Friday, October 29, 2021

13 Days of Samhain- Day 11

 

Photo courtesy of Bee Felten-Leidel

Welcome back to Day 11 of our Sirens Samhain Celebration! Before we go further, let's announce the winner of the Zoom Yoga Session with Jayme Conner...

Jen Kolise!

Congratulations!


Today's Music Selection: Deity by Wendy Rule

submitted by River Eno



Today's Article: A Short Story, "Perfect" by River Eno

We met on Halloween, walking the streets of my town illuminated by October’s full Hunter Moon. He was dressed as a vampire with white makeup, fake fangs and an accent I’d never heard before. I couldn’t tell how old he was. I was sixteen and dressed as a witch. He said I was perfect.

When I turned eighteen, he paid to have my eye color changed. It was all the rage. He assured me it wouldn’t be painful. They numbed me before the procedure, with a long needle in each eye. More serious pain came days after. The clamps used to keep my eyes open left bruises. And because my eyes were dark it took a good long while to bring them to a lighter color.

He said my brown eyes were beautiful, but green eyes set off my red hair, making me perfect. My mother cried for weeks. Said she didn’t recognize the person looking back at her. She said I looked cold and vacant and alien. I stayed with him after that. I couldn’t listen to her drone on about sweet talkers, and how he’d expect something in return for shelling out so much money.

At twenty-one he paid for me to have breast augmentation surgery. That’s what the doctor called it. He said he loved my slimmer more athletic body, but the blouses he bought me looked better with cleavage. It won’t hurt, he said. I was bedridden for a week, and the medication for the pain made me sick.

My mother cried, lamenting the daughter she’d had, compared the things I used to do — field hockey and track — to the new me, his girlfriend. She overreacted about everything.

For my twenty-fifth birthday he threw a Halloween masquerade in the polished gardens at his home outside town. He told me I was a full-grown woman and had a white silk dress made to show off my perfect body. The guests wore white gowns, black tuxedos, and beautifully ornate masks like at Carnevale. Expertly painted disguises with authentic gold and silver accents. Some adorned with jewels. Some covered their face entirely, expressionless and airbrushed a blushing rose gold with black mesh concealing the eyes.

I was formally introduced to every guest, over one hundred strangers. They curtsied and kissed my hand while he stood behind and a bit above me in a tailored tuxedo. At precisely three in the morning, bathed in the light of the full Hunter Moon he took me to the dais in the middle of the grounds, had me bow to his guests, and killed me.

When I woke the next evening, I marveled how the strength of my new body made it look graceful … flawless. He gave me clothes and told me I had to say a proper goodbye to my mother before we left for his estate in Dresden. He said I would feel guilty if I didn’t have closure, and he wanted our life to be perfect.

Mom burst into tears when she saw me, then got hysterical when I told her I was leaving the country. Nothing at all pleased her since dad left.

Many moons passed —then years, then decades.

He said he was throwing a masquerade for the Hunter Moon falling on Samhain. The first ball since my birth into the life. He said a new dress would arrive. Only I wanted to wear a costume like I’d seen at the first masquerade. He said the dress was already made and that was that.

I took the long way to the top of his family’s vast mountain manse to the attic filled with centuries old furniture and paintings. I wanted to find the costumes he’d shown me years ago from previous parties. The crate was made of dark cedar, the box lid hinged with medieval hardware. I tilted the lid back to get a good look at the choices and picked out a black ball gown with green accents. I gathered the material and went to stand in front of the Cheval mirror set by the wall. While admiring the dress I noticed a small, ordinary cardboard box set on a Lindenwood dresser behind me. The plainness of the box made it obvious in the sea of woods and precious metals.

It was the box my mother gave me when I left home. A collection of memories she threw together, to tether us through time, is what she said. I was strangely afraid to open it. I hadn’t thought of my life before the change, except when he told me she died. He said I needed to know.

A kitsch photo album sat on top of a few other items. I lifted it out and settled into a tall, dusty chair from the 1700’s. The first photos were of me when I was a baby. The classic ones, on the belly and sitting up with my big brown eyes wide.

Strange … I had forgotten my eyes were brown. I looked in the mirror. My pale green eyes were shocking compared to the warmth of the picture.

The next photo was of me and my mother at the beach on Labor Day. The following was when we lost the final game at the end of my senior year. My long, red hair hung in corkscrews. I was on the porch. I remembered my mom snapping the picture while I was upset … but suddenly … I could see myself through my mother’s eyes. And I was beautiful.

Pain attacked my chest and tears ran down my cheeks. A longing for who I was and all I’d lost completely enveloped me. I dressed and found him in the study. I set the picture on the desk in front of him.

“You said I was perfect.” I whispered.

“I knew you could be,” he smirked.

The ache in my chest grew to unbearable proportions. I hated him.

“Wear this at the ball.” He handed me a long black gown and left the room.

The costumes were as stunning as before. Coffins and headstones marked the grounds for a Halloween theme. The women wore black gowns and black eye masks. The men, black suits with white masks covering one side of their face. They complimented me and smiled.   

The longer I stood with him, staring at the scene of revelers, the more indignation rose within me. My thoughts unraveled thinking of what he planned. And for the first time since we met, I decided I didn’t want it.

At precisely three am, he guided me to the fountain in the middle of the gardens, maneuvering me around coffins and fake head stones. Two masked men carried a sleek black coffin from the bushes and set it near the fountain. A stillness settled and he had me bow.

“Step in, my beloved.” He smiled as the lid was opened.

“No.”

The word popped out. I looked at him, at the coffin and then all around me. I saw two wooden staves resting on the fountain edge.

“No.”

Instinct had me move away from him, away from the crowd, toward the fountain. He frowned, strangely, then surrendered to his anger.

“Come now…” He gripped my arm with preternatural strength. “Do you not want this to be perfect?”

His grip hurt, and when he pulled me, my high heels wobbled on the grass, and I stumbled against the fountain’s edge, sliding a stave with me as he tightened his grip, pulling me upright. He sternly put me in my place.

Except … in that moment, calm and clarity rose within. One of those perfect instants in time. When everything came together as one. My fury. My understanding of what he had done to me and what he was going to do. His arrogance that he’d always had, allowing him to turn his back on me.

“To continue,” he said, and clapped his hands together. “Thank you all for com…”

Gripping the stake, I’d taken from the wall when I faltered, I threw up my arms, and I jammed the wood into his back until it burst through his chest. A collective gasp came from the guests as he slid off the stake and collapsed face first into the coffin. I was shaking as the mass of menacing onlookers approached.

A woman in a black mask with long feathers came forward. She seemed important. She looked at him. My teeth were chattering when she looked at me. She smiled and bent to one knee. The rest of the party goers following suit.

“I’ve seen his show dozens of times,” she said, “But this … this was the perfect ending … my queen.”

I looked over a sea of people genuflecting as he lay hemorrhaging in a coffin meant for my body. And I had to agree. This was perfect. 


Today's Cocktail: The Witch's Heart with Rowan Sliger

The Witch’s Heart

1 shot apple brandy (or apple vodka), chilled
2 shots Blackberry Liqueur*, chilled (recipe below)
1 tsp grenadine
dry ice (for effect, DO NOT CONSUME)
martini glass (chilled)

In chilled glass, add 1 tsp of dry ice (not necessary, but the effect is spectacular)

In a shaker, mix the apple brandy, blackberry liqueur and 1 ice cube for a few seconds and then strain in to your glass (if you want more shimmer, add a tsp more of the blackberry liqueur). 


Drip the grenadine slowly in to the glass, from about an inch above the liquid. The grenadine will sink to the bottom, becoming the “bleeding” heart.

Add ½ tsp more of dry ice if desired. Garnish with a blackberry or two. Stir to make the “potion” shimmer and enjoy!

*Blackberry Liqueur Recipe

1 cup vodka (80 proof)
7-8 blackberries, cut in half
½ c simple syrup (get this at the grocery or you can make your own)
Violet Luster Dust (you can get this at a hobby store or online) 

In a clean, sanitized 2 cup size jar or bottle (must have a lid or closure), add your vodka and the blackberries. Put your lid on it, swirl it up a little bit and put it in your cupboard. Leave it alone for a week or two, swirling it occasionally if you can’t leave it completed alone (that’s me).

After 2 weeks, strain it through cheesecloth to remove any small particles. Discard the berries (or eat them, because yum!) and pour your blackberry vodka back in the jar. Add ½ tsp of the luster dust to your bottle and swirl. It should shimmer beautifully. If you want more shimmer, add more dust ½ tsp at a time until it looks perfect. Refrigerate and use alone or with anything you like!

