Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Creatures Do You Fear? by Beth Caudill

Every author has those creatures they write about time and again.  For me, the werewolf is the go-to hero of my writing.  But there are also those creatures I won’t write about. The Ghost is one creature I have no desire to create stories around.

I’ve read great stories with ghosts as main and minor characters. But when it comes to creating my own, let’s just say they are invisible to my creative enterprises. Ghosts scare me and I find it hard to write about something that is truly frightening. Vampires, elves, weird aliens can all be taken in stride but the thought of someone’s soul hovering nearby gives me the willies.

It’s irrational but rooted in a fear developed as a child. While growing up, my family would spend a night or two at my godparent’s house. They lived down the street from a cemetery. During the day it was fun to read the gravestones. But at night, in a strange place, my imagination took over.

The grandfather clock chimes echoed through the house, wind battered the shutters and shadowed tree limbs danced across the floor. A malevolent, oppressive weight would press against me and I could ‘see’ the ghosts rising from their graves. They searched the night for little boys and girls to take back with them to other side.  I never imagined what they did with the kids once they grabbed them.  All I knew was I didn’t want to be caught and so I huddled under the covers, eventually falling asleep and being so glad to wake up to the morning sun.

No matter how often I watched Casper the Friendly ghost or Scooby Doo chase fake ghosts through an ice cream factory, the fear remained. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think everyone needs something to fear. If mine is of invisible possibly real entities, I can live with that.  There are worse things to fear.

What about you? Are there stories about creatures you won’t read?

Here is an excerpt of my witch short story Garden Magic:

Chapter One

Stepping onto the stone path, Melinda stared at the garden. For once, the beautiful sight did not comfort her as she’d hoped. Her family had been the protector and nurturer of this land for generations and it often brought her happiness. In keeping with their Earth magic, they had created a strolling garden on the property with a hedge maze at the heart, the center of which was an intimate space for couples to enjoy. At one end, a stone bench overlooked a reflecting pool with a few goldfish. A tall row of enchanted red, yellow, and coral rose bushes grew at the opposite end and bloomed in the presence of true love. The soft grass forming the paths encouraged visitors to stroll in bare feet enjoying the sunshine or moonlight.

Due to the seriousness of her thoughts, she avoided the maze tonight and wandered around the individual areas of flowers that represented the four seasons, each kind only blooming at the appropriate times amid the year-round greenery. To the east, cherry and Bradford pear trees lined the paths. Yellow daffodils and purple hyacinths formed alternating circles while tulips of various colors swayed in the spring winds. In the south the four corners were marked by hydrangea plants in white, purple, blue and pink while a rose garden and fountain provided a peaceful retreat in summer. Arranged in diagonal rows, chrysanthemums and dahlia plants in autumn shades of orange, yellow, and brown glowed in the western setting sun. Mistletoe grew from a miniature oak tree in the center of the northern area, and small evergreen trees flanked by poinsettia and crocus plants provided a crisp winter scent. Flawed crystals that could not be used in rituals sparkled in the light gray stone paths. Stopping to touch one of the plants, she connected with her family’s magic, sensing it keeping the plants healthy and weed-free.

She continued to meander the interlocking paths of the garden with a pensive expression, her thoughts on the fact that Eric had failed to make the maze roses bloom. It dulled her enjoyment of the night. They were due to be married next weekend in a small ceremony at the house; she thought they were in love. But the roses never lied.

Either he was lying about his feelings, or she was…possibly both. Was she in love? She thought so, but what did she know? No one else had ever stirred any feelings in her. She sighed heavily and decided to return to her room, having accomplished nothing in the soft moonlight. What was she going to do now?

An avid fan of fantasy and science fiction, Beth Caudill writes paranormal and fantasy romance short stories.  By day she creates new and far reaching worlds while at night she acts as kitchen slave and chauffeur to her two baseball crazed sons.  Her husband and King Charles Cavalier Spaniel fear for her sanity and feed her chocolate in the hopes of saving her.  You can find more information about Beth and her stories on her website, facebook, twitter, and newsletter.


Leave a comment for an entry to win a pdf copy of my Halloween werwolf short story Informally Yours.


The Brunette Librarian said...

I don't like stories about evil. I can read vampires, ghosts, werwolves...but pure evil freaks me out :/

rachie2004 AT yah00 *d8t* c-m

Beth Caudill said...

Annie - Thanks for having me here today.

Brunette Librarian - True, pure evil is not fun to read. But then I always like the good triumphs over evil stories. I can read about the evil as long as I know it will be defeated.

Shonna said...

I love reading everything!

elaing8 said...

I don't think there isn't anything I wouldn't read.
Great excerpt.Garden Magic sounds good.

eyeballlucy said...

Love to win a copy of the book...sounds pretty

Beth Caudill said...

Shonna, elaing8 and eyeballlucy - Thanks for stopping by. I hope you spend some of this weekend reading a spooky story.

Annie Nicholas said...

I have to agree with evil things. I have a real terror of demons. Moveis like the Excorist or The Rite reduce me to nightmares.

Jennifer Mathis said...

i dont think there are any i wont read at least once . But zombie romances always makes me pause , i mean they are zombies

Beth Caudill said...

Annie - Yep. I've never seen The Omen. Demon Children scare me.

Jennifer - Just say no to zombie romance. We've had a lot of discussion in our chapter among the paranormal authors. And we all agree rotting body parts don't go with with romance.

Thanks for stopping by.

Shonna said...

I enjoyed the excerpt of GARDEN MAGIC. Thanks for sharing

Arianne Cruz said...

I didn't even bother looking at the picture at the beginning of this post because I know I would be terrified. I'm a wimp lol
email: cruz042 at csusm dot edu

Eva's Flowers said...

I can pretty much read about any creature, except for possessed ones, that would be scary!


June M. said...

I don't scare easily so no creatures bother me. I can't read anything where a child gets hurt though.
June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Annie Nicholas said...

contest is closed