Friday, August 27, 2010

Magpie Tales: The House in the Woods

my son runs through the green grass chasing butterflies, his giggles creating a breeze to stir the warm mid day air. i watch him, thinking it was only yesterday he was born and already he is nearly old enough for school. soon i will have the talk with him. the same one that my father had with me, about the house through the woods.

the first day i saw it, a day much like today, we were playing catch and my dad's throw flew high rolling into the weeds by the edge of the woods. i darted after the ball and he started yelling my name. at the time i did not notice the anxiety in his voice, but as i play it back, every time i play it back, in my mind, it is more pronounced.

it was as if the house just appeared, through a hole in forest. i could not believe i had never noticed it. i started to push further into the trees to get a better look at it, i needed to go there, when his hands grabbed me from behind, spinning me to face him. his face was so close i could feel the heat of his breath, the coffee drank that morning coating each word. he was yelling, though it sounded a whisper, waking me from a dream.

he marched me to the house, everything a blur, we were moving so fast and then going down the stairs into the basement. the cool darkness clinging to the corners, as he clipped on the light dangling by a chain in the middle. it danced there at the end of the chain, following him as he paced back and forth before me telling me how his grandfather had warned him about the house, but he did not listen.

late one night, this boy, that would become my father, snuck out to go see the house in the woods that came to him each night when he lay down for bed, closing his eyes. in the dreams, he saw a beautiful woman standing in the window, her hair flowing in an unfelt breeze, skin pale like diamonds. he raced across the lawn into the woods, limbs snatching the legs of his pajamas until he stood inside the puddle of moonlight that bathed the house.

he saw her there in the window, just like his dreams, but now he was frightened, as her crooked finger beckoned him to enter, the door swinging slowly open, noiseless. he started to shiver, bladder releasing down his leg, as he saw her for what she really was. she became furious, thrashing in the window and he ran, screaming all the way, back to our house, where his father stood waiting as a shadow in its open door.

in telling me this, he knew she would call me as well and i would face her just like all the men in our family that had lived in this house, passed down through the generations. just like i know that one day i will tell this little boy of mine and though i will warn him, he will face her. perhaps, even in fear, he will run, like his grandfather.

i have thought to move away, to remove the opportunity for this to happen to him. every time i put the house up for sale, i end up taking the sign down, placing it with all the others in the garage. my own selfish desires winning over, knowing that if i leave, i can never again go through the doorway, like i did the night she called me.

This is a Magpie Tale.


114 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

Ohhh....intriguing! Great writing as usual!

Eva Gallant said...

Wow! You grab us once again!

Baino said...

Ah beware women with skin like diamonds, there's coal underneath!

Kulio said...

ahhhh!!! creepy!! Makes me want to fill in the unspoken parts of the story in my head!

Elizabeth said...

Fantabulous! Wow! You certainly pulled me in and kept me right where you wanted me to be, like the woman in the window. You served up temptation and I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker! You are good, very good.

Elizabeth

TALON said...

Totally creepy and totally enjoyable for that very reason. Wonderful pacing. You've got an awesome imagination, Brian!

Stafford Ray said...

Ooooo! So the spell was cast anyway! You can never leave! Anyway, it's a lovely house. :-)

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

Creepy yet such a good read.I always enjoy your Magpies.

signed...bkm said...

Love it...so many myths in this one...Hanzel and Gretel...the Old Hag...an on and on...we all have to face her..whether we live near the house or not...she calls us all...nice read...bkm

Jinksy said...

Not exactly soothing bed time reading...scary! :)

Reflections said...

Very intriguing... you definitely draw the reader in, yet leave it so one can only imagine.

christine said...

A compelling story and one that leaves the reader wanting more.

Loved the description especially ....her hair flowing in an unfelt breeze, skin pale like diamonds.
An excellent tale again.

Pan said...

Oooh, I loved your story! Nice Magpie. :-)

Susan Deborah said...

Another taut magpie!

I love the magpies (birds as well as the stories!)

Joy always,
Susan

Brigid said...

Spooky but in a good one, leaves me asking questions,
Compelling read as always.

slommler said...

Wow! I have goosebumps!! She was beckoning me and I was eager to see her face. But alas, it ended before I could!
Great story Brian
Hugs
SueAnn

Lydia said...

I have arrived at a place where an important writer tells stories...
This was spellbinding, most definitely!

Deborah said...

Oooh! Brilliant and leaves you wondering, also some beautifully written lines!

Shas said...

Wow! loved it but am curious to know what happened to you when you had crossed the doorway. Hope you will continue it.

Valerie said...

I also hope there's a continuation of this tale... it was brilliant as well as spooky.

God Whispers said...

Ooooo la la intriguing erie Brian. Blessings...

tony said...

Like a real Estate Agent from another dimension !
Yes. Those Houses Are Everywhere!
A Brilliant Work Of Writing.

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, I am back from my travels trying to catch up with your very productive and enticing writing.
As always, the border between reality and fiction in your writing is impossible to define, making your stories mysterious and enigmatic.;)
The first few lines brought tears to my eyes, due to quite a different reason; reminding me of the past few weeks that I spend with my nieces and nephew. They grow way too fast...
Have a splendid weekend dear friend,
xo

Teresa O said...

