Entrance #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

portal

 

In the depth of the cave lies a long hidden secret, visible only to the initiated: to those who truly love this land, who have ploughed its fields, nurtured its trees and respected all that lives here. The secret tells them where to hide, how to protect their children and how to honour their ancestors.

The initiated know that the invaders will come, again, as they did in the past, hate and fury, rage to destroy. But they will be, again, defeated, as were the others before them and the ones who will come after them.

For deeper still, lies the Magus, who will awake, at the sound of the horn, when the land is violated. Fear his wrath, as he avenges those who were slain by the Evil, and the corpses of the invaders line up the roads all the way back whence they came.

Keep #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

keep

 

It may surprise you, no doubt, but I am still here. Yes, in this old keep. It has been my home, all these centuries, since the fatal siege that killed most of my people. Well, most of them, not all. You see, below the keep is a long tunnel. Its access could be easily blocked. At the other end is the sea. We had plenty of provisions, all the weapons we could use, we survived for years. As you can see, from here I could look at the traitor, over there, in what was our tower. One clear morning, that was before we collapsed the entrance to our domain, I killed him, one careful shot from my longbow. Ha ha! That was a kick in the ants nest. They tried everything, water, fire, poison… It was too late for them.

So, you may well ask. What did we do all these years? Well, you know your history, or rather what they, and their ‘historians”, told you. The usurpers stayed. We occasionally went out and killed a few of their mercenaries, but this was hopeless. The people were terrified. We lived from fishing, a little hunting, which was more dangerous. My companions died, one by one. I held their funeral at sea, during the night. Finally, I was on my own. More years passed. I am still here. I don’t think anyone can see me, but I have no idea what I look like, now. By the way don’t trust those images of me in museums: I know they made me look awful. As they say, the victors write history, and have pictures made of their victims.

Not that I see myself as a victim any longer.

Ex Machina

606509

 

“She’s made of small parts, of metal, and plastic, of things none of them human, do you understand that?”

I do, I know the argument, humans are being phased out, it all started long ago. And, now, it’s difficult to work out the difference, to know who’s “real”, and what isn’t. Our reality has shifted. The others live among us, and who is to say it cannot go on.

Still, she’s there, she’s to stay. There is no-one else.

 

Image source

Offering #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

offering

 

Time has now come. I expect her, I have long expected her, and, now, I know she’s there, close to the gates. She bears the chalice. From it, I will drink, to the last drop.

And so, the prophecy will be fulfilled, the order restored, the gods appeased.

Do I regret anything? I had a long life, known many winters, and so many springs: so much ice, so much sand, I hear the sound of bells.

She’s there, at my door, they tell me.

I know she’s beautiful, their messengers always are. I take a last look, out of the window of my room, at the far away hills, just touched by moonlight.

So many seas, so many mountains.

Time has come.

 

Before the long journey

Rachael

 

From the gate it was a short walk to the ship, under the high protective dome which had been erected on their arrival the year before. The leader could see his crew was excited: they would find back their cubicles, their personal possessions, holograms, books, games, even the small pets they were allowed to keep on the journey. They would also find, for the lucky ones, messages from family and friends. He looked at each of them, smiling, as they stood before the door, at the foot of the small elevator. They exchanged jokes and greetings. Over half of them were humans, fourth or fifth generation colonists who had volunteered for the reconnaissance of their old world. The others were replicants, but an uninformed observer could not have guessed. He thought the replicants tended to be smaller and somehow more fragile looking, many were women for whom it was the first long range spatial experience. From what his first officer had told him, he knew already that it was them who had been the most agitated until his return. Now they were all boarding slowly and orderly the big ship.

He found the size and glow of the hull pleasing. Two thirds of the vessel were taken up by the drive, the giant fusion reactor that allowed the ship to achieve trans galactic speed. But they would use the much smaller magnetic drive to leave the earth. The leader had several hours of tests and preparations to work through before their departure. He was looking forward to this work. Himself a replicant of the twelfth generation, cosmonauts and navigators, he would steer the ship into orbit, and then out of the solar system. The entire crew, bar himself and the first officer, would then be sent to cryogenic sleep for most of the journey. This would happen about a year after their departure from earth.

As he initiated the first test programs, the leader reflected on their mission. It had been a great success. They had plenty of recordings and measurements. Non-human life was now again plentiful on earth. The machines the previous mission had left to roam the oceans had done  beautiful work of removing and destroying the plastic and other noxious material that polluted them. The atmosphere was clean.

There was more. One of the replicant ladies expected a baby. The first human being conceived on earth for three hundred years.

Picture: Rachael, Blade Runner

Glow #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

frosty-dawn

 

“He said he would come this morning, so have no worries!”

“Without him we are lost, we won’t ever go back home…”

“Just watch the light, soon you will se him, coming down from the top of that hill!”

The valley was still in darkness, but soon it would be dawn. Soon, the leader would be back with his flock. He would guide them to the gate, he would open the gate for them.

After so many months of searching and waiting, they would see it, in all its glory.

They would see the glowing spaceship that would take them home.

 

writephoto

Is there still such a thing as a good (Vampire) story?

IMG_0755

I wrote this post as a quick flash response to #writephoto, and then thought I could build a bit more on the story. But this genre, pace Interview, has been flogged so many times that I have my doubts. Nonetheless the follow-up is here, but one word of warning: some adult content! At this point I am not sure how far I can go with this. Part of the inspiration is indeed in the streets of Berlin, and in the forests of Brandenburg, not so far from this city. As for the characters, let’s say that any resemblance to living persons etc…

Picture: Seestraße at dusk (©2019 Honoré Dupuis)

 

Murmur #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

murmuration

 

“They are swarming, soon they will fly away toward those trees…” I said, “And disappear beyond those clouds…” you replied. It was the end of the long day, we would soon pack for the night, fold the tent, get ready for the hunt. Soon we would need to feed, even if soberly. Your green eyes turned to me. I could see the signs on your skin. I drew the sharp blade, it glittered in the dying light.

We heard an owl. The starlings had disappeared, as you predicted. “I am thirsty.” You said.  A small cut would suffice. As you enlaced me, your arms around my neck,  I saw the red of your beloved lips, felt the despair in your embrace. I held you tight, and as you drank, became as one with the monster in you.

Open #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

thresholds

 

She had received the invitation just two days before. She knew the place, it had a rather dark reputation. But then, one had to chose: the appeal of the dark side, or the fear of the unknown. This was an old house, surrounded by ancient trees. She was not surprised the entrance door was open. There was no sound, no sign of any presence.

The letter had just said the owner would welcome the opportunity to show her the property, as a prospective buyer. So she was. How he – but was it a “he”? – knew that, was a puzzle.

In front of her was a long corridor. Rays of light, it was early summer, pierced through the darkness. Old wood, old walls. The air was cool, a faint smell of decaying roses and beeswax…

When she heard the voice, she knew: it wasn’t a he, “she” was the owner. The witch of her childhood, the shadow of her dreams. The voice was sweet, sweet as poison, coercing her to enter, to walk the long corridor, to meet “her”.

She knew where she was waiting, she’d seen the scene many times in her dreams. The house was open, but there was no return. She had to meet her fate, the fire, the ecstasy, her slavery. As a little girl she had known: there was no escape.

Transition #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

transition

 

I know, you’re hesitating. For good reasons. It looks familiar, the small neat garden, the lavender, the path that leads to the ancient door… Yet, there is something different, or has something changed? You look at the old stones, at the bench, yes the bench, where you used to sit, next to him, waiting for nightfall. Someone still looks after the garden, and it’s not him.

If he were still there, he would be in front of you, welcoming you, welcoming you back. Or would he? After all, much time has passed, much has happened. You haven’t counted the years, of course not. You just know something has changed.

But, perhaps, it’s you? If he were there, at the gate, would you still see him? Would you acknowledge him? Now, look: you’re staying in the shadow, why? You know this place, you were once happy here, weren’t you?

Ha, I see… yes, I understand why you hesitate. You know why he’s not here. You know full well. And now, I am afraid. I am beginning to understand who you really are. Are you inviting me to sit, on the bench, waiting for nightfall? Are you moving me back, to where you were, to where he was… to where I am now?