The sun shone brightly as John Solorus made his way down the suburban street toward the local church. He had already helped a lost woman that morning and felt that he had done his good deed for the day. Not that he intended to stop at only one. Clouds loomed on the horizon, threatening to cover the sun and bring rain but he did not mind. Today was a good day.
Just as he was nearing the wide wooden doors of the church he saw that an elderly lady was handing out copies of ‘Good morning magazine’. Slowing, he bought one with a smile and entered the church with it tucked beneath his arm. The vicar had not begun his service yet so John seated himself and opened up the magazine. He skipped past the first few pages that were dedicated to a young man from the village who had been killed in Afghanistan, instead favoring the more cheery articles about charity and marriage. Reading too much into negative things just left him sad and angry. Not like his wife who loved to read sad things like Shakespeare.
Despite the sun, inside the church was cold and grey, lit only by carefully arranged candles and what light was able to flood through the stained glass windows. John liked the atmosphere. Most modern churches were too bright and clean cut. They had no soul. If it was up to him, all churches would be grand buildings of stone fit for the Lord’s worship.
Mrs Clenmoor entered the building and took her seat on the front row of pews. She offered him a slight nod of her head. She was short and wore clothes that had not been in fashion for decades. The clothes hung from her bony body. She too was devote of faith. Continue reading
“Magnificent,” announced the king’s assistant. “The detail, the colour, the emotion! It is simply wondrous.”
From the darkness nearby, Ellion Demerre, a scrawny, unkempt man with dark hair and dark clothes, approached the painting that had drawn the other man’s praise. It showed a woman of great beauty, naked on a backdrop of a midnight field. There wasn’t a brushstroke out of place.
“It is still not right,” sneered Demerre critically. “The symmetry is all wrong, the skin varies in shades, the hair has odd numbers of strands and freckles never match. It is infuriating.” Continue reading
Whispers on the Wind.
Rain made a rhythmic pitter-pattering against the window, filling the room with the sound of a thousand tiny drums. Flames burned softly in the fireplace, spreading warmth and light into every corner.
Thomas and his sister May were seated on a thick rug, looking up at their father who sat in a large armchair. Their mother sat beside the fire on the only other seat. Their father’s voice carried above the rain as he read from a weathered old book. The children listened, completely enraptured with his words while even their mother leaned in closer as her hands worked a sewing needle.
“…And so the valiant knight defeated the demon and soaked the trees in its blood. Its body was killed but the knight had no means to destroy its spirit. Shapeless, the demon took to wandering the forest, seeking what it had lost. The knight warned the locals not to heed any voices they may hear upon the wind and so the demon was unable to tempt any but the naughtiest of children.” Continue reading
The Electronic Dreams of Man.
A scorching wind blew through the streets. The air still crackled faintly, like far off popcorn, while everything shimmered hypnotically in the heat. A sickly smell hung over the buildings. It was quiet. Birds sang and leaves rustled, but they only highlighted the void that had filled the world.
A man shambled along the side-walk with the aid of a walking stick. He had ruffled white hair and moved with a pronounced limp. Old Grouch was what he was called by most. It had been too long since he had heard someone call him by his real name. He had no family or friends, and his bitterness left a sour impression on any who knew him.
He was a relic of the past, of a different world altogether. He had been for years. Society had always moved quicker than he had cared for. Even as a child he had hated what others loved. Popular music was noisy drivel without soul, yet everyone else ate it up ravenously. Phones removed people from communities rather than bringing them closer together. Machines cost people their jobs and made everyone lazy and incompetent. He just did not understand people’s divine fascination with technology. Continue reading
Two points of view from opposite sides of the same event.
It was raining. It lashed down in great torrents, whipping the faces of me and the men around me as we stood and waited. We were all sodden to the bone and could feel our strength seeping away with every second we stood idly by. To either side of me were lines of grim faced soldiers all awaiting our commanders signal to attack.
Then, as suddenly as it had started, the rain stopped. Through the clearing haze we got our first sight of the enemy troops. Misshaped figures faced us down a hundred yard opposite us. They looked to us like mutants, bulges and tormented postures looking dominant among their ranks. Shadowy shapes reminiscent of men hung back in the distance. The damned mist likely hid their main force, keeping us guessing at how innumerable their force truly was.
Only an old wishing well and several low growing rose bushes separated us from them and those objects would provide us with no safety from our monstrous foes. It had once been a shine to our god of luck so we were all adamant not to let anyone defile its sacred grounds. Continue reading
England, London, Thames House (MI5 Headquarters), High-security detention wing.
A cold, white walled room built from sturdy blocks of stone. Sat around a heavy wooden table were three men. Two were in suits and sat at one side while the third wore simple street clothes and sat opposite them. His hands and feet were in chains.
“This is agent Ryan Smith and agent Thomas Hawke interviewing David Black, serial killer,” stated one of the suited men after pressing a button upon a recorder at the end of the table. He turned a cold glare upon the man opposite him.
“Looks like we finally caught you. Its took eleven years for you to make a mistake but your rampage is now at its end.”
His companion continued , running a hand through his short blonde hair. “Now that we’ve got you here, how about you answer some of our questions. We’ve been dying to ask them for over a decade now.” Continue reading
The death happened on a sunny day down by the peaceful brook where families often picnicked in the warm days of summer. Who among the villagers would have guessed that a venomous snake lurked among the dark bushes that lined the silver stream? The girl Pinnoca, who was entering into the cusp between child and woman, certainly didn’t. As she picked the sweet smelling flowers of dazzling colours that grew beside the water, the snake had struck out and plunged its fangs into her rosy flesh. In her shock she had staggered back, lost her footing and plunged into the chill waters. The bite was not deep but the venom spread through her veins and froze her limbs. She drowned, her lips inches from the air that they so desperately sought.
The villagers grieved for a time, then moved onwards. The girl’s father, a widowed carpenter, was driven mad by the loss of his only child, his dead wife’s only legacy. He locked himself away in his workshop, living on the stale bread, potatoes and small wedges of cheese that an elderly women left on his doorstep each week. Friends and neighbours feared for his health, but no amount of knocking or calling out his name summoned him forth from the decaying house.
Night and day the steady sound of hammer and chisel reverberated through the house. The carpenter worked to ease his pain, his tools the vassals of all the emotion that could no longer flow from his body. Numb was his mind but skilled were his fingers. A single image was burned into his mind, all the more vivid in the troubled dreams that filled the scant scraps of sleep that he could not fight. Continue reading