Friday Fictioneers: The Palace of Ten Thousand Arches.

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Photo prompt ©Dale Rogerson

The Palace of Ten Thousand Arches and each arch has a tale to tell. Over there is where the first usurper uttered his embryonic plot. Behind us is where the handmaid became a mother and later gutted the man who forced motherhood on her.

At this moment, by the arch right in front of us, His Most Exalted feels like he will marry the handmaiden’s child at 18. He will ask the crone and she will tell him to proceed but give him portents that she knows he will not heed. Her need for justice and revenge will be satisfied.

©Swarms Me 2017

(100 words)

Do you know what I really don’t know if I’m happy with this at all and I really struggled this week. Maybe I’ve had a bad week in general and it’s not even Friday anymore but I’m posting it as a lesson to myself. I think as it reminds me so much as the setting for a place that I have in mind for another story it wouldn’t get out of my head for this prompt.

As always (twice now) thank-you to Rochelle for choosing and pushing us with these prompts. There have been so many great pieces this week and I am only a third of the way through them.

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Handcrafted. Early birthday gift. I was a crying mess of happiness.

So my birthday isn’t until December 21st but for weeks Bee has been telling me he’s been making something special for my birthday. I was, obviously, very excited. About a week-ish ago he told me he had finally finished and he was really excited about it. He said he thought I would cry when I saw it.

(At this stage I must drop a little aside to you. He very often tries to make me cry by finding super cute and really sad stories or just really lovely heartwarming stories or videos for me to watch just so he can enjoy my tears.)

I was adamant I could wait until my actual birthday but he couldn’t wait.

(he also guesses what his gifts are when they are wrapped up)

Off he goes to his workshop of dreams and comes back with a cardboard box wrapped in brown paper and string. The first thing that I can’t miss is a gorgeous hand carved tag but all around that, on the paper were drawings of toads and magical creatures.

I’m already gone, the tag is beautiful. Then I open the box, all I can see is a mass of dried oak leaves and in the top left corner a tiny flickering light. I brush the leaves aside with my finger tips. Once I finally work out it’s form from the oak leaves I’m trying to see through my tears, even my shoulders are sobbing by themselves. I haven’t even opened it. I’m such a terrible photographer. That little goblin is holding a (real) coin in his right hand. It’s the coin you have to give for him to look after your treasures. It sticks out from the wood, and a handle of a metal trowel that pokes from the pocket in his shirt. It is all hand carved, with a couple of drumstick acorns for the smallest toadstools the two leaves on the side are metal and have been sitting on a shelf waiting for a home for a while. The shell that holds the little flickering light was something we picked up from one of our trips to Wales.

So it’s been about five minutes and I’m in a better state to open the box up…I kid you not. ARGGHHHH it’s full of little memories from trips and childhood and there’s plenty of room to fill it up with other tiny treasures. Blub blub blub. Ends in exhausted mess of happiness.

Book review. The Lonely Dark by Ren Warom

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Cover art by Daniele Serra

‘Hey you’re two years behind’ I hear you say.

‘Story of my life’ I say while taking a wind up to kick you in the shins.

I stumbled across this novella by accident, let me try to recall….no, it isn’t coming back to me at all. It doesn’t make any difference anyway. I saw it there on Amazon and bought it then and there after reading the synopsis, here it is from the Fox Spirit site.

Irenon and the Cerenauts aboard her will be the final hope of thousands of colonists deserted after the failure of the AI deep space programme. The burden falls on Ingmar and Yuri, orphans both, chosen for their ability to cope with isolation and innate mental strength. But how to anticipate what level of strength might be needed when only one creature, the AI Danai, knows what waits for them out there in the darkness? Danger that cannot be seen, quantified, or understood. That will find them in their worst and best memories, the sanctuaries and horrors of their past and, eventually, the corridors of the Irenon herself.

This is where Ingmar will finally understand the last words Danai said to her, a warning: Stay away from the lonely dark.

Now the first thing I need to let you know is you in no way need to be a fan of Sci-Fi to love or even like this book. The way Ren Warom writes is mesmerizing and as I have said to other people it is beautifully raw and refined. I had to read bits over and over again not because I wasn’t following or couldn’t understand but because Ren Warom sucked me into that world which was so real and flawed that I had to keep living it in my mind. It ripped at my introversion that I’m more than happy with and forced me as a tiny speck into the massive swallowing universe. I was with Ingmar the whole way. Read this book if you are a human or experience human emotions, read this book if you struggle with being alone, read this book if you enjoy being alone.

 

The Lonely Dark by Ren Warom. Published by Fox Spirit Books 3rd December 2014

ISBN: 978-1909348714