Saturday, October 5, 2013


What sort of witches do you like?

Let's explore the variety authors and screenwriters have given us over the years. I apologize in advance for all the good ones I miss. This are in no particular order. I add them as they pop into my head.

1. Charmed: This show gives us three sisters with three different personalities. To be honest, this was not a favorite of mine. Seems like every time I watched it the girls were at each other's throats. I thought it was boring.

2. Harry Potter series: With over a hundred characters, I'm sure you can find at least one witch or wizard you enjoy. Do you identify with know-it-all Hermonie? Or maybe you are more like klutzy Neville. Do you feel like a Ron, a sidekick to someone with a great future? What about Harry himself, the boy who lived?

3. Vampire Diaries: Bonnie is a nice girl, albeit scary at times. She started the series in the dark, having no idea she was a witch. This past season showed her powers grow to terrifying heights. Bonnie doesn't know when to quit. She is willing to risk her life to save her friends.

4. Crushed: There are three sisters in this one too. Kristen is the self-appointed leader, but her angry often harsh sister Brittany doesn't always follow. Of course it is going to take a special boy to come between these girls, and Kristen finds him in Zach Bevian, a wizard with dark powers.

5. Sabrina: I used to watch the TV show. It was fun. Sabrina had a talking black cat and two aunts who constantly tried to point her in the right direction. Since she was just learning to use her powers, Sabrina often learned her lessons the hard way after using a spell she wasn't able to control.

6. Wizard of Oz: Did you prefer the good witch or the bad one in this classic movie? Personally, I liked that a house fell on one of them and that water melted the other. LOL. Flying monkeys.

Shannon was only in the sanitarium for a few minutes, but it had seemed an eternity. She couldn't shake the feeling of being watched as she darted for the car. A cold numbing sensation infiltrated her bones.
Poor Tyler. He'd spent six months in that place. If a short visit could affect her this way, what had it done to the impressionable boy?
She sat in the back with Tyler while Nick drove the long four-door car.
Nick glanced in the rearview mirror at his brother every few minutes, but he didn't say anything. His lips compressed into a tight line, and his hands tightened on the steering wheel until his knuckles were white.
After dropping Johnny off so he could drive his own car, they headed for their new temporary home. Johnny was going to pick up the kids from their grandparents' house. As they headed out of town, Shannon gave Tyler her full attention. She wondered if he was aware they were no longer in that dreadful place.
She turned sideways, facing Tyler. She focused on his blank expression while she talked to him, searching for a sign of the old Tyler. Maybe she could break through the drug-induced fog enough to reassure him. He swayed with the car's every movement as if he didn't have a bone in his body.
"We're going to a new house," she said, using the cheerful voice she usually reserved for her son when he needed to do something unpleasant like get a shot. "Johnny and Nick are having a little trouble with their other business partner, so we're going to hide out for a while."
"We're not hiding out," Nick injected. His intrusive voice bounced against the soft leather interior. "I thought Johnny explained things to you. We have to leave the country... permanently. This isn't a drill. We aren't coming back."
"Do you mind?" She pushed the back of his shoulder with two fingers. "I'm talking to Tyler, not you.  And maybe I don't want to scare the crap out of him. Okay? He doesn't need to know about the m-e-n with the g-u-n-s that might be coming for us."
Nick's eyes met hers in the rearview, filled with amusement. "He can spell, you know?"
Now she felt stupid.
"I know that. Just shut up and drive."
Her gaze returned to Tyler. His expression hadn't changed. She stroked dark hair away from his eyes while she continued to talk to him in a happy, soothing voice. She told him about the house. She hadn't seen it yet, not in person, but someone had emailed it to her, and it was perfect.
A ghost house.
Shannon had published the last book in a popular series last year. Since then, she hadn't written a single word. No one knew about the frustrating writer's block. They didn't know she was scared to death she wouldn't be able to shake the clinging remnants of vampire lore off her tired brain. Not her husband Johnny, who would listen to her go on and on for hours about her characters even though he didn't give a hoot about fiction. Not her best friend Nick, the shoulder she cried on and the one who was always good for encouragement. Not even her harried agent who called the house at least twice a day to ask when the new manuscript would be finished.
He would drop dead on the spot if he found out there wasn't a new manuscript, not yet.
She hadn't told a soul.
She had trouble admitting the truth to herself. Day after day, she forced herself to sit at the computer, praying for a breakthrough.
Every time she tried to write, her mind conjured images of angry fans. They wanted more of the old vampires from her previous series. They didn't want new.  Sometimes she wished she hadn't gotten famous so fast. Perhaps if she'd gotten a few other series under her belt, people wouldn't expect her to stick with the same stories over and over.
Inspiration had come in the form of a mysterious email, an attachment of a place called Woodlow Hills. The Woodlow Mansion, a scary monstrosity, sat on top of a hill overlooking a cute village. The picture of the house drew her in deeper. It practically screamed horror. No way could she sleep inside of that house without coming up with a major series.
Ghosts. Her next book would definitely be about floating spirits. She didn't have any of the particulars yet. The rest would come. She had no doubt the Woodlow Mansion would fill her mind with dark images. Soon, she'd have the characters and plot firmly in place. She was sure the words would start to flow.
She'd scare the hell out of her readers. Just wait.

No comments: