A to Z Challenge, Blog Awards, Ripples in Time, Short Stories, Writing
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A to Z Challenge; David Arthur Williams. #AtoZchallenge

There is much to say about Dave. A man lost in paradox, watchman over tomorrow’s grave, guardian of a cemetery and crematorium and traveller between worlds…

“I hate you.”

The words were soft, firm and spoken with a deliberate pause between each one. Dave could feel the venom oozing from her lips, see it in her eyes. He so didn’t want to look into those for too long. How can so much loathing and emptiness fit inside such a tiny child? Why should it have to? It’s just not fair, whichever way you look at it. He looked back at his shoes, staying quiet, his lower lip quivering. Let her get it out.

“Cat got your tongue?” Her Mum used to say that when scolding the twins, trying to get them to admit something. “Or have you come to say sorry. Sorry Emily, I messed up and killed your sister.”

 


 

Extract from “Letters of The Amanuensis – The Paradox Man.”


 

The man who moves through time and knows it not. The Amanuensis rested his head upon a palm propped up from an arm whose elbow rested upon the desk. Material dropped as his sleeve fell under it’s own weight revealing tattoos and runes etched at each stage of his learning.

David Williams, a simple man and yet much turns around his soul.

He sighed as eyes gazed upon the words in front. There were many pages linked to this name, headings and titles as his journey moved through time. The gaps disturbed him though. Non-linear passages, births and deaths all out-of-order, a damaged mind and magic lost deep in his subconscious.

Thought wrinkled his brow. It appears there is more to learn here…

You were late Mr Williams, why?

“I have no idea what you mean.”

The day the girl died.

“Not my fault, I was delayed.”

By what.

“A phone call.”

From whom?

“Don’t you know already?”

I do.

“Then don’t ask me to say.”

The girl?

“Yes.”

ENTRIES SKIPPED

A child dies as the man is delayed. No coincidence.

The Amanuensis drew a feather and dipped it into black ink. He circled a word and let the quill fall to the floor. The letters in front were bleeding.

Satisfied he rolled the rune sheet and tipped its edge into the flame of a candle. It burned with a flame that was not light.

Black dragon, Black Stone, Blacksmith and now, Black Light.

Ash fell and scattered over his parchments. He knew they would not catch flames. A hand opened and the remnants scattered to the floor leaving everything as it was.

Watchman.

“Yes?”

What are you?

“Just a man fallen on bad times.”

When are you?

“What?”

In your chronology, when are you?

“I don’t understand.”

Have you died before you were born?

“What the hell does that mean?”

A no then.

“You’re not making sense.”

To you no. Not yet.

ENTRY TERMINATED


 

The Amanuensis moved to a bookshelf. Fingers trolled across tomes of the past, present and future. He selected one and it opened to the page he wanted. A rose is yet to come, The Blue Lady is far away and his path is stalled.

Too early in his timeline, “I have erred.”

I will visit the living twin next and see if paths have crossed yet.


 

“Yes thank you…David,” the last word dragged out from lips under tension.

The gunslinger’s look could have frozen fire. His eyes seemed vacant, but held Rose’s when her head slowly rotated. Vitriol painted in the stare through a haze of fog as her mind heard the tapping of an ache that said “On my way bitch.”

Tunnel vision washed through her as cars and their park blinked out of existence. Even the noise of traffic and birdsong stilled awaiting the outcome. His eyes though, they looked bereft of life and filled with a vacuum. Un-blinking and vacant, very, very vacant. Rose knew that look, it was hers after all. Off in dead space with demons swimming around a bunker where the mind locked itself in a safe house.

“I remember you now David.” Simple enough statement, but his face drained of colour. She forced her hands to let go of the wheel and found they were trembling. “She was there, you were not. That’s why you sit on her grave isn’t it.” Lonely as an eyesore. Recurrent theme that.

“I was delayed…late. I didn’t mean…” The sentence drifted into nothing. Like he had no words and no excuses to throw. His eyes said everything. What did he say at the cemetery, “Do you believe in ghosts Rose?” He sure as hell does, they’re swimming all over him, she thought.

 


 

Dave started simple, a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Accidents happen, sometimes there is no blame, they just are. Minds, however, can allay it, pass it on to someone else or turn inwards and destroy themselves in guilt. A matter of perspective.

Dave’s journey is complicated. The Amanuensis rolled in too early in his timeline. An accident? Maybe, but then again deflection is the antagonists weapon. The extracts here are from two different novels, and yet here, they could appear to be from the same one. Dave is a great man, a good friend and more than he first appears.

As always, feel free to pass judgement in the comments section. All words are welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by

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!

33 Comments

  1. Pingback: #BlogBattle. July Entry: Ghosts of the Past. | Fiction is Food

    • Dave was coined The Paradox Man by the Amanuensis. I wrote his book about 3 nearly 4 years ago. It’s another epic in waiting. The paradox is he died before he was born… I shall speak no more of spoilers 😍

        • I think (my opinion) the subplot with the Amanuensis gets better as this goes on. That said the way it’s tying my books together is scary. Total new outlook now x

          Are you going through them in order?? If so I’m amazed as there’s loads and it takes time to read one lol x

          • You had it planned all along…. 🔮…it’s wonderfully cohesive and opens up whole new worlds…

            And yes, I want to go through in order – they are a good read! 😸💕📕

            • Lol, you think? This was spontaneous 😂 well, granted there was an idea that wasn’t confined to one book and always had worlds and time changes. Just took the Amanuensis to work it through… I am intrigued to see what you make of Yish and her impact on said Scribe 😳

              • Yes, hopefully I’ll have time to sit and read a chunk today – I’m really pleased for you as it’s looking like you have an epic series on your hands…! 🙂 xxx

                • Just moved it again on SoCS. I figured I could use the prompts to examine back story as part of the world building thing. Can I write it though as an epic… ooh, big question that one!

                  • Yes I must read that too – went to Loughborough on Friday to see Alex and now the whole weekend’s just disappeared… xx

                    • Well, in my humble opinion, visiting Alex trumps everything else big time. I do hope you enjoyed it and didn’t have empty nest relapse. I read several SoCS post that hit that subject based on the Hollow/Empty prompt. My eldest just now submitted his finance application. It’s just got very real!

                    • I know – this time last year for Alex…same again soon. Although his tutors seemed to spend an awful lot of time on strike this year…
                      And yes… always empty nest syndrome…just hoping he will come home for a bit in summer! xx

                    • I’m sure he will. First years tend to do it more than subsequent ones. I think you can claim fees back for strike days now too 🤔

                    • I know the students here were doing that, not sure about Loughborough. I will mention it to him though as goodness knows it’s not exactly cheap…

                    • It’s not university dependant. If the days paid for are not attended by lecturers then they can claim. As you say and I’ve just found out it’s not cheap. If they decide to not turn up then I’d expect a refund for sure 😁

                    • I’m definitely going to push Alex to go for it and spread the word with his lot – I think it adds up to about a whole week of missed lectures and I bet that’s quite a bit!

                    • Nothing to lose and everything to gain. The core arguments are being told education is essential and if you miss a day then you are missing out.

                      Ergo, if we miss a day because you are not here then why am I paying for something you aren’t delivering? With fees nowadays it adds up real quick.

  2. I didn’t realize that 2 books were connected and in the comments you said 4.. wow! You are putting in so much work and let me tell you it is turning out to be mind-blowingly brilliant. I am so intrigued!!

    Cheers,
    Dream

    • Expect a few stumbles though. Some of the letters are already looking tricky blighters!

      So far the books aren’t published. I’m working on rectifying that once the challenge is over, although I’ve been roped into another after to do with favourite books!

      I did wonder if these were all read in order then they might make more sense. To me it feels like an A to Z story unfolding and is opening new angles on my own ideas for projects. Can’t thank you enough for taking time to read them too.

      Great thing bout this challenge is meeting new bloggers. Love that part too!

      • Definitely love meeting new bloggers!! I am so glad I stumbled across your blog 🙂

        Oh they all will be just as awesome as the previous ones, don’t worry!

        If it is opening new angles then that is great news! It help you come up with more cool stuff!!

        • Yes, its been good to connect. Might have to do the next A to Z now! Although next big one is NaNoWriMo. Have to start planning that soon too. Might be some of these new angles appear….although I’m actually considering taking Dragon Stone on. Something about that one that really speaks to me.

            • No, this one is a CampNaNo. They run two or three of those during the year ready for the main event in November. That ones 50k words in a month, the camps are self governed word counts where writers set there own goals. I’ve done the last two main November ones so back end of the year blogging goes into hibernation!!

                • The first year I tried to write and blog. It was disastrous post NaNo as I just burned out. Last year I just did the writing and kept going until almost February to finish a large manuscript. Then had a month off. The A to Z is me kick starting things again. Which reminds me…tomorrow’s post won’t do itself 😱

    • Ooh…you might be even more surprised to know it’s actually spanning four books and notes for two more. Although they are stand alone, they do have underlying commonality.

      I’m actually pleased to hear that wasn’t obvious because the Amanuensis is an outsider trying to make sense of the linkers.

      Many thanks for popping over.

    • Thanks Jacqui, the whole challenge is following this shape. Me looking across my own book manuscripts, but not giving too much away kind of thing. I lost sight of some so thought this might be a good way to find them again.

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