Category: Legends

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The Superhero Diaries 4.7: Apparitions

The Elite Force of Britain: a group of superheroes who joined together to eradicate problem after problem. Recently, the team appear to have disappeared from existence… or have they? The diabolical supervillain organisation Supervillains United are going to great lengths to try to prove newspaper reports to the contrary that the superheroes appear to be making a comeback. Nothing definite, but such reports are giving citizens everywhere the hope they are longing for. Here’s a report from the local newspaper The Mid and Up Chronicle:

What links Moyobamba, Peru, Adelaide, South Africa, and Dalvík, Iceland? Certainly not their geographical locations, weather systems, populations, or distances from London. But each of these three places and, it is beginning to transpire, other places around the globe, are starting to experience a most unusual – but certainly linked – phenomenon.

A coach party in Moyobamba report being held up at a crossroads by a team of heavily armed and military clothed men, one of whom was about to step aboard the coach when all around them the sound of a beautiful dawn chorus was heard. The would-be highwaymen fell to the floor, screaming and holding their ears as the sound was deafening. The coach party heard relaxing birdsong. The man who tried to get onto the bus was lifted by the collar of his jacket and thrown back out through the open door. There was no physical presence, but a lady sitting close to the front of the coach caught glimpses of the colour crimson and the scent of a familiar perfume.

A traffic warden in Adelaide was lifted off her feet shortly before an out-of-control jeep careered into the brick wall by which she was walking. Although she remembers seeing nobody around her, she could feel a pair of extremely long arms lifting her over to the other side of the road; and she definitely remembers feeling the arms become shorter as she was placed back onto the ground. She also remembers hearing the words “You’re safe now”.

And a couple of tourists in Dalvík found themselves an unusual problem when their popcorn making machine failed, when suddenly the corn in the bag started popping all by itself, the top of the bag bursting into flames briefly before opening, allowing the tourists to devour the delicious and hot popcorn.

These reports point out to us here at the Chronicle that the powers of three of the Elite Force of Britain are being used: Crimson Songbird’s warbling in Peru; Bettystretch’s stretching ability in South Africa; and Firetop’s heat control powers in Iceland. Why they are in those places remains as much a mystery as why the superheroes disappeared in the first place, but if they are where the stories are filtering through from, it means that the superheroes are here on Earth with us. Hidden, and appearing as ghosts or apparitions, but they are here.

Supervillains United have discounted these reports as fake news, and dismissed them as fireside ghost stories.

The team here at the Chronicle feel otherwise, and hope that these reports are the start of the return of the Elite Force of Britain.


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ATC: Pixie

This is the final ATC in my Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends series; nine seems to be the magic number with these little creations – I did the same number with my baby animal series earlier in the year. This time, my focus is on the little folk… the Pixies. I don’t think they are much taller than an Artist’s Trading Card, an artistic creation that measure 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches… so my pixie in this image could actually be drawn to scale!

Pixies are mischievous, playful and childlike souls who like to sing and dance and party well into the night. They draw energies from stone circles, and my pixie is posing in front of a couple of stones in a hidden circular henge somewhere within the English countryside. They are normally raggedy little creatures, who wear hastily stitched together cloths as clothing (or nothing at all!), but are known to ditch those rags as soon as a far more better set of clothes comes along. I think my pixie is showing off his new threads.

They love animals, especially horses, and could ride them all night long if they could, plaiting and playing with their manes as they go. Obviously, there is a lot of space on a single horse for many pixies, so that’s a lot of ringlets to untangle the following morning!

Once again, this ATC was created using pastels, gel pens, and gold and silver markers.

And here is the completed collection. Some better than others, but all have been fun to create!

 


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Ignis Fatuus

Ignis Fatuus is more of a phenomenon than a myth or legend, but that is still no reason for it not to be included in my ATC series on Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends.

This particular being loves to send the spooks up unsuspecting travellers late at night. Why these late night travellers would be around a swamp or bog or marshland is beyond me, but there is always some kind of odd or dangerous element to all of these legends so we shall leave it there. Ignis Fatuus is known by many names, and just pops up like a dancing flame whenever and wherever it pleases. It poses no real threat, apart from the impish element of surprise it invokes, or the fact that it causes curious passers by to walk off their safe path and find themselves lost. It will swiftly run or fade away should anybody dare attempt to get close to it.

