Published May 19, 2018 by krymrgn

It’s been several years since we heard the final chapter to The Spirit Dragon and Brandon’s continued adventure in Minding the Tiger…

Coming soon, the completed collection… The Spirit Dragon; Minding the Tiger; and

The Embodiment of the Crane

Kerry Morgan



Brandon stood underneath a cluster of trees enjoying the shade the green leafy oak trees provided. Hazel eyes trained to the sky above, his hand hovering over his brow, watching his friend joyously gliding through the currents of the gentle wind. Mr. Crane’s silver wings swished up and down, glittering in the sun’s golden light.


Brandon waved smiling at his friend as the bird turned into the wind like an airplane signaling to the ground below. He felt such a deep love for his special friend, wishing he could fly right along next to him. Brandon spent a lot of time wishing. A curious thought, this was his magical dream, maybe he could try. He visualized himself high up in the air, banking left, diving to the right, but the thought caused his stomach to bunch up in knots. Maybe he would leave the flying to the naturals.


The two were in the expansive glade where the obsidian tower kissed the clouds. In the bright sunlight the castle seems to change color adapting to its mood as if it were alive. Brandon didn’t doubt for a second that it exercised a consciousness. Today it sparkled with greens, chartreuse, and aquamarine swirled in waves across the obsidian stones reflecting the emerald blades of grass surrounding it. “It’s such a beautiful day.”


Catching his attention once more, Mr. Crane performed a tremendous dive toward the river his beak opened wide to catch a fish. His maw gaped gathering a mouthful of water, and apparently a fish as Brandon gazed in awe. The bird swallowed the fish whole, its tail still trashing as it disappeared down his throat. Brandon crossed his muscular arms across his chest, as Mr. Crane glided up into the crystal azure of the sky. “That crazy, amazing little guy.”


Brandon caught movement to the left in his peripheral vision. Something was moving swiftly through the air right toward his friend. Glaring suspicion at the intruder, alarm screamed through his body, his pulse racing. “Mr. Crane, Mr. Crane!” he shouted running into the ocean of viridian, waving his hands above his head. He jumped around, one foot leaping into the air, twisting his body, frantically trying to get his friends attention. “There’s an eagle, Mr. Crane! Hide! Fly into the forest, Mr. Crane! Mr. Crane, watch out!”


But it was no use. Mr. Crane couldn’t hear him and the eagle readied for attack. The eagle’s razor sharp hardened flesh, his intense speed, pulsing through the air, captured Mr. Crane. His friend squealed his pain pouring down the side of his little body where the eagle pierced his skin. The sight of one of Brandon’s best friends in the world, caught in a deathly grip was more than he could take. Without thinking his fear took flight, literally. He soared into the air to save his friend. Yet when he realized his body had actually left the ground, logic took over and he tumbled back to the earth.


Find the first two chapters in The Spirit Dragon Trilogy on Amazon.com today, and watch for the final chapter coming soon…

The Spirit Dragon

Minding the Tiger

Thank you for the read as always,





The Spirit





I don’t write poetry very often, but when I do…

Published September 9, 2017 by krymrgn

I don’t write poetry very often… but when I do… It sounds something like this…


I’m not a poet. I just write what I hear and if it sort of rhymes, cool. Been thinking about the world, everybody and all the angst. This is what came out- and I’m going to spare you the pain of reading a spaced out long thing because I can’t figure out the formatting here. So I’ll just type  in sentences. I trust you to get the idea. 🙂 If I mess with anything my computer makes it wonky.

No title yet

Of epic proportion, a seismic calamity, the name they call it, accuse humanity

A global disease, existence, destruction, reality, consumption, temptation, need. Life is conceived.

Darwin’s theorists, creationists divine influence, conflict from possibilities. Compassion lost, in victory.

And comes unfathomed chaos. Severe loss for all families, as each morning dawns, hands clasp… arguments cease.

decisions beliefs and ego, understanding is the weapon, which pierces hearts of steel. and love, is the new perception.

Mother’s and Fathers, dear friends and strangers, dissecting each disaster while supporting each other.

Where hate still rules, land, mind, or seen, so to lives the option, we can be the change.


Not in any type of form… Hub thinks I’m a kook. lol.  Title thoughts?


Thanks for the read,


Work In Progress

Published August 26, 2017 by krymrgn

I’v been researching and writing my new story for going on 6 months now. Here is the beginning. What do you think?


Aiwass of Pasquaney Bay (working title)



Just north of Concord New Hampshire, situated in the sleepy rural town of Pasquaney Bay; named for the pride and joy of their side of the great lake, the blue waters gently rippled casting reflections of the sunlight across the waters. Centuries past, the local natives had named the lake, the place where birch bark is found for canoes, an appropriate name indeed. Most of the lake front was surrounded by towering birch trees. Silvers shimmering with their golden-grey skinned bark, next to white as bright as the moon, their leafy greens offering dappled sunlight to the forest floors growing right to the water’s edge. Photographers from every corner of the world came for their once in a lifetime shot of the colors at sunset. Notoriety even touched the town as one of the great grandmothers in the area had been quite famous in her time.

Kaleen Adams was the great granddaughter of Evangeline Adams, astrologer extraordinaire. Her family’s story was as famous as her very best friend’s Eddie Crowley, but not quite so tainted. Or if so in a different manner. Evangeline was considered a jewel in the town’s history, where as poor Eddie’s family name was not spoken with pride. None of the town elders had ever used Eddie’s Grandfather’s name and reputation as a selling point for tourists.

The last town flyer and internet ad had featured a black and white photo of her Great Grandmother barely smiling to the camera, “Come sit under the same stars which spoke to the queen of Wallstreet, Evangeline Adams. Hear what they might have to whisper to you next to the peaceful waters of Pasquaney Bay.” As Kaleen Adams gazed out at the calm blue waters of the Bay from her backdoor, a mother stepped out of the general store, furiously texting on her smart phone. Her crisp blond hair smashed to her head in the heat.

Tapply Thompson, otherwise known as Old Man Tap, the beloved town’s richest recluse rocked in a wooden chair on the other side of the swinging screen door the mother had exited from. His gnarled staff grinding a circle against the plank wooden floor. His light gray eyes scanned the lake, watching the scene before him silently. His scruffy stubble sticking out from his chin like little gray spikes, full dry lips worrying at the long wooden pipe extended from his mouth. 

The mother glanced up and saw her son tossing rocks into the lake. Plunk… Plunk… The woman continued to meander her way down the little concrete steps leading to the sparse parking lot. She never looked up from the little blue screen as she dangled her keys at the car door lock, calling out to her son.

Come on now Maxi! Time to go!”

The boy turned after throwing one last rock, he punched his hips with balled up fists, screaming back at his mother, “I told you not to call me that. I’m not a girl! It’s Ma…”

His protest was cut off mid sentence as a blood curdling cry erupted from his throat. His mother finally looked up from her phone in time to see her son being lifted into the air by long seaweed covered tentacles. She startled, screaming, and ran toward the water desperate to get to her son. Oranges from the discarded bag of groceries rolling after her on the hot asphalt. Max’s face was turning beat red under the pressure of the squeezing. The mother lifted her hands as the living slime raised her son higher as if claiming victory before dropping underneath the surface without creating a single ripple.

Max!” the mother screamed as she crashed into the Bay, whipping back and forth, searching for her son.

Max was gone. Old Man Tap rocked on.

Eddie Crowley sat at his Great Grandfathers roll top desk, perusing the mess he had inherited. He sat there staring, overwhelmed. Some of the cubbies held instructions on his new job, if you could call it that. Upon the death of his father Amy Crowley, he was ordered to take over the family legacy. Caretaker of Pasquaney Bay’s waters. Tubes for taking samples at varying depths were shoved into one cubby. Temperature, possible foreign disease labels and such, the trappings for the testing side of his job. He didn’t mind doing the scientific part. It was the other requirement that kept him uneasy. The actual caretaking. Sample taking fit right in with his own studies.

He had been called back to town from deep in the forests off the coast of Washington state. He loved the area where the moss covered boulders rolled right down into the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. He’d collected precious samples of moss and lichen there, carried carefully at his hip, tucked within the leather fanny pack he was known for. These new tubes would fit right next to his own, he could start a new page in his ever present notebook easily enough. He was a bit old fashioned and insisted on keeping his records by paper and pen. The writing down of information helped to keep it fresh in his mind as he scrawled out his notes, later recommitting them to memory when he typed them up to his laptop.

He glanced over to the glass containers lined up on the wooden shelf just above the roll top desk displaying some of his treasures. The most intriguing sat in a secure container, still glowing its poisonous toxicity. Eddie had travelled to see the unprecedented toxic algae bloom in 2015, closing areas from southern California to northern British Columbia. His quest led him to the shores of Oregon and Washington State, where he had collected the sample himself. “The blob” nicknamed by the study sat next to his samples of the diseased colored crab he’d found dead on the sand.

His family was odd. After his great grandmother had disappeared, the Crowley’s insisted on salting portions of the lake. At first the town had simply thought them a bit eccentric, but as the daily multiple salting’s continued, it began to affect the wildlife. Or so it was believed. Fish were found floating upon the surface, shimmering in a slimy goo the locals took to be decomposition.

