Thursday, October 27, 2005

Will-o'-the-Wisp, Part 8, Final (Fiction)



(Just joining us? Back to Part 1)

       In the darkness, the forest twisted him, tricked him, gouged and grated him. His right arm hung useless, and with each step a hot bolt ripped from the small of his back down to his toes. He fell and crawled like an insect until the forest made him stand. Finally, the rush of car tires in the distance steered him. It was just enough to lead him out.
       Andy hobbled over the field and the pitted ground, and when he crossed to the downward slope, the lights of his house glowed below. Late night silence blanketed all when he returned to the safety of the lamplight and locked doors. He climbed to the room overlooking the woods and pulled a sewing chair over to the window. Dried blood flaked from his arms onto the needlepoint cushions.
       And so, Andy sat, not calling the police for Byrn, not calling the ambulance for himself. He sat. Rarely blinking. Until the dawn stirred in the eastern sky.
       He waited.
       The morning mists whitened as the light grew.
       But before the sun blazed over the horizon, and a measure of night still clung in the shade, Andy spied it.
       A glow. Leaping on the hill. One last revel before the day.
       With leaves and twigs knotted in his hair, Andy sobbed. Dirty tears washed down his cheeks.
       He saw them. Graceful. And beautiful. Two ghastly orbs in a pas de deux. Then, the first sunbeams flared and chased them back into the forest.
       Andy's hands splayed on the window glass. His enraptured face reflected back at him.
       Bryn was whispering. And laughing with the child.
       He wanted to go.
       He wanted to dance.

Back to Part 7

Based on the legend of the Will-o'-the-Wisp

20 comments:

Allen said...

Dude...this is pretty danged awesome! I only read two parts, but now I am gonna go back to the beginning and read it all. Im loving this. The image isnt too bad either!

Beanie said...

Very affecting. I always know I'm reading something good when I find myself a little too immersed in what I'm reading, try to make myself look away for a minute to clear my head, and can't.

Luke said...

Wonderful imagery in this and yep, I will also have to read it All Again ... gee, all this work :)

Jeff said...

jason,
Great picture! :)

jason evans said...

Allen, glad to have you as a regular reader! I had fun writing this story (haven't written pure horror for quite a while). Thanks for the encouragement!

Beanie, telling a writer you forgot that you were reading is the highest compliment IMHO. Thanks!

Luke, thanks for coming all the way from South Africa! You don't mind if I hop down there regularly, do you?

Jeff, thank you too. You want to know something funny/weird? I snapped the pictures for Part 1 and 8 on my way to work one morning. Now, every morning I see that field, I get a little chill. I'm remembering everything that happened there like it's real. LOL!

mermaid said...

Jason, is this part of a book? Part 8, chapter 8? The description is so vivid; I feel like I'm there.

jason evans said...

Mermaid, welcome wecome! Thank you re my description. Setting and mood are very important to me. I try hard to create a strong impression while leaving room for the reader to fill in the rest.

Will-o'-the-Wisp is an 8 piece short story I wrote just for here. If you have time, I encourage you to go back to the earlier parts (of course you already know the ending, LOL!).

anne frasier said...

jason, this has become one of my favorite blogs. even if i don't always post a comment, you can be sure i'm always reading. the consistent mood created by the text and photos is wonderful.

Kelly Parra said...

The story and photos are always great here. I'm a very visual person so I love the images you create and share. =) An attorney, writer and photographer all in one person--wow, you just might be a sag. he-he.

forgottenmachine said...

And the fact that Halloween is upon us just lends that extra something to an already entrancing story.....

jason evans said...

Anne, I humbly thank you for the sentiment. I'm actually rather speechless [very unusual for me, and perhaps a refreshing change :) ]. You can always count on a quiet, introspective moment to yourself here.

Kelly, don't sing my praises too quickly, LOL! My laundry list of interests might actually be evidence of a pathology. The KNIRL readers (i.e., the knows-in-real-lifers) can vouch for that!

Forgottenmachine, great to see you back! Luke over at Ten Miles Beyond the City was getting pretty uptight. =) Thanks for the compliment.

anne frasier said...

it works so well with the blog format. it's a world that's always waiting for you to step into. it's very comforting. i was going to say that before, but i thought maybe you weren't going for that particular emotion! but then i find cemeteries comforting. anyhoo, i could imagine this being an upscale, nick bantock (sp?, the forgetting room) kind of book, full of images. those kinds of books were big about 10 years ago, but i don't think they are anymore. probably cost too much to produce.

Kara Alison said...

I'm always late with the comment! I'd like to echo the comments already made - awesome ending. What's amazing is how relatable your character is. It's because of what you said: "I try hard to create a strong impression while leaving room for the reader to fill in the rest." That's exactly what you did.

jason evans said...

Anne, a Clarity of Night coffee table book. Just imagine.... ;) Actually, I believe PostSecret is doing that. Of course, PostSecret is utterly unique, a stroke of genius.

Kara, thanks for letting me know I'm getting something right. Self doubt, you know. Self doubt.

Bernita said...

Beyond the atmosphere and tension, it is almost like a shared secret to find this extra level of light in the darkness and the darkness of light fleeing light. Does that make sense?

jason evans said...

Bernita, you're very perceptive! Shades of darkness and shades of light are things which fascinate me. I remember once playing tag at night with my friends when I realized for the first time that there are shadows at night. I laid down in a shadow in a wide open spot, but because it was darker than the surroundings, everyone ran right past me. Without hiding, I was invisible. It struck me as a curious thing.

Chemical Billy said...

Clearly I missed out while my computer was sick. Grand finish, Jason!

M. G. Tarquini said...

Aren't a lot of good ghost stories out there. I truly think it's a dying genre. Most involve blood, gore and dismemberment. This one is very nice. Have you ever read Glen Hirshberg? I've a link from my blog to his site and his blog. You might enjoy them. Plenty of samples of his work at print.google.com.

jason evans said...

M.G., I agree. The horror genre just isn't what it used to be. I very much appreciated the movies The Sixth Sense and The Others. Traditional psychological stories. I will have to check out Glen Hirshberg. I haven't read his work before.

Glad you liked Will-o'-the-Wisp!

K. Lawson Gilbert said...

Jason,

I am a newcomer to the blog, so am just getting around to reading all the awesome posts. Your story, Will-o-the-Wisps is hauntingly beautiful. Your photographs are surreal...I love the way you just pull it all together in one package. You have created a wonderful place here to swirl around in the eddies of mystical darkness. This is one of the most intelligently crafted blogs with most talented writers.