The old god sat in a corner of his workshop and regarded his creation. It was nearly done. He’d laid the foundations of fire and clay, he’d shaped the mountains and the seas, he’d planted the seeds that would grow into grasses and trees. He had spent the last several hours painting each grain of sand just the right shade of gold, each wave in the ocean the right shade of blue, and each cloud just the right shade of silver-grey. This world was his masterpiece. It was lighter than the ones he’d made before, but heavier than the airy worlds his brothers and sisters made. It needed only a few finishing touches: balancing the poles, stoking the fires within to just the right heat, giving the mountaintops one final polish. Once he was done, this world would outshine all the others.
Category: Stories and Poems Page 2 of 4
I’ve finally finished Summer at Hotel Fulcrum. This is the longest work of fiction I’ve completed by a long shot (probably the next longest would be under 2000 words). So this is a really big achievement for me, and a project that I’ve learnt a lot from. Specifically, the following:
Part 12: Earth’s Magic
Janet sat up and waited for the world to stop spinning.
“How did you get here?” Telar snarled. His white cloak was slightly smudged, and it had settled on his body, still for the first time.
Janet blinked. The room was mostly empty, but there were still chairs and tables stacked in the corners. Tendrils of tarnished silver stretched from the walls, pulling other threads with them. Was he calling other magic to this room? She stood up. That was going to end.
Part 11: Traitor
Janet got to her feet and looked around. She had never seen this room before. There was a desk to her right, and in the left corner, a bed. A dark suit was draped over a chair. This must be Hela’s room, Janet realised with an uncomfortable start.
Hela was between her and the door, angrier than Janet had ever seen her. “Explain.”
Empty tables stand
under glowing orange globes.
Wine glasses glisten.
Doors open, letting
cold air blow in, shivering
people order, then
leave when food is done.
Kitchen returns to quiet,
prepping for the rush
that may never come.
Waiters waiting wistfully,
seats remain empty,
the whole building waiting to
be filled with diners to fill.
Part 9: Meetings
Smith’s office was larger than Janet remembered it. It was the same room — there was the mahogany desk, with the scented candles and the dim lamps, and the carpet was the same shade of blood red. Instead of being a small close space, though, it was now large enough to fit everyone here. That included every staff member Janet had seen, bar Felicia, who had stayed at the receptionist desk fielding questions. Magic again. If she focused, she thought she could see the threads of magic that had changed the room’s dimensions. They gleamed silver-red. Was that what Paxton had meant when he said she’d be able to see the colours, or was it simply that they were reflecting the colour in the room?
This is a Rimas Dissolutas — a poem where the rhymes are not in the stanzas, but across the stanza (i.e. line 1 of the first stanza rhymes with line 1 of the second, and so on). This one kind of got away from me. I started with the image of flying and did not expect to be writing about regrets. But that was the way the words fit together. I guess that’s the fun of poetry. Anyway, here goes:
Part 8: Reaching Out
In the days that followed, Janet did her best to concentrate on seeing the magic of Hotel Fulcrum, but it was difficult. There wasn’t really any time to focus. While she worked, Hela would take calls, or quiz her on various locations in the hotel. Taking the time to focus her mind at home didn’t help either. Requests for quiet resulted in laughter and half-hearted attempts to lower voices before things started up again. She told them she was trying to pick up meditation, a revelation which was mostly greeted with scorn.
Part 7: Threads
It was over a week before Janet got the chance — and the courage — to visit the basement level on her own.
Smith must have talked to Hela, because the next shift began with a long lecture on exactly what she was and was not allowed to do, and how those rules shouldn’t have been broken for the sake of a phone.