In a far off land there stood a great tower constructed of mostly animal bones. Certainly not the bones of the animals commonly found in our world, the bones used to build this tower were the size of dinosaur bones. The tower had five pentagonal platforms each on top of the other, and each supported by five pillars. The first four platforms were essentially the same as each other, each had a broad ladder running up to the next platform; with the exception of the fourth platform. The ladder for this platform was lying flat across the decking, both its ends protruding over the edges. Without the ladder in place it was a four metre drop from the fifth platform to the fourth platform below. Thus no one could get up to the fifth platform, and more importantly, no one inside the fifth and final level of the tower could get out without risking a deadly injury.
The fifth platform wasn’t a simple flat deck of ribbed bones like the others, but a room with five walls insulated with mud tightly packed between the ribbing. The room protruded out from the central axis giving the tower the shape of a lollipop. Indeed during the daytime the tower might have looked a little like a lollipop perched atop a crag in the middle of the stony desert, but only to a keen observer because thanks to the yellowing of the old bones the tower merged almost completely into the surrounding landscape and sandy coloured sky. At night time the desert was particularly dark because this world lacked a moon like our own. The tower was hidden in plain sight, the perfect place to keep prisoner a fourteen year old girl. Continue reading “Bella and the Tower of Bones”
This morning I was sitting in my private transporter, one of the few places where I felt was sufficiently private for me to write my thoughts down in preparation for this week’s meeting. I have long gotten past the frustration of having to constantly fret about what I say in a private conversation even though I am a top level government official in the Earth Union Worker’s Republic. Nowadays it’s just a fact of life. The shadow state is always watching me. They need me; they lack my talent for organisation and strategic planning. They hate me for it. They would have killed me if any of them could do the work I can do. That’s what life is like for everyone on Earth. We are born with a death sentence temporarily suspended so long as we’re useful to the state.
I am a minister in the government, an Alpha double plus class citizen, but I’m no less a slave than the lowest delta class scraping a sewer pipe clean. We’re all slaves in a system of total centralisation of power to one man, and that one man himself is a slave to his vices. However, if you turn on the Global News Network you would think the chairman of the party was God’s own son come to lead humanity to the chosen land. An old Earth philosopher once wrote that a prince can rule through love or fear. But the chairman wants everyone to fear and love him in equal measure. As I look back over my career in politics I have unwittingly been serving his interests. All I wanted to do was to reduce the poverty and homelessness on Earth as much as was humanly possible, but what did they used to say in old times? The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Continue reading “Shattered Space – Part 3”
Not a breath of wind touched the brush. The leaves, the branches, the twigs, were united in stillness. Silence was weaved into the black forest like the morning fog. The only sunshine peered in from a road that cut through the trees like a long narrow gash in the woodland. Between the bows the sunlight bled into the darkness and was eventually consumed completely; some two dozen yards therein. On either side of the dirt road the trees stood as though two armies of colossal wooden soldiers were hunched over and facing off from each other. Smaller shrubs and bushes clawed at the edges of the road with their gnarles roots. Slowly the brush was consuming the road and healing the gash in the forest.
From somewhere out of the shadows of the forest crept a man covered in mud and a ragged cloth with twigs poking out of it. In one hand he held an axe, in the other a large circular scythe. He looked first up the road and then down the road. He listened patiently for a while. When satisfied that he was alone he gently placed his axe on the ground and started hacking off the smaller branches of the brush. He worked with speed and skill, but incredibly making hardly any sound. Within half an hour the brush was retreating from the edges of the road and it looked as though the two armies of wooden giants were slowly moving apart from each other. Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 1”