Silverlink Writing Group: The Writers

 Matthew Thirlaway


Here are some examples of my work:

Page last up dated 21 June 2010


Silverlink Writing Group June 2010 Competition: 500 words starting with one of four pictures: Party Time.

Word Count = 496

RUNNER UP of the Silverlink Writing Group

Competition June 2010

The Rule of One

‘Let it be known’ preached the old priest ‘that the war is over, and it was not by the will of God but the will of our King.’ The priest stood before the crowd and proclaimed peace. And so it was.

The news spread like wild fire from the steps of the Royal Citadel to every corner of the North Kingdoms. The news that the Kingdom of Kihilida had sought peace with its enemies and had found it.


The sky over Arkno the Capital of Kahilida exploded with blue and yellow, the celebrations had lasted for days, there was much to celebrate. People danced in the street, tables of free food and drink lined the roads. Songs were sung and excitement was fresh and new.

General Montserrat paced down the alley, past party revellers. He did not share the mood of the moment. He reached a small wooden door at the end of the alley. He knocked once, the door opened to a dark light. The doorman looked at him and turned, Montserrat followed. A long table dominated the room; a hooded figure occupied the seat to the furthest side.

‘Good evening, sir’ said Montserrat in his deep and rough voice, as he sat in the only vacant seat ‘Let us get down to business, I have little time to waste.’

‘You will be glad you came, before the night is old. We need you General and you need us’ Hissed the man, his face hidden ‘It is not the king we fear but the Moderates who have his ear and who hold the whip.’

‘The Moderates are not fools, they will expect retaliation. Do not be rash with your actions. Especially now, peace has brought only conflict to our Kingdom’ Replied Montserrat, his stare tried to pierce the hidden face but it was veiled by some unseen evil ‘Come now sir, I know you did not ask me here for my opinion of the political situation. Spit it out.’

‘We need you. You as Marshal, posses a very unique power.’

‘I have no influence with the Council or the King. I am a soldier not a politician.’

‘The Rule of One. It is a power by law that you have inherited from history. The Council fear what you are and they fear what you will become. The king would not dare directly turn his power against the Council, but you.’

‘What is this power you speak of?’ said Montserrat becoming interested.

‘It gives you as Marshal the authority to dissolve the powers of the Council. However we need the King to be removed from office before we can act against the Council. Then you will become Lord Protector, and you will rule without opposition. We can achieve this together, General.’ Montserrat closed his eyes gently, the hooded man stretched across the table closer to the General ‘Do we have an agreement to act?’

‘I think we do’ smiled the Marshal.


Silverlink Writing Group March 2010 Competition: 500 words starting with: What I did on holiday...

Word Count = 433


WINNER of the Silverlink Writing Group Competition March 2010


Extracts from the journal of Karl Hitzberg from the years 1929-1936


15th April 1935

The late discovery of the path, earlier this month has kept my mind and pen occupied, there is good news for the Third Reich and the German people who will feel the full benefit of our work. The treasure the Führer most craves has been found. If myths have even a spark of truth, then our expedition will bring about Germany’s dominance.


21st April 1935 

Floods have devoured the roads, our stay must be sustained. I do not complain, I am at peace here, isolated from the reaching hand of reasonability. Still my own mood is not shared, there is an uneasy feeling, tension you may even call it, in camp. The others do not love this place like me or Schneider. Archaeologists seem to lack fear where there is knowledge to gain. Schneider is however ill and sleeps for most of the time. Our guide has warned us from drinking from the many local pools and still waters, so we must trek far to the river for water. 


24th April 1935

Schneider is dead. Fever caught him in the night. It is hard to believe, which I now must confirm to myself in writing. I do not grieve or pity his loss, and so the tight noose of guilt grips my throat.


25th April 1935

There are lights. Deep into the forest, but bright enough to glimpse at night. Orbs of pure white light (at best I can describe or know) each night changing place within the vast expanse of forest. Our guide called them the Za-Za Hirrim- ‘Shadow Stalkers’- ancient spirits of the forest forced to wander there until the end of time. Their appearance has spooked the more sceptical but even I must conclude there is indeed an evil air about this place.


