Here’s my offering for a Project: this is the start of an old, old story/novel/whatever that never had the chance to grown into anything. Fancy taking a shot at a communal, serial story? Basic idea for this, as I remember, was about a young pagan living in Oregon (where I was at the time), who attracts the attention of an otherwordly being: a pookha/puca. Basically a Celtic horse/dog/person shapeshifter, one of the dark fae. I thought that he could begin seducing her through her dreams, haunting her, and perhaps appear as a person (new neighbour?) or a horse (which would make the dream seduction very kinky *s*). Is she victorius in fighting him off? Or does she succumb?
Drawing Down the Moon
The scent of magic called to him. He had lain, not asleep nor yet fully aware, dispersed dreaming through the rock and earth, water and growing things that formed the upper world.
Like smoke, like music, focussed energy permeated the substance of his dreams, sent tendrils through his not-flesh and pulled at him. His kind lived on magic as the upper world lived on sunlight, air and water; born of magic, or magic was born of them. He had never wondered which came first.
Slowly, as if stretching after a long sleep, he began to disentangle himself from the fiber of the earth and drift to the surface of the land. It had been centuries since he had felt the stirrings of curiosity or the desire to take a corporeal form. An incredibly ancient being, pagan prince, heart of darkness, soul of legend, he took on a shape he had used in another place, another age. He tossed his massive head and stamped, scattering sparks like fireflies in the darkness.
Rhiannon took the athame, the black-handled, double-edged knife, into her hand pointing outward, and began to inscribe a circle in the earth around her approximately nine feet in diameter. She visualized a trail of incandescent blue energy forming in the path that the knife cut, making a barrier to shield her from outside influences and contain the energy she would raise. The circle was sealed, almost invisible.
In the center of the circle she sat, crossing long, jeans-clad legs. Before her, on a smallish flat rock, flickered a white candle sheltered in a glass holder; a single, perfect white rose lay in front of it. He long, tri-colored hair was braided back and she wore a silver pentagram on a chain around her neck that caught and reflected the light of the full moon.
Closing her eyes, the woman sat quietly, letting tension seep from her body and the peace and silence of the night fill her. She visualized the light of the moon streaming down, bathing her with coolness, permeating her body with serene silver energy.
Again holding the black-handled knife, she raised it to the face of the moon and inscribed a pentagram, then drew the knife down to lightly touch her chest. As she did so, she softly chanted the poetry she had written in preparation:
Mistress of the Night,
Lady of Magic, Mother of all,
Shadow maker and shadow breaker
I call upon you tonight:
Grant me your wisdom
and your serenity.
Fill me with your power
that I may walk in your light
The wind played over her tilted head, pulling tendrils of hair from the loose braid and flickering the candle flame, as she closed her eyes once more, opening herself to the light.
Later, the ritual at a close, Rhiannon pressed her tingling palms against the grass and felt the power she had built flowing into the earth, grounding the excess energy. She arose and cut the boundary of her circle with the black knife, power drawing back up into the blade. Brushing the dirt from her palms off onto her jeans, she got to her feet and looked out over the broad, moonlit valley and the trees that sheltered the lake.
Something moved in shadow.
Underneath the trees was a dark shape that she strained to make out in the gathering dusk; it stood still for several long breaths, then moved silent as mist toward her, resolving into a huge, black horse. She didnt recognise it, but caught her breath at the size and sheer beauty of line and form evident even at a distance. Someone must be going mad searching for their prize stallion, she thought, and moved forward slowly with outstretched hand and a low whistle.
The horse, looking like blackest midnight made flesh, tossed its long mane and moved forward a few light, dancing steps into the meadow. The power and suspension in its movement was breathtaking. As if concious of the picture it made, the massive horse struck the ground with one hoof, reared against the last streamers of rosy cloud, whirled and simply disappeared back into shadow.
Rhiannon searched the woods surrounding the small lake, but the horse was gone as if it had never been. Shaking her head, fighting off a shiver that threatened to destroy her hardwon feeling of serenity, she returned to the now dark house on the hill. Closing the door behind her, she paused and then turned and slid the deadbolt home, feeling silly even as she made sure that it was secure.
Darkness shifted, darkness flowed outside the pool of light under the windows. Darkness prowled, a silent wind in the branches, a cry in the night. Darkness waited, patient, implacable, hungry.
Well, well, well, if it isnt the chosen avatar of the Great White Goddess.
Startled, Rhiannon swung around with a strangled squeak to look into the shadows of the den.
Very funny, Duane. You just about gave me a heart attack. What are you doing sitting here in the dark like a goddam troll? Turn some lights on, she said, crossing the room to flick on the lamp beside the shabby, old couch.
Sorry, girlfriend. I figure if I have to look more and more like the boogeyman, I might as well practice lurking in the shadows so I can scare small children.
Very fucking funny.
He shifted on the couch, all sharp angles and planes, like a lesson in hardluck geometry. He still had the once-gorgeous long hair, but it was thinning now, and he supposed he would have to eventually cut it off. Once skin-tight jeans now hung loosely on hips gone to bone and spite. Each ear was pierced multiple times, and the denim shirt hid similar rings in either nipple.
She dropped on the couch beside him, and reached over to smooth the tangled raven hair.
Whats the matter? Normally when you do one of your full-moon thingies, you come back practically walking on air. Did someone bother you out there? I keep telling you that even the wilds of Southern Oregon are not free of maniacs.
Afraid Bubba or Jed from down the road is going to molest me on my own land? Hed be one sorry redneck, believe me. Come on in the kitchen, and Ill make us some dinner. She stood and held out her hand to pull him up. He slung an arm around her as they walked down the hall.
Dont joke about it, my dear. You never know what might happen, and Id make a pretty sorry knight in shining armor. I mean, Id hate to damage my manicure defending your tarnished honor. She snorted. Seriously, though, I was starting to get a little freaked there while you were out. I thought I heard something, and I was worried about you. Just be careful.
She hugged him around the waist. Dont worry. I will be careful. You know I usually take Doggerel out with me. Lets forget about it now, and have some good food. I did a shopping trip yesterday so we could stirfry.
Yech! Healthy food! Im turning green with all the veggies youre shoving down me. I crap rabbit pellets now; its starting to stop up the john.
Ha ha ha. What did you cook last time it was your turn? McDonalds, if memory serves. Big Macs and psuedofries? The kind of fries that have no real potato in them? Remember even Dog wouldnt eat them?
Laughing, they moved down the hall to the bright, warm kitchen together.