Blogfest – The Nature of Magic


The Nature of Magic Blogfest starts today! I’m so excited to participate in this blogfest hosted by Laura B Diamond and Tessa Conte. The basic premise is to write or share something you’ve already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic. I’m using another excerpt from my adult paranormal romance “Bloodlines” in which my MC uses homeopathy + magic to seek a cure for a pandemic. As a participant you can also use something you’ve written for this blogfest, poetry, or whatever strikes your fancy. It just needs to show the nature of magic as it exists for you or for those you write about. To sign up, read the rules and learn about rewards, click here.

Here’s my entry:

The amethyst necklace served as my anima gemstone – the one that proved the most powerful boost to my ability. It was a stone for healing, had a calming effect, and was good for meditation because it enhanced intuition and gave clarity and insight. Exactly what I needed to untangle my latest vision. Holding it soothed me.

I selected four additional gemstones, then went to my meditation corner in the front room. An oversized pillow on the floor cushioned my crossed ankles. The back of my hands rested on my knees. One slow, deep breath in. One long breath out. Muscles relaxed, heart rate steady and mind opened, I closed my eyes.

The vision waited like a predator in the shadow.

The abyss surrounded me, drowned me. I struggled to keep my eyes closed, to hold the vision, but lost the battle. My visions were usually so vivid, not void of light. I could do this. I drew another deep breath, and let the blackness swallow me this time. The loss of light terrified me. I wanted to run. I had to stay. It couldn’t hurt me. I was safe. The words became my mantra.

My fingertips glided over the smooth surface of the iridescent obsidian. I concentrated on that sensation to help ground me as I summoned the stone’s white magic for protection. Despite my best efforts, my heart raced and my breathing sped up.

The pitch black seeped into my skin, pulling me further down. I was in control. I was safe. An awful screech shattered the silence. Goosebumps raced across my flesh. I struggled not to plug my ears and to focus on the clue instead. It sounded like the scrape of a shovel against rocks. I’d encountered that cringe-causing clatter many times in my garden. Yet, this noise sounded more intense, like dozens of shovels dragging across boulders and sent shivers down my spine. It grew louder. The sound pummeled my ears. I refused to give up and squeezed the garnet to help increase my psychic sensitivity.

Where was this place?

A flash of light revealed a slanted rock surface. Too rough and large to be man made. A mountain, maybe? Not one I recognized.

What else was near?

Three strobe light flashes revealed a gnarled tree, a moss covered boulder, and a dark tunnel. A cave. Claustrophobia kicked in. I trembled, but I held on. I ran my thumb over the iolite gemstone to help me stay focused.

What did I need for the cure?

The darkness grew thicker. My nose crinkled at the scent of death. It was the same strange odor from the first vision. I’ve smelled my share of death – rodents, livestock, people. The unnatural smell of the not-quite-dead slicked my palms with sweat.

Evil resided here.

I squeezed the emerald, calling on its protection from demonic possession. A longer flash revealed cave walls with horizontal grooves carved into them. Then, blackness slammed down shutting me out. The suddenness disoriented me. The gemstones grew hot against my palms, almost burning me. I’d never experienced anything like it and doubled my grip, determined to hold on to my only line of defense. A low, deep rumble echoed off the walls.

Was it inside that cave, the thing I needed?

The growl intensified. Multiplied. I wished I had more emeralds to protect me from whatever lingered in the darkness. Too late now.

Why couldn’t I see it?

The snarls became louder. Closer. I cringed. My ears ached. I didn’t want to have to summon this vision again. Determination coursed through me.

Show me. Now!

Silence. Suffocating stillness.

I gulped for air. My whole body vibrated with fear as I staved off hyperventilation. They were tiny at first – the glowing red eyes – but grew larger as they flew toward me.

Hovering, the eyes stopped three yards away. I panted and struggled to maintain control.

Something wanted me gone, but I refused to leave without an answer.

Reveal!

By force of will, I summoned light, but wasn’t strong enough to hold it for more than three seconds at a time. The eerie strobe effect disoriented me, but I’d take whatever light I could get. Or so I thought until I saw him. Less than two feet away. Haunting eyes peered directly at me. Seeing me.

Impossible.

Visions didn’t work that way. Terror ripped through me. He grinned, wickedly. But there was something wrong with him. Something not quite… human.

Click read more to find the Linky list of other The Nature of Magic participants.

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24 comments on “Blogfest – The Nature of Magic

  1. Lindz says:

    Very nice.
    Have you ever read the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix? Your passage kind of reminded by of the magic in that book. Very dark, and creepy. I like that.
    Well done.

  2. Mary W. says:

    Wow! I could feel the her fear and concentration as I read. Excellent job. Now I’m curious as to what she saw in the cave.

