Childhood Morning


(Credit: MabelAmber on Pixabay)


The first rays of day.

Our garden pond becomes an

Ocean of jewels




(Credit: Laurel Balyeat on Unsplash)


I stop to admire

Your eternal suicide

Crashing against rocks.


Water Park

(Credit: LTM, Elena Krauße)

(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.

Water (Elements 3 of 4)


The battlefield will be green with seaweed when it is ready. We have grown it since the first disturbances, and we have perfected the art of hiding in it.

Schools of soldiers glide through the plants in their new armour. Striped fins and scales let them seem like shadows, but these shadows bite.

We shall see who is blue when all is said and done. Even if they win the first round we will still be there, and if they learn to see through our camouflage, we will make new disguises.

They seem very optimistic about catching us with their bare hands, but we shall see.

We are experts in bursting bubbles.

In a Coral Reef


English: A variety of corals form an outcrop o...

He sits in what looks like a red bush and stares as a school of orange fish swim past. The corals look like a forest of fungi folded and twisted into numerous shapes. Some look completely alien. Close by, there is a yellow coral shaped like a brain.

Behind the brain there is a very large fish tail attached to a woman’s torso. Her skin is milk white, her lips are blue, her hair floating around her body is a dark green, but he recognizes the delicate features of her face as beautiful. He does not know if she has seen him. She seems preoccupied with braiding a strand of her hair. As she moves her tail rhythmically and drifts off to his right, he opens his mouth to call out to her.

Then he remembers that he cannot breathe underwater.



Moving Forwards part 20

Rodger looked at his watch. One and a half hours. He paced back and forth. Looked again. Two hours. They were not coming back.

‘Shit,’ Rodger circled around the tree. What now? He could not possibly reach the hole on his own. ‘Shit,’ he covered his face in his hands.

No, wait. Perhaps he was overreacting. Perhaps they would be back in the morning. Yes, that was more likely. They just did not think that it was necessary with the seaweed. And he really should be grateful that he was not going to be drenched in cold seawater for once. So there was nothing else to do than get some sleep and wait for the morning.

He sat down on his rucksack with his back against the tree. Closed his eyes. Took a deep breath. Shifted his position. Took several more deep breaths. The praying mantis seemed to be attracted by the flute music. No, not just ‘seemed’, the Spiral had made it clear that it was attracted by the flute music. And they had been playing the flute all day.

Who was he kidding? They had left him here to die. And perhaps that was best. In this dimension they just wanted to get rid of him. And in his own dimension no one cared if he was there or not. Except Frederick. Frederick had been… Frederick. Almost like a big brother. Sometimes he had been annoying, but mostly he had been the best friend Rodger had ever had. Frederick would probably blame himself the rest of his life if he came home without Rodger.

That was no good. Rodger rose to his feet. He could not give up without trying. But he had tried. And he had found a way. And the way out had slipped between his fingers. Or thrown a rock at him and gone back to the ocean.

And why had they done that? Because he got a little impatient? He paced up and down the path staring at the place where they had disappeared into the waves. Would they not have done the same in his position? It was not as if he hurt the Spiral. That damned Flute Bearer just overreacted to every little thing. And the Spiral just tagged along.

Had he not saved them both when the praying mantis attacked? They should be thankful. Was a little help to much to ask in return? Ungrateful little bastards. He picked up a stone and threw it into the waves.

‘I hope it knocks you cold!’ he shouted at the sea and tossed another. And one more. He went back to the tree breathing heavily.

He squatted down beside the tree resting one hand on the bark. He could feel a beginning headache. Probably his body telling him he was exhausted. And this shouting and tossing stones was not helping. He settled down with his back against the tree. He had to rest. At least until morning. He checked his watch. At least without them tagging along he should be able to reach the place much faster.

Rodger woke with a start and looked at his watch. But he could just as well have looked at the sky. The sun had only just crept over the horizon revealing a sky completely devoid of clouds. Rodger sighed. Was the weather taunting him as well now? He rummaged through his rucksack. He still had plenty of food left. He tossed a packet of biscuits to the ground. And what did that matter if he did not get back? He massaged his temples. Tossing biscuits did not help either.

