Tag Archives: haunting

Casey’s Crown

There are some distant church bells chiming across the foggy moors, ghostly songs are being sung, songs of a thousand years.  Casey is chilled to the bone; her grey shredded shawl flaps clumsily around her, making her image seem fragmented in the distance.  The ghostly song soon turns into evil menacing laughter and in the distance, a carousel spins, the decorative horse eyes that surround the carousel in their beautiful jewels and golden poles are aglow.  A demonic voice beckons Casey to go forwards, towards the carousel, welcoming her to the fair, welcoming her to sights never seen before, welcoming her to yield to the desires of them from the unknown.

Tentatively she steps forwards towards them, compelled by their magic.  Her footsteps are soft and delicate like tiny faeries dancing on the petals of roses so softly that the petals are unharmed.  Casey soon notices that her grey and brown rags are changing, but she doesn’t care, she just carries on towards the demonic fair, tip toeing like a ballerina in jade silk slippers.  Her clothes are turning into beautiful jade and gold coloured silks and white laces, her muddy hands are transformed to the hands of a beautiful clean lady, her fingers slender and rich, her nails polished and long… she is not Casey any more, she doesn’t know who she is turning into, but the feeling is glorious.  The demons at the fair cannot be seen nor heard any more.  There is a strong looking soldier standing by the carousel on guard – but Casey is not sure of what he is guarding.  He salutes Casey and a fanfare then erupts around them, an unseen army is marching she senses, not far behind the carousel, playing a robust brass band as they go along. 

A smell of roses accentuates the air around her.  Then, in the clearing of the fog, as she walks around the carousel, she sees them, the marching brass band and their soldiers in tow of a beautiful gilded litter carriage.  Peering into the window of the litter carriage Casey saw a beautiful young woman, in a golden gown with jade jewels bestrewed around her, her hair is unseen for it is covered by a beautiful jade scarf.  The woman, of which Casey presumes to be a queen, waves her hand towards a man presumably a steward to open the carriage door.  He does so, he calls to the soldiers in the band to halt and abruptly the music stops and all is still.  The Queen descends her carriage gracefully and on tippy toes walks elegantly towards Casey and takes hold of her shoulders, smiling sweetly down at her.  She is a pretty lady, very sweet and tender looking, like a mother attending to her infant.  Slowly the Queen stands aside and gently pushes Casey towards the opened carriage door and placing her crown upon Casey’s head, then walks away from Casey, slowly turning into a rag ridden young urchin and disappearing into the fog.  Confused Casey stays looking back into the fog for the queen, tentatively feeling for her crown, it felt strange upon her.  

The above story is a shortened version of a novelization I am working on and have been working on since May 2017. 

I wanted it to be a series of horror books, because Casey will have adventures and will lead into adventures of new characters along the way.  The thing is, I am not sure how many books this will potentially be or whether or not they will ever be completed, so I felt that it would be relatively safe to post this up on the blog.

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Inspired by Nox Arcana – Take 1

We’ve found thee

Little mortal

We surround thee

Whispers in the wind cry unto thee

Our names are zephyr, breath and air

We will guide thee

Don’t be scared

Little mortal

Thou fain to see

The terrors that dost follow thee

Keep away from the water’s edge

And we’ll keep thou safe

The winds we pledge

Turn not away from our winsome calls

Turn back to us or thou shall fall

The cliffs are rendering nearer and near

Be warned little one

Dost thou hear?

Nay, ye do not and now you fall

Into ice cold waters creating a crimson pool

But we don’t give up

Nay not us

We’ll call to mankind from dusk till dawn

Never ceasing

Never forlorn

It is our duty

It is our pride

We are the winds and we are the tides

And our voice we never hide

 

Inspired by Nox Arcana after listening to their music from the album “carnival of lost souls”-“cries in the night”.  This is something that I pictured when hearing the music and I put it into a prose.

 

 

 

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Loyalty, Vampires and Passion

I adore vampires, I am not sure if I’ve ever made that clear on here before (grins knowingly) and I’ve been thinking about them a lot today. I’ve been thinking about my favourite vampires, Judas Iscariot from Dracula 2000, John Carpenters VAMPIRES, Interview with the vampire and Daughter of Darkness to name but a few.
I love the culture surrounding vampires and everything Gothic, from the strange music options, to the fashion, the architecture and the darkness of it all, to the sheer sinfulness of loving it.
I love the strangest things and the strangest things inspire me to write and paint.
The strange haunting sounds of the music from Nox Arcana in their album Transylvania = visitors in the night, to their album shadow of the raven = the black cat wails and cries of a demon cat and the semi-Gregorian chants throughout all their albums.
I love the tribal belly dance scene, the gothic belly dancers from tribal fusion, I collect the DVDs regularly, I am a particular fan of Rachel Brice – to me, all of this just oozes vampire.
As a former belly dancer myself (not professionally) I am saddened that I didn’t learn about the tribal fusion style dancers until 2yrs after I gave up the dances, if I had known beforehand I think I would have sought them out and have become professional. I adore the dances and I would love someday to have a daughter who has the same interests in it as I do.
Unlike a lot of traditionalists, I don’t see belly dance as a thing solely for women, there is a form of belly dance for men! In fact it was traditional for both sexes to belly dance right up until the Persian Empire was created, then it was almost eradicated entirely for a practise for men and became a very sexualised dance solely for women by the Persian conquerors. The dance is debated to have originally come from the eastern side of Greece, near Salonica.
There is a dancer known as Prince Andrew which practises the masculine form, by belly dancing with a sword balanced on his naked waist and hips and balanced on his head. I find it very sexy, a very sensual dance. He looks almost like a character from Sinbad and the eye of the tiger; though his style is considered to be indo belly dance, a kind of traditional Indian style.
Here are a couple of videos with Prince Andrew dancing.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?

q=male+belly+dancer+prince&&view=detail&mid=3920BBFA2116361685563920BBFA211636168556&rvsmid=D607C79DEB3A3D2D04ACD607C79DEB3A3D2D04AC&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?

q=male+belly+dancer+prince&&view=detail&mid=D607C79DEB3A3D2D04ACD607C79DEB3A3D2D04AC&rvsmid=D607C79DEB3A3D2D04ACD607C79DEB3A3D2D04AC&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV

Masculine belly dance is starting to become popularised once again, there are more and more male dancers taking to the scene which I find rather exciting.
Another form of dance I like and think is very Gothic, is fire dancing.
I think vampires are very passionate beings, they put their heart and their soul into everything they do, they surround themselves with beautiful things, things they love, because eternity is a long time if you are around things you dislike or things that do not give you pleasure.
I think because they have eternity on their hands, they go out of their way to surround themselves with things that make them happy, collections from the past and even collecting newly sired people to be around them, of the nature that they like and connect with or that feel familiar to them. This is what I think happened to Lestat in Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles. I think Lestat was very nostalgic and may have seen something in Louis that attracted him to sire him, because he reminded him of someone he knew in his mortal life. Whether or not the relationship was compatible it didn’t matter to Lestat, he wanted familiarity and companionship and for a while he got it from Louis.
I feel very sad for Lestat, he seemed very alone. I think he and I would have got along very well together if he were real. I certainly would never leave his side; I am loyal to a fault with anyone I think is akin to me – not so loyal to those who are not akin to me however; being akin means more to me than being simply blood related, it is how our very essences match each other, how we connect, do we click? If not, then the relationship will be very short lived.
I consider myself to be a very passionate person. I am passionate about everything that I do and I seldom do anything that I am not passionate about. If I find it boring, I won’t do it, I will delegate – which is what I do even for my online games. I delegate the boring parts of the game to Paul, feeding my pets for example or setting them up for adoption for me. Some people call it being lazy; I call it, living my life to the fullest, and why not? Mortal lives are short anyway, there is no vampire going to sire me in this world. More is the pity.
That’s why I envelop myself with vampire mythology, vampire movies, haunting music, music boxes, pictures of wolves, bats and gothic castles around the house, thick wine coloured velvet curtains in the living room, old roses in the front garden with lilac and irises. Royal purple walls in the bedroom with a black carpet and red bedding. But not everything about my house is wonderfully gothic; unfortunately, there are a lot of places I need to decorate in order to eradicate the cold ice white walls my mother painted in most of the rooms downstairs. The brown sofa is a far cry from what I think is perfect, but it will do for the time being.
I have owl ornaments everywhere, a box filled with raven feathers, a raven feather silver necklace I wear on very special occasions. I miss the tiger’s eye ring my ex stole from me and the wolf fleece blanket with the midnight blue sky and full moon another ex-took from me. Yes I know, they are just things, but they were mine and I loved them. Especially the ring, that was special – my dad seldom could afford to give me anything with the money my mum would allow him, so anything he gave me was more precious than life’s blood, he gave me that ring, my ex stole it and that hurts.
It wasn’t all that particular ex stole, he stole an heirloom, the ring was an heirloom, he also stole my savings and unbeknownst to my mother at the time I had savings of £12,000 and when he dumped me I had less than £500 left.
It is this ex that made me dominant. After he hurt me and abused me in more ways than one, I became bitter against men in general for about six years, the boyfriends I had before Paul, were all submissive in the BDSM scene. Paul however wasn’t, but he wasn’t prepared to take me as a submissive, he reckoned he saw the true nature of me that was hidden because of abuse. I must admit that I had a lot of my gumption beaten out of me over the years before I met Paul. Since living with Paul the tolerance for other people negative behaviours towards me are at a minimum, boy have I got feisty since meeting Paul and he thinks this is a good thing.
I have a very low tolerance for anyone destroying my peace, destroying what I have accomplished since disowning my mother three years ago, I have a very short fuse for anything that upsets me. Learn what I like, learn my boundaries and we can be very good friends, solid in fact.
I have no qualms telling people that I demand a lot, I demand attention and the best, I demand love, I demand to be considered precious and above all, I demand loyalty not only for me, but my chosen family.
I consider my family as a pack, a clan, a tribe – very similar to how people view vampires, they have their little nest of individuals that stick together, I consider myself and the members of my house to be like this… a solid loyal unit.
I crave a large pack, whether fashioned together with a few like-minded friends or having children and teaching them loyalty and supportiveness of each other.
This is one the most unforgiving things I cannot stand about my mother. The bridges she burned when the family needed her the most, she’s a quitter. I’ve never been a quitter, but thanks to the bridges she burned not a lot of family wants to talk with me anymore, except for my father’s side of the family. They associate me as her little goon, because I was never allowed to leave her side right up until I was 27yrs old, I went everywhere with her, even missing school for home education to be with her, because she demanded it. As far as many relatives and friends were concerned I and my mother seemed close, too close, unnaturally close, so many believed we held the same values. In fact we’re total opposites.
My heart breaks day in and day out because of the family isolation I’ve endured because of her. When granddad was alive, I would be in regular contact of so many relatives, I was socialising at the weekends with the grandchildren of his cousins! Now that’s extensive family for you, what’s more is I was lucky enough as a child to have this happen on both sides of the family. My father’s side of the family are in regular contact with my grandmother’s siblings grandchildren! But again, because my mother isolates herself, she has therefore isolated me and my father from both sides of the family over the years.
I went from having approximately 15 to 20 visitors a week at the house, all different, all relatives, and having up to 18 people visit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Evening, to getting a visitor once a fortnight, the same one or two people and then only 6 for Christmas dinner, then down to just 5 for Christmas dinner and a visit from my brother and his girlfriend once a month.
I have a void that has not been filled since.
This is why I am in the scene, not the Gothic scene, but the BDSM scene. This is why I am so open-minded about open-relationships, I crave a large family and if I can’t make one through having children, then I intend to grow a large network and I think it is very unfair for anyone to try and deny me that.
I love vampires as they are eternally loyal and passionate.

