I wrote this short piece for the Faber Academy‘s Friday QuickFic contest. Flash fictioneers should check it out! Yes, it’s the ‘Faber’ from Faber & Faber, the famous publishers. This week’s prompt came from a quote by TS Eliot, one of their most illustrious writers. For some of us, he IS Faber. If you’ve never read it, I recommend you read ‘East Coker’. My piece has references from the poem, although that wasn’t necessary for this fun creative exercise.
I didn’t win, but a fellow WordPresser did, very good it was too!
In My Beginning Is My End
My kitchen is all old stones, I look to make sense of them every day. I’d have them plastered, but there’s words in there. One day when the light is right, I’ll see them clear enough. One wall was chopped out of the rock, too neat to be anybody but the Romans. What stood on this site is barely known, but the stones are everywhere along this road. I live in the kitchens of a castle, itself as old as Richard the First. In the mornings I am older than any of that and further along into my life. My knee is turning to stone as I shuffle down the stairs. Each day I am a little more of a fossil.
I live along a pilgrim road, older than the shrine they’re going to. The pilgrims are living artefacts, some trudge past each day. It’s a very long walk from here, but it doesn’t seem to stop them from coming. It will end in glory, even if they never get across those fierce mountains. They have begun and that is everything. To die on the road is reward itself. However is the ending, is the ending.
For me, another coffee, staring at the intriguing walls. I make patterns, I see patterns, patterns emerge. It’s my only pilgrimage, the best I can manage now. Surprised to be an old man, I must still be an explorer.
Dried vine tendril