Beaten But Not Defeated

I had an appointment with my mental health team again today, or something that resembled that, as it was agnes again, the women who’s job a monkey could do, which sounds cruel I know, but she studied for what three to five years to be a counsellor, yet displays no professional skill, its like talking to one of my mums friends, or some women who just walked in off the street

To be honest I was in a mood, she started off by saying ‘what a lovely day, good day to get some washing out, do you ever hang out washing’ I didn’t reply, so she asked again, I told her that my mum does it for me ‘oh you’re spoiled’ she said, I told her it wouldn’t be done otherwise, I am independent, but the motivation isn’t there

We had a nonsense chat at first, where I said that it was quite early to start your day with this kind of thing, she said that it was nine o’clock, in a way as if I thought nine was the crack of dawn, how other patients of hers can do it, an how they even travel in from other towns some even getting two buses to get there

To which I had to explain myself, which I hate to do, again I told her that I meant having to sit there at that time, starting the day with talking about what I’m going through, and also that the time wasn’t good for me, that it was hard for me getting there because the town was busy with people going to school and work etc

She started telling me to get out more, that it would help me be more confident, how it had worked for her other patients, I’m sick of hearing that! I told her that if everyone were the same, one treatment would work for everyone, an that I wish she had social phobia so she knew how it felt, she said I don’t know how you feel, which I guess I respected, although stating the obvious

I said that its easy to say, here’s A and here’s B, and this is what you have to do to get from A to B, I told her I didn’t suddenly wake up a week ago with a mental illness, that I’d been getting help for over fourteen years, and that I’m pretty clued in to what’s going on

She asked how I was feeling since the last time we met, an had I thought anymore on joining the day centre for people like me or anything, I thought to myself, what I wrote in my last blog about her, are all the things I wish I had of said, so this time I would

I told her no, that I was in a different state of mind when I had mentioned those things in the past, an didn’t she think maybe I just wanted to talk

I told her I was in a much darker place right now, how I had used my anger as a way to turn off my emotions, she said we all need to have emotions as people, instead of rolling my eyes, I looked at her wide eyed an raised my eyebrows an said hmmm, it said ok, moving on

I told her everything in my life had built up till now where it felt like a contained explosion, how I was finding it hard to cope, and didn’t feel like I wanted to be part of the outside world right now, how out of curiosity I had joined a suicide site of sorts, people leave letters of goodbye, and share ideas on how to die, that sometimes life is a greater death sentence, though true, it is dark, even for me, though if I’m being honest, I only told her as a cry for help, my inner more desperate voice

I told her I know I’m not split personality, but sometimes a part of me takes over, a part of me that I can’t control, an in those moments, I don’t even know what I’m capable off, that I wouldn’t necessarily hurt myself, but that other side of me would, but again I’m aware of what I’m doing, I just can’t control it, an that its hard to deal with everything that goes on inside my head

I told her I used to be different, from how I am now, but lately I’ve changed, I don’t smile as much, laugh as often, that something had snapped inside me, and I no longer care about anything

We talked about my medication again, if you remember she had my depression meds taken from me, as I had admitted to storing them up to abuse later, I told her I’d stopped taking them because I’d forgotten what I was like before, before the tablets started to control me with all the brain chemicals they mess with, that the person she saw today was me

I fought her every step of the way, because I was a little pissed off, a little resentful, and to be honest, it made me feel good to wipe the fake smile off her face, I know she’s not going to be the one to help me, I knew it before I went today, but you can’t complain about being ill if you’re not willing to do something about it, which is why I forced myself to go

She asked what help I I thought they could give me, an also offered to do risk assessment, I told her I’d like to see a real psychiatrist, someone with power to change things, in case one day I was in danger and became afraid, someone I could call in crisis, I think she got cross, an that annoyed her, she then reminded me that I said I didn’t want help, that it would be her that I’d call, not a psychiatrist, that I’d already seen a psychiatrist before, to which I reminded her I stopped by choice, I know those were her little slaps at me

She mentioned she had read my notes from over the years, so I asked what did she think was wrong, or what were others saying, she said I more or less always say the same things, and that I’m always negative, and I have a tendency to over think things, which is true to an extent

I do feel like a broken record sometimes, but if I see someone new every time I go back to the mental health team, I feel I have to start from scratch, and also my illness hasn’t changed over the years, it only fluctuates, sometimes overwhelmingly so

I felt quite good when I was on a roll, assertive and speaking my mind, until that very thing gave up on me, suddenly my mind went blank, I couldn’t remember my train of thought or what I’d been saying, I froze and just stopped then

By the end of the session, i knew the truth about how I really felt, so I was honest, I said that I didn’t think the mental health team could really help me right now, because of the state of mind I’m currently in, I’d only fight against them, like a tug of war for example, which wouldn’t be helpful to either of us, she said that it was up to me, that she can’t force anything on me, that she’ll make another appointment for two weeks time, and if I don’t show up, she’ll assume I no longer want to see her/the team

Through the whole appointment, she never took notes or wrote anything down, so I came away thinking, I sit in a room, talking for thirty minutes to an hour, and its not recorded, what if my medication needs changed or something for example

I was very emotionless, dead eyed and dry, something just came over me, that other side I talked about, fuelled by negative emotion, its hard to snap out off, but me venting at her, is like someone cutting themselves, it let’s out the hurt, a little at least, she wanted me to be more confident, so that’s the side she got today

By the end I could barely stand to even look at her anymore, I think the feeling was mutual, so I don’t know what to do, there isn’t much else on offer right now

Tears, Fears, Urges And Ramblings

Its hard when you don’t really have anyone to turn to, it can be a lonely existence

Over the last year, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut when I’m around the people in my life, because I know they are no longer interested in what I have to say, or how messed up I feel, but I guess I can’t blame them, but the one thing that makes me angry is when they say ‘I know how you feel’ or ‘I’ve been through the same thing’ its not a competition but if each person suffered the same, one treatment would work for everyone

Lately I’ve formed a new phobia, as if I hadn’t enough ‘labels’ attached, but its of doctors and my mental health team, before every appointment I panic, I feel sick and it puts me off going until I’m desperate, then I leave feeling fragile, angry and impulsive

As I told you, Dr C accused me of using my illness as blackmail to get more diazepam, and since that day I haven’t been back to see her, the second doctor, Dr H, just sits there most of the time ‘yes, uh huh, uh huh’ its hard to talk to him, an even harder to tell if he even listens, when I go to my mental health team, I seem to see someone new every time, who are all these people? Temps?

