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Candy Apple Nightmares Part 2 - The Talisman


Realistic "Old Hag" image created by BatesRoom1 on FANPOP.

(Part 2 of Blog - Published November 1, 2014)

Click here for Part 1 

Hildegard looked at me with a strangely knowing stare. She was acknowledging I was on to her. Tommy gagged, stopped and threw his apple to the ground, but Jennifer and Vicki just laughed.

“God, Dave, What’s wrong with you?” Tommy asked wiping the red taffy off his face. “I was enjoying my apple until you got so gross. Not a funny joke man.”

“I’m not joking Tommy,” I said. “You can’t see that they’re not apples. Its disgusting.”

I glanced at Vicki and Jennifer as they chewed into disgusting bits of dried skin. I broke out in a cold sweat. I needed to grab the tainted treats away from my friends, but I didn’t want to get any closer to them or Hildegard.

“Jen, Vicki, Please stop eating that garbage. It’s horrible.”

Jennifer licked her lips and grinned at me. I could see bits of what she thought was an apple stuck to her teeth. “You’ve watched too many episodes of Dark Shadows. It’s warping your brain, and it’s not very funny.”

“It’s not supposed to be funny. Can’t any of you see that they are not apples?” I asked in astonishment.

Hildegard let out a cackling laugh and winked at me. “Der Junge ist voller Scheiße (the boy is full of shit), she said. She spoke in German, so none of us knew what she was saying. I knew by her tone, that it was derogatory toward me.

I felt a surge of courage and headed back toward the porch. As I got closer, I felt the air grow colder and my lungs felt heavy. It was hard to catch my breath, and I felt lightheaded. I knew there was something that this evil woman was doing, that made me feel this way.

Tommy grabbed me by the shoulders. “What’s up with you man? You don’t look good and you’re scaring me.”

“Something is terribly wrong,” I gasped trying to catch my breath.

“Are you sick?”

“It’s her.” I pointed to Hildegard and she sneered her lip at us.

“You don’t like my apples, fine. You’re friends are enjoying them, so you go away.”

She waved her hand at me in dismissal, and I literally felt shoved backwards. I stumbled and Tommy caught my arm. My legs felt weak, and I knew I needed to get away from this woman and whatever evil games she was playing.

“Tommy, get the girls away from here. There is something very bad about that old lady. She is trying to poison us.”

“Jen and Vicki can handle themselves. You are the one who looks like he has been poisoned. You are sweating and you’re white as a ghost.”

“Take your crazy, friend home,” Hildegard said to Tommy. “He insults my beautiful apples. I only want my pretty kinder to enjoy.”

“I need to get home. I can’t stay here,” I said.

“I am going with you. You look like you need some help,” Tommy said as he grabbed my arm.

I stumbled backwards off the curb and yelled, “Go home Jen and Vicki. Don’t stay here. It is a bad place.”

Tommy looked at me with a crooked grin. “They will be fine. Don’t worry.”

“Auf Wiedersehen, Davey,” Hildegard waved and giggled. I knew she was mocking me. Also, I knew I had just met a real witch.

Tommy helped me home as I fluctuated between waves of nausea and chills. He rang my doorbell and helped support me. My mom answered the door. She immediately had a very concerned look on her face when she saw Tommy holding me up.

“Davey, are you okay? What’s wrong?”

“He must be coming down with something, Mrs. Talbot. He started acting all wacky while we were on our way to Ben’s,” Tommy reported.

“There’s a witch living in the old Langley house,” I stammered. “She was trying to poison us with candied shrunken heads.”

I realized how outrageous the statement sounded when spoken aloud, but it was the true. I knew, without a doubt it was real.

My mom looked at me like I had just burped out loud in church, and Tommy shook his head. “See what I mean Mrs. Talbot, he sounds cuckoo.”

“Get in here young man. I need to take your temperature and make sure you aren’t hallucinating.” She grabbed my arm and yanked me into the house. “Thanks for being a good friend, Tommy,” she said appreciatively.

