What Would Have Been: Thoughts

My intention with this series was not to create a perfect, polished piece of writing. It was my chance to have fun, relax and just write without worrying about getting everything right. I really enjoyed creating WWHB, and I hope at least some people who read it enjoyed the story too.

I explained that WWHB is what could have happened to the characters in my novel if the storyline I wrote never took place. However, Keats is a lot more mature in this piece than she was at the beginning of TBAM. I think it’s hard, once you’ve developed a character, to make them act the way they did at first. She’s also a lot less anxious about what Sonya thinks of her.

 Looking back, there are a few things I would change. Firstly, I would have spent more time explaining the chemistry between Keats and Judas. It’s probably not clear why Keats is so attached to Judas after so little time. There is a part of Keats, the same part that wants to reject her role as member of the Royal Family and as a “Hero”, that is very strongly attracted to him. It’s not so much what they do or say, but how they feel when they’re together. She knows that he’s unique in that sense, and she will never feel that way about another man.

Secondly, towards the end, I would have had Keats change back into her true self rather than still be in her disguise.

I could have added an extra post from Sonya’s perspective, perhaps a conversation between her and Fei.

Apart from that, it’s mostly just typos, odd sentences etc. If I was going to spend more time on it, then I would have tried to make Darkness more sinister and highlight how powerful she is.

Thanks for reading, anyway. Please let me know what you think. :c)


What Would Have Been: Ending

 Later that day, Keats stood outside the door of Sonya’s office, like a naughty child waiting to see the headmistress. She knew Sonya would never admit that Keats had done a good thing. Even though her undercover mission had been a success, it had been completely unapproved and Sonya did not like anything being done without her permission. It remained to be seen whether Sonya would forgive her.

 Keats had worn the same clothes for the past 48 hours. Judas’s scent still lingered on them. They smelled of sweet torture. She braced herself and knocked on the door before entering.

 Sonya’s shrewd eyes never left Keats as she walked towards the chair opposite Sonya’s desk.

 “I see you rebuilt the castle with ease.” Keats began, and then she winced, thinking that was perhaps not the best place to start.

 “Yes. It took Fei and I almost the whole time you were gone to get things back to the way they were.” said Sonya, her brown eyes narrowing.

 “Weren’t you looking for me?” Keats asked.

 “Where were we supposed to look for you? We had no idea where you had gone or what you would do.”

 “…You didn’t really think I’d turned bad, did you?” Keats had hoped Sonya would know her better than that.

 “I didn’t know if that was true, or if it was just what I wanted to believe.” Sonya sighed. “I thought you were too smart to turn away from us, but then I thought you were too smart to think that you could trick Darkness.”

 “But I did trick Darkness.” Keats smiled.

 “You can wipe that smirk off your face. If things had gone wrong, they would have gone disastrously wrong. You placed everyone in danger. I hope you realize that, despite the fact things turned out well, it doesn’t make what you did okay by any stretch of the imagination. Destroying the castle, taking on this undercover role without permission, running off and thinking you could handle this without any help… The list goes on.” Sonya’s nostrils were flared and she pressed her lips tightly together for a moment. There was a pause. “How did you trick Darkness?”

 “You have to admit that you’re a little impressed.” Keats said.

 “I’m not admitting anything.” Sonya said, irritably.

 “I had to bury all my true intentions and feelings under a fake persona. All the thoughts she saw were me pretending to be that fictional person. I couldn’t for a second think about what I was actually going to do until the last second. I was vaguely conscious of myself, but Darkness couldn’t pick that up when she was reading my mind.”

 “Were you not worried about forgetting yourself?” Sonya asked. Keats shook her head. “Before you banished that man using the Nox Key, you seemed to hesitate. You weren’t seriously thinking of running off with him were you?”

“Of course not.” Keats snorted. She stood up and walked out of Sonya’s office.

If she stayed another second, she would not be able to hide the fact she was lying.

