Flash fiction: Seeker

In spite of the rain something had driven Lukas out of his stale apartment. For years he had been plagued by a thirst he had been unable to quench, until now. How he had found himself among the ruins of an old monastery he wasn’t sure, whatever it was that had dragged him out of the apartment had pulled him here. As he ducked inside one of the few parts of the ruins in possession of an intact roof he discovered he was not alone. An old man sat on a dry patch of grass, leaning against one of the supporting pillars holding up a domed cieling. Lukas hesitated, contemplating the company of the roaring rain over the old man’s.

“Be at ease, young one, even if I intended you harm I am too old and too tired. Have a seat, while the rain passes.”

Lukas took a seat, compelled by something in the stranger’s voice. He did not, however, relax. The old man’s attire was unlike any Lukas had seen before, old, worn, and of unfamiliar design.

“Who are you?” Lukas found himself asking.

“As the young come of age and the elderly wither, what is there left of the old but a memory of life since long past?” the man asked in return. “If I had a name once I don’t remember it. I do remember this place, however.”

Lukas’ brow furrowed as the strain of thought drew lines of confusion across it. “This place? What are you talking about?”

The old man chuckled at him. “Never found it odd, Lukas? That places like this one call to you?”

“How do you know my name?” Lukas demanded, suddenly alarmed. The muscles in his legs tightened as he readied himself to bolt out into the rain. He doubted the old man would follow.

“This place was a holy one long before the Christians brought their god north and killed ours. The gods may have died, and the people forgotten,” the old man paused and locked him with a gaze. “But the earth remembers, even the stones hold fragments.”

Lukas did not know what to say, or even if he should answer, and for a long while the only sound echoing among the walls of the ruins were that of thousands of raindrops falling on ancient stone.

“To answer one of your questions, I was the first as you are the current,” the old man eventually resumed. “But hopefully not the last,” he added with a wink.

“The first? I don’t understand.”

“Has the thought ever crossed your mind? If you could look at a reflection of yourself in a hundred years, would you recognize yourself? What about a thousand? What a strange thing it is to wonder, am I looking at that reflection? Or is it looking at me?”

Fragments, bits and pieces that were not even full memories washed over Lukas. Vague impressions and sensory input, but trough them all a strong sense of consistency.

“A sad thing it is,” the old man lamented. “It seems we have lost much over the Centuries. It is no wonder you cannot hear the spirits when all we have is fragments.”

“You…” Lukas breathed as the realisation dawned on him.

“It seems we remember more than I expected,” the Old man laughed.

“What is a thousand years,” Lukas breathed. “When lived in fragments?”

“A blessing,” the old man answered. “You called me here for a reason, Lukas. It is in your nature to search for such pieces. It is a part of what you are.”

“And what is that exactly?”

“A seeker,” the Old man offered and smiled at him.

For the first time in many months Lukas felt as if he had had a sip of water. He did not recognize the man and yet there was something eerily familiar about him. They must have met before, how else could he have known his name? Lukas opened his mouth, ready to fire a series of questions, when the old man suddenly vanished.

Lukas shot to his feet and stared at the patch the old man had occupied. Blinking he tried to make sense of what had just happened. Yet no mater how hard he tried, he found he could only summon vague recollections. Inside of him, though, a seed had begun to grow, a seed that would bloom into a clarity of purpose he had never before felt he possessed.

Lukas knew, he knew what he was… a seeker of memories.

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Only the Lost

I am not so spellbound by the intended destination that I obsess over delays.
Neither am I distracted to the point where I forget why I journey.
However, I am prone to wander and perhaps it isn’t strange then,
To feel lost.
But losing myself in the thickets off the beaten trail is not a bad thing at all.
If life was a symphony it would be ridiculous to assume that the final note was the point.
A journey is no different.
Only the lost hear the music of life,
And learn how to dance.

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My spirit wandered until it happened upon a mountain.
Curious it knocked on the mountain’s roots, listening to the echo of the deep.
The voice of Earthmother spoke:
Please free me from the yoke,
Your kind forced upon my shoulders…

I remember that as my spirit reeled,
I wondered,
Will this be our legacy?

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Flash Fiction: Coral


The water was cold silk on her skin as the currents dragged her under. Rays of light scattered around the boat-shaped silhouette above her. The taste of salt was strongĀ  upon her tongue as bubbles rippled over the threshold of her lips. Mouth, she had to keep her mouth closed. Her chest tightened, a pull deep within her throat, as she struggled against the current. The panic that tried to claw its way out of her lungs had taken a life of its own. Breathe! it screamed at her. You have to breathe! Eyes bulging, light fading, she obeyed. Salt was the only reward she reaped for her efforts.

The soft sand of the bottom cushioned her descent. What little light reached her narrowed to a single point as the weight of the ocean bore down on her. Her body betrayed her, she could feel it cave under the pressure. The tiny point the world had been reduced to suddenly rushed into her eyes, a white sheet of light. She knew she must have died, what other explanation could there be for the woman she saw within that light?

