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A 'sketch' of a supernatural story idea. Jackie O’Bryan stepped carefully down the slope of the hill by the dim light of the overcast moon. Even though his eyes were better at night than most it still took care to avoid the dangers of stone, root, and bush. As he reached the dirt path at the bottom of the rise the long and lanky man peered in both directions, looking for signs of recent passage. He was sure his quarry had come this way; he’d had a fairly clear sighting atop the hill he’d just crossed. Crinkling his nose in frustration as no immediate direction suggested itself Jackie took a handkerchief from his coat and, lifting his cap, padded at the sweat on his forehead. Reseating the slouch cap on his unruly shock of auburn hair he refolded the kerchief and dabbed at his nose and eyes for a few moments. Satisfied at last he tucked the cloth away and turned to his right, heading north of east, before he stepped onto the path. His long strides turned the rhythm of his steps into quick progress, his thin shadow flickering hurriedly to one side from time to time as the moon found breaks in the clouds. Before long the suggestion of a white figure rose from the darkness ahead, new energy quickening the man’s steps as his gamble proved reliable. A few moments of this quick pursuit brought the distant shape into fuller resolution, a feminine shape shrouded in white except for the dark hair that trailed behind her. As if his closing nearness was a signal the figure in white slowed, stopped, and turned to face him. For his part Jackie halted, eyeing the remaining distance between them and hoping it was enough. “Lovely night for a stroll, isn’t it?” he called out pleasantly, tipping his hat. There was no immediate response from the white-clad figure, just the edges of her dress and the tresses of her hair catching the breeze. Jackie straightened and adjusted his jacket, using the opportunity to slip the bronze disc of the amulet in his pocket into his palm. “I don’t mean to bother, but I’m compelled to ask: have you seen a young woman, mid-twenties, mousy hair, answers to Ciara?” he asked, sliding forwards a step. “I’d greatly appreciate if you have-” He cut off as the figure opposite started to change. The long raven tresses drifted skyward as if caught in a stiff wind coming from the center of the earth, revealing a pale face twisted by loathing. The too-wide mouth opened upon the gleam of too-sharp teeth, and the dead black of its eyes started to weep licks of blue flame, like an alcohol fire. “Bugger,” Jackie had time to say before the angry spirit flew at him up the path. He aimed the amulet stiff-armed, concentrating his will into it, praying to all the gods of hearth and sky the damned thing worked. Prose by Harakhte/Pic 'Banshee' by Jasinai https://www.deviantart.com/jasinai/art/Banshee-328802989

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