A knight gifts all the planets and all the stars in exchange for the life of a princess. She has been taken by an army and put under a spell, making her the size and state of a child again. The enemies break open all the planets to get the riches they believe are inside, only to find every one hollow. Every one except for the sun, which one of the soldiers has already gifted back to the princess secretly in the form of a paper flower.
A photograph of a staircase painted black, with words and symbols etched into it. I see it in an art book at the request of a cousin, who has recently been very mean to me. She is recommending I look at it to understand what ‘proper art’ is, as opposed to the stories I write. I can’t see anything particularly interesting, but I am biased against it in that moment.
She takes me to its whereabouts – behind an ordinary door on an ordinary street. It is both well and poorly lit, and winds upwards in a way the book couldn’t convey. Every step has hidden sigils that, with a lot of time, could be connected and interpreted. But the staircase is unfinished. The artist ran out of funding and the interest of the public due to the book not doing the project justice. Now she sits in a room at the top of the staircase, sipping soup and dressed in many layers of beaded rags. She is pleased to see us and sits us down to chat.
Speaking to a veiled woman in the street, telling her stories of someone I once loved but was too afraid to approach. I still can’t bring myself to say it was her, but I think she knows.
She returns sometime later, perhaps now as a man. She has made an etching in an old-fashioned style, depicting one of my stories as a gift for me. In it, I lay on a sick bed with a male/female visitor at my side. In the background, against the window, a tiny man (called ‘the romantic’) is being dangled by the extremely muscled torso of another. In the story it relates to, the muscled man is able to pierce the fabric of time and space, but he must keep part of his body in his original location or he would be lost forever. To help the romantic, he puts him through the fabric to watch over me, being careful to keep a tight grip so he can pull him back whenever necessary.
A scheduled visit to a dental hospital I didn’t know I had. It shifted between 2.15 and 2.45, but one thing was certain – I would never make it on time.
The above is part of an autofiction/automatic fiction hybrid project, in which the ordinary thinking mind is bypassed to access the symbol-rich world of the unconscious. It is an experiment in writing with dream-like logic and in capturing the mood of our inner worlds.