Tag Archives: speculative fiction

Mirror #writephoto

mirror-pool

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Which is the real world, the one in front of me or the one reflected in the mirror of the pool?”

Dan laughed at his bit of silliness.

It had all been getting to him, work, family, everything.  Reality.  His reality.  He needed some time alone, far from his work and family, far from his reality.  Time to be alone with himself.  What is more important than self?  It wasn’t a hard decision: he took a long weekend to unwind in the woods. It would be perfect.

But it wasn’t going as well as planned.  Despite being away from it all, so far all he had done is worry, worry and more worry. The real world just wouldn’t leave him in peace.  He would see a flower and think of bills unpaid, work not finished, arguments unresolved. Continue reading

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Out of Place – Chapter 3

stars

Note – in June I posted the first two chapters of this story (See Chapter 1.  See Chapter 2).  Chapter 2 was one of my least popular posts looking at number of likes and views since my first year of blogging in 2014.  I had already written Chapter 3 at that time, but decided to not post it since people seemed to not like the story.  Well, I’ll try again ;)  Here is the third chapter.

*

I took a sip of the dark beverage.

When I was a freshman, a friend’s girlfriend made me a drink that she called “hot cocoa”.  It was actually some cocoa powder, yerba mate, cinnamon and other spices in tepid water.  She said it was full of energy.  It was bitter but had odd notes that were just beyond description.

I took another sip.

This beverage was similar, though I liked it better.  More than that, it really did give me energy.  More than energy, it calmed my rebelling stomach erased all signs of alcohol. It cleared my head, but my mind continued to spin.

“So this place is a portal?” I asked.

“Maybe a multi-portal.  A confluence?  A hub? It isn’t just a simple passageway,” Threck said.

“Hundreds of worlds?”

Threck shrugged. “Hundreds, thousands, millions, who knows?”

“You say they are different worlds spread throughout the one Universe, some perhaps billions of light years from others, not different Universes?” Continue reading

Within #writephoto

echo-within

Photo by Sue Vincent

I wake and open my eyes.

It is dark, but that is to be expected.

There is nobody around.

That isn’t expected.

No children.  No progeny.  No kin.  Nobody.

It doesn’t feel right.  Something is wrong.

I walk to the entrance and look out across the barren landscape.

I can still see the villages and the fields full of crops, but I know they are gone.  The thin soil could not bare the weight of the plows for too long.  This was no longer Home and people had to purposefully travel to see me.

I sniff the air.

Although what I see seems unchanged for time out of mind, I know everything has changed.  The world is different.  The times are different. Continue reading

Welcome Home

Byron?”

Byron Davis continued to walk, eyes forward, mental blinders on.  If he ever thought about it, he would have called it his “urban defensive mode”.  He saw obstacles to avoid and heard noises as warnings, just the bare minimum needed to navigate without running into things.  He didn’t see or hear individual people above the static.  A person was a distraction.  They were “things”.  It was his way to survive the crowds.

“Byron Davis!  It is you.”

The half familiar voice cut through his defenses, his name being recognized and thus the voice flagged as “important”, or at least “something over the background din”.

A young man approached him.  The man was dirty.

“Do I know you?”  Byron curled his nose, drawing his mouth into a slight snare.

“Are you telling me that you don’t recognize your own brother?” The man half laughed.

Byron frowned.

“I don’t have a brother.”

He turned to walk away, but a hand come down on his shoulder, stopping him.

“Sure you do.  Derrick.  Remember?”

Byron turned, his face burning.  Who was this idiot, disturbing him like this?

“Derrick died almost 30 years ago.  Quit bothering me.  I won’t give you any money or whatever in Hell it is that you want.” Continue reading

Castle #writephoto

castle

Photo by Sue Vincent

“…and on a day, so they say, the Fairy King will leave his castle at Deep Blue and sail off to Evermore.  The legends tell us that whoever reaches the castle first will then become king or queen and rule Fairyland until it is their time to sail the dark sea to Evermore.”

I remember my great-grandmother’s words well, though I was no more than three.   After she made her own journey “to Heaven”, or so my mother told me though I secretly believed she went to “Evermore”, I heard no more about the Fairy King nor his castle at Deep Blue.  Yet, when the clouds towered over the water, full of lightning and thunder, or when the fog rolled in, I could make out the craggy towers exactly where great-grandmother told me the castle should have been.

That was oh so many years ago.  Now I am far older than she was when she made her final journey. Continue reading

Forgotten #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

The women giggled and pointed.  William studiously ignored them.  Like the others, they had strange attire and even more bizarre behavior.  He thought of his own clothing and was sure that he looked out of place.  But this was his home village!  Or, rather, town, as it had grown since he had left.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t find any records.”  The man smiled at William.

