Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Malignity of Ghosts - II

Another Kuniyoshi print for the popular 19th century kabuki play about the sorceress Princess Takiyasha. The summoned apparition appears in the form of a giant skeleton.

When I was about five I though when anyone died they turned into a skeleton, immediately.

Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, it may be appropriate to remark that one of the most approved methods for quieting the undead was to spindle, mutilate or fold their hearts, burn it (or them) and scatter the ashes in running water.
Medieval revenants were inclined to roam without any outside impetus, their attacks animated, it appears, by their own malevolence towards the living.
In the vodoun tradition, zombies are animated by a bokor as servants and act entirely under the bokor's command.
So as promised yesterday:

I'm not the screaming type or I would have shrieked. I may have made a sound something like gyaaah! I'm not sure. That's a good thing. Might have shattered every every natural pane of glass within radius. I don't know about thermopane.
I didn't need the air of chemical putrescence he brought with him to know he was a revenant. A stink, just short of a stench. A pale green sensation that overpowered the floral essence rising from the tub. A smell as sharp as teeth.
"Jesus Christ!" I added and skittered backward as far as I could go, backed until the shelves holding all my baskets of soaps and pretty bottles of bath stuff bit into my bare behind.
The thing stopped.
Then it leered.
That was the third frightening thing.


writtenwyrdd said...

The potential to be raped by a zombie is pretty damn horriffic. High ick factor, indeed!

word veri: sxflcwty. Sounds like a variation on Sex In The City.

Jaye Wells said...

"A smell as sharp as teeth."

I like that line. This is a decent beginning. Can't wait to see where you go with it.

Word ver: tubwn
Seemed appropriate given the setting of your scene.

Ric said...

Delving into interesting territory. Good beginning - rolling through those first five pages.....

Bernita said...

Hope it's not so icky as to prevent anyone from reading further, Written.

Thought it was more along the lines of an indecent beginning, Jaye! But I know what you mean. Thank you.

Thank you, Ric. The first five are easy, it's what comes after that may be difficult.

Dave said...

Creepy and fun. Good stuff.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Dave!
Rough draft.

Anonymous said...

Ohh - love it!!!
So much less scary than a spider but more interesting than a vampire -darn things can't stand sunlight, lol)

PS - what is the thermopane?

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sam.
Thermopanes are double-glazed windows, often with an inert gas between layers for insulation. Some are plastic coated or otherwise treated.
I wondered if I should use the reference. Maybe not.

Gabriele C. said...

Thermophane is a bit harder to break, and because of the gas or vacuum it will sorta explode.

Thermophane windows are standard in Germany - have been since the 70ies, and with the new insualtion laws, they're a must in every building today.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

LOL...you were doing good, till I got to the dialogue :-(

Bernita said...

Thank you, Gabriele. Should be understandable and not obscure then?

Bonnie,most bathrooms aren't all that big - something has to make the zombie hesitate.

writtenwyrdd said...

On the theme of starting something on the spur of the moment, I picked up a blank book the other day and jotted the beginnings of a fake diary in it. I just looked at it and found it amusing, jotted some more. I'm tempted to follow your example and start a blog-only story. Except it might distract me from the WIP.

Or...it might be amusing to have a linked series of blog stories, like a round robin, hosted each week by a different blog site.

Ric said...

THought everyone would know what thermopane is - interesting reaction.

BTW, I tend to agree with Bonnie - perhaps a different exclamatory might be more appropriate.

Bernita said...

Sometimes these things serve as a holiday from WIP, Written.

Why is that, Ric?
Do you see the invocation as unfeminine?

archer said...

They took me to Mount Vernon to see George Washington's House. He is buried there! In a marble sort of above-ground casket-thingie! Him and his wife Martha! If you're a six-year-old boy you can't help wondering if there are, like, skeletons in there, do they still have moldy clothes on, did everything rot away yet or did it just sort of dry up and get all leathery. But if you ask this stuff out loud the grownups get annoyed.

anna said...

me too! love the 'smell sharp as teeth' I might just have to steal that one.

good stuff Bernita. love the tone

Ric said...

Not as unfeminine (though that might be a consideration) as just a bit too strenuous - hard to put into words - "Holy shit" might work without running the risk of alienating readers like Bonnie.

May be I'm being old fashioned....

Bonnie Calhoun said...

"I vote for holy shit"

Bernita said...

I know, Archer, makes them uncomfortable. They wonder if our curiousity is unhealthy, rather than just curious.

Thank you, Anna. It's probably not original - though I haven't googled it to see.

One reason I used it, Ric, is for an avaunt.It's not really a name-in-vain thing. In the circumstances, I doubt if it would matter if it was.
Apparently that does not come across.

Bernita said...

So, Bonnie, you read it as a blasphemy rather than an appeal?

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yepper!...unless in the next installment she cries out to the Lord for help...LOL!

In the christian world, the name of Jesus is powerful...like she really could yell to Jesus to help her with the expectation of that help arriving ASAP...like when I pray in the name of Jesus.

But if she has no expectation of Jesus actually helping her for calling out to him...that is considered "taking His name in vain"! (using the 'power' with no reasonable expectation of success, ie..in vain)

Unless....Ric and I are totally off base and this is going to be an inspirational christian encounter with the dark side type story!

I love you, my sister :-)

Truewurdz said...

Good luck...Belief is power

Bernita said...

I think you're forgetting that a name traditionally has power, no matter how or why it is uttered.
Enough to give such a creature pause, albeit temporary.
And no, you are not off-base, this is a standard secular story.

Thank you, Truewordz.

ORION said...

Oh Bernita I adore you in first person POV!!!

Cynthia Bronco said...

It's not icky. When I was five, I wanted to live with The Addams Family. I was fascinated with them.
I always enjoy your posts and your gift with words.

Bernita said...

Thank you for the vote, Pat!
Working on it.

Nice of you to say, Cynthia.Thank you.
Zombie sex is, though, a line I don't think I could cross.