Sunday, 1 April 2018

Ghostly Inspirations A is for Arthurian #AtoZChallenge 2018

Welcome to my offering for The A to Z Blogging Challenge 2018
My theme this year is Ghostly Inspirations
a collection of spirits that have been prompted by my encounters with places and times. Some are spooky, some more about atmosphere. I'll be describing each inspiration and the phantom that came to my mind, and then I will share a drabble, which I hope will entertain. :)

Disclaimer: The places and experienced I have used for my inspiration are real, but my ghosts and drabbles are complete fiction, linked to nothing and no-one, alive or dead. When writing about my inspirations, I may have changed names and obfuscated specific details to 'protect the innocent' :).

A is for Arthurian

My inspiration for today is a place synonymous with myth and magic, the small village of Tintagel in Cornwall. Legend has it that Tintagel is the place where Uther Pendragon, the father of King Arthur, seduced the Queen of Cornwall.

The village itself draws tourists down it’s main street past shops selling the mystery of King Arthur, but it is the magnificent cliffs holding Tintagel Castle and the bay below with Merlin’s Cave that make this a place to remember.

I have visited Tintagel a handful of times, enjoying the magical themes and shops in the village, but I have only visited the castle up on the cliff once, and it was beautiful. It was a bit of a grey day, not many other tourists there, so our little group of friends had the broken walls and Atlantic view pretty much to ourselves. The site was big enough for us to split up and experience the old place for ourselves, and the cool, calm atmosphere for a lone walker is where my inspiration comes from for today’s ghost.

My ghost today is old, so old he could be contemporary with King Arthur, predating the Norman castle whose ruins now sit on the headland. He walks abroad when the wind is chill and storms are threatening in the waters off the rugged Cornish coast. He is a man in a knee-length tunic and trousers, visible when the wind whips open a cloak wrapped close around his body. He stands alone beyond the castle wall, face to the Atlantic as great waves rise to meet the winds.

No-one knows what he is looking for, and his name is lost to time, but locals are familiar with their spectre, knowing that a sighting means they should run home and batten down their houses for the approaching tumult. Most, though, know better than to approach him.


The Watcher

She pulled her coat around her against the chill that cut across the castle ruins. Fingers numb, she waited. At last, he appeared out of the gloom that was descending, tall, purposeful, face turned to the waves.

He crossed the quad, she followed. He stopped at the cliff edge.

Heart beating fast, she approached. Electric air made her shiver, but he seemed to know nothing of her.

A breath, a hesitation, and then she asked, “What are you waiting for?”

“Death,” the hollow answer came.

He turned. Face pale, haggard, nothing but sunken shadows looked back at her. She screamed


Other paranormal and spooky stories by Sophie Duncan.


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  1. Oooh! I really want to visit Tintagel one day. Preferably without a ghost, but still :) Great opening!
    Happy A to Z!

    The Multicolored Diary: Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales

    1. It is a lovely place to visit and so is Boscastle which is down the road.


  2. Ah! That's a great story!
    There was a time, when I was just out of my teen year, that I became obsessed with Arthurian stories and still today I enjoy a good one.
    I wish one day I'll be able to visit Tintagel.

    1. Thank you. :)

      Arthurian legends are many and varied, there's something for everyone.

  3. Ooo. That was a great story to end the post on.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    My A to Z's of Dining with IC
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  4. Love your theme for A to Z! I have a soft spot for ghost stories and will be checking back often...

  5. Love this and can totally picture the scene having visited Tintagel several years ago. Such an atmospheric place and I'm sure there are lots of spirits residing in that place.
    Pamela @ Days of Fun

    1. Oh yes, there is certainly a distinct atmosphere to the place and I am sure there are some real spirits around :)

  6. Visiting your blog for the first time as we begin the blog challenge. As a fellow writer, I'm sure you agree that participating has made me a better writer discipling myself to 400 words or less because no one has time to read a long post. My theme this year is Bookstores....something dear to your heart too? I started with Avid Books in Athens GA and looking forward to bookstores in Scotland, England, Canada great bookstores in USA. If you have time, keep me company. Have fun1

    1. I enjoy the challenge of drabbles, with exactly 100 words, it forces me to think about the structure of every sentence. Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Neat story. Went to Tintagel a few times when I lived in the UK - very atmospheric.

    1. Thank you :) And yes, Tintagel, down on the cliffs is very atmospheric.


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