The Samodivas

Samodivas

 

The Samodivas

Iliya and Yanko met one day,
their adventure plan to make,
a hike to Pirin Mountain—tall—
the danger made them quake.
As far back as their memories stretched
the tale was always told
of Samodivas, beautiful,
and their graceful, deathly hold.
Each holiday, their powers increased,
with Easter time the height,
and those who failed to honour them,
would surely die from fright.
But these two men thought they knew
of a way to overpower
the blonde-haired sirens’ secret songs,
a way to make them cower.
Iliya studied many books
dedicated to the girls
he fell in love with their big, blue eyes
and flowing, flaxen curls.
When Easter came, he met his friend,
their plans to finalise,
to meet these beauties, win their love,
the task did tantalise.
Up into the wilderness they climbed,
’til they reached the pine ring
that symbolised the entrance
to where the sirens sing.
Iliya yelped and led the way,
his friend froze in his place,
as winged creatures circled round
draping him in lace.
“The plan, Yanko, remember the plan,”
Iliya had turned most white
a jolt to Yanko’s consciousness
and he prepared to fight.
Reaching out, with shaking hand,
he grabbed the closest diva,
he took his knife and cut her gown,
and threw it in the river.
Suddenly, attention changed,
the girls all turned in rage,
but Yanko simply cut their robes
and they fell into a cage.
The threads that were binding Iliya
unwrapped themselves at once,
with a grin on his face, he let out a laugh
and shouted, “Yanko, run!”

For years to come the men retold their tale of beautiful magic
of how a trip into the haunted mountains could have been so tragic.

 

*Loosely based on the Bulgarian legend of the Samodivas

Christmas Songs Day 1

Okay, so I can’t shy away from the fact Christmas is fast approaching any longer. I have a week until the day arrives.

I’ve spent the last month feeling miserable about the prospect of another Christmas without Mum and Dad. That hasn’t really changed. I know it’s going to be hard. But, what has changed is that I’ve decided to face it head on.

Ever since I can remember, my two big passions in life have been writing and music. Take either one away from me and I would struggle. Listening to Christmas songs has proved impossible, though. You see, Mum loved Christmas. She loved Christmas music. I hear a carol, and I’m five years old, sitting in the church, listening to the carol service with Mum. Or, sometimes, I’m a little older, and I’m singing in the school carol service or Christmas concert. They are such happy, warm, safe memories. They are memories of a time that’s forever lost. That’s why it’s been hard to listen to Christmas music.

But I’m not letting the darkness win. I have to decided to share with you my all-time favourite Christmas songs. Some are carols, but most of them are just songs from when I was growing up; songs we all listened to when we were opening our presents. I plan to share two songs every day, leading up to Christmas Day.

I would love to hear your favourite festive tunes, as well. Reply to this post with your favourites. You can even leave a link to your blog if you like. I’d love to hear from you.

My first choice today is the carol ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.’ This is my favourite traditional carol, but this version is a little less traditional. It’s beautiful, nonetheless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku7ohU1IGls

My second choice today is absolutely beautiful. I’ve loved it ever since I can remember. Although, I looked it up and it was released in December, 1982. It’s one of those songs that make you drop whatever you’re doing and listen. It is ‘A Winter’s Tale’ by David Essex. (Plus, David Essex is kinda cute.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jszz8SEORr8

So these are my choices for today. What shall I choose tomorrow?

 

 

Flash Fiction Prompt

My writing group gave a flash fiction prompt which was to write a story of 300 words or fewer, using the words fly, mind, and card.

This is my story.

Barn Owl

 

The Owl With A Fear Of Flying

Spectre sat on the highest branch of the tree, holding onto the bark with all his might.

“I can’t do it, Mama,” he said as tears fell onto his downy, white feathers. “I don’t want to fly.”

“Spectre, darling, you have to try. You’re an owl. You were born to do this. It’s simply a case of mind over matter. Now, come on, launch yourself.” His mother’s voice sounded harsher than usual.

A prickling of fear spread over the young owl’s body. He screwed up his eyes and spread his wings. Edging closer to the drop that lay before him, he took a deep breath.

“Do it, Spectre, don’t be a baby!” his younger sister, Snowdrop, shouted, breaking his concentration.

Pressing himself back against the trunk, he panted and repeated, “I can’t I can’t I can’t.”

“Snowdrop, it’s time for your bed. Off you go now, dear,” his mother said. Turning to Spectre, her eyes softened. “All right, I think I know what might help.”

“What, Mama?” A worm of unease wriggled inside him.

