I knew her story as a child - by heart. Whispered in hushed voices and tales spun under bedsheets in the dark. By early winter gloom and late flash light. By the wooden sill of the window we stretched on tiptoes and scanned the inky shoreline for her like.
We grew up with her tale, the beautiful lady they called a wraith - of the beach, of the coves and of the cave. Of the cliff and the headland and the sheer drop - metres, metres, to the waves. They said to look upon her face - more bewitching than any mortal born on earth - was to firmly set foot on a treacherous path to a bitter end.
Folks from round here said she was the devil sent to men.
The wraith begins,
winter nights when haar rolls in,
sea and land and ragged bitter cliff merge - lost in mist.
She'll take you close in her embrace,
smooth your cheek and wind whipped hair,
pull on heavy woollen cloak and drag on coat and tail.
No sane man from hereabouts would look her in the face.
Would walk in gale,
venture out in dark and rain,
lose the sense of what their mothers warned them way back when.
From where she comes be sure to know that she will come again.
shifting sands and shifting dress,
vivid, brilliant, living, breathing bone and hair and flesh.
Terror equals beauty equals deadly claim to stake.
To whistle storm upon a boat,
upon a crew hell bent on home,
upon those lost and local left in water on their own.
They say she offers icy hand but doesn't guide you home.
So keep yours safe,
hold your bundled swaddled babes,
stay from off the battered shore in winter's howling gail.
From her domain -
queen of grit and ocean wave,
vicious, wicked woman sent from deepest, dankest place.
If you're from here or hereabouts beware the sand storm wraith.
If you enjoy my writing you might enjoy my little book - A Familiar Voice - which is available on special offer until Christmas.