They blamed the deformities on the Crowley’s salting’s and insisted the family cease and desist. They simply continued in secret, and somewhere buried in the stacks of papers and books would be the reasoning behind this legacy. Why they did what they did, so Eddie could continue in knowledge as well as the last living heir. He had new responsibilities and it felt like a dense fog of information and obligation to him. He couldn’t get out of it, but facing the whole task seemed impossible. He couldn’t catch his breath and reached for his inhaler from the top of a stack of papers.

The door to the small cottage he had inherited sit on the same plot as Kaleen’s historical home burst open as Eddie inhaled sharply of the medicine. They had grown up together until he escaped to Washington State and began a study of the Pacific North West Rain Forests. Amy Crowley’s death pulled him back to the claustrophobic cabin in the middle of town. Which was smothering after being an anonymous walker, or solitary explorer of the woods. He liked the woods the best.

Kaleen entered with a breath of fresh air hugging her. He took a deep breath as she went directly to the television set, turning it on. The scene cleared to bright flashing red and blue lights surrounding crime scene tape stretched out across a portion of their lake. He stood up quickly stepping up beside Kaleen. She placed an arm around his shoulders and squeezed. He closed his eyes to her warmth for just a moment pulling himself back to the horror unfolding before them.

Someone was missing at the lake. A little boy, his mother frantic giving hysterical accounts of what happened. Her statement being so farfetched it was breaking news. The scene changed to a reporter holding a fuzzy mic up to a hysterical woman’s bedraggled face. She pleaded into the camera.

Please, they have to search the lake! There’s a monster in there with really long tentacles. It stole my son! Please, someone with a really big gun!” The reporter removed the mic blocking her slightly with a turn of his body. He began speaking over her protestations as another reporter escorted the woman behind the scene. “You heard it first here folks. Our very own lake monster stealing unsuspecting children from our own shores.”

Eddie muted the television, he couldn’t stand that guy reporting. Relatively new to the station Eddie thought the tall, pretty boy acted too pretentious by using only his first name as a call sign so to speak. “This is Roane reporting for WMUR…” His dark brown eyes gleaming with the exciting news story before a commercial saved Eddie from the sickeningly sweet flash of too white teeth.

Eddie looked into Kaleen’s beautiful face. Her luminously pale skin nearly glowed in the light of the sun streaming through the window. Long strawberry blonde hair streaming down around her face. Bright green eyes staring into his own. His heart thumped with the nearness of her. “Should we go down there you think?” He asked quietly.

“You needed to go to the police station anyway didn’t you? To look at the photos of your dad?”

“Yeah. I should.” He answered.

“Maybe we can learn more if we check out this issue at the lake first.”


Eddie agreed, grabbing his windbreaker and slipping it on. He followed Kaleen out the door as they made their way down to the lake. A short easy walk, they entered the grove of white birch trees passing under the dappled rays of sunlight under the canopy of green leaves. Eddie relaxed almost immediately. The lake and forest surrounding always had that effect on him. If he were honest, he missed the sun kissed days of New Hampshire while trekking through the Pacific Northwest rain forests. In Washington State it simply rained. But here, he could enjoy the environment in the sun. It was beautiful.

As he passed by a white birch tree, he looked down and gasped. “Look at this, K. I have to grab a sample of it. Hang on.” Eddie was staring at the bottom of the tree where a patch of moss was crawling up the side. It didn’t look like your run of the mill moss from a tree however. Even Kaleen could see the shiny wet trails of a green puss covering the puffs of tiny green leaves. “A man needs his new goo.” She whispered under her breath.

She watched, fascinated as Eddie entered his element. Clearly pleased with his find. He rummaged within his well-worn leather fanny pack, pulling out a little pair of scissors and a glass tube. He un screwed the black lid of the vial and set it down in the dirt away from the specimen area. He slipped his fingers within the scissors and leaned forward to cut some of the goopy moss away from the tree. He tried to catch the specimen inside the tube, but missed as it fell atop the soft green bed. Using his fingers, he picked up the clean edge but as he slipped it into the glass tube, some of the shining algae like substance dripped upon his finger.

Eddie yelped as the glue stuck to him with a burning ferocity. Kaleen turned and immediately started searching the forest floor for something to get it off without actually touching it. Eddie held his right hand up with his left, studying the sizzling goop. It shone with a greyish green with a root color of brown. It was like a dripping bit of infection and left blisters wherever it touched.

His jean clad legs twitched out from underneath him, his but landing to the right of the poisonous path of moss. Kaleen tore a piece of her shirt off of the bottom hem and situated it into a little a puff. “Wait!” Eddie was breathing heavily, wishing he had thought to grab his inhaler. “Let me rinse it off in the lake.”

“Well why don’t I just run and dip this and get it wet. It will act like a sponge.” Eddie agreed and watched Kaleen take off through the trees keeping her shoulders tucked in and tight. He was so grateful for her.

“I’m trying Eddie hang on.” Kaleen screeched as she reached the water’s edge. Eddie worried in the direction of the emergency crews, but they were consumed with their task. Eddie thanked their determination and looked down at his sample tube. He’d managed to get the specimen into the jar without smudging the sides with the goo. He bent down and was trying to screw the little black cap back on one handed when Kaleen crouched down next to him. “Hey let me do that.”

Eddie looked at her and frowned. “Don’t worry.” She continued. “I’ll be fine. Let’s wash your hand.”

“Just don’t touch it K.” Eddie warned. She nodded in agreement and proceeded to wipe at the offending slime. As she cleaned it off, she watched Eddie scrunch his face, squinting his eyes and inhaling sharply.

“Should we go tell the police?” she asked him, knowing he was wondering the same thing. “I mean what if someone else stumbles upon this stuff?”

Eddie glanced around at the tree beds surrounding them. “We should check around a bit. Make sure there isn’t any more, then bury this patch. Destroy it so no one else can find it. My hand is healed up enough but I’d still like to dunk it. The cool water, ya know?”

Kaleen agreed, using another torn piece to wrap his hand, just in case. She then joined in Eddie’s search. They didn’t find any other patches of noxious algae, and so returned to their original spot. “I don’t think we should actually touch it, so kicking it off the tree is out.” Kaleen lifted her foot examining her white walking sneaker. She concurred. “Any ideas?” Eddie questioned looking around them to make sure they hadn’t attracted any attention.

“Sticks? Then break them and burn them?”

“No fire, we could bury them with it maybe.”

“You don’t think an animal will dig it up?”

“To kill itself? No… Okay sticks.” He and Kaleen searched around and wound up breaking off branches from deadened trees.  Using his pocket knife, fishing from the treasure trove at his hip, he sharpened the ends of their sticks to better scrape with.


They proceeded to scratch and tear at the patch of moss, cutting up all pieces with the shining goop. Eddie then used his stick to dig out a hole where they pushed the poisonous leaves into. Breaking up their sticks they covered the hole stamping on the top as Kaleen dropped pine needles and dead leaves.

“Pretty good.” Kaleen exclaimed.

Eddie quickly gathered his sample and stashed it inside his fanny pack as he motioned to the lake. “Let’s head down there.” He said.


They made their way to the water, far enough away from the activity that they weren’t bothered. Eddie dunked his hand into the cool liquid and immediately felt relief. The pain caressing his mind eased and he could think straight again. As he swooshed his hand in figures eights, he glanced over at the emergency.


Two German Sheppard’s attached to their handlers by straining red leashes barked at the shore, traipsing back and forth sniffing the sand and barking at the water. A police woman took pictures from every angle possible, including where the mother had been standing a few feet in. Strobe lights flashes and other police personnel marked places on the sand with little yellow flags, taking more pictures, and taping off the entire area. He saw the dreaded new reporter bothering the emergency workers for just one comment. Kaleen followed his gaze with her own, sighing deeply.

“It’s so horrible. I can’t imagine losing a child and not having anyone believe me.” She stated.

“They believe her, they are searching for him.” Eddie stated. “Do you believe her about a monster though? Seriously?”

Kaleen frowned. “Well I believe her child drowned maybe drifted out into the lake, or sank. I don’t know about the lake monster, but instead of just discounting her as hysterical there must be a reasonable explanation for what she saw.”

“Like what?”

“Like maybe the boy was thrashing around and got caught in weeds. They would look like tentacles grabbing her boy. Maybe they should just cut the weeds down since they killed your father too. How’s your hand? Did it work?”

Eddie pulled his hand out of the water, as Kaleen knelt beside him to take a look. The blisters were gone, all redness abated. “Wow.” Kaleen exclaimed. “You were right. The Lake sure loves you! How did you know the water would heal it all up?”

Eddie used his left hand to rub his right. Checking the areas that had been injured. It seemed fine now. He whipped his hand in the air to dispel some of the excess water. “I don’t know, honestly it was a gut feeling, and maybe needing the cool of the water as fast as possible.” Eddie grinned with the admission. “I just needed it to cool down K. Didn’t know it would actually help heal it. They should talk to Old Man Tap really, he sees everything that goes on in town.” He said lifting his chin to refer to the chaos.

