Imagine

This week, Debbie’s one-word theme is Imagine.

I have hundreds of photos which could provide a little something that would stir the imagination, but nothing that stood out to me that would literally fire the imagination. I started to think that I’d have to miss this week’s theme, and then I noticed a blue and clear paperweight that was doing something funky with a red light behind it. I refer to the paperweight as a crystal ball, and as I looked into it, new worlds started to appear within. As the daylight was also fading, the reflection of the window also had a couple of effects – one that it blended with the Surreal Reality in front of me, and the other was that it provided a clear link to the actual reality surrounding this world within a world.

I imagine others may see it differently!

Full Circle

Gerald looked out of his bedsit window and pondered.

The street looks different, somehow. I’m sure there’s a storm brewing. Why’s Mr Hecklethorpe’s there? I’m sure it collapsed. Did it collapse? Nah – I must have dreamt it.

That cheese must have been strong last night. I’m getting flashbacks on my dream… Mr Hecklethorpe’s house; some really annoyed women standing half-naked in a field. And chariots. I can’t make head nor tail of it.

And I’m pretty sure I was a baby. Weird.

He picked up his pad and pen and started to write.

The Gods and Goddesses gathered in the Great Hall on Mount Olympus, for their daily view on the affairs of the mortals who live on the Earth beneath them. They were looking for someone special; someone they could use as a toy in their daily manipulative games. Someone open to suggestion that would do exactly as they commanded.

Gerald’s telephone rang, so he promptly answered it.

“Hello.” Gerald snapped, subconsciously.

“Erm, hello,” stuttered the voice on the other end, “is that Athena’s?”

“Sorry, you’ve got the wrong number.” Gerald wondered who or what Athena’s was… and why it seemed to strike a chord with him.

“Ah, sorry mister,” the elderly-sounding lady said, somewhat annoyed. “This phone of mine is utter rubbish. I’m going to scrap it – throw it away – it’s always misdialling. Sorry to have bothered you.” She rang off.

Gerald picked up his pad and pen again, and read his first few scribbled words. Realising Athena was one of the Goddesses on Mount Olympus he felt a shudder run down the length of his spine.

Now that’s a coincidence if ever there was one! He thought.

He put down his pen.

I can finish this some other time. I think I’ll nip and see Mum.

Absent-mindedly, he tore the page from the pad and tossed it into his waste paper basket before heading out.

***

Decades ago, I began an occasional bit-part story called Legendary Circles. The tale crosses time and space and the great divide between mortals and the Gods of Mount Olympus. Being a bit-part series, the story segments appeared out of sequence, with some earlier parts being set after later parts and vice versa. As such, there are huge gaping holes within and between the segments, which is both intentional and unplanned in equal measure, as each segment sent the story off in a different direction.

This is the final segment of the series, part twenty. It carries on in part from the previous part, but separated on a different level. It draws in the original part, and snippets from other segments posted along the way. I wanted to bring a little closure on the tale… something I tend to do very rarely with my tales.

It’s meant to come, as the title says, full circle; also in reference to the Legendary Circles overarching title the series had. I had a great deal of fun writing both it and the characters, and, as there are so many holes, I may add in another sneaky part or two as time goes on. You never know!

All parts of the story are now linked in the Storylines menu, should you feel the need to read them from beginning to end. Or any old way really… it may flow better that way!

Wanda

The room we first entered was small. And considering we were miniscule, that’s saying something. With the wooden door behind, and another door directly opposite, the room was filled by three small chairs and a table. Stone walls and floor, and a hearth. As it was warm, no fire was burning, although the hearth was charred and blackened as though a roaring fire had been there many times before.

Walpole gestured that I take a seat.

“Would you like a drink? A nice cup of tea? Came a voice from the room beyond.

I looked up at Walpole.

“The maid.” He explained.

“The maid?” The voice replied, as an industrious looking woman, portly in stature, and dressed in a long white and blue striped dress walked from out of the room. “I’m his wife. Maid indeed. He always says that when we have company. We’ve been married for 45 years now, but sometimes it feels like a hundred and forty-five!”

Walpole rolled his eyes.

“Away with you woman. You know full well it feels like only five.”

“On some days.”

“This is Wanda. Wanda E. Epstein. Wanda, this is Aquatom.” Walpole nodded in my direction, as though there were others in the room. With three of us there, it did feel quite crowded anyway.

“Just Tom” I quickly replied, hoping that my original username would never be used again.

“Ah, yes.” Walpole looked back at Wanda. “He’s changed it.”

“I know.”  Wanda said, quite wearily. “You’ve told me that about a million times already.”

She looked over at me, “He reads your blog regularly”

“I remember him telling me that once.” I replied. “Pleased to meet you, Mrs Epstein.”

“That’s Mrs E. Epstein, if you’re going to refer to her that way,” Walpole commented. “The E dot is part of our surname. Just call her Wanda. Or Maid as I do.”