“Tell Dave I’ll see him in the morning. I hope he feels better,” Tommy replied.

I heard Tommy jump off the steps. I’m sure he was on his way home to tell his parents I had a meltdown after school.

I made it to the living room and flopped on the sofa. My legs were all wobbly and I needed to calm my anxiety. My mom stood over me with a glass of water and two aspirin. Moms are miraculous. She had time to go into the kitchen and pour me a drink, before I had even settled onto the sofa cushions.

“Drink this and I’ll get the thermometer. You look like you have a fever.”

“It’s not a fever. It’s a spell from the witch in the Langley house,” I told her.

“Look Davey, I’ll hear none of this crazy, supernatural talk. You are too wrapped up in all your horror books and that spooky TV show. Now you think there are witches in the neighborhood?”

“It’s the truth Mom. The kids at school are in danger, if they go near her.”

“You must have a fever,” my mom said laying her hand on my forehand. “You’re talking nonsense.”

“If I have a fever she caused it,” I said between mouthfuls of water.

The television was on and in the background I heard the eerie music from Dark Shadows. In the turmoil of my after school experience, I had forgotten all about my favorite show. I leaned sideways to see around my mom, and she realized what I was doing. She raced to the TV, and clicked it off.

“None of that drama to fuel your imagination. Let’s get you upstairs. You can rest before dinner. Smells wafting from the kitchen of a chicken roasting in the oven made me queasy. The room started to tilt a bit and I clutched my stomach.

My mom must have noticed my skin turning a shade of green. She grabbed my arm and hoisted me from the sofa.

“David, if you throw up on the couch or the carpet, I will become the only witch you will need to deal with.”

She helped me up the stairs and into my room. I rushed to my bed for comfort and escape. I could put the pillow over my head and shut out the world. I moaned as my mom pulled off my shoes and then disappeared to get her mom kit – a washcloth and a thermometer. Thank heavens I had graduated to the “big boy” oral thermometer.

“Open up,” my mom said as she shoved the cold glass cylinder into my mouth. She brushed my bangs back from my forehead and applied a cool damp cloth. There is nothing like a mom’s caring touch, and for a few moments I felt calm and relaxed.

“Look,” my mom said holding the thermometer in front of my face. “You don’t have a temperature. It’s normal. I don’t know what is wrong with you, but a little rest will help. Take a short nap, and I’ll call you for dinner, when your father gets in.”

“I can’t relax,” I said sitting up quickly. “My friends are in danger. That woman is doing something very bad.”

My mother pushed my head back into the pillow. “Look young man, I will hear no more of this evil witch story. Relax, close your eyes and it will all go away.” She stopped in my doorway and quickly turned around. Pointing the mom-lecturing finger she spoke. “Don’t say anything about this to your grandmother. You know how she is with superstitions and old Irish beliefs. She’ll have her rosary out and you’ll be saying Hail Mary’s.”

“Okay mom.” I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths pretending I was going to take a nap. As soon as my mom closed my bedroom door, I was up and quietly sneaking across the hallway. I was a kid, and never tell one not to do something. It’s just an invitation to do that exact thing. I always wanted to challenge adult authority.

My grandmother lived with us, and her bedroom was right across the hallway from mine. I knew she would be there probably reading or sewing. It’s what she did every afternoon. I knocked very lightly and opened the door. She was sitting with her back toward me at her old Singer sewing machine. She was busy making herself an apron. There was fabric and spools of lace strewn across her bed. She was wearing bifocals and she stared at me over the top of her glasses.

“Come in Davey,” she said. “You are looking a bit peaked today. Is everything okay?”

I closed the door behind me, sat on the bed and told my grandmother all about Hildegard and the candied shrunken heads. I plowed through the story, telling her all the horribleness of the incident. My grandmother left her chair and sat beside me on the bed. Grasping my hand, she patted it lightly. I felt reassured and not discounted for just having a wild imagination.

“It sounds terrible,” she said. “I am sure you were scared to death.”

