Så jag satte mig igår och började skriva, som jag sade att jag skulle. Jag har känt mig lite svajjig på sistone, och jag har insett att då blir det lätt så att man faller tillbaka på det gamla och bekväma: sagor. Jag vet inte hur bekväm jag skulle vara med att låta dem bli lästa, men det är rätt skönt att skriva dem ibland ändå, lite som att berätta dem för sig själv.
I wrote a little story about a month ago called Lillie Engel danced. Not a brilliant short-story, just something I whipped up in the middle of the night. Still, the character Lillie Engel is one I’m considering playing in Poste Restante II (I’ll still play James as well, of course, I love him too much to stop.) which is one of the reasons why I’ve sketched her a bit. I think this one is my favourite so far (though it is terribly flawed).
Lillie Engel danced. Softly swaying, like a delicate leaf of grass, a fine silhouette against the night sky. She clutched a near empty bottle in her hand, as honey-coloured tendrils fell softly against her pale shoulders. The once tidy and artfully arranged hair glistened and shone as the moonlight kissed it and the wind invited the escaping locks of hair to dance. He watched her silently from a distance. A lone figure against the darkness and the distant lights of the city, lights that shone brighter than the stars above.
Her smile had been sweeter than the sweetest wine, and her charm had struck every man who’d caught sight of her. Without so much as a touch or a word she had made them her subjects. Though they’d never be able to afford her services, practically every man in the room had been lost in the dream of her as she’d drifted through the room. She’d laughed drunkenly along with the celebrations, loud and fine. She’d sung, oh God how she’d sung, with a voice just slightly hoarse from drink and laughter. Together they’d fallen out onto the street as the pub closed and as drunkards stumbled home, tired and worn. He’d followed her when she’d hitched her skirts up and climbed onto the roof as men fought and bled into the gutters below.
She was different and he’d always known it. A strange bird that had fallen to the dusty ground with the rest of them. Some men called her an angel and, seeing her skin and hair reflect the moonlight, he could see what they meant. She did look as though she could be an angel in a church, carved from marble or alabaster with gilded hair. But if she was an angel she was neither carved from stone, nor born of fire and air. Beneath her skin lay bone, blood, and flesh. Thinking her the dream was no more than an attempt to lock her in a cage, a cage that could never hold against the beating of her mighty wings. These days she was clad in finer clothes than when she’d run, faster than anything and owning nothing but her name, but she always returned and he knew that she would always be the beautiful fallen bird with dust in her feathers. She was a breathing contradiction. Proud and humble, sold but never any less her own, dirtied yet pure. She could dance on rooftops like an otherworldly spirit, while the filthiest ditty he’d ever heard fell cheerily from her lips. Soft lips, stained dark with wine.
A drunken angel, made of gristle and bone, swaying on a rooftop as the city slept and dreamt beneath her feet. Swaying at the edge of the roof, as if ready to take a leap into the darkness. For a moment he could almost believe that her feet could part with the ground and that she would soar into the air rather than fall. As if her body could defy gravity itself and take flight, rather than break pitifully against the cobbles on the street below. She walked along the edge, as though she was a tightrope walker, her arms elegantly stretched out. She walked as if carried forward through pure faith that she would not fall. The wind caught her shawl and through his drunken gaze he could see her wings for a moment before she spun away from the edge and back to him, skirts swirling wildly. The bottle fell from her hand and shattered into glittering pieces at her feet, like millions of emeralds, but what did it matter?
Lillie Engel danced on the rooftop, over glittering jewels made from broken glass. A flesh and blood angel with dusty wings and wine-stained lips, her body like a leaf of grass in a breeze. Lillie Engel danced and he’d never forget the sight.
And here’s why you shouldn’t upload things you’ve written in the middle of the night (ok, technically it’s morning) whilst under the influence of a really good song.
Oh, which one? This one!
This is a very old thing that I just gave a bit of a polish to. It’s still not great by any standards, but it’s kind of sweet somehow.