“Dr Meadows. I hear he’s the best hypnotherapist in the forest. He helped little Belle Bluebird to fly when she was scared. I have his business card in the barn. I had a feeling we might need it some day.”

The first session did nothing to help Spectre overcome his fear. “It’s no use, I’ll always be afraid,” he bemoaned to his mother.

After his third session, something strange happened. He wanted to climb the tree. He wanted to try to fly. Touching his toes to the edge of the branch, he tipped himself forward and began to plummet. Panic gripped his heart, and then he remembered: flap and breathe, flap and breathe. Gazing up to where his mother sat, he cried, “Look, Mama, I’m flying!”

Missing Mum

 

IMG_0274

It was the annual Christmas Party on my Mum’s side of the family yesterday. Mum was one of ten children (eleven in total, but one died age three months), so I have a lot of cousins. Consequently, each year, we have a Christmas Party and a Summer BBQ. It’s a lovely tradition, and one I have always looked forward to.

This year, I found myself feeling sad, though. The older I get, the more of Mum’s siblings are no longer here. Only five remain, and one of those lives in Australia. My cousins are all married with grown up children, and a lot of them have moved away.

Yesterday, only sixteen people came to the party. In one way, it was nice because I hate being amongst too many people. The smaller number meant it was easier to talk to people. But Mum’s loss felt huge. It always does. She died in April 2012, so it’s not my first Christmas without her. I should be used to her loss. I think, maybe, I was already feeling sad before I went yesterday. Something inside made me sad, and I felt old and like my life is going nowhere, and like all the good bits have gone forever. Old feelings, for me. But I wished they had stayed away yesterday.

After losing Uncle Rob in August this year, I’ve felt like Mum’s family (and my connection to her) is disappearing. Which, I know, isn’t true. I worry about my Auntie Beryl. She’s always been my favourite. She and Mum were next to each other in line of birth, and they spoke two or three times every day on the phone and saw each other once a week. Plus, she is the kindest, most generous person you could ever meet. She’s seventy-four and has a better social life than me! She’s always on the go. But I worry about her. She’s had two heart attacks in the past.

I didn’t intend to write this post today. I had a story all ready to paste into here, but my fingers had another idea. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, don’t take those you love for granted. Love them and hug them and laugh with each other. Spend precious times like Christmas together. The company of loved ones is so much more important than presents and Christmas lunch. Enjoy the time together, make memories you can fall back on when you have the mean reds.

I will share this poem with you, though, in an attempt to brighten the mood a little:

 

The Silver Trousers

The moment I dreaded was finally here,
My auntie’s house, full of festive cheer,
With twinkling eyes, she gave me my gift,
Uncomfortably, on the spot I did shift
“Open it now,” she said with a grin,
“Show everyone what you find within,”
Smiling back I carefully unpeeled
the paper, saw the present, I reeled,
Silver trousers, shining bright
I had to shield my eyes from their light,
“How festive,” my dear husband said
“You should try them on, go ahead,”
Grimacing, I climbed the stairs,
Into the bedroom, I sat on the chair,
One leg first, then the other,
They fit perfectly, “Oh bother!”
In trepidation, I rejoined the crowd,
My husband actually laughed out loud,
I shot him a look that plainly said,
When we get home, my love, you are dead.

Sliver Trousers

Broken Heart

This is another poem I wrote in response to a prompt. This time, it was to write about the sad moments in life. Needless to say, I could relate to this one.

Broken Heart

It doesn’t matter how long you’re waiting for

the inevitable to crash through your life,

when it does, you aren’t prepared—

how can you be?—

how can anyone steady their resolve enough

to be ready to lose their loved one’s love

forever?

The thing nobody ever admits is

when parents say they will always be there for you,

they lie,

one day (maybe not so far away)

they will die and you

will crumple and watch—helpless—as

parts of you break off and float away,

and you won’t know how to put yourself

together again,

and you question if you even want to.

The world—always scary—

becomes a place in which you inhabit the periphery,

perching as far away from others as possible,

waiting to fall into the depths,

from where there is no going back.

But who cares?

The well-meaning people

(who have so much wisdom you want to

scream at them to

stop!)

tell you time heals,

and to remember the good times,

but don’t they know it’s the good times that are killing you?

Without the laughter and love and memories of

that video your Dad searched everywhere to find

when you were ill and he just wanted you to smile,

getting over it would be so much easier.

I’m not sure about the “loved and lost” theory,

I never could figure why pain is better than

nothing.

Still, I love,

and with all my heart.

How fracked up is that?