Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Deadman’s Island

Hi Mum, it’s me, Michelle. I’ve done something really stupid. If you’re hearing this, then I want you to know that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry Mum. I love you, and I’m sorry. I don’t know if this voice note will send, the signal isn’t great over here, but I hope it does.

I really fucked up. It was so stupid. I’m sorry.

We did something bad to Hannah.

It’s all out of control Mum. I don’t know what to do. It was just supposed to be a joke, I guess. A prank. We didn’t even think she would go through with it but now we’re in such a mess and I don’t know what to do. It was just a joke, you know? We just wanted to show her… well, I don’t know. She was just annoying and… Oh God. Mum, I’m so sorry.

Lorraine and I were just messing with her and now something awful has happened. Oh God. What have we done? There’s something here, and it did something bad to Hannah…

Hannah, you know the new girl? She just moved here with her parents, and she was… weird. I know that isn’t a reason for what we did, but…

I’ve learned my lesson, okay? I get it now. Yes, she was weird and kind of annoying but we shouldn’t have done this. There was never a reason to do this. I get it. I get it! I could say that I’m sorry, but nothing will change. I just want to come home, but what did this to her is still here, somewhere, and now, the boat is gone.

Hannah didn’t deserve this.

She was weird. She’d cling to us all the time, always wanting to hang out with us, and following us everywhere. We just wanted to freak her out a little, scare her maybe, but it wasn’t supposed to be like this. We could have just said that we didn’t want to be friends, I guess, but we thought we’d teach her a lesson, and now…

Will you tell Hannah’s parents that we’re sorry? It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Neither of us could have predicted it. Nobody could, but now… Look, the reasons don’t matter. If you hear this, you have to come to Deadman’s Island.

Mum, We took Hannah to Deadman’s Island.

I know. I know. You told me never to go there, and Dad will be furious when he finds out I took the boat, especially as I’ve also lost it, but I just got caught up in the moment. I know it’s stupid. I’m so fucking stupid.

Everyone knows you shouldn’t go there, but we all go to the beach to look at it from across the water, some of us even swim out, daring each other to go closer and closer, but nobody ever goes onto the island. I know that you know we do that, because you and Dad probably did, and everyone who grew up in this boring old town did before us too. That’s the problem with growing up here, there’s nothing to do.

We tried to explain that to Hannah. Lorraine and I weren’t doing anything exciting. Just getting milkshakes at the cafe or hanging out at the beach. There was nothing exciting going on, so there was no need to be so insistent on being our friend… I suppose she was lonely. She hasn’t exactly made friends since she got here, but then again, she IS weird, so who is really at fault for that?

It doesn’t matter at all anyway. I suppose I’m just thinking, remembering everything from before, because it’s all I will have now. You’re not going to get here on time. I know that, and you might not ever hear this, and even if you do, it really was my fault. Hannah was weird and annoying, but she didn’t deserve this.

We took her to Deadman’s Island. Lorraine and I picked her up, telling her that she could come and hang out with us for the day, and she looked overjoyed. As we left her garden, her mum mouthed a quick “Thank you” with a smile as Hannah linked arms with us and we ran down towards the beach.

She was stunned when I showed her Dad’s boat, so excited, and when I told her that we would be going to explore Deadman’s Island, she started to look a little anxious.

We told her all about it. An abandoned island out in the sea, with no people, barely any animals, and a ton of dead bodies. Our own little spooky urban legend, ready to be explored, the resting place of the damned. She bit her lip, swallowing nervously, but she agreed to go. I think she wanted to seem cool.

The plan was to convince her to stay the night there by herself, to prove herself cool enough to be friends with us. We knew she couldn’t stay the whole night, but we kept encouraging her as if she could, and she seemed to believe in herself too.

We swapped numbers, so she could call us if she wanted to quit, but she promised that she wouldn’t. Lorraine and I both smiled sweetly as we left the island, waving at Hannah as she began setting the tent we’d left her, and as soon as we got out of sight, we collapsed into laughter, wondering how long it would be before she called to quit.

I know it was cruel, dangerous even, but we couldn’t have known what would have happened. Deadman’s Island is creepy, sure, but nobody is there. No dangerous animals live there, the air is safe, there are no people to run afoul of, and she had a pretty sturdy tent. We thought that she’d be fine…

Hannah didn’t call all night. Lorraine and I stayed over at her house, watching movies and waiting, but we heard nothing from Hannah. We were impressed, I suppose. She was tougher than we thought. We set off early in the morning, sneaking back into the boat down at the shore and across to the island.

