Noctuary #atozchallenge

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Noctuary; the record of a single night’s events, thoughts or dreams. 

I had the dream again last night. I was in the library, there were the hushed sounds of voices and pages being turned. The smell of old leather, paper, ink, wax and dust drifted like a strong perfume. I was at an old desk, candles in lamps flickering around me and I was wearing a long white dress with a black corset.

Books were piled around me and I was reading one, open on a stand and the writing seemed to be in Latin. I was looking for something but I couldn’t seem to find the answers in any of these volumes. There was an ink pot and feather quill in a stand on my right side with some sheets of yellow paper.

Closing the book, I selected another one and flipped through it. Stopping at a page with a coloured drawing on one side and tiny writing on the other, I looked at the picture. There was a girl, older then me and she was wearing a white dress too! Her’s was tied with a large black bow at the back. She was going up some stone stairs in the middle of a forest. There were tall, green pine trees fading in the distance and lines of sunlight pouring through them.

I tried to read what the picture was about, but the book was written in a language I didn’t know. I studied the girl, noticing how her hair was the same brown colour as mine but it was straight and not curly. I blinked and the girl’s head had moved! Her face had turned to look over her shoulder and out of the page!

Gasping, I tried to convince myself it wasn’t true but I knew the girl was watching me. Her eyes were the same colour as my own and her face though on the edge of adulthood was mine too. I pressed my face closer to the book, my hands trembling as I clutched the edges. I saw a wind playfully blowing the girl’s dress about.

She was saying something! I lent closer in, trying to hear what the girl was saying.

‘It’s not here, what you seek,’ she whispered.

‘It’s not?’ I uttered back.

‘It’s here,’ she said and waved her hand at the forest in the picture.

‘Where?’ I pressed, desperately.

‘You know,’ she hissed back.

The wind played with her hair and the tails of the long black ribbon then everything became still. The girl’s head turned back and the picture was still again.

The book slipped through my fingers and hit the table top hard. The noise rang through the library then the dream was swirling away.

Next moment, I saw myself standing as the older version of me had done. I was on the steps leading up the forest. I could smell the pines and the green bushes. Birds were twitting and the wind was waving the tree tops. I looked down and saw myself in the same white dress with the black ribbon as she had worn them.

And I as walking through the trees, looking for what I knew to be there; the answers I had been seeking to life itself.

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Caim #atozchallenge #writephoto

Caim; sanctuary; an invisible circle of protection, drawn around the body with the hand to remind one of being safe and loved, even in the darkest times. 

I watched the sun rising from my window. It had been another sleepless night. Too many thoughts in my head and nothing to settle me. I pressed my cheek to the cold, wet glass as the clouds began to light up.

A story, told by one of my childhood’s nannies, came into my head. It was about a boy who got lost in a dark forest where an evil witch lived. The boy wanted to protect himself but carrying nothing, could only use a spell his mother had given him. Using the air, he drew a circle around himself with his hand, whilst at the same time recalling a memory of being safe and loved.

The boy walked further into the forest and happened upon the evil witch. She tried to capture him, so she could eat him, but the evil witch’s spell bounced off the boy. The witch tried again and again, chasing the boy through the forest as he tried to get away. Finally, the boy made it out of the forest and back to his village. The evil witch could do nothing but hover on her broomstick at the edge of the trees, cursing the boy.

The boy ran into this house and was greeted by a happy and tearful family, for they had all thought he’d never return. The boy told of how he had cast the Caim spell his mother had taught him and when the evil witch tried to capture him, it was that spell that had saved him.

I sighed and moved my head away from the window. I had long given up believing in fairy stories. The idea of casting that spell stuck with me though. Getting out of the window box, I stepped into a patch of dawn light laying on the bare floor. Shutting my eyes, I thought about the best time I had felt safe and loved. I drew a circle around myself in the air.

A touch of warm brushed my skin, opening my eyes and looking out of the window, I saw the valley below full of sunlight. I wasn’t sure if the spell had worked or not but I felt a lot better that day for the first time in weeks. And that night, I slept well.

 

(Photo prompt from; https://scvincent.com/2018/03/29/thursday-photo-prompt-valley-writephoto/ with thanks).

Garden Outing #FridayFictioneers

The days were getting warmer and brighter, it was finally time to dust off the garden furniture and spend more time outside. The weather though had other ideas. No sooner had the family got everything out, cleaned and set up, snow clouds appeared and winter frozen their plans. The family sat watching the snowflakes falling and wondering if they’d ever see spring again.

