Jonathan Templar is the author of Mosaic in Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity. We asked Jonathan to tell us what the inspiration behind the story was and this is what he shared with us –
Mosaic: The Inspiration
I usually find it incredibly difficult to trace the origin of things that I’ve written. Their development tends to be the result of a long period of musing and chewing over ideas that nearly always head off in a totally different direction to their original inspiration.
Mosaic, my story for Twisted Realities, is one that owes a lot to long pondering thoughts about potential ideas, but I can, fortunately, trace its genesis to a specific inspiration for once.
I was walking in the woods near my home, woods which contain the remnants of a number of Roman settlements. It can be a remarkable experience, walking through the remains of what had once been a family home that has been almost completely reclaimed by nature, an entire community swallowed by the woods. I can think of few experiences that bring home the fleeting nature of existence more profoundly than walking across what had once been someone’s kitchen floor but has spent the best part of two thousand years abandoned to the elements.
On this particular day I saw a solitary woman digging in a cordoned off area that was clearly some new excavation, her head nearly obscured by the walls of the trench that had been dug into the dirt. From what I could see of her, she looked grubby but blissfully happy.
So I started to think about her, about being out there all alone uncovering forgotten history, and at first I started to play with the idea of her unearthing a mystery, a Roman murder she could solve across the centuries from clues left by a long dead victim. But that’s not very exciting, and it didn’t really capture the sense of civilisation being lost to the woods. And sometimes when you’re out in those woods you really do get the sense that there are things that watch you just as intently from behind the trees. To be fair, it’s normally just a squirrel rather than a satyr, but it got my juices flowing when I began to think about what else might be watching my lonely archaeologist.
At the same time, there was an idea bouncing around in the back of my mind about immortality, and being a mortal in love with someone who would never die. It was the notion of reincarnation that kept biting at me, a mortal who would be reincarnated again and again to serve as an immortals consort, but who wouldn’t be aware of that history until a certain age, or until they encountered a certain stimulus. Or, perhaps, offered up a certain token to their lover. And then the two ideas collided, and the woman at the dig was suddenly uncovering a tableau in the dirt that would be both the story of the past and of her own future.
And then the story started to tell itself.
Explore the twelve tales of horror and intrigue in Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity and ask yourself, what would you consider a fair price to pay for life immortal… or the chance of life at all?
Would a young woman pass up a shiny bauble if she believed it to be nothing more than a harmless trinket? What transpires once a year in a peaceful and remote village that no one will ever speak of? What better way for a broken man to honor a crippled existence than with a memorial of blood and vengeance? How could a disfigured woman ever dream of chancing across an object that would restore her beauty – and at what cost?
Follow the twists and turns of each writer as they delve into the legends of days gone by, as well as the consequences that are wrought when myths and monstrosities collide with our world.
Contributing Authors include:
Thomas James Brown, Nina D’Arcangela, K. Trap Jones, Amber Keller, Lisamarie Lamb, Edward Lorn, Alexa Muir, Kate Monroe, Joseph A. Pinto, J. Marie Ravenshaw, Julianne Snow, and Jonathan Templar
Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity is available in print and digital forms from these fine retailers:
Mosaic is the mesmerizing story of a centuries old love that is rekindled in the most unusual of ways. Here is a longer look at Jonathan’s contribution for Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity –
Ever since they had arrived at Aviandale, the trees had unsettled Andrea.
The woods were dense, but not unusually so. The trees rose up from the hollow in which the settlement had been found, surrounding them on all sides, but she could still see the blue midday sky high above with the careless patterns made by the jet engines that scarred it. If she concentrated, she could even hear the steady sound of traffic from the busy road that lay not half a mile away from where she stood.
But there was something, some rising sense of being swallowed up. It felt almost as if the woods were stealing her gaze, that when she looked upon them they looked back more intensely. She was proud of her gaze, her discriminating talent for observation; she did not want to believe that it could be compromised. She had to push the uneasiness down, not let it take hold. It was all just nonsense, nothing more than a silly city girl’s fear of the great unknown that hid behind nature.
There are no birds though. The trees are empty.
Professor Callan was certainly unconcerned. He was humming a ditty, happily digging at the dirt with his trowel. Beneath their feet was slowly emerging the outline of what had once been a dwelling; a villa, in all likelihood. It was far from unique in this region. There were remnants of Roman settlements all over the surrounding countryside. But that didn’t diminish the excitement of finding a new one, at unearthing the remnants of an ancient life that had been given over to the elements.
Professor Callan held up a small piece of interesting debris to the light, dusted it down gently with a small brush.
“Anything?” asked Andrea.
“Triple-A battery,” Callan sniffed, and tossed it into the bucket of rubbish that was already half full.
“I’ve uncovered some fascinating detail over here, “Andrea told him. “There’s some sign of erosion, but it’s clearly a very detailed mosaic and the quality of the design is exceptional.”
“Yes,” Professor Callan said absently, seemingly more interested in the latest artefact he held between his fingers, which Andrea hoped turned out to be a desiccated dog turd. He’d shown little or no interest in the mosaic since Andrea had first discovered it. And she knew that was why. Because she had uncovered it. Not for the noble professor the sharing of glory, the pleasure of a team discovery. Oh, no. If he couldn’t claim it as his own, he didn’t care what it was.
Selfish, self-centred old fop.
He had selected Andrea to help out on the excavation on what she had first imagined was a whim. She’d been working as an intern on his team for months and got the impression that the good doctor barely knew her name, let alone her potential.
Interested in finding out more about Jonathan? Check out his blog – … a fist full of dust.