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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Out of a Dream – part 1 - by Lillian Morpork

Slowly I became aware; aware of a rising, falling, swaying sensation that made me dizzy, and slightly nauseous. I realised that my eyes were closed, and after a moment’s struggle, was able to open them. But I had to close them immediately; the light was so blindingly bright it sent stabs of pain into my head. I waited as I gradually grew more aware.

The movement made me think of a boat and when I listened, I could hear the splash and swish of water near my head. I was lying on a hard surface barely padded with a rough cloth. Cautiously I opened my eyes again, merely a slit, and looked around.

Wooden walls, rising no more than a foot above me, and as I opened my eyes a bit more, green leaves and blue sky moving swiftly by. It took a struggle, but after a minute or two I was able to sit; yes, I was in a boat, and traveling fast down a large river.

I rested then until the dizziness went away and then I investigated. I had no idea why I was in this fix, but first I needed to know what supplies I had to help get myself out of it. In the stern the steering handle had been disconnected and the rudder locked in line with the keel. The seat there had a storage box under it. When I lifted the seat, I found clothing, food, water flasks, a medical kit and boots. I didn’t stop to do a real search, but moved on.

Investigating further I found posts for a tent, some of them would also serve as a mast. What I had been lying on was the canvas sail, which would be the tent, providing I could get to shore. In other compartments I found more food, camper’s cooking gear and dishes with cutlery, and several cans of sterno. Well, I would be fairly well supplied if I got to shore. And there was a book giving good information on edible things that would supplement my supplies. Once ashore, I could figure out how to get back to civilization, but not back where I’d come from; obviously, I had enemies there. But I knew I had at least one friend there, or I would be dead, not floating down a river.

On further looking through the clothing, I found a map. On one river there was a red x. It was the river where we had set up our main camp. At last I had an idea of where I was. I knew there was a cataract on this river, a high one. If I went over that, I would not survive. I searched more, and found a compass and was able to determine my approximate location. I had to get busy and fix the rudder and start looking for a safe place to pull in to shore. Fortunately that only took a few minutes, and I studied the map again. The water was moving faster and was getting rougher, so I was getting closer to the falls.

I found a small bay as I rounded a bend, and steered into it, and the boat nosed up to the shore. Jumping out holding a rope, I pulled until the boat was partly on land, and tied it to a tree. Then I took the backpack and started packing it with clothing, food, dishes and cookware and sterno. I wrapped a blanket I found in the sail, with all the poles and fastened that to the rack beneath the backpack. I hung the axe and folding shovel and other tools I’d found hidden under the clothing on the belt of the backpack. I also hung six water bottles, filled from the reservoir I’d found in the bow.

When I was sure I had everything I would need attached to my body in some way, I untied the boat, pushed it into the water, and shoved it as far out as I could, hoping the current would catch it. I stood and watched, and saw it finally caught, and swirling away. It would go over the falls, and if they came looking, they’d find the wreckage there and, I hoped, conclude that my body was drawn out into the ocean.

I climbed up the bank and stopped, sitting on a fallen log to take off my wet shoes and socks. I hand wiped my feet as dry as I could, hung the shoes on the belt with the socks tucked in them, and put on dry socks and the boots. I discovered as I did, that they were my own, and smiled and blessed my unknown friend. Then I stood and started my trek, using the map and compass.

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