Tag Archives: speculative fiction

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

Shadows #writephoto

shadows

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is now Chapter 14 of the story Of Wind and Wings, a story inspired by these prompts of Sue’s.

***

It was the infinite room of pillars again, columns running in every direction.  It was the same, but different.  A bright green light off in one direction extended the pillars into long shadows.

Strangely confident, Ed strode up to the light.  As he expected, it was the waystone again.  This time he followed the sign.  It didn’t surprise him that he soon saw his tower.  But as he approached, the tower grew, expanded, changed.

On reaching the tower Ed climbed up to an open window and peered in.  The structure was just a shell, open to the sky.  But that wasn’t the first thing that struck Ed.

“Pillars,” Ed said out loud.  The room of pillars again.  Was he back where he started? 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

When There is no Book

Village

Note – this is now Chapter 12 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.

***

The giant, bushy eyebrow climbed up the man’s face, like an oversized caterpillar.

“Yes, there is a long history of the Barrows family living in the region.  A very long history, indeed.”  The twin caterpillars descended towards each other in the middle of the man’s face, as if racing towards his nose, but leaving their tails sticking up. “Not that there was ever very many of them, the Borrows, around here.  No, no, there seems to only be one or two children in any given generation.  Very thin line.  Of course, theirs was a species that became extinct back in the 1880s or 1890s.”

Ed had decided to spend the day exploring the village instead of the moors.  Besides the rain, he knew they would feel so empty without his companion.  Actually, either companion, Lauren or her mother, would have been better than no companion at all.  Not knowing where to turn, he ended up making a visit with Mr. Brown, the historian.

“They didn’t become extinct, except maybe locally,” Ed said.  “They emigrated and found their way over to America.  Or I should say ‘we emigrated’, for they were my ancestors.”

In an explosive movement, Mr. Brown’s eyebrows jumped up almost to his hairline.  “You don’t say!  Interesting.  All I can tell you is that they dropped off of the records around here.”  Ed got the impression that ‘here’ was the only place that Mr. Brown cared one whit about.  The Barrows were long gone from the area, so were of no interest to him, except as history.

“But you do know about my family, then?  At least while we were still here?”

“Of course.  They are part of the local history.” Continue reading