As we stepped off the boat, I noticed how quiet it was, which isn’t unusual for an uninhabited island, but even with that in mind, there was an eerie silence, and Hannah’s tent wasn’t where it had been the night before.

The island isn’t big, but it’s hard to navigate, with all the bones and uneven ground, so Hannah couldn’t have gone far… except, she was nowhere to be found.

Mum, she’s missing. We’ve looked everywhere, and she isn’t here. We found her tent, floating by the shore of the island. It was torn up, ripped at the door, and inside… Oh God… Inside, there was blood sloshing around in the lining with the seawater. There was no other sign of Hannah. She’s gone, and whatever took her, or did this to her… It could still be out there. We dropped the tent when we saw the blood and ran back across the island, tripping and falling on the bones that jutted from the ground, until we reached the side where we’d left the boat, except… it wasn’t there.

We’re trapped on this island Mum. Hannah has vanished. Something really bad has happened to her, I just know it, and it’s all my fault. Please, if you hear this, please help us. We have to find her, and you have to find us. Please!

I keep hearing these weird noises, but whenever we turn around, there’s nobody there. It’s so dark, and we can hardly see a thing.

We’re on Deadman’s Island. I know that you’ll be angry, and you can ground me for life when I get back, but please just get here!

-x-

Hi Michelle’s Mum, it’s me, Hannah. Michelle’s done something really stupid.

I just wanted to be her friend. I’ve been so lonely, you know? Moving from town to town, never settling long enough to really connect with anyone. That’s all I ever wanted, but no, Michelle and Lorraine couldn’t let me have that.

I knew that they wouldn’t have been my friends, even if I stayed on this island all night. I’m not stupid. I’d seen the way they rolled their eyes when I sat next to them at school, how they’d cross the street to avoid me, like I was diseased, some kind of pariah.

They’re all diseased here, Mrs Harrison. All the boys that died on this island were terribly ill, battling the blue death until the end, their skin, a sickly shade of sapphire as they sank into the waiting arms of death. They used to take them off of the ships and dump them here, right where I stand. They told me, last night, all the boys, they gathered around the fire and told me all about what they’d been through, and my heart went out to them.

I suppose you think I must have been frightened, but I wasn’t. I knew how they’d felt, because I’d been dumped on the island too, and they weren’t my first friends from beyond the grave.

Mummy and Daddy don’t like it. They always move me away when they find out about a new friend I’ve made. At first, they thought it was a game, a phase I was going through, something I’d made up, but then, they saw her, little Mary-Ann, seven hundred and four years old, but not a day over twelve, if you ignored the cobwebs and earthworms.

After that, they just kept moving me round and round. They’d look for towns without graveyards, but it didn’t make a difference, because I always have a way of finding new friends. It’s not hard, I just give them a little incentive to come back, and… they do, but like I said, Mummy and Daddy don’t like it.

I promised I’d try and quit when we moved here, and I would have, if Michelle and Lorraine had been my friends. It’s their fault, Mrs Harrison, because of them, I had to go looking elsewhere, and now, after being dumped, by strange coincidence on a whole island full of potential friends, I’m back to my old habits. Mummy and Daddy will be furious.

I had to hide from Michelle and Lorraine, because my friends needed a little something to keep them going. I give them a little of my blood when they arise, but they needed a proper meal. You don’t mind, do you? I wouldn’t worry, because I can bring your girls back home to you. They’ll be hungry, though. I’ve sent my boys to fetch the boat, and we’ll be over right away.

Just don’t tell my parents anything about this, alright? Or tell them, I suppose, it doesn’t matter. They could drag me away when I only had one friend to protect me, but now, I’ve got a whole island full, so we’ll see who’s really in charge now…

See you soon!

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Spooky Season, Writing

Flashback – Amapola

The daughters of Aceredo had always been peaceful. Finding each other as the years went by, and growing as the crops they soothed in the soil, whispering sweet sonnets to the children of the earth. They bathed in the river, leaving wildflowers in their wake as they wandered the village with smiles for everyone they saw.

