Tyrant Spell Issue One Dawn of Darkness Hallowmas/Samhain
EDITOR’S PAGE AND INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST ISSUE OF !
Tyrant Spell is for all who share my interest in mystery, real magic and the unknown. ! As a child I described the stories I made up in my head as magic. I still believe that imagination is a magical tool and that through it can be discovered other worlds and dimensions. Through your imagination you can be in contact with all that is known to the unconscious mind, a vast ocean of awareness, described by someone once, I believe, as ‘infinite immensity’ and it this which we will explore. ! Largely story based, there will also be in future issues, articles, spells and a funny spooky short story as a regular feature, to be known as Twisted Yarn. ! You are all invited to contribute tales for this feature as well as more serious stories, poems, or articles on aspects that suit the theme and of course the magical tone of Tyrant Spell. It might be a fairy story. It might even be true, whatever you like. At first, your reward will be confined to seeing your name in lights, or at any rate your work in the glow of your computer screens, but eventually when Tyrant Spell becomes a commercial venture, remuneration will also become possible. ! There will of course be author profiles, which, I hope will be good publicity. ! I shall be including more and very exciting illustrations in future issues and artists are also invited to contribute for this category. As you will see, there are currently no illustrations for two of the serials and a lot of scope for the imaginative illustrator. ! The next issue is for Winter Solstice. The deadline for contributions is December 3rd at 11.59pm, after which time your 1
submission will turn back into a pumpkin! Actually items received after this date will be considered for future issues. ! Welcome to Tyrant Spell. I do hope you enjoy it! Alix INTRODUCTION TO THE THEME OF ISSUE ONE The first issue of this magazine has been produced to coincide with a period of darkness, heralded by the festival of the dead that is variously known as Halloween, Hallowmas, All Hallows Eve, (hallow meaning holy) Witchesâ€™ New Year and to give it what is probably its oldest name, Samhain, pronounced Sow-en, a celtic word that no one perhaps knows the exact meaning of. ! This festival is in honour of the ancestors, of all who have left this world and returned to the dark unknown. It is celebrated on various dates, traditionally on October 31st and astrologically on November 6th, also some regard it as taking place at New Moon in October and it represents the time when the doorway between the worlds is open, just a crack, or if you like, when the veil is at its thinnest. ! I believe, as do others, however, that it is the early darkness, and covers more than a single day, as following on from Autumn Equinox the nights begin to grow longer and our thoughts begin to turn inward, like an ageing process, leading up to the turning point and rebirth that takes place at Winter Solstice. ! Thus the stories in this issue are about what is hidden in the darkness, fear, secrets, that which is lost, and what may surface if we search within, what we may find outside the window in the dark, waiting to be let in. ! The theme story is on page 22. 2
Contents Editorâ€™s introduction to Tyrant Spell!
Introduction to this issueâ€™s theme!
Serial The One and Only! !
Serial Clio! !
Niahmas! ! ! ! ! The Kindling!!
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Mystery Poet a regular feature!!
Glastonbury Photo with mysterious image! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Where the title of the magazine comes from!!
! ! !
The Mermaid Rock
Contacts on the back cover
Serial, THE ONE AND ONLY, part one
THE ONE AND ONLY A tale of possession Prologue Daisy opened the door. She stared into the dark eyes of a young boy, eyes which held deep within them something she recognized and she was afraid again, afraid like the first time, walking in the woods, avoiding going home... Daisy I was dragging my feet through the soggy leaves, wishing I didnâ€™t have to be home by dark, but could go round to Kieronâ€™s house, when I heard footsteps behind me. I looked round. There was no 4
one there. Then, a moment later, off to my right - I heard them again, still no one! I began to be frightened. Then, suddenly, they were on my left slower, keeping pace, the sound of someone else’s feet making sucking noises as they trudged through the mulch alongside me! I was spooked. It wasn’t very cool of me, but I began to run. My feet seemed to stick in the leaves and I couldn’t go fast, like in a nightmare and suddenly the footsteps were on the path in front of me, coming towards me! I ran through the trees on my left and doubled-back, back towards school. I kept getting tangled in branches and almost falling over roots. Twigs were grabbing my clothes and the strap of my rucksack. They were snagging in my hair! I screamed! I broke through 5
onto the path again and looked back the way I had come and stopped. I couldnâ€™t hear anything now, but my own heart pounding in my ears, then there was a sort of rustling noise in front of me. Whoever it was had run ahead of me again to cut me off! I turned and stumbled along the path towards home, but suddenly the footsteps were beside me again! Running on the left - through the trees. Who was it? I ran into the woods on the other side of the path and went as fast as I could in the direction of home. I lunged through the trees until they forced me back onto the path, pushing their spiky fingers at me, scratching my face. I walked forward, panting, trying to be quiet, my heart so loud in my ears that I couldnâ€™t hear anyone except myself. It was 6
growing dark now. I looked all around me, peering into the gloom and saw no one, heard no one. I moved faster, almost running now the end of the path was close and I was nearly at my own village, nearly through the woods and in the lane opposite the street where I live. I kept looking left, then right and then I collided with someone - I screamed again, but there was no one there! A sort of tremor ran through me. I ran into the lane and darenâ€™t look behind me. Where the person who had bumped into me had gone, the one who had chased me, if it were the same person, I couldnâ€™t tell. There was no sign of anyone.
I found the front door unlocked, kicked off my boots and slipped upstairs quickly. I’d reached my bedroom door when my dad called from the kitchen. “Daisy, your tea is nearly ready. Don’t go out again and don’t get in the shower. It’ll wait until bedtime.” I escaped into my room and shut the door and leaned against my poster of Slipknot. I caught a glimpse of Joey’s masked face and it scared me, for once. I went and sat on the bed and picked up my old Teddy and hugged it, not really knowing what I was doing. I hadn’t hugged that bear since I was thirteen. I don’t know why I left him on my pillow still. After all I was seventeen, too old for keeping such a dirty old thing. I was annoyed with myself. I threw him down, but put him back on the pillow a minute later. 8
By the time I went down for tea I was over it. So someone was larking about in the woods, trying to frighten me. Most of the boys fancied me. I’d soon find out who the idiot was who was trying to freak me. Pervert, probably wanted to attract my attention. I’ll tell him. Yeah, really romantic, tosser! My dad called up the stairs, “Lasagna's ready, Daisy,” yuk! Dad’s lasagna sucks!
I opened my eyes suddenly, my heart pounding and looked at my alarm, just able to make out the time in the gloom, six am, but I knew I wouldn’t sleep now. In the nightmare, I was in the woods again and being chased. I couldn’t see anyone
behind me. I turned to run and this time, a boy with a face like the mask Joey wears was standing right in front of me. He held out his hand towards me that was when I woke up. When my heart had slowed down again, i lay there as the room began to grow lighter, very gradually and i wondered why I’d felt so scared. i felt great, really great, invincible. Nothing could hurt me and no one could punish me. i could do what i liked, everything i wanted to do, have everything i wanted and no one could say that i couldn’t! i put my shortest school skirt on and black tights and when i went down to breakfast, i just glared at Dad, willing him to say something about them, like - Daisy, you can’t go to school looking 10
like that - well i will go looking like this. i look great! Anyway he didn’t, so i provoked him. “Do you like this skirt Dad?” “It’s a bit short for school,” he looked up from his porridge, “Daisy, are you sure the teachers will approve, and anyway I don’t like you giving the boys even more reason to gawp at you.” “It’s for drama class Dad,” i lied. “All the girls have to come looking like prostitutes; we’re going to do a play and we all strip off. It’s called- ” “You’re not!” i laughed, “You’re so easy Dad.” “Not very funny,” he pursed his lips. “You’’re an old fogey, d’you know that Dad?” 11
“Your mother didn’t think so. We were Punks. We listened to The Sex Pistols. I was an anarchist before you were born Daisy. You think you know everything and you don’t - anymore than your mother and I did.” “My mother knew enough. She left you didn’t she?” He went quiet. His face was expressionless. i knew i’d hurt him. Why did I do that? As fast as i felt sorry about it though i suddenly wanted to hurt him even more. “i’ll be going as soon as i can as well. When i go to uni’ you’ll probably never see me again. i’m going to be good at business like Mummy.”
