Wednesday, April 25, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 25 Part 4

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

“You have no right!” she screamed.

“It is not your choice.”

She screamed.

“You can leave willingly, or we can destroy you.”

Teodor snarled. The Hag focused her hollow eyes on him. “Creature, you cannot harm me.”

“You killed those children. You had your child killed in front of you and you still killed other children,” Teodor said.

Gunner shined the light on her. While the light passed across her face, Teodor could see her eyes.

“Elizabeth Swift, we know the truth. We know that you did not kill your infant,” Albrecht said. He picked up the skin.

She tried to attack them. But she could not pass over the circle. She pounded her fist against the unseen barrier. “My baby!”

“You want your baby?”

“Give me my child!”

“Then leave. Promise us that you will finally rest.” Albrecht held up the skin.

“I don't believe you,” she said.

Albrecht knelt down and opened the box with the baptismal gown. “We found your baby's gown too.”

The hag back away from the circle. “Where do I go?”

“You have to cross over,” Albrecht said.

“But-”

“Elizabeth, you have to take your baby and leave. That is all.” He picked up the box with the gown. “Do you agree?”

The blackness that surrounded and filled the hag, became lighter. Her eyes returned to the empty sockets. “I agree.”

Albrecht placed the skin inside the box on the gown. Teodor caught a look that Albrecht gave Bilge. Bilge tightened his grip on the rock salt. Teodor stepped aside as Albrecht approached the edge of the circle.

He held out the box. “Here is your baby.”

She reached out and took the box. The monster appearance melted away from Elizabeth. Instead she became a black haired, young woman wearing a long blue gown. She ran her fingers over the skin.

“My sweet baby,” she said. Her voice had changed. She spoke in a soft whisper.

“Will you leave?” Albrecht asked.

Elizabeth wrapped the skin in the gown. She nodded.

“Then leave,” Albrecht said.

Her feet, then her legs disappeared. The shadows swallowed her. Traveling up her body. Her face was the last to disappear. She smiled.

The darkness replaced by bright moonlight, it streamed into the room. Without the shadows, the living room looked comforable with faded wallpaper.

Bilge sighed. “That went well.”

“Is she gone?” Gunner asked.

“Yeah.”

“I thought we would do more fighting...”

Bilge scoffed.

Teodor turned around. “You wanted to fight her, after you saw what she could do to me.”

“Good point.”

Albrecht rubbed his forehead. “Bilge could you close off the rest of the house. We should leave this place in peace.”

Bilge nodded. He stepped outside of the circle. For a moment Teodor thought something would jump out at them. But nothing did.

Albrecht grabbed Teodor's arm. “Sorry, I think I need some help.”

Teodor let Albrecht lean on him. “No problem.”

Gunner turned off the flashlight. Teodor and Albrecht walked outside. The eastern sky had turned red, but the sun had not broked over the horizon.

“Nice day,” Teodor said.

Gunner sighed. “Finally.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 25 Part 3

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

She had had a girl, he thought. Then he remembered. At that time, all infants would have worn the same type of gown, regardless of sex. He placed the cover on the box. He tucked the box under his arm and left the room. He saw Albrecht leave one room then enter another. Bilge and Gunner came up the stairs.

“What do you have there?” Bilge asked.

“A baptismal gown.” Teodor went into the next room.

The bed had been built into the room. The four tall columns rose from floor to the ceiling, the bed frame had fallen apart and laid between the post. A set of double doors caught Teodor's eye. He opened them.

“Bilge, Albrecht!” Teodor yelled.

He held the doors open until the rest of them came into the room. What should have been the closet had been made into a small prayer altar. The crucifix had been attached to the wall. Inches of wax covered the table along the edges. A raise platform sat in the middle.

“This better be it,” Teodor said.

“Any sign of the remains?” Gunner asked.

Teodor got on his knees to look below the table. The bare floor had been covered with wooden tiles. It was doubtful there was a loose floor board. He ran his hands along the bottom of the table, looking for a false bottom, there was nothing.

Bilge, holding another bunch of herbs in his mouth like a cigar, tapped the top of the closet. “Nothing up there either.”

Teodor stood up. “What would it have been?”

He stepped back. Albrecht stared at the table, rubbing his chin. “There is something missing here,” he said.

The unseen baby cried. Gunner moved the flashlight around the room. “She's coming back, isn't she?”

Bilge waved the herb bundle. “She can't come in here.”

The broken bed frame shook.

“I could be wrong,” he said.

One of the metal pieces of the frame rose up and shot across the room. Teodor pushed Gunner out of the way. The piece of frame stopped at the wall, burying itself into the wall, next to the altar.

Gunner stood up, he shined the flashlight into the bed frame. “Knock it off!” He yelled.