I agreed whole-heartedly. Reaching across some plaid fabric, I gave my grandma a hug for listening to me without interrupting my account about the evil lady. She patted my cheek and then rose from the bed.

“Your mother told you not to tell me about this right?”

I wasn’t sure how she knew I had been given my orders, but I nodded my head in agreement. Without words spoken, I suddenly felt there was a secret bond between my grandmother and I. There was no surprise that she was willing to listen to my story of Hildegard. I knew my grandmother believed in ghosts and the supernatural. My great grandfather was an Irish immigrant and I often heard her tell stories about the myths and legends of the banshees, changelings, vampires, and other evil spirits.

Showing her grandmotherly concern, she gently took her hand and grasped my chin, so she could look directly into my eyes. “The eyes are truly a view into a person’s soul. You can see kindness, happiness, sadness, cruelty, evil, and love – the true essence of a person. You just have to know how to look carefully.”

“What do you see in mine? I asked.

She smiled and peered intently at me. I felt she could read my thoughts and knew what I had experienced. There was a slight tremble in her hand as see held my chin. It felt like excitement growing inside her that made her shake.

“You are an old soul, and you are filled with curiosity. You are also very astute and not easily fooled. I feel I am looking into your grandfather’s eyes,’ she said. “There is much too see, and from what you have told me – you definitely have the O’Brien sight.”

I tilted my head a bit to the side in a questioning manner, “What sight are you talking about?”

Her facial expression turned very serious, “You are a Seer.”

“A Seer?”

“Yes, David, you have the sight. You have a gift that allows you to see beyond the normal world. You can see the supernatural realm – ghosts, evil spirits, demons. Your grandfather was a seer too.”

“Grand Pop could see witches and stuff?”

“Yes, It is in his family’s bloodline. It has gotten passed down through the generations. It only affects the male members of the family and it shows up randomly.”

“Does mom know that Grand Pop had the sight? Did he talk about it?”

My grandmother shook her head, and her shoulders sagged in sadness. She dropped her eyes down to her lap and fidgeted with the trim on the apron she was wearing. She pulled a tissue from her apron pocket and wiped her nose as she sniffled a bit. I realized that she was crying and I was struck by guilt.

“I didn’t mean to make you cry or feel sad. I’m sorry if I upset you.”

I grasped her hand and she drew me close into a hug. I could faintly smell Ivory soap and Lily of the Valley cologne. The fragrances would always remind me of my grandmother. It was the smell of comfort, kindness and home.

“It’s not you Davey. You didn’t upset me,” she said softly into my ear. “I was thinking about your grandfather. He had his own demons and he had a difficult time dealing with the gift, the sight.”

“It’s not a good thing?” I asked. I suddenly felt like I was inheriting a curse just like Barnabas Collins was cursed with being a vampire.  

“It is a gift that brings power, but it also can be a burden. You’re grandfather let the burden drain his strength and he tried to find courage in the bottle.”

I knew my mother had told me that my grandfather suffered from alcoholism. He died when I was an infant, so he was just an image shared through other’s memories and old photos.

My face dropped and a frown formed as I thought about inheriting a power that could destroy me. It was all so surreal. I could ignore my grandmother’s explanation and just turn a blind eye to anything weird or spooky going on in the neighborhood, but being apathetic wasn’t me. I couldn’t overlook that my friends could be in danger, and that a witch had moved into the old Langley house.

“You have been given a very special power. I know that you are strong, and I will help you learn to use it without feeling the burden,” my grandmother said as she read my demeanor and sensed my feeling of dread. “Your grandfather didn’t have any support when he learned he had the sight. He battled it alone. His father was afraid of it.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Your great grandfather was injured in a fight with a banshee. It was terrorizing his village, and when he tried to send it back to hell, he forgot the Smaragaid Talisman.

What is that? I asked in the anticipation of learning a deep, dark secret.

Its a magical instrument that protects all OBrien family members with the sight, my grandmother explained. It has a force that can destroy evil and conjure spirits.

