Category Archives: Blogging

#FiveSentenceFiction: Fearless

Carpenter ant (from Wikipedia)

Image: © Muhammad Mahdi Karim, www.micro2macro.net

The small creature stood still, as frozen in time, as the landscape around her shook in convulsions.

Far, far away in her ancestral memories, buried deep in her cells, she knew: the great meteorite, the explosions that killed the giants, leaving huge craters on the surface of Gaia.

She, and her species, knew the value of sacrifice: they too had enemies, but for them the survival of the species was the only goal.

Around her the megatons rained, killing off the remnants of mankind, and the follies of man.

Gaia would wake again, cleansed of the parasites, the polluters, the usurpers, the greedy assassins, and the small ant would resume her never-ending work.

 

#VisDare 71: Ephemera

Ephemera

 

I have haunted these corridors for as long as my memories reach: a long way back…

Yet, as clear as stream waters in the mountains, I recall the day: your smile, the wind in your hair, all that united us, before we parted.

The world was young, we were innocent. Little we knew what was awaiting us.

The long hours, then the separation. So far, so cold, this war went on forever.

And then you were gone.

#DailyPrompt: Middle Seat

DarknessWe were still a couple hours from landing. I am used to those tedious crossings, and never liked them, but work is work. The enticing, if a little monotonous voice couldn’t be avoided. The attractive person sat to my left and, earlier on, I had given up the idea to escape, trying to concentrate instead on my reading.

Something in the musicality of the words intrigued me: I had heard the tonality many times before, was it possible? I turned slightly toward my neighbour, a well dressed woman in her thirties with real sex appeal. Her make up was perfect, after already six hours of flight. She smiled, and then I abandoned any doubt.

Many times, in my long life, he confronted me, in many disguises. This time the voice was talking literature, authors I knew and liked. The Devil is canny, and he knows his subject. I must have disappointed him once again, by not giving too much attention to his speech. I calmly pulled the little crucifix I always travel with.

“Vade Retro Satanas…” But my companion had already vanished from her seat.

It turns out…

#DailyPrompt: From the Top

From the Top…

 

Edward Burne-Jones, The Magic Circle, c.1882“What is it you like so much in me?” she asked.

“The blue of your eyes, the red of your hair” he said, bowing low.

“Nothing unusual” she replied, “there must be something else, something that drew your attention…”

“What is it you like so much in me?” she asked again, her cold gaze fixed on him.

“The white of your skin, perfect as pure silk” he replied, lowering his eyes.

“You are a strange man, and yet I like you too. But you haven’t answered me truly. So I will ask again: what is it you like so much in me?”

He sighs, and then, as if deciding to jump from a high rock, into a dark abyss:

“I like the thought of dying for you, my Queen”.

Image: Edward Burne-Jones, The Magic Circle, c.1882

#FiveSentenceFiction: Rain

RainOn the small balcony he looked at the slow traffic down on the street: the city was near silent, in a thin mist of rain.

He would take a picture of the buildings, at the junction, this time on a high enough aperture to see the drops falling, and the dream-like quality of the scenery.

But now, he felt her presence behind him: and soon her hand on his shoulder, her angel voice whispering in his ear.

She was back, the slim shoulders, the firm thighs, strong hands to handle a strong man.

And the wonderful sex that would follow, as the rain fell on Faust’s city.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Pages

In memoriam: Pauline Réage

Histoire d'OI read the words, the sentences, slowly turn the pages: your novel.

Looking back, through the mist of time, I imagine you, at night, under the feeble light of post-war Europe, patiently moving your pen along the lines, writing for him, just for him.

The woman you invented, was she you, was she your sister, your doppelgänger?

He wanted to publish, you were not so sure, after all, you would be the object of scandal, but his will was stronger: how could you resist him?

The story has survived the winds of fashion, and she, your heroine, is still in our hearts.

 

#DailyPrompt: Reviving Bricks #WritersWednesday

A dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion…

 

Kati HornaHer gaze surveyed the grounds, the oak trees beyond the formal gardens, now gone back to the jungle. The tennis courts, where rosy-cheeked damsels full of grace and pale young princes had once played and flirted, were invaded by tall weeds, but enough was left of the property’s ancient splendour to convince her. The marble fountain was shimmering in the moonlight. Her smile uncovered the sharp fangs, glistening in the shadows.

She turned toward the house, the skeletal dark windows, the ruined roof. It would take a fortune to restore her home to the bright, venerated and feared glory she aspired to. But money was no object: the Queen would know where to find the best craftsmen, the best materials, and how to get those repairs done, quickly.

And when it was done, she would give a ball: the ball of the undead.

 

Facing my Maker #amwriting #characters

I have not always be fair to him, and yet I depend on him more than I admit to myself… So, today, Julian holds the pen.

Es sind ja die kleinen Dinge, die beglückenFor us, creatures of a lower order, not free, not slaves, but prisoners all the same, facing our maker is the ultimate test.  This is your space, yours, that is the author’s, not mine. I don’t belong here, and I am not sure I belong in your writing either: I feel like a passenger, stranded in the wrong teleport, perhaps in a time wrap.

You have borrowed from my (real) life, as fiction always steals from someone’s realities, or dreams. You, writers, have always done this. D’Artagnan was really a captain of the royal Mousquetaires, the élite body guard of the King of France, before Alexandre Dumas (père) span his web of intrigues. And somewhere in 1913, the young Marcel considered his status in life, before Proust drowned him in Lost Time.

You have painted me as a selfish, idiotic hedonist, who depends on his women, but do not respect them. This hurt me deeply, for it is not the person I am. I may lack courage, and do rely on the people I care for for support and patience. Selfish, egotistic, I am not: only your pen made me that. But your readers, who cannot know me, only know that Julian from your words, those slippery sentences that are as many distortions of my life.

Sadly, you will not redeem yourself, authors rarely do.  Proust made a hopeless brat of Marcel, and sacrificed much of what that young man had to offer, in order to achieve fame and literary respect for himself. Little did it matter to him that, in so doing, he was destroying the idea itself of the introspective novel.  I give you this: you are no Proust, but all the same you don’t strive to be published!

Enough said about myself. What about your writing? Of the young Proust of Jean Santeuil, Pierre Bergounioux (In D’après Proust, NRF March 2013) writes: “Besides being too young, Proust stays on the surface, describes, as before him, thoughts, gestures, feelings known, uncontroversial, when everything has changed, everywhere.” I won’t accuse you of the same weakness, you try to be current, recognising the mess the world is in, all those missiles, the fear, the surveillance, the arbitrary disguised as the norm, the lies. I don’t disagree with you on any of this reality. However you must ask yourself: aren’t you at risk of losing your readers in the labyrinth of time, all this meandering of your characters, back and forth, not only across their memories, but also retracing steps they may never have followed?

I give you credit for not totally confounding Julian, the “real” human being, and your character. Beyond the story – or is it the stories? – is the person whose memories provide the live substance of what, otherwise, would be a confusing ghost tale. But you know the difference. So, I may dislike the Julian of the novel, but you never claim he is the only one.

#VisDare 68: Precarious

Precarious

 

I know I can’t win at this game: you have all the good cards… And yet I wonder: have you thought that, perhaps, you cannot win either?

You see: this world is never what it looks like, appearance is even less than deceptive, it shows nothing, neither dream, nor reality. If we want to see, we have to go deeper, much deeper.

And this is where I am waiting for you, where none of your special talents, none of your tricks will work. Have you thought of that?

Probably not, for you are full of yourself, content with the fact that you have lied, lied and lied again, and no one seemed to mind.

But I do: and in the depth of despair you will be defeated.