My mother was an inventor. She had been on the T.V. She was rich. â€œGo to school Daisy. Study hard,â€? Dad smiled, a sad smile, a really kind smile too. i was looking out of the bus window at the front of the top deck when i saw Tatum waiting at the stop by the new flats. She had her brat with her of course, all smiles, golden curls, dimples. An old lady was holding him while Tatum folded up her push chair. She got on, stayed downstairs, but the boys had noticed her of course. Even with a kid they lusted after her. Of course she had her own flat. i bet some of them went round there. To think i used to like her, wanted to be like her. But i heard
Kieron saying she was hot - and she was six months pregnant then! When we got to the stop before school, i beat the boys to the top of the steps. When i got down stairs with them all jostling behind me, she was standing there holding the kid. There was a boy on the lower deck already reaching for the push chair. The doors opened and thatâ€™s when i suddenly did it, didnâ€™t even think about it. i pretended to trip, well i was being pushed from behind, i fell down the bus steps into Tatum. She fell off the bus right on top of the brat. i heard his head crack on the pavement. Tatum screamed, but he started to bawl straight away. i saw that his head was red, a smear of blood in the blonde curls. i grinned. No one saw. 14
“Oh, my G- you ok Tatum? Is the baby ok?” I said as if i cared. A boy behind me asked, “Was that us? Oh God sorry, Tatum,” he gasped, all anxious. Then they all pushed past me to help her up. i was disgusted. i walked off. The kid was still howling. Oh yuk, they all make me sick. Pathetic! Before I got to school, I thought, why did I do that? I was sorry. Then i thought, no i’m not sorry. She deserved it. Stupid bitch. She’d be better off if the kid died anyway. Alexandra Lesley
To be continued.
CLIO July dusk. Musk in the air. Moths. Midges. Bats and cats had taken over the village streets. It was overcast. The road through the centre was nearly deserted. Two men stood outside the pub. An old woman sat alone in the cafe opposite the supermarket where Callum worked. It had just closed. !
Callum was hot and tired and glad to get on the bus. The driver
was used to Callum始s routine, which never varied, but still he frowned at the burger and chips in their polystyrene container and the six pack dangling from Callum始s other hand, together with the pass that he flicked in the driver始s direction, as always. !
Callum ambled to the back of the bus and slumped into the seat,
as always. !
He was good looking, but his long curly blonde hair was as
greasy as his chips and his face was full of spots. The rest of him wasn始t that attractive either. His jeans, which hung low, across his bum, were scruffy, and his trainers, once white, were now several shades of grey, as was his tee. Granddad style, with mismatched buttons, the opposite of cool. !
The burger and chips were gone and two lagers. Callum was
jolted awake when the bus went over a pot hole. He blinked stupidly and tried to see through the bus window. There were no lights. No street lamps and no house lights either. !
Oh crap, he thought. He had slept through his stop and was now
somewhere along the lane by the river. Woods on either side were
loomed over by the moor, vast and dark. The bus would eventually find its way back to civilization along a circular route, involving more dark, and not going near Callumʼs house again, but back through the village where he worked and then back to town. Why didnʼt the driver wake me? Callum suspected that he had acted out of spite and was seriously hacked off. !
In a temper he lurched to his feet and along the bus.
“Let me off,” he said loudly, startling the driver, who actually was only half awake himself. !
“Are you sure?” he said, scowling.
“Just open the door,” Callum said, already partway down the
steps. “Happy to oblige, you take care now, lonely along here - and dark, you never know what might be out there,” he chuckled, “thatʼs scarier than an angry young man!” !
Callum leapt into the dark, literally, immediately turning over on
his ankle, but righting himself before he could fall. !
“You ok, laddie?” asked the driver, friendly now, “Get back on.
Iʼll take you home.” !
Callum, still annoyed and embarrassed as well, said, “No
thanks, Iʼd rather walk, nice night for it. Itʼs cooler now.” !
“Thatʼs right, cool you down. See you Monday,” he said
chuckling at Callumʼs expense again. “Have you got a torch?” !
“Yeah. No. Iʼve got a minerʼs helmet.”
“If you havenʼt got a torch, get back on. Youʼll not see your
Callum pulled his keys out of his pocket and flashed his led - it
was shaped like a banana - very uncool. He shone it at the driver, who closed the doors and drove off. Callum stood there. His torch lit up the ground in front of him in a diminishing pool of light. Beyond that was simply black. !
It was so quiet, but then the wind began to blow and suddenly
beyond the light shed by his banana there were rustlings and whisperings. Callum, with a sudden inspiration, switched off his torch and waited. Gradually he began to see more and more. Although the road was overhung by dense trees at this point, there were patches of light sky and Callum found that he could see well enough. As he walked the wind grew stronger and, therefore, so did the rustling foliage sound louder in his ears, but suddenly, over it. he thought he could hear something else singing - yes it was, a girlʼs voice. As he walked along the lane it grew louder, until it was
Photo credit Joel Bedford (Flickr)
close, very close. Callum stopped. He couldnʼt see the singer, but she 18
was somewhere over on his left. Then the wind swept away the clouds at last and the full moon shone bright and Callum saw her! !
A girl, all silver in the moonlight, silvery long hair, waving in the
wind. Her pale face seemed to shine. Her dress was silver. Her legs were silvered, but around her she wore a cloak, which absolutely gleamed, as though it were covered in sequins or even with stars.
She stood near the bottom of a track, which clearly led up
through the wood and onto the moor. Abruptly she stopped singing and looked as startled to see him as he was her. She half turned as though she were going to go towards the wood. !
“Wait,” Callum said softly. “Please donʼt go. I sing. I mean Iʼm
a singer too, but your voice - itʼs amazing!” he gabbled. !
Suddenly the girl smiled, a very small smile, but a smile.
Callum was encouraged and walked towards her. !
“Hi, Iʼm Callum. I missed my stop,” he continued to gabble.
The girl laughed suddenly. A sound as sparkly as her cloak.
Callum laughed too. “Yeah, I am a bit of an idiot arenʼt I?
Hem,” he said, suddenly not knowing what to say in the face of the girlʼs mute appraisal of him. “Do you live near here?” !
At this the girl looked behind her and nodded.
A hill farm, Callum assumed. She startled him when she
spoke at last. !
“Walk with me,” she said and turned and began to walk up the
hill and further into the trees. Callum followed. He couldnʼt have done anything else. The moon continued to light the way. The grass became long and thick as they walked up the hill, the track dwindling to nothing more than an overgrown footway. 19
As they walked, Callum talked and the girl listened, intently,
as though every word that he uttered was of immense interest to her, as Callum told her about his life. It was hardly riveting stuff, a deadend job and no will to go to university, but singing, singing meanʼt something to him and she listened hardest when he spoke of this. !
