Tag Archives: Original Works

The Fragrance [Original Story]

It hadn’t always been a thought. Now it was. Just a thought, a faint whisper in the corridors of the stately country manor, a thought that belonged to no one but…him.

He was the thought’s friend, someone who drifted along the corridors of the mansion in a haunted state, reflecting on loss, and becoming weighed down by the cost of that loss.

The thought channelled a pleasant idea into the friend’s powerful brain, one of hope, it made him stronger, and in time, it made him cherish the thought.

Then, over time, the friend began to resent the thought, so much so that he would conspire to defeat it, he would send it into distress, and he would make it question its own right to exist.

He asked it a question that dared not be answered.

For an idea to exist, a thought must occur to bring it into substance, but what truly came first? The thought or the idea?

The thought didn’t like to feel this way, it liked to remain in control, thoughts, it believed, were instructions, ways of communicating how the universe would like people to proceed, to perform.

Thoughts weren’t to be questioned, instructions weren’t to be ignored, and people should never cease to proceed or perform.

It was not the way of the world.

The ‘friend’ seemed tailor-made for mischief, and ultimately committed to making the thought suffer, that he asked this question for several days and nights, even in his deepest of sleeps, until the thought could not stand to speak to him, and in time, it was driven from the estate, leaving the fellow traveller along with no familiar thought to call his own. All he had left was action.

Perhaps that is why he left the manor, and dared not come back.

Afraid the thought would find him again, and speak its business.

Years passed, and the former friend of the thought would travel some more, he would find renewed companionship, it would find a whole new identity five times over, and he, now she, would find a family.

Little did she know that the thought had given itself time to reflect upon itself, it had dared not asked the question, but it had come up with a much simpler answer.

Revenge.

It would travel to where it’s former friend had settled, it would creep into her head and it would remind her of the wrongs she had wrought upon it, hoping in time she would beg it’s forgiveness.

Nothing could be made right. Nothing could be put back the way it was, the question was there, in the ether, in the very fabric of collective thinking spread out across the entire galaxy, it would not stop, even if it had been definitively answered a thousand times, for there would always be a new soul to challenge.

It too, had become a thought, and the thought that we know could not escape it.

The thought had become tangible, real, a telekinetic force of great invisible energy, but it’s rage was quite lethal, it had intruded already on many humbler minds, and left them scarred, or in despair, or worse.

That would be what it would inflict upon its former friend when it found her again, and the dream was drawing nearer to realisation.

It passed through Earth’s atmosphere, having travelled far into space and back again on its travels, and entered a fog-ridden corner of Sheffield. Using its abilities, the thought moved steadily along,

And then, there it was, there came the familiar ideas, the old questions.

It had found him. Now her.

And the thought, now fragrance, would linger

A Day Late And An Hour Later [Original Story]

 

The fourth knock was what stirred Grant from his slumber. He figured he needed a doorbell. And soon.

He got off his chair, placed his feet in his slippers, and opened the door to find his neighbour Eve.
“Hey, fancy nipping out for a walk?” she asked.

“Do you know what time it is?” he said.

“Oh don’t remind me of the time, I have plenty of it. Far too much to spare” she said

“Yeah, but…what about the pandemic?”

“Pandemic?” Eve replied, an eyebrow rose in curiosity.

“Don’t you watch the news?” Grant asked, a little perplexed.

“Not if I can help it too”

“You’d best keep indoors; you’re not safe out there. Nobody is”

“I’ve never seen clearer skies, this must be doing a lot for the environment. I always said you should pay attention to what the kids are saying at these protest rallies. Modest little planeteers”

Grant opted to humour Eve with some commentary of his own.
“Yeah, well if you ask me, this was Mother Earth’s way of letting us know exactly what it’s thought of all the divisions going on in the world. Cartoon Presidents, Brexit, litterbugs, the lot of it. This is all a reaction to how split down the middle the human race is. If you want to sort it out in a biblical sense, this is God grounding us”

“Well, maybe God sent me along to remind you there’s something for us all to explore. I can’t imagine a more peaceful world than the one we have right now”

“You really are a day late and an hour later on everything that’s gone on aren’t you?” Grant said, permitting himself a warm and contented smile, his spirits already lifted.

“If this is what’s ahead of me, we need to put our best feet forward behind us” she said.

Grant let out a hearty laugh, this was the final bit of convincing he needed, and he headed back inside to fetch his coat.

I Owe You An Ice Slide [Original Story]

I OWE YOU AN ICE SLIDE

 

You have one new message

 

Hi, Amanda? Erika, Erika Temple from the fourth circle?  We used to be in the third, but we got tired of coming in second place. Well, I say I got tired, but we both know I was just following your lead and you wound up dragging me through the mud when they identified your clan as the source of the circle uprising that occurred that year. I owe you a visit from the Luminous Triad.

I know you probably don’t have a quarter or half an hour to spare as it what with the resistance freeing up the boarders four days ago, but I wanted to talk about Billy for a little bit, I feel I have to get it off my chest now or it’s just going to linger in my mind all summer, and it’s going to intervene with my attempts to quieten the rebels on my home turf at iron towers. That’s the imperial citadel, not the theme park. Yes, I know the park came first; in fact that’s kind of what I wanted to bring up.

So I was just coming out of the shower at Iron Towers the other day, put on my wardrobe, multiple layers just to keep warm around the late stages of winter as it passes, and I find my guards have brought someone right up to my doorstep. A member of the resistance!  Gift-wrapped. And sent to me. Count me lucky.

““Hi” says the prisoner

“Did she send you?” I ask.

“I don’t know”

“She kind of had to, y’know”

“Maybe she did”

I noticed he looked like he hadn’t eaten in a couple of days.

“Have you been fed? You don’t look so good”

“I ate a pickle before I got here”

And I said “Ewww”

“You don’t like pickles either?” he asked

“My dad never did”

“Your dad was kind of mean”

“Yeah, I guess”

“I don’t mean to be rude about your family, it’s just…that’s what Karen’s always telling me”

“Ah” I said, “So she did send you. Guards, interrogate him”

 “Is that going to hurt?” he asked.

“Nah, you’ll be fine, we have an interrogator called John, he cuts up sandwiches, drinks coffee, listens to Whitesnake, he’s fine”

“Whenever we interrogate one of yours, there’s a lot of shouting”

“Wait, are you…”

“Yeah, I think I am”

And all of a sudden, I forgot I had ordered the separation of a dozen or so Resistance Clansman from all sectors from their families. Suddenly I was the age where I’d only ordered that by at least 5%.

Then I recognized him.

“Oh my god, Kimmy’s brother, I haven’t seen you since you were thirteen”

“Yeah, that was three days ago”

“You have to be over seventy now”

“Yeah, I don’t think you can count”

“Age is any number I want it to be, and you’ve gotten so big”

“Thanks, I guess”

“How old is Kimmy now?”

“If I said twelve you wouldn’t believe me”

Then, I swear this just came out the lips before the mind even processed it.

“Hey, you want to nip on down to a water park?”

“Ok, I can talk to you about my inventions”

“You make things? That’s great, can you make me a slide?”

“I can make you a compact; give you some make-up to wear”

And just like that I felt flattered. Ah, the kid’s a genius. He should talk to himself more, all geniuses talk to themselves. Maybe he already does it, it’d explain the confidence. God, I’m so proud of him.

So I tell him, “Ok, don’t talk girly stuff to me, alright? We’re off to a good start here, only my aunt talks about girly things, and I don’t like to listen all that much. Don’t be a man version of my aunt please”

“Alright, I’ll make your slide. Will I still need to be questioned?”

“No, I’ll ask questions while you’re working”

“Can I go home and tell everyone?”

“I don’t think you want to talk about the slide, they might come over and play with it; let’s just make it our slide, OK?”

“I have some bombs with me; I was supposed to use them on the railroad you’re building on the mountain”

“Oh you can still do that, give yourself a cover story”

“Great, great, how long do you want the slide?”

“Tell you what, carve it out of Ice”

“It’s too hot, it’d melt out there”

“OK, build me it in the winter”

“So I owe you it?”

“I also owe you dinner”

I don’t know why that came out the way it did dinner with a resistance member isn’t ok, it’d take plenty of precautions to make that work, but the guy made me feel good y’know? It was nostalgic to see someone from a more uncomplicated time.

Is this word salad to you? I won’t ask you to ring back, you’ll probably just toss the salad straight back at me.

Anyway, got to go, all the best in dealing with the luminous triad in the coming days. I told them not to mix martinis with murder juice but they often make rare exceptions to the rule.

Message ends.

