Manic Monday Madness – Evanescent Journey

20180102_074453-01

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.

 

screenshot_20190121-165647_google

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 – The Ice Witch of Norway.

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

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-witch-witchy-bewitched/

You may also wish to read my previous entry for the 3-way challenge:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/manic-mondays-3-way-challenge-so-hungry-are-the-damned-a-dark-poem/

Screenshot_20181014-105816_Google

 

The Ice Witch of Norway

There was a Witch who lived in a simple hut in the mountains of the far north of Norway.

The Winters were long and harsh and ravaged the land between October and early May.

During the Winter months, the people huddled together in their wooden houses around the fire and prayed for the Spring.

The Witch lived alone in the hill and seemed to delight in the snow, dancing and capering on all but the most terrible snow storms.

People started to believe that this woman was responsible for bringing the winter that she seemed to enjoy so much.

It was her fault that the Winters were so harsh. It was her fault that the lambs and kids born early would perish in the late winter frosts.

After one particularly bad blizzard, the menfolk gathered in the beer house drinking the last of their precious brew.

“Something has got to be done!” Cried Olav Harkensson.

“She was out dancing again last night,” agreed Nils Thorssen, “There were lights flashing in the sky, bright greens. She was casting a spell. Bringing this storm down upon us, no doubt”.

As the menfolk talked and drank, they began to grow braver and more stupid. They no longer feared the magic that the Witch could bring down upon them. This winter had been particularly bad, it was nearly May and it was still not showing signs of departing. Eventually, they grabbed torches and pitchforks and went to find the witch.

The blizzard had passed but it was still snowing lightly as they climbed up the mountain path onto the high plateau where the Witch lived. Her hut was built near the steep side of a mountain, near a frozen waterfall and the snow-covered meadow that she danced in.

She must have sensed their presence because the door opened and she strode out, tall and proud to meet them.

Her long red hair caught in the wind and flapped around her white face. Her dark wool cloak also flapped like a banner in the cold icy air.

Defiantly she stood in front of her simple hut.

“What do you want?” She shouted in a clear voice that carried and echoed around the valley.

Olav Harkensson, who was the self-appointed leader of the group, stepped forward.

“Leave this place, you foul Witch and take this accursed Winter away with you!”

The Witch threw back her head and laughed.

“And what if I fail to acquiesce to your request? What will you do then?”

The angry mob drew back from the glare of her eyes. Some people made the sign of the cross across their fur-clad chests. A young firebrand by the name of Magnus Vigmir ran forward, either braver than the rest or drunker and threw his flaming torch at the Witch’s hut.

Despite the snow, the timber caught alight quickly and within a short moment, the hut was ablaze.

Boldened by this move, the men rushed forward brandishing their pitchforks.

Before they could reach her, the Witch wrapped her black cloak around her and transformed into an enormous raven.

The mob shouted in horror and clung to each other in fear like little boys.

The raven flew around them and the Witches voice called out.

“Fools, You Fools! It was not I who brought the Winter. The Winter clings hard to all the lands this far north, but I summoned the Spring every year followed by the Summer. I could only do this for a few months before Winter returned to claim what is rightfully hers. Now I will leave to find somewhere else to call home.”

The Raven flew away to the west and was never seen again. The Spring never came that year and the people either perished or moved further south and closer to the sea. To this day, that valley in the far north of Norway is known as the Valley of Eternal Winter.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/October/2018

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/your-daily-word-prompt-acquiesce-october-16-2018/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/rdp-thursday-blizzard/

Three Things Challenge, 14 June 2018

This is a Three Things Challenge as set by the haunted wordsmith, see link below:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/three-things-challenge-14-june-2018/

Here are the three words for 14 June 2018: history, witch, Pacific Ocean

This story also includes the Word Prompt: Nefarious

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/nefarious/

 

I was born in Salem. Not the Salem in Massachusetts, renowned in history for it ancient witch trial. The one in Oregon, near the Pacific Ocean. 

It was founded by settlers keen to leave behind those old stories of Witches and witchcraft and other nefarious things.

What they didn’t know was that it was coming with them. 

Travelling with the settlers was my great-grandmother, Hecuba Carey. She had been young at the time. A woman with long red hair that she refused to keep tied up and under a bonnet. She had also been schooled well in the ways of witchery by her own mother and send forth with the settlers to spread our own ways. Hecuba had been one of the most powerful witches and those poor settlers had never known. 

I never knew her, of course, she died long before I was born. My granny told me about her though. How she used to be able to capture any mans heart she wished and led them a merry chase until she tired of them. How she could punish those who she envied or who looked down their noses at her. Made them suffer, with dysentery or scarlet fever. All her tricks she passed on to me. I was told I look a lot like her, you know? I wish photographs existed back then, because I would love to see what she looked like. 

Now I have my own little daughter to teach tricks too. Her father didn’t stick around too long, but I was glad of that. He was a useless lump anyway, he was only good for one thing and the final result of that is now lying in my lap looking up at me with those bright green eyes. She’ll be my revenge on the world. My precious little Medea. What larks we’ll play on this innocent world. Yes, we will. 

 

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 14/June/2018