Words and Pictures

“... it was as if Time was not the master anymore. Just a mere servant employed irregularly for the baking of pies and striking of beautiful clocks, admired but not cherished.”

This page is a work in progress. It is entirely experimental and just like the weather unpredictably changeable - your curiosity and patience are truly appreciated.

The Old Burrow

 

 

 The Nefari call me a Reader, I’ve heard others call me a Sensitive but sometimes, to me at least, it feels like I am just a mere eavesdropper on a world I don’t understand.

 

What is the value of a snippet? How can you measure a morsel? 

 

Here lie fragments of fables, portions of pictures, the diary of an eavesdropper. My humble contribution to a world gone mad.

 

 

January above ground year 1842

Fortis House, The Old City

Diary of an Eavesdropper

The Old Burrow

 

Ragged writing

and

Peculiar Pictures

Published by Northbooks

Underworld year 1742

Aboveground year 1882

 

Excerpts from the sacred Book Innan Tordid with gratitude and acknowledgment to Josie Langstocking for her readership, Francis Myrtle for translation.

All images and text copyrighted by the The Old Burrow  

 

There is a window in the inner most chamber of The Old Burrow- for that is what I have come to call this seemingly neverending source of wonder - a window that does not look out upon the land we both know. It belongs to a fickle magic and shows fragments of fables from another dimension.

 

I find myself going down the tunnel almost everyday to see if the window will reveal any otherworldly delights. Many times it remains dark and the room smells of damp earth and ash but other times as I enter the room it is aglow with fire and as cosy and warm as you could possibly wish for.

I’ve just not long ago seen something incredible, maybe even impossible. I’m not sure. I wouldn’t dare tell anyone else lest they think I have gone mad.

 

This evening I was in the dining room going about my tasks when Master Sorge received a late delivery. I never see his delivery man but there is always a damp smell around the door when he has been.

 

This time the master was so impatient to open the package that when he returned to the dining room  with the heavy armful he was utterly oblivious to my presence.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow me to explain. This diary will not progress in anyway that you might be used to. It will not tell you anything that is all true or all fiction, for I have come to believe in neither. Most of all it it is unlikely to tell you anything in chronological order, such things are out of my control. I hope that you might find the place in yourself that is agreeable to such rules...

November 25th, above ground year 1839

Fortus House, The Old City

               I stayed close to the wall                   and the door to allow for a                 quick escape but I just couldn’t  tear myself away without seeing the object which had so excited him. He is normally such a stern and callous man.

 

The parcel was so heavy - to watch him wrestle it from its cloth was nearly comical - but I did not even dare smile, I was quieter than a mouse. Though I’m sure he would not have noticed if I did.

 

When I tell you what it is, you will at first think, ‘ oh that’s not so remarkable’ but you have to wait before you decide. 

 

It was a book!  A huge book, nearly the 

size of stone, one more suitable for building a wall of great fortitude than might mark a garden path.  It felt so old, that just being in the room with it I could feel it pulling at Time, as though it had a gravity of it’s own. It was black with tattered corners and it had some kind of gold patterning on the cover. Not gaudy in any way but intricate and regal. 

 

Master Sorge became another kind of man, so contrary to any of the faces that I have ever seen him wear. He was speaking excitedly to himself and, even though it doesn’t seem like quite the right word, giggling! I was rather disturbed by this turn of character and began to feel as though reality was not as stable as we would like to think it is.

 

“Well, well!” he said and “Extraordinary, Extraordinary!” He went on exclaiming to himself in variety of noises and mutterings as he flicked the pages sharply, without any respect at all.

But then something slowed him and he took hold of the book with both hands to open it up somewhere in its middle pages. The pages, as far as I could see, were near empty. Small snippits of writing that obviously did not satisfy his expectations. Then he turned to the end pages, they were the same, or at least I assume so, from his manner. He turned to the beginning again and then slumped back in his chair like a child who had been refused a second helping of dessert. He was obviously frusutrated and wondering if he had been conned by a merchant more devious than himself.

“Well, well!” he said and “Extraordinary, Extraordinary!” He went on exclaiming to himself in variety of noises and mutterings as he flicked the pages sharply, without any respect at all.

But then something slowed him and he took hold of the book with both hands to open it up somewhere in its middle pages. The pages, as far as I could see, were near empty. Small snippits of writing that obviously did not satisfy his expectations. Then he turned to the end pages, they were the same, or at least I assume so, from his manner. He turned to the beginning again and then slumped back in his chair like a child who had been refused a second helping of dessert. He was obviously frusutrated and wondering if he had been conned by a merchant more devious than himself.

              At this point my presence                  in the room was a mixed                  blessing. He yelled for me to                bring Port. At first I froze,                not sure how to move                      without alerting him to the                fact that I had been there                  all along. Then I decided that cautious, quiet and confident was the best disguise and stepped nervously towards the carafe of port. I set the tray and delivered it to the table and it was then that I saw a magic beyond compare.
 

The pages of the book were alive! Within them moved exquisite paintings and writings, the most beautiful I have ever seen. I saw painted deer leaping through the forest on an Autumn day, followed by snowflakes that made fine sculptures from the trees. I saw creatures unimagined and words that appeared and disappeared at will. I did not get a chance to read them before he shouted at me for lingering and being rude.

 

I left the room in a hurry but I am afraid that the expression on my face betrayed me. It interested him greatly and Im sure that some manner of punishment will be administered tomorrow. My curiousness is not easily tamed but I fear this time it will be curbed.

Said the Faun to the Fish

 

Who would I be,

if I were you 

and you were me?

 

If my fur were yours and your scales were mine

Would we not be exquisitely fine?

Within its pages were all manner of things. It was a living book, gathering wisdom and tales as it passed through generation after generation. It was now many thousands of years old and the Troll was the latest of its long line of chosen scribes. The book chose the scribe and it’s resting place, it chose how long it would stay and what would be written in the book. It’s wisdom was such that the old book had the capacity to change its content to a perspective and depth to suit the reader. Truly magnificent magic.  For the Troll it was laden with brilliance in both word and picture. Illuminated paintings of herbs and song filled the pages of The Innan Tomid for that is what the book was called.( within emptiness )

I have received three letters from Aadyn in a week, each one more intriguing than the last. Master Sorge had sent me away to his country house to prepare for Winter. He ushered me out of Fortus house in such a hurry that I had no time to pack any personal belongings at all. I suspect it was his punishment for looking into his book,

Aad says there are four great books of the Underworld each is kept safely by a Writer, but since the Chaos began there are rumours that one of the books has been stolen. 

He met a man in an Old book shop in the Underworld city of Wincaester. It sounds extraordinary, a lamplit sanctuary for old books.

Josie Langstocking

Fortus House

The Old City

Dearest Josie,

 There is a curious old bookshop that you would love in one of the back alleys of Wincaester. It smells of Soup and freshly baked biscuits and the old man who runs it has one of the smiliest faces I have ever seen.

I sat for some hours reading books by the fire - these Autumn days can be so chilly.  I think I may have discovered something of importance. I am meeting him again in a week and then I will write more.   Wish you were here,

                                   Love Aadyn xxx

Dec 12th Above ground year 1839

Fortus House,

The Old City

Master Sorge is insisting I accompany him to the country house, his manner is alarmingly fierce.

I have written to Aadyn but I don't know when I will return to receive his letters. 

Nov 26th, above ground year 1839

Fortus House,

Old City

A Healing Tale