The sky is so blue that it almost makes my eyes ache. From the open window I can hear the gramophone. A sarabande by Satie. The record is old and scratchy and the sound seem to come from very far away, frail and distant. The curtains rustle in the warm breeze as I lie in the shade, my skin caressed by strands of grass. The book I was reading has come to rest on my chest. My body feels heavy as I stare up into the mesmerising blue. Two butterflies, a bright shade of blue, flutter past my field of vision. I never knew that days could be this peaceful. It is as though the world has been emptied and I, alone, have been left behind. A fly walks lazily across my leg, stops and rubs a pair of its legs against each other. It tickles my skin and I blink.
Slowly, slowly, the wispy clouds float across the cerulean sky. They blend together, shapes shifting and interchanging. The grass is so soft that I feel as though it’s lulling me to sleep.
Another butterfly. The book is starting to weigh heavily on my chest and I push it aside. It slowly slides off my body and down onto the grass where it comes to rest with a subdued thud. The moment it hits the ground I find that I can’t remember the title, or the contents. It is as if I had never even opened it at all. The trees rustle in the breeze that lifts a strand of hair and leads it to my lips. I exhale and it skips up into the air before sliding down my cheek with a gentle caress.
My mind has been emptied of everything but the present. It’s as if I was a newborn, yet I feel older than the earth. Three more butterflies.
Who am I?
I find I can no longer remember.
Where am I?
This place feels familiar yet I cannot remember coming here.
Why am I here?
I don’t care.
All these questions make my head ache and I realise how unimportant they are. More butterflies. Cyanide blue. I remember something I once read: butterflies are high-born souls. I raise my hand and reach out toward them. It feels strange and I hold the hand up to my eyes. I stare at the dark shadow it makes against the bright sky, almost ominous, and irrational fears grip me, so I let the arm fall back to the ground. Now I couldn’t lift it again even if I tried. I can feel my body turning to stone. I will become an immobile statue. Ivy will cover my unseeing eyes and cold, dry lips.
I notice more and more of the blue butterflies, they flutter like dry leaves. The brutal gentleness of the piece being played on the old gramophone make my cold heart beat faster. It is getting increasingly hard to keep my heavy eyelids open. The wind plays with the pages of the book on the grass beside me. The soft rustling of paper, the gentle piano, the butterflies, and the achingly blue sky all blend together in my mind. They become pieces of a whole.
Five more butterflies. Suddenly, my entire field of vision is covered by a multitude of blue butterflies. They are blocking out the sky and the trees. They are all that exist in the world. The beauty of their frantic fluttering makes my heart ache and I am mesmerised. My eyes widen and I try to look to the side but I can’t move my head.
My metamorphosis to a statue is complete.
I cease to think, cease to struggle.
The world has disappeared.
Nothing remains but me and the butterflies.
I am cold marble and at peace.
Someone was singing Abide with me by the riverbank. A single voice, clear and beautiful as it carried over the water. He stopped in his tracks and looked around to find the source of the voice. A child sat by the edge of the water looking out. Suddenly the singing stopped and the child turned around. Cold grey eyes met his own and he suddenly recognized the child.
The brother he’d drowned so long ago.
Coldness gripped his heart at the sight and the last thing he heard, as he fell dead to the ground, was haunting water-like laughter.
(This is a 100 word drabble. The NaNo-group decided we should do one each and this is the one I threw together. I’m of the opinion that telling a story in 100 words is really difficult.)
She sat perched on the rock, watching me with her cold silvery eyes, hair falling all around her body. Or was it even hair? It was as though the forest itself lived within and I couldn’t even tell where the hair ended and the shapes and shades of the forest began. I found myself gazing at her, mesmerized, spellbound. She gazed back, queenlike from her throne of stone and moss. Something deep within my soul made me want to kneel before her and without a moment of hesitation I did. She smiled sweetly and unfolded her almost unnaturally long limbs to descend from her seat. The hair caught on the branches and rocks as she moved, as if nature itself was hesitant to let her leave. As she stepped down, her feet sinking ever so slightly into the dark mossy ground, the hair brushed to the side and I caught a brief glimpse of her back. It was hollow like the rotting trunk of a dead tree, dark and dank, a place where insects made their home as the wood crumbled and rotted around them. I should have been horrified and disgusted, but even her hollowed out back seemed beautiful as she put her cool arms around my neck and kissed me, both hungrily and triumphantly. I lost myself in her pale silver eyes and, in a moment of dreadful clarity, I knew that she had won me. She was not just the queen of this forest, she was my queen and I would willingly follow her until I fell dead to the ground, like a dried leaf in autumn.
