On the Genius of Children and Monsters

To summarize the following article, a 12-year old boy got published when he recommended that his father, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, use pictures of Dungeons and Dragons monsters to resolve a question in psychology.

Do people look at eyes or faces?

Continue reading “On the Genius of Children and Monsters”

“Out of the Night” – Writing Prompt

This is a response to the Halloween writing prompt, “Out of the Night”, by Alanna Sinclair on Perspicacity:

Out of the night, out of the hush

The painter’s slow and inky brush

Bare black branches under black sky

The paint his low and sleepy sigh

© 2012, Elizabeth Cook

Three Eyes Vaalifu

Were fear to raise shrill voice

Or lungs to gasp a laboured breath

You would be heard and smelt and found

Long iron arms to bind you

Were shaking hands to lose purchase

Or feet to stumble and betray

You would be dragged back and down

A lipless mouth to claim you

Were a strong house to offer shelter

Or swift travel bear you away

Man of three eyes Vaalifu

Would still see and stalk his prey.

Happy Halloween.

© 2012, Elizabeth Cook

“I Wish I Were”

This is from the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge, to finish a sentence beginning with “I wish I were”:

I wish I were the sun on high

Witness to an eternity

Of twilights falling over Earth

And over humanity

Myself the roiling light that saw

Darkness take on form

Chaos nursing galaxies

While my body warmed

Time in another measure,

If I were this planet’s star

My lifespan made tangible

A light-year near and far

For I would know vast distances

And universal beauties

And after human empire

I would learn what is to be

© 2012, Elizabeth Cook

Everything in One Room

The whole world is in this room, and pieces of the universe too.  A sample of this, a section of that, all compressed and made manageable for eyes that see in the third dimension. Or the fourth, depending on your reasoning. I have at my fingertips a collage of continents and centuries.  Life in its many guises runs through the collection that I call past, present, and future; although life is one of Earth’s younger inventions it crowds the room with colour.

When I speak of life I gloss over the first prehistoric cells and think of the complex and the beautiful instead.  Plants of a hundred different climes are here. With roots in the floor and stems above baseboard-level there are lotus flowers, Venus flytraps, a baobab tree.  Carboniferous ferns and cacti rub shoulders with deadly nightshade.

Just above the greenery the moving creatures make their appearance. Continue reading “Everything in One Room”


Some say it began with Leah. Sweet-faced Leah de Pire, who had all our sympathy when she fell ill at the height of her beauty. Only yet the mother of three, surely she was not to die so young? Visitors walked the lane to the humble but picturesque home that her husband, Alphonse, had built when they married. She remained quite charming even during those weeks when she kept to her bed; it was with disbelief that the town suddenly heard that she was gone.

Child as I was, I remember this far less than I remember my mother and my aunt’s re-telling of the affair. The hint of scandal. The uncertain whispers that snuck about Fairheight. The Grover boy seemed unduly distressed by Leah’s passing, and then there was her third daughter. Lilith did not resemble Alphonse in the slightest.

Continue reading “Fairheight”

Moon and Sea

The moon was born beneath the sky,

She came up from the sea

Rising on the breakers,

With the foam about her feet.

Waves carried her on rolling crests,

And her face began to shine

As her crown of stars gathered,

She stepped into the sky.

The sea then fell behind her,

And gowned in sapphire night

She took her place above the earth,

Looking down with silver eyes.

Though her throne lies in the heavens,

The moon still knows the sea

Her gentle tug upon the tides

Recalls how she came to be.

© 2012, Elizabeth Cook

“Potion” – Writing Prompt

This is my response to a writing prompt for five-sentence fiction by Lillie McFerrin. Her prompt for this week was the word “potion”:

Colour bled across the surface of the liquid in the stoneware basin and the glazed surface grew warm under her palm.
Trembling, her other hand skittered across dry leaves and petals, whispering, to the decoction that she had prepared under the night sky.
It smelled cold and strange, and she hesitated a long moment before tipping it into the basin.
Red, purple, indigo spasmed and coiled into a dark heart at the centre of the potion.
Closing her eyes, she prepared to lower her face, her consciousness, into the secrets of the world beneath the rowan tree.