Theatre Masks

 

Theater Masks Silhouette.png

(Credit: Elizabeth J. Aragon, sweetclipart.com)

Can we change masks now?

I am getting tired of crying, and I think the wrinkles in the brow are making furrows in my brain.

You promised me that they were only masks and that they would not change who we really are. But during the days which turned to weeks which turned to months, my face seems to have been ever better moulded to fit this grotesque façade, and I worry that time will turn these foreign features to stone.

So give me your smile.

Surely, it is my turn to be the happy one by now.

 

 

 

 

From a Correspondence Between Someone Whose Name it is Better not to Mention and Myself

Three-coins-in-the-fountain

(Credit: Three Coins in the Fountain, Jean Negulesco, 1954)

My dearest [Erased],

How have you been since our last meeting?

I have had a bit of a cold, but I assure you that I regret nothing. In fact, it would bring me great pleasure to see you under similar circumstances in the future.

I heard they fished a jacket out of the fountain. It is probably yours, but I think it would be best if you do not claim it. The buttons are ruined anyway. I recommend that you find one with larger buttonholes, to make it easier to disrobe in the future.

Speaking of the future, will you meet me on the little stone bridge on Wednesday evening at eleven o’clock?

I will bring your cane.

– Your Mermaid

Shards

broken-mirror

(Credit: Goodreads.com/author_blog_posts, Donna Pyle)

My knuckles bleed from breaking mirrors. Shards are digging through my soles and through my soul. Still, it would have been worth it, if the mirrors would stop looking at me, stop showing me dreams twisted into nightmares. I thought it was working for a while, I thought I could destroy them like this, but then I realised

that every time I break a mirror,

I am only making more mirrors.

Sun on the Mountaintops

Three days in a row, I climbed the nearest hill of the hut twice a day to admire the view: the sunrise splashing gold over snowcapped mountains and the sunset bathing them in blood.

On the third day, watching the light receding, I felt an ache in my breast.

If I could, I would stay right here forever.

I must have spoken the words aloud, for a woman said, ‘I could help you with that.’

She must have come up behind me while my attention was on the sunset, for I had not seen her on my way up, and I had not heard her. She wore a dress, which reminded me of a photograph I once saw, from 1910 of a woman and her husband on a mountainside. In her yellow curls were several large clumps of lichen, and I wondered whether she had taken a tumble father down because of her long skirt.

‘Really?’ I said, smiling at her strange attire.

‘If you want my help, that is,’ she smiled back and her flashing violet eyes made my heart flutter.

‘I would much appreciate your help.’ I thought she meant that she could give me a tour guide job, and I must admit I hoped she lived nearby as well.

‘Just stand still for a moment,’ she said and stroked my forehead with a finger. I hardly had time to be taken aback by her cold touch, before I felt my feet stiffen. I looked down and saw the transformation crawling past my midriff. Half a second later, I was completely paralysed.

She kneeled down in front of me and tutted, shaking her head.

‘What did you look down for?’ she asked, ‘now you won’t be able to watch the sunsets.’ She turned towards the mountaintops and sighed.

‘They really are beautiful from up here.’

Faceless

Faceless Mask

(Credit: allpix.club/pages/f/faceless-mask)

Why can I not turn and look at you? It is as if there is some invisible but physical restraint holding my head in place.

You don’t want me to look at you and you tell me so, but I must see you as you are. With great effort, I catch a glimpse of your shirt, and you ask me to stop trying, your face is terrible, you say. But I cannot live the rest of my life with you hovering behind me as a disembodied voice, telling me jokes and sharing pain, it would drive me mad. In fact, I fear that I already am mad, that you were never there to begin with; that you are simply a figment conjured up by a lonely brain. So I twist my neck just a little further and see.

You have no face. There is only skin pulled over bone with folds and stretch marks.

I wake with a start and fumble for my phone.

You are not on my list of contacts.

To Write a Thesis

My updates have been irregular the last couple of weeks and they will probably continue to be irregular the next couple of months. I have begun working on my thesis and have plenty to do in my spare time as well, so I only write fiction in small bursts when I write at all. I hope you will be patient with me.

Have a nice day and thank you for reading.

 

Mirrors

Rose love letter

(Credit: vidokusr)

My Love,

 

Why did you leave me in the hall of mirrors? Were the distortions too much for you? Was it something I said? You forgot you white silk handkerchief.