“Maid indeed” Wanda said, and I noticed that she had a completely different accent to Walpole; English in fact. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it earlier.

“Have you told him why he’s here, Walp?”

“I haven’t had chance to yet, Wand. He’s only just got here, and you’ve monopolised him as soon as he’s come in through the door.”

“Charming.” Wanda walked out of the room, back to where she’d come from. “I’ll make the tea.”

“She has a point, I suppose.” Walpole sat in the chair closest to the hearth. “I surely bet that you are a-wondering why I’ve brought you here”

“I was a little” I said, also making a rather bad pun about how tiny we actually were. It seemed to go over Walpole’s head.

“We need to get supplies from the city on the horizon.” He pointed out of a small window on the wall where the door was – I hadn’t noticed it before. On the horizon, I could see tall glass-like buildings that were reflecting the sunlight in a multitude of colours.

“That’s Gem City. We need to get seven gems for my new contraption to get us back home. The first contraption exploded after bringing you here, trapping us.”

“But, if you need me to help you, and you used the contraption to get me here before it exploded, why didn’t you just use the contraption to get you home in the first place?” I had to ask the question, but as soon as I had, I wished that I hadn’t.

“That’s the way paradoxes work, my friend. Trust me, things needed to be done in that order.”

Wanda returned with the tea. “Here you go, a nice cuppa, ahead of your journey.”

I looked out of the window again. “So we have to walk all that way? Or take a butterfly or something?”

“No!” Walpole erupted into a fit of laughter. “That was just to show you what we are capable of here. No… we have to take the train.”

***

This is the next part in this year’s Walpole E. Epstein tale, which started in Butterflight, and continued (out of sequence) in The Rickety Railway Track. The next part will be along in due course.

The Mansion: Morsels of Mayhem and Magic

Something to lighten the mood is in order, I feel. Well, something different anyhow.

I’ve harped on about this Mansion of mine for what seems like centuries now. I’ve revealed bits and bobs about it as time’s gone by, like the fact that way beneath the Mansion flows the Lava River for starters; the different Views from the Windows I see which change more regularly than clockwork for the main course; and that odd Room that appeared outside in the Grinds just in time for Halloween that time, for dessert.

As in-between snacks, I’ve:

  • Revealed that there’s a mysterious Shield up on the wall on the Landing
  • Mentioned an all-consuming vortex in the bathroom (which also doubles as my laboratory from time to time)
  • Discovered a hidden room downstairs that was used back in the 1970s by an old space agency that sent a probe out looking for distant worlds (and found one!)
  • Described the rather hot vestibule that leads down to the Cellar
  • Explained how the Mansion, on occasions, drags me into a whole different time period completely for the day
  • Written about the time I conversed with a disembodied voice one morning and another time where items moved to the centre of the room without me (or anyone physical!) being in there
  • Gone into detail about the Grinds that surrind the Mansion, concentrating on the rather large Lake at the bottom end, and the creatures that live down there
  • Hinted that the Mansion sometimes changes shape entirely

For liquid refreshment, I’ve flooded the occasional post with details about the staircase, the different wings, the Driveway, the odd turrets, and the creatures of the night that come alive in the Grinds (away from the Lake)

And for a sprinkling of garnish, I’ve revealed the very stone that is used in parts of the Mansion’s construction… the kind that records history.

One important fact has never been revealed, and that fact is of the utmost trivia… a winner to win the fiercest of trivia competitions… a point so pointless it’s worth knowing just because of that.

So.

I can now reveal that piece of trivia. Brace yourselves, it’s going to be emot – nope – hang on – it’s going to be exceptional. And you were here when it was first revealed!

Shall we have a drum roll? Nope.

Shall we have a spring roll? Er, no…

Shall we have a – let’s forget all that and just roll!

Hehehe!

The number of stairs on the staircase up to the landing is fifteen. That’s right. 15 is a magic number. The number of stairs down from the landing is fourteen. 14’s just baffling.

As a hiccup: have I ever mentioned the fact that the Mansion straddles Universes and Dimensions? I’m sure I have. I must have.

And for that reason alone you can see why anything’s possible here.

It really is.

Anything.

Possible.

View from the window: The Multiverse

The Mansion’s playing silly beggars again.

This morning I didn’t just look through one window; I had to look through five and a half windows to see the view! At least it’s good that the Universe is in alignment with itself and others, I suppose, although I have no idea what it was thinking of with that half window.

Imagine that with every decision we have to make today we have five (and a half!) choices… would that make things easier or harder?

As it’s Summer Solstice, I was planning on having an easy, decision-free day today, but the Mansion has already decided that I need to choose which window to look out from. That’s OK when there’s an abundance of windows to look through, but becomes a bit tricky when looking through the same window multiple times at the same time. It kind of feels like looking through the reflections of a mirror, but only one way.

Still, the Mansion provides a different outlook on things, which is always good.

Hope you have a fabulous Solstice!