Welcome to the Darkside...

...join me, Akasha Savage, as I brave the deepest dungeons and scale the misty mountains to achieve my dream: to see my novel Bathory in print. I will take you by the hand and keep you beside me as I cross this uncharted territory...

...let us step into the moonlit darkness together...

Friday, 12 February 2010

The Exquisite Corpse #2

In an earlier blog I mentioned an exercise I took part in at the writers group I attend. The exercise was entitled The Exquisite Corpse. At the end of that exercise I ended up with this sentence: The delicate carpet grumpily meandered the black underpass. I had to make-up a story based on that sentence.

This is what I came up with ~

Long, long ago, in a time and land now forgotten, there lived a maker of carpets. He was a pale weak individual with a delicate disposition. If he had ever possessed a birth name that too had been erased by the mists of time. He was simply known as Carpetta.

Carpetta had forged for himself throughout the years a healthy reputation. He may not have been strong in mind, body or spirit, but his moral up-standing and the pride he bestowed on his work shone through. All who knew him, loved him.

All except one.

Zachariah Tognetti.

Zachariah was a necromancer, an evil enchanter who spent his days trying to conjure up the souls of the dead. It was not uncommon for blood-curdling screams and flashes of light from yet undiscovered worlds, to burst forth from Castle Tognetti.

The castle stood on the northernmost point of Carpetta's village, brooding at the bottom of the Ochre Mountains. None who had ever entered the castle had come out alive.

All except one.


Many years before, when the earth was young, and the sun shone bright and true, a pedlar wandered into the village. He had for sale many wondrous items of magic and mystery. Zachariah purchased a flying carpet: a carpet ~ the pedlar proclaimed ~ that would take the enchanter to the edge of the world and beyond.

But how gullible can be even the most sharp-minded.

It did not take Zachariah many hours to discover he had been deceived. The carpet could fly, but only round and round in ever increasing circles; giving the evil necromancer giddy head-rush and nauseous stomach cramps.

Zachariah Tognetti was furious. He mounted his mighty steed and galloped after the departed pedlar, bound him in chains and dragged him back to the castle. Once there the poor pedlar was thrown in the deepest, darkest dungeon and Zachariah cast a spell over him. A spell that turned the seller of magic goods into a walking, talking carpet. A shoddy carpet. Thin and threadbare. Delicate and fragile.

Zachariah laughed at the pedlar's misfortune. Declared the only way to reverse the enchantment was for the carpet to escape from Castle Tognetti. He nicknamed the living carpet: Carpetta.

Carpetta paced the dungeon night and day. Plotting his escape. But all to no avail.

Fifteen years passed by.

Each year Carpetta grew ever more threadbare, ever more delicate, ever more grumpy hearted: thinking he would never leave the confines of Castle Tognetti.

But fifteen years of pacing had worn the dungeon floor thin. One day it caved in beneath Carpetta's endlessly pacing feet. Carpetta fell through to a narrow dark tunnel.

The delicate carpet grumpily meandered the black underpass. Second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, the tunnel beneath the castle began to grow lighter, as it did, so did Carpetta's mood.

After two hours of walking, the carpet stepped out into bright dazzling sunlight. Zachariah's spell slippedfrom his shoulders. Carpetta was a man once more. He made his way to the village and told his tale to all who would listen. The villagers recieved Carpetta with welcoming arms, rejoicing in the fact that he'd escaped from the evil clutches of Zachariah Tognetti.

But some of the enchantment remained. Carpetta was ever pale and delicate, a fragile shell of the man he'd once been. He also found he now had a skill, a skill that out shone any other, the skill of carpet-making.

Carpetta was declared the best carpet-maker of the land. People travelled from far and wide to purchase his wares.

In his dark castle at the foot of the Ochre Mountains, the evil necromancer rants and raves, plots and schemes, awaiting his chance to re-capture the travelling pedlar: Carpetta.


  1. That's fun. I think a writer's prompt at a writing group is great way to get the juices flowing. I like the way you develop mood here. There is a playful darkness at work.

  2. "the evil necromancer" reminds me of Rasputin... Yikes! I really like how you told this like a fairy tale. In fact, it had the flavors of "The Arabian Nights" in it... maybe because of the whole carpet image that is indelibly imprinted on my mind and associated with those 1001 Nights. I don't play around with prompts much, but it really is amazing where they can make your mind go. This piece seems a bit of a departure from your style, Akasha, but there are still those flavors of darkness here and there that make it so very yours. I really enjoyed this!


  3. That was a real challenge, Akasha. You did an amazing job. I participated in an exercise once where we wrote short stories including three bizarre items. It was good fun. Sadly I don't have time for recreational writing these days. It's all work, work, work!

  4. Stewart ~ It was fun. I always find it a bit difficult when I can't choose what I want to write about, but I enjoyed this.

    Nevine ~ Glad you liked it. My aim was to write it in the style of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, so it was nice to read your comment.
    I love Rasputin!

    Leigh ~ I'm not too keen on these writing challenges really. Firstly, I hate working to a choosen theme, and secondly, it uses up my precious time: time I need to spend on my novel. I know how hard you are working lately, I follow your blog avidly. You're doing good x

  5. I loved your story, Akasha. It makes me think of Wilhelm Hauff's fairy tales.
    Like you, I don't really like writing as an exercise, especially when I have so little time available for my "real" writing.

    I thought I had left a comment on your previous post but I see that it's not there... Maybe I only intended to leave one... Anyway, huge congratulations on receiving the award! I'm very much looking forward to reading the published Bathory!

  6. Vesper ~ Thank you everyone's comments on Bathory mean so much to me. I'm working so hard to finish it for this summer, but the time is just running away with me. :)

  7. That came out really well! :-) I always want to use writing prompts to get the juices flowing, but never do...

    On a side note, sorry it took so long for me to update your link on my blog; it just kept slipping my mind. But it's all up to date now.

  8. onipar ~ glad you liked my little tale, as I've already said I'm not a great lover of writing prompts, but this worked out okay.

    As for linking to my blog, if you're anything like me, I have a myriad of things on my 'mental' list to do and never seem to get round to any of them. :)