Emp'uh'uh of the empire

The Emp'uh'uh

The Setup

At a writing meet up I had 20 minutes to write something based on the word 'empire', so I turned to my trusty Rory's Story Cubes app while the others chatted. I 'rolled' 4 cubes on my phone to act as prompts, and they helped me write 'The Emp'uh'uh' that night. I seem to remember one cube was a dragonfly, another a cat, but I can't remember the others. Normally I photograph them to remind me. Sometimes the writing goes well and I was pleased with my imagination in this one. See what you think...

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Murder. No mystery.

The runes were cast and these are what the gods came back with - a black cat, a lightning bolt, a light bulb, an eye, a question, a footprint, an abacus, a compass and a magic wand - see the picture! I did my best with this meagre material... so here is my offering!Read more


Tommy's tale

It was getting very late and everyone was dispirited after the last announcement given personally by the nervous station master who had since retired to his snug office with the small but bright fire in the grate.

"Unfortunately due to the heavy snowfall there will be no trains until tomorrow mid morning by which time the line is expected to be clear enough to allow passage through." were his words. "I'm sorry to say that, because of the weather, you will have to make the best of the accommodation we have here..." he had waved around somewhat feebly, at the confines of the simple waiting room, they were situated in. "At least there's a fire, and plenty of logs to feed it with", he had said.

After the station master had hurriedly left there had been some grumbling but they all agreed there was really nothing they could do. There was no hotel or guest house open for miles as it was winter, and this was a thinly populated suburb and not a skiing resort of any nature. They must make the best of it. So some tried to make rudimentary sleeping arrangements, chiefly consisting of finding a corner to prop themselves up in, or annoy their neighbours on the seating by falling on them every few minutes as they fell asleep.

A thickset man, in his 50's, a salesman he'd said, decided to try and cheer things up, in his own oblique way it must be said, by coming out with a few stories of things that had happened to him, in his travels on the road.
One or two others became interested and reciprocated with their own tales, but after a while they seemed to be drying up, until a well-built blonde woman at the back in the darkness of the railway station's waiting room said in a low voice to a man who may or may not have been her husband, as far as the listeners knew.

“Tell them Tommy. It might help.” she said. Her partner, who was probably in his early 60s, seemed reluctant to go forward, but eventually he moved towards the light and speaking hesitantly at first, said, “I’ve an experience to share." He looked around at the expectant onlookers. "My sister thinks it might be good for me if I tell you my story. She calls it a story, anyway. But it won’t make the snow disappear and I don’t think it will make the train come any sooner.”
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