After a light breakfast he took one last look at the tree and moved on towards the hole in the sky.



Read part one here:

Moving Forwards part 16

Rodger stared at the water. Come on. Come on. Come back. He checked his watch ten times a minute. When something finally broke the surface of the water, he sprang to his feet. The mermaids had returned and their arms were full of… Seaweed? He hoped they did not think he ate the stuff.

When they came close, the Spiral dropped its load beside him and gestured for him to sit. Rodger sat down. The Spiral gurgled while pointing into the sky. Rodger shook his head.

‘What?’ he said.

The flute bearer dumped all the seaweed it was carrying in his lap. The Ice cold seawater made Rodger cry out.

‘Argh, what was that for?’

The Spiral pushed him back against the tree and began covering him with the seaweed.

‘I hope this is for keeping the praying mantis away and not just some weird ritual,’ said Rodger, but he sat still and let the Spiral cover him. When the Spiral was done, it gurgled some more and drew its finger across the sky then pushed him lightly on the shoulders as if to tell him to stay put. Rodger nodded.

‘You’ll come back tomorrow?’ he said. He hoped that whatever the Spiral was telling him meant ‘yes’.

Rodger must have fallen asleep in spite of his shivers because he opened his eyes to brilliant sunshine. The wind had practically disappeared and the sun was so strong that the seaweed covering him had grown lukewarm and begun to dry. His thigh complained when he rose to his feet. He studied the cut. It looked a little red around the edges, but it could not have been very deep; a scab was already forming.

He stretched, enjoying the warmth seeping into his clothes and skin. Then he noticed his watch. He checked it. The days here seemed to be very close to the length of earth days, only a little bit longer. There was still time, but the clock was ticking.

‘Shit,’ he put on his rucksack, ‘where did those mermaids get to?’

He looked to the water. Nothing there. Glanced around the island. Nothing. Had the flute bearer finally convinced the Spiral to stay away? He strode to the beginning of the path and there he found them. They were lying spread out on the stones, face down. Completely still. He went closer. Cleared his throat. They did not stir.

‘Hey,’ he said, ‘you alright?’

There was no reaction.

‘Hey,’ he poked the Spiral carefully and its tail moved slightly. ‘Are you ill?’ he checked his watch, ‘oh, please don’t be ill.’

The Spiral gave a faint gurgle and moved its tail again.

‘Can’t you get up?’ Rodger took hold of its hand, but the Spiral resisted. It turned on its side, gurgled gestured weakly to the sky and lay down again.

‘Is the sun bothering you?’ Rodger stepped to one side so his shadow fell on the Spiral. The Spiral looked up and gurgled while gesturing as if to make him sit down. Rodger sat down and the Spiral collapsed back onto the stones.

Rodger stood up and moved away from them. He paced up and down the stones. He had to get them up.



Read part one here:


Moving Forwards part 6

As the sun rose the trees turned yellow and a mist rolled in from the sea. At first the mist only swallowed the farthest islands, but it crept closer by the minute. Soon Rodger could see no further than five metres in front of him. As he crossed another island he could hear the waves from the other side of the white blanket, but the water was hidden. The trees were shadows in the mist. How could he be sure they were only trees?

No, that kind of thinking would bring him nowhere. He steeled himself and placed three white stones in the middle of the island. He paused. What would find them? Would the dark slimy thing know what they meant? He picked up the stones and turned to leave.

Then again, if there was any kind of help to find in this world, any at all, he would need them to know he was here. He placed the stones in a pile again and strode on. Trying not to turn his head at every crash of the waves. If something was following him, and it was an animal, he did not want to seem like prey and if it was something intelligent, he did not want it to think he was scared.