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Feather Boy

About ten years ago I watched a lovely fantasy series called “Feather Boy” on the television and I was taken by it completely enough to finally read the book; a book I was lucky to find at a charity shop a few weeks ago; such a beautiful tale about a little boy who is bullied and is then asked by his school to do a project at the local care home, where he had to befriend one of the elder residents.
He gets chosen by a lady called Edith Sorrel; this took the boy (called Robert) by surprise as he is the boy that never gets chosen for anything. Little did Robert know at the time that the reason behind Mrs Sorrel’s request for them to work together on the project was because Robert resembled her long dead son, David!
The story starts off like a mysterious ghost story; there is a mild horror element to it for the age range it’s aimed at (9 to 13yrs) and some very mild swearing. However, the gist of the story was that Mrs Sorrel wanted Robert to visit an old house she knew of thirty years ago; a house that is utterly derelict and has a bad history that gives the local children the heebie jeebies. The true story however was less adventurous and in Robert’s mind, disappointing.
The story teaches a lesson, a lesson that it’s easy to make something out of nothing; easy to misunderstand people and have an overactive imagination. The story is written around an old story about a prince who wouldn’t speak and a great firebird. This story is all about rebirth on many levels, it’s quite a spiritual book, very touching and for the first time in my life I have actually cried at an ending I knew would happen.
So, if you love tales about rebirth, revenge, growing up, courage and phoenixes, this book is very much for you.

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Song of lost souls

I hear the echoes of the songs of the lost souls
Captivated I cannot move
I only listen
Their cries sound like music, though there’s pain
Indeed they are the cries of pain
It would drive some insane
But me, I remain
Silent, still, listening on to the tune that chills
Deep into my very soul
They are familiar to me, those singers
Those words that they sing
So familiar it stings
I try not to think “why” to such things

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The man in the picture by Susan Hill

The man in the picture by Susan Hill

As a lover of anything to do with carnivals, masquerades, festivals, harlequins and circus’s as well as plunging into the depths of horror stories and movies, I found this novel absolute pleasure. Never before had I ever read a whole novel in one sitting, taking just 90 minutes, I was heavily pregnant with my first born son and it was just after 1am when I started, I thought I would only read a few pages before falling asleep, but I couldn’t, I just could not put the book down, it was like I was under some kind of spell.
It is an addictive read, I want more books of this kind and I have found myself looking subconsciously for stories of a similar theme over the past five years, never finding anything as compelling or as long as this masterpiece and I must say that is disappointing.
I both love and hate books that compel me so.
At first glance it would seem familiar in a Dorian Grey kind of way, but it isn’t – it is like a ghost story, but that’s not quite right either, the plot is simple, but fantastic. I am surprised it isn’t more widely known; I am surprised that Susan Hill fans have never made much of a scene of this novel as they have with “I’m the king of the castle” or “The woman in black”, but then that is hardly surprising as I rarely see this book on shelves in libraries or stores.
I think it should someday become known as a classic horror story, though its elusiveness to the public may be a detriment for that to become so.

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Goblin Market – Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market

One of my all-time favorite poems, though I cannot recite it from memory yet; this deserves to be in inspiration corner because of the beautiful haunting sceneries Rossetti sets up for the reader.

Goblins tempting young maidens to buy their fruits, though maidens must never buy fruits from goblin men lest they desire a dismal end; very inspiring in an artistic way too, for me. The times I have read this poem and thought, I wish I could do better art, I would paint these fruits and the goblin men in the market; but I do not have the skills to do that as of yet, that will be attempted in the future though.

This is my favorite as it is a fantasy poem and I think this review deserves to be on a site such as this, fantasyfed, don’t you?

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Smoke & Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

I read this book in January 2013; I still remember some of the stories as clear as day.  I felt it would be good to put up previously read works on this site, because I don’t read enough fiction regularly to sustain this part of the blog, I mostly read non-fiction works based on social history, religion, the occult, psychology, true stories and biographies.

