The Warning

witch

– Oleg Oprisco

“You have to go back!”

She was tall, with long, red hair that drapped her blue jacket clad shoulders. Her eyes were an intense green and her face was smooth and pasty, like melted wax.

But what Sean saw in her hands gave him pause.

“Young lady, I don’t know what…” The sixty-five year old writer, in Glasgow to visit a dying friend, stared at what she was holding.

“Please, you have to go back.”

“What is that?”

“Your doom if you choose to continue.”

He had the taxi drop him off at a pub not half a block from where his old friend Brian MacGregor lived. He needed to have a quick one before facing Brian’s and his mortality. She was standing only a few feet from his destination.

“My what? Is that…?”

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Lazarus From The Water

lock lomond

This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Grinner at the Wikipedia project – Loch Lomond looking toward Ben Lomond

Middle-aged American Eric Holloway was thinking that it must be almost time for the miracle to happen again. He sat in a camping chair near the section of the shore of Loch Lomond facing Ben Lomond, one of the lochs someone wrote a song about, while chewing a mouthful of his onion bagel smothered in lox and cream cheese. Mark’s Deli in nearby Glasgow certainly lived up to its Yelp reviews. He was glad they opened early on a Sunday so he’d have the time to eat his breakfast. The retired electrical engineer would have hated to be reduced to the one he’d visited last Friday in the mall, and he only went there because he had to buy some fresh clothes Barry’s size and a small pack to put them in.

As he continued to maul his exquisite deli purchase, Eric used his free hand to wave away several locks of his salt and pepper hair off of his forehead. He always neglected getting a haircut until his mane became unmanageable.

The weather forecast called for morning showers and temperatures in the upper 30s F, but so far he could still see thin rays of sunlight through the overcast sky. Putting the half-consumed bagel on the napkin gracing his lap, and without looking down, he retrieved his thermos from on top of the grass to this right next to his rucksack. Unscrewing the lid and stopper, he poured himself a cup of streaming, hot coffee. It, along with his thick, woolen pea coat, would keep him warm on this morning in late December, just two days before Christmas, while he waited.

Finishing the coffee, he screwed the lid back on top of the thermos, and as he picked up the bagel again, he felt the Lazarus Stone begin to heat up in his shirt pocket.

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Blood in the Depths

evil mermaids

From the 2011 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

In later years, it was largely believed that Fair Isle, a tiny spit of an island between Sumburgh Head and Mainland, Shetland, which would eventually be claimed by Scotland, was originally settled by Bronze Age traders.

The real story was first withheld and then lost to history. Truth be told, Nordic raiders used Fair Isle as a hiding place for their plunder. By the ninth century, the Isle would become a legitimate Norse settlement, but hundreds of years earlier, it was the site of treasure, home of marauders, and a monument to a fearsome curse.

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