Blue Pearl Arts
Short Stories and otherWritings
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"Witch House" by A. Roz Mar
Page 1 of 2 pages short story about an ancient house. Teen to Adult.
Flies buzzed around his head. Now standing in the center of a heavily wooded forest he turned suddenly to face the presence he felt behind him, but there was no one there except the confounded black flies.
“I’m not a damned horse,” he said swiping the air and he made his way to the river.
In the thick mist that had gathered in the late afternoon the bluebells growing between the gray trunks of trees looked like globs of blood and he broke into a sweat then started running toward what he thought was the direction of the house.
The story went that an innocent woman condemned as a witch had been burned by the river that ran along side the property in the 14th century. She had given bluebell concoctions to suffering women for many years until one of them died unexpectedly and she was condemned. It was later found that she had taken poison and the reason for her death was that she could not take the beatings and the brutal ravaging her husband inflicted upon her. Both she and the healer whom villagers called a witch were the same age of twenty three.
The buzzing of the flies grew louder and louder screeching in his ears as he made to run away from the water to the house he had recently bought. Then he tripped on a branch bent crooked at the elbow like a broken arm and tumbled down a shallow embankment aside a brook gurgling with choking sounds and landed face down into a pile of black ash. The burnt smell of a corpse nauseated him and he vomited then turned in time to see something walk past the trees then it was gone.
“Who are you?!” he cried out.
The swarming flies came round his head again buzzing loud and ferocious. Scratching at his face with ash blackened hands he realized what he’d done and disgustedly wiped
"The Joy of Haunting" by A. Roz Mar
Read 1.5 pgs of a 3 page story about a man inheriting a cottage under one condition. Teen to Adult
It was a singular moment that changed everything. He detested the countryside. It only served to waste time away from London and the business of making money. “I’ll sell the damn thing,” he told the estate attorney. There was nothing he could do but follow his dead uncle’s directive in the will that he must spend three days in the cottage before any action could be taken in either selling or keeping it.
“Bloody mess,” he grunted, wiping his muddied dress loafers on the footbrush beside an old front door. The house was surrounded by a dense profusion of ivy gone mad covering nearly the entire façade. He was startled when a chough landed on the roof’s edge and mocked him, its red bill opening and closing again and again taunting him with its harsh annoying cry. “Shoo, go on, shoo,” he cried, waving his arms seeing the bird off then saw the white splatter of bird droppings on his car. “I just had it waxed!” he whined. “Tch, why did I bother.”
He turned the key and stepped inside. Immediately the stale stench of cigar smoke and whiskey, ale and ash hit him like a cursed thud. Tossing his head back he barked, “Must I have to do this?!” hoping his uncle could hear him somewhere up there in the afterlife. “This isn’t a house it’s a poor sot’s pub.” He threw down his leather travel bag and slammed the door shut behind him.
His mind reeled...I have clients to see, not this mess! There’s the meeting with Roger to arrange...Ned and Sophie must be at Heathrow on Friday...there’ll be hordes of traffic no doubt. The list went on and on in his head. “But I have to be here instead!” He had put it off and put it off until forced to by his solicitor who repeatedly reminded him of the deadline.
He took a deep breath. “Now, let us start again. Over there,” he said pointing and marched down the hallway that led straight into the wide space of a living room.
First he noted the two leather sofas mumbling sarcastically, “Not just one, eh?” He took it all in surveying each thing. There were side tables, leather chairs, and a chess board with pieces poised on black and red squares in the middle of battle; a backgammon board arranged on a low table between raj chairs; shelves filled with sloppily arranged books covered in cobwebs and a stone fireplace with a poker sticking out of musty blackened wood and ash that had
spilled out onto the hearth. He pinched his nose and bent to try and look up the chimney, “hmm, wind perhaps.” A large desk to the right was pushed up against a wall piled with papers. A mouse appeared, saw him, and quickly scampered off on its pink little feet.
“Agggh,” he gasped, a blast of adrenalin tinkling his skin.
