Omanon and Lir – 2 of 2

Continued from Omanon and Lir – 1 of 2


So Lir descended, his long form slipping into the water. Omanon watched him and he glowed. When he dove she thought on dolphins and flying fish, and then he smiled and walked from the water onto the land, just as she wished. The droplets streamed from him and he laid down in the sunlight, growing dry and warm and crusted in sand. She thought on reptiles basking, and seals covering the beaches. Then he walked over silt and rocks, and over solid earth, letting her see hills and mountains before he returned to the sea.

Creatures and plants that she had seen when he walked the land sprang up in his footsteps, and when he slid into the water again there were fishes and corals and whales. They nosed the depths and found the currents while Omanon watched them and watched Lir, who floated on his back unseen and unfelt by the growing planet.

Whether the planet grew more out of her imagination – her spectral memories – or out of the computer, she did not know.

The light came and went. Lir drifted in the ocean of Omanon’s thoughts, his body a patchwork in the ripples made by water and light. And though he soon found land and stretched out, content in sun or in water as she had envisaged, still he asked.

“What next, Omanon?” Continue reading “Omanon and Lir – 2 of 2”

Omanon and Lir – 1 of 2

First I would like to thank the editors of the Blue Hour Anthology for publishing one of my poems – For Aurélie.


Lir drifted in the ocean of Omanon’s thoughts, his body a patchwork in the ripples made by water and light. And though he soon found land and stretched out, content in sun or in water as she had envisaged, still he asked.

“What next, Omanon?”


The computer hummed around her in the black, and whenever the vast processing banks sighed that was the only measure of time. She was suspended, her seat only another figment of the black, and she imagined that the vague sense of motion, of her surroundings sailing or hurtling on, was what kept her heart beating.

She did not know how long she had been there, but with her eyes open and unseeing it could not matter. She stretched one limb; in the absence of feeling, of any external stimuli, only within herself could she assume that there was motion.

She desired sight and motion. Continue reading “Omanon and Lir – 1 of 2”

Parallel Outlet: 8

i do not own the memory of your lips-
for your lips belong to the forest
and the sound of the rain…

We can get very close to belonging to one another – but never can one person completely belong to another.

This is what Geri Geda’s poem, Sena, reminded me of. Lovers may become as close as two people can be, and that is beautiful. Still, if you are like the billions of other people in our world, you cannot read your beloved’s mind and cannot see into the corners of their heart.

Epics, tragedies, and triumphs have resulted from this, and Geri Geda uses imagery from the forest and the sea to give a haunting impression of the divide. Continue reading “Parallel Outlet: 8”

Orison – 1

You can find the Prologue here.

I was taken to the house of a relative, a narrow place with many staircases in the midst of the city. At first the bustle tossed me around, but then I learned to dart up and down the creaky wooden stairs, to hide in corners, and when I could not hide I learned how to run errands through streets that teemed with hands and smells and curses.

The meals I had once known were revealed to be elaborate, the rooms I had had played in were revealed to be clean and beautiful, and all was beyond reach.

They talked of money often, in that house with many staircases. By the end of that summer the yelling swelled and at night the air was heavy and unpleasant. As their resentment grew the meals became poorer and I ran more errands, hiding out of the house rather than within.

You could hear things in the streets. I listened, I learned who was safe to question, and I eventually began to ask. Continue reading “Orison – 1”

Something for Nothing

I would like to give out the draft of my novella, A Brief History of Ladies, for free to a few beta readers.

The novella is set in a world much like ours, if somewhat backward in time. The story spans many generations, offering snapshots of various events and escapades which change the course of history on the Continent, and is 26 pages long (as a Word doc). The first chapter, The Continental Ladies’ Academy, has been re-posted below.

Of course, you don’t really get something for nothing! I would like to receive some constructive advice in return – what was good, bad, or needs improvement.

If you are interested either leave a comment or contact me at


The Continental Ladies’ Academy

Since Lavender left, the school has not been the same.

It was unseasonably warm last week, and though we had noticed her restlessness we were quite shocked when she walked into the classroom without her many layers of undergarments and petticoats, of satin and lace. She wore (now infamous) leather breeches and a linen shirt which looked marvellously breezy. Sister Mary Tortella, not to be confused with the thinner Sister Mary Margaret, immediately cracked her stick on the lectern and told Lavender to make herself proper. Continue reading “Something for Nothing”


The night my life began was not the night I was born.

I had fallen asleep in the grip of that pox which almost all children catch; my face swollen and hot, finding no relief in cool sheets or in the hand and voice of my father. He had stayed long after the doctor came and went , stayed to repeat reassuring things and to draw my fingers away from my body when I might have scratched. The frustration of my hands above the sheets, while my skin writhed beneath, slowly exhausted me. I wept and thrashed my legs and closed my eyes.

That sleep was heavy and troubling, but seamless was my move from oblivion to sitting up against my pillows, and looking into the courtyard beyond my bedroom.

I saw the small flashes of silver in the moonlight, quick and perfect as fish in a night sea, a waking dream that drew me from my bed. Continue reading “Orison”

Kisses in the Dark

Never call for me, o temptress fair

Of face and breath as summer air

But in shadow keep a nightime song

A lure to your warmth, that I walk on

My secret and my treasured shame

Lie in your hair and in your name

Beneath the streetlamps’ fading glow

I love to kiss you in the shadows

© 2013 Elizabeth Cook