Beyond the Sphere

The rickety old water tower leans away from the Moon toward the Wild Rose Gateway, as the river flows ferociously passed. The gathered storm clouds are starting to move away, revealing the eerie brightness of the dark night sky. Apart from the cascading waters all is calm and silent… this side of the Gateway, that is. On the other side, apparently, things are quite different… although no one has yet returned back to confirm this.

However, through all weathers, the rickety old water tower stands guard, appearing to intently listen through the Gateway. But what it hears is another mystery…

Darkened windows revealed nothing to come.
Darkened windows masked what was instore.
Darkened windows kept secrets hidden inside.
Darkened windows darkened in the darkness.
The open window didn’t look welcoming.
The room below held many secrets.

A few six word stories for Six Word Saturday… or the same story slightly rewritten six times. Seven, including the title. For Six Word Saturday, only the title needs to be six words long… the rest of the post can be as long or as short as we like! Good thing, really! Visit Debbie’s site to see more Six Words.

A few years ago as I wandered around a forest, I came across this chap. He has been featured on the blog before, but I think this is the first time he’s appeared square. Or in one, at least!

Posted for Becky’s Square Perspectives.

From midnight until the first glimmer of sunlight, the old clock only tocks. It ticks and tocks as normal during the daylight hours and up until midnight, but then it loses half of its rhythm. Also, equally as strange, between midnight and the first glimmer of sunlight, it only chimes once on the hour. For the rest of the day it chimes out the number of the hour. On the wall opposite to the clock, every night from midnight, a strange reflection as if from a window appears, and over by the corner, on the same wall, a smaller reflection reminiscent of nine smaller windows in a door shows up. There are no windows in this room, for it is an internal room. The door is on the wall opposite to the clock, but over by the other corner. And every now and then, between midnight and the first glimmer of sunlight, an echoey sound of a door can be heard opening and closing, followed by whispered voices or laughter.

The room is cold. Bitterly cold in winter, pleasantly so in summer. But on four certain nights of the year, the room feels warm between midnight and the first glimmer of sunlight. Tonight is one of those nights.

Who’s that knocking at the door?

Last night, late on, the doorbell rang. I don’t think any of the staff were on, actually, thinking about it I haven’t seen any of the staff for a while (I must look into that later!), so I had to trudge all the way to the door and answer it myself.

It can be quite a trek across the Foyer, but I made it in one piece this time. The door creaked open, and stood facing me were three people, two women and a man, who looked as thought they’d just arrived from a bygone age.

“Jinkies!” Said the bespectacled woman, “This place is huge, Is it haunted?”

The blond man standing next to her poked her in the ribs. “I apologise for my friend, she’s very inquisitive. No, we wonder if we could ask for your help?”

I told them it really depended on what help they needed, as I was in the Mansion by myself.

The man continued. “We’ve called at that crumbly old looking building right at the bottom of the lane and got no answer.”

“Ah,” I said, “That’d be Old Man Winters’ place. He’s gone away, I believe.”

“I see.” Said the man. “Our van has broken down just by the bend on the lane, and we think it just needs water to cool the engine down some. Could you please fill this bucket?” He pointed to a bucket on the ground between his legs

“Of course,” I replied, trying desperately to remember the way to the Kitchen. “By the bend you say? The dark bend by the gnarled old oak tree?”

“That’s the one, sir!” The man was very polite.

“It isn’t the best place to leave a vehicle unattended there.”

“Oh, no worries – we’ve split up, and left our friend and his dog there. They’re looking after things there.”

“If they aren’t eating all the midnight buffet that is!” The quiet redhead spoke.

“Step inside a moment,” I said waving them in. I’d decided to go to the Bathroom for the water, which was just up the Stairway and along the Landing. As I went up the stairs with the bucket, I noticed the lights flickering on and off again. “Stop it!” I whispered to the banister, hoping the message would somehow get through to its intended recipient and not the trio waiting by the door.

