Spell of the Spaewife

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
What truth do you seek when you enter the weed-grown path of the abandoned burial ground at midnight?

Submitted: October 04, 2018

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Submitted: October 04, 2018




She wore the luridly sinister Death Cult mask of the Ancient Muai-Muai.  The acolytes led her into the Hall of Fear where the morbid Spaewife, mysterious and gloomy in dreary voluminous robes, recited the Secret Spell of Silent Foresight in the Citadel of the Moon Creed.  

A wino, a homeless derelict crouched in a cardboard box behind a rusty dented puke-green dumpster found the page that had been torn from the lost diary on that stormy night so many long years in the distant shrouded past.  He was dirty and illiterate with a scraggly flea-infested beard that reeked of the foul smells of human rot and sordid moral decay.  The message conveyed in the cryptic cursive script meant nothing to the wandering toothless vagabond, but the social worker at the charity mission read it to him with a puzzled expression on her haggard weary wrinkled face, deep lines wrought into aging human flesh by the tiresome apathy of years bearing witness to hope fading into death at the bottom of a gluttonously emptied bottle of cheap booze.

Dearest Thelma Sue Knickerbocker, Your question is a profound one which concerns the very heart of the art of creating legends that will last for all time to come.  The much sought-after answer to your crucial question is Mood Induction.  Yes, the way to come up with a good concept idea for a story is to invoke the charnel power of mood.  If a story reveals to the world something it did not hitherto know, that is wonderful.  If a story provides useful information, it is a boon to all human kind; yet, all a story has to do to be good (the only attribute a plot must possess to beguile readers and win the faithful devoted adoration of all who experience it) is trigger a mood reaction within the moving hungry psyche of said audience.  The method of arriving at this most desirable and all-important story plot quality is for the writer to first place her or himself in the mystical euphoria of mood.

To demonstrate by example, I shall reveal that when I wrote the paranormal occult novel Cloak of the Devil , I placed myself in a mood of being alone in a remote location - a small backwoods town isolated in the rural boondocks far away from observation by the outside world.  In order to intensify the mood of remoteness and seclusion, the scenes of the story all occur at night or during violently stormy weather - often both.  Candles are lighted to cast weirdly dancing shadows on walls.  Incense are burned to fill the air with ambiance of the macabre.

I further deepened the murky mood of loneliness and unfamiliarity by delving late at night into shocking research of demonology, both ancient and modern, as well as cultural differences and similarities concerning the idea of evil spirits and unseen forces of malign intent.  Hindu Shiva, Baal of ancient Syria, the Chinese five flavored tea of Forgetfulness, the Navajo Skinwalker, the Rolling Head of the Great Plains, Viking wights or nature spirits such as elves, gnomes, fairies, and giants, and of course the fire and brimstone verses of the Old Testament Angel of the Bottomless Pit.

The deeper I plunged into grim lore of the forces of darkness, the stronger the mood of lurking terror became until I found myself afraid of my own shadow.  When you steep your creative mind in the awesome unfathomable power of mood - it is then that engaging Pulitzer Prize winning plots evolve in your brain as a manifestation of altered states of consciousness.  With the mysterious guiding ghostly impulse of strong mood induction, you will distill the good story plots you, aspiring bestselling authoress Thelma Sue Knickerbocker, seriously seek.

I wrote the epic saga supernatural suspense thriller Bloodstone and Broomcorn: Curse of the W.I.T.C.H. with the same powerful mood induction technique.  I’ll share with you the lucratively profitable highly effective practice of mood induction in the form of this excerpt from the aforementioned haunting narratives -

A deadly electrical storm rumbled in the distance.  The towering anvil clouds veined with fearsome thunderbolts moved closer.  Night lay heavily upon the subdued city like a pall of death.  A virulent contagion of unknown origin had wiped out half the population in a thus-far diabolical nightmare of unstoppable epidemic.  

