Winter’s Eve

Image: Pixabay

Hush, hush echoes the owl’s cry as it watches the seasons pass, from the time of fullness to the must of decay.

The sacrificial King disrobes from cloth of splendour and relinquishes crown of gold. The Executioner comes, garbed in stealth and resolve.

The ancestors gather, bringing news from Otherworldy realms and blessings aplenty. The Dark Mother rises on wings of shadow and dream, awaits the battle of Holly and Oak.

The battle commences, blade against blade, life against death. How the sparks fly, setting the gloom alight. The Light wanes, ushers in the must of decay and life veiling.

The mighty blade cuts, the Oak King is felled, blood spills scarlet. The Dark Mother is satisfied, the sacrifice accepted.

The victor stands triumphant, the Holly King rises, holds blade aloft. Thus is the ritual complete, thus is the Sun mourned.

The Holly King gathers robe of splendour, bends knee to the Mother, awaits the crown of gold.

Thus is he crowned, holds court in the time of Winter. All Hail the Holly King! So is my dream complete.

 

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It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

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Image: Pixabay

10 Months ago

Shadowed Dreams

Apologies for not having anything in this post if you’ve either stumbled across my blog or were looking for this post. I somehow managed to lose the contents today of all days (Halloween…). It was my response to Bernadette’s (of Haddon Musings)  writing challenge, It was a dark and Stormy Night. The post was death related…

Today

My original story was never meant to see the light of day, I understand that now for a variety of reasons. It was a stark story of a woman searching her home town for familiar faces on a dark and stormy night, one that ended badly for her. The spirits were in no mood to be trifled with on that chilling night, even the incursion of this writer into their realm was unacceptable. Hence the disappearance of my offering into the aether. Okay, it sounds melodramatic but I’m just setting the mood. All I wanted to do was make a few amendments directly on the site, forgot to keep a copy of it elsewhere. Then it vanished. How green and inexperienced I was during the early days of blogging. Sigh.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit the storm lashed location for a final ending. The story has been tweaked a lot and shortened. Perhaps due to my mood at this time:

I want to go home but this damned weather is making it harder and harder. Only been gone one day but everything looks so different, like years have passed. This isn’t possible. I’m tired and hungry, it’s disorientation, that’s the only explanation. Don’t feel well, why the hell is my stomach churning so much, I’d only eaten yesterday? Concentrate. There’s the road and looks like a car approaching. Hello! Please stop, stop! He didn’t even see me, what the hell is wrong with people?

At least the road is clear into town. Should be able to get a lift, more people travelling in. So cold, not surprised as I’m soaked through. Need to keep my mind occupied, otherwise I’ll not make it like Vida didn’t that night. They sent search parties out for several days but no luck. I miss her so much. This isn’t helping. Thank god, I can see lights now. Got here quicker than I thought, not complaining though.

There’s someone at a window. Hey! Please open up, I need to get home. Hello, hello. Why isn’t she opening the door? What’s happened to the townspeople? It used to be such a friendly place. The place feels, different. I can feel their thoughts, so frightened and angry. Their heartbeats are loud and fast, throbbing endlessly. They cling on to life selfishly and waste it so easily. Vida thought this was the case, she saw beneath the surface of this town, saw its rotten core.

Wasting my time here. Not far to go now, I can see the old district. Home, I’m coming home. That’s it, just keep remembering that but it’s hard. There’s this deep, deep emptiness inside. It’s a dark place with the shadows hiding things that shouldn’t see the light of day. Ah maman, what am I going to say to you? That I’m only home for this last time, then the world awaits. Freedom, of a sort! The wolves are stirring in the mountains, how chilling their cries sound but I love it. Always have oddly enough. They’re moving quickly through the forest, hunting, one mind, one purpose. We’ve almost destroyed them in our fear and revulsion of what they represent. The heart and spirit of true wilderness, Nature in all her glory and mystery.

Agh! I’m so thirsty and my stomach’s griping badly. What’s happening to me? There’s Mathilde. I’m so tired, a few more steps. She’ll know what to do. Eh, what’s Bastien doing here, with her? So thirsty. Bastard, he always fancied her. Surprised? I wondered when I’d catch you two. You look shocked, why? Because you got caught.

“We buried you ten years ago. You’re dead Vida”

That’s it, run away you coward and leave her here. Stop screaming woman! So thirsty but then you’re going to make that go away Mathilde, aren’t you? Lovely, lovely veins. Such soft skin and ruby, ruby wine in those veins. Don’t struggle, that’s a dear.

Perhaps my original story was never meant to see the light of day.

Gothic Imaginings: Who is the Real You?

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Image: Pinterest

Not much to ask is it? Black and red go so well together. As do velvet darkness and moonlit nights heavy with the scent of night blooming jasmine. Black roses unfurl their beauty, beckoning drama and unfolding passion. Where does the siren lead? To paths plunging deep into the inner world of forgotten gods, unicorns and Faerie folk. Ancient songs haunt the winds of change,  telling and retelling tales of tragedy and heroic acts. A little dramatic would you say?