Scattered in spots were drinking glasses and dirty ashtrays over flowing with stale half smoked cigars that insulted his sense of tidiness and made him cringe with disgust. On the floor were stacks of Sporting Life, Financial Times, and other periodicals that shared the same layer of dust and filth that covered the silk and wool Qom rug in the middle of the room, he closed his eyes to pretend he did not see, though grateful the tapestry was tough enough to withstand such abuse. Even with eyes closed his imagination envisioned the other rooms of the cottage in the same condition.
Through windows and double French doors he could see a neatly trimmed hedge. “Aha! Now there, there is where I need to be,” he hoped for a moment of respite from the hellish hodgepodge inside and to get some fresh air. He maneuvered through the maze of furniture then accidentally knocked over a standing ashtray that spread ash and cigarette butts on the rug. It rattled his nerves that were already as tight as a coil ready to spring.
“River Baby” by A. Roz Mar
Read 2 pages of a 5 pages story about memory and madness. Young Adult to Adult.
How does madness begin? The how hardly matters but over time it becomes more clear that something needs righting; it cannot be helped if one is to live a sane life. The girl had, early on, known what the story would be about and it was scary.
The book in her lap was open to a painting of which she would turn to again and again at every visit to her Grandmamma’s house. In that house was a curtained off closet along a hallway that led from the front room directly into her Gran’s bedroom of which the six year old was in awe; pale green walls, heavy old world furniture smelling of verbena and roses, scents she would never forget, an open window where cool shadows spoke beneath narrow wispy trees, all this impressed her soul. But it was in the closet where she had one day found the big book of pictures and words she could not read which more than anything warmed her heart, holding her spellbound.
Under the light of a single bulb with a pull string she eyed piled up boxes and chests, items on shelves, objects hanging on the walls, and other things tucked away in the long clustering darkness of the closet that seemed to go on forever. She felt certain that here there was magic and a secret mystery that if explored would give meaning to a world that thus far had made little sense. Seeking, questing, she searched the unfamiliar space. All seemed out of reach but she ventured forward until she found a shelf in front of her that had been there all along and then right away she understood that she had been expected. Moving a step or two closer with her hands gently held together against the soft folds of her dress she crossed a threshold that seemed a secret forest of a netherworld. “Huh,” she uttered, when a sparkle caught her eye. Light glinted off gold letters that ran along the spine of a book that was taller than the rest on the bookshelf. Reaching out to touch it her heart fluttered all the way to her ears when she ran her finger down the jeweled spine. At first hesitant she clumsily removed it with delicate hands which in that moment was a discovered treasure. Leaving the
cloister of the closet she moved to the front room and risked a glimpse at her mother whose back faced her then at her Gram who saw what she held in her arms but said nothing nor did she make her put the book back. She was glad to see the spark of curiosity the dusty old tome had engendered in her grandaughter, the one different from the rest of her siblings.
In a corner of the front room next to an open window was a wood chair where she sat alone and out of the way on that first day of the book’s discovery. Every visit thereafter she would pull it from the shelf and sit for the longest time in the same chair with the book held open on her spindly lap. No one stopped her, but still she remained quiet and kept to herself for she did not want to draw attention and be shouted at for doing something wrong that might upset the adults.
“Do not make trouble or I will leave you home and you will not come with us,” her mother would warn. Drilled into her, the words do not make trouble played over and over in her head so not to forget. It made her afraid for it meant being left behind alone with him. She did not altogether know what she meant by making trouble only that it meant punishment.
She eyed the cover of the book. Opening it the woody smell of the pages mystified and engaged her senses. It became a soothing perfume that felt strangely cozy and warm. Cherishing the beauty of the one picture, she held the book with tender care and though she would look at other pictures she always came back to the one with the baby.
The world of Grandmamma’s did not harm but felt otherworldly and good; the green rug patterned with great fronds of fern leaves on golden wood floors, the black wrought iron scroll on the front screen door. Outside where it was humid the cicada orchestrated and played their shimmering songs from low to high to low then silence, then low to high to low again in the same clockwork pattern, timing their music to the wind rustling down through Chinaberry and palm trees. Breezes pushed the symphony through the screen door and filled the front room of her grandmother’s grey stucco house overgrown with scarlet bougainvillea. Grandmamma was a matriarch. Highly respected the family was obsequious in her presence though she demanded it not. Austere and seemingly wise, a grand dame of modest means, her bearing was one of aloofness and reserve.
