Tag Archives: contemporary fantasy

To the Other Place

Landscape

This is now the 24th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

“Hey… Grubb… let’s take… a bit… of a breather.  …OK?”

Without waiting for The Grubb to respond, Ed stopped and leaned against a large rock.  He tried to remember the last time he was as out of breath.

Nothing came to mind.

“Sure thing, Mr. Ed.  We can stop for a minute if you need to.  It ain’t far.  Just over this rise here and down the other side.”  The Grubb sounded as fresh as if he were sitting on a sofa.

Ed looked up where The Grubb was pointing.  They were near the top, but was almost a cliff to get there.  The odd thing was that there were clear paths around the protrusion they were scaling.

“Hey Grubb, why do we have to go over this rock again?  Why can’t we just go around?  It looks far easier and will come out in the same place.”

The Grubb let out a large visible sigh, as if dealing with a small child.  “I told you before, Mr. Ed.  The place we are going to isn’t a place like you think.  It’s a place in a different place.  It’s beneath.  And we have to go this way to get there.”

“Going up to go beneath?  I’m still…” Continue reading

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Beneath #writephoto

beneath

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is now the 23rd chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

“You seem awfully distracted this evening.”

Ed jolted himself back to the present and smiled.

“You have a good day with The Grubb, then?” Liza asked.

“Yes.  We went up into the mountains this afternoon.  It was lovely.”

Ed’s mind drifted back to the mountains, to the little lake with its pure, clear waters reflecting the high peaks.  He had sat beneath a tree just enjoying the peace and quiet while The Grubb studied a leaf.  Ed decided that this would forever be the place he would go in his mind when he needed to relax, his happy place.

Thinking of The Grubb, Ed remembered a question he had for Liza.

“Are there caves around here?”

“What?  Caves?”

“Yes.  A cavern system.  If not, perhaps mines or tunnels or something?” Continue reading

Onward – #writephoto

onward

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is now the 22nd chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

Note – I posted two chapters that did not follow one of Sue’s prompts.  here is a brief overview in case you don’t have time or inclination to read them (or you can skip to today’s chapter):

Chapter 20 Gossenmare Park – Ed and Liza explore Gossenmare Park.  Ed discovers that it is Liza’s ancestral home.  She also tells him a secret, that Lauren was not her husband’s child.

Chapter 21 Descending on Wings – Ed dreams of a Gossenmare Park that is like new, but with all of the eras superimposed.  It goes away leaving only the tower with Lauren singing to him.  He tries to enter, but is stopped by Liza.  He wakes up to see a memory of Liza’s mother comforting the young Lauren. 

***

“Are you ready?” Ed asked the back of The Grubb’s head.  “Onward, ho!  Let’s explore.”

The Grubb didn’t say anything, just shook his head.

Ed took in the view again.  He had to admit that the more mountainous region had a certain rugged beauty, but he was ready to go more than 30 feet from the road.

They had eaten lunch at the Grubb household.  It was a giant meal, which Ed felt he didn’t need after Liza’s big breakfast.  But it was delicious.  And Mrs. Grubb was delightful.  She was witty and knew all of the local people and places.  Mr. Brown seemed particularly close, and she told Ed all about him. Continue reading

Descending on Wings

This is now the 21st chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

***

Ed was looking down at Gossenmare Park from 200 feet up in the air.  To his surprise, it was all new.  Every building newly built, every stone new dressed and stood in place.  Every bit of earthwork freshly completed.

But how could that be?  Different structures were from different time periods.

But they were all there, sometimes superimposed on each other.  Different eras mashed up together.  And there were people from all of those eras.  Dozens of them.  Hundreds.  Perhaps even thousands.

Some of the people were little more than shadows.  Others were strong visually, but not really “all there”, like memories.  Others were almost solid and, he was sure, were totally cognizant, like living people in the present, but not currently alive.  These interacted with each other, even with different “ghosts” from different ages of the world. Continue reading

Gossenmare Park

This is now the 20th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

***

Liza held her arms straight out, cross like, and slowly spun.  Her eyes closed and a serene smile on her face, she moved forward a half a step for every revolution she performed.  After four or five turns, she did a little leap with an arm flap and skipped forward a few steps, arms swinging like a child’s.  She kicked her feet up, Celtic dance fashion, then did another slow turn.  She stopped, spun towards Ed.  Her eyes sprung open.

“I just love it here!  Thanks for inviting me! Come!”

She grabbed a hand a pulled him forward a few steps before letting go and starting her stately dance again.

She was like the young girl Ed had seen as she did her midnight dash across the moors, but this time she was also ancient, as old as the moor itself. Continue reading

Untrodden #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is now the 19th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

***

“What’s it like here in the winter?”

Mr. Brown looked up from a book.  “What?  Winter?  Are you thinking of moving here for good?  You’ve been here for a while and was wondering when you’d say you were staying.”

It was raining outside.  More than raining.  The wind screamed across the moor driving the rain almost horizontal.  Since exploring the vicinity was out of the question, Ed had decided to take Mr. Brown up on his offer to help him with his research.

“No, not yet at least.  My boss is letting me do a couple of hours a work a night so I can extend this little vacation.  And I haven’t had a vacation, uhm, what you would call a ‘holiday’, in years and so have weeks of earned time saved up.”

Mr. Brown smiled.  “Ah, I was hoping…  Anyway, winters can be harsh.  Hear that rain pounding on the building?  Imagine that being snow.  Here let me show you.”

Mr. Brown pulled up a photo gallery on his laptop.  The label was “Winter on the Moors”.

