All of this blog’s content is also available in an audio podcast on iTunes and on Podbean under the podcast name “Another Notch”
Welcome to Another Notch, the podcast about writing prompts. I try to get thoughts on paper and stretch ideas until they become stories. If it inspires you, that’s the goal! If my writing doesn’t impress you, give me some tips. Help me get it right! The whole idea is to make me a better writer, and that’s why I do this.
Here’s today’s writing from a random prompt I found on the internet. The prompt was…a candle, a cup and a mirror. A portal opens when a candle in a cup is held next to a mirror. That’s the prompt.
So, if you’ve been listening to these episodes, you know that I’ve been writing about one per day and I also have to record and edit and upload it, and I also have a full time job, a wife and three dogs, so, I don’t really have time to write a finished story each day. Perhaps, one day, one or more of these little concepts will become something but, for now, you’re just getting the first draft. Keeping that in mind, and thank you for your patience, I really appreciate what you have to say about the bit I do manage to get done. So, for now…
…here we go…
In the middle of Armenia, there is a lake. On the edge of the lake is an ancient monastary. From the windows of the monastary, in the early hours of the morning, tiny flickering lights can be seen, for just a few moments, across the water. About seventy five hundred years ago, they were far more prominent. In these modern times, they can rarely be seen at all.
Why are there faint, glimmering lights on the distant shore of a lake in Armenia? It all began about six thousand B.C., to the west of Armenia, in what is now called Turkey. This is where the very first mirrors were made. They were cut and polished pieces of obsidian. A couple thousand years later, more modern civilizations like Mesopotamia and Egypt would develop mirrors from sheets of copper and then bronze and, eventually, the Romans made them from lead-backed glass. And while all of this developing, a culture of sorcery was being developed around the technology of mirrors.
And those lights? They are the remnants of an ancient witches coven, old even before the pyramids were built, using candles and mirrors to transport themselves between dimensions. Local legend has it that the candles, when held near a small, highly polished mirror, and accompanied by the proper incantation from the lips of a coven member, will open a portal through the fabric of the space-time continuum. It lasts only a moment, long enough for a witch to step though into the other dimension, and into the relative safety of their fortress.
Without their interdimensional fortress, the coven would likely have fallen to its enemies centuries ago. The ability to shift to an alternate plane of existence with such a simple remedy made the difference between surviving and thriving as a community…quite literally, the difference between life and death for the witches. The fact this fortress was concealed in an alternate dimension in a remote forest in the middle of Armenia made their comings and goings appear like occasional fireflies from an an untold distance in the dark.
Now, here, I kind of switch from a narrator format to kind of a rough outline format like I was using in the recent episode about the man who finds the half-filled antique ledger in the thrift shop.
A couple is hiking through a national park in the mountains of Armenia and come across an old monstary by a lake. They love the beautiful setting and set up camp for the night. After their camp fire dies down, they notice the lights. The next day, they hike further around the edge of the lake, into the woods, and set up camp once more. They had heard the stories but never gave it any credence until they saw the lights for themselves. Now, they felt compelled to investigate.
They are met by a beautiful witch who, over the next several hours, uses various spells to disorient them, scare them, and urge them to leave. Not easily disheartened, they keep trying to communicate with her. The witch keeps trying more aggressive tactics until one of the hikers ends up being seriously injured. The witch realizes she cannot draw attention to the coven by having them leave injured and, basically, her options come down to either killing them both and leaving their bodies in the bottom of the lake, or healing them and casting a spell to wipe all memory of the past day or so from their minds, and letting them go.
After some deliberation, she decides to heal them, befriend them, tell them all about herself and her history and the coven, and then she wipes their mind and sets them free.
The couple wake up the next morning, continue hiking, and treasure their photos of some old monastary near a lake whose precise location continues to elude them to this day.
I am enjoying these little excursions into the edge of the wood and into the past and beyond the edge of the solar system and such. I hope you find at least some of this to be inspiring for your own writing practice and ideas.
In the back of my mind, I am beginning to formulate some idea of other features I would like to include on the show, including, perhaps, some writing contests and book giveaways, special guests and interviews, and possibly some other things at some point in the future. But that’s for another show.
That’s today’s writing prompt. I’ll be back with more. Be sure to subscribe if you find this interesting. Thanks for listening and thanks for your feedback. This is Kurt Copeland. Keep the momentum and take your writing up Another Notch.