Not long ago Dr H was reading through a report from my mental health team, it mentioned hallucinations, an he was like ‘you’ve never mentioned that to me before’ like I’d suddenly made it up, or when he quickly skimmed a report an said the mental health team said I should only be taking medication when I’m feeling down, an not so much when I’m feeling better

If he had of read it properly, it was diazepam they were talking about, any doctor should know the rule of medication, just because you’re feeling better, don’t stop taking it, and its things like this that frustrate an anger me so much, and have caused my new phobia

I’ve been with my current surgery since I first moved home, and I’m too afraid of moving to another medical practice with new doctors, so I’m trapped in this revolving circle where I’m lost in the system and no one understands me, they love to label me as ‘complex, and being an historian’ I can’t help who I am, how I come across and how I explain myself

I don’t want to be the type that talks through tears ‘no one listens to me’, I don’t want to be that cliché, but that’s where I am

Continuing with this theme, my last post was about benefits, and today I phoned in, and my bank was empty, no DLA payment, I’m in the middle of a renewal, so stressful! I left it too long to have the form back, so it stopped, its my own fault, I had away from last year, but I couldn’t bring myself to fill it in, who knew a few pages filled with questions about yourself could be so scary, but for me it is, I couldn’t find the words, my mind was blank, I couldn’t concentrate on it at all

By the end, where it asked ‘is there anything else you’d like us to know’ I was very emotional that day, and used that part to let rip at my life, my family, the mental health team, and my doctor, which I regret, wrong place, wrong time, they don’t care about that kind of thing, I just lost control for a minute

I went in to Dr H friday past, we fill the form he gets from DLA in together, sort of, last time he filled it in really well, this time he rushed it, apart from my diagnosed mental illnesses, and medication, he wrote, ‘low mood, low motivation, finds it hard to leave the house, an that I need my medication supervised’ so not exactly in-depth, I’ll just have to wait an see what happens, but a part of me doesn’t care anymore, I could live without the stress of it all

In a way it was strange to hear someone else sum up my life in such a simple way, with few words, like he didn’t know me at all, but then I don’t even know myself lately, I only know how I feel…

I haven’t left the house much in six months, because I’m finding it hard to cope right now, and I don’t feel like I want to be apart of the world outside, another part of me thinks of how much life I’m wasting locked away on my own, but its hard

When I do go out, I feel everyones eyes on me, I feel like I’m walking around with a big sign that says ‘look at me, look how odd I’m behaving’ I feel like I want to run, an hide somewhere, away from their gaze, I feel like a caged bird panicking to get free

Other times I’ve even had urges to throw myself in front of on coming traffic, its horrible, though when I’m with someone else, its not as bad

With all the anxiety, and with my social phobia, i mostly pay for taxis now into town, just to a shop, an then home again, that’s mostly the max I can handle, when there, I seem to buy enough junk food to feed a whole family, I come home an binge until I’m sick, swallowing my feelings, I’ve put on about two stone now in a short period of time, which makes me hate the way I look, an how I feel, its self punishment I guess

My mum and step-dad go out most evenings, they don’t even tell me, they just go an leave me at home, I’ve mentioned it to them, but nothing changes, my mum comments on how much time I’m spending in the house, but wouldn’t even offer to bring me with them, this family of mine are such a selfish bunch of people

You’re only as good as your last act of kindness, and all they ever talk about are themselves, I’m sick of it, I tell myself constantly that I’m done, that the first chance I get, I’m gone, and maybe then they will appreciate what they had, and by that I mean my own place, nothing morbid

Tonight, I’m home alone again, my mum even took the dog for some reason this time, and yes, its just as depressing as it sounds

They don’t realise how much I’ve changed, and who I’ve become, like a stranger in someone elses house, how everyday I become a little more distant, a little quieter, maybe I’m a good actor, but I know that’s not true! Maybe they’d rather choose to be blind than to worry

I tell myself to let rip and let them have it, but I never do, I’d rather have pride than pity

I don’t want to rely on others, I want to go it alone, at the same time, I know I can’t, or if I did I wouldn’t last long, I know being alone would make me more of a danger to myself, but then I’m alone so much as it is

There are people dying right now of serious illnesses, and by comparison my problems probably don’t seem so big, but sometimes in my darkest moments, I’d rather swap with one of them, I’d rather be dying somewhere, an I know they’d rather live my hell than die

I get the thoughts like a lot of people to self harm, I used to when I was younger, until I realised it gets you nowhere, it doesn’t really let out the hurt, its only a distraction and a false high

I like to think of myself as pandoras box, past all the darkness, and when you’ve reached bottom, there’s always hope

Benefits: My Experience

There is so much talk about benefits, and the benefit system lately, I thought I’d write a post about my experience, and being part of that system

For a long time I didn’t feel truly deserving of benefit, when people like my granny and granda were so ill they sadly past away, and the suffering they went through beforehand, but sometimes mental illness, is as crippling as any physical illness, and so I’m still learning to make peace with that fact

