Bloody Maples

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Recently I have been working on my first ghost story/horror story. A few people have read it and they encouraged me to share it with you. This is far beyond what I normally write so I would be really appreciative of your comments on it.

The current title for this piece is Bloody Maples and it ponders what the malevolent spirits that were persecuted could want after all this time.

Happy Reading!

Tall sugar maples shaded a lifeless tree that clung to a sheer cliff bluff. Below the cliff a shallow ravine trickled with red tinged water. Frayed ropes swayed on the lower branches of the dead tree.

No birds flew overhead; even the calls of the animals died this crisp autumn night.

Clouds rolled in as the earth began to shake. Red water crested the bank as the earth shook allowing the ravine to rise and rest at the base of the maples. Lightening flashed as forms emerged from the water and stood with bowed heads at the base of the dead tree.
One figure, then another, knelt next to the tree as the water receded. It was a somber affair as nineteen figures prayed over lives long lost.

Tonight though, they weren’t here to mourn the past; they were here to celebrate the future.

Lightening cracked across the sky as another figure stepped out of the tree.
She wore an elaborately antiquated dress whose colors were as faded and luminescent as the moonlight. The only bright color that adorned her was the sparkling sapphire that shone from her eyes.

As wind howled through the trees, the woman chillingly whispered, “My children, for far too long this mortal realm has rested on our innocent souls! They shed our pure blood for the comfort of their minds. Tonight these vile mortals will lose the solace they purchased in vain!

“Tonight they shall suffer the tortures they rained upon our heads as we walk through their homes and into the dreams they hold true,” she rasped as the wind howled into the night.

A man in tattered breeches and a wide brimmed hat gracefully rose and grovelled, “For that milady, on this treacherously bright All Hallow’s Eve.”

Milady looked upon the humbled man and cooed, “Father George, you need not thank me for what The Impaler has declared a treat for his most faithful.”

Excitement fluttered through the translucent ghosts faster than a humming bird could flap its wings. The tittering exclamations of, “He remember us,” flickered faster than a candle in the wind amongst the pale group.

Milady smiled benevolently as she assured, “Most fondly does the Prince remember those that floated with him during the Mafiosi Uprising.”

The pallid ghosts gleamed like a dim light bulb under their Lady’s praise. “Now my children, let us fly while the veil weak and the moon high. Show these mortals that they have rested easy for the last time on our memories and blood. Bestow on them visions of the despairing world that they will rise to in the morning,” Milady eerily commanded.
The ghosts howled around the dead tree as their spirits rose to the highest branches and flew apart in what any observer would call a shooting star.

Clouds began to cover the pale moon and wind began to blow leaves from trees as the ghosts approached the nearest town. A final clap of thunder turned what little moonlight there was the color of blood.

One by one ghosts entered the houses of the sleeping inhabitants who were snugly in their toasty beds.

In the first house a woman wearing a tattered skirt and bonnet cruelly smiled as she entered the mind of her target. The man had the same sneer in his sleep as the judge who had condemned her, and she was delighted to stand here and show him the future that awaited him.

Slowly the form of the woman sank in to the sleeping man and his body turned blue for a moment as his mouth opened in silent horror.

Inside his mind the woman cackled, “Young Sewall, the time has come for you to taste the payment due for the crimes of your ancestors. Once you cross our realm, not even God will save you!”

“I don’t know who you are,” he whimpered.

Her ghostly face smiled in rage, revealing rotten teeth as she whispered, “The judges son doesn’t know a Good? How cruelly then, will it be as flood drowns you at the stake?”

The cracked and cackling voice of Good sent goose bumps up young Sewall’s spine as he was flung towards a stake that popped up from the fertile ground strewn with grain.

Quickly ropes bound him as a stone sprung up from the earth. Stacks of kindling and firewood surrounded his feet as blood fell from the sky.

Young Sewall’s eyes widened as the fertile ground turned to blood and slowly began to rise. “Dear God,” he horrifically uttered.

“He’s not here to save you! As in life we make our own choices after death. He may hear your screams, but he’ll not answer them, young Sewall. Thanks to the laws of the After Life, God has a strictly hands off policy.

“How does it feel to be alone and bereft of help through no cause of your own? How does it feel to be one of us,” Good snarled.

“Please, I never wronged you,” young Sewall pleaded.

“Do you not recognize a witch? While alive, I never wronged anyone either. My soul refuses to accept the fake apologies of your ancestors,” Good sneered.

