A Childhood Fright
I remember going to the Saturday matinee at our local movie theater when I was a little girl. We would usually see comedies like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein or a Jerry Lewis movie and eat a lot of candy. Those movies weren’t scary but made me laugh hysterically. I loved the scenes where the monster keeps appearing to Costello and then, when he tells Abbott, the monster has disappeared from sight. The old horror movies were not so funny but would be considered campy and dated today. There were a couple that stuck with me for a long time and in a bad way. These were ” The Fly”, ( 1958), screenplay by James Clavell and “The Tingler” (1959), directed by William Castle. Both had Vincent Price in the cast. He was great in all those old horror films. Which reminds me of “The House on Haunted Hill,” (1959), also directed by William Castle. Now I want to go out and get that one. The others still creep me out too much. What was disturbing about The Fly was how the main character ends up with a fly head, for a head, and then in the end is going to get eaten by a spider. AAAAH! With The Tingler it was that creepy centipede like creature that was supposedly in our spines and the bathtub full of blood with an arm reaching out of it. The centipede creature is supposed to break your spine if you don’t scream. Vincent Price plays the mad pathologist who uses LSD in his research and autopsies executed murderers for the state. I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to watch those movies….
Posters via IMDb:
Now for my story:
On Samhain, the villagers tell of a stone circle that is in a grove of ancient oaks deep in the forest. There you can see upon old pikes the severed heads of the Cinn Dorcha. They were placed there by the Druid Priestess Aine in the olden times. The heads are covered with rotting flesh, the eyes bulging, and mouths contorted. People swear they can hear them talking to each other when they walk through the grove late at night.
The Druid Priestess
I am a Druid priestess. Some say I am a witch. I descend from a long line of Druids through my maternal side. My earliest memories are of my mother making beautiful swirling clouds of color appear over my crib and hearing the voices of all my maternal ancestors singing enchanting lullabies and cooing to me, “Aine, the blessed one, our beautiful child, and joy of our hearts!”
I watch over the village near the sacred grove. The people come to me for divinations and interventions with the gods. It is a peaceful time but it has not always been so. It was around this time of Samhain, two years ago, that a dark evil descended on our village.
I stood in the sacred grove after the Samhain bonfires. I was in despair about what had come to our land. Darkness was descending. Ta dorchadas a thagann. Ta dorchadas tar eis titum thar ar dtalamh. Cloisim an caoineadh mo mhuintir. Mo mhuintir caoin amach. Ta fulaingt i bhfad. Ta fulaingt i bhfad.
The Darkness comes in the form of the Cinn Dorcha, the Dark Ones, and their quest to coerce my people to their ways. Whether it be by tricks or by intimidation. They speak against the old ways and call them evil superstitions. They tell the people that in order to survive they need to reject our old ways and practices. They tell us how we have to dress and how we are to behave as men and women. The women of my country were used to freedom and shared with men equally. The Cinn Dorcha tell us that this is no longer to be allowed. Women who resist this are made their slaves and are abused and violated. They replaced our old holiday celebrations with their own. They destroyed the ancient temple of Tlachtga. Their leader, Olc, labeled our Druid priestesses as witches. The people are afraid and do not know how to fight them. Ni mor dom a cabhru leo. Ni mor dom a cabhru leo!
I have been in hiding in the forest. Olc has proclaimed he will give a great price for my capture. I have been able to shield my cottage with a powerful ward. The enemy have searched the forest many times and walked past it only seeing an old burnt out ruin.
I began a campaign of harassment against the invaders. I use my shape-shifting ability to become first a falcon strafing them with my talons and next a wolf tearing at their throats. The shape-shifting takes a lot of energy and I am exhausted for days afterward.
The Day of Fire
I was resting in my cottage when I heard the raven. Bran alerted me with his shrill cries as he swooped down into my garden, “Aine, hurry they are near the grove and they have Isibeal!”
I questioned Bran as I ran toward the grove, “Why would they take Isibeal? She is only a herbalist who mixes potions for the villagers. She is not a threat to anyone.”
I was able to blend into the surrounding trees with my cloak and from there I watched them. Olc was with them.They dragged poor Isibeal by a rope that was wound around her neck. Her hands were tightly bound behind her back and her face streaked with dirt and tears. They took her to the stone circle in the sacred grove and tied her to a tree.
I stepped out from the trees and called out, “Olc, I heard you will give a great price for my capture.”
” You will join your friend at the stake,” Olc snarled. ” Seize her, seize the witch!” he cried to his men.
I raised my arm and called upon the powers of the wind, Thogairm me an ghaoth! A dark cloud blew across the sky covering the sun and the sky turned a metallic grey. The air, cold as ice, circled around the men like a whirlwind. It blew with such force it sounded like the wail of a thousand banshees. The cinn olc were all immobilized with fear. I quickly untied Isibeal and told her to run into the forest. Stepping outside of the stone circle, I raised my arm, and recited the ancient incantation, Teacht chun cinn laochra mor. Scriosann ar naimhde!
The ancient oaks in the grove began to sway and moan. With a loud roar the trees released their sharpest branches like spears toward the enemy. The Cinn Dorcha and their leader were impaled where they stood. I raised my arm again and called upon fire, Thogairm me tine! , and an arc of flame shot out from my fingertips setting them all ablaze. They met the fate they had planned for Isibeal.
Like the Cinn D’aois in long ago times, I placed the heads of my enemy on pikes at the entrance to the sacred grove. The villagers say that when you walk through the grove in the dark of night you can hear them talking to each other.
The Sacred Grove
Isibeal the Herbalist
Bru na Boinne
Goddess by Banks Vevo on You Tube:
Rhiannon [a cousin of Aine] by Fleetwood Mac via muzicchnl on You Tube:
WEP Halloween Challenge
Word Count: 888
General Criticism and/or gentle appreciated.