Tales of Old Earth


Most human cultures in the Peraverse and some not-so-human preserve tales reputed to originate from a mythical planet called Old Earth.  Whether it still exists, where it may be found in the Peraverse, and from which millennium these tales date, no one can say. 

Be warned, dear reader: these tales are a puzzling enigma that defy historical analysis. They refer to concepts, practices, objects, places, creatures and people without any explanation. But, culturally, they are invaluable. They imply a lost, rich tradition of story-telling, and offer glimpses of a bygone understanding of the human condition.

So, to casual readers and scholars alike, welcome to what is hoped will become the pre-eminent collection of Tales of Old Earth.

Latest collected tale

A sinister-looking masquerade mask in red and gold. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Masquerade mask from Wikimedia Commons

Masquerade Ball

By DW Brownlaw, March 2023.

I stand beneath smokey and flickering candelabras, amid silent, masked and costumed dancers. This masquerade ball is a swirling time of celebration and indulgence, of the elite revelling in their wealth and power. Yet they dance in silence. 

Read on (under 3 minutes)

Tales collection earlier

Office photocopier,
by Engin Akyurt.
Source: pexels.com

Going the Extra Mile

By DW Brownlaw, February 2023.

"You're doing WHAT?!" called Abigail.

But Prama, Abigail's daily companion on the 7:15 from Woking, swept away in a torrent of commuters cascading down the steps into Waterloo's Underground. Of her laughably unfashionable Hippy dress and floral waistcoat, there was no trace, and her last words drowned in the cacophony of voices, trains and announcements.

Read on (5 minutes)

A display of Roman amphorae. Source: Wikimedia Commons

A display of Roman amphorae.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Shipping Wine to Latin Britannia

By DW Brownlaw, November 2022.

Footsteps clattering past Serenity’s door distracted her from the panic of a late night study session.

Sounds resumed which she’d been ignoring, updating her stream of student news. Wordless murmuring voices in the shared kitchen advertised changing relationships. A soft, rhythmic bass thrummed through the building's structure with more discipline than other nights, which indicated a jam session with distant band members over the Internet.

Read on (under 3 minutes)

An outcrop of boulders, at the top of a hill, seen against a blue sky. Source unknown

An outcrop of boulders, at the top of a hill, seen against a blue sky.
Source unknown

The Outcrop

By DW Brownlaw, May 2019.

See this photo of some old rocks? Have you ever wondered why I have it framed and on the wall? Well, I guess you're old enough to tell, but you have to sit down and listen to an introduction first.

I first met Harry at Flannagan’s where I served behind the bar. We seemed to click together, and it wasn’t long before we were dating. He was definitely my type ...

Read on (under 4 minutes)

Wooden plough.
Source Wikimedia Commons

It was a Problem from Day One

By DW Brownlaw, January 2020.

We were, what you would call, a dysfunctional family.

I married a scold, a nag, a very strong-willed woman. We argued over everything and, not being strong enough to beat her often, I usually lost. Had I any choice, maybe I would have left her long ago. But I was lonely and needed someone. Thanks to a pioneering chest operation in my youth, I’ve never been a strong man which is why I couldn’t beat her much and why I needed her help. So she ruled the roost, and she knew it. For example, every time we had to relocate, once in a hurry, it was always because of her; I just had to go along with it. 

Read on (6 minutes)

Teacup, by Charlotte May.
Source: pexels.com

How to Join the Circus

By DW Brownlaw, March 2019.

The moment had arrived. I took a ragged breath, let it go and put my teacup back in its saucer. Its slight rattle betrayed my nervousness and I hoped Mother would miss this telling clue.

“I want to join the circus,” I said.

Read on (under 1 minute)