Today's Recipe: Vegan Apple Pie Cookies

I am what you might call a "vegan wannabe." In other words, I eat mostly vegetarian foods, but I eat chicken, fish, etc on occasion. I love this recipe. It's quick, easy, and as healthy as I believe a cookie can get.
I hope you enjoy! 


P.S. I found out that River Eno is also a vegan, so this is dedicated to her today!

Ingredients
For the cookies:

1/2 cup shortening, vegan and organic
1 cup coconut sugar
1 egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple - McIntosh, Granny Smith & Gala are great but use your favorite, peeled and chopped very fine or grated
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Instructions
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the cookies:
With a hand mixer cream the sugar and shortening together for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the prepared egg substitute, vanilla and prepared apple.
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture and just blend.
Scoop into heaping tablespoons full and roll into balls.
Mix the cinnamon/sugar mixture:
Combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a small bowl. Roll each ball in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Place on the parchment-covered baking sheet about 2" apart. Slightly flatten.
Bake at 350 degrees 12 minutes.
Do not over bake. They will be a little soft when they are removed from the oven but they will harden.
Remove to a rack to cool. The photo makes them look larger than they are in reality. They are about 2" in diameter.




Today's Giveaway: Strength Spell Bottle and Inspiration Spell Bottle from Black Dahlia Boutiques with Sandi Crawford

Luna Sol Inspiration Spell Bottle  - $10 retail -    is designed to help you find a muse anywhere. Use the power of inspiration to finish your masterpiece, write the great American novel, create the best craft booth at the festival, etc. 

Luna Sol Strength Spell Bottle - $10 retail - is designed to boost inner strength and the feeling of empowerment! With the power of this spell bottle you cannot be stopped! 

Luna Sol Spell bottles are designed to work with the power of the Sun and Moon to manifest your desires quickly and with intention. Each bottle is filled with herbs, oils, glitter, and crystal chips specially formulated to bring power to your manifestations. Each bottle is sealed with spell candle wax and a chunk of Copal Resin to boost and amplify your power.  These spell bottles are small but pack immense magick if the ritual is performed correctly. Exact instructions are included. Use responsibly. 







How to enter: United States Residents

Visit Black Dahlia Boutiques, peruse the wares, come back and leave a comment on which item is your favorite.

Bonus entries: (1 comment = 1 entry)

How to enter: Canada residents
Your country's laws require you to "earn" your entries through a quiz or test. Here is your quiz question, worth four entries:

Which city is home to North America's largest mall?

To ALL:
You must provide your name and email address in order for us to notify you that you have won. You may enter it in the comments with your entries, or you may enter it here, for privacy purposes. We do not sell or give your information to third parties, and we only use for this giveaway.

Your entries will be pulled tomorrow morning, east coast time, and will be numbered by Alexis Kennedy (sponsor). She will then run a number generator at random.org, and will announce the winner on tomorrow's blog post. The winner will be notified first via email. The winner has 36 hours from announcement to claim the prize, or it will go toward the Grand Prize Giveaway on October 31.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email sirensallaround@gmail.com and we'll happily respond. Note: The sponsor is not eligible for any giveaways.

That's all for today! We hope you have been enjoying our celebration!
See you tomorrow!


21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so very much! Glad you enjoyed it! <3

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  2. I love the Moon Dust Potion Bottle!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I Follow Black Dahlia Boutiques on Facebook

    ReplyDelete
  4. I Follow Black Dahlia Boutiques on Instagram

    ReplyDelete
  5. I Follow Sirens Life Facebook Page

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love the Beyond the Veil Power Oil.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I follow Black Dahlia on Instagram

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, I don't have your email on file attached to "petoskystone" and you haven't put it in any comments. Therefore you haven't been qualifying for these giveaways. I'd love to allow your entries into the grand prize giveaway. Please follow the instructions for registration or simply comment with your email address, and I'll happily do that.

      Delete
  9. I follow Black DahliaBoutiques on Fb.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I follow Black Dahlias Boutique on Instagram.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the scent blends in the boutique!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just loooove Black Dahlia Boutiques!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can always use more inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  14. And I can always use more strength!
    riverenoauthor@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also follow Black Dahlia Boutiques on Instagram

    ReplyDelete

Countdown to Yule!

  It's time to start counting down to our Five Days of Yule celebration from December 17-21!! We'll have articles, crafts, giveaways...