Another piece of the bed frame flew through the air toward them. Bilge dropped to the floor, at the same time he dropped his knapsack on the floor. The metal piece embedded itself a few inches away from the first piece.

Bilge unzipped the knapsack. He pulled out a small bag of salt. Biting the end off like a grenade. He threw it into the middle of the bed frame. The salt hit and fanned out over the floor.

The baby cries stopped.

Teodor stood up. He swatted one of the pieces in the wall. It fell out, leaving a a large hole. He shook his head. “At least she hasn't tried to kill us out right.”

Gunner nodded. “That's true.”

Teodor pulled the other piece of metal out of the wall. The wall crumbled around the two holes. A corner of a large book could be seen.

He used his claws to rip the hole in the wall larger. The plaster crumbled too easily. The area over the large book, had been patched with a different type of plaster than what was covering the rest of the wall.

He pulled the book out. It was a large, leather-bound, family bible. His nose caught the scent. He dropped it.

“What is it?” Albrecht asked.

“I can smell human on it,” Teodor said.

“I am sure a human scent is on it.”

“No, human skin.” He pointed to the leather on the cover. “I think we found the child.”

No one moved or said anything for a few moments. Gunner shined his light on the bible.

“You mean that bible was bound with the baby's skin?”

With the light on the bible, Teodor could make out where there had been repairs to the leather cover had been done. Albrecht knelt down. He ran his finger along one of the new seems.

“Nylon thread. The skin was recently added,” he said.

“One of them sewed the skin onto the bible.” Bilge shook his head. “They could have left it in full view and she would not have been able to touch it.”

“Now what?” Teodor asked.

Albrecht picked up the bible. “Time to make her play by our rules.”

In the living room, the sweet smelling smoke had almost cleared out. Teodor placed the box in the middle of the floor. Albrecht took out a pocket knife and cut the new stitching off the cover of the bible. When he pulled the skin off, Teodor's stomach turned.

“You can see why Bilge and I no longer wanted to work with Robert and Peter,” Albrecht said, laying the skin on top of the box.

The room darkened.

Bilge lit four candles. He instructed Gunner to place one in each direction. Then Bilge took out a piece of chalk and drew a circle around the box.

“Stay inside the chalk,” he said. “No matter what happens.”

Albrecht laid the bible on top of the fireplace. He returned to the circle. Gunner and Teodor stood by each other. Bilge finished drawing the circle.

“Turn the flashlight off,” Bilge said.

Gunner clicked it off.

Albrecht raised his hands. He chanted in Latin. Bilge opened another small bag of rock salt. He nudged Gunner and pointed to the fireplace.

All of Teodor's hair stood on end. He tried to stop the growl that rose up in his throat. But he raised the sides of his mouth. Around the fireplace the shadows darkened. Teodor leaned forward and growled. Albrecht moved his hands as if he was pulling a string toward him. The shadows darkened as he moved his hands. The shape of the Hag formed in front of Teodor.

Her eyes were the hollow holes in her head. She screamed and scratched. But her claws could not enter the area where the circle had been drawn. Albrecht stopped his chanting.

“Elizabeth Swift,” Albrecht said. “We are here to send you back to the grave. To give you the rest you deserve.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 25 Part 2

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

The pages flipped until almost to the end. Teodor read the page. The handwriting with the first entry was elegant and neat, but the last entry the writing had changed. The letters had been written with an angry hand. Ink spotted most of the page. T's had been cross so hard that the paper was ripped.

There were no more sounds from inside the house.

“It says here,” Teodor said. “That she had been expecting Thorson to come that night. They had been talking about leaving for Europe. Oh.”

“What is it?” Bilge asked.

“She was raped. By her father's assistant, Ian.”

“The man that her father forced her to marry?” Albrecht asked. “No wonder she went insane.”

Teodor flipped the pages until it mentioned the birth of the baby. “The rumors were wrong about the child too. She says here, Thorson was the father and was making arrangements to take the child away. Ian found out and-”

Teodor paused. “Hit me in such a rage that it cause me to enter into labor early.”

“Did she kill the child?” Gunner asked.

Teodor read on. “Ian found out that Thorson had made plans to take his son. Ian refused. He beat me, until I could no longer stand. Then he took the child and bashed it's head on the fireplace.”

The wind shook the house. Bilge sighed. “It seems generations of people owe her an apology.”

“But if she did not kill her child? Why did she become the Hag?” Teodor asked.

“Guilt. She may have killed herself,” Albrecht said. “Suicides are good candidates for becoming a ghost. The rumors started, the ghost changed to fit the rumors.”

“But that still doesn't answer why she tried to attack us, just now,” Gunner said.

Teodor put down the book on a windowsill next to the fireplace. He felt the mantel. He never thanked his parents for much, but at least they let him live as an infant.

“So Peter and Robert find her child remains and tease her with them. But why couldn't she have found the remains herself.”

“Concentrated ground,” Albrecht said. “If she had been a suicide, they would have not buried her in a church cemetery.”

“So she could not have entered one either.” Teodor nodded.

The sounds of the crying baby began again. Bilge turned a flashlight on and shined it into the next room. The Hag appeared. Then she was gone. But Teodor saw her eyes. Every other time that he had seen her, her eyes had been gone.

Bilge handed the flashlight to Gunner. “I have to get something.”

Gunner held the light with a shaking hand. “She didn't attack.”

Albrecht walked a little further ahead, but he did not leave the room. “I think when she is here, she is closer to Elizabeth than the Hag.”

At first Teodor thought Bilge had a thick cigar in his hand. Then he saw it was a bunch of herbs and grass bound together. Bilge lit them, and blew on them until a sweet smelling smoke filled the room. The smell made Teodor's eyes water.

“What is that for?” Teodor asked.

“Cleans the room,” Bilge said. “At least for a little while, she won't be able to come in here.”

Albrecht went into the next room. Gunner followed. Teodor waited until Bilge left the burning bundle in the fire place, then he followed Bilge into the next room.

This might have been a dining room. A large hook for a light, possibly a chandelier hung from the ceiling. There was a cupboard off to the side. The doors on it had mouse holes chewed through them.

Albrecht stood still in the middle of the room. He raised his head and stared at the ceiling. His eyes had turned white, again. “I feel the child is close.”

“I can see Peter or Robert getting a kick out of hiding her child closest to where she haunts,” Bilge said.

“But it would have to be somewhere she couldn't go,” Teodor said. He looked around the room. He could make out the faded shape of a crucifix on the wall. He pointed to the shape. “My family had their own altar.”

“Do you think the Swift's would have?” Gunner asked.

“If not an altar something else concentrated,” Bilge said. “We are looking for something big enough to hide a child's remains in.”

Teodor opened the cupboard. Nothing was inside.

Gunner shined the flashlight around the room. No other pieces of furniture. But there were two more exits, one look like it went into the kitchen. The other lead to a set of stairs.

Albrecht walked to the staircase. He turned his head to look up.

The Hag screamed.

Albrecht dove back into the room. Her iron nails sliced furrows in the wood where he had been.

“Shine the light on her!” Bilge yelled.

Gunner swung the light around. It landed on the Hag's features. She screamed and dispersed in a black cloud.

“Why does she keep attacking us?” Gunner asked. “We are only trying to help.”

“If you could reason with her, your friends would be alive,” Bilge said. He lit another bundle of herbs.

Albrecht motioned to Teodor. “Follow me.”

Teodor followed Albrecht upstairs.

“We will have to separate,” Albrecht said.

“Is that a good idea?” Teodor asked.

“She can only attack one of us at a time. We can take her on our own. Gunner should stay with Bilge.”

At the top of the stairs. Albrecht motioned Teodor to head down one direction in the hallway. He went the other way. Teodor went into the first room he found.

The pipes in the walls, hinted that this had been the bathroom. The tiles on the floors were cracked and broken. As Teodor walked on them, the cracking noise his feet made sounded as if he was walking on bones. A floor to ceiling mirror hung off the wall, it had one large crack running from the top to the bottom. A marble knob was stuck to one side of the mirror. He pulled on it. The mirror pulled away from the wall. It covered a tall thin door. A small dark crawlspace was behind the door.

Teodor could not smell anything, but decay. On one side of the crawlspace were shelves built into the wall. Teodor could not see anything on the shelves, because of the darkness. He would see well in the dark, but this darkness was not normal.

He ran his hands along each of the shelves. As he stood on his tip toes and touched the top shelf, his fingers brushed a box. Teodor stretched. He pulled the box off the top shelf.

Teodor took the box out into the bathroom. He opened it up. Inside, in almost perfect condition and smelling of mothballs, laid a baptismal gown. Teodor touched the layers of lace. It did not feel as if it had been stored for decades.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Patriarch Update

This weekend is final book formatting time.

Here is the cover, as it is now, not the final version.

By Matt Miniatt
So what do you think?
Either post your comments below or add to this post on G+.

by Mari Miniatt

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 25 Part 1

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

Gunner held the door open for Teodor. He grabbed his clothes and jumped out of the cab. After changing his shape and dressing, Teodor joined them at the front of the truck. Bilge had parked the truck a few hundred yards away from the visitor center that was being built. The sky lightened above the horizon.

Albrecht pointed to a deer path. “Down there.”

Bilge helped Albrecht along the path. Teodor followed behind Gunner. The sun broke over the horizon, Teodor felt the temperature drop. He paused.

“Did it get colder?” he asked.

Bilge stopped, gripping Albrecht's shoulder so he would not wander ahead. “Yeah, I felt that too.”

