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Old Mother

The darkness engulfs you wherever you glance and turn. It is everywhere and washes over you as if a soft blanket. Its welcoming arms call out to you to get lost in them. The darkness is a lost mother, holding you in her warm embrace and silently lulling you to sleep.

She looks so faded that one wishes to ask her the reason for her weariness, but she will merely smile a smile that never reaches her eyes and continues to hum the melody that haunts you during your sleepless nights. She is so kind and yet so cruel; your heart aches for her disheartened features and everlasting misery, and yet your heart beats just at the thought of her warm hands and lullabies.

The Darkness shall eternally lurk in the depths of your mind of which you have lost and forgotten, waiting and watching silently for the day you may set her free and let her lovely voice fill the void as you drift off to sleep...

Doesn't it all sound so wonderful?

I had made the same foolish mistake 4 years ago, while I lay in my bed and pondered what I was to bake for my daughter's birthday. She was to turn 13, and I planned on making it the best night of her life. While I lay, an eerie feeling washed over me, and my hands went cold. I could feel the temperature drop, and I struggled to sit up and check if the dial on the wall was broken again. I choked back a scream as I realized what on earth was wrong.

A 6-foot tall woman stood in the doorway. The reason for my fright was much, much more sinister than just that; for her disfigured face and disproportional eyes watched me silently. A raspy voice spoke as if from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. With much horror, I realized she had no mouth! I began to back away, but she outstretched her claw-like hands until they quite literally engulfed my entire being and held me secure in her arms. I could not scream once a warm feeling washed over me and overtook my entire being.

"Old Mother, help me!" The horrible crunching of bone was audible as the woman's neck craned towards me. There was that almost musical voice, with something always off about it the more I listened. The only thing she did was sing the same phrase over and over again in latin:

"Puellae quietam, vade ad somnum puer meus"

"The girls are quiet, my child go to sleep."

I, of course, had no idea what she was telling me, but I recognized the haunting tune of the melody.

"Old Mother? Lord have mercy upon us all..." Old Mother was the spirit that often lulled me to sleep when I had trouble sleeping. My grandmother had warned me about Her. "The Darkness," Granny called Her, and yet I thought it was the rantings of an old woman. I was warned so many times and refused to listen. I believed Old Mother to be a good force; a broken mother, a broken soul, simply seeking freedom. Oh, how very wrong I had been. If only I had seen sooner the cause for my Grandmother's death! Suffocated, they said, suffocated during her sleep!


The book in which I read from. It looked hundreds of years old, and so very worn.

I gave in to her pleading that dreadful night and fetched the book my grandmother stashed in her drawer. All over it was scrambled and jumbled words, indistinguishable in my eyes. Old Mother, on the other hand, cried out in what almost sounded like glee; pushing me further with her soothing words to continue. I, being the foolish girl I was, did just that. The page read in mixes of Latin and English (and forgive my horrid translating):

To have a Spirite in a Glass to tell all

things they use first with a prayer to consecrate ^[illegible]

being layd upon a cleane Towell,

Then they put five drops of hallowed oyle on

five places of the Glass-like a Cross: desiring

of God by a short prayer that som spirit

may enter into the Glass to resolve and answer

them in all doubtfull occasions.

Afer they draw the five drops together

Like a cross and Say (only in Latin will it be effective)

"Adiuro vos per nomina Angelorum

I conjure you by the name of the angels

Sator atque animo mecum hoc Azamor, qua Gildhalla Teutonicorum Aore

Sator and Azamor that yee intend to me in this Aore

et mitte

And send 

ad me in spiritu vocavit Sagrigit."

Unto me, a spirit called Sagrigit 

 Then must the glass be washed and rubbed

with crums [sic] of bread: which must be burnt in the fire

and so the sufflation is made: Then gladly

he will appeare and answer to thy Asking.

Then they say before the Glass:

"Ne Truda, Truda,

Do not Truda, Truda

Normay instillator.

