Tag Archive: Gothic

A Cold Spring-Episode 14: Now I Wait

Download Episodes 1-13 HERE or open it below.
A Cold Spring 1_13

Episode 14: Now I Wait

Squelching footsteps in the muddy garden pull my thoughts from the past. Old Castle Highmoor and New Castle Highmoor meld into one blur of ice and fire and Maddock’s voice cries to me from the edge of the Universe—but only in my visions. In the eight months since he disappeared, I’ve grown slow and sluggish as the child grows inside me, but I’ve neither seen, heard, nor felt Maddock’s presence. He’s gone and my visions and my common sense give me no hope he will ever come back.

 

“Another vision?” Maybelle La Croix’s raspy voice blends with the harsh calls of a dozen crows who live in the Rowan trees at the edge of the garden.

 

“The same.”

 

She presses her scarred lips together, a wistful gleam in her one blue eye.
Maybelle doesn’t have visions anymore. Whatever magical ability she enjoyed in the Time Before lies buried. Her twisted left side and the scars on her face attest to how close she came to death the night Lucia’s scourge of the Darkmore and La Croix families began.

 

Aunt Clarissa found her half frozen just outside the gates of Old Castle Highmore and took her to safety. A recluse since, scarred in body and mind, she did not attend my wedding at New Castle Highmoor even though Maddock begged her to do so. He’d been annoyed with her then saying it was ridiculous to let the past destroy the future. But if she’d been in New Castle Highmoor when it disappeared, I would have had no one to turn to. She paid her debt to the Darkmores by saving me keeping me safe since. As far as we know, we two are the only ones left. The few who fled with me either turned back or fled to the ends of the earth. The entire Darkmore and La Croix families are gone.

 

A solid kick jars my internal organs and reminds me of the third survivor. She kicks like a Spanish mule and will not be ignored.

 

“The visions are coming faster now. That must mean something.” Mayebelle avoids the worst of the mud by hopping from one tussock of brittle grass to the next.

 

“It means I’m closer to madness, I think.”

 

“It may.” She helps me rise, tugging my rumpled skirt and blouse snuggly over my bulging belly. “No use feeling sorry for yourself. The equinox is nearly here. Before long, birds will be singing and the tomatoes will be ready to pick. Just wait and see.”

 

I’m trapped in limbo—waiting for the baby, waiting for Maddock, waiting for some nameless thing to right a skewed world.

 

“I hope so, Maybelle. I hope so.” I trudge behind her, not bothering to avoid the mud.

A Cold Spring–Episodes 1-13 and a sneak peek

A perk of being a follower of the blog–here’s a pdf of 13 episodes PLUS a peek at Episode 14 which the rest of the world won’t see until Monday. You can download it HERE or open it below.
A Cold Spring 1_13

Episode 14: Now I Wait

Squelching footsteps in the muddy garden pull my thoughts from the past. Old Castle Highmoor and New Castle Highmoor meld into one blur of ice and fire and Maddock’s voice cries to me from the edge of the Universe—but only in my visions. In the eight months since he disappeared, I’ve grown slow and sluggish as the child grows inside me, but I’ve neither seen, heard, nor felt Maddock’s presence. He’s gone and my visions and my common sense give me no hope he will ever come back.

“Another vision?” Maybelle La Croix’s raspy voice blends with the harsh calls of a dozen crows who live in the Rowan trees at the edge of the garden.

“The same.”

She presses her scarred lips together, a wistful gleam in her one blue eye.
Maybelle doesn’t have visions anymore. Whatever magical ability she enjoyed in the Time Before lies buried. Her twisted left side and the scars on her face attest to how close she came to death the night Lucia’s scourge of the Darkmore and La Croix families began.

Aunt Clarissa found her half frozen just outside the gates of Old Castle Highmore and took her to safety. A recluse since, scarred in body and mind, she did not attend my wedding at New Castle Highmoor even though Maddock begged her to do so. He’d been annoyed with her then saying it was ridiculous to let the past destroy the future. But if she’d been in New Castle Highmoor when it disappeared, I would have had no one to turn to. She paid her debt to the Darkmores by saving me keeping me safe since. As far as we know, we two are the only ones left. The few who fled with me either turned back or fled to the ends of the earth. The entire Darkmore and La Croix families are gone.

A solid kick jars my internal organs and reminds me of the third survivor. She kicks like a Spanish mule and will not be ignored.

“The visions are coming faster now. That must mean something.” Mayebelle avoids the worst of the mud by hopping from one tussock of brittle grass to the next.

“It means I’m closer to madness, I think.”

“It may.” She helps me rise, tugging my rumpled skirt and blouse snuggly over my bulging belly. “No use feeling sorry for yourself. The equinox is nearly here. Before long, birds will be singing and the tomatoes will be ready to pick. Just wait and see.”

I’m trapped in limbo—waiting for the baby, waiting for Maddock, waiting for some nameless thing to right a skewed world.

“I hope so, Maybelle. I hope so.” I trudge behind her, not bothering to avoid the mud.

A Cold Spring–Episode 7: Goblets of Fine, Old Wine

Welcome to Sorchia’s Universe—A-Z Blog Edition.

This post marks the end of the first full week of the 2017 A-Z Blog Challenge. How’s it going? Be sure to leave comments and Likes on the posts you visit–including this one.

Have you missed an episode? Here are posts to the Story So Far.

Episode 1: A Cherry Tomato

Episode 2: Burning!

