Tale #149: The Woman Who Lived In The Woods

There was a woman who lived in the woods. She was the greatest witch who had ever lived, with powers and knowledge beyond the comprehension of all but herself. She had lived through the entire history of the universe from birth to death many times, and learned of it something more each time, for it was endlessly changing and vaster than infinity, and as her knowledge of the world increased so did her knowledge of herself.

She had lived recently not just in the woods but as the woods, her consciousness spread through every root and branch and leaf of it, from birth and growth and now its gradual death. To understand the causes of its decline she concentrated an aspect of her mind into the form of a single human, and lived as her and died many times, understanding slightly more of the ways of humans with each new life, and each new death.

Eventually the forest died, and her entire mind came to reside in the latest manifestation of her human form, and she stepped out from the shadow of the final tree and into the town and walked out among its people for the first time.

“Nice tits!” shouted the first of them, but she could not answer, for she did not understand fully the complexities of their language.

“I’ve seen nicer,” said the next one. “She’s not all that.”

“A tit’s a tit,” said a third. “And those are some tits.”

She shifted her consciousness across from her body to touch upon their minds, in the hope of learning from them their language and their ways, and alighted upon the mind of the first. At first she was struck by the vast emptiness of what she found there, an emptiness greater by far than even the final days of the universe, when entropy had fully wrought its way and all lay in silence and stasis and a single thought took longer to form than the lifespans of all that we know and have known and shall ever know. Then, as she tried to leap from the first mind to the second, she discovered that it was not a void but a hole, a great dense immensity of concentrated ignorance that compressed all intellectual thought into a single point and let nothing of worth escape.

All her knowledge and compassion and soul was lost to the universe forever. As her old body fell like a tree to the floor one of the men said, “Hey look she’s a fucking spazz an’ all,” as they filmed her last few autonomic twitches with their phones.

__________

Notes:

1. Written in the summer of 2014
2. And unused till now
3. In lieu of a howling rage of despair
4. That is too inarticulate to bear

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

A Horror Story For Halloween

they made me watch question time
on a loop
forever

and every time i screamed
they added another episode
on another screen
until i faced a wall of it
wider than the horizon
brighter than any sky
any sun
any laser fired directly through the eye
and into the brain

and every time i wept
they turned the sound up
and up
and up
until the entire world throbbed
with ignorance
and hate
from which i could not escape

___________

Notes:

1. Written on October 29th, 2020

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

Tale #133: The Three Sons

A lord had three sons. One day, when they were fully grown, he took them to the top of the tallest tower of the castle and made them fire an arrow over the parapet and into the town. And wheresoever the arrow fell, there his son would find his wife.

The first son, the lord’s favourite, and upon whom the lord had lavished his entire life’s fortune and love, fired his arrow and his strength was such that the arrow flew out beyond the town to the castle of the neighbouring kingdom. It flew through the window and struck the headboard of the bed where the king’s fairest daughter was sleeping. And so the lordling and the princess were married that very afternoon.

The next day, the second son, about whom the lord was largely indifferent, fired his arrow, and his strength, though not as great as his elder brother’s, was still such that the arrow flew out over the town towards the church, where it struck the gate of the vicarage. The bishop’s only daughter was cleaning in the yard, and so the second son and the bishop’s daughter were married that very afternoon.

On the third day, the youngest son, who the king despised, fired his arrow. After years of abuse and neglect, the young man was so weak and useless that the arrow tumbled straight down into the market place below, where it struck a travelling merchant in the throat and killed her instantly. And so the third son and the corpse were married that very afternoon.

__________

Notes:

1. Written on the 18th May, 2016
2. So I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to include it here.
3. Perhaps cause it was a bit too bleak and cynical
4. Even for me.
5. (And the same applies for next week’s one, too)

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

Tale #130: On Bluebeard (excerpt)

And I wonder, I always wonder, what excuse did Bluebeard give that first time, to his first wife. What justifications did he make, to her, to himself. For he had no secrets in his chamber then, had no reason to hide anything so enticingly behind locked doors and furtive promises…

__________

Notes:

1. Written on 20th July, 2020

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

The Eggs

When I was a child, of about eight or nine, for a few months I had this obsession painting eggs. I don’t know why. I just loved painting faces on eggshells.

You poked a pin in the bottom of the egg first, so the white and the yolk would drip out, and then you’d leave the shell to dry. And then I’d take my pens and my paint brushes, and I’d give each of them a face, and a name, and a personality. Some of them I even gave little hats. But only to my favourites.

I lined them all up on the top of my bookcase. Next to the dinosaurs and the miniature globe and the spaceships from Space 1999 and Blake’s 7 that I had, and loved, even though I’d never seen Blake’s 7, and still haven’t, 35 years later.

Anyway, one day, the eggs began to speak. And I listened.

Soon there was no going back.

___________

Notes:

1. Written on June 17th, 2020

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.