Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: Rosalie

Hello, Dear Readers, and welcome to the March 1 Creepy Samples Offering! I hope you got to check in on last month's Vampire's Day Soiree. If you didn't, you still have the opportunity. Just scroll down to the previous post and you should still be able to see what the fun was all about. Time continues to roll along however, and so must I. 

Today's story, Rosalie, is taken from my first book entitled Tales of Dark Romance and Horror. Rosalie is a novella that takes us to an America that has changed. Extremist politicians have gained control of the federal government and imposed a religious theocracy upon the citizenry. Robert, an artist and craftsman, decides to temporarily leave his home in town to hide out with survivalist friends who live close to the Fox Grove community on a hill called Haunted Mountain. The friend's daughter, Rosalie, is a young, seductive, but powerful witch who is in love with Robert. He in turn, is forced to resist her charms.

We pick up the story where Rosalie ventures into the forest to summon her deceased Great Grandma Boudreaux. Little does she know that she is being watched by two parishioners belonging to the church led by the Reverend Ronnie, Crawford; a zealot intent upon ridding the area of those he considers sinful. 

Within an hour the twilight had descended upon the Ozark 

landscape; and as the heated buzz of the cicadas yielded to the ever-

growing nighttime chorus of the katydids, Rosalie, with a sturdy 

tote bag thrown over her shoulder, stepped back onto the pathway 

which led to the spot she had earlier prepared. Walking through the 

deepening darkness, she could see the rising lunar orb as it flashed 

momentarily through the spaces between the trees.

Upon reaching her destination, the young woman quickly set about 

the task of lighting a fire. When the new campfire grew to ahealthy

blaze, she opened her bag and took out its contents; her Book of 

Shadows, a wand wrapped in black cloth, and a half gallon jar of 

water with which to later extinguish the fire’s remnants. After 

carefully removing the wand from its protective covering, Rosalie 

gazed at the magical tool she had only recently fashioned. It was 

about ten inches long and constructed from a fallen branch 

belonging to the very oak that stood in the center of the clearing. A 

double-terminated quartz crystal was lashed in place on one end by 

a series of red threads. Attached to the handle was a wooden cat’s 

head with each eye made of garnet. Both the cat’s head and the 

wand itself had been stained an ebony hue.

With wand in hand, Rosalie moved next to the tree, facing toward 

the rising moon in the east. For a few moments she stood with eyes 

closed—motionless—clearing her mind of any thought—grounding

herself to the Earth below her feet and to the forest. Then, gazing 

skyward she spoke: 

“Oh dark Goddess of the forest, mistress of the night,

I create and bless this circle in your name.

I invite you to this sacred space,

And ask that you open the portal between the worlds,

And allow the passage of my grandma—my “Mémére to this 


Moving toward the outer reaches of the oak’s lower branches, she pointed the wand, now in her right hand, toward the ground just beyond her reach as she began walking around the tree in a clockwise motion.

“Be thou cast, circle,

As I walk along your edge.

Keep me away from harm,

And protect me as I now walk between the worlds.”

She walked around the tree three times; with each revolution repeating her words. After returning to the circle’s easternmost point for the final time she stopped; and facing the rising moon said, “The circle is cast. So mote it be.” Then, she quietly took a place on the log by the fire pit and gazed out into the darkness.

“Are you seein’ the same thing that I’m seein’ Danny? The preacher’s right about witches…”
“Shh!” The other man quickly responded. Then, in a whisper, he continued empathically. “Keep your voice down! She’ll hear us!”
The two men, having spotted Rosalie making her preparations earlier in the evening, had decided to move in closer in order keep watch on the small opening in the forest and any activities that might occur there. Now, hiding behind some bushes only 100 feet or so from the clearing, they could easily see everything the young woman was doing.

“Mémére,” Rosalie called out. “Can you hear me Mémére? Please come! I need your advice. Please come and speak with me.”

After making her appeal, the young supplicant returned to the fire and sat down upon the log. For a few moments she sat in silence—waiting—anticipating--hoping that the Goddess to whom she had dedicated her circle would grant her request by opening the portal to the world beyond. For a few moments there was only the sound of the katydids and the occasional hooting of a nearby owl. Finally, the silence was broken by the sound of a woman’s voice. “I am here child. What is it that bears such a burden upon your soul tonight?”

As Rosalie gazed toward the voice, she saw the dark figure of her long deceased ancestor emerge from the shadows. The attractive fortyish-looking woman was dressed in a dark robe; her salt and pepper hair mostly covered by a hood. Although her Great Grandma Boudreaux had been in her eighties when she finally passed from this world, her younger appearance no longer seemed strange to her granddaughter. “Why should I take on the form of an old woman,” she once asked, when I can appear to you as I once looked; mature but still sensually vibrant?”

Not far away, the two onlookers stared at one another incredulously. “Where did that woman come from?” Danny whispered to his friend.

“Sure beats the heck out of me!” Bobby responded; a hint of unease in his whisper. “I don’t b’lieve I’ve ever seen her before. It’s like she came from out of nowhere. She ain’t dressed normal either. Look at her!”

“Danny McLain’s voice dropped down to an unintelligible whisper as he folded his hands together. “Lord Jesus, watch over your servants tonight. Protect us from whatever evil has befallen us here.”

The older woman did not approach the fire but instead, remained close to the shadows, the flicker of the fire reflecting in her eyes.

“I want to cast a love spell Mémére, one that is so powerful that it will bind my love to me forever.”

“Is that what ails you, child?” Her grandmother asked. “You’ve fallen in love for the first time?”

“I’ve never felt anything like this before Mémére, I don’t want to live without him, not for a minute!”

“Oh yes, how I remember young love! It’s a powerful thing. Rosalie, and sooner or later it vexes just about every young lady such as yourself. But you must be careful, for love is often blind.”

“I’d like to learn how to cast the best love spell that I possibly can Mémére, I really want to be with this man, and then keep him.”

The woman laughed sympathetically; there was kindness in her voice when she spoke. “Spells such as those you seek are designed to attract love; not to force anyone against his will.”

“But he does love me; I know it! I can feel it!”

“Then no spell is needed child. You have already attracted love.”

“But he’s afraid to give himself to me. He won’t let go.”

“The questions you ask are the same as those asked by every young woman in your situation, but you have an advantage.”

“An advantage?”

“Of course, Dear! You’re a very attractive young lady Rosalie, and the power flows within you vigorously; even if you are somewhat inexperienced. You already hold the answers to your questions. They lie within you. Listen to your intuition. Listen to your inner-most feelings. They will tell you what to do. Every woman must work at keeping a man just as he must work at keeping her. Every relationship takes work. But your powers are strong Granddaughter, learn how to use them.”

The robed figure threw Rosalie a kiss and then walked slowly into the tree’s impenetrable shadow. The teen cried out, “I love you Mémére!” Then, her Grandma was gone.

Rosalie continued sitting by the fire for several more minutes as she pondered her grandma’s words—reflecting upon the events that had just taken place. Finally, she arose and once again took position in the middle of the circle—facing east, yet skyward—the forest silhouetted in the pale light of the moon.

“Dark Goddess, mistress of the night,

I thank you for joining me in my circle,

and for your blessing on this night.

As we depart upon my opening of this circle,

may we go forth in peace.”

Once again moving to the eastern edge of the circle, she extended her wand downward, and began retracing her earlier steps; this time, moving counter-clockwise around the tree. Finally, she stopped; again facing eastward, and concluded her ceremony. “The circle is open but unbroken. Blessed be.”

By the time Rosalie had concluded her business, the fire’s flickering light had faded; its flames replaced with the orange glow of its dying embers. After repacking her supplies into the tote bag and dousing the coals with water, she made her way home through the shadowy forest with flashlight in hand.

The two intruders remained in position for several minutes, making sure that the girl had gone home and would remain unaware of their presence. Then, emerging from their hiding place, they walked silently toward the clearing. The sudden hooting of an owl halted their progression just short of the now open circle’s perimeter.

“Jeez! The damn thing nearly scared the heck outa me!”

“Relax, Bobby! It’s just an owl.”

“It ain’t no ordinary owl. It’s tellin’ us to stay away. I know it.”

“You’re lettin’ your imagination run away with ya,” Danny retorted dismissively. Still, as he took another step the owl hooted again loudly.

“What did I tell ya? There’s evil all around us here. Let’s get back to the truck before somethin’ happens to us.”

Danny acquiesced. “I s’pose the best thing we can do now is go and talk to the preacher ‘bout all this.”

“Sounds like a good idea to me. He’ll know what to do.”

Well, that's it for this time around. My apologies for any problems with the formatting. Computers can be so hard to please sometimes! 

Until next time then, remember to keep it spooky!

Artist unknown 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: The Arrival of Narkissa Laveau

After a bit of an absence at the beginning of this month due to computer problems, I'm back with the next Creepy Samples Offering for mid-February. Today's entry, The Arrival of Narkissa Laveau, comes from the pages of my second publication, The Darkness Beyond the Misty Veil: More Tales of the Macabre. Before we actually delve into the actual story, a bit of background is in order.

A soon-to-graduate university student named William gets on Facebook one day to discover a new friend request. As he investigates its source, he discovers that it originated from a dark but beautiful woman, who plays the part of a vampire for internet productions. He accepts her request, and over time, can't get her out of his mind. When summer arrives, he discovers upon her invitation for a visit, that she lives only a few hours away in a small Ozark town called Fox Grove. He is to meet her in the local cemetery after dark. Although he believes that she is carrying her acting role a bit too far, he agrees to the meeting. We pick up the story as he awaits Narkissa's arrival at the cemetery. 

The late afternoon heat had tempered somewhat by the time William walked into the cemetery. Evening had arrived. With its presence came the loud buzzing of cicadas emanating from the treetops and the cawing of crows, warning their brethren of his arrival. He gazed around the graveyard, hoping that Narkissa might have arrived ahead of him, but there was no sign of her.
She did tell me to meet her after dark, he reasoned. It's early yet. So, I might as well find a way to amuse myself until she arrives. He decided to explore the cemetery, and to see what he could learn about the earlier residents of Fox Grove.
He took note of a boarded up old church with its steeple and bell tower situated on one side of the cemetery. As he walked in the midst of the deceased, a feeling of sadness overtook him. The epitaphs carved into the stone markers told the tales of those who had come before. These had once lived as he lives. Yet, they are long departed; their memory nearly extinguished. Some had left this world at tender young ages. Others had died of accidents and disease. Yet, others had lived to ripe old ages. He didn't particularly care for graveyards. The burial ground upon which he stood reminded him of his own mortality; that one day he too would join their ranks and become nothing more than a fading memory.
The buzzing of the cicadas eventually gave way to an almost eerie stillness as day morphed into twilight. Fireflies arose from the graveyard's grassy bottom, beginning a nightly spectacle that would soon cast a dim, flickering illumination upon the tombstones. Bats emerged from the church steeple, beginning their erratic flight far above the resting places of the dead.
Alone and unaccustomed to the quiet darkness falling over the landscape, a sense of unease—even dread, began to swell up from somewhere deep within his soul. He walked nervously toward Narkissa's altar tomb and sat down upon it, waiting in silence as the darkness deepened.
Without warning, the sound of rustling vegetation and the snapping of fallen branches coming from the nearby woods broke the silence. Something of considerable size was moving around just beyond his limited field of vision. He shuddered as he contemplated the possibilities. William, although unaccustomed to the country, understood that black bear and even worse, wild hogs inhabited the Ozark region. He sat in silence, making not the slightest move out of fear that it would attract whatever predator might be lurking in the shadows nearby.
The last vestiges of twilight had given way to night by the time the disturbing sounds moved off into the distance. He breathed a silent sigh of relief as he gazed up at a quarter moon rising above the tree line to the east, shedding a dim, eerie light upon the grave markers and monuments, which in turn cast long but barely distinguishable shadows across the grassy floor.
I can't take any more of this, he decided. This is too creepy, and I'm not going to sit here for another minute waiting for some ungodly creature to attack me. I've been played for a fool and I'm getting out of here right now.
He stood up, turned toward the highway, and began walking toward his vehicle. He had only taken a few steps when something took hold of his shoulder. Sheer terror gripped at him as he spun around in an attempt to break it's grasp. “Augh!”
“Why William, what's wrong?”
His heart beat so furiously he thought it might jump out of his chest. Although completely unnerved and somewhat embarrassed, he now stood face to face with the beautiful Narkissa Laveau.
“I....Uh....” He was speechless, embarrassed, and unable to do anything more than stand before her sheepishly.
She chuckled at his discomfort before addressing him. “You are William, aren't you?”
“Uh yeah, I am.”
“Did I startle you?”
Seeing a way out of an embarrassing situation, he quickly collected his thoughts. “Yeah, I guess you did. I didn't see you coming and all of a sudden, there you were.”
“We vampires are hunters and creatures of the night,” she responded. “How could we stalk our prey if we announced our presence beforehand?”
She stared at him intently in the dim moonlight, her eyes reflecting the luminescence with a greenish hue. Narkissa's beauty ensnared him; yet, her facial expression betrayed any attempt on her part to hide her hunger—a hunger he could not define. Was it sexual? Or was it something else?
“So, is that what I am,” he asked flirtatiously, “your prey?”
“Isn't that why you came here? Didn't you imply that you'd like to be my victim?”
Although he was already under her spell, feelings of unease arose from within him once again. She's sure taking this vampire thing seriously, he admitted to himself. I sure hope she's not detached from reality. Wouldn't that be just my luck?
“Would you like to see my lair?” She asked. “You know, the one I've highlighted in some of my photos? After all, I'd like to put you at ease and make you as comfortable as possible.”
“Sure, lead the way.”
She took his hand and led him across the graveyard toward the abandoned church. Her hand was cold to the touch, but he hardly noticed, so intoxicated was he by her contact.

There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this month's offering and until next time, keep it creepy!

Photo source: Gothic Pictures Gallery