I recently joined an on-line writer’s group called Iron Writer. It is a little like literary Improv where you are given elements (usually impossibly incongruous) and have to concoct a 500 word story employing them. This is the result of the most recent challenge. The elements were: an Osiria rose; a novel; a photo album and a talking piano.
A ROSE OF OSIRIA
Many abhor storms and bad weather but I find them either invigorating or soothing. Of course I eschew the type that can relocate your house to Oz, but I love a gray Navy day. A night summer squall has paused momentarily and my window is open so I can enjoy a gentle rain should it return. I am in a happy place. Power is out so I am perusing my Mother’s photo journal by candlelight – reminded of her by the intoxicating scent of her favorite magnolia outside. I am reminiscing about earlier days and the stories she told and memories she created. Or, maybe the fragrance is drifting from that peculiar rose bush which burst forth from our fertile river bottom soil last year. It seemed out of place at the time but has been accepted. Only one person in town could identify it as an Osiria rose. According to him, it is very rare and he was confounded that one could even grow in Zone 7, much less erupt from the earth completely unbeckoned.
Sweet thoughts of mother guided my fingers to the keyboard of my grand piano and gently elicited the pleasing melody of her favorite song. I lapsed into a cozy reverie which was abruptly interrupted by an oddly accented voice – “That feels so good!” “Who is that” I shouted into the darkness, very unsettled. “It is I!” returned the voice which seemed to emanate from my piano. How can my piano be talking to me I mused? “Who is this?” I stuttered. “Oh, you are thinking you are owning a talking piano? ha ha ha ha ha.” “No, It is I, Prince Khashayarsha, Ruler of all Osiria!” “Osiria? I have never heard of such!” “Well, of course you haven’t, but you have heard of Atlantis, no?” “Atlantis wasn’t real,” I stated somewhat indignantly. “Of course it was real” replied the disembodied Prince. “We were most zealous and combative rivals in 4900 BC and were advanced and powerful civilizations.” “You see, instead of the great Mediterranean Sea that exists now, the entire region was a vast and fertile valley.” “We were not the only great peoples thriving in a fertile land, beneficiary of the abundant supply of life-giving waters of the Nile and other rivers.” “Around 1500 BC the Great Flood destroyed all.”
“Fascinating,” I replied, “but what are you doing in my piano?” “I require a home. When a person is dispatched violently into the Netherworld, they remain disconnected for a period of time.” “The heavenly familiar scent of your rose bush drew me here and your piano comforts me.” “I do not wish to have a possessed piano” I protested. “There is no cause for alarm,” said the prince. “I am neither malevolent nor nefarious.” “In fact, I am a magnificent Muse” “I intend no harm and if you are kind enough to let me remain for a period of time, I shall assist you in completing the novel on which you are currently so hopelessly blocked.”
In this surreal moment, the offer seemed to make some bizarre sense. “Agreed” I said!
“Bajarildi!!” shouted the prince. “It is done!”