“Jinkies!” I heard the bespectacled young lady say again, just as I filled the bucket in the Bathroom. I then returned to the visitors with the full bucket.

“Thank you, sir!” the man said again. “Actually, is this place haunted?” He asked.

“Parts of it is,” I replied, “but not here in the Foyer. Why do you ask?”

“It’s just my friend here could have sworn the eyes in the portraits on the walls were moving.”

“Oh that!” I exclaimed. “Don’t worry about that – if it isn’t a trick of the light, it’s just a trick of the Mansion.”

I waved the trio off as they crossed the Courtyard, strangely running in a line for some reason, as they headed toward the Driveway that led onto the lane. I closed the door behind me as I walked back into the Mansion and back to the Living Room.

“You…! I said the Mansion. “Behave when we have guests! And there’s no need to roll your eyes”. I noticed one of the portraits on the wall doing that as I walked passed.

I didn’t even get their names, these out of time visitors, but they looked awfully familiar. I’ll have to check the door’s security camera footage to see if it caught a good picture of them.

——

If you don’t already know who the visitors were, click the peephole below to go to the recorded picture within the door’s security footage. Although the clues are all there…

Broken ruins of times gone by
Still standing but weathered and cracked
Their frames may be crumbling, falling apart
With their histories
And mysteries
Intact

It can. It does.
It knows. It must.
The creature on the fringe of shadow,
A swirl of darkness in a shaded place;
Sometimes in a room
Maybe at the side of the road
Perhaps in a lightning-charged storm
The list goes on, anywhere
Everywhere.
The mystery creature that appears at will
And leaves to a sigh of relief
With spirits lifted once again;
The star of an internal power struggle
Between darkness and light.
It can know. It does.
It knows. It must.
Light always wins in the end.

 


The Elite Force of Britain: a group of superheroes who joined together to eradicate problem after problem. Recently, the team appear to have disappeared from existence… or have they? The diabolical supervillain organisation Supervillains United are going to great lengths to try to prove newspaper reports to the contrary that the superheroes appear to be making a comeback. Nothing definite, but such reports are giving citizens everywhere the hope they are longing for. Here’s a report from the local newspaper The Mid and Up Chronicle:

What links Moyobamba, Peru, Adelaide, South Africa, and Dalvík, Iceland? Certainly not their geographical locations, weather systems, populations, or distances from London. But each of these three places and, it is beginning to transpire, other places around the globe, are starting to experience a most unusual – but certainly linked – phenomenon.

A coach party in Moyobamba report being held up at a crossroads by a team of heavily armed and military clothed men, one of whom was about to step aboard the coach when all around them the sound of a beautiful dawn chorus was heard. The would-be highwaymen fell to the floor, screaming and holding their ears as the sound was deafening. The coach party heard relaxing birdsong. The man who tried to get onto the bus was lifted by the collar of his jacket and thrown back out through the open door. There was no physical presence, but a lady sitting close to the front of the coach caught glimpses of the colour crimson and the scent of a familiar perfume.

A traffic warden in Adelaide was lifted off her feet shortly before an out-of-control jeep careered into the brick wall by which she was walking. Although she remembers seeing nobody around her, she could feel a pair of extremely long arms lifting her over to the other side of the road; and she definitely remembers feeling the arms become shorter as she was placed back onto the ground. She also remembers hearing the words “You’re safe now”.

And a couple of tourists in Dalvík found themselves an unusual problem when their popcorn making machine failed, when suddenly the corn in the bag started popping all by itself, the top of the bag bursting into flames briefly before opening, allowing the tourists to devour the delicious and hot popcorn.

These reports point out to us here at the Chronicle that the powers of three of the Elite Force of Britain are being used: Crimson Songbird’s warbling in Peru; Bettystretch’s stretching ability in South Africa; and Firetop’s heat control powers in Iceland. Why they are in those places remains as much a mystery as why the superheroes disappeared in the first place, but if they are where the stories are filtering through from, it means that the superheroes are here on Earth with us. Hidden, and appearing as ghosts or apparitions, but they are here.

