Friday, 15 October 2010

Magic stirring... A Halloween Tale

Follow me my pretties through the enchanted doorway to a tale of autumnal magic...

Deep in the woods lived a creature who rarely saw the light of day. She was old and tired and had seen the moon's waxing and waning more than anyone else she knew.

They say that with age comes wisdom and many would seek her out to share the answers she had learned. Some wanted love, others the return of youth or the secrets of a magic life. She would sit with them awhile and share her secrets... but before you seek her out, remember that enchantment always comes at a price...

How can I tell you this tale? Why, I've been there myself. Shall I tell you how, where and why?


I woke to the strangest music that floated in through the window and danced with the dust motes. The moon's slim fingers of light were creeping through the curtains and encouraged me out of bed. Where was that music coming from? I pulled on my clothes, grabbed a light and drifted downstairs still groggy with sleep and out into the crisp October night.

As I tramped through the sodden lawn the symphony became louder. I could hear voices now too, an excited chatter mixing with the wind in the dry leaves tumbling to the ground from the trees. I fought my way through the brambles and undergrowth somewhat bemused at the quantity of pumpkins I was finding along the path.

At last I came to the gap in the trees where a winding path lay. It was a track I had never ventured down before but I am not sure why. Some reason or other always pushed me in a different direction. Today though the music and conversations called me along its enticing trail, I pulled back dead branches and flicked away strings of sticky cobwebs.

The strangest of sensations began to overwhelm me. I felt as if in the midst of a crowd yet the path was deserted. Something pulled on my skirt and I felt a cold breath on the back of my neck. I wanted to turn and run but that music... it bewitched me... I sped up but not in the direction of home.

The invisible tide carried me through the ancient forest, the trees grew thicker and blocked the moon's reassuring light, a chilled mist wound around my ankles and all the while the pull of the music drew me deeper and deeper until suddenly... it stopped.

I found myself before the strangest little door set within a steep bank and tangled with roots and vines. Whispers of voices and song urged me in and without further thought I reached up and pushed at the damp wood.

The room was dark save for the gentle illumination of candlelight and it took a while for my eyes to focus on the strikingly beautiful woman sitting in a carved chair beside a table covered with bottles, herbs, dried mosses and peculiar items the like of which I had never seen before.

"You took your time" she said rather matter of factly. I was struck dumb until she smiled kindly and motioned me to sit in the empty chair beside her before shooing would could only have been an invisible occupant out of it and then closing the door behind them.

It was all I could do to ask who she was and why she might have been expecting me. She poured me a blood red drink from one of the many bottles on the table and began her story.

"I'm the Keeper," she explained. "I hold the knowledge of the ancients from these woods, I see, hear and know. I am the bridge between the human and fae , but these days few from your world can find me or even believe in my existence."

I gulped down some of the liquid she had handed me. It was rich and fruity and not entirely unpleasant. I took another mouthful and another but soon wished I hadn't for suddenly my vision began to clear and I realised we were not alone in the room, for sitting on shelves, balancing on tables, dangling from the ceiling and leaning against walls was the most terrifying collection of creatures ranging from tiny winged things to ghostly apiritions and what could only be vampires licking their lips and lusting after my blood.

The Keeper laughed at my surprise and fear. "They come to me for advice, for wisdom, for magic...," she smiled then added. "...every year at this time.." A quick calculation of the date and shivers ran down my spine for I realised with a sudden chill that it was indeed the 31st October...

"Why am I here?" I asked, though I was beginning to believe that I most certainly wouldn't like the answer.

"Despite my looks, I am old and tired. It's time for a new Keeper. I offer you my knowledge, my eternal youth, beauty and eternity on this world. It's your destiny, a role you were born to take. In return, I take your soul and live the remainder of what would have been your life."

I shrank back in the chair in fear. Eternal youth or not, I had no wish to cast aside my human life and was rather attached to my soul. Sensing my obvious reluctance the woman stood and began to chant, joined by the singing and music that had lured me to this wretched hovel. In panic I tried to flee but stopped short when I caught sight of her reflection in the mirror which was rapidly changing from ravishing beauty to something far more sinister.

The Keeper's bony wrist reached out to grab me and fairies, goblins and hairy bats pulled at my hair and clothes. I used every ounce of strength to utter just one word "NO!" Then everything went black.


When I woke I was at home in bed drenched in sweat and with a raging fever. I dragged myself to the sink and drank a cooling glass of water. As I stared at myself in the mirror I saw no change, looking out of the window no sinister beings lurked in the shadows, no music lured me into woodland. It had been nothing but a dream.
Or so I thought. You see 500 years later I still look in the mirror every morning and my reflection remains the same... But I'm tired now, won't you come and see me in the woods my pretty?

Come join the Halloween party over at A Fanciful Twist if you dare... where hundreds of revellers will spin tales, weave magic and scare you witless!
All photographs and artwork by me - with a little magic applied here and there...
If you liked what you saw and fancy voting for me as blog of the month for Dorset Cereals, you can click on the egg cup in the sidebar and cast your vote... If not, there's some very nice blogs to visit there anyway!


  1. wonderful fun tale and gorgeous photos to illustrate, well done! loved each minute of it!!

  2. Lisa! What a great story. It kept me spellbound the entire way through. I also love the reflection of the flames on your ladies face. Perfect for Halloween. You are a talented writer for sure. I'm sure you are working on your book..hope to see it published soon.....


  3. Yay Lisa..oh so fabulous a tale and such a magical and deeply stirring post..beaautiful art..she is gorgeous by the way. all your photos are pure enchantment! yay..that was fun!

  4. Dreamy, a special way to begin my day!

  5. What an eerie tale! Right up to the climax I was thinking what a wonderfully spooky children's picture book this would be.

    Maybe not...

    But, I loved it! And the illustrations are superb.

  6. Fabulous Halloween Post! I enjoyed the tale and your lovely artwork. I will be posting my tale as well, tomorrow, if you would care to stop by. Theresa :)

  7. Thank you so much for stopping by my art blog and for the nice compliment of the blue shades I used in my butterfly reminder, a project from The Artistic Mother book.

  8. Gorgeous!!
    Welcome to visit my Halloween party:

  9. what a spookylicious and wonderful party post! great story.
    have a magical party time!!! come on over to mine.

  10. ooooh, my favorite so far :) Loved the tale you wove, and your pictures are amazing!


  11. Great story, look forward to more, about time you actually wrote that book!!!

  12. Great photographs, Lisa and a wonderfully spooky Halloween tale, too! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of today's party!

  13. Frightful, yet compelling tale. I feel drawn to the woods...

  14. Your writing is wonderful as always, but your use of photos made this even better :)


  15. Absolutely wonderful!
    Beautiful pictures and such a spine tingling tale (I was on the edge of my seat) to accompany the images!

  16. What a hauntingly fabulous story ~ loved it!! Oh and I voted. ;D
    Hope you enjoy a marvelous time today~

  17. Ohhhhh....once I made it through the Ancient Forest and past those that lurk there, I met The Keeper and what an enchanting yet haunted visit I had. She revealed much to me and my Manor.....I must share with you...

    Let me mingle with your guests and maybe you can return to the Manor in a bit for a toast that I would love to do with you and Robert Downey Jr. MMmmmm mmm :D

    Check out Harrington Manor Ball today.

  18. A wonderfully spooky tale to set the right tone for my Halloween revelry. Thank you for inviting me. Have a wonderful weekend! Twyla

  19. Oh I love this tale of yours. Thank you for sharing it. Happy Halloween Party Day! xx

  20. Frightful and spooky tale! Your pictures are gorgeous!! Thanks for having me and feel free to pop on over to my party:

  21. What a spooky story! It kept me captivated right to the end.

    Happy Halloween blog-party :)

  22. hello Lisa,

    thanks for passing by at !

    I like what you have done to your photos ! Photoshopped ?

    greetings from belgium

  23. What a beautiful way of writing, I was inside the story from the first sentence about the moon! I really enjoyed it but I'm afraid I cannot go visit you in the woods today as I have to get back to my own party:

  24. Beautiful, beautiful party post, thanks so much for sharing :D

  25. Lisa, you are such a good story teller. This was a great spooky story. And the artwork with it is wonderful.

  26. What a great party post and such an eerie tale! Thanks for sharing!

  27. This is sooooo much fun!!!
    Love your blog, tale & your creations.
    Please fly by for my giveaways too...
    Hauntingly Yours, Lyndy

    My Haunted Halloween Party Link:

  28. Wonderful and chilling! Great party and photos!

    - please do come on over to our graveyard / party The Graveyard and feel free to add to our Shrine To Honour The Dead if you are so inclined! Blessings.

  29. OH!! the keeeeeeper got you!! No no, no woods for me today ;)

    You are an enchantress! Thank you for sharing the magic! And for your story telling! ;)

    ♥, Vanessa {A Fanciful Twist}

  30. Great post! I especially loved your textured images, so eerie... Well, hope your enjoying the party. Happy Halloween!
    Roisin x

  31. Great story! And I loved all your photos! Thanks so much for the invite! I hope you will visit my blog, too!


  32. Wonderful party post :0)
    Thank you for sharing with us all
    Trace x

  33. Oh, I wish I had not read this post. I've had this nightmare, you see. Repeatedly. I don't know why, but I do. Thanks for bringing it all back! *shivers*

  34. Sooky! Loved it!!!

  35. You are a magical story teller, Lisa! I really enjoyed visiting your party post! The images you created were spooktacular! Thanks for your sweet visit! Yes, maybe Matilda drank the same potion. Oh NOOOOO! :)

  36. Oooooooooh that was so creepy and spine-tingling! Your art is beautiful! Had a wonderful time, thanks for having us!

  37. what a wonderful party!
    I love your creations!

    Hope you'll come visit mine and my post(s) for all of October!

  38. Very haunting tale! Simplay spooktacular

    <3 Michelle

    loved every minute of it :)
    thank you


    come visit:
    pre-party post(Fri.) Party post with giveaway(Sat.) and post-party post (Sun.)

  40. I loved your story, great writing. I also had a great time at your party, looking at all the images made me smile. thank you for sharing. Please visit me:

  41. Beautifully written and your photos and artwork are magical too :)

  42. I love your Halloween goodies!!

    I'm a bit late getting around to commenting, but I am glad I am! Wouldn't have wanted to miss your post!! :D

  43. You wove an engaging tale and I wish I could turn a page to find more!
    Thank you for the wonderful post.

    You should come visit when you have the opportunity

  44. A delightful, haunting tale. I was immursed in your words and images. What fun.


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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