The Magic Ring

Isabella stood gazing up at the Grade II listed building in front of her and inhaled deeply before letting out a long, slow breath, which escaped her lips in a thick cloud of mist. The enormous arched antique wooden door looked less than inviting. Its decorative ironwork adornment had seen far better days and, whilst beautiful in its own way, had an air of eeriness about it. She shuddered. The temperature seemed to drop rapidly and she drew her thick woollen coat around her tightly.

A lion’s head held a heavy circular knocker in its mouth, beckoning her to rat-a-tat-tat an announcement of her arrival. She reached out a hand, before pulling back. She was early. She certainly didn’t want them to think her too keen. She looked around to see if there was a coffee shop where she could wait and shelter from the cold, but the street was devoid of any signs of life. She chuckled to herself; nervous laughter as she envisaged tumbleweed rolling down the centre of the narrow, pot-holed road. Then, fearing that she’d look a little crazy to any hidden onlookers, she took another deep breath and hammered on the door. She took great care to stick to the ‘code’ she’d received; a mystical beat of three slow knocks, five quick raps, followed by four slower knocks.

She heard footsteps within; quiet at first, getting louder. The door creaked open a little and she sensed, rather than saw, eyes upon her. She felt a little self-conscious, that this were a great intrusion on her personal dignity. She shuddered once more and wished they would hurry up and let her in so that she could get out of the cold. The door opened wider and a hand finally gestured for her to enter. She stepped inside. The owner of the hand was nowhere to be seen. She had heard no footsteps retreating.

She stared up at the high ceilings in awe. The reception hall was the height of the entire building. The room was dark compared to the crisp winter sunshine, with only thin shards of colour that flooded in from a great, domed, decorative stained window above, providing any light. She waited a few moments for someone to greet her. Glancing around, she saw there was no seating. She stood awkwardly, suddenly wishing she hadn’t come at all.

Isabella had no idea why she was there or who had invited her. A cryptic note had dropped through her letterbox the previous day – a gold envelope, inside which was a simple black card with the message in bold, black olde English text,

“Isabella, how good of you to come. I wasn’t sure if you’d understand the missive. Exceptional talent. Yes, truly exceptional.” The sentence, whilst booming and succinct in the main, tailed off to an unintelligible murmur, as if the speaker had become ensnared in his own thoughts. Still, Isabella could see no-one and it was a struggle to hear where the voice was coming from within the echo of the hall.

Without warning, there was a snap of fingers and a large fireplace sprung into life near to where she was standing. She jumped away, fearful not only of the flames, but of the man behind the trickery, who suddenly appeared from the minor conflagration.

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Marvellous! Marvellous! Still got it!” The voice reverberated and hung in the air. “Priest hole,” he laughed, raucously, pointing to the enormous walk-in fireplace which, now well lit, she could see took up a considerable expanse of the wall it sat in.

“Isabella. Isabella.” He looked her up and down, holding his arms out towards her. “Look at you. Quite the lady. Smart. Very smart.” He tailed off, again, whilst still holding her gaze, which was, by now, numb with a mixture of fear and confusion. When he moved towards her, arms still outstretched, she took a step back.

“Do you not recognise me, Isabella?” He took another step forward. There was nowhere for her to go now; she had backed herself into a corner. She tensed as he took her hand in his, yet surprised at his tenderness. Looking down at the gnarly digits grasping hers, Isabella froze as she caught the glint of the gold signet ring.

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Bubble Rapt

What’s this?  A bandwagon?  Don’t mind if I do!

I’ve just published my first book!

Bubble Rapt is a selection of short stories with a twist to leave you all tangled up like a tangly thing.  The stories are mostly by me, bar one, which is extra special.

I’ve popped in a true tale by my Dad, Ray Goldsack, as he always wanted to be published, but didn’t quite get round to it before he died. There you go, Dad.  It would have been his 79th birthday yesterday 🙂

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Find out what happens to Robert, the coy carp, and Little  Molly Plankton, and  why Jenny Sanders is so Bubble Rapt!

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Badriomaku – Bless you

It’s very hard to know when The Poetic Moose on the Loose is being serious, or when he’s having a larf. He makes up words and concepts all the time – it’s like living with the Monty Python cast!

So when he provides us with a new ‘Hungarian’ poetry format – badriomaku – I instantly look for the pun within the word. “Bad R I, O M Ku”? “Bad riom” (bad rhyme)? I can’t find a good one, so it’s either hidden in the depths of his rather silly imagination, or it’s a genuine poetry form he’s discovered. Either way, it now exists, so I’ve written one.

Without further ado, I present my badriomaku:

You are
so silly.
Incorrigible.
LOL
But you are clever –
the creator
of a new art form.

With a syllable count of 2-3-5-1-5-4-5, the Hungarian Badriomaku is interesting in that it gives you a structure that doesn’t fit any preconceived ideas.

I suggest all you lovely, wonderfully talented poets write one to kickstart its popularity 🙂

The Ring

He knelt before her and slipped the golden box out from his back pocket, opening it slowly. A diamond ring lay nested within the red velvet – delicate, perfect.

She began to cry. Tears as rivulets flowed down her reddened cheeks.

Whilst she longed to grab him passionately, say yes and live a happily ever after fantasy, she turned away from him. He wasn’t hers; would never be hers. His heart would always belong to another.

She didn’t look back. She ran forward into the past, towards the one who truly loved her.