Feasting Shadows. (Guest Blog)

Written by L. A. Vockins

Ariel walked the beaten path alone, flanked by the ancient oak trees of Shadowbane forest. She wiped her tired eyes, weary from a day’s work. Her long crimson hair flowed freely over her shoulders, and she adorned the uniform of a waitress. It was almost midnight. Darkness had taken over and the moon bathed the world in a dim grey light. She relied on a barely functioning flashlight to navigate her way home. Ariel had done this every night for the past two years. It was a necessary journey, but one that she enjoyed immensely. She enjoyed the deathly silence. The way the tree’s danced in the soft breeze beneath the countless stars. She enjoyed the silhouetted beauty that could be found in the dark. But this night was different. A certain taint in the air left her vigilant. She rushed her steps as unease began to settle beneath her skin.

Through flickering torchlight, Ariel peered side to side. She knew the tales of Shadowbane forest but had never believed them. She had passed through the forest countless times before and had only experienced the serenity and beauty of the ancient land. They were tales of magic. Of monsters. Of creatures that disappeared long ago. True, people used to go missing in the woods sometimes, but Ariel always thought of it as mundane cause. Maybe she was about to discover a different truth.

She felt a presence in the treeline beside her that kept pace with every step she made. She prepared to burst into a sprint but was soon stopped dead in her stride. The silhouette of a small creature fluttered into view and centred itself in her path. It looked like a dragonfly at first. It had a slender body and hovered at face height with large wings. As Ariel’s eyesight began to adjust to the creature, she could see that it appeared human. A small human, about the size of a hand, but a human none the less. The only other thing that denied its humanity was two long ears that ended in points and its wings that moved in a translucent blur on its back. In her shock, Ariel forgot the flashlight in her hand. Raising it to better see the hovering creature before her, it flickered and dulled before the light died completely.

“What the f…” Ariel began, but her voice caught in her throat.

“You shouldn’t be here on this night. You are in great danger.” The creature said. From it’s shrill but sweet voice, Ariel could tell that it was female. “The shadows feast.” She finished in a foreboding tone.

“What are you?”

“I’m a fairy, silly. The veil is thin tonight, but I know a safe place.” The fairy promised. “We must go now. Follow me, I’ll show you the way.”

The fairy burst into a ball of light. It was like a star had fallen and suspended itself before Ariel. The creature’s radiance turned the night around it into day. She made her way to the treeline, banishing the shadow as she went. Ariel was hesitant to follow at first, but something about the creature was soothing. It was almost as if she could do nothing but follow.

Following the sphere of light into the darkness, Ariel made her way to safety. But safety from what, she wasn’t quite sure. The fairy remained silent as she led the way. Ariel waded through thick undergrowth as the crack of fallen twigs resounded beneath her feet. There was something odd about the forest. An oddness that worsened the deeper they went. The trees in this part were skeletal remains of there former selves, decaying and coated with parasitic moss. A haze of mist clouded vision, obscuring the light that the fairy emanated.

“Hey, wait up!” Ariel called out as the creature began to create further distance between them.

The fairy stopped at the sound of Ariel’s voice, her light barely visible. Ariel hastened her pace to catch up. As she got closer, the mist seemed to part as if to create a pathway. It led her to a clearing. A perfect circle of fetid soil, surrounded by dead vegetation. The fairy hovered in the centre, silent and waiting. The ground crunched as Ariel approached, but it was no longer twigs beneath her feet. It was bone. She wanted to scream at the realisation, but nothing came out. Ariel’s feet carried her forward without command. She was transfixed by the unlikely creature before her.

“We’re here, human. It’s safe.” The fairy said it’s sweet tone soothing. But with its next words, came a mocking snarl.  “You have no need to fear now.”

That was when Ariel realised that it was no Fairy. It was something ancient, yes, but it embodied something far more sinister and evil. Where once the creature radiated a white glow, it now bled a dark red aura. From within the aura, Ariel could now see that the thing’s human façade had warped. Its fingers had grown into long talons and from its mouth emerged fangs. And furthermore, the creature was not alone. From the crevices of the surrounding dead trees, emerged several more of the creatures. The mere presence of evil brought Ariel’s knees to the bone-littered soil. She couldn’t move. They compelled her to stillness and silence.

Ariel felt helpless as the creatures approached. She was trapped in her own mind as her body would not move. She watched as the grinning things fluttered closer and closer on crooked wings. They were an ancient malevolence that could not be quelled, and they hungered for flesh.

“It will be over soon.” The creatures giggled as one between licking their lips with pointed tongue. “We are the shadow that fea…” Their words were interrupted by a high-pitched ringing that came from beyond the treeline.

