I find The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand to be captivating and comprehensive. Countless urban legends are meticulously alphabetized by title. I enjoy the atmosphere that many of these tales evoke and wanted to share one with you:
The Corpse in the Cask
In this legend, an English family discovers a barrelful of rum stored in the basement of an old house they recently purchased. Over the course of a year or two they consume the rum in drinks and cooking; then they cut the barrel in half to use it as a planter. Inside they find the body of a man who had been shipped home from the colonies long ago, preserved in spirits.
Corpses of fallen military officers and other officials were, in fact, sometimes returned to England inside barrels of wine or other spirits. Even Lord Nelson’s body was preserved in a barrel of brandy after he fell at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and in that container was sent back to England for burial. One tradition claims that sailors drilled into the barrel and sipped out some of the brandy with straws, giving rise to the expression “tapping the admiral.”
“The Corpse in the Cask” is similar to American legends about bodies found in city water tanks, and it is also reminiscent of various legends about accidental cannibalism.
-Cooking with my cast-iron cauldron (I’ve had it for a year, haven’t tried it once)
-Playing around with my apple butter recipe (Though it always turns out too sweet)
-Breaking out the giant tubs of Halloween decor (I prefer being vomited in Halloween)
-Sharing a few Halloween poems that I’m writing (Anything to evoke the season)
-Being honest with my debt issues, no longer being in denial about my problems (Denial can be really tricky for me to navigate most times).
-Starting to write my stories again (even if it’s crap, just write)
-Spending time with old friends (I hate realizing that some people I might see once a year)
-Getting lost in any book (seriously, ANY book)
-Living life by my own definitions (trying incredible hard not to lose my authentic self…a true struggle for me)
I’m usually passed out around this time of night but I wanted to fight the urge to turn in.
I deserve a break from adulting for a least one silly night a week.
I worked on snapping some pictures for my poetry book that I plan on self-publishing. At first I thought of completing some illustrations, but all of my efforts look like a childish, amateurish mess. I would love to collaborate with a real illustrator but this project is so tiny that I couldn’t afford to pay them.
I’m a staunch believer that all artists deserve a fair pay.
Plus, my only goal with making this book is to show myself that I have a right to be a writer, and so there is no hope or goal of any financial success. The only success is to muck up the courage to create a book out of it.
So I ended up using black and white photographs. I think it looks a lot more romantic, and loads more professional than my paintings could ever make it. All of the photo used a noir filter and really played with light, trying to evoke that magical late-night feel. They remind me of an evening ritual that lasts throughout the night.
I hope others feel magic and mystery from them.