Jess Hyslop

Welcome Welcome to my Elfwood page. I’m afraid you’ve arrived a little late to the party, as I’m now no longer very active on Elfwood. But not to fear - I’ve left a scattering of stories here to keep you amused, and I still read and appreciate any comments that you might care to leave. About Me I'm an English and Cultural Studies graduate living in Cambridge (UK). I have a blog where I review SFF books and post news of my writing published elsewhere. I'm also on Twitter (@JinxedJester). I love (in no particular order) reading, writing, theatre, film, Neil Gaiman, coffee, muesli, Catherynne M. Valente, dragons, my friends, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, the Venice carnival, manga, Studio Ghibli anime, Punchdrunk theatrical experiences, Virginia Woolf, Robin Hobb, waistcoats, angels, Stephen King’s Dark Tower, bittersweet music, HBO series (many of them, anyway), Charlotte Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper... and many more wondrous and scrumptious things. Bump! News Bump! has been by far the most popular of the stories I’ve posted here on Elfwood. Which is why I must offer a huge apology to everyone who’s come here searching for it – and found that only chapters 1-3 remain. I made the decision to take down the majority of Bump! because the version that was posted here is no longer the most up-to-date one. This meant that a) I could no longer post any new chapters, as they wouldn’t make sense unless you’d read the new versions of the earlier chapters, and b) I was no longer happy with the thought of people reading such an out-of-date version of the story. The three chapters that remain here are the newest iterations of the tale, and I hope that you enjoy them. Someday, Bump! will be finished, and you will find out what happens to Rupert, Harriet, Fang, Juggalug, and all the rest of the motley cast. Someday. I promise. Whether you’ll still care by that point is another matter, however…! The Elfwood Stories Fantasy Bump! – Chapters 1-3. See explanation/apology above.We Are Cain - Inspired by Beowulf, this is the story of the monsters who live in Grendel's mother's lake, and of their ancient curse.Sacrifice - Written after researching the Mayan civilization for an art project. Can Xato snatch his wife back from the hands of the Gods?Honour Of The Flame - For Elijah Marquez, based on his picture, standard bearer.Teeth of Iachon - A sea-churnin’ adventure, complete with a monster of the deep!Sol - A tale of magic, gallantry, and prejudice, set in the Wild West.The Hunter - Twisted. Mod's choice September 27th 2005.The Hermit - A companion-piece to The Hunter. See the main story description for more info. Black Eyes – Dark. Fans of The Hunter may enjoy this one. Science Fiction Bolt’s World - Mod's choice Dec 3rd 2004. Inspired by Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake - I used her technique of switching between past and present tense to build the story.Yes, Sir - This is pretty long. But, I will say this now and it is repeated in the description: Please don't scroll down to see how long it is and take a peek at the end before you start! Just read it, OK? From the beginning... You can find more of my fiction online by visiting my blog, here.

The Hermit

Ooh, is this a companion piece to 'The Hunter', you ask?? Well, I wouldn't want to disappoint you... so yes, yes it is!! In fact, it is almost more the Hunter's story than the Hermit's... Although I am sorry to say that I don't consider it quite as original as 'The Hunter' itself; it's a little more *generic*, you could say. Which is a shame - maybe I will re-work it at some point. BUT it does give big big clues as to WHAT the Hunter is, if not WHO. I was going to reveal his name at the end, but when I wrote it in it seemed a really cliched and horrible way to end it, so I didn't... Hehehe sorry!By the way, as I've replied to many of the comments on 'The Hunter' itself, most of your wonderful guesses as to his identity were actually being way more clever than I was when writing it... and so made a lot more sense than who he actually is meant to be. To be honest, it doesn't matter particularly in 'The Hunter' - it's a bit more explicit here. I hesitated to make it so explicit, as I didn't want to spoil the mystery... If you liked 'The Hunter' as it was, maybe you should steer away from this one. (Ha, good one, Jess - telling people *not* to read your story!!!)

Sol - 2/4

Part two: showdown!

Sol - 1/4

The first part of my cowboy story, given a fantasy twist (of course!) Originally, this was all going to be one story... but it ended up going on and on and I first split it into two, then three, then four! So four it is. Don't panic, though - this is the longest part. I think they get progressively shorter as they go on...Update 04/01/11: Ah, Sol... It's been a while, pardner! Heh. I just returned to this story to tidy up the formatting (for some reason, all of my stories that were transferred from the old Elfwood format to the new one now have speech marks where they should have apostrophes, which is rather annoying) and read it through very fondly. I don't think I realised whilst writing it quite how cliched it was, but heyho, we live and learn. And besides, I still think it's rather fun. 

Teeth of Iachon - 2/2

And we conclude the water-logged tale (this part's quite a bit shorter than the first, you'll be pleased to know): Jedd and Alren set off a-whalin', and everything goes rather horribly pear-shaped (we're talking really deformed pears here!)By the way, I apologise for the Shinian accent throughout this story - I tried my best not to make it too... well, I tried my best, anyway.Aaaand another thing! I'd be really grateful if anyone could help me out here: When writing this (both parts, not just this one) I realised that I refer to the visual an awful, awful lot. By this I mean that I'm constantly writing 'He glanced over and saw...' and 'He looked at Alren, who...' and 'A brief glimpse told him...' It reads ok, but does anyone have any tips as to how I can cut this kind of thing down? I know I should concentrate on bringing all five of the senses into play, but I find it very difficult! Any help?Ooh, before I forget to do this and the story is rejected: the foriegn (made-up) sentence roughly translates as: Where are you from? Not Shina.