Kaleen smiled. Keeping his right hand held within her own. “Think he would actually talk to them? He never talks. Just sits and watches, puffs on the disgusting pipe.” Kaleen shivered, pulling Eddie’s arm close to her body. “Let’s go see what we can find out.”

“I know we took care of it, but that was so weird. What if it had something to do with the kid and we just wrecked the evidence?” his voice was low as his eyes stared at the flashing light a number of yards away.

“I don’t mean to be a jerk Eddie, but do you think they would believe you? I mean think about how they are treating that mother with her fanciful story?”

Eddie wondered about this himself. He didn’t have the best reputation in town, even having been away from it for so many years. If it wasn’t his strange family’s activities giving the rest of the town pause about him, it was the very fact he went away. He didn’t even have any evidence of the injury on his hand anymore. Just a wild story of burning sap on a tree. They’d think he was on drugs. Arrest him for giving a false report. He noticed Kaleen studying the group of emergency workers. “What are you thinking K?”

“Well, Officer Travers is over there. Does he still mess with you?”

Eddie remembered the man from his high school years. He was one of the people who bullied him about his last name and ancestor. He recalled how the guy messed with him about his father’s name, “Amy Crowley” a man with a girl’s name, then calling Eddie Edwina. He should have a girl’s name too.

He hadn’t had much interaction with Kelton since high school so he wasn’t sure how he would be received. “It’s been a long time K. Maybe he won’t mess with me. We are adults now.”

“Hmmm.” Kaleen responded as they walked toward the quarantined area. She wasn’t sure how close they would be able to get. “So what’s our story if any?”

Eddie slowed his pace and looked at her. He had no intention of telling the police anything. “Maybe you are right.” He imitated the mother’s voice from listening to her on the television interview, “Officer really, the moss grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let go. There was this terrible burning sap holding my hand.” “Yeah maybe we shouldn’t.”

“But if it happens to someone else?”

“Then they can sound crazy, I’m okay, my hand is okay now.”

Kaleen nodded her consent as they approached the crime scene tape. Officer Travers moseyed toward the couple his right hand on his gun, his other moving, holding the radio at his shoulder as he spoke into it. Kaleen avoided rolling her eyes at the officer’s apparent glee in his official capacity. “Well hello there Eddie, Kaleen.” He spoke to them.

“Hi Officer Travers.” Eddie began. “What’s going on down here?”

“You haven’t seen it on the news this morning? These reporters are driving us nutty. Missing boy, presumed drown in the lake here. That’s all I’m at liberty to say on the matter. But Hey Eddie, we have the photos developed for your father, autopsy report. Up at the station you can take a look and let us know if you see anything that seems out of place.”

“Out of place? For a drowning victim? You are aware I haven’t spoken with my father in ages. I’m not sure if I would know if anything looked out of place.” Eddie cringed at the thought of studying his father’s actions on that last night. He might be put in the position to reveal his families activities, something he couldn’t comprehend himself. If the town discovered that his father, let alone grandfather through great grandfather had ignored the town’s edict to cease the salting of the shores, Eddie himself could get in trouble and he hadn’t even lived here in years.

“But you knew him best despite, Eddie. Just take a quick look for us. Any little bit of information could help. We simply have no idea what he was doing in or near the lake at that hour of the night.”

“Sure, we’ll head up right now.’

Officer Travers clapped Eddie’s shoulder with a good natured shove. “Good! Good. See you later then.” Eddie was impressed at the officer’s show of concern. His family never did matter too much to the town. They were probably glad to be rid of one of the Crowley’s.

Eddie smiled and he and Kaleen turned away from the lake to head to the police station. They passed the general store steps, where the mother had last seen her son, giving plenty of room to Old Man Tap. Eddie nodded to him and received a beady eyed glare in response. He shook his head as they walked up to the small white building nestled next to the store. A brass bell announced their arrival as Eddie opened the door.

They stepped into a simple office. A desk with a lamp just inside. Down a short hall were cells for the disruptive and needing to be contained. Mrs. Pike looked up from her computer, her dangling gold earrings swaying with the movement. She was one of the sweetest souls in town, and quite possibly the oldest. She acted as the dispatcher for her knowledge of the town and its inhabitants and she never reported any gossip to the Ladies Purple Hat Club.

“Oh why if it isn’t Eddie Crowley, and the most beautiful young woman in the town, Kaleen Adams. How nice it is to see you two!” She exclaimed, swiveling her chair around to face them. Kaleen smiled brightly to Mrs. Pike, bending down to kiss her wrinkled cheek. “How are you dear Mrs. Pike? How is that grandson of yours doing?” Kaleen inquired.

Mrs. Pike’s cheeks grew rosy with enthusiasm. “Oh that Jimmy is doing just fine! He’s joined the cross country team in school and doing really well! Splendid indeed! And how is our Kaleen?”

“I’m really well thank you.”

Mrs. Pike leaned toward Kaleen conspiratorially. “I may have a new client for you. My sister down in Hookset wants very much to meet with you!”

Kaleen smiled, straightening. “Well you know where to find me! Would she like a full chart or a simple read?”

“Oh I’m pushing her to indulge in the whole shebang! You are so good with seeing into the messages of the stars Kaleen!”

Kaleen thanked her. She had been reading the star charts for the townsfolk for a few years. Many of the requests consisted of a simple constellation chart for the birth of a child. Some asked for news on the weather, concerned for their crops. And yet others still searched for answers for deeper stirrings. All of which was held confidential and answers revealed for an extremely reasonable price. Her requests were often enough to provide her with a comfortable living right out of her home.

Mrs. Pike turned her chair, directing her attention to Eddie. “Now, I’m quite sure you are here to view the images of your dad, am I correct?” She asked him.

“Right you are mam.” He confirmed with his best John Wayne impression.

“Well you just follow me into the back here.” She giggled. Mrs. Pike loved John Wayne. She led them down the hall of cells, yelling to one of the men held inside a cage of iron.

“When you gonna let me outta here?” Ross Gillespie, the town drunk, slurred from the corner bench inside a cell to their left.

Mrs. Pike raised a plump hand, shaking her fist at the drunk, “not until you’re good and sober. Hush up now.” She never even looked over but made her way to the right entering a small but long room. Flipping on a single long florescent light, she leaned over a stainless steel table in the center, at the end of the table sat a wooden one up against the wall housing a coffee pot, its contents a cold oil like a swamp in the bottom of the glass pot.

A small rectangle window at the top of the wall offered little sunlight to pierce the artificial lighting. “Here we have the photos all spread out. Just take your time. If you think of anything, write it down on this legal pad.” She slid a yellow note pad across the table toward him, placing a pen on top with a thud. “I’ll just leave you two alone. You know where to find me dear.” She said grasping his right arm for good measure. She looked into Eddie’s eyes and smiled sympathetically. Eddie mumbled his thanks and she left the room.

Eddie slowly reached for the glossy print closest to him. Kaleen drew close as they stood before the table decorated with images of the death of his father. Eddie’s eyes refused to comprehend what they were seeing. He could make out the reflection of sunlight bouncing off the waters, even in the picture shimmering brightly. But it wasn’t a simple image of the beauty of the lake. The body sprawled out on the shore killed that delusion.

His father’s shaggy dark mop sparkled with sand trailing down his father’s face. Sprinkling through his black scraggly beard right into his wide open mouth, frozen in rigor mortis. “How long did it take them to find him?” he wondered out loud.

Kaleen reached across him, her chest brushing against his right arm as she reached for the autopsy report. He thrilled at the contact, while doing his best to hide the involuntary reactions. “It says here that he died during the night, a woman walking her dog along the shore that morning at 6 am found his body like this. Been dead approximately 6 hours.”


“What?” She replaced the report to the paper watching it glide across to the other end.

“A woman walking her dog found him in the morning. Just sounds classic. Too ordinary. My father was nothing close to ordinary. We are missing something.”

“Maybe you’ll figure it out in all his stuff.” Kaleen offered. She pulled a new image in front of them, regretting it immediately. This picture was a close up of Amy Crowley’s face. His dark brown eyes clouded over the mark of death obvious. The round plumpness of his face was made worse by the bloating, the lake’s signature weapon, its water filling his body. The dark blue and purple surrounding his eyes added a nice touch.

“Was he beaten? Or is that coloring just part of drowning?” He studying the image with an errant magnifying glass he’d found next to the coffee. “It didn’t say he was beaten, but he did have weeds wrapped around his neck. Here you can see them in this picture.”

Eddie looked at the new image and frowned. His father’s neck was laced with dark purple bruising underneath a weed that looked eerily similar to his specimen under the microscope from Washington State. The algae from 2015. The weed was light in color and almost rod like with circles of thicker plant in regular intervals. It didn’t match anything he knew to grow in their fresh water lake.

“I think I’ve seen this before K. Does it say what it was at all?”

“They took a piece of it for testing. No results page that I could find though.”

“I need to see that report. Better yet, get my own sample.” She handed him the autopsy report “I bet Mrs. Pike would make a copy for you. But why your own sample?  Kaleen exclaimed.

“Because, this plant. The shape and color of it. Well, I have a specimen at home that I collected from Washington when I was out there. I looked at the toxic crap they were fighting over there under a microscope, and what I saw, looked just like that. Only way smaller, microscopic level. I wonder if this could be like a parent plant.”

