#VisDare 87: Elite

EliteThe ferns have grown around it, without knowing it is there, it must be difficult to find.

In the midst of the forest, our beloved world, where we were blessed by our human love: it is a small monument, to that that could not survive us,

Except once we changed,

Into the ghosts that now haunt those woods:

Forever inseparable, so discrete, so silent, that the most attentive walker would not notice us.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Forgotten

2001They approach slowly, through the landscape of rocks and dust, their steps forever silent.

It is as was written: the crater pocked by the impact of smaller asteroids, through millennia, and the uniform grey dust.

Their leader holds the white torch high, in their radio they have heard:

The slow rumble, punctuated with short burst of sharp notes, the sound of hyperspace messaging…

And the monolith rises in a shower of dust and rocks, dwarfing the scenery around them: the Sentinel has woken.

#Promptbox: Planetary Boundaries

DSC_0112We will restore the Earth to

Her Beauty,

We will clean the Rivers,

Purge the Oceans

Of the filth of greed,


We will return the Land to its rightful owners

We will ban weapons and complicated machines,

We will destroy Satan’s mills…

We will, again, till the soil

Without poisons,

But first:

We will follow Your example,

And chase the devils out of the Temple:

The plutocrats,

The oligarchs,

The banksters,

The rapists

The child molesters,

The racists,

The ones who do not deserve your World, Lord,

And we may even, with Your permission,

Take a few scalps…

Yellow Rose


“So it is that the sadness of those who love their own sex and therefore cannot live their lives in the form of a conventional marriage is redoubled by the chagrin of parents – for whom marriage represents the sole pinnacle of womanly achievement – and the opprobrium and scorn of everyone else.”

Originally posted on Contemporary Japanese Literature:

Yellow Rose

Title: Yellow Rose
Japanese Title: 黄薔薇 (Kibara)
Author: Yoshiya Nobuko (吉屋 信子)
Translator: Sarah Frederick
Publication Year: 2014 (America); 1923 (Japan)
Publisher: Expanded Editions

I’m absolutely thrilled to write that one of Yoshiya Nobuko’s stories has finally appeared in a readily available English translation. “Yellow Rose” is drawn from Yoshiya’s acclaimed collection Hana monogatari (Flower Stories), which first appeared in print in the 1920s and has been a major guiding influence in shōjo manga, literature, and aesthetics. Thankfully, Yoshiya’s fiction is not just important from the perspective of literary history but also a true delight to read.

The short story “Yellow Rose” is about Katsuragi Misao, a twenty-two-year-old college graduate who accepts a teaching post at an all-girls prefectural academy “a thousand miles distant from Tokyo” to avoid getting married. On the train departing from Tokyo she meets Urakami Reiko, who happens to be a student entering her…

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#DailyPost: Undo

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Undo.”

Slava Fokk“This is the one event I’d erase,” you said without hesitation, “Just think about it, that was the source of all maledictions. Before then, there was a chance, for millions of people there, and across the world. After that, wars, genocides, persecutions… All the way right up to now. Just think…”

Indeed this left me in deep thoughts. A chance to reclaim the planet, peace, a world without fear? Or all that would have happened anyway… Were we doomed to failure?

“I see you’re meandering again. The case is clear though: whether you look at what happened to the rightful owners of the land, or to people in Africa, or to the world as is now, the threat of annihilation… Just think.”

Would it have been that simple, would it have been enough, to stop Columbus on his track, to wreck the fleet, to send him and his henchmen down deep to the bottom of the sea? To keep our misery here, where it belonged…

#FiveSentenceFiction: Open

Michael SowaThe tall cypresses mark the place, their shadows the guardians of the grave, at the edge of the lake.

There, I have come, from the other shore, alone, as befits a pilgrimage.

I know the gate will be open, for today is the day, when his disciples come to celebrate the Master.

Across the sacred threshold, I will slowly approach his altar, knowing you will be there, kneeling.

And my shadow will touch yours, so lightly the angels won’t notice.


Image: Michael Sowa, Böcklin’s Toteninsel

#Visdare 85: Second Sight

Second SightThis is our old room, where we used to play,

Our toys are no longer there, lost, sold, gone to alien places,

But the light is there, in the dusty morning, where we looked,

I at you, your eyes, your lips,

You at me, wondering

What you could do with this girl ~

In the magical light of our eternal summer…

#Promptbox: Une Femme Est une Femme

The AdelphiHis dreams often found him, on islands of darkness, trying to reach out, to long lost lovers, to his parents, and, to her, the elusive woman, the shimmering silhouette. Sometime, he woke up, lost, looking for some way to find, an old phone number, an address, a letter. In the paraphernalia of his sleep he found an extraordinary luxury of details, a Proustian vault of forgotten objects, of rooms once visited, of family occasions, inaccessible under the light of day.

And always, she was there, along the streets of his mind, in cities that were once real, no longer inhabited, other than by her ghost. She walked fast, alone, ignoring the shadows. He wanted to call her, to let her know. In the suburbs of his dreams other things crawled, hardly visible, indeed unseen, perhaps nested in the interstices of another universe. She was not aware, he guessed, of even his existence.

Silent, he was searching, feeling his way, blind to the dawn that would come, for her and for him.

Inspired by “The City & the City”, China Miéville.

ImageThe Adelphi by Bill Brandt, 1939

#DailyPrompt: No, thanks!

DSC_0252“I can assure you you would be more than welcome there,” he says in his mellowest and most seductive voice.

“Besides, I know of several extremely attractive people who have told me how much they’d appreciate your presence and contribution to our works…”

I hate that voice: not only it does not turn me on, it stirs inside me the most violent feelings. For me this, is no seduction, it is repulsion. But I guess this is part of his tactic: to force his foolish victims to give up, as well as to hope to reach the Nirvana.

Today I am not playing: I face him and punch him square on the nose. Of course he disappears, instantly.

For the Devil never fight: he lets his minions do the fighting for him.

But I won’t go there.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Villainous

DSC_0517We met in the Alte Nationalgallerie, in Faust’s metropolis, admiring old masters, he, well into eighteenth century German painting, and I, as ever the historian, researching the pre-1870 period, before the Iron Kingdom turned into the centre of the new Reich.

A passing comment, near Toteninsel of Arnold Böcklin, started up our conversation.

“I can’t locate your accent,” he said smiling, and I recognised, just in time, the smile of Gerard Philippe in La Beauté du Diable…

“I was born here” I replied, “but have travelled a bit since then.”

“I like that,” continued the Devil, “Art and travel make for a healthy mind, don’t you think?”