(Freyja and the Necklace by J. Doyle Penrose)
He hears the wing beats drawing close, but he does not open his eyes at once. He had assumed that he would feel warmer when he died, but the wind that tugs at his beard chills his forehead and his back feels more and more damp. He opens his eyes at a slit and sees black feathers in the corner of his vision.
‘Choose me, Freyja,’ he mouths, ‘I always gave you my best sheep.’
He closes his eyes and feels a pressure on his chest.
‘Yes, I knew…’ as he opens his eyes, a raven peers at him with one black eye, then its beak comes straight at him and he screams.
‘Jealousy doesn’t suit you,’ she says to the one eyed man and strokes the cat at her side. He turns and walks away from her, following his new warriors. When he is gone, she steps closer to the blind Viking and strokes his face. He is sent into a deep sleep filled with visions of cauldrons, runes and herbs, smoke and knowledge.
‘You don’t need your eyes for Seðr,’ she whispers.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on July 25, 2014
(Copyright: David Rootes / ArcticPhoto)
There are red blotches in the snow. Taking a deep breath I inhale the scent of my skin frizzling in the sun and remind myself that it is only algae; just a small organism surviving in spite of the coldness of the snow and I will survive too in spite of the sun roasting my face and the ice freezing my feet and the flies landing everywhere. I try not to worry whether they are going to eat me, gnawing off bit by tiny bit, flying away over the mountain with a fly-bite-size piece of my cheek or hand which I’ll never see again, not even if a bird ate the fly and I ate the bird, and eating birds sounds like a good idea, and I wonder whether it would be a good idea to eat snow with algae in it or if I should only eat white snow, maybe the algae has a bit of nutrition in it? In any case I will have to eat something soon and I have still seen no signs of human population.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on July 18, 2014
My father died at sea in 1936. His body was thrown overboard to prevent the disease that killed him from spreading. About half the crew died of the same thing. It came from the biscuits. So it goes.
I keep getting this image of my mother in the prow of a ship with torn sails. She is cradling me as she gazes out over the raging sea. I don’t know whether I’m time travelling, remembering or just dreaming, but I feel there must be some meaning behind it because it is so vivid, complete with the creaking of the ship and the smell of tar.
In the vision, my mother’s mouth is open and there is a song in and outside my head which cuts through everything. Whether she is singing to the sea or me or someone else, I don’t know, but there are splashes later and I wonder who has followed my father into the depths.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on July 16, 2014
For the text ‘Hunger’ I used a gif from Adventure Time as illustration. I might have been able to find an illustration which would fit the text better, but I felt drawn to finally use something from Adventure Time on my blog.
What is Adventure Time, you ask?
It’s a kid’s show.
A kid’s show where people actually die, go mad (not only in a funny way) and where the protagonist experiences a very serious kind of loss several times. Of course it is funny and rather simply delivered, but the way it handles universal themes that are usually only treated in depth by adult fiction makes it a very interesting kind of entertainment for me. Also, I feel I could learn something from their way of telling stories, simple and deep at the same time.
With all that said, I must admit that the first time I saw an episode, the randomness of it made me a bit dizzy and I did not feel like seeing another episode for some time. Now I have gotten used to it. I am not sure if it is healthy getting used to it, but I enjoy the show immensely now, and I would like to recommend it to anyone who enjoys their entertainment more when it is not only slapstick humour.
If you are interested, I think “What Was Missing” (the tenth episode of the third season) would be a good introduction to the series. The episodes can technically be viewed in any sequence, but there are some episodes which make more sense if one has seen the previous ones.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on July 13, 2014
(Credit: Adventure Time)
A sound and a pang from her stomach make her rise from Gilly Stinson’s facebook page, the wall flooded with messages Gilly will never read, and go into the kitchen. She looks at the stove contemplating what she would like to eat, opens the fridge to see what it would be possible to make. She has ketchup, some unwashed potatoes, soy sauce, her heart, cheese (out of date), a cucumber, a litre of orange juice and a slosh of milk. She closes the fridge. On her shelf she has a bag of pasta less than a quarter full, canned mackerel, canned tomatoes, canned memories (out of date), and canned maize. She sucks her teeth, opens the fridge, closes it, looks at the shelf, opens the fridge takes out the cucumber and puts it on the table.
She makes herself canned tomatoes with maize and cucumber and puts what is left of the pasta in water to boil.
Half the water from the pasta bubbles out of the pot onto the stove and cleaning it up she burns the back of her hand on the pot. She bites her lip and tastes iron in her mouth. She eats her pasta and tomato sauce with the old cheese sprinkled over it, sometimes dipping the end of a two days old loaf of bread. She washes it all down with orange juice and rationalisations of her past actions.
‘You couldn’t have helped the wretched girl if you wanted to,’ she whispers.
When she is done eating, the hole in her stomach is still there and as she washes up, she wets her cheeks.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on July 11, 2014
On Sunday I’m going to Norway to cross a glacier or two and since I haven’t written enough between getting my bachelor’s and now, updates will once again be scant. I’ll bring pen and paper though. Hopefully, the mountains will help me getting into the grove again, so that there will be updates aplenty when I get back.
Have a great summer!
Posted by W. R. Woolf on June 27, 2014
(Credit: CptnDerp on Deviantart)
He pushes his hand against one eye, gradually increasing the pressure until the tissue gives way. Grabbing the first thing he finds, he pulls out a dark struggling creature stinking of vinegar. As it hisses at him, he throws it up towards the sun and it freezes. When it strikes the ground, it shatters. The fragments evaporate in seconds.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on June 24, 2014
It’s been quiet here for a while, but I promised you good news so here it is:
I am now a fully certified mathemagician!
And I’m going to continue studying to become a master this September. Until then I hope to get lots and lots of writing done.
Also, my short story There is Nothing Keeping You will appear in issue 12 of The British Fantasy Society’s journal which has the theme LGBT in fantasy.
I’ll post a small text in less than 5 minutes!
Posted by W. R. Woolf on June 24, 2014