The Crow Rr’karva

The Crow Rr’karva
Ailsa Williamson


A crow sat high on the wall
Cawing so loud, all heard his call
People looked up from field and road,
Wondering what terrors he foretold
Times and change and times of woe
Lips parted, expressing pure sorrow
But as they listened to his echowing caw
They realised he was not calling to them at all.

Gengen’vor (language in development):

Karva mea’di sha kakata rr’ethr
Korvok’ni kat’val ranna mesh’di lelne efat
Enepis pepe’di volk komp sharat e megmali
Ava’ni ven tandes lel vanashika’di
Garshais me’draka e garshais me’falhi
Banies govo’di lelami’ni finita falhi
Ta’a as lelnn bane’ni ot lelne korvok
Lelnn pafi’di lel gm’di nen efat’ni ot lelnn nen ranna.


(Prompts: crow, lips, change)

Strangers of Your Future

IMG Source:
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Then – fair-sized tubs of it too – thought the further I went, the further I wouldn’t. They were selling paints in Poundland back with more freedom even than I have now living with you and what colour to paint still thinks that if I walk far enough, had to wear glasses, to stop the headaches. Years between being twelve and seventeen. The worst appears as a trap. Having a whole day freedom is relative. Once you have too much camp and drink and they were happy with years; the best years. I had friends that a drunken haze. This was back when I sleepless nights and suicidal thoughts. I try to can see every colour. You can see fragments wait for me. It isn’t the same as I’m writing this from the little nook under I came home. He brandished my phone and at old photographs. See, there’s me with the I don’t feel wild. I am unemployed, of joyful. I snap the glowstick between my teeth, from the rave I’ve just been at. I the willow tree by the river. I’ve had something like that blasting out the window; the I’m glad I haven’t moved away. There was give off when your mood fits the dream. Would do what I wanted them to. I cool night air to rush on my face I wanted my mum to paint my room a time when all I wanted was to to go on holiday, whether to have people me. They took me into their tents and a dark abyss where all you can see a good thing, it’s like staring down into be calm and write things down. I look black. I said I’d do it if she when I was in my dad’s car, coming washing the car for that old lady down That was before the optician told me I You can see the person you will marry; My vision still goes fuzzy when I take told them we were going hiking and would protest or object. I told him I didn’t as an adult. I always thought that growing floppy blonde fringe and the earnest blue eyes. Only happy when I’m walking along out into like it’s Christmas again – getting that warm, need a phone. I was part of the the village lights on the journey home that course. A year at college only taught me back from the town with a boot-full of who will kiss you with more passion than we did things I wouldn’t do now. Funny, and I could save up my lunch money crawl down to the river, and release the its 500 missed calls. I wasn’t going to it be love, goals, or suicide? Will there neon fluid into the sparkling stream. If I up meant doing exactly what you want to how it was fun at the time. The glad that most of it is lost in what I didn’t want to do. Sometimes I car with the radio on, maybe U2 or hurts that I can’t see the glint of do. Deciding what to eat for dinner, where would get away. Dad shouted at me everytime life is a spiral towards one goal. Will like the raves, because they make you forget, week will be the exact same; that’s not kills me. I remember sitting in my dad’s of it, everything that once seemed free now satisfying feeling that some call love. But then the road. If you stare into blackness, you piercing it so the liquid oozes out. I at the bottom are the fiery hells of I see the tall spire rise up against shopping. It’s coming back broke and lonely. I and circulate the stench of my dad’s cigarette. I’m looking at the twinkling lights and feeling the walls. When I was seven years old, without her knowing, and said I earned it wilderness. He told me I was wild. Well, the horizon and I remember what lies in someone you’ve married; all just because they are the clouds. There’s a part of me that am poisoned with sorrow, than nature shall be you can see the parallel universe where your get out. I suppose it was those five this den since I was seven years old, it always leaves me unsatisfied, somehow. I am I’ll still get away. It’s the sight of be a future at all? The thing is, and there’s always the happy drugs available. Strangers of your future and the brilliant sheen they with nothing to do, knowing that the next window which I’ve opened because I like the rivers, or the mountain peeks piercing the cloud. Them off and look into the distance. I have a glowstick in my bag, remnant memories now to me are torture. I am paint, mostly imaginary animals or familiar landscapes, but.

(- Maria Sledmere; Cut-up via Lazarus Text Mixing Machine; Weekly prompt: glowsticks).

The Labyrinth

The labyrinth was dark. Dark as a starlit night.

The air was blue and cold, and the mist of my breath clouded before me. I could hear my shallow breathing, almost my frantic heartbeat, but all else was silent.

I turned a corner, I turned a corner for the thousandth time and they all looked alike. But this time, I stopped before a pool as clear as black glass, a mirror to the stars above. From somewhere within, a soft light began to glow, nearing the surface. It took form, took a human shape. Limbs unfolded beneath the still surface of the pool and then ripples appeared. A hand came creeping up through the ripples, a white hand that glowed with cool light, the hand of a young girl.

I took the ghostly hand, though I was gripped with fear. My chilled soul grew warm.

As I pulled, the figure floated, light as air, to the surface of the water and she stood upon the glassy pool as though on solid ground.

“What are you?”

“I am light. I am your reward.”

She led me through the darkness for a while. With my hand in hers, all was illuminated. Though the sky above was black and the stars still shone upon a nocturnal world, within the labyrinth the walls and floors were bathed in brilliant light. I flew through the maze, turning, sure of my goal, sure of my direction, but with the fever of hope I grew careless, and reached a wall with no way out but to turn back. It had been so long since my last mistake.

The light snatched her hand away. Her pale, moonlit glow turned to churning red light, her gently floating hair was whipped up in a storm of flame.

“No.” She snarled. “Wrong.”

“What are you?” I breathed.

“I am fire. I am your death.”

I ran.

Rachel Norris
What were your prompts?: Reward, Terror


“I should’ve expected bad swordplay from such dreck, but this is ridiculous! Governer, have your men actually gotten worse recently?”

“Well no wonder, you killed the only ones with training weeks ago.”

“And I’ll keep it up ’til your reign of terror is over!”

“You could at least try to make less of a mess while you’re doing it- The cleaners will be very angry with you.”

“They shouldn’t have signed up as cleaners if they can’t take a little dirt.”

“Dirt? You cut a man’s arm off and kicked him out the window!”

“I had to get him away from me somehow, he was bleeding all over my cape!”

“Bloody cape- You know, I’ve had it with you damn swashbucklers, trying to solve all the world’s problems with flashy sword tricks and frilly costumes! Tell me, once you gut the local government, what happens then? I suppose you’ll be taking on the burden of running a land filled with thugs and rebels, will you?”

“There’s going to be freedom and fair rule for all when we’re in charge!”

“I do like your sense of optimism, even if it does nothing to improve my opinion of your savage manners or terrible dress-sense. I also find your usage of ‘We’ rather interesting. Shouldn’t it be ‘When I’m in charge’?

“No. Our revolution has been founded on the principles of shared power. Everyone will get a say in how things are ran.”

“Oh, you all say that now, but once total power is within reach, you might be feeling a tad more selfish… I mean, who knows better than you yourself when it comes to getting things done? Other people will simply get in the way. And even if you manage to resist that longing for just a little bit more power than you already have, I’m sure most of the others won’t.”

“Shut up! You’re just saying that to turn us against each other!”

“Nonsense. What reason do I have to care about you or anyone else? I may as well lie down in the coffin at this point. I’m finished. Causing squabbles and sowing discontent is none of my concern now- I am only stating simple truths. Anyways, I suppose this is when you decide you’ve had enough of what I’m saying and kill me, isn’t it?”

“Yeah… I guess it is. About time you faced justice.”

“A moment, please- I’m going to need a drink before we go through with this. Care for some? It was a gift from the King… Oh, alright. Fine, but don’t say I wasn’t courteous.”

“Okay, you’ve had your drink, anything else?”

“No no, that’s it. I’m ready. Do remember what we talked about, though. For your own safety, at least.”

The blade still dripped as the others entered the room.

“We have the fort under control. Did you handle the governor?”

“Yes, the tyrant is dead.”

“Fantastic! Brothers, we’re one step closer to victory. From now on they won’t be sleeping easy in the capital, let me tell you. What say we crack open that drinks cabinet over there and celebrate in style, eh?” With a laugh he noticed the bottle on the blood-stained table. “Wait a second, looks like our friend here has already had a go at the governor’s stash! Well, you’ve certainly earned it. Here, you should keep it.”

The man with the dripping blade took the bottle and gave a weak smile. “Thank you, I’ll enjoy it.”

And as he held that bottle from the King in his hands, he looked down at the governor’s corpse. He heard those ill words on power and greed once more, and felt the first notes of doubt stir in his chest.

Prompts: longing

by Paul Inglis

Whale Fall

This place is a deep black cacophony; you hear the noises, some noises, not all the noises, and you feel the pressure ripple pulling under you. We’ve been swimming for so long to prepare for this. 5000 calories a day and five hours at the pool: butterflying, twisting, diving. But that was all under bright lights and floor-tiles, and blue and red lines to guide you along. Your whole life a series of intervals.

I started all this when I was very young. My father wanted me to be an Olympic swimmer, but the point of all my swimming wasn’t to win medals or have the best muscles in my class; the point was to enter another world. You reach the bottom of a pool and the light above you is another sun, the gurgling swirls of current reach out from your limbs and this is what it is to be alive; to be alien, to be brilliant.

Down here, the ocean is a dull roar. The university paid for all of it: the travel costs, training, equipment. The transition is easy, leaving land behind you. When you pull on your wetsuit, you morph into another being. I was hoping for whales; everyone is always hoping for whales in America. Maybe it’s just their taste for scale, or maybe it’s the Moby Dick factor.

Anyway, we were five days into the expedition and still no whales.

Just the vast blue darkness.

Sometimes, though, when you get to a certain depth, you can hear something. Well, it’s not hearing exactly; it’s hard to put into words – more of a feeling, something passing through you, like that shiver you get when someone walks on your grave. Each trip we always take the same amount of oxygen, but there are parts of the ocean where time slows and you are down there for longer – everything drags around you, and even the movements of the glittering shoals of fish seem different, prolonged.

As I flex and pulse my body, I imagine all the echolalia around me. I have listened to the whale sounds on countless documentaries. They are like the susurrations of wind or the bleeping of glitched computers; there is terror in the beauty of those long, hollow tones. Or perhaps they are more like songs, or melancholy moans. You think of all you are missing, out here in the blackness without friend or family, your body lost to the whims of the sea. I swear I can feel it, the sonar rising up inside of me, vibrations pressing my brain.

That’s when I made it, the Grand Discovery.

They called it a Whale Fall. My supervisor suggested we name it after me, as a reward, but an American scientist got there first. The name makes you think of tragedy and sadness; of the massive carcass, once elegant, crashing down through torrent and wave to land forever at the bottom of the ocean. Americans have a thing for tragedy, especially grand tragedy.

I knew it was a whale immediately, because it had no teeth. Its skeleton seemed to go on forever.

But it was no mere skeleton; it was a malignant village, a cancerous community. Unnaturally-coloured crabs crawled in and out of its spinal discs, and swarms of luminescent worms and anemones coated its yellow-crusted surface. Nature’s most brutal carnival was slowly eating up the once dignified bones. I swam cautiously right round it to get a better look. There were a few minutes where I lost contact with the other divers, forgot they even existed. I was part of the ecosystem, my eyes aglow with the rotting carcass and its bright detritus. You could not tell what was once skin or flesh or sinew; all was a composite of ragged weeds and stringy feelers and unknowable, slimy things. I was truly at the bottom of the world. As I stared at this terrible marvel, history itself seemed as perishable as this animal’s soul. I saw the whole Earth being eaten up by these nasty, many-legged worms – these disasters of ecology. As I watched them gorge on the skeleton, I saw that they were consuming the future itself. Eating out every second and minute, never growing full. Life and death shuddered before my eyes and I felt my brain swell in its skull.

At the ceremony they told me I had risked my life to investigate this miracle of nature; that I had held on to the end of my oxygen tank, brought back from the brink. I would be rewarded for my efforts, they said, a bright career ahead of me.

But did they not know what became of me? For I too was a skeleton, then; a new ecosystem unfolding as I rotted at the bottom of the ocean.

(Prompts: whale sounds video, terror, reward)

by Maria Rose Sledmere

Moan Towards You

Your moaning echoes through the tunnels of my ears and so I slam my palms to my lobes and mutter in pain.

Again you grumble out, no words but I can decipher the meaning. Joining you I groan in unison, a harmony to your melody saying that I have no desire to come to you, no matter how much you might beg.

Beg for company as you lie in that bed, striving to rise. Around you there are whispers of the haunted thousand voices of those who came before. You try to interpret them, wailing to me, but I remind you, with a shout, that I hear them too, silly soul, I have always heard them too.

I do not want to look around the corner and watch you. Despite your cries. For I know I will look and become enthralled once more in the terrified depths of your eyes. The fear is much and great, without resolve, but it captivates me to the extent where I just want to stare, state, stare.

So abnormal, my rabbit bunny tells me. So I stopped. A long time ago. And now I just attend to your needs with a long pole and a mirror as you moan once more. If I was another person maybe I would have abandoned you with your chains and straps holding you down, and shoved the pillow over your face and held it until I could no longer see the terror in those blue blue eyes. Held you down as you danced, danced, danced a little jolly dance, a reward for all your good deeds.

Maybe, if I was another person. But I am not. Instead I take your noise, and greet it with my own, then roll another bottle of water towards you. Another catheta towards you. Another tin of soup towards you.

And scream at the ghosts with you.
What were your prompts?: whale noises, reward and terror

by Ailsa Williamson