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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wandering Through Old Plots

It's odd how stories come to be.

Years ago I was daydreaming somewhere (I don't recall where) and I suddenly could see a blinding snowstorm, the sort where the wind is driving the snowflakes almost horizontally.  I could see a man on a horse, hood drawn  up around his face, going slowly into the teeth of that storm.  The wind rises; the snowflakes swirl and the man tries to read a map, but the slashing snow cakes on the parchment and dashes in his eyes.  He folds the map away after a moment and moves on. 

It has been a long journey for him from where he once was to where he is now, and his heart is full of regrets, foreboding and a sort of weary, cautious hope.

He pauses, sensing something looming ahead of him.  He looks up pushing his snow-sodden hair from his face.  He can see something towering over him.  He nudges the horse to a walk.  It flicks its ears, tries to shake the snow from  its mane, and then starts forward.

The wind is cut off and the snow is suddenly gone.   He is before a huge, dark structure.  The man's gaze takes in the bulk of stone rising above him, the signs of neglect. 

He can see the storm behind him, as though through a transparent curtain, but the wind and the ice don't touch him. He is in the lee of the building - the gatehouse of an old castle.   As he looks  up at the weathered, dilapidated stone, he can almost hear the word: 


He touches his heels to the horse's side and moves in through the gate...

I will be working on this story.  I blocked it out years ago and wrote a little on it.  It was a magic-less fantasy - alternative history, maybe?  The lands are my own invention - full of noble tragedy, courage, a love story, dying for a great cause...

I set it aside to work on more urgent things and promptly forgot about it.  It wasn't in electronic form anyhow, and I'd have to retype it...

I revisited it recently, twenty-some years later.  It had changed from a tale of high tragedy to one of -

Well, let's say I smiled as I read my notes.

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