Friday, April 20, 2018

Supernatural Friday: Original Story-Snow Angel

(Enjoy my short fantasy story, "Snow Angel." It is copyrighted, so just share the link if you want others to read it.)

Snow Angel
          Pamela K. Kinney

I remember that winter night when I saw the snow angel. It had just started to snow after supper, about six o’clock. Thanks to the weather, when the sky would have been just turning dusk, instead darkness covered the scene like a shadow.
Pressing my face against the ice-cold glass of the large picture window in the living room, I watched the snow falling in the dark. It was illuminated by an eerie kind of ghost-light. At least that’s how I thought of it.
Silence. The only movement came from a lone cat struggling through the drifts to disappear down a storm drain across the street. 
I sensed rather than heard someone behind me. I blew out my breath, fogging the glass.
“Mom, it’s time for bed.”
My daughter, Marie. Of course, who else would it be, since I lived with her and her husband, Andy?
I looked over my shoulder at her. “This feels like a reversal of when you wanted to stay up later. Remember those days?”
She sighed. “I’m sorry, Mom, but the doctor gave me strict instructions that you get enough rest.”
Grumbling, I moved away and headed down the hallway to my bedroom, Marie close on my heels. Not caring, I shrugged off my clothes and flung them to the floor. Marie flashed frustration on her face, but stooped and picked up the clothing, tossing it in a hamper nearby, snatching my nightgown and slipping it on. I ducked beneath the soft pink blanket on my bed. My daughter leaned over to give me a kiss on my cheek. Feather-soft, her lips tickled my skin.  
“’Night,” she said, her voice a whisper, “and dream of snow angels dancing in the snow.”
“That’s silly,” I said. “I only told you that story when you were a kid to get you to sleep during the night. It was my way of getting you to not worry about monsters in closets or under your bed.”
“There are all kinds of angels in Heaven, Mom. The snow angel is God’s own special answer to make sure that snow falls just right so that children will have a wonderful winter world to marvel at.” She stroked my hair. “Least that’s how you explained it to me. Now go to sleep.” 
She left me alone. I didn’t feel somnolent.  Instead I never felt so wide awake.
I slipped out of bed and sat on the window seat by my bedroom window. I peered through the glass and tried not to smog it up with my breath, hoping the snowflakes were still lit up with that odd glow. Thank goodness, they still were.
Just then, I noticed a dark shadow moving in the distance, outlined by the glow, too. Flickering off and on like a shorted bulb, it appeared to be gliding closer and closer to the house. I rubbed my eyes, thinking they were playing tricks on me. But when I took my hands away, something peered back at me from the other side of the window, and it was not my own reflection! 
Heart pounding, I toppled off the window seat. Its head—at least I assumed that was its head—popped through the glass as if it were water and looked down at me. Twin orbs of icy-blue glowed from that dark visage. The glow grew brighter and brighter. Unable to move or speak, I fell into that glow and a sense of peace and warmth filled me. I stood. 
“Who are you?” I whispered.
Silence.  It slid its head back through the window. I got the feeling that it wanted me to join it outside. Not even stopping for a robe or shoes, I unlatched my window and shoved it and the screen up. Frigid air invited itself in and I shivered, but I still climbed out. I dropped down into a soft drift of snow piled beneath my window. To my surprise, I didn’t feel the cold snow squished between my toes and the freezing wind of the blizzard biting into my exposed skin. A warmth filled me, and, feeling giddy, I danced through the snow, laughing. 
My visitor took my hands, and I stopped dancing and looked up at it. It loomed over me, the ghost-light revealing a long figure of ice and snow. Its wings, made not of feathers but icicles, chimed like church bells. The being was glorious and terrifying at the same time. I wasn’t frightened. 
“You’re a snow angel, aren’t you?” I asked breathlessly. “A real snow angel.”
It just pressed me against it. Together, arm in arm, we danced a waltz through the snowflakes. We seemed to be floating on air. Magical, like Christmas morning or that first kiss. 
There was nothing to fear, and, when the angel offered, I let it fly me up, up, through swirling snowflakes, high above the neighborhood.
At first I never gave a thought to my family. But when I heard the screaming and crying from far away, it drew me back. I peeked at the scene below. Morning had dawned and the snow stopped. Something small and indistinct dressed in a pink nightgown lay blanketed by snow right under my bedroom window. 
The window was still propped open. Marie dropped to her knees in the snow and snatched up that still form, screaming and crying. Andy stood over her, talking on his cell phone. 
Marie stared up at the sky. She acted like she couldn’t see me. But I saw her tear-stained face and the pain in her eyes. “Why, God, why?”
I wanted to go to her, but I felt a touch on my shoulder and I looked to see the snow angel hovering beside me. It held out a hand. I took it.
I looked back at Marie and said, “It’s all right, everything’s all right.”
Ready now
I nodded with a smile. We rose higher and higher and passed through a tear in the sky that appeared.  The tear closed behind us and I passed through shining gates, entering the snowy fields of Heaven.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Supernatural Friday: A Basket of Thirteens for You-Friday the 13th!