“Way over here? And isn’t that a little coincidental that the same weed would accidently drown your father?”

Eddie wasn’t convinced the drowning had been an accident but he wasn’t ready to say that out loud yet. “I just noticed the similarities that’s all. Maybe it’s a common plant that under certain circumstances creates that algae as a defense.” Kaleen shrugged her shoulders. Eddie didn’t need to convince her. He was the one fascinated by all of it. Kaleen had her own talents.

Beyond talents and interests, he needed to look into this further. He didn’t believe in coincidences.

“So you are still reading the stars for people?” he asked, attempting to change the subject. He didn’t mean to keep secrets from his best friend, but he didn’t want to seem crazy either. He was tired of everyone thinking he was crazy.

“Yeah, why?”

He lifted a picture, gesturing to the rest of them. “Do you think you could discover something about this? Amy’s death? I mean we’ve got these photos, but they aren’t saying much. The beer cans next to him, “Eddie indicated one of the other prints on the table displaying an array of beer cans just out of Amy’s reach. Discarded haphazardly as he finished one and moved on to the next. “I expected as much. But the rest is just, the gore of it.”

“What does that have to do with me reading if I may ask?”

“I think we can find out more that way if you think you can. I’m not at all sure how it works. Could you do that? Read a chart, or look at the stars and know if they showed something about his death?”

Kaleen looked confidently into Eddie’s eyes. Momentarily distracted by their bright blue color, she blurted her question out. “How did you get such deep blue eyes, when your Father’s were brown?” she blushed immediately but continued to stare.

“Good genetics I guess.” Eddie said with a smile.

She shook her head and answered. “Yes, I could do that.”

They exited the little room and made their way back down the naughty hall. Mr. Gillespie didn’t have anything to say as they passed his cell. Eddie asked Mrs. Pike on the way out if he could get a copy of the autopsy report.

“Oh I’m really not supposed to, but for you, well alright!” She copied the document off and handed it to him inside a large manila envelope. “Why thank you little lady…”

As they left the station Eddie spoke. “Do you need anything from me? Birth dates? Times, blood?” he laughed to take the little sting from his words.

“Actually yeah, your father’s birth information, and just for the heck of it, yours too.”

“Hey wait, I didn’t agree to you spying on me!” Eddie teased as they crossed the common nearly to Kaleen’s family home. She laughed with him. “No, no, just checking for magical prophesies and the gifts from the gods!” she teased back.

“Okay,” Kaleen pronounced as she stepped up to the bright red door of her home. “”You let me get prepared and do my thing, okay?”

Eddie squinted up at her in the sunlight. “You know I have a ton of work to do back there.” Eddie’s cottage was built on the same plot as Kaleen’s. His great grandfather had bought it in the 1900’s and became fast friends with Evangeline. They even coauthored a book about astrology together. Eddie did not relish going through the different generations of papers nestled through his home. He hadn’t even been brave enough to check his cellar out yet. It was created by the town’s dark warlock if the children of town were ever asked. Eddie shivered with the memory.

He had been required as a child to participate in show and tell. He had brought the astrology book his great grandfather had written with Evangeline Adams to show the class when one of his class mates yelled throughout the room. “He was a bad man! He did satanic rituals!” To which the class erupted in a chorus of shouts and claims.

“He was not!”

“HE was so! The most evil man to ever walk the earth and Eddie’s holding his book! Bad people. Mrs. Kimble Mrs. Kimble, make him stop!”

Mortified, Eddie left class that afternoon clutching one of his prized possessions. It wasn’t evil and his family wasn’t either! But he was aware of the rumors and his family’s reputation. He couldn’t escape it, so he’d learned to live with it until he could really escape and left town for his studies.


Update to “Spider”

Published June 3, 2017 by krymrgn

Good Saturday to you,

I have a really neat update I’d like to share about my post titled Spider. I was spending some time sweeping out the greenhouse at the school yesterday and wound up right underneath the area that I had released the one I saved. He disappeared and I often hoped he made it and wasn’t killed by one of the greenhouse ladies.

Well it made me think about him and I sent out a little, “hope you’re okay” and low and behold, he crawled out of the pile of dirt I had swept up. Yes it was the same little guy, he is very unique compared to the others I see around there.

Got so excited! I said hello and took a good look at him. He was crawling with ease, he stopped to listen and contemplate the vibrations my voice made. Can spiders hear or only sense vibration, as in no language? Anyway, my little spider survived and looked really good, and I feel so thankful and joyful about it.

Who knew that could ever happen! Me happy to see a spider! It is a true miracle!

Now let’s see what we can do about lightning!

Bring it on!

Thanks for the read,



Published May 27, 2017 by krymrgn

I used to cringe when I saw that word let alone the major spider dance I have. Been known to scream and run away as well as toss books on them. Hair spray and a lighter were constant companions when I was younger and big hair was a thing.

But something has been changing. It started when I realized I couldn’t really frighten with my words yet. A block because I was too frightened all the time. Believe they call it anxiety. Wanted to change that so I started with lightning. Still really working on that but its definitely different.

Moved to spiders without consciously making the decision to do so like with lightning. The first thing that changed was just looking at posts on facebook about them. I have to mention the brilliant artist who adapted my first book, “The Spirit Dragon” into a screenplay. And yep, it’s being looked at still, just a complicated movie the way I wrote it. Needs funding for serious CGI requirements. His name is Thom Futrell and you really need to check out his work.  He makes designs for T shirts, tote-bags, writes brilliant poetry and stories, I mean really. Thom Futrell. Take the time.

He always posted about spiders with the most awful images and vidoes. Almost unfollowed but kept friendship because it was such a favorite of his, but I also was captivated. Couldn’t not look kind of thing. Plus he is also an accomplished martial artist and I valued that in our friendship. He is just an inspiring kind of guy.

So I looked at his posts and sometimes commented. I also studied the ones I came across in person, before I killed them, yes, but I said I was sorry before dropping the encyclopaedia. They are still good for something. So I kept doing both, reading articles and eventually I let the little tiny ones live. That’s it, because hey, if you are stupid enough to show yourself to me then I have to kill you to set an example to the really big ones.

But then there was one that wasn’t scary looking hanging out in the bathroom I clean everyday. At one of my works. We kinda made friends. So I had a new respect I guess which extended to other spiders until finally I saved one. And another.

I can now write about spiders and understand what it was about them that scared me so bad. I can’t handle them on me yet, or their speed. But I’m not killing them any more and I’m visiting with and saving others.

I am excited to see what happens to my words with this development.


Thanks for the read,


First thoughts for The Cup and The Blade series

Published May 7, 2017 by krymrgn

So here is the first idea draft so to speak for what turned into, The Cup and The Blade, Coming Into Power.

I’d had a dream, which I wrote down he basics to that morning. In the dream I heard the chant, “The Cup, The Blade, and The Witch It Made” over and over. A woman was in a pitch dark room, the only light emanating from her own white dress.. It glowed like moonlight.

Before her, where her focused strained, sat a golden chalice. The sides dripped with blood, over flowing. A silver knife a hilt of bone reflecting in the white of her dress. She lifts the knife, and slices her throat, allowing her blood to add to that flowing out of the chalice. Fingers clutching the lip of the cup to her throat. Her pale skin heals over and over again. When her skin is almost completely closed the beginning of the wound reopens and bleeds again, constantly, leaving her dizzy yet powerful.

When the succession of wounds finally ends, she lifts the chalice to her lips and drinks from the cup.

Around her the sound of bells, whispering the rhyme, “The Cup, The Blade and the Witch It Made…”

A Peak at: The Cup, The Blade, and The Witch It Made

She was besieged. Putrescence filled her senses, threatening to warp her purpose. She must vanquish the sorcerer, not feed his power. Tendrils of his malevolence brushed her aura. So close. Sparing only a second, bright azure eyes darted to the right. The animated victims, their anguish an audible lament, precious steps away.

A kaleidoscope of chaos surrounded her.  The sorcerer, cloaked to mere shadow, commanded the storm raging around her. His arms beckoning, fingers tangling in the wind, directed the sharpened edges of pine cones to scrape across her face.  From every direction, something attacked her. Harmless little twigs, floated before her like tiny little deadly daggers. Rust and yellow colored leaves battered against her skin each touch like the sting of a bee. Pebbles from the path beneath yea even the gritty earth clouded her eyesight. She could not let it distract her. She must stand firm. The wise woman reinforced her determination to a mountain of stone set against the deepest winter snow, unperturbed by the freeze. Only the death of the sorcerer would end the madness.

“You will die…”  The words caressed her mind. “Your soul is mine…”

“I will defeat you,” she whispered into the vociferous tempest. Pale arms outstretched, she thrust the silver blade into the air churning the winds like a Sunday dinner over the stove. Fire crackled from the sky, the heavens charging, preparing to aid in her battle. The power she stoked above whirled in a clockwise motion, fighting against the opposite flow of energy circling her from the sorcerer.

“A Mid wife, nothing more; I would not even claim you a cunning woman.  You cannot hope to kill me.” He whispered, as if from her very own lips, so loud was his conviction.