26th April 1935

Anna proposed this expedition as more than a holiday than work from the stress of Berlin, Hell would be a more fitting description. 


29th April 1935

A new fever has swept the expedition. It melts their minds to hatred and rage. It is like a wild fire. No one has been spared, no one will be spared. There is a mutiny among the men, if men you call them. They believe the treasure is theirs. Let them butcher my body before my mind is butchered by this plague.

What have men become?

They returned the stone and slaughtered many in sacrifice. I am a prisoner to them and wait my turn. They are consumed by some unseeing power. They praise the Za-Za Hirrim as their God.

What have men become?



The Trickster Revealed

The man in the red suit wandered the labyrinth of corridors.  Dead ends met him at nearly every turn, but calm patience would soon pay off.  He smirked a cold smirk as if all the happiness in the world has ceased to exist.  He had found the Labyrinths’ door, the small radiance of light reflected off the pools of water.

‘Open up you fool!’  he shouted in a harsh tone as he reached the door.

A bolt was heard moving across and the door swung open steadily.  ‘Ah Master.’  a voice hissed out of the gloom of the doorway.  It was a strange thing the speaker, a skulking creature of the dark.  He dragged himself along the floor, his body bent over and his skin rough and scared.  Still his eyes were unbroken, a well of blue with an essence of hazel, they had not always been wicked eyes.

‘Silence.’  he shrieked, with a cry, ‘Where is the good Doctor?’

‘He has been out My Lord.  Far.  Yes, very far.  Beyond, beyond the light of moon.  Yes, far.’

‘Be silent of your rambling.’  shouted, the man, as he struck the creature violently, ‘I presume he has returned then?’

‘Yes, oh yes, My Lord.  He called for you just after he returned.’

‘Than he bears tidings.’  he smirked once more.

The corridor expanded as they passed through the door.  The man and the gangly creature walked in silence, until they came into the open room.  It was bare with a dire gloom present.  A small hole in the top most of the bricked wall flooded the room with moonlight.  And there he worked, the good Doctor.  Muttering and cursing, he devoured piles of papers and ancient tomes.  Mumbling every word he read.

‘Ah, the good Doctor, you have decided to return to me.  How kind.’ shouted the man suddenly.

The doctor leapt forward at the sound of his voice, hissing and snarling.

‘Do not patronise me.’ the Doctor growled.

‘Temper, Temper.’

‘Be gone.  Do not grace me with your presence, if you will not let my tongue tell.’  said the Doctor returning to his desk of manuscripts.

‘This better be good.  I’ve left a very nice French girl upstairs.’ rolling his eyes.

‘I bear great revelations.’  shouted the Doctor with great relief.

‘Speak damn you.’  he shrieked with impatience.

‘The Purge has begun.’

‘Than our work is almost complete.’  the red suited man said, as he sat himself into the chair at the desk.

‘Closer than you think.  He has risen.  The Dark Servant.’

The man in the red suit raised himself ever so slightly from the chair and said coldly, ‘My Greatest Servant.’

‘Yes, he is strong, he is powerful, he is revengeful.’  said the Doctor, on his knees growling and spitting with excitement.

‘Good, he will release me from this human form and then...’

The good Doctor smiled, bearing rows of yellow fangs.

‘Then you will be supreme.’


Silverlink Writing Group September2009 Competition: 500 words starting with: The weapons hung on one wall of the room...

Word Count = 301


The weapons hung on one wall of the room, the security guard sat with his feet propped up.  The wall in front was covered with small screens each linked to various CCTV cameras across the compound.  The security guard, who was short and well fed, was beginning to doze, the room exploded with static, he jumped throwing his chair across the room as well as himself.  He pulled himself to his feet.  The intercom light flashed red, he pressed it without hesitation.  The guard stood straight dusting himself off, and gave a pathetic salute.

A cold hard voice spoke on the intercom.

‘Camera Seven,’ it said, ‘the woman in the white dress with long brunette hair.  You will follow her through the CCTV system and report to security about her every move.  Understand?’