I’m a child of the care system, and by that fact, I was essentially raised by the government, moving from foster home, to foster home from the age of four wasn’t a great start for me in life, eventually ending up in a childrens home at age eleven because no one wanted my younger brother an I

Foster parents are fickle people, they want babies and young children, by the age of say ten, you’re not as desirable anymore, I guess families want to pretend that you are theirs and want to fool themselves into being convinced of that fact

I’m not saying this in a ‘woe is me’ way, because I’ll be the first to admit, that it helped me grow up really fast, in a world most people don’t see, I got a lot given to me, and done for me, things my mum, I know never could have

I knew for a long time, that something about myself just wasn’t right, mentally, I stopped going to school, I was depressed, but didn’t even really know that word or what it meant, I only knew feelings, I’d lock myself away for long periods of time, I become rebellious, I’d act out, run away, get drunk, cut myself and be destructive, put myself in danger, an encouraged others to do the same, I was a bad influence, but that’s all I really knew for a long time

I guess the staff at the home became worried about me, an I started seeing therapists then from the age of fourteen, and have continued to do so up until this day, the care system damaged me, that unsettled life and the things that happened to me along the way, I believe triggered the onset and development of my mental illness

Jump to today for a second, where this blog details and explains my journey

When I knew the time was coming for me to move home again, I had this rose tinted view, that I’d get a job working with my mum, I’d live at home a while before getting a place of my own, I was even budgeting my imagined wages

But that’s the thing about being young and naïve, life isn’t as simple as imagination

I moved home at seventeen, with only a weeks notice, after thirteen years, and only seeing my mum one day a week for a few hours my whole life, it wasn’t some fairytale ending I’d dreamed of, it was now the real world, and I remember being so afraid

I didn’t leave my room for a long time, the person I was before was gone, suddenly I had the responsibility of a life, my life, and I couldn’t handle it, even silly things like getting washed, and feeding myself felt different somehow, like a constant reminder I was a real person, at first they thought I was dealing with post traumatic stress, until I was later properly assessed

I first signed on for benefits, with the help of my aunt at seventeen, I didn’t even know such a thing existed then, I had all my evidence from before, about my life, and mental illness, though even that was a mystery to me

I remember the man behind the desk hinted at mental illness as a way of getting benefit, as though he was encouraging me to make things up to get money, but I was already in that boat so it was easy sailing to begin with

For a while, I remember i had to get sick lines, its like a green light from the doctor that in a way says ‘yeah, they’re still sick’ that goes on until you are sent for a medical to prove to the benefit people that you’re really deserving, which is fair

At first you get a form to fill in about your illness, and if they can’t gather enough evidence for the decision maker, you are called in for a medical appointment, my first medical came, an I remember feeling really scared, I’d never done anything like that before, I’d never had to prove anything to anyone, at least in that way

I attended, pretty clueless, I was weighed an given an eye test, and then lead into a small room with a doctor, who I remember barely looked at me, he asked a lot of questions like, what are your hobbies, what do you do all day, things like, if you wanted a newspaper, how would you get into town etc then you wait

I failed the medical, you have to score fifteen points from the questions asked, something like that, anyway I didn’t, I thought that was it, until I learned you could appeal, so I did, at the appeal, I ended up in a big room, on a chair in the middle, four older people looking at me from behind a long desk, like a jury, but in fact were the decision makers they call a tribunal

A man from the benefits system sat beside me, his job was more or less to prove I wasn’t deserving of any money, then there was a women behind me who took minutes of the meeting, I was so scared I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe properly, I didn’t know what I was walking into beforehand, I just broke down and started to cry, I answered a few questions, which till today I can’t remember, they also had all my medical history, which for some reason they don’t request to use in medical appointments, so by the end they told me that I would be awarded benefit, and that was the end of it

Between me failing and getting a date for that appeal, it took over a year, in which time, they cut your money by twenty five percent, I could only afford to pay my mum ten pound toward rent, an so I lived on eighteen pound a week

Money was and is the least of my problems, for me then and now, its never been about the money, its the safety that it gives, it means you can live your life securely, while trying to get well enough to someday hopefully join the real world again, in that year, I had nothing, but I didn’t care, eventually I only had one pair of jeans left, which ripped between the legs, I did a self sow job on them, an made do

A few years past, and the letter and the form came again, i’ve always dreaded that brown envelope coming in the mail, because it fills me with so much fear and panic, it consumes my life until either way, its over with

Again, i was called in for a medical, I didn’t attend, so they sent another, again I didn’t attend, I just couldn’t go through it all again, at that time, I would rather of had nothing than put myself through that process

I got a third appointment, most people don’t get third chances, again I didn’t attend, so my money was stopped, eventually I had to realise that this is life, and its part of what you have to do to prove to them that you’re not some fraudster, you have to suck it up and do it

By that point I wasn’t allowed another chance, so again I appealed the decision, this time they wanted me to see their lawyer, which is very serious, I had to prove with good reason, why I didn’t attend, and why I deserved benefit

I contacted citizens advice, and got a case worker, because I knew this was something I couldn’t fight by myself, the day came, and the women from citizens advice did all the talking, I just more or less had to sit there, I think I finally won, because there was a huge amount of evidence in my favour, that and with proof of all the appointments I’d missed in my personal life, helped me win my case

Again time past, and income support, was then changing over to ESA, which is a lot harder to qualify for, or so I read, I allowed other peoples bad experiences to fill my head, my advice is to stay away from google when you are scared of something!

