Abdul’s Encounter with the Islamic Ghoul

desert night

Abdul Lateef scanned the desert, looking for the ghoul; the demon devoured his wife, Wabuj. Shaitan’s daughter who ate his only son, Luqman for whom he had such high hopes. Now his hope rest in the scimitar that hung at his waist. The one thing left of his home. He’d allowed himself that one trinket, before setting his house ablaze.

He couldn’t allow the house to stand despite the memories that gave it life, made it a home. It had been touched by the darkness, defiled by the demon that now wore his wife’s flesh.

All he had to do was find her. One slice with his scimitar to the head would kill the demon. He remembered what he’d been told back when he thought ghouls were just myth to scare travelers away from the desert at night. Only hit her in the head once, twice would only bring her back to life.

As he walked through the cold of the desert night, he thought of his wife, Wabuj. The nights they’d spent together, the dark wash of her hair; the way the moonlight played over her caramel skin when he’d wake in the dead of night from some night terror. The way her belly had swollen with Luqman, and the same way his pride swelled with every passing day he saw her belly.

Shattered. All gone. They would never be back and the only way he could put their memory to rest was to kill the damnable beast that had consumed their flesh.

In the night, he heard the laughing cry that echoed over the dunes. It chilled his blood more than the cold of the night did. The moonlight glinted across the sand, shimmering like a second, paler sun that mocked the day and those that thrived in the light of the sun. The night belonged to beasts; the night belonged to the ghoul.

Jinni, Abdul thought. Ghouls were said to be jinni, ruled by the most powerful, darkest jinni, Shaitan. Would he meet this witch-woman and slay her, or did she possess secrets from the dark, underworld of Jahannam that would do him in?

In a way, Abdul hoped that the ghoul would kill him as well. Then he could be with Wabuj and Luqman. He couldn’t take his own life; not if he ever hoped to be reunited with his family in Allah’s everlasting kingdom of Jannah.

The laughing cry of the hyena sounded again, and Abdul stopped. His golden eyes scanned the swell of dunes and the valleys between. He had heard somewhere before that the ghoul often took the shape of a hyena.

Just then, out of the clear sky, lightning flared and struck the sand before him. The sound of thunder rolled through the heavens, rippling and crackling. Abdul shivered. He knew the power of Jahannam when he felt it, and now he felt it.

islamic ghoulEvil was afoot. The sand before him, where the lightning had struck, crystallized into glass and shimmered in the silver light of the moon. The light within the glass eddied and whorled, and as it did the sound of crying drifted up from it.

Despite the cold of the night, Abdul Lateef shivered. His dark hair prickled and he felt a drop of sweat twist through his short beard. The crying increased, and he gripped at his scimitar. He knew the sound of the crying: it was Luqman’s.

“Abdul,” he heard Wabuj say behind him.

Abdul spun, his scimitar coming out of his belt with a hiss. There was no one there, just the glimmering desert sand. Off in the distance the lights of his hometown glimmered in the night.

“Abdul,” the voice called again. Again it was behind him, mingling with the crying of his infant son.

Abdul spun and there she stood, his wife.

Wabuj looked as lovely as the morning of her death. Her long black hair nearly glowed in the light of the full moon. Her caramel skin so vivid that he almost felt he could smell her favorite jasmine oil wafting toward him, as if carried on the cries of their son.

What cries? Abdul thought. Hadn’t there been crying before? He was certain there had been, but now it was gone. But he could remember the crying. All he could think about was his wife, naked as the night they’d wed, holding their infant son to her breast where he fed.

“Abdul Lateef,” Wabuj said, a smile curving her generous brown lips. “What are you doing in the desert at night?”

“I came to avenge you.” His voice heavy with unshed tears.

“But why are you avenging me?” She asked. “From what? I am here, you silly man.”

“But you aren’t,” he told her. “You’re dead. The jinni killed you, that witch-woman, that ghoul from Jahannam.”

“There’s no such thing as ghouls,” Wabuj told him, and she chuckled.

“But there is,” he said. “She came in the night, out of the desert and stole you from me.”

Wabuj came closer to him, the scent of jasmine oil rising higher in the night, intoxicating him with its fragrance with the promise of her warm flesh.

“Come to me, Abdul,” she said. Luqman whimpered in her arms. “We are cold. Won’t you warm us?”

“You’re not real,” he whispered, closing his eyes against the vision of his wife and his child. He knew he’d heard the laughing of the hyena before, and the crying. But now there was nothing in the night with him but his wife and his child. He couldn’t even feel the power of Jahannam like he had before, when the lightning struck.

His eyes fluttered open, and he scanned the ground, looking for where the lightning had met the sand but that, too, was gone.

“Whatever it is,” she said, “you’ve imagined it all.”