Suddenly the girl stopped and Callum realized that they had
climbed quite a distance up the hill. She turned to him and grasped his hands in hers. She placed them on her waist and putting her arms around his neck, kissed his lips. !
Callum thought he had died and gone to Heaven!
The girl grew more passionate and soon Callum was all over
her like a rash! She pulled him to the ground and her breath was hot in his ear. Suddenly she was undressing him. She was far bolder than he was, but soon it was impossible to stop and when he lay spent, all tangled up with her, his face in her sweet smelling hair and his naked body still, held by her, he couldnʼt believe it, though it was real. !
She kissed him again and after a while it all began once more.
She was, fortunately, he thought, insatiable. !
Later, quite a lot later, they got to their feet and Callum offered
to walk the girl home. She shook her head, but smiled. !
“Can I see you again, er, whatʼs your name?”
She shook her head and Callumʼs hopes crashed and burned,
but then soared again. !
“When are you coming this way again?” she asked him.
“Eh, Sunday night. Will you be here?” he asked all full of
eagerness, like a puppy. 20
She nodded and turned and walked away.
Callum stumbled home in the dark. He crept up to the
bathroom trying not to wake his Mum who would have been in bed for hours. She wouldnʼt have worried, just assumed he had gone into town to meet his mates. He didnʼt always tell her what he was doing after work, well, he was nineteen. !
He looked at his face in the bathroom mirror, grinning, with his
toothbrush in his mouth, then froze, took the brush from his mouth and stared. All his spots had gone. Just vanished! !
On the next morning, which was his day off, Callum showered
and washed his hair as well, to his motherʼs amazement. He put his new jeans on to go into town in and when he got to the bus stop there was only one girl standing waiting, this being Saturday. He grinned at her, couldnʼt help himself. She grinned back. !
“Hi, Iʼm Callum,” he said, “I used to go to your school.”
“Aye, I know, I remember you. Anyway, I see you every
morning, you know,” she said. “Iʼm Clio.” !
To be continued.
NIAHMAS Prologue We drove along the under cliff road, with the moon shining down on us like a silver strobe light flickering through the trees and then beyond the trees onto the Military Road with the silvery sea on our left and then the chalk cliffs on either side of Freshwater bay loomed up like a huge white bird, and we were doing 99 miles an hour and as we climbed up to the highest point at the top of the bird’s right wing, if it were coming home, and I thought it was, from a long journey over the sea from France, I thought as I leaned in towards you with my hand resting on your thigh that if we skidded off the road now, bounced down the sloping cliff top and plunged to our deaths on Compton beach, I would die completely happy, as long as we were still together... Holly !
“Are you coming trick or treating with us Katy?” Candy asked a new
girl, who had moved down from the north of England. I didn’t know her, although she’d smiled at me that morning when I held the door for her going into the toilets, but then I didn’t hang out with any of them any more, not since Jake died. !
“Yeah, I’d like to. Cool, thanks,” Katy said.
I was sitting slumped on the floor under the stairs and they were in the
corridor above me. I heard scuffling noises as they sat down on the steps near the top.
“That’ll be seven of us then,” Candy said, Van, Kerry, you, me, and
Liam, Josh and Raj of course,” she smirked, I could tell, when she mentioned the boys names. !
“Raj? Isn’t it against his religion or something?” Katy said,
“ No, he knows it’s just a laugh,” Candy said, “Besides, he’s so got the
hots for Vanessa,” she laughed, that dirty kind of laugh she has. !
“What about Holly, won’t she be coming too?” Katy asked. I sat up
and waited to hear what Candy would say. I knew she didn’t like me. The feeling was mutual. !
“Oh her, weirdo. She’s not been the same since her boyfriend died in
the summer -” !
I heard Katy gasp.“Oh, I didn’t know. Poor Holly.”
“She’s a freak. She wants to watch herself. She’ll end up like that old
hag who lives in the bay, walks about on the cliffs muttering and mumbling. Holly does that.” !
I went hot. I didn’t know I’d been noticed, talking to Jake. We loved
the bay. We used to make out there. !
“Anyway,” Candy was saying, “I think we’ll pay that old freak a
visit. They say she’s a witch you know, so she shouldn’t mind should she, probably sees ghosts and goblins all the time.” There was that laugh again. !
I lay in bed that night and tried not to go to sleep, but I did and he was
there again, sitting on that bench above Compton Bay, telling me everything would be all right, and in the dream, he was so real and when I woke up and 23
remembered that he wouldn’t be here with me ever again I cried, like I do every morning now. !
It was Saturday. All day I kept thinking of the woman Candy had
talked about, who lived in the bay. I thought I knew where she lived, at the bottom of the Military Road, as you left the bay to go towards Compton. I hadn’t known she was supposed to be a witch. I knew now that there was something more than this life. I mean, I wasn’t religious and I wasn’t a Goth or anything, but if anyone could help me, maybe she could. After lunch, I walked into the bay from my foster parents house in the village. I told them I was going to walk to the bay. They weren’t surprised. I was always there. I was there by the middle of the afternoon. I walked up to the Tennyson Monument and looked down into the bay on my way back. I could see the house where the witch lived. I was thinking of her like that by now. It was growing dark. Suddenly I saw a light go on in her house. I made up my mind then, I would go to see her - right away. !
The house was a bit tatty. I could tell, even in the fading light, that it
needed a make-over. I rang the door bell, wondering whether it would actually work. I heard it ring. I waited. Rang again. Waited. I was just turning to go when the light came on in the porch, then the inner door opened and a woman came out. She smiled at me through one of the glass panels in the top half of the door. I was amazed. She was quite pretty for her age and dressed no differently from me, black jeans and a black tee with a rather cool design of a cat putting it’s paw up to a cobweb on the front of it. She opened the door. !
“Hi,” she said and waited. I realised at last that of course she wanted
to know why I was there, what I wanted with her. I felt stupid now. I think I 24
just stood there with a blank look on my face. I was just wondering what to say when she spoke again. !
“Come in, we don’t want to let the cold in do we?”
I followed her down a beautiful tiled hallway and into a panelled room
with a huge bay window and other windows all looking out over the bay. She gestured that I sit down in an armchair in the bay window. !
“I’ll make some tea. You would like some?”
I started to ask her not to go to any trouble, but she said that she was
having some and that I looked like I needed a cup, so I said I would love one, !
There was an open fire - no - a living flame gas fire in the hearth and
the room, though it was big, was cosy. When she came back with the tea in a pot, and two mugs on a tray with milk and sugar and a jar of honey - how did she know - she put it on the table next to me and sat down in a chair on the other side of it from mine. !
“I always have milk and honey in mine. What would you like?” she
“I like honey, and milk, in mine too,” I said, feeling foolish that I’d
believed that she’d somehow known that I liked honey. She poured the tea. !
“I’m Gwynn,” she introduced herself.
“Holly. Er - some -er friends of mine told me about you. I thought you
might be able to advise me...” I stopped, unsure what to say next. !
“They’re not really your friends are they?”
How did she know?
“The only girls I know of are not those who would be your friends, not
like you at all,” she said.
It was just a deduction based on observation, not magic, not because
she was psychic, but she was right of course. !