Where did you go? I wandered the carnival for an hour, looking for you. The only one who remembered you was the fortune teller, and she just shook her head and told me to go home.

Your maid insists that you are not home every time I come to visit, but she keeps the flowers. She kept the handkerchief too last time I came by, I hope you did not think I meant to keep it from you.

Why do you not answer my letters? Please answer this one at least, if only to let me know that you want to be rid of me. The silence is unbearable. Yesterday I even thought that I heard your voice, but when I turned, there was only a mirror.

 

Yours, if you will still have me,

Albert

Sailing a Sunless Sea

I’m sailing a sunless sea. Looking for your light. Searching for that white pinprick of hope on the horizon. Far enough east, the direction of the god Salt, there should be real starlight.

It cannot be far now, if I read the navigator’s notes right. However, I still wish we had not left him with the monkeys and their thieving little hands. They have probably stolen his soul by now.

It was not my idea; the crew pressured me into it. They were worried that he might pick up some old bad habits if our supplies dwindled on our way east. The thought makes me release a half sob half chuckle. They were afraid of that poor shivering wreck of a navigator.

I mop up more blood from the deck and look for Salt’s light.

And forgiveness.

 

 

Fallen London and the Sunless Sea

I’ve been playing Fallen London and Sunless Sea quite a bit the last couple of weeks. The first is a free browser game, the second is a more traditional computer game.

What they have in common is the world they are set in. Her Enduring Majesty, the Traitor Empress of London, sold her city to the bazaar save her husband in 1861. This means that the entire city was taken under ground by bats to the shore of the Unterzee, where it has been for about thirty years when the game begins. In Fallen London, the player makes a home in the Victorian, Gothic city and explores its possibilities. In Sunless Sea, the player is a Zee-captain discovering islands and zee monsters of the Unterzee.

I enjoy the dark and mysterious stories of these games immensely, and if I can manage to create an atmosphere like they did in Sunless Sea in one of my texts, I would count that as a great success.

Of course I’ll never do that if I don’t write anything, so off I go to write something.

Let’s zee how it goes…

Three Little Texts – Clearcloud (3 of 3)

violent thunderstorm

(Credit: wben)

Clearcloud smiles at the cloudless blue sky. She is close to falling asleep when someone cries

‘Look!’ and she sits up. Four humans are walking up the garden path, looking at Clovertoes, and Quicktoes is flitting around in the bushes behind them. Her transparent wings shimmer in the sunlight, but the humans don’t notice; they never notice. A cloud passes over Clearcloud’s face, but it is quickly gone. It has been a long time since humans have lived here, it might be different this time, it might even be fun; playing tricks on other fairies never feels quite as exciting.

During the day, Quicktoes breaks several coffee cups and a miniature horse made of glass while Clearcloud swaps the clothes in the boy’s and the girl’s wardrobes, which begins a heated argument between the children, and casts a glamour which makes the whole house smell of chocolate cake, which confuses all the humans and greatly disappoints the adult male. Clearcloud meet with Quicktoes on the roof several times where they laugh their heads off and Clearcloud tells her friend that she is glad the humans came. When did they last have such fun? Quicktoes smiles as she answers that she does not recall, but her eyes are worried and is casts a shadow on Clearcloud’s spirits.

An hour after the children have gone to bed, Clearcloud is curled into a ball and shaking. It is their dreams, just like last time humans came, their dreams are so loud. The girl child dreams of a school yard and the shouting and laughter reaches Clearcloud as if through a megaphone, tinny and jarring. The boy dreams of a forest, and the shrill calls of dream birds cuts into Clearcloud’s ears, it cuts into her bones. She tries to sing, she tries to stuff her fists into her ears, but the noise just grows and grows. So she whizzes down into the girl’s bedroom and tears the covers off her, then onto the boy and pushes him out of bed with a well placed glamour. She sighs as the natural night noises replace the garish dreams. It will not last long, she knows, they will fall asleep again, but she has many more tricks up her sleeve. Maybe a nice violent thunderstorm could do the trick. Or if they’re heavy sleepers, she might have to throw them against a wall.

A week later, four battered and bleary eyed humans shuffle down the garden path with what they can carry. They clench their teeth against the sting of the fresh cuts on their fingers. When Clearcloud wakes up she will be sorry for hurting them, but right now she is enjoying the nothingness of fairy sleep.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 891 other followers

%d bloggers like this: