I’ve not written any fiction for six years.
I hadn’t realised it had been that long until I was going through some books today and uncovered the two volumes of The Northlore Series that I have three stories included in (Volume One: Folklore; Volume Two: Mythos), along with a poem.
I sat down and read my contributions. Reading them for the first time in a while felt strange, as though they’d been penned by someone else. The last one was published in 2016, and since then it seems that my focus has been solely on poetry and non-fiction.
I enjoyed becoming acquainted with those characters again: Alfred Cartwright, the former English teacher finding himself trapped in the horror of the Somme, and Andy, the young, infatuated, wannabe writer, working in a Manchester cafe for a little extra money.
As any reader or writer will know, fictional characters take on flesh in the mind’s eye, appearing in the form that our imaginations give to them. But with the final character – a Lutheran Pastor ministering to a small rural village in Norway, I had a little help with an illustration provided by the series’ artist, Evelinn Enoksen:
I peered at his face, up close, thinking ah, I remember you. Torsten Göransson, the Stockholm man of faith, struggling through the snow.
It made me think of other characters that I have, neither drawn nor written, existing half-formed in the back of my mind, having been pushed back further down the line.
Maybe I should consider bringing some of them out into the light? Maybe they want to breathe a little?
Maybe I should turn my focus inwards and ask “Who’s there?”
Perhaps after this oral history project is completed.