The Eclipse

The Gallant Knight

You are coming closer to the city faster than you thought you would. Like the wind has borne you forward and the dry grass has smoothened your feet. Your loyal Mackie tramples behind you, neighing gently as for saying, ‘easy Theyou, take it with ease’!

And you go easy, step by step, closer and closer until you reach, the outpost of the sleeping streets. Here it is cold, the sun is just a delicate circle, and the air is waiting for something to brake.

You do not know what is awaiting. The only thing you know, is that you have to be here. Somewhere in the city. Somewhere in the castle. You have to be near, when the Kings Daughter needs you. You are the gallant knight, who must give her the key.

You do know, this will not be easy. The long-legged man will hunt you, and hunt you down. What you do not know, is that also the Huntsman is the hunted, and there will be battles that will not end until dawn.

Your heart is pounding and your legs are weak, so you let yourself go down on your knees. But then you see, that there she is! It must be her! A brighter shadow on that faraway street.

Then darkness falls upon the earth.

A three days long vacation

Or is it technically four? A added the last day’s achievement of writing for the Camp WriMo early in the morning that last day, so in a way, it is four. I realize though, I have to start writing again as soon as possible, since I know, the longer I wait, it has a tendency to be harder to begin writing again. So get going, Thêa! Whether writing or not writing this evening is not an option, it is a Must Do!

What have I learned during this month of Camp-Writing? First of all! I can still do it! I still have it in me! The words, the stories, the lust, the wanting. The NEED – to write, to live in writing-mode!

I guess I’ve been scared in a way, after the burn-out. Have been afraid I would discover that I had totally lost the ability, so I didn’t even dare to try. I have told myself: ” I can’t!” And:  “I have no imagination!” And other stuff like that.
And – admit – besides the burn-out-fatigue, I’,m most certainly also a lazy-butt. Have to be pushed, sometimes, to start doing things…
(hmmm… adhd…)

I discovered I can write in a different way from how I wrote earlier. That I can sit there and just write, don’t edit, don’t aim for writing the story chronologically, from page One to page Whatever! But every day just start writing something and then let the inspiration flow! Don’t think too much, don’t try to control everything, just let it comes whatever will come, and don’t stop to check or correct or anything.
Some smaller editing I had to do along the way, though. Correct spelling, for example, couldn’t go on when I saw I spelled something wrong. And each day’s session when finished, I added to Grammarly to see what it had in mind for me. But the next day – new writing.

Sometimes I read a little bit here and a little bit there, just to remind where the characters were and what they were doing, and when there was about a week remaining, I read all of it. And added 1056 words while doing that.

I found…a lot of telling, to change into showing…..
a lot of seeds to saw…
a lot of questions, to be answered…
And all those …MATTERS… that will stay where they are for the time being.
There is so much more to be written before I start the real editing work. I don’t have even half of a novel yet. Ten percent???
But I have ideas… and hunches… and have been presented to a couple of surprises while writing. It’s amazing when a new character shows up, just out of the blue.

COLD FEET!
Yes! I feel that too. Will I really be able to not only continue writing pieces and scenes to this story but also managed to mix all this into a good, readable story? With living characters, exciting events, a bit of humor here and there – on the whole – create a story that can catch the reader? (That is – Me!  HAHAHAHA!)

Never mind…Okay!!!!!
The answer to the question: “Will I ever…” is: “No, you won’t if you don’t try.”
NO! STOP! Change that! – Change it to: “Just do it!

A cool note: I checked how many words I wrote now... 551

The Accused

“And you are Mephisto Suleiman the third?”
The voice was harsh and had a very distinct Scottish accent.
“The forth, your Honor.”
“Beg your pardon?”
“I’m Mephisto Suleiman the forth, my Lordship. Suleiman the third was my father, may he rest in peace.”

The auditorium in where this took place, was huge, cold and dark. Old mahogany climbed the walls all the way up to the roof, and the benches that filled the floor looked more like coffins than anything else. The windows, there were actually windows on all four walls, but they were small, and placed very high up, just under the roof. Besides, they were awfully dirty. Like if they hadn’t been washed for at least 500 years. And they probably weren’t.