“But I didn’t,” he told her. But had he? There was no laughter now, and the only trace of a crying child was the cold whimper of his son.

“Just warm us for a while, and then we will head home,” Wabuj told him.

“But I’ve burned our home,” he said.

“It matters not, my love,” she said. “Just hold me.”

She inched closer, and as she did, the scimitar slipped from Abdul’s grasp to thud into the sand.

Abdul opened his jacket, welcoming into his embrace the soft, warm flesh of his wife. He cradled her in his arms, feeling the squirm of his infant child, Luqman, against his breast.

“That’s better,” she cooed.

He kissed her jasmine hair. Wabuj tilted her head back, and he looked into her brown eyes moments before her supple lips closed around his. He pulled her tighter, kissing her deeply. When they parted, she nuzzled back into his chest.

Her lips whispered against his neck. His flesh prickled, grew taught, and broke out with goose flesh.

As her teeth tore into his throat, the wailing laugh of a hyena could be heard echoing off the dunes.

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An Affair With a Wendigo Ends With a Surprising Twist!

wendigo 1

“You’re making the right decision,” her mother told her. She rocked in her chair beside the fireplace, knitting a shawl for Rebecca. Rebecca didn’t want a shawl, and she didn’t want to be making the right decision either. What she wanted was to be out there, right now, taking Charles away from this accursed place, taking him to safety . . .

“When I think of what he must have done to be so cursed . . .” her mother shivered. Her grey hair was tucked up in a bonnet; her feet crossed and bundled in slippers to chase away the cold of the stone floor.

“And what must he have done?” Rebecca asked. Tears coursed down her face. She hoped in the darkness of the house, lit only by the fireplace, that her mother didn’t see her tears.

“Rebecca, you’re only sixteen. He’s a wendigo. Do you honestly think any of it will work now? He’s a monster,” her mother said. She set her knitting in her lap and looked Rebecca in the eyes. “Do you know how someone becomes a wendigo?”

Rebecca didn’t answer. She didn’t even look away from the fire to gaze at her mother.

“By eating human flesh. They’re cursed. Not even as clean as a werewolf for heaven’s sake. At least werewolves have to be attacked by another to change, and then it only happens during the full moon.” She resumed knitting, her needles clicked together as she went. “But they’re both beasts, and they both need to be put down.”

“And that’s where Father went?” Rebecca asked, her voice think with emotion. Just the thought of hunters out there looking for Charles, looking for her boyfriend, was too much for her to bear. Her heart hammered in her chest, her throat constricted with tears. She wouldn’t let more tears follow though, it seemed like kind of a betrayal to have wept at all in front of her mother.

“Yes,” her mother answered. “And half the town.”

Rebecca was out of her chair and halfway to the door before her mother could react. Most of the dining room had been piled up before the door. With some effort she shoved at the table aside and started hurling chairs behind her, halting her mother’s advancement.

She pulled the door open and Rebecca charged out into the cold autumn night. Her dark hair had slipped from her bonnet, and she tore the garment free, letting her wavy locks cascade down her back. Her feet were bare, but the ground was hard. At least she was thankful for that since there was no mud to slog through.

“Rebecca, come back here!” Her mother called from the doorway, finally having made it through the destruction Rebecca had left in her wake. “Rebecca!”

It was no use calling to her. Rebecca was already in the line of pines surrounding their home. She was determined, and she was fueled by her fear that the hunters would find Charles before she could. Her heart hammered in her chest, her breathing frantic.

It was a dark night, and Rebecca wasn’t used to the forest even by daylight. Fog clung to the ground like a blanket of smoke. The wind high in the branches confused her even more, not sure if it was the wind, or someone charging through the underbrush at her. She quickly became lost. She kept running though, it’s not like she had any notion where Charles was anyway.

In the end, it was Charles who found her, lumbering through the woods, though he made little sound, Rebecca felt his presence as he neared. When Rebecca turned toward the sound, he stopped.

wendigo 2He was taller than she’d remembered him being before the transformation. Great horns sprung from his head, dripping red with blood in the light of the full moon.

Will he ever change back? Rebecca wondered. Didn’t her mother say something about werewolves only being monsters during the full moon? Did that mean a wendigo would never change back to a human?

What did her mother know anyway?

Even with all of her bravery and determination to do this, to take him and run, Rebecca couldn’t help the shiver brought on by his change.

He was thin, his body almost appearing stretched. His teeth, once neat and straight, were now long and ragged, like broken glass. His mouth hung open, his eyes held a reddish, glowing cast to them.

Charles reached out to her, his long fingers ending in claws.

“You remember me,” Rebecca said.

In the distance the sound of hunting dogs rose on the air, their hungry howls carrying on the wind. Charles looked off in the distance where the shouts of hunters could be heard.

