Cause and Effect

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Dark Fables and Fantastic Tales. A collection of short works by C. Couling. "It allowed a glimpse of what was hiding beyond all notion. The forces that lingered underneath and throughout each moment. " Short Stories that originate in the dark corners of my twisted mind. Fuelled by the things that lurk in periphery of our imagination and watch from the boundaries of reason. This collection of tales embodies the ideation that there is more to our existence than we can possibly comprehend. From the dark and fantastic to the inspiring and awesome, each tale tears down the concepts of what we know to be true and we believe as fact. Ours is but one existence in an infinite sea of realities and certainties. Come explore all the strange and darkly wondrous tales that lay in wait out on the edge of the horizon.

Scifi / Other
Age Rating:



Two girls jumped about and across the game of hopscotch they had drawn on the curb of a dusty old street earlier that morning. It was their favourite game and one they would be at for hours. It was a simple affair, an innocent endeavour and something uninfluenced by the myriad leanings and attitudes of the world. Though on this day, the fundamental forces that govern all things, had arranged their respective laws in such a way that was specific to this particular moment in time. The curb was the color of sand, old and failing to ruin from countless years of neglect. A few sprouts of crab grass had burst forth from the amalgam of sand and mortar in life's ceaseless attempt to reach the sun. The curb was eroding into the dry recesses of the city streets and as the years passed it seemed to have fallen out of favor with the repairmen and caretakers of this place. As neglected as it was, the curb was the sacred anchor which tied the girls and their beloved game of hopscotch together. The two girls sang a song as they hopped about the uneven squares. It was a melody only children sang, a song known to those few, who still viewed the world with innocence and wonder.

Rays of sunshine collided against grains of chalk dust, held suspended in the cool morning air. The white dust intermingled with the humid and moisture laden air resembled fog more than dry dusty chalk. The boundaries of their hopscotch board had shifted by the scuffing and scraping of little footprints as the girls danced about in joyful competition. They had engraved the mystic demarcations of hopscotch onto the earth at dawn, just as the dew lifted. The children used broken fragments of chalk, acquired in those places where children find such things; to complete their hopscotch masterwork. Each piece dragged across the asphalt by the two girls, as their skilled little hands writ childish glyphs with great precision. They scraped bits and pieces of chalk until the unearthed bones of carboniferous life joined their youthful flesh. Their board was complete, and the game had begun.

The streets were vacant and the golden light of dawn cast deep shadows into the alleys and courtyards of the ancient city. A song of inspiration and things imagined broke the silence and drifted through vacant avenues and markets, as the two girls sang and hopped across mystic sigils.

A crow looked upon the empty quarter as it soared overhead on a warm current toward the rising sun. Its intelligence bespoke of strange matters and things unknown, and a wisdom born from reaches not of this world. The eyes of the Crow resembled bottomless black wells, those deep regions where odd wisdom waits. Few things possessed that otherworldly wisdom, and fewer still brought it back from those distant places. The Crow’s gaze remained fixed upon the two girls as it passed over the old city and beyond.

One, Two, Three… the girls jumped in unison, sending gossamer clouds of chalk into the glowing light of morning. They hopped and sang their mystical song of purity and innocence in the distant metropolis. Drifting through empty avenues and echoing against hollow buildings, that melody was an ancient tune. A song older than even the city it echoed through. Older still than the land that was now fading away. The world was eroding into the vapour, into ethereal translucence, and had fallen away beneath the two children.

Four, Five, Six. Dust kicked into the air as the girls skipped across the runic board they had etched with chalk. By the vacant lot in the old city their song reverberated with a magnificence, wholly not of this place. The crumbling curb, the anchor of the grand game of hopscotch, fell away with the last of the asphalt and vanished. The empty streets and markets, the crumbling causeways and collapsing dwellings were no more. All things had joined the ether. Where once stood the old city, fine particles of chalk were all that remained. Suspended in the golden glow of dawn.

Black gulfs opened up before the girls, who, by the very definition of youth, had taken no notice of their surroundings. Cosmic vistas now painted an astounding picture of stupendous realities, rarely hinted at in complex quantum theories and fanciful philosophies. Soon, even those panoramas fell away, into the voids as the girls hopped across the sum and parts of all things. As they reached the apex of their game of hopscotch, there was nothing but dark and the yawning black distance inconceivable. At last, the chalk drifted away into those dim spaces. Tiny white specks travelling the dark and limitless expanse on ethereal winds.

The two girls sang and skipped across impossible strings as long as a universe, They sang the song of wonder. Of purity and mystery. On wires they went, skipping one by one upon those inconceivable lengths. Each step, each hop and jump flexed those mind-boggling wires into colossal waves. Tidal forces, waveforms whose crests and troughs spanned eons, generated by nothing less than the gentle passing of two little girls.

Vibrating strings lashed across all conceivable things and shimmered with a light not seen in this reality or any other. And each time a ripple formed on a wire, its force echoed across the branes, shaping things long before and long after those two little girls had passed.

The kalaedoscopic veil lifted for an infinite moment, on the crest of that dark wave. It allowed a glimpse of what was hiding there beyond all notion. The forces that lingered underneath and throughout each moment. The girls, too consumed by their frolicking, didn’t notice what mystery was waiting out there behind that glimmering curtain.
They passed infinite strings that connected infinite realities. In each, two girls played hopscotch on unimaginably long strings across the dark voids. Vibrating in and out of sync, on frequencies of math and numbers; both innately familiar and wholly inconceivable. The children paid no mind, as all realities in all universes, at all times, were shaped by their passing.

Two girls played hopscotch in the spaces between the spaces, the game was nearing its end and it's beginning. They paid no mind as they sang their song of innocence and purity. It echoed and rippled across the void, determining the course of all things.

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