Monday, February 26, 2007

Well, Tall and Dark, Anyway...


The Dark Man, Crom Dubh, a far darocha, the Dullaghan.

Death messenger and soul collector. Sometimes mortal abductor.

He has a history much older than The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

A feature in Irish mythology, he also appears to be attached to the Lockbuie branch of the clan MacLaine of Scotland as a personal forerunner, where he is known as Ewan of the Little Head.

In that funny Irish way, where the comic is mixed with the horror, he sometimes uses his decapitated, grinning head as a lantern.

He rides a black horse that snorts fire. Sparks fly from its pounding hooves.

In some versions, the horse has been up-dated and he drives a black coach. Bushes along its passage may catch fire from the flaming wheels.

I intend to include him in my WIP - except I think I shall up-date him further to a black SUV.

The only thing that will turn him aside is gold. An unusual characteristic as more often silver or cold iron is the traditional defence against the supernatural.

Some bling-bling should provide an easy, modern protection.

I find one of the attractions of magic realism or urban fantasy is this sort of modernization, a kind of anachronism-in-reverse.
Gurgle: What if the hokey pokey is really what it's all about?
Forgot: Art is by Brian Leister.

26 comments:

December Quinn said...

I agree, I do love the idea of demons and ghoulies moving with the times.

Bernita said...

I think it makes them more...um...realistic, December.

writtenwyrdd said...

They successfully updated him in the new movie, Ghost Rider. Cool graphics! Flaming motorcycle that comes when he whistles. Sam Elliott plays the last ghost rider, who is a cowboy riding a skeletal horse.

I love the idea of elven steeds or other mythological critters like the hell hounds and your Crom Dubh being updated to scare our modern sensibilities. I look forward to seeing what you do with him.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Written.
I haven't quite decided yet, but I have introduced the SUV.

writtenwyrdd said...

Can the SUV morph at all? Or does it do anything updated like give you a GPS map of Hell? LOL something like that would be amusing. Maybe it gains powers from adapting to the future, technology sort of translates to hellish mein as the hell car adopts it? You could have so much fun with that...

I created an evil flamingo as a character in my version of faerie for the WIP. I have no idea what analog it might have in myth or legend, because I am trying to create entirely new creepy things (mostly to see if I can be that inventive). The temptation is to use reptillian or insectile forms, so I opted to start with something fairly amusing. The odd thing is I originally researched the Celtic mythology to create the history of the world. I took the names and the wars between various ancient races, but took almost none of the creatures.

Sam said...

I think that's why I enjoyed the Buffy series so much - it was horror/comic, and had ghouls from another time in a modern setting.

Ric said...

Death comes to claim you in a black Caddilac Escalade.

I already give them a wide berth when I see one - the drivers appear to believe their vehicle gives them immunity from traffic laws.

Carla said...

Hey, a black SUV! I like that.

BTW, I recall reading a children's story a long time ago in which an evil could only be barred or fought using gold. Cannot remember if it was fiction or something out of folklore - but anyway, a little girl's golden hair counted as gold, and I do remember thinking that was a neat idea.

Bernita said...

I have to watch it that these creatures don't take over the book.
Hmmm, never heard of an evil flamingo, Written - except those on lawns.
The crane in some cultures is an allegory for justice, longevity and a diligent soul, and the pelican appears in heraldry.

Exactly, Sam!

With demon drivers, yet, Ric! Not so far-fetched after all.

Bernita said...

I'm going to watch out for those vehicles with the flames painted on the sides, Carla!
Yes, spell-logic is literal.I like that too.

writtenwyrdd said...

Hmmm....if spell logic is literal, that would make English a particular bad one for making spells with: Too many synonyms, homonyms and shades of meaning for individual words.

It makes sense the way that Ursula K. LeGuinn made the wizard's language for Earthsea, so that there was only one word to mean one thing.

Bernita said...

But makes it a great language if you want to get your characters out of trouble, Written, as in Carla's example!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

"Ewan of the Little Head."

ROFLOL...You don't wanna know the word picture I got from that *snort* LOL...it's Monday, Ric shoulda' picked up on that!

I would like to see a story where the evil thing is allergic to diamonds...don't ask me why...'cause I don't know what prompted that!

Marie said...

It sounds like a great idea.

raine said...

The only thing that will turn him aside is gold. An unusual characteristic as more often silver or cold iron is the traditional defence against the supernatural.

Inflation? ;-)

Sounds intriguing, Bernita.

And I'll go for the Hokey-Pokey ideology...it may work as well as anything else!

Bernita said...

Why, Bonnie ....

Thank you, Marie.

Makes me wonder, Raine, if the gold business began as a cover-up for losing Grandma's gold locket, or wages by gambling and loose wimmen. "I met a dullaghan on the road home, fortunately..."

Gabriele C. said...

Vampires that can stand sunlight and like garlic on their pizza, ghosts with cars, a gay Death (a project of a fellow writer) - where has the supernatural world ended up, lol.

But it's fun.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Uh, er...it's Ric's fault1 I've been hanging around him too long! ~snort~

Bernita said...

'Tis, Gabriele!
I was quite taken with LKH's preference for a mini-Uzi rather than the proverbial stakes.

Bonnie, you're saying Ric has a small head?

ORION said...

I adore the idea of this character!
We do so love those bad guys.
A black SUV with three massive snarling dogs in the back that can only be heard as his windows are all tinted illegally dark.
Yeah baby!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Pat.
Think I'll keep Dumbarton as the only dog though.

spyscribbler said...

Hah! I like the black SUV idea. The brainstorming part is so much fun!

Why did silver ever get to be the traditional defense, anyway?

Bernita said...

Without looking it up, Natasha, as a precious metal associated, naturally, with one of the powerful dieties, the moon, as light against the dark.

writtenwyrdd said...

I believe bernita has the right of it. An element of sympathetic magic to draw the power of moonlight, Diana, etc.

Scott from Oregon said...

Why an SUV? How about breaking with tradition and make it a hybrid?

A little two door at 60mpg...

Now I understand what all those gold front teeth were all about. Smile away evil...

Makes sense.

Bernita said...

Scott, soul collectors are not concerned with milage.They were always more into...er...horsepower.It would be contradictory.