There is a beautiful wood outside of town. It spans dozens of miles in either direction, borders on a lake, and has a few moonlit glades so perfect in their moss-blanketed quality that it's worth the drive from just about anywhere in the state.
A Neo-Pagan (whom we'll call "Nancy") came pounding at my door. She had done a ritual there a week prior, and had been plagued with a sense of restlessness since. She felt drained of energy, unable to sleep (when she did, she had horrible nightmares), was rapidly becoming depressed, and could only assume that she was the target of a good v. evil conspiracy on the Astral Plane because her ritual had been powerful enough to attract the attention of the GODS THEMSELVES (a rhetoric most pagans have either heard or been a part of themselves).
I asked the usual questions, and discovered that she had been in the woods, a 30 minute hike from her car, bare naked. No cell phone, no weapons (not even a dagger, because "Athames are a tool of violence") and only a small pocket flashlight. She did not Cast, Compass or Tread. She evoked the "spirits of place" with a wand and engaged in solo sex magic. Upon her description of the particular glade(bordering to the lake, with a flat rock in the East), I'd heard all I needed to. Her condition was easily understandable.
That glade? It's filled with Hemlock, which she apparently burnt as part of her ritual. The woods? Several bodies have been found there in the last year. There are black bears (reported), Puma (reported), a pack of wolf hybrids released in the 80's, copperhead snakes, coyotes, pygmy rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and fire ants. Those are it's purely physical dangers.
That area of the lake is known for it's frequent drownings. There is an unseelie there who lives in an undercut/cave under the bluff, she grabs people by the ankle. One or two have survived the attack, bruises clearly visible. Some report being grabbed by a tentacle, leading to the speculation that we have a "freshwater octopus" in the lake. Because of it's particular vibe, a group of local diabolists (either singularly, or as a whole) tend to use the glade for their purposes, and have created a fissure/vortex, through which even worse things than Missus Crazy Unseelie, slowly seep.
The world is not safe, it is not wholesome, and the demons are both inside and outside of your head. No one is so special that the entirety of existence is a picture-show for their amusement, not even God. Having a self-assured attitude is helpful, yes. It's helpful against the most petty of bullies, as any schoolchild knows. But no amount of "not acting like prey" will turn away a sociopath, or psychopath, and some beings beyond our consensus reality are just that.
When we are in wild territory, it is best to go well-armed and bring with us a fortification that is at least deterrent to most assaults. Daggers, blasting rods, totems, mojo hands, medicine bags, pocket-pieces, anointing ointments, sweet herbs, familiar spirits, guardian beings, and maybe a Dual Natured shotgun aren't such bad ideas in some places.
To be frank, I feel that this particular girl fell prey to both mental and spiritual laziness. Like the Eloi of H.G. Wells, some folks have become conditioned by having every meal and need provided, and end up wandering about in a half-awake state.
That's a pretty creepy sounding place.ReplyDelete
There's a place I drive through sometimes that's in a deep hollow in a hill. It's a tiny little hamlet that kind of spills down into a flatland where there's a creek and a swampy area. The hill is well forested but the swampy area just has a few half-dead trees and long grass. At the top of the hollow there used to be a dome house that collapsed a long time ago. For years there was an empty cat carrier sitting forlornly on what was the stoop and some muddy clothes and toys strewn around the lumpy yard. Finally they removed this ruin, although one of the dome outbuildings remains, with a weird chimney that makes you wonder what it was used for. The road through the hollow goes through the swamp and over the creek and ends at a T. That T area is fine, but from the top of the hill through the hollow and down into the swampy area just gives me the creeps big time. I hate it there. It always seems gray. The houses look especially decrepit. I never see any people out and about there. It is like something out of Lovecraft. I have no idea if anything bad has ever happened there. But although the woods around there is nice and thick and has no houses in it and so qualifies as about as wild as you can get around here, I would never dream of doing any magic there.
I think you are right about Eloi attitude also. Sometimes people act like their life is some video game they are playing where no one ever gets hurt.
There is a reservoir near town, called Canyon Ferry Lake. The Missouri River was dammed to make it. There is a town, called Canyon Ferry, underneath the calm, calm lake. Divers say the mailboxes are open down there. A swimming area lies between the public access and the only part of the town still above the lake's surface, a hilltop, called Cemetery Island because that's where the town buried its dead.ReplyDelete
Several decades ago, a teen neighbor I had known since he was very small, was swimming there with his family. He was a good swimmer and it was a calm day. They later said, suddenly Jon turned around to look at them with widened eyes, said "Something has me!" and he disappeared underneath. They later recovered his drowned body.
I came back to our town about 6 years ago. Since then there has been at least one more drowning victim in the general same location. An ex-Navy Seal and Iraq veteran. In calm waters, and no drinking involved. He just disappeared beneath the surface, like Jon.