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The Curse of Octavia (Archaic Horror Story!)~7,000 words, complete story. Cookies at the end!
It was a golden autumn day when I first beheld Octavia drifting through the winding woods, her small footsteps crunching over the fallen leaves. Burning crimsons, fiery oranges and washed-out browns all lay about her feet. Her hair was long, flowing auburn; her face and figure brilliant and dainty, with some elusive mesmeric grace whose origin I failed to trace. But it was her eyes that held me; they were dark liquid pools of eternity, their depths unfathomable, mysterious and serene. In those wells of midnight wonder, something wild, pagan and mischievous seemed to lurk; it was in the subtle shades of light that played across their lustre, making them flash amid the waning rays of coming dusk.
She stopped before me, seemingly arrested by my gaze. It was this that brought my senses flooding back to me. I realised, with a shock, how rudely I'd been surveying her as I lost myself in contemplation of her bewitching beauty.
I uttered a brie
Cerberus and SiriusIn the nighttime I were glancing,
to the heavens, softly dancing,
where the starlight lay entrancing
thoughts within my mind.
Sirius, I spied in wonder,
the brightest light we live here under;
the Dog Star clad in wildest splendor.
Then there came again to enter,
another thought within my mind.
All the ground below is hiding,
shadow depths so filled with dying.
All those realms so secret sighing;
Hades' hound stirs with his crying:
Cerberus, that beast of thunder,
with three heads to tear asunder
any who might seek to wander
to that starless hidden realm.
Dwelling on these myths, I question'd
if in fable they were lessen'd,
in their act of giving lessons?
For, in truth, there is but this:
a choice betwix two canine myths.
Each journeys as inclines his pith,
to Cerberus or Sirius.
Shall we, our daylight seek to squander,
to succor Cerberus whole lies there under?
Or shall we forsake our fears to clamber;
surmount Sirius, and heavens plunder?
In which hard task shall we persist?
Diamonds and Donkeys (PART 3)As soon as I'd accepted the cash, that was it: Berus' painted mask of assumed sanity crumbled away to dust, revealing the reckless madness that danced beneath. The deal was done, the act was over.
As Berus relaxed, his personality flowered out like the cracked, fractal blooms of a broken mirror. His chatter became incessant, his jests and jokes, violent, and his laughter regained its horrible jangling quality.
Clearly, my good opinion had served its purpose and could be discarded at leisure.
I was beginning to feel very uncomfortable indeed, when something dreadful happened: a rat ran across the table. It careered round milk jugs, skipped over neatly-stacked olives, skated past steaming sauces, flounced through pink prawns and landed with a dreadful, crunching, squeaking death-rattle upon the glittering prongs of Berus' fork. Of the attack, I'd seen nothing - there was but a blur and a dead rat.
Berus fell silent, contemplating the skewered vermin from every angle, twisting his fork th
Donkeys and Diamonds (PART 2)I woke with a headache, my bedclothes tided round my neck, fashioning a crude cape. I threw them off swiftly. I hoped I hadn't been sleepwalking again. My somnambulistic activities had been the talk of town two summers ago when I'd dreamt I was the pied piper of Hamelin. The least said about that, the better. I examined the door, my feet and my slippers - to my relief, I found no evidence of midnight wanderings.
I dressed quickly. The man I wanted to see was an early riser, and my best chance of catching him at home was to arrive as soon as possible. In the heat of the morning's sunshine, I suppressed a shudder. He wasn't the type I'd willing socialise with. I hadn't seen him for years, but needs must. Say what you like, he knew how to get a job done.
I shambled through the narrow winding streets, already bustling with commuters and vagabonds, the later of which I greeted warmly. It was a long walk up a steeply inclining hill to the residence which formed my destination. My gentleman f
Diamonds and Donkeys (PART 1)"Oh don't worry, it's not your fault you're not totally spiffing and ridiculously suave...we can't all be me."
Castos The Assassin smiled smarmily, eyeing my ragged robes with visible amusement.
I studious ignored his rude insinuations.
Laughing, he assumed a ridiculous pose of contrived pomp. The young fool was shrouded in intricate silks like a malfunctioning peacock; exotic rings, studded with rich diamonds, clung to his fine fingers like fatted leeches; a wide-brimmed hat drooped heavily over his crafty brow, weighed-down by at least fifty massive plumes of clownishly clashing colours; in his left hand - the crowing glory - a needlessly cheap cigar. The boy was utterly devoid of taste.
I sighed. I supposed I'd better play along; ignoring him never worked.
"Incredibly." I confessed, with an ingenious smile of open admiration.
He looked surprised, but quickly recovered his self-possession with a self-satisfied tilt of the illustrious headgear.
I chuckled at his misplaced a
A Supervisor of Souls (SHORT STORY)I play souls like violins, each strikes a different note. I collect them in coloured jars in this limitless labyrinth. Here: a merchant banker's soul! His is pale azure and smells of honey. Listen! It makes the sound of a tin can falling down a spiral staircase! This one: a skilled acrobat's. Colour? Burnt-out red with splashes of lemon! Aroma? Rosemary and sycamore leaves! Sound? Tinkling bells in a rainstorm! Let's move on...
There are hundreds here. Thousands. Millions. Billions. Every day. More!
Here, I'll show you something nice. We'll pass together through all these dark, winding corridors lit with cluttering, squabbling, glowing jars. See how their pulsing, dancing, colourful cocktail of kaleidoscopic light spills into the dark!
Hear that? A billion sounds combing into a single sound. The noise that every colour of paint would make if you mixed them together: grubby brown, not quite uniform.
Quick, down this way. We still have a long way to go. These corridors, this place, makes
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