Destiny divined

Hundreds of thousands of feet had wound their way to the Augur’s house over the centuries, deep in the marshes, from peasants to kings to thieves to priests. Everyone, when they turned twelve, went to see the undying Augur, and came back bearing their fate.


He was uncertain what lay at the end, but as the jungle swallowed him and the days became hazy and indistinguishable from the nights he found he didn’t much care. He would find the end, or it would find him. The journey was what was important. The summons.

A field of sunflowers

Her footsteps were the only noise in the gilded corridor, the tiny sounds of her heels echoed and amplified until it became the tread of a fateful army thundering in her ears. As the grand doors swung open, she swallowed the acrid bile that rose in her throat and flashed a smile at the assembled guests.


Some pieces of paper, a pen and a tattered copy of John Brunner’s ‘Stand on Zanzibar’ to sell the idea that he was here for pleasure. An idle watcher, as the world passed him by. Perhaps he fancied himself well-read, a gentleman.


Overhead, the trees began to grow tangled and thicker, the dim patches of darkening sky strangled by encroaching greenery. The smell of soil and rotted leaves hung thick in the humid summer air.


Something else moved within the clouds, hidden from view.

Every now and then, lightning would earth itself on one of the towering skeletons that jutted great metal ribs from the dry earth.

Eamonn watched the skies intently, glasses reflecting the brilliance of the lightning.

Dawn Chorus

Her pallet was beside her, curling bark laden with iron-laden red ochre, ochre like sulphurous yolks and sunny days, and the pale white chalky ochre from the far west. The rarest, eggshell blue ochre, she kept separately in a small woven bag.