“Wow, those are gorgeous,” Ed said.  “Are you photographer, then?” Continue reading

Hidden – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is now the 18th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

Note – I posted three chapters that did not follow one of Sue’s prompts.  here is a brief overview in case you don’t have time or inclination to read them (or you can skip to today’s chapter):

Chapter 15, Mr. Brown – Ed and The Grubb have lunch with Mr. Brown, who seems down.  Ed discovers that an ancestor wrote a book of philosophy in the 1780s.  It was in the form of a dialog between a person and a supernatural being and dealt with freedom and equality for all people, no matter sex, race or religion.  Ed also discovers that not only had Mr. Brown been separated from his wife for a long time, but she had finally left for good the night before.

Chapter 16, With the Grubbs – Ed has dinner with the Grubb family.  The father, just called ‘Grubb’, is similar to his son, but more practical.  The mother is much more learned, but also very attuned to the different side.  She gives some philosophy on “value” and death.  She also tells Ed about “The Others”, with the many names, from Elf, to Faery to Hob to Sith.   She tells Ed that his family has “Sith” blood and he needs to become more attuned to the land.  The Grubb can help, as can Elisabeth Smyth, but the former is stuck in a rut, looking for a sign that has always been there.

Chapter 17, Dreams and Ghosts – Ed has the “pillar” dream, but it changes to his bedroom.  Liza’s mother talks to her about destiny, they Ed can only see the mother.  He also realizes that Liza’s “destiny” was something she was supposed to create herself.  She had control of her life.  Did she misread her mother?  Ed wakes, not knowing it it were a ghost or a dream.  he thinks of Gothic novels, but the ghost was not his true love.  Who was?  He hears Lauren’s voice in answer.

***

Now to the story!

***

“Hello, Mr. Pulman, can you hear me?”

Ed jerked his mind back to the present.  Mr. Brown had a big grin and gave him an over exaggerated, giant eyebrowed wink.

“Good to see you back on Planet Earth, Mr. Pulman.”

Ed smiled.  “I’m sorry.  I’m a little lost in thought today.”

“Thinking, eh?  That’s a dangerous habit, you know.  You start thinking and you never know where you will wind up.”

“Exactly.  Uhm, you asked me a question?”

“Maybe not a question, though I’ll admit that one was very much implied. That’s why I love language, you know.  I just observed that you went out without The Grubb this morning.  He spent the last half of the morning in my office, sulking.” Continue reading

Dreams and Ghosts

Old tower-wales

Note – this is now Chapter 17 of the story Of Wind and Wings, a story inspired by Sue Vincent’s prompts.

Note 2 – this chapter is not based on one of Sue’s prompts.  It is an “in between” chapter that was needed to fill in detail.

***

“Pillars,” Ed said.

It was the infinite rows of columns dream again.  Ed had figured it out, hadn’t he?  Why was it returning?  He walked directly towards the light, but the light grew less bright and warmer as he drew closer, become less like daylight and more like the light of a candle or oil lamp.

Where the waystone should have been, a bed was in its place.  A very familiar bed.

He was in the bedroom at Liza’s house, standing just inside of the doorway.  The room was softly illuminated in a warm glow.

In the lamplight he could see a man on the bed.  With a shock, he realized that the man was him.

The man’s eyes sprung open.

Ed’s eyes sprung open.

He was in bed.

He turned towards where he thought he should have been standing.  A woman was there. Continue reading

With the Grubbs

Night - England

Note – this is now Chapter 16 of the story Of Wind and Wings, a story inspired by Sue Vincent’s prompts.

Note 2 – this chapter is not based on one of Sue’s prompts.  It is an “in between” chapter that was needed to fill in detail.

***

“You dinda be asking Mr. Brown for lunch again, didja?”

The older man glared at his son, hands firmly on hips.  The Grubb silently watched his feet.

The older man, let out a sigh.  He was Grubb, though Ed thought of him as “Grubb the Elder”.  “Name’s Grubb.  Mr. Grubb was my fadder and The Grubb is me son.  I’m just plain, old ‘Grubb’,” he had said to Ed on meeting.

Grubb the Elder shook his head.  “We don’t’ be needin no charity and Mr. Brown ain’t no rich man.”

“Grubb, dear, the boy is trying.”  The woman, Mrs. Grubb turned to Ed.  “The Grubb just doesn’t understand money.  He can’t make heads nor tails of Coin, if you take my meaning.  He doesn’t know the cost of anything and doesn’t carry a penny.”

“No, that durned son of ours don’ta know the value of nuttin.”

Mrs. Grubb smiled at her son, a look Ed found tender, loving.  “No, he understands ‘value’, he just doesn’t know ‘cost’.” Continue reading

Mr. Brown

Village

Note – this is now Chapter 15 of the story Of Wind and Wings, a story inspired by Sue Vincent’s prompts.

Note 2 – this chapter is not based on one of Sue’s prompts.  It is an “in between” chapter that was needed to fill in detail.

***

The room was dim, lit only by a large fire in one corner and candles on the tables.  It was a step back into another time, perhaps the fifteenth century.  Well, at least until the observer noticed all of the 21st century trappings.  Most of the candles were actually LED lights.  A lot of the people were using mobile devices.

As Ed’s eyes acclimated to the dark he saw a hand waving and a friendly face.  He led The Grubb over to Mr. Brown’s table and sat down.

“Hello, Mr. Pulman.  Fine day, is it not?”  The man’s bushy jumped up his face.

“It is great, Mr. Brown.  How are you?”

“Fine, fine.”  Mr. Brown’s cheerful voice did not convince Ed.  The eyebrows told the real story that the man was anything but fine. Continue reading