“Charles, we aren’t safe here, we have to leave!” she said. She grabbed his hand and tugged. He pulled away from her, his head swiveling back to stare at her with alien eyes. A growl rumbled up from deep in his chest.

She gasped and backed away. She tried finding something of Charles there, inside his eyes, but she couldn’t.

And then, there he was. There in those red eyes, she could see recognition. He did know who she was.

I don’t care how he came to be like this, she resolved. Her mother must be wrong. Charles could never do what she claimed. Maybe he’d been cursed, and when they killed the witch that did it, he would turn back into a human. Yes, that must be what happened. They would live in the woods until then if they had to. Far from villages where people would hunt them.

“Charles—”

Her words were cut short by the thundering boom of a gun. Blood splattered her face. A force like being punched hammered into her chest.

Charles eyes went wide, ridden with pain. Rebecca stumbled away from his flailing arms, his raking claws. She wiped at the blood on her face, her breath coming short and hard. She felt a gurgle whenever she drew breath. Her legs went weak and she collapsed.

Rebecca tried to stand, but she couldn’t. Her legs were shaking; her arms wouldn’t hold her weight.

Something was wrong. She felt something seep down the front of her gown, felt a trickle between her legs. Her hands went to her chest, and there she felt the pump of blood flow between her fingers.

She’d been shot.

Charles listed forward, his eyes unseeing, his mouth working. His feet scrambled, trying to find purchase on the hard ground before he finally fell to his side, twitched twice, and fell still.

Rebecca reached for him, but she was growing weaker with each passing breath. No sooner had her hand touched his brown hair than she listed to the side as well, and fell into everlasting sleep beside her cursed lover.

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An Abused Woman Seeks Help From The Wild Hunt But Meets The Witch Baba Yaga Instead, What Happens Next Will Blow Your Mind!

A NEW LIFE

The Wild Hunt

High above the snowcapped evergreens, the wild hunt howled like a wind from hell. Alicia stood amidst the forest, gazing up at the ghostly sight. The dead barreled through the skies, their chargers thundering through the heavens shaking the earth below. Whatever they hunted, Alicia didn’t know.

She closed her eyes and tightened her grip on the length of yew she held. Fear trembled through her body, her ears picking up the hungry yips and bays of the hunting dogs that rode the clouds with their hunters. Despite the chill in the nighttime air, sweat beaded along her forehead. What she planned to do was foolish. The ghosts that traversed the heavens weren’t called the wild hunt for nothing. Whatever humanity had been in the men and women before death, none of it remained after they joined the hunt. It was rumored that the hunt would kill any they caught out at night.

And here she was, hoping to gain their aid. Had anything of the sort ever happened before? She had read legends of people who’d been able to control the hunt, but were they only myths? Was such a thing possible?

But death from the hunt had to be better than at the hands of her husband. The bruises on her arms throbbed at the thought of him, as if she could still feel his fingers boring into her arms; she could still feel his angry words like hot brands along her cheek. Her heart saddened thinking of her boys put under his belt for the smallest of grievances.

She shook her head. This was the only choice she had. If only she could gain the attention of the hunt with the length of yew. If only she could use it to garner their help.

“You’re a stupid woman,” a voice whispered through the trees.

Alicia jumped. The length of yew slipped from her hand to thump lightly into the new cover of snow. Her eyes sprang open. Across from her, nearly hidden in the shadows of a towering pine, stooped an old woman. White hair trailed from the shadowed depths of her black hood. Her gnarled hands clutched tight to what Alicia first thought was a walking staff, but upon closer inspection she saw it was a large, wooden spoon.

Alicia stared into the depths of the woman’s hood, but she could see little besides a crooked nose. Above, the wild hunt raged on with teams of hunting dogs and cries of fallen warriors. In the forest below, all was silent.

“Who are you?” Alicia asked. She took an apprehensive step away from the woman. Her hands shivered as she tightened her dark cloak around herself. “How do you know what I intend to do?”

“Yew is used to call and control the dead,” the old woman said. “Standing out in the forest at night, the wild hunt running above you. It doesn’t take a crone to know what you intend. Only a strong person can call the hunt, much less bend them to her will. Are you a strong person, Alicia Thomas?”

Alicia swallowed past the cold lump in her throat. She opened her mouth to say something, but whatever she might have said was lost in the cold dread that gripped her chest. She shook her head.

“I didn’t think so. My name is Baba Yaga, and I know what you came here looking for.” Baba Yaga stepped closer to Alicia. Within the depths of her hood, Alicia saw the flash of Baba Yaga’s dark eyes.

Alicia couldn’t move. No matter how she wanted to, her feet remained frozen to the forest floor. She tucked her quaking hands into the folds of her cloak.

