stopped me.

-“Wait a second, kid, I’ll go see if there is a thing or two in the pantry here!” – he smiled and ran out.

“Kid”? Who is he trying to fool? If he is at all my senior, it’s probably just a year or so.

James came back empty handed. –“Nothing” – he said gloomily – “Let’s go”.

We went out into the foggy street and moved on. It was very hard walking there. From time to time the rubble from a recent collapse blocked the road and you could literally die if you didn’t watch your step. The sidewalk was full of cracks, and sometimes you’d stumble on actual pits. James stumbled into one of them just yesterday. It took me two long hours to get him out. We spent the rest of the day looking for a shelter and then doing laundry.

It’s funny, really – doing laundry when you can barely keep your very body intact…

Our shadows got longer. The night began showing its signs, settling in the ruins, hiding in the corners, not daring to come out in less than its full strength. One of the suns almost disappeared behind the horizon, her rays staining the ruins in splashes of red. The effect was disgusting. The other sun, still high up in the sky, had already lost half its size and kept shrinking.

I looked, worried, at James who was lost to the world looting yet another ruin, whistling to himself an unfamiliar, complicated tune. It sounded happy, which really didn’t go well with neither the time nor the place and definitely not with James’s condition, who, like myself, was striking bottom. Bottom so deep that we had no chance of getting out, so far away from any brighter prospects that we couldn’t even imagine where to look for them.

A strong hand grabbed me by the collar and pulled me back. I screamed, surprised. To make me quiet, James banged my head on the doorframe.

-“Be quiet, boy!” – He muttered with anger – “It’s not a pleasure cruise.”

The horizon was still colored crimson, but the second sun became just a glowing dot in the sky. Night came closer. James shut the door behind him and dragged me deeper into the house.

-“I hope they had a storage room..”- He mumbled to himself, clearing a path through pieces of walls and furniture on the floor.

They did not have anything of the kind, so we locked ourselves in a massive wardrobe instead. James tried to “secure the area” as much as he could. To me it sounded as if he just rubbed himself all over the walls, wasting about two minutes on each. Then he gave up and came back with a broom. Well a kind of a broom… He used it to block the door.

-“Go to sleep, kid. If we die tonight it’s better that we don’t know it”.

He lay down in a corner, but I could hear he was not asleep. I was so awake I couldn’t even close my eyes.

-“Listen”- I whispered, staring with eyes opened wide at nothing – “Have you ever been outside at night?”

-“No, I didn’t. And I wouldn’t recommend it to you, in case it ever crossed your mind.” – I could barely hear him speak. His voice was hoarse, as if he was crying.

-“Are you crying?” – The words came out automatically, without leaving me a moment to think it through. I felt that I shouldn’t have asked that, but couldn’t do anything about it now.

Quiet lasted for a while. I felt him moving. Then he cleared his throat and sighed.

-“Do you remember how it was before?” – I heard him whisper. – “I…I really don’t. I mean, you had parents and all that and I don’t even know my last name…”

-“And what’s so good about remembering?” – I think my voice was a bit weird, saying that. – “I remember having parents, yes, and I remember enjoying it very much. And then what?” – I was speaking aloud now – “They ditched me. They didn’t care if I was alive or dead”. The last word seemed to echo in the small space it was forced out to and then vanished, leaving something bitter behind.

I shivered, then finally managed to close my eyes and leaned my head on the wardrobe wall. My head felt painfully empty.

Unclear sound came from outside and made me open my eyes, although there was no point – everything was totally dark. I closed my eyes again.

*  *  *

The dream I had was a rare collection of bullcrap. There was a theme park with many different attractions. I won a giant snail and brought him home. James was mad at me and began yelling “I told you not to bring animals to the house! I’m allergic to fur!” I tried to explain to him that snails don’t have fur, but he wouldn’t listen and demanded that I return the snail to its nest.

