They say it’s dangerous to live near the forest where the elves are. They say the elves rob and kill unwary travellers, that they steal children and replace them with their own. I know that’s not so. I live near the forest and the elves are safe.
Tag: short story
Sometimes, they even finished each other’s—
—sentences. At least in the beginning, when they were young and new. The world named them Twins, and kept them together, one unit, sharing clothes and beds and hearts. As they grew they named themselves individuals, sisters, plural. Still close, so close. Sometimes, they even finished each other’s—
Normally when I’m anxious I calm myself by feeding the ducks at the park at the end of the street. So when I found I couldn’t sleep, I went to the park. The only problem was that there are no ducks to feed at 2am, so I just sat on a bench and watched the lake. It was a calming sight, the smooth surface reflecting the starry sky.
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Mother had told her not to talk to strangers. It was what she told Red Riding Hood every time she sent her into the woods. The creature looked so very hurt, though. It could barely move, using what little energy it had to clutch at its wounded side. Red crept closer. “Are you all right?”
It was mostly curiosity that brought us here. Really. Okay, we were bored too, and maybe a bit tipsy. Well, I definitely was, and Macey seemed to be. Don’t judge. Benny had just dumped me, and Macey was nearly a year out of work. I’d heard she was probably going to lose the flat. So we both had our reasons for having a few drinks in us at three in the afternoon.
Hell was full. It had taken all the souls it could possibly take, filled every space. But every day, every hour, the souls kept on coming in.
“A place must be found for them,” said the Devil.
This is was partly inspired by the Matrix and every Matrix-like story, but mostly it was inspired by Steve Reich’s first experiment with phasing, It’s Gonna Rain. I actually like phasing as a technique and enjoy later works like Piano Phase and Violin Phase. On the other hand, the first part of It’s Gonna Rain (The phrase ‘It’s gonna rain’, on repeat, slightly out of sync, for about eight minutes) is akin to being punched in the head repeatedly for eight minutes. I started out trying to replicate this in prose form but fortunately, I don’t think I succeeded.
Harrin and Alys stared up at the gates. They were made of black stone, and intricately carved with designs of flowers and faces and cities and many things they could not quite make out. They were tall gates, heavy gates that towered over them.
They were also closed. Very closed. There was no gap between them, no handle, no opening.
Oh, it’s you. Hello.
I’m ok. But I can still hear the voices on the other side of the wall.
Not in the wall, the other side. They are on the other side of the wall.
I don’t mean the corridor. I know there’s a corridor if you walk around the wall. The corridor is around the wall. This place is on the other side.
It was dark. Leaves and twigs rattled over the ground. Elsie shivered. Her feet were bare, and the cold stones beneath were sharp. She should go forward. She didn’t want to.
‘Come on, Elsie,’ said a voice, deep and comforting. Elsie looked round but saw only the elm branches waving in the wind. ‘Come to bed, Elsie. Come to rest.’
‘I don’t want to,’ Elsie whispered. ‘I want to stay.’
The wind blew and the leaves swirled all round her, slapping her face and her hands. She covered her face with her arms and crouched down.