Mythical Monday: Sendings, Ghostly Assassins by Mae Clair

In keeping with the approach of Halloween, I’m staying focused on ghostly apparitions for the remainder of this month’s Mythical Monday posts. October and spooky just effortlessly go hand-in-glove. When it comes to ghosts, we tend to think of them as spirits who are reluctant to move on, or who have left something unfinished when torn from the earthly realm. But there is an additional type of specter, or at least one that makes an appearance in Icelandic folklore.

If legend is to be believed, a ghost can be magically conjured from a human bone. I find the idea pretty ghoulish—imagining some wrinkled  sorcerer or necromancer crouched and chanting over crypt bones—but apparently ghosts can be useful If you’re an unethical practitioner of magic.  In this case, the wraiths are known as “sendings” and were often employed as murderers or dispatched to perform grisly deeds. It makes you feel sorry for the poor soul whose bones were unearthed by an unscrupulous wizard!

The good news (if you were the mortal target of said unscrupulous mage) is that sendings were not without weakness. As a case in point there was once a comely widow who many men sought to marry. She refused all offers—I can’t help thinking the husband she lost was her only true love—but that didn’t stop the men who coveted her, and her land holdings, from pursuing her.Comely young woman, grieving over grave

One day as she was preparing supper a strange sixth sense came over her, warning of danger. Turning toward the doorway she spied a shadow on the threshold, velvet black but for an odd white spot at its center. As the terrified woman watched, the shadow crept toward her, inching nearer across the floor. Snatching up a knife, she struck the apparition where she sensed it was most vulnerable—the odd white blossom at its center.  Instantly, the shadow vanished, her knife claimed along with it.

The next morning she found the knife in the yard, pinioned through a human bone. Her quick thinking and her bravery had saved her life, and from that point forward she was bothered no more.

A strange HEA, but kind of cool nonetheless, and it speaks to my personal belief that some people have only one soulmate. What do you think of this tale?


14 thoughts on “Mythical Monday: Sendings, Ghostly Assassins by Mae Clair

  1. I do believe in ghosts. My paranormal Shadows of the Past has both harmless and dangerous ones. Like in everything else, there are two sides with ghosts too. And there are also black magic handlers who will take advantage of dead people. I’ve never heard about such magic being done on bones! Gruesome. It gives you goose bumps just reading about it.
    What a huge presence of mind the widow had. Sometimes fear gives you unexplained courage. And yes, there are, rare however, but there are happy people who meet their soul mates in life. Some say that sometimes even after reincarnation, the two soul mates might not meet, as they are reincarnated in different parts of the world. In the end, at least once in their cycle of reincarnation they will be together. It seems this woman had this chance even if only for a short time.
    A post in keeping with the coming Halloween, indeed.


    • Hi, Carmen. I agree too that there are probably differences in ghosts…malevolent, sorrowful, even benevolent. Perhaps it has to do with the way the person died or even the way they chose to live their lives. And I love the thought of a soul mate, that special single person you were meant to share your life with. Perhaps that is the romantic in me. Thanks for commenting!


    • Bone-chilling? Okay, I’m giggling over that, LOL.

      And yes, numerous possibilities. If my muse weren’t otherwise already engaged with multiple projects, she would likely be coercing me to take a closer look at this one!


  2. Oh, I love this story of the sending and the widow who was able to forestall it. I also am creeped out by but drawn to the picture of the sorcerer performing the bone magic necessary to create the sending. I think I’ll have to find a use for this image. It’s just too good not to. Thanks, Mae.


    • It’s a wonderful image, isn’t it? So sorrowful and yet so captivating. Hope your muse turns it into a wonderful story, Flossie. And i bet that sorcerer will factor in there too!


    • Hi, Donna. Yep that nasty sorcerer apparently didn’t expect her to fight. Probably thought she’s shrivel up in terror ( though i can’t say I wouldn’t). I love that she bested him.


  3. I hadn’t heard that about a bone being used but it makes sense. Creepy tale! It’s startling to think about energy creates physical power – ghostly images, movement, etc. I may need to sleep with a sword by my bed now! LOL


    • I’m all for the Sendings having the last laugh. Can you imagine just wanting to rest in peace and then having some evil wizard yank you back into a world you thought you were done with . . on a nefarious mission, yet. Eesh! 😀


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