The long-legged man stood on his knees in front of the counter where the judge was proceeding. He bowed deeply and crossed his heart when mentioning his since long dead and buried father.
“Ts ts details, details,” the judge said. “Don’t bother about details. You misplaced the key, didn’t you.”
“It was stolen, your Highship, someone got in, found it and took it.”
“Just as I said, you were careless and misplaced it, otherwise it hadn’t been stolen. Am I right or am I right?”
“Oh, my Divine Holiness. Of course, you are right. I’m so sorry, so sorry…”
“Ts ts details, details.” The judge waved away the words that were pouring out from the mouth of the man kneeling before him.
“So! You did misplace the most important item in this city, didn’t you? Yes or no?”
“Yes, your Honour. I am so sorry, Your Honour, I did misplace the key, I did!”

The long-legged man called Suleiman the forth whimpered, as he now had sunk into himself as a lump of clothes and with his forehead almost touching the floor.
“Ts ts, details, details.” the judge said and started coughing like as if he was trying to get rid of his lungs. His cheeks turned red and the long but meek beard on his chin trembled.

“And what do we do now?” he continued after a while, and poked the long-legged man with a long pointer he had found beside him on the counter.
The long-legged man twitched and began to stutter.
“I.. I.. d..d..d..dodon’t know, Sire. What do.. do we do? Go find it?”
“That would be an idea to do dodo do”, the judge nodded and tried to hide a miniscule smile. “But don’t you think you need to be punished first?
“Punished, your Lordship?”
“Yes! Punished! Don’t you think it would be appropriate with a punishment when a crime has been committed?”
“Crime, Sire? What crime?”
“What crime??? The key has been stolen and you ask ‘What crime’? The theft of course! Aren’t you responsible for the theft?”
The long-legged man was now bathing both in sweat and tears. Maybe in a little blood as well.
“B.. b… but I….!”
“But what???”
“I…I… but I… I didn’t steal it, Sire!”
“Ts ts, details, details. You had been delegated the honor of keeping the key safe, and now you tell me you aren’t responsible for its disappearance?”
“There was some thief… who broke in… and found it…”
“YEEES”, the judge said with a slow, dark voice. “And you hadn’t hidden it well enough. So you are responsible for the loss, aren’t you? Yes or no!”
“Yes, your Honor.”

The long-legged man couldn’t fight that logical piece of argumentation any longer. No matter how he tried to reason with his point of view, the fact was there, starring in his eyes. He hadn’t hidden the key well enough. And he had been sloppy, not carefully been locking the entrance door, also when he was in the tower.
“Well, well, Mr. Suleiman the whatever. Finally, you see it my way. So what do you suggest we will do about it then? No, of course, what you will do about it. I won’t do anything. Unless… maybe… I should hang you immediately?”
“Oh, no, please your Highwordy…”
“Heh heh,” the judge grunted. “So, I have become a Highwordy as well. Is that a compliment?”
The long-legged man went alternately red and white, and simultaneously he seemed to be smaller.
“Well! No compliment and no suggestion from your side, what we shall do about this. Then, I decide all by myself! I give you three days and three nights to find this thief of yours and get the key back. And If you fail – I’ll kill you myself. With my bare hands!”

When the judge left the room he seemed extremely pleased with himself. He chuckled and twisted his meek beard around his forefinger. Now he would go home and have a good steak with his wife that she had been cooking for him, and to that, he would have a couple of nicely chilled ginger beer. And in a couple of days, he would hang that odd man, who was rather looking like a cricket. Sulei… something… the forth, the last.
He rubbed his hands against each other and smiled. He so looked forward to that day.

The Solar Eclipse

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 16

Lovely Diana Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror, has these Speculative Fiction Prompts once a month. I got tempted to join, and here is my contribution for March!

This is the first time ever, I write a story in a language other than my native one. I aimed for a short, short story, but got caught. It rather seems like a beginning of something!
– So, now let’s see how it goes! 

The Solar Eclipse

I wake up shivering immensely. Still with my eyes closed, I lay my hand over my hearts. They are both beating. A bit vague and uneven, but enough to ensure me I’m still alive. I take a deep breath. The air is cold but clean and pleasant.

I open my eyes. Above me linger stars on a black background, and a faint light dwells from somewhere beyond. Around me are huge buildings, and I realize I am lying on sand. Icy cold sand. Slowly I rise to my feet. My head is pounding.

Scattered around me lies the transporting device. In thousands of pieces as it seems. No wonder I feel like a huge bruise, but a couple more than usual don’t seem like a big issue. After all, being here, where-ever this ”here” is, is a lot better than…
I don’t let that thought go further.

