Tir Anam: Chapter One - The Kingdom by the Sea
June 15th, 2014

Long, long ago, in a land once known as Tir Anam, a white kingdom sparkled brightly by the ocean; Sea Comb it was called, and even under cloudy mornings its parapets gleamed like seashells in the sand; for many, many years of salty winds had polished all its structures smooth. Equally borne by the constant ocean, the people of this seaside town found hardy work and play, and many useful ways to spend their time; in fishing and boating, basket-weaving and jeweling, and all manner of trades and markets which made their way up to the seaside kingdom from distant towns, and in this way the people of Sea Comb forever scuttled about their business, as naturally as the tides lapped against the shore.

Watching over this bustling kingdom, stretching out of the rocky sea cliffs, loomed the ancient castle of Caer Talain. Barnacled and stony, its shell-encrusted towers rose high against the salty ocean winds. Palm trees waved on the beach below the cliffs, where seagulls and pelicans cawed for fish, who diving into the waves kept just as busy as the other inhabitants of the seaside kingdom.

Inside this spiraling castle, brooding in its rooms and halls, ruled Callas, the Prince of Sea Comb, who had grown to be called Prince Callas the Lonely, and atop a throne carved from a giant Murex Shell he sat, the shell’s spiny points sticking out like the long, white-blonde tufts of his hair, forever wind-blown and downy from the brine. The young man remained so still, one might have mistaken him for a statue, rescued long ago from the bottom of the sea, save for the flashing of his grey eyes, which moved methodically over the empty throne room. Callas had been born in this palace, and, with the exception of a few excursions in his boyhood with his late father, King Liam, the Prince had resided in this solitary home for two hundred and eighty years.

The kingdom of Sea Comb housed some of the oldest souls in Tir Anam, and the people there lived long off of fish and sunshine, even longer than any creature we know of today. Why, the average lifespan of any human in Tir Anam could well reach over 1,000 years. Prince Callas, being left the throne of this kingdom at such a young age, had felt especially confined within its walls, and at only two hundred eighty years old, he longed to explore the lands beyond his lonesome cove, and taste a sweeter air.

Sea Comb’s Kings and Queens were never really meant to stray much from the seaside, and nearly never needed to, for theirs were old souls who had long ago traversed the earth, many times over, and nigh crossed every ocean in Tir Anam, and every river, with very few wars in between, and worn by time more than their peace, they were content to live in that somber castle, and pace the sand-specked floors, complacent, where hardened coral walls would often sand the skin of royalty, for just as reincarnations exfoliate, so shall souls be burnished smooth. 

But Prince Callas, young and unhappy with his fate, sat placid and silent, his stormy eyes tracing memorized patterns of seashells inlaid in the floor, frozen in that room with a deep well of memories, of subconscious lifetimes, meetings and partings, all to keep him company; and yet, after so much time, after so many musings which seemed to almost always unfurl into nothing, Callas had come to accept that he might befit his name indefinitely—to remain and guard the Sea Comb Kingdom, and all the shores that sprawled away from it, from inside the walls of Caer Talain, as Callas, the Lonely, forever.

A Letter to You

April 21st, 2014; revised June 4th, 2014

Dear Reader, Fan, Stranger, and/or Confidante:

"WRITE."

She stared at it—this little scrap of a paper filled with big, black, swooshing letters, almost as if a crow had suddenly learned the alphabet and wished to frighten someone with it: “W,” “R,” “I,” “T,” and “E.” Such a scary word, and yet…such a simple idea. A man whose name, I assure you, is of no importantance, had scribbled this for her when she asked him what to do about her stories. About writing. It was the best advice she had ever received, perhaps all her young life, and yet she was finding it extremely difficult to follow. He couldn’t have written “READ” instead, could he? Oh no, that would have been much too easy, she thought. Much too enjoyable. Alas. The only hand holding hers right now was probably that little mark off the capital “E” at the end of this vastly vague, belligerently beguiling, ominously ominous, and just altogether evil little word:

"WRITE."

He may as well have asked her to bleed, to spurt all over the page! To throw up, die, and then promptly resurrect herself. Perhaps those things would have all been easier. Perhaps she would have done them all by now. Pens felt hot in her hand. Markers? Doubly so! And keyboards? Why, keyboards were unthinkable! Unthoughtable! No, do not ever let a keyboard into your head, if you want to write; it will only levitate there, impertinently, in all its alphabetical glory, before finally settling down comfortably in your nightmares.

Nightmares? Dreams? She had those often enough. Why, I bet one of them might even…

Oh no, out of the question. One mustn’t write about dreams, lest they are read by others and finally mocked, or thrown tomatoes at, or pitchforked, or—wait a minute! Wait, just there! What was that?! Do you see? Hovering, in the air, between your eyes! No, don’t swat at it!

Is that…an IDEA? Ohhhhh yes! Yes, you’ve done it! Oh, how wonderful you are! I had a dream like this once; in fact I had a dream last night, but no matter—it was nothing as beautiful as this. Quiet now, please. We don’t want to scare it away. Oh, this little one is sure to help us, sure to—

Hang on! You say we have to “catch it?” Keep it? Why, of course! How, you ask? Ha! How do you think? There’s only one way to catch an idea, and that’s by…

WRITING!

…Oh dear. I’m afraid I see your point. Well, it’s still here, so far. You know what we’ll have to do? There’s no way around it. We’ll have to bleed, to throw up! Then die, and resurrect ourselves. Or none of those things! We’ll brandish pens, markers, crayons if we must! We’ll wrangle the keyboards back underneath our fingers, and so shall we earn the trust of this beautiful idea. Now it can remain, with us, hopefully forever. We’ll catch it, verily! And verily, it shall be caught. And so it has been, and so shall ever be.

I wonder, now, which came first? How long has it been there, you think? This little idea? Yes, it is still quite beautiful, now that it exists a bit more permanently. Perhaps doubly so! Infinitely thus! And yet, I wonder. Were we first writing, or was this idea first flying? I haven’t the foggiest. I shall have to trust you to decide.

And now, some parting words—the end to an endless rambling, to thank you for being with me, and for listening throughout this tale: I ask that you remember. Always, always remember, before you let any nasty things settle in, before sleeping and dreams, before big, capital letters scare you underneath the covers; before, and I’ll whisper now, so as not to scare you, before PROCRASTINATION rears its ugly head, or if you are battling him now, brandishing everything from harpoons to pencils, even as he breathes and heaves and swings his deadly, deadline paws—just promise me, that you will always, always, ALWAYS remember, we only wish you to, we only want you to, you only need to, and you are always able to

WRITE.

From your amateur writer, junior keyboard-wrangler, and, more importantly, humble author,

Everlander

P.S.
Special thanks to Neil Gaiman, for scaring the living daylights out of me, and for signing a very useful tarot card, and extra thanks to my sister, for always being there to pick me up when I’ve very, metaphorically, fainted. Much love to you all.

P.P.S.
Now, please enjoy my personal excuses for short stories, poetry, musings, and works-not-yet-finished, amongst other monstrosities. See you in the blog~ n_n