“You’re wondering how I know why you’re here. Maybe you don’t believe the Baba Yaga?” the crone cocked her head as if waiting for a reply. When none was forthcoming she went on. “A new life, that’s what you seek. One away from the battering hands of your husband?”

A thrill ran through Alicia’s stomach. Was she really going to get help? Through her fear she felt something she hadn’t known in a long time: hope. Hope that soon she would be free of Michael. Hope that her sons would live long enough to grow into men. She felt as though the control she’d lost long ago was right within her grasp, if only she could reach out and take it. Finally, no longer the weaker one. Finally, to hold power over her husband.

“You’re not strong enough to call the wild hunt, much less control them. But I will help you tonight. Baba Yaga loves to help.” At the edge of her words, Alicia could almost hear a wicked smile that must be spreading over the crone’s face.

“I’ve heard of you,” Alicia said. “But I never thought you were real. A villager came to you not long ago, seeking fire to warm her home.”

“And she got it,” Baba Yaga said.

Baba Yaga“At the expense of her home,” Alicia said. Had she really said that? “I’m sorry.” She cast her eyes to the ground.

“Whatever happened with the fire once it was out of my home wasn’t any of my doing,” Baba Yaga said.

“You’re a witch,” Alicia said. It came out much more like an accusation than she’d intended it to.

“Who are you to point fingers when you come to the woods by moonlight with a length of yew to ensnare the wild hunt?”

Alicia didn’t move.

“Like I said, I can help you.” Baba Yaga shuffled closer and held out her hand. “If you truly desire a new life.”

Alicia stared at the wrinkled hand. A new life. It was what she’d wanted for many years now . . . a tragic accident. Would she be a widow? Would she take over the farm with her two boys and be able to live a life out from under the heavy hand of Michael?

What am I thinking? She wondered. She took a step away from the hand. The hand that offered her what she longed for. But how did this make her better than Michael? Did she have the strength to do this? What did this really mean? Could she take the witch’s hand and condemn her husband to pain and suffering? Maybe the grave?

“A new life . . . away from him.” Baba Yaga took another step forward.

Alicia swallowed hard and grasped the crone’s hand before she could second guess herself. As her hand clasped the waxy, gnarled hand of the witch, a wind stirred through the branches of the towering pines. Snow kicked up around them, swirling around their ankles and shimmering over their faces.

In a blink, Baba Yaga was gone.

Alicia looked around her, but there was no sign of the crone. She peered around trees and spun in circles, looking for the hunched old woman, but there was no sign she’d ever been there, not even a single footprint in the snow.

Above, the baying cries of the wild hunt drifted away. There was only silence as the last yip of a hunting dog echoed through the forest.

“Okay, she’s gone.” Maybe she’d never been there at all and Alicia had only been imagining her? She slumped back against a tree and took a deep breath. Several moments later she was heading back the way she came, back home.

As she neared the edge of the forest, about to step out onto her land, a sinking feeling took hold of her. Towering flames consumed her house and the barn. Alicia let out a strangled cry and stumbled away from the scene as if she’d been struck by some giant, invisible hand. She placed a numb hand to her mouth in an effort to keep the scream behind her lips, but it didn’t work. The scream tore from her mouth, heedless of her hand.

She ran. Her feet carried her across the snowy yard and to the house. Moments before her feet found the steps, the top of the house collapsed. Sparks flared up to the sky, flames roared and wood popped. The fire burned at her skin. There were no cries from within, no screams.

Her life, everything she’d ever known was going up in flames. Her boys, trapped in their beds. It wasn’t her husband who killed them after all, it was her, their mother who wanted nothing more than to keep them safe from ever feeling their father’s rage again. It was more than Alicia could bear to think about. Tears streamed down her face. She couldn’t believe this. She couldn’t accept it. She ran around the edge of the house. She ran circles around her home, looking for her boys until a stitch took her in the side and her legs collapsed beneath her. There was no sign of her boys or Michael.

They were gone. They were all gone.

Alicia slumped to the snow, her tears freezing on the ground. In the distance came the faint cry of a hunting dog and the whispers of a battle cry.

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The Witches of East End

Recently I’ve started (and stopped) reading several books. I feel less guilty for having bought them at Half-Price Books, at least I’m not losing out on a ton of money. The most disappointing one is The Witches of East End. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I loved the show, and I was so upset that it was canceled. I decided to read the books so I could know what happened to the characters where we left them in the show. . .wow. MISTAKE.

