Mythical Monday: The Spooky House by Mae Clair

Happy Labor Day, everyone! It’s a holiday and the three day weekend has me feeling lazy.

I cheated with today’s Mythical Monday because I originally ran this post on June 6, 2012, before I’d begun my weekly feature. Since only four people saw it (and it was a Wednesday), I figure I’m safe in posting it again. 🙂 I hope you enjoy!

The Spooky House

There’s one in every neighborhood. When I was six, the spooky house was two doors down, part of the urban tree-lined street where my family made their home. A brooding three-story structure of gray stone with a sprawling covered front porch, white columns, and side bump-outs, it oozed mystery. The adults might have been oblivious, but all the neighborhood kids knew it was haunted.

No one actually lived there. It had been converted for business offices with a huge parking lot in the rear that butted against an alley. The lot was sectioned off with lengths of heavy chain strung between squat cement pilings. We’d see people come and go, swallowed up inside, but there were never many cars in the lot, Naturally, we were suspicious.

My friends and I were convinced a coven of witches met there, and that if you ventured too close to the sides where the shadows were thickest, you’d be sucked up into a coffin tucked beneath the eaves. No one would ever know what happened to you because an evil twin, capable of fooling everyone, took your place.

bigstock-Ghost-At-The-Window-tint--23502128The house also had a resident ghost who lived on the second floor. We knew this because the south facing room had a trio of beautiful stained glass windows and that was the perfect place for a ghost to languish.  Our phantom was female. She was a melancholy soul who’d been separated from her true love and imprisoned by the witches because they were jealous. She spent her time listening to an old-fashioned music box, weeping for her lost love, and looking romantically tragic in a flowing white dress. It’s amazing what six-year-olds can envision, especially when inspired by Dark Shadows and Quentin Collins!

Once when we were swinging on the metal chains in the parking lot (kids do dumb things when adults aren’t around), one of the neighborhood boys fell and cracked his head on the asphalt. It was a traumatic experience with a lot of screaming, crying and blood splatter. I remember following the trail of blood down the alley and across a connecting street to his house a day later. The evidence stayed there a long time before the rain washed away the grisly reminder.  Although Chester recovered, we were sure the witches had caused his fall, angry that we’d discovered their secrets. I don’t think he ever swung on the chains again. I’m not sure I did either.

Not long after that, my family moved to the suburbs where I made new friends and found a new house to invent stories about. Why is it that old homes twine so ideally with the paranormal?

What about you?  Was there a spooky house in your neighborhood that still resonates in your memory? I’d love to hear about it!

Mae Clair: What’s Your Preference, Vampires or Werewolves? H0p!

VVWToday is Mythical Monday on my blog, and also the first day of the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop. What a great mesh! During the hop, participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times. Let me share the blurb:

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, because it’s Mythical Monday on my blog, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son
Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?)
If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period
By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf
By drinking water haunted by the dead
By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

USE THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW, comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice).  I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me very happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

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