Supervillains United have discounted these reports as fake news, and dismissed them as fireside ghost stories.

The team here at the Chronicle feel otherwise, and hope that these reports are the start of the return of the Elite Force of Britain.


The Elite Force of Britain: a group of superheroes who joined together to eradicate problem after problem. Recently, the team have been somewhat otherwise engaged. Some are now speculating missing in action. Rumours had it that some superheroes were off-world on a secret mission – a fact now seemingly discounted by N.A.S.A. (the North Atlantic Spaceways Agency; they always get confused with the other NASA) other folk say the superheroes are busy dealing with more home-grown issues. Wherever they are, the lack of superheroes hasn’t gone unnoticed by the dastardly Supervillains United who are having themselves a field day. And so is the world’s media, looking at these clippings found in a hastily discarded scrapbook:

 

The Overthrower and The Tickler Torment the Tennis

The Up Lawn Tennis Association has been plunged into chaos as two formidable members of Supervillains United wreak havoc upon the men’s doubles. The Overthrower overthrew the umpire and began directing the game in process and The Tickler completely spoiled play by causing all four players and six ball boys to hysterically pound the ground in laughter due to his Multi Pronged Tickler. Whilst all eyes were on the unsportsmanlike display on the court, off the court henchmen helped themselves to the dignitaries’ wallets and jewels.

Two-Oh Duo and Pinchem Mob Ride High


The Self-proclaimed Seven Sods stole the show literally at the Mid Monster Truck Rally this weekend, as each one of this unfortunate banding of baddies made their escape with seven of the eight showpiece vehicles. They made sure nobody could use the eighth either by gluing SVU flyers all over the windscreen – with superglue to boot. Organisers and sponsors alike were less than thrilled.

HeroX and Szikik Redirect Motorway Traffic Down a Country Lane


Frustration, anger and an annoyed herd of cows met commuters during Monday Morning’s rush-hour traffic. Road Closed signs diverted traffic off an already congested M6 and then proceeded to direct them into a single lane country road where the first few motorists found themselves stopped by a herd of angry cows. With no way forward and no way to turn, the four-mile long line of cars and lorries had to wait for hours for the cars to be removed, and then wait for further directions to get back to the motorway. The reason for this mis-direction? The pairing of HeroX and Szikik needed to stop a fleet of armoured cars delivering new pound coins to banks around the country and help themselves to the newly minted coins.

Dawn the Vampire and The Pumpkin Dance by Moonlight


Blackchester residents witnessed the most unusual pairing of the Vampire, Dawn, dressed in a red velvet frock dancing a moonlit tango with The Pumpkin, in top hat and tails, outside the Pyramid Lounge. They’d just scooped themselves a prize by stealing artworks from the Victorian Museum, and were celebrating their achievements in broad moonlight. The dancing wasn’t the odd thing, however. The Pumpkin was last seen in 1924.

A separate clipping wasn’t as attached as securely as the others, perhaps because it focussed more on the superheroes?

Editor’s Thoughts


This is now getting beyond a joke. Our police forces are doing all they can when they can, but with the supervillains running amok there isn’t much more that can be done, apart from the public uprising themselves, which isn’t really a good idea looking at the smug attitudes of the villainous team-ups taking place. We need our superheroes to return. And fast. The question, though, is where are they?


Yep.

I had to do it.

Another of my c’est magnifique portraits that look nothing like the person they are meant to. This one joins the ranks with Lynda Carter who was last year’s victim celebrity chosen to be my subject for #WorldWatercolorMonth.

I shall ask the question now, and then leave you guessing until I reveal who it is in a few day’s time. As with Lynda last year, I may paint a few clues along the way, if guesses are particularly miles off. I say guesses, stabs in the dark may be closer. You first have to first decide whether it is male or female, and take it from there.