“It is not with hope that I will defeat you.” But as she spoke, fingers coated with decaying flesh grasped at her long dark hair, wrenching her off balance. More hands clutched at her cloak, wreaking havoc over her ability to gain ground.  She whirled, spinning with the six inch blade slicing the appendages that would stop her. The lifeless souls guided by their master’s will alone, beat at her with bloodless stumps, their rotting mouths trying to bite any exposed flesh. She twirled again, a tornadic vision of shimmering stealth, the blade slicing through their necks. Soulless bodies taken to flight within the vortex the sorcerer created.

He stood closer to her now. The howling of dueling winds amplified his manic laughter.

Above the melee, the gathering ultra violet energy sizzled and began its deafening decent, striking the proliferated blade, infusing its electric force within the silver. Her body arched as the energy consumed her. She rushed at the sorcerer whose face contorted with malevolent glee.

This was like the prologue. I took the dream, and it inspired a whole series involving a discovered cup and blade.

Thanks for the read 😉

The Lake

Published May 7, 2017 by krymrgn

I haven’t shared a story or taste for quite a while. Thought I would share one of my favorites. If you have a few, here is, “The Lake”


The Lake

A Horror Short

By; Kerry A Morgan

Chapter One: Jerry

The road splashed and spluttered with each pot hole the mint green truck crashed its way through. Jerry’s head rocked back and forth with a familiarity only the owner of such a beast would have. White T shirt, dirtied with sweat stains in all crevices, one hand hung over the wheel, a smoke dangling between his lips. Jerry was not a complicated guy.
On this day, Jerry was headed to Lake Pleasant. The one Lake in the entire state of New Hampshire that he hated. Steel tools jangled and jostled in the bed of his truck, as he reached around the steering wheel and shifted the gears from drive to park.

He sat for a moment and just stared at the lake in front of him. He couldn’t see the whole thing, but he could feel it and that was enough to send chills up his spine. His eyes were drawn along the rounded edge of vines, circling trees whose branches hung over the water’s edge. Even the trees didn’t look happy to be that close to the water. Jerry’s eyes were pulled back to the ice which still covered the lake, even though the calendar claimed spring had sprung.

Rubbing his aged hands over rough, tattered blue jeans, he blew a long white puff of smoke, crushed the butt into the ash tray, then yanked on the silver handle exposing him to the crisp air beyond. He stood next to the bed of his truck surveying the damage from the ride. All his tools were strewn throughout the back. He tried to determine  his inventory but he caught himself staring at the ice coating the Lake like vanilla frosting. He shook his head in disgust at the thought. This Lake would never be so sweet.

He could hear it, creaking and groaning, making sounds as if it were alive. The wind rustled the leaves just enough to add their voices to the silence. Jerry looked up and squinted into the bright sunlight, patting his left front pocket looking for his sunglasses. The pocket was empty but for his cigarettes. He shrugged his shoulders thinking, “Oh well, might as well..” and lifted the red and white package out jerking it upwards until one of the cancer sticks popped up. He raised the pack to his mouth and removed the cigarette with his lips then he turned the pack around where he’d stashed a book of matches down inside the cellophane. Jerry lit his smoke and cocked an eyebrow at the Lake. “Better to die by something he enjoyed than by the Lake.” He figured.

Jerry couldn‘t shake his gaze from the lake. Why the society hadn‘t put up a fence or something to warn people, he just couldn‘t fathom. He reached into the back of his truck for his red tool box, which had managed to stay closed during the turbulent ride. He hefted the thing out, almost biting his cigarette in two with the effort. Jerry faced the Lake, red tool box in hand, nerves singing as he walked to the shoreline. Jerry dropped his tool box next to the largest tree and knelt down cringing at the pain which had spiked through his knees. He then peered into the mouth of his fear. Three golf ball sized bubbles burped up, startling him leaving the pungent odor of sulfur in the air. Jerry wrinkled his nose and sat back on his heels to grab the gear he would need. He took one last drag from his cigarette and used his teeth and tongue to spit it out. He watched the butt fly from his face, to land right in the dark green water at the edge of the ice. He winced and half expected to see it fly back up at him. Though several ripples began their shortened journey to the soil, with several more fragrant bubbles, nothing else happened. Jerry sighed, “That was stupid.” He scolded himself, with little hope that a nasty smell would be the extent of his mishap. He simply knew the lake too well after so many years to think it wouldn‘t notice his disrespectful addition to its waters.

He opened his tool box and pulled out several small glass tubes with little black plastic lids. He also grabbed a ladle whose handle extended out to sink several feet into the water. He set the jars before him, and pulled out a small notebook from his right shirt pocket. He slid the pen out from the metal spiral and flipped the white creased green cover open, and scribbled furiously. Then he grabbed a sheet of labels writing the depth of water he planned to get a sample of, and stuck it to one of the little jars. He used a stiff puff of dried half frozen grass to keep the jar upright and  in place, and took hold of the ladle.

Taking a deep breath, and keeping a close eye on the water, Jerry leaned back over the shoreline, and very slowly sunk the silver ladle into the water. As it dropped into the water his eyes searched for the butt he’d spit in accidentally, but it had disappeared. Jerry reached the depth he needed, waited for just a moment and began to draw the ladle back up when it was wrenched from his grip, forcibly. He yipped at the sting as the silver ladle was ripped from his fingertips to sink to the bottom of the Lake. He shook his hand violently trying to erase the pain, as another large bubble broke the surface of the water and scorched his nose with the awful smell only a decaying egg trapped within its shell for a year, could create.

Jerry tried to back away from the lake but felt a darkness looming over him, blocking out the sun. As his eyes lifted to see the source of the shade, freezing cold water, dripped successively on top of his head. Something wrapped around his waist and squeezed the rising scream from Jerry throat. He blinked his eyes rapidly as he beheld the terror he’d prayed never to witness. Jerry’s entire body was lifted into the air. He spent seconds noting the beauty of the Lake before several bones shattered as his body crashed through the surface.

Minutes passed in silence, before it reached up to the cold, filling in the crevices where broken ice floated, ruining Its’ peace. The surface refroze without wound or crack, its banks pristine with crusted ice once again.

Chapter Two: Kristi

Kristi’s heart pounded with anticipation, giving her pale features a healthy glow. She knew her father would be home shortly and she wanted to get out the door before he did. After slathering lotion over her hands, she pulled and stretched the pink, Isotoner gloves down her fingers. Kristi wriggled her long fingers to secure the fit. A pink and white striped scarf was tediously wrapped around her neck, her arms still sore from her last workout. Kristi stepped into her white furred boots, then grabbed her I pod working the ear buds deep into her ears. Finally, she slid into her puffy pink ski jacket. She grumbled, looking for her favorite pair of shades until she remembered she’d shoved them into the inner pocket of her jacket. Almost ready, she slung her ice skates over her right shoulder. Grasping the handle to the front door, a blast of cold, littered with bits of snow kissed her face as she stepped outside.  Kristi took a great big deep breath of the freezing air and laughed, happy to get away from exams and customers who wouldn’t even leave bad tips.

“Free at last.” She sang to herself as she turned the I pod on, and grooved the to song; “Eighteen, and life to go, ooo, whoa…” Crunching through the last vestiges of snow in her front yard, Kristi headed toward the left starting the hour long walk to her secret lake. It  was hidden in the middle of the oldest living forest in the state. The road leading to it, was a few miles down the street from her driveway. Once she got to the dirt road which led to the trail to the lake, she could relax. Until then, if anyone saw her, they might ask where she was headed, for this lake was not marked on any local maps of the town. She wouldn’t want her secret to be exposed. It was the perfect lake to practice on, more importantly, alone. Kristi was pretty well known in town for her skating ability, and had taken the state championship with ease. People, especially competitors, would want to know her new moves.

“Eighteen and life’s just start’en, Eighteen and life to go, ooo whoa…“ she sang out loud. She was a hopeless eighty’s music addict and wasn’t afraid to sing about it. She giggled because she only knew the chorus to this song, but sang it loud and proud anyway. The song seemed to fit her mood today, if not her real life, and singing gave her hope that she wouldn’t be stuck in this hick town much longer, college would be her salvation. Kristi’s dark hair whipped back and forth from her pony tail as she walked, creating the illusion of a bounce in her step. Her blue eyes sparkled, anticipation colored a rose to her cheeks. Kristi hit the dirt road, her eyes searching for any peekers, then headed into the heart of New Hampshire.

Nestled within a ring of tall pine trees, Lake Peasants’ surface reflected none of the turmoil under the multiple layers of ice. Layers of green algae extended slimy tentacles up its edges; where soil met with water. Reaching around the frozen mire, the slime searched twisting around sharp corners of  hailstone and icing muck to find an opening.

Trudging down the trail was more work than Kristi had expected. There were so many ruts half filled with ice and melting snow, dark mud droplets soon decorated the once pretty white of her boots. She’d been walking about forty five minutes when her heart fell. Up ahead, where she should be able to see the ice covered lake through the trees, a mint green ancient piece of crap was blocking her view. “What the hell…” She muttered dejected. “No one was supposed to know about this lake.” She thought as she came upon the truck.

