Tag Archives: Freedom

Your Vote Counts – Vote for the Future #GE2017

This week, in the UK, we Vote…

Your Vote Counts - Vote for the Future - General Election 2017 - The Last Krystallos

My colours are nailed to the wall, always have been…
I’m the kind of person you can read like a book
and I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but if you’ve seen my Facebook or Twitter you’ll know where my heart lies, and I won’t apologise for posting information and my political beliefs.

My plea for this election, a sudden – out-of-the-blue – UK General Election, called purely because the Prime Minister thought she’d win with a landslide, is to vote for those around you rather than for yourself, if your circumstances permit.

We’ve seen this world – this society – become overwhelmingly selfish. Those who are wealthy – want more, those who have enough – want more, those without – want more. It’s a natural ideology, we all want more, and that’s okay, but only one of those groups actually need more.

I’ve been on both sides of the coin, excuse the pun, we’ve counted the literal pennies and had nothing left at the end of the week, and at other times we’ve been able to save and spend. 90% of those without are without because of circumstance, not a lack of hard work, or laziness, and it’s highly offensive to blame people for their circumstances without knowing or understanding them.

The test of our progress... Franklin D. Roosevelt

We need to be considerate and compassionate and vote accordingly. We need to vote to help jobs, to save the NHS, to save lives, to offer affordable education, to raise living wages, to raise living standards, to eradicate poverty, to care for our children, the environment, and their future.

I want to vote for the future of this world, not my present one, but for policies that will guide and save our future – not condemn it and future generations. If I can do that I will save my present world alongside the future.

I want to vote for the future o f this world... Lisa Shambrook The Last Krystallos UK General Election 2017

© Lisa Shambrook

Please educate yourself, learn about the parties and their policies: Labour Conservative Liberal DemocratsGreenUKIPPlaid CymruSNP…  Read the manifestos and vote with your conscience.

As a final point – no matter what, please vote.

It wasn’t long ago that only Landowners and the Aristocracy could vote.

It wasn’t long ago that only men were allowed to vote.

It wasn’t long ago that only those over the age of 21 were permitted to vote.

There are still countries that deny the right to vote, through gender, age, circumstance, and still countries that do not hold free elections.

People have died for your right to vote, and every single vote matters. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 118 – your vote is important in free politics.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

© Lisa Shambrook

There are plenty of apps and information out there to help you make your decision. Take a look at this 2017 Election Quiz or this one 38Degrees GE2017…and see whose manifesto policies you affiliate most with. Don’t listen to the mainstream media, do your own research.

But, most importantly, use your privilege to cast your vote – make it count…

…For the Many, Not the Few…

Free Spirits and Happiness

I yearn for freedom, for open skies, hills to run, and oceans to swim.
I yearn for the ability to drop everything and escape when life gets too much,
and sometimes I do. Sometimes I need to escape.

Free Spirits and Happiness - The Last Krystallos
My own views on mortality herald free-agency as a major part of our existence, and though life and circumstance does its best to trap us, freedom and reaching for our dreams is the key to happiness.


© Lisa Shambrook

What is happiness? There’s a quote which says ‘Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.’ Henry David Thoreau. Sometimes we put too much into trying to find happiness when we should be enjoying life as it is, reaching for the stars, and supping at life’s great feast. Happiness can be the simplest of things to some, like bare feet on dewy grass, or the riches of life, like an expensive glass of champagne, to another, but it’s the liberty of choice that offers both of these.

Many of us regard things we own as the things which make us happy. I could list a fair few possessions that I love which make me happy, we all could, but what are the most important things?


© Lisa Shambrook

They say when you love something you must set it free ‘If you love something, let it go. If it returns, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, it wasn’t. If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.’ (Commonly attributed to Richard Bach)


© Lisa Shambrook

There’s a story I remember as a child, a Swedish tale, retold in a picture book I adored. It told the story of The Bird of Happiness. A little boy loses his kite and is upset at its loss. An old man tells him possession is not happiness. Then tells the children the story of a bird, a beautiful golden bird, and it showers a village with happiness. Everyone was happy, and no one was in need while the bird flew and watched over them. Then one day the people began to worry what would happen if the bird ever left, if it forsake them, and they lost their happiness so they decided to build a cage. It was a fine cage, a magnificent cage of pure gold, and while the bird was asleep they trapped it and shut it in the cage.
Every day people came to see the bird, and it was sad, but no one could see. It refused to eat and its golden feathers dulled, and as it paled and greyed a twilight descended over the town. The people became unhappy, and the only thing that shone was the golden bird cage. The bird grew tired and smaller every day.
Then one day the sun stopped shining and the sad town grew quiet, and a flicker of a flame ignited in the cage. Everybody came to see as the bird burned and the fire in the cage grew and spread. The heat melted the gold and the bird suddenly rose in splendour from its ashes, bigger and more beautiful than ever. It circled and then left the town forever.
The old man told the children the bird disappeared and the townspeople had to begin to find happiness on their own. The bird now flies free and every now and then drops a tear or a feather and lights up someone’s life.

My freedoms are important to me, like the bird of happiness, without the ability to be free, to soar and to fly, I could not be happy.


© Lisa Shambrook

In The Lord of The Rings – The Return of the King: Aragorn asks Eowyn, “What do you fear, lady?” and she responds, “A cage.”

