World of Hate – Poem

Curse ideas in all their form

What use are they to achieve one’s goal?

When the demon roams the hall

Of the membrane we must fall

And what if fate one looks

Finding a road one mustn’t take

When your life was a mistake

In a world of hate


© Christopher Stamfors

The Swedish Myth

In Europe, Sweden was amongst the last to be christened. I think there is a correlation between the time of christendom and how pious a country is. Granted, Sweden was highly religious, as most of Europe were, during the renaissance up until the end of the 1800s. But this is a relatively short time spann, considering how much earlier other countries became christened. This could explain why the people in the southern Europe remained Catholic while countries in the North converted.

But let’s backtrack a bit, because the nature of Norse mythology and the geographical location of Sweden, is also important when learning about Sweden.

It was actually with relative ease the vikings embraced Christianity. They saw Jesus as simply as yet another deity in their already large roster of gods. Not much changed for the converted, but in time, as we all know, the christian belief and practises overtook the Norse. It is said that the people in Svealand (the area around Stockholm) in the 11th century would still call for Thor’s aid when charging into battle, which is a sign that the old Norse traditions died hard.

I’d like to believe, as a Swede myself, that another reason Scandinavians converted with relative ease is that we are a very practical people. It’s easier to believe in one god rather than several, after all. However, something that remained even though Sweden was Christian, were the stories about the creatures hidden in the woods, under your house, in the sea and in the darkness of the night. These tales about trolls and other magical creatures stayed in people’s consciousness for many centuries to come, especially in isolated villages, which Sweden had many of. It is well known that Sweden is sparsely populated for its size, this was especially true a couple of hundred years ago. Imagine, large stretches of untouched forests and a village, with only a couple hundred people were the nearest neighbour is a week away on foot. This meant that the peasant communities had to be self-sufficient and it’s not hard to imagine the tales being told in such small and isolated communities. Parents telling their children about trolls snatching kids if they are not careful, or about werewolves and Draugs by the campfire during winter.

But it wasn’t just the wilderness where these fairy creatures could be found, they could be found on ships and in homes, were the animals lived and under rocks. There were ways to appease these creatures, much like they had done with the Norse gods before them. One such tradition was to offer a bowl of porridge to the house elf to keep the home safe and don’t cause mischief. These creatures weren’t strictly evil but there were those that were malicious and could kill you if you angered them. These tales became christened, of course, as they became more and more associated with the devil. A very clear example of this change is that they say trolls hate the sound of church bells and could be driven away by the holy cross and such. It was a comfort for these people to have these explanations to why bad things happened to them and that they had ways to prevent misfortune.

These traditions were so hard to get rid of that there are documents about maidens running around naked in the meadow in 1600 century Småland as a ritual of fertility.

All these things, I believe, has shaped how Swedes view themselves and the world today. For instance, the famous Swedish melancholy stem from Stig Larssons movies, but has roots further than that. It is not so much that we are a depressed people, we are an inward looking people, think a lot and are more comfortable within small groups. We aren’t very spiritual either, though most people would acknowledge that there’s “something” that we cannot explain. But if we don’t believe in Gods anymore, nor fairy creatures, then what is this “something?” We don’t have an answer to that and it’s how should be when confronting the otherworldly. The norse Gods were faceless, imageless; we knew they existed and our sacrifices matter, but that was all we knew. Perhaps we are going back to this ambiguity?


A little brain dump from my part. Hope you enjoyed it!

Abandoned – Very Short Story

The floor was cold as I awoke. My jaw was sore and my body was stiff, and when I opened my eyes, I couldn’t tell where I was. It was dark. The walls were pitch-black but I could see a bed without a mattress. One of the springs were loose… I tried to stand, with some difficulty, and when my senses had gathered I endeavoured to move. I had no recollection of where I was or how I ended up here – whatever here was. There were large metal bars in my way that felt course on my hands. It seemed that I was a prisoner, of some sort, that much was clear. My attire confirmed my suspicion, wearing a grey jumpsuit, the one associate with criminals. I rattled the bars and felt them move. Pieces of the concrete rained on my head. A hard enough push and the bars would come crashing down, I imagined. But for some reason, I hesitated. Something was wrong. It was too quiet… Too dreary, or maybe this was common? I wasn’t sure. Had I deserved to be imprisoned? I didn’t know. Surely I was not?