As the moon waxed and waned, their powers grew, and they shared the beautiful blessings they had been given with the people, ensuring that they had a good harvest every year, and that the water flowed clear. The village was the most peaceful in all of Galicia, and the people were grateful for the treasures that the daughters of Aceredo had given them.

Of all Aceredo’s daughters, the most powerful was Amapola. She wore poppies in her hair, and was the mistress of the the elements. When she smiled, the sun shone at its brightest, and her tears could draw the fiercest of storms to the village.

Amapola had lived in the village all her life, and as she grew day by day, so did the good fortune of the village. As she grew older, her focus became the village entirely. Amapola did not go out to dances with the many suitors that were available, but spent her evenings wandering the meadows and fields of the village, singing to the slowly growing crops.

Her parents would turn away disappointed men from their home, who came to call for their daughter, and while most took it well, there was one, who simply could not abide being told “no.”

Ricardo was the most eligible bachelor in Galicia. His father had made a lot of money in imports, and the family lived in a mansion that cast a dark shadow over Pontevedra. Ricardo was a bored and spoiled, so without the day to day stresses of earning a living to keep him busy, he took to wandering Galicia, in search of adventure and entertainment. He had heard of witches, in a small village, but like many outside of Aceredo, he didn’t quite believe it to be true, but he was bored, so he went to explore anyway.

It was there that he saw the magic of the daughters of Aceredo, and was enchanted by Amapola. He couldn’t take his eyes from her, and purchased the biggest house he could find in the village, so that he could be closer to her.

Ricardo was wealthy, and had always been able to get what he wanted, so he was certain that he could have the young woman too, but love is a complicated kind of magic, that even a witch as powerful as Amapola could never master, so Ricardo had no chance.

He tried for weeks, showering her with expensive gifts, inviting her on exotic adventures across Spain and around the world, even pleading as she walked by him in the street, but no matter what he did, or what he said, Amapola just wasn’t interested.

Her focus was her home, and Ricardo found that infuriating. Every rejection just made his longing scream louder within his chest. It was an unfamiliar feeling for the boy who had always got what he wanted, and he hated it.

The daughters of Aceredo had always been peaceful, never straying from their promise to care for the people of the village, until, one fateful night, it became apparent that peace was no longer an option.

It was a quarter past three in the morning, and Amapola was woken from her slumber by her father’s scream. The room was dark, and as she rushed from the darkness to the candle lit hallway outside of her bedroom, she suddenly missed the darkness, and all that it had hidden from her.

There was a trail of blood, coating the carpet, squelching under her slippers and soaking their soft fabric in crimson as she tore down the hallway towards the fading scream.

The door of her parent’s bedroom was ajar, and there were no more screams, just a faint gargle, and heavy, laboured breathing. Fear ripped through her body as she stared at the open door, desperate not to see what was on further into the room, but knowing that she had no other choice.

“Amapola.” The voice from inside the room chilled her blood with its callous cruelty. He sang her name as if they were playing a game. “Your mother and father can’t take care of you anymore.” She heard metal falling to the floor with a clang as slow, heavy footsteps advanced towards her. “You need a man to look after you now.” She recognised the voice, the insistence, the entitlement, the delusion. It was Ricardo.

The door swung back and he stood before her, his shirt dripping in blood as a manic smile flashed onto his face.

“What have you done?” She stared at his hands, soaked in blood as he lifted them to her face, the blood, warm against her skin as he tenderly stroked her cheeks. “What have you done?” She repeated, her voice shaking as her body shuddered at his touch.

“I’ve freed you.” He wouldn’t stop smiling and it churned her stomach. Tears formed in her eyes as thunder crashed in the sky. Lightning flashed and lit up the room behind him as rain began to pelt the windows. A storm was brewing as Amapola stared in horror at her mother’s body, strewn across the floor. Her hair was covered in blood, her beautiful face vandalised with the vicious trail of a knife. “Now I’ll take care of you.” He snarled.

The wind howled outside, as Amapola’s tears fell, fast and devastating. Ricardo lunged forwards, his blood soaked hands tangling in her hair as he yanked her towards him for a kiss.

“You know I don’t like to be kept waiting.” He whispered, brushing his lips against hers. Amapola’s horror and sadness was growing into a rage. The wind invaded the house as the lightning began flashing madly in the sky. A gust of wind threw Ricardo backwards as Amapola let out a wounded, heartbroken scream, rushing to her parent’s bodies and falling to her knees beside them.

