Sherlock is the best Show on TV

This Sunday, BBC One aired the third season finale of their excellent series Sherlock. I was lucky to catch the episode live. And I’m very glad I did. I am not going to spoil the third season for anyone and will instead talk about why I think everyone should watch the show.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Chapter 31: Rescue

You can read the first thirty chapters here.

I had instinctively chosen the left path and was now running through a narrow, winded corridor with torches mounted to the walls at the side. The sphere of light floated closely behind me, always adjusting to my changing speeds. My body had started to ache shortly after I left my cell behind me. When I wanted to accelerate, every fiber and muscle of mine urged me to take it easy. I had never been the fittest person around, but using magic or whatever feat it was I had just pulled off, was incredibly tiring for my mind and physique.

A few cells were lined up on the left and right side of the corridor, but they were not guarded, so I assumed that they were not the cells I was looking for. Nobody was to be seen behind the small slits in the doors, so I continued charging down the corridor. It soon found its end with a small staircase consisting of about six steps inviting me to explore. This definitely wasn’t a way out, but I was sure whoever had caused the trouble earlier was held on this second level of cells. I crouched down and peered down the stairs, but it was too dark to decipher anything.

“Brighter.”

Giving commands orally was less taxing than controlling the light just by my mind. However, as I was just beginning to explore my newfound capabilities, I was not sure if had enough strength to continue controlling the sphere.

I sighed and cursed myself. “Maybe I should have chosen to go right after all.” I  whispered under my breath. The thoughts of failure pushed back by my escape were creeping back into the forefront.

Muffled laughter forced me to concentrate on my task of exploring. The sound was not only a surprise to me. I could hear two voices reacting to it.

“What the hell are you laughing about?” An older, male voice.

“Shut up!” A young, forceful and definitely female voice.

Still crouching, I inched down the first steps, trying to get a closer look at the guards. The laughter hadn’t stopped yet.

“If you don’t shut up, we’ll come and make you.” The female tone was serious and calm. Her threat carried a lot of weight and gravity. Meanwhile, I had reached the bottom of the stairs and peered around the corner. I could clearly see the two guards and the heavy cell door they were guarding. And most importantly, I could hear everything they were talking about.

The laughter stopped for a second. “I’d like to see you try.”

The female guard moved her hand through her short, shoulder-length red hair and sighed. She dropped her voice and told her partner, who was looking at her slightly puzzled. “I might actually have to go in there now.”

“He knows you’re bluffing.”

“I’m not.” She smiled and moved her hand to the short sword hanging by her side. Both guards wore heavy, grey armor, a bit different from the simple padded clothing my guards had worn. Obviously, this prisoner was considered more of a threat than I had been.

The laughter started again. The older guard reacted first, asking his prisoner what was so funny.

“None of your business. I’m just keeping myself entertained.” The voice coming from within the cell was full of confidence, which added to my earlier surprise quite a bit. Now that I had finally heard the prisoner speak clearly, I knew who was behind that door: Laurenar.

I cautiously peered around the corner again. My own disappearance wouldn’t go unnoticed for any much longer. In fact, my escape had probably been discovered already. Somehow, nobody had caught up to me just yet. It was clear that time was running for me and Laurenar.

“Grow.”

The sphere of light, floating quietly behind my back grew back to the size of a football.
I waited for a moment, staring at the two guards standing in front of the cell. The woman was furious and wouldn’t take the jabs from inside the cell much longer. Sure enough, when Laurenar said something I couldn’t quite make out, she took out her keys and told her partner: “Someone needs to be taught a lesson.”

That was my chance.

“Glow.”

The light which had previously burned with the intensity of the torches now fully illuminated the staircase I was still standing on.

“Divide.”

I was panting heavily now, still focused on the white lights in front of me, when I heard footsteps coming in my direction. But they were coming from downstairs and not from upstairs. The older guard had decided to check out the strange light on the stairwell.

In an instant, I jumped around the corner and pushed the guard back before he had a chance to use his drawn sword. Adrenaline drove me forward and I ordered one of my glowing spheres of light to blind my opponent. I shielded my eyes, while my ball exploded in a flash of bright, white light blinding the old guard and causing the female guard, who was standing in the open cell door, to turn around.

The older guard fell backwards against the wall. Immediately, I jumped on his one-handed sword and picked it up. With a quick move, I slid the weapon into the cell and into the hands of Laurenar, while the female guard made a step towards me. When she realized what I had done, her face turned pale. Beating up Laurenar while she had all the power was easy. Beating him when he had a sword was a different story.

I felt the need to rest. The original sphere of light was still floating next to me, but when I tried to help out Laurenar, my words failed me. He didn’t need my help. The knight deftly parried the first two clumsy strikes by the guard, before using the same trick I had just minutes before. He attacked, probing the woman’s guard with subtle blows from the left and right. While she was working hard to defend herself, he moved around with purpose and a clear plan. Laurenar dominated the fight without using too much energy. He tried to strike her chest, then her arms and then her legs, but never gave up his defensive stance. The knight was not doing this for the first time. Even though he would be more comfortable with a two-handed weapon, Laurenar had gotten her exactly into the position he wanted. He was outside of the cell and she was standing inside of it. They had danced around in a perfect circle. With far more elegance than I was used to, he shut the heavy stone door.