There’s nothing more invigorating on this day than a basket of 13 black cats. Right?

For many reasons, people feel Friday then 13th is a day of bad luck. Not so for me, 13 is my lucky number. Over the years, I've won prizes and money with this number. Heck, I own a black cat!

2018 has double the trouble as Friday the 13th happens again in July.

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a simple phobia (fear) of the number thirteen appearing in any case.

Both the number thirteen and Friday have been considered unlucky:
In numerology , the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve recognized signs of the zodiac, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve Apostles of Jesus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.

Friday, as the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified, has been viewed both positively and negatively among Christians. The actual day of Crucifixion was the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew Lunar calendar which does not correspond to "Friday" in the solar calendar of Rome. The 15th day of Nissan (beginning at Sundown) is celebration of Passover.

In the 20th century, only did the superstition receive greater audience, as Friday the 13th doesn't even merit a mention in E. Cobham Brewer's voluminous 1898 edition of the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, though one does find entries for "Friday, an Unlucky Day" and "Thirteen Unlucky." When the date of ill fate finally does make an appearance in later editions of the text, it is without extravagant claims as to the superstition's historicity or longevity. Though the superstition developed relatively recently, much older origins are often claimed for it, most notably in the novel, The Da Vinci Code (and later the film), which traced the belief to the arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday October 13, 1307.

Friday the 13th has for years been considered a day to watch out for. A study done in 1993, by authors in the British Medical Journal have proven more car accidents are higher on the 13th than on normal Fridays.

Both the number 13 and the sixth day of the week have foreboding reputations since ancient times. Those who fear something bad will happen on the 13th, will not go to work, eat, etc...

The number 13 is also connected with a legend. It is said, that if thirteen people sit down to dinner, one of them will die within the year. Many cities do not have a 13th Street or Avenue. There are buildings without a thirteen floor. Having thirteen letters in your name means you will have the devil's luck. People with 13 letters include Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Theodore Bundy, Albert De Slavo, to name a few.

Turks have a dislike so much for the number that it is almost stricken from their vocabulary. And of course, everyone knows there are thirteen witches in a coven!

To give the argument from the other side: Chinese consider the number to be a sign of luck. Egyptians used this for spiritual ascension--twelve in their life and thirteenth beyond, meant to be eternal afterlife.

It is thought that western civilization reviled the number as it is considered feminine--used by prehistoric goddess-worshipping cultures. It corresponded to the lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year.

Millions of Americans have a fear of Friday the 13th in this day and age. It has been proven that the number of hospital admissions due to vehicular accidents was significantly higher than on "normal" Fridays. Does it keep most of them from venturing out to work and more? No. Though I wouldn't be surprised if they carry a rabbit's foot in their purse or pocket, or something that they believe is lucky for them. 

What plans are you making to do today for the 13th--stay home safe and sound or go out as usual? Do you believe in the 13th being a unlucky day or not? Thirteen is just a number--right? It's just another day. 

OR IS IT?  💀💀

Friday, April 06, 2018

Supernatural Friday: A Tale for Spring: The Blue Corn Maiden

It is spring and yet tomorrow, here in Virginia, we  will get sleet and snow even. But it looks like this may be the last winter fit for us. The Hopi have a story about the Blue Corn Maiden and the Winter Katsina, and how both are behind spring and winter. Enjoy.

Now it is said that the Hopi people loved the corn maidens. These are beautiful women who brought corn to their lands. Out of the sisters, the most beautiful and beloved was the Blue Corn Maiden. She brought delicious blue corn to the Hopi throughout the year. Not only gorgeous, they found her a kind and gentle woman too. 

One winter day, the Blue Corn Maiden went to gather firewood to warm her home when she came across the Winter Katsina. Common in all the tribes of the Pueblo area, katsinas were supernatural personifications of real world concepts. The Winter Katsina brought winter to the earth. 

Upon setting eyes on the Blue Corn Maiden, he fell in love with her, and invited her back to him home. Finding herself powerless to say no, Blue Corn Maiden soon became his prisoner when he blocked his door and windows with snow.

One day while the Winter Katsina was away, Blue Corn Maiden dug her way out through the snow and found materials to light a fire. Warmth flowed into the room, the snow melted, and the Summer Katsina arrived to save her. Angry that his bride had been saved, the Winter Katsina arrived to fight the Summer Katsina, only to realize that the two of them simply needed to talk it over.

Both made a deal. For one half of the year, the Blue Corn Maiden would live with the Winter Katsina, depriving the people of corn, but for the second half of the year she would live with the Summer Katsina, and the corn would grow again. The people began to look to the Blue Corn Maiden as a sign of springtime. Have you ever had those days in March, even maybe even snow appearing during April like will happen tomorrow on the East Coast, when it seems as though spring is on the way, only to have to put up with a snow storm the next day? That's because the Winter Katsina is not happy to have to give up the Blue Corn Maiden, and he's throwing a bit of a fit.

Winter Katsina, it’s time to let the woman go!