Writers corner

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Original short stories are welcome here as are adaptations of work in the Public domain. Original poetry may be posted in the Poets corner.

Adapted fiction should be carefully referenced. A work, which is well known in your country, may be little known in other English speaking countries or to readers who speak English as a second language. As to original work or work you hold the copyrights of, please note that you can apply your own license for that (if you do so, please note it clearly and see to that it is legally valid).

Story by Barbara Shack

I hope other writers will soon add their stories to mine.

The Fairies and Paddy of Rathmoor Farm

Paddy was worried because his farm wasn’t doing as well as he thought it should. His crops were all too often blighted and his beasts were poorly. Paddy always did all he reasonably could to steer clear of The Troubles. Still, he wondered, could he have offended the fairies who lived in the Fairy fort on his farm? Paddy wanted to go and ask the fairies but he feared he would offend them further. All evening he debated with himself what to do.

Later that night Paddy was at the Fairy fort. The fairies were there dancing. One little leprechaun was sitting in a corner making dancing shoes. The other fairies were dancing in complicated patterns but seemed to point roughly towards the North Star. “If you please”, Shouted Paddy of Rathmoor, “could you tell me why there is so much rust on my grain and why my beasts are so thin you can sometimes see their bones?”

“It is not we who do that.” the fairies sang eerily as they danced. “It is the Protestant fairies from another fairy fort further to the north.” In the twinkling of an eye the Protestant fairies came. Both groups of fairies sang out about wrongs which they claimed the other side had committed from the 16th Century and before to the present day. Neither would listen to what the other side was saying as each side was intent on voicing its own complaints.

Poor Paddy cried out in anguish, “All this is very well but I beg you, just you leave my crops and my beasts in peace!” But alas, no fairy heard him above the din of accusations and counter accusations. Then again in the twinkling of an eye Paddy of Rathmoor was removed from the Fairy fort and found himself in his own bedroom. But he could still see the Protestant fairies and the Roman Catholic fairies arguing at the foot of the bed. Paddy listened transfixed as they argued. Then after a few minutes the arguing fairies disappeared. So it had all been one unpleasant dream. Or was it?

It didn’t take long before Paddy of Rathmoor told the story to other folk round him. Stories about the fairies and the fairy forts started circulating, especially in places like Public houses and other drinking establishments. These stories got steadily more imaginative as time went on.

Fortunately Paddy of Rathmoor had a practical, down-to-earth neighbour who didn’t take the fairy fort stories too seriously. Paddy’s neighbour paid a visit to Rathmoor Farm and suggested very nicely that Paddy should go to his local Agricultural extension centre for advice. The kind people there told Paddy which varieties of crops had been found resistant to diseases common in his area and which breeds of livestock had been found to thrive on farms like his. They also advised which fertilizers would improve his rough moor land soil and which seeds would improve his pasture. Paddy followed the advice of the Agricultural extension centre and after that most years Rathmoor farm did at least as well as the average for that type of farm. Paddy then decided that all the fairies must be on his side.

Notes

  1. This story was posted on March 17th which is Saint Patrick's Day
  2. This draws on several cultural traditions. It reflects English cynicism about some aspects of Irish culture. It also reflects the worldwide Freethought tradition. There is of course the Irish supernatural tradition as well.
  3. Fusion of elements from different cultural traditions on the Internet will become increasingly important in the future.

References

This story draws from information in the Article, Fairy fort, also the links and references in that article.


Story by Lavaero Aleandros

The Man and the Beast

Long before the beast revealed itself, I could sense its presence. I could feel it in the air around me, a disturbance in reality, twisting certain aspects of life. For years, the only hint of its existence was the effect its essence took on my mind, leading my thoughts to atypical paranoia and dread, occasionally evoking anger or dismay in my stable persona. In the beginning, I thought these feelings were merely stress-related, but as time wore on, I began to suspect something more sinister. Corporeal thoughts that were not my own began appearing in dreams, seemingly harmless. Had I known then what to expect from these visions I would not have taken them so lightly.