Gunner rubbed his arms. “It's still dropping.”

Teodor turned around. The sun rose behind him, but instead of the woods being lit by the early rays. The woods had become darker. His hair rose. His teeth lengthened.

“She's here!”

The claws emerged out of the darkness. They slapped him across his face. Teodor spun and landed in the snow. Gunner flew through the air a short distance after she struck him in the chest. Bilge shoved Albrecht behind him and took off his necklace.

Teodor shook his head, changing into his hybrid form as he did. The shadows and darkness formed the Hag. Bilge swung his necklace in his hand then threw into the Hag as she rushed toward him. The necklace hit her in the chest.

The Hag screamed. She dispersed like fog.

“What did you do?” Teodor asked.

“It was iron. She'll be back,” Bilge said.

Gunner stood up, rubbing his neck. “What the hell? I thought she wanted her dead baby.”

“Maybe she thinks we will use it like they did?” Teodor said.

Bilge shook his head. “Some other reason.”

Albrecht stopped. “Here, somewhere around here.”

Through the trees, Teodor could make out the shells of the homes of the old village. He could see the top of the house, that he had talk to Perun in. He looked around. More buildings came into focus. It was as if the town was emerging from the fog.

“She killed herself, right?” Gunner asked.

Teodor and Bilge nodded.

“How?”

“The article did not say,” Teodor said.

Teodor watch as more of the small village appeared around them. He could make out what type of buildings surrounded them. He recognized the shape of a livery stable. Teodor walked ahead. “Her family owned the tannery,” Teodor said. “The tannery would have been outside of town.”

“What are you doing?” Gunner asked.

“Where would she have killed herself? Her home? The tannery?” Teodor asked.

Albrecht moved his head back and forth, as if he was searching for something. His eyes were still solid white. He pointed to the edge of the now fully visible village.

“I can't pinpoint the body,” Albrecht said. “But there is something that way.”

They continued their walk deeper into the village. Teodor glanced at Perun's house. Though one of the windows he saw Perun look out. He held his finger to his lips. Teodor nodded, careful not to let the rest of them see.

He sniffed the air. The crisp air made the smells more intense. Decay filled most of the outer smells. The scent of the Hag became stronger. She had come this way before.

“She killed the baby at the tannery,” Gunner said. “But was found. I bet they took her home.”

Teodor nodded. “She was a woman that had been high enough up in society they would want to hide any more embarrassment. They would not have taken her to the hospital.”

Albrecht pointed to a large Victorian home. The top towers had collapsed and fallen inside. Even though the moon had lit up most of the village, the inside of the home was black. Teodor stopped.

“That is it,” he said.

“Bilge, did you bring your bag of tricks?” Albrecht asked.

“Of course.”

“We're going to need them.”

Albrecht covered his eyes for a moment with his hand. When he lifted his head again, his eyes were back to normal.

Teodor shook his head. “That house, something is really wrong with that house.”

Albrecht nodded, he turned to Gunner. “Stick close to Bilge and do exactly what he tells you to do.”

“Got it.”

Bilge slapped a bag into Teodor's hand. “Rock salt,” he said. “If nothing else you can use it on the walk.”

Albrecht approached the house, holding his one hand out as if he was feeling for something ahead of him. “No barrier."

“That's good,” Bilge said.

“Perhaps. Or Peter and Robert messed this house up.”

Teodor saw a name written in stone above the main doorway. It read Swift.

“This was her house,” Teodor said.

Albrecht laid his hand on the door knob. He turned it, but did not push the door open. He stepped back and the door opened.

The inside of the house was as dark as if it was no light could reach it. The moonlight had hit the rest of the woods with so much brilliance it seemed unreal. But the inside of this house was pitch black.

“Shit,” Gunner said.

“You feel that too?” Bilge asked.

“Like something is pushing me out of the house,” Gunner said.

Teodor sniffed the air. He could not smell anything. Then he heard a baby cry.

“Please tell me the rest of you heard that,” Teodor said.

Albrecht nodded. “It wasn't a bird either.”

The baby cried again. The cries worked up into the screaming that babies would do if they were scared or extremely upset. Then the sound of a woman's voice. She screamed something. Teodor could not make out any of the words.

The sounds of the screaming and crying bounced around the walls of the entry hall. Teodor looked inside the large living room. Along the opposite wall sat a large fireplace. The ornately carved marble had vines growing along its sides. The vines had come in through the broken window sitting next to it.

The baby screamed. Teodor thought he heard the noise coming from the other side of the living room. He walked into the room, with Albrecht behind him.

“I think the temperature dropped in here,” Albrecht said.

A book flew at them. Teodor swatted it out of the air. He picked it up after it came to a stop, sliding across the floor. There was no writing on the spine. He opened the first page.

“It's her diary,” Teodor said.