A bright light burst from beyond, illuminating the forsaken circle that the creatures called home. Shadows of the surrounding trees danced and writhed in the radiance. Ariel felt the grip that the creatures had over her lift. They had lost concentration on their victim. A smouldering ember within her burst into flame as her survival instinct took control of her body. In a single motion, Ariel rose to her feet and delivered a backhand to the closest creature. It lost control of flight and crashed to the ground with a sickening thud. Ariel burst into a run and left the scene behind her. Trees blurred and lashed at her as she passed. She put up her arms in defence, leaving them cut and torn. But Ariel did not relent. She would survive this night.

It felt like hours had passed when she slowed to a jog. Exhausted and weary, she took in her surroundings once more. The dead trees of where she was led were now alive with green. Ariel stopped in her stride as lights appeared before her. But this time, a smile came to her face as she heard the roar of an engine. She was close to the road. A road that led home. Ariel had returned to the mundane and escaped the unknown.

Ariel continued her journey home, on heavy legs and with a mind full of wonder. She pondered the implications of the night’s events. She now knew of a hidden strength within her and a world beyond the mundane. She decided that she would never speak of what happened… they wouldn’t believe her anyway. One question that continued to return was… what saved her, and why? She would probably never know. But there was one thing that she was certain of… her life would never be the same again.

Copyright © 2018 L. A. Vockins

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My New Year’s Day (2018)

There’s nothing new about the new year. It happens over and over, at the beginning of every year. I know it’s not the greatest idea to start off a post on such a negative note. But my new year had a similar start to it as well so it only seems fitting. What do you expect from someone from an exotic subcontinent like India? Grand cultural celebrations? Amazing food? I’m sure this was all part of someone’s new year’s day. Just not mine. I am 19 years old and not for long. All my friends were out partying and I was stuck at home playing video games. It felt like a very foul beginning to my last new year’s day as a teenager. I had never been that sick of my life. Here in India, they protect their daughters to this annoying level. So if you’re wondering why I wasn’t out partying, the answer is, I wasn’t allowed to.

The reason that this night-in felt like such a downer was because things used to be a lot better. I used to feel a lot better about myself. Last year, I drove around town with my dad during the new year’s countdown, and we were joined by the entire city. Everyone was on bikes or in cars cruising around, screaming at the top of their lungs. About a hundred or so strangers wished me a Happy New Year! No one cared about cast or creed. It was just about being happy and spreading joy to anyone who came your way. It was a magical night.

I decided to keep at least some of festival spirit alive this year. I stayed up till 12:00 AM and then I instantly went to bed. The sound of fireworks and people celebrating on the streets did not help my aching heart. I slept in till the afternoon because I had nothing better to do. I love playing video games. Don’t get me wrong here. I just wanted to be doing something a little more outdoors that day. When I was down in the dumps, my friend reminded me that life isn’t just about the downs. And that once we grew up and had our lives to ourselves we’d be able to do anything we wanted. That speech didn’t really make anything better. But it did make me want to try.

I went to visit my sister who’d just had a baby. My very own little niece. She is like the ray of sunshine in my otherwise tragically boring life. So I figured that visiting her might turn things around. It might sound like I’m being so dramatic about this whole crappy new year thing, but you’d only get it if you were a teenager too. Sometimes we feel like life isn’t fair for no reason at all. I blame it all on the hormonal mood swings. Being around my sister and brother was a great distraction. Getting to be around the baby was an ever better distraction. Honestly, after I stepped into the room with her crib. It didn’t matter what day of the year it was and whether or not my life was cool.

She was just asleep and I sat there looking at her feeling like life was perfect all of a sudden. That’s when it hit me. Maybe I am just a boring old teenager with no life in this messed up country that gives teenage girls no freedom whatsoever, but here family is everything. No matter how much they can suffocate you, they’re all you need. I don’t think I’d have this bond with so many people if I was from anywhere else. I don’t think just holding a baby and realising she’s your flesh and blood can mean so much if you’re from anywhere else. Maybe I don’t hate my life so much after all. Or maybe I just really like babies.

This pointless story has a happy ending too. While I was lost in her little eyes, the corner of her lips seemed to curve up a little. I was just blabbing random things to her because she liked being talked to. It must have looked crazy. A grown woman talking to a new born like she could actually make sense of it. I don’t even remember what I said. Who knows, I might have been whining about my life to her as well. But whining using my baby voice of course! And suddenly she just smiled at me. It was her first smile and she decided to let me be at the receiving end of it. I know what you’re thinking. Babies that young can’t even see. She must have just seen a funny shaped blob and smiled at nothing. But I choose to believe that it was at me. I got all excited and called everyone over to show what just happened. I felt so warm. The warmth trickled from my stomach, down to my pants. Oh, what was that? The baby was peeing on me. I was suddenly thrust into a fountain of never ending pee. Thankfully it didn’t stink. That’s my niece, ladies and gentlemen!

