July 29, 2014

Ancient Gods: a guest post by Richard Schiver, author of "White Walker"

White Walker is Richard Schiver’s eighth release since his return to writing in 2008 after a computer crash wiped out nearly ten years of work in 2001. A lifelong reader of the Macabre and Supernatural, his goal as a writer is to leave the reader with a story that will stay with them long after they have closed the cover of the book.



Richard lives with his wife in Lavale, MD. Where they share their home with four furry, four legged, children. When he’s not spinning tales of terror he can be found tossing the ball for his yellow lab Max, or making a mess in his woodshop.




Ancient Gods
by Richard Schiver


The next time you’re in a thunderstorm give a thought to how our ancestors must have felt as they huddled in their cave while the thunder rumbled across the land.

We understand thunder is caused by lightning, which is a stream of electrons flowing between clouds, or between a cloud and the ground. The air around this electron stream becomes superheated and as the air cools it creates a partial vacuum around the path of the lightning that becomes a resonating tube. The nearby air rapidly expands and contracts making the column vibrate like a drumhead, and producing a tremendous crack.Source Scientific American

H.P. Lovecraft once said. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”

Our ancient ancestors did not know what caused thunder. To them the lightning with its accompanying thunder was an unknown entity and into that vacuum of the unknown they created gods and superior creatures to account for what they could not readily understand in the natural world around them.

One of the books I use for research is Encyclopedia of Gods by Michael Jordon. It contains listings for over 2,500 Deities from around the world. Under Thunder alone there are 22 listings, and these are just the deities that have survived the passage of time. How many others have become lost as old stories handed down from one generation to the next are forgotten, or twisted to adapt to new realities?

In his introduction Michael states: “one is struck both by the enormous number and variety of deities that occur in different religions around the world, and also by the way patterns repeat themselves – almost every culture has its creator gods, gods concerned with a locally important aspect of the weather, goddesses of fertility, gods whose duty it is to protect the home.”
Encyclopedia of Gods: Michael Jordon

What if these ancient gods still existed to this day, trapped in the limbo of disbelief? What if a local legend had its roots in an ancient belief that found its way to our shores in the minds of the immigrants of the early eighteen hundreds?

It’s a possibility I explore in my latest release, White Walker.

Synopsis:

When she was ten she made a promise to that which inhabits the winter storm. Now she’s twenty-six and pregnant, and the White Walker has returned to collect his due.

For Teddy his first day as shift supervisor could not have come at a worst time. A severe blizzard has shut down the region as old man winter refuses to relinquish his grip. Only ten percent of his team has shown up for work, and he learns upon arriving that one of his first duties that day will be to fire his girlfriend.

He believes it can’t get any worse than it already is. That is until one of his people dies at the hands of a legendary creature that inhabits the blizzard. A prehistoric deity once worshiped by ancient man on the vast Siberian plains. Brought to these shores by Russian immigrants seeking a better life in the deep coalmines that once dotted the hills around the Appalachian Mountain town of Frostburg.

Cut off from the outside world, stalked by a creature from the past, the survivors are forced to abandon the safety of a building that has been stressed to the breaking point.

But how does one escape a winter storm?

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