The House of Conrí

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Sometimes names are just names. Sometimes they are symbolic. Sometimes they’re more than that.

Thomas was thrown to the stone floor at the base of the steps. Despite his shackles he struggled to his knees, refusing to lie there complacent. He raised his bruised face defiantly and curled his lip, though that made the blood flow afresh.

“Your name?”

“Thomas Daniel,” he said proudly. He was named Thomas for his grandfather, a great hunter, and the family of Daniel had long served the rightful king. “Who are you?”

The woman sat on the throne atop the dais regarded him with brown eyes that were filled with distaste. “I am Queen Ameris, ruler of the House of Conrí.”
Continue reading The House of Conrí

Fic: A Kiss Divine

A modern Aridane/Dionysus meeting.

kiss

Ariadne leaned on the rough wooden railings, blinking back angry tears. The party continued all around her; people laughing, the clink of glasses, the ceaseless rush of the waves against the shore, a bonfire sending bright sparks into the night sky. As if nothing had happened.

How could she have been so wrong? Blinded by love? Lust? Was Tee really so charming that he’d warped her thoughts and feelings into some obsession she’d been powerless against?

Continue reading Fic: A Kiss Divine

Birdseed (exact drabble)

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Birdseed

“If you’re so hard up then why do you buy birdseed?” he asks, puzzled.

“Because it’s relatively inexpensive for the benefits I get. I put a handful out every day,” she says. “And the birds come and eat it. Pigeons, blackbirds, robins, sparrows, and crows. They wait for me now, eager each morning. I get to watch them peck at the seed. I know some are nesting in the nearby bushes. It gives me a sense of communion with nature. I know it’s a small thing and hardly earth changing. But it makes me feel useful. As if I matter.”

THE ARTIST: WHAT IT IS TO LIVE WITH THE MUSE

An earlier version of this poem, about the joy and pain of creativity, how much the lack of support for one’s artistic endeavours of whatever kind can hurt, and the monetary vs intrinsic value of art, previously appeared at a personal journal as part of the importance of audience series.

THE ARTIST: What it is to live with the muse

She sculpts, removing the extraneous stone
Revealing the beauty within
It is her greatest passion to find and display every
Curve and line

She meets him at a gallery next to a coffee shop
He’s admiring Van Gough prints
She loves them too
They talk for a while, agree to meet next week

Shes says she’s a sculptor, he wants to see her work
She’s shy at first, reluctant to display her imperfect creations
But she opens the door to her studio
To her soul
Continue reading THE ARTIST: WHAT IT IS TO LIVE WITH THE MUSE

Review: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain is a scientific thriller that is rooted in science while positing a terrifying “what if” scenario. First published in 1969, the book includes some scientific breakthroughs that we have not yet achieved, as well as some dated technology – the paper jam problem, the lack of mobile phones, for example.

The crux of the book is that humankind can be its own worst enemy. The danger comes from an organism brought back to earth from a downed space probe, but twice the actions recommend by the scientists (the major protagonists) almost bring about catastrophe. People’s hubris, biases, oversights, and flaws, are every bit as threatening to humanity as the immediate problems we face. Part of the problem in the novel could be that the scientists are indeed scientists and become focussed on details, where outsiders and artists would look at possibilities.

Told as if reporting on a true event, until this moment highly classified, Crichton’s thriller is still relevant today. His own background and detailed research combined with skilful story-telling, make this a science rich but accessible, enjoyable, and thought provoking read.

Buy from Amazon UK (affiliate link):
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (1995) Paperback

Flash Fiction: The Dragon Savers

thedragonsavers

A flash fiction fantasy tale for a series of prompts (see notes at close of fic)

(base banner image by mconnors at Morguefile.com)

Once upon a time there was a fearsome dragon. It had lived peaceably near a village for years, the two separated by a thick forest. The dragon hunted mostly in the woods at night, and slept in the cave at the foot of the mountain range where few people travelled.

Continue reading Flash Fiction: The Dragon Savers

Ficlet: Drinking in the Moon

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“I’m thinking of calling it the ‘Steak and Slayer’,” JJ said, staring up at the currently empty frame atop the signpost. The previous sign was already long gone and the metal post had been given a fresh coat of paint. “With a picture of a stake and the font from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, and hope Joss Whedon doesn’t find out.”

“I like the pun for a pub serving steaks. But I think you should call it the Moon,” Alex mused.

“Why?”

“So I can say ‘Oh, I was just drinking in the moon’ which sounds romantic, even spiritual.”

“It will be true. Just not those sort of spirits.”

Alex laughed. “And people can say ‘I’m going to the Moon tonight.’ It’s fun.”

“Short-lived romances can be summed up by the walk to and from the village as ‘I loved you to the Moon and back’,” JJ suggested.

“We need a toy bovine to throw,” Alex said suddenly and they said in unison, “because the cow jumped over the Moon!”

Fic: Do You Believe in Magic


base image source

A 3 sentence fic for the prompt “A witch receives a familiar who doesn’t believe in magic.”

“I don’t believe in magic,” Tabitha said, tail swishing idly from side to side.

“You’re a talking cat for crying out loud,” Amber pointed out.

Tabitha blinked her orange eyes and said lazily, “I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”