Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Full Moons and Ghostly Spectors

I love Halloween. Why? Mainly, I suppose, because of the season's ambiance. The air is getting cooler, the nights come faster, and the spirits abound.

During these long, lovely evenings, I love to watch the silvered clouds float across a full moon. The lighting inspires the artist and writer in me. I imagine all types of creatures prowling just beyond my line of vision. Will they attack me? Or embrace me? I prefer the last one. To feel ghostly arms wrapped about me in a loving embrace. Over the last few years, I've written several stories with strange creatures. A wraith in The Wraith's Forest and a life-size carving in The Witch Within; each have their own tales and both are alive with emotions.

My favorite scene in The Wraith's Forest is where my hero, the Wraith, is following Keely, the heroine, and she questions him about it.

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The sun had lowered to the tops of the trees when she found a bench amid the wildflowers and weeds. With a sloping fountain in front of her, she listened to the water trickling. The peaceful rhythm soothed her rattled nerves.

She studied the landscape, remembering his comment about the gardens. Lovingly cared for. Were his the hands that tilled the soil and planted the shrubs and flowers? Here and there, a brilliant splash of color showed in the greens and browns of the foliage. Yes, she could see that these were, at one time, breathtaking.

A little to her right, a dark shape caught her eye. The Wraith watched from a short distance. She sighed. He had followed her all day. She noticed him often. He would appear in the deeper shadows along the fringes of the forest, reminding her that this was real.

“Why do you watch me?” She called to him. “What do you want from me?”

He glided nearer. “You remind me of someone I once knew.”

Keely tilted her head. “I’m not her.”

“No.”

“Why did you cut my hair yesterday?”

Behind her now, he halted. “I wanted to touch it. To see if my memory was correct.”

“About what?”

“The softness of a beautiful woman’s hair.”

Keely swallowed. “W-w-was it? As you remembered?”

“I cannot feel the strands. I have tried, but....”

“Because you’re a Wraith?”

“Yes.”

Tears burned at the back of her eyes. Nowhere in all the tales of this wretched creature had anyone told of this. That he would desire what he’d lost. Was there no way to help him?

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From the very beginning of the story, Keely assumed from the tales that the Wraith was an evil creature intent on destroying any who ventured into the forest. Sometimes what lays beneath the surface is so different than what is seen and believed.

So the next time you run into a fantasy being, albeit, wraith or faery, then remember there might be more to the story than just what the eye sees.

Hoping everyone has a fantastic month of October!!

5 comments:

Regina Carlysle said...

I love Halloween too. The crisp air, the atmosphere. It's fun and mysterious.

Love this excerpt, Judith!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Great post Judy!

The Wraith's Forest is a wonderful story.

PamT

Judith Leger said...

Hi Regina! Oh, definitely a wonderful time of year to read and write some eerie tales! Thanks for the compliment on the excerpt. That story was picked up by a epub and a small print pub back to back. It's really close to my heart.

Judith Leger said...

Hee, Pam! Thanks!

Winona said...

I've read "Wraith's Forest" and loved it. I can still sense the fear from Keely and the tenderness I learned the Wraith possessed. After the tales about him were disproved. But, I'm giving the story away.

winona