Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What About a Story? Episodes 3 and 4 of A Cold Spring


Last month, I started a serial story right here at Paranormal Romantics. It seems to me that once a month is too long to wait for the next bit, so I'm going to speed things up by posting weekly on my own blog as well as new episodes here when it's my turn on PNR. I'll also post links and PDFs of previous episodes so you can easily catch up.

Here is the link to last month's post: "A Cherry Tomato" and "Burning."

A Cold Spring Episodes 1 and 2





Episode 3: Coils of Enchantment

Lucia’s enchantment coils into the form of a snake, its head poised to strike. Above me, the creature rises-- blotting out the moon, blotting out the stars, devouring my last fragment of hope.
The curse I weave in that fractured second binds inside it the magic of my ancestors, the hatred of a hundred generations, the essence of a thousand souls who cry for vengeance.  One final blaze before the eternal cold of death. One killing strike before darkness descends. My child and I will not die alone.
The laws of the Universe say such a curse will be visited back on me ten times but I don’t care.  I will be the handmaiden of Hecate who makes sure Lucia pays. Beyond that, I see only the void.
 “Goodbye, Maddock, my love,” I whisper.
In the distance, the castle shimmers with heat. No trace of Maddock reaches me through the ether. He may be dead already. My heart speaks to the sleeping spirit within my womb.
“Goodbye sweet child. I might have named you Melody or Petunia or Lavender or Pearl or any of a thousand family names for victims of Lucia’s dark magic. If the Universe grants us a new life, perhaps we will meet there.”
The curse perches on my tongue, but the will to speak withers into dust and blows away on a wintry gust. A tingle of ice on my neck, a tremor in time, a subtle shift of energy rocks the ground beneath me, shudders in the murky, smoke-thick air.
I’m too late.

Episode 4:  Down, down, down. . .

From outside the vision, I watch myself fall to the stony ground. Feel again the vibration of Earth and air. Steel gray clouds boil in a tumultuous sky and smoky wind tears my hair.  But Lucia is not the author of this numbing spell.
Her threatening hex twists its venomous head toward the castle. With an impotent sigh, it crumbles into black ash. Residue filters through my hair, coats my upturned face, but the malice it once held is dead.
In the distance, the castle blazes to phosphorescent blue, each stone etched into stark relief by an iridescent indigo flash. A pulse of energy, a thunderous blast, and New Castle Highmoor winks out leaving a black hole in the night.
Gone. Dissolved in the ether.
With light-blind eyes and bated breath, I wait, hope and dread in equal portions. Did Maddock escape? My knees bleeding and my heart pounding,  I stagger back toward the ghostly spiral of ozone marking the spot where the castle once stood. Wraithlike shrubs loom in the darkness. Frightened night birds flutter across the path, call from the trees. What do they see that I do not?
I stand amazed beneath a sky suddenly clear and calm and filled with stars. Pale meadow flowers reflect the ghostly light, bob in the nightly zephyr. Neither lover nor foe waits in the darkness. Only a wisp of disorderly mist remains in the center of the wide plain.
 “Allium!” His cry echoes far away, far away, far away. The vision fades to black.

With a racking gasp, I return to the garden. Dream images sift into the air like dandelion seeds in a spring breeze. The cold mud has seeped through my skirt and the hard stems of dead weeds cut into my hands. An earthy, pungent scent of dirt and tomato leaves penetrates the lingering odor of smoke.

Episodes 5 and 6 are waiting for you in Sorchia's Universe. Follow this link  (Or take the second star to the right and straight on till morning.)

Author Notes:

I started this story with Scrivener because I kept hearing how wonderful that software was. Though I'd tried it before, I didn't feel like I'd really made the effort to learn how to use it so this was supposed to be my chance to get comfortable and produce something along the way.  Long story short--I hated it.
I wound up pulling the whole thing off of Scrivener and going back to my tried and true Word. I write in spurts and spits--circling back and jumping ahead as ideas come to me. Then I go back and tie it all together with a good, solid revision. Scrivener tried to force me to be organized and I have no stomach for that. 
Do you have a preferred software for writing? Tell me all about it! And anything you want to mention about "A Cold Spring" is welcome, too.


2 comments:

Diane Burton said...

Love this story, Sorchia. Thanks so much for sharing it with our readers.

Re: Scrivener. You expressed my thoughts completely. Maybe I'm just an old dog who doesn't want to learn a new trick. LOL I'm so comfortable with Word, yet others rave about Scrivener. It's great we writers have so many choices.

Laura Strickland said...

With this story, lady, you are at the height of your powers! Enjoying the read...