Publication date: December 15th, 2015
Ingary is a harsh land. Cursed by a perpetual winter, the isolated little town has all but forget why they worship the wolf.
Marked by magic she cannot control, Marishka is an outcast. Alone and starving she is plagued by geiste, the unconscious minds of the people of Ingary, roaming the wilderness as they sleep. Attracted to the gramarye in Marishka’s blood, the geiste give her no rest. Losing herself to madness, she is saved when she chances to fall in love. But when her affair is discovered, all hope is taken from her.
Beaten and lovelorn, she resigns herself to death.
And then the wolf walks through her door, and Marishka recalls the meaning of Bleizgeist—the spirit of the wolf.
Eventually, I thought, death will come for me.
It was a comforting notion, and I gloried in it during those brief moments when I was not overcome by regret, and memory, and grief.
By paralysing loneliness.
Before long, the smokey spectre appeared, as I knew it would, the barest whisper of a shadow, inky and incandescent. It darted forwards, then back, closer, then ppfft, it was gone in an instant, only to return, darker and more substantial. As ever, it grew bolder, and bolder, until finally it dared to drift through the window and into my home.
Every night I had lain here, the geist had come.
It had not taken me long to realise who it was, dogging my steps every eve.
I could have kept it out. Barred the door, the window, barricaded myself in, but I had learned long ago that the more I tried to shut the geiste out, the more persistent they would become.
This one was already persistent enough.
In the darkest watches of that night I lay cradling my aching head in my arms, rocking slightly in my bed, already desperate for morning. It was then the wolf came to me.
A shadow, nothing more, passing before the window. At first I thought that, in my anguish, I had drawn more of the geiste to myself. I had often done so as a child, before I learned some measure of control over my emotions. From my low vantage I could see little of the outside world but the sky, yet I saw the shadow, looming large against the scattering of trees beyond the window.
Then I heard the scratch of claws. Sharp, echoing, as they made their way to the door. Such a peculiar, human-like habit, to enter through the doorway, rather than leaping over the bare sill. There was no time to ponder the oddity. After a slight scuffling, the door swung inward. Despite my sudden indifference to life I shrank back against the wall, fearful of what came my way. Yet when the wolf entered, nosing its way inside, I found myself drawn forwards again, moving to sit upright for the first time in days. My bruised and battered body, still as naked as it had been when we were found, screamed in protest. Flimsy furs that had been covering me slipped away, exposing me to the night.
The wolf turned to regard me, and a single look into its eyes told me all I needed to know.
This was no mere wolf.
About the author:Hazel is an author, artist and archaeologist from Cheshire, England. She is the founder and owner of The Bookshine Bandit, a business dedicated to helping authors, writers, bloggers, and those looking to self-publish achieve their dreams and maximise their writing potential.
Since 2010 she has been working on a series of Gothic Literary novels, the first of which, Chasing Azrael, was released in April 2014. The Deathly Insanity series is a set of Urban Fantasy novels with overlapping character and plot-lines. Hazel’s other published works include ‘Grave’, a short Dark Fantasy story, and an additional short story and novella published under a pen name.
While her primary interests are in Gothic and Fantasy art and fiction, Hazel reads a wide range of subjects and enjoys most forms of art. In addition to this, she runs The Bipolar Bear, a blog on bipolar disorder, and loves dogs. Her King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Dexter (yes, after the serial killer), is her near-constant companion.
Hazel is currently in the final year of her PhD, which focuses on Gender Dynamics in Late Iron Age and Early Medieval Britain. She studied at The University of Manchester for her Undergraduate degree, then Bangor University for her MA and PhD, spending the two years between her MA and PhD doing corporate archaeology and research excavations, both in Britain and in Austria. She has two papers published in international journals.