Rob Does Words
Treating fiction poorly since 2019


Old habits die hard, or so the saying goes. Who knows where it comes from, or came from I suppose, but it’s one of those things that a lot of philosophies have been reduced to. Much to the annoyance of armchair philosophers everywhere who carry on and on about anything at the drop of a hat.

Don’t get me wrong, philosophy is still welcome in all aspects of life. I don't dare rest on my laurels or those who have come before. Speaking of which, another saying I like is If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. Again, I have no idea where it comes from, but it always stands true. As humans, we move forward based on what has come before, it was true back then and it remains true now. Still, though.

Trying to sell to people the idea that the world changes regardless of what any individual wants is a hard proposition. I don't claim to be an influencer, despite what my critics and fans alike say. I'm an eccentric loner who has made a life studying the ancient works and preparing various interpretations thereof. Some people read them, others do not. As might already be apparent, my current work focuses on traditions.

My life, such as it is, revolves around one thing: to ensure the integrity of my work. To that end, I have become secluded. I live alone, and under a false name. I work a normal job, as a normal person and live a normal life in the eyes of my everyone around me.

It is my spare time where my other life is revealed. My preparations, as I call them, are published almost exclusively on the net. The pseudonym under which they're published has no attachment to my real life and I have learnt to use the net in such a way so as to obscure the time and place of what I publish. As I said, this ensures the integrity of my work and prevents any accusations of bias from certain quarters. It was utilitarian when I decided on it, but now it has become a necessity.

Our past looms over us like a deepening shadow. What few of us remain, now several generations removed from what occurred, live in a constant state of fear generated by the potential of its recurrence.

Admittedly, given the vague hints of events past, having the population decimated like it was is not a destiny I would like for us, but living in fear is nothing short of, in my view, hastening something far worse.

Fear leads to strengthening the status quo, which leads to life becoming entrenched in stagnation and conservatism, to the point where even if we are comfortable and secure, even the smallest of changes is met with anger and violence. I, personally, cannot abide such a situation and so I present my writings as a sort of warning against trusting the status quo.

I never frame it in such an obvious way, of course. It is a much easier prospect to present everything neutrally and let the public come to their own conclusions. A force for change that is larger than a force for no change is harder to stop.

Take, for instance, Lake Bled. Named after one of the survivors who was able to found our small town away from the drama and conflict and form a small community designed to rebuild from the ground up.

The town was built on the remains of an older town, and each year we live here, we stretch further out over its foundations, repairing what we can with what we have, remaking where that is insufficient. We have made mistakes, and we have lost good people, however we know this is for the betterment of everyone. But we now live in relative comfort and the reparations workforce is dwindling as many can afford to start a family and think about lives beyond our own.

Because of this, the centerpiece of our town is a testament to what we’ve learnt – a subdivision entirely of our own creation, no foundations from the old town, 100% ours and it backs right up against Lake Bled.

I love the lake. It has crystal clear water and allows for both winter and summer vacations for many many people. But it also houses the greatest myth of our time. The Chalet of Bled. That's probably not its real name, but that's what people call it.

It is a castle, a very large one, built on an island that sits almost exactly in the middle of the lake. It has been off-limits our entire lives and as far as I know the only people who have set foot in it since the foundation of the town are the early explorers who are reported to have not come back. Thus, The Curse of the Chalet exists.

As a child, holidaying on the lake shore with my parents, they told me the story and they laughed at it. That moment was when I first really thought about the things we are told and why we believe them. That moment is why I'm here, now, writing about what came before, what could have come before and how both of them affect our lives now, and moving into the future.

I don't believe the chalet has a curse on it, but I also don't know what happened to those explorers. I can hold both of these facts in my head at once and not be wrong, despite what others say. I do want, in some way, to explore the building. Perhaps doing so would explain both mysteries.

But old habits do die hard and to go against the long held belief that anyone who set foot on the island or within the building itself would die is unheard of.

So whats my job? My job isn't to sail to the island and explore the chalet. My job is to make everyone else realise that you probably wont die visiting it. My job is to make people realise the stories our parents told us, the ones that were given to them by our grandparents, are fine as stories, but we shouldn't allow them to define our reality. We have enough reason to be afraid without them.