"The Restless Wandering Shade" an original fictional horror story based on @fireawaymarmot's instrumental song of the same name

in fiction •  2 years ago  (edited)

This is my entry in @fireawaymarmot's contest to write a story based on his instrumental song "The Restless Wandering Shade" - click here to hear the tune on Dsound

If you would like to enter, or to find out more about the contest, check out his post: https://steemit.com/contest/@fireawaymarmot/win-sbd-write-from-my-music


The mist lay thick on the ground around me. It's cold tendrils chilled my legs as it climbed them.

It will offer protection, I told myself, looking over my shoulder. If I could not easily see through it, I, myself, could not easily be seen.

Light was fading fast. Day had swiftly metamorphosed into dusk and dusk was now aching to become night. With neither moon, nor stars to keep me on the Old Road, I feared I would lose my way. The trees loomed either side of me, and I knew brigands, robbers and highwaymen waited within the forest.

With what followed me, and what lurked either side of my path, I would be lucky to survive the night. Let alone the long journey that stretched before me.

I heard the creak of the gallows, before I saw them. Three men - or what were once men - swung in large cages, chains suspending them high above the crossroads. I pulled my cloak about me, and made the sign of the cross, shivering from both cold and fear.

It was then I saw him.

At first I thought it a trick of the light - although by this time there was very little of that left. A portion of the mist seemed brighter, lighter in colour. As I watched the mist swirl, before me, it became thicker, fog-like and then something more substantial, as if it was solidifying. Yet, somehow, I knew it was something that could not be touched.

It started to take a form and, to my fear widened eyes, it began to resemble a man. Yet, I knew it was not human.

Not anymore.

It moved with nervous, restless, energy, wandering from one side of the crossroads to the other.

There was no way to continue along the road, without approaching the spectre. And I could not turn back, for I knew my pursuers would not be not far behind.

The creature started, as if it had seen me. It appeared to mutter something, although if words were spoken they were immediately swallowed by the night.

“What are you?” I gasped, my heart thumping in my chest.

Words came to me, then, although I could not be certain that they were spoken aloud. Perhaps, they merely appeared in my mind.

“My name is Florian,” came the ghostly whisper. “I am cursed to remain in this spot. Forever, restless, forever wandering from one path to another, unable to choose the road home.”

“What happened, oh spirit?” my breath became one with the mist before me, as I spoke.

“I was falsely accused of theft, my lord,’ said the shade. I could not be certain, but I thought I could see a ghostly tear slide down his cheek. “I was courting a lady, a beautiful young woman. We were in love, and I was preparing to ask for her hand in marriage. But the son of the Lord of the manor wanted her for himself. Believe me, sir, when I tell you she was not in love with him, and had refused his advances, on numerous occasions. He thought that he would win her over if I were not around. So he faked a robbery, sir. He planted a watch about my person, and then accused me of stealing from him. I denied it, of course. But his father was a powerful man, and the word of the son of a Lord will always be believed over that of a blacksmith. I was chased from the town. I was hunted like a fox, sir. Men on horses with dogs, chased me. They caught me on this very spot. The hounds tore into me. And then the men," the ghostly figure paused, as though overcome with emotion. "They murdered me, sir. Here, in cold blood. And then, they hoisted my body into this very cage,” a ghostly digit pointed to the gallows above. “And here I walk, sir. Forever doomed to spend eternity amongst the corpses and spirits of murderers, rapists and robbers.”

I gulped, swallowing my fear.

“Kind sir,” said I, my voice quivering. “I too have been wronged. I also stand accused of a crime I did not commit. The men who pursue me say I stole a ring of great value, and that I killed a man too. I am innocent of these crimes, I swear to you. Will you let me pass? For I fear if they catch me I will suffer the same fate as you.”

The shade stared at me, and for a moment I feared it could see into my very soul.

“Very well,” he said - not before time, for I could hear the hooves of four horses pounding through the mist behind me. He stood aside. “You may pass, sir. Perhaps, through avenging the wrong done to you, I will set myself free.”

