Welcome to Fiction Fridays!
Every couple of weeks I use conversational AI to generate a new fiction prompt inspired by the changes and updates to my digital garden. By using conversational AI to generate the prompt, I’m tapping into the power of machine learning to come up with interesting and unexpected ideas that I might not have thought of otherwise. I work on these stories for a few weeks, publishing a new part every Friday.
The prompts are designed to be open-ended and flexible, allowing me to explore a wide range of themes and genres that are aligned with my interests and experiences. However, it is important to remember that these pieces are fictional.
But that’s not all, there is a piece of AI generated art to go with every weekly publication! And if you want to dive deeper, check out the updates to my digital garden.
In a misty village, a young woman haunted by her past meets an artist who seeks inspiration. Drawn to each other, they navigate their emotional landscapes, revealing secrets and confronting inner demons. When the artist disappears, the woman must find her own way forward, using her art to inspire others and confront their own fears and secrets.
The fog had an insatiable appetite, threatening to devour everything it touched. Like a thick layer of smoke, it engulfed the village in a sense of confusion that would last and linger so much longer than anyone could have anticipated. As days turned into months, the inhabitants of Veilwater had to rely on their intuitive knowledge of the town’s layout. Their sight alone could not guide them.
Adaile knew where everything was. She had spent the past 62 years of her life memorizing every inch of this place. If you were like her, you could find the mossy cobblestone building that held the town’s bakery blindfolded. But the mystery of the mist added an uncertainty to familiar locations, always leaving you unsure of what you might discover. Would the bakery still be there? And what about that lone tree standing its ground south of the monastery? The fog stirred up an anxiety in the people of Veilwater, an existential angst that never quite settled.
Many had tried to go head first into the fog, but no one ever returned. The villagers shared a collective nightmare: wandering into this sea of white that lacked any consistency, slowly dissolving into the clouds, and losing the faint notion of identity that they had left.
Ever since Adaile inherited the farm from her uncle, she sought to distance herself from the other villagers. She led a mostly solitary life and when the fog came, this lifestyle validated itself with every layer of musky clouds that descended onto the village. The mist brought with it a humidity that covered everything in a glistening coat of sticky sludge. A musky smell was hiding in every crack of this place, waiting to be discovered.
Adaile would wake up at the crack of dawn to tend to her farm. Ever since the fog, her livelihood had become a challenge. Because of the limited, diffused sunlight, she had to resort to planting root vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, and grape vines. Her daily dose of redemption, however, was to be found in the confines of her basement. A wine cellar, antiquated wooden tanks, and large bowls used to extract the juice of life by stamping furiously on a pile of grapes. She sold wine to the others, the fuel to survive in a land where you cannot see what lies beyond your own hands.
Adaile’s farm was situated at the northern outskirts of the village, it formed the first and last line of defense against the mysteries that manifested beyond the fields. After she had tended to her grapes, she would sit on the porch and stare out into the clouds. With the passage of time, her heart would quicken, she perceived excitement, and anger. How could this never change? In this ever-changing life, how could there be such a constancy in the fog? Like the world beyond her modest cabin had been wiped out, devoured by an invisible creature she would never meet.
The question of her sanity came up again and again. The answer was always the same, but as the hues in her peripheral vision started to change, ever so slightly, from white to black, she felt a rush of adrenaline, followed by the conviction of disbelief. Her eyes were fixated on what appeared to be a human shape emerging from the mist, slowly approaching her cabin. He looked tired. It had been a long journey. A trip through time that no even the man himself could fully put together.
He went by the name of Henry. Adaile invited him in and offered some grape juice. All he had carried with him was an easel, a set of oil paints and brushes. How cruel, she thought. An artist, hungry for his next motif, stumbling through the void. He told her about a dream he had as he wandered through the fog. He could take his brush and paint the emptiness. Fill his surroundings with light, color, outlines, shapes and forms. Like a magician on a quest to restore the world to its former glory.
His passion enthralled her. Henry was unlike any of the other villagers. He seemed confused and out of place, but he hadn’t given his life to the fog. Even though it cost him his sanity, he wanted to change things, he wanted to live and to see again. He spoke in a visionary, almost sacral language. It was as if the fog had found a way through his ears and into his mind.
At first, she dismissed his request. But with every hesitant gesture, Henry’s eyes shined brighter and brighter. He wanted to touch her, to discover what made her unique, one brushstroke at a time. She admired his persistence, and carefully observed the longing as it burst forth from the wrinkles in his face. As his hand leaped into her direction, she pulled back, and with the snap of a finger she offered her consent. Henry held his breath. As hard as it was for her to be seen, and by a man as strange as Henry, she would pose for him the next morning.