Showing posts from October, 2019

A Witch's Hallowe'en

Elena signed with exasperation.               The kids had arrived, as they did every year since they had discovered that she was a witch.   Every year on this day.   Samhain.   The second biggest day of importance for her work.   How she was supposed to get everything done that needed to be finished within the next several hours and deal with that ragged lot was beyond her.             The list of things she had to do unrolled before her mind.   There were herbs that had been drying since summer to prep into poultices for the McCready’s arthritis, and the small bones of Mansy to grind in the mortar and pestle to be sprinkled out in the graveyard that the small mouse had loved best.   There were the black cats to feed and house when they were evicted from their homes, as they were on this night every year.   The midnight lotus would not water itself at eleven fifty-five that evening.   And on top of all of this, there were the tonics to have prepared by midnight so that they cou

As the Earth Cries

The trembles and moans reach the mist and the wind as they hear pain as sound.   They are not alone in hearing, for all creatures, the trees, even the waters in all their depths can hear it.   They hear that the earth cries. Now a keening wail; an aching deep within the belly so guttural that it cannot bear to keep silent.   Now one of shuddering horror; of monsters seeking, lurking, soaking up their gains as painful etches into skin.   Now another of moaning; of lingering in unfulfillment that has lasted so long, fear takes over and says ‘you will never be made whole.’ Oh, there is no doubt in the mind of the mist and the wind and the creatures and the waters why it is the earth cries. It is the cry that mourns a final death—and they have long known its coming. And then a soft, surprised cry. What has the earth seen, the mist and the wind and the creatures and the waters wonder.   Why has the earth changed its mournful tune? They peak behind their self-made curtains, t

A Beginning of an End

Once upon a time, in a land strewn with strife and fearsome monsters, there lived a mild creature.             It was a small thing, so small that it lived in a low knothole of a gnarled tree—a tree of an age so great it could remember what the world was like before cruelty and terror ruled over the land.   Inside the knothole was a cozy home, complete with all things that bring comfort—books, good food, and a warming hearth fire—and protected by a thick door made of the bark of the gnarled old tree itself, so that the hole was hidden, and thus kept out the malicious foe.             But where no enemy can wander in, nor can a friend.   And so the little creature was lonely.   A loneliness made all the worse by the quivers and shivers and shakes of constant dread that came from living with the knowledge that, outside its home, the world was filled with horrors.             So powerful was the fear that resided in the little creature’s heart that even in its lovely home, it coul

Low, When the Stars Call...

I heard the stars calling me one night.             But I could not listen.   The world had taken me by storm, and there was too much to do to entertain it. It was not that I was unaware of the honor bestowed on me—for that the heavens would cry me forth was not something to be taken lightly.   But eyes of a lesser plane watched me, and I delighted in easy fulfillment.   Though I could feel them borrow into my skin and take ownership of my very being, it gave me no pause, for who so entranced could break free? There would be other times, I thought.   Perhaps a host of them.   I was young—I had energy to burn.   There was no need, yet, to break with my audience. Time passed, as is its wont: slowly and all at once. I began to feel the gazes set upon my flesh, no longer gentle caresses, but piercing, sharp stabs of agony.   I felt a haunting need, so foreign I could not say from which it came, to feed others’ visions, to let them have the whole of me.   I scratched and scrape