Its more familiar name is Will-o’ The Wisp, or Jack O’Lantern… or simply Ghost Candles when they make an appearance in graveyards.

This ATC, as with all of the others in this series has been created using pastels, gel pens and gold and silver markers. I tried to give it a little swirling and almost solid form but in reality they look more like a flickering candle flame… however, legends being legends can have their stories and appearances altered over time. This is my interpretation of a will-o’ the wisp.


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The Superhero Diaries 4.5: Emily

The Elite Force of Britain: a group of superheroes who joined together to eradicate problem after problem. Recently, the team have been somewhat otherwise engaged. Some are now speculating missing in action. Rumours had it that some superheroes were off-world on a secret mission – a fact now seemingly discounted by N.A.S.A. (the North Atlantic Spaceways Agency; they always get confused with the other NASA) and other folk say the superheroes are busy dealing with more home-grown issues. Supervillains United are having a field day with their arch nemesises being ‘elsewhere’… and ‘ordinary’ folk are now getting slightly worried… Here are two letters from concerned citizens, both coincidentally named Emily (the second letter was found discarded in a tip outside the EFB Secret Headquarters) (the authenticity of both letters has yet to be determined):

Dear Superheroes,

Where are you?

Why have you deserted us?

Mrs Jones, my teacher, says you have gone to teach us all a lesson. To tell us not to rely on others but to trust in ourselves and do our own thing.

I don’t believe it.

My friend, Curtis Ooma, was rescued by you once. He couldn’t help himself. He was seven. He was trapped when the dam exploded. Without you. He’d have gone.

Mrs Jones says the dam exploded because of you, but I don’t believe that. She says it is all in the natural balance of things, and with you not being here the balance will be restored. I haven’t said anything to her, but how can you not being here cause balance? And how can all those evil baddies create balance?

I don’t trust what I’m being told. What I see doesn’t match what should be. If I can see that, at eight years old, why can’t grown ups? I’ve always known that trust is the biggest virtue, but what is trust when there is nothing to back it up?

Where are you?

Please come back and let me trust again.

Let me believe again.

I’m lost without you.

And I’m not the only one.

Love, Emily.

Dear Superheroes,

Where are you?

My name is Emily and I’m nine years old and last week my pet Tiddles got stuck up a tree and Daddy had to climb up and rescue her because it was wet and because it was wet he slipped and fell out and broken his arm.

Tiddles jumped down just afterwards but daddys arm is now very sore and you could have helped if you’d have been here like you did with Monster last year.

Please write back to me and let me know you are OK.

My favourite superhero is Crimson Songbird as red is my favourite colour.

Thank you

Emily

Aged 9

And Tiddles

Aged 1¼


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ATC: Melusine

Melusine is a fresh water spirit from legends in France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium and Cyprus. She is sometimes seen with wings, one fish tail or two. She was a fairy queen who had to take on the part serpent form every Saturday. She was a hard-working soul, building many castles each and every night throughout the night, and with her human husband had many children. The unfortunate thing was that all of these children had some sort of odd defect, one with different coloured eyes (red and blue), another with one ear larger than the other, one filled with murderous rage and others. She never wanted her husband to see her on a Saturday, which he agreed to, but one day he did. He thought it was because of her serpent side that all of the children were as they were. Devastated that her husband had gone against her wishes and saw her in her Saturday form, she turned into a huge serpent and eventually flew away… visiting her children at night and leaving her husband. He was never happy again.

The legend continues as it is said her descendants became some of the region’s great leaders, including Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen consort of France and England.

And she is still seen today – if you notice the Starbucks logo… that’s her on the image.

My ATC, another very quick one so not much time for great detail, shows her in her one-tail form, flying out of a fresh water lake. She was created using pastels, gel pens and gold and silver markers, as all of the others have been in this series. I think the image looks better on the actual ATC than it does in the photographs, as the glitter in the gel is reflecting back the light of the flash, and this isn’t as noticeable on the 2.5 X 3.5 inch picture.