*  *  *

I woke up because it was so warm I felt I was choking. James hugged me in his sleep. I pulled away and crawled out of the wardrobe. The nearby wall collapsed during the night and I could see the wintry sky without leaving the room. The air was hot and sultry.

I decided to wake James up so to go look for water and dragged him out from the wardrobe as well. He woke up and began struggling and yelling that they won’t take him alive. It took him a while to understand what’s really happening. He got up and pushed me aside. Then he went outside and looked at the sky, just like I did before him. He stretched himself, yawned and began fixing his hair using a piece of mirror he found somewhere.

-“You got any water?” – He asked me, looking me in the eyes via his reflection in the mirror, as if he knew it’s a stupid question.

I shook my head and thrusted my fists into my pockets.

-“So, can I adopt a snail?” – I asked in an innocent voice while examining my shoes.

-“Err, what?..” – He turned his face to me and hid his mirror under the clothes. –“Say, are all your sufferings and poverty kicking in now, boy?”

I kicked a stone and watched it rolling away.

-“Never mind…”

He studied me suspiciously, with the look on his face getting darker and darker, suggesting that I looked as innocent as a mouse in a barn. It’s a metaphor that means that I did not look innocent at all.

-“Have you ever considered cutting your hair, Eddie? After all, all this hair doesn’t compliment your figure”.

As if we were at the hairdresser’s.

-“No. I like it that way”.

-“But listen, a guy like you doesn’t look that good with such long hair”.

I felt as if my tongue was made out of sandpaper.

-“Can you stop already? Let’s go look for water”.

He shrugged and signed me to follow him.

-“When I first saw you, I thought you were a little girl although I should have noticed you’re way too thin”.

-“Really? I thought you were just gay”.

-“Don’t you try my patience. Let’s look for that water you want so dearly.”

While we walked, James whistled the tune from the day before.

Pretty tune, I thought. It had those few nice trills that make it impossible not to hum the music yourself. So I hummed.

It must have been quite a view – me and James.

The tune spread over the ruins. Everything was painfully desolate… It was really hard to banish stupid thoughts from that empty head of mine.  I thought of a bucket for some reason. An empty bucket that someone puts over your head. This thought got stuck in my head and I felt it burrowing in my brain, sitting down and shouting.

Suddenly, I felt a local force being applied to the back of my head, passing a considerable impetus to it. In other words, James smacked me on the head hard enough to send me into the dirt face-down.

-“Mahrg”- I said.

-“There’s your well, Eddie! Come already!” – I heard James calling.

-“Mahrg” – I repeated, a bit irritated.

-“Fuck you! I’m going to drink!” – James’s steps shuffled off, but stopped not too far, from which I understood that the well he spoke of really was close by.

I lifted myself from the ground, cleaning my face from the dirt. I regretted doing so the minute I saw that James was undressing.

-“Oh man, don’t tell me we have to pay for the water!” – I shouted to him, but he only snored at my joke and disappeared. A loud splashing sound reached my ears. Water…

-“A river?”- I mumbled to myself.

When I came closer, a fabulous view spread out in front of me. A glen. A green glen, full of flowers split in the middle by a wide river, the suns playing on its surface, and the water beneath crystal clear. There was nothing that could spoil that view, except for James perhaps, who appeared between the waves from time to time.

-“Decided to join me, Eddie? Tired of sleeping all day long?” – He cried out, and the last words got carried away with the stream.

-“I’ll consider getting in only if you’re dressed and a mile away!” – I shouted in return.

-“Oh, come on! How cute is that! You’re so shy!” – He screamed, full of joy and spitted out water that got into his mouth.

-“I’m not ashamed, you jerk!” – I yelled and sat very close to the water – “I just don’t feel like being raped!”

-“Ha! Are you kidding me? I would never think of you that way! You’re completely not my type!”

-“Maybe you wouldn’t consider it then, but now you don’t have many choices! What will happen to me when you’ll feel miserable and lonely?!”