As Kristi passed the vehicle, she noticed the bed of the truck was a wreck. Tools were spread out everywhere mixed with plastic bottles of chemicals and soda. “Man’s truck.” She said to the trees around her. She pressed a hand up against the window of the driver’s side door, and peeked in. The keys were still in the ignition, a red rabbit’s foot luck charm daggled from the keychain. Kristi noted they were swinging ever so slightly.

Checking around, she tripped her way over to the edge of the water to peer at the heap of more crap by the water’s edge. Several vials and a big red tool box sat open at the shoreline. She snarled at the smell of cigarette smoke and called out to the sky, cupping her hands around her mouth as she yelled, “Hey, is any body here? Hello!” Punching her fists to her hips she waited for an answer. Kristi was standing at the edge of the water looking around the perimeter of the lake waiting to see if anyone would show up. Her muddied boots almost touched the dark green water where little ripples were lapping at her toes as if tasting the grittiness of the mud. When no one showed up, or answered her call, Kristi gave up the notion that she might be interrupting and got ready to skate.

It watched as the girl sat down to lace up her skates. She could not see it shiver, it’s ripples restricted from motion under so much ice. The Lake anticipated her movements. It knew it would bleed. It knew she would scrape herself across it’s pristine surface only recently cleared by the wind. It watched. It hated, and now it would hurt.

Kristi tested the edges of the lake. She could see where the Sun’s warmth had begun melting some of the ice already, but knew that the center of the lake would be fine. Once she found an appropriate spot, she pushed off and lifted her arms to the heat above her. Closing her eyes, she cherished the wind smashing against her face, daring her to stop. In a graceful arc, she scoured the perimeter, and pushed off with one foot, to catch the ice with the other, in a constant battle between which foot got to lead. With a twist of her hips, she was flying backwards, her pink and white striped scarf blowing past her face to follow.

So entranced by her dance across the pond, Kristi didn’t notice the water seep up to fill the grooves her skates created on the pond’s surface.  She never heard the ice protest against her blades, creaking and gurgling in anger, for her ear phones were playing another great skating song.

Weight moved back and forth across its expanse, grinding into its frosted skin. It tried to heal itself, replacing that which was lacerated. It needed more of Itself, not less. Yet still It tried. Pushing further than it aught, a trapped bubble found an escape and hunted the source of the depletion.

As Kristi glided across the ice she noticed an odd sulfur smell to the air that hadn’t been there when she’d arrived. Assuming the local paper mill had begun it’s transformation of wood to pulp, she wrinkled her nose and tried to concentrate on the smell of the woods around the lake, and the crisp cold of the snow. Her eyes scanned the sky for the tell tale steam the mill always produced which caused her to miss the dark lump of leather boot barely poking up out of the ice, right in the center of her right skate’s path.

Her silver blade struck, sticking into the iced leather sole, only to release the blade, violently twisting  her body end over end from the momentum of speed.  Kristi shot up into the air, and then right back down crashing against the hard cold surface. Kristi Metcalf’s face slid against the smooth ice, curving her body around in a great big circle, coming to a stop in the center of the Lake.

It’s pain eased, the tentacles of green slime switched directions. Bending back around to follow one of the scratches the human had created, the green arms groped at the cracks in the ice to get to the dead weight. The darkness above the ice told its mind, where the girl lay. Ice parted with screeching madness as the slime went to work, pushing and grinding until a large sheet floated up in a great wave of green water, creating a chasm. The tentacles of slime touched the brisk air and recoiled.  It did not want to leave the warmth of the lake, but It pushed again and the slippery extremity inched it’s way to Kristi’s body. Several feelers lifted out of the water and began wrapping themselves around the girl’s body, prodding and pulling until her mass shifted and rolled into the green water. The sheets of ice settled themselves a top the watery grave, and bled into the seems, to reseal itself. The level of the ice against the banks of the pond raised just slightly, and the lake was sated, having birthed more liquid.

Kristi’s eyes bulged the second her body plunged into the freezing water. Holding her lips together as tightly as she could, she squinted at the ice closing over her, clawing at the edges for a grip. Her gloves were slipping and quickly became uselessly water logged. Her arms were aching with the weight of her coat. She screamed under the ice and water, thrashing her fury at becoming trapped. Her feet became heavy and Kristi realized she couldn’t reach the ice anymore. She was sinking.

Even as terror gripped her heart, she felt thick ropes wrap around her torso, squeezing her tight. A single green tentacle lifted before her, like a snake might dance before a flute. It moved as if it thought with a mind and composed comprehension. The cable moved closer to her face until it touched her sun glasses, which had made the trip still attached to her face. Kristi’s eyes crossed trying to watch what the thing was going to do, but quickly refocused in time to see her glasses being pulled away from her face, released to float away in the putrid water. The tentacle again filled her vision, and as the last breath of air burned away inside her lungs, it plunged into her mouth, crawling down her throat to where she held her own green slimy things.

It tasted something thicker than Itself. Almost like the geysers of rolling heat jetting up from beneath where it lay. It liked the taste, the heat, the height it rose to when it removed the threat of the human, and it wanted more.

Chapter Three: Stratford Metcalf
Stratford arrived home from work early enough that he expected to see his daughter before she took off to skate. She loved to skate and practiced every afternoon that she could. He knew she’d be headed out as most of the lakes wouldn’t be strong enough to hold her much longer.

“Kristi, Hey Kristi?” He yelled up the stairs.

Knowing her car was still in the drive, Stratford’s heart beat with concern. He went back to the closet next to the front door and searched for her skates. Nothing. He’d missed her, and there was only one lake close enough for his daughter to skate on. Before he did anything else, he needed to make sure.

Stratford opened the front door and went outside. He cantered down to the end of the driveway causing his arthritic knees to scream. To the left, nothing, no footprints, no tire tracks, nothing, just the cold winter wind blasting bits of snow into his face. He squinted and looked into the fading light of the sun. “Please not that way.“ he whispered, “Please God, not that way.“ He looked to the right, praying he wouldn’t see what he knew he would.

Clumps of depressed snow disturbed the pristine blanket of white heading down the street. Following those footsteps half way down, he swore. Running a hand through his salt and pepper hair, he would have sworn he aged another ten years when he saw where the footsteps led. The Old Path. The Old Path to Lake Pleasant was supposed to be hidden, and how his daughter could have discovered it, let alone the Lake, confounded Stratford. They had made it almost a whole year without anyone being taken. Now, just days before Spring, his own daughter had found it. It was the only reason he could think of, that she would have taken that direction with her skates.

How she could have possibly known there was a lake back there he couldn‘t figure out. The historical society had been very careful to not put Lake Pleasant on any maps, where an unsuspecting tourist could find it. Let alone any of their town members. Michael was the head of the Society, and he made sure that only those who had experienced the Lake, were a part of the society for the town, as well as the only ones who knew how to get there, aside from the Caretaker.

Stratford knew how dangerous that lake was, and took off running down the path, pulling out his cell phone as he went. He banged on some numbers using his thumb as he ran, and waited for an answer, the pain in his knees nearly matching the worry in his heart.

“Call the witch,” Stratford insisted into his cell phone, “my daughter is in the Lake.”

Stratford heard a sharp intake of breath on the other end of the phone. “What? What did you just say?” a deep growl questioned.

“I said, Michael, that my daughter is at the bottom of the lake. Call the goddamned witch, now.” Stratford was shaking; perspiration soaked his shirt from running to the lake, making the cold worse.. He knew they didn’t have forever to bring his daughter back, and Michael was in charge of calling the ritual participants together. He forced himself to have faith that Michael would gather them all in time. He had less than half an hour to wait counting drive time. He saw the mint green truck of the Caretaker, and searched the area for him, but only found the mess he’d left behind, a very bad sign. Jerry never left litter or his own equipment behind after a job. Something was very wrong.

Stratford stood next to an open red tool box, waiting for the rest of the group on the shore and wished for his wife. Maria Metcalf had thought to go swimming one bright afternoon,  not ever to return. It took days to discover her lifeless body on the shore of Lake Pleasant. They hadn’t gotten to her in time, the Lake had claimed her, used her and discarded her.

Now Stratford’s daughter had been taken by the Lake. Stratford’s wife would have known how to keep him calm as people started arriving to save Kristi. She would have soothed him into patience and told him everything would be alright. Kristi was all the family he had left and he refused to let the Lake claim another person he loved. Stratford had survived the journey through the Lake, he would make sure his daughter did too. They would deal with the repercussions together, later.

Stratford sat right in the same place he’d found his daughter’s shoes which were laying amongst little clear bottles. He recognized the handwriting on the labels of the jars and knew the Lake had claimed another before his daughter. Seeing Jerry Sherman’s tools next to the water, without a Jerry to claim them, caused Stratford’s heart to clamor. Stratford gripped his daughter’s frozen boots tightly against his chest. They had spent hours in the cold and it bit through the flannel of his shirt. He held them, and stared at the lake, wondering if Kristi felt as cold as her boots did. He wondered if Jerry was with her down there somewhere. He shivered with the thought. No one remembered their time in the water, but then again, no one had spent as much time in the water as his daughter. Jerry wouldn’t even get the chance to become part of the Society, because Jerry had been claimed just like Maria. Stratford knew it in the core of his being, and with just as much resolution he knew he would not loose his daughter. He just couldn’t.