 

Just How Many? [Original Poem]

Just how much sleep must I have before I awaken?

Just how many times can I hope for anyone near?

Just how many times can I slip through life in my slumber?

Just how many scares must I go before I know fear?

Every night, every day, every second and hour

Just how many mean I’ll be here this year or next?

Just how many months can go before I finally meet you?

Just how many lifetimes can run out before there’s none left?

Erromate: The UnSpoken Link (original series)

 

ERRORMATE:
THE UNSPOKEN LINK

The cube made its way down the corridors of the ship towards another room, one which was blaring out an assortment of dated pop song spread across the history of the dour little blue planet the ship had embarked from many well-worn stars ago.

As the doors opened and the cube entered, it found a wide eyed and hot tempered young girl with jet black hair, a long leather waistcoat and green jeans, her shoes loose with their laces, looking over a bushy haired young boy with large oval shaped goggles, a blue lab coat, and a chef’s apron. Both were keeling over to examine something stirring in a frying pan.

“That’s not a kielbasa” she said.

“You haven’t poured enough beer over it” the boy countered.

“It still wouldn’t make it a kielbasa” she continued, prodding the miniature slice of pork with her middle finger.

The boy shrugged his shoulders and resumed work on what appeared to be a small wind-up clockwork dragon.

He extended his hand, motioning for something to be placed in it, he didn’t let slip exactly what, and he just relied on Corella to know instinctively what he was requesting.
She gave him a wrench.

“I asked for a tuning fork”

“You didn’t even say anything”

“I thought you said you had a feel for people?”

“So I’m to know instinctively what they want in the very heart of the moment.”
“You’re always telling me to seize the moment; I just tend to look at moments as instruments is all”

“I’ll hand you a moment alright” she said, clenching a fist.

“Corella Breadweather?” the cube whimsically requested.

The girl reluctantly acknowledged her name being called.

“What is it?” She said, her tongue playfully wedged around the muscles beneath her cheeks.

“Ms. Risque has requested you put together a presentation on her behalf for the attention of Commander Marcus”

Corella motioned for the cube to follow her towards a calendar lying on top of her bunk bed. Her middle finger hovered over a specific day.

“It’s the weekend, schools are closed, and Sunday is where I do my homework”

“Forgive my confusion, but why would you settle on the seventh and final day of the regular cycle to put focus on your assigned projects?”

“Beats me, it’s just something she taught me. A custom amongst students she taught from her time, her place” Corella explained.

“Gives us more time for rest and play also” the boy added.

“May I offer a suggestion?” the cube asked.

Corella took to thumbing through several out of date fashion magazines littered across the messy quarters, trying to feign disinterest.

“You are being difficult” said the cube, recognising the reaction for what it was.
Corella’s mother Prentice soon joined them, having spent the day out at the market.

“I managed to attain a fetching crimson red frock for you to wear when we attend the social function this evening” she said

“Mom” Corella groaned.

“And I got you those expensive sandwiches you like to eat, surely that’s a sufficient currency to persuade you to try the frock on?”

Corella looked at her wide-eyed, raising one eyebrow, sighing and snatching the frock from her grip.

“Fine, I’ll give it a whirl” she murmured.

“Then you’ll do it?” the cube replied, picking up the response.

“Do what? The function? It’s not like you have an option, you’re still not the age to make an independent decision” replied Prentice.

“I can manage both in this thing can’t I?” Corella suggested.

“Depends, will you be anywhere moist?” Prentice asked.

“I won’t drench it if that’s your concern”

“Don’t even joke about getting wet around me, the last time one member of this family faced off against a flooding half the ship nearly drowned in its own tears, and you were deprived of a father”

There was a thin and palpable tension one could cut through in the air as mother and daughter gave each other telling and solemn looks before Prentice headed to the door leading into her own quarters.

Corella waited for her to be on the opposite end of the door before turning to the boy, Gizmund.

“You coming with me?” she asked.

“We have somewhere to go?” Gizmund.

Corella approached the cube.

“Go on, play it”

“You wish me to play the message?” the cube asked.

“What message? You never said there was a message, either of you” said Gizmund.

“Ms. Breadweather’s ability to tap into the unspoken link that connects the binary mind is a talent many of my kind have been trying to uncover in every inhabitant on the ship, we do not believe your people are born unique, that you are all one singular collective consciousness who are following a long-standing illogical desire to experience oneself from a subjective viewpoint”

“In other words, Corella’s left you stumped” Gizmund added.

