He said it was a hard case, hard to comprehend and, hence, hard to solve. Yet we should not muddle through: we had to keep a clear mind, and we should not assume the assassin was mad.
Picture: der “Tatort” in der ARD, source: web.de
They were aware of a change in sounds, of different scents in the air. Though they knew they were still in the same bond with the City, they did not know, now, when now was.
People walked past them, without seeing them, as if they themselves had become invisible, in a magic circle, as if they had survived a Shift in Time.
Picture: Sans Souci, Potsdam, Schlosse Nacht – ©2015 Honoré Dupuis
His gaze followed the road, as its silvery line slowly disappeared through the woods. As the sky was getting darker, he thought he would have to walk faster to avoid the storm.
This world was different, the landscape diffused, as if on the brink of disappearance. Was this reality, or only a dream?
Picture: Church in Lübars, Berlin © 2017 HonoréDupuis
When we left – how long ago was it? – it was summer. As we look over the tall trees, disappearing through the dark, icy air, we know that, here, wherever “here” is, it’s winter. But we don’t feel the cold, we just know it is.
Through the foliage covered with snow, the vision of a dream-like castle, its spires and turrets, appears, emerging from the mist. Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we lost, have we taken the wrong turn, on whatever road we followed?
Are we elsewhere? When did we leave the warmth and light of our city? This world is grey, and, now, we cannot guess what horrors await us.
Soon all will be shrouded in darkness, or is her sense of light and shadow, of day and night now irremediably confused? After so long in space this would not be surprising, and what did they say on the training range? “When you’re landed, don’t expect to adjust without pain!” Slowly, the navigator removes the oxygen mask, then her helmet. Her long red hair is still held back, before she can relax she will have to wait and feel how she bears gravity on this planet. Her suit’s instruments said that the atmosphere was breathable. Perhaps the radioactivity level is on the high side for a planet with so few people around…
At least that is what her briefing said. She looks at the star sinking into the luminous clouds, on the horizon. “Earth sunsets can be stunning,” said the brief, “their atmosphere is saturated with thin particles of dust. It is not known if this is the result of volcanic eruptions, or of a human-made disaster, which may also explain the sparsely inhabited continents…”
Francis wanted to capture the dream: for the third night, he had read the name of a place he had known, and, now, wanted to build into the story. There were three, at equal distance from each other, the monk had said. The last day, his stare fixed on some old manuscript he had dug out from the loot of a raid, years back, he’d looked for clues. In the morning, like today, he could not recall the names. Long ago, he had travelled, feverish, and briefly lived there, at the vortices of the triangle, carried away by the rage to discover the truth.
Where he was now, near the small park, in the city he loved, was one of those places, he was certain of it. He tried to lift his arm, and discovered he was almost unable to move: he would have to go back to his therapist. He had to work, look again at the archives.
In the park, he had met the shadow of an old monk, one night. That was before the first dream. The monk had spoken in an old, forgotten, language, and Francis had only understood a few words. Where were the other two places?
Picture source: Monastery Garments
She thought she ought to check the address before she went down the high street. She had the key, and would see the colour sign, the code.
Her mission was simple, she was paid to kill him.
He knew, and was waiting. He was accepting death. His time had come, and he made sure the sign was at his door. It would be painless, she was such an artist, he knew: he had trained her.
She crouched behind a short spiky bush, and waited for a sound. There was none, not even the usual discrete footfall of small creatures in the dark. A hawk could be seen, circling silently around the dark silhouette of the tower.
“So,”she thought,”This is where you died, so long ago even the stones have forgotten your name, the colour of your hair, the strength of your arms…” She relaxed her grip on the sword: there was no-one there, perhaps not even the spirit of the hero, who, in eons past, had died defending her ancestors, in this forsaken and deserted place, alone against multitudes of demons.
But she had to find out. Cautiously she started moving toward the ruin, one step at a time, a fluid and silent motion that only supernatural eyes could have observed.
Yet she sensed some presence, somewhere, closer to the tower, cloaked in darkness. Now she heard the voice of an owl hunting.
First published on May 5, 2016 #writephoto
He found her story enchanting, and the way she was telling it to him a real treat. The fire in his mind was a mere flicker, for the predator within him had long given up: his life was now just about beauty, art, and good stories. So he would write, what he heard, and what had inspired him.
She, in turn, was playing with his mind, yet another victim of the wicked witch.
Picture: Fisherwoman, Odilon Redon, via fleurdulysfleurdulys.tumblr.com