Forty five minutes went by before the society arrived with the witch, Jane. She was an interesting person, to say the least. She always had odd things around her neck, not regular necklaces mind you, but rocks and puffs of colorful fabrics. Sometimes she even had feathers stuck in her hair, and could often be found walking around with bells on her shoes. Not someone Stratford would have ever associated with under normal circumstances.

She was rather large, promoting a waddle to her stride. Long and thick, straight blond hair that reminded him of Mama Cass from the signing group, The Mamas and the Papas hung down her back. She wore a long red poncho covering darker clothing which floated around her hefty frame. She was definitely strange, but for now, he was thankful for the witch. Stratford stayed in the snow and watched as Jane unloaded a suitcase from the trunk of one of the cars they had come in. She opened the case and Stratford shook his head without amusement. That case held all the tools they would need to rescue his daughter. She might not be your average, everyday person, but she was going to save his daughter’s life, and that’s what mattered to Stratford.

Michael stood behind him and to the right with the other members of the historical society of Lake Pleasant, speaking in low voices. Stratford knew what they were talking about. They had each been through it, the adults, not their children.  Stratford looked back across the lake to Jane, who was crunching around the perimeter, placing mason jars down into the snow. The jars held lit candles of all colors, which slowly brightened the area with hesitant  flickering light.

It could feel what the woman was doing. They wanted this one back. It could accommodate for it had sated it’s need and impregnated the girl with more of Itself. But the woman was irritating. She walked around just out of its view doing something to its drier parts. It could feel the energy the woman was raising and without warning it was sealed  within a circle of powerful vibrations, it couldn’t breathe past the trees surrounding Itself. They didn’t need to hurt It to get the girl. It wanted the girl to go and make more of Itself.

Lake Pleasant did not resist the pull of the witch, as she began calling the members to the edge of the water. When Jane raised her hands to the moon, a silver blade flashed in the candle light. Jane pointed the blade to the cosmos above.

“Hear my command,” Jane called out loud and sure to the historical society members shivering in the cold. They clasped hands creating a half circle, for they did not have enough members to surround the lake completely. As they began the ritual, they knew there would be another member birthed on this night.

Jane kept the blade pointed to the moon, as she stepped out onto the Lake. They heard the ice creak and groan beneath the weight. She began to walk the circumference, one hand held out in front of her, fingers sifting through the air searching for Kristi’s energy. The other hand held the blade toward the bright full moon like a homing beacon. Once Jane had walked the perimeter once, each member reached down to grab a mason jar with a dancing flame inside. They picked up the jars of burning candles, and took one large step in unison, out onto the surface of the lake. The group then placed the jars back down onto the green ice. Lifting their hands above their heads, they clapped twice in perfect harmony, before clasping their hands again to create the half circle.

“Hear my command!: Jane shouted again into the night. She had worked her way to the center of the lake by walking in a great big spiral. Her eyes glowed brightly by the power of the moon. Her eyes weren’t the only things glowing. Her fingers emanated a blue light  of their own as well. Suddenly her fingers sparked and crackled and a fire closer to lightning erupted from her hands. “I’ve found her.” Jane shouted grimacing and bending her body like she was waiting to catch a fly ball. That lightning wanted to go somewhere and it wanted to go soon.

The society members, waiting for this proclamation, took a step forward, so they were within the half ring of light dancing within the mason jars. Lifting their hands once again, they clapped together, then put their palms facing the witch before them.

Jane placed a single blue candle, directly on the ice, where she’d found Kristi’s energy, then began walking toward each member. Her red poncho looked like a cape of blood in the strange light. She’d been able to tone down the lightning enough to gather what she needed now. Jane approached the first member from the left side of the half circle, Jack Poole. Jack held his palms out in front of his body and closed his eyes. “Jack, do you freely give of the essence given to you from the Lake, to save the girl, Kristi Metcalf?”

Jack answered her, “I give willingly and with gratitude.” His voice didn’t crack or waver. Jane nodded at him and placed the blade in the center of his right palm. The blade bit into his skin without a sound and he bled onto the blade for her.

Jane walked to the next person, Jenny Parsons. She too had been taken by the Lake, and brought back with this ritual. She answered Jane with the same mantra, as was the requirement for the ritual, and she bled dark and thick onto the blade.

Jane continued around to all the members of the historical society, gathering their blood to her silver blade. Each taste given brightened the blue glow fighting with her finger tips. When she came around to Stratford, he bled onto the blade and offered his left hand as well. The other members had only offered the required right hand, which always bled the essence given by the Lake upon retrieval of the body. “A gift given freely with gratitude is never denied or forbidden. Thank you Brother Stratford, for your generosity.” Jane answered and sliced into his left hand which bled a bright red, mixing life with death onto the silver blade, covered with the other’s darker gifts. Usually, Jane gave the required left handed taste of human essence.

Jane walked back to where the blue candle sat on the ice, it’s flame trembling in the cold night air. Jane lifted the blade to the moon, and then sunk it into the ice with a loud thunk and quiver under foot. The blue glow spread to both of Jane’s hands as she held them over the ice. Her fingers played across the air like she was typing fiercely across a keyboard. She was chanting and backing away from the candle, the glow sparked and crackled from her hands.  The further she backed up away from the spot she’d found Kristi’s body, the further the blue glow reached until it was zipping along the ice around the candle, creating a large spiral which cut directly through the ice.

Groans and creaks filled the air around the participants. Trees limbs buckled and blew in response to the crackling blue lightning, ripping into the ice, guided by Jane’s fingers. The Lake underneath them grumbled and burped and the scent of sulfur filled the air. Not one single person ran or even moved, as the Lake shifted underneath them. A perfect circle of ice, cut by the lightning fire from Jane’s hands sank into the lake, creating a large ripple of water, which ran around everyone’s feet, seeping into their shoes with icy cold wet.

For minutes the wind blew, the rustling of the trees around them, the only sound. Then, another ripple of water ran across the groups feet. The water was rising. Another minute passed like an hour, and then a figure appeared, lying in the center of the lake where Jane had cut the ice. The members of the historical society heard the sound of ice grinding against ice, and the circle which Jane cut from the rest of the ice resurfaced, with Kristi’s body on top of it. Stratford waited for the grinding sounds to stop, then ran for his daughter’s body.

He fell upon his daughter’s body, immediately checking for her pulse. Stratford placed two fingers against her neck, and felt nothing. The girl was laying down against the ice, her right arm slung over her head dripping green water. Chunks of ice crusted around Kristi Metcalf’s  eye lids, keeping them partially open  but at two different heights‘. His arms left his control as he reached out and grasped his daughter, pulling her half way on top of himself. “Kristi. Kristi I’m here. I’m here” he told freezing hair next to his lips. The cold emanated throughout his body as he held her. She crunched against him, limp, but, well, normal looking, he thought.

His nostrils were filled with the earthy scent of musk and dirt, before he realized the witch had knelt down next to him. Her scent matched her odd dressing habits. Stratford wasn‘t sure he wanted this woman anywhere near his daughter, but he knew without her, there could be no ritual. Jane looked at Kristi and placed a hand against her pink jacket pressing against it just enough to allow a squirt of dark green water to ooze out of the end of the sleeve. Jane‘s eyes met Stratford’s with a cool determination. Stratford nodded in agreement past the trepidation filling his heart.

Stratford wrinkled his forehead a deep sigh escaped his lips as he placed his daughter back down on the ice.  He waited for each member of the group to reach the two of them, with their candles in hand as they closed the circle.

It healed the pain and waited. It had tasted her, rolled her around Itself and felt something for her flesh it had not ever felt before. Pale, like the moon above, her skin radiated light without anymore warmth. It had liberated her. She had gentle tentacles almost as dark as its own that embraced Its movement and flowed with motion of her own. It’s warmer places held Her close and searched Her body for her own warmer places. Her back arched and It gloried that It could make Her feel. Though every part of Her touched It, It could not get enough of the feel of her shell. It folded and twisted around Itself to catch and taste Her scent.

It discovered that She was made largely of what It was made of. Though It knew It would never partake of Her in the way It first intended, It knew She could aid its quest, its very purpose. It felt joy, emanating from the Being. This Being was different, it was not hard, with bits of rock to poke It. This Being’s tentacles did not choke It or try to remove more parts in favor of their own. Her pieces did not clog and congest It’s breath. This Being loved and it created a sensation It had never experienced. It liked the sensation. It knew Her elation and It wanted to keep it close for the next thousand years. It also knew It could.

It knew She would remember, It knew, It watched, and It loved.

Jane knelt on the other side of Kristi and rolled her onto her back. Nodding again to Stratford, She reached down and gently tilted Kristi’s head back, lifting her chin to an odd angle. Two placid fingers plugged the girls nose and Jane took a long ragged breath of the crisp night air, and blew it right into the girls mouth. Stratford pushed against his daughter’s chest one pump per breath.

Jane the motioned a hand to the next member to give Stratford’s daughter some of their breath, until each member had given of their air to Kristi. Stratford pumped against her chest with each breath. His air was the final breath given to his daughter when she began coughing and sputtering as dark green water seemed to ooze it’s way out of her throat. Stratford lifted her heavy body up into a sitting position to allow the water to drain from her mouth.

