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Contents:


  1. The Night Mare and Being Ridden by the Hag | Ancient Origins
  2. Similar authors to follow
  3. Mara – Evil Spirits and The Night Horse
  4. What is the Nightmare?

I was in Film. But you had to take everything no matter what you specialized in. You think Fine Arts is going to be a bird degree and then you have to take classes all through the summer and talk about art until you want to kill yourself and also everyone else. I stopped trying to explain and started not caring, which was much easier. They just had to say smart things in front of the teacher to seem smart. I lied all the time in the opposite way because I wanted people to like me. My ex-boyfriend Greg used to call me out on it all the time. He would do a dead-on high-pitched wide-eyed imitation of me.

Oh, I thought your film was great. Those theatre students were really talented. I really believed they were dead. That blood looked really authentic. Oh, cherry Kool-Aid, ohhhhh.


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Outside, it was bright and hot and ten million squirrels were running around like crazy. City squirrels are scary. Each one is a mangled survivor of savage violence, with matted fur and scabby patches of skin. The ones downtown were always missing an eye or an ear, or a whole entire tail. They scurried up the trees and across the shoulders of Egerton Finchaven, eponymous founder of the college, forever immortalized as a bronze pigeon-shit-covered squirrel sentry. His expression suggested a tranquil bliss, and from his right arm, earnestly extended in frozen mid-gesture, dangled a lacy pink bra.

The bra had hung there for months, and was not a random act of vandalism, but an art installation homage to American college movies. Some jerk had gotten an A for it and I was jealous. I could tell by the sun that it was just past three. I had a geography teacher in high school named Mr.


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  • Ludwig who was obsessed with the altitude of the sun. He made us learn to calculate it down to the decimal point with a protractor. He promised that it would come in handy if we got lost or stranded, as if we were foolhardy Sea Captains on weekends. But then I found myself breaking the sky into angles any time I was outside and the habit continued. I missed high school. On my way home, I stopped at the drug store to get makeup for my blandy pie face, bandages for my bloody knee gash, garbage bags for my gross apartment, and condoms because even though I was a mess, I was also still an optimist.

    Outside my door, there was a bouquet of red roses. As I stared at them, my neighbour Elizabeth came down the hall with her terrier, who jumped all over me. The dog had red nail polish on. I looked to see if Elizabeth had matching, but her nails were plain.

    The Night Mare and Being Ridden by the Hag | Ancient Origins

    I nodded the nod that you nod at the people that you see every day, instead of saying goodbye. I carried the flowers inside, dropped my purse on the floor, and opened the box of garbage bags. I was twenty and I got flowers. My apartment was filled with red roses. There were ancient arrangements in yellowy water and shriveled variety store trios in plastic cones. Some were long-stemmed and solitary with sharp triangle thorns. There were a few velvet newborn babies like the ones just delivered but most had brown petals tinged with pink, beyond dead and crusted with decay.

    I put the garbage bags in the cupboard. They had nothing to do with any of it. And where to start, even if I could? Most of the roses would seem, to an objective observer, inarguably gross and unfit for display. Others slightly less so. But where was the cut off? Or at the first hint of imperfection? And who was I to say that some flowers were less perfect than others? If you could forget, for just one second, your impossible ideals? I turned on the TV and started rolling a joint. I had been with Wes the night before. I was still feeling weird about it.

    I got up and closed the window. People yelling my name was super embarrassing because of Rocky. As I smoked, I wove an intricate mummy-lattice of bandages around my wasted knee. Then I grabbed five garbage bags from the cupboard and filled them with roses. It took a long time because I had to take several breaks in order to stare into space for no reason and by the time I finished it was getting quite late. I had to get ready for work that very second, or call in sick to the restaurant. If I called in sick I could avoid seeing Wes.

    But if I stayed home then I would be at home. I brushed my teeth and washed my face. Delicate eyeliner pencils snapped in half, sweet lipstick stalagmites squished to pink mud. A shiny plastic uterus trailing the black ink of its mascara wand abortion. White porcelain stained with blue shadow. Glass fragments from a vial of concealer that splattered the walls the colour of my skin when it smashed.

    I opened the mirrored cabinet above the sink and reached for my pills. One for depression, two for anxiety. I swallowed them with a hand trench of water from the tap. I could deal with seeing Wes. I got dressed in my black shirt black skirt uniform and then put my new make-up on. I locked my door, took the stairs, and ran out of the lobby as fast as I could. I had a good lead. He had no physical endurance and wore tight corduroy pants. Built up from years of canoeing. People would nod with blank-faced politeness.

    All you had to do was look at him to know that he was lying. I dodged people on the sidewalk with my patented ninja stealth. I sprinted across Wellesley Street and ran down the stairs into the subway. The doors of my train closed and I felt relief spill down my spine like a divine waterfall made from the tears of angels. Across from me, a man and a woman were making out with loud slurping mouth sounds. Walking toward the restaurant, I could see Wes and Ev the sous chef standing by the alley, smoking.

    Similar authors to follow

    I felt my asshole clench. Wes was a sexy pasty white boy comedian. He treated me in two different and very specific ways. He was either sleepy-eyed hungover and annoyed by everything I said or hyper-attentive; laughing at my jokes, asking about my dreams, giving me head out of nowhere in the storage room at work.

    One mood was worth putting up with for the other mood. He was amazing onstage. He had a sweetly mean candy punk confidence that drew people to him, made people want to please him. His act was smart and twisted and I was attracted to the sweaty, earnest energy of it, which I had expected would translate into the heights of frenzied ecstasy during our ultimate coitus. Which was not what happened. Everything up until the act of penetration was great, you can go ahead and use your pervy imagination for that part, you giant perv. Then I was on top and I was just about to come. I was on the glorious precipice of coming.

