Author Archives: woodnymph

The Abbey’s Secrets Revealed – Part Three

I didn’t think I would or could go to sleep, hanging as I was with hundreds, no, thousands of bats, from the ceiling of this huge cave. And why didn’t I feel the need of a blanket, the temperature being just a cool fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit? At home, I would have the thermostat cranked up to a night-time temperature of sixty-five, at least ten degrees higher than here in the cave, but there I would be snuggled into the warm cocoon of a blanket and eiderdown. Here, it didn’t seem to matter. Was there warmth being given off by the furry flying rodents snuggled around me? And certainly the squeaking and chattering did not keep me awake. On the contrary, it was like listening to soft music or surf rolling up on to the beach. I slept like a baby until I was awakened to a restless shuffling of the creatures around me and finding myself flanked by two large bats, one of whom seemed to be in charge.

“It is dusk,” he said in a throaty squeak, “time for us to head out into the night and clear the area of insects…those little critters that you so dislike, the ones that destroy your crops and generally bother you humans, but who are for us, a nightly feast.”

“Dusk! Oh, my gosh, I’ve been here far too long. I have to get back or I’ll be late getting to the Valley of Bones. L’Enchanteur will be on my case for sure.”

“You have expressed your respect of the Bat People and to reward you, she wishes you to join us in tonight’s sweep of the countryside.”

It made sense, something that L’Enchanteur might do to expand on our experiences. You never know what plans she has up her sleeve. And, after all, anyone can pick through bones, though I still wanted to do that, but to fly with bats—now that is something rare and to my mind exotic.

* * *

Restlessness was growing among the bat population until it sounded like a heavy surf with intermittent chirping and chattering. Then, without warning, I was flying, aided by the two boss bats that guided me and kept me from closing my wings and flopping to earth in a most ungainly manner. My companions were gobbling up insects by the thousand. I wondered how it would be without the bats and their night-time forays? We would surely be overrun with nasty, biting, critters whose only purpose in life, or so it seemed, was to harass the human race. I flew with my guides, swooping, diving, and feeding—only I didn’t fancy the feeding so I kept my mouth shut and abstained from the feast.

While my companions feasted, I watched in awe at the scene passing below me. Homes showed only as darkened shadows except for their windows, some of which glowed from interior lights. It’s amazing, I thought, how many humans burn the midnight oil. Streets were marked by straight lines of light, pulled tight like short necklaces on fat necks. Curved roads and byways showed up artistically as jewels showcased on black velvet.

A sliver of light appeared on the Eastern horizon heralding the coming of dawn. The bats surrounding me thinned down to just a few, and then to just my two guides. They gripped my outstretched wings and held fast as we glided downwards like skydivers, having pulled their cords and were enjoying the last leg of their adventure. I was deposited lightly on my feet in front of the abbey. My furry companions chattered a brief farewell before fading into the now brightening sky. I saw them dive into an unseen, from my vantage, bat-sized opening beneath the eaves on the shadowed side of the steeple. They were gone from my sight and I was saddened by that fact.

I stood rock still, somewhat dazed, and a whole lot amazed. I had been where no other human had been. I had slept most of yesterday, roosting with the bats before flying with them into the night to clean the sky of unwanted pests. How could I tell anyone of this and have them believe me? I could buy myself a bat tee shirt and hang bat earrings from my ears, but that wouldn’t mean a thing to anyone other than to let them know that I felt a need to protect these wonderful creatures, not that that wasn’t important…it was very important. But how could I relate my story? Write about it perhaps, in a children’s book. The little ones believe. At least they do until their imaginations and daydreams are clouded and dulled by the onset of adulthood. I know the truth of it though. For one day and one night, I lived as a bat with other bats and that experience will remain with me forever.