For a while there was only the sound of waves in the glen, when they stumbled upon James who stood in the middle of the river.

-“I would never do such thing…” – He said quietly, petting the surface of the water –“For real, Ed…”

I scratched the back of my head. He looked very sincere, as if he really never thought of it.

-“Well…it’s not as if I’m afraid to get near you or something” – mumbled – “I just… you know… I didn’t mean it to sound the way it did.”

‘Damn it’, I thought, ‘I think I’m blushing’.

-“Ah… Okay” – James still sounded pretty serious – “I’m… I’m done here. I’ll just get out and you can come in. I’ll turn around.”

Now I really felt bad.

-“I don’t want to bathe” – I said – “I mean, I’m just thirsty”.

To strengthen my statement I reached forward and drank a handful of water. However, James has already gotten out and was getting dressed.

-“Go on, Eddie, you need a shower. Believe me.” – He smiled. Not giggled, as always, but smiled. A real smile. And then he left. I knew he’s not too far because I could hear him whistle his tune, but I couldn’t see him.

I washed myself quickly and dressed immediately as I got out. Promises are one thing but you can’t trust everyone.

When I found James, he was sitting near some wall, with his hands around his knees. He looked… miserable. I almost felt sorry for him.

-“So, did you enjoy your time alone, Eddie?”

-“Almost”,I said .

I sat down near him and leaned against the wall. The shadow it cast was very welcoming at this time of the day, when the hot suns shone up in the sky.

James touched my hand.

-“Hey, Eddie, listen” – He said in this quite voice he used before – “No, don’t move your hand, I’m not going to make you do anything you don’t want to. And I really don’t think you’ll want me at any point. I don’t even want that. I just want us to be friends… I want you to trust me.” – He looked me in the eyes and continued – “Because there will come a day when one of us will have to put his life in the other’s hands, and then what? What if you think I would abandon you and you betray me? We have to stay together, it’s the only way we can survive here, believe me Ed.”

It seemed to me that I‘ve once already heard these words… Either it was a play I saw when I was little or it could even have been the last words my parents said before they ditched me.

-“James…” – I said, hesitating – “I do believe you… But I have to take care of myself as well, and I just wanted to say that you’re right. It’s hard for me to trust you. Things like that require some time. However, just so you can see that I’m working on it, here…” – I slid my hand under the shirt, prying the straps open. I threw the holster to him. His eyes shrank and blinked.

-“A gun?” – He whispered – “All this time you’ve had a gun, Eddie? And you were going to…use it?”

-“I was, if you would give me a reason to. I’m showing it to you so you’ll have a fair chance, if anything goes wrong, I mean. I don’t…” – The words didn’t come out easily. He returned the gun into my hands and, to my amazement, smiled.

-“Don’t worry, Ed, as I promised, you won’t have to use it. Ever. Are you any good?”

-“Father was a shooting instructor in our town” – I smiled back – “It’s like those kids who can swim before they can walk”.

James smiled forcibly. I could understand the way he felt – I myself didn’t enjoy thinking that any minute someone stronger might wipe away my pitiable existence from under the suns.

We sat quietly for a while. Now and then a warm wind would blow and push my hair into my mouth. After each time like that I had to spit it out. Usually it would make James laugh, but now he didn’t even notice it. He sat quietly and stared into the space.

Suddenly, I felt really sorry for him. From the way he spoke before, it seemed as if he never even thought of harming me in any way. And here I am, some little maggot, without any warning pulling out a gun and pointing it at him. Mentally, at least.

Then James wasn’t staring into the space anymore, but looking at a specific dot in the sky. I looked that way too. A dark shadow fell upon the sun. Fell upon the sun…

Even before my brain understood what’s going on, I was on my feet. James stood by my side.

-“You th…think…” – I stuttered, my throat becoming completely dry from terror.

-“Yep, Eddie dear” – the old James smiled at me – “It’s them”.

