Week Two, January 2015: Mermaids

So this week was rather successful, with roughly 4k words written in the last six days. I started the week working on a virtual reality novel set in a world where the internet is currently being converted to full virtual integration with the mind. In this world people are getting trapped in the internet. However I started by having the character getting stuck in DayZ which I realised later was not relevant to the rest of the story.

With that realisation I decided to start working on a mermaid tale. This was inspired by images of men carrying mermaids in a loving way, and by the fact that mermaids are not your typical fantasy fare any more. I wanted to explore how such a love might develop in a world where mermaids are monsters.

Before I share my mermaid story I would like to ask; What is your favourite fantasy creature that isn’t a dwarf or elf?

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A Room Full of Cranes

Thousands of paper cranes filled the room. The hung from the ceiling and rose in piles from the floor. Each crane was made from a unique piece of paper. People didn’t come into this room often any more. It was too full of spirits. Not that anyone in the asylum said that, staff weren’t supposed to believe in those kind of things in an insane asylum. It was well known though. This room was said to have had an inmate years ago. She had been there for 50 years, and every day she was sent paper. Paper from old friends, from staff members, from families of other inmates. Whenever she got a repeated pattern she would give a crane to the first person who walked past her cell. She won friends easily, she was quietly kind.

Now the room was empty of life, yet the cranes shifted and some would swear that new cranes would be added to the strings above. Inmate’s didn’t like spending time in there. They didn’t feel unwelcome, they said, instead they felt like they were intruding. It was a private place, a calm place. A kind place. Whenever a staff member was feeling especially worn out by the trials of the day they would step into that cell. Some told the cell their problems, some just cried, but all came out feeling a little better.

In that room even the most violent of patients became careful, the most distressed became calm. The cranes were special. No one ever said anything officially, but everyone knew. On the door was a plaque, it read.

“1000 cranes represent a wish for 1000 years of health and happiness. 100,000 cranes were folded here.”

 

I fold many cranes in my spare time, this was a rare time when my two hobbies met.

Blood

This is an old story, maybe about five years old, but I’ve always loved this one.

It flowed, flowed out over the ground, soaking into the dirt. It spread into a pool around his stricken body, glinting red in the pale moonlight. His rugged chainmail gleaming again, red from his own blood and that of his enemies.

He lay on the battlefield, countless bodies strewed around him; some dead, some, like him wishing they were dead. The silence of the night was rent by the moans of the fallen.

Slowly, one by one, the moaners fell silent, finally achieving that last goal they had sought; death.

Alone the one soldier struggled on, silently, his life flowing out of him, one drop at a time. The blood flowed ever slower and slower, how he wished it would reach its end when no blood would ever flow again. But still a part of him clung to the life that would so soon be taken from him, it fought to prolong its time in the land of the living. That part of him clung to a tenuous consciousness, refusing him the black bliss of the unconscious.

There he lay, no longer really alive, yet not quite dead, merely waiting in some place in between; a place of blood.