Witches of East End book

Now, I’m not saying the book is terrible. I would give it a three stars, even though I’m not sure I’m going to finish it. I do think that it could have used a little more meat to it. A lot of the book read like a first draft “she stepped into the glom” was one way of telling us that Joanna astral traveled to the spirit world. I could have done with a little more of how she did it, or what she experienced stepping between worlds. While she was there, rescuing someone, she wasn’t met with any adversity, she just went there, grabbed the person, and came back. Three or four paragraphs to explain her journey to this alternate dimension that could have been really kick-ass and shown us some of how powerful we’ve been told Joanna is. Nope. We get three pages about her playing with a little boy and changing a burned pie into an un-burned pie, but not anything that lengthy about this miraculous, mythic adventure of hers. Now I’m not a huge stickler for “show me, don’t tell me!” but this book could have really shown a lot. We are told time and again how powerful Joanna is, but we could have seen that with just a little more added to a few scenes.

Lately I think we’ve been lucky to see a lot of movies and shows based on books that stick pretty close to the book. This isn’t the case. One of my favorite characters (Wendy) isn’t even a character in the books. The show honestly told the story better than the books I think. The characters in the show were developed well and there was a great connection between them. We could tell with how the actresses portrayed the characters just exactly how each of the characters were meant to be. We didn’t see that in this book. We were told that Freya was wild and sexy, but we didn’t see much of that. We were told that the girls were this or that, but we didn’t see that in how they acted.

There were some inconsistencies too. Nothing major, but something you wouldn’t expect from a book published by Hyperion. The one that sticks out in my head is how Freya and Bran (not Dash because apparently Bran wasn’t a cool enough name for the show?) were in the bar and Bran was slipping his hands down the waistband of her jeans. Well, when they get home and are about to have sex, she lifts her dress right up over her head to show that she’s naked underneath. . .hmmmm maybe that’s a magic trick.

I don’t see the point in finishing the book since I won’t get to learn what happened to Wendy at the end of season two, or what happened to Killian or Dash. Makes me sad that I will have no resolution. :-(

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Ghoul

In modern times a ghoul can be either an undead monster or a spirit that feasts on human flesh and typically lurks around graveyards. It has its roots in Arabian lore, and it’s thought that the first mention of a ghoul was probably in One Thousand and One Nights.

ghoul

However, it wasn’t always a graveyard lurking, corpse eating fiend. In Arabic lore, a ghoul was a jinni that was sired by the devil and lurked in many places that were uninhabited. Most often they were found in graveyards because they didn’t care about any freshness dates on their meat. They were often thought to be desert dwelling, and they could shape-shift (normally into a hyena). They would lure unsuspecting travelers to their doom and they loved to prey on children, drink blood, and eat the flesh of the dead. Being a shape-shifter, the ghoul could turn themselves into the appearance of the most recent person they’d eaten.

As we can see the ghoul has been split into several different creatures, more specifically the revenant which is a ghost or corpse that’s returned from the dead to torment the living; vampires, and zombies.

ghoul

In ancient times, however, the ghoul was a female. She was a witch-like version of jinni that had returned from the dead. She would hunt and haunt travelers, tracking them down until she finally had them in her grasp. While we might like to think that the ghoul was repulsive, we have to remember that they are masters of changing form, and often she would appear as a beautiful maiden to confuse her travelers. Once they were unsuspecting, she would pounce on them and eat them. The only way to stop her was to kill her with a single blow to the head. Don’t hit her more than once though, because a second blow would bring the creature right back to life.

It wasn’t until more modern times, and when the ghoul came to the western world that the creature has changed to a graveyard lurking, grave-robbing eater of dead bodies and children. Now we see them as not having any specific shape or form, which could work well with them being shape-shifters, since they are able to take any shape they truly want.

ghoul

When I think of ghouls, I can’t help but think of some annoying, less malignant form of undead. When I was younger, and honestly until I wrote this post, I thought the ghoul was relatively harmless to the living because I felt they were scavengers, only feeding on what was already dead. Now I can see that they are just as dangerous as their brethren, though I don’t think we will have to worry about a ghoul apocalypse. . . hmmmm.

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Baba Yaga the Slavic Hag

I absolutely love Baba Yaga, so much that I wrote her into my Revenant Wyrd Saga as a hag that was thought to be evil, but was really helpful. Without her, I don’t think my characters would have stood a chance. Baba Yaga is a hag, or a trio of sister hags who all have the same name. She is one of those tricky woodland spirits who can either help or hinder any who seek out her home.

Baba Yaga

She’s thought to fly through the night in a large mortar using a pestle to help steer herself around. When not flying through the skies, this hag lives deep in the forest in a decrepit hut that’s supported by chicken legs. As if that’s not bad enough, the windows of her hut serve as eyes that can peer out at all who venture to find Baba Yaga. But even if you find her hut, that doesn’t mean she will help you, or that you will even get an audience with her because her house won’t show you it’s front door unless you know the secret incantation. It’s been said that if you know this incantation and speak it just right, the house will turn its front to you, crash down to the ground, and the doors will be flung wide, allowing you to enter.