This is great, I said feeling immersed in gothic drama I loved so much.

Your grandfather was a direct descendant of Brian Boru. Brian was the King of Ireland ages ago, so you have royal blood in your veins.

Why does no one talk about this? Mom has never said a word.

It all has to do with the sight and the supernatural. Many of the OBriens tried to run from it, and not take on the responsibility. They came to feel it was a curse imposed on Brian Boru by a Norse mystic. The mystic delivered an enchantment that would force members of the OBrien clan to be plagued by evil and supernatural beings. The talisman was forged as a protection and a way to destroy the evil.

I propped myself back against the pillows on my grandmothers bed. I wanted to settle in to hear more about being Seer. It was a fascinating story and I was still in awe that it directly impacted me. No wonder I loved ghost and horror stories it was part of my genetics. I was drawn to the supernatural and now I knew why. I felt my heart thumping in my chest like Edgar Allen Poes The Tell-Tale Heart. An incessant beating that I felt filled the space of my grandmothers room; blocking all other noise.

I needed to take a deep breath and relax. The springs in the mattress creaked like the stairs in a haunted house as I moved to get comfortable. I knew this was a pivotal moment for me. This was a turn of events that was going to change my life. I needed to know how being a Seer was going to affect me, and how I could keep myself and my friends save from the witch who moved into the neighborhood.

What does all this mean for me Grandma? I asked. Will I be able see ghosts and evil things, and why didnt I see them before?

Its like you were a new born puppy. Your eyes were closed and you could sense the world, but suddenly they are open you can see what is around you. You only gain the sight when you are exposed to true evil, and that woman, Hildegard evidently poses a threat. The evil creatures and spirits that exist in a realm closed off to most people are now open to you. This is your beginning as a Seer, and it is time to take the next step, my grandmother exclaimed as she rose off the bed.

She stopped in the middle of her room for a moment, tapped her finger on the side of her forehead, as if collecting her thoughts, and headed for her closet. She had a very large closet in her bedroom that extended under the eaves of the house. It was a special space filled with all types of memorabilia from my grandmothers life, along with stacks of fabric for sewing and apparently a few secrets.

She opened the door and a slight chill filled the room. It was because the eaves of the house werent heated, but for me it felt ominous in my moment of anticipation. She disappeared into the closet and I heard objects being moved around. Twice she exited and placed several hatboxes and some fabric on the floor. I watched dust particles float across slanted rays of the late afternoon sun, as she rattled around behind the wall.

Do you need help? I asked more out of curiosity than concern.

Im fine, she replied.

It sounded like she was prying up a floorboard. I was concerned that any louder noises would bring my mom to investigate what was happening. I didnt need my mom, at this point, to stop whatever my grandmother was doing. I also knew that dinnertime was drawing near and soon I would be summoned. My nerves were frazzled from the afternoon, and I didnt need any further anxiety.

Here it is, I heard her say. She emerged from the closet holding a square metal box. It looked heavy as she set it on the side of her sewing table. Grandmother then pulled a suitcase from under her bed and opened it. In the suitcase was an envelope that contained several sets of keys. She grabbed a rusted key and opened the lock on the scratched, gray metal box. As soon as the lid opened, I felt an electricity fill the room. She extracted a wooden box from inside the metal box. This wood was covered in strange carvings, that I later found out were Celtic shield knots. This symbol was used to ward off danger and evil spirits.


The box almost appeared to be vibrating in my grandmothers hands as she held it up for me to see. I can feel the power of the Smaragaid Talisman stirring, she said. You truly are the OBrien Seer. It is sensing your gift and its drawing your power.

You had an ancient relic hidden in your closet? I asked in amazement. Shouldnt it be in a safe deposit box in a vault or something?

It is safe with me, and it will be safe with you.

She told me to come to her and stand in front of the box while she opened the lid. The boxs ancient hinges creaked open and a green glow filled the room. I peered inside, and there lying in old, tattered velvet was the talisman.

It was two beautifully craved golden dragons that were intertwined. The shape and length was that of dagger. The heads of the dragons stared at each other as their bodies twisted together. They had rubies for eyes and, they each held a large emerald in their mouths.  As I gazed at this intricately crafted object, the emeralds glowed a brilliant green, and pulsated as I drew closer.

Pick it up and feel the power it possesses, Grandmother directed me.

I reached inside the box and clasped the talisman. It felt warm to the touch and it was heavy. As I pulled it from the box, I felt the dragons shift in my hand acclimating to my touch.

This is your weapon and your shield from all evil.

Wow! I cant believe I am holding this magical relic. The history it must contain, I said.

It was forged centuries ago, but it still contains its great power.
 
My grandmother handed me the box and placed her hands on my shoulders.

I know these shoulders are strong enough to bear the weight this talisman brings. Now it is yours to keep and protect.

She explained that I needed to hide it in my room, and I could not tell anyone about it. Even my parents should remain clueless. At that age, I felt my parents were pretty clueless anyway. I just held on tight to the talisman feeling like I was a conqueror. I moved it from hand to hand watching the ruby eyes sparkle as they reflected light.

You must treat it with respect, and remember it is not a toy. It is not something for show and tell. Now go and place it in your room.  The talisman will teach you what you need to know.

I snuck back into my room holding the box close to my chest. The talisman was safely inside. I needed to find an excellent hiding place where no one would locate it. In a rush to stash it out of the way, I slide it under my bed, just as my mom called me to the kitchen. The dinner hour had arrived.

As I entered the kitchen, I saw Dad was home from work, and he asked me how I was feeling since my witch sighting, He said it with a snicker, so I knew that he was taking the same stance as my mom just a kid with an overactive imagination with an attraction to supernatural tales. My mom asked if I was feeling better and I nodded in the affirmative. Now feeling starved, I inhaled my dinner in anticipation of returning to my room. I kept eyeing my grandmother, but she was a cool character. There was no way she was going to give away our secret.

I skipped Jell-O for dessert; with the excuse I had spelling homework. I just wanted to make sure the talisman was safe, and I wanted to feel its warmth in my hand again. Homework was a good reason to not have to remain at the table and endure quality family time.

Back in my room, I sat on the floor with the box in my lap. As soon as I lifted the lid the emerald eyes began to glow. I felt like I was opening a supernatural refrigerator the light came on every time I opened the container. In my hand the talisman made me feel confident, powerful, and invincible. I was no longer frightened of the witch named Hildegard. I wanted her gone from our neighborhood, and now I had the power to do it.

As I grasped the talisman, suddenly the lock on my bedroom door snapped shut; the curtains on my window closed and my room became cloaked in darkness. I felt light-headed as waves of energy began to move through my body. The talisman grew warmer in my hands and beams of green light shot out of the dragons mouths. The beams of light intertwined and struck against the faded wallpaper behind my bed. 

A portal into another dimension opened on my wall; a blur of action took shape in front of me. I saw my grandfather using the talisman against ghosts and strange creatures, and then his father banished evil also with the talisman. In a swift rewind, I saw ancestors of the OBrien bloodline wielding the talisman in all different scenarios. I witnessed the forging of the gold and silver that formed the twisted dragons of the talisman. I now knew the history and the use of the Seers weapon.

I received a magical tutorial from all the Seers on how to handle the talisman. It moved through my synapses and was stored in my brain. Using and dealing with this powerful, ancient artifact would now be instinctual. Guard it and protect the clan, I heard voices say as the green light faded and my wall returned to sun-faded cowboys with lassoes. The talisman cooled in my hand as sweat dripped down my forehead. Only minutes had passed, but I felt exhausted.

I was glad my room appeared to be surrounded by a cone of silence when I had the talisman. I didnt need my parents trying to check in on me because they heard strange noises coming from my room. I knew I needed to protect the talisman and not let my parents find it. Only the Seer or a guardian should have access to it. I wasnt quite sure where a good location to place the old wooden box would be. Then, I realized it was terribly easy hide it in plain sight. I didnt need to dig a hole in my mattress or pull up a floorboard like my grandmother had; I could place it inside an everyday object that my mom or dad wouldnt even notice.

I kept trinkets; some marbles, old Beatles cards, and a yoyo, inside a Hush Puppies box, so it would be the perfect hiding place for the powerful, supernatural object. Sitting on the floor of my closet, or under my bed, it would never be noticed. As the guardian, I informed my grandmother where it was placed. In a life and death situation, it was good to have a back up. I felt like Batman, and strangely enough my grandmother was now my Robin.

As I slide into bed that night, I realized how my life had changed in the course of a day. How the opening of a secret box, had altered my whole identity. Although I was only a fifth-grader, I was now responsible for the protection of my family and friends from evil that only I could see. The weight of my thoughts made me anxious and afraid to sleep. I needed the talisman right next to me. The Hush Puppies box sat on my nightstand right within reach which was my comfort zone.

Lying in bed, I heard my window rattle as a chilly October wind whistled through the trees. I stared at shadows of bare branches cast upon my bedroom wall by a full moon. They resembled skeletal hands grasping and waving at me. I pulled my quilt up to my eyes and slowly fell into a restless sleep.

I tossed in bed and became tangled in my sheets. Feeling swaddled like a baby, I awoke unable to move my legs. My face and nose felt unusually cold. I heard the dry leaves of autumn rustle as they skipped along the pavement in the night wind. My senses were awakening, and I realized that my bedroom window was open. The drapes fluttered and a few leaves floated into my room. There was another sound of a slight creaking of the floorboards, and I realized I wasnt in the room by myself.

From the shadows at the foot of my bed, a form emerged. It was Hildegard, and she was holding one of her foul apples. “I wanted to bring you a bedtime snack mein leibchen,” she said with a cackle.

I sat up in bed and pulled myself toward the headboard. I wanted to put more distance between us. “How did you know where to find me?” I asked.

 “I can smell fear for miles,” she smirked. “I was worried. When you left my house you looked sick. Are you alright?”

“I’m fine. Get out of here,” I directed.

“Not very nice of you to be so uninviting to an old woman. You need manners.”

“You’re an old, evil witch, and you need to leave,” I said pointing to the window.

While I was talking, I reached for the shoebox feeling the pulse of the talisman inside. My time for becoming acclimated to being a Seer was going a short one.

“You are rude,” Hildegard said with a pout. “I should tell your parents what a bad boy you are.”

She moved towards my bedroom door and clutched the doorknob. I knocked the lid off the cardboard box and flung open the talisman’s case. A bright green glow lit up my room, as I grasped for the intertwined dragons.

“Stop,” I yelled, pointing the talisman at Hildegard. She cried out as sparks sizzled from the doorknob.

“Well, well, well. The junge (boy) has new toys.”

She threw her hands up in my direction and I was knocked off my bed. It felt like fingers clutching at my neck and I gasped a bit.

“Let’s see how much you know about your magic wand. You are playing with the wrong fraulein,” she said as she approached me.

“Stand back”, I ordered. I raised my hand and flicked the talisman at her. A wave of energy rippled through the air and knocked her backwards.

“Hmmmmm, stronger magic than I expected,” she reacted. “Such a powerful force for a kind (child). You need something more than that to play with me. You need experience.”

I sat with my back against my nightstand and felt my brain kick into overdrive. All the information I had learned from the talisman was stirring in my head. I felt afraid, but I couldn’t let it show. I had the power to get rid of her, but she was right; I did lack experience. All the support I needed was within the talisman and the spirits of my ancestors who had had the sight. I just needed to rely on instinct and gain experience in the process.

“I have my wits and the power of the Smaragaid. I said with confidence.

Hildegard laughed and threw her apple at me. It landed at my feet cracked open, and emitted a noxious purple fog. The fog filled the room, and it swirled around me. I kept my mouth closed but horrible fumes were creeping into my nose and blurring my eyesight. 