Honour of the Flame 2/2

The second part. I didn't really want to split this story at all, but it turned out so long that I felt obliged to. And I didn't really want to split it here, but it gave the most equal halving... Anyhow, enjoy!

We Are Cain

~~Excerpts from Beowulf~~ XIX Cain had become the killer of his own brother, his kin by the same father, and consequently, outlawed, marked with murder, he had gone fleeing from the happiness of human society and had settled in the wilderness. From him was born a multitude of beings preordained of old. XXII He was unable to wield weapons, for such a host of extraordinary creatures constricted him in swimming: many a sea-beast with fighting fangs tore at his soldier's mail-coat; monsters menaced him. Then the man realised he was in an abode of evil where no water harmed him and the current's sudden clutch was unable to touch him. He saw a fiery light, a lurid gleam glowing brightly. Then the virtuous man recognized the damned creature of the deep, the brawny water-hag. ~Anonymous; Bradley translation (with a couple of tweaks, to make it read better)~ To mod: Sorry about the italics the first time round! I ought to read the formatting rules more carefully. But in fact, I'm grateful that it got rejected, because it made me think of how else to show the voices, and that led to a little tweak at the end that gives extra impact (I think so, anyway). To readers: originally I used italics for the voice of the monsters, rather than the man, and there were no speechmarks. But rules are rules, and it's better this way anyway. The indents were HELLISH to translate into html, and they are not really where I wanted them to be exactly (in Word it was all placed precisely so that lines carried on from each other, but it just wasn't possible in html). Nevertheless, it's better with approximate indents than none at all.

Bump! - Chapter 3

Word count: 5,418In the third chapter, Rupert embarks on what will turn out to be a rather long and arduous journey. It begins with the supposedly simple act of going downstairs...

Bump! - Chapter 1

Word count: 5,371Rupert is a vampire. And he's about to have the worst night of his afterlife...A Pratchett-inspired tale. For those who don't know, Bump! has been around on Elfwood for years and years - I originally posted the first part in *I think* 2005. Back then, it was just a fun exercise in trying to write like Terry Pratchett. But in the intervening years the story has grown and grown - it is currently over 100k words and still unfinished. This led me to a bit of a problem when it came to posting the parts on Elfwood. I have made some major amendments to Bump! in recent years, meaning that the sections posted on Elfwood became out of date. So I have made the decision to delete Bump! from here -- all except these first three chapters. These are the most up-to-date versions, and serve as a taster of the story which I hope, one day, to finally finish.Until then, I hope you enjoy the start of the riotous romp that is Bump!

Yes, Sir

There are times, when all the world's asleepAnd the questions run too deepFor such a simple mind.Won't you please, please tell me what we've learnedI know it sounds absurdBut please tell me who I am...-Supertramp, The Logical SongIMPORTANT: DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO THE END OF THIS BEFORE YOU READ IT. It will spoil it for you!!! If you want to know how long it is, I'll tell you: pretty long. I was going to split it into two parts to make it more manageable, but then decided not to. I like it as one, complete story.Update: 31/07/10: Corrected the HTML, which had gone funny near the end, and a couple of typos.  

Honour of the Flame 1/2

Finally, an update! I have been so neglectful of Elfwood recently... *guilty look* I apologise. Anyway, I hope this will make up for it! For Elijah Marquez , a great artist who drew a picture based on one of my stories... so here is a story based on one of his pictures! Namely, Standard Bearer Revisited. Go check it out!Ooh, I almost forgot... agrae in the story is a strong alcoholic drink.

Teeth of Iachon - 1/2

The first of my stories to be set in my world of the Shylearth - a land I created a long time ago, but never got round to writing about... until now, that is! I do have a map drawn out, but it's too big for my scanner, so I'm afraid I can't show you... which is a shame, cause it's a damn good map, if I say so myself! And just one more small point: despite the title, the characters never so much as see the Teeth of Iachon (being a series of spiked rock stacks stretching across the mouth of Blood Bay)in this story. It probably would have been nice and poetic if they did... Ok, to the story - a salty sea tale for ye to enjoy: A young sheep-farmer bores of his tedious, sheep-filled life, and sets out on his own, seeking Change and Adventure. Arriving in the land of Shina, he meets an impressive Captain of a whaler, befriends a young fisherman, and is accosted somewhat rudely by a loony old man bearing the rather improbable name of Pickles...

Sol - 4/4

End. Hope you like! This part's fairly short - I suppose I could have tacked it on to the end of the last one, but it just didn't seem to fit there. 

Sol - 3/4

Aftermath... I'd like to hear what you think of this one... Am I referring to their eyes a little too much? It felt like I was whilst I was writing it. now I've told you though, I guess you'll be watching out for it! Oh well, read on anyway!Update 04/01/11: Uuuhhh, OK. Woah, this part gets rather... gushy. I can't remember ever being quite so girly! Oh well, I guess it's kinda fun ;) I have, however, taken the liberty of removing the UBER-soppy sentence right at the end. I couldn't quite bear to leave it there... 


Do the Gods always win?

Black Eyes

Word count: 2,884This story was originally called 'Cages', but after I uploaded it to Elfwood I renamed it 'Black Eyes'. I've only just got round to changing it on here - the story is unchanged though.I'm working on making the back story of this slightly less oblique... will post my efforts here when I'm finished.

Bump! - Chapter 2

Word count: 4,269Chapter the Second - in which the eccentricities of the Morbid-Hilt family become apparent...

The Hunter

Word count: 2,356 Disturbing.

Bolt's World

Word count: 3,165 Written way back in 2004, this was my first mod's choice! *strokes it lovingly* It could probably do with a thorough edit/rewrite, but let's be realistic - it ain't gonna happen, people.