She has three horsemen that serve her: one completely white that she calls her White Dawn; one that’s completely red that she calls her Red Sun; one completely black that she calls her Black Midnight. She also has three spectral helpers that can appear out of thin air to do her bidding. . .do you feel as though the number three is important to her yet?

Baba Yaga

She is an Earth Goddess, a guardian of the waters of life and death. “Baba Yaga is the Arch-Crone, the Goddess of Wisdom and Death, the Bone Mother. Wild and untamable, she is a nature spirit bringing wisdom and death of ego, and through death, rebirth.” Read more at Old Russia.

Tales of Baba Yaga might persist through to some of our more modern fairy-tales. In Hansel and Gretel we hear of the of the old witch who lives in the woods and eats children. This could be to scare kids from the woods, but in the tales of Baba Yaga we often find that once a hero has figured out the magical phrase that will allow them entry to her home, they will find Baba Yaga stretched across the top of her huge stove. They’re given tasks to complete, and if the hero fails, well he may end up right in her stove. But she’s good to her word. If she promises the hero help upon completion of the task, she will deliver good on her word.

Baba Yaga isn’t always good or bad. She can also show us that from bad, good can arise. There’s an old Russian tale called “Vasilisa the Beautiful” which is essentially Cinderella. The story differs when Vasilisa’s horrible step sisters demand that she bring them more light and Vasilisa goes out looking for it (apparently light is a limited resource in their house). With the help of a doll her recently deceased mother gave her, the girl stumbles upon Baba Yaga. The hag makes her go through a series of difficult tasks, and once they are complete, she gives Vasilisa a skull torch. When Vasilisa returns home, however, the torch catches the house afire and it burns her evil stepmother and sisters alive. Homeless, Vasilisa ends up married to the tsar.

Baba Yaga

While Baba Yaga can be either good or bad, and you may just end up cooked in her stove if you fail at a task, it’s said that she can’t harm those who are pure of heart. I find Baba Yaga to be a very interesting character, and while she also has a task for the characters in my story, I like to think of her as a benevolent spirit who’s just misunderstood.

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Keeping Christ in Christmas and the War on Christmas

So I don’t normally post stuff like this on my blog because I try not to get into religion or politics or anything of the sort. I like to think this is a place where you can come and be entertained and have some fun. However, in the last few years there’s a growing trend that’s really pissing me off.

Christ in Christmas

The War on Christmas

The “War on Christmas” seems to be going strong by all those people who are adamant to keep Christ in Christmas by saying Merry Christmas and insisting that others say it as well, even if they aren’t Christian. So, how are they keeping Christ in Christmas? By being abrasive? By being aggressive? By using the holiday cheer to attack? It certainly seems that they aren’t keeping Christ in Christmas at all. So, I’ve put together a nice little post for everyone who truly wants to do something Christ-like (or if you’re not Christian, and just want to do something selfless) this holiday season.

WHAT CAN I DO?

VISIT THE ELDERLY. When I worked in long-term-care I was astounded by the amount of elderly people in nursing homes and other care facilities that had no one to go to for the holidays. Either they didn’t have family nearby, they didn’t have any family left alive, or (sadly) they didn’t have family who wanted them for the holidays. Go visit them! Buy them a gift, go hang out and chat with them. Older people have great stories to tell that might really open your eyes to what life is like for other people. Plus, giving to them and sharing even an hour with them during the holidays will bring more cheer to them than you could ever imagine.

TOYS FOR TOTS. There are tons of kids all over America that don’t have any gifts to open on Christmas. I know, there are tons of other problems in the world that this seems really trivial, but for a kid this means a lot. Stop by an angel tree or do a toy drive and give to the kids in your area!

DONATE TIME AT A SOUP KITCHEN. Or donate food to a soup kitchen. Spend time with the homeless either serving them or helping them in some way. And this holiday season when you’re running around buying all your trinkets and doodads, don’t pass them by! By them a meal! Give them gift certificates to McDonalds or some other restaurant where they can go for a time and have a nice meal and keep warm.

HOLIDAY MAIL FOR HEROES. Participate with the Red Cross and show your support to our military by sending them cards of holiday cheer while they’re over seas. Also ask if there’s anything you can send them like sweets, socks, anything they might like that they don’t normally get that they’re allowed to have. You can find out more here.

PAY IT FORWARD. When you’re in line at your favorite coffee shop or fast food joint, why don’t you pick up the tab for the person behind you? This is a great way to brighten someone’s day and maybe get their mind off their own worries and troubles.

ORGANIZE A FUNDRAISER. Doesn’t matter for what! Get out there and start collecting money for a good cause be it an animal shelter or a local homeless shelter!