Where am I? How far have I been journeying? My head fills with thousands of questions. It’s obvious, this isn’t my intended destination. I gaze at the stars but can’t recognize any of the constellations. A wave of dizziness passes through me.

A bit feebly, I walk along the street and soon reach the corner. I turn and once again lift my eyes to the sky. A full solar eclipse, the most fascinating I’ve ever seen, and I can see an entire universe behind. I stay in a maze for a long time.

I need to leave. To find water most of all. But also to find friendly people. This is a huge city, but it’s dead. I realize that. No sounds. No lights. No nothing. The streets are covered with sand and I see dunes that indicate rather fierce storms. I listen and I sniff the air, but nothing tells me a storm is near now. The only thing my senses tell me, is that the city has been dead for a very long time.
Then I turn around and start walking.

After what feels like ages, though my wristwatch tells me it has been just half an hour, I reach the outskirts of the city. In front of my eyes, a desert stretches out in the dusk, like the shadow of a hawk over its prey. Occasional bushes are spotted over the landscape, and I hope some of them hide a water supply. In the faraway horizon a mountain ridge is stretched out like a dead dinosaur. I throw a quick glance back on the city and the awkward solar eclipse. I just can’t understand! Something is wrong, but what?

I’ve lost most of my belongings. In one of my pockets I find a small pen knife carved with my initials. JC. In the other a small box with safety matches. In my backpack there is a carton with biscuits and an empty water bottle, but that’s all. I recall having drunk that water sometime during the flight and never refilled the bottle. Stupid me. There are also a lot of holes in the backpack. Due to the crash, I guess. Not worth the while to be upset over what is. After all, I’m alive and walking.
The odd thing is, the solar eclipse is still there! Exactly the same!

I find a small, almost round and fairly smooth stone, rinse it as thoroughly I can with my t-shirt, and then put it in my mouth. I suck it for a while and my throat doesn’t feel as dry any longer, and I manage to keep on walking. I aim for the largest bush I can see that isn’t too far away. I pray quietly for drinkable water.
Only about ten minutes later I reach the bush, and explore the closest possibilities to find some water. And I’m in luck! After digging away the sand like a dog at a couple of spots, I find moist earth and with the help of my penknife, I dig further down. Sweat is pouring down my forehead, and I can hardly see what I’m doing but I keep on struggling. I just got to get some water.

”What are you doing?”
The harsh voice startles me like nearby lightning in broad daylight.
”Do you think you’re a rabbit or something? You won’t find water there. Not enough anyway.”
In less than a second I’ve been dragged up in the open, and am standing on my own feet, panting and frightened. In front of me stands an old man with wild hair and a bushy beard. He grins at me, and hands over a bottle.
”Drink!” he says hoarsely.
I hesitate for just a few seconds before I drink, and may God forgive me, but this is the fucking best water I’ve ever had.

”You’re a tiny little one”, he says. ”Got a name?”
”JC”, I say reluctantly.”
”Jaycee? Is that supposed to be a name?”
”Well… kind of…”
”Okay, Jaycee. I’m Bill! Just Bill!”
He looks straight into my eyes while grabbing my right hand with both his, and holds it tight for a moment. They are huge, warm and rough.

”SO!” he grunts. ”Who are you, besides a Jaycee. Where do you come from and where are you heading?”
”I… I don’t know.”
”You don’t know who you are?” His eyes burn into mine.
”No no… I know who I am! But I don’t know where I came from… not exactly… there was some kind of accident, and somehow I landed over there. In the city.”
I turn and point backward. The city is no more than a silhouette in the dusk.
”Aha. An accident you say. Maybe it was that explosion I heard earlier today. You’re lucky to be alive then, I must say.”
He pauses for a while, then continuous.
”And you’re heading?”
”I… I don’t know. Just to find…something! Someone!”
I start to cry and I hate myself for it. It’s so girly. I don’t want to be a girl.

He looks at me and then he points at the city.
”It’s dead.”
”I know.”
”I reckon you do… but do you also know that the time is dead?”
I just stare at him. Is he crazy?
”Yes, also the time is dead. It’s that eclipse! It has taken over the city. It’s like a disease that finally kills. And it’s spreading. Did you stay there long?”
”No, I don’t think so.”
”Hope you’re right. Now let’s go.”
”Where?”
”As far away as possible from that city and the Solar Eclipse.”