The girl’s name was Olivia but they called her Livie. It seemed always to be summer when she sat in the lone chair away from the adults who murmured like cooing doves at the other end of the room that created a mood of hushed stillness, the air sultry yet cool. Olivia would forever after feel that cool stillness in the presence of deep green colors. In these moments her mother seemed at peace not at all like her usual restless, worrisome self. Livie was too young to understand the abnormality of her mother’s moods and the damage being done to her young soul. Of all the children she was her mother’s scapegoat unloading the dark moods and angry manic ravings onto the child spewing cruel epithets sometimes hitting her with an open hand.
"Masters of the Plain" by A. Roz Mar
Read 1.3 pages of a 3 pages mystical tale on the aboriginal outback of Australia. Teen to Adult.
They rode through floating feathers and everywhere diaphanous veils into the glinting light of silver and gold that spread and gathered sparkling like sunlight and endless stars, love living in the air and wisdom living in the light. It was not today or yesterday but one moment.
Green hills undulated across the landscape. Winds that swept between spires of red sandstone lifted their manes like ships’ sails over a green sea. Running, darting, chasing, and urging forward galloping toward nowhere and everywhere to a secret calling; the free and invincible swift currents advanced the heroes across the hilly plains. Masters of the bush these outback dancers were horses called baroomby or brumby.
Omeo, a youth of the Anangu, had come into manhood. He of all the Australian clan’s children felt a special kinship to the brumby, the wild horses of the Uluru, seeing them as gods.
My heart lifts and rises to meet you, thought Omeo, feeling expansive...breath of mother soul of earth soars bringing life to open, bud, and bloom filling it with your powers...this I know to be true, this I know to be her soul leaving the heart beneath my feet to bring bounty of wisdom from the stars to grow the things of earth for us her people.
Though nature was awakening, the human soul in its way nodded sleepily but not this day, not for him. Omeo strode and ran free as the wind. Green sparkled all around by the sun beneath a deep blue sky touched by wispy clouds after the first showers of the blossoming spring rain. Throaty neighing sounds came to his ear and a warm wind swirled downward sweeping across the plain. Loud whinnying attended the sounds and the earth thundered and rumbled. Turning east Omeo’s dark handsome face turned, his gold green eyes fixed on an emerald hill and watched as the proud heads of horses came over the top. The galloping herd slowed and the group gathered at the top of the hill. They grazed while young foals wandered awkwardly among the legs of the mares. A chestnut red stallion with black mane and tail watched him. They had come to know one another from a distance. Omeo who had grown slender, tall, and muscular walked calmly toward him carrying a gourd filled with grain over his shoulder. A sleek ponytail hung down Omeo’s back and lay dark against the white of his shirt. Half open in the front
the shirt billowed when the wind crossed the grassland. Wearing pale blue jeans torn at the knees the scruffy threadbare cuffs met his brown bare feet which were cushioned beneath by the abundant green grass that would not last long, by summer’s end it would disappear to red dust.
The stallion let the young man approach him. Standing not too far away Omeo dug into the gourd and held out a handful of grain. Extending his arm he opened his hand. The red horse took its time ambling forward all the while eying him. Nearing the outstretched palm its nostrils flared and cautiously sniffed, its bold head hovering above him. Holding steady Omeo felt its warm breath brush over his fingertips then the lips parted exposing teeth and the tongue flicked and tasted the offering. Omeo swallowed hard but stood firm and the grain disappeared from his open palm.
These beasts were not friendly. The stories of those trying to catch and tame them were often ones of tragedy and death.
"The Owl Girl" by A. Roz Mar
From the Tales of Mystery Wisdom book, read 4 of 8 pages of a three part tale about a girl's magic journey through life. For Children age 9 to Adult.
Myths and legends are true and wise and fill our hearts with dreams of long ago. They come from a world we once knew and will one day know again. Such tales tell of wisdom and courage, foolishness and faith in places near and far. They are told so that we never lose heart.
The forests of the owl are very old and very magical. Few know that they exist. In these forests are great birds like swans, hawks, falcons, and eagles. Of the wee birds are swift winged swallows, finches, chickadees, and shimmering hummingbirds.
