Fantasy Novel [audio book online]
This is the very unique project of music composer Stephane Meer. It is a sort of free
online manga with a strong music background and lots of pictures of dragons, wolves and
and the orchestra of the world of mist
for Héléne Grimaud
Stéphane MEER-April 16th, 2007
English Adaptation (Allan Wenger)
Chapter 1 : THE VILLAGE OF BUSSY
« Leave me alone ! I can’t help you now ! », Helena shouted. Then, coming to her
senses, she looked around her. Her entire tenth grade class, as if frozen in place, was
staring at her in utter amazement and consternation.
The first to laugh, as usual, was Marc : Uh oh, she’s gone bananas again!”
Vincent laughed sarcastically.
Lussier, Fréau, that’s enough now!, said Mrs. Fringer, the stern physics and chemistry
teacher, determined not to allow chaos to reign in her classroom.
“Helena Canta, what’s the matter with you this time?
Speechless at first, she is suddenly overcome with emotion. How could she explain this
strange “other world” and her seemingly real hallucinations? How could she explain the
prophecy, the black fortress, the burning cross, the world of mist and the voices that
kept asking her for help?
“The voice of the stone will destroy his power”…”The voice of the stone will destroy
his power.”…those words that she heard non-stop both day and night. Where did they come
from? How could she explain what she couldn’t understand herself? “They’re right. I
must be crazy”, she thought.
Ever since her parents disappeared, nothing seemed to be going right. Life had been so
simple, and now, everything was so hard. Anxiety had invaded her inner being, taking
control of her life. “Where did my parents go?” Why did they leave me without even a
word ? How can I live the normal kind of life I used to live when everything has
“Miss Canta, I asked you a question. Can you hear me, or do I have to use sign
language?”, the teacher said scoldingly, closing her eyes to better reflect her anger.
Barely taller than five feet, Mrs. Fringer was nevertheless not one to allow herself to
be interrupted without counter attacking. She had a strong and nervous nature.
Frustrated by the fact that she had never had children of her own, her students were
all her surrogate offspring. And she was proud of her position as a chemistry and
Helena hated being embarrassed and having everyone stare at her, and the feeling of
being humiliated and laughed at by her classmates.
“I…I’m sorry. Please excuse me.”
May I continue my class now, or do I have to ask you to leave the room?”
“No, I’ll be okay.”
“Fine. Now, who can tell me the impedance I have to put in parallel to Z2 to balance
the circuit? Lussier, you’re so clever…”
Fantasy Novel [audio book online]
A phonecall in the dead of night was the first inkling the people living on the Thorvaldseyri farm had that Iceland's glacier-covered Eyjafjallajokull volcano was about to erupt.
Hanna Lara Andrews, a half-English, half-Icelandic farmer who lives at the foot of the mountain which exploded on Wednesday morning with ferocious power, picked up the phone at 2am to be told by a civil protection official that she had only 20 minutes to evacuate her family, including her one-year-old son.
The warning was clear: if they stayed on their dairy farm they risked being washed away by torrents of meltwater unleashed by the release of energy that had just begun inside the volcano, no more than four miles above them.
It would be the volcano's first major eruption since 1821, since when it has lain dormant and anonymous to most of the world. Yesterday it made headlines when it transformed swaths of western Europe and Scandinavia into an unprecedented no-fly zone.
"I had a bag ready because of the recent earthquakes in the area and grabbed a few things we might need for a couple of days and we went as quickly as possible," Andrews said from a safe house yesterday. "It is a huge shock to us all and it doesn't seem real at all."
Her family, including her in-laws, drove a few miles away to a farmhouse designated for evacuation in the event of such an eruption. There they waited in trepidation for the possible destruction to begin. Their herd of 60 dairy cows and all their possessions were still at the farm – the closest property to a volcano that they had thought was dormant. They were among 700 people evacuated from the area by the Icelandic civil defence authority. Many had to stay in emergency Red Cross shelters.