Does it unsettle to look beneath the mask, search out truths and untruths hidden deep? Does it pain the soul to admit failings and regrets? Who and what do we desire to be are questions asked but with no answers forthcoming. Look beyond the illusions and seek the person slumbering within whispers the voice in our mind.

 

 

Undercover – Glimpsed #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt Glimpsed #writephoto. In the best tradition of Z-grade horror films I present you with a tale of recycling (one of my stories) premature burial and dark misdeeds. Take care dear reader (it may end up just being one of you) there will be distressing scenes that may offend. Do you want to proceed? Continue reading

Unemployed Knife Thrower for Hire: Part 1

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CAST

Cedric the Magnificent – knife thrower, assassin and master of disguises. Disenchanted, taking a career break, currently temping in an office.

Persephone – A friend.

(Lights go up to reveal two figures sitting at a table, the face of one slightly obscured by shadow.)

Persephone

So what happened? You sounded quite upset on the phone.

Cedric

My concentration wavered for a moment and the knife went astray.

Persephone

By how much?

Cedric

Hmm, his throat was only slightly lacerated and the blood splatters cleaned up fine. I don’t know why they got so upset. The damned theatre was only half full and the audience woke up when my assistant started screaming. The idiot wasn’t dying or anything. Otherwise he would have got a call from you dearie.

Persephone

We don’t take anyone you know. The door policy is quite strict.

Cedric

I know, I know. Took me months to calm that ghoul, all he did was moan about being discriminated against. Anyway, are you going to let me finish?

Persephone

Sorrrrrrrrrrry!

Cedric

It was a dreary Wednesday, I’d fired my agent (may she rot in hell) and my nut allergy had almost finished me off at lunch-time. I was a man on the edge.

(Takes a sip of his tea)

Knife throwing is an Art and I was a Master of that Art. Sadly unappreciated and underpaid now.

(sighs)

Persephone

If I was your therapist I’d get paid for listening to this. Get on with it man.

Cedric

Oohhh! No need to get hoity toity madam. Being Queen of the Dead hasn’t done much for your patience has it? Anyway, the management had “enough” and wanted me to clear out of that rat hole they called a dressing room. I just wandered the streets in a daze. To think I appeared before the nobility of Europe at one time, feted by Popes, Kings, Philosphers. I was awarded the highest honour by the Venetian Guild of Assassins, real professionals they were. Took great pride in their work and looked after their members.

(Buries face in his hands)

Persephone

Oh Cedric! My heart goes out to you – well, it would do if it was still beating.

Cedric

Always thinking of others, you are a love.

Persephone

Thank you. What is it like working here?

Cedric

Being a “temp” isn’t so bad now. Difficult initially though, trying to fit in and having to be NICE was hard. All that smiling, not natural at all. Saying that, I fit in nicely. Everyone’s a little dysfunctional.

Persephone

Well, as you are by nature someone who is morbid, intense and slightly psychotic I can see how that could have been a problem.

Cedric

Compliments? You are spoiling me today.

Persephone

Ah, that charm finally re-surfaces. (Looks over her shoulder). I’m getting strange looks, is my make-up running?

Cedric

(Peers at her face)

No. You forgot to switch on your inter-dimensional phase shifter.

Persephone

What?

Cedric

No idea what it means but sounds good. Look, gone are the days when only the initiated would be blessed with a view of your most holy and profound presence. Not anymore. You need to remember to look like your passport photo.

Persephone

Ye gods! That is a horrible thought.

Cedric

Ain’t it just.

(Brief silence)

Persephone

We all miss you, especially Cerberus, he’s always asking after you.

Cedric

Really? You don’t know much that means to me. He was such a lovely little pup and now look at him. Done me proud.

Persephone

You can invite us round for Sunday lunch…We still haven’t seen your bachelor pad. Is that what they call it these days? I’m not really  conversant with modern vernacular.

Cedric

Slum you mean. Even the rats have left. The landlady laughingly calls it a “well appointed city centre flat”.  We’re right on top of the hellmouth and next door to the sewage plant. My sinuses are constantly aflame, oh gods!

Persephone

There, there. I’ll have a word with a mutual friend of ours, see what they can do about finding another place for you. Can’t bear to see you so upset. I’m finding it hard not to ask the Furies to send that woman a “message”.

Cedric

Look at the time, lunch is almost over. I’ll have to go. Don’t want to upset my boss by being late.

Persephone

Let’s do lunch on Saturday . I have so much to tell you. Mwah, mwah.

(rapid air kissing ensues)

(Cedric and Persephone make a quick exit, passing several puzzled and scared people in the canteen).

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/18913851@N00/5064798739″>2010 Knife & Tomahawk World Championships</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;