Summer in the Garden

Some delightful discoveries blooming in the garden as summer gets into full swing…

could be orchid

These amazing tree orchids popped up – not sure of the variety, but they smell divine.

black eyed susan

A tumble of vine blossoms that I was delighted to discover are called Black Eyed Susans – that sounds so Old South and What Katy Did!

agas

Agapanthus everywhere – one of my favourite mad garden things.’

green mangos

The mango trees are heavy laden – right now we are trying to figure out how to cover and ripen them and save a few from the possums!

tall redgum

This magnificent red gum is just awe inspiring.

Halloween countdown: The Trees

The Trees

ghost gums

The trees are driving me crazy. Can’t anyone else see what they are up to? They are colluding, whispering together. Getting closer, I could walk between these two a week ago. Now they block my path, like threatening sentinels.

IMG_0921

Even in the city they creep up, they invade, they terrorise humans going about their business. What do you think these two are up to?

IMG_8104

At night I fear them most of all. They gather around my house, rustling and muttering, shaking their branches and leaves in the moonlight. What do they want? Why are they becoming so bold and intrusive?

ghostly gums

At night the ghost gums come haunting, creeping through the darkness toward the house, drawing close to each other in conspiratorial silence, yet I can hear them whispering to each other, rustling and creaking, and watching us.

I think they are angry. I think they want us to know that they have had enough of us. I think they want to cut us down as we have been cutting them down, to uproot our houses and our lives and reclaim the land from us. I think they hate us because of this…

Note: The idea of this is to use the photos I’ve taken of random objects that have ‘faces’ embedded or have a spooky or weirdly human quality, as prompts for Halloween prose and poetry. Feel free to copy the images and use them as prompts for your own stories. Leave me a link so I can see the results 🙂

Halloween Countdown: How did I get here?

Another Halloween story suggested by a photo in my collection.I spotted this sad eyed stag at a twilight market, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

how did I get here

How did I get here?

Stop. Stop! Don’t just walk past. It’s me! Look closer! You can see it’s me.

Stop sniggering at your new husband. His joke was lame, and you know it. “Oh dear, oh dear. I think he lost his head.” Pathetic. You actually laughed. Do you think it’s funny that I, Antonio, the love of your life, is nailed to a piece of wood? Look at me! Don’t you recognise my moustache?

Oh Laura, what happened to me? Yours was the last face I saw on that night, with the full moon shining in the window, before everything went black, and I woke up on the wall in my father’s house. That huge ornate mirror he bought in Florence was on the opposite wall, and I could see what had become of me. I didn’t realise at first – only after days of staring at that damned mirror did I understand that my head looks like this now. And it isn’t attached to my body.

I have been thinking that my papa mistook me for one of the deer on his estate. These are a fine pair of antlers, I must say. So big. He must have spotted me and shot me, not knowing it was I, Antonio, his only beloved son. For years I hung there, unable to communicate, watching you visit Papa’s estate and take care of him in his old age. Every time you came he asked you the same question. “Have they found my son?”

I watched you weep at his funeral, and laugh when they read the will and he left everything to you. Then the men came, the buyers and the dealers, and everything was sold and bundled out. Including me.

Oh look, the little one is speaking again.

“So, Laura, did you tell him, at the last, of your powers? Or was he still too dazzled by your beauty to know you are a witch?”

“Not a full time witch, Paulo. Only when there is a full moon at Halloween. Then I can do anything I want. Poor, poor Antonio.” She reached over and stroked the dark mark beneath my nose, the exact replica of my moustache. “Come, Paulo, now you have come into your uncle’s fortune, you can afford to buy me a peach gelato, no?”

Yes,” he said adoringly. “Gelato, and diamonds, rubies, anything you want.”

Her laughter tinkled as they walked away. Poor, poor Paulo, too besotted to realise that tonight was Halloween, and the moon was full.

The King of Terror

This story was suggested by my son Laurence, as a possible explanation for what Nostradamus might actually have seen. I published it for the Friday Fictioneers fireworks prompt last week. Better late than never!

sydney

 

Grey faced, the seer staggered back from the bowl, and pressed his back against the wall of his tower room, shielding his eyes from the terrible vision which had confronted them.

Michel de Nostradamus had seen many terrible things, both in the present and the future. The plague, the graves of his first wife and their children, the agonising death of a king…

But this defied all horror. The world would end in 1999, in a welter of flame,  the sky lit up all over the world by what he could only think of as the coming of a great King of Terror.

Nostradamus covered his head and moaned, while the scrying bowl continued to reflect the worldwide fireworks celebrations of New Year’s Eve. 1999.