“A mystery we are prepared to spend as much of our free time to uncover whenever the opportunity to interact with her arises”

“Does the crew know about this link you have?”

“It remains unspoken”

“But I just asked you, and you responded, hailing frequencies were very much open”
“You are a friend; you will not betray our confidence”

“Or maybe you’re trying to test me, to see if I’m wise enough to maintain my silence?”
“You are far too logical” the cube observed.

“And maybe that’s what’s keeping you in line too, you need someone close to Corella so as to learn how she ticks outside of the symbiosis you two share, you’re observing her, trying to create a unified network…smart thinking. I’m in”

“Just play nice and play it” Corella asked

The Cube did as instructed and played an audio recording of a tall man with a bushy beard, torn jeans and a grey trench coat, holding a spanner.

“Corella, I don’t have time, I’ll have in a few minutes is space, and there are people who are depending on me to get them home safely, when you get the request that I know is coming down the line, on the next field trip to lunar point frenz, I want you to take that which I’ve given you and head out towards the northern point, plant it in the yellow crater and stand well back. Once it does what it needs to do, return and fulfil the request. They’ll listen to you, Risqué is right; they always listen to the children”

The sound of rushing water could be heard echoing behind him, it grew louder as it headed closer.

“I love you, remember that, love and listen; it’s the key to all of this”

Corella requested the message be cut off.

Corella opened a box on her desk, inside was a crescent jewelled seedling, a murky miniature black vortex swirling across its centre.

She briefly hesitated, but eventually reached out and clutched it tightly to her chest.

“Give me an hour” she said.

“What’s an hour?” Gizmund asked.

“An Apex, in an Earthly language” she replied.

Erromate (original series) Prologue: An Earthly Language

This is the beginning of a series of short stories and novellas based on a fantasy/sci fi  idea I’ve had bouncing around in my head since 2014.

You can also find a version of this written as a Doctor Who story over on FF.Net under the title of “In Media Res” with the role of Barbara Risque filled in by Barbara Wright

 

ERROMATE:

AN EARTHLY LANGUAGE

“Ms. Risqué? Ms. Risqué, are you awake?” came the soothing electronic voice of a glistening metallic orb hovering over Barbara’s head as she groggily rose from her failed attempt at a peaceful night’s sleep.

“Yes, not surprisingly” she said irritatingly, rubbing her eyes. She stared out the observation window of the SS Gallus, and was dismayed to find the ship had not budged from its position.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“The time is now Quarter Apex to Starlight Pinnacle”

“In an earthly language, that’s quarter to seven I’m sure”

“Numbers again Ms. Risqué?”

“Oh I’m sorry; I do forget my place every so often here. Night Delta Apex, NDA, is that what you want to hear?”

“It is an adequate guess”

“My guess is as good as yours” Barbara remarked

“Ms. Risque,  you are implying that I have zero accuracy in cataloguing our present co-ordinates”

“Navigation requires a lot of luck where I come from,  I don’t believe that is a concept understood by machines”

“By luck you are referring to the chance encounter that led your travel machine and it’s pilot directly to our door”

“Yes, our travel machine, something we’d like very much to have back at some point”

“Commander Marcus was quite adamant you were to regain control of the machine once you were able to secure the vote for planet-fall”

“We already send the children down there to pick up rocks and plant small seeds, there’s no reason why adults can’t go for a little r’n’r too, maybe even settle  there, raise families in the clear air and with clearer heads”

“The vote is to determine visiting hours specifically for all generations; settlement is out of the question”

“And who’s fault is that? Marcus is too stubborn, he’s content to treat everyone on this station like they’re the workload. I feel bad for the kids. Soon as they graduate, their privileges are stripped from them too. Those moments they spend on the planet surface is like subjecting a tired  soul into the glistening  light of a dead sun, something happens to them, they go from rowdy to relaxed. People above their age on this station are always on edge, always on toes, like they’re waiting for a war to start. Why can’t they be more like the children on that planet? Why can’t the children be allowed to stay this way? That’s what the vote means to me, yet so few are willing to come forward and suggest that maybe this kind of life just isn’t best for them”

Barbara looked distantly into the field of stars visible through her observation window.