What Would Have Been: Part 5

Keats never felt comfortable in a masculine body. She especially felt this around Judas. He still kept looking at her, but she knew that he saw someone different. He saw a blonde, moustached man who was well into his thirties. She concentrated and marched through the snow, letting her eyes wander over the fortress ahead of them. She’d never been inside before. She didn’t even know which room the key was in, or how to get to it.

 There were many guards milling around outside the main fortress entrance, talking to each other and smoking.

 “Gristya! Back from patrol already? Stay and have a cigarette with us. We’re enjoying the unusually mild weather.” a young man called out to Darkness.

 Darkness gave an affable smile to the man and said, “I would love to, but this new recruit needs someone to show him around still.” She gestured to Judas.

 “Ah, of course. They said there would be new recruits after word from the Queen of Litia. I say she should defend her own things. New recruits will not help us if the renegade member of their Royal Family attacks.” The man frowned and discarded his cigarette in the snow. “I heard she pulled their castle to the ground. Destroying this fortress would probably be like squishing an ant.” he concluded gloomily.

 “Indeed.” Keats said, concealing a grin.

 An enchantment had been placed on the entrance to prevent intruders getting into the fortress. It was laughably weak and the group bypassed it with ease using their own magic. Once inside, Keats used her senses to determine where the Nox Key was held. She could almost smell the magic that protected it. Within ten minutes they reached the room where it was held. Keats stood outside the door.

 “Once I enter this room, Sonya will know that I am here and will come immediately. You need to hold her off while I get the Key.” she said.

Darkness nodded. Trying to hide her trembling hands, Keats pushed open the door. She ran inside. Within seconds, she saw a flash of light that signalled Sonya’s arrival. Her heart beat rapidly as she saw the Nox Key, an egg shaped piece of smooth, black stone. Her hands closed around it and she heard loud bangs mingled with shrieks of delight from Darkness. She must be winning the battle with Sonya.

 This is it. You need to act now, Keats thought. She hushed herself, she couldn’t let those barriers break, those walls which prevented Darkness seeing her true intentions and her true thoughts. She couldn’t let Darkness see through the fake persona she’d created. If she failed her mission now, Sonya would never forgive her.

These conscious thoughts spilled out, and Keats tried to plug them up. Alarmed and panicking, she looked up. Darkness had not heard her thoughts; she was too distracted by her battle with Sonya. Keats sprinted back into the corridor breathlessly reciting the words needed to unlock the Nox Key’s power and flung her arms around Darkness. The world seemed to stand still for a second as the floor opened up underneath Darkness and she was sucked into the netherworld from which she came.

Sonya and Judas looked at Keats, shocked.

“No. No!” Judas said and Keats stepped towards him. “We can still be together, free.” he said. “No Darkness, just us two.” He grabbed her hand and Keats paused.

“I’m sorry.”

She embraced him and kissed his cheek. Then she pushed him down into the same place as Darkness.

What Would Have Been: Part 4

Okay, so this might take a couple more posts than I originally thought.


Hours later, the three of them stood in a snowy valley, looking up at the Vianhan Fortress. Vianhan was the largest region of the Wand Nation, and also the most prosperous. Precious metals, rocks and oil were plentiful here. For this reason, security was an issue taken seriously by this region’s council. The fortress was one of many outposts around Vianhan’s border, but it was the largest and best guarded.

 “Are you sure the Nox Key will still be here? Won’t Sonya move it knowing you’ve defected?” Darkness asked Keats. It was the first time she had really talked to Keats that morning, although her lip had curled when she saw Keats and Judas together. Keats did not really understand what kind of relationship Judas had with Darkness. If Darkness did not like Judas paying attention to her, then why didn’t she stop him from doing so? Even though she had apparently created him, Darkness did not seem able to control him. Keats enjoyed Judas’s affections too much to stop him herself.

 “She will not have risked moving it, though she will have told the guards I’m no longer to be trusted. The enchantment protecting the Key will still not pose a problem. As long as I have royal blood in my veins, I’ll have access to it.” Keats replied.