Eowyn needed to escape, to be herself, to be a warrior and a fighter, and to reach for her dreams. My happiness lies in my family, foremost, and in nature, in the ability to write and to read and to escape. Perhaps this is why I like motorbikes, and dragons, and I feel like I have the spirit of a cat!


© Lisa Shambrook

I fought for many years to become myself, to spread my wings and to fly. I am forever grateful that my children have learned this truth early. Embrace who you are, embrace what makes you happy, don’t worry about being judged by those around you, they need to find themselves, not worry about who you are!


© Lisa Shambrook

Fight to break those bars, to escape the cage that society places you inside. Your reason for life is you. Know yourself and then you can be the person who lifts and encourages, who inspires and stirs those around you to find themselves too. Be the person who frees others, be the one who cares, be the one who’s there.

Drop your tears and feathers into the lives around you and light up someone’s dark day.

Be happy.

What makes you happy?  

Five Sentence Fiction: Freedom

437. Tintagel Instagram April 2014

Tintagel, Cornwall, but think Greek islands for this FSF piece! © Lisa Shambrook

John, a remnant of a time long past, was weary.
Two thousand years witnessing the horrors of humanity made the solitude of Patmos still more desirable. Sometimes the good, the small miracles, outweighed the greed and the violence, quashed his sorrow, but more often he would not to tarry any longer. He travailed through his revelation, his feet sore and his heart grave.
Now, caught within this modern world, the grief of freedom, immortality, hung heavy around his neck, like the chains of bondage as he waited, patiently, for peace.

000. NewFSFBadge Bekahcat June 2012

Back after another hiatus and writing again for Five Sentence Fiction, prompt word: Freedom over at Lillie McFerrin Writes. Take a look at the other great stories.

Blues-Buster: For Freedom

This is written for the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge week 01 over at The Tsuruoka Files. The prompt is a song ‘Freedom’ by Elayna Boynton and Anthony Hamilton which you can find here. The target is 500 words, but anything between 300 and 700 is okay. I really enjoyed the challenge of a longer piece.
The line from the song: ‘Looking for freedom, and to find it, cost me everything I have.’ inspired this tale of courage and freedom…

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
For Freedom
Rosa started down the cliff path to the bay, giving no heed to the wind whipping through her voluminous skirts. She moved swiftly, her heart full of resolve and determination. She pushed damp hair away from her face and gazed down at the beach. Smoke seeped out of the caves below and Rosa cast a hurried look over her shoulder. 
Mournful cries carried across the bay on a gust and she swallowed hard, her fingers moving unconsciously to her pocket and stroking metal. A few more steps and she jumped down onto the dark, wet sand. She glanced up the path once again then headed for the smoking caves. 
Another lonely lament echoed, booming through the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the hills and it was matched by a sounding horn up on the cliff.
It wasn’t her they were missing, surely not, a common kitchen maid would not be noticed, there or not, but she hurried on. 
The horn called again and soldiers reached the cliff edge, weapons glinting in the sun. 
Rosa headed into the gloomy cave and ducked behind a rock, as the smoke cleared she slowly raised her head and as her eyes adjusted to the shade her jaw dropped. 
Restrained in chains was a creature more beautiful than anything she’d ever seen.  
She gasped and the fledgling dragon turned, its scales dancing in streams of sunlight from gaps in the roof.  She stood, transfixed by the opalescent greens and pinks playing across the dragon, who reared up on its hind legs and spread its wings. 
Rosa’s breath caught in a lump that threatened to tear her heart out. The young dragon’s wings were laced with wounds and rents, and for a moment she thought all was lost. 
She gripped the key in her pocket and she mustered her courage. 
Soldiers, cascading down the cliff, echoed and she stepped away from the rock and stood before the dragon.  She waited, with breath locked deep inside her chest as the creature stared back at her, its eyes black and wild. 
Purple flames licked its maw and small wisps of smoke escaped its nostrils. Rosa refused to breathe as she stepped closer. The dragon tensed and coiled, its tail swinging slowly back and forth. 
Woe grumbled through the cave from outside and the dragon’s attention flickered. Rosa followed the heavy chain from a thick metal post at the rear of the cave, across the sand, to the dragon. 
The tight manacle gripped the dragon’s leg, and Rosa winced at the crusted blood and broken scales beneath the cruel metal. 
She drew the key out of her pocket, resolutely flung a few words to the Gods and strode forward. The dragon reversed, dragging the awful chain, and threw a violet blaze at her. Undeterred she advanced, backing it into a dark corner. The dragon flapped and tried to lift off the sand, but the chain hung heavy and tugged at the bloody mess. Rosa threw herself at the dragon’s feet and grappled with the iron cuff. The creature flapped and screeched and flames flashed through the dark. Rosa unlocked and released the shackle then rose, before the creature, and waved her arms and shouted. Confusion filled the cave as the dragon’s panic, fire and smoke burst forth and her cries could barely be heard above the commotion. 
Outside armour chinked and the whip of arrows filled the air and the dragon was suddenly up and free. Chaos reigned and soldiers fled as the creature tore out of the cave breathing fire and roaring in reply to the dragon call that now echoed across the bay. 
Rosa stumbled out onto the beach, heedless to the burns blistering across her arms and her scorched hair. 
She watched as the young dragon soared, despite damaged wings and escaped into the ocean sky. She wandered forward, in oblivious relief, and blissfully unaware of the singing arrow that lodged between her shoulders. She’d done what she came to do…the caged dragon was free, as now so was she… 
(675 Words inc title)