Ricardo finally got to his feet, fighting back against the strength of the wind, finally aware of Amapola’s true power as water began flooding the room, and her screams were drowned out by the rushing, rage filled winds. He stared back at what he had done, and ran for his life through the house.

Amapola stayed by her parent’s side all night, until the sun struggled into the sky, barely visible through the angry grey clouds. The daughters joined her, heartbroken by the sight of her grief.

For days, the storm held the villagers captive. The rain was relentless and the sky was filled with endless thunder. The streets were soaked, the fields flooded with her sorrow, but all Amapola could do was cry.

Ricardo watched the storm from his bedroom window, the knife, still coated in crimson was on the window sill, and every now and again, he would glance at it, unsure if it had been worth it.

As he considered his crime once again, staring out of the window, he noticed a crowd, struggling through the flooded streets. Ricardo looked down in amusement as they waded through the water, some slipping into the water as they went.

As he watched the growing crowd, he noticed, with a bit of nervousness that they were marching towards his house. Ricardo was the kind of man that had never really been taught the consequences of his actions, but as the stormed battered the village and the villagers began knocking at his door, panic set in as Ricardo realised that he would have to face up to what he had done.

Across the village, Amapola was despondent, surrounded by her sister witches in the blood drenched bedroom. On the bed, her parent’s bodies had been arranged and surrounded by flowers. Water flowed around their ankles as they stood vigil in the darkness.

“We have sent for him.” The witches said in unison. Amapola nodded, stroking her mother’s hair as they continued. “They have captured him.” Amapola left the room, the winds starting to calm as she strode towards the front door.

Cries from the crowd outside poured in as she opened the door, the sunshine soaked her face, and she smiled brightly as the crowd arrived before her, throwing Ricardo at her feet.

He scrambled to his feet but was pushed and kicked down by the baying mob, his face and arms covered in scratches and bruises as he screamed in pain.

“Make them stop.” He bellowed, reaching up to Amapola, she leaned down towards him, delighted at the fear in his eyes. “I’ll fix it.” Her fingers traced tenderly down his face as he began to cry. “Please Amapola, how much do you want?” He pleaded, reaching into his pockets and pushing pesatas into her hand hurriedly. “Just take it and make them stop.” She shook her head, throwing the money into the crowd. “Call them off, for God’s sake!” Amapola stood back and extended a hand to him as the people slowly backed away. He put his shaking, bruised hand in her own and tried to stand, falling back to the ground as he did.

“Now I’ll take care of you.” She said softly, waving a hand over his head. His body began to tingle, as a frame of golden light surrounded him. The people gasped as Ricardo’s body lifted from the ground. He struggled and yelled, but the light overpowered him, carrying him high above the crowd below who stared up in awe.

“What are you doing?” Ricardo screamed, thrashing around in the sky as the light carried him higher and higher. “Amapola, let me go!” The people stared in awe as Amapola pointed lazily towards the sun and let her finger drag in Ricardo’s direction.

“I’ve freed you.” She whispered. The light began to fill with flames, surrounding his body as he yelped in pain, struggling to no avail as the fire ripped through his body.

Charred flesh overpowered the fresh scent of flowers that usually filled the village. He begged for a few moments, as his body broke down, pleading for mercy. Ricardo’s screams echoed through the village as the crowd silently watched his body fall into ash, that broke free of the circle of light and flew away on the soft wind.

After that day, the village was peaceful again. The daughters of Aceredo gave their gifts to the people, and the people gave their gifts in return, but every year, on the 29th of May, they would gather for a feast to celebrate the daughters and their power.

Ricardo was forgotten, just a sprinkle of ashes, lost somewhere on the wind, but rumour has it, if you wander up the hill late at night, to the towering house he used to own, you’ll hear him, still sobbing and screaming in pain, as the odour of searing, burning flesh fills the air.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

I Need You So

Meredith is the most beautiful girl in school.

There’s something about her that drives me wild. I can’t describe it, it’s like I can’t think straight around her.

She has the most gorgeous eyes. I see them everywhere I go, and I feel like they’re something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.

Did you ever see eyes like that? Just so stunning that they knock the wind right out of you? I doubt it, unless of course, you’ve met Meredith.

