Excerpt From “The Banshee and the Witch,” A Spooky Short Story by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

“What would you do to live forever, stay young forever? To find true love again?

And if you were a white witch with the magical powers to make it happen…and the secret of how to do it, would you?

So when the banshee comes calling for you one rainy dark night you’ll do what you have to do to get what you desire the most. More time.

EXCERPT:

It was a misty spring morning with a chilly breeze whose affects the rising sun would partially warm away. The birdsong beckoned Cleona O’Grady from sleep and, after struggling into her robe, she found her way to the kitchen. Her old bones ached and the years sat heavy on her shoulders and the new day, the spring and rebirth, only served to remind her that her time on earth was short.

Her lips frowned. It’d been the third night in a row she’d had the dreams. Vague, plotless vignettes of frightening emotions and premonitions. The worse thing was she didn’t know what they meant and she usually did, yet these melted into her subconscious as soon as she awoke. They scared her and she opened her eyes each morning with a sense of impending doom. Her heart racing, her body quivering with the echoes of her forgotten terror.

All she remembered was there was a woman in them, one she’d never seen or met, who was young, hauntingly beautiful and who stalked her as she ran through her dream world. Fleeting glimpses of the lady, what she’d wanted and what she’d done, behind or around her, faded as the minutes and the dream did. By breakfast the memories would be practically gone, leaving but a faint impression of a white faced woman, with long tresses, blood red lips and eyes so full of sorrow they made Cleona want to weep–and the awareness that the woman would return. That she wanted something from her she couldn’t give.

But what?

She made a tray with her tea and toast smeared with homemade strawberry jam, and hobbled out to the back porch. She had a round table and two chairs under the shade of the overhang. Plunking down with a weary sigh, her eyes gazed over the still waters of the pond. It wasn’t much of one, no bigger than a baseball diamond, but it was deep and populated by forest birds, frogs, flying insects and all manner of wildlife that came in from the woods and the sky. There were water fowl floating in the center, calling softly to each other. The birds and the tranquil scene calmed her. They always did.

She took another bite and peered up into the dawn.

The sun was ascending over the trees, the rays sparkling on the leaves as they danced in the air above her; light gleamed on the water nearby, turning it golden, and the aroma of the lush foliage was a gift.

She sat there admiring the beauty of the morning and ate her meal. The tea was hot, honeyed, and revived her. Her teeth crunched into the toast and the sweetness of strawberries filled her mouth. She made sure she caught every crumb and sipped every drop of tea. She wasted nothing.

The older she got the more these mundane rituals reassured and comforted her.

Even in the winter when it snowed she’d bundle up in two of her sweaters topped off by a coat, linger on that porch and try to see the individual snowflakes. Never two alike, they said, though she wasn’t sure of that. A lot of them looked the same to her. Well, perhaps because her eyesight wasn’t what it used to be.

Truth was, many things weren’t what they used to be and her youth spells no longer seemed to be working.

Ah, yes, she was a witch, a white witch, which meant she rarely, if ever, knocked people off without a good reason or cast throw-up-pins-and-slug curses on them unless they’d really pissed her off. Though why people had to stereotype witches like that, good or bad, she’d never understood. A witch is a witch is a witch. Well, some did use their powers for good and some for not so good. But beneath it they were only people as she was only a woman. Hey, no matter what, she was as entitled to a good life as any other human on the planet whether she was a witch or not, right? Right.

According to her calculations, which couldn’t be absolutely counted on because her memory wasn’t what it had been either, October thirty-first she’d be over four hundred years old. So many springs, summers, falls and winters. A long, long life in anyone’s book.

Yesterday morning in town she’d overheard someone say the oldest man in the world had passed away at one hundred and fourteen. Ha, a baby. What would the mortals say if they knew how old she was? It made her smile.

Oh, the events and people she’d seen and known. The adventures, sorrowful and joyful, she’d had. She didn’t want to go. To die. Not yet. There were years of life left in her heart and mind. And, oh how, she wanted to live them.

She wasn’t ready to go. Nothing could make her, either. Death was a formidable adversary but she’d beaten her so far and was sure she’d continue to. All she had to do was be more cunning than the reaper and she’d prevail.

Oh, she could do that.

***

Amazon Kindle Direct: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0099781WE

***

Since childhood Kathryn Meyer Griffith has been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before quitting to write full time. She began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had sixteen (nine romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

Kathryn has been married to Russell for thirty-four years; has a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and lives in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo.

All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s Books available at Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Kathryn+Meyer+Griffith

Buy Link at Damnation Books: http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79

Buy Link at Damnation Books: http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79

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