Ohhhh...I like a tale that leaves me wondering and hearing the song, Fascination played in a creepy style, in my head.

Teresa O said...

Ohhhh...I like a tale that leaves me wondering and hearing the song, Fascination played in a creepy style, in my head.

adeeyoyo said...

Ooh Brian,'never again...' that scared the living daylights out of me! Excellento!

the walking man said...

You're not washing her dishes to are you Brian. Besides after all this time she may be a bit old or you and your son.

Nessa said...

Very scary. Very Freudian.

Just Be Real said...

Thank you Brian. :)

Jill said...

Oftentimes beautiful and intriguing on the OUTSIDE and oh, so very EVIL on the inside.
BEWARE!

Golden To Silver Val said...

I loved this and would hope you'll someday continue on with it. Excellent!

Brian Miller said...

no WM...i only wash dishes at home...this one is fiction, kind of...for me it was more about the generational temptations we seem to fall into, regardless of the warnings by those that have been through it...we all have those that have bitten us i imagine....

Bonnie said...

You are such a natural storyteller. Loved it!

deb said...

I read this because it's you,
brilliant,
but I couldn' t read a book like this... it would haunt for days

Vicki Lane said...

Wow! great tension and mystery!

Pauline said...

that house didn't look spooky to me till now...

TechnoBabe said...

Oh, you tricky guy, really good story.

natalee said...

This was sooooooo..good..creepy..but good...LOL!!!!!!

Betsy said...

love Baino's comment...

Daniel said...

Yow. Is your last name King? Do you live on Elm? Creepy feeling awash today with this one.

Words A Day said...

I went Oh!at the end, I loved that was the reason he didn't sell. There is so much unease in this piece and there is so much opportunity for future conflict - are you writing more on it?!
The images were beautiful esp -
hair flowing in an unfelt breeze, skin pale like diamonds.
Well Done!

Graceful said...

Brian, this is absolutely mesmerizing. I need to click on that link and find out what this magpie tale business is all about!

Greyscale Territory said...

I so wish "gripping tale" wasn't a cliche! I need it right now to explain the beautiful magnetism in this wonderfully controlled pace of building tensions and questions!

Shari Sunday said...

wonderful writing. great story. But I wonder what would happen if he would have gone inside.

Claudia said...

would be great we could put it up for sale that easy...

Angie Muresan said...

Very creepy, Brian. Who will break the spell, I wonder. Wonderful writing!

Steven Anthony said...

Oh Oh OH, I loe this one...ssssooooop much. I could see here, her finger, my heart actually jumped in my chest...so well done.

Steven Anthony
Man Dish~Metro Style
&
Life in the Fish Bowl

mama-face said...

Please tell me you have part 2 ready to post.

ladyfi said...

Oh, what a wonderful, mysterious story!

willow said...

I've met her, too.

Becky said...

Very intriguing and spooky too.Great as always Brian!

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Ohhh...spooky. My favorite kind! Very nice.

Paul Andrew Russell said...

Wow! Excellent tale, Brian.

Cheryl said...

You rocked this one. Your brain works in awesome ways. When your creepy side lurks out, I'm drawn in and can't seem to get away no matter how much I try.

DJan said...

Oh, Brian. You can write like the most accomplished artist I have ever read. I am so glad you are a blogger so I can have these little snippets to munch on.

Maggie May said...

Really spooky but great writing.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Dianne said...

wait a second, I thought you ran away, no no that was your father?
did the speaker or didn't he?
hmmmm
she is a siren, for sure.

desired and feared.

life can be like that!
have fun with those boys, and don't scare em too much.
Dianne

Pat said...

Great writing! Great intrigue! Loved it!

Lyn said...

Love it when the suspense is there at the beginning..and I can't put it down.
You can move..there's more like her in another neck of the woods!

Fragrant Liar said...

DANG! She must have been good at . . . something.

william said...

a true artist can create a great atmosphere, and u my friend do it in abundance, best story yet :)

Berowne said...

I wouldn't have sold either!

heartspell said...

So drawn in... just like he was...well done. :) heartspell

Sophia said...

Gosh, that last paragraphy got to me!!....

((Catching up on all of your previous posts/writing as well.))

She Writes said...

Ah...how the beauty of a woman can turn into ugliness :).

Pseudo said...

ooooh. nice one

Jen said...

Wow. A cross between Boo Radley and a siren. Eerie.

Magpie said...

This is wicked in every sense of the word!

Jaime said...

i actually stray from the supernatural with this one and you go for the creepy. :) well done

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
What a very descriptive and well-written "Magpie Tales"...Creepy, eerie, and crossing the line into the occult!
(or supernatural!)
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

JamieDedes said...

Wow! Had me hooked and kept me hooked. Well done ... and the mystery hangs in weighted air. Fine work, Brian. Thanks!

Sarah said...

