#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: 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

#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?”

#FiveSentenceFiction: Flight

Migrating cranesWe took the path out of the village and up the wooded hill, and we saw that the landscape was already wearing its early winter coat.

It was not cold, just that early evening coolness that makes one think of wood fire, and cosiness in a warm house.

You looked at the sky, in the direction of the soon setting sun, the pale blue of the horizon now tainted a deep orange.

Then we heard them: an impeccable flight of migrating cranes, the thin V shape of their formation cutting through the evening, dead on the orange globe.

You pressed my hand and said: “You see, they are flying all the way from the Baltic, over this landscape, every year, stopping somewhere in the Ardennes for the night, on their way to Southern Spain, or maybe even Africa, and, you know, our descendants will still see them, after we have long gone.”

Weird Paris: Saints and Sinners

Sisyphus47:

Secrets of a most secretive city…

Originally posted on Paris: People, Places and Bling:

Whilst traipsing through the Jardin des Tuileries, watch-out for “Le Petit Homme Rouge” ("Spring" by sculptor François Barois, Photographs by Theadora Brack) Whilst traipsing through the Jardin des Tuileries, watch-out for “Le Petit Homme Rouge” (“Spring” by sculptor François Barois, Photographs by Theadora Brack)

Now, let’s go raise some spirits! (La Nuit, T. Brack’s archives)

By Theadora Brack

Calling all saints and sinners: Snuggle tight because it is time to crack open my slim, spellbound volume of spirited adventures in Paris for another retelling. For tricks, I’ve added a few new tales and photographs. I’ve also got the flashlights, pillows, and blankets, along with the marshmallows and bubbly for toasting. Here are eleven of my favorite spooky grounds.

Now, let’s go raise some spirits!

1. The Unknown Celebrity of the Seine

Among the artsy clutter that once adorned nearly every artist’s lair was a plaster face with a mysterious smile. These were cast from a famous death mask called “L’inconnue de la Seine,” made from an unknown 16-year-old who washed up on…

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#FiveSentenceFiction: Horizon (the Navigators)

Cassiopeia“In space there is no horizon,” the captain declares, in her intelligent voice, as much to herself as to the duty crew.

You look at me, with the calm eyes of one who knows: soon the captain will read the instructions, and we will ready ourselves  for the long voyage, but only us two know how far we will travel.

Everyone is getting on with their tasks, without haste, as our fragile vessel continues her journey through the night.

… The alert bell rings: an elegant blue hologram floats in the air, and the captain calls the crew to attention.

“I have to communicate to you the new direction we are now to take: we are not turning back, we continue to Epsilon of Cassiopeia, which means over the time horizon, through hyperspace”: the crew falls on their knees, in prayer, you, my love, hold my face in both hands – over the horizon, for us, means eternity…

#VisDare 77: Precocious #WritersWednesday

PrecociousI see your little family, slowly following the narrow track on your journey,

And I admire you, your beautiful silhouette, the narrow shoulders, and baby Lama in her cot.

This is a long route, but you are safe, for, secretly, the mountains are protecting you.

Here, behind the clouds, there is no shelling, no bombs, no beating:

You have left this war far behind, and are making your way to a new world of Peace.

 

Also inspired by the tragedy in the Ukraine and Novorossiya

#DailyPrompt: Pick your Potion #Armagnac

Ernest Hébert (1817-1908), Ophélie - 1876It is like diving into Rabelais’ s writing, following the Gargantua, or perhaps meditating on Monsieur Montaigne.

What is there to say, about Armagnac?

The grapes, the sand, les jeunes filles en fleur, during the harvest…

Yes, it’s Monsieur Proust in a bottle!

 

Image: Ernest Hébert (1817-1908), Ophélie – 1876

#FiveSentenceFiction: Maps #Valleys #Normandy #Eu #1914

William and MatildeWe look at the map: in front of us runs the long road, above the shore, bordered by legendary harbours, and wildlife reserves.

Here Saint Laurent O’Toole came from green Ireland, and blessed the town where he now rests.

Here William took his future young bride, fair Mathilde, to the altar, and then, with his men, sailed across the sea to defeat Harold.

In the middle of the forest is the town, built by Gallo Romans traders and soldiers, for, in this country, there is no gap between the splendour of Rome and the new kingdom, between Caesar and Guillaume.

In the wide bay, flows the river Somme: the map shows on its banks the small crosses of the immense military cemeteries, where our grand fathers fell in infernos of fire and steel…

Image: memorial to William and his wife Mathilde, in Eu (Normandy)

© 2014 Honoré Dupuis