I see her eyes in the stars at night, in the streetlights as I walk home and wait for the next day to arrive so I can see her again.

It’s crazy to think I didn’t ever notice her before, and then, boom, suddenly, there she was, with those eyes, lighting up the darkness.

We had just finished PE, my team had won netball and I was on a high, but feeling pretty thirsty, and she just… appeared. She let me have some of her water and as I drank it down and looked up at her face, I saw her eyes and it was like my soul left my body. All at once, I fell in love, like they do in films or love songs. It was like my whole life began again. Our life.

I felt so shy around her all of a sudden, stumbling over my words and tripping over my shoes, but she didn’t seem to care. We just connected. We spent the whole of our lunch break talking, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her eyes the whole time.

It all happened so fast, she used to be some girl in the background and then, she was the only girl I noticed. The only girl I’d ever wanted. I couldn’t stay away from her.

We’d meet in secret between lessons, just to be together away from prying eyes. I didn’t want anyone else to look at her, not the way I did. We didn’t touch. We barely even kissed but there was this irresistible electricity between us in those moments, and when we were apart, I couldn’t stop thinking about those few minutes we would have alone, just the two of us.

We’d stay up late on the phone until she fell asleep. I didn’t say much, I just wanted to hear her voice, and when she finally drifted off, I’d fall asleep to the lullaby of her soft breathing, dreaming of the day she’d fall asleep in my arms.

We didn’t tell anyone. It’s a small town, with a lot of gossip and a lot of backwards attitudes, so our love had to be a secret, but we’d make plans to run away together all the time. I started saving my pocket money and even got a Saturday job so that I’d have enough for us to start a new life. Meredith had always wanted to go to Paris, so I saved my money, even learning a little French to get us closer to our new life.

It was all so perfect, just like her, and her eyes. You really have to see them, except you can’t, because they’re mine.

At least I think so. I want them to be, and it feels right, like we were always meant to be, but sometimes, she makes me feel like I’m losing her. That’s love, I guess. It has ups and downs.

We had been together a month when things started to change. She’d forget to meet me at break time, or she’d take a little too long to text me back, and I could feel her slipping away from me.

It was Darcy, her stupid, so called best friend. I never understood why they were friends in the first place. Meredith was so sweet and kind, but Darcy was a stone cold bitch. It was absolutely pathetic.

I knew she was a bad influence on Meredith, infecting her with her shallow, salacious behaviour, even trying to fix her up with one of the boys in our class. Meredith would make excuses for her, talking about how Darcy didn’t know she wasn’t into boys, and was just trying to be helpful…

Let me ask you this. What kind of “best friend” doesn’t know that their best friend is a) a lesbian b) already taken. I knew that Meredith was lying to protect her. Darcy, for all her faults (and there were many) was Meredith’s best friend. She must have told her about us, and Darcy still decided to try and set her up with some hideous boy. It was disgusting.

You have to understand, something needed to be done. You can’t just let these things happen, you know? And it’s not like I hurt her, or anything, so I never really got what all the fuss was about. I was just going to scare her off, put some distance between them, for Meredith’s sake. I knew she was too shy and sweet to tell Darcy to back off, so I had to do it for her.

I was going to let her out of the store cupboard. I just needed to spend some time with Meredith first. How was I supposed to know that it would catch fire? The ropes weren’t even that tight. She could have got out if she wanted to. If the school decides to stock a cupboard full of flammable materials, that’s really on them, and not me, right? Like I said, I was going to let her out, but it just… caught fire first. What’s a girl to do?

Meredith stopped spending time with Darcy after that, and it was good. Really good. She needed me, and I took care of her, like a good girlfriend is supposed to. I even spent some of the money I’d saved so we could spend the weekend at a nice hotel, just the two of us, alone at last. I told my parents that it was a school trip, and we set off into town for a few days of spa treatments, late night movies and preemptive wedded bliss. We were going to be together forever, so what was the harm in practicing early?

I didn’t want it to end. It felt like we were in our own little world, just the two of us, nobody else. That was how I liked it. The moments of silence were serene. I’d just look at her, and realise that she was the one thing in my life that made it complete.