 “Storming the fortress should not be an issue. They will not be able to stop all three of us.” Judas gave a beautiful, dark smile.

 “We cannot storm the fortress. They will immediately contact Sonya. We need to use stealth.”  Keats said.

“Are you afraid of Sonya, Keats?” Darkness sneered.

“Having her in the equation makes things more complicated. I’m only trying to give you the best chance of successfully getting revenge.” Keats stopped staring at the castle and looked at Darkness. She seemed to be oblivious of the frozen air that surrounded them; she was still in her dress although the layers of fabric were sodden where they dragged through the snow. Her arms were completely uncovered.

 “Indeed. There’s something very poetic about using the same weapon against Sonya that was used against me by the Royal Family long ago.” Darkness said. Her breath created misty clouds of condensation. “We will all go in, using disguises. I want that Key.”

They approached the castle, keeping close to the sheer face of the mountain. They could see groups of guards patrolling around the fortress. They waited until the nearest pair of men was close before springing on them. Darkness silenced them immediately. Her dark magic infiltrated their blood streams quickly and poisoned them from the inside. They dragged the bodies behind the nearest outcrop of rock. Darkness and Keats used their magic to transform themselves into mirror images of the men. Judas merely put on a copy of the uniform. They covered the bodies with snow and followed the patrol route to the fortress.

What Would Have Been: Part 3

Judas led Keats upstairs and through the blood soaked room. Keats found herself admiring the patterns the stains made on the far door that Judas took her through to another passage. Keats realised that this place must have been an inn before Darkness had raided it. Judas took her into one of the larger rooms, which contained only a bed, a desk and a wooden stool. Keats conjured a solitary candle and lit it using her magic before placing it on the desk.

 “Why not try this?” Judas suggested, as he created the same, blue, floating flames that Keats had seen downstairs. She could not help but admire the elegance of his magic. She moved her hands through the flames. They were unexpectedly cool. Judas caught onto her hand again and Keats did not pull away. The flickering light emphasized the handsome cut of his jaw. Nobody could deny he was handsome, though few would feel attracted to him.

 “I understand that you are here to gain your freedom.” Judas began, pulling closer to her. “But what are you going to do with it?”

“It means I can do things like this.” Keats closed the gap between them and kissed him. It was a bad decision for so many reasons. But wasn’t that why she was here? She wasn’t being good, or wise anymore. She was doing what she wanted, now, and damn the consequences!

He pulled her onto the bed, and threw off the thin, itchy blanket. Keats felt like she was playing with fire, and it excited her more than any mission Sonya had sent her on. However, she still felt Darkness in her mind, and could not let go completely. Somehow she sensed Darkness knew Judas’s thoughts as well, was maybe even controlling him. It didn’t really matter. If Darkness invited Keats to play with her toys, then she would.

In the morning, Judas was still in Keats’ bed. He stroked her hair with fingers that both aroused her and sent shivers down her spine.

 “Once we have vanquished the Queen, we could be together and do what we like.” Judas said.

Keats smiled and replied, “Perhaps.”

Once this mission is over, I will be my own agent. I will not allow you to keep tabs on me using him, she thought, clearly, so that Darkness would definitely hear.

Darkness whispered into her head from afar: Once this mission is over, you will never see Judas again. He is mine and I created him with my own hands. If you think for a second he would ever leave me, think again, whore.

What Would Have Been: Part 2

Keats walked behind the stranger through a street of tall, gothic buildings. Stone statues of robed women looked down on them with concern. They seemed to call Keats to repentance, but she ignored the statues and let him lead her into a building constructed of black stones. Inside, it was dark and quiet. Keats looked to her left and saw a long, rectangular room. Congealed blood covered the floors and walls. The smell was overwhelming. Keats could not see bodies, but she knew there had been slaughter here. She could vividly imagine the screams and crying of the many victims. She wondered if Darkness had counted the bodies, and taken satisfaction in the number.

