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A Knight On Pasture

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

(Credit: Petr Kratochvil, http://www.public-domain-image.com)

It is very relaxing to observe cows on pasture. That is, usually, it’s very relaxing. However, there was this one time…

The cows had only just settled into a fresh pasture, when they all got up and bellowed at something and after a while, I saw that a knight, all in armour was trudging through the pasture and alarming my cows. I hailed him twice before he noticed me and staggered towards my part of the fence, dragging his shield after him which made an ugly furrow in the grass.

‘What are you doing here?’ I asked him and he asked me whether I had seen his horse. He had the strangest way of talking, I could hardly understand him.

‘’fraid I haven’t,’ I told him, ‘you’ll only find cows here. Are they doing re-enactments up in the hills again?’

But he just said that it was very important that he found his horse and that maybe he could still join the retreat. Then he toppled over. Just like that. His armour thudded into the mud and his helmet rolled away downhill. And it was all empty. Just an empty suit of armour in the mud.

How I Found Out That I Am Not A Viking

viking mount and blade

(Credit: Mount & Blade: Warband)

My grandmother piled cream buns on the table until the heaps towered over my head. I ate one while I was sure she was looking, threw another to the dog while she wasn’t and hid two more in the large pocket of my hoodie, then I slipped away to take refuge in the garden. Hopefully, my father would be able to eat enough to satisfy her.

They had an old apple tree in the back of the garden, which had once supported a tree house. Now there were only two rotting boards left, nailed to the bark, but it was still great for climbing. From the top, I tossed the two uneaten cream buns into the neighbour’s rhododendrons. Then sat down swinging my legs on each side of a large branch and contemplated my next move. The dog was still inside, sniffing around under the table probably, hoping for another bun. My father had to entertain my grandmother, and the neighbour didn’t have any kids, so it seemed I would have to invent another one-person-activity.

Something red caught my eye so I swung down from the branch and dropped to the ground. Right up to the hedge there was a ring of red, white spotted mushrooms, like the ones the Smurfs lived in. Or like the ones Vikings used to chew before going into battle. I could be a Viking, I thought. So I took a bite of one and pretended smashing axe against shield, until the one cream bun I had eaten was rather suddenly expelled from my stomach. I had to practically crawl back to the house, and held a bucket between my knees all the way to the hospital.


Tom Kogut Photography: India: Mammals (except tigers) &emdash; Indian Jackal (Canis aureus indicus), Bandhavgarh National Park, India

(Credit: Tom Kogut Photography)


At work, there’s a pack of jackals following at my heels. They gobble up the remains of any business deal I make, and they’ll take any scrap I throw at them, but they never attempt to hunt a customer for themselves.

You might think that a successful businessman would like having a gang of admirers, and I would, but these jackals aren’t really admirers at all. They sneer their thanks, when they snatch a bone from me, and their hungry howls for more have often given me sleepless nights.

The worst thing though is when they go mad. Once in a while, one of them will go on a rampage and sabotage anyone who has even been close to a customer, even if they’re from their own pack, even if it hurts the whole firm. They even go for me sometimes. It is as if something in their brain snaps and tells them that if they cannot succeed, then no one should. Usually, they are put down by the higher ups before they can ruin anything major, but I get the jitters every time I receive a mail asking whether I really asked such and such to publish those tests or to tell the customer about those risks. I would pay millions for a vaccine for The Madness.

Three Wishes


I thought I heard you giggle,

But it was only the cold river,

Lumps of ice breaking off the shores,

Bobbing up and down in the rushing waters.

You used to bathe there in summer.

If I had three wishes, one would be for your childish laughter.


I thought that I heard you sing,

But it was only the church choir,

Rehearsing for a funeral.

The boys’ faces all concentration one moment,

Then contorted in silent laughter as the priest looked away.

If I had three wishes, one be for a happy song from you.


I thought I saw you crossing the street,

And it might have been you,

Even though he was wearing a suit,

Striding along with an attaché case,

Clutching it as you once clutched my hand.

If I had three wishes, one would be for you to be with me again as you were,

One would be for you to stay with me forever,

One would be for you to never change.

Reimagining Old Fears

I have always had a fear of clowns.

Maybe it’s their mouths; they’re so large. Large enough to swallow small children whole.

When I was a teenager, I got tired of my childish fear and wanted to rid myself of it. I thought violence would be the answer; so I imagined the most frightening clown I could think of, with large staring eyes and long sharp teeth, I imagined a whole army of them, and then I beat them to a pulp in my head. I smashed their round noses against each other, yanked out their rainbow coloured hair and swung them around by their oversized shoes.

And from the red remains, they arose, reborn; zombie clowns with missing limbs or an eye hanging out of the socket, ready to eat me more than ever.

So I did my best to think only of puppies the rest of that week, and to this day I never go to the circus, or watch zombie films for that matter.

But sometimes, they just turn up out of nowhere with their gloved reaching hands, and I have to go to the bathroom until I can force them out of my mind.

The Raven Queen

On her beak of a nose rests a pair of glasses with dark red rims. I don’t think she needs them; she takes them off when she reads or drives, and I for one am never in doubt when those sharp eyes pierce my back. She is always slightly hunched as if she hides wings under her loose black sweater. I don’t know where she lives, but I bet it’s on a hill. I can picture her perched in the window of a high tower, gazing out over the town, screeching to the thunderclouds.


At first I planned to talk to her, but now I know I’ll never dare. So I go to the library every day, peering at her through bookshelves, pretending to read as she passes, and hope that she will do something, anything, to reveal her true nature, something that will let me know for sure whether she really is The Raven Queen.

Important Announcement!

The Glow Cloud is coming.


All hail The Glow Cloud!

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