For those of you who have never read Neil Gaiman or know about the book “Smoke and Mirrors” it is an anthology of fantasy, horror and dark fantasy short stories and in my opinion, prose. 

Anyway, first up is “the wedding present” I don’t remember much about this story at all, other than I remember disliking it, but I can’t remember why.  I do plan to re-read this book at the end of this year for revising what I think is good and bad about it all, as I am trying to teach myself how to read critically, so re-reading this story will help me remember why I didn’t like it.

The next story I liked, it was humorous, “chivalry” A little old lady goes into a charity shop and buys a chalice and she is soon pestered by a time traveling knight who declares the chalice is rather special and tries to get it off her for several weeks, she eventually relents with a surprising ending.

“Nicholas Was” is next, a very short story, or was it really prose?  I don’t know what it was, but I do remember it, and it was confusing, although I did like the imagery it portrayed.

“The Price” oh my goodness was that a scary tale, I felt like crying for the cat.  I think the cat was based on some kind of protective angel, but that’s well hidden in the story if that’s what the cat was.  A brilliant tale, loved it, and I loved the audio of it too which is free and can be found at this website www.neilgaiman.co.uk/smokeandmirrors/audio

Another of my favorite was “Troll Bridge” I think almost every fantasy writer has written their own variation of this story at some point; I know Terry Pratchett has, although I’ve never read that one yet.  Neil Gaiman’s Troll Bridge was in my opinion, unique; I found it really thoughtful and inspiring.  I sometimes hoped that I could crawl under such bridge and make a deal like that, but would I really want to?  Who knows…?

“Don’t ask Jack” bought back nightmares of my childhood, that’s all I am going to say about this story.  I don’t like remembering it, to be honest.  In fact, I wasn’t comfortable with the story so much, I had to put the book down for two months before I could read the story that came after it, and that was because I forgot the previous tale. 

“The goldfish pool and other stories” Brilliant, I was so happy I picked this book up again after abandoning it, this was a great story, touching, haunting, fantastic.  I was really upset it was a short story; I could have read hundreds of pages of this work easily. 

“Eaten” I don’t remember this story either and I can’t remember if I liked it or not – sorry.

Again, one I loved “The white road” the imagery in my head was so lucid, I adored that.  I tend to think of actors or people I know when I read books and I was seeing actors and actresses from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “The Aristocrats” TV mini-series in 1999 one actor in particular was actually playing a Mr Fox, Alun Armstrong, he was playing Mr Fox in my mind when reading this story and the girl was a blond haired Winona Ryder for some reason.  The other actors and actresses from those movies and series that I was seeing in my head were there purely as spectators of the revelation that was being said between Mr Fox and the girl.

I was a wonderful story; I loved it, such passion and a delight to read, but am I being too bold? Ha-ha.

“Queen of knives” and “The case of the departure of Miss Finch” other delightful reads.  I loved them, they reminded me of one of my favorite Hammer horrors, “The Vampire Circus”, and they also had a similar air to “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.  I too, almost wrote a book similar to all four of these examples when I was fifteen years old.  A story based around a circus of the night, traveling vampire gypsies picking off locals at their stops, turning some, training some, it was a good idea I thought, but at the time I was going through a turmoil.  My brother had friends in publishing, they were at his house having a dinner party and I was also invited, they asked to view my work so arranged another dinner with my brother and I gave them some of my work, unfortunately I never got them back and they plagiarized my work, unfortunately still, I had no proof they did this because when I lost my completed work I lost heart in re-writing it all and burned the notes I had gathered over the two years it took me to complete it. So basically they got off Scot free and I’ve nothing to prove in court, so my loss I suppose.  My brother also worked behind the scenes of major film companies, so needless to say they did make a movie out of what I wrote, but made minor alterations, I won’t mention the movie here or the people, because I don’t like making a fuss, especially when I cannot offer proof.  The story was different to my gypsy vampire idea, but was vampire themed nonetheless, just this was the point of no return for me until I reached twenty one and had confidence in writing again, by this time I had forgot the idea, I only remembered the idea after reading those stories.

