Amaryllis

Amaryllis

 

It looks out the window and into my flat, lighting up my living room.

It has more colours the longer one studies it.

And its rubbery leaves smell of nothing.

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Is There Anybody Out There?

anybodyoutthere

In a flat, there was a radiator that wondered whether there were any others of its kind out there somewhere. It had never seen any others, but after thinking a while it became certain that if it could only sent out a message, someone would answer. When the woman who lived in the flat hung up poster with a Morse Code alphabet, it knew how to send that message. It sent knocks up through the pipes;

‘Hello,’ and after a pause, ‘hello.’

The man in the flat above happened to be an air traffic controller who had learned Morse Code better than was strictly necessary. After he had heard the first three hellos, he sent one back, knocking on the pipes.

‘Do you feel lonely too?’ answered the radiator and the man did feel lonely, so they had a long conversation afterwards.

The day after, the man did not know whether he should go to meet this new friend face to face. After a week of communication, he was afraid that he might not like what he saw, or that the person in the other end did not want to see him. After a month, it seemed ridiculous to seek the person out.

However, one day when he when down the steps, he saw a woman come out of the flat which he thought the knocking was coming from. Trying to make sure, he asked:

‘Have you heard the knocking?’

‘Oh, yeah, it’s from the radiator in my living room,’ she said, and thought that she would have to ask the landlord to do something about it because it was getting ridiculous.

‘Will you marry me?’ asked the man.

The woman blinked.

‘No thank you,’ she said and hurried down the stairs.

The man did not go to work after that. When the knocking began that evening, he did not answer and the radiator had no idea what had gone wrong.

Radiators

(Credit: Wikipedia)

(Credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been thinking about how one could write a story about a radiator. This was the first idea I had:

 

The radiator had been cold for a long time, and it did not understand why. It could remember warmth faintly as something that filled it up with comfort and longed to feel it again. One day a family moved into the house. They turned the heat up as far as it would go. The radiator enjoyed the warmth spreading through it, and for a while it was just as comfortable as it remembered, but then it felt like it was on fire.

 

The next idea I had was about a radiator that escapes its house, goes off to see the world and ends up living in a dump with an old fridge.

The third idea will get its own post.

The British Fantasy Society’s Journal

British Fantasy Society Journal 12

(Credit: Howard Hardiman)

 

I got a short story published in the British Fantasy Society’s Journal. It is called “There Is Nothing Keeping You” and is published under my real name: Beatrix M. G. Nielsen

 

Between a Tower and a Storm

(www.zastavki.com/eng/Nature/Other/wallpaper-7271-14.htm)

(www.zastavki.com/eng/Nature/Other/wallpaper-7271-14.htm)

In my dream I am in front of a tower and it is snowing.

And there is a storm coming behind me. I can hear it ripping at the trees in the distance, and when I look over my shoulder I even see one fall, sending up a flurry of snow and dead leaves as it crashes to the ground. I need to find a place to sleep for the night out of the wind. The cold is secondary; I barely feel it at all.

In a sense I am lucky the tower is so close, but I don’t want to go inside.

It is not the crows that make the tower evil; the crows are just birds and noisy. There is something else. Perhaps it is something about the upper windows, red in the light from the setting sun, or maybe something behind them, watching me, waiting for me.

As sweat trickles from under my arms, I am torn between bolting from the tower and rushing inside and up the steps. I even wonder whether I should apologize to whatever is inside for making it wait.

So I shift my feet while the storm catches up. Then the first strong wind rips the breath from my lungs, and I wonder why I don’t wake up.

Flute Music

(Marsyas Enchanting the Hares by Elihu Vedder)

(Marsyas Enchanting the Hares by Elihu Vedder)

If you go deep into the forest, you might find a man playing a flute. He can play tunes sweet enough to make computers feel compassion, and if he turns it up a notch, it’s like syrup encasing your ears before it claims the rest of your body in a large sticky ball. He can also turn it the other way and let the notes jab from every direction and produce a bitter taste of dissatisfaction on your tongue. I have seen a few people cry tears of happiness when they heard him, but no matter what he chooses to play, remember that the breath behind the music is rotten.

So bring earplugs.

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