New Flash Fiction  

Posted by Wishwords in ,

We have another story, this time with Leviathan.

by Chrissa Sandlin

The leviathan’s groaning farewell wavered through her head, shuddered down her arms, and shifted the sand beneath Karina. She pulled at the shawl around her shoulders, a dark-dyed offering from years ago meant to enhance her coloring and now tangled with but darker than her own grey hairs. Another human gift turned goad. She stepped toward the flesh lying above the water, trying to determine if this was the head of the creature.

“How do you speak to it?” The elf-woman called, tending her bonfire of keys. Her fingers tangled in the smoke, seeming to yank at the flames. “What if it will not carry us? What if it is dying and we have to go back?”

“You would stay? With the forest falling around you, axes at every root?” Rough skin slid up and Karina looked into an eye like a cave. She responded to the elf, but spoke to the eye. “I’ve been walking for days with its goodbyes rolling through my gut. It will carry us to the forever seas and I will finally own myself, flesh and soul. Look at me!” She pulled back the shawl. “They’ve made me old, dried and wretched. She came to me, the Queen of the Castle Beyond Breath. She laughed at their shriveling of my skin in thinking of her. She thought I’d be ready…as if I would serve in a dead land, who used to be a goddess in these branches!”

“Your skin is no more real than that creature is visible to those axe-wielders from the villages. The leviathan is leaving, but we don’t know where it will go. And you have become a witch, my girl. We’ve seen them give you flesh. What if they crinkle it to their beliefs?” The elf twisted the smoke again and cast away the fire, burning her fingers on the ashes to tell one last time the houses and families by the carved surfaces dissolving beneath her fingers. “The windfall houses will become as downed trees without our care. We’ve no way to enter them again. You promised that we would have passage.”

“I’ve made new keys,” Karina said, lifting her wrist and tugging two silver shapes from her skirt. One looked like an ornate tap and the other a house key, stone and bone bound with a fine wire. Her elven companion shivered. “One to open my home and the other to unlock a soul. Both cast from moonlight by balefire under the tutelary eye of that pale Queen.” Karina twitched her face over her shoulder, casting away the name as she spoke it. She took the tap and, moving away from the eye, pressed it lightly against the flesh and twisted. A drop of the soul Earth gave these largest of her children fell into Karina’s hand and she drank it quickly.

Words tolled through Karina. The same farewell chant in words the span of hours. She looked into the cavernous eye and made her plea.

Elves ringed the shore, watching the keys to their houses smolder, watching the key-maker caress each one to dust. Karina’s voice and the voice of the leviathan billowed over them for hours, until the sun began to sink. Karina’s voice shrank from sea on which it rode as she addressed them.

“Leviathans become islands. We could find anything on that flesh land.” Karina crested another low wave of sound, finally looking back into the great black eye shot through with the fires of its birth. “Enough magic to remake me.”

New Flash Fiction  

Posted by Wishwords in ,

I know it's a day late, but here's a cute flash piece I received yesterday. I hope you enjoy it and let the author know.

by T.M. Riddle

As soon as Deena Martin got out of the schoolhouse, she took off her shoes. She hated being cooped up in that place learning things that a body truly didn’t need to know. At least she didn’t. Without looking behind her, she knew that Peter Leary was right on her heels.

The Learys and the Martins had always hated each other, that was a fact, but nowhere was that hate more fierce than between Peter and Deena. Deena’s Momma said they had hated each other right out of their cradles. Deena agreed. She couldn’t remember a time when she didn’t loathe the sight of Peter Leary.

One day, Deena didn’t run fast enough. Peter stepped on the back of her heel and she stumbled. That wasn’t enough for Peter. He wouldn’t be happy until she was face down in the dirt. He grabbed the back of her dress to shove her down, but she pulled away. The dress tore and she ran. She never looked back. Deena ran all the way to her house, through the orange grove and to the back porch. She didn’t want Momma to see that her new store bought dress had been ripped, so she snuck in the back to Grandma’s room.

Grandma saw the rip in her dress and knew exactly what had happened without Deena saying a word. As Grandma sewed up the tear, she asked, “Do you want to be well and truly done with Peter Leary?” Deena nodded.

