Ogden’s Extraordinary Observatory

Posters were plastered all over town, filling us with expectation: ‘OGDEN’S EXTRAORDINARY OBSERVATORY – ONE NIGHT ONLY’. We had to go.

It’s in an abandoned factory that was closed when we were children, the year my best friend Rachel discovered astronomy. I’m glad I remembered to bring a torch.

Ogden is a creepy man, clown-like in purple suit and star-strewn top hat.

“Welcome, my dears,” he purrs. You are my first visitors.”

“The only visitors,” Rachel says under her breath.

There’s a forest of different telescopes, all pointed at the missing roof. Rachel makes a beeline for the biggest, shiniest antique telescope I have ever seen. We take turns, gasping at the clarity of the lens.

Suddenly, the telescope swings around and we look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope. Of time we have no idea – everything has stopped.  Ogden grins.

Kim M. Russell, 12th October 2020

Image by Tyler Boone on Unsplash







My flash fiction for dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Telescope of Time

I’m hosting Prosery this Monday, when we ask our barflies to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of our choice, with a limit of 144 words, or 144 exactly, and including a complete line from a poem.

The line I chose is from D.H. Lawrence’s poem ‘Humming Bird’:

‘We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time’.

48 thoughts on “Ogden’s Extraordinary Observatory

  1. This is deliciously dark and gripping! 💝 I agree, all sorts of conclusions come to mind as one ponders upon the intricacies of this brilliantly woven prose piece. I’d run as fast as I could from Ogden 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! This is like a mix of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. I love it so much.

    “Ogden is a creepy man, clown-like in purple suit and star-strewn top hat.”

    Ogden is someone I wouldn’t even want to interact with while wearing a hazmat suit. Such an engaging tale here, and I wonder what would have happened next. Intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Francis! I’ve been to Nottingham once for a conference. My husband came with me and did all the interesting things that I wanted to do. Maybe when the pandemic is under control, I’ll get to visit.


  3. Very original story and use of the prompt! I want to know what happens next! I do think this describes the true horror of life, when we realized we’ve been fooled and can’t trust our own eyes. There’s that feeling that the floor has dropped beneath us and we have to find new ground. I love the suspense!

    Liked by 1 person

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