March’s Pictonaut Challenge

Time ticks ever onwards. The year fades out of February and into March. The cogs of causal reality whirr and click in the heart of the great and unfathomable machine that is the universe. Winter is petering out and the days are getting warmer. Spring is just around the corner. Spring is a time of change and of new beginnings. Admittedly, depending on how you look at it, the same could be said for all the seasons but that is beside the point. The last two Pictonaut Challenges have been a bit on the grim side. All dark and gloomy, a little bit lonely and depressing, more wintery moods. I think it’s time for a bit of a change of pace and a change of scenery. With the weather starting to get milder and the evenings getting shorter I think it’s high time we pulled on our boots, put on a nice, light and airy coat, because we’re Going For A Walk.


Today’s picture is a photograph from 1930 of the GUM, main department store, Moscow, Russia. The work of one Simon Friedland. Last night I found myself up past midnight, kept a wake by the insatiable need to finish reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. it was good. Very good. Perhaps a little too good. Either way I found its aesthetic utterly irresistible. Despite being a picture of somewhere in Moscow I thought the image evoked the same kind of vibe and ambiance as I pictured for parts of London Below. So that’s the long and short of why it got picked this month. It’s not my fault, blame Neil Gaiman. Blame Neil Gaiman and his possibly sentient hair.

For those of you who have had the misfortune of stumbling upon this dark and rancid corner of the internet, and those who have made the ill-advised decision to read all the way to the bottom of this page, your task is simple. You have 1 month. One whole month, in which to write a short story, poem, song, tract or poetic edda base upon the image above. It should be of approximately one thousand words in length. This will be your wordascope it will be glorious and your completion of it shall raise you to heady heights the likes of which mere mortals can usually only dream of. This is an irrefutable scientific fact. Honest.

About The Rogue Verbumancer

A chemistry graduate consumed by the demons of apathy and disinterest. Likes tea and cheese. Sleeps less than he should. View all posts by The Rogue Verbumancer

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