How better to introduce my muse than to show you what she does to me? This is the start of “Witch’s Skin” – the scene that turned an idea I had had for ages into an actual story. Some people claim their muse speaks to them, or sings. Mine shows me stuff. She takes me to places I would never go on my own, puts me into other people’s heads and makes me roar with laughter when I realize that the solution to all my writing problems has been waiting in her claws all along. And now I will let her take you on a journey…
Source (Dieter Draxel)
Imagine a day by the sea.
Cloud bellies are caressing the ocean close to the horizon. Wet veils are riding the waves. A pungent smell of salt water and algae takes your breath away. Maybe seagulls are screaming in the distance, but it is hard to tell against the roaring of the ocean. Wave by wave attacks the shore. Returning to their siblings, they leave faint changes in the landscape.
Imagine the wind pressing against your naked body. You are alone. Behind you, giant cliffs are soaring towards the sky. The beach is only a few paces wide. You have left your belongings secured safely behind a few rocks to keep it from being swept away. There is no need to be afraid of thieves. This is a hiding place for lovers and those that need solitude, hardly to be reached by land.
This is the safety you need. Sea spray engulfs your body. A wave licks across your legs, reaching your knees, and you shudder. The cold leaves the fine hair on your arms standing on end. You realize how open you are to everything, how vulnerable. The wind tears your hair. Every time he rests, a warm caress rises from the water surface. you feel protected, accepted. Nothing can happen to you in this place. Your plights hardly ever allow you a day spent here, on your own, crept away from duties and watching eyes. This is what makes your moments at the beach so valuable.
In the west, fingers of sunlight stab holes into the clouds. Soon night will fall. For hours you have been on your own, except for the birds in the distance. You fall back onto the wet sand. Tiny crystals stick to your skin. A wave washes over you, tickling the inside of your thigh. You come up for air, and water enters your mouth and nose. The ocean lifts you from the sand, and for a moment you are weightless. As the fingers of the waves retreat, you find yourself missing them. They are familiar. The wind sweeps over you like a hungry lover. At the same time the last trickles of water under your body return to the sea. Your back leaves an impression in the sand. Pushing yourself up on your elbows, you see the next wave racing towards you, knocking the wind out of your body, and suddenly you have had enough. You jump up, and the watery fingers only reach your ankles. With sand clinging to your hair, your hurry back into the protective embrace of the cliffs.
Approximately three quarters of the world are covered by salt water, or that is what they have told you. It is your natural element. Dry land is forbidden to you. You do not think about having to go home soon. Every moment in your hidden cove is an eternity in itself, like the dream of a sleeping sea snake. As long as she does not move, you are safe.
The clouds are turning darker – blue, purple, almost black, with sulfur edges. Lighning tears the sky, kissing the waves in the distance. Then it starts to rain. Fine needles stab your skin and wash sand from your hair and shoulders. The ocean smell dissipates, leaving behind another scent, of fresh water and green grass. Suddenly you start missing home. You run towards the waves once more, throwing yourself at the ocean. At the end of summer the water has been kissed by sun and is warm like blood. Its whooshing is a magic song, a siren call meant just for you. A strand of hair sticks to your face, almost black with wetness, pouring a salty rivulet over your parched lips. The rain grows stronger, increasing the temperature difference of air and water. Thunder reverberates through your bones. You throw your head back and float, just a second, before your feet touch the soft ground again. You know it is time to leave. Time to return to everyday duties, far from adventures and magical borders. Your other personality engulfs you like a custom-tailored dress. You leave the cove, never looking back even once.
And now imagine all this is taken from you.
By the way, “Witch’s Skin” is the third of Helena’s adventures with “Magic behind the mountains”. I have barely just started translating, so please don’t hold your breath – I don’t want you to pass out! Why don’t you go and read “All Souls’ Children” and “Mirror Lake” for now? ^^