During the shouting and screaming of the furious, captured guard, he nodded to me: “Let’s get out of here.”

___________________________

Thank you very much for reading so far! Please share and subscribe if you liked the story. Have a great weekend and see you soon.

Sincerely yours,
Albert

Events in Switzerland to look out for in 2014

After seeing its fair share of unique events last year, including the Zürifäscht and Eidgenössisches Schwing-und Älplerfest (I don’t even want to try to translate this), it’s time to have a brief look at which events will be having an impact in Switzerland this year.

Film Festivals

Switzerland will see its fair share of film festivals in 2014, starting this month with the Solothurner Filmtage (23.01-30.01) which focuses on Swiss movies and starts off the festival calendar. In summer, fantasy film fans will be able to attend the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (04.07 – 12.07) before the stage is set for the two biggest festivals in the country. The Festival del Film Locarno takes place in the beautiful town from August 6 to August 16. One month later, the Zurich Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary starting September 25 and running through October 5.

Movie fans should definitely mark these dates in their calendars as they often represent a chance to see movies that struggle to find distributors and of course, to soak in a little of Hollywood glamour.

Music Festivals

As every year, the festival summer in Switzerland offers choices for everyone. The most renown festival internationally, the Montreux Jazz Festival, takes place from July 4 to 19. Indie fans will get to see their favorite acts in St. Gallen (26.06 – 29.06), Zurich (28.08 – 31.08) and on the Gurten (17.07 – 20.07), while hiphop an rap fans can enjoy their idols in Frauenfeld (10.07 – 12.07) and Biel (22.08 and 23.08).

Of course, the festivals are not only the only chances to see popular musical acts these years. Pop sensation Justin Timberlake is stopping by Zurich on April 15 for his world tour. Rock Legends Metallica will play in Basel on July 7th. The Backstreet Boys will be in Zurich in March. Of course, more stars are bound to announce their concerts throughout the year.

World Cup Public Viewing

With the Football World Cup taking place in Brazil this year, Europe benefit from very advantageous kick-off times. With Switzerland being drawn into a group with Ecuador, France and Honduras, I hope our national team will be able to progress into the knockout stage of the tournament. But even without a successful Swiss team, bars and pubs throughout the country should be showing the games on their TVs, creating spots for public viewing. It remains to be seen if large-scale screens will be set up in cities, but it has been done before and might be repeated this summer. This would give sports fans the opportunity to watch the games with likeminded people, especially if it coincides with terrific summer weather.

These are just some of the more interesting events taking place in Switzerland this year. Of course, should I come across anything else interesting, I’ll make sure to let you know.
As you might have read, I’m changing posting days to Tuesday and Thursday, so I’m back the day after tomorrow with the 31st chapter of my story. Until then, I remain

sincerely yours,
Albert

Chapter 30: Escape

You can find the first 29 chapters of “An Elusive Hero” under Story.

The sounds of shouting and fighting woke me up. I opened my eyes groggily and looked around the little cell of mine. The sphere of light was floating high above me. I crawled towards the stone door and looked out of the narrow slit the guards used to check up on the prisoners. To my surprise, none of the guards normally standing in front of my cell were to be seen. Instead, the sounds of the commotion originated from the left of my cell.
I desperately tried to find out what was going on, but I could only make out excited and worried shouting without understanding the wording.

Just as I wanted to retreat back to my cot, I saw two more guards rushing past my cells, both with their swords drawn. They were panting heavily and not moving as fast as they should have been. I deducted that they had just been woken up after serving the night shift. Something big was happening. I thought of Seraphina and Tyler who had managed to escape before reaching the fort. Had they been able to return and infiltrate the impregnable walls of the building? Then I thought of Michelle and Drake. Had they recovered from their wounds and staged a revolt from the inside? I thought of Laurenar. Had he found his strength to cast off his shackles to rise up?

I looked up at the ball of light I had just started controlling the day before. The guards before my door were still gone. I stared at the sphere of light and commanded it to divide itself into four different balls. I left one of the lights floating in the center of the cell, while I made three basketball sized globes float directly over the door. From the outside, my creations were invisible.

The sounds from the commotion died down. It got eerily quiet. My thoughts again circled around what was going on. Guards passed the cells, none of them uttering a single word. They were not running anymore, just walking back, looking exhausted and relieved. Like before, two guards took their post before my cell.

“What is going on?”

I decided to try my luck. Maybe they’d have a reason to gloat or exaggerate their prowess in putting out this minor fire. But I got no reaction.

“The sounds woke me up. I’m hungry. When’s time for breakfast?”

My voice was calm and cheerful, the opposite from what I hoped they wanted me to sound. I really did feel hungry. But that was not the reason for my feeble attempts at conversation. No answer came forth from behind the doors. Instead, I heard the sounds of footsteps leaving. I took a quick peak out of the opening to see that only one of the guards was standing before my cell.