DONATE. Donate old jackets, old clothes, whatever you can’t use but it’s still in good condition. Be sure that you’re giving to good places too.

USE YOUR BUSINESS! If you run a business, why not use your platform to help draw awareness to a cause you support?

VISIT AN OLD NEIGHBOR. Or an old friend, or relatives! Make them dinner or stop by for coffee and just catch up!

There are tons of things you can do to keep Christ in Christmas, or just be selfless and nice this holiday season. Get out there and spread the love and the well wishes, not the hate. And for goodness sake, think of others this year! Don’t be afraid to be nice. If you see an old person who’s having trouble loading their car, help them! If there’s someone in a motorized cart who can’t reach something on a shelf help them! If there’s a child that needs just a couple more dollars to buy a gift for their mother, HELP THEM! I know it can be scary sometimes to do nice things, but if someone gets upset at you for being a good person, then they’re the asshole, not you!

Posted in Life

Legend of Dragons

So a couple weeks ago (I know, I’m a terrible person!) you voted to hear about dragons. After waiting so very long, I’ve done the research, and here is the article!

Unless you’re talking about the rather unimpressive looking komodo, dragons are legendary creatures, though I really wish they were real, just not all fire breathing on my house and such. There are two different types of dragons that we imagine when we think of dragons. There’s the European dragon, which we can envision when we see Khaleesi and her clutch, and the Chinese dragons that we can ride on when we play World of Warcraft! (I never got my flying for the dragon before I stopped playing. How sad!)

dragon

Dragons are four legged creatures with bat-like wings and typically a horn on their snout. While they have wings, they tend to stay in underground lairs where they can protect their treasures. For this reason, they’ve come to be known as an ancient being of the earth.

Dragons can breathe fire, though some books like Dragonlance have them able to breathe other things like ice and poison and such. It’s important to note that dragons have four legs. Why is this important? Because there’s another, smaller creature known as the wyvern who appears much the same as a dragons. One major difference (other than height) is the fact that wyverns don’t have four legs. They have two legs that they stand on and a set of arms that extend along their wings like a pterodactyl.

In Chinese myth and legend, dragons are magical beings that are typically friendly and they control things like wind, water, and even able to bestow good luck upon people. In European mythology, dragons are also magical, but their magic tends to come from their blood.

HOW DID THE LEGEND COME ABOUT?

Dragons seem to be everywhere we turn these days, and there really aren’t a lot of people who don’t like them! But where do they come from? If you believe the Ancient Aliens train of thought, dragons could be explained away as starships of ancient astronauts come to visit our little blue planet.

ancient-aliens-guy

But I’m sure there’s a better explanation than that. Something we have to remember about ancient civilizations was their fear of the unknown. Something rare could take on mystical overtones rather easily. Flukes of nature were deemed supernatural, or messages from beyond the grave. But I feel all myths have to have some kind of origin. People have to have a basis for a story, no matter how fantastical it is. So, where did dragons come from? I hit the internet to find out.

FOSSILS OF DRAGONS? One idea I stumbled over on the Smithsonian website said that ancient humans may have came across the unearthed bones of dinosaurs, or maybe even the washed up remains of whales. This idea is one I’ve heard before, and it makes the most sense to me. If you didn’t know anything about either of these creatures it would be easy to see them as large predators that you’d have to watch out for. Given the time we are talking about, they obviously wouldn’t know that what they’d unearthed had been extinct for some time, or that the whales live in the water. Of course, seeing whales as dragons could explain the different types of dragons you see in so many myths.

water dragon

ANIMALS AS DRAGONS. Following the same idea that ancient humans could have seen whales as dragons, we also have to look at the different kinds of animals they may have run across back then. The Smithsonian website touches base on the human mind and how we are engineered to fear as a survival instinct. Dragons are very lizard like, so then we would look at the kinds of animals that could be mistaken as dragons, and we see crocodiles, goanna, and other serpents. It isn’t hard to imagine this is where we got the variety of dragons (such as water, fire, venomous) from their habitats and their coloration.

INNER DEMONS AS DRAGONS. Just like the elephant in the room, dragons could possibly not even have been viewed as something real at all. Instead, when we look at the stories of brave adventurers or Godly saints battling Satan, it could be seen less as a physical adversary and more as a momentous inner struggle they are facing. This inner struggle could easily be seen as a fire breathing winged serpent that is harder than hell to overcome.

dragon warrior

So what do you think? Where do you think the myths and legends of dragons come from? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below!

Posted in Care for Magical Creatures Tagged with: , , , ,

The Blue Planet Project

When you hear the name Blue Planet Project, you may think it has something to do with the environment, right? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. The Blue Planet Project is really the result of a number of scientists who allegedly kept a secret notebook about Top Secret government dealings with extraterrestrials. He supposedly traveled to many UFO crash sites and filled this notebook full of drawings and notes on the alien species he found. After the notebook became public, the author vanished.

blue planet project

For a while, The Blue Planet Project was supposedly banned from sale on Amazon and the author Jefferson Souza, was wanted by several government agencies. Regardless of alleged threats to Souza by MIB (Men in Black) the information contained within The Blue Planet Project is a little too far fetched to believe.

What makes this book such a hot topic? Well, it outlines how there are several races of aliens who regularly visit Earth (and some who live here on Earth) that are working side-by-side with the government for various reasons. They trade technology to us in exchange for payment in various forms, one of which includes humans for feeding on.

The book describes 160 different alien races along with details of their technology, human abductions, and underground bunkers where we are housing them. Why do these aliens find us interesting? Well, it would make sense that they started taking notice of us when we began our nuclear testing and the nuclear age began. They would likely have noticed that we were coming up in technology and might one day be great allies or universal tyrants (if we lived long enough to reach that point). It’s interesting to point out that nearly two years after the first nuclear testing we had the Roswell UFO capture took place.

Aliens

WHAT ARE THE ALIENS LIKE?

I’m so glad you asked! It’s important to note that there are many different categories of aliens in the books. There are those that have come to experience life on Earth and who live beside us. There are other aliens who are malevolent and have no respect for our society; aliens who want to observe us; aliens who want technological advances (though if they could travel through space to Earth, what could we offer them?). There are some who are living here with the permission of the government; ones that are captured and some that are just here poking around.

So, the interesting part is the types of aliens. There are:

  1. Greys, type one (1) – The Rigelians from the Rigel Star system and are approximately four (4) feet tall, with a large head containing large slanted eyes, who worship technology and DON’T CARE ABOUT US. The type popularized in the “Communion” book by Strieber. They need vital secretions for their survival, which they are getting from us (earthlings).
  2. Greys, type two (2) – Come from the Zeta Reticulae 1 & 2 solar systems. Same general appearance as a type one (1), although they have a different finger arrangement and a slightly different face. These Greys are more sophisticated then the type ones (1). They possess a degree of common sense and are somewhat passive. They don’t require the secretions that the type ones (1) due.
  3. Greys, type three (3) – Simple cloning form of types one and two above. Their lips are thinner (or no lips). They are subservient to the type one and two Greys above.
  4. Nordics, Blondes, Swedes – Known by any of these names. They are similar to us. Blonde hair, blue eyes (some have dark hair and brown eyes and they’re shorter in height). They will not break the law of non-interference to help us. They will only intervene if the Greys activity were to affect us directly.
  5. Nordic Clones – They appear similar to us but with a grey tinge to their skin. These Nordics are controlled drones, created by the Greys, type ones (1).
  6. Intra-Dimensional (Not Para-Terrestrial) – Entities that can assume a variety of shapes. Basically of a peaceful nature.
  7. Short Humanoids – One and a half to two and a half feet tall, with skin bluish in color. They are seen quite frequently in Mexico near Chihuahua
  8. Hairy Dwarfs (Orange) – They are four (4) feet tall and weigh about thirty five (35) pounds. Their hair is the color of red. They seem to be neutral and respect intelligent life forms.
  9. Very Tall Race – They look like us but are seven to eight feet tall. They are united with the Swedes.
  10. Men In Black (MIBs) – They are not from the Delta or NRO division of the government. They are oriental or olive-skinned, there eyes are sensitive to light and have vertical pupils. They have very pale skin on some types. They do not conform easily to our social patterns. Usually they wear black clothes (sometimes all white or grey clothes), wear sunglasses and drive black cars. In groups they all dress alike. Sometimes time-disoriented. They cannot handle a psychological “curve ball” or interruption to their plans. They very often intimidate UFO witnesses and impersonate government officials. Equivalent of our CIA from another Galaxy.

This information was taken from the Blue Planet Project site, linked here.

Is it coincidence that while I was researching this article I couldn’t find any information about The Blue Planet Project on Wikipedia? Doesn’t Wikipedia have an entry for almost everything? How strange.

What do you think of this? I’d love to hear your comments and talk about The Blue Planet Project! Before you go, be sure to vote for next weeks article!

Posted in Fantastical musings Tagged with: , , , , ,

Paper Magician Review

paper magician

I wanted to love Paper Magician, but I just couldn’t. When it started, I loved the concept, I liked the characters, I loved the magic. It seemed good at first, and then awesome. . .and then I put the book down because I couldn’t sit through a complete psych eval of one of the characters as we journeyed through a shit-ton of their memories, hopes, and fears that was out of place. So sad.

I would give it three stars because of how much I loved it up to that point. I hope that it ended well.

Posted in Book Reviews Tagged with: , , , ,
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