The floods arrived early the next morning. Andrews saw them coming down the mountain. Water melted by the red hot explosive eruptions bursting through the 200m-thick glacier poured off in torrents, washing away roads and sweeping into homes, she said.
"By morning we could see through breaks in the cloud a huge evaporation cloud, like a mushroom. It must have been 20,000ft [6,100 metres] high. It looked enormous, far bigger than we have ever seen before."
It was such an astonishing sight, her father-in-law, Olafur Eggertson, took a picture of the eruption dwarfing the family's red-roofed farm.
Such was its force that three large holes visible on the glacier turned into a continuous rift running for about a mile and a half through the ice, said Rognvaldur Olafsson, who led the rescue effort for the civil defence authority.
Mercifully, the wind, blowing east, carried the plume of ash away from Reyjkavik, the capital, but across farmland, where it turned day into night as it fell and blotted out the sun. This led to speculation, later played down by experts, that the eruption may have the potential to slow global warming.
One local farmer told Icelandic television that he woke yesterday morning to find a layer of ash covering everything. Residents of Kirkjubaerklaustur, about 60 miles east of the eruption, said yesterday that ash was falling thick and dark, making it difficult to see more than a few yards.
"The ash is causing huge disruption to the east of the glacier," Urður Gunnarsdóttir, a press spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, said at lunchtime yesterday. "You can't see anywhere and you can't drive because it is just black, like night."
Erlundur Bjornsson, a sheep farmer 95km (59 miles) east of the volcano, told the Guardian that ash had fallen heavily and it had been "almost totally dark".
"The plume came over my farm a couple of hours ago, but the wind direction has changed slightly and it is very fine here, a grey dust that gets in your eyes," he said. "It covers everything and there is a smell of sulphur in the air."
In the early hours of yesterday, 24 hours after the eruption began and with the volcanic activity still intensifying, according to Icelandic volcanologists, the plume had risen seven miles into the sky and had blown across the Norwegian Sea to Scandinavia, and south east across the Shetland Isles, as far as the north coast of Scotland. The Met Office in Exeter produced diagrams showing the plume doubling again and again in size as it stretched to cover an area close to the size of Western Europe.
Shetland residents said the sulphuric smell of rotten eggs was strong by early yesterday morning.
"I noticed a smell in the house and wondered what it was," said Joanne Jamieson, from Sandwick on the southern tip of Mainland, the biggest island in Shetland. "It was coming from the outside, so I opened the door. It was very strong, and I initially thought it was rotting seaweed. I looked down to the beach and actually looked up to see if the sky was falling in."
Jane Matthews, her neighbour, said: "It smelt strongly like rotten eggs, but I didn't put two and two together realising it was coming from Iceland," Initially, I thought maybe it's something to do with my young daughter, or the animals in the field."
Air traffic controllers in Aberdeen had seen the plume coming. By noon on Wednesday they had predicted that local airspace could be closed for a few hours, but by evening it was clear the situation was more serious than that.
Aberdeen airport's duty manager was alerted by Nats, the air navigation service, that its local north-east airspace would be closed. At 1am on Thursday, the closure order was confirmed, affecting more than 100 commercial flights during the day. By 3am, the whole of Scotland became a no- fly zone. Before dawn the Scottish government's civil emergency resilience unit was activated.
By 9.30am air traffic control charts showed that planes were only taking off and landing across southern England. Anywhere north of that, the skies were empty. At 11am Gatwick's busy tarmac apron was at a standstill as airport managers prepared for a national shutdown of British airspace, which began at noon.
Russell Craig, head of communications at Manchester airport, where 45,000 passengers were affected and hundreds of flights were cancelled, said: "It is difficult for passengers to understand because the planes are there and the sky is blue, but it would be dangerous to fly a plane in these conditions."
Small aircraft were able to take off, said Craig, and the airport remained open in case a long-haul plane needed to execute an emergency landing.
By 2.30pm the vast cloud had reached across England, and fears that its fine particles could cause passenger jets to crash caused an unprecedented shutdown of all of Britain's airports. No flights were to be allowed in or out until 7am this morning at the earliest.