I don’t deal well with changes in my life, it affects me mentally, which then triggers other parts of my mental illness to resurface, like becoming more emotionally unstable

That day I’d dreaded came, when I received the ESA form, and in the end had to attend a medical, I actually explained this medical appointment in ‘The Looming Shadow Of ESA’ so you can find out all about that in that post, in the end I passed, though the journey was a whole story in itself

Since then I haven’t let myself think too much about it, though I know that brown envelope will be coming again very soon, and when it does I’ll just have to deal with it

Through the last six years, I’ve also received DLA, or disability living allowance, I never thought of myself as disabled, it was my psychiatrist who suggested I apply for it, when I read the form it said ‘tell us about your disability OR illness’, I asked my doctors advice, she told me she didn’t think they classed mental illness as a disability, until I explained what I had read, and so I went ahead with it

DLA has been an easier road, I’ve never had to attend a medical, DLA request information from your doctor by sending them a sort of questionnaire, so there isn’t as big of a need for a medical appointment, anytime I’ve failed, or hit a bump, due to my doctor not fully understanding my illness, a letter from my mental health team has been enough to write any wrong

I wouldn’t advise anyone to claim benefit unless you’re sure you can mentally handle what comes with it, its not as easy as just filling in a form and getting money

Mental illness is a lot unseen, so its always going to be a harder journey, your word means nothing to them, the forms they ask you to fill out bare little weight on your claim, whether you’re deserving or not is up to them, but its evidence that wins out in the end

New Short Story: The Coven

This is my new short story, its a sequel to ‘legend of the waste-land witches’ because every story deserves a proper happy ending, I hope you like it….

The Coven

Four cloaked women stand together, chanting in a tongue of ancient words, each a hand on an old black book, a book older than time and written in blood

the book comes alive with a life of its own, flicking to a page of destined desire, the women now look at each other, a look of knowing as they read

A person dead, beyond the grave, can be brought back, breathe life again, a body of sacrifice, an object of obsession, the vessel in which their soul will rest in

Crystal jumped from sleep, returning from a dark nightmare, ‘just a dream’ she thought, she was still shaken from her ordeal in october, once again alone, having lost the people she had come to know and love, at the hands of the evil witch mary

Crystal lying awake, an as she often did now, remembered back to that morning after

She had awoken to find herself back in bill and marys house, back in jakes room, with no memory of how she had gotten there

‘Rest in peace, jake.. bill’ she had thought sadly, with jakes final word still echoing from somewhere beyond live

Crystal suddenly a whisper from a familiar voice ‘jake’ asked crystal alarmed ‘jake, is that you’

Suddenly the windows of the small room had burst open, an a swirling wind engulfed everything, crystal could have sworn she saw jakes reflection in the dresser mirror, but only a glimpse Crystal, you’re still in danger ‘jake’ shouted crystal over the hauling wind, jakes voice repeated the warning, only now in softer echoes, then only silence, ‘jake’ crystal had shouted again ‘jake please don’t leave me’ but again only silence

A few weeks had passed slowly since then, full of nightmares and day dreams of jake

Crystal had stayed on in the village, in that house, she’d been welcomed by the village people, they, along with crystal had buried bill, as for jake, his body had disappeared without a trace, and his grave lay empty

everyone in jagged peak had come to know what really happened that night on halloween, but it was a silent truth never spoken

Crystal often wondered why she hadn’t left, but inside she already knew, it was because of jake, him appearing to her again left so many questions, yet given her some hope of seeing him again, although since that morning, she never had

That evening, being all alone in that house, surrounded by jakes memory, crystal decided to go for a walk, even though she knew it would be dark soon, ‘pull yourself together, there’s nothing to be afraid of’ she thought, taking a deep breath she left the house, after a while she found herself outside the grave yard, just like before, something seemed to draw her in, hopeful it was jake, she entered

Reaching his grave, which lay empty, she suddenly felt like she was being watched, a feeling of darkness suddenly swept over her and she turned to leave

Turning to leave, she was met by a cloaked figure, that night in october suddenly came rushing back as everything that had happened flashed before her, before she could fully regain her senses and react, the cloaked figure had lifted a nearby shovel and struck crystal on the head, knocking her out cold

Crystal later awoke ‘what.. What happened’ she thought, she felt suddenly disorientated, everything around her seemed to be spinning, gaining a little focus, crystal now realised where she was, she’d been taken to the forest, turning her head she now saw jakes lifeless body next to hers, both were tied town to some kind of stone tables

Regaining her senses, an trying to figure out what was happening, crystal began to look around her, a little off in the distance were four cloaked women standing chanting over a fire, each a hand on an old black book, the book seemed to have a life of its own as it hovered above the flames, ‘witches’ thought crystal,’just like in my dreams’ her heart sank as everything she’d tried to put behind her, was happening all over again

‘What do you want with us’ shouted crystal, she got no reply, ‘what do you want with us’ she shouted again, this time the women stopped and came closer, one of the witches now stepped forward, ‘someone’s finally awake I see’, ‘who are you, what do you want with us’ crystal shouted back, ‘well, since you’re going to die anyway, I guess you at least deserve to know why’

Crystal gasped ‘what.. no’ she said struggling with her ropes, a second witch now began to speak, ‘we are marys coven’ crystal now shocked and almost speechless interrupted ‘mary’ she now felt sick, feeling the colour drain from her ‘mary promised us eternal life, but you and jake took that from us, and for that you will pay’

‘I still don’t understand’ said crystal, hoping to further stall their plans and buy time to somehow escape, the witch continued ‘you see, a witch is born of spirit, a part of nature, so we never truly die, our essence remains after death, we become part of where we call our power from

‘Marys essence is now bound with jakes, bound by the spell to be eternal, that eternal essence can be called back’ just then, it was like a light went off inside crystals head, ‘so that means jake will live again’ the witch grinned, ‘for a while at least’ all four witches now seemed to laugh with each other