Time continued to pass, and as it did, the strength of the dreams became more obvious. These visions were certainly not my own creation, for I could hardly begin to even describe their complexity. Emotions, thoughts, words, ideas; all of them seemed to take a new form, changing in ways I could not explain. The persistence of the dreams intrigued me, so I consulted a physician who regarded them simply as anxiety-driven nightmares, possibly enhanced by the late-night meals I would consume when working extended hours at the office. How could I tell him? How could I explain the paradox that now consumed my nightly perceptions in a way he could understand? Withdrawing from my curiosity, I returned to the office, displacing the nagging thoughts for the time being.

The very same evening, my loving wife and child greeted me when I arrived home from work; but something was amiss. Amongst the welcomes of my family, another voice could be heard, yet its tone was far more subtle, and it seemed completely indecipherable. Struggling to determine its origin, I politely, but quickly dismissed my wife and son, and pursued the sound across the house. Despite my efforts, however, the voice seemed to originate from no particular location, and minutes later it could be heard no more. Sleep did not come easy that evening; my mind constantly drifted back to the rogue voice.

While originally unsatisfied with the results of my search for the mysterious tone, the ignorance of its creator was a blessing in disguise. That night, my dreams changed dramatically. What was once a simple distortion of thoughts became a terrifying maelstrom of hatred. Horrors that took no form, they could only be felt, assaulted my sanity. Fear, anger, pain, even hopelessness, impaled my soul with a force beyond description. Finally, I managed to escape the hell that was my unconscious, awaking in a cold sweat. Blood was dripping from my nose, but I hardly had time to notice; my attention was ripped away by the horror standing before me. At the foot of the bed stood an appalling figure, a being whose form lacked logical description. Suddenly, I found the origin of the voice I had heard earlier that evening, and God knows I wished I had not. The beast spoke in tongues to which no sane man should be subjected. Its voice tore through the air, cutting its way through reality to reach my fragile mind, where it consumed and tortured me. The suffering continued through the entire night, the beast relentlessly chanting its insanity. Finally, as the morning hours approached, the beast disappeared. I chose to omit the beast's appearance from my conversations and go on as if nothing happened.

Over the next few months, the beast appeared in increasing frequency, but not always in the same form as the first night. The creature no longer spoke, it only followed; wherever I went, I could feel its presence. The beast trailed me from work to home and back again every day, but its form never remained the same. One day it would manifest itself in the sound of a busy street, another day it would take the form of the summer heat; all I knew was the beast could conform to any type of sensory input. More horrid than any other was sight; when the beast appeared before my eyes, it was all I could do to keep stable. The mere sight of the creature evoked emotions I never knew to be my own, feelings of raw hatred and despair. Fortunately, even though the demon appeared on a regular basis, it never interfered with my daily schedule. Certainly the thoughts and feelings the beast created within me were not pleasant, but it never physically harmed anyone; it just stood there staring, inflicting mental instability, keeping to itself.

The initial shock of the demon's arrival was so strong I had never considered what its purpose was. Over the months I began to question this bizarre entity, pondering its meaning. Why had this beast chosen me? What did it want? My days slowly became more difficult to get through, my thoughts drifting to the chaotic being that now plagued my life. The feelings the creature evoked became stronger as well, sometimes to the point where I felt I could no longer bear it. For so long, I had let this beast afflict me, torment me with its visions and presence. After a day at the office where the beasts presence was so strong it made me weak and dizzy, I decided to confront it. I came home, dismissed my family, and ran to the restroom. There I turned to the beast and commanded its attention. I fired random questions at the figure before me, questioning its motives, its reason for existing. I inquired why the demon changed me, why it caused my thoughts to turn awry. For what seemed to be an eternity, the beast gave no sign that it understood me, or even acknowledged my presence. Moments later, however, the beast began to change. Its figure began to morph from the indescribable chaos to a shape which my mind could hardly comprehend. I felt a cold wave rush through me, my sanity broke, fear and pain poured through my veins; the shape had morphed into a face I knew to be all too familiar, and it gave a sinister smile.