In the abandoned warehouse district at the industrial waterfront out by Pier 13, the single female occupant of a small loft slept fitfully, her slumber tormented by ghoulish bad dreams of a desolate apocalyptic future.  The lone sleeper, clad in muscle shirt and silky pajama pants, didn’t hear the stealthy feet that crept over the roof of the age-worn building.  Nor had she the slightest awareness when the skulking figure crouched at the skylight directly over her bed.  With a powerful magnet, the cunning prowler caused the metallic hasp to turn from outside, thereby unlocking the portal and gaining a means of entry into the cozy loft.

Slowly and quietly, like a wasp walking on a pane of glass, the vile intruder lifted the dirty covering, opening the skylight.  In a deadly leap, the subtle attacker, clad in the shadow-suit of a ninja warrior, dropped in through the hole in the roof.  A sudden flash of spectral green lightning cast eerie luminescence upon the macabre scene.  

While the unknown intruder was falling through midair, the tossing turning sleeper jerked open her eyes.  She was utterly horrified at the unexpected murderous obscenity that plummeted toward her through the cryptic darkness.

With reflexes finely honed through many years of combat training, the now wide-awake target rolled off the bed with the coordinated swiftness of a blinking eye.  The intruder bounced off the mattress and again flew through the air, this time with arms and legs extended to deal an incapacitating blow of violence.  The rudely awakened sleeper met the fierce attack with corded muscular tactics aimed at repelling the lethal onslaught.

From a heap of rags in a shadowed corner, a scrawny long-haired young man, shirtless with tattered jeans embroidered with sunflowers tightly fitting his bony legs, leaped up from where he had been dozing to come to the aid of his feminine compatriot, but at that moment, another attacker dropped from the skylight to assault the surprised youth.  Sinews writhed chaotically in adrenaline-fueled double-jointed contortions.

Heavy steps pounded on the landing outside the warehouse loft.  A moment later, Big Bertha stomped into the room.  She moved quickly to assist her friends in fighting off the viciously aggressive intruders, yet another attacker dove down from the skylight and caught Big Bertha in a merciless grip around her chubby neck.  No less than three sets of combatants were now brawling in the small bedroom.  Furniture was overturned.  Shaded lamps were smashed beyond repair.  It was a brutal fight to the death.

Little Timmy Thompson, a forty-something man of small physical stature and even smaller psychological constitution who had been writing in his diary in the loft next door, now entered the adjoining chamber to find out the cause of the thundering rampaging disturbance.  Little Timmy recoiled in horror at the ugly violence that exploded before his wide staring watery-gray eyes.

With a wild mad shriek of overpowering emotion, the likes of which did not at all befit his timid personality, Timmy, with a springing burst of uncontrollable emotion-charged impulse, lunged headlong into the frenzied melee.  The ninja attacker that choked Big Bertha around the throat began screaming in unbearable agony from the searing pain in his scalp as Timmy gripped two fistfuls of his shaggy hair and violently yanked his head backward again and again as if to rip it from his convulsing shoulders.

“Cut!  Cut!  Cut!” the director shouted in nauseated disgust.

The ferocious tumult in the little bedchamber quieted down, but Timmy’s grip on the assailant’s hair was relentless.  It required dedicated effort by a gaffer and a best boy to wrench character actor Martin Neusbaum’s hair free from Timmy’s tenacious clutches.

When he was liberated, Martin, with the sting of hot tears welling in his red-rimmed eyes, marched briskly off the set to the men’s dressing room to nurse his wounds with prescription opioids and phone his agent to let the studio attorney know that he had every intention of filing a lawsuit.

Placing his hand on Timmy’s trembling shoulder, the overtly displeased director softly intoned, “Timmy, do you know what that thing is the props girl hung from a wide strap around your neck?”

“A camera,” Timmy replied, his voice quavering with strong emotion, his breaths coming in quick deep gasps.

