The Wisp, Chapter Two, Part One

The Wisp, Chapter Two, Part One

A Story by Pryde Foltz

The book fluttered to the ground and settled on the stone floor soundlessly. A small breeze flipped pages and lifted locks of her hair.

The Wisp
Chapter Two
Part One

Listen ...

Or read ...

Bara walked past rows of dusty volumes stacked on worm-eaten wooden shelves. She didn’t feel like studying just yet. Amy always took ages in Tech and wouldn’t arrive for a while, and so why not do a little reading? Bara picked a random row. Her hand grazed firm backs and metallic embossing. She didn’t have a book in mind. The right one would call out. A tingle, maybe a shock of static, bit at her fingertips. She stopped to see which book her hand had settled upon. Taunting her from the shelf was a worn and frayed edition of the Magician’s Nephew.

An invisible curtain hung, isolating the diners from one another. They ate in an oak-paneled dining room, at a long oak table, a very long, oak table. Three of the four middle leaves were missing. It was still too big for the three of them. Templeton Cavanagh sat at one end with his new wife to his right, his daughter to his left. To Bara, her father felt miles away, her stepmother far too close. There was only one saving grace, a large fall-themed center-piece. Bara slouched to hide her face behind the orange tiger lilies and bright red mums. Courtney shifted so she could see around the flowers. 

“Do you like the roast?” she asked.

Bara nodded but said nothing. Her dislike for Courtney only grew when she was in her presence, with her perfectly-coifed hair, pink cashmere sweater set, and matching chiffon scarf. Blah! Courtney always wore pink. Bara never wore pink and not because she was almost a redhead. Pink, she thought, an insipid shade of red. The girl color. Why not just wear a sign that said walk all over me? I’m vulnerable and weak? 

Without a doubt, pearls would have suited the cashmere Courtney wore. Bara’s mother always wore pearls. Courtney had chosen a simple locket. It was dark silver, but not actually silver. Maybe iron? Large and heavy, it was clumsy looking on her slender neck. Courtney toyed with the chain and then looked to her husband. He gave her a reassuring smile. She reached below the table. Her hands reappeared with a pale pink box tied with a bright fuchsia ribbon. A little too excitedly, she pushed the box close to Bara. “I was shopping this afternoon,” she explained. “And I found this wonderful bookstore.” 

Bara put down her fork and eyed the box suspiciously. She sighed and removed the lid to reveal a leather-bound edition of the Magician’s Nephew. She knew the story well. 

“I hope you like C.S. Lewis.” Courtney chimed happily, sensing her pleasure.

Bara was pleased. Then she remembered how her mother had read the story to her, years ago. No way was she going to accept this book from Courtney, the woman who ... as far as Bara was concerned ... had broken her family in two. No way! 

Courtney was still smiling when Bara thrust the book back across the table again. “I already have a copy,” Bara said brusquely. “Maybe you can get your money back.” 

She returned to eating. Courtney rose from the table.

“I’ll see to dessert,” she said and left the room. 

Templeton went to scold Bara. She turned to him and he softened. The look in her eyes. She needs more time.

I won’t. Bara broke the rules of her own game. She lifted her hand and reached instead for a copy of the Hideous Strength. It lay a little less mockingly on the same shelfSo there! she retorted to no one but herself. She clasped the book close to her chest and made her way back down the aisle. The Magician’s Nephew stayed snug and untouched on the shelf. 

Bara settled into a termite-eaten study carrel and turned on its green reading lamp. A mouthful of coffee and the Hideous Strength was opened to a random page. She landed smack in pursuit of an immortal Merlin. 

The coffee wouldn’t be enough. Dreamy blue eyes battled with the written page of C.S. Lewis. A heavy head took on a will of its own and drifted down into the crook of her arm. It felt good there. She gave in and surrendered to dreams. 

