Recommended Age Range: 12 and up
Approx. Length: 5,724 Words
A woman becomes intrigued by a brooding figure in one of her poems in this short story from Lori R. Lopez, author of The Dark Mister Snark, Odds And Ends, Darkverse: The Shadow Hours . . . Maud believes she sees the elusive presence everywhere she goes.
Is she going mad or is a wraith truly stalking her? Find out the twisted truth in an eerie tale that begins and ends with the haunting verse from which the phantom emerged.
In “shades” of Gothic Romance and brooding Poe-etic atmosphere, her obsession will lead a woman to the very edge. Maud no longer can be sure what is real and what is fantasy after following and being followed by the ghostly man she has fallen for: a dark presence born of rhyme without reason. Why does he appear? What does he want with her? Days are given to wondering, unable to think of anything else as she attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding him. Is he a dream come true or a nightmare?
Clumps of rubbish eyed with caution for hidden dangers: desperate lowlifes; rabid vermin. She discerned a shape at the end. It was him. Waiting for her. Maud’s chest jolted. The moment she desired had arrived. They would meet. It was inevitable. A fevered pulse banged within her ears like the bass-drums of a marching band. She practically floated along, swept up in a state of apprehension and elation.
~ from The Wraith
What is stronger: the power of the imagination, or of the unknown? So many forces surround us, it is only natural that sometimes the lines could meet and even blur . . .
If you think about it, we are at the center of an invisible maelstrom that defines as much as diminishes us like erosion. The mind can be very selective, but what if the choices we thought we made actually chose us?
Breeze stirred a wind-chime of glass stars and moons that dangled before an open window in a studio apartment. The tinkly tones lent a shimmer of mystery and magic to the moment, transcending the staccato background percusses of a jackhammer, Latino music, a baby’s cries. Like an artist lowering a brush, the poet laid down her dipping-pen and read over the lines she had indelibly printed on a sheet of thick quality paper.
“In this story you find a beautiful young girl who has been hurt so badly in the past that as her life gets more lonely her mind starts to break. You cannot help but feel the pain in this girl’s heart as you follow her down the path of insanity.”
“I can’t believe I waited this long to read Lori Lopez!
I have come across many books by Lori, each one sounding just as good as the other. Finally finding the time to read Lori’s work, I decided to check out one of her recent releases – The Wraith. A combination of poetry and prose, this short story is not only filled with fantastic imagery, but it boggles the mind as well. Like many people, Maud is stuck in a boring job. Her escape, or true passion, is poetry. Little does she realize (and how could she) that putting pen to paper will eventually impact her in unimaginable ways. A gentleman she creates in a poem, one Maud envisions as the love of her life, starts to appear around town. Initially trying to track him down, Maud soon becomes a target herself. Can all of this be in Maud’s head, or is it truly unfolding in front of her? Who is chasing who? Is Maud being deceived, and will she find peace in the end? These are just a few of the many questions that readers will likely encounter. Lori has a beautiful way with words, and this story definitely captivated me. I can’t wait to read her other books to see what Lori has in store for me.”
Darkness Abound Blog; Amazon Reviewer
“Written in both poetry and prose author Lori R. Lopez has given us the short tale of a woman who has fallen into the depth of despair. Haunting and emotive we follow the protagonist as she chases and is chased by a mysterious male figure. But he is real or the product of her imagination as she lives her surreal existence in the romance of her poetry counterpoint to her mundane job and social life. Very well done this one will leave you guessing right up to the very end. Or maybe beyond the end?”
Karen Bryant Doering
Parents’ Little Black Book; Amazon Reviewer
“Maud has found her soul mate. In fact, she may have created him. Only now he has left the page and inhabits her waking world. Lori R. Lopez writes at a level that touches the readers’ fears and hopes, then blurs the line. I’ve read Lori’s books since I read OUT OF MIND EXPERIENCES and look forward to each new book as she finds new twists in the genres of romance, horror, and the absurd to explore. If you haven’t read Ms. Lopez’s books, start with THE WRAITH. You’ll be hooked. I know I was.”