Vi Jones
©May 9, 2009

The Abbey’s Secrets Revealed – Part Two

The Abbey’s Secrets Revealed – Part Two

I pushed at the door and pulled at it. I ran my hands over the ancient wood and around the edges looking for and hoping to find a secret panel that would open the door. My immediate reaction was panic. How was I going to get out? Was I doomed to be trapped in this dank passage forever? This was not what I had planned for myself. I leaned against the rough stone wall and slid down into a sitting position on the cold stone floor. After a few minutes the dampness began to seep into my clothes causing me to chill. I stood and managed to push the panic aside, regain my sanity, and think logically. The oil lamps still flickered telling me that there was a draft coming from somewhere up ahead. A draft meant another entrance or at least a window or a crawl space leading to the outside. I would crawl through the eye of a needle if I had to.

I walked slowly down the passage, stopping at side passages and checking the direction of the flames. It was hard to tell because the flickering was slight at best. I dropped to my knees as a flight of bats passed over me. A good sign, I thought, there has to be a way out for the bats. I hoped more would come by allowing me to follow them. But I wasn’t a bat and the few that did fly over were too fast for me. I had to move slowly for fear of slipping on the damp, slippery stone floor. I wondered what this part of the abbey had been used for in olden days.

I thought about my friends wandering the main part of the abbey and its gardens. I wondered about my own stupidity; wandering off alone to seek, what—adventure? Well, I got that whether I wanted it or not.

By now I was chilled to the bone. I sat down and dug into my pack for my wind breaker. I put it on and shoved my hands deep into the pockets where I found the walnut. How could I have forgotten about that? I opened it up and among other things I found a tiny ball of what looked like black parchment. Where was this? What was it for and where did it come from? I did not remember seeing it before. I stored the walnut shell away in my pack, but tucked the ball of parchment-like material into a small coin pocket in my shorts.

I made my way around a bend in the passage and into a cathedral-like cavern with a high ceiling. I knew I had moved beyond the basement of the abbey and was in a large cave reminiscent of caves I had explored in New Mexico. I shuddered a little when I saw the amount of guano on the floor. Looking up again, I could make out the shapes of literally hundreds of bats hanging upside-down from the ceiling. My initial reaction was to move away, return the way I had come. But there was no way out behind me. I had no choice but to move forward. Now, despite the good they do, bats aren’t exactly popular with humans. But I figured that if I left them alone, they would leave me alone.

I felt some movement in my pocket and remembered the tiny parchment-like ball I had tucked away in my shorts. I pulled it out but it was no longer a tightly wadded ball. I was knocked to the ground as it overpowered me and fastened itself onto my back between my shoulders. Before I could comprehend what was happening I was being met and flanked by two of the largest bats I had ever seen. Without a sound, I was being guided upward supported by what was now a pair of functional bat wings. It appeared that by magic the ball of black parchment had metamorphed into strong wings. My guides led me to the center of the vast ceiling. And the next thing I knew I was hanging upside-down and surrounded by several hundred, maybe even a couple of thousand bats. Ugly little fellows they were, but cute too, in a way, and they appeared friendly. Their squeaking from this vantage point was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself think. I understood though they seemed though to be trying to get through to me…to instruct me. Although I did not understand their language, I knew enough to remain still.

After what seemed like hours hanging there upside-down, I examined as best I could, my wings. They rested between my shoulders and when stretched out were attached to my wrists. Although I did not remember repositioning it, my pack was slung crosswise over my chest. I was concerned that I had lost it but it was safe and seemed secure enough. I was surprised too, that the blood hadn’t rushed to my head and that I felt quite comfortable in what was rather an rather unnatural position. I did though find my unique vantage point fascinating. More than that, the draft I had felt below was now a strong current of air—fresh air.

I could see that close up bats were really quite cute, much as a baby rabbit or squirrel, or puppy. So why did we dislike them so? I remembered reading an article that stated bats were given a bad rap. They did not try to get in one’s hair and that their eyesight is actually very good. It is true though that they do rely completely on their built-in sonar. Their gift to us is that they devour millions of insects during their nocturnal flights.

Our lives would be much more uncomfortable if the bats went away.

To be Continued……

Vi Jones  (Woodnymph)

©April 18, 2009

Abbey’s Secrets Revealed

I wandered slowly through the abbey grounds smelling the musky scent of the flowers and bushes as I did so, and hugging a tree here and there. The grounds would be considered by some as overgrown and untidy. True, they weren’t the manicured gardens one might expect. But they exuded a wild beauty that did justice to the abbey itself. The structure soared skyward, its spires punching holes in the fluffy white clouds that drifted slowly across the sky, their shadows following like puppy dogs on the ground.