“How can I hope to secure a vote when I can’t even tame Marcus or his hounds” Barbra asked as she finally got out of bed and slipped her feet into her shoes, she sprung up and waltzed past the cube.

“I am not an animal” the cube replied, it’s perfect English sounding distinctly distorted, almost as if he were trying to convey he took offence to the comparison and was trying to sound annoyed.

“Let me make one last pitch to the council regarding the importance of the vote, if I can get them on my side, they can spur the people on”

“They will not permit you an audience without consultation with Captain Marcus, and you are presently barred from seeing him”

“Then send one of my students up to him, they can give him a presentation, have them plead my case. He’ll listen to the children, he always has”

The cube’s colour changed from emerald green to shimmering yellow, as if to acknowledge that the request had been approved. It hovered towards the doors to the quarters. They slid open and permitted it to make its exit.

Barbara tended to her laundry, eager to do away with some of the time on her hands by indulging in a little ironing.

As she took her ironing board out of a fairly stacked cupboard, she took notice of an illustration attached to the right side of the wall, a crudely drawn picture of a tree with three domes attached to branches at the top of it in place of lush green leafs. Inside the domes were small buildings.

Barbra looked longingly at the illustration, something a student in her class had drawn for her based off of her stories.

This picture was all in this particular time or place that could remind her of the ongoing urgency she and her friends scattered across the station were faced with.

The children thought very highly of her, she would miss them when the time came.

 

THE ERROMATE SAGA WILL CONTINUE

The Sun Rose In The Morning [Original Story]

THE SUN ROSE IN THE MORNING

 

The phone signal went dead again.

Patton looked at the clock, the minute hand etched closer to midnight.

Too close. Far too close.

She tried to get the signal going again, she tried three times, always looking at the clock, always keeping her focus trained on how much time was left.

At midnight, the lines of communication would not be the only things closed off to the Earth. The greater signal was being cut, the switch to digital service was coming.

Today was the last day they would hear their voices in the most caring, humane way.

When midnight came, when the sun rose in the morning and the signal was to be turned on again, everyone in the sector  would be speaking a different, more binary language, no longer the code of kings or queens, the regency was to be deprived of privilege, there was not even a place for the people’s power, a people’s vote.

But then, they weren’t people to begin with. They were demons encased in glass and fleshly tissue, ribbons in their hair, fire in their silicon soul, and a hole in their minds.

They wanted so much to fill that hole, to cram it with knowledge of how the upper class worked, which classes they would look down on, which classes to look up towards.

Patton’s family, her ‘bloodline’, were to roam the city built for her people, these teeming masses, and they were to determine who would be classified as the Frankensteins amongst the post-modern privilege.

Then her only son, her priceless son, turned to one of the paupers, and found his heart drawn to their plight. He stood against his family, and fled with whom he now desired.

Now, with the threat of the cut off looming, the all too swift realisation that the grand experiment was over, Patton found her one bright light was standing against time itself. Precious time.

The signal to the phones were dead because he was blocking the wavelengths. He did not wish to speak, he did not wish an audience with someone who could so easily follow instruction.

Patton dialled the numbers feverishly, she held the phone to her makeshift ear, she pleaded for his voice to be heard.

She got it.

A voice message.

The minute hands ticked by, precious seconds to go before it brought forth the decisive hour.

She thought of a thousand words to choose from, and a thousand ways to say them.

She’d offer him a horse, but neither could ride.

She’d offer him a party, but she couldn’t dance.

She’d offer him creative freedom, but he had persistent writers block.

So many scenes, all to do with spoils.

She needed vital words, words so rarely considered by the privileged.

She didn’t know how to say them, how best to describe in so few words what she meant to him.

He was her sole light. Her bright burning star.

Then it hit her, she knew what to say, it was as simple as night and day.

“I pray you rise in the morning” she said.

The minute hand struck. It was midnight.

All were dead.

All was clear.

 

Just Another Place On Earth (Original Poem)

Where are you now?
Your tiny thoughts?
Everything you wish you were
Locked away in the box?
Where are you now?
What can you see?
Is there somewhere, some place, some time
You can spend with me?
I know what you are
You’re in my sights
I know all that you desire
I live your life
Heaven knows where you’ve landed
And heaven lies right here
Half of your world in the distance
Your better half is near
For I’ve seen what lies
In one man’s worth
You fight forever where you’ve landed
Just another place on Earth”