Now I stand here before the beast again, its hands covered in blood; the blood of my wife and son. The form the beast had taken was so disturbing, it caused me to faint, and in my absence the beast took my family from me. My wife and son are now unrecognizable, parts of their bodies strewn across the house. The beast has torn them to shreds, and left me with nothing but misery. Why it did not take my life, I cannot fathom. All I know is this demon has robbed me of everything, and I must stop him from destroying another life. I know what must be done to vanquish the creature, and I hesitate only momentarily to remember my family. As I stare into the eyes of the beast, matching its gaze, I can only wonder why fate has been so cruel. I now avert my gaze from the mirror, wipe the blood from my hands, and walk into death's chilling embrace...

Notes

The story details a man with a mental illness who claims to see a beast. The "beast" kills the man's family, but it is revealed in the last sentence that the man and the beast are one in the same. The man then kills himself to avoid hurting any more innocent people.

References

The story is completely original, contains no references.


Story by Anime Addict

The Artist and the Apprentice

Once upon a time, in a Middle Ages era divided by Christinism and moral rules, one man, a great artist, Francois, decided to ignore the rules of the Old Code on his painting and made his own school, far away from the expression-limited state schools. There, he started importing art styles from the old schools, but asked they could always be modified on the basis of his pupils' own views, giving a bigger freedom of painting to all of them. Soon, he began creating a group of councilors around him to help him with his work and to stop all outsiders that would threaten their collective work.

One day, a novice comes, without taint from any other painting communities, but knowing the basic. His taint was however that of listening to quarrels all his life and his immense wish to put them in picture when the place was right. The novice became convinced this was the right place to express his long hold feelings in this art.

Time passed, and the novice's art was constant and, for some beautiful. He was importing information from his natal country, which pleased some, and displeased others. One of the councilor, interested himself in an ethnically-diverse proposed making himself an honorary one, and Francois agreed at the time.

Time passed again, and his work became more and more vast. As such, one of his country-men, passing along by chance, discovered this and decided to share the information about his co-national to his own country. He described what he saw there, and a group of thieves, realizing they were depicted in the act of their doing, with most of their faces shown in the novice's painting, decided to send their most cunning woman who had served the clan's interests for several years until now, to persuade the main runner of the place, whoever that would be (Francois in this case), that the Apprentice's work is detrimental and unrealistic to some of her country-men and that because of his personal fights with this group he decided to paint about them. Francois was reluctant at first, but after some "talks" over the moon light, and the work she was very well paid to do these jobs, she accomplished her task, having the Apprentice's particular painting burned.

But the thieves were not done with that, and sent, or rather fooled the town's buffoon to go there and make a racket about the events depicting him as well. The cunning leader, Kastelof, realized this would be a perfect way to make the Apprentice loose his temper and remove the buffoon. But this was not so, as in the first instance, Francois himself kicked the fool out. Returning to his village in shame, the buffoon was given one more chance, to dress himself as a community leader and go back to making mischief on the Apprentice's works, and only on those. He did just that, and the Apprentice, swayed by the Artist's action to remove him the first time, took unto himself to do it himself this time, although it was his own country-man. Francois however, enraged with his Apprentice taking matters into his own hands, decided that his action was wrong, and unrecognizing the fool's true face that he himself exiled. Furthermore, he stripped the Apprentice of all his councilor powers, and made a witch-hunting team, lead by Libra Constelus, to examine every one of his paintings, and anything that would be seen as attack on his country-men to be burned on sight; he also gave orders to issue a decree put in writing by Libra, in which young apprentices were not to be given special councilor powers. This however omitted the fact that the Apprentice was not at all young at age, but only on his stay on his grounds. The witch-hunt party was also given orders to find evidence and pretexts for Francois to eventually remove him from the grounds forever.

The Apprentice decided to express in private to Francois his desire to no longer paint in his yard, which only enraged the Artist even more, now completely blinded by the thieves' tribute to him.