Episode 3: Coils of Enchantment

Episode 4: Down, Down, Down

Episode 5: Everything Changed

Episode 6: Fashionably Late

If you enjoy this story, take a look at the Books link to see what else I write.

 

A Cold Spring

Episode 7: Goblets of Fine Old Wine

 

Goblets of very fine and very old wine delivered by a young and slightly inebriated La Croix cousin put an end to any thoughts of a clandestine rendezvous upstairs. At last, the long road leading from the forest to the castle lay empty and it was time to toast and mingle among our disparate relations. The murmur of voices grew to a cheerful din as copious amounts of wine and Scotch flowed from crystal carafes. Our duties as host and hostess called. The moon peeped in the western windows of New Castle Highmoor before our circuits brought us back together on the veranda.

 

“I’ve spent the better part the evening either tracing my lineage back to satisfy your relatives or tracing yours to satisfy mine. I should put it in a scroll; Morgan begat Duncan and Duncan begat Caedmon and so on and so forth.” Maddock sat his empty goblet on a handy tray and secured a full one in its place. “Do you ever wish we were normal human beings with short life spans and limited imaginations? At least it would spare us the intrigue of ancient curses and temperamental witches.”

 

“If we were normal, we’d have been dead before we had a chance to meet again. I would remember you as a petulant pre-pubescent brat who thought it was funny to set the hair of elderly aunts on fire.”

 

“And I would remember you as the little snitch who told on me. It was difficult to concentrate on Aunt Clarissa’s lecture when her hair was still smoking. It’s my last fond memory of the Time Before.”

 

“Lucky for you Lucia stole the spotlight, or Aunt Clarissa would have thought up a proper punishment.”

 

A chill ran the length of my spine, prickling the hair on my arms and my neck. The festive lights, the chatter of conversation, the smell of a sumptuous dinner, and the subtle electromagnetic pull of the earth mirrored perfectly the night of Lucia’s Curse.

 

See you Monday for Episode 8: Hi-jinks in the Castle

A Cold Spring–Episode 6: Fashionably Late

Welcome to Sorchia’s Universe—A-Z Blog Edition.

“A Cold Spring” is a serial story about witches and magic and romance.

Have you missed an episode? Never fear! Here are links to the Story So Far.

Episode 1: A Cherry Tomato

Episode 2: Burning!

Episode 3: Coils of Enchantment

Episode 4: Down, Down, Down

Episode 5: Everything Changed

If you enjoy this story, take a look at the Books link to see what else I write.

Likes and comments are the heart’s blood of this kind of blog hop, so please hit the Like button early and often and leave comments on the posts you visit.

Happy Hopping, A-Zers.

A Cold Spring

Episode 6: Fashionably Late

 

Fashionably late, Aunt Clarissa, the matriarch of my family, stepped regally from an elegant silver and gray coach drawn by four matched gray mares. Her burgundy brocade gown emphasized the gleaming green eyes and ivory skin for which we Darkmores are known. An onyx and diamond comb adorned her once blonde hair, now streaked with glittering strands of silver. Escorted by a young footman in sable livery, she ascended the seven steps to the broad veranda of Castle Highmoor and into the foyer like the queen she was. She extended a stiff hand to Maddock.

 

“A pleasure to welcome you to our home, Aunt,” he murmured his voice dripping with charm. His blue eyes twinkled as he solemnly raised her pale claw to his lips. “You’re by far the classiest dame here.”

 

She snatched her hand away, but not before a blush rose on her pallid cheeks. “‘Classy dame’ is not an acceptable term for a powerful sorceress such as myself. I’ll forgive it in light of the general festivities. But I’ll thank you not to call me ‘Aunt’, young man. At least, not in front of all these people. You’ll give them the impression I condone this union.”

 

I hugged her tight, despite her protestations. “They’ll never suspect a thing. It’s only been a millennium since the Darkmores and the La Croixs broke bread together. I doubt most of them know who is who.”

 

 “Oh, they know. Watch them eye each other like hungry wolves. What’s the old saying—keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Lucia’s curse may have kept us separated in space, but even she can’t control everything.”

 

Aunt Clarissa wriggled from my embrace and smoothed the brocade gown back in to place with perfectly manicured fingers. A satisfied smile curled her tinted lips. “And you two needn’t look so smug. Your little secret won’t be a secret for long. You’re not the first couple to achieve such a thing. Now, point me in the direction of Aurora La Croix. It’s been a thousand years since I laid eyes on her and I doubt she’s aged as well as I.”

 

Aunt Clarissa cocked an elegant and knowing eyebrow at us as she swept into the drawing room where raven-tressed Aurora La Croix sipped blood-red wine amidst an admiring throng of La Croix cousins.

 

“I’m never sure if she likes me or if she is simply humoring her favorite niece,” Maddock whispered. His lips close to my ear sent a delicious tremor down my neck.

 

“If anyone else called her ‘a classy dame’ she’d turn him into a fly and fill the room with spiders. She likes you, alright. But you are exceptionally ignorant in courtly manners. I blame America.” I smoothed the collar of his velvet jacket, ran my hands down his arms, enjoyed the feel of taut muscles beneath the garment.

 

Black magic simmered in his cool, blue eyes. “Touch me like that again, and I’ll be forced to carry you upstairs, courtly manners be damned.”

 

I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled his face to mine. “Scandalous. What will Aunt Clarissa say?”

 

Get ready for Tomorrow’s post–Goblets of Fine Old Wine