The man suddenly grasped her hand. Keats tried to pull away, but he only gripped tighter and pulled her downstairs. They emerged into a room lit with small, blue flames that were suspended in the air. At the end of the otherwise bare room, sitting on a large throne, was a woman who appeared to be asleep. She looked no older than twenty. Her straight, black hair was adorned with rubies and fell well past the bodice of her elaborate dress, which seemed to consist of layer after layer of dark silk and lace. She looked like the royalty of the underworld, which was what many considered her to be.

 Her eyes snapped open, revealing irises of a colour that perfectly matched the stains upstairs.

 “Judas, our guest does not need her hand holding.” Her voice was silken. Judas let go.  Darkness stood up, revealing her alarming height. Although her other proportions were normal, she utterly dwarfed Keats. It gave the impression that, under her dress, she was on stilts. Darkness looked down at Keats. Keats let the image of Sonya, fallen and bloody, rise to the front of her mind. Darkness could see it there. “So, you’ve been in a fight with Litia’s graceful Queen.  Attacking your own Grandmother, how shameful.” Darkness tutted.

“We can help each other. Sonya and Fei will not let me live the life I want to live in peace.  You want revenge. Together it will be far easier to erase them from existence.” Keats dared to look Darkness in her bloody coloured eyes and speak.

“You would have been far more useful to me if Sonya and Fei still trusted you. Attacking Sonya and destroying the castle was purposeless.” Darkness said, coldly.

“It may have been purposeless, but it felt good.” Keats smirked. “I can’t spend another day being ruled by anyone but myself. I can help you access the Nox Key, or I can walk away and you will never see me again.”

“The Nox Key?” Darkness searched Keats’ mind again and Keats showed her the plan she had formed.

Darkness took a step back.  “Judas! We journey to the Wand Nation tomorrow. Prepare a room for Keats.”  She turned to Keats again and smiled.

“How glad we are that you came.”

What Would Have Been: Part 1

So, I’m going to do a series of posts based on a storyline that could have happened to my characters if the events in my novel had not taken place. I’m not sure how long this is going to be, but I think it will be around four or five posts long.



As Keats closed her left fist, the cracks and fissures in the west wall of the castle grew larger. Windows smashed and glass, along with large chunks of brick, rained on the ground. Keats concentrated and gathered all her energy before yanking her left arm down. There was a deep rumble and the earth shook as half the castle collapsed in on itself. Keats did not wait for the dust to settle so that she could properly admire her handiwork. Within minutes this area would be being searched. She closed her eyes and teleported 200 miles south of the Litia border.

 Keats found herself under the gaze of the harsh desert sun. Her boots, suddenly uncomfortably hot, sank into the sand. She ignored the heat for the moment and closed her eyes again. She could sense Darkness. Keats hair stood on end and her blood seemed to tingle. It was like she was being charged by this power she could feel across the desert. Keats pushed herself off the ground, and transformed herself into a desert dwelling hawk. She gracefully cut through the air, following the power she could feel in her veins. It promised her freedom and revenge.

Hours later, when the sun had set, Keats found herself over a city she had never visited before. It seemed to suddenly pop out of the sand without warning. Keats landed in a lonely alley and transformed back into her true self. She shivered a little. Her blood now felt cold, like shards of ice were passing through them. It was almost painful. She knew that Darkness must be close.

  “We’ve been waiting for you.” a smooth voice said from behind her. Keats turned around, not at all alarmed. She had expected them to welcome her. The man who had spoken gave her a sly smile. He looked at her from top to bottom, assessing her by sight and by his other senses. She gave him her own once over. He wore a well-cut suit and his black hair flopped over his right eye.

  “The forces of evil have never looked so good.” Keats said, only a trace of humour audible in her voice.

 “You’d do well to keep your witty remarks to yourself around Darkness, or she might not let you keep your tongue. Follow me.” He turned sharply on his heel, and walked out of the alley.

Keats bit back a response and followed him.