Mirage

June 13, 2021 at 10:36 pm (Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Short Story)

He was wandering lost in the desert.
He had stupidly wandered his way down a trail he wasn’t familiar with and couldn’t find his way back.
His mobile service didn’t seem to work out here and he couldn’t call for help.
His canteen was almost out of water.
Evening was approaching and a day of desert heat would soon be replaced by a night of desert cold.
Then he saw it.
A blue Chevy truck.
Most likely from the 1930s.
In mint condition.

He looked through the window.
The key was in the ignition and it appeared to have a full tank of gas.
He looked around.
And saw absolutely no one.
It seemed the vehicle was a godsend meant for him.
He got in and drove.

Some 80 odd years earlier at that very spot, a notorious bankrobber Sam Scarface Faring had pulled over to the side of the road to relieve himself.

When he turned around to get back into his truck, it had gone.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Faring, a police vehicle soon pulled up along the road and saved him from dying in the desert.

Instead he faced a life sentence in prison.

A mysterious time/space vortex had helped one man in trouble and sent another man to his just fate.

-A short story written by Christopher
Sunday June 13th 2021.

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An Evening With The Carstairs

June 5, 2021 at 10:32 pm (Humour, Short Story) ()

“Well I suppose this would be an inopportune moment for me to ask the boss for a raise seeing as how you just shot him.”

So said Basil Carstairs to his wife Anne Carstairs.

“I couldn’t help myself,” Anne remarked as she held the gun in her hand, “He was the twenty-first person to come to dinner this year and not ask for a second piece of my apple truffle cake for dessert.”

“It’s a good thing for me I’m allergic to apples,” Basil commented.

“What are we going to do?” Anne asked.

“Well maybe that carpet you’re alway asking me to get rid of,” Basil thought aloud, “I could wrap his body up in the carpet and drive it to the dumpster in front of Nick Diamond’s Discount Carpet Warehouse and throw it in there.”

“An excellent idea,” Anne nodded.

It was a good thing that Basil had recently taken up weightlifting as a body inside a carpet was quite a heavy thing to carry.

When he returned from the avenue on which was located the dumpster in front of Nick Diamond’s Discount Carpet Warehouse, Anne was debating what she should do with the gun.

“Maybe throw it out the window,” Basil suggested.

Just then there was a banging at the apartment door.

“Police,” a voice called from outside the door, “Neighbours said they heard a gunshot coming from this room.”

“Now what?” Anne asked.

“Quick,” Basil went to answer the door, “Throw the gun inside the toaster.”

“The toaster?” Anne was incredulous.

“Yes,” Basil nodded.

Anne threw the gun inside the toaster just as Basil opened the door.

“Good evening, officers,” Basil bowed, “Neighbours are complaining about a gunshot you say.”

“That is correct,” the policeman nodded.

“It must be the wine I opened earlier this evening,” Basil pointed to the bottle in the ice container holder, “The cork gave quite a pop when it was uncorked. Sounded like a gunshot.”

At that moment the toaster popped up.

“Good heavens,” Anne rushed over to the toaster, “This toast has been burnt black. I better throw it down the garburator.”

Anne threw the “burnt toast” down the garburator.

“Do you mind if we take a look around?” Asked one of the officers.

“Be my guest,” Basil nodded.

After twenty minutes of perusing the apartment, “Nothing out of the ordinary here. Except… was there a carpet recently here?”.

“Yes, I spilled wine on it earlier this evening,” Basil explained, “My wife has such a thing about cleanliness, I got rid of it right away. Put it in the dumpster behind the apartment building. Probably still there now unless it was stolen by one of the neighbourhood gangs who figure they could probably still use it for something.”

“We’ll check that later,” said one of the officers.

“Would you gentlemen like to have coffee and a piece of my apple truffle cake?” Anne asked.

“Why not?” Said the senior officer.

Later after the officers had several cups of coffee to wash down their apple truffle cake, Anne asked, “Would you all like a second piece of my apple truffle cake?”

“No, gotta go,” said the senior officer.

“Me too,” said another.

“Me as well,” said a third and the fourth barked the same.

There was a mad rush to the door by all the policemen who quickly exited.

“Well, that got rid of them,” Basil noted.

A loud gurgling could be heard coming from the garburator.

-A short story written by Christopher
Saturday June 5th 2021.

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A Donkey To Ride

May 31, 2021 at 10:32 pm (Short Story)

Walt, do you know where I can get a donkey?

Supper was over and that was the question George asked his neighbour from two doors down, “Walt, do you know where I can get a donkey?”.

It was a different and somewhat humourous end to supper.

George’s wife was to have an operation in the hospital the next day.

It was a minor operation but still it was an operation and sometimes one can never be sure how operations will turn out.

George had two children- a girl and a boy.

Walt’s wife Mary thought it might be a good idea to invite the three over for supper the night before the operation.

Walt agreed.

Walt and Mary had three daughters of their own- Margaret, Barbara and Judy.

The three were friends with George’s two children.

George accepted the invitation to dinner.

And brought over his two children.

It was a delicious supper.

Roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, gravy.

All present at the supper enjoyed the meal immensely.

The supper was over and dessert was about to be served.

Suddenly George cleared his throat in a rather ominous fashion.

All eyes turned to George.

“Walt,…” George paused and it sounded like he was going to say something of the upmost significance and importance.

He paused.

And all those present held their breath.

If George’s wife had been there, she’d have labelled the pause “the undramatic pause”.

For George’s wife had had some training in the dramatic arts and often mentioned how on stage actors and actresses would often pause in the middle of a sentence or a monologue to give what they were about to say next even more dramatic impart.

Not so with her husband George.

He would often pause (and a fairly long pause at that) before getting on with the rest of his sentence.

George’s wife labelled such pauses “the undramatic pause”.

For the next part of the sentence usually conveyed no dramatic impart whatsoever.

Although sometimes what he said next often had a comedic effect when juxtaposed with the previous statement before his pause.

Or the previous statement before the pause was comedic in itself.

As on one occasion, George and his wife were talking with a family friend about Canadian plains buffalo and George remarked, “Well A.Y. Jackson (a well-known Canadian painter) painted one from the rear end…. (incredibly long pause) … of a train.”

It sounded first before the pause that A.Y. Jackson had painted a buffalo’s rear end.

After the pause, it had become apparent that A.Y. Jackson had sat at the back car of a stopped train and painted a picture of a buffalo while the train sat there.

Getting back to this “undramatic pause”:

“Walt (in ominous tones)…. (incredibly long pause)… do you know where I can get a donkey?”.

The statement sent Walt and all those present at the dinner table into huge gales of laughter.

When Walt had finished laughing (which was some 5 minutes later), he asked, “What do you need a donkey for, George?”.

George replied, “Well a fellow teacher on staff owns an acreage and she thought it might be nice to have a donkey on the acreage.”

Had his son been an adult when his father had asked this question, “Do you know where I can get a donkey?”, he might have replied with his usual acerbic wit, “You can probably find one in the Prime Minister’s office.”

The question “Walt… do you know where I can get a donkey?” became a topic of conversation for years to come afterwards.

And George’s wife would often mention how on the night before her operation, her husband was at a next door neighbour’s house asking where he could get a donkey.

One of the places where George could find a donkey… or maybe two… or three.

-A short story written by Christopher
Monday May 31st 2021.

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Meili and The Immortal Fox

May 29, 2021 at 10:27 pm (Folklore, Mythology, Short Story) (, , )

Meili’s mother had vanished when she was young.

One day they were walking through the woods when a fierce storm came up.

Meili’s mother Niang had called out to the heavens for protection for her daughter.

The storm ceased but Meili’s mother had gone.

Although Meili did see a small fox disappear in the direction of a shrine in the woods.

Today was the day Meili was to be presented at the Imperial court.

How Meili wished her mother was here to help prepare her for her presentation at court.

As Meili sat in her bedroom wishing that, a small fox entered the room.

The fox went and stood by Meili.

A mist rose and became Meili’s mother Niang.

Niang helped Meili dress and then the crowning touch was when Niang put her blue sapphire broach in Meili’s hair.

It was then Meili realized that her mother Niang was truly a goddess.

Huxian Niangniang.

Fox Immortal Lady.

-A short story
written by Christopher
Saturday May 29th
2020.

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Arthur Meets Guinevere

May 27, 2021 at 10:32 pm (Folklore, Mythology, Short Story) (, , , , , , , , )

Arthur king of the Britons had recently defeated the Anglo-Saxons in battle.

Under his peace terms, the Anglo-Saxons could continue to live in Britain but as peaceful citizens no longer prone to pillaging and plundering (or what today’s mainstream media would label “peaceful protests”).

During this time Arthur’s advisor Merlin found himself imprisoned in an oak tree as a result of a spell cast by the enchantress Vivian Nimue the Lady of The Lake.

When Merlin discovered that he had been imprisoned in the oak tree by Vivian, his notable words were, “I hate it when this happens.”

Without an advisor, Arthur wondered who he should turn to for advice.

He wondered if, now having defeated the Anglo-Saxons and now reigning over a peaceful kingdom, he should now marry.

Arthur decided to go to his older foster brother Sir Kay for advice.

Sir Kay was sitting there imbibing several glasses of mead when Arthur found him.

“Kay,” said Arthur, “I think I should marry. What do you think?”.

“I think that’s an excellent idea, Arthur,” Kay hiccoughed before passing out.

When Arthur went to bed that night, he was told by a voice that he should walk to the top of the hill overlooking Camelot the next morning and there he would meet his bride.

The next morning Arthur walked in the direction of the hill.

It just so happened that Guinevere the daughter of King Leodegrance of Cornouaille in Breton happened to be visiting Arthur’s kingdom and by chance happened to be walking on the hill that morning.

And thus it was that Arthur encountered Guinevere on that hill.

It was a magic moment as golden rays pierced through the clouds and a dove rose in the sky to bless their meeting.

A meeting that marked the beginning of the magic of Camelot and all that city stood for.

Of course someday all that magic would unravel with the arrival of a French knight called Lancelot at King Arthur’s court but that is another story.

-A short story written by Christopher
Thursday May 27th 2021.

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Alfred The Great Receives A Visit From Cana Cludhmor

May 26, 2021 at 10:37 pm (Fantasy, Folklore, History, Mythology, Short Story) (, , )

Alfred the Great Receives A Visit From Cana Cludhmor

Alfred the Great (848/49-26th October 899) was king of the West Saxons from 871 to 886 and then king of all the Anglo-Saxons from 886 to 899.

He was the youngest son of King Aethelwulf (reigned 839-858) who died when Alfred was young.

Alfred’s three older brothers Aethelbald, Aethulberht and Aethulred all reigned before him.

When his last older brother Aethulred died in April 871, the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons were under siege by the Vikings.

While Alfred was busy with the burial ceremonies for his brother, the Danes defeated the Anglo-Saxons at an unknown spot in Alfred’s absence.

Alfred then went on to meet the Danes at the Battle of Wilton in May 871.

He was defeated smashing any remaining hope that Alfred could drive away the invaders from his kingdom.

Alfred was instead forced to make peace with them and pay them tribute.

When the young Alfred returned to his castle shortly after the battle and had gone to bed falling into a deep sleep, he was awakened by the sound of a harp playing.

Alfred looked up and noticed a beautiful woman standing there playing the harp.

“Who are you?” Alfred asked as his loyal, faithful and ever alert (?) watch dog continued to sleep on the rug besides his bed.

“I am Cana Cludhmor the inventor of the harp,” the woman answered.

“You sound Irish?” Alfred noted.

“Indeed,” the woman nodded, “The Irish venerate me as their goddess of music, inspiration and dreams.”

“What do you want?” Alfred asked.

“Be not discouraged by your recent defeat by the Vikings,” Cana Cludhmor said, “For the next time you are awakened by the playing of my harp again, note you shall achieve victory against the Danes.”

Seven years later in May 878 Alfred was awakened by Cana Cludhmor’s harp playing and went on to defeat the Vikings at the Battle of Edington (also known as the Battle of Ethandun).

One of the terms of the Danish surrender was that Guthrum the leader of the Danish Great Heathen Army convert to Christianity.

Three weeks later Guthrum and 29 of his chief men were baptised at Alfred’s court with Alfred becoming Guthrum’s godfather.

Guthrum took the baptismal name of Aethelstan.

Under his baptismal name of Aethelstan, he ruled as king of East Anglia from 879 to 890.

And thus with the playing of an Irish Celtic harp, Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings.

-A short story written by Christopher
Thursday May 26th 2021.

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Liaison At The Palais Garnier

May 20, 2021 at 10:15 pm (Culture, Detective story, Folklore, History, Mystery, Romance, Short Story, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Sitting alongside her friend Estelle in her opera box at the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris, Nicole read a message that had been delivered to her.

It was a May evening in Paris in the year 1889.

And the 1888-1889 season of the Palais Garnier Paris Opera Company was coming to an end.

The season had begun in September with Verdi’s Aida.

And was coming to an end this May with Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Nicole and Estelle had thoroughly enjoyed Act I of tonight’s opera.

During intermission there was one man who kept his eyes on Nicole the whole time they were in the lobby.

Returning to their box minutes before Act 2 was to begin, they discussed the excitement surrounding this particular night at the opera.

Aside from the usual rumours surrounding the possible appearance of Erik the Phantom of the Opera, there were other rumours surrounding tonight’s performance.

It was rumoured that Queen Victoria’s eldest son Edward Prince of Wales (who would be the future King Edward VII of Britain) would be attending tonight’s performance incognito under the name Monsieur Claude Adonais.

Various opera goers cast their glances around the seats on the floor and in the opera boxes to see if Monsieur Claude Adonais (aka Edward Prince of Wales) was there.

Just minutes before Act 2 of Don Giovanni was to begin, Nicole received a note.

“What does the note say?” Estelle asked excitedly.

“It says,” Nicole read the note aloud, “My dearest and fairest Mademoiselle, do I have permission to enter your box before tonight’s performance is finished?” And it’s signed Claude Adonais. Then in brackets it says Edward Prince of Wales.”

“The cheek of him,” Estelle shook her head, “Asking to enter your box.”

“I do believe he’s talking about my opera box,” Nicole replied.

“You never know with Edward Prince of Wales,” Estelle noted, “He has quite the reputation.”

Nicole sent a note back.

“What did you say?” Estelle asked.

“I said Oui,” Nicole answered.

“Oh, Nicole,” Estelle sighed.

Just as the scene where Don Giovanni encounters the statue of the slain dead Commendatore (whose daughter Don Giovanni had sexually violated and the Commendatore had died in a sword fight against Don Giovanni defending his daughter’s honour) unfolds, Monsieur Claude Adonais (aka Edward Prince of Wales) entered Nicole’s box (her opera box that is).

“Would you care to come to my hotel room after dinner?” Monsieur Claude Adonais asked, “We’ll have wine, a midnight snack and a most scrumptuous shish kebab of a sword for your dessert.”

Just as on stage the statue of the Commendatore dragged Don Giovanni down to Hell, so too Erik the Phantom of the Opera arrived on his chandelier, grabbed the Prince of Wales and carried him down to the subterranean lake below the Palais Grenier Opera House.

Just as the Phantom was about to drag the Prince of Wales below the depths of the lake, London’s famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes arrived on the scene.

“Your Highness,” Holmes explained, “Your mother the Queen hired me to look out for you. After she heard you were traveling incognito to Paris sans Alexandra your wife, she figured something like this would happen.”

Holmes ripped off the Phantom’s mask.

Erik with a loud cry vanished beneath the waters of the lake.

Holmes then turned to Edward Prince of Wales (under his incognito nom-de-plume Monsieur Claude Adonais), “And as for you, your naughty Royal Highness, your mother has booked a three hour session with my twin sister Sherrielock Holmes for you.”

Edward turned pale, “But isn’t your sister a dominatrix?”.

“She is, your Highness,” Holmes nodded, “And you’ve had it coming.”

Meanwhile Nicole and Estelle sat in a small cafe on the Champs-Elysees.

Nicole opened up a box of chocolates (that had been given her by Edward Prince of Wales Monsieur Claude Adonais) and said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

-A short story
and
vampire novel chapter
written by Christopher
Thursday May 20th
2021.

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Anna’s Song

April 16, 2021 at 10:11 pm (Short Story) (, )

Anna stood at the open window of the balcony of her palatial country home that overlooked Buffalo Lake in the distance.

The writer of mystery novels sat there in the chair looking at the backwards silhouette of Anna in her seemingly transparent white gown.

Her left hand rested on the side of the Mediterranean blue window pane and her right hand rested on a wicker chair covered in a drape painted in a Japanese style nature scene.

“Very beautiful,” Anna remarked as she gazed at the scene, “Beautiful and tranquil.”

“It is,” mystery writer Adam Hawkins agreed as he sipped his tea.

“I suppose you will use such a beautiful scene as the setting for your next mystery novel,” Anna turned and faced him, “Its beauty and tranquility will be shattered by some gruesome crime.”

“No,” Adam put down his cup of tea, “I don’t think I will use this beautiful scene as inspiration for a mystery novel.”

“What then?” Anna asked.

“I’m thinking of switching genres,” Adam looked at her.

“To which genre?” Anna wanted to know.

“Romance,” Adam answered.

They kissed and embraced while in a tree down by the lake a thrush burst into song.

-A short story written by Christopher
Friday April 16th 2021.

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Claudia’s Silence

April 2, 2021 at 10:22 pm (Short Story)

As he came through the door, he noticed his wife.

She turned her back on him.

It was going to be one of those days.

No doubt she was angry at him for ignoring her advice this morning.

She retreated to her own room.

He sat down and read the news of the day.

Most of it bad.

Hard to be a politician these days.

He soon found his reading disturbed by people who had come to his door that his servant had let in.

Representatives of the local religious authorities.

They were complaining about an inscription he had written.

He just sent them away with a wave of his hand.

Another man came to his door.

Wanting the release of the body of the criminal that had been executed that day.

He granted the release.

The servant rang the dinner bell.

He went to the dining room and ate dinner with his wife.

Claudia was silent all throughout the meal.

When the meal was over, Claudia again went to her room.

As for Claudia’s husband, he went on to the balcony and looked at the stars.

He thought back to the day’s events.

His wife sending him a message just before a trial he presided over began, “Have nothing to do with that just man. I have had many troublesome dreams this day because of him.”

The representatives of the local religious authorities appearing to him and complaining, “Write not on his cross, Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Rather write Jesus of Nazareth, He Who Claimed To Be King of the Jews.”

He dismissed them with a wave of his hand saying, “What I have written, I have written.”

And then a counsellor, a member of the Sanhedrin, named Joseph of Arimathea coming to him and asking that Jesus’ body be released to him.

Which he granted.

As he stood up looking at the stars and the sky, he recalled something that a man who had been a visitor to the city of Athens had once said to him.

Apparently in addition to altars built to the various gods and goddesses of Olympus, the people of Athens also had an inscription TO THE UKNOWN GOD.

Who was this Unknown God he wondered as he looked up at the stars and the sky?

Oh well, perhaps in the next life, in what lay beyond death, he might meet this Unknown God.

He doubted very much he would ever meet this Unknown God in this life.

So thought Pontius Pilate.

-A short story written by Christopher
Good Friday, Friday April 2nd 2021.

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Portrait of Tapairu The Tahitian Sleeping Beauty

March 21, 2021 at 10:27 pm (Art, Arts, History, Romance, Short Story, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , )

Portrait of Tapairu the Tahitian Sleeping Beauty

“What an absolutely beautiful painting,” Sherrielock Holmes the (quite literally) immortal twin sister of London consulting detective Sherlock Holmes gazed at the newest acquisition now hanging in the Dashwood Forrest Art Gallery in London.

Mr. Truffles her orange tabby cat purred in agreement and looked up affectionately at the painting.

“It was painted in Tahiti back in 1894 by one Sean Seamus O’ Gill an Irish painter and artist who lived on the island of Tahiti around the same time as the French artist Paul Gauguin,” Dashwood Forrest the art gallery owner and curator explained, “sadly Mr. O’ Gill is not as well known as Gauguin.”

As the old grandfather clock chimed in the gallery and the statue of a gnome emerged out of a small drawer to turn over an hourglass whose sands had just run out, images from a past time seemed to filter into the present.

Sean Seamus O’ Gill looked at the vision in front of him.

“What a vision,” Sean Seamus O’ Gill remarked to the French missionary priest Father Jacques La Croix.

“It’s like that old Irish hymn whose lyrics begin “Be thou my vision”, eh, Sean?” Father La Croix smiled.

“I guess you could phrase it that way,” Sean nodded, “She does look divine.”

“That she does,” Father La Croix agreed.

“Are you sure she wouldn’t object to being painted while sleeping?” Sean asked.

“No,” Father La Croix shook his head, “She wants to be painted while sleeping. She wants this portrait to be called the Tahitian Sleeping Beauty. She wants to give it as a gift to the man she’s going to marry.”

“She’s engaged?” A look of disappointment crossed Sean’s face.

“Nothing official yet,” Father La Croix answered, “but she hopes to be.”

And so that was how Sean Seamus O’ Gill came to paint the portrait of Tapairu the Tahitian sleeping beauty.

Over the next few months, Sean would sketch drawings and eventually paint pictures afterwards of Tapairu dancing at night in the village center like a royal dancer.

He would sketch drawings and paint pictures afterwards of Tapairu singing to school children during the day.

One of the village matriarchs took notice of his work.

“I’ve been told that an artist likes to depict a subject he loves,” she smiled.

“Um… Tapairu just makes a good subject,” The artist seemed to blush, “That’s all.”

Sean did wonder though which of the many suitors that seemed to want to attract Tapairu’s attention, Tapairu had given her heart to.

On the night of Sean’s birthday, many of the villagers gave Sean gifts.

Tapairu gave Sean a carefully wrapped and rather large present.

Sean opened it.

This was what he saw.

Sean then remembered the words of Father La Croix that she wanted to give the portrait of the Tahitian Sleeping Beauty as a gift to the man she wanted to marry.

Tapairu smiled happily at him.

Sean smiled happily back.

-A short story and
vampire novel chapter
written by Christopher
Sunday March 21st 2021.

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