Soul Swallower – new series WIP from D. Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror

I think that’s the name of the series. I like the alliteration anyway. Better than Soul Gulper.

Perhaps you remember the character Raze from one of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompts. Well, he’s back with a series of his own.

I don’t have too much to share yet, but here’s a brief peek at the act of swallowing a soul:


When the others retired, Raze sat by the hearth, its flames dwindling to scarlet embers. His grief for Briyon unearthed old ghosts, his mother among them, an ageless portrait suspended in the gallery of his mind. Not so his memories of Mirelle. Those lingered with infinite fluidity, entangled with visions of the past and dreams of a future that would never be.

Six years had shuffled by since her death, five since he’d joined Briyon at the freehold, and no lever had proved long or strong enough to pry her from his heart. Loneliness invaded his body so deeply it punched the breath from his lungs and sapped the strength from his back, and no hoping and wishing could bring those people back. A twenty-one he was master of the freehold, a tired soul, angry at a world he couldn’t control.

Continue reading: Soul Swallower – new series WIP | Myths of the Mirror

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Ghosts in the night…

ani 002

From the archive:

The dog, who had managed to do a very good impression of being really ill while there was chicken and crackling sent by my son to boost her failing health, was charging round the room in true setter fashion with a stuffed hedgehog dangling from her mouth. Looking at her, you wouldn’t think for a moment there was a thing wrong with her. Odd that.

If Ani is feeling unwell, which is thankfully rare, she retreats under the sofa cushions and doesn’t come out. You get to know her moods and emotions just as clearly as if she could speak. You may not know what exactly is wrong, but that something is not right somewhere is very obvious.

In the same way if I am feeling under the weather, sad or upset for any reason, Ani knows and is always there, cheering me up or just quietly being with me. She doesn’t know the causes or details, any more than I do when the boot is on the other foot, but she sees, smells, feels enough to just know things aren’t right.

We humans look to our animal companions and see their empathy, accepting that whether it is down to an arsenal of physical senses developed far beyond the capacity of our own, or perhaps due to some kind of sixth sense that simply knows, our four footed friends are aware in ways that we are not.

I’m not so sure that is true.

We all know those elderly couples who seem telepathic in their knowledge of one another, who no longer need to speak in order to share the dance of their days. Perhaps that is down to a lifetime together, learning the minute, wordless signals that allow them to read the silent stillness of each other. Siblings can be the same. My own sons seem to read each other’s mind so often and with such clarity… even in their randomness… that it is a family joke and they look at me with accusatory eyes when I do the same.

An odd choice of word, a look or the set of a shoulder may say much when we really take note. And sometimes silence holds more meaning than simple quietness and we question, in words or within ourselves, where the problem may lie and while we may not be able to help in any practical manner we can be aware, and that may be all that is needed.

Such things we can dismiss as familiarity, of course. Similarity, parity in experience perhaps, but is that all there is to it? I wonder sometimes.

I remember a night long ago when my mother, who had been to visit me in Paris, was taken ill on the way home. This was a time long before mobile phones; we communicated by letters that took a week to arrive. I had waved her off on the journey home after a wonderful day. She wasn’t even forty at the time but by two in the morning she was being rushed from the ferry to hospital after suffering a stroke. I woke in the middle of the night to hear her calling me by the name she always used. Clear as day, as if she was in the room with me. I put it down to missing her after the brief visit, but was uneasy for days and mentioned it over breakfast to my boss. Then I wrote home.

A few days later I had a phone call. She had waited until she could speak clearly again. She described what had happened; between consciousness and oblivion she had called for me and followed a path by a big house in the trees on one side and a field full of flowers on the other. It had led down a narrow alley to a cottage in the middle of the woods with a big tree outside the front door. This, oddly enough, was an accurate description of the route I took into the tiny town where I lived, every day. Outside the house was an olive tree.

There are other tales I could tell, stories that have their parallels in many of our lives. These things are not rare, but, I think, indicate a ‘forgotten’ sense that we no longer use to its true capacity; something that may have atrophied yet which can reassert itself sometimes.

Attention seems a prerequisite. We notice nothing unless we choose to see. But I wonder if there is not some kind of attunement that goes beyond the physical signals of body language or the shared experience of living that allows to pick up deeper echoes. It seems to me that it is those about whom we care the most that we can ‘tune in’ to more readily and to me that suggests a desire to do so; a desire to be in a close enough harmony to be ‘on their wavelength’.

How deep this attunement through affection may go is another matter, when we simply ‘know’, perhaps in the middle of the night, that something is wrong; or we make a call or visit because we feel we ‘have to’. There are no physical signals, no words, heard or read upon which to base our intuition. How then do we know?

I have no answers, only my own beliefs. But it is worth pondering perhaps whether the sixth sense so often posited is a reality we all share, but one that has fallen into disuse over the millennia of our evolution, except when triggered by that awareness  we call love.

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‘I have risen…’ Stuart France


‘I have gathered myself together,

Like the beautiful Hawk of Gold.


Ra enters in

Day by Day

To hear my words.’


Source: Stuart France

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Guide #midnighthaiku

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Guest author: Marilyn Armstrong – Visions


Over the years, I envied Christians. They always seem of all the things which for me are nothing but doubts.

On August 30th, 2004, sometime between midnight and dawn, I had a vision in that peculiar space between sleeping and waking. I was very near death. The skin all across my abdomen had turned septic. Antibiotics were not working. Even the emergency debridement from the plastic surgery swat team had not fixed it. I knew I was dying. I could feel myself slipping away. I expected death to be more dramatic and certainly more frightening. I was less afraid than sad. I felt I had not done whatever it was I was supposed to do this time around the wheel.

Then came the vision. Unlike a dream, it has stayed clear as crystal. Never has it become faded or confused.

I was a little bird, a sparrow. I was broken and lying, unable to move or fly, on the wet cobblestones of some street in some eastern European city that was in the midst of war. In the background, I could hear the muttering of automatic weapons. As I lay there, I heard a great Voice. I heard it, but not with my ears, and the Voice filled my head.

“Enough” said the Voice.

The guns went quiet. I knew that the people who’d been fighting had ceased to exist, that they had been unmade. I waited in dread. I knew that I had done something bad, although precisely what I had done was unclear. All I could do was wait until the Voice came again.
“As for you, little bird, “ said the Voice, and I thought “There goes the other wing. There goes this fragile bird’s body.”

And then the Voice said, “Little bird, you can fly away.”

I flew away. When morning came, I was fine. The fever broke. My abdomen was clear of infection. A day later I went home. I was going to live.

Nor was this my first “extra throw” of the dice. When I was 19 and had spinal surgery, the spinal cord became infected . I was delirious. The delirium went on for 10 days and nights and I was in a lot of pain. Then, I had a chat with a Voice, who said: “You are in a terrible pain. You don’t have to keep fighting. You can let go or you can choose to stay. If you stay, the pain will continue. It will be a slow, difficult recovery.”

Obviously, I chose to stay. The next day didn’t bring relief from pain, but it brought me out of delirium and into consciousness.

So, that was twice. What does it mean? I don’t know. Something, for sure, but exactly what? Our old Pastor asked me if I was going to ask God for a photo ID. Maybe. That seems to be a problem for me. I want to know who is doing what.

I also would like to know WHY. More to the point, why me?

marilyn birthday 68About the Author

Marilyn Armstrong is a writer, blogger and photographer. She started writing as soon as she could form letters and has never heard a single good reason why she should stop. Marilyn and her husband Garry, as well their son, daughter-in-law, granddaugher and various intrepid canines, live in a setting of rare natural beauty and gigantic rocks in rural Massachusetts.

Marilyn blogs at Serendipity where she offers “memories via anecdotes, observations, occasional fiction, and photographs.”


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The Twelve Foot Teepee

Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.


If you have had a strange experience or encounter that you would like to share, please get in touch with me at (or my usual email if you already have it) and we can discuss a guest post.

I am not looking for sensationalism or fictional tales… but in light of the response to some recent posts, I think it would be both useful and reassuring to others to realise that none of us are alone in these strange encounters and experiences and perhaps we can open discussion on what they may be or may mean.

If you would like to share your story but prefer to remain anonymous, we can discuss that too. If you would like to share your beliefs and opinions on the nature of these experiences, I would be happy to talk about a guest post. Through sharing with respect we may learn to understand our world and each other a little better.

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Tales on the riverbank…


“Have you ever wondered if you could actually walk on water?” Almost the first glimpse of the river looked as if a pathway through the grass continued, uninterrupted across the water, which might have explained the odd musing as we sat watching the water flow through the valley. My companion responded with an emphatic ‘no’. I expanded the idea, not wishing to be seen as any weirder than usual. I wasn’t speaking from a personal perspective. Many cultures have tales in their religious or mythological streams of such miraculous occurrences, from Orion and Huang-Po to Jesus, in Hindu and Native American tales, where water becomes a pathway for the footsteps of those who transcend the human condition.

path on water

Theoretically, I mused, it should be possible. As we create our worlds through our own belief, if we have absolute faith in our reality and truly believe that something is attainable. It would need more than a ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ though. It would need utter and unshakeable conviction. I wasn’t about to try, of course. The water, catching the light on its surface might look solid enough in places, but I knew for certain I would only end up very wet and ridiculous; not the state of mind I was envisioning in my philosophical meanderings. Even in theory you could see there was no room for the merest hint of doubt… doubt would imply an acceptance that water is wet and its surface tension too fragile for our presence. Physics would overtake metaphysics and dunk any idiot daft enough to make such an attempt. As you can see, I do not have that absolute faith in the nature of water.

monsal dale 5

On the other hand the traditional symbolism of the fluidity of water as emotion makes perfect sense in that context. Transcending the human enslavement to emotional reaction would, indeed, allow those who have reached a high enough point of spiritual unfoldment to ‘walk on water’. Emotions are one of those double edged swords; they allow us to know the higher aspects of Man as love, kindness and compassion, for example; yet they may cut both ways if we become caught in the trap that forgets that such things cannot be given with the kind of strings and conditions that seek to bind other lives to our own. They can only be given freely and in that there is both freedom and beauty.

green river

The river itself is a place that calls forth such reflections. Indeed, it seems to mirror more than the hills and trees in its surface. The winding course of the silver stream is sometimes lost beneath the trees, its present shaded in soft, green light as the growth it sustains enfolds it. Sometimes it is lost from view, its future unseen and uncertain as it follows the valley’s contours, twisting and turning. There are stretches where it is wide and expansive, open to the sky, calm as a lake in meditative silence, reflecting back the sun. Metallic glittering as fish breach its surface or the jewelled flash of a dragonfly skims through the quiet reed beds like inspiration bursting forth from the stillness.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

river wye

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Atonement… Stuart France


“In order for one to know

Where one is going,

One has to know where one is.”


The Initiate

Source: Stuart France

Posted in Books, Don and Wen, Photography, Stuart France and Sue Vincent, The Silent Eye | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment