5: Terrible Vassal

 If you would like to read installments 1-4 of White Stag, check out my page above under “White Stag Installations.” Stay tuned for more White Stag each Thursday. Thank you for reading !

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The stag moved with an impressive speed and grace. It hopped over logs with barely a glance in its direction. It was as if the forest were but a dance floor to the creature, weaving in an out of trees with a speed that made it difficult for Sade to even exhale.

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           At one point, Sade peered behind them, and she had almost fainted from fright. The shadows engulfed them, reaching out to them with their clawed fingers and fiery mouths. Their translucent, shadowy bodies stretched towards the two fugitives, hoping to scratch them. After that, Sade had promised she would no longer look back. She pressed her eyes firmly shut as the deer swiftly ran; tears burned at the corner of the young girl’s eyes from fear.

Then, suddenly, the stag was no longer beneath her, and the girl was rolling and tumbling about on the floor.  Leaves, twigs and dirt clung to Sade as she spun on the forest ground, until finally the rolling halted. Daring a glance, she scanned what was around. There was no sign of the white stag or the shadows.  Her head was still spinning when a burst of white lit up the forest. Black spots blurred her vision, or at least that was what she thought it was before realizing that the air was actually glittering; the breeze glimmered with a static sparkle.

Sade looked towards the light, and saw the stag jumping up on its hind legs, followed by another bright flash of silvery light revealing a woman. She stood exactly where the stag had stood moments earlier. Long, white hair fell behind her shoulders and past her waist, and atop her head were the same magnificent snow-white antlers that Sade had held onto. She was pale, and her dress billowed all around her. But what caught Sade’s attention most were the woman’s eyes; they were strange; her dark irises were larger than that of a human’s and resembled more of a deer’s eyes than anything else.

A honey scented breeze blew towards Sade as she took a step closer toward the trembling girl. The woman was impossibly tall, perhaps, even taller than seven feet. She wrapped her cool hand around Sade’s wrist and jerked her up to standing position. Sade stared. Absolutely astonished by the brightness illuminating from the woman’s skin.

“You have been a terrible vassal,” the woman chastised in a voice dripping with otherworldly beauty.

Wicked Wednesday: Fenris

Wicked Wednesday presents your favorite devious and misunderstood creatures each Wednesday.

Fenris. sometimes called Fenrir, was a vicious beast. The hound was said to have grown to a size so immense that it even terrified the gods.

fenrir

The dog was simply too wild to exist; he caused havoc and destruction everywhere he went. So, the gods chained him. It took more than one try but finally the dwarves constructed something that could hold the rabid beast down.

Though, Fenris was clever; he was distrusting of the chain and asked- as a show of goodwill- for one of the gods to stick their hands into his mouth. The god Tyr knew his fate before he did it. He was the only brave enough (or stupid enough) to stick his hand into Fenrir’s mouth. Once the savage creature realized he had been duped, he bit the god’s hand off, tearing the muscle and bone apart.

Now, he remains imprisoned to stone slab,waiting to break free at the end of the world. Then again, is the dog really so evil? It really is quite cruel to cage an untamable beast; it would be enough to make anyone go mad.

Works Cited:

Conway, D. J. Magickal, mystical creatures: invite their powers into your life. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2001. Print.

“Fenrir.” Norse Mythology for Smart People. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

4: Spectral Glow

Though it was spring, it was as if the forest’s heart were stuck in winter; and Sade’s chilled bare feet grew increasingly numb. Despite the cold, Sade’s attention was focused on the swarm of glowing insects flapping their wings together and emitting a papery whisper; it was something that Sade had never seen or heard before. And before she had realized it, she had run deep into the darkness of the endless evergreen forest.

forest(Art by Ivan Bilibin)

She glanced all around her, noting the proud ferns and the graceful branches of birch trees. And then her throat suddenly grew dry as she remarked that the lightning bugs were now flying faster than she could keep up. As their light dimmed, a shadow darted past her. The dark shape brought with it a gust of frozen winter air. Sade bit her lip from nerves. Had she just seen that? As if in response to her unspoken question another thick shadow rushed past her. The leaves of the forest trembled, and then to her horror, they all stopped at once leaving the forest all too entirely silent.

Even, her breathing felt too loud. A chill coated her spine, and she had the sensation that someone was watching her. Whirling around, she saw a darkness nestled between two white birch trees, blacker and colder than the night around her. The eyeless creature moved its head towards her as if he could see her, and stretched its hooked hand out to her. She took a step back with her breath catching in her throat and a different shadowy hand hooked around her shoulder, burning her. Sade released a scream as the thing’s spectral touch began to scorch through her brother’s old shirt.

A sudden burst of white dashed through the trees.  It was blindingly white like a perfect field of snow. For a moment, Sade couldn’t distinguish what it was, and then she saw: a white stag.  The elegant creature lifted its front legs up and kicked back the shadow tucked in the trees. The stag’s antlers were glorious; Sade had never seen antlers so massive and so intricate. It was as if the creature wore a never-ending crown upon its head. The snowy doe swiped its hoof against the ground, and lowered her antlers in a silent threat towards the shadows. The shades darted back hissing, revealing monstrous fanged and fiery mouths. It was as if their throats held a swirling flame embedded in their maw, powering them. And It was the singular moment Sade could truly distinguish them apart from the dark.

Cautiously, the deer bleated in Sade’s direction and stared at the girl with an intelligence and wisdom that the young girl had never seen before in an animal. The stag’s endless black eyes were like the star speckled nighttime sky above them. The illustrious deer lowered itself as if…as if telling Sade to get on. Cautiously, Sade walked towards the stag. It hadn’t flinched at her approach, like most deer would have. She tapped the stag’s antlers like she was testing it to see if it would bolt. Miraculous, it remained there, waiting. Ever so slightly, the brilliant creature turned its head towards Sade and grunted, urging her to hurry.

A branch snapped nearby them, and Sade glanced over her shoulder in panic. More shadows swirled in the back of the forest. The dark things opened their mouths and growled revealing the swirling heat in their throats. Sade didn’t have the luxury to question the impossible events occurring.

She wrapped around her fingers around the perfect antlers, and climbed onto the creature’s warm back, and then they disappeared with the wind.

Continue to Installation #5

Rusalka

Wicked Wednesday: Week 1: Enjoy reading about wicked and misunderstood creatures!

Rusalka are said to have once been the drowned spirits of women; some say they were unclean female spirits. And depending on which part of Eastern Europe you visit, determined the type of Rusalki (plural) you were met with.

Some Rusalki were described to be beautiful, voluptuous maidens while others appeared more like hollowed out cadavers with bottomless eyes. They were known to lure people into a watery grave with their sweet melodies.

Often, mixed into the Rusalki’s origin story are tales about women who committed suicide due to: becoming pregnant out of wedlock, escaping abusive relationships; drowning themselves after learning of a betrayal…and as a result their soiled spirits remained…

I like to think that these debaucherous water nymphs, who are known to sing and even emerge from the water during festivals to dance on fields, are more of a clan of parthenogenic, Amazonian water women looking to enjoy themselves. In their year-round jobs, they murder unsuspecting (and I’m sure probably very nice) men with their songs of sweet nothings. Then, on special occasions they emerge from their murky depths to participate in booze filled field dancing. Are they truly as tragic and as wicked as they appear?

Sources referred to:

Conway, D. J. Magickal, Mystical Creatures: Invite Their Powers into Your Life. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2001. Print.

@ancientorigins. “Rusalka: The Mythical Slavic Mermaid.” Ancient Origins. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.