A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

24 Mar
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Illustration by Melanie Delon


Hello everyone! Today I’m sharing Part 1 of a short story series called A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. I hope you enjoy it.

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega


Who falls in love with a ghost?


I recall the first time I laid eyes on Abigail. She wasn’t attractive in my eyes. Her skin was pallid like an ivory mist. Her limp, pale hair reflected merely a glint of sun. Her lips were thin and ill-defined, but when she looked my way with her heavy-lidded green eyes, she captured me. I couldn’t look away. I should have looked away.


I had a task to do–so I watched. She had a sweet way about her that lured me into her world. Was it possible to take part in her world? I observed her. She did caring things for those around her and had a generous heart. Oddly, she never seemed to expect anything in return. She was kind to animals and nature. She enjoyed singing, although she wasn’t very good at staying in tune. I spent hours, days, and then weeks observing her–trying to find something that would make my errand easier. I could not. What was it about this creature that held me captive?


Abigail was good, but also an odd and clumsy creature. I lost count of how many times I had to swiftly cover my mouth, fearing that my laughter would betray my presence. Once, she picked up a tarantula spider. It appeared to prance happily in place on her palm. She gazed at it wide-eyed and giggled with glee. Then she dropped it. The spider shattered when it hit the ground. She wailed for hours.


Another time she witnessed a small boy feeding bread to a swan. She ran to them and picked up a piece of bread lying by the boy’s feet. She attempted to feed the swan at the same time the boy did, but instead she clumsily struck the swan’s beak, making it irate. She gasped as the angry bird took the boy’s arm in its beak and pounded the small arm with one of its massive wings. Abigail screamed for help and managed to pull the boy away, but not before the swan had broken his arm. The boy ran away to his parents, red-faced and howling, his arm dangling by his side. She dropped to the ground and created a puddle with her guilt and sorrow. She did not eat for days. That’s when I finally approached her.


“Why do you starve yourself?” I asked. She jumped and stared at me. “Do you wish to die?”


“No, I wish to live,” she responded, her eyes wide and pale lips trembling. “I hurt a small boy and deserve to suffer.”


“You did no such thing. The bird hurt the boy, but his arm is healing well. He plays happily as we speak, regardless of the cast he wears. You have no need to go on tormenting yourself.”


“How do you know this?” She looked at me askance.


Thinking quickly I responded, “I was told about what had happened to the boy, and I just saw him minutes before I ran into you.”


She stared at me, brows crumbled and eyes squinted, and then she smiled faintly. “I’m glad to know this, thank you. My name is Abigail.”


“Then you must nourish yourself, Abigail.”


I looked around. A red fruit hanging from a nearby tree caught my eye. I picked it and handed it to her. She extended her hand slowly and took it. She bit into it, repeatedly holding the ripened, sweet fruit with both hands. She devoured it in no time. As she swallowed the last morsel, I wiped a bit of dribble off her chin. She smiled and her cheeks turned the color of an orchid rose.


I laughed. “My name is Azrael,” I told her. I’m not sure why. I reveal my name to few.


“It’s nice to meet you, Azrael. Would you like to walk with me?” she asked with a large grin on her face. I nodded. “Oh, good! This forest is quite beautiful. I enjoy hiking here. The smells, the sounds–fascinate me!” I smiled and we began our stroll.


“This beautiful place can also be quite dangerous. Doesn’t that scare you?”


“No,” she said, her face as innocent and pure as a daisy.


We continued walking. She stopped to smell wildflowers, drink water from a small waterfall that emptied into a noisy river, to point at birds she recognized and insects. I thought today would be the day, but torrents of crystalline water gushed, white fluffy clouds whipped across intense cerulean skies, daffodils vibrant as stars quivered and danced. It was much too lively a day for death to intrude.


“I must leave now.”


“So soon, Azrael?” She sighed heavily and her body slumped.


“The sun will set soon. Perhaps you should go home before it becomes dark and you can’t find your way back.”


She nodded with a frown. “Goodbye. It was very nice exploring the forest with you. Thank you for a lovely time,” she said as she departed.


I rushed in the opposite direction. When I was sure to be far enough away, I crumbled to the ground.


“Why? Why must I end the life of such a creature?” I cried to the heavens. “There is no malice in her. She is a lamb!” I felt a deep burning ache in my chest. Large drops fell from my eyes. I touched my cheek and looked with amazement at my wet fingers. A voice in my head reassured me that my task had good purpose. I rose from the ground and left the forest. 


Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-Azrael-angel of death-story-Vashti Q-blog tour-virtual_book_tour-son of the serpent

Illustration by AStoKo


Be sure to read part 2 and the finale of A Time To Mourn And A Time To Dance



50 Responses to “A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance”

  1. Ashwin March 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    so far it is interesting!!!


  2. Karen March 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    A very promising start. Thrilled to read part 2. 🙂


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      Hello Karen! Thank you for reading. Part 2 will be up on Thursday. 😉


      • Karen March 24, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

        Hello Vashti! Looking forward to reading Part 2! 🙂


  3. Jennifer Kirk March 24, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    Nicely done Vashti, such a great start, your descriptions create clear pictures in my head:-)


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      That’s great to know Jennifer! I work hard to do that so thank you for saying so. 🙂


  4. peternoahthomas March 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    So intriguing! You hooked me already and I anxiously await the next installment.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Hi Peter! That’s great! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it that’s why I do it. 😀


  5. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin March 24, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Good start … At first I did not know who would turn out to be the ghost. You have set up the story beautifully.


  6. JESS44903 March 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    You’re such an amazing writer!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!


  7. Katie Cross March 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Oh good, there’s more to come! Squee! I love the little girl you created. She sounds so sweet, and so unique. I’m hooked.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      Hi Katie! Oh yes, Part 2 will be up on Thursday. I love to create characters that are quirky and weird (in a good way). They’re more fun! Thank you! I hope I can reel you in soon. 😉


  8. Doreen Sargente March 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    As always, very intriguing Vashti! And you always seem to find the most gorgeous guys! lol


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      Ha,ha! Thank you Doreen! Oh yes! Jason Momoa, yummy! Ha,ha! He has this natural bad boy, mischievous look about him. He is the perfect Azrael. 😉


  9. Michelle Stanley March 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    You have made the drama come alive through the dialogue and characters. Lovely story so far Vashti, making me want to read the next chapter.


  10. S.C. Jensen March 25, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    Very nice! I look forward to part two. There is an interesting formality of language in this piece that gives it a faerie tale feel, which is always a good thing!


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      Hello! Thank you very much! The language I used in this story is the same language in my Fantasy Angels Series (WIP). I wanted to give readers a taste of it. I’m very pleased you liked it. 😀


  11. rcprice March 26, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    You got me hooked, Vashti. I can’t wait for Thursday!!!


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      Yay! That’s awesome! 😉 Thank you for reading Robert! 😀 Have a happy wednesday!


  12. Katherines Corner March 27, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    great job looking forward to the rest. Thank you for sharing your lovely blog at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop xo


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 27, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Hello Katherine! Thank you! I’m happy you enjoyed it. Part 2 is up now if you’re interested. It was my pleasure linking up! Have a wonderful Thursday! 😀


  13. Teagan Kearney March 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    I’m really enjoying your twist on a ghost story, Vashti. I like that you’ve made me feel sympathy for both Abigail and Azrael. I’m off to read pt. 2 ‘cos I really want to know what happens next!


  14. Angel March 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Another great writing! Thank for sharing your new hit with us at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party. Your new story will be Featured at next weeks party.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega March 28, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      That’s great news Angel! Thank you very much! I’m happy to know that you’re enjoying my stories. Part 2 is already up and Part 3 will be up on Monday. It is a pleasure linking up with you! 😀


  15. jugglingrealfoodandreallife April 1, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Hi Vashti! I’m stopping in from Let’s Get Real today. I’m glad part 2 is already out so I don’t have to wait. Your characters are compelling and you are very descriptive. Descriptive writing is the style I prefer. I want to know exactly what everything looks like. Heading over to read part 2.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 1, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

      Hello! Thank you for stopping by and for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. The finale is also up. 😉


  16. Sharon Robinson April 4, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    I am intrigued. I am going to read part 2 and comment. I know I am going to like this series.


  17. jumpingfromcliffs April 17, 2014 at 4:19 am #

    GREAT first line!! Straight in there with a powerful hook – boom!!

    I agree with another commenter’s observation about the slight formality of tone which lends the piece a mystical, fairy-tale feel, not unlike Hoffmann and his contemporary Magical Realists.

    Out of interest, what’s your target audience age-group with this?


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 17, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      Hi Jon! Thank you, I like to start my stories with a bang! Ha,ha! My target audience is young adult/adult. I use this language in my Fantasy Angels Series so I wanted to try it out on the masses. I’m working on the final edits for the first installment of the series now. Ooh! Tell me more about Hoffman. 😀


      • jumpingfromcliffs April 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

        Oh, don’t get me started or I’ll sound like a pretentious twit… I studied German at Uni and one of the authors I focused on was E.T.A. Hoffmann, who wrote dark novellas which are pretty much magical fairy tales. Rather than me banging on, have a look at this:

        I highly recommend Nachtstücke as an excellent starting point if you’re interested in checking his work out…


  18. Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 23, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you Jon! I’ll check it out.



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