I really enjoy your writing. Captivating.

sheri said...

hey brian, what's up? i loved your magpie, such depth and such a rich character!
thanks so much for asking how i was...i had withdrawls for the first week and i was angry but i'm trying to rework my priorities and enjoy what i'm called to do in this season :) as always, you hold such a special place in my heart!

Fireblossom said...

Oh please. Males always react like that any time a woman says, "we need to talk." ;-)

The Retired One said...

Always beware of women in the woods...selling apples, or living in gingerbread houses....you can't trust any of them....

PattiKen said...

Oh, very eerie, Brian. I have chills and the hair on my arms is standing straight up. I'm not sure I want to go to bed now.

Thank you so much for your wonderful words on my blog and Jamie's. You are a good friend.

AngelMay said...

This was a weird one, Brian. :)

Life with Kaishon said...

You are amazing. Seriously amazing writing.

sakhii•• said...

ur previuous post...this boy...is awesome!!
sry 4 missin ur posts :P
i dun rly get on blog much these days!

Marilyn said...

Wow what a tale, scary and wonderful at the same time.

Sue J said...

A gripping read. Thanks.

Systematic Weasel said...

Wonderfully written magpie! =)

-Weasel

CatLadyLarew said...

Okay, now I'm going to have nightmares about this! I just can't look away, much like he can't move away.

secret agent woman said...

A little creepy, a little folie à deux-ish.

kathew said...

scary scary....and intriguing
Well done!

sheila said...

A bit freaky. Crooked fingers are always freaky.

Bernadine said...

very very good Brian. I was held, each word, each sentence. Very descriptive and excellent way of leading through the story. Loved the lesson within as well!

Hilary said...

You always manage to capture my imagination and hold it hostage for the duration of your blog post. Nicely done.

Betty said...

Brrr! Gave me the shivers. Really enjoyed reading it.

she said...

nice write, unfortunately my brain is too tired to fill in the blanks today, wishing you had done that for us! Hope you are having a great sunday.

JeffScape said...

Expand and expound. No, really... expand and expound. This stuff sells, but not in blog-length.

Bloggin'withAmanda said...

Wow talk about turn of events I start thinking this is a childhood discovery when Bam! it almost becomes scary! I loved the flow of this!

Paul C said...

You explore the inner dynamic between familiarity and adventure so well. It's within us all, a thrill for discovery.

Jennifer said...

Just like all the others, I was pulled in immediately. But unlike everyone else, I didn't think it was creepy at all. Even dark forces can be beautiful.
Or maybe there's something wrong with me :)

Miss Nikki said...

Brian! This is such a great story! Wow. Just wow. I wonder if your son will follow the mysterious woman...
Oh how I wish there was a follow-up story!

Abhilasha-The Desire said...

Wow !!! That was the first word came to my mind when i finished reading it.... It had such a fresh ending... simply loved it... This piece was great Brian !!!

Goofball said...

Come closer and see
See into the trees
Find the girl
While you can
Come closer and see
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes
Just follow your eyes

I hear her voice
Calling my name
The sound is deep
In the dark
I hear her voice
And start to run
Into the trees
Into the trees

Into the trees

Suddenly I stop
But I know it's too late
I'm lost in a forest
All alone
The girl was never there
It's always the same
I'm running towards nothing
Again and again and again

Everyday Goddess said...

excellent story!

or was it non-fiction?!

good job!

Linda said...

I echo the creepy sentiment as well, but that's what makes it so intriguing.

Syd said...

Houses have souls too.

susan m hinckley said...

I want to know more about this creepy story . . . so it must be a good one. Well done.

Jennifer said...

Whoa! Truly creepy!

Suz said...

creepy in the male weakness for temptation
even risking his own child's future
now that is real creepy

Tina said...

I always wait to read any of the magpies until I've done mine. This sure was worth waiting for! Amazingly creepy, mysterious, and a delicious tale. Bravo!

Caty said...

lol @ fireblossom's comment. this was a great read, Brian :) loved the enticement of the house

Patience said...

Whoa! he went in?! at least the guy is still alive so i guess she's not some wicked, evil monster chick...or is he under a spell? anyway, very cool, creepy and fab. sounds like it could be a neat short story.

jake said...

Disturbing. Some friends and I went into an abandoned house in our neighborhood once only to have the cops called on us. what did we do? we ran. :)

Star said...

A good twist at the end of this dark tale. You leave us guessing as to what happened when 'you' entered the house in the woods. Obviously something you don't want to happen to your son! Perhaps now IS the time to move on?
Blessings, Star

kavisionz said...

What a fascinating read, Brian!! As ever!! Gave me the chills!
But what I most enjoyed was the end you gave it... the "selfish desire" bit... I really really liked that a lot!!!!

An awesome take on the Mag, B....

Marla said...

Oh heavens, will I never learn to NOT read this stuff at bedtime?

Helen said...

Stunning, vivid, and a host of superlatives!

River-Rose said...

What a chilling story filled with intrigue! Glad it's fiction! Loved it!

Selma said...

Absolutely delicious. The fear pulls and repels at the same time. There is a rite of passage and a sense of tradition going on too. A marvelous tale that was a real treat to read!

~T~ said...

Ooh, creepy!