We even snuck into the restaurant and had alcohol with dinner. I felt so grown up. The barman probably knew that we were underage, but he didn’t say much to me when he gave me the drinks. He was enthralled by Meredith though. I got a bad feeling about that. He’d look at her a little too long, asking her questions, asking for her name a lot, even asking if she had any ID with her, probably to try and find out her real name so he could look her up on social media when we left. He kept asking if she was okay. She was fine. It wasn’t his business. She was absolutely fine.

I don’t mean to judge, but it’s really not right for a grown man to take such an interest in a seventeen year old girl.

He ran into the road and was hit by a car. Nobody really knows why. Meredith was terribly upset. I tried to tell him that a car was coming, but he just kept running, and screaming about a knife. I’d only used it to cut my steak, I thought he could take it back to the kitchen for me. I guess it was just a misunderstanding.

She was really quiet when we went back to our room, probably just tired. She fell asleep in my arms and it was everything I’d waited my life for, but when I woke up the next day, she was packing her bags.

We still had another night in the hotel, so I asked her why, and she just burst into tears.

She asked me about Darcy. I couldn’t believe it, everything had been so perfect, and she had to bring up Darcy. Dumb, dead Darcy, still managing to ruin our relationship from beyond the grave.

She asked me about the barman too. It was just a horrible accident, and then… well… another horrible accident. Accidents happen, you know, but she got upset. Hysterical, in fact.

She just started whispering about how she hadn’t meant for “this” to happen. I kept asking what she meant but she shook her head and just cried. I tried to hold her but she’d push me away.

She said that it wasn’t real. Her tears flowed, the seconds turning to a minute, and then another, and I just stared, bewildered. She said it again. It wasn’t real. Nothing that I felt about her was real. I covered her mouth with my hands, my own eyes filling with tears as she pulled away. She said that she liked me, so she cast the spell, but it messed me up and… she was wrong. She kept repeating herself but she was wrong. Sometimes, love means never having to say you’re sorry, but sometimes, love means telling your lover to be quiet because they’re confused, or they’re lying or…

She said it was just the spell. It didn’t make sense. None of it made sense. She said I drank and the spell was cast, but she couldn’t be right, because I could feel it in my heart, burning in my bones, screaming in my soul. I loved her with everything I had, and she told me that it wasn’t real. I had thought about her non stop for so long. She had been my entire world. How could it be anything other than real?

She said that she was sorry, and I just couldn’t believe it. There was nothing to be sorry for. We had done nothing wrong. She was just confused, upset about the accident the night before. She’d get over it and she’d be okay again. We’d be okay. I tried to tell her. It was going to be okay, and I loved her, but she just cried.

She said that it had gone too far. She said that it was a mistake and I just stood in silence, my heart still pounding and crying for her. It wouldn’t stop. She rummaged in her suitcase, pulling out the bottle and she shoved it in my face. She said that nothing I felt was real, but she was wrong, because it was all still there. Her name was carved into my heart, and my heart was heavy with all the love it held.

I had to show her.

She cried. She pushed the steak knife from my hand and I pushed back, watching her fall to the bed. She just cried, and cried, staring right past me as I grabbed the cord of her dressing gown from the floor, wrapping it around her struggling wrists, as she said it over and over. It wasn’t real.

She had to see.

It didn’t hurt too much. I barely felt it, because I could see her eyes as the blade burst through my skin. They were full of tears, red and full of fear, but I knew what she was afraid of. Her greatest fear was the same as mine. She was afraid of losing me, and I was afraid of losing her, but as I dug my fingers into my chest, the blood on my fingers felt warm and my head felt light and hazy, so the fear melted away.

I would always be hers and she would always be mine.

I fell onto the bed next to her, the clean, cotton sheets stained with my devotion, my hand full of my heart, so that she could see it truly belonged to her.

I gazed up at her face, so full of pain, so much sorrow, my own pain beginning to spread across my chest. It didn’t matter though, because I looked into her eyes and my heart, encased in trembling fingertips, softly whispered her name.

It was real.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Amapola

The daughters of Aceredo had always been peaceful. Finding each other as the years went by, and growing as the crops they soothed in the soil, whispering sweet sonnets to the children of the earth. They bathed in the river, leaving wildflowers in their wake as they wandered the village with smiles for everyone they saw.

As the moon waxed and waned, their powers grew, and they shared the beautiful blessings they had been given with the people, ensuring that they had a good harvest every year, and that the water flowed clear. The village was the most peaceful in all of Galicia, and the people were grateful for the treasures that the daughters of Aceredo had given them.

