Carol Schoenig-Author

Mystic Desire Anthology – Love That Binds

Love that Binds

This short story took me out of my comfort level.  The parameters were a Fantasy, Paranormal with romance.

I invite you to read the first chapter.

Love That Binds

Chapter One

The squeaky, high-pitched voices of the girls chanting made Ianthee run faster. She ran past the aged wooden sign announcing the town of Hecate (Heckatee) that sat at the edge of town. She wondered if it was the town or the Greek and Roman underworld goddess they named it after that fueled the townspeople’s beliefs in ghosts, witchcraft, and curses.

Just past the edge of town, she ran into a wooded area hoping to lose them. Their voices got closer and closer as they chased her into the woods. Fearing what they might do to her if they caught her, she began to cry. Tears ran down her face and blurred her vision. Her toe hit a rock and she fell face first into the mud. The girls laughed and chanted, “Muddy witch,” as they formed a half circle around her. Her body was wired tight as a bowstring and on the edge of hysteria as the mob edged closer.

The sound of leaves rustling and footsteps coming closer made her heart beat faster. The taunting had stopped and had been replaced by silence.

She turned toward the sound. “Are you all right?” Ianthee saw a pair of large brown hiking boots. The sound of his deep, yet soft voice was mesmerizing.

“Yes,” Ianthee said around the sob trapped in her throat.

“Here, let me help you up.” He put his arm around her waist and helped her to her feet. “My name is Caleb Oster.”

She looked up into sapphire blue eyes. He pulled out a handkerchief and started to clean her face. As he gently wiped her cheeks she studied his features, a square-shaped face with stubble spread sparsely over his jaw, chin, and cheek.

Ianthee had heard girls at school talk about Caleb. He was sixteen, played football, and was one of the few boys that drove a car.

Ianthee heard the girls gasp. Then one of them said, “You better not get too close to her. She’ll put a spell on you.”

Ianthee wondered if he had heard the name the girls called her. Better yet, she wondered if he had heard the rumors in town. If he hadn’t, it wouldn’t be too long before he did. Rumors about how her mother and grandmother had used witchcraft to cure some elderly of rashes, arthritis, and a host of other ailments ran rampant among the town people.

“My name is Ianthee.”

He tilted his head. “Ianthee. That’s an unusual name. What does it mean?”

The way he’d said her name, so soft it was almost like a whisper, made her want to swoon. It was so different from the way the mean girls pronounced it in their bullying chants, “Eye on Thee is a witch.” She hated the way they pronounced her name as if the syllables were separate words.

She smiled up at him. “It means the hunter’s daughter.”

“Is your father a hunter?”

“Yes, but he’s dead.”

“I’m sorry!”

He continued to wipe the mud from her face. She began to shiver from her wet clothes. She felt like her heart stopped when he took off his sweater off. The girls were still watching them. They had turned their teasing chants on Caleb.

“Don’t touch her. You’re going to get warts all over you,” one chanted.

He didn’t deserve their meanness, and her sadness became mixed with anger. Warmth and a feeling of being nurtured swept through her when he wrapped the sweater around her and tears hovered in her eyes as he pulled her closer. Caleb lifted her chin, compelling her to look at him. She swayed as his face came closer. It was as if magnets drew their mouths together. She thought she was floating when his lips finally touched hers.

“Ew, she will cast a spell on you. She’s liable to turn you into a frog,” another warned.

“Or make you disappear,” someone else added.

He pulled away and looked into her eyes. “You wouldn’t do that, would you?”

She shook her head. “I have no such power, even if I wanted to.”


The Joys of Swinging on a Swing

The Joys of Swinging on a Swing

The science of why swinging on a swing brings us pleasure is related to our sensory processing and our vestibular system that has to do with balance and movement and is centered in the inner ear. This sense allows us to maintain our balance and to experience gravitational security. When developed we’re confident in our ability to maintain a position without falling.  The vestibular system allows us to move smoothly. It also works right alongside all of our other sensory systems, helping us use our eyes effectively and process sounds in our environment.

As infants, our parents may have put us in a baby swing. The motion lulled the infant to sleep. Toddlers like swinging, and it helps them develop motor skills and eye-hand coordination. As they grow and their confidence grows, they discover swinging on their bellies or sitting on the swing and twisting it around to let twirl in the opposite direction.

All those simple childhood activities played a part in developing confidence. Participating in a variety of activities helped us to become more confident.  We learned how to control movements.  We graduated to climbing, somersaulting, and jumping.  We developed the confidence to start and stop movement calmly and with control.  Some of us became comfortable with climbing, swinging, somersaulting, and jumping,  knowing that our body would adapt and that we could maintain our balance and keep us from falling or getting hurt.

As teens, we may remember the local swimming hole where you swung from a tire swing in a tree and jumped off into the water. Sitting on a porch swing with a girl/boyfriend.  The tire swing under a tree. Favorite summertime activity is swinging on a hammock.

Benefits of swinging on a swing.

  • It’s a good exercise. For every hour you swing, you burn 200 calories.
  • You feel like a kid again.
  • You can get fit and spend time outdoors
  • Swinging good for your physical health. It can condition the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The activity is good for pelvic muscles and helps with balance
  • Swinging can benefit your mental health. You tend to feel good, thrilled and happy after swinging for a while in the fresh air.
  • Studies suggest that swinging can even benefit children suffering from autism.
  • It is a home remedy to reduce muscle soreness after exercise
  • The best thing about swinging is. it doesn’t look like a workout. It looks more like a recreational activity. Twenty minutes of swinging works like a reasonable workout.
  • There are variations in swinging–standing position and sitting position etc. keep your legs straight or try any other variation that engages your whole body.

Cautions if you are going to swing:

Make sure that you hold the chains firmly while swinging.

Test the swing before you use it as any damage in the chains can be hazardous while swinging.

I like swinging because it invokes memories, pleasant memories.  Yes as a child it was all play and fun:  My first kiss from a boy was while sitting on a swing.  Sitting on the swing at my grandmother’s curling up with a good book. Lazy summer afternoons sitting in a swing listening to a baseball game.

After I married and had children, I remember sitting on a swing holding one of the boys and swinging.

Now I have grandchildren, and I still enjoy swinging more than ever. I’m making more memories with them.

I bought my son a swing from the Hammock store in Duck, North Carolina.  We made a deal. I would purchase it, but he would install it at his house so that when I babysit the kids, I get to use it.

We swing from spring to late fall.  We grab a blanket and the three of us cram onto the swing and swing.  I’m asked to tell a story–my granddaughter loves stories with witches.  Oh, the stories are not from a book, I have to make them up with my “mouth.”  (I think she means from my mind).  When either one of them is upset about something they come to me, and we sit in the swing.  My granddaughter will calm down immediately as we swing and I sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Something so simple as a swing is a treasure trove of beautiful memories.  What memories does swinging invoke in you?

Happy swinging!