A mist rolled in. Bara might have fallen into a deeper, dreamless rest, but the soft whistle of rustling paper filled the air. Books, rusty-brown and red, flew from the shelves and performed a strange aerial ballet. They circled around her. She came to her feet and reached out her dream hand. Her fingers grazed a hard cover and soft pages. The book fluttered to the ground and settled on the stone floor soundlessly. A small breeze flipped pages and lifted locks of her hair. Bara reached out for another book but was interrupted by the sound of someone coming down the stairs and passing close by. She looked but saw no one. The wind picked up then and grew thickly scented, floral. It rustled through the alit books. As each was touched by the sickly-smelling zephyr, it dropped with a heavy thud. Eventually the air was empty, the floor littered with open spines and fluttering sheets. 

As sometimes happens in a dream, the place and characters changed. She was far from complaining. The dark-haired boy had joined her. They sat on a low stone wall, under the shade of blossoming cherry tree. Pink petals drifted down. A bloom landed in her hair. He plucked the pink from her red-gold locks and held it to the blue sky. The single petal multiplied and darkened. The one cherry blossom became a full red rose. She smiled and took the flower. The dark-haired boy opened his mouth to speak but instead dissolved to mist. The rose petals dropped from the flower head and ignited before disintegrating to ash. Bara sat alone, clutching the dead and empty bloom. 

There was a touch on her shoulder. Perhaps, he’d come back. She turned to look. The stone wall and cherry tree disappeared. Bara was again seated at the study carrel, her head in her arms. No dark-haired boy. Just a dream. But the tap … that had been real. Yes. There was a second and another spark of static. She lifted her head and looked for Amy. No one. 

Bara remembered a similar touch, in History class, and just like in History class, there’d been no one there, but someone had definitely touched her this time. She was certain. Then there it was ... a bright light and a wisp of silvery white, wafting through the air like a long flowing scarf. The vision disappeared into the stacks, reappearing each time it passed between an aisle, moving incredibly fast. Bara jumped up and ran to where it had last been. She ran to the next row and the next and then retraced her steps. Nothing. The vision had disappeared.

Just down from where she stood, a book stuck out from the shelf. It was in danger of falling to the floor. She went to return it to its proper place but pulled back and stared. The book was the Magician’s Nephew. Someone had come down into the stacks and moved it … and that someone now stood behind her, breathing thick floral-scented breath upon her neck. Bara spun around. Strawberry-blond hair streamed over a large black mouth, a mouth that had consumed its own face. The doppelgänger had returned. There was the thump of a book landing on the floor.

The Wisp and its sequel, the Tall Man, are available here.

© 2019 Pryde Foltz

Author's Note

Pryde Foltz
Bara dreams of the dark-haired boy, but one blustery day, the dark-haired boy is replaced by a silvery spectre who haunts her even when she is awake, pulling her deeper into dreams and closer to secrets she is better off not knowing. Waking up is no relief. The fictional east-coast town of Windfall offers its own surprises: immortal witches, coffee-loving werewolves, and dream boys come to life. A dead man’s diary names Bara a Clavigen and calls upon her to cage the evil. She must defeat the witch who has ensnared the Wisp in a piece of enchanted amber. Unfortunately, the dreams have not revealed all. Always watching, a demon waits to prey upon her young soul.

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I loved the video and the story dear Pryde. I love hearing your voice. You can tell a story with skill. Thank you for sharing your outstanding work.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Pryde Foltz

2 Years Ago

Thank so much, Coyote:)
Coyote Poetry

2 Years Ago

You are welcome my dear friend.
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ha ha loved reading this all over again. Thank u so much

Posted 3 Years Ago

Pryde Foltz

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Vin:) Hoping to just give some people a refresher and find a few new readers before promo.. read more
one of my favorites pryde

Posted 3 Years Ago

Pryde Foltz

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Ron:)

3 Years Ago

you`re welcome
I'm really enjoying this all over again

Posted 3 Years Ago

Pryde Foltz

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Denise:)

3 Years Ago

yvw 😎

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4 Reviews
Added on October 26, 2019
Last Updated on October 27, 2019
Tags: fiction, novel, horror, fantasy, paranormal, ya fiction, supernatural, witch, demon, dreams, nightmare


Pryde Foltz
Pryde Foltz

Vancouver, Canada

My written work can be found on Instagram: twitter: @Pryde Foltz Facebook: pryde foltz Youtubehttps:/ more..