I stepped inside and was greeted with a draft of cool air. High above, stained glass windows brought in the sun to shine as spotlights on the stone floor. It was an eerie sensation when the saints whose images were cast in the glass looked down on me from above, and up at me from their reflected images on the stone paved floor. I wandered the length of the nave. Hard, uncomfortable chairs replaced the pews I remembered from my local church back home in Wales. A scattering of the faithful kneeled with heads bowed. I felt as a stranger, probably because I had not stepped foot in a church for more years than I care to think about. I had long ago lost my faith in organized religion when I saw all the graft and greed of those so called good people around me. Men who confessed their sins every Sunday, then, on Monday, went right back to their lawless ways. I had worked for men like that. One in particular I remember. He attended mass every day but refused to treat, he was in the medical field, sick people who could not pay top dollar. When he asked me to help doctor the books come tax time, I’d had enough. “Have at it,” I said to him, and walked out of the office leaving him stranded until he hired someone else…someone who I hoped would not be intimidated by his overbearing manner and who would not be a willing participant to his less than ethical ways.

Just before the huge altar with its monstrous Christ on the cross statue, I turned to the left out of sight of the worshippers. I gazed at the stone work and wondered how in the world people managed to build such palaces of God without the heavy machinery and cranes that we would use today. I started to turn away and head back to the sunshine lit nave when I caught sight of three stone steps leading to a tiny door. I looked around for a sign that would indicate it was a restricted area. Seeing nothing that would indicate I wasn’t welcome, I tried the door. It opened, the hinges groaning as if they hadn’t worked in a long time. I was greeted with a musty, not altogether unpleasant smell, but not pleasant either. A narrow, low passage led off into the gloom. The passage was lit by oil lamps set so far apart that the light from one barely met with the light from the next one. The flames flicked slightly so I assumed there was a draft coming from somewhere, perhaps the passageway led back to the gardens. I jumped when the door slammed shut behind me. When I saw that the door could not be opened from the inside…there were no latches or door knobs, I knew I was in trouble.

Vi Jones
©March 10, 2009

Salty Fingers – Loving Touches

I lie beside the water’s edge.

 

My eyes are closed

 

but like one sightless,

 

I feel the touch

 

of sand beneath my body…

 

the taste of salt upon my lips…

 

the sound of surf,

 

music within my ears.

 

Then, in motion,

 

 

Lady
Sea draws me

 

into her embrace.

 

She caresses my naked body

 

with fingers soft and gentle…

 

she kisses my lips,

 

my breasts—

 

 

I am swimming now,

 

begging Sea to take me

 

as I lie quivering in her arms.

 

I grasp her with my thighs

 

but she slips away…

 

returns to kiss my throat,

 

my breasts—

 

 

She is a teasing lover,

 

laughing all the while

 

until she has me arching with delight

 

like a dolphin in mid flight.

 

Of all the women I have loved,

 

Sea is the playful one.

 

She toys with me

 

and teases me

 

until I spin

 

in rapturous delight.

 

 

Let me feel again your urging,

 

let me come to thee once more.

 

 

Vi Jones

 

October 9, 2006

MILADY FOG

She drifts in from the sea

to wrap herself around me,

a soft cool shroud concealing me

from the world I shun.

She loses me in silver haze

but keeps me safe

from prying eyes

of those who seek to do me harm.

There are times

when she is cruel

as when she caused my ship to founder

upon the rocky shore,

then let me wander aimlessly

into places I should not go.

She can be cold and unforgiving

of the mistakes I might have made.

Will I ever find my way

back to the light of day?

Will I ever lift her veil

and walk into the future

where the sun doth shine

brightly and hopefully?

Alas, like a fly caught in a spider’s web,

I cannot leave her,

my Lady Fog so dear.

I have not the courage

to return from whence I came.

I live instead within her shroud

forever as a ghost

drifting slowly from the sea.