Of all Aceredo’s daughters, the most powerful was Amapola. She wore poppies in her hair, and was the mistress of the the elements. When she smiled, the sun shone at its brightest, and her tears could draw the fiercest of storms to the village.

Amapola had lived in the village all her life, and as she grew day by day, so did the good fortune of the village. As she grew older, her focus became the village entirely. Amapola did not go out to dances with the many suitors that were available, but spent her evenings wandering the meadows and fields of the village, singing to the slowly growing crops.

Her parents would turn away disappointed men from their home, who came to call for their daughter, and while most took it well, there was one, who simply could not abide being told “no.”

Ricardo was the most eligible bachelor in Galicia. His father had made a lot of money in imports, and the family lived in a mansion that cast a dark shadow over Pontevedra. Ricardo was a bored and spoiled, so without the day to day stresses of earning a living to keep him busy, he took to wandering Galicia, in search of adventure and entertainment. He had heard of witches, in a small village, but like many outside of Aceredo, he didn’t quite believe it to be true, but he was bored, so he went to explore anyway.

It was there that he saw the magic of the daughters of Aceredo, and was enchanted by Amapola. He couldn’t take his eyes from her, and purchased the biggest house he could find in the village, so that he could be closer to her.

Ricardo was wealthy, and had always been able to get what he wanted, so he was certain that he could have the young woman too, but love is a complicated kind of magic, that even a witch as powerful as Amapola could never master, so Ricardo had no chance.

He tried for weeks, showering her with expensive gifts, inviting her on exotic adventures across Spain and around the world, even pleading as she walked by him in the street, but no matter what he did, or what he said, Amapola just wasn’t interested.

Her focus was her home, and Ricardo found that infuriating. Every rejection just made his longing scream louder within his chest. It was an unfamiliar feeling for the boy who had always got what he wanted, and he hated it.

The daughters of Aceredo had always been peaceful, never straying from their promise to care for the people of the village, until, one fateful night, it became apparent that peace was no longer an option.

It was a quarter past three in the morning, and Amapola was woken from her slumber by her father’s scream. The room was dark, and as she rushed from the darkness to the candle lit hallway outside of her bedroom, she suddenly missed the darkness, and all that it had hidden from her.

There was a trail of blood, coating the carpet, squelching under her slippers and soaking their soft fabric in crimson as she tore down the hallway towards the fading scream.

The door of her parent’s bedroom was ajar, and there were no more screams, just a faint gargle, and heavy, laboured breathing. Fear ripped through her body as she stared at the open door, desperate not to see what was on further into the room, but knowing that she had no other choice.

“Amapola.” The voice from inside the room chilled her blood with its callous cruelty. He sang her name as if they were playing a game. “Your mother and father can’t take care of you anymore.” She heard metal falling to the floor with a clang as slow, heavy footsteps advanced towards her. “You need a man to look after you now.” She recognised the voice, the insistence, the entitlement, the delusion. It was Ricardo.

The door swung back and he stood before her, his shirt dripping in blood as a manic smile flashed onto his face.

“What have you done?” She stared at his hands, soaked in blood as he lifted them to her face, the blood, warm against her skin as he tenderly stroked her cheeks. “What have you done?” She repeated, her voice shaking as her body shuddered at his touch.

“I’ve freed you.” He wouldn’t stop smiling and it churned her stomach. Tears formed in her eyes as thunder crashed in the sky. Lightning flashed and lit up the room behind him as rain began to pelt the windows. A storm was brewing as Amapola stared in horror at her mother’s body, strewn across the floor. Her hair was covered in blood, her beautiful face vandalised with the vicious trail of a knife. “Now I’ll take care of you.” He snarled.

The wind howled outside, as Amapola’s tears fell, fast and devastating. Ricardo lunged forwards, his blood soaked hands tangling in her hair as he yanked her towards him for a kiss.

“You know I don’t like to be kept waiting.” He whispered, brushing his lips against hers. Amapola’s horror and sadness was growing into a rage. The wind invaded the house as the lightning began flashing madly in the sky. A gust of wind threw Ricardo backwards as Amapola let out a wounded, heartbroken scream, rushing to her parent’s bodies and falling to her knees beside them.