Finally, the snow and the cold were banished. Blazing sunshine brought the garden back to life. The family could enjoy their own paradise once more with tea parties glory and long horse rides through the grounds.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/03/28/30-march-2018/ with thanks).

Chilly Day #1linerweds

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There was only one spot on the pond not frozen over and all the birds were crowded into it trying to keep it that way.

(Inspired by; https://lindaghill.com/2018/03/28/one-liner-wednesday-chilly-day-for-a-swim/ with thanks).

On The Stairs #TwitteringTales

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Loud voices had woken Mary up. She crept out of bed and downstairs. There was a light below, coming out of an open door.

‘We need to go now! They are coming!’ Father shouted.

Loud knocking on the front door made Mary jump.

It was too late.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/03/27/twittering-tale-77-27-march-2017/ with thanks).

No Man’s Path #FridayFictioneers

It had been a silly idea to come this way in the car. There wasn’t even a road! But dad had insisted he knew a short cut around the mountain. Rounding the bend though there was a small sign off to the side. There was a red circle with a line through it and underneath was a figure with a large black hand. It could only have meant stop. I tried to tell him this and so did mum, but he just carried on.

Hours later, we had to be rescued off the mountain top. Dad claimed it had been a successful adventure though!

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/03/21/23-march-2018/ with thanks).

Carved #writephoto

I stopped before the rock and slightly tilted my head to one side as I pondered what to name this shape as. Around me other staff and volunteers were doing the same; standing before rocks and naming them. It was all in aid of our big push to encourage more visitors to the visit this section of moorland which was famous for it’s strangely shaped rock formations.

I ran a few different names through my head; the up turned wheel, the melting pot, the hole, the bowl…The Giant’s Bowl? That sounded kid friendly and the rock did kinda look like a mis-shaped bowl. All the names had to be approved anyway, so why not?

I jotted down on the map I had which showed little drawings of all the rock formations. I moved on to the next one which kinda looked like a tea cup on a plate if you saw it from a certain angle. With a shrugged, I named it The Giant’s Tea Cup. Sticking with that theme, I named a few other rocks close by then moved further out.

Two months later, everything had been approved and I was putting up name signs for The Giant’s Breakfast Table section of rock formations.

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/03/22/thursday-photo-prompt-carved-writephoto/ with thanks.)

The Last Rail

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Perhaps, granddad had gone crazy in his old age. The Alzheimer’s hadn’t helped and he’d really lost it at the end. What he’d left me in his will had caused a chuckle but it had only given me a headache.

Hiking out to the middle of nowhere woods with dad, a marked up map and land deeds, hadn’t been my idea of fun. But here we where! I stepped down onto an old railway track. The metal rails all rusted and the rotten wood warped.

‘Well,’ my dad said, ‘he always had a passion for this place.’

‘What was he going to do with it?’ I asked.

‘Who knows?’

‘What am I going to do with it now?’ I snapped back.

‘Maybe, you could build a house?’ my dad said over his shoulder at me.

I grumbled, ‘perhaps, thirty. Have my own real life mini train village. Shame he left me no money.’

I kicked a few stones and thought, Granddad’s passion for trains had really had the last laugh.

Spawn #TwitteringTales

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It’s strange to think that my fondest memories as a child was going out each spring and collecting frog spawn. It just seemed so natural and innocent. It probably started my career too! I’m now head frog and toad keeper at the zoo.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/03/20/twittering-tale-76-20-march-2017/ with thanks).

The Mummies #SundayPhotoFiction

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I shouldn’t have been so shocked to find Egyptian mummies in my great-grandparents’ house but it was disturbing as they were the bodies of two toddlers and a possible still born baby. The two cats and bird I had found earlier, I didn’t mind so much, especially as I remembered them from childhood. Human reminds were just different.

All three mummies were wrapped safely in a wooden packing box that had faded foreign travel information on. I knew my great-grandparents had lived in Egypt for a few years, that was were they had met and began sharing their love of ancient history together. Over the years, they had amassed a huge collection of historical items.

Despite my gut instinct, I had to open the sarcophagi to know what was inside of them. All three had still wrapped bodies in them. The badges had yellowed, cracked with age and a musty dry smell like that of an old book wafted out. I closed the lids quickly and put them all back into the wooden crate. Then labeled what they were and that they should be donated to a museum.

 

(Inspired by; https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/sunday-photo-fiction-march-18th-2018/ with thanks).