Early in the morning, before anybody else was up, Deena and her Grandma went to the edge of the orange grove. Grandma had a way of calling animals to her. Deena had never questioned it; it was part of who Grandma was. Grandma called a long black snake out of the sandy grasses. Grandma and the snake talked for a while. Then the snake swallowed his tail.

“You put this in your pocket now and you do what I told you.”

After school, instead of running, Deena went up to Peter and said, “I got something to show you out by the heap. “

“You want to see, come out to the heap.”

Peter followed just like Grandma said he would. When they got there Deena climbed to the top of the highest heap.

“I got power over snakes, “ she said, “and if you don’t leave me alone Peter Leary, I’ll make one eat you up.”

Peter Leary and his gang laughed. Deena whispered to the snake and let it go. It rolled down the heap headed straight for Peter Leary. He held his ground for a moment and then started to run. He ran for the scraggly pines just as the snake flung itself at him. The snake stuck to the tree for a minute and then fell off and went on his way. The next day everybody knew about Peter Leary and the snake. He never bothered Deena again, just like Grandma promised.

Something new! Call for fiction.  

Posted by Wishwords in ,

In the interview Dorlana Vann did with me over on Supernatural Fairy Tales yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted to add a new aspect to this blog. I want to see what I inspire in you.

I want fiction from you. Here are the guidelines:
1) Submit fiction of 500 words or less between the time I post the creature article and the 15th of the month.
2) The creature of the month must play a major part in the story.
3) What you submit may be a complete story or an excerpt from a longer piece.
4) Email it to me via the link in my profile.
5) I will post all the fiction on the 15th of the month.
6) Include a link to your blog or website so that people can see what else you do.

Keyboard ready? Let's see what you can do.

Creature #3 - Leviathan  

Posted by Wishwords in ,

Leviathan. What a great name for a creature. Close your eyes and say it slowly. It's a conjuring name that fills my mind with pictures of stormy seas and a monstrous creature lurking just below the surface. It's anger and hatred and chaos in fleshly form. Interestingly, I never picture the creature itself, which isn't too surprising when you know its background.

Unlike the previous creatures, Leviathan is almost exclusively associated with religious lore. It first appears in early Hebrew writings as a sea monster/serpent which represents the powers of chaos and destruction which manifest in floods and ocean storms. However, it seems to be based on Canaanite mythology where the fertility god Baal fights the seven-headed sea monster Lotan and scatters the remains and the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish about the storm god Marduk who defeats the sea monster/goddess of chaos, Tiamat.

The Hebrew legends say that God created a male and female Leviathan then killed the female because if the two multiplied they would destroy the Earth. In the Talmud it says that the preserved flesh of the female Leviathan will be used to feed the righteous at a banquet celebrating the coming of the Messiah and that her beautiful skin will be used as the tent cover over the banquet. In another account, the flesh and skin for the banquet will come from the male Leviathan after it is killed, along with Behemoth which it is battling, by God.

Leviathan is generally described as huge enough to swallow creatures three hundred miles long, eats a whale a day, its eyes give off bright light, and it can make the waters of the ocean boil. Similar to the legend of the elephant being afraid of a mouse, the Leviathan is supposedly afraid of a small worm called a kilbit, a mythological parasitic worm which is deadly to its fishy hosts.

Due to the various descriptions, some scholars have speculated that Leviathan was based on the Nile crocodile with its vicious teeth and prized hide. Others suggest a whale or Megalodon.

In Christianity, Leviathan became a representation of evil, chaos, and sometimes Satan. It is still a sea monster and sometimes depicted as a giant mouth which will suck the souls of the dammed down into Hell on Judgment Day. Most of the mentions are in the Book of Job and Psalms of the Old Testament. It seems to have become less and less important over the centuries.

Then came Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan. He named Leviathan as one of the four crown princes of Hell, and used it to represent the element of water and the direction of west in rituals. Leviathan seems to have been quite important to Satanism.

Appearances in Pop Culture
I haven't been able to find any major use of Leviathan in modern entertainment. I'll be posting more on this in a few days.

The painting is Destruction of Leviathan by Gustav Dore