    And then, without a hint of probing suggestion, without any warning or lubrication, he jammed his finger straight up my asshole. The sudden jolt of ripping pain took me right out of the moment, right out of everything. I made a terrible noise but his stupid face below me was oblivious. I watched him come. This all happened in one single second in slow-motion and then it was over. I got off him and I was lying there staring at the ceiling like … Whaaaat just happened?

    And I looked at his stained yellow scurvy pirate fingers with their jagged untamed hawk talons and I was furious. Not even about the pain. The pain was only a sparking ember of hurt by that time. But the loss of my pleasure was an agony that burned through my body with the raging fire of a thousand hells.

    He was sweet to me. And all I could think was, Get your finger out of my ass, Wes! Get your finger out of my ass, Wes! But it was too late to say that. And then he said,. You have to talk about these things, buddy. You have to communicate, I said to him, in my mind the day after.

    He offered me a cigarette from his pack and I took it. He smirked and reached out to light my cigarette for me, cupping the space around it with his hand. We all hated him. She had a habit of clutching arms. She touched people too often and too intensely.

    It was her second-favourite movie, after The Year Punk Broke. I had an appointment with Dr. She had been my doctor for years and I loved her. She asked if there was anything else in my life that was a stress factor apart from school. She asked if I was doing any recreational drugs like marijuana. She asked if I was getting enough sleep.

    Mara – Evil Spirits and The Night Horse

    She asked if my parents knew what was going on with me. Like a bubbling aching sharpness. It feels like the pain is under my skin but over my organs. In my blood or fluids. It feels like my veins are melting but with a sharpness? Like how it would feel if your blood was powdered glass. Flowing and melting and stabbing. I looked at her hopefully, expectantly. Let me write you a prescription. Instead she frowned and asked if I was drinking enough water. And then I looked at Dr. She had requisitioned my tonsillectomy, vaccinated me, and even swabbed the cells of my cervix. But there existed between us a chasm far deeper than any vagina.

    I can definitely help you with that.

    What is the Nightmare?

    You were probably on too low of a dosage. Outside the pharmacy, I clenched the prescription between my teeth while I rummaged through my purse for my insurance card. His beard had grown longer. He was wearing a stupid white shirt with stupid suspenders and a stupid tie and a stupid hat. For your growth as a person. But you never listen.

    You follow me around, you scream outside my window, you trash my apartment, you destroy my things. That equals you hate me. So leave me alone. Stop sending me flowers, stop everything. I love you despite all your flaws, despite all your failings. Love is too powerful to just throw away. And you ruined my life. And you broke your promise. Why should we care? It was difficult to pay attention in screenwriting class when I sat across from Owen Cosgrove and spent the whole time thinking wicked-perverted thoughts about him.

    But then, for some reason, I never did. Similarly, bricks were hung crosswise in front of the house or barn. The intention was to confuse the mare. Verses were sung before going to bed. They are similar in wording to charms against witches. The verses ask the nightmare to count all the blades of grass, for instance. This and similar actions keep the demons occupied all night. A man is hag-ridden or plagued by the mare in this illustration, A few more remedies are worth mentioning. One of them is the mistletoe.

    The plant was hung under the roof to protect against the mare. One day Balder wakes up from a dream which foretells his own death. Thereupon his mother attempts to protect him, but eventually Balder is killed by the mistletoe. Another means of protection is the pentagram. We know this, because the symbol is named after the nightmare. In Dutch, the pentagram is called marevoet. According to a German tradition, the same symbol, the Mahrfuss , is applied on the threshold and doorframe of the bedroom for protection on May-Eve. The pentagram is applied on the threshold and doorframe of the bedroom for protection.

    In German, the same symbol is better known as Drudenfuss ; the Dutch equivalent being droedenvoet. In Belgium and Holland, the droede is almost never heard of. According to the German folklore, the Drude is explained as a night demon or elf. The etymology of Drude conveniently ties in with the nightmare experience of pressure.

    Nonetheless I would like to link the word with a member of the Norse gods. Her name seems much closer to Drude and droede than the Gothic verb trudan. Unfortunately, her name has never been satisfactorily explained. Thrud is a woman and a character of legend, but not much is known about her. She figures in Alvissmal , a poem from the Edda. Thor is not pleased with the proposal and tries to stall the dwarf. The god is delighted when at last the sun rises, because Alviss cannot suffer sunlight.

    This motif occurs in folklore quite often and might indicate that Alviss and his kind only live at night. The fact that he chooses Thrud as his bride might mean that she, too, is a creature of the night. At least, dwarves were associated with elves. In Norse mythology, they were called dark elves or black elves. Analogously, the nightmare creatures in Germany were called elves. Thrud might well be the mother of a whole class of female beings who operate at night.

    In passing, it should be noted that the German words Alp , Mahr and Drude could refer to both men and women. In spite of that, she might still be a supernatural being in origin, known as the mara, and of elf-kind. Cheyne, Situational factors affecting sleep paralysis and associated hallucinations: Journal of Sleep Research 11, Draken en andere vreemde wezens. Volksverhalen uit kleurrijk Nederland, Lemniscaat, Rotterdam His works have always been Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

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    • We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Skip to main content. Mara — Evil Spirits and The Night Horse In Dutch, the nightmare is known as the maar or mare , sometimes called nachtmaar or nachtmare, analogous to the English word. You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. Notify me when new comments are posted. Replies to my comment. More information about text formats. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

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