I shall summarise by way of comments below:
- Sue, Books to the Future is an adventuresome delight. I have had some VERY important books fall at my feet from unlikely shelves in old bookshops. They do have lives of their own - or maybe a part of their author's soul lives on within the pages? I love what you have evoked here - and it needs to run, run, run into a full scale volume.
- Chris, firstly let me apologise for unwittingly hijacking part of your title, Maman and in a roundabout way - some of your story. I must have subconsciously picked it up. Sorry my dear. Chercher le Futur - a spectacular image of pentagrams and mirrors against a desert background. What choice did Legris have? Tell, or be damned. Mon dieu indeed.
- David, Mr Cheeky Barber is back. Have you ever considered doing Spooky Stand-Up? I really liked how you turned A Watery Grave from a tale of concern to a wicked little murder.
- Aidan, Jailbird's Song is freakin' freaky. Your narrator's snarling voice growls in my ear, making me nervous, causing me to look for him over my shoulder. Gripping, and terrifying,
- Antonia, all the best for the counselling session. I do hope you will be on the way to recovery soon. Boudicca’s Last Stand chilled me to the bone, not least because I felt I was staring back from the scrying bowl (one of my preferred methods after the mirror). This is haunting.
- Phil, Oh knock me down and make me fear for my life! Beware the Soldiers - that would be enough to scare a man; you'd fear war, terrorism, a coup d'etat... but ants? Very, very clever. Lesson: never take a prediction at face value.
- AJ, an emotional discovery, poetically performed. My feeling is this is the result of a search for a near-ancestor, that the MC has taken a cruel journey to locate this man and incite his Resurrection. We need - on behalf of all the family - to know more about what really happened; why he was there, and why he joined the Legion in the first place.
- Kim, that told him. And what he doesn't know is that beneath every 'old hag' is a soul harbouring a beautiful and terrible wisdom. More fool him. I liked this atmospheric arrival in our mystical lands of a people who still occupy the heaths and mists. For the Romans, it was ultimately a Gloomy Ending.
- Anthony, I felt a very non-spiritual sense of satisfaction at Jess's revenge. As children we are entitled to believe in fairy-tale castles, though if we ever knew the original stories we'd never want to be mixed up in such horror. Maybe In Crystal Vapours represents the modern day reality of ancient myth. Chilling.
- Me, A la Recherche d'un Homme Perdu speaks of a woman who can't bear that her man chose The Legion over her, and her family. Papa's letter proves it was all for their sake, not his.
- Reba, so glad you're back. "The media was the polar opposite of scrying – only able to see the future in retrospect." is a fabulously innovative - and insightful line. What You Sow questions law, legislation, government... It's the way it should be. This is a conspiracy theory with legs.
- William, a beautiful gothic feel to Non Lossless Depression. A poem? Prose? I can't work out if the narrator is desperate for Love, or Death - because the subjects twist, and twist about. And I like that - a lot.
I'm going to bed. In the morning I will be a different person - by a few skin cells only. But who knows the memories the new cells I've caught might hold; perhaps I'll be Cleopatra - like everyone else. Or maybe not - maybe I'll be your grandmother. Have you exfoliated lately? Maybe I'll be you - sssshhhhhhh.