This is a sad story, but it could happen to anyone. The Apprentice's future is unsure now, but there are chances the Apprentice will indeed leave before being kicked out. The only reason he remained any more was that he genuinely believed in the gathering's open views on free expression of style, and to defend his reputation from the more and more often attacks sent by the witch-hunt team.

Notes

  • This story is completely original work (and slight parody), any similitude with historic characters is pure coincidental.
  • This story was created by Anime Addict, who reserves the rights over it as followed:
    • It can be distributed and modified for non-commercial purposes on the condition the owner is attributed as the creator and, if possible (if it's still going to remain here) it is put a live link to this page;
  • This is also a tribute to the work on "spreading the word" for The Different Balladist.
See also

Comments

  • This is more impressive as English is a foreign language for the author. --Proxima Centauri

Story by Aaron Carson

Although the place retained much of its ancient power, and restored some of the previously faded sense of mystery normally attched to such places, the custodian was not a true priestess, or if she was, it was purely accidental. She did not appear to revere much of anything, apart from the ordinences she had posted about the premisis. There were ordinences posted in every room, and the custodian may have put them around in order to hold the natural mystery of the place at bay a little. It had entirely the opposite effect, and even added a little mystery to the custodian herself, who might not have enjoyed it otherwise. Once upon a time, the custodian had been like everyone else, and may have even turned out to be quite a fine priestess, but such a long time spent in service, with little or no congregation around her, had caused her to run slightly mad. Perhaps the place itself had driven her that way. It was half alive, and much too big for one person to be living alone in. Her voice was slightly slurred, and at the same time, brash. She had gone slightly cock-eyed, and laughed unexectedly at things which were not jokes. She was remarkably well preserved, as mad people tend to be. Apart from the ordinences, her influence could be felt in other ways about the place. She had filled it with modern seeming things to try to normalise it. The effect, in one room (with it's stately high ceilings, dark woodwork and brass fittings), of a pink poofy armchair, was macabre in the extreme, but only really served to deepen the mystery of the place. All the expected, unexpected things were there: Closets that went back further than should have been possible, doorhandles that didn't match the one on the other side, and didn't fit properly. Those were dangerous, you could be shut out, or worse... in. The floors were beyond sagging, especially in the hallways, they were ditches, and creaked and groaned to such an extent, it was a miracle anyone slept at all. I was personally terrified to go to the bathroom at night. The rugs were so plush, one could imagine them turning into grass, and becoming The Place Where Wild things Are. Metamorphosis was the key to such places and this was what had happened to the custodian. If she'd left it well enough alone, and just maintained the basics, it might not have driven her mad, but she'd meddled with it, and so it had meddled with her, leaving her cock-eyed, with a slurred speach. On the other hand, she looked twenty years younger than she was, so maybe it was simply the price she had payed.

There's a portal in the closet, and I used it to try to get through to the... well to solve the mystery of my dream. The portal connects to the longer bedroom, which used to be part of a series of rooms, which were where the old mystics used to be. Those rooms were on the second floor, and they were hard to access unless you used the secret staircase, behind the kitchen, on the first floor, that's to say; in the dream. The dream blurs with half forgotten memory, which is why I tried to use the portal. In the dream, I emerge into the series of rooms from a closet, or a secret passage, and I'm half scared, because I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be there. People don't normally enter these rooms via the secret staircase, and I can never find the main entrance on my own. There are persian rugs on the floor, which is hardwood, and they are clearly meant for sitting on. The occupant(s) is never there, and this only serves to increase the sense of profundity of the place, and it's miraculous appearance in this part of the house. Usually there is a hush over the place, and a wisp of smoke from an incense burner on the floor, as though someone has just been there.

Using a portal takes a great deal of concentration, and I was, unfortunately somewhat distracted by more evidence of the custodian's meddling in the closet itself. I first had to clear it, and then do some meddling of my own, before it had any hope of being active. I did a good job of purging the closet, and my head, but was unable to open the portal that time. However, it may open on its own, now that it's unplugged, and give the custodian a surprise.

References

Oblique reference to "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak.