October 18th, 2008
Friday(ish) Flash – Through the Veil

Friday Flash

Another paranormal offering this week.

(Archives are on the website, if you want to read the offerings of past weeks)

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Through the Veil
(c) 2008 by Maura Anderson

The full moon crested the tops of the tall trees bordering the clearing and cast a crescent of light onto the ground. Despite the fire burning before her, the deep chill of fall lay on her bare skin like a blanket, heavy and thick with the threat of winter’s approach. The large flat stone that served as her altar sat next to the fire, her ritual tools neatly arranged upon it.

A shiver ran through her and she scooted closer to the sacred fire to feed it another piece of rowan wood. The crackling flames devoured the offering and flared as if in response. The acrid smell of the fire wafted around her and she took a deep breath. The scent of the living trees around her mixed with that of the dead trees in the fire. Living and dead. Past and present. The veil between the worlds thinned with every minute of the moon’s rise.

Soon.

This was her heritage. This was her duty, reluctant though she’d been to assume it. She trembled and tried to relax. Her stomach clenched and a wave of dizziness wafted over her. Fingers dug into the earth, she focused on grounding herself and the dizziness receded.

The moon’s light crept further and further into the clearing as it rose, seeming to drive the small creatures before it. First the frogs stopped singing. Then the chittering of bats ceased. Finally even the scurrying sounds of small rodents had vanished. Silence descended. The silence of the grey lands, the lands between the living and the dead. Now the only sound she heard was her own fast heartbeat.

She stood as the moon moved completely overhead and moved to the edge of the clearing. The instant the moon was directly above the clearing, the fire roared into a bonfire and left her nearly unable to see when it receded back to the small ritual fire she had laid and tended. The grass of the clearing sparkled and glowed in the wake of the fire’s flash, then brilliant lines of turquoise traced a labyrinth on the dark grass. The turns and folds filled the clearing and the opening appeared before her.

One deep breath, then another. She had to do this. She’d made up her mind to accept her fate at long last and this Samhain would complete her year’s path. Maybe her grandmother would talk to her through the veil, coach her or at least reassure her that she’d made the right decision.

She stepped into the labyrinth, a soft “thank you” whispered to acknowledge the help of the moon and the earth. Slowly and carefully, she walked along the curved and twisted path. Each step was easier, each step calmed her. One foot quietly placed before the other, all focus on the path instead of the destination. Her path would take her to the correct destination for her.

It may have taken hours or mere minutes; all references to time were skewed. It surprised her to see her path open into a central clearing. A look up showed a fire and altar but she gasped loudly and jumped at the sight of the man standing naked beside the stone altar. An altar she didn’t recognize.

Alerted by her noise, the man turned and held out his arms to her. His long silver hair wafted around his muscular body as he spun and his milk-white skin glowed in the light of the moon.

“Beloved!”

6 comments to “Friday(ish) Flash – Through the Veil”

  1. Oooo, more please! You just can’t leave us hanging with that one word!

    I love the way you pulled me in and made me feel like I was in that chilly clearning right along with her.

    As always, terrific work!!


  2. very nicely done. It will be interresting to see where you take this one.

    ReaLee


  3. I love it! More please. *Grin*


  4. I liked this story my question is who is this man? a god a vampire? I’m hopping the latter since I am obsessed with vampires


  5. Very nice. I’m thinking he’s something a little more Celtic. Perhaps she’s gone into the past? Maybe another world entirely….
    So many pissibilities. Good job Maura. I really like this one.


  6. Excellent as always, Maura! The powerful emotions evoked from the natural setting are truly amazing (I especially liked the part about the fire and moon…)