Tag Archives: modern 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

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

Calm #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is now Chapter 13 of the story Of Wind and Wings, a story inspired by these prompts of Sue’s.

I posted two chapters that were not part of Sue’s #writephoto.  You can read them at Chapter 11 The Book and Chapter 12 When There is no Book.  If you don’t have time or inclination to go back, here is a quick review.

Chapter 11 – The Book:  Ed is woken by arguing voices and doors slamming.  When he gets up, Lauren is gone.  While eating cold cereal, Liza shows him a bound version of his great uncle’s book, but with a couple of added chapters that explain the entire thing, chapters sent to Liza’s mother as “love notes”.  The book is the history of his family from the point of view of her family.  It ends with them getting together and becoming one.  Liza sees this as showing her personal destiny, one she has always felt, and that Ed was the intended mate.

Chapter 12 – When There is no Book: Ed visits the historian, Mr. Brown, to find out more about the moors and his family’s place in the history.    Mr. Brown informs him that there is no book about the local moors or village and can never be one.  The entire place is a giant living book and Ed must go and open the pages.  He does, however, tell Ed that he will help Ed in discovering the written history, but Ed must do the actual research himself.  At the end, they leave to have lunch together.

So we continue Of Wind and Wings

**

Ed slowly spun around, taking in his surroundings.  He was amazed at how rapidly the weather had changed.  No, not just the weather. The world had changed.

It had been wet and windy all morning.  Nasty, really.  And then in early afternoon it was the most beautiful day he could imagine.  No rain, no wind.  Calm.

He was also in a completely different environment.  He had tramped through marshes and climbed up rugged hills over the last few days, but he was now exploring along the banks of a little river.  The stream was so still and calm, it was almost like a very, very narrow pond that stretched for miles, not a river.  Occasionally he could make out some movement, but very little.

What surprised him most about the stream was how solid the banks were.  It was amazingly dry.  After walking around the entire day before with soaked socks, he expected to have another day of wet feet, yet, despite the torrent of the morning, here he was, by the side of a flat river in the middle of a marsh and yet dry.

He heard a loud laugh and turned to his companion. Continue reading

The Book

Note – this is now Chapter 11 of the story Of Wind and Wings, a story inspired by these prompts of Sue’s.

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.

***

Bleak.

The barren landscape had become monochrome.  It was another mood, but this one devoured the entire moorland.  A soft cold rain deepened the depression.

But the worst of it was that Ed knew he was alone, forsaken in the middle of nowhere.  A bleak landscape devoid of color and sound, the few noises being muted by the moist air.

But then there was a sound.

Voices.

Angry voices.  Voices arguing.

A door slammed shut.  A few seconds later a car door slammed as well.  The car squealed its tires as it pulled away.

Ed opened his eyes.

It was morning.

Awake and dressed, he descended to the kitchen.  No aromas of food rose to greet him.  There was a hint of coffee, but nothing else.

Liza had her back to him, putting dishes in the cupboard.

“Good morning, Liza.  Where’s Lauren?” he asked.

“How in the world should I know?  She left.”

“Oh.”

Ed poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down.  Liza handed him a bowl and spoon. Continue reading

Lauren

Storm-Clouds

This is Chapter 8 of the story Of Wind and Wings
See Chapter 7
See Chapter 6

**

Ed was torn from a deep sleep.  He looked at the clock.  He had only been in bed for about 15 minutes.  Why did it feel like hours?

The sleep rolled off.  He became aware of his surroundings.  And more.

There were voices, not loud, but loud enough.  He rolled over and shifted so he could hear.  They became clear, distinct.  Two of them.  Women’s voices.

“Why didn’t I ever come back?” The voice sent a thrill down his spine.  He knew this voice.  It had haunted his dreams for years.  He had heard it by the waterfall.  “You should know.  This place gives me the creeps.  Besides it being far too silent, a place where the only thing you can hear is your heartbeat, it is just plain, well, creepy.  I see things that I know aren’t there.  People, places, buildings, you know, things.  Ghosts.  Ghosts of the past and ghosts of things that never existed.  I was literally going out of my mind.  I was going insane.  I’m much saner in the city.  The hustle, bustle and noise.  I never hear nor see things that I shouldn’t.  No images of a past that never existed.  I still have dreams about the moors.  Not always pleasant dreams.”  She used words so similar to Liza’s, about a past that never existed.  Did she know?

“You have to accept it, my dear.  You are special.”  This was a different voice.  Liza’s voice.  Heard from this vantage, he felt a pull, a magic behind it.  She was only about 15 years older than he was, not ancient.  And she was in great shape.  A cousin, but not closely related at all.  She was… Continue reading