The third witch now spoke ‘jake needs to be sacrificed again, to separate his essence from marys, as you know, self sacrifice is the most powerful form of magic, we’ll draw on that power, only this time it won’t be to save you crystal’

‘Then why do you need me’ crystal asked, all four witches now locked eyes on crystal, ‘you.. We don’t need you, but your body, you should be proud crystal, you’ll be the vessel for the most powerful witch the world has ever known, mary will be reborn, in you’

The fourth witch, who had been silent up until now finally spoke ‘enough of this, its time’ the other three women then bowed their heads, and all four returned to the book

Crystal with a moment alone, now realised that her right wrist which was tied down, was slightly looser than the left, she then began struggling against the rope in hopes of it loosening enough for her to break free, though the more she struggled, the more the rope cut into her skin, with each pull and struggle it become more painful, but she knew it was her only hope of escape

The four witches now returned, but none seemed to notice crystals now bleeding wrist, ‘its time’ spoke the fourth witch, all four women now held hands and started chanting in an ancient language, each witch started reciting the chant faster and faster

A sudden gasp for air broke the witches chant, as crystal turned to look at jake, the once lifeless body began to regain life ‘jake’ asked crystal, jake now turned to look at crystal, but he wasn’t as pleased to see her

‘Crystal’ jake seemed to ask, slightly dazed but now realising the situation they were in ‘I warned you, why didn’t you leave’ jake looked at crystal, now a loving look, but also a look of someone powerless to help, ‘I couldn’t leave jake, I couldn’t leave… I couldn’t leave you, because…’ crystal slowly began to cry

The fourth witch again stepped forward ‘touching’ she said sarcastically, without saying another word she moved to jakes side, removed a dagger from her cloak an drove it into him ‘no’ screamed crystal, as all she could do was watch on as jake passed out

‘Enjoy your last moments together’ with no remorse the witch returned to her fellow witches, who all began to chant again

‘Jake I’m sorry’ a tearful crystal watched on as jakes blood now turned to light, rising up above him, and becoming a blinding orb ‘mary’ said one of the witches ‘continue the spell’ said another

With the blinding light, crystal knew this was the perfect time to make her escape, struggling with her ropes, and clinching her teeth through the pain, her hand finally became free, she undid her left hand and jumped of the stone table, beyond the light all she could see was the light of the fire, now running past the four women a plan came to mind

‘You can’t outrun the spell crystal’ she heard one of the women say ‘yeah’ replied crystal ‘and without this you’ll never hurt anyone again’

‘She’s got the book’ said one of the women, ‘a mortal has no power over the book’ said another, with that crystal grabbed the book with both hands, and threw it into the flames, suddenly the orb of light above jake exploded, knocking all the women to the ground

‘No’ all the women seemed to cry out at once, ‘how did she…’ one of the women cried out, ‘impossible’ screamed another, as the book began to burn, being tied to the book by blood, the four women emulated its fate and burst into flames ‘tell mary I said hi’ said crystal as the four women slowly turned to ash an blew away in the wind

Crystal realising it was over ran to jake, ‘jake’ she asked hope filled, noticing no sign of any wound, jake groaned with a reply ‘you did it crystal’, hugging jake, crystal both laughed and cried with joy ‘jake, you’re alive.. But how’ she said ‘magic’ he replied, they both laughed

‘How did you know burning the book would stop them’ jake asked ‘I didn’t’ she laughed again

Crystal untied jake, and they both started walked off together, when crystal stopped ‘what is it’ jake asked ‘before, when you asked why I didn’t leave, it was because of you, an i should have just told you in that moment, I.. I love you, jake’ crystal was slightly embarrassed then, ‘good, because I love you too’ he replied

The two then walked off arm in arm and toward their future together

Legend Of The Waste-Land Witches

This was a short story I had written an posted, just for fun at halloween, but it was split between two posts, so here it is all together as it should be

Legend Of The Waste-Land Witches

No one really remembers the legends of the waste land witches anymore, but in one isolated village beyond the peaks of the black mountain jagged, and on the edge of an unknown worlds end, elders tell the bedtime story as a warning

Beware the waste land witches, born from evil with a heart of stone, and live forever with a blackened heart that’s broken

Crystal opened her eyes, surrounded by darkness, with dying waves lapping at her body. ‘Wher… Where am I’

Staggering to her feet and now feeling sand beneath, she released the shore line of a deserted beach, a glowing light in the distance was suddenly coming into focus

‘Hello’ yelled a deep voice, ‘hell..ooo’ crystal replied in a hesitantly, now seeing the form of an elderly man ‘what are you doing out here all alone’ the man said, now seeing the young girl in the light, an realising she wasn’t one of the local girls

‘How did you come to be here’ the man went on… ‘I.. I don’t know, I woke up an I was here, I can’t remember, I…’ Replied crystal becoming suddenly scared from her lapse in memory

‘Let’s get you inside’ said the man ‘there’s a storm coming, look at you, you’re soaking wet, are you hurt?’