“No, they’re not really my friends. I know them from school. I
overheard them talking, that’s all.” !
“Why do you think I can help you?” she asked me then. She looked
pleased, even a little flattered. !
“Well, I, -” I didn’t know how to begin. I said so.
“Begin at the very beginning,” Gwynn said.
“Well,” I struggled, it was hard to say, “In the spring, I lost my
parents.” She didn’t interrupt with sympathies. I was glad. “Their yacht capsized in the Solent. They were racing their friends, my boyfriend’s parents. They died as well, trying to save my Mum and Dad. !
Jake was all I had left. I was all he had too. We were closer than we’d
ever been. We were grieving, but we were together and we had a wonderful summer, somehow, because we were together. We spent a lot of time in the bay,” I recalled us making love on the beach, at sunset, in our secret place, beyond Stag’s Rock, but I didn’t tell Gwynn that of course. We could only go there at low tide, when it was possible to walk across the slippery rocks on the sea bed, to a beach near the remains of the Arched Rock, and the Mermaid Rock, Sometimes, Jake would swim out to the Stag’s Rock and climb right to the top, but he would only jump back into the sea from halfway back down. I teased him about it . He just said, “Rocks above water and rocks below it too, Holly.” “Then, then Jake got ill.” I couldn’t go on for a moment.“ Leukaemia. We were hopeful, at first, but then, he just faded and faded and,” I looked away, and saw a rose in a vase on a dining table at the other end of the room, 26
just stared, with my eyes filling up, at the overblown flower, faded and drooping. !
“He died,” Gwynn
said,”even though you could never really imagine it happening, it did.” she said, her voice almost a whisper. !
I looked at her and
through my tears I could see that she seemed lost in her own thoughts, but then she looked at me. !
“I’m sorry,” she said, “so sorry, but how is it that I can help you,
Holly. I”ll do anything I can.” !
“Well, last month, one night, I went out for a drive,” I didn’t tell her I
drank half a bottle of Chardonnay first. I put my red dress on and danced alone in my room in the dark, with just the moon lighting the room. Then I got in my red Sirocco. “I drove along this road up towards Compton and at the top, you know, where they had to strengthen the cliff, I drove my car off the road and I mean’t to drive over the cliff, I really did, but just before I got to the edge, I felt him. The engine was roaring and the display was flickering and I just knew he was sitting next to me like before, I mean like he used to and I stopped dead, and my head hit the windscreen and electricity was sparkling 27
and crackling all around me and Jake was there - he was,” I said, as though she might deny it. But she didn’t. !
I Looked at her, “And now I feel him in my dreams, and when I wake
up in the morning, and at first it was good, but now it’s killing me and I want more, you know?” !
She nodded at me, as though she understood perfectly.
“What can I do?” I asked her, and I was thinking, what must she think
of me? My eyes must be running black with mascara and she must think I’m mad, but realising all the while that she didn’t. !
“I’ll tell you,” she said.
I went home that evening feeling almost happy. “Will it really work?”
I’d asked her. !
“I don’t know,” she had replied, “but it’s worth a try isn’t it?” She had
smiled, but in a serious way and her eyes were full of sympathy. Gwynn She sat on the train. Leofwin, the last cat, a little black tom named after another she had had when she was very young, he had been lost one night in a storm, was in his carrier beside her on the seat, but she imagined someone else sitting there. !
He had been tall, balletic, with blue eyes shaped like almonds, but that
hadn’t been it. They had been so much in sympathy, not alike, in many ways, but in tune spiritually. !
Memories of their time together assailed her then, painfully, even a
night once when they had walked through a city and for a moment she had tried 28
to imagine what it would be like if he were no longer there with her. It didnâ€™t compare with the reality. !
The train took them through landscapes, wild and beautiful,
mountains, evergreen forests gave way to lakes and hills, beautiful purple heather moorland, then villages, and these were succeeded by factories and canals, each tunnel leading to more grime. Then there were open fields and woodland again, more villages and towns. On the next train The New Forest rushed by and all its splendour of trees and open country, peopled with deer and ponies. Then came the harbour at Lymington with yachts and dinghies and then the big ferry. !
She sat at the end of this ambivalent vessel and watched as the island
grew nearer, with its two hills in the centre of the picture that made her think of them, as always, as the breasts of the island. !
Then she had moved into a house that she had always loved,
overlooking the bay and the wide sweep of the chalk cliffs up to the monument on Tennyson Down. !
Now she and Leofwin had been here for over a year. They had
friends! and the island was as beautiful as ever, but it would never be as it used to be when... !
It began to enter her mind that she too might perform the ritual that
she had suggested to the girl, Holly. Of course she knew that those lost to this world were not gone, even when her awareness suffered, as now. !
Iâ€™ll do it, she thought!and then something happened that nearly stopped
On the very morning of Halloween or Samhain as she preferred to call
the day, Leofwin, who was old, but so full of life still that it came as a shock, left her. He had shown no outward signs of illness at all and that morning had been lying on her chest, looking into her eyes and purring, a habit he had. He had looked as though he were trying to convey something to her. She sometimes picked up his thoughts. He was closing his eyes, looked sleepy. She remembered thinking, Oh no my boy, not now, I have a ritual to prepare for today, when she caught his thought, just before he fell asleep. She dare not move and after a little while, she knew he had gone. !
He was lying now on a cushion, in the room that would have been a
study for Edmund had he been able to come back to the island with her. She was devastated, so much so that the tears had come late. They had been for Leofwin, but for Edmund as well, all over again and now that Leofwin was gone, she felt very lonely. Her thoughts strayed to their last home. It had been in a beautiful place too and it had been where they were when she had lost Edmund. Some of her memories of him were there, her last memories of him were wrapped up in that world, which they had shared. This place was now her world, hers alone. !
Now red nosed, but determined, more so than before, she prepared
herself and her tools and set up her altar in her bedroom for the ritual. Holly In her bedroom in her foster parentâ€™s house, Holly was following the instructions the witch had given her. She had soaked in the bath for almost an hour. Gwynn hadnâ€™t said that long, just to take a bath. She had acquired 30
certain tools and objects that Gwynn had suggested she use and had drawn her circle using her knife, her athalme. Gwynn had written it all down for her. Gwynn On her altar was her Goddess image, as used in the Dianic tradition, not to worship, but to be representative. A picture to illustrate the triple aspect of the Goddess, in this case and they were three souls in the picture who were known to her. In front of the Goddess was her chalice, filled with water brought from the source in a magical place near her last house. !
Her wand, taken from a favourite tree that grew below her garden at
her previous home, represented her will and was on her altar pointing south. Her cord she wore as a girdle and had cast her circle with her athalme. Gwynn and Holly Facing the cheval mirror, following what was a variation on an old Wiccan ritual, she began by gazing solemnly at her own reflection and accepting all about herself, all that she might consider were her strengths and what she thought were her weaknesses. The room was lit only by the two white candleâ€™s on either side of the Goddess image on her alter. !
Then she thought of him and looking into her own face, aloud, she
asked him to appear before her. Gwynn A noise startled her.Outside there was the sound of footsteps on the gravel path. Then the doorbell rang. She waited, hoping whoever they were, they would go away, but they must have seen the candle light, for the bell rang 31
again. She could hear giggling and whispering through the open roof light next to her. !
