A Strange Day Indeed (Lyr#19)

This is Part 19 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

Walking through the underworld with my estranged wife beside me, on our way to visit her kingly father in his otherworld kingdom, where he was holding our son – a child I hadn’t known existed until a few hours previously, even though he was nearly ten years old – was giving my day a surreal bent.

So I thought nothing of it when my vision started blurring at the edges. Then I was falling, falling…and it was too late.

Lyr, you cannot ignore me. I’m far too strong. I won’t be denied. You must meet me, at the lane, at high noon, three days from now, or you will come to regret it.

Before my eyes, I saw the image of a cobbled lane, with ancient walls lining either side. I didn’t think I knew the place, and yet it felt strangely familiar.

“Who are you?”

You know. But if you don’t, you will soon enough.

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #19 | And again, the words have gotten away from me. I’m 4 words over the 150 maximum… :-/


The Gatekeeper

This is Part 18 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

Whatever was lurking in the dark only made itself known when we stepped off the bridge, although it never moved from the shadows.

‘Lady Arastia,’ it wheezed. ‘What brings you down below?’

I had seen the gatekeeper only once. He was old beyond counting, his form beyond comprehension. He was not of my world, but from the world of nightmares.

‘Mind your business!’

‘It is my duty to keep the gate, Lady. You know this.’

Arastia turned to stare into the gloom. Slipping her hand into a fold of her dress, she withdrew a small potion bottle and held it up for the gatekeeper to see.

‘You have a gift for me?’ he asked, his voice laced with ill-concealed desire. A hand of bone and nothing else escaped the darkness, reaching for what Arastia held.

When it was only a finger’s breadth away it vanished and the gatekeeper wailed.

Arastia, laughing, beckoned me further into her father’s otherworldly kingdom.

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge # 18 | Once more, I’m over the word count (159)…this story just keeps getting away from me…

Down into the Dark

This is Part 17 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

The air was damp and oppressive. We continued downwards in silence. Although the way was dark, a slight luminescence was emitted from the rocks, meaning the blackness wasn’t quite so black, but the going was still difficult.

I hated the Otherworld. I didn’t like the Isle that existed on the edge of it, but it was far more amenable than the subterranean kingdom of The Bull.

Finally, the stairs stopped, and we reached a vast cavern. An underground gorge was a better description, the sides linked by The Bridge of Despair. Why it was named thus, I never found the courage to ask.

We crossed the bridge, still without a word being uttered. Perhaps Arastia was mad that I accepted her suggestion of enchanting her, so I might learn the truth – or at least, some of it.

The bridge was long and high up. I was thankful when we reached the other side. But only for a moment.

Something was waiting in the shadows.

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge # 17 | I’m a wee bit over the word count this time round, at 164 words, but I really couldn’t find anything else to trim…

Through the Gates

This is Part 16 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

As I opened my eyes, the enchantment held fast. It would not fade. After some moments, I had to use my own enchanter’s magic against it and force it from my head. This troubled me. It told me whoever was behind it was strong. Powerful. And that was something I didn’t want to dwell on.

The Boatman was here. Arastia got in, saying to the cloaked figure, ‘I forbid you from saying a word. No soul-searching either.’

With The Boatman at the prow, Arastia sitting in the middle, I sat in the back of the boat. In silence we moved through the gates and into the blackness of the cave.

How much time passed, I could not tell. We did not stop until the boat pulled alongside a set of stone steps that led down into the earth.

Without a word being exchanged, we disembarked, and then began our descent downwards into the dark.

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #16 – I’m a little over the word count this time round, at 154, but it was at 196 at one point, before some major pruning had to be undertaken.  I’ll settle for four over, methinks! 🙂

Weekend Writing Prompt #101 – Charlatan

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt



The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word.  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!

Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology – Read for free here


Dead and Dying

This is Part 15 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

I closed my eyes. Suddenly I felt a tugging at my core as I was unwillingly pulled inwards. The dream-weaving I had experience whilst journeying here with The Boatman replayed itself.

At first I thought I had worked out who was behind it: Arastia. This, however, I quickly dismissed. She was no enchanter, and I was sure if there was another here on the Island with her I would have sensed it. Yes, she was pulling my strings, manipulating me, this I now knew for certain, but it was clear that someone else was trying to do the same.

The vision changed…

All was green. Not a healthy green, but a sickly one. I was surrounded by plants. Some tall. Some short. Some creeping across the ground, others reaching high into the air. But they had one thing in common: they were all dead or dying.

What did it mean?

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #15 – 150 words on the button!  Woohoo… 🙂  Next instalment coming Monday…

An Unknown Fear

This is Part 14 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

I put my back to the outcrop and sat down on the ground. Looking up at the clear sky, it was hard to believe that I spent the last night hiding in a rock niche on the foreshore, while my wife battled a sea-serpent. No sign of the spell-storm lingered, bar the slightly smoky taste to the air, but even that was fading.

I watched as Arastia approached the river. Standing on the bank, she whispered something into her empty hand. Whatever object she conjured, she dropped it into the inky waters.

Shaking my head, I wondered at the strange turn of events. The word ‘father’ went over and over in my mind. It was strange and unfamiliar, not a word I associated with myself. And yet seeing my son as I enchanted Arastia, I felt the connection between us. It was uncanny.

Suddenly I felt afraid. But why?

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #14 – It’s been almost two months since I update this story, and I’m pleased to report, that it was under the word count at 149 words, and the story came straight back to me without much prompting being required.  Look out for more updates on Lyr; I plan to post regularly in an attempt to catch up 🙂