‘No, I don’t think so’ crystal replied, now following the man as he led the way

‘You’re safe’ said the man, noticing the girl to be nervous, ‘I’m bill, I run the light house nearby, my wife can see about getting you something dry to wear, an I’m sure you’re hungry, what’s your name’

‘Crystal’ she replied, now catching up with bill an saying nothing further

Beyond sand dunes they entered a village, crystal suddenly thought it a weird place, like a village caught in a period of a time past

‘Here we are’ said bill, leading crystal up a small garden path an into a glowing cottage, ‘who have we here’ said a womans voice ‘this is crystal’ replied bill, ‘seems she got washed ashore an has no memory of her ordeal, she needs something dry to wear, a warm bath an something hot to eat’

‘You poor soul, you must be beside yourself, welcome i’m mary, now let’s get you out of those wet clothes’

Sometime later… Crystal once again awoke, now remembering where she was, earlier mary had explained that their grandson jake was away on a fishing trip with other local men from the village, he would soon be home, an that she could use his room, mary would explain to jake on his return

Crystal had told bill and mary of how her parents had past away, how she had ran an ran, because there was nothing to return to, no friends, no family, she was alone, bill an mary told her she was more than welcome to stay with them for as long as she needed

Now alone in jakes room, there was a knock on the door, marys head peering around the now open door ‘ just checking on you, I hope you found everything ok’ mary entered the room, an now sitting on the edge of the bed she went on

‘We don’t get outsiders.. I mean new comers to the village, its nice to see a new face for once’ said mary

‘from what I’ve seem, its a beautiful place, why does no one ever come here’ remarked crystal

‘That’s a story for another time’ replied mary, now suddenly looking a little worried ‘now you rest up, you’ve had a long night, you need your rest, I’ll be in to check on you in the morning, goodnight’

‘Goodnight’ said crystal, closing her eyes as mary left the room an now slowly drifting off into a deep sleep

Crystal… Crystal…

Crystal awoke the next morning to silence, walking downstairs an going to the living room to see if she could see bill or mary, she found a man asleep on the couch ‘this must be jake’ she thought, tiptoeing away a voice made her jump

‘You must be crystal, I’m jake’ came the voice, crystal turned around, ‘amm yeah, hi’ crystal said feeling awkward ‘sorry you had to sleep on the couch, you can have your room back when you want’

‘Its fine, your our guest, gran filled me in last night, sounds like you’ve been though a lot’ jake had a concerned look on his face, but his eyes were full of warmth, an crystal could tell he really cared, she hadn’t seen that look before

‘Yeah, I guess,’ said crystal ‘its all a blur really, all I remember is passing out, an next think I know, I wake up here, your grand parents have been really good to me’

‘That’s them’ replied jake ‘we don’t see many new people here in jagged peak, with the storms and…’

‘And…’ Said crystal

‘Its silly’ said jake, ‘there’s an old legend that haunts this village’… ‘Legend’ asked crystal ‘yeah the legend, its silly’ Crystal pushed jake for more, an jake gave in

legend says that jagged peak was once home to a clan of witches, the witches of the waste-land, they are women born without love in the dead of night, its told the witches were like sirens, leading men to their deaths

The witches had a spell of immortality, but they needed a pure heart full of love that had been broken to complete it, the only night the spell would work was halloween, when their power was at its greatest, but the men in anger rose up against the witches, and burned them at the stake, some say a few escaped, an still exist to this day

Crystal looked a little shocked ‘so, if a few escaped, they could be out there still, somewhere’

Jake finished his story

its said that the witches need to perform the ritual here in jagged peak, so if any did still exist, they would someday return here

Crystal shivered ‘sounds really creepy’

‘Its only a legend’ jake assured her, ‘an besides, no one from the outside has come to the village in a long time…. well until last night’ jake joked looking at crystal

Crystal spent the day exploring the small village, the quaint little local stores, the market, houses an run down cottages scattered along the way, men hauling in fish nets in the port, it had that old world feel, possibly from being completely cut off from the rest of the world by towering mountains an dangerous choppy waters

Crystal had learned how oldy-worldy the village truly was, because of where they were it was impossible to get a signal, so there were no phones, no tv, no internet, none of the things that crystal was used too, but somehow that felt good to her

Exhausted, crystal quickly fell asleep that night

Crystal… Crystal…

‘Who’s there’ asked crystal nervously

‘A heart like yours is what we have been searching for’ said a dark voice from behind a hooded cloak

‘Am I dreaming’ thought crystal, ‘where am I… who are you’

‘Your heart is darkened from pain, broken beyond repair’ continued the voice ‘We are coming… Coming for you crystal, coming for your heart’

‘But I’ve never loved, never known love’ crystal managed to say through fear an frozen lips

‘Your heart holds love in desperation, heart break and despair… And besides, legends are exactly that, they are never the true tale’ said the dark cloaked figure, now rushing towards crystal

Crystal awoke screaming, as a cackle echoed in the distance of a past dream, ‘it was a dream, I’m fine, just a dream’ she said now holding her hands to her fast beating heart

Catching her breath, crystal could hear the floor creaking from beyond her door, ‘is someone there’ asked crystal still shaken, the door handle slowly turned, the door creaked open, an there in the doorway stood the dark cloaked and hooded figure

Crystal screamed again, the air was suddenly sucked out of the room

the light suddenly flicked on, and there stood mary

You scared me half to death child’ said mary now stood at the foot of the bed ‘what on earth happened’

‘Just a dream’ replied crystal, ‘a very bad dream, a nightmare’

mary and crystal spoke for a while, mary wasn’t to impressed about jakes telling of the legend earlier, blaming it for her scare

crystal awoke that next morning, jakes room was freezing, the window covered in crystal ice, putting on a robe she descended the stairs, once again finding jake on the couch, this time awake

‘morning’ they both spoke ‘I heard you scream last night’ said jake ‘I shouldn’t have told you that silly legend, it was my gran, mary that first told me of the legend when I was younger, every child in the village is told the story’

‘no its fine’ replied crystal ‘the funny thing is, I’ve been having the same nightmare for a while now, even before I came to jagged peak, I just… Didn’t say anything before now’

‘what do you mean’ asked jake

well in my dreams, i’m standing in a waste-land, there’s an alter with candles, its cold an I can barely move, a voice tells me I’m what they’ve been looking for, my… Heart, Its a womans voice, I turn to see someone in a black cloak, I can t see who it is, they wear the hood to hide their face, it always ends with that cloaked person coming for me