Normay drops. (??) (One of the reasons Latin works perfectly)

Coniuro te Essleracon per

I call upon the Essleracon

nomen Belfalum per fantalinatis Lauta, per Cruelon

The name Belfalas by fantalinatis discriminating means Cruelon (?)

istam magnam, per sufflentiam maximam, per

This great thing, through the sufflentiam the largest, but by the Mariam Matrem Domini nostri Iesu Christi suma virgine nati, per beatam Mariam Magdalernam per beatam

1. Mary, the mother of Jesus süma

girl born through the Blessed happy with Magdalernam

Margaretam per caput S. Io. Baptist, per Petrum et

Margaret by the head of St. John. Baptist, Peter and

Paulam per virtutem Domini nostri Iesu Christi: ut in isto specule

Paul, by the power of Jesus, as in this mirror

continuo ad omnia rogata respondeas."

Answer not turn a deaf ear to all things at once.

by that, thou shall have one saying mouth to mouth

[an]d showing all that you will desire.

Take cleane mirore or mirrhor and virgin parchment

[&] wrap the glass therin, and write theis words on the



That night, the night that finally I gave in to Old mother's begging and sobbing to set Her free from the darkness. The moment I delved into the ritual she instructed me that night was the night my grandmother passed away. How could I have been so blind?

I recalled the chant I had spoken during the ritual and a final, desperate thought came to me: Grandmother had said every spell had a reversed version. There was another page, if only I could remember, it would reverse the havoc it had brought upon us. So I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to think.

The crushing force of her welcoming arms consumed my entire being and only continued to claw its way into my mind and heart until I was no more. I tried to beg her. I tried to scream and cry, but her dark world was crushing me slowly. It was crushing my lungs and my head and my chest. I could not breathe, I could not speak. It was my ultimate doom that I had set for myself.

Suddenly, her grip loosened. I did not hesitate a single moment and inhaled deeply, chanting in somewhat broken Latin:

"Per istam unctionem

By this uniction

sit hoc speclum consecratum

This may be exchanged Speculum 

Et benedictum

And blessed

et sanctificatum

And who do

quod habeat perfectam potestatem

That it has the perfect power of

ad demonstrandum nobis Angelos quos volumus

The angels whom we wish to show us,

in nom  

In name

per istam consecratum

By this hallowed 

sufflationem descendat in hoc speculum

Blown down into the glass

virtus spiritus sancti, concitetur speculum scientia

The power of the holy spirit, the mirror of the knowledge of the oath which

repræsentandis ut spiritus exorciz impleat et ut

And to fulfill in order to represent the spirit of the demon

dubia ora et occulta reddantur perfecta et certa

're back edge of hidden perfect and reliable

ut se imperasse gaudeat per ipsum Dominum qui vivis

That he ordered him, let him rejoice in the Lord, that we the living who are

et imperas in sæcula sæculorum. Amen."

and power forever and ever. Amen.

With that, she was gone. The world spiraled into focus once more and the light flooded my eyes and stung them. I fell to the floor and grasped my shaking shoulders. She was gone! I could not believe it! A victorious chuckle escaped me. She was gone for all time. After that, I prayed all night.

Years passed without any sign of the Old Mother. I was past the accident and lived my life to the fullest. My two daughters grew up to be lovely. One night as I was getting ready for bed, I heard the small whisper of feet. I glanced up absently.

My six-year-old granddaughter, Kassy, stood before me in the flickering light of the bedroom. She was barefoot, and her hair stuck to her temples.


"What is it, honey?" She looked at me strangely and walked over to the bed, climbing on and pulling the blanket over herself. She said nothing more and merely buried her head in the covers. "Did you have another nightmare, Kassy?" I moved to sit beside her and smiled warmly. Two blue eyes peeked from underneath the sheets. She proceeded to tell me her nightmare about the injured rabbit, and continued with:

"I woke up and the sad old woman told me I should go back to sleep."

Written by Ninasilverrose
Content is available under CC BY-SA