‘Failure,’ it uttered, ‘is not an option.’

The intercom went dead and the control room returned to silence once more.  The security guard breathed heavily as he stared at the wall of screens, he picked up his walkie-talkie and said quietly, ‘Security.  Entering Casino by the left entrance.  Over.’

The guard backed up from the wall of screens, his hand behind his back, he removed a handgun from the back wall and filled his holster.  Something was up, he thought.

He knew.

The Casino Blanco buzzed with luck and greed, the fresh smell and feel of the Casino was eroded by the raw emotions of winning and losing.  It was a bitter place.  The woman in white played a light game of Roulette, a small temptation before the high table.  The high table where the big money was and the big money clients.  She was a big money client and a big money winner.  She was there for a night of high risk gambling.....and murder.


The Shadow of Faith



8 June 1191 A.D.

The Hospitaller Knight moved across the empty street, he placed his hand on his falchion, as he passed an Arab book merchant.  He eyed the merchant, who quickly withdrew to a dark alley way, and was lost to sight.  Sir Duncan McGarry increased his pace, his master was impatient for the relic he carried, his concerns were many.  For there was no object as powerful or destructive in the known world as the one he now carried.  Men would kill for its possession.

Duncan knew little of the relic but it was of ancient existence, an unspeakable evil, a possession of unlimited power and destruction.  Duncan could feel its evil radiation, for it would grant victory to any army who marshalled its dark powers.

Duncan felt the relic’s weight on his mind, it tormented his thoughts, it corrupted and twisted his soul.  He longed for it, and its power.  He spat and cursed, his weakness, his sin was raw.  The power he craved was uncontrollable.  His anger fumed, hot red.  The original sin, temptation, lingered.

Suddenly a shadow shifted.

Duncan drew his falchion.  Just in time to deflected a strike from an unknown blade.  Duncan slashed out into the darkness, but the blade fell without impact.  Duncan stood in the shadows, his back to the wall.

‘Foul Daemon!’  roared Duncan, breathing heavily.  His sword ready.

‘Face me!’

A laugh cried out, ‘Hospitaller fool!  I am the shadow of your faith.’  A steady silence followed.

‘There is no shadow to the one true faith.’  Replied Duncan finally as he searched the shadows for his attacker.

An excruciating pain struck Duncan in his thigh; he stared, revealing an open gash across his unprotected thigh.

‘I know of the relic you carry.  For my master desires it also.’  the voice stated, ‘And I know of your master Richard Coeur de Lion.  He is but a pawn in a greater game.  He is blind.’

‘And who is your master!?”  asked Duncan, holding back the pain of the flesh.

‘The Old Man of the Mountain.’  whispered the attacker.

‘Hassassin!’  screeched Duncan, remembering the previous casualties of the Hassassins campaign of murder.

‘Rashid ad-Din Sinan sends you his blade.’  Spoke the Hassassin before he ended the Hospitaller existence.

The dirt was stirred, as the Hospitailler fell dead.


Silverlink Writing Group July 2009 Competition: 500 words starting with: The house on the hill had stood there longer than anyone could remember. 

Word Count = 341

The House

The house on the hill had stood there longer than anyone could remember.

“You’re just scared.”  said Sam, pointing to the house, “You’re worse than those in the village.  Oh it’s haunted!  Never go in that house!  That house is evil!”  mocked Sam with a grin.

“Well why don’t you go in.  If you’re so though.”  Replied James, frustrated at the situation he was in.

“I’ve already been in.  Ask anyone.”

“Well I didn’t know.”

“But you’re a nerd.”  he pushed James, “You’re a geek, a loser and a butthead.”

James moved away, just out of the range of Sam and stared at the house.  What if everything they say about the house is true?  What about the witch?  She would curse him, or worse?  But everyone would laugh at him at school.  They would call him scaredy like Sam did.

James continued to walk away but heading down the dune and towards the gravel path.

“Where you’re going, peep-squeak?"  shouted Sam after him.