Trick or treaters. They didn’t usually come this far. She had not
prepared anything to give them and she wouldn’t give them money. The bell rang again, someone leaving their finger on it now. Holly I saw that my face was starting to change, at first it was hazy, as though my gaze was slipping out of focus, then my features began to lengthen, and my mouth which is wide and my lips which are rather full began to change as well,became thinner, so familiar to me, as familiar as my own, but not my own. I trembled. It was my eyes! They were no longer mine, but his! Gwynn They were knocking on the bay window now, and whistling and wooing like cartoon ghosts. They began to shout over the wind which had begun to rise outside, whipping in the waves, so that the sea was lending its voice to the din. !
“TRICK, TRICK. TRICK!”
Then something came in through the window. It was an egg. It flew
across the room, followed by raucous laughter and smashed against the wall where it slid in a slimy streak down the pale blue paint. !
Gwynn suddenly felt a pain like no other she had ever felt. She put her
hands to her chest and fell to her knees in front of the mirror. !
A stone shot through the window and had she been still standing might
have hit her on the head, but instead fell harmlessly onto the rug behind her. 32
Then he was there, kneeling on the rug before her. She held out her
arms to the mirror, where he looked back at her smiling. Holly Outside it had begun to rain and the wind was growling, beginning to roar, but I scarcely noticed. Jake was holding his arm out to me, his hand. I put out my arm and our fingers touched. I could feel them, real flesh and blood fingers! !
Then there was a blinding flash and lightening struck the mirror. I felt
a sharp pain and looked down. A piece of mirror glass had struck me in the chest. I was bleeding! I fell on the floor. Jake held his hand out. I reached for it. He stepped out of the mirror and knelt by me and held me. I wasnâ€™t afraid now. The pain was suddenly gone, but Jake was there and I reached up to his face in wonder. Then I felt myself slipping and everything began to fade away and Jakeâ€™s face was gone and all went black. I could still feel Jake with me, but like it was before and I couldnâ€™t feel his arms around me. He was inside me or I in him and then I saw a light begin to grow and it was moving towards me, or was I moving towards the light? !
And then I could see Jake holding out his hand to me, standing in the
light. I took his hand and stepped through the broken mirror into the sunshine. We were on the hidden beach in the bay and it was morning. The sun stretched across the sea to the horizon in a sparkling path. We stepped towards it. Gwynn Gwynn got to her feet and held out her hand to Edmund, who also had risen. He took her hand and she stepped towards him and into his arms. !
Outside the storm was getting worse. Candy and the others had had
Upstairs in the mirror, dark figures began to form. They looked like
the children below them in the witch’s garden and yet they were other, their faces truly mischievous, elemental, without human boundaries. They were darkling beings, conjured or created out of the teenagers’ hateful thoughts. !
Candy raised her hand to throw one last egg at the window, but her
wrist was caught by one of the others. It was herself, but not herself, As she screamed she heard the others screaming. She was pulled down the path by her alter ego. They all were being pulled and the hands of these others were strong. Only one of the girls broke free. Katy’s heart had not been involved in what they had been doing. She had felt remorse, asked the others to leave, but they wouldn’t. She ran as fast as she could across the lawn and down the drive and away, her heart pounding like her feet on the road, running to escape. !
She was pursued, but suddenly her darker self disappeared altogether,
as she spared a thought for the others still in the garden and her footsteps slowed. She looked back. She could see them being pushed and prodded over the road onto the cliff top. She ran back up towards them and onto the cliff, following her friends across the sunken path and onto the open cliff again and the others, with them, though she shivered and not just from the icy raindrops that sparked against her face and stung her skin. She was in time to see, as far as she could make out in the wind and rain, a line of figures running towards the cliff edge and then they disappeared. !
Candy held her breath as she jumped, unable to let go of the hands of
the others and found herself in a nightmare. !
On the following morning, they were found walking about on the beach
below, near the remains of the Arched Rock and the rock known as the 34
Mermaid, unable to speak and cut off by the tide. The lifeboat had to rescue them. They were traumatised for weeks and none of them would speak of what had happened. They said only that they had been to a Halloween party. Candy said something quite strange to Katy, however. !
“I never knew how they felt.”
“Who?” Katy asked.
“All those people I was mean to, in one way or another, people at
school, the old man who lives next door to us, my parents, Holly.” !
“And you do now?”
Alternate ending or Epilogue:
Holly I was suddenly dragged away from Jake or so it seemed. I heard his voice. !
â€œBe happy Holly,â€? he said.
I woke up........... I was in hospital. My foster parents were there.
They told me what had happened. Well, I knew about the mirror. They had come upstairs and found me, rang for an ambulance. I had to have a blood transfusion. Then they told me I was pregnant, six months. I remembered making love with Jake on the hidden beach, in May, before he got sick. !
At the beginning of February of the following year I gave birth to a
little boy. They put him to my breast, straight after he was born. I was dazzled by him, and I was crying. Jake was standing at my side, grinning and holding my hand, although I was the only one who could see him!
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This story is about the true nAture of Halloween, the night when the
way or the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. !
sa eht snoitcelfer era desrever ni eht rorrim os sâ€˜nnywg dna sâ€™ylloh
eurt sevol raeppa ni eht rorrim osla! !
THE KINDLING She had lived all over the world, she and her father, though she was only young still. Bright. Brash. All glitter - and long hair so blonde it was almost gold. Brass. He has ‘plenty of brass’ they said, in this city of Manchester, in their local dialect that made her laugh. In the nightclub that her father had bought with some of his ‘brass’, she flirted and danced and flirted. Danced on the stage and on the tables and on the dance floor. Men bought her drinks and the doormen turned a blind eye to her young sweet face, her body not yet that of a woman. But the way she looked at them, old eyes and bad. If she hadn’t been the boss’s lass... One night she met a boy, a boy, not a man. The Gatsby wasn’t really a teenagers’ club, but he was there alone. He stood at the edge of the dance floor, leaning against a tall Grecian pillar, looking assured, sure of himself, which he wasn’t. He watched the girl dancing. 37
He just watched her all night, until, as he had hoped, she came over to him and spoke. “What’re you staring at, puss’ cat?” she asked in what sounded like a slight South American drawl, with something else that he couldn’t quite name. Her tone was challenging, but she smiled. “You’re a terrible dancer!” She wasn’t. He knew it. She knew it too. She laughed. Dancing on the spot next to him. “You’re real good of course,” she said. “No, I’m awful, two left feet and one leg shorter than the other. But I thought, if she gets paid , maybe they’ll pay me n’ all.” She laughed again and stopped dancing, sidled up to him. “You’re funny. What you say and how you say it.” That’s how it began. On the next night they went to a young place, Tiger Tiger. It was a favourite of hers. He was twenty, he said. 38
“How old are you?” “I’m old enough...” she replied. “I doubt that.” “I am, old enough -” “To be me Mam,” he cut in. She laughed again. “Your Ma you mean?” She chuckled, “That’s right, I am.” They went to the cinema, which he called the pictures. They went shopping. She paid. She drove him in her little black MG to Boggart Hole Clough and they walked through the trees hand in hand. “What do you do?” she asked. “Oh, I’m going to make a lot of money and go and live in Las Vegas and gamble it all away.” “My daddy had a casino there.” They went to the races. The horses she picked all won. She gave him the money. 39
“Why are you so old for your age? Why don’t you go to school or if you really are older than you look, why aren’t you at university? You’re clever that way. You know so much.” She had told him around a million facts about the places she had lived. She referred to characters in books. She spoke more than one language. She laughed again. “I like the way I live. I stay with Daddy. I used to be wild, out of control.” His eyes opened wide. “Believe me,” she said, “I’m a good girl now, but Daddy had to reign me in. He had to discipline me a lot.” “Didn’t hit you did he?” “He had to.” She saw his face. “Only once in a while. He said it was ‘righteous chastisement’. Oh,” she said, when his lip curled, “he’s very
devout. Really, don’t hate him. I don’t know what I’d be or where, without him. No one could ever know me so well or be to me what he is.” That night she went back to his bedsit, but not for coffee. As they lay together, her head on his breast and he smoked a cigarette, she told him more. “My mother died when I was twelve in a terrible accident.” She remembered finding her mother’s body out in the jungle where she had fallen. “My father was like a lost little boy without her.” “What happened?” “She was out walking in the forest on our land, one autumn evening in the moonlight.” She paused. Her thoughts took her back to where she was born, a beautiful place, not like Canada, nor like New Zealand, nor like Scotland, all places she had lived. A place where there were more of her family, yet they were not taken kindly to, even there, though her father was even more powerful there than he was now. She continued aloud. 41
“Our forest was a dark place, so easy to come to harm, but so beautiful at night. I was waiting in the garden. When,” she hesitated, “she didn’t come home I went to look for her. I found my mother where she had fallen to her death in a ravine,” and she could not continue, her tears were overflowing, her throat was full. She turned her face up to him. He held her tight while the sadness shook her. When she found her voice it was full of another emotion. “I have fallen in love with you. I never thought I would fall in love with anyone. Daddy is my man.” At this last remark, the answering feeling in the boy’s eyes faded and his nostrils flared. He glared at her, but his eyes softened again when he saw the look of love in her dark eyes. They were so beautiful. Huge black pupils and the irises pale blue, but touched with yellow that made him think of sunlight on the underside of storm clouds. “I love you too,” he murmured and they made love again, more tenderly than before. 42
It isn’t like this with Daddy she thought later, but it is so good. Can I keep this boy?
“Can he come with us when we move away?” she asked, almost to herself, and her father answered with what sounded like a cross between a whine and a growl. They went out that night and came home through Queen’s Park. He put his lips to her neck and left a bruise on her, nipped her with his teeth. But in the morning he conceded the argument. If it had been so serious a thing. How could he deny her. “He may come with us honey, if that’s what you want.” “For always?” She gazed into his eyes, darker than hers, more golden. “He can stay for as long as it lasts, you know that,” he said and he squeezed her shoulder and pushed her away. “Go to your boy.”
The boy saw the mark on her neck when he raised her hair to place his own lips there. “What’s this?” “Nothing.” “Did your father beat you?” “No.” “I”ll kill him if he ever lays a finger on you again.” “You’ll need a silver bullet.” “I mean it. He thinks he’s a hard man. He thinks money will buy him anything and anyone. He believes he has power over everything and everybody and maybe he does over some people, but not over me and, not over you.” “No,” she was laughing again. He couldn’t help smiling. “We will be going away again soon,” she said, serious now. “You mean on holiday?” He sat up in bed, suspecting. 44
She shook her head. “No, I mean away, somewhere else to live. We were thinking of Sicily. We - Daddy has friends there.” “I”ll bet. You don���t have to go. You don’t want to go - do you? After what you’ve said? I mean you love -” “Shh - “ She had put her fingers to his mouth. “Listen. I want you to come with me, if you love me too.” “I do, but - ” She cut him off again with her finger tips. “If you’ll always be mine, not off with other girls.” “As if,” he snorted against her hand. “I”ll always love you. I”ll always stay with you, always, to the end, until you’re an old, old man, till the end of time.” He looked at her. His face was anguished and angry at the same time. “I can’t go with you. He can’t buy me. I just said. Don’t go, stay here with me.” Her eyes told him that she wouldn’t. 45
His face altered, his torture became disappointment, then it hardened and became a mask. He pulled away from her hands, got out of bed. “I have a job. I”ve got contacts now. If I get it right, they”ll let me in. I”ll have money,” he looked at her as he said this, “I’ll be able to keep us both.” “What sort of job?” He hesitated. “Import and export. I collect some goods over in Africa and bring them back and then I get paid.” “Goods?” she asked sharply, “Who for?” Now she remembered seeing him talking to Big Mo in The Gatsby, someone her father knew. He wasn’t a good man. He was rich like her father and his money had been gained in even dirtier ways. “Jewellery, for a, a firm here in Manchester.” He was flustered now.
“Sparkly stones, unmade up,” she stated and pushed her hair back from her face to show her earrings, “but like these?” The diamonds flashed as she turned away and looked down. Then she leapt from the bed in one fluid movement to confront him. “Come with us,” she pleaded. “It could go wrong - and it is wrong.” He thrust her away. “Oh, yeah, and what your dear ‘Daddy’ does isn’t?” He shook his head now. “I’ll take you home, get dressed.” “When do you go?” she asked. “Saturday. When are you leaving?” “Next month maybe.” “I”ll see you when I get back then.” She smiled, but it was a sad smile and said, “If you’re able to come back.” He did come back and he went to The Gatsby and walked in with another girl. The girl saw him, saw the girl he was with. She was a ‘dancer’, 47
Mo’s favourite, always hanging on his arm. Now she was with the boy, her boy. Mo was there, over at his usual table. He looked over and nodded and winked at the boy. Other girls came over, flocked about him. She knew they were friends of Mo’s girl. They were like a kind of harem. They flapped around the boy as he ordered drinks at the bar. They pecked at his cheeks and ran their fingers through his hair. She had seen enough and fled through the door that led to the fire escape. He saw her go and made a move as though to go after her, but was stopped, was suddenly being kissed by the dancing girl. The girl’s father noticed her leave. He looked around and saw the boy being eaten alive by Mo’s girl and he made up his mind. He walked over to Mo’s table. Big Mo was the guy he was selling The Gatsby to. The guy grinned at him. He sat down, ordered drinks. They small talked. Then he made his terms clear. 48
He said, “Ok, here’s the deal. The club is yours for the sum we agreed, but I have one condition, one small favour.” Mo’s face grew suspicious, but then he grinned, was all bonhomie. “What can I do for you my friend? Name your favour.” When he heard the ‘favour’, he relaxed. “Is that it? Consider it done my friend,” he held out his hand on these words, “We have a deal?” They shook on it. The boy noticed when he came off the dance floor for the fourth time, hot, his white shirt sticking to his back, that Mo was beckoning to him. He went over, his face, shiny, grinning at Mo, who also grinned as he told the boy not unkindly that he had to let him go. He opened his mouth to protest, to ask what it was that he’d done wrong, to fall out of favour so soon. Weren’t the stones good, he thought. He didn’t speak, because suddenly Mo’s face was blank. Then he turned back to his friends around the table. He had cut him off just like that. 49
When he went back over to the bar all the girls were gone. He glimpsed Mo’s girl going through the door marked Powder Room. He followed her in there. He found out how the deal had been cut. He guessed why. He went back out into the club and he saw them, over by the door. They had just walked in, the girl and her father. He had his arm around her. He kissed the top of her head. The boy saw how it was suddenly, when she looked up at that man’s arrogant face, looked into his eyes and he hers and the love in both their looks was clear. He was appalled, even sickened. And he was angry, angry at that beast of a man. Bastard. He had her under his control. She was not his daughter, but his possession. He thought he could charm the birds off the trees, charm the pants off ‘em. I”ll stop him, he thought, I’ll show the bloody sod he can’t own everybody, he can’t have her for much longer.
It was Mo’s girl who helped him out. She didn’t even ask what he wanted it for. Maybe she thought he wanted it for Mo. He realised that she didn’t like Mo. It was just a job she did, how she earned a living. Possibly she actually hated him. He hated him, but not as much as the other one, the one it was mean’t for. The other part of it was a joke. He’d been amazed when he got hold of one. Apparently you could get anything over the internet. Some crank outfit called Holy Warriors. The guy on the phone, when he rang, burbled on about ridding the world of monsters, anyway he had the thing. It had been two days. He thought that he shouldn’t wait or they might be gone and he would have failed. As soon as he knew the girl had gone out that evening he would seize his chance. He waited until he saw her leave. It was about six thirty. Friday, the clubs wouldn’t get going yet. Maybe she was meeting some girlfriends for cocktails and a buffet. He was across the road. He watched her drive off. He was sure she wasn’t old enough to drive her expensive toy, wasn’t old enough 51
He went over and used the code she had given him to get into the foyer, if he’d wanted to call round he could, meet Daddy. He sneered. He’d meet Daddy all right. The lift would take him up to the penthouse suite on the top floor, with the roof garden she’d told him about. It even had trees growing in it, that reminded her of home, she had said, though they were much smaller, of course. The girl drove up to the boy’s building. There was no light in his window. It was dark now. The clocks would go back the day after tomorrow and it would be even darker by this time. He was out, she was sure, but she got out of the car and went in, went to his door and knocked. No answer. It was then that she felt it, an awful foreboding, like a warning of the worst thing in the world. She knew what that would be. She rushed out and got back in the car and drove with the speed of a bullet back to the tower block. When she got there, what she already knew was hammered home, like a stake through the heart. There was an ambulance standing in the 52
street, and a police car and then through the door of the building came two paramedics carrying a stretcher, with a covered figure on it. She screamed. They looked at her and from his vantage point in the bushes across the road the boy watched her. Someone had heard the shot and rung the police and he had got out and made it over the road just in time. She ran to the stretcher and dragged off the blanket and screamed again. A policeman, her father’s age, took hold of her arm. “You knew him miss?” “Daddy,” she sobbed, “he’s my Daddy.” She broke free of the hand that gripped her and ran after the stretcher, then turned away, ran across the forecourt towards the car, turned back, ran to the ambulance, fell to her knees. One of the paramedics helped her to her feet, put his arm around her. She got in the back of the vehicle with him. Across the road the boy was crying.
The police found the girl’s birth certificate in the penthouse, in her father’s desk. She was fifteen. They handed her over to Social Services who sent her to a home. She was in shock. She was there for a month. They allowed her to attend her father’s funeral of course. She saw the boy, watching from the churchyard entrance as she was driven by in the car from the funeral parlour. They wouldn’t let her drive her own car of course. As soon as she saw him she knew what she had feared must be the truth. Of course they had told her about the silver bullet. They were mystified, but she had known straight away. Her father had other enemies, but this was damning evidence that it had been the boy, the boy she had loved. Then one night when the moon was full and the garden of the home was floodlit, she left. Although no one kept her in, the front door was locked and someone was in reception through the night. She jumped, however, from her first floor window and landed on the lawn beneath, only slightly jarring herself.
He was on his way home through Boggart Hole Clough after a night at Tiger Tiger, drinking, dancing with girls too drunk to mind how drunk he was. He weaved along the path amongst the trees, drunk, in a stupor. She spoke and he stopped, swaying on the path, chilled by her words. “I have come to avenge the death of my father.” He couldn’t see her. She was in the darkness, off the path, hiding in amongst the bushes. He heard noises, something metallic, sharp clicks. Perhaps she had a gun. When she spoke again, her voice sounded softer. It was full of fondness as she told him of her remembrance. “ I want to tell you first about my mother’s death. I didn’t tell you the whole story,” her voice became even softer, but he heard every word, “She was out walking as I said and she did fall to her death, but after she had been shot by a hunter. He told my father that he had mistaken her in the moonlight for a white hart. He didn’t and my father knew this and killed him. We were not liked, even there in the land of our creation. 55
Now I want to tell you something more about us. We are an ancient race, long lived. We don’t age at the same rate as you and we are almost immortal, but not indestructible. Maybe some monsters can be killed by a silver bullet, or it may be a myth, but my father would’ve been killed by a glock with an ordinary bullet, which I”m sure that you knew. The silver bullet was a joke, because you couldn’t know the truth, would never have guessed. I will always love you, y’know. Always. Maybe if you had come with us, “ she paused, and in the pause he thought he heard a sob, very quiet, but when she spoke again her voice was steely, and he shivered, “But now I will show myself to you, my true self, whom you might have met under happier circumstances in another fairy story, one with a happy ending.” She leapt from the bushes with a terrible roar; it had time to enter his heart and turn his veins to ice before she ripped his throat out and tore him to pieces.
Afterwards she stood, panting, gore on her teeth and in her fur. She breathed hard until she calmed, an ice calm like her coat, icy in the moonlight. She ran from her kill. She had no wish, she realised, to dine on him. She broke the lock on the door of the public toilet at the edge of the park and washed herself before she changed. She went back to the empty penthouse where the portal shimmered in the moonlight amongst the trees in the roof garden and stepped through it. She changed back and made her way to the top of the highest hill above her jungle home. The abandoned house that belonged to her family and stood at the bottom of the hill on the edge of the jungle was a place that she couldnâ€™t bring herself to return to yet. The wind moved the clouds aside and freed the moon. Its benign light shone down upon her where she stood in all her terrible beauty, a huge tiger with fur as white as frost under the moon, who with her 57
tremendous pull, drew all her sadness out in a roar so full of pain that all the creatures in the jungle froze as it reverberated through their souls.
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Through the hours of yesternight Hall and gallery blazed with light; Every lamp its lustre showered On the adorer and the adored. None were sad that entered there, All were loved, and all were fair; Some were dazzling, like the sun Shining down at summer noon; Some were sweet as amber even, Living in the depth of heaven; Some were soft, and kind, and gay, Morning’s face not more divine; Some were like Diana’s day, Midnight moonlight’s holy shrine.
There will be a poem from this poet in every issue of Tyrant Spell. There is a prize for guessing the identity of the poet, but if you know please donʼt tell anyone but the editor and if you know the editor personally, you are not allowed to enter! One day the poetʼs identity will be revealed. The first person who guesses correctly will receive a book of poems by the mystery poet. 59
SAVIATONA Prologue I have to go , "e #$ght, and %rang to her feet,
#en &o'ed, forced herself to l(ten to what her hea), her s$l , was saying, l(ten for time, location, a name, and , a *mension, #en "e ran from her cabin and to + wheel.
“Hold on,” "e said al$d, even #$gh he w$ldn’t hear her, al#$gh sometimes #ey *d, “I am coming.”
Her hands g-'ed + wheel.