So.

Without further ado. Drumroll please, for dramatic effect…

Who.

Is.

This?

As with previous posts such as this, please feel free to throw your wild guesses into the mix… well, into the comments below. I will not be offended by whoever you say, it is all in fun, and I haven’t got two ha’pennies to rub together for a prize; so it’s just as well.

And no offence is intended to the celebrity (whoever he or she may be!) should you happen by this post. I’m terrible at portraits, and have only recently (last year) started back using watercolour, so need all the practice I can get. You were fun to paint, however. If that helps.

Visit the link below (click the box) for more details on WorldWatercolorMonth.

wwm2017

I’d like to share a post I originally wrote in 2010, a couple of months after I started this little blogging adventure.

Hold out your hands.

Imagine a box, a box small enough to fit in your hands.

Imagine this box in your hands.

What shape is it? What colour is it? Is it heavy?

Open the box slowly, and look inside.

Inside the box, there is a door. An open door inside the now open box. The doorway leads to a staircase. Can you see the staircase yet? You can go through the door to look for it, if you like. The staircase is just through the door. You may have to look to the left or to the right, or it may be in front of you. It is there somewhere. Can you see it yet? It’s a spiral staircase, that climbs up into… what does it climb into? Is it a loft? Another room? Another floor? You’ll have to climb the spiral staircase to see.

Don’t worry – it’s all perfectly safe – remember, you’re holding the box in your hands, so you know it’s safe. If at any time you don’t feel comfortable, just go back through the door and out of the box.

You are at the top of the staircase now. Thinking outside of the box has enabled you to rise to the top without even trying! At the top of these stairs is a garden. A lush green, with many different types of plants and flowers around the edges, and beyond them are the tallest trees. There’s a couple of other ‘flowers’ too… a stream and a water feature. Can you hear the water trickling yet? You may need to go closer to one of them to hear it. Is the stream a gentle flowing one, or a babbling brook? Is the water feature a fountain, or a statue pouring water? Is the water clear? It is… the water is crystal clear. The clearest ‘clear’ you have ever seen, and then some.

Up above your head is a butterfly. Can you see the many colours on its wings? Can you hear the gentle fluttering of its wings? Apart from the sound of the water, this is the only other sound you can hear. The butterfly is beckoning you to follow it. It wants to show you something. Follow the butterfly to an archway which is on one of the sides of the garden. The archway leads to a room. An empty room. A completely white empty room. The butterfly flies to a corner, just inside the room. Follow it in to the room, and you’ll find a harp. Play the harp. You know how to. You can play the most wondrous music from this harp. Try it and see. Listen to the creative sounds you are producing from this magical instrument. Remember the tune you are playing. This music will relax and invigorate you at the same time. This is the music of how you are feeling right now. Not the right now in the real world, but the right now in this imagined world. You’ve enjoyed playing the harp. You can always come back again at a later time for another go. Or perhaps, you may be led into another room, by another butterfly, and find a different instrument. Or find something completely different. Something else that you have always wanted to try.

When you walk out of the room, you will be once again outside of your box. Back to the real world. Only now, you have a little more creativity within you. A little more music. A little more magic.

Does it feel good?

CANDLE7-PEACE.png


About the image:

Taken in May 2016 out in the Grinds, using a Galaxy mobile phone. Harp hastily added later.

Through the mists, the storms, the turbulence of time
They have stood
Mysterious relics of a bygone age
Backbone, support and strength
For themselves and others
Created by ancient hands
As a message perhaps
For hope
Togetherness
Connectedness
Solitude and Solace
Celebration of Solstice
And an offering of the land
From the land
To the land
Hands and minds long gone
Stories long forgotten
Legends created and rewritten
But the megaliths still stand
And with them
Perhaps
Their message of hope
For a future
Long forgotten to them
And their creators