Short Stories
Comments 45

Nocturnal Reflections

Author: G. Jefferies


At night water reflects

It does this to conceal monsters…

The lake rested inside a vast crater carved in the roots of a mountain. A relic from some long forgotten ice age that sent a glacier advancing over the edge of the cliffs, grinding rock into dust at the foot of an ancient waterfall. The frost giants were now long gone, and water fell freely in foaming cascades edged with green lichen and moss into the pool below. A thunderous tumult sending ripples far out into the distance.

The wizard stood at the edge of a tree line that once furnished the hills in green but now stood in remembrance; skeletal and dead. Petrified and planted in ash with branches bending gnarled fingers to snag unwary travellers.

The water looked cold and foreboding. Home to unseen leviathans, or worse. The latter seemed true. There was something unsettling about the blue-black hue and silence that drifted across the landscape. Both land and water sealed in time after an age of war, leaving death and ghosts to haunt the desolation. Where water met land nothing lived. The mud was black and treacherous. Even the clouds above swirled in anger, forming faces twisted in anguish and glaring ever downwards. He knew unspeakable things lived here.

The Dökkálfar had said as much. “Travel swift, avoiding the deeps; for those of the underworld now dwell in the graves of the past.”

He would not cross the lake.


© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in: Short Stories


Former research scientist the became the primary stay at home Dad for two children. Writing has always been factual in the previous life but always had a fascination with fiction but never been brave enough to develop it further. A comfort zone thing. Science writing is familiar, fiction is not. Hopefully the blog will provide more confidence and lead to a change in career writing from home around children!


  1. Fantastic writing as usual Gary. Very spooky. Glad I’m not home alone tonight because I have a perfect view of a deep dark river from hete.😣

    • Thank you Gloria; positive feedback is even better if the reader has something like a lakeside to ponder after reading 😉 This whole landscape is post apocalyptic, but from a fantasy perspective and filled with darkness that is still holding vigil. If you ever saw Dragon Stone, then this is part of that tale too 🙂

    • Thank you so much for that. Always a big thing to put up writing and throw it open for abuse lol. This is part of a story yes, just not yet tackled fully as I had another one to complete first 🙂

        • Haha, and soon it will be your writing prompt as my interpretation might differ from yours as I’ve talked myself into something else in a comment 🙂

  2. Wow. Way to set the mood! This sounds spooky. Stephen Kingish! Kudos to you and your writing! Keep up the good work!

    • Heck, if I was a fraction of King I’d be well happy!! I’ve just mentioned in another comment that this runs in parallel with Dragon Stone; same plain; just different time period. I know I have more of this somewhere too, but since blog hunting it has come up blank I might not have put it up yet.

      Thank you so much for settling the internal author angst of self doubt versus it’s going somewhere too… I’m pretty sure as a writer, you know that beast well! 🙂

  3. This is very cool, I love the Norse feeling!! This is a short piece, but it feels like the tip of the iceberg of an amazing story- you have such a way with words, Gary!!

    • This is a parallel world to the one in Dragon Stone, but not long after they were cleansed through treachery. I’ve got more of this somewhere on here, or used to; just not found it yet. It, including Dragon Stone, were testers for my second book in this series. Trying to find the path so to speak. Both pieces began expanding themselves and ended up on hold while I wrote The Bequest. I’ve put these back up to get more feedback, as there is something stirring now saying “Come write me” in relation to both the wizard here and Wayland. My other book, The Assent of Rose Marie Gray, has another character from my first book linked to these worlds in a coma in our world. The coma being induced by an attack from my, as yet unmentioned on here, antagonist.

      Thank you so much for your comment; it’s so nice to hear things are running in the right direction 🙂

  4. angelanoelauthor says

    Oh Gary! This short piece had me wanting more. Very evocative!

    • Thank you Angela…and apologies for the late reply…I switched off at 8 last night to watch Dr Who lol. There is more to this and there is a connection with Dragon Stone, if you ever saw those posts? However, the Wizards journey has not been expanded yet beyond what I was going to put in a new post to refresh this one. Comments here are now validating that too X

  5. Petrified and planted in ash with branches bending gnarled fingers to snag unwary travellers…..Did you just reach into my nightmares and pull this out? Shivers.

    • Haha, with one of my antagonists that could certainly happen thinking about it! Thank you Jennifer. This one has lain underneath a growing slush pile of ideas, maybe for too long now 🤔

  6. Oooooh chilling! I have a fear of deep water, so thanks to you that has now been exacerbated ha. Very good though x

    • Thank you kind lady. I always try to write to tap into real emotions. Not everyone fess water, but nearly everyone has a fear of the Unknown. I think thats where classic horror wins (to me) because it leaves the imagination working rather than in your face gore.

    • Water has a special aura all of its own in my humble opinion. I used to angle over night on a lake that was…well you read Ghost Carp! I’d forgotten about this piece and have to redo it with a bit more I located while gleaning up my writing files!

    • Thank you so much! I’ve been in the FB group quite while now, but it struck me many people won’t have seen my writing so I may repost some to get a feel for the track its on with the new people 🙂

    • Gosh, this one is still mostly in my head and is the sequel to one I wrote ages ago that sits waiting editing mojo. I will probably repost this one with some additional bits soon to see how it’s received. Thank you for the kind comment once again 🙂

  7. This could easily give me nightmares….wow…you are the master of suspense….this was so impressively-eerie and creepy and horrifyingly-fascinating…one wants to turn away but can’t help but continue on…like knowing you are being lured into dangerous territory but, helpless to resist, you risk all to see where it all ends….so poetic and dark…wow, how can someone so warm, kind, and charming write so darkly? 🙂 Awesome…thank you 🙂

    • Ahh…been wandering through my mind by reading back posts…thank you 😇

      No, the master is King, I am but an acolyte learning the way forwards. Rather like this wizard who is travelling in a land that Wayland…..oooh not listed that bit…spoilers. This too is a book extract…an incomplete one thus far but one started in a forest where this wizards entourage are gutted like fish.

      That is a description of he I didn’t expect so thank you. Obviously I hide the darkness very well 😁

  8. This is part of the journey that started with the slaughter in the forest. Devlin and the Elite. But much further on. Yet another project to return to. But thank you for commenting 🙂

  9. Bravo again! I love water, yet for me it holds a deep fear too. Remind me, is this story to do with the wizard? I love the way you formulate and tell a story. It pulls me in and leaves me wanting more.

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