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/

 

 

 

 

My 10 year old self – A short story

I am reposting this story in response to Esther Chilton’s Challenge to post a story, poem or Limerick on the subject of favourite childhood memories:

https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/i-challenge-you-to-36/

 

This story was written in response to the Tuesday Writing challenge posted on the Go Dog Go cafe, see link below:

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge July 10, 2018

It was also written in response to the Word of the Day word prompt: Deviate

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/deviate/

and the Three Things Challenge on the Haunted Wordsmith Blog:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/three-things-challenge-10-july-2018/

Today’s things are: monkey, April, brick

 

Looking back on my ten year old self I have only dim and distant memories of what life was like. I remember everything was much bigger then, people in particular, but also houses, trees, brick walls and ruined castles.

I seem to remember I had a passion for climbing things. In my memories I always seem to be climbing up something, trees mostly. My Mother used to say “He’s just like a little monkey” as I would often disappear up a tree only then to re-emerge in the branches swinging from a limb.

I was also fascinated by Castles. Near to our home was a ruined castle which we used to visit and take picnics too. Only from April to September, never in Winter. I also remember at school taking part in a cross-country race from the train station to the Castle ruins and back, which would have been about 4 miles. When I never returned to the finish line, my parents were rather distraught. Then followed the planned route back to the castle only to find me climbing its walls. I was always one to deviate from my intended course as soon as something much more fun distracted me. I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to run back to the train station, I had wanted to stay in those familiar walls of stone and brick.

In my head it was my castle and I was King of it.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 10/July/2018

Picture of the day – Hadleigh Castle

This picture is of a ruined castle.

This castle is very important to me, not because it was my ancestral home, or anything like that! It just happened that I grew up a short bicycle ride away from it.

Consequently I would spend many hours here.

I had picnics here.

I flew kites here.

I played frisbee here and I remember quite distinctly bringing a boomerang, purchased on a holiday to Australia with my parents, here to play with. It really did turn in the air and then unfortunately smashed into the still solid walls of the castle and snapped in half. Oh well.

The castle itself was built to prevent an invading navy from sailing up the Thames to London. It was apparently never needed.

For those of you who like history and remember that old bluebeard Henry VIII. He actually gave this castle to Anne of Cleves in his divorce settlement. She never lived here though. It was already a ruin even by that time. It meant that she was entitled to the taxes levied on the villages of Hadleigh and Rayleigh.

The castle dates roughly to the 13th century. It was mainly built during the reign of Kind Edward I. (The one known as longshanks and the hammer of the Scots).

In my head of a child, it was surely Camelot and I was one of the Knights of the round table. Or sometimes Merlin the master wizard. You can see, my imagination was rampant even then.

I hope you like this picture.

 

 

 

Picture of the Day – Rochester Castle

This is a picture of Rochester Castle which is in Kent.

Rochester is usually combined with Strood and Chatham to create one City, but each has its own very different character.

The Town of Rochester has a strong connection to the author Charles Dickens. Dickens was born in Portsmouth but when he was young, his Father worked as a Customs man in nearby Chatham. Dickens spent a good deal of his life in Rochester and it was included in many of his books, including Great Expectations.

Rochester commemorate this important association by having two Dickens festivals every year. A Summer festival and a Winter festival, usually the first weekend in December, which I have been to several times. People dress up in costumes and there are market stalls selling mulled wine, mince pies and all manner of stuff.

Rochester is a great place to visit and is not far from London and on the south side of the river Thames.

Enjoy your Saturday.

 

Picture of the Day – Warwick Castle

My choice for picture of the day is this photograph of Warwick Castle, taken a few years ago on a very memorable trip to visit this landmark.

I think Warwick Castle is now owned by the same company that owns Madame Tussauds in London. They charge admission to the castle and grounds, but it is worth it.

I remember they had a scary dungeon tour with actors that screamed at you as you walk round. Stimulating.

The day we went they were hosting a tournament and had a number of fun things going on.

They had some jousting knights, a falconry display and they fired the great trebuchet (a siege engine, like a massive catapult).

They had things for kids of all ages, grown up ones included.

I remember they had a game set up in the inner courtyard with large rings on poles (if you are familiar with the Harry Potter films, they were just like the quidditch goal rings) and kids could pay to try and throw toy rats through the rings to win a prize.

I recall one small lad who was very disappointed to learn that the rats weren’t real!

Anyway, I hope you like the photo.