They say that every little town has its little curiosity and ours was a homeless man they called Ned. Guy looked like he was pushing seventy, though I don’t think anyone knew for sure how old he was. What I do know is that he was a territorial old fucker, and had been living out of boxes at the end of my road for as long as I can remember.
He had these two foul-smelling shelters at either end of an alley that was supposed to let you cut through to the row of shops that ran parallel, but he’d never let anyone use it. I can’t count the number of times my parents would talk about the council trying to move him on, only to have him reappear a few days later as though he’d never left. In the end I guess they just let him be, small town plod’s got better things to do, you know?
There are twenty-seven notebooks on a bookshelf above my bed. They’re all about the same size (A5) and the oldest was given to me as a Christmas present in 1996; it’s spiral bound with a clear plastic cover and it’s the only one that has something written on every page.
Working the night shift does strange things to your head. Walking down darkened hallways without light or life to distract you gives your mind the opportunity to focus on other things. Around the eight-hour mark my imagination tends to take over. It turns the rooms I look into as I pass gateways to different places inside my head. The absence of colour and conversation creates a blank slate, perfect for projecting mindscapes onto. Continue reading →
On a barren road, and in the dark
With faded skies overhead, and a blank canvas
Controlling light, and moving in time
Pieces of a world undiscovered, fall into place
I explore. Continue reading →
Inspiration for the necklace in the story came from this piece, by PunkTrunk.
You can’t save the world forever. Time, however well you chose to wield it, moves for everyone and age soon caught up with me. For my trouble I was awarded a rather peaceful twilight in a comfortable space underneath two dancing stars. My final home shaped into an old mill, the sort I’d imaged in the moments between crossing and battle.
It was no easy thing, to move quickly to the door when someone knocked on it. A smile, soft word and an outstreched hand later saw me holding something I thought long-lost.
The chain was cool in my palm, cleaned of rust and relinked, whole again. At the end hung a small disk, but the gleaming lights that used to dance around the edges had dissipated with my final desperate act of liberation. Small bronze lids had been fixed in their place and gears which once spun now hung silent. Continue reading →
Clusters are collections,
A thousand worlds beneath the Stars.
These Worlds share connections,
Waypoints mark each one.
And at these points a Stronghold stands,
With a Torch that never needs tending,
And never goes out.
Strongholds are supposed to look like castles from the old world, safe havens for the Travellers that find themselves in a new place. Not where they once were and in need of explanation, the markings in the stone tell the story of how we’re all connected.
But as the ages came and went, on each of the worlds within all of the clusters, the lights began to flicker, and to fade. Continue reading →