The rubies in the dragons eyes of the talisman glowed and their mouths opened. The emeralds spun and the purple fog was drawn into the dragons. It was as if these golden dragons were alive. I actually felt their stomachs expand as they drew in the purple smoke from Hildegards rotten apple.

My eyes cleared and I saw her wagging a finger at me. Children are so tiresome, she said. I have dealt with far worse than you. Those two nasty brats in the Bavarian Forest who tried to burn me in my own oven. They had no more wits than you.

Wait, I paused. That sounds like the story of Hansel and Gretel?

Ja, Hildegard answered. It was Hansel and Gretel who tried to kill me. I was able to escape the oven before I was burned to ashes. Kinder cant destroy me. I have lived for hundreds of years. She curtsied as if she were evil royalty.

But that was just a fairytale, a story, something made up. You didnt live in a house made of gingerbread.

Fairytales are spun from what is real. They just get elaborated upon, and made to sound more fanciful. Like sugar dripped on a shrunken head to make it look more edible, she cackled.

The witch began to swirl her skirt and white, semi-transparent wraiths began to appear. This wasnt a good sign, as the room became deathly cold. Hildegard was a legendary witch from a Grimms Brothers fairytale, and she was in my room. It was all too much for me to take in at the moment. The current concern was the safety of my family, hopefully asleep in their beds encased in their cone of silence.

Once again, I pointed the talisman at Hildegard and the wraiths that were circling her. My hands were trembling but I wasnt going to give into the fear. I was the newest OBrien Seer and I knew what needed to be done.

I compel you to leave this house and do not return. You are banished in the name of Brian Boru. I commanded.

The witch screamed in pain as the force of the green bolt of light, mixed with her own purple magic knocked her backwards toward my bedroom window. The wraiths exploded in the air around her, and the air pulsed with electrical current. Hildegard attempted to get back on her feet and I flung the tip of the talisman at her. She was driven backwards right out of the window, into the blackness of the night.

The opened window closed with a crash, and I heard the pane of glass crack. I was left standing in the sudden silence of my room with the smell of ozone in the air. I rushed across the floor, pulled back the drapes and saw Hildegard standing under a street lamp across from my house.

I will destroy you, she whispered into the wind to me and disappeared into the black, velvet cloak of the night.




TO BE CONTINUED………..














































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Mental Health - Destroy the Stigma

I believe that I am a fearless writer. I share my personal experiences, thoughts and beliefs. I’ve not been afraid to express my emotions. Self-expression is fundamental to writing. I am a man of my words
Recently, I became concerned that my blogs about depression and mental health might shape my reader’s opinions of me in a negative way.The more I thought about it, I realized that I had internalized the stigma that surrounds mental health.
Stigma is defined as “a mark of disgrace or infamy.” The word bears a negative connotation and it devalues the person to whom the stigma is applied. While the conversation about mental health is receiving a larger forum, damaging misconceptions are widespread.
According to surveys, there are between 42.5-46 million adults in the US that have some type of mental illness. Statistics show that one in four adults experience mental illness in a given year. These numbers of individuals are all impacted in some manner by the stigma that still surrounds ment…

The King of Costumes

When Halloween draws near every year, I think of my grandmother.It wasn’t that she was a cackling, hump-backed witch or shaped like a fat pumpkin. My grandmother was a small woman with graying hair and bifocals, a typical grandmother image. She was “Nana” to the family. There were no casting of spells or broom riding over the harvest moon. That’s not why she comes to mind. It’s the fact that she made Halloween a special holiday for me. You see, in my neighborhood my grandmother made me a costume connoisseur.



Every October, all my classmates rushed to Woolworths to select their Halloween garb. You might remember those rows of costumes with the brightly colored masks peering from the cellophane window on the box lid. These types of costumes make every child look like a cardboard cutout of their favorite cartoon character. If I wanted to be Batman, I wanted a real utility belt not a stamped on flammable material version. Remember this was the 60’s, so a swipe of costume fabric across a li…