What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Maestro by Lillian Morpork

The young man climbed up the last, steep incline, and paused as he reached the top. For a moment, he stood and looked around. Yes, this was the perfect spot. He doffed his backpack, removed the boots, tough jeans, jacket and shirt, and reaching into the backpack, he took out a plastic bag. With this in hand, he went to the edge of the plateau. There, he untied the cord and opened the bag and took out soap, wash cloth, towel, electric razor and hair brush. Looping the cord around the handles of the bag, he lowered it into the water, pulling it up about half full. Hanging it from the limb of a small bare tree, he proceeded to wash and groom himself. Once done, he emptied the bag and placed everything back in, returning to the backpack.

He dressed, then, in the formal trousers, stiff white shirt and swallow-tail coat, adding black socks and shiny dress shoes. It would not do to conduct a symphony in other than appropriate attire. He then packed the other clothes and the plastic bag in the backpack, and propped it beside a rock.

Once again, he walked to the centre of the plateau. There he spent some minutes looking around. Yes, there were many fish in the lake below, and colourful birds flying around. And there, facing him across the lake, the natural formation that looked so like a giant owl. To him, this was the Goddess Athena/Minerva. He would direct his symphony in praise and supplication to Her, though it would be a silent one. No musical instruments were there, all the music would be in his mind, no need for sound, She would hear. And if his music pleased, She would grant his prayer. This would be the greatest symphony ever written, surpassing all that came before.

Closing his eyes and tilting his head back, he visualised the work, seeing the notes, the orchestra, the huge concert hall. He raised his arms, paused, and began. His arms moved, directing the violins, then the flutes, the horns, the cellos, each section of the orchestra. He heard the sounds, the blending, the short solos, the soft, peaceful singing of the strings, then the growing music, building to crescendo. And the percussion section hammering out a martial beat, that blended into a great, sublime anthem of praise and exultation.

As his arms moved, he slowly opened his eyes. Above him, the birds were flying in frantic circles, that gradually unwound into a string of colours swiftly disappearing off into the distance. Looking down, he saw that the fish were echoing the movement of the birds, circling madly around the lake, and then following the leaders away, down the stream, he knew not where. He was caught in the spell of his own making, arms moving faster and faster, as the music he heard grew wilder, louder, almost warlike. And then he came to the end of his symphony, and the frantic pace eased, everything became calm, and the work ended in peace and harmony.

The release from the spell left him limp, almost too weak to remain standing. Gradually his breathing slowed, and he raised his head. Across the lake the owl-like formation stood, unchanged. But no, it was not quite the same. A large human-like hand had appeared at the bend in one wing. Slowly it moved up to the beak, then turned palm up and moved slightly toward him. He felt a wash of love, and blessing flow over him, and in his mind he heard ‘Well done, I/we accept this offering, this Athena/Minerva symphony. Go in peace, it will be honoured wherever it is played.’

For a moment, he stood and stared, then he bowed deeply, whispering ‘thank you, my Goddess.’ sighing, he turned to his backpack, to change into the tough clothes for the descent back to the mundane world - and a lifetime of success.

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