Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020
This is the second post by author Diana Wallace Peach and it is another short story in response to the Sue Vincent’s magical #writephoto prompt.
Sign by D. Wallace Peach.
Belladonna Shadowbend climbed the creaky stairs of her dead aunt’s ancient Victorian home. Gossamer cobwebs draped the corners like grayed wedding veils. The eyeballs in the portraits tracked her progress, and a transparent child hissed from the next landing. Belladonna rolled her eyes and blew out a sigh. Honestly, so cliched.
Witchcraft had become so trendy among modern teenagers that Belladonna considered it passé. Gone were the glorious days when witches drowned tied to chairs or sizzled at the stake.
Was she feeling sorry for herself? Probably. Her dreams of building an online clearinghouse for magical accessories had shattered. She’d believed people wanted quality over crap and would pay for it, but Amazon was a start-up’s nightmare. Cheap magic wands, love potions, and cursed amulets were as popular as iphones. Everyone owned at least one, and the local bodegas sold them beside the tabloids and gum.
Her options were limited. No one was making any money in fortune telling, casting hexes, or selling souls. The white witches complained about global warming and saving the bees, but few listened to them. They needed a little help from the devil if they wanted someone to pay serious attention. She chuckled at the thought. An unexpected visit to hell would do wonders in Washington.
No, selling the old place with it’s slamming doors and undulating curtains would buy her some time while she figured out her next venture.
Another staircase led to the attic, a rat’s nest of iron-strapped trunks, twig brooms, and garment bags stuffed with black capes. Shelves along one wall held dozens of peaked hats. She picked one up, brushed off the brim, and coughed in the cloud of dust. The stuff appeared authentic, but what the heck? How many hats did one old witch need? She half expected a stash of pointy shoes and blurted a laugh when she flipped the lid on a trunk and found them. Cleaning the place out would take a year. Generations of witches in her family and her legacy amounted to a house full of vintage… oh… oh my…
Belladonna smiled. All she needed was a sign.
© D.Wallace Peach 2019
About D. Wallace Peach
I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.
I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.
A selection of books by D.Wallace Peach
A recent review for Caitling’s Bane
I really enjoyed Catling’s bane, the prose is excellent and so are many of the characters, with quality varying upon how much time was devoted to them. Catling, in particular, is good, as her personality evolves as she matures and experiences the various events of her life.
The plot itself is also excellent, with its core foundation revolving around the morality of emotionally influencing people for ‘the greater good.’ This provided a wealth of depth to the world, plot, and characters because the author doesn’t simplify the moral conflict. We are introduced to heinous, middling and benevolent characters performing this mental abuse, many of them truly believing in their cause while acknowledging the reality that they’re oppressive and abusive. I loved this moral core of the narrative.
However, speaking the narrative, there are stretches where not much happens. I never found the story boring, in part because of the prose and character’s excellence, and these inactive sections do have a purpose in the story, the narrative just doesn’t progress. It’s particularly prevalent in one of the POV characters, who, despite having emotional nucleus and goals, spent most of their chapters floundering through the story and not really interacting with or affecting events meaningfully.
That one, minor, qualm aside, I really enjoyed the book.
Read the reviews for buy the books: Amazon US
And Amazon UK: Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Diana: Goodreads
Connect to Diana
My thanks to Diana for sharing this lovely story and I must head up to the attic…where I know I have stored a trunk or two… thanks for dropping in and we would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.