“That was centuries ago,” young Sewall panicked as the blood crept up the rock he was confined to.

“Vengeance takes eternity to serve,” Good spat.

“Why haven’t you taken your rest after the courts declared you innocent? The judge professed his guilt in those dark times,” he whispered as the bloody water inched ever closer.

“They wouldn’t believe me when I was alive, why should I believe them when I am dead. Their mortal words mean nothing to one who has eternity to watch,” Good coldly explained.

“Taking my life won’t help you now,” young Sewall pleaded.

“True, but an oath I have sworn and keep it I shall. They took my life and you shall drink blood for it,” Good viciously informed as the bloody water lapped at young Sewall’s feet.

Young Sewall gazed at Good with horrified bewilderment. “Good, you’re making no sense. What happened was a tragedy!”

“As a God fearing man surely you can understand that an oath has to be kept,” she icily soothed.

“It’s not too late for your soul Good! God will forgive you for this,” young Sewall pleaded as the blood encompassed his ankles.

Good cackled as a silky male voice smoothly intoned, “Weren’t you listening? Your God has a strictly hands off policy when it comes to the living and the dead.

“I, on the other hand, reward my faithful; and they have decided the fates of those that wronged them.”

Young Sewall looked around frantically, his eyes darting in directions that his head could not swivel. “Who are you? Stop this madness,” he demanded from his bound stake.

A dark chuckle filled the air before an answer was forthcoming, “I am Vlad Tepes. Vovoid of Wallachia. In my time I was a great man, known for rewarding my faithful.

“Tell me, why should I deny Mistress Good her just reward, after such faithful service,” Vlad queried condescendingly.

“Because I’m innocent,” young Sewall screamed from his post.

“So was she, and not a single mortal care,” Vlad sneered as young Sewall slumped against his post allowing the bloody water further up his calves.

Such a pathetic sight cause Good’s cackles to turn from cruelty to delight.

Vlad sneered and responded, “Have they changed so much that the innocent still suffer?” The cold sneer of Vlad’s face was such that the metallic smell of blood mingled with feces, causing Good to cackle once more.

Vlad looked to Good as midnight skies began to lighten and bloody water faded to pure. With a light sneer on his face he commanded, “Mistress Good, our time on this plane is nearing an end this solstice eve. I would suggest you warn this modern man of that which awaits him upon crossing over to us,” he finished in a cool whisper as he faded from thought.

As the lightening flashed once more Good watched the blood drain from young Sewall’s face and assured, “Worry not young Sewall, you shall greet the sun once more. But when your time in the mortal world is through, your soul belongs to the Salem 19. We will see you again,” she promised as her shade faded with the calming waters.

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Bar Limbo

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I ran accross a Halloween writing prompt. Let’s just say that it was fun. I may have to turn the piece into something longer. I have tentatively titled the piece BAR LIMBO.

As always feel free to leave your feedback and

HAPPY READING!

BAR LIMBO

“It’s almost time,” said a transparent, portly figure in a three piece, striped suit. His hair was slicked back on his head while a dark scar provided contrast to his pasty pallor. A half-smoked cigarette hung from his mouth.

“Of course it is Mr. Capone. It happens annually,” a female in a burgundy and gold mediaeval dress dryly implied. Her hands were covered in heavy gold gloves.
“It’s All Hallow’s Eve, Countess. A rock of ages such as yourself should be walking in full munitions with the air breathers,” Capone finished with a leer.

“Mr. Capone, I will not dally amongst those plebeians,” the Countess finished imperiously.

“Hey Al! You gonna peek in on the bone bags next week,” a pale figure wearing board shorts and a bright floral print shirt shouted from across the hazy room.

Al Capone smirked as he replied, “Yeah. Gotta make sure the girl hasn’t turned into a clothesline. Make sure the entire family is taken care.”

The countess next to Al sniffed daintily, as though she smelled something rotten. “You don’t like Old Donn, do ya Milady?”

The countess sniffed disdainfully before replying, “Mr. Capone, I barely tolerate you. As for Mr. Beach, let us say that a mead brewer has no place in this society,” the countess finished with a dark curl to her lips.

“You do realize that before Old Donn joined us he had a fortune to rival yours. Besides where would you go to get your Bloody Tiki’s,” Al asked the countess snidely.

“I suppose he does have his uses,” the Countess consented.

“You’re a real dame, you know that,” Al sarcastically replied.

The Countess rolled her eyes. “Mr. Capone I am the Countess Bathory and you will treat me with the respect due my rank,” she commanded sharply.