Crystal continued ‘what’s scary is that the legend made sense to me, its like a story I’ve heard in a dream, the night I passed out, I was compelled to go to the beach, the water, a storm was coming in, an I could hear a voice calling me from beyond the waves, once the water touched my skin, everything went black, then… Then I woke up here’

‘you’re safe here crystal’ said jake ‘nothing will happen to you while I’m around’

Mary came in then with bags of shopping ‘ohh its cold today, that halloween weather we know so well’ ‘how are you this chilly day my love’ mary asked crystal

‘I’m ok, thank you, I slept ok after what happened, just a little spooked that’s all’ crystal went to help mary put away the many groceries

‘That reminds me, we’ll have to get you something to wear for the harvest festival’ said mary ‘harvest festival’ asked crystal ‘yes’ mary went on ‘we have a festival here every halloween, you’re in for a treat, this year is the hundredth anniversary of when jagged peak was founded’

Mary left the room, and crystal used this time to talk to jake alone ‘so jagged peak was founded on halloween’, ‘yes’ said jake ‘back then it was a waste-land, hence the legend, it was renamed when the men took it over and built the village, or so they say’

‘it all just feels weird’ said crystal ‘my dreams, how I came to be here, the legend, and its halloween in two days, which just happens to be the hundredth anniversary’

Time past quickly after that, with the village gearing up for the festival, crystal helped out, but all the while she had a sinking feeling, she was becoming paranoid, she could have sworn the villagers were looking at her differently, but kept telling herself to pull it together

‘Tonight is all hallows eve, why am I suddenly scared’ thought crystal ‘its just a legend, they are only dreams, tomorrow is a day like any other’ sleep beckoned

Crystal… Crystal…

‘Am I dreaming again’ thought crystal

‘Hello crystal… Welcome home’ crystal turned to see a figure, only this time cloaked in white. ‘home’ asked crystal

The figure came closer ‘you have to leave this place crystal, you’re in danger here, so its time you knew the truth

‘the truth about what’ crystal asked, the cloaked figure went on ‘the truth about jagged peak’

‘This was once a truly evil place, when the witches of the waste land were once present, a truly evil spell was cast, the village lures in the desperate hearts of the innocent, a hundred years ago this very thing happened, broken hearts were called to die

Though its true they were hearts of men, there was no love here, the men rose up in anger against the evil and won, but from an elder witch the blood line lives on

On halloween night, the last of the witches will return to cast the spell of immortality, above the graves of the witches that were lay to waste here

A hundred years a witch lives before she turns to ash, the spell can only be cast when the end is near, so tomorrow night is their only chance, only in death can life be sprung eternal under the blood moon

This is the true legend

Before crystal could ask anything further, the dream faded, an she was once again awake in jakes room ‘what does this all mean’ she thought ‘am I going crazy, it was so real…

tomorrow is halloween, if the legends are true I cant leave, I have to stop the witches from hurting innocent people, they’ll turn to ash and no one will have to worry about them ever again’

Walking downstairs she met mary ‘I hope you slept well’ she said ‘I did’ lied crystal

‘Good, we have a long day ahead of us’ mary went on ‘ you came here at a good time, tonight you may just see a truly amazing sight, a blood moon’

‘A blood moon….’ Crystal said very slowly

‘Yes, its what makes this village so magical, the legend fore tells every hundred years there will be a blood moon, no one has ever seen it, so we are pretty excited, we may be the first people to actually witness it..

I have so many things to finish up before tonight’ said mary now heading for the kitchen ‘I’ve sowed together a beautiful dress for tonight, you’re going to love it’

‘a blood moon… But how’… crystals thoughts were interrupted, as mary then returned holding the most beautiful dress ‘what do you think’ she asked

Mary suddenly saw a girl in front of her frozen in fear ‘Crystal… What’s wrong, you don’t like it’

‘No… I love it’ crystal managed to say ‘its beautiful’

‘Oh great, I’ll leave it in your room for tonight’ said mary leaving with the dress

Crystal now knew the truth, her thoughts were racing ‘in my dreams, that is the dress I’m wearing with the dark figure under a blood red moon, its true… Its all been true…

An tonight the witches are coming… Coming for me… Coming for my heart’

Jagged peak had an old tradition, instead of costumes, the villagers paid homage to the founders by dawning the traditional attire of old

crystal got ready that evening, wearing the dress that mary had made for her, an preparing for what could be the last night of her short life

She could hear the festival beginning to get under-way from beyond the bedroom window, it was now nearing 8pm, and daylight was fading

Crystal was now alone with her swirling thoughts ‘the spell the witches plan to cast can only be cast on halloween night, a stroke after midnight and they’re dust, and if they have returned to jagged peak, it should be easy to recognise them right..

Whatever happens… I’m ready

Descending the stairs she met jake ‘wow, you look beautiful’ he said with a look of awe ‘thank you’ crystal giggled ‘you look very handsome’

‘thanks’ he replied with a reddening face ‘can I accompany you to the festival’

Arm in arm they left the cottage, the swirling wind coming in from the sea felt nice to crystals skin after the long hot day an from her undeniable worry and fear

Nearing the festival, a glowing light from the old cemetery caught crystals eye, and some unseen force was drawing her in, the pull was too strong to resist

‘Jake, you go on ahead, I’ve left something back at the cottage, I’ll catch up with you in a minute’ crystal said with a quickening heart

‘Are you sure, I can wait on you’ said jake with crystal letting go of jakes arm ‘no you go on’ replied crystal now walking back towards the cottage

looking over her shoulder to make sure jake wasn’t within eye shot, an now with the coast clear, crystal turned and headed for the cemetery

Entering the cemetery, bathed in red from the now rising blood moon, crystal was almost in a trance, being lured further in from an unseen force, soon she came across an alter, covered in crystals an candles ‘just like in my dreams’ she thought