But there are also other creatures in these forests...horses. They are majestic and friendly, and some are the bravest of war horses. They are Coursers, Rounceys, Destriers, and Friesians with long fiery manes and swift feet. The Percheron is as strong as the mighty oak tree. Most famous is winged Pegasus. But the rarest horse of all is the one horn or Unihorn. They are who serve kings, queens, knights, and other noble beings.
Birds and beasts help people all the time but humans hardly know this because they do not understand their ways. In these forests live those of noble blood. If thee be a child, a child at heart, or a graced soul then you are the most noble and most welcome of all humans.
There is one particular owl forest that is home to the great one known as Myrddin, also called Merlin in the common tongue. A Merlin is also a special kind of falcon. As a Magus, Myrddin is a fellowman to King Arthur of Britannia and to Charlemagne. Parzival, a Grail Knight and a distant cousin to Arthur, also counsels from the world of the Magi. For those who come through the forests of wisdom, Parzival is a beacon that shines out and beckons us to become noble, good, true, and wise, even to this day….for the journey of man is long and perilous.
When a great King, not an ordinary king, is granted a sword, it is created in the forest of the owl, for it is only the Owl of great Wisdom that can wise such a sword. This is how it happens:
The owl first travels throughout the woods in search of the horse with the one horn. He flies over the river to see if it might be partaking of water to drink. If it is not there, he searches the meadows of soft grass where the wind bends the blade and the sun opens the flower. If it is not there then he enters the forest of ancient trees at Myrddinwood.
The owl perches itself on the highest branch of a tree and looks about him far and wide. Then he calls out, “ooh ah ooh,” and listens closely. He hears a low rumble stir. He calls again, “ooh ah ooh,” and the soft rumble of padded hooves gets louder. Through the dark trunks of the trees below he sees one approaching. This one is tall and gallant and wears a star on her chest, for this one is female.
She circles the tree then says, “Sir Owl, you call to me?” Her voice is gentle and wholesome. Her fur is light brown, her mane long and golden and her almond shaped eyes are also golden brown with bits of green like the holly. Most importantly her horn is sparkling white.
“Is it time?” she asks.
“Oh yes,” the owl says sincerely, “a great King awaits my lady.”
“Is he worthy?” she asks.
“Oh yes my lady, he is most gallant and worthy.”
“Is he wise?”
“Oh yes Princess, he has proven to be most noble and wise.”
“And will he be a good King to his people?”
“Oh yes my lady, he follows the code of chivalry and honor.”
“Then I will sacrifice.”
She bends her head, for the horn lies at the top of her head pointing toward the stars. The Owl then swoops down and wraps its great wing around it and at once it becomes a mighty sword of deep magic and power. He then takes it to the Magus who, at the right time, presents it to the King to be. Unihorns are sacred and secret animals. They are not easily found because they must keep the wise power hidden and safe until it is needed.
The Swan is the daughter of Grace, who oversees all in these forests.
Grace is she who plants the seeds for all things to grow and come into being and who loves all those in the world who believe in Her. Grace is all embracing and most benevolent and you can see her constellation of stars in the Milky Way, which is also the nest from whence she came into the world.
Swan forsook her home in the starry world to be with us...but that was a very long time ago.
In these great and ancient forests the blessings for the world are given so that human beings may become as noble in thought and deed as the falcon or a King, as courageous and pure of heart as a horse, as devoted, loving, and beautiful as the swan, and as wise and insightful as the owl. When all these noble qualities come together in one, then Grace and the Spirit of the Sun have ennobled a human soul. For all creatures came before elves, gnomes, water sprites, and fire spirits, but it was human souls who came first.
The owl girl was called Patricia and she found herself in this kingdom at Myrrdinwood. The place she had left was not good for children and that is why Owl and a majestic Tigress named Joy brought her here. They protected her and it was the first time since she was very little that she felt safe and at rest.
In this place she could begin to smile again for in this place she could open her heart like a flower and freely sing and dance with joy and no one made fun of her. Here her little heart became bigger and love freely flowed out from her toward all living things in the world. Patricia was loved by her new friends and they thought her good and generous.
When love cannot flow freely, a human being cannot grow and live, they cannot become, for becoming is endless unto the end of time.
Like all ancient forests they abound in great adventures. This was the beginning of Patricia’s adventures, when she was befriended by Owl.