“Kristi?” I’m here, baby. It’s okay now.” he whispered to her.

“Dad?” Kristi coughed and spit out chunks of dark green goo from her throat. “What’s going on?” She asked attempting to get the pink and white striped sweater from around her neck with gloves too filled with water to do anything but gush dark muck. As Kristi’s fingers tried to get a hold of the thing wrapped around her neck an odor like burnt matches waft around her like cigarette smoke clinging to the smoker. “Dad. Dad I can’t get it off me.” Kristi’s voice rose with desperation.

“It’s okay, honey just relax.” Stratford said as he unwrapped the squishy, foul smelling knit from her neck.

“Okay, Stratford.” He heard Jane speak from behind. “We need to finish.”

“Dad?” Kristi’s eyes had bled back to her baby blues, though her eyebrows were still crusty with ice. She looked up at her father without comprehension, yet, without any fear as well. Stratford’s heart began to pound. He prayed to the Gods the ritual would still work.

“I’ll be right here baby, it will just be another minute okay?” Stratford stood up and backed away from his daughter. Leaving her to sit on the ice in freezing wet clothing. Her chin slowly descended to meet her chest, her black hair dripping into her lap. A whimper escaped Stratford’s lips as he watched his daughter, he didn’t want to leave her again.

Always the strong one, Jane lifted her arms and began to chant, grabbing Stratford’s hand into a tight grip. Stratford in turn grasped the hand next to his and the group reformed a circle, with the soaked girl in the center.

Jane began chanting, her strong sure voice echoing off the trees surrounding them. “Hear My Command… Through Air do I defy the silence.” The group raised their hands above their heads and clapped twice, in three successive bursts. “Hear My Command…By Fire do I awaken the deep, the chasm from which we have robbed.”  With these words all the members of the Lake Pleasant Historical Society picked up their jars of flickering candles, holding them before their hearts. “Hear My Command… With Earth do I gift the  abyss.” Jane rang out, reaching into one of her pockets. As she withdrew a hand filled with raw dirt, Jane took several slow methodical steps around Kristi, sprinkling the dirt  from between her fingers. Returning back to her place amongst the group, Jane grabbed Stratford’s hand in reassurance. It was almost over. “Hear My Command…” She called out to the night, “Water; Surrender Your Essence, Obey my Charge.”

The second the words escaped her lips Stratford knew something was wrong. Jane faltered, nearly falling down as the lake underneath them growled and sent a great ripple across the length of the lake, underneath the ice. The sheet of ice they were standing on toppled and twisted sending the members floundering for balance.

Kristi slowly raised her head and looked around at the group. With another growl from the lake underneath, Kristi stretched out her fingers like claws ripping apart the flesh of its prey. As the rest of the group was falling to the ice, Kristi stood up unimpeded by the rocking surface.

It felt Her power and responded giving Her even more. It needed Her touch and used bits of Itself to clump and mass together long tendrils which reached and prodded through weeds and roots to rise along its banks for the weaker ice around Its edges. It shot toward the surface and broke through sending sharp chunks of crystallized snow toward the group. Sounds erupted, harsh and shrill against the silence It preferred as the pieces of ice slammed into their bodies. Helpless against It’s Will, bines slid along the surface, to entwine around ankles, arms, and necks until all movement ceased. Only the sound of their ragged breaths could be heard. It held them immobile for Her Declaration of Rule.

Stratford, stunned into silence, watched as his daughter stood up, even as his own head bashed against the ice he’d been standing on only moments before. Kristi looked to the sky and laughed, her pink puffy jacket dripping with a green goo. Her hands were bare, fingers curled and elongated. Dainty nails painted with her favorite pearly pink polish darkened, scorched with the power of the Lake. Kristi’s eyes bled to black and her  beautiful black hair looked like strings of kelp hanging around her face.

Stratford despaired as he felt a slimy substance wrap around his ankles.  His arms were grabbed and stretched to a point that hurt, his shoulder joints being turned to an odd angle to accommodate that which held him. He couldn’t scream his protest when the algae coiled around his neck and squeezed him almost unconscious. He tried to see the others of the group but couldn’t turn his head. Gurgling, and heavy thuds made the ice beneath him quake and rumble. He was surrounded by the sounds of withering, leather scraping across the ice and Stratford knew the entire group was trapped. His eyes, now bulging with the pulse of his heart, found his daughter’s and he pleaded for her to stop.

But Kristi wasn’t about to stop anything. Kristi, was just getting started.

A New Society

Jane was trapped against the ice, her red poncho bunched up around her head creating a sort of pillow, lifting her up enough to see the action. She fought against the helix around her neck to breathe and stay conscious. Stretching her neck muscles taut left her a little room to maneuver with. She thought furiously, trying to remember if there was any spell, any power she could call upon for help, but she feared it was simply too late. When the society had been formed, they knew their time was even more limited than their mere lives would dictate. The Lake would require payment, for the Gift they had all accepted. Each person who participated in the Ritual knew that payment would come due some day. Jane had hoped they would rid The Lake of it’s Evil before their accounts came due. It was a failure she knew instinctively she wouldn’t have long to regret.

Her eyes rolled back to find Kristi gazing at the cosmos, and she realized what an incredible view of the stars they had, twinkling above them like diamonds ready to fall from the sky and tear them all to shreds. The stars blurred and lost their sparkle. Jane could see the branches of the White Oaks above her swaying in the wind Kristi was creating, for she was no longer looking at the cosmos with wonder. She was looking at Jane.


“Witch.” Kristi said, contempt riddled her voice with gravel.

Jane blinked at her. She could do nothing else.

“I hunger.”

“We have suffered your kind long enough.” Kristi began again, bringing her clawed hands before her. Jane watched as Kristi walked toward her, a green florescence dominating the air around her. Kristi towered above Jane, standing so close that her feet stepped on Jane’s hair, pulling it tight. Jane could move just enough to ease the pain which had turned into a harmonious song between her freezing body and stretching hair.

Kristi’s mouth extended beyond what it should have been able to. Jane could see right down her throat as little flies found their way out to play in the open air. The darkness beyond that gaping maw took her sanity piece by raging piece. Her consciousness wanted to follow, to find the solace beyond and give back what was so generously given to her, when she’d drown.

Stratford watched in horror as his only daughter stood above the witch and withdrew the Lake’s Gift. Dark green mist drifted lazily out from Jane’s mouth, floating through the air right into his daughter’s mouth. He wanted to scream. He wanted to fight to save the woman he’d thought so incredibly strange. He wanted to fight to save himself, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to hurt his daughter even if he could fight. So he waited, firm in his resolve to accept his end with the dignity his first death eluded from him.

An odd sucking sound began to fill the air with echo’s. Pressure built within his ears as he watched the dark green mist exit from his own mouth. As it pulled away from his body, he felt it pull at his mind until something inside him snapped. Suddenly Stratford felt free and uninhibited. Darkness took him and he was grateful for it’s mercy.

“As It released the humans It gave It’s power to Her, commanding her to make more of Itself. It craved and needed, and begged.

Kristi loomed over the group. Her mouth still extended, her torso jerked, and bucked as the dark green mist entered her body and thrived. Her neck muscles were pulled tight tilting her head back further than it aught to be able to go. Green goo spurt from her mouth like a fountain of slime. Splashing against the ice, canvassing the people, the life of the lake spewed forth and claimed it’s meal. Kristi belched sulfur and reveled in the ecstasy of power.

Geysers of  steam burst through the surface of the lake wherever the spew landed, acting like acid on metal. Desperation spread through the group as their minds were lost to the darkness and confusion. Goo covered mouths, petrified in endless varying shapes, bubbled where breath still tried to deny the process of digestion. Globs of flesh slid off skeletal remains, creating an expanse like skin gelatin, solid enough to hold the remaining circle of ice on which the Lake supported it’s queen. Arms disengaged from their sockets. Feet lost toes, hands lost fingers as the goo thickened and frothed in jubilation.

Kristi closed her mouth and stretched her arms out to the white birches, oaks and spruce trees. The circle of ice began to move, floating across the semi solid shoal, depositing Kristi on the nearest shore. She looked back over the Lake at her boiling pot of Sunday human stew and smiled. It would be pleased with her.

It loved. Rolling around within more of Itself was what Its existence was for. It tasted the flesh, sweet and tender. It cherished the feel of bones, crunching against Its sides, cleaning the muck and mire of Its many years. Its level raised and conquered the shoreline. At long last It could escape and find further breeding grounds, but only with the help of Its Queen.

Kristi smiled as she watched the congealed waters inch its way along the saturated ground, to the large tree whose branches hung over the Lake. The sludge crawled up the rough trunk of the tree and entwined itself around vines and twigs creating a crown of algae and thorny bits of tree. A long tentacle gently placed the crown a top Kristi’s head, thorns growing and sticking the crown permanently to her head. A dark green liquid bled from the wounds the thorns created, only to have the algae vines lick at the substance in a constant massage along Kristi’s temples.

Kristi cocked an eye brow toward the Lake at Its question.


Kristi’s smile broadened. “Don’t worry love, tourist season is right around the corner.”

The End

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