! He sat down at his desk, pressed a key on his keyboard. It was the s and the screen on his iMac lit up, Safari, Google. ! Antique ships figureheads, mm, yes, that aught to do it. He entered the words. A hah, antique shipʼs figurehead for sale. He opened the search page. There were quite a few entries. Ah, that one. He clicked on it. Immediately, the most beautiful girl was before his eyes. She was, of course, a shipʼs figurehead, but what a stunner. ! Really, Iʼm quite smitten, he thought, but as he dwelt on the image, his whimsical mood left him. There was something about her. Surely she looked familiar. He felt as though he had met her, but when? He would have remembered such a lovely. 60
Canʼt have been recently. Girlʼs like that didnʼt give a second glance at middle-aged antiqueʼs dealers - unless she had been to the shop - Really James, you wouldʼve remembered her. Besides, he thought, I havenʼt been open in the harbour, all that long. What am I thinking? She isnʼt real, at least if she ever were a real girl, who modelled for this figurehead, it was along time ago. Iʼm not that ancient! ! As he looked at her, he really did fall in love, but he couldnʼt shake the feeling that this was somehow a memory. " I must enlarge the image, he thought and looked for an icon. It was there, but his trembling finger missed and landed on the figureheadʼs left eye instead. That was when it happened. The whole screen changed and suddenly he was looking at a film. ! He saw a beautiful bay, blue sea, blue sky, fishing boats bobbing in a harbour, gulls crying. He could almost feel the breeze and smell the salty air. He inhaled. He thought he could smell it! Then his gaze was drawn to a row of fishermanʼs cottages, a cobbled street in front of them and the camera zoomed in, but it was as though his wish to take a closer look had directed the camera there. ! Experimentally, he moved his finger over the track pad and suddenly he was in front of one of the cottages. He felt as though he were standing in front of it. He went a little closer for two boys had just come through the door. They were talking and he wanted to hear what they were saying... “B-ng me back a f(h, Jack,” Toby said, a whole one ju& for m. H( tiny red face glowed.
“I will #at, Toby lad,” said h( older bro#er. Jack, seventeen, as dark as + &orm, from h( wild hair and eyes to h( skin, ebon(ed by
#e sun. “I’ll be saving + finest f(h for y$,” Jack said “but + rest I’ll be giving to + girls to ready for + &all tomorrow. I”ll see y$ #( eve’ bonny lad,” he said, #en ra(ed h( voice and "$ted into +
h$se “I’m away Mo#er.” She ru"ed to + doorway, “Y$’re not going wi#$t k(sing y$r
mo#er goodbye, boy?” "e asked , laughing, and he *d k(s her. “Now don’t worry Mo#er. ‘T( set fair. Goodby. Goodbye winkl.”
“Don’t for0t my f(h!” + boy "$ted a1er him.
“I won’t,” h( voiced floated back.
2e boy ran oﬀ a1er a ki4en, but + mo#er &ood , watching
her son, all + way do5 to + boats.
As did James and then he followed him down to the harbour. 62
Out in + ocean, Jack had a good catch. It was time to turn for harb$r and hom. 2e boy tacked ab$t, noticing as he *d #at #e wea#er was changing. It will be hard 04ing into harb$r, he
#$ght, + currents will be again& m. He sailed for hom. Still some miles $t and + sky growing darker and darker, #$gh it was May and now + sea was suddenly calmer. Jack had only time to real(e what #at meanâ€™t and turn ju& in time to see + hu0 wave, as big as a hill , bea-ng do5 upon him ,
before it caught up to h( tiny boat and engulfed it. He was going do5, do5, plummeting #r$gh + &one cold sea like a lead weight, wa"ed from + deck as #$gh he were as light as a leaf to + wave, however, and he was amazed #at even in h( pe-l, he c$ld &ill #ink and feel for Mo#er waiting at home, who w$ld never
see him again, and Toby. All ar$nd was dark and so he closed h( eyes and brea#ed water for + cold made him ga% and + water filled him, h( lon0& and h( la& 6ink. He saw in h( mind h( mo#erâ€™s face and #en h( fa#erâ€™s,
6o5ed many long years ago. 2en he saw no#ing mor. Black. He
was gon. Suddenly he broke + surface and + &ing of + air on h( face br$ght him r$nd, %ewing back to mo#er ocean all he had 6unk of her. Strong arms held him and he was being 6ag0d #r$gh + water. He saw + hull of a sailing "ip before him. 2en he was being forced to climb a rope #at hung over + side, #$gh in tru# &ron0r hands were hauling him up, long gold hair hung over h( arms, but he c$ld not turn h( head to see + face of its o5er. He was hauled over + side and
onto a 6y deck, where every#ing went black all over again. Jack came r$nd and was aware #at he lay in a warm bunk wi#
so1 "eets. 2en #ere was + face of an an0l looking do5 on him. â€œGood evening Jack,â€? + an0l ad6essed him in an an0l â€™s
voic. He opened h( m$# to %eak, but so1 fin0rs, sweet and fragrant were suddenly on h( lips.
“No, don’t try to %eak. 2e sea has y$r #roat yet, I’m sur. 2ere ( a 6ink for y$ and food, but rest some more fir&,” "e said and + fin0rs moved from h( m$# to press h( eyelids closed. He fell
asleep imme*ately, again& h( will. She looked at h( face, + dark curls on + pillow, and #$ght for + fir& time ever #at "e *d not want to leave him, not #( on. She looked and looked and wondered, but knew "e c$ld not &ay. She began to cry and tears fell from her cheek onto h( fac. She abruptly
&ood and le1 + cabin. When Jack awoke, "e was gon. H( clo#es were #ere on h( bunk, clean and 6y and #ere was a small table wi# sweet water and bread and cheese and fruits, some he had never seen befor. He 6ank
and ate until he was full. He went to search for h( savi$r, but "e was gon. Nowhere on #at "ip was "e to be f$nd. Nei#er below nor on deck. Where was "e? Where were + crew?
Night was falling and by + light of + moon he saw #at + "ip was in a cove he recogn(ed. It was quite near h( o5. He w$ld 0t home on foot from her. Wi#$t Toby’s f(h, he #$ght, and + #$ght of h( bro#er and #en h( mo#er %urred him on.
2e rope was waiting for him, dangling over + side of + "ip &ill . He lowered himself into + sea, which was calm en$gh to swim to + beach in now, where, impossibly, h( o5 boat was moored safely.
He looked up, and saw her, + "ip’s figurehead. It was her, h( an0l !
2en he saw + name of + "ip. Gold le4ers gleamed in +
moonlight and lit her nam.
James read the name and a jolt of memory went through him. Then was gone. Anonʼ. To be continued.
ONE Going, all is haste, like the tide coming in. Tornado and waterspout, white water tumbling, Climbing, falling. Up high, but on the level ground, Where there is no sound, but birdsong And the hushed crooning Of the humbled breeze Then I know the power, The power of no desire, Of knowing that nothing else matters In the world, But one being all, being infinite, timeless, In time, yet out of it, Changed, but unchanging. Having power over the world is to be In the power of the world, Powerless. Here, one with all I am the power Coming back There Is Peace. Alexandra Lesley 2002.
This photograph was taken in the Chalice Well Garden, Glastonbury, several years ago. Can you see someone or something sitting in the tree? One suggestion is hidden in green in my introduction to Tyrant Spell.
The night is darkening round me, The wild winds coldly blow; But a tyrant spell has bound me And I cannot, cannot go. The giant trees are bending Their bare boughs weighed with snow, And the storm is fast descending And yet I cannot go Clouds beyond clouds above me, Wastes beyond wastes below; But nothing drear can move me; I will not, cannot go. Emily Jane BrontĂŤ
Two images of the Mermaid Rock in Freshwater Bay 70
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