“Are you sure?  My family was here when William’s men came through, counting heads, well on five centuries back!”

“Are you talking The Conqueror and the Domesday Book?”  The man frowned.

“I know nothing about a book.  My grandfather made a claim and it was proved by good King William, thus the name stayed in the family.”

“Well, your history is wrong, then.  The survey was well over nine centuries ago.”

“I’ve been away less than a decade, not half a millennia!  There has to be something in your box.  The name is Grote.  My father was also William, William Grote.  Check again.”

“Is that ‘G-R-O-T-E’ or ‘G-R-O-A-T’?”

“How should I know?  Just look, please.” Continue reading

Out of Place – Chapter 2

See Chapter 1

“Eric.”

The female voice calling my name was familiar.

“Eric.  Wake up.  Now!”

Was it Emma, the girl who sat near me in Econ?  She was pretty hot and I was sure she sometimes flirted with me as I talked to her before class.  She didn’t stick around after class long enough for me to find out.

“Eric, hurry.”

I opened my eyes.  It was very dark, but worse than that, I couldn’t focus.  Even the shadows were blurry.  I could barely make out the female figure leaning in close over me.

She had a hand open-palmed on my shoulder and gave me an occasional shove. Continue reading

Out of Place – Chapter 1

“One, two, three – what do I see?” My words were slurred.  “Four, five, six – stucco instead of bricks.  Seven, eight, nine – to go inside would be fine.  But it is three, four, five and I’ll never return alive.”

I was home for Spring Break.  My college friends were all someplace warm and my townie friends, well, in the two years at University I had outgrown the ones that hadn’t moved on.  They were all like Matt.  All Matt talked about was the “Two H-s”, hunting and hockey.  His eyes blurred if I brought up anything bigger, even local politics. Mention, say, Noam Chomsky, and his face would shut down.

I had been over to Matt’s house, but got bored with his little minded attitude and wandered away.  I soon found myself in front of number 345 Cedar Street saying that little chant I had made up when I was all of 12 years old.  “Two, one, zero – if I do it, I’ll be a hero.” I could see my breath in the cold air.

I had always wondered about old number 345, a wonder that bordered on obsession during my middle school days.

Old number 345, yeah, what a house.

Oddly enough, it sat between 337 and 351, as if an entire block was missing except that one strange, out of place house. Continue reading

Transition #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I dream of open spaces and sunlight.  I dream of freedom. I dream of adventure and romance.

I dream of her.

This transition has not been easy.  I was always a wild one, forever on the move, forever starting a new adventure.  To be locked away with no hope of escape doesn’t suit my nature.

And the cruelty of it all!  Just across that small courtyard that I can glimpse through an opening that I can never pass pass, just there, always in sight but forever out of reach, is where she is.

If only I could see her one last time, catch a glimpse of her smile.  If only I could hear her melodious voice one last time, I’d be content to settle here forever in my personal prison.  But no! She is kept just out of reach.

It was a dark night.  We had a rendezvous and she was late.  Impatient, I went to her abode to find her, to find why she hadn’t met me as promised.  Stupid, yes, but I was young and in love.

I thought I had entered the gatehouse unobserved.  I thought I had been sly.  I thought I had been crafty.  But he had been craftier, that jealous husband. He was waiting as patiently as I was impatient.  He would catch me.

Before I knew he was there, my throat was slit with the same knife that had taken her life.

I dream of open spaces and sunlight.  I dream of freedom.  I dream of adventure and romance.  I dream of her.

Although 300 years have passed, the transition from living to dead, from physical body to ghost, has not been an easy one.

***

Written for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto challenge.  This weeks challenge, Transition, is here.

A Whir in My Ears

steampunk-1809590_960_720

Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

Princess Varas stared out of the window, her face blank.

“Are you OK, your highness?”

“Yes, thank you, Maz.”

Although she didn’t turn, the princess could still feel her maid watching her.  She was sure that Maz had something important to say, but would wait until she was asked.  That was fine to Varas.  She’d make her maid wait a little longer.

“Maz,” she said a few minutes later.

“Yes, your highness?”

“Was it always like this?”

“What, your highness?”

Varas sighed.  She could see only a few hundred yards beyond the castle walls before the fog bank.  She couldn’t ever remember the fog not being there, and yet…

Varas bit her lip.

There were those flashes.  Random memories of what she came to call “the time before”.  But they weren’t her and they weren’t here.  Which was impossible.  She was always here and, of course, she was always herself.

But what did “always” mean?

Part of her thought “years”, perhaps a little over 27 years.  Another part thought “always” meant just that, forever.  And yet, there was the feeling she had only been there for a short time, days, perhaps weeks, maybe a couple of months at the very most.  Days.

* Continue reading