Sunday, June 28, 2015


Nestled deep within the bazaar, in amongst the crowded merchants, all selling their specialties of spices, silks, textiles, and exotic foods, there is a singular stall which only has one item for sale; one rare and mysterious artefact that is only meant for one individual, and for that individual alone.

This particular stall has existed ever since the ancient market was open, thousands of years ago, and yet it has gone unnoticed by most, staying just slightly out of view, mixed in with the much more colourful and interesting shops.

From generation to generation, the shop's owners have passed over the maintenance of the stall from father to son, mother to daughter; all through the years, waiting for its one special customer to come along and purchase its one piece of merchandise.

Leisurely strolling through the busy laneways between the rows of shops, Lance browsed listlessly, paying little attention to the shouting hawkers trying to entice him with their myriad of unique treasures not to be found anywhere else, especially not at the next booth boasting the same of an identical pot or rug.

Walking on, he almost went passed the plain and completely bare stall at which there sat an elderly man behind the empty counter staring directly at him. The uniqueness of the sparse stall was what caught his attention as it practically shone like a beacon amongst the other lavishly decorated booths.

He stopped and wandered over to the stall, trying to see what, if anything it offered. Seeing nothing, Lance asked the old shopkeeper what he was selling.

The old man beckoned him closer and Lance moved to lean in and put his hand on the counter top. With startling quickness, the leather-skin man lunged forward and grabbed his hand with a firm grip and twisted it palm up forcefully.

Lance started to protest but fell silent as the old man only traced the lines of his palm with a bony finger, muttering in a language Lance did not recognize.

With a crackling shout, the old man let go of Lance's wrist and looked into his eyes with a wild excitement. Speaking quickly and laughing gleefully, the shop keep turned to the back of his stall and opened a dusty chest that was the only thing beside a well-worn stool within the dirt-floor stall.

Lance tried to peer around him as the old man hunched over the chest but it was of no use, yet the merchant soon turn back around to him, cradling something in his arms.

As the old man brought it closer, Lance could see it was wrapped up inside a vividly coloured cloth and it was not much larger than a big grapefruit.

Looking around suspiciously to make sure there were no onlookers, the old man then solemnly and delicately unfurled the cloth to reveal a platinum orb that filled the entirety of his palm.

Motioning for Lance to take the sphere, the shopkeeper dumped its surprisingly hefty weight to Lance's awaiting hand. Regarding the smooth surface of the orb, Lance tried to think of what it could be. He looked to the shopkeeper who was grinning happily and holding up one finger to intricate the price.

Lance asked what it was and what it did, but the old man simply nodded and pointed with his one finger at the sphere and then indicated the price again.

With a shrug, Lance dug into his bag with his free hand and pulled out one coin, still looking inquisitively to the old man, and questioned the low price, but showing his lightning speed once again, the shopkeeper snatched the coin from his hand and laughed and waved as if to confirm their transaction was complete.

Further questioning only brought more nodding and waving so Lance shrugged again and turned his attention to the shining orb as he walked away from the odd little stall.

A gust of wind picked up and blew stinging sand up into his face, so Lance turned back to shield himself from the dusty onslaught only to see that the booth was no longer there.

No empty plot, no trace of it at all, only the other stalls pushing up onto one another as they had always been.

Taking a step toward where the booth had been, Lance was bumped into by a hurried delivery boy, striding quickly to his next drop off, causing the orb to drop out of his hand and onto the well-beaten ground with crack.

Bending down quickly after it, Lance picked the orb up gingerly, only to see that it had split neatly along its circumference, as if it was meant to be opened there.

Curiously, he twisted the two halves of the orb and it opened up to reveal a hand made coffee mug nestled inside the shell casing. Letting the sphere halves drop away, Lance held the well made mug by its smooth handle and read the lettering that was printed in bold block lettering with blue dye.

Unbelievingly, he stared at what seemed to be an anciently-made, yet modern designed mug which read 'Lancelot St Hoilett: World's Greatest Lover'.

Laughing to himself, Lance thought what a turn of luck, he had always wanted a mug just like it, and, until now, had not been able to find one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

City of Ghosts

Walking down the crowded sidewalk, Joshua barely even looked up from his phone to watch where he was going, he only moved along with the flow of the sea of other pedestrians, none of whom were  looking up from their phone screens either.

It was the usual walk from work to the train station and no one took notice of anyone else.

He dropped the few spare coins he had in his pocket into the cup of the homeless man that was always sitting on the street corner before the station, but he barely even registered the automatic act of kindness as he walked on.

A shrill tire screen did make him look up for a moment, but there was no immediate danger, so Joshua went to turn his attention back to his phone. Yet, before he lowered his gaze again he briefly saw a young woman walking a short distance ahead of him, heading towards him.

It was not her attractive, slightly sad face that made him take notice of her, but the fact that she had just walked right into an oncoming business man and had passed through him.

The sight made Joshua to stop dead in his tracks, causing the annoyed legions behind him to grumble about watching where he was going as they cascaded around him. Not hearing the other pedestrians' protests, he stood and stared as the tall, pale girl walked closer, some pedestrians narrowly dodging her, others passing right through her as if she was not there.

She passed where he stood and he felt the urge to reach out with his finger tips to gently brush her shoulder, but he only gaped at her as she seemed to float by.

Unable to stop himself, Joshua turned and began to follow her, heading in the direction he had just come.

Keeping his eyes fixated on her deftly moving shape, he weaved in and around the oncoming pedestrians as they hurried passed on their regular routes home, none of them even noticing the ghostly spirit that moved through them as she walked determinedly onward.

A few times he nearly caught up with her, but she always rushed ahead with sudden quickness to stay just out of reach, so Joshua had to speed up his pace, sometimes hitting into an unlucky passerby who was not swift enough to move out of his path.

Again and again the girl flitted in and out of people, gaining more ground than he could as he had to move around those that she had merely passed through. Until at last they reached an intersection and the crowds fell away, giving him a clear course as the girl strode out into the street.
Hurrying out to follow her, Joshua reached out his hand as he closed in on her, but again, another shrill tire screech distracted him for a split second and in a flash of screams and pain, he lost her.

Standing alone in the middle of the intersection he looked around and saw himself laying askew on the pavement, the driver of the car that had skidded to a halt in front of where his body lay, was out and kneeling down beside his broken body, shouting silently for help.

Joshua looked back at the horrified crowd, staring at the accident and taking pictures and videos on their phones in a dreaming slow motion, and saw the girl standing in front of them, looking directly at him.

She walked slowly up to where he stood and offered her slender hand to him, which he confusedly took and let her lead him back through the gawking crowd.

As they walked through the throngs of people, he saw others walking along with them, turning to nod at him and then continuing on their way. Then Joshua saw that there were a multitude of them, crowding the busy city streets; all wandering unseen; a city of ghosts.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Break Through

He had done it; he had broken through!

Henry did an excited fist pump to himself as he sat back in his creaky desk chair and admired the accomplishment that was displayed on the glow of his computer monitor.

In the dimly lit room, hidden away in the depths of his parents' basement, his workstation was littered with miscellaneous computer parts and soldering equipment along with empty soda pop cups and greasy hamburger wrappers. He had not washed or even slept for what seemed days, yet those day to day tasks seemed irrelevant to the project; his life's work.

All the lack of sleep, hygiene, and his poor health was worth it now that he had accomplished what he had set out to do; what no one else in history had done before.

Leaning forward to peer at the image on the screen, Henry reached for a half finished burger and began munching on it absently. The blue hue of the monitor radiated eerily on his face, giving him a ghoulish complexion as his eyes focused intently on the subject on the screen.

It had all seemed so simple once he had remembered a lesson which every high school science teacher had taught in even the most remedial of their classes; everything is made up of matter, and matter is made up of information; calculations, reactions, counteractions, and formulas, all making up everything in the universe.

If that was so, Henry had reasoned, then that information could be hacked into like any other computer program, so that you could break down the secure walls of reality and see what lies beneath.

The most difficult task was creating the sensors that could take the readings from around a specific space, like his downstairs bedroom, and have them feed the data into his CPU so that he could interact with the real world using his computer as a gateway; much like how one interacts with the internet, only the information that is streaming in and out of the processor is the matter that is actually making up the fabric of reality.

Once he had his hardware build and the program configured, it was a relatively easy matter of breaking down the data to code and manipulating it as he had with so many systems before.

And finally, he had done it; he had broken through; broken through our reality into the next.

Continuing to stare fixedly at the display, Henry's brain exploded with the possibilities that his discovery had brought, for there, right on his computer monitor was a window into another dimension.

The figure on the display was sitting at their workstation similar to his own, looking keenly into their similar monitor, snacking on a similar looking hamburger.

Henry almost could not believe what he was seeing, was it another version of himself in another dimension working on their computer as he snuck a glimpse into their reality?

Henry went to reach for a drink of pop but was distracted by the movement of the other in the monitor making the same motion and knocked the half filled cup over, sending it splashing to the floor.

The noise startled him and he swore as he looked down at the mess of syrupy soda that pooled on the concrete floor and then quickly looked back to the monitor as to not miss anything.

Only, when he looked back, the other him was now staring straight back at him, as if he could see Henry watching somehow, yet just behind his double, he caught a glimpse of something even more startling.

On the monitor of the alternate reality Henry, was another Henry, also looking back at his observer, and in his monitor was yet another Henry, and another, and another, reaching back into infinity.

Henry felt his mind begin to unravel as the feeling of being observed himself stole over his awareness.

Slowly he turned away from the infinite display of other Henrys to look over his shoulder.

In the darkness behind him, he saw, only for a single moment before the countless universes collapsed upon each other; he saw what he had done and screamed before reality blinked out of existence.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Out on the grassy cliffs that over look the boundless sea, sits Maggie, the salt-saturated winds blowing her long, auburn hair back behind her as she faces the crashing waters defiantly.

In her hands she holds a study fiddle and bow, on which she plays her lively song.

She plays it over and over again, her pretty features set in a stern gaze of concentration as her fingers move deftly over the strings and her right arm works the bow across them wildly.

The tune travels over the high cliffs and out across the churning waters, seeking out its intended audience.

Each day since her lover had set out on his journey with his ship and crew to find their fortune on the high seas, Maggie has come out to call him back to her with her passionate song. Each evening, her fingers no longer able to move for the cold sea winds, she makes her way home to her lonely stone house which sits, much like herself, solitarily out on the barren Moors.

Once day break comes, she heads out again with her instrument to the wooden chair that waits for her out on the cliff's edge.

On this particularly grey and miserable day, the dark clouds overhead threatening to burst with rain and thunder, she plays her song and far off in the horizon, Maggie sees the outline of a ship growing larger.

The closer it comes, the more fervently she plays, as if her playing was drawing the craft toward her. Indeed, the multi-sailed ship seemingly speeds directly to her place atop the cliffs.

Though no place for the ship to land or ever moor itself is anywhere near by, it continues to steam full ahead, aimed directly for the steep cliff face; Maggie's fiddle still playing frantically, to the point it seems ready to burst into flames.

Until, in a deafening crash, the ship smashes itself upon the sheer cliffs, its wooden hull exploding into millions of splinters while its crew is flung violently to the be dashed upon the craggy rocks below where Maggie looks on.

Breathing heavily, her song finally silent and her fiddle and bow still held tightly at her sides, she sands and watches with crazed eyes as the carnage of the shipwreck sinks quickly into the depths.

Getting a glimpse of the name painted across the stern of the sinking vessel, she knows it is not her lover's, yet she sniffs with satisfaction at her day's work.

One day, she would bring his ship back to her, and her lonely heart would have its revenge upon the high-reaching cliffs.