Ricardo finally got to his feet, fighting back against the strength of the wind, finally aware of Amapola’s true power as water began flooding the room, and her screams were drowned out by the rushing, rage filled winds. He stared back at what he had done, and ran for his life through the house.

Amapola stayed by her parent’s side all night, until the sun struggled into the sky, barely visible through the angry grey clouds. The daughters joined her, heartbroken by the sight of her grief.

For days, the storm held the villagers captive. The rain was relentless and the sky was filled with endless thunder. The streets were soaked, the fields flooded with her sorrow, but all Amapola could do was cry.

Ricardo watched the storm from his bedroom window, the knife, still coated in crimson was on the window sill, and every now and again, he would glance at it, unsure if it had been worth it.

As he considered his crime once again, staring out of the window, he noticed a crowd, struggling through the flooded streets. Ricardo looked down in amusement as they waded through the water, some slipping into the water as they went.

As he watched the growing crowd, he noticed, with a bit of nervousness that they were marching towards his house. Ricardo was the kind of man that had never really been taught the consequences of his actions, but as the stormed battered the village and the villagers began knocking at his door, panic set in as Ricardo realised that he would have to face up to what he had done.

Across the village, Amapola was despondent, surrounded by her sister witches in the blood drenched bedroom. On the bed, her parent’s bodies had been arranged and surrounded by flowers. Water flowed around their ankles as they stood vigil in the darkness.

“We have sent for him.” The witches said in unison. Amapola nodded, stroking her mother’s hair as they continued. “They have captured him.” Amapola left the room, the winds starting to calm as she strode towards the front door.

Cries from the crowd outside poured in as she opened the door, the sunshine soaked her face, and she smiled brightly as the crowd arrived before her, throwing Ricardo at her feet.

He scrambled to his feet but was pushed and kicked down by the baying mob, his face and arms covered in scratches and bruises as he screamed in pain.

“Make them stop.” He bellowed, reaching up to Amapola, she leaned down towards him, delighted at the fear in his eyes. “I’ll fix it.” Her fingers traced tenderly down his face as he began to cry. “Please Amapola, how much do you want?” He pleaded, reaching into his pockets and pushing pesatas into her hand hurriedly. “Just take it and make them stop.” She shook her head, throwing the money into the crowd. “Call them off, for God’s sake!” Amapola stood back and extended a hand to him as the people slowly backed away. He put his shaking, bruised hand in her own and tried to stand, falling back to the ground as he did.

“Now I’ll take care of you.” She said softly, waving a hand over his head. His body began to tingle, as a frame of golden light surrounded him. The people gasped as Ricardo’s body lifted from the ground. He struggled and yelled, but the light overpowered him, carrying him high above the crowd below who stared up in awe.

“What are you doing?” Ricardo screamed, thrashing around in the sky as the light carried him higher and higher. “Amapola, let me go!” The people stared in awe as Amapola pointed lazily towards the sun and let her finger drag in Ricardo’s direction.

“I’ve freed you.” She whispered. The light began to fill with flames, surrounding his body as he yelped in pain, struggling to no avail as the fire ripped through his body.

Charred flesh overpowered the fresh scent of flowers that usually filled the village. He begged for a few moments, as his body broke down, pleading for mercy. Ricardo’s screams echoed through the village as the crowd silently watched his body fall into ash, that broke free of the circle of light and flew away on the soft wind.

After that day, the village was peaceful again. The daughters of Aceredo gave their gifts to the people, and the people gave their gifts in return, but every year, on the 29th of May, they would gather for a feast to celebrate the daughters and their power.

Ricardo was forgotten, just a sprinkle of ashes, lost somewhere on the wind, but rumour has it, if you wander up the hill late at night, to the towering house he used to own, you’ll hear him, still sobbing and screaming in pain, as the odour of searing, burning flesh fills the air.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Season Of The Dreaming Witch

Summer steps closer with every sunset.

I let myself lose consciousness,

driven closer to dawn and another day to be knocked down in my pursuit of the power of love.

I will see you at Summer, my sweet saviour,

so sure if it, I am,

like the sadder but wiser green puppet that plays among the stars,

so sure of it, I am, that I have learned to live in peace, until the moment comes.

Life until then is long and full of longing,

but every day,

the sun says “Hello” a little earlier,

and the calendar loses pages as quickly as I lose my patience,

so I am assured that Summer steps closer with every sunset,

and my sweet one,

so do you.