In either case, I felt the bars and after some force, it all collapsed loudly on the floor. I stood paralysed as the crash echoed in my ears and through the hall, before it became deathly silence once more. I stepped out and felt cold wind on me. It whined through a broken window, which I approached. There wasn’t much of anything that I could see in the distance, only trees and an empty courtyard below. There was a lonely car parked near the entrance and I imagined it to be a means to my escape. I turned back to the hall and was engaged to find my way downstairs when I became paralysed once more. There was only utter darkness ahead, the light from the window seemed to die halfway down the hall and I shuddered at the thought of heading into it. But, seeing no other way I steeled myself and headed towards it. One could only wonder why the prison had been abandoned to begin with and why I was its sole inhabitant, so I did not, and focused instead on my escape.

Only now did I realise my feet were bare. The floor was course and a multitude of different things, and pieces, lay scattered that made me painfully aware of my naked feet. But I kept on moving, feeling with my hands on the right side of the wall to not lose my way. The wall disappeared and I imagined the hallway forked to my right, and as I was about to head that way, my feet became firmly planted on the floor. There was a scratching noise, like metal being dragged against the concrete floor and I froze. I remained still as it came closer, making efforts to breathe shallow breaths. Though I did not see it, I felt the strangers presence as it lurked past me and when it reached the light I became vindicated that I had made the right choice and remained still. He was a massive man, muscular and faceless. And the weapon, that seemed light for a man of his stature, was dragged along the floor, like it was his purpose to make his presence known. He stopped by my cell and inspected it.

I struggled to keep quiet as it searched my former abode, and when it deemed it empty, it returned the same way it came. Only when the sounds were distant did I dare to move. I decided that my only way of escape was through the window and I searched for anything to make a rope out of. I searched other cells too, though I avoided the locked ones in fear of making any sounds that would attract the monster to me. I gathered all the cloth I could find and managed a rope that I hoisted out the window. It seemed to reach all the way down and I did not hesitate to throw myself out into the world. It had started to rain, which made the climb more difficult, but I was in high spirit, when, from the window, a figured stared down at me. A moment later, I held onto nothing and I was falling, along with my makeshift rope.

They say that your life flashes before your eyes before you die. I can say with certainty that this is true, and as mine did I no longer feared death and accepted my fate.


© Christopher Stamfors

Art by ChrisCold

Give It Up – Poem

Nobody lies down to die

At the prospect of betterment

For giving up is the same as death


© Christopher Stamfors

How the First Day was Born – Very Short Story

On the street we crowded, staring upward at a tower. We huddled with our loved ones. There was darkness all around, even the heavens was black. The girl in my arms shivered, the woman behind me, her teeth they clattered, and the man beside, he murmured, his breath felt upon the vapour.

Then, a small glimmer shone through a slither, in the cracks of the wall of the tower. The glimmer moved higher and higher, disappearing and reappearing as it moved upwards. We kept our eyes on her, and when the light reached the top, we saw our Godess in all her beaming light, sharing her glory upon us.

The light it spread all over the city. The dirt, that was black, turned brown. The clothes, that were grey, turned white. I saw the face around me. Our tears they glimmered and our bodies fumed. The warmth of her rays buckled us and we crumbled in the dirt.

She stretched out her arms, and in a single breath, we could see her no more but a blur of everlasting glory that illuminate everything. And so did a thousand years of darkness end, and the first day was born. 


© Christopher Stamfors

Art by: ChrisCold

This was a snippet (or a concept) from a Novel that I’ve been tinkering with for some time. It’s a fantasy with a creation story and I hope you enjoy!

Cloud of Doubt – Poem

What we want and what we need

are two different things

Things with purpose,

Oftan striving towards a goal,

Things that help us reach said goal

With purpose we make.

But with purpose comes needs,

Things that are more important than others

More difficult.

We tend to avoid them

Waste the day away at things that are numbing,

Without purpose

unimportant.

Do we need it?

Do we want it?

Questions asked in futility

For we already know them,

Yet we avoid them.

Our true purpose hidden

In a cloud of doubt


© Christopher Stamfors

Desert Ocean – Poem

Waves of the desert, dunes rising high, they are the bridges across the empty stretches, of the land where nothing survive.

But across this empty land, there lie riches abundant, foreign lands who yearn our wares.

We are are the people of the forest, where the goddess shed her tears.

Good coin is to be had in things we find most common, gifts by the goddess which foreigners would do anything to get their hands on. 

Yet the strait between is vast, and it’s too soon to count our fortune, much can go wrong when riding the waves of torture.

Carry us high, Oh dunes of the dry land, the fair golden grain that are harsh and coarse, the deadly wind which we must put our faith in, we, our lives are at Death’s door.


© Christopher Stamfors

If you liked this you might like Invisible Touch

Fame – Very Short Story

The bar was dark and dreary. The chairs and tables were almost full, and there was no music, as far as Joseph could tell. He couldn’t even hear the conversation on the table next to him, only managing snippets of words that didn’t make sense. His companion, a man named Robert, sat across to him. He was a thinly man, with a tortured expression. It always infuriated Joseph when he saw his friend, who by any measure should be as happy as could be. Joseph heaved the last of his drink, grabbed the waiter, and ordered another round. As the beer made short work of the string around his tongue, he said. “I don’t get you. You have everything you could ever want; fame, money, people like you. Why would you still be gloomy?”

Robert raised his head, for the first time in a while. He looked confused, as if his mind had been somewhere else and was rudely drawn back to the present by Josephs words. “Would you believe me if I said fame is a curse?”

“No,” Joseph replied.

“I thought so…” Robert said and took a sip of his drink.

There was silence between them and Joseph stroke his beard, like he often did when deep in thought, trying to understand what his friend was thinking. When he failed, he shook his head. “You are the most humble man I ever known. Fame hasn’t changed you one bit.”

Robert smiled ruefully. “I suppose you are right.”

Joseph eyed his friend, growing angrier and angrier as the beer flowed. Then, at the 7th drink, he calmed and instead pitied his friend who had found no joy in his accomplishments; accomplishments that he himself desperately sought.

“If fame is such a curse, why don’t you just end it all? Make a joke about the queen, that should do the trick.”

Robert smiled at that, a genuine smile that turned sour as quickly as it had emerged. “Vanity.”

“What?”

“Vanity is what keeps me from doing it. I had thought of it, of course, though, not necessarily in the way you suggested. I’ll keep that in mind, though,” he said with a smile.”

If any other man had made such a remark, Joseph would have assumed he was fastidious, but he knew his friend’s mind was pure, naive, even. He was a child when it came to his friends, dangerously honest, which also made him pleasant to be around. It was why Joseph valued his friendship.

“So even you have sin. I thought it was just your characters.”

Robert quirked his mouth and he looked with dreary eyes at his friend. “Oh my dear Joseph, where do you think my characters come from?” he said and pointed to his head.

There was an eerie feeling the way he said it and Joseph did not bring up the subject again. After a few more beers, the night came to an end, and they went their separate ways. It was dark and gloomy, the street lights shone dimly from age. To his right, there was a bookstore and a window that showcased the latest works. His friend’s book were among them.

Joseph stared at the cover and it made him shiver. The artist had really encapsulated the essence of Roberts story, he thought. Joseph turned and peered beside him, as if expecting somebody to emerge from the dark.

Anyone has a little darkness inside of them, hopefully, it stays in there…


© Christopher Stamfors​

Art by ChrisCold

A Dragon’s Curse – Very Short Story

When I was a child, my friend and I would often swim in the local lake that was a fair distance from any village. It would take us over an hour to walk there, but it was worth it, for even in the hottest summer the water would be cool and refreshing. There was a reason why nobody had ever built near that lake, or made use of it in any way, and that reason begins with a tale:

Once upon a time, there was a great dragon that made this land his own. The dragon had always been here and he enjoyed the domination over the land. But for centuries, man had grown and spread across the continent, eventually coming to the dragon’s domain. The people sought the land for it was beautiful and bountiful but the dragon would have no trespassers. Among the people, there was one knowledgeable in magic, and he crafted a magical spearhead that would be able to penetrate the dragon’s scales.

But who would dare come close enough to hurl the spear at the monster? This is where the story gets muddy and there are many names for the hero that threw the magic spear. But no matter the version, the dragon was always killed. On his last breath, the dragon put a curse his own body as he crashed into the lake, making it plague ridden and putrid. Such goes the tale which all in the area takes to heart. However, the age of superstition is past us and a new era of science have begun! We knew this already as children, thus we dismissed this tale.

Alas, my friend and I grew healthy into our adult years (even though we swam in the cursed lake), and we would return upon our childhood lands, riding in what would be the ultimate proof of the change of times!

Soaring across the sky, we sailed the current with what they called a Hot Air Balloon. People gasped as we passed and we waved at them, passing many places me and friend often played. It was humbling to see the view of the lowlands which we’d grown up, a view no man had ever seen, except the dragon himself!

As we closed in on the lake, hidden in the wilderness, we saw nothing man made, only unspoiled virgin land. The water was still and dark. We were unable to see anything below the surface, and as we sailed away I saw something at the corner of my eye. There was a shimmer, not that of the sun reflecting on water, but a clear, single red glare in the darkest depths of the lake.

I stared at the light, and it seemed as if it stared back, glaring at me. Suddenly, my legs barely held me up and my mind was swirling. A voice echoed in my head. “Ye who has not suffered upon my curse shall bare witness to the folly of man.”

Then, the voice stopped and my mind became clear once more. My friend stooped over me and wondered what had happened, but I could not tell because I didn’t know myself. Had I succumbed the so called Altitude Sickness which they warned? Or had the voice really been there, warning me of a great evil set on man?

We landed in a nearby town, a few hours later. It was not my hometown, thankfully, for chaos would soon ensue. A sickness ravaged the town which forced us to flee. But even as we came to the next town over and the next after that, the disease would follow us and soon the bodies piled on each other. I didn’t want to believe it, and only when my best friend caught the ailment did I face the reality of those words the dragon had spoken.

He died shortly after.

I knew then that man cannot hope to look to the future without understanding its past, of that I am certain and living memory. I write these last words as I will end my life in the darkness of the greatest ravines and on the highest mountains, hoping that nobody will find my remains which carries the Dragon’s Curse.


© Christopher Stamfors​

Art by ChrisCold

 

Death Comes Silently – Very Short Story

Tension was high as James and his men skulked along the undergrowth. The air was thick and hard to breathe; and they had to be careful not to sink their entire feet into the soggy earth lest their shoes would disappear into the mud. He and his unit had become lost along the offensive and all contact between them and the main force had been lost. Despite sending many scouts to find their way, nobody returned and the soldiers were getting nervous.

Talks of them being surrounded circulate among the men and nobody dared to go anywhere unless they were in sight of the others. It was pointless to send anymore to their deaths and rather than risking going even deeper into enemy territory, he decided to dig in and wait for relief. They found a hill which they fortified as well as they could, giving them view over the endless forest jungle. James wanted to scream out in frustration, but he couldn’t; he was an officer, and an officer could never complain, at least when his men saw, which was always.

The air was particularly still that night. James was used to deafening sounds of the jungle, at night; the bellowing monkeys, the shrieking birds and the endless buzzing of thousands of different insect species. They had become but a hiss in his ears, unnecessary sounds they wouldn’t aid his survival. But in their absence, there was something ghostly about the jungle. James couldn’t fully relax that night, though he heard his men snore and whisper.

Though being cautious was a virtue in war, James was but a man and he soon succumbed on the dry floor of the officer’s tent. He’d never liked beds, or anything soft, for that matter. Perhaps he’d been born a soldier, definitely not meant for modern conveniences. His eyes and ears were keen and his men depended on him, like a guard dog, which was another layer of responsibility on top of the commanding one. It was as if he was the hound and the human, at the same time.

His eyes felt heavy and he was near blissful unconsciousness, when he heard muffled voices at his ear. Are they crazy? Talking so loud on enemy turf?! But as he rose to tell his men off, the muffled voices vanished. He stared at the ground for a moment, not wanting to believe, but as his ear reached on the ground anew, he heard the muffled speech of the enemy.

And before he could shout out a warning, there was already an explosion and gunfire. Bullets whined through the tent, ricocheting on his canteen and then, a burning at his throat. James stumbled out of the tent only to fall with blood rising through his mouth. The last thing heard was the screams of the men and those that tried to bring order to the chaos.

It didn’t take long before the cries silenced and the animals and the crickets returned to their usual calls…


© Christopher Stamfors

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