Fantasy. How does it happen? Is it merely the product of an overactive imagination? Or is it rooted in some realm of reality?
For me, it evolves from a thought, a strong impression, the atmosphere of a place, or reaction to a disturbing situation. It may be prompted by myth, transformed and transported to the present or the future. And for me, it often emerges from the collages I create for exhibition; bizarre, unbalanced, often sardonic.
It is a wonderful way to work – the imagery and ideas may stray in any direction; probing, perturbing, or simply entertaining. In my short stories the tendency to entertain recurs – especially in tales I write for children.
On this page I will post links to some of my short stories, based on ideas from architecture built from magical materials and the meeting of man and the bizarre beings of his imagination to leaders of a lost world.
If you would like to read any of these stories, please click one of the links below.
Mog is a Mexican god. But he has a hunchback and lives in the shadows. He sees the sunlight dancing on leaves, the water dancing round stones, the stars dancing in the night sky.
He shuffles through the trees and avoids the other gods as they stride about their business. He dreams of lithe bodies; men and women bending and whirling, reaching and stepping with feet like quicksilver. And he wants to dance too.
One night he dreams of a shadow woman. She wears black roses that look like lace. She glides before him; her face undetectable, her fingers spread as she bends backwards, then spins like a freed fragment of the night.
At dawn she vanishes and Mog mooches sadly about all day until dusk. Will she come again? Yes. At midnight she appears and performs the same sinuous dance. Mog sits enthralled.
The next day he tries a few steps in his cave. But he cannot balance and falls over. He lies down, watches the sunlit dance of the leaves outside, then falls asleep.
So he is wide awake that night, waiting for the shadow woman. But she does not come. Only dark leaves rustle outside the cave. Then Mog hears the flutter of wings. He moves to the cave’s entrance and sees a dark man with red and grey wings, descending. He lands in front of Mog, and like the shadow woman, begins to dance; arms spread, feet together, a stern and energetic dance that, like the woman’s, ends in a fast spin. He slows and stands quite still.
“Who are you?” asks Mog.
“Icarus. I’m a legend. They think I flew too near the sun and burnt my wings, but as you see, that is a myth. Here I am. But I do fear the sun. It was a near thing. Now I am one of many shadow dancers, who fear it too and dance at night. We knew you wished to dance. Come with me. I will show you how.”
Mog is nervous but hobbles out of the cave and takes Icarus’s hand. The next moment he is lifted, high above the trees, into the clear night sky.
The stars flash. Mog feels light as air, his hump forgotten. The night wind rushes past, whispering. “You can dance, you can dance!”
At last they descend. Below, on a grassy slope shadows move like a rhythmic sea. Strange music drifts from the stars, enveloping the dancers as they dip and twist, each in a different way, creating a choreography of invention and grace.
“Sit and watch!” says Icarus. Mog does so for a long time.
“Now join them!” urges Icarus, moving towards the dancers. He holds out his hands and hesitantly, Mog gets up and takes them. He cannot feel his heavy feet, his crooked back, his top-heavy head. He might be a feather floating towards the gliding dance. Then he is with them; weaving between their lithe bodies; bending, spinning, floating to the music of the spheres.The dance seems unending. Mog’s head is clear. He knows he is a swirling part of the universe. He means as much as any person without defect.
He wakes outside the cave. Dew drips through the trees. Dawn spreads from the east.
“Icarus?” he ventures. Silence.
Perhaps tonight, thinks Mog. But he knows that even if Icarus does not come, he only has to close his eyes to float above the trees. among the stars, to the slope of shadows – and dance.