Clandenstine held spirits within the grounds of his milky gate of fog,
in his hands like a copper locket smeared with rust and leather finger tips.
As children we believed in the man with the ivory beard and the long dark cloak that faded into the shady black sky. He walked with a staff, maybe a cane, wrapped in leaves that twisted up to meet his wrinkled palm.
What did he do with the travelers who approached him?
Old letters and story books say that he harnessed both mass and soul to make a compost in a cast iron cauldron. Like burning white sage, the energy would release into the fresh night air. With bodies stolen from the night, their spiritual energy could feed and replenish his crops every season.
They called it, “re-rooting.”
Wanderers they were, coaxed in by the warm smell of lavender buds and stoking firewood. They never did leave you know, all of those people. No one ever did see them come back out. Those who shy’d away from the claims just called them lost.
The “Lost Ones.”
He lived on flat land at the bottom of Wicker Mountain, just south of the Lavendula Woods.
Did anyone ever go looking for the Lost Ones?
His land was like looking into the pulse of a mirage once you got close enough to the fog. Each corner and tree looked the same as the last and everyone knew those people weren’t lost. Not lost at all.
Labeled a trickster, spotted in the late 1800’s, he was known for two things.
1.) Some said he was 8 feet tall, others said it was just the tress
2.) The smell of his herbs and vegetables drifted for miles – until you reached the edge of his land and; gone
Maybe that’s what led them in from villages away
We never did hear of any bodies returning from the fog
We never heard gun shots or howling screams
It was just quiet, always quiet
believing his old, swift body was waiting inside.
That he could hear them … us coming.
Hundreds of years, stories were shared of his haunting.
An old Pagan tale, maybe Norse.
It was never known if he was flesh and bone at all.
How close do you think we could get?
What if we could see the cottage?
How far is it from the fog?
Do we wait for moonlight?
Do the animals keep watch?
Don’t you dare tell mom and pop.
Let’s just get close.
Let’s get a better look.