I was dreaming of a life in a city, a filthy 20th-century city that had grown ancient and mean. Cruel, this city. Staircases that rose and descended forever, towards attics that could never be gained, and basements where no one ever dared go. The city, which was rotting, abutted the sea, which was rotten. I swam in water the color of strong tea, and there was a very large shark that swam past me. I photographed it. Among all those decaying tenements there was a sanitarium, or asylum, that seemed to have grown between and through many of the other buildings like a parasitic organism. My head ached, as if my head had always ached. Paranoia. Climbing and descending stairs. The certainty of being pursued, whether pursuers were in evidence or not. NecroNoir. A whole world in dead shades of brown and grey. The camera with the shark photograph on it lost, and a desperate hunt for it, as, somehow, the proof of my sanity rested with the proof of the shark. Windows looking out over sagging rooftops. Never anything to the sky but clouds.
I wish I could remember more, because there was a lot more. But I'm glad I can't remember more.
There's a shark shaped fin
In the water of my dreams.
Alligator screams from the depths there
I'd swim with you there...
Yesterday, I wrote 1,894 words and finished "Figurehead," which will appear in Sirenia Digest #67, which should be out on (or before) the 5th of June. When I was done with the story, I sent it to sovay, who brought up the relevance of passages from Ovid's Metamorphoses (1.125 — 134). I read a lot of Ovid long ago in college, but most of it's only echoes now. Sometimes, in need of inspiration*, I go back to the Metamorphoses (which is likely obvious). Anyway, she pointed me to a passage that was so alike to the theme of "Figurehead" that I felt the unnerving sensation of experiencing inspiration after the fact:
A third generation followed them, of bronze
and more savage by nature, readier with harsh arms,
yet not wicked; of hard iron was the very last.
All at once there broke into the age of baser ore
every wrong — shame and truth and loyalty fled
and in their place came trickery and deceit
and treachery and force and the wicked love of having.
The seaman spread his sails to the winds he did not yet
understand, and what had stood long on high mountains
now tossed as keels on unknown waves...
If you take the digest, you see what I mean. If you don't, you won't.
Last night, we played far too much Rift, fighting an endless series of invasions and rifts outside the Chancel of Labors and Whitefall, as Iron Pine suffered multiple air rifts and invasions by the minions of the dragon Crucia. Then, after Selwyn returned to Meridian, there was some very good rp on the cliffs north of Lakeside, looking out over the sea. Via a very strange turn of events, I find myself, for the first time ever, rping an essentially transgender character. Sort of an Orlando thing going on, only with a Kelari, instead of Tilda Swinton (Selwyn, though, I must say, is at least as hot at Tilda Swinton, even if she's only pixels). It all ended with Selwyn following Celinn across the burning wastes of Droughtlands to the refuge of Lantern Hook...which is essentially a Fremen sietch, straight from the pages of Dune. And I will remind you: We have a guild. Here. And you can play with us. And there's a FREE 7-day trial.
Today, Spooky has to get new tires for the automobile, and I have to write another (this time short) vignette for the digest.
And I leave you with Hubero:
Hubero, dreaming eldritch dreams. He slept with his head on the Arkham Horror box for about four hours yesterday, the freak.
Photo Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn A. Pollnac
* A short, partial list of other authors I often turn to for inspiration: Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Matthew Arnold, W. B. Yeats, Angela Carter, William Gibson, William Blake, Anne Sexton, Joseph Campbell.