No, mother, the woman answered. The cadence of her voice resonated throughout the light, causing it to shimmer and flutter. It is not your time. You must go back.

There were things she wanted to say, things she had never gotten the chance to tell her. There were things she wanted to scream, things she wanted to cry and lament. She could not let go of the rage that she carried close to her heart. She had to stay, she had to speak. Summoning words onto her tongue proved futile, for all that came out were bubbles.

Go. Take the hand Coral is offering. Return…

She thrashed, raging at the mocking bubbles of futility. The dagger fate had twisted into her heart had to be removed, could her daughter not see that? If death was the cost of peace it was a price she would pay willingly. If only her words would resonate, if only her plea could be heard, then she could be forgiven…

Take the hand Coral is offering. Return… to my sister…

Celeste. The name coursed through her like the shock of an electric eel. Her eyes burst open. The darkness and chill of the bottom flooded her senses. Then a glow of red, blue and orange appeared before her. Eyes of electric blue peered into hers from within the radiance. Soothing and warm the gaze of Coral was, as the Serpent of the Deep appeared before her. She extended a hand. Her eyes closed, lids too heavy to keep up. A smile found its way onto her lips.

“Mother!” Celeste yelled before breathing another surge of air into mouth of the woman lying limp before her. She put her hands on the woman’s chest and pumped. “Come on, wake up! Don’t do this to me!”

Tears streaked Celeste’s cheeks with salt. Sweat creased her brow. Adrenaline stoked the fire within the furnace her heart had become. “Come on…”

Eventually it washed over her like a wave crashing onto a beach. She slumped as the will to fight ebbed out of her. She took a couple of shaky breaths, blinking as if to dispel the lie of what her eyes told her she saw. She did not even trust her ears at first. It took the good half of an excruciating moment before it truly sunk in. Coughing, her mother was coughing. She trembled with relief and the aftermath of fright.

“Celeste,” her mother croaked once the light of life shone out from the woman’s eyes once again. “The dagger…”

“Hush, mother,” Celeste commanded. “Rest now, here,” she continued as she received a blanket from one of the crew on board. “Wrap this about you. Let’s get you dry and warm.”

“The dagger,” her mother croaked again. “You pulled it out.”

“Dagger? What dagger?”

“The one in my heart,” her mother smiled. “I saw your sister.”

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On the topic of writing and sharing: are you pulling you punches?

When it comes to sharing what we write there is a whole range of emotions that can stampede through a writer, all of them their own breed of panicked animal. I have overcome the initial sense of dread that first marred the prospect of someone else reading my words. After all they came from within my head, a place where I normally do not even let those closest to me in.

Recently, I linked I my blog to Facebook and now that I look back I have to admit that I have been pulling my punches, so to speak. Why? If I am honest, there are still things that tend to sneak its way into my fiction that would probably provoke a couple of awkward conversations. Then again, perhaps it is just the ghost of doubt in my head that’s warping my expectations. The issue, lies In the fact that in order to write something I first have to think it, visualise it, synthesise the emotions. Which is no big deal until the antagonist of any story is introduced. Perhaps that is why I kept my fiction at arm’s length from e.g. my family. I don’t fancy another round of “I am not the stories I write. It’s fiction.”

But if I pull my punches just because striking a nerve or two might spawn some awkwardness I am not giving my writing everything it deserves. For me writing is something raw mind unbridled, it is tapping into something primal and extremely satisfying, but sometimes equally disturbing. But fuck it. A little crazy might not an author make, but it certainly makes writing a lot more interesting.

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Lo there he strides, the boy who thinks himself a man.
Hero they call him.
He is no friend of mine.
He wears his heart on his left sleeve,
While flaunting his power on the other.
No wonder the boy is in possession of such an arrogant handshake.
But these qualities are mere nuisances, not enough to push me over the precipice of irritation ~
And into the ravine of contempt.
Perhaps it is his naive capacity for joy,
The ignorance characteristic of our protagonist.
He probably dictates his own narrative.
More likely, my contempt stems in that he paints me the villain,
Or even the Fool.
Well, I refuse to be his jester.
Who am I? If I had a name I might offer it to you.
Then again I might not.
I am the lesson on this journey,
Blatantly ignored.
My road leads off the beaten trail.
I am the one,
the old, fragile man forgot,
When he told the tale,
Of his youth.

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Within the folds of wind-blown fields,
Ripples through the sea of gold,
That of wheat is made.
Gilded by the full moon’s glow,
The sea is blessed with silver.
Come the morrow the day will dawn,
Upon the Harvest season.
A man can dream,
Can he not?
Dream of things beyond,
the bitter winter,
Or summer’s blistering heat ~
To crave a shift in season,
I need no other reasons.

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