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Marianne Kresse

The Witch & Waverly

By | Entertainment, Fiction | No Comments

A SERIAL NOVEL BY MARIANNE KRESSE

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ENGLAND 1815

She’d been running for weeks and was tired, so very tired. With winter now upon them she had thought she was finally safe. No one in their right mind would follow her here to the cold snowy depths of Chesham especially with the snow already knee deep and only three weeks into winter. She had everything she needed to hold out here for months, but the sound of a bullet had frozen her to the spot. ‘It’s only hunters,’ her mind kept repeating. But who would hunt here? She was miles from anywhere, anyone.

Creeping through the woods she silently made her way to where she thought the bullet had gone off, but sound in the woods was deceptive as it echoed its way through the tall trees and snow covered bushes. She was mad to go anywhere near the hunters, but Amelia had never been sane. She had been dubbed the ‘Witch of Wembley’ and her actions had always bordered on crazy, at least to the Ton, who eyed her warily and with fear. Her last act being the reason she was now running for her freedom, her life.

Her uncle had wanted her gone. Married off to the highest bidder, and unfortunately that happened to be the Marquis of Waverley, who at last count was no younger than seventy and had a soul as black as the devil himself, or so the rumours whispered. She had stood defiantly in the Weatherby’s ballroom and screamed and cursed… a fit born from desperation with enough crazy in it to ensure it scared the hell out of everyone present. And it did, the Marquis all but crying off the betrothal, the whole event leaving in its wake a most furious uncle and the prospect of being sent to Bedlam. And so she had packed what few possessions she owned and fled.

But her uncle, the bastard that he was, had sent someone to find her and this someone had been patiently tracking her for months. And she had thought she had lost him. Until now.

Pain flared in Dominic’s chest, his world tumulting as he finally crashed from his horse and landed heavily to the ground, grunting as his back connected with the jagged edge of a huge rock. Just his luck, he thought miserably to find the only rock in this god forsaken, snow covered, freezing, desolate hell. His head was throbbing as nausea and dizziness made his stomach churn, his head light. His chest was wet, he thought somewhat confused, as he brought his hand slowly up to investigate. It came away red, covered in blood, his blood. Bloody hell! Would his luck – or rather lack of – ever change?

Turning to his side with difficulty he brought up his breakfast, before he collapsed again onto his back the pain causing his vision to waver as he fought to remain conscious by analysing his situation.  He’d been shot. He would die here in this frozen hell. Well, that definitely was a short and sweet summation, he thought dismally, certainly nothing that would encourage him to remain conscious. The voices he heard in the distance however did give a little more encouragement. As they moved closer, he instinctively closed his eyes, the cold snow already seeping into
his body making his breath too shallow. Feigning death apparently would not be too difficult, he thought wryly. It seemed he was almost there.

‘Is ‘e dead?’

‘Looks like….’

‘If ‘e ain’t dead yet, ‘e soon will be. The cold will kill him soon enough. At least we don’t have to worry about hiding the body, ‘e’ll be covered in snow in no time, won’t be found for months.’

‘Yeh. Let’s get what we came for and get outta here!’

‘So where did ‘is bloody horse go?’

‘Must ‘ave got scared by the noise of the bullet and thrown him. Come let’s find ‘is damn horse.’

As they moved off Dominic slowly opened his eyes.

His horse was gone? Mercury would never leave his side. Even through the whole damn war that horse had remained steadfast and true to his master.

Tears glistened on his long black lashes, the pain of Mercury’s desertion leaving him cold. His one and only friend had left him to die alone.

He could still hear the men’s voices in the distance, and tried to rouse himself when he heard their screams. But he was weakening, the brightness of the snow now seeming duller, foggier.

He blinked wildly trying to stay awake, but his limbs were going numb, the pain in his chest dimming as the cold seeped into his body. The sudden shadow falling over him startled him. Bloody hell! It was her… and she was holding a gun. He knew he was now dead for sure. She would not help him.

Holding the gun casually she stared down at the man coldly.

‘It seems the chase is finally over,’ she whispered hoarsely.

He nodded, the motion causing him again to violently vomit, gagging as he began to choke and black out.

What an ignoble way to die. Suffocated by his own puke…

But then somehow he was on his side. And he could breathe.

‘Who is paying you to follow me?’ she asked coldly.

He was gasping for air, his body’s trembles now beyond his control as he looked up one final time his voice crackling with sound as he attempted to answer, though no words came out as he breathed his last breath before all went black….

