Literary Revelations is proud to bring you today the exceptional work of Richard M. Ankers.
Richard is a native of the beautiful county of Yorkshire, England. When Richard isn’t writing, which he usually he is, he can be found running and keeping fit, or drinking coffee with his friends. If he could write in full view of the mountains with a stream running past his garden, he’d probably never resurface.
Richard has four published novels to his name: The Eternals, Hunter Hunted, Into Eternity, (all part of The Eternals Series) and Britannia Unleashed. Richard was a Gold Medal winner on Authonomy.com by HarperCollins with his novel The Snow Lily.
He has appeared in many anthologies including The Clockwork Chronicles, Love Letters To Poe: Volume 1, Once Upon A Broken Dream and Clockwork Christmas. Richard has featured in magazines worldwide such as DailyScienceFiction, Bunbury Magazine, Expanded Field Journal, Spillwords, and always feels privileged to do so. He counts himself fortunate to have over fifty writing credits to his name from his decade in writing, and also now writes with others. When people ask why does he write, he simply replies: ‘Because I have to’. Richard can be found on his blogs at: richardankers.com and on Twitter at: @Richard_Ankers
By Richard M. Ankers
I walk in a world between the here and there, eyes wide and ears straining. Above me, the clouds gather a semi-darkness as though having tasted the night and are reluctant to welcome the dawn. There are no birds, no cars, no ocular disturbances whatsoever, only the still. And I wonder, Is this a dream?
Leaves tumble like angels’ feathers, tinted in gold and lighter than air. They mark my movements as snowflakes record the winter’s depths. I shiver through my many layers.
In some places, there are pools of water reflecting the unnatural calm. Curling leaves float upon these mercury wonders like gondolas on Venetian canals, but where their gondoliers are remains a mystery. It is a mystery that mirrors this marshmallow purgatory.
I pass familiar places but without the usual disdain. I question everything, from the shades cast by the hospital buildings to the fogged-up glass of the bus shelter, the broken hedge separating mankind from nature, and even the heights of the vertiginous curbs. Nothing is as I remember. Nothing is how I recall.
It takes longer to reach my goal, as the clouds drop by the moment and I’m wary of every step. When the first wisp of wind comes to tug at my jacket, I panic. I know I’ll never make it even though my friends are already waving hello.
The coffee does not hit the mark. The conversation is as the words of ghosts. They tell of things that the world has promised, but it is not my world, and I can’t wait to get home.
There are no goodbyes; it’s as if they know.
I step back out into the in-between, where cumulous clouds corral the space I occupy, hem me in. There are no birds. There are no cars. Nothing has changed except me.
I wake to the news a hurricane hit during the night, the first true hurricane in over a century. England has always considered itself too good for such things. Extremes are for other places, other peoples, not us. Chaos abounds.
I dress and leave.
There are no birds. There are no cars. Not one leaf graces the trees; they have all gone. Neither are there pools of water, as everything and everywhere is blasted dry. Overhead, the clouds swirl around as though I wear the universe’s greatest halo. And I smile: Is this what it feels like to play God?
My friends look shocked.
“We thought you were dead!” one garbles.
“Why didn’t you call?” says another.
“Why would I?” my reply.
There are six of them sharing the same vacant expression, six intelligent, honest individuals who I am glad to call my friends. The oldest speaks, the wisest. I trust him with my life.
“You’ve been gone a month.”
There are no birds. There are no cars. Snowflakes abound in a world turned white, not grey. The snow has found a level. There’s not a print in sight. Even if awake, I couldn’t be happier.