I hurried past, tipping my hat, as I went.

“Thank you, kind shade,” I called over my shoulder as I ran as fast as I could.

From behind me I heard shouts, and cries of men and the alarmed whinnying of their horses.

And then, after much screaming, there was a terrible silence.

I smiled and put my hand into the secret pocket of my cloak. I let my fingers close around the large ring, still sticky with the blood of its former owner.

I wondered if the shade would be less restless, now.

Now, it had the company of other innocent men.



Current Serialised Ghost Story: “Haunted”

A family move into a big old house. The house has history. The family have history. Spooky stuff happens.

Part one https://steemit.com/f/@felt.buzz/haunted-part-one-an-original-work-of-fiction-for-the-365daysofwriting-challenge
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five
Part six
Part seven: https://steemit.com/fiction/@felt.buzz/haunted-part-seven-an-original-work-of-serialised-fiction-for-the-365daysofwriting-challenge

Very short stories (stories told in exactly 50 words)

"Van Diemen's Land"
Crime does pay… if you wanted a one way ticket down under

“Belly Ache”
Miniature Tigers don’t belong in cages. You have been warned.

“The Lion’s Share”.
It is NOT his party, so why is the lion crying?

Some more of my short stories

“The Curse”
Will we ever learn?

“True Love”
Some people are meant to be together

Some big news for me! One of my steemit stories (Reunion - told in 8 parts last month) has been selected to appear in the Isle of Write Anthology (see this post https://steemit.com/writing/@isleofwrite/isle-of-write-fiction-publication-week-1-roundup). I am so excited to be a part of this. Please pay them a visit and check out the other stories that have been selected too. You too can be curated: so read the post and find out how!

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Don't pass that way again for you may feel the wrath of 5 ghostly men! Well done, @felt.buzz!

Don't forget the horses! Them phantom fillies have quite a kick on 'em!

Thank you! :)

How could I forget! ROFL

Love the twist at the end! badge.gif

Thank you! That gif is amazing by the way! :)

Hello @fireawaymarmot! I hope you are ok. I want to produce a video of me reading this story (I have recorded it, just need to fiddle about with the sound and put some graphics in it, etc. I thought it would be good if I started the video with a clip of your song and ended with it too. My plan is to put the video on Dtube and see if we can get more attention for it this time! Obviously I want to pay you for your music, so we can either do it by me paying you some STD up front, or sharing the payment from any post in which the video is in. Obviously I would let you see the video first (before publishing it on here) so make sure you were happy with it. What do you think?

That sounds great to me. For SBD, we could do a share of the post payment. What percentage did you have in mind?

Lol! I've just seen my phone autocorrect of SBD! I would say I keep the SP. U have 100% of SBD if less than 1$ anything over a doller we split 50/50. Is that fair? I usually don't earn that much, but you never know! I will need an mp3 of the track so I can put it on video (don't think u can download from SoundCloud, or can u?)

Those terms work for me; we have a deal. You can download either the Dsound link (without login) or the soundcloud link (you need to be logged in to Soundcloud and it's under the "more" button). Both are .wav files. The Dsound download is about 34 MB and has a superlong name of random letters, so it's a good idea to rename to avoid confusion.

Wav files are pretty compatable for most video software but if you need an mp3 let me know and I'll convert one for you.

Thank you! wav should be fine, if not I can convert using online software. Thank you. Once I have put it together I'll let you take a look before I post it. Hope you had a great weekend, and have a fantastic week!

I have sent you a message on discord with a link to the video on google drive so you can see it (and approve it) before I make it public.

Here is a link to the post with the video on it. Let me know if you want anything added to the steemit post, I can edit it and add it https://steemit.com/fiction/@felt.buzz/nue8vzlu

Oh my that story is phenomenal! You had me at the first line! Good luck, amazing fiction!

Thank you! I had great fun writing it! :)

My pleasure. It was fun reading, too.