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Curse of the Traveller

By on Nov 11, 2015

The Curse of the Traveller

 

He arrived late one dusky evening, entering the smoke-filled tavern hooded and cowled. A greatsword was strapped to his back, a sword longer than anyone there had ever seen.  His boots rang on the tiled floor as he stepped in.  Two paces into the tavern he stopped, and surveyed the watchful faces; all were wary of the traveller.  He strode slowly and deliberately towards an empty corner devoid of light.  The shadows lingered as he sat down, almost drawing the darkness to him.  His cloak slipped open, revealing a weapon belt of magnificent array.  The landlord hurried over to take his order. (more…)

Loneliness

By on Feb 20, 2015

It had been a busy day, but that wasn’t unusual in itself.  He was often busy; work was taking up an increasing amount of time.  It was nice to be needed though.  Depended upon – you know.  And Harry was good at his job.  He travelled the same country lane to work every day and took increasingly less notice of his surroundings as he went.  Perhaps that was due to his being increasingly stressed.  Or perhaps it was that the hours he put into work were becoming longer and longer and, especially in the winter months, it was often dark as he travelled to and from his place of business.  Perhaps he had just got used to the beauty of the place and it had no real impact on him anymore.  He’d been a bit of a birdwatcher in his youth – not a twitcher, not one of those who drove hundreds of miles to witness a brown blob half a mile out on the flats, way beyond where you could walk, and tick it off a list, or even add it to a list that had been comprehensive but wasn’t anymore because of this little rarity that had been blown in from Siberia – not that kind of birdwatcher, but a proper birder – someone who delighted in feathered fauna.  And he used to notice the buzzards gliding across the fields and the hills, or been keen to glimpse a kestrel hovering over a verge, and he’d loved spotting a fast-flying sparrowhawk lancing across the road after prey or perhaps a red kite  coming down off the Chiltern Hills in search of something to scavenge.  Even in the evenings, the ghostly form of a barn owl quartering the meadows by the side of the road or the flit of the dark form of a tawny owl in the treetops as he sped through the more wooded sections of Flaunden Hill was a sight that would gladden the heart.  Perhaps he had just got used to it all and perhaps he wasn’t able to appreciate things in the way he used to.

That was a lot of perhapses, but he did his best to stem the tide.  For a while now he’d done his best to ignore anything that would cause him to think about anything other than work.  And it wasn’t just that he was needed at work – he was appreciated, valued, respected even.  And he enjoyed what he did.  It might not have been to everyone’s taste, but he was pretty much left alone – not that that meant he kept himself to himself too much.  At least, he never used to.  Actually, if he was forced to think about it, there wasn’t much activity at the office these days.  In fact, he was struggling to think of the last time he saw anyone.  But it didn’t matter, as he had a key, so he could let himself into the office and get set up and start without being bothered.  People had always told him how much they found his professional attitude and organised precision comforting.  He knew, yes he knew, just how much they thought of him.  It spurred him on, making him push himself still harder and outdo his colleagues – in the nicest possible way, of course. (more…)

Maiden Voyage

By on Jan 28, 2015

Middle-aged eyes stared keenly at the surrounding countryside out of a frail, elderly body, worn and wizened by heat and many years of constant sunshine.  The man sat in his rocking chair, gently swaying in the late afternoon breeze, waiting for the darkness of night to come.

Night no longer brought with it the refreshing odour of cooling dew, as it settled no more on the hills in front of his ramshackle hut.  It was a neat and tidy little dwelling, built solely out of wood, a one-storey, one-room building that he could call home.

The man had spent an indeterminate length of time on his own, the leaving of his fellow humans still indelibly etched on his mind.

Alone. (more…)

Dreams Part 2

By on Dec 17, 2014

Dreams – Part 2: The Crossing

So she went to work.  Bandaged up the foot as well as she could and limped in.  Truth to tell, it was limping to the bus and then sitting, so Jasmine found it ok – just.  The bus dropped off a mere twenty yards or so from the entrance to the building she worked in, so it was no big deal, really.  Her foot still bloody hurt though, if you put any real weight on it.  No-one bothered to remark upon it as she sidled in, determined to be as inconspicuous as possible.  Perhaps no-one noticed.  That would be about right, seeing as she was hardly the life and soul of the workplace.  It wasn’t that she hated her work as such, but more the fact that her work didn’t interest her.  Never had really.  She knew she had to earn money, so she got a job she could do, and with as little stress as possible.  So why she was still bloody single, she had no idea!  She tried “getting out there”, as her sister put it, but it wasn’t always as easy as that.  Dating at work was definitely a no-no, and for several big reasons. (more…)

Penny for the Afflicted!

By on Nov 7, 2014

A hand clawed briefly at his sleeve. It had shot out at surprising speed.  The traveller attempted to disengage himself, to no avail.  The beggar clung tenaciously to his clothing.

‘Please, spare me some sympathy, spare me some money!’ implored the voice. Hollow pits had long since replaced the eyes.  The disfigured features twisted themselves into a grimace.  The traveller had been warned.  Stay clear, was the message, and he had long since stifled any feelings of pity.  (more…)

Dreams Part 1

By on Oct 24, 2014

Dreams – Part 1: The Mystery

Ah damn! Night time. Again.  The woman sighed and pulled the scrunchy from her hair.  Her pony tail fell out and her chestnut-coloured hair cascaded over her shoulders.  She tried dismissing her worry from her mind, but it wouldn’t go.  Every single night the same.  And she was tired, so tired.  She’d wake up from the dreams drenched in sweat, her mind fizzing with the images and the colours of a vivid and frightening dream.  Every night.  Every.  Single.  Night! (more…)