“Changes” I don’t remember this story either regrettably.

“The daughter of owls” now that was a beautiful fairy-tale in my opinion. 

“Shoggoth’s old peculiar” made me smile because it made me think he based the story on my family, who live on the edge of the Welsh and English border, they run a pub which resembles an eighteenth century tavern and I’m sorry to say they have toad-like faces and an old fashion air about them.  They are constantly cribbing about hiking tourists in their area, particularly Americans, which made this story feel it was made especially for me.  Obviously it wasn’t, Neil Gaiman doesn’t know me from Adam, but still, it felt special.

“Virus” I didn’t like either.

“Looking for the girl” I disliked too.  Reminded me a little bit of one of my exes, made me feel this story was based on his future life.

“Only the end of the world again” I liked, was it a sequel to one of the above stories I wondered?  Or more than one – I sense an air of “Shoggoth’s old peculiar” but also “the white road”.  I loved the combination if I am right, it worked amazingly well.

I think the “Bay wolf” is also like the above review, though I am confused, because I am trying to remember all the stories from only four months back and it’s difficult, particularly as I am writing this review on a day that my headaches are mild and wondering whether or not they should get worse and become the usual migraines.

“Fifteen painted cards from a vampire tarot” was also good, many stories in one.  Again, this was something I was thinking about writing as an inclusion to my traveling vampire gypsies when I was a teenager, another reason was because an old horror movie with Donald Sutherland inspired me a few years previous called “Dr Terror House of Horrors”. 

“We can get them for you wholesale” was both hilarious and bleak; I never laughed out as loud as I did when reading this story.  I truly recommend it for people who have a sick sense of humor like me!

“One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock” and “Cold Colours” I don’t remember these stories either unfortunately.

“The sweeper of dreams” was also beautifully written and after reading it, knowing I’ve ignored my love for writing for almost two years solid, I began to wonder if the sweeper of dreams came and visited me and stole my muse away or not?  But obviously it hadn’t, because I’ve started to write again, though, this time, my muse focuses mostly on poetry, not stories, like before.

I despised “Foreign Parts” it’s really not my kind of story at all. 

“Vampire Sestina” was brilliant and again, too short.

“Mouse” I couldn’t remember much about mouse either.

“The sea change” was a good read too, for what I remember and that’s not quite much at all, ha-ha.

“How do you think it feels” I liked the story and I hoped for more, but no.  Sometimes I think Neil Gaiman lacks the confidence to make some of his short stories into novels, it’s like he doesn’t believe in them so he makes them short but sweet.

“When we went to see the end of the world” that was a confusing read.

“Desert Wind” was nice.

I don’t remember “tastings” either.

“In the end” now that was very thought provoking and again, made me pause on the book for a fortnight whilst I thought things through and read “Enoch” and a few other non-fiction stories, for absolutely no other reason than to try and confirm my own beliefs in some strange inane kind of way.

“Babycakes” the title attracted me because when I was in college a friend of mine thought it would be good to have a name for each other, a pet name, so she came up with the name “Babycakes” I was baby and she was cakes.  She called me baby because I lacked experience of the world and she felt very motherly towards me.  Regrettably, the story isn’t as sweet as the one I just said above about me and my friend; it’s haunting in a bad way, terrifying because that could become a truth and I felt bad that I had read it, like it’s shameful.

“Murder mysteries” was beautiful, I liked the story outline.

Now, here comes my favorite story of the entire book “Snow, glass, apples” Neil Gaiman’s take on Snow White and it’s wonderful.  Unique, tragic, he saw what I saw in the story, not a victim but a spoiled dangerous little brat, that’s what I’ve always seen snow white as, but oh, it’s wonderful how he mingled this story with vampirism and victimization of the queen.  A pure work of genius!

This book was 50/50 in my opinion, 50% bad and 50% good, but the good bits are excellent, they are unique and imaginative and I love them, they inspire me to write my own stuff.

Thank you Neil Gaiman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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