“Loosen ya girdle. You ain’t alive anymore Countess.

“That air breathin’ family of yours might be, but you ain’t. You don’t have rank in this world,” Al harshly informed.

Countess Bathory took a deep breath as her dark eyes blazed, “Mr. Capone that is one insult too far. You will apologize or face someone who has greater power in our world than you could ever dream of have when last you felt the sunshine on your pasty skin,” she threatened.

“Ya girdle’s too tight,” Al sneered.

Countess Bathory trembled at this outrage. When she opened her pale lips another voice spoke, “Mr. Capone. We’ve had this conversation before. You are not to upset those of us who are of a different view than you. I would hate to be forced to take action for this so close to All Hallow’s Eve.”

The person who spoke paler by ten shades than the Countess although he was just as transparent. On his head was a bejeweled and fur crown over long dark hair. His features were narrow and he radiated cold.

“Impaler Lord, nice of you to join us,” Al greeted with a wince.

“We had an agreement, Mr. Capone,” the Impaler Lord softly intimated as his eyes glowed red from the low light in the bar.

“Impaler Lord, the dame was sneering down her nose at Old Donn. She enjoys his product as much as the rest of us,” Al reasoned.

The Impaler Lord curled his lips at Al, “I sincerely doubt that the Countess said a harsh word towards the brewer, Mr. Capone. Even if she had, you are not the one to call a superior on their actions. This is the way things have been since we ghosts started crossing the barriers,” the Impaler Lord softly thundered.
Al scrunched his portly features in vexation. Without saying another word Al faded from view leaving a red glow behind.

“Pitiful man,” Countess Bathory whispered disdainfully while the Impaler Lord chuckled.

“True Countess. But he did make a valid point,” the Impaler Lord pointedly stated.

“What, pray tell, was that,” Countess Bathory sniffed.

“Twill be All Hallow’s Eve soon. You have fresh blood you should check on,” he quietly stated.

The Countess quietly shook her noble head as she answered, “They have forgotten my name and blood. Never did they try to regain what was taken. ‘Tis best to leave them to their own devices on this holiday.”

“Here you are Countess,” a cheery voice announced as he walked up to the table that both renowned figures had taken after Al left the bar.

Old Donn had left his place at the bar and neatly placed a bloody drink in front of the her on an embroidered silk napkin. Donn placed the same drink in front of the Impaler Lord.

The Countess nodded her in thanks as Donn walked away. “Our world is depressing Countess. We only get one time a year to cross freely. You should take advantage of it,” the Impaler Lord tried again.

“Milord, in your lifetime you were a well known prince of men. You ruled effectively and while circumstances decreed that times were harsh you are not remembered as a man who ended hunger for a time. All you are thought of today is as a ruthless tyrant who craved blood as Vlad Dracul, Prince of Transylvania.

“Me, they call the Blood Countess. None of them know of the plagues and famine I faced, instead they know me on trumped up charges of torture and murder.

“What have they given us to go back to,” Countess Bathory demanded as she grabbed her drink.

“So much hatred and you don’t even raise your voice. What intrigues are you plotting Countess,” Vlad enquired.

“Intrigues, Milord? I have no considerations for the world of flesh and bone,” she quietly stated.

“Seeing the sights of the Old World doesn’t interest you,” Vlad tried again.

“Nay. The sweet winds of my youth left me long ago,” Countess Bathory confirmed.

“Countess, we both come from a darker age where intrigues were easier to hide,” Vlad insinuated.

Countess Bathory pursed her lips as she thought. Letting out a ghostly breath she replied, “The church in Annaberg is holding a masquerade is to be held on the night of All Hallow’s Eve. In my youth it was lovely this time of year, surely it still must be,” the Countess answered wistfully.

“Indeed,” Vlad asked with a raised eyebrow.

The Countess confirmed with a nod of her head.

Vlad’s red eyes glowed brightly as he queried, “Would you be in need of an escort for such an occasion?”

Countess Bathory coyly smiled at the ancient prince as she bowed her head and said, “‘Twould be a shame for me to attend the event unaccompanied.”

“In that case will you allow myself to escort you to the masquerade under the glow of the moon?”

Countess Bathory nodded her head regally as she sipped from her drink.

Vlad raised his glass and toasted, “To All Hallow’s Eve, Milady. An evening sure to filled with dancing under a carpet of stars enhanced only by the beauty of a moonlit path.”