Helena Andree a few thousand words later…..

People boarded and her carriage started to fill. Her cab had two new travelers, an older woman and a young man with an extraordinary moustache. She put her lap top in her bag and placed the newspaper on the small pull out wooden desk by  her window seat. She smiled and nodded at the two new boarders. The train carried on.

The young man left his seat and wandered off in the direction of the dining car, probably for an early breakfast Helena thought. The older woman took out some knitting from her carpet bag and started to click the needles together, occasionally looking at Helena as if she was about to begin or want to begin a conversation.

“Are you going far dear?’ she asked Helena

“Yes to the south. To see my cousin for the holiday.’ Replied Helena. She wasn’t really interested in engaging in conversation.

‘ I believe the Viper agent has gone in the other direction.’ Stated the woman. ‘I’m Josephine Madina from HQ administration. ‘Just so that you know.’

Helena had heard about Josephine. A well-heeled agent who had also been far in to the future. She suddenly became interested in talking.

‘Where are you going?’ asked Helena

‘Trieste. I have important documents relating to the impending war in europe. We won’t be able to stop it. As you know.’

Helena nodded. There were some things HQ couldn’t stop, It wasn’t he job f the agents to stop history, but to knit together the fragments of dispersed information and to link people during troubled times. Josephine carried on with her knitting.

‘Mishka is not like other agents. She works alone. We will have many troubles with her and she will rise to the top of Viper. George could have taken her out, but he decided not to. We will never know what that could have done if he had. Nor do we know why he decided not to. Try and find out Helena. There is some kind of connection there that we are unsure of. I’m not saying George is not to be trusted. Just that he has a link with Moranovic in some way which is a mystery to us.’

Helena was surprised to hear this. Not much did surprise Helena. She pondered on what Josephine had said.

“Are they related?’ she asked.

‘Not that we know of. George is a bit of a mystery really. No one is too sure where he is from. He seems to not have an origin. If he has, he has kept it a secret for a long time. I think he is from the future. I see him at times beyond this era you work in. But even there, he seems to not have any connections. He is closest to you and John and prefers to work alongside you both. HQ has no real reason to be suspicious of him. But his reticence around Moranovic is something we need to find out about.’

Nanowrimo uncut….2011 

The Life and Times of Helena Andree -Nanowrimo 2011

Extract of my nano this year, words unleashed and streaming: 

Both her mother and father were informers and spies working for HQ – which endorsed supporting the good of all humanity. This was a difficult job, getting it right was very important and people like Helena and her parents played really important roles in this. Not to say that the world would become a perfect place and people would stop being bad, but things would definitely be a lot less worse and eventually the world would become a happier place. 

Helena’s mother was from the Isle of Skye, a bona fida local lass belonging to the clan Donald, she had played a part in helping Bonnie Prince Charlie and supporting the Scottish fight for independence, her influence had been phenomenal, acting as an inspiration for thought and action in her people. She wasn’t hugely fond of traveling, but would disappear occasionally and that was when she met Helena’s father – Tomislav. He was from Russia of course, with a Mongolian heritage -a true traveller and nomad. He relished persuing missions across the world in all eras.

Their meeting was a romantic one during the French resistance in the second world war, both young and on a job to enable the resistance movement in Paris. Helena’s mother, Flora worked in communications deep in the HQ base in Paris in the basement of The Louvre. Her father, Tomislav worked above ground on the Parisian streets as a gendarme, a disguise of course. He kept contact going between significant individuals and passed on information to HQ which is how he met Flora. It was love at first sight, as love often was during war. They married within six months of courting and stayed in Paris after the war, also owning a retreat in the Scottish Highlands near Flora’s beloved Skye. This was where Helena was born, just after world war two ended in 1946. Her brother Jamie came two years later.

Both Helena’s parents were dead. Time traveling doesn’t buy time. All humans age despite being able to cross zones, life can not be extended. There was no elixir for life despite what the Chinese Confucian mythical figure Chang-O believed. The hare on the moon could only promise eternity for Mother Earth, but not for its inhabitants. Helena was a little like Chang-O, she believed in the impossible’ the unattainable and was determined to find a way to live for ever.

Helena rarely saw her brother, he worked at HQ and she had never visited. It was advisable not to until a spy had passed a certain age. She had another fifteen years or so to go. She wondered where John was. It was now almost midnight and time to get out of the bath for a night cap.

Helen Andree was a real-life traveller from  18th century Scotland.

No Time To Work

I don’t know about your time, but mine is taken up more and more with projects,but not all work-related. In fact, they are becoming more about every day living, books, music, knitting, gardening, training and now the future education of my son.

The notion of getting a well-paid full-time job seems to have left me now, after living in the Highlands for 13 years, I’ve come to realise that possibly it’s not going to happen for me. Various factors come in to play here, not least because I have to take caring for others in to account, but also as someone who isn’t part of the cultural ‘norm’ here, it’s shall we say, a wee bit tricky. I’ve discussed this very problem with others who understand and empathise with my experience and the narrowness of culture as it has become in this region. By narrowness, I mean the lack of acceptance of diversity and just a very few individuals running the joint.

However, there are far more important things to be concerned with than small-minded people. There are of course, lots of people here who relish diversity, as I do and it’s with them that I can share my passion for life.

So why no time to work? Work has become pretty boring lately, I won’t go in to detail, because it is boring! I need stimulation on a daily basis and am inventing my own, with a hope that other folk will want to join in with me.

This is one project, the damned yard! I have renamed my back garden after Ivo Andric’s novel of the same name. I recommend reading it, it’s all about imagination and how it can save us from damnation. This garden is in desperate need of revitalising, part fruit orchard, part currant, some herbs and lots of sticky willie, ticks and ground elder – it’s ready for a re-vamp. I know what I want to happen in it -I want it to be a haven for bees and for it to give me lots of fruit. Perhaps even get involved with people of similar notions across the world. There is no need to be confined to locality these days.

Then there’s the writing thing, am just about to finish up the Scottish Book Trust Family Legend programme and it’s been a good experience. I still have three books to finish off and am inspired to do so by my fellow nanoers. One will be off to the publishing world this year, that is a guarantee. I have another idea, but it’s a kept secret until it comes to fruition. Excuse the pun, but growth seems to be the thing of 2011. Then there’s me – another project, but that’s another story. We plan on 2011 being a good year in terms of small successes, developments, good music and happiness-hopefully everything else will slot in to place.