Type: A story. Or a bit of one at least
Pages: I don’t know. There’s about 1300 words so far.
Notes: I don’t even have a title for this. It’d have a nice black ink line drawing every chapter or so, ideally.
There was always lightning and there was always thunder and the rain came down in rivers onto the forest and everything grew huge. Stretching up beyond the trees were great and slender copper towers which the lightning struck over and over and over again.
And in each one, at the very top, in the largest room, lived an ogre, all huge and shapeless and sad. They were sad because they were alone, each tower only being big enough for one. They were sad because they could not sleep, for the thunder was too loud. And they were sad because they could never leave, as they were so tall they would loom out over the treetops, and the lightning would strike them, and then they would be dead.
The Ogres In The Daytime
The gloomy ogres spent their gloomy days looking out over the gloomy forest under the gloomy skies from the gloomy room at the top of their gloomy towers thinking gloomy thoughts in their slow and gloomy minds. They each had four chairs in their rooms, one by each of their four windows, for each ogre had each of their towers laid out in exactly the same way. By each chair was a telescope, and all day across the forest each ogre would sit there, one eye closed, the other unblinkingly pushed up to the lens of the telescope, and through that they would look at another ogre’s tower, and wonder what that ogre was up to, and whether that ogre was having more fun than they were. Which, of course, they weren’t.
The ogres would sit there all day, from breakfast until dinner, staring through their telescopes and never moving from whichever chair and whichever telescope at whichever window they had chosen.
The worst thing that could happen in an ogre’s day was to realise that the ogre they were watching through their telescope was watching them back through their own. Ogres were shy creatures, and easily flustered, and they would go red with shame and embarrassment, and they would both get up from their chairs and hurry across the room to a different chair by a different window and look out through a different telescope at a different tower where hopefully that different ogre would be looking somewhere else and they could stare at them without being stared at right back.
Then they would settle back in to their comfortable chairs and their comfortably gloomy thoughts and all would be well again.
The Ogres In The Evening
When the unseen sun went down and it became too dark to see across the forest the ogres would rise from their chairs and traipse around their huge room, closing their long heavy curtains one by one, until not even the flashes of lightning from outside could be seen.
A huge fire would burst into flames in the huge fireplace at the centre of the room. Brass pipes in the ceiling would begin playing miserable music that was all out of tune. A trapdoor would spring open and from the shaft you could hear the sounds of rattling gears and clattering plates and the heaving of ropes as slowly a tray containing dinner would be winched up into the room from the dark and distant basements of the tower.
What An Ogre Eats
Ogres eat nothing but cakes and sometimes, if cakes are in short supply, buns. The great try winched up from the depths would typically contain at least one of every single type of cake you could think of and often many more you couldn’t, such as a cake that was entirely liquid and had to be eaten through a straw, or a cake made out of long slivers of potato that had been fried until they were almost too hot to eat. Once an ogre received a cake made out of a single untouched apple and that might well have been the tastiest cake of all.
Once the cakes were finished and all the things the ogres thought were cakes were finished and even the things they hoped were cakes and not just napkins and cutlery and plates the ogres would attach the tray back to its chain and then ring the great brass bell above the hatch to signal that dinner was over.
The ogres would solemnly and gloomily watch their trays descend down into the dark shaft for a moment, possibly dreaming for a second about what cakes the tray would bring tomorrow, and then once the tray had disappeared from view into the blackness of the passage they would return to their chairs, settle in as comfortably as they could, and then turn their attention to writing letters to their fellow ogres, especially whichever ogre they had been watching that day.
What An Ogre Writes
What it is that an ogre might write in a letter has long been considered one of the world’s greatest mysteries. Only an ogre would know for sure, and who would dare ask them? Not I, of that we can be sure, and probably not you, neither. And, indeed, even if you do dare, would an ogre deign to reply? It is doubtful.
Even though no one has ever read an actual ogre’s letter, this has not stopped the many great librarians and anthropologist and ogreticians of our world to contemplate and theorise what their contents may be.
We can surmise, for example, that the contents would almost certainly be miserable, full of self-piteous digressions and tedious complaints about the most insignificant things. They would no doubt be written incredibly carefully in thick black ink with no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors or hastily scribbled out mistakes. An ogre would certainly never dot their “i”s with little love hearts, or make a smiley face out of their “O”s, and they would never, and I mean not ever, use seven different coloured pencils and make their “n”s into a rainbow.
They would not use purple paper, or green, nor pale blue card that smelt faintly of liquorice. They wouldn’t draw pictures of themselves flying kites with their brothers (if they had any) or playing on a seesaw with their sisters (which they don’t).
And they wouldn’t decorate the envelope with stickers and glitter and glue, although they might, and probably definitely would, seal the envelope closed with a little glob of melted red wax, pushing their fingertips into it while it congealed to leave a unique (and incomprehensible) mark. They wouldn’t do that because they enjoyed it, or even because they the ogre who received the letter might enjoy it, but because it would make them feel important in some way, and also that was the way things were done, and the way everyone else did them, and always had.
It was important not to do things differently, just in case the new way of doing things turned out to be enjoyable, and enjoyable was the worst thing any activity could be, if you asked an ogre.
Enough About Ogres
While we have been wondering about ogres, and their letters, which we will never see and probably would not ever want to have done if we did, there are other important questions we haven’t asked yet, with answers that are just as interesting, such as who delivers these letters anyway, and who bakes all those cakes, and cleans all the dishes (the ones that the ogres haven’t accidentally eaten, at any rate), and keeps the towers clean and the fires running so that the ogres can carry on with their moping without interruption and distraction for as long as they live, which is forever.
Concerning What Would Come Afterwards
I haven’t written anything else but it’d be all about the creatures that live in the basements and deliver the post and have adventures in the forest I suppose.