‘Hello’ she spoke softly, no reply ‘hello’ she said again, this time a little louder

‘Hold your tongue child, its your heart I’m after’ said a dark cloaked figure coming out of the darkness into the candles glow

‘So the legends are true’ said crystal now backing off a bit ‘my dreams, bringing me here, that was you wasn’t it’ the cloaked figure only crackled in reply

After a moment of silence the cloaked figure again spoke ‘All you need to know is that this time… Its no dream’

Suddenly from behind crystal, there were snaps from breaking branches, turning around she gasped at the familiar face, it was bill

before crystal could speak there was a thud, crystal felt herself falling, light faded to darkness, as crystal now lay unconscious

Crystal… Crystal… Wake up crystal’ said a familiar voice

‘wha… What happened’ asked crystal now once again seeing the white cloaked figure ‘bill.. He… He hit me, how did I get here’

‘You’re unconscious crystal, that’s how I can appear to you, its time you knew who I really am’ the hooded figure then removed her cloak, now before crystal stood a beautiful women ‘my name is amanda, and I am jakes mother’

Crystal gasped ‘jakes mother’

‘yes crystal, and I too am a witch, but unlike the others I turned away from a life of evil, the bloodline only runs in the veins of women, which meant that jake was spared from this curse’

‘But even then, he was in danger, being a man there was nothing to stop the witches from using him in their spell’ amanda turned away then

Crystal started putting the pieces together ‘But if you’re jakes mother, and you’re from the bloodline, then that means… That means mary is a witch too…’

‘Yes crystal’ said amanda, now turning to face crystal again ‘mary is my great grandmother, which makes her an elder witch, when my mother an I turned away from the evil craft to live a life of good, she made sure we wouldn’t stand in her way, with us out of the way jake was in danger, at least until you came to jagged peak, now that you have, she’s come for you’

‘But wait a minute’ said crystal, ‘mary can’t be a hundred, can she’

‘its a witches curse’ said amanda ‘its part of what drives them to cast the spell of immortality, ageing slowly is a constant reminder of youth, as the witches life slowly fades away’

‘Now its me that’s in danger’ said crystal ‘its not over just yet’ said amanda ‘crystal’ amanda went on ‘jake must know the truth’

The dream faded as crystal started to come too ‘back in the world of the living I see’ said the figure in the dark cloak ‘for now at least’

Crystal now realised her hands and legs had been tied and bound

The dark figure went on ‘my grand-daughter has meddled with me for the last time, but no matter, she can’t help you now’ the dark figure now removed her hood ‘ I knew it was you’ shouted crystal angrily ‘you won’t get away with this mary’

‘Oh child, I already have’ mary cackled, now going to the alter an speaking in a language that crystal didn’t understand

With marys back now turned, crystal tried to break free from the ropes, when she heard bill whisper ‘I’m so sorry crystal, please forgive me’ before crystal could reply bill had cut the ropes ‘now run’ he said

But even before crystal could get to her feet mary had spun around, now quickly lifting a dagger like root from the ground, she pierced it through crystals leg

Crystal cried out in pain ‘you’re not going anywhere’ said mary

‘As for you’ mary now looking at bill, ‘I should have just taken your heart, but you’re nothing but a weak old man, that’s the last time you or anyone will get in my way’ with that she grabbed bill an tossed him through the air with beyond human strength

Bills body landed striking a tree ‘I’m sorry’ he said again as his life faded away, an he was gone

‘Bill’ said crystal softly ‘I forgive you’

‘Now for you’ said mary lifting crystal to her feet, crystal suddenly felt frozen to the spot, an could no longer feel any pain in her leg, mary returned to the alter, lifted a dagger and started walking back toward crystal, just then she stopped ‘what, no begging for your life, not even a tear, crystal you disappoint me’

‘Just do it’ replied crystal bravely, though inside she was beyond scared

Mary clasped the dagger with both hands, now raising it above her head ‘with your heart I shall be eternal’ she shouted

Plunging the dagger toward crystals chest, jake suddenly appeared out of nowhere ‘crystal, no’ he shouted, pushing crystal out of the way and instead being stabbed ‘jake’ crystal screamed, tears now slowly filling her eyes

‘Stupid boy’ said mary ‘I was going to let you live as my trophy’ now plunged her hand into jakes chest an with his now beating heart in her hand she smiled the most evil smile ‘but even so, its still a heart’

Mary placed the heart where her own would be, chanting more words crystal still couldn’t understand, suddenly there was a blinding light, when it dimmed there stood mary, now a women less than half her age, laughing she now had crystal in her sights ‘shame to waste the kill’ she said

Coming to towards crystal with the dagger in hand she suddenly stopped, crystal now saw a women as though finding it hard to breath ‘what is happening’ said mary

Suddenly she shrieked the most ear deafening scream, light started to explode from all over marys body, again she screamed as her body now slowly turned to ash ‘what happened’ thought crystal, with the pain in her leg now returning, she dragged herself to jakes still body ‘jake’ she said now sobbing

‘Its over’ said a voice, crystal now looked around to see amanda ‘self sacrifice is the greatest form of love crystal, jake gave his life for yours, in doing so mary was overcome’

‘But bill, an… Jake’ sobbed crystal

‘Stand up crystal’ said amanda ‘you’re ok now’ crystals leg was completely healed, an now standing she saw the spirits of bill and jake smiling back at her ‘I’m so sorry bill… Jake’ she said still through tears

‘We may have saved you crystal, but it was really you who saved us’ said bill

Jake walked over to crystal, wrapping his arms around her an giving her a kiss, he whispered one word in her ear ‘live’ crystal opened her eyes and all three were gone, but jakes final word echoed on…. ‘live’