Vi Jones

©October 25, 2006

MILADY FOG

She drifts in from the sea

to wrap herself around me,

a soft cool shroud concealing me

from the world I shun.

She loses me in silver haze

but keeps me safe

from prying eyes

of those who seek to do me harm.

 

There are times

when she is cruel

as when she caused my ship to founder

upon the rocky shore,

then let me wander aimlessly

into places I should not go.

She can be cold and unforgiving

of the mistakes I might have made.

 

Will I ever find my way

back to the light of day?

Will I ever lift her veil

and walk into the future

where the sun doth shine

brightly and hopefully?

 

Alas, like a fly caught in a spider’s web,

I cannot leave her,

my Lady Fog so dear.

I have not the courage

to return from whence I came.

I live instead within her shroud

forever as a ghost

drifting slowly from the sea.

 

Vi Jones

©October 25, 2006

Words in the Sand

Words in the Sand 

I wrote your name with words of love

upon the wet and hard packed sand

just as the tide was turning.

I stood silently and watched

as my words were taken,

drawn into the arms

of the restless sea.

 

Forever more my words of love

will live ‘neath ocean waves.

Forever they will be

my words of love to thee…

part of that ancient but restless sea.

The memory of the moments

it took to etch my love

into the wet and hard packed sand

will stay forever in my thoughts.

 

When my last breath is taken

and I leave this sheltered cove,

my soul will touch with love again

the words I wrote to you today

upon this windy shore.

 

Vi  Jones

©October 24, 2006

Proud Heritage

They are but shadows in our minds,

vague remembrances,

disturbing chills upon our necks.

They are the one heartbeat every minute

that is a little stronger than the rest.

They are part of every independent woman.

They make us strive for more.

They are that long remembered something

that we cannot quite explain..

Their ghosts awaken us at night

reminding us of battles fought,

and won.

Some believe they are no more—

some historians say they never were,

but we know better for

they are alive within our hearts.

Their shadows haunt our memories—

fleeting remembrances of something grand

that is still part of each and every one

of us.

Amazons!

Warrior women from the past

who, if we let them,

will guide us to the future.

We bow before you, Amazons,

knowing that we were you and you are us.

Our pride will not allow us to forget

that your blood courses through our veins.

 

All Hail, Amazons, All Hail.

Vi Jones

©October 2, 2006

Desert Storm

Desert Storm 

Cumulus rising higher,

ever higher,

spreading ever wider,

darkening as in air rising.

Jagged lightning

spears the earth

followed by a thunder burst.

 

Palm fronds bend before the wind.

Raindrops large as silver dollars

spatter at my feet,

tiny craters in the dirt.

 

I turn my face toward the sky…

neck hair rises

and I am blinded by a brilliant flash.

Close,

too close for me.

I scurry toward my shelter

across the open ground,

diving headlong onto the porch

as an aged saguaro,

trunk split, black and smoking

lies dying on the ground.

Demon lights leap from the sky

to the beat of godly drums.

Single raindrops join to form a downpour,

then, just as quickly, they are gone.

 

Cool breezes caress my heated brow.

I breathe deeply the air thus cleansed

and watch the storm move on.

Desert storm,

what beauty lies in thy ferocity.

 

Vi Jones

©October 18, 2006

 

Salty Fingers-Loving Touches

Salty Fingers—Loving Touches 

I lie beside the water’s edge.

My eyes are closed

but like one sightless,

I feel the touch

of sand beneath my body…

the taste of salt upon my lips…

the sound of surf,

music within my ears.

Then, in motion,

Lady
Sea draws me

into her embrace.

She caresses my naked body

with fingers soft and gentle…

she kisses my lips,

my breasts—

 

I am swimming now,

begging Sea to take me

as I lie quivering in her arms.

I grasp her with my thighs

but she slips away…

returns to kiss my throat,

my breasts—

 

She is a teasing lover,

laughing all the while

until she has me arching with delight

like a dolphin in mid flight.

Of all the women I have loved,

Sea is the playful one.

She toys with me

and teases me

until I spin

in rapturous delight.

 

Let me feel again your urging,

let me come to thee once more.

 

Vi Jones

October 9, 2006