The endless crashing of the waves worked like sandpaper on his nerves, even when he was on the narrow strip of stones and could see them. It was as if someone had wiped out the whole world and all that existed was him, the stones and the waves in this small bubble of reality.

He shook himself. He had to find some way to calm himself. A song? No, he could not sing in key to save his life. And he could not whistle. But he did know some poetry.

‘It is an ancient mariner,’ he began, ‘and he stoppeth one of three.’ Remembering the words as he walked, he almost forgot the shadows in the mist.

‘At length did cross an albatross,’ he said as he was crossing the next island, ‘Thorough the fog it came.’ Something stirred at the edge of his vision. He froze. Staring into the fog. There was a shadow there. But now it was completely still. He swallowed a couple of times. It had moved just a little, but it had moved. His jaw clenched, he crept towards the shadow. It was large. Much taller than him. It was a tree. Its branches spiralling innocently on opposite sides of the trunk.

He sighed. Rubbed his forehead. He really was losing it. He turned his back.

‘As if it had been a Christian soul,’ he continued, ‘we hailed’ Something stirred. He spun around. There was only the tree. And the mist. And the shadows. He took a deep breath. Turned slowly and continued on his way, forcing himself to look straight ahead and continue his recitation, no matter how his instincts screamed for him to turn. To run. To fight. To stop the moving at the edge of his vision or at least find out what it was.

The moving did not seem to follow him onto the stones and his heart slowed a little.

‘Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink,’ he gazed at the water and where it disappeared in the fog, ‘water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.’ At least he had plenty of provisions with him. Frederick had made sure of that. ‘The very deep did rot, oh Christ!’ He stopped, studying the crashing waves. ‘That ever this should be. Yea slimy things did crawl with legs,’ his voice turned into a whisper, ‘upon the slimy sea.’ Perhaps the Ancient Mariner had not been the best choice.



This is part 6, read part 1 here:

Moving Forwards part 3

As Rodger walked down the path of white stones, his ears reddened from the cold. He tucked his hands under his armpits and increased his pace. He looked left and right regularly, hoping for something. Anything.

What if there was a tide? What would he do when it came in? Behind him he could still see the wound in the sky. But Frederick had been unable to hear him even when he had stood right below the machine. He could easily disappear beneath the cold water and Frederick would never know where he went. Would not even be able to look for him.

Something moved in the waves to his right. He shook his head and looked again, but there was only water. He hurried on.

His nose ran. He wiped it with his sleeve. Why did he ever say yes to this stupid expedition? Oh, he knew the answer to that, he cursed himself under his breath, but what would all that money be worth if he got stuck in this God forsaken dimension? He gazed out across the water to where the sea and sky merged. It looked exactly like the sky had done on his last day at home.

He and Frederick had been to the gym that morning and they had decided to take a walk along the beach before parting. Frederick was going home to his family. Rodger was going home to his empty flat.

‘You’ve never really told me about your family,’ said Rodger picking up a flat stone.

‘There’s not much to tell,’ Frederick pulled his fingers through his messy yellow hair.

‘Tell me what there is’ Rodger tossed the stone and it skipped on the water five times before sinking.

‘Well, I still have my parents,’ said Frederick picking up a stone, ‘my mother makes the best fried chicken.’

Rodger had a sinking feeling.

‘You’ll have to try it when we get back,’ continued Frederick. ‘And my father knows everything about rocks.’ Frederick smiled, ‘but you had better not ask him about that, he can go on for hours.’ He tossed the stone which skipped seven times before plumping under the surface.

‘I’ll keep that in mind,’ said Rodger and threw another stone. It skipped twice. Of course Frederick’s parents were great.

‘Then I have a brother who is two years older than me. He’s a trucker, but shorter than me and so thin it almost looks dangerous. We always joke that he should have been the nurse.’

Rodger looked at the tribal on Frederick’s bulging upper arm. He would never have guessed nurse when he first met Frederick.

‘Then there’s my little sister, Lily,’ Frederick crouched down, picked up and discarded several stones, ‘she’s only twelve.’

‘So she’s, what,’ said Rodger, ‘fourteen years younger than you?’

‘Fifteen,’ said Frederick, ‘and she’s the cutest thing in the world. It’ll be a hassle chasing the boys off when she gets older.’

Rodger tried to smile.

‘It sounds like quite the family.’ Rodger felt an emptiness in his stomach. He should never have asked about the family.

‘It is,’ said Frederick, ‘man, it’ll be tough saying goodbye.’ He studied the stone in his hand. Rodger looked down at him. Frederick turned the stone over and over with his fingers, his blue eyes unfocussed, the corners of his mouth turned down.

‘Why are you going?’ said Rodger.

‘What?’ Frederick looked up.

‘It doesn’t sound like you want to leave them.’

‘I don’t,’ Frederick rose to his feet and gazed out over the water.

‘Then why are you going?’

‘Lily’s going blind.’

Rodger opened his mouth, but closed it again without a sound.

‘It began about a year ago,’ said Frederick with his back turned, ‘she can see with glasses as it is, but it’s getting worse. The doctor says she’ll be blind within the year without an operation. If I just get back from this one expedition, it’ll be enough.’

Rodger swallowed. He went up to Frederick and put a hand on his shoulder.

‘You’ll get back,’ said Rodger, ‘don’t worry, you’ll get back.’

Rodger wiped his nose again as he marched along the white stone path. At least Frederick would still get his share.

This is part three, here are parts one and two:

12 Insanity 1 of 2

Sand. It crunches between my teeth. It is in my clothes and between my toes. The sun sears my neck and sweat runs from me. Down my back, my legs. From my hair. Into my eyes.

I force my head up. Sand dunes are all around me. I have to move. I have to go on. Just to the top of the next dune. I might be able to see something. Someone might find me.

I drive myself forwards one step at the time. Up, up, to where the sky touches the sand and becomes all hazy. I keep my mouth closed. In the beginning I could swallow my own spit, but now my mouth is as dry as the sand.
I am close to the top now. Just a few more steps. I stagger, but keep my feet. And I am there. I am at the top. I look around me.


Dunes, as far as the eye can see in every direction. I fall to my knees. I cannot keep going like this. I will need to drink soon. But if I lie down and let the sand cover me, it will be as if I was wiped out of existence. No one would ever find me. I have to find someone. Anyone.

My gaze drifts across the dunes. There is movement on one of them. I squint. Someone is walking on the top of the next dune. I have to make the person see me. I try to speak, but only a hoarse whisper is released from my mouth.

I struggle to my feet again and will my legs to carry my weight down the dune and up the side of the next one. My feet hurt and my legs tremble. The wind blows more sand into my face. I keep going. Just put one foot in front of the other and you’ll get there eventually. I put my foot down, and slip. I grip at the shifting sand and scramble the rest of the way up my heart thumping like mad. Then I smile, I made it. I look up.

Sand. Dunes. Sky.

Left. Sand.

Right. Dunes.

Up. Sky.

There is no one here.

I shout. I yell my frustration out to the sand and dunes and sky. I curse them long after my voice has disappeared. A small whirl of sand dances in front of me. Then it is still.

I must have fallen asleep because I dream. I am sitting in a soft armchair. I am in some sort of common room, with a lot of other people. Some of them are sitting like me, others wander around the room. Most wear ordinary clothes, but some are wearing nurse uniforms.

There are pictures on the walls of forest clearings and animals. Beside me on a small table there is a glass of water. It is cold and wet when I take it. I smile, put the glass to my lips and let the cold water flow slowly down my throat. My whole body is drinking, expanding, regaining its usual form. Then I wake up and my throat is parched.

The sand is in my ears, my nose, my eyes. My lips are cracked and bleeding. I suck them, to keep the liquid. At first I dreamt of cool swimming pools with naked women, now I dream of drinking a glass of water. My hands curl into fists and a dry sob is released from my throat, but I stop myself from crying. It would not do to loose the last bit of liquid in my body.

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