What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Princess from the sea - by lillian Morpork

The woman stood on the shore, watching her seven year old charge, and remembering. It was that long ago that, saddened by the loss of her newborn daughter, lonely and depressed, she had walked through the forest, following a stream to the seashore, when the tide was on the ebb. She stood for a moment, then kicked off her shoes and started walking out toward the receding water. There was a rock out there that was submerged under at least four feet of water at high tide. She intended to sit on it and tie her legs down, and let the water take her. Life held nothing but sorrow and loneliness, and she was ready to give up.

Then a boat appeared around the headland, carrying three men wearing the colours of the sea. One was standing, calling out to her. When it was closer, he and another stepped out into the water and came toward her. The second man moved up seaside the first, and she saw that he was carrying an infant, wrapped in a rich robe.

The one if front called out, “Are you the woman known as Myra Trista?”

She hesitated, and then answered “I am.”

“Our Kingdom beneath the sea has been taken by a usurper, the royal family are all dead, except for this babe, the princess Nerida Xantho. We managed to smuggle her out of the palace and out of the land. Will you take her, and care for her?” the first one explained.

The second man held the babe out, face uncovered, and Myra’s heart almost stopped. This babe was the living image of her dead Samina. She couldn’t look away, and before she realised what she was doing, she had reached out and taken the infant. The men thanked her, and said they would, if they could, tell where the little princess was. But the years passed, and gradually Myra put aside all thought of the child’s origin. She was her little Sarah, her princess, and she loved her with all her heart.

Then there were rumours of soldiers from the sea travelling the land, asking about a babe that had been put somewhere for fostering. They said that the usurper and all his minions were dead, and the babe was all that was left of the legitimate royal family. She was needed, so that she could be trained to rule, and her presence could heal the land. The men who had brought her to safety had died in battle, so no one knew exactly where the child was.

Now Myra had heard that they were in the city of Camdon, only about fifty miles away. She was thinking desperately. How could she hide Sarah? Could she take her up into the mountains? But, for some strange reason, she knew that neither of them would live long there, away from the sea
She continued to watch as Sarah splashed in the water, bending to pick up a pretty shell, or watch some small sea creature as it was washed to shore, and away again. By the time she heard the horses, it was too late. They appeared out of the forest, three men from the sea, with a woman, all in the colours of the sea kingdom.

“You are Myra Trista?” the leader asked.

“I am,” she answered. Then she cried “Oh, please, don’t take her away from me! She is everything
to me - without her, my life is nothing. She came to me the day after my newborn daughter died, and she was the image of her. She has brought love and joy back into my life, when I thought to kill myself.” She dropped to her knees in front of the horse, weeping.

The soldier looked at her, long and hard. Then he turned and called the woman forward. “Tell me, Xantho, who does this woman look like?”

The old woman peered at Myra for a long moment, then slid off her horse and rushed forward. “Oh, Nerida, my darling child! I have grieved for you for so many years. You disappeared one day when a storm hit while you and your sister were out of the city. Your sister was found, but you were gone without trace. She became the Queen, and I was the nursemaid for the royal children. I loved them, they were my grandchildren. But oh, how I longed for my Nerida. The little princess was named for both of us.” She opened her arms, and Myra stepped forward into the hug. For the first time that she could remember, she felt at home.

The soldier smiled, and said “Lady Nerida, will you come with us? You will have the place your own Mother held, and be nursemaid to our princess Nerida.”

So Myra Trista, tearful melancholy, became Nerida, sea nymph. And the little girl Sarah, became Nerida Xanthos, golden haired sea nymph. And the Kingdom under the sea flourished, under the rule of the once lost princess.

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