So this new year, I got peed on. I guess I finally got that craziness I was looking for.

⁃ The Obsessive Writer

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post! Share your New Year’s Day story with me in the comments below! 🙂 And a belated happy new year to all of you! It’s never too late. 😀

I Am My Favourite Writer

I know what this must sound like. If I ever saw a title like that, I’d think two things. One – they’re a narcissist, and two – they’re a bit of a bragger if they’re calling themselves a writer. But honestly, there’s nothing wrong with being a narcissist. You’ll always have someone to love you. Yourself. Anyway, getting to the point of why I’m writing this. Yes there’s more to this than just showing off how obsessed I am with myself. Just hold on a little longer and read through.

When I read something, the degree of how much I like it often depends on how much I can relate. If it’s fiction, I imagine myself as the protagonist. If it’s just some random writing, I see if it applies to me. Sometimes I just wonder if that piece of writing makes me feel anything. So when I go through my blog, each one of those checkboxes gets a little tick. Everything I write is somehow based on personal experiences. So one scroll down the feed on my blog is essentially a stroll down memory lane. Jeez. That’s some quote worthy stuff isn’t it? I get this way when I’m passionate about what I’m saying. You might ask me now. What is the purpose of this post? Well, it’s that no matter who you please or impress. Write for yourself. Write something you’ll be able to look at years or even just days later and smile because of it. Today I feel like a writer. Not because of someone else. Not because of a nice little compliment. I am indeed very thankful for all the wonderful things everyone says. But today I feel like a writer because I scrolled through my blog and enjoyed what I read.

– The Obsessive Writer

If you could relate to this, share your “I am my favourite” story with me in the comments below or in a post of your own and link back to me. I will check it out! 🙂 Happy Blogging!

Guest Bloggers are Welcome!

Hello and Welcome to my Blog 🙂

If you have any content that you’d like to share with me please leave a link to the post in the comments below.

There’s no guarantee that I will post every thing that everyone shares. I will pick the posts that speak to me, and the ones that go with the theme of my blog.

You don’t have to share just one post, I might pick multiple posts from the same blog. So leave a link to whatever you’d like to host on my blog. Before you leave a link, all you have to do is to make sure you’re following my blog.

I might request some original content that you post only on my blog if I enjoy your writings so please mention it in the comment along with your link, if you’re willing to write some original content for me.

I will leave this post up as a sticky for as long as it is responsive. Everyday I will pick one post and either reblog it on my page and link back to you. Or request you to write some original content for me and post that on my page and link back to you.

Happy Blogging! 🙂

– The Obsessive Writer.

Poetry The Breath Of Life

The Winner of my “You Complete Me” poetry challenge is Ashleigh Wenyika. This is an amazing poem written by an amazing writer. Please visit their blog for more great content. 🙂

Ashleigh Wenyika

Poetry is like the air I breathe,
Reading is breathing in and writing is breathing out.
Two of which I cannot live without.

If I was to stop, the air in my lungs would be syphoned out and I would be left gasping for air in agony, moving through life swiftly and painfully.

Poetry expresses thoughts which cannot remain silent. Thoughts that echo in my head, suffocating me with insanity, they long to be released from the prison of my frame, shrieking to be free.

As I put to pen and paper my thoughts, a poem emerges. I breathe in and I breathe out…

Reading is the anchor to my gravity. I dwell into a sphere of magic where I live countless lives, journey to unknown worlds and fall in love with extraordinary beings.

As I glance at each page that engulfs me, a story emerges. I breathe in and…

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You Complete Me (Poetry Contest) – Week 1

Welcome to the first week of the poetry contest on my blog 🙂 I hope you have some fun, and get a little bit of inspiration from this prompt.

The rules are simple.

  1. Before you post your entry make sure that you’re following my blog.
  2. You can post your entry to the contest on your blog.
  3. Link back to my blog on your post. And leave a comment to your entry here in the comments section of this post.
  4. Title the poem appropriately, you can use your images or original art if you’d like to.
  5. Your poem should be a continuation of the following lines.

Poetry is like the air I breathe,

Reading is breathing in and writing is breathing out.

Two of which I cannot live without.

If you have any doubts, feel free to ask me what you need to know by leaving a comment. I’ll respond as quickly as I can. By the end of the week, which is 24th December, I will pick a winner and they get a chance to be featured on my blog. Please share this post with your friends if you know anyone who’d like to participate.

Thank you and good luck! 🙂

– The Obsessive Writer

Poetry Contest – Coming Soon.

This ones for all the poets out there!

Starting tomorrow I will be holding a weekly poetry contest! The winner gets a chance to be featured on my blog. 🙂

Stay tuned for more details!

– The Obsessive Writer