“Where do you think, big head?”  replied James, than he understood his mistake.  Don’t call Sam Tinglebe.  He has a violent temper.  That what all the kids at school warned.

Sam swore as he heard what James had called him and quickly paced after him in a violent rage, just as the kids at schools had for seen.

“Get back here, I’m going to make you bloody!”  screamed Sam.

James broke into a quick pace, following the gravel path steeper and steeper he climbed, but Sam was close behind and he knew Sam always keep his promises.  Bloody hell, he thought.

As the house came into view, he could hear Sam behind.  Luckily James was fitter than Sam.  Winning four first place medals at the school’s sports day, which he prided himself on.

James reached the crooked door to the house, but as he did he felt Sam’s grotesque hands pull him off his feet.  Making him and Sam fall through the door to the house.  Then they grasped at what everyone said became true.


Freedom, Liberty, Equality

Freedom is not a guaranteed right of humanity

But a hard and brutal odyssey of independence and self-liberation

A search for equality and common moral standing for every man, woman and child

A flight of sacrifice and reward, of defeat and victory, oppression and freedom


I stand before you a free man, for I have sacrificed for my freedom and together

We shall cast off the shackles of our oppressors

We shall make them bleed for we shall bleed no more.

We shall walk free without fear

We shall forge the cradle of freedom and liberty through our sacrifice


Fight for your freedom, fight for your liberty, fight for your equality

Let me tell you, we shall be free.

For there is no limit to what we can achieve

There is no limit to what we will achieve


 Silverlink Writing Group March 2009 Competition: 500 words starting with The crystal glowed...

Word Count = 378

RUNNER UP of the Silverlink Writing Group

Competition March 2009

The Temptation

The crystal glowed a soft white light, and then descended into its dormant state.


The crystal was an ancient relic, an unspeakable evil, a possession of unlimited power and destruction. It would forever bring evil, for as long as time its self. It’s power would lay waste and bring carnage. Its knowledge would infect good men with evil and cruelty.

It was born to this world evil and forever be the source of all evil, cruelty and suffering, and it will always fall it to the hands of corrupt men, who will marshal its dark powers.


Hugh stared at the crystal, it tormented his thoughts, it corrupted and twisted his soul. He longed for it, and its power. His temptation grew. His hand reached out to take it for his own but his confidence withered. His hand clasped into a fist, fighting the temptation, his hand dropped. His body collapsed onto the hard cold concrete, straining for oxygen, exhausted from his struggle. He crept into the shadow of the stone alter that held the crystal. He spat and cursed, his weakness, the power he craved was uncontrollable. His anger fumed, spat hot red.

He finally regained his strength and left the small stuffy room behind. Inducement still burning.

He crossed over to the opposite side of the empty corridor, to the study chamber. Now he craved his other desire, knowledge. The chamber was quiet as always, only older members of his order sat reading and scribed. He searched through the vast collections of manuscripts, for a thread of information on the crystal. He found nothing, not one word on the subject as if it didn’t exist.

‘It must exist’ he cried, as he finished his search. The brotherhood soul purpose is to protect the crystal, but still no one knew more than the standard told. It must have spoken to others. Shown them its power and knowledge it possessed. There must be others, plotting to steal it from him. He hungered there blood at these thoughts. His mind was made; he would kill the others and take the crystal for himself. He would plan for treachery. He was sure, he would topple the order and take the crystal, and then the world.

‘Ultimate power.’ He hissed.


Silverlink Writing Group September Competition: 500 words starting with Oh what a day it's been...

Word Count = 117    Line Count = 17

The Big Bad Wolf


Oh, what a day it's been like all the days this age

Darkness and evil linger in shadow

And all those good and free do nothing

The advancing night, The Big Bad Wolf


But still there is light, whathe hiding beast

A new evil will rise as the fall of the Old world

And all those will be ruled in darkness

Devoured by the beast


The light will fade, and the darkness advance

Ever growing, ever feeding

It trails, always watching, always hunting

The savage beast


The perching evil

The beast



But still there is light, what little is left

The night must turn to day

But I will not last the night



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