Manic Monday Madness – Evanescent Journey

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This post is written in response to Laura M Bailey’s Manic Monday Challenge:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-evanescent/

The prompt word is: EVANESCENT

I am also planning to include the Manic Madness challenger:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/its-manic-madness-can-you-do-it/

Which is to also include ALL of the previous Manic Monday prompts!!!!

I usually like to combine as many different prompts into one story as possible, but this is going to be a huge challenge.

Mysterious

Summertime

Confession

Silence

Poison

Castle

Wrecked

Ghostly

Forlorn

Dirge

Hush

Journey

Departing

Stoic

Boondocks

Scars

Damned

Ominous

Witch – Witchy – Bewitched

Deadly

Reaper

Reverence

Sultry

Heart

Waiting

Frozen

Naughty or Nice

Rejoice

Reflection

Shattered

Imperfection

Well I LOVE a challenge so here we go:

 

The fog descended thick and fast over the harbour.

Within moments the boats and the jetty had soon disappeared out of sight and memory, evanescent.

It was a fog like none of the locals had seen before. Mists and fogs were not rare in Winter or Spring. Whenever the weather brought a change in temperature, the lake gave off a mist that often didn’t burn away until lunchtime. This was different. For starters, it was Summertime. In addition, it was much thicker than usual and it brought with it a kind of ghostly silence, a mysterious hush. It felt that time itself had frozen.

In addition to the ominous lack of sound, there was a scent in the air. It reminded her of something from her childhood. Something that she had long forgotten but dwelled within the darkest recesses of her mind. It filled her with emotions. That longing for the past that people call nostalgia, a sense of comfort that came with it, but was tinged with anxiety. Her heart began to race, she felt an upwelling sense of adventure. She was going on a journey. She knew this fact as sure as anything, but she did not know how.

This experience was like a witch had cast a spell over the area, an enchantment. Then she remembered her parents warning to her when she’d told them she wanted to move away into this quiet, primitive part of the world. They’d warned her that strange things happened up in the ‘boondocks’, that was her Mother’s colourful way of describing anywhere wild.

She’d ignored her Mother’s warning, but until this moment, had not regretted it. She’d felt somehow like she’d come home. Away from the busy city and bustling towns, this was where her spirit felt she belonged.

Suddenly she remembered what the smell reminded her of. Her Grandmother, who disappeared nearly twenty years ago. She had only been a child then, not more than six or seven. She remembered her Grandmother’s perfume, a mix of Eau de Cologne, lavender and rose petals, tinged with cinnamon and freshly baked bread. This exact same smell came to her through the mist.

She recalled then, her Grandmother’s confession to her before departing.

“I am a Witch, child, not a wicked witch. I have been no more naughty, or nice, than anyone else. We are, all of us, flawed with imperfection, but I have strived to walk in the light. You too have inherited the gift. It skips generations. Your Mother, my dear daughter, has not got the skill and therefore I have been forced to keep it a secret from her. I must leave soon, but One day you will remember this, and then we will undertake our journey together.”

After her Grandmother disappeared, they had mourned the loss of her. She’d felt a forlorn melancholy for weeks. Her Mother had been distraught. The emotional scars burned deep.

How could she have forgotten this, until now? Upon reflection, she realised that it must be part of the spell. The forgetting and the remembering.

Now it felt that she had only been waiting for this moment.

A figure stepped out of the fog in front of her. Still wrapped in the black woollen shawl, worn whatever the weather, her glowing white hair still cascaded down to her shoulders, with that hint of pale gold that was a remnant of her once sultry beauty. This was her Grandmother looking as if she’d just stepped out from her memory.
The lined face beamed a smile and she reached out a hand to clasp her own.

To her surprise, the hand was as warm as the smile.

“There you are, my precious. It is time to make this journey. Be strong, I will guide you.”

The fog began to lift. The scene had changed. Where the lake once stood, with its jetty and boats, there was now a deep chasm. Where the log cabins once clung to the side of the hill as it gently descended to the water, there was nothing but rocks and trees.

On the other side of the chasm stood a castle, a grand and shining fortress of light and splendour. The sun shone resplendently on that mighty castle, yet around it, darkness billowed like a deadly storm.

The sight of the fortress filled her with reverence, she wanted to cry out and rejoice.

At the same time, the darkness, like a poison, injected her with dread and fear.

Her grandmother must have felt her hand tense in hers, because again she spoke, in reassuring, gentle tones.

“Don’t be afraid, my dear. The journey is a difficult one. We must pass through the valley, filled with the souls of the damned, harvested by the Reaper. They call out in their eternal torment. Be stoic and do not fear them. I have you, and together we will walk over the bridge. Keep to the light, and we will be safe.”

All around them, she saw wrecked and shattered souls, surrounded by darkness, but she stepped onwards, guided by her grandmother’s hand, she kept to the path and made it to the gates of the castle.

The Gates opened and she was engulfed in the glorious light that shone from within.

 

Back in the hospital, her life support machine rang out a single note, like a dirge, but on her face was a smile of peace.

 

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The End. 

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25/January/2019

 

Well, what did you think? Did the story take you on a journey? Did it conjure up any feeling within you? Let me know in the comments. 

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/combine/

 

 

 

 

Manic Mondays 3-way Challenge – Caught in the Boondocks

This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s challenge. See Link:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-boondocks/

You may also wish to read my previous 3-way challenge story because this one follows it:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/manic-mondays-3-way-challenge-stubbornly-stoic/

I would like to thank Laura for introducing me to a new word – Boondocks – which, in case you think I was being very rude with my title, means a wilderness, ‘out in the sticks’ and what my Aussie friends call ‘the outback’ or ‘ Woop Woop’.

 

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Caught in the Boondocks

This was Jenny’s first visit to the United States and everywhere she went she gawked. Arriving at the Airport on the outskirts of Washington DC, she’d flown over the city, she hadn’t seen much though, there was a fair amount of cloud.

Aunt Emily and Uncle Frank were waiting as Jenny wandered out of the Customs gate. Uncle Frank wore dungarees over a checked shirt. He looked every bit the country bumpkin. Aunt Emily wore a bright yellow dress, that complimented her long brown hair. She rushed up to Jenny and gave her a huge hug. The tears came to her then. She couldn’t hold them back. Aunt Emily’s hugs were so like her mothers.

“It’s good to have you stay with us, dear Jenny. How was your flight from England?” Aunt Emily sounded like her mother too. Of course, she had a bit on an accent, but she’d been living in the states for ten years, since she’d met and married Uncle Frank who’d been serving in the US Air Force stationed in Mildenhall, Suffolk. Jenny had been a flower girl at their wedding but as she’d only been four years old, she had little memory of it.

Aunt Emily had come over for Christmas or Easter a number of times over the years, but she’d only seen Uncle Frank once growing up.

“It was fine thanks. We had some turbulence over the Atlantic, I didn’t like that much, but apart from feeling a bit fragile underneath, It was OK.” Jenny replied.

They walked her over to their parked station wagon. Uncle Frank jumped up behind the wheel, then Jenny sat in the middle seat with Aunt Emily taking the right-hand passenger seat. As she sat down, Jenny couldn’t help smelling a strong smell of dog. She’d grown up with Cats and was not at all sure she was a dog kind of person. ‘Oh, well’ Jenny thought ‘I knew this would take some adjusting to.’ 

“Can we drive through Washington DC, Uncle? I didn’t get much of a look from the plane.” Jane asked hopefully.

“Why, girl, that’s plum in the other direction. Heck, it’s gonna take nearly two hours to drive home as it is without wasting time sightseeing.” Uncle Frank said rather gruffly.

“Don’t worry dear,” Interjected Aunt Emily “I’ll take you into Washington next weekend, how’s that?”

Jenny nodded solemnly.

“You’d be better off taking her to Richmond instead.” Uncle Frank said. He was a Virginian boy, born and bred and had all the prejudices that came with it, though Jenny would not have understood at all.

As they drove along they passed open farmland and wooded hills. The leaves of the trees were turning golden and red as autumn fast approached. It was a beautiful palette of autumnal colour. Jenny enjoyed the scenery immensely. After a while, they arrived at the town of Woodstock. Jenny had heard of a famous festival that had been called Woodstock but apparently, that had been in New York state somewhere and not here at all. It looked like a pretty little town though.

Driving through, Uncle Frank waved at a few of the people he knew then they pulled off the main road and drove down a rougher track for about twenty minutes before pulling up outside a wooden farmhouse, painted cream with white highlights around the windows and the verandah, or porch. Jenny thought it looked quite charming in the late afternoon sunshine. She heard dogs barking in the distance, clearly, they’d heard the vehicle pull up and wanted to greet their owners.

As Jenny got out of the car, she turned and saw a rough track disappearing off into the trees.

Curiosity got the better of her and she asked: “Where does that path go?”

Uncle Frank replied “Oh, you don’t want to go up that way. That leads to the boondocks.”

Jenny stared “I beg your pardon?” she asked, puzzled.

Aunt Emily laughed and grabbed her hand. “It’s just an expression, dear. It means wild country. Uncle Frank’s right though, you don’t want to go up there.”

Jenny thought she was already in the wild country. She grew up in Suffolk and was used to fields and woods but this looked like the wilderness went on forever. How wild must it be down there then?

Jenny was an adventurous child and she couldn’t wait to explore her new surroundings.

After being introduced to the dogs, who had obediently sat patiently and each gave her their paw to shake, she realised that well-trained dogs were very nice indeed.

She changed her clothes from the more formal clothes her mother had insisted she wore for travelling into something more suitable for country living.

Then she ran out to find adventure. One of the dogs, a beagle type hound called Baxter, followed her, wagging his tail.

After exploring the yard and the outbuilding filled with farm machinery, Jenny found herself at the start of that mysterious path.

Despite the warnings, she started out walking with Baxter in tow.

As she turned a corner and the farm disappeared behind her, she felt a change in the air. It had been a lovely warm afternoon, but suddenly the temperature seemed to drop. The wind blew through the trees depositing several brown leaves across the path. She took one more step forward and she could feel someone watching her from the bushes. It did not feel like a friendly onlooker.

Baxter began barking at something unseen down the path ahead of them. Jenny took another step forward but Baxter refused to follow. He started to howl like only a beagle could do.

Jenny stood paralysed in fear.

Suddenly Uncle Frank was there and grabbed her in his arms.

“Didn’t I tell you not to go down here. You won’t last long around here unless you listen. It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened to you if you’d kept on going. If Baxter hadn’t warned me.”

Jenny burst into tears.

“There, there. You’re safe now, I caught you just in time.”

As Uncle Frank led her back to the farmstead, Jenny turned and saw a pair of red eyes glaring at her from the darkness.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 17/September/2018

FOWC with Fandango — Fragile

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/your-daily-word-prompt-palette-september-18th-2018/