This picture is one I’ve got mixed feelings about, but I still sat down tonight and wrote this little… thing to go with it. Ah, well. There we go.)
Detta är en av en grupp sammanbundna noveller och små scener. De har även lite att göra med en roman jag planerat som är (mer eller mindre) i urban fantasy genren.
Kage dangled its legs in the air as it sat on top of the washing machine in the dark and locked laundry room.
“Well, I see your point.” It said after hesitating for a moment. ”But don’t you ever find your life a little… ‘locked in’? You know, you take up residence in a place like this and then you don’t move until you absolutely have to. Your kind could do so much, you’re still such a young species.”
A hollow laugh and a raspy voice echoed out of the drum of the washing machine.
“Have you gone daft in your old age, little Kage? This is the life! I mean, look at this place; student housing, it’s fantastic. There’s fifteen to twenty people using this laundry room at any one time, which means it gets used every day and usually several times a day. Which, for me, means that there’s no shortage of food and I can just hang out here and take it easy. Admittedly, summer can be a bit of a bitch if they all go away.” The voice fell silent for a moment before it continued with a contented sigh. “Still, I get to munch on delicacies such as this.” Something long and black came flying out of the machine and landed on the ground. Kage jumped off the washing machine and picked it up in its tiny hands to examine it more closely; it was a black stocking with a lace top.
“It’s a lady’s stocking.”
“Yeah! See what I mean? It’s not everyone who gets to munch on stuff like that. A friend of mine lives in a house owned by a family with two kids… sure there’s a lot of socks coming his way, but rarely anything like that. So he’s never really kept hungry but he’s not enjoying himself very much either. Another friend lives in a flat owned by a young couple and he is one scrawny bastard, there can be days or even weeks between meals. Poor sod. Nah, I’m not leaving this place in a hurry, a whole lot of the guys would kill for a sweet deal like this. If I started walking around, this place would be claimed before I could say ‘reinforced toe’… and that’d be insanely aggravating.”
Kage wordlessly tossed the stocking back into the drum, from which a pleased chuckle echoed.
“Cheers mate. So, as I was saying, student housing is the way to go.”
“As long as you’re happy, I suppose. You know, I’ve been wondering, why do your kind only eat one of the socks… I mean, they come in pairs so why not just eat both?”
“I don’t think it’s something an outsider would quite understand… it’s tradition to us, eating both would be the sign of an uncultured glutton. You know, we may not be as old a race as some, like the faerie or some gods or… well, you, but we have our very own traditions and codes of behaviour.” the raspy voice chided, with a not inconsiderable note of pride. Kage nodded and looked out through the window towards where the sun was just rising between the high-rise buildings. It was turning the sky a mix of pinks and purples. Suddenly a key turned in the lock and a young woman, with hair dyed a shade of bright electric blue, rushed in. She was hurriedly stuffing most of a sandwich in her mouth before reaching into a dryer and pulling some clothes out onto a large towel. She picked something up and then rummaged through the pile of freshly scented laundry with a look turning increasingly exasperated. She held the single woollen sock, the same shade of electric blue as her hair, that she’d picked up clasped tightly in her fist. She held it up to her eyes and looked at it with annoyance.
“What the…? Again? Where the hell does all my socks go? It’s as if there was someone bloody eating them! Argh!” She angrily tossed the sock on top of her pile of clothing, picked the bundle up and rushed out, slamming the door behind her with a loud and angry-sounding bang. Kage smiled to itself as it stood up and walked over to the window, which was slightly ajar.
“Well it’s been my pleasure to do business with you, and I’ve appreciated our little chat. Take care of yourself and enjoy your meal.” it said, turning its head back towards the room, as it was getting ready to leave.
“Same to you, mate, same to you.” the voice replied to the now empty room.