The castle is made of cracks and crawling vines. The turrets tremble under their own weight. The battlements were once bursting with guards, now the buttresses might burst at any time.
In the center of the courtyard, there is a large square structure of hewn rock. One of its doors are on the cobblestones, the other is hanging on its last hinge. The structure surrounds the entrance to a tomb, and that tomb was also the reason for the whole castle being built. It was all to guard the tomb. That is, the builders found it very important that there should be someone ready if the one laid to sleep in the tomb should be as restless as prophesied.
It was always difficult to keep up repairs, the castle being so far from everything, and the threat must have seemed less for each year that passed. At some point the last guard must have left or died or been killed.
You say, we could rebuild, hire new guards, and we could, but it would be pointless.
The tomb is empty.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 27, 2015
I take a deep breath and remind myself of what is real and what is only dream stuff, as the head of my old school teacher forms in the clouds, her tight curls framing square glasses and thin lips.
‘What have you made of yourself?’ She asks.
But I don’t answer. Partly because I don’t have a good answer, but mostly because I refuse to talk to her in cloud form. If she really wants to talk to me, he can bloody well come in person and say what she wants to say to my face.
Beside my teacher, the chubby cheeks of my old kindergarten friend gather. He still four years old. He will be four years old forever; he was run over by a bus.
‘You could have told me not to fetch the ball,’ he says. His voice is shrill. I don’t remember whether it has always been like that or whether it’s the clouds distorting it.
‘I was four,’ I sigh. It still feels like a bad excuse after all these years. Almost as bad as “I was drunk”. And right on que, my father’s head pops up.
‘Where is grandmother’s painting?’
‘I did get a lot of money for it.’
‘And with all that money, you will be able to buy her resurrection?’
‘I’ll never find the man; he just turned up at my party, real late. He must be some friend of a friend of a friend or something, and he paid in cash, right there. I’ll never find him.’ I close my eyes and massage my temples; something isn’t right. I feel the grass beside me and the butt of the joint.
I have to remember what’s real.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 23, 2015
(Credit: Zephyri on DeviantArt: zephyri.deviantart.com)
”Come, come,” the slave handler wriggles his pink sausage fingers at me, “aren’t you exited?”
“No.” My gaze is steady.
“Oh, but that won’t do!” He shakes his head and still shaking it continues, “when you stand in front of Her Majesty, you must bow low, like so,” his forehead comes within inches of his knees, “and you must assure her that it is the very greatest pleasure for you to be given into her service.”
I suck my teeth.
“Remember,” he smiles, “from tomorrow evening you will live in greater luxury than anyone in your tribe ever dreamed of. And all you have to do is dance for our most excellent Queen once in a while,” he gives me a conspiratorial wink.
“Gilded cage,” I mutter, “remember, my tribe would still exist, were it not for the Red Queen and her territory expansions.”
“Shush shush now,” he squashes his lips with one fat finger, “mustn’t call her that. Try on these.” He hands me an orange scarf and soft loose trousers. “Real silk,” he says.
Of course the monkey must be dressed up nice and bathed in rosewater before he dances for the Queen, I think, as I try on the clothes. But maybe, I let a finger run along the fabric of the trousers, maybe it will be possible to hide a knife in this fine silk costume.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 22, 2015
I am alone among the stars. I am a nomad. I am Nemo.
It is lovely and lonely out here. Each new wonder bites me with longing for a more recognisable beauty, for a time long past.
In my dreams, sometimes I stand under green birches again, my parents and sister chatter as they walk down the hill. In my dreams, sometimes I am still on earth when it arrives and I witness the destruction from the surface instead of from the ship. After those dreams I always wake with a start, but the tears only come when I remember where I am.
Earth is gone.
And I will be Nemo forevermore.
Inspired by a Nightwish concert.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 17, 2015
(Credit: LTM, Elena Krauße)
He had to admit that this was probably not the best water park in the galaxy. In fact, it probably wasn’t a water park at all. His ship had said that this planet was 71 percent water, but this place was mainly just sand and scorching heat. There was barely any moisture in the air.
He slid down a dune in the hope of getting some fun out of his visit, but the sand got into his trousers and made him all itchy. When he met some of the locals, he convinced them that building a water park would be a good idea. He was not sure whether they got the details, but they seemed enthusiastic about his drawings. However, after six months, they were still only laying the foundation of limestone for a support for one of the slides, so he took a quick dip in a large river and went home.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 11, 2015
(Credit: Dragon Age Origins, BioWare)
In a dream, he struggles to get away from advancing liquid; thick, sticky, green liquid. It might have been sent after him by someone or something, but the memory is fuzzy and right now, he only has time to think of escape. The slope in front of him becomes steeper and steeper, until he is climbing a vertical wall, the green slime rising beneath him. His arms ache and his heels are turned green. Soon a whole foot is enveloped and when he tries to make a move up, the glob under his sole makes him slip and he falls, back first, into the slime. He yells and flounders, coughs as the green stuff enters his mouth, then he sinks like a stone.
Holding his breath, he opens his eyes to see what resembles green glass in all directions. He counts the seconds and looks down, but there is no bottom. Without realizing it, he sighs, inhaling slime, but this time there is no coughing. It merely coats his insides and creates a thick film on his brain, and he finds that he doesn’t mind just sinking through this goo forever. It does not demand anything of him, and he is just dreaming anyway. In fact, he finds that he would not mind to just keep on dreaming forever, maybe even going to sleep in his dream, forever falling deeper and deeper into his subconscious. It would be so easy to just let go.
And the sloth demon wins.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 9, 2015
Two baby steps up to the microphone and she glides into her bubble, pulling a hand through her hair, making half of her blond locks fall over her face. Shaking it from her eyes, she raises nervous hands and drags the first long note from her lips.
As the song continues, her hands move with it, chasing away immaterial butterflies, playing invisible harp strings.
The song reaches its last words and she lets then trail off as she backs away from the microphone. She steps out of her bubble briefly to say thank you, then leaves the stage in its safety.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 8, 2015
He knew it was pointless. He read the text again:
“Come on, it’s WILD over here. And Betty is drunk ;)”
He shook his head; no matter how many kisses and sweet words she gave him today, she would be back to ignoring him tomorrow. Sighing, he pulled on a clean shirt. He should just stay home, forget about her. Doing his hair in the mirror, he told himself again and again how stupid he was, and on his way out the door he promised himself that if nothing had changed tomorrow, he would never even try to talk to her again.
And this time he meant it.
Just like he had last time, he thought to himself.
He yelled at the night sky before catching the bus.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 7, 2015
During the night dew fell on my face and left pearls on my cheeks, and when I woke in the morning, I wondered at the riches which had come to me in this wasteland. It seemed strange to me that these jagged rocks and thorny bushes which were adverse to finding both food and company would let me keep such treasures.
Still wondering, I climbed a hill and saw the sun rising behind buildings. It then struck me that maybe the pearls were a cruel joke, something to sow discord before friendship could ever take root.
So I wiped the dew away and licked my fingers and they were salty.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 6, 2015
I missed three updates this time, but I’m going to write them all now. So there’ll be an update every day the next four days to catch up.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading :)
Posted by W. R. Woolf on November 6, 2015