Prof. Seidel Ma Msc Phd FBsPS ………….Character Sketch 5.13

” You must be the one they call Shaman” The boy with the serious Eastern European face grunted.

Professor Seidel held a steady gaze, and was forced to accept the thrust parcel, watching the sound of leaving footsteps.

She sat at her simple antique, satinwood desk and placed her hands flat, either side of the parcel,. mirroring the ghost of her father

The electric light, needed even on sunny days, at the oldest part of St. Cyprian’s hospital, cast a shadow of an African artefact over the square shaped curiosity in front of her.

She clipped the string with her father’s ornate letter knife releasing an envelope bearing her name. Prof. Seidel and pulled her small frameless glasses from her head into position.

Dear Sue,

Please!  Do not open the parcel. If you are reading this it means my life is over. You will be told that it was by my own hand. It was not! You are my only friend, my confidante, my teacher and my Shaman. You who has too much humility to call yourself so, but that is indeed what you are. You are in possession of great power and magic.

As you journeyed for me you never once asked why my soul was so troubled and so fractured. You did so well in retrieving pieces of my lost soul that had been stolen and replaced with illness.

I need to tell you my story and then you will know what to do with the contents of the parcel. As you know, I am of Polish, Jewish descent. Your suspicion that my parents suffered during the war was correct.  I was born in Buchenwald concentration camp, in 1941. I was four when we were liberated by the Americans. My father was a skinner in Weimar and was put to use at the zoo in the camp that the commandant’s wife had wanted. He made drums and lampshades out of the animals that died. When she wanted him to make the same items from humans he refused and she was so hot with rage she had him decapitated in front of my pregnant mother. A small drum was made from his skin and skull and his teeth held it together. My mother, a phantom of the night stole the skull and secretly buried it, until we were freed. My mother died two years later and the letters she left me are inside also.

This skull is not my father, they are just his remains but it does have demons attached to it. These demons attached themselves to my soul. I know you will know what to do with it. I will see you in your dreams.

Deepest Respect. Kasia Reznik.

Prof. Seidel unlocked the wooden corner cabinet and placed the parcel inside. She took slow deep cleansing breaths and lit her sage smudging sticks. Her next student would be in shortly. This would wait until later.

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10 comments

  1. Sharon, I really like the idea of the skull, its story and what it’s made of. Creepy but cool, so many possibilities with it. Also liked the way you just gave clues here and there about who the professor may be, makes her mysterious. I’m very curious to know what she will do with the parcel but I’m mostly curious to know what you cut out! (can’t believe I just wrote that 🙂 )
    Why isn’t his father’s spirit in the skull? How did the demons get there? And maybe I should have got this one but what do you mean when you say his mother was a phantom of the night?

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  2. My original writing was a little more graphic explaining the process involved in bleaching the skull in urine and using the animals faeces to tan the skin haha. It got a bit gross and the dialogue was a lot more brutal. I think subtlety can be more effective. I cut too much out about what Sue Seidel (SUICIDAL) looks like so know one knows oops. The phantom of the night had been explained a little more but meant nothing supernatural just that she wasn’t seen. Thanks so much, this is a starting point to bringing my main character in. One of my reviewers thought it was a cross between Harry Potter and Indiana Jones. Not quite the effect i’d hoped for. You’re gaining a little fan club lol. get writing missus x

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  3. Urine and faeces, had enough of that kind of horror at work thank you eheheh yes for subtlety for me! But maybe it could work, who knows? Also I think that you’d be brilliant if you wrote a horror-comedy (you could use them at will then 🙂 ) I didn’t really miss the physical description, you hint age, the traits of her you show let the reader form an image of what she might be wearing (recurring to each person’s formed