  3. The vision waited like a predator in the shadow.

    Excellent! You’re writing is vivid and pulled me in. I was with your character and felt her fear. The image made me want to run and hide. This is original. I loved it.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  4. Margo says:

    I have chills! This is so visceral, I felt as if I were in the trance with her. Great use of the senses. I loved how you used the garnet, obsidian, iolite and emerald for various magical methods – sight, protection, etc. (gotta go look up iolite now).

    the magic over at my place

  5. Oh my goodness! Vivid and so full of imagery. You touched on every sense, but the shovel on rocks sound at the beginning really got me. Great job.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  6. Wow! Very nice. And thanks for letting me know about this blogfest! I’ll be clicking through…

  7. Mara Nash says:

    Nicely done. I liked the imagery and the magic!

  8. MorningAJ says:

    Nicely creepy! And I love the gemstone details.

  9. stu says:

    A really interesting take on magic, and an ending that demands more reading.

  10. How cool that gems help assist with her visions, like navigation.

  11. What a great excerpt! And this blogfest sounds really fun.

  12. RosieC says:

    Holy cow! The tension in here is so amazing. I really want to read more of this. I’m fascinated by how her magic stems from different stones, each with their own powers. That’s beautiful, bringing the power of nature in–as it should be, of course 🙂 Nice job.

  13. Donna Hole says:

    A demonic vision indeed. What a powerful seer she must be. I really liked this.

    …..dhole

  14. pat bowne says:

    A nice scary vision quest! Of course I want to read on and find out about Him.

  15. Dawn Embers says:

    Well done. I like the descriptions of what she goes through and the darkness. The stones were a good choice and enhanced the scene. Good ending too, intense and just enough to make the reader want more.

  16. @Lindz, I’m not familiar with that author. I’ll have to Google him. I enjoyed the lightheartedness of your entry. As for mine, Tasaria (the MC) is haunted by this vision, and it takes her a few chapters to untangle everything.

    @Mary W, Thank you. I liked your character’s explanation on the differences between wizards and sorcerers.

    @NR Williams, That’s one of my favorite lines. 🙂 I enjoyed reading how your characters used magic to see past events.

    @Margo, I did all kinds of research on gemstones, shakers, homeopathy… Interesting stuff. In your entry, I loved the parallel between earth/water and magic you characters used.

    @Raquel, I hate that sound, too. Glad it carried through. 🙂 I loved your excerpt. Wanna know what happened to Seth.

    @Susan, Thanks for stopping by. Hope you join the fun. I’ll be checking your blog.

    @Mara, Thanks! Your characters were fun and well-written.

  17. @MorningAj, Thanks. Your excerpt is a unique twist on an old tale. Unexpected, for sure.

    @Stu, Thanks. Your characters live in an interesting world and the MC has a fun, sarcastic attitude.

    @Theresa, Tasaria (the MC) uses gemstones for alls sorts of things. I liked your character and her unique ability. Talk about getting a bonus from tragedy.

    @Kelly, thanks. I’ve had a blast so far.

    @Rosie, OMG I love your characters. Glad this blogfest helped us find each other.

    @Donna, Tasaria is a very powerful seer and what she finds in the cave enhances her ability beyond anything she ever expected. I liked the subtle magic in your excerpt. Great tension between your characters. Can’t believe you left us hanging on like that. You could’ve included more, you know. Tease. 😉

    @Pat, oh *he* is well worth reading more about. I liked how your characters used magic. Your MC has a laid back, yet ornery thing going on. Great combo.

    @Dawn, took me a while to narrow the field to those stones. I had fun researching them. Hope you’ll post something, too.

  18. shellyzarr says:

    Natasha-
    What a beautiful piece, and I especially appreciate your use and research of gemstones and their properties, such a great job of research. (I would have been consulting dozens of books). I really enjoyed it!

  19. Ooh, spine-tingling! I got some VERY clear images in my mind from your excerpt, well done 🙂

    Hugs,

    Rach

  20. @shellyzarr, thank you. I, too, consulted dozens of resources, but it was fun finding out about the gens, their textures and colors. Glad you enjoyed my work.

    @Rachael, thanks! Isn’t that every writers dream? The clear image thing, not the spine-tingling. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 🙂

  21. lbdiamond says:

    Ooh, what a chilling ride–thanks for participating!

  22. Amalia T. says:

    I really like how each of the gemstones served such a specific purpose, and the end was really creepy! Great description and a very interesting magic system you have in place here!

  23. […] love my new adult paranormal WiP, DARK INTENT (excerpts here and here). Sometimes, the words flow from your fingertips and onto the keyboard. Unfortunately, that’s not […]

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