“That’s right, Timmy, a camera.  Do you know what people do with cameras?”

“They take pictures.”

“Yes, Timmy, people take pictures with cameras.”

Holding up a thick booklet of printed copy-paper sheets that had been stapled together, the director turned to page 39, “And right here on page 39 of the script you were supposed to have read and have well-rehearsed by now, it distinctly indicates that your character stands at the door of the loft and begins snapping numerous photos of the barbaric combat raging in the cramped room.  I don’t see anything on page 39 or anywhere else in the script that calls for you to charge in and grab Martin’s hair and damn near tear his head off!”

Little Timmy sniffled a sob, “Well, I wasn’t expecting to see Martin choking Big Bertha so forcefully.  It scared me.  I - I suppose I just panicked for a moment.  I apologize.  I won’t let it happen again.  I promise.”

The director grinned sarcastically, “I certainly hope you don’t let it happen again, Timmy, because now we have to rearrange the whole set and start all over again.  This is an expensive shoot.  We’re on location, for chrissakes!  I wanted to get it right the first time.  I like to nail such costly scenes in a single take.  You’ll be lucky if the producer doesn’t dock your paycheck for the extra expense!”

Big Bertha stepped over and took Timmy tenderly by the hand, “It’s all right, darling.  I’m not hurt.  I know how much you love me, and I love you too, sweetheart, but it’s only play-acting.  Martin had to make it look real in order to convince the audience.  You understand - don’t you, sugar-dumpling?  We’re stunt doubles.  This is what we do.”

Timmy lowered his eyes and blushed, “I suppose so.”

He raised his head and opened his mouth to say something else, but just then a deafening BOOM! blasted the set with the ear-shattering report of a discharging firearm.  The expression on little Timmy’s face went out like a light.  His mousy features became null and void.  His thin lips were limp as a dishcloth.  A drop of crimson appeared at the right corner of his mouth.  Another drop of dark scarlet oozed from the left corner, then a grotesque bulge of viscous hot red blood regurgitated from Timmy’s sagging slack jaw.  Like an unsupported rag doll he pitched over forward and landed face-down on the hardwood floor with a sickening dull thud.

All heads jerked upward to the ceiling at the sound of a faint mocking laugh.  A sordid puff of blue smoke clouded the aperture of the skylight.  For one brief instant, a mysterious shadowy figure loomed behind that ominous cloud of pungent gun-smoke, then it vanished into running feet that pattered away into the distance as the unknown shooter made a hurried getaway.

Big Bertha knelt on the floor beside her fallen lover.  A small patch of red stained the back of Timmy’s pink plaid button-down dress shirt.  A dark pool of goo slowly spread from the thrawn head of the motionless body.


The others present on the set felt a retching chill of horror creep up their spine as Big Bertha softly called to her silent romantic partner.

“Timmy?  Speak to me, darling.  Timmy?  Baby, are you all right?”

Big Bertha, receiving no response from the apple of her eye, broke down entirely, her mighty fists flexing convulsively into her brunette locks ripping out fistfuls of her own hair.

“Timmy!  Timmy, wake up!  Oh help!  Oh somebody please help!  Timmy!  Oh my dear god Jesus!  Timmy, baby, wake up!  Wake up!”

The gaffer and the best boy made effort to prevent Big Bertha from doing herself a serious injury, but the emotionally devastated stuntwoman was hulking and strong.  Other members of the film crew endeavored to lend a helping hand, but they had their work cut out for them.  911 had been dialed.  The mournful wail of an ambulance approached balefully from a distant quarter of the ill-omened night-shrouded city.

Now then, my dear Thelma Sue Knickerbocker, so that you may explore further into the lurid plots of these novels and witness firsthand how I’ve conjured a good story plot with the secret formula of Mood Induction, I shall here provide a helpful link to the books for your convenience.


© Copyright 2019 Sean Terrence Best. All rights reserved.

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