At first his feathers were white, the color of trust and goodness, but soon changed to the enchanting owl colors of shimmering gold and brown and blue-black. She lived here for many years until the Wise deemed it time she return to the family kingdom she was born in, at least for a little while…but that is later in the story not at the beginning.
The first time she met Myrddin the Magus was an adventure well worth the telling. He is a great Master you see. There are many great masters in the world who stand behind us like guardian angels ready to teach those who are willing to know...but Myrddin is the only one who seeks you first.
It was a warm and sunny day in the ancient forest where there was much ado with activity. Birds chirped, bees buzzed, and other creatures made all manner of peculiar noises that were sweet to the ear.
There was a sparkling brook gurgling beneath willow trees that grew along a bank. A copse of birch trees with graceful white trunks and branches grew nearby. They had several small door holes where chipmunks, squirrels, woodland fairies, and very small owls lived.
Patricia was kneeling on a rock that was covered with emerald green moss scooping up a handful of water to drink when suddenly she felt a ‘tap tap’ on her head. Startled, she looked up at the willow tree and thought that perhaps an acorn had fallen on her head. But then, acorns grow on oak trees and there were no such trees in this part of the greenwood.
“Hmm, perhaps it was a bird,” she said aloud.
“There, you, you there,” said a voice.
“Yes, you, might you have the good manners to look at me when I speak?”
“I would be honored to do so if I could see you,” she replied.
“Oh bother, have I not appeared,” the voice sighed.
And just like that, a tall gentleman stood before her.
If ever she wished to see something marvelous, here it was.
His robes were purple and white with tinkling little lights that appeared and
disappeared at will. She heard tiny voices in bits of song and laughter because in
fact the lights were really woodland fairies.
“I do apologize and forgive you for not seeing me,” he said.
“I thank you sir. And was it you that tapped my head?” asked Patricia.
“Was it...why of course it was me!” he said raising his eyebrows.
He held up a long walking stick made of smooth dark wood and at the knobby end was perched a crystal globe that changed colors depending on the old fellow’s mood. Patricia rubbed the small lump on her head made by his walking stick.
“My name is Patricia.”
“Well I know your name child. And I am here to tell you it is time for you to walk with me. It is not everyone who receives a call from me you know.”
“Did you tell me your name?” she inquired.
“Yes...at least I think so.” He looked down his nose at her and cleared his throat. He had deep blue eyes that beheld the starry dome of the night sky.
“It is Myrddin...like the bird.”
“Merlin,” she repeated.
“No, no, no. It is Myrddin. You pronounce it like Myrrthin...for I came down through the ancient land of Wales you know.”
“You don’t say.”
“I do say, indeed I say it, and proudly too,” he grumbled.
Taking one last sip of water from the brook she quickly joined him.
“It is a long journey you know. Are you certain you wish to take it? Can you endure it Patricia?” he asked curiously.
For a long time Patricia had been waiting for this moment to prove herself and now it was finally here.
“Yes, I am ready,” she assured Myrddin.
“Very well then,” he summed her up and smiled. “Yes, I dare say you are. Let us walk together.” And with that they took the path that led further along the embankment beside the brook.
As they trekked along the pathway the ground began to move faster than their feet, it was like walking on a water wheel. The day turned into starry night and then turned to day again as they continued along until they finally stopped.
Before them, amidst forests and fields, stood the Timeless Castle, for in the time it had taken to arrive there, Patricia had quite grown into a young woman.
Across a short bridge, the castle gates began to open.
“If you enter here you will gain the strength you need to face the hardships ahead,” said Myrddin. Patricia accepted this without question. “Always remember my dear girl that our greatest foe is the one of our own making.”
He swirled his walking stick and a sword held within a silver sheath appeared and hung at her side. She approached the bridge that led to the open gate.
As she entered, a horse with a shiny red chestnut coat met her. It snorted and turned around in the other direction, its reins dragging on the ground. She took hold of the reins and mounted the steed, then the call of an owl sounded and the horse moved forward. She turned back to see Myrddin holding up a hand in farewell and a whisper came to her ear as if he were right beside her.
‘You carry the sword of Truth, Courage, and Freedom, use it wisely.'