I felt my whole body becoming cold and stiff, my heart was beating somewhere near my foot. I grabbed James’s shoulder and tried not to fall. He bent over and looked into my face. His eyes were sparkling and his smile was wider and sharper than ever. He said only one word:


I remember how I ran. I remember seeing James’s back who ran in front of me, his steady breathing and my confused, rapid breath. I remember that James reached the river far before I did, and I know for sure that it has saved me.

Because he jumped in, and the moment his body touched the water he twisted in a strange way, his hands dancing a funny dance on the surface. His hair stood on end and his clothes scorched. A dying cry came out of his mouth, followed by a fountain of blood.

He died slowly although I don’t know for how long. In the end he collapsed into the water. I could see his face. A face with a frozen smile on its lips. He opened his blooded mouth and whispered:


The only thing that wasn’t engraved in my memory is the way James’s body disappeared. I can’t say whether the stream carried it away or if it sank into the dark water or had it been raised into the sky by a ray of light. All I could remember was his face with the frozen smile, the broken, bleeding lips, and his wide opened eyes, mad with pain. But mostly… mostly I remember his burnt hair. The narrow locks moved lazily in the stream, as if there wasn’t anything to connect between them anymore. And maybe there already wasn’t.

*  *  *

That was the story of James.

There were many more like him I’ve met. Some of them shared his end and some didn’t. Many of them I don’t even remember. I don’t know.

I can’t say what was so special about him, and perhaps there was nothing special there. I didn’t even know his real name, if he had any at all. That’s it.

*  *  *

My life could have turned out otherwise than it did, but it did not. I could have been a victim to the same force that killed many people in my world, including James. I might have died from starvation or a disease or anything else, you name it.

However, nature had another plan for me.

One day, after losing another companion I got washed off the shore. The high waves carried me far away from the land and continued pushing me further. I’ve spent days in the open sea and, finally, exhausted, gave up. I should have drowned but, instead, I fell. The falling was so sudden and violent that I lost my consciousness.

When I woke up, I almost thought that the falling was a dream, caused by malnutrition. I’ve had those quite a few times.

But it wasn’t. I saw a silhouette of a land near me and, with the little force I had, swam to the shore.

I crawled on the sand and collapsed.

I don’t know how long I’ve been unconscious, but when I woke up people in cloaks surrounded me. One of them noticed me moving and handed his hand to me. I held it carefully and lifted myself up. He held my shoulders, making sure I won’t fall again.

Then he spoke:

-“Who would ye be, youth, and how have ye found yer way to this shore?”

His voice was deep and loud, but held no threat in it.

-“Ah… I’m Ed. I mean, Edward… I’ve been out in the sea for days… I don’t know, I just found myself here. Where am I? And who are you?”

I noticed that the others stood closer and listened to what I’ve said. Because of the cloaks, I could not see who they were but I felt no threat in their postures. The man who held me spoke once again, smiling warmly.

-“Oh, youth, ye seem ta have come from as far away as it’s possible to, if ye don’t know where ye are. The way ye looks tells me you have no home, or at least, not a good one. Ye speak of no other people than yourself, which means you have no one to remember anymore. Am I right? Sure I am. From now and on, we will be your friends, for you look trustworthy and brave, though there is no strength in ye to accompany the bravery. And this will be your home.”

-“But where am I…?” – I asked, still puzzled, because he did not answer any of my questions.

-“Ivthia, my friend” – The big man grinned at me, looking proud for this statement, which meant nothing to me.

-“What is this Ivthia you speak of?” – I asked, the unfamiliar word sending a chill down my spine.

The man looked quite confused for a moment and I thought I said something wrong, but he continued – “But of course it’s the one Ivthia that’s in Demurra. Did ye hit yer head as hard as not to remember what Ivthia is, ah youth? But never mind that, friend, it doesn’t matter what they call it, you can call it ‘home’”.

And so I did.

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