The Morpheus Piper

It’s that Friday Fictioneers feeling once again: writers of varying stripes come together under a shared banner and have fun writing flash fiction inspired by Madison Woods’s photo prompt.  Here’s this weeks’:

Madison’s site hosts the original image along with her story.  Other authors’ stories will be linked in the comments section there.  Here’s the link to follow:

Below is my entry for this week.  I hope you enjoy and, just as before, I am always very happy to receive comments and feedback/critique.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

The Morpheus Piper

In the Place Beyond I am deified, a saviour of souls. Their laughter and song manifest in a pleasant haze of synaesthesia, rich colours swirling along the edges of my reverie. Suddenly, the pipes tremble insistently in their nook, reminding me that my time as a Morpheus Piper is not yet at an end.  I stir from my bed of silken dreamthreads and begin a melody to part the veil.

In the cities, I am a ragged vagabond, beneath notice and so free to seek the Pained Ones.  The first is on the Rainbow Bridge, distraught. And the last is no better, a pistol clutched with fevered hands.  Seven in all, they resonate variously to the tune of solitude.  I play counterpoint on my pipes and discord becomes harmony as I lead them to their Place Beyond.


31 comments on “The Morpheus Piper

  1. Sandra says:

    A very rich piece with lots of sensations swirling throughout. I liked the image of rising from ‘a bed of silken dreamthreads’ to ‘part the veil’. Excellent this, a piece I will remember.

  2. The Rainbow Bridge?! From Norse Mythology? Is the narrator Heimdall, by any chance?

    This was awesome. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Here’s mine:

    • Hehe, I didn’t have those references in mind when writing, but they certainly could work. I was actually writing about the Rainbow bridge in Tokyo bay. Seemed like a place he might find a troubled soul (although it is a lovely spot in a wonderful city) Thanks for your very kind (and interesting!) comment and I’m sorry for the delay in replying.

  3. Jeannie says:

    Oh what fantastic imagery is here! I’ve got goosebumps. Well done!!

    Here is mine: it is a prose poem rather than a story:

  4. elmowrites says:

    Great piece, and some fantastic imagery, Andy. I wasn’t sure what it had to do with the picture, but I really didn’t care becuase I thought you created your own images so well.

    I’m over here:

    • Thanks for such complimentary feedback. As to the connection to the photo prompt, I saw the nest(?) as being very similar to some alien form of Pan pipes, which led me to the piper and the cellar/shack took me back to the homeless guy in my Archivist story. Random, I know but there you go 🙂 So sorry for the late reply, I’m pretty much playing catch up following some busy personal situations.

  5. niiko47 says:

    Magnificent story, full of wonderful language and imagery as always.
    I’m amazed at how different our stories always are, as you pluck these fantastically imaginitive ideas out of the ether!

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Janet says:

    You language and imagery is beautiful. I took the story to mean that the protagonist was helping people who commit suicide to the Place Beyond. Despite their violent end, they would be guided gently.

    Here’s mine:

    • Thanks for such lovely feedback, Janet. My original idea was that the piper was catching these people before they took that step. That said, I ended up writing this in a way which I hoped meant readers could take away their own meanings. Sorry for such a late reply, and thanks again 🙂

      • Janet says:

        Don’t apologize, I’ve fallen so far behind I just spent half a day catching up with 100 messages in of my inbox and still there’s more to do!

  7. teschoenborn says:

    Deep, magical, vibrant, mystical. The language you use creates the feel of high fantasy. And fantasy of any flavor is my addiction. How could I not love it?

    Here’s mine:

  8. Carlos says:

    Hey, I used to know a guy like that, but that was back in the 60s. Quite a flight from the photo, but you create a world dreamy to look at and dreamy in itself. Nice.

  9. Lora Mitchell says:

    Poetic…Rainbow Bridge? Some of the fantasy world reminded me of Brigadoon and Camelot. Beautiful. I could never write like that..not in a million years. but it’s okay. Here’s my simple story:

  10. The Lime says:

    The scene is vivid and for some reason, I just sank right into the second paragraph. I love the wealth of detail and interwoven nature of it, maybe. Gorgeous.

    And thank you for your incredibly kind comment this week. Really — I can’t imagine a nicer compliment.

    • Thank you for such lovely feedback. I’m really happy you touched on the interwoven aspect of this; I often enjoy ‘layering’ when I write. I hope my stories can be read ‘as is’ or in detail. For example, the seven people (Pained Ones) resonating variously to the tune of solitude could also be the notes of the diatonic minor scale (a very muso-anoraky bit of fun).
      I’m so sorry for getting back to you so late. I seem to have been spread thin of late. I’m glad you liked my comment on yours 🙂

  11. Atiya says:

    I do not know what synaesthesia means I had to stop and look it up. Sadly my dictionary did not have the word. How ever I figured I’d read on and was still very impressed. You paint a picture of beings entranced by the harmony that brings them to their after lives. Great Flash

    I’m here:

    • Synaesthesia (synesthesia in N. America) is a condition/phenomenon whereby an individual experiences on form of sensory input via another e.g. seeing sounds, tasting colours and so on.
      Thank you for your very kind comments and apologies for such a late response. 🙂

  12. ron pruitt says:

    Hi Andy,
    Love the title, and the whole thing is just beautifully written with flowing descriptive phrases. I liked the contrast between the beautiful Place Beyond and the gritty setting of the city. Great story!
    Here’s mine:

  13. Beautiful, poetic in it’s telling. I loved the gentleness and compassion of this “gatherer” of souls. Lovely flip-side of the Grim Reaper. Thanks for sharing such a lovely piece.

    P.S. Thank you for visiting my blog–I appreciated your kind words.

  14. dmmacilroy says:

    A view from the grave? Dream weaver’s day job? Music hath charms to soothe the transitioning soul.

    Lovely work,



  15. Madison Woods says:

    That was awesome. I loved the imagery it conjured, loved the mythology it leaned on and have been touched in some way by it that won’t erase. Very very nice.

  16. Took me a few reads to interpret this properly, someone to lead suicides to a restful place, or to the Dreamlands, but I liked this a lot. The contrast between the Morpheus Piper’s starting point, and the darker feel of the city where he finds them. Strange and absorbing, beautifully written.

    My offering is over here:

  17. Lindaura says:

    very magical treatment of a very tragic story. Gorgeously written and expressed, you dream weaver you, even if your dreamy strains lead only to death.
    Here is mine:

  18. Quill Shiv says:

    I do understand the connection between the prompt and the story. I’m having a hard time putting it into words at the moment, but when I am able to, I’ll return.

    What I liked best about this piece is the subtle character nod that that Morpheus Piper is doing his duty out of a type of punishment, and that it will, at some point end, and pass to someone else. Very elegantly done.

    My link is here:

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