Excavating the Archives: The Princess In The Library

Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away, there lived a princess.  Well, no.  She wasn’t a princess.

She was a librarian.

But, she felt like a princess, because she spent most of her time in a castle, by which she meant “library”.

And every day, the Prince – who wasn’t really a prince but an English Professor – would come to the library on his lunch break.  They would smile shyly at one another, but never talk.

One day, that changed.

‘Come fair maiden, take my hand,’ he whispered. ‘Let me show you a world beyond these shelves…’


This was originally posted on this site in September 2016.  You can find it here.

Excavating the Archives: Maintaining the Mask

A random photo…

I couldn’t keep the puzzlement from my face.  I had always tried to keep up with the mental trampolining of my best friend, but sometimes, like now, it was no good.  I was lost mid jump.

I could have just said, ‘What are you going on about?’ But that had never been our way.

It would have revealed that I was perhaps not as smart as I liked to think I was, or as clever as I liked to pretend. No, the ruse needed to be maintained. Let the mask slip and who knew what the consequences would be. It could change the nature of our friendship forever.

‘Elucidate,’ I prompted, sounding far calmer than I felt.  In for a penny and all that…


This was first shared on this site in July 2020.  You can find the original post here.

Excavating the Archives: The Frozen City

I had never seen anything like it.  A city made of crystal, that shimmered in the light of the sun, moon and stars. So different and bizarre to my eyes was it, that I could have been on another planet.  Perhaps I was.  Or perhaps it was the same planet, but a different time; a different reality.  I could not say.  I was puzzled by many things, the chief of which was how I came to be here, a mystery I had yet to find the answer to.

To look at it from a distance – and I did, for I was so taken by its beauty – you would see a collection of upside down icicles.  Some ended in sharp points.  Others appeared as if they had been broken, their tops snapped off, leaving either strange jagged protrusions or else being weathered smooth by the passage of time.

It looked cold, a city of winter in the heart of a forest that stretched for thousands of miles in every direction.  But looks can be deceiving.  There was warmth there and much jollity to be found.  The people were quick to laugh and slow to anger.

It was a pleasant place to stay, but I wasn’t from there.  I wasn’t one of them and this wasn’t my home.  I was stuck here, unable to return, no different from being stranded on another planet…but I could imagine worse places…


This was originally posted in September 2017. You can find the original post here.

Excavating the Archives: A Half-Memory of Somewhere

The rain came down in sheets, but that didn’t stop me from walking out of the door with no coat on, my feet bare.  It only took a few seconds before I was drenched.  And yet I didn’t care.  I couldn’t feel a thing.

There I stood, in the middle of the lawn, in the dark, in the rain, looking up at the night sky.  If anyone was to see me they would think me mad, though I was pretty certain I wasn’t.

As the rain lashed my face and plastered my hair to my scalp, I remembered a time before.  I’m not exactly sure when, but before now.  Before this.  Before everything I knew with certainty.  When things were less distinct and more blurred.  Imprecise and ill-defined.  You understand me?

I had a strange memory – a half-memory – of the darkness and of the rain and this overwhelming sense of peace.  That, coupled with the knowledge that I knew of a place beyond the clouds, near the stars.  A place I had been.  Out there.

So what do you make of that?

Maybe I was mad, but that wouldn’t stop me from searching for it.  Just in case…


This was originally posted in March 2018. You can find the original post here.

Maintaining the Mask

A random photo…

I couldn’t keep the puzzlement from my face.  I had always tried to keep up with the mental trampolining of my best friend, but sometimes, like now, it was no good.  I was lost mid jump.

I could have just said, ‘What are you going on about?’ But that had never been our way.

It would have revealed that I was perhaps not as smart as I liked to think I was, or as clever as I liked to pretend. No, the ruse needed to be maintained. Let the mask slip and who knew what the consequences would be. It could change the nature of our friendship forever.

‘Elucidate,’ I prompted, sounding far calmer than I felt.  In for a penny and all that…


Written for: Weekly Word: Elucidate, hosted Louise Bunting at An Enchanted Place – Thanks for the inspiration, Louise! 🙂

Magic of Times Past

(picture credit: Wikipedia)

I close my eyes and I can see them as clear as day before me. Whitewashed walls, glowing in the light of a torch, stretched around the room. Neatly chiselled into the plaster and then painted with a steady hand are shapes and symbols…

I could read them all, once, millennia ago. These strange drawings were words, and these words formed the spells to keep us safe, in this life and the next…

In my mind’s eye, I trace them with my finger, longing for the knowledge I once possessed before time eroded it away, just like the words themselves, which have long since turned to dust.

A Half-Memory of Somewhere

 

The rain came down in sheets, but that didn’t stop me from walking out of the door with no coat on, my feet bare.  It only took a few seconds before I was drenched.  And yet I didn’t care.  I couldn’t feel a thing.

There I stood, in the middle of the lawn, in the dark, in the rain, looking up at the night sky.  If anyone was to see me they would think me mad, though I was pretty certain I wasn’t.

As the rain lashed my face and plastered my hair to my scalp, I remembered a time before.  I’m not exactly sure when, but before now.  Before this.  Before everything I knew with certainty.  When things were less distinct and more blurred.  Imprecise and ill-defined.  You understand me?

I had a strange memory – a half-memory – of the darkness and of the rain and this overwhelming sense of peace.  That, coupled with the knowledge that I knew of a place beyond the clouds, near the stars.  A place I had been.  Out there.

So what do you make of that?

Maybe I was mad, but that wouldn’t stop me from searching for it.  Just in case…

Wool-Gathering

Life is nothing like I dreamed it would be…


Written for Day 14 of A Month of Mini Writing Challenges 2017: Write a story in less than 10 words about a dream.

I like the term “wool-gathering”, which the Oxford Dictionary defines as, “indulgence in aimless thought or dreamy imagining; absent mindedness”. (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/wool-gathering)

Uncertainty

I hoped my fears were unfounded but I was unsure.  Wishful thinking hadn’t got me anywhere. It was a question of fate.  Destiny.  And subsequently, it was beyond my control.


Only one day late 🙂  Written for Day 10 of A Month of Mini Writing Challenges 2017: Write a story in less than 30 words that includes the words: hope, fear, unsure.

I (rather surprisingly) made the short list!

So…umm….wow!  The latest story I posted up on Sweek, The Cultic Coffee Collective, made the shortlist for the MicroCoffee competition they have been running.  I’m totally blown away…it was completely unexpected.

Here’s what it’s about:

In the future, the people of the world are divided along the lines of what beverages they drink.  It sounds simple.  It sounds civilised…

This is the very short story of one of these groups, The Cultic Coffee Collective…

If you want to read the story – and I would be ever so pleased if you did  (it’s short, less than 200 words) – click on the cover below.  And, in case you’re interested, here’s the link to my profile, where you will find my other very quick reads, including one about a dragon 🙂

Thanks all.  Have a great evening 🙂