Now was my chance. Something was going on among in the fort. I looked up at the light and hoped it wouldn’t suddenly turn dark. That was a possibility I hadn’t considered at all. As easy as this power had come to me, what if it would disappear right when I needed it most? I swallowed my doubts and looked up at my strategically placed balls of light.

“Stand back.” The guard had returned. I took half a step back. The door was pulled open and the guard set down a tray filled with a loaf of bread, some butter and a cup of milk.

The moment the captor bent down I closed my eyes and focused all of my concentration on the spheres and shouted “Light up!”.

In an instant, the lights dialed up their intensity and heat. The young man was blinded and startled immediately. He stumbled two steps backwards out the door. I called out “Follow me” to the three globes and before the other guard knew what was going on I had tackled the first one. He was stronger than me, but still unable to see a thing. We fell to the ground together, but I used his confusion to get up immediately.

I quickly turned around and focused on one of the balls of light. With ease I directed it towards the second guard; an older, bearded man armed with a short sword. The light was shining as bright as the sun now and radiating heat. He tried to fend off the ball with his weapon, but it passed through as it had no physical properties. I gathered all of my strength and whispered “Explode”. Without making a sound, the sphere exploded, releasing a surprisingly powerful shockwave and throwing the bearded man back into my cell.

The other guard was still regaining his eyesight, so I pushed against the door as hard as I could. A jolt of pain rushed through my recently injured shoulder, causing me to wince. The door shut with a loud thump. If the struggles from before hadn’t alerted the other guards, the closing of the door surely would the trick. I faced the younger guard again, who had now gotten to his feet again. He had drawn his mace and shield and looked ready to attack.

He was still squinting and hadn’t regained full control over his eyesight yet. I still controlled two of the spheres from before. They were floating mid-air, shining brightly and quietly. I concentrated and put all of my thoughts into one of the spheres of light, getting ready to strike without saying a word. We stared at each other. He was weighing his options and if I hadn’t known better I would’ve thought he was scared of me. Time was running out. I closed my eyes and silently decided on a command. The light I was controlling immediately obeyed and shot down the corridor with speed before vanishing into thin air. Its movement was enough to make the guard take his eyes off me. I jumped on him and threw a punch with a my right arm. My first punch ever connected with his face and caused him to fall against the wall behind him. The impact knocked him out cold. I stared at him, surprised at myself and knelt down to check his pulse. He was only unconscious.

I stood up again and looked at the last ball of light I following me. “Shrink.”

The light took the size of a tennis ball. “Follow me.”

What would I do now? I looked left, to where the earlier sounds and shouts had come from. And then I turned right, where the corridor seemed to lead upstairs and towards freedom. I had absolutely no clue where to go.

I closed my eyes and sighted. Then I started running, followed by my only weapon and new companion, my original sphere of light.

______________

Thank you very much for reading so far! Please like, share and subscribe if you’ve enjoyed the story so far. It will continue next Thursday with the 31st chapter.

Until then, have a great weekend and see you soon!

Sincerely yours,
Albert

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope 2014 finds you in good health and good spirits and wish all of you the best of luck in the new year.

As for this blog, the new year bring new opportunities and new challenges. For that reason, some things are going to be changing on “An Elusive Hero”.

First of all, starting next week, I’ll be switching my posting dates to Tuesday and Thursday.

On Tuesdays, I will mostly post about Switzerland and anything of interest.

Thursdays will be reserved for my fiction writing and the continuation of my story, “An Elusive Hero”.

Changing the schedule from three times to two times a week gives me the chance to focus on writing longer and higher-quality texts. This year, I’m expecting to write more about interesting journeys within Switzerland and again have extensive coverage of the Zurich Film Festival and other high profile events in the country. As for “An Elusive Hero”, the story, this is the year I’ll hopefully be able to bring it to a fitting conclusion.

I really enjoyed making my last video and hope to publish vlogs on a regular basis in 2014. My vlog will focus on books, so my writing on that topic will probably decline. Please check out my YouTube channel and subscribe to stay updated!

Also, I’m working on a German language project with a friend, which is due to launch early this year. Even with a reduced schedule on my blog, I’ll be able to write and do something I love on various outlets throughout the Internet.

I want to thank everyone who read “An Elusive Hero” in 2013 again and hope to see you again in 2014!

Happy New Year!

Sincerely yours,
Albert

An Elusive Hero in 2013 (Recap)

As 2013 ends tomorrow, I’d like to wrap up the year with a short review of my posts this year.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has followed and read my posts since I started writing on “An Elusive Hero” in March. The feedback and support I’ve received has been invaluable for me to improve. Wednesday will look forward to the plans for 2014. But until then, let’s recap some of the most interesting posts from this year.

Continue reading

Chapter 29: Power

You can read the first 28 chapters under “Story“. Also please also check out and subscribe to my new YouTube channel!

I stared at the ball of light sitting idly in my palms. The sphere glowed happily, now emitting a soft, warm light – a contrast from the cold, dim radiance from before. My hands felt warm. For a moment, I was unsure of how to proceed. Continue reading