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The past week since Amelia had found and dragged her injured ‘guest’ back to her small cottage had been one of the longest and most stressful of her life. Through all the dramas incurred and survived over her last 23 years, the responsibility of trying to save a person’s life had quickly become the scariest of them all. Her uncertainty and fear only deepened, as her ineffectiveness – ineptness seemed too harsh a word – became all too glaringly obvious, as the man’s life not only continued to remain in the balance but appeared in all honest reflection to be slowly getting worse.

Of all her talents, it had become despairingly obvious that ‘healing’ was not one of them. His fever was growing with each passing day and she feared unless she found a way to bring his temperature down, he would soon die. The thought made her head pound as her lack of sleep began to take its toll. Closing her eyes briefly she tried to calm herself, but her agitation was too set in to be easily soothed.

“Damn it!” she swore, as she stared grimly at the unconscious man before her. She did not even know his name. Sighing, she placed the cloth into the snow-filled bucket and began the lengthy task of trying to cool down his body. The wound still looked raw. Although the bullet had gone straight through and she had cauterised it, infection had nonetheless set in. No matter what herbs or remedies she tried, nothing seemed to helped. She would have had the same results had she spent the last week dancing around a fire wearing nothing but mud, feathers and cow bells while clucking like a chicken and braying at the moon, she thought humourlessly. The frustration she felt only worsened as her patient began to groan painfully and toss about, muttering softly to himself.

“Shhhh!” she whispered frantically as she held him down trying to still his movements. “You must stop all this fuss before you hurt yourself further.” “Hot…so bloody hot…” her patient moaned, his fevered emerald green eyes suddenly opening to stare piercingly into hers. The clarity in them startled her.

“I know, I know…” she murmured soothingly as she placed a cool cloth to his forehead and another on his chest. “It will get better soon, I promise,” she whispered, not caring how heavily the lie in her words rested on her conscience or her soul.

Dominic was burning up. His shoulder throbbed painfully and his head seemed ready to burst. He felt her presence as she tried to comfort him, but it was only after he opened his eyes and stared into her frightened blue ones that he forced his mind to clear and his body to relax. He did not like the look of total weariness and fear that had reflected back at him from her startled gaze. He tried to focus as a cool cloth was placed on him. Tried to concentrate as she squeezed water into his mouth, moistened his lips. Tried to speak, but his voice would not co-operate. His croaky whisper, “It will be alright Amelia….everything will be alright,” only seemed to shock her more as she shied back from him in fear.

“who are you? How do you know my name”?

“I have come to save you,” he whispered.

“Save me?” she muttered as she passed the moist cloth again over his chest then down his arms.

“Why on earth would you need to save me?” she said quietly, unable to contain the shiver that ran down her spine as the look in his eyes intensified.

“Men…” he grunted as pain flared through him. “Bounty hunters…are following you…they are the ones who shot me…” he paused, struggling for breath.

“Bounty hunters? Why would they be tracking me? I have done nothing.”

“Murder…”

She sat back suddenly too shocked to respond. The man raised himself on his elbow so that he could face her fully. Reaching out he grabbed her hand.

“They think you murdered the Marquis of Waverly.” The man finished with a sharp intake of breath, his position making his shoulder ache. “How is that possible when I have never met the man?” she asked astonishingly. “What proof do they have?”

The man slumped back wearily and sighed.

“I do not think they have much, but that does not mean you are not in danger. They are a superstitious pair who will not take too much convincing of your guilt, particularly after your display at the Weatherby’s. The curse you screamed has half the Ton seeing you guilty.”

“They think I murdered the Marquis with a few angry words?”

“Yes.”

“Bloody hell!” she swore. “The fools, can they not see the truth?” She stood needing to pace the room as frustration and fear caused her body to tremble. She flicked her gaze at the dampening fire and it suddenly flamed with renewed life.

“Fools,” she muttered to herself as she stomped angrily around the small room. Biting down her fear she turned and strode back to the bed and glared at the man lying there.

“And why are you here sir? Why have you taken it upon yourself to ‘save’ me? Do you not think I murdered the Marquis also?”

Slowly he shook his head.

“I do not know exactly what is going on here but I do know unequivocally that you did not kill the Marquis of Waverly.”

“And how would you know that? You know nothing of me!”

“I know because I am the Marquis of Waverly,” he said stiffly. “And although I may be now laying at death’s door, I still have not passed through it.”

She stared at him in disbelief. “You are Waverly?”

He nodded. “Dominic Edward Horacio Windermere, the Marquis of Waverly, at your service madam.”

To be continued…

3 Draws a Crowd – take 3

By | Art | No Comments

3 Draws a Crowd – take 3 is the third exhibition from local artists Ve Hammond, Tanya Gilby and Pam Price. The three have been friends for many years, so when they turn their like minded interests and talents into a show you can be assured that the event will be very colourful and delightfully visual. Their extraordinary talent ranges from unique sculpture, graphite drawing through to painting in all types of mediums, their emphasis always being on nature and life.

All are members of the Maryborough Art Society and the exhibition will take place at the Maryborough Art Gallery, 282 Kent Street Maryborough commencing November 3, 2018 and running the entire month, ending December 3, 2018.

Tanya Gilby has been working with clay since she was eight years old. She started working for Maryborough Pottery and Tile approximately 30 years ago as a production potter. Over the years, Tanya has honed her skill in different pottery techniques through attendance of numerous workshops and TAFE courses.

Her works highlight her interest in texture and nature. Tanya is also an accomplished painter with her works tending towards the abstract and very contemporary. As in her sculpture, nature is her inspiration with her colours schemes often earthy, their vibrancy depending on her mood. Her paintings are generally in oils and acrylics, but she also enjoys eco-dying. She will have samples of all her styles in this exhibition.

Pam Price started painting later in life, starting with attending a graphite course around ten years ago. From there Pam expanded her skills to painting, her preferred medium being acrylics and oils. Originally living on small acreage, Pam focussed her talents and her love of nature by painting still life her subject matter typically local flora and fauna. Pam’s works are dramatic and colourful and reflect her love of nature and art. As a reflection of her work, Pam was recently awarded second prize in the ‘Flora and Fauna’ section of the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery.

Ve Hammond has also been doing art for quite a while. After moving from Sydney to Maryborough 20 years ago, Ve became inspired by her mother-in-law and started her painting career from there. “Life is exciting and far too short not to dabble in painting and pottery,” Ve said.

Ve is also inspired by nature and paints mainly in acrylics, though she also works in pastels, graphite and watercolours. She is now very interested in mixed media and loves combining different medium to add contrast and texture to her work. Her success lies in her subject matter and vibrant colours.

The exhibit is bound to be one that will catch the eye and interest of art lovers. The artists will also be available to talk to over the course of the exhibition. Please put a visit to Maryborough Art Gallery on your list of things to do in November. You will certainly enjoy what you see.

Maryborough Art Society Inc. and Maryborough Art Gallery

The exhibition is being held at the Maryborough Art Gallery and is sponsored by the Maryborough Art Society Inc. The Art Society is very committed to its members and as such actively participates in the production, development, showcasing and marketing of its members work. The Art Society provides its member with a wonderful gallery to display their work. The Maryborough Art Gallery is open 6 days a week Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 2.00pm and Saturdays till 12.30pm. Special events and exhibitions may have extended hours.

Maryborough Art Society is always looking for new members and offers a great deal of support and encouragement for very little cost. From outings to workshops, classes and exhibitions the Art Society offers social interaction and gives artists the vehicle in which to promote and display their work.

Zander rules the roost

By | Pets Section | No Comments

PAWS & PETS

STORY & PHOTO MARIANNE KRESSE

Picture this: Tuesday morning at 9am, my first meeting with our new accountant Susan Dodd from the Tax Store. This is serious stuff. There were important issues to discuss and focus was mandatory. Facts needed to be accurate, concentration required on both sides of the desk. Both Susan and I attentive, each evaluating the other, scribbling facts furiously on paper as we outlaid the dry and some would say “boring” questions I had relating to tax responsibilities and the proper business setup to ensure that all my obligations would be met. This was riveting stuff, no one would dare interrupt such an important discussion.

Except…

What was that scratching on the door?

I turned to listen more carefully. Susan’s expression remained deliberately blank, nothing breaking the consummate professional concentration. Shaking my head I turned back to Susan, intent on continuing this most interesting and serious business discussion, when the scratching started again. Confused I turned around again. Curious my hand reached for the door handle, only to by stopped by Susan’s quiet request: “Don’t open it.”

Surprised, I again looked at Susan, who shrugged. Upon hearing Susan’s voice, the scratching on the door became more insistent. My interest now piqued, I asked, “Why? What’s on the other side?”

With a sigh Susan whispered, “Zander…”

“What’s a Zander?” I asked, intrigued.
“He is our eclectus parrot,” Susan replied. “He’ll ruin our meeting if we let him in.”

It is difficult to envisage what horror could possibly ruin a discussion on tax, but I found I could not simply ignore this perplexing conundrum.

So there I was, 9am in the morning sitting in a closed office, surrounded by lots of office-y things, talking about tax, while just a closed door away was an eclectus parrot scratching away, wanting to come in.

Surreal you might say, definitely unusual, and suddenly I was needing to make the most difficult decision of my life: talk tax or meet a parrot. Oh the dilemma! My head pounded as my mind deliberated furiously. Tax? Parrot? Tax? Parrot? Tax? Parrot!

Nearly faint from the battle it seemed my mind no longer had the power to stop my hand as it reached cautiously forward and turned the door handle.

And there as the door slowly opened stood Zander, foot still raised in the air preparing for his next door-scratching session.

With a squawk and a disgruntled shake of his head, the cocky green parrot strutted into the room and promptly took over.

And I was instantly in love.

Forgotten was any talk of tax as the curious parrot chewed shoe laces and the hems of my pants, investigated the contents of my handbag and then flew up and landed on the desk. Brazen and confident he then climbed on my finger, walked up my arm to sit on my shoulder to chatter quite happily in my ear. It was here that I discovered an unknown talent of tittering back in rare and quite expressive “parrot speak” that some might say sounded very much like gobbledygook, and perhaps made me sound slightly deranged.

As a pet, Zander is colourful, entertaining and funny. And let’s not forget cute. He is even toilet trained – going back to his cage when he needs to poop. He has free range of the house, and commands it as if he owns it. His wings need to be clipped regularly to ensure he does not injure himself if he flys too much within the house. He still has the ability to fly short distances.

He is wonderful. And I now want one.

I will probably never be able to say or think about the word tax again without thinking of him, which I am sure you can all agree is not such a bad thing.

Thank you, Susan and Zander, for a most enjoyable morning!

Rock Off is spot on

By | Kids Section, Local Business | No Comments

Rock Off is an indoor skate park owned and operated by Tim and Jayn Earle Over the last three years, the park has been rebuilt twice to ensure that it meets the wants and needs of its ever-growing number of members. Its ramps are of the highest quality with many safety measures such as resin mats added to the timber frames and bases to ensure minimum injury from impact for those using them. The park has good natural light and airflow, a…

 

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Introducing:
The Fraser Coast Beacon

By | About The Beacon | No Comments

Get the word out

Quality Magazine for the Fraser Coast by the Fraser Coast

We are a new locally owned and based community magazine whos main objective is to give a voice and support to the people and businesses in the Fraser Coast region.

We are working closely with government departments and community support services to bring to light concerning issues such as the significant problem of youth unemployment and homelessness in our region.  The magazine to be informative by publishing the latest government, social issue related media releases and highlighting relevant government support programs, initiatives and helplines. Aged Care, indigenous affairs, health and safety, education, and local government objectives and developments will also be topics of close interest.

Our magazine we hope will become a ‘Beacon’ to focus our community on the social issues affecting us today by creating a forum that develops solutions through interactive communication between community and government to ensure a brighter, more secure and prosperous future for all within the region.

The Fraser Coast Beacon will be a beautifully presented, full colour, A4 magazine that will have limited spaces for advertising. We will not be producing a magazine that is nothing but Ads. It is our intention that our magazine will be ‘a good read’ that will cover local events and issues through both our editorials and community input.

Our magazine will focus on promoting local businesses through affordable Advertisement and introductory Advertorials. Our advertisements will be professionally created and placed in their relevant categories and not lost amongst pages full of Ads.

Our aim is to promote our local region and culture to it’s local people; to uncover all those things that go unnoticed but in truth should not. Conversations will focus on social issues that effect our community such as unemployment and homelessness, to finding that little local coffee shop that no one knows about. Our magazine will be informative, relevant and entertaining.

Distribution: 5000 copies

We intend to develop close ties with Community, local Schools and businesses as well as government groups such as the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre and local councils which will ensure that we report only the most up to date and relevant information.

We will discover our local heroes, unearth our local talent, tell unknown tales and support those in need.

We expect the number of magazines to increase as we grow. Distribution will be by hand at markets, shopping centres, businesses such as newsagents.

Our magazine will also be online. We have web experts who will ensure that the Fraser Coast Beacon will be a top search for anyone looking on the internet for Fraser Coast, Hervey Bay or Maryborough and surrounding suburbs.

Our site will link with social media platforms such as Facebook so advertisers can be assured maximum media coverage.

We are offering considerable advertising discounts to a select number of businesses.

Our prices and Ad sizes are attached for your information. Each business advertising will receive a free number of magazines for their own display and distribution.

Please note these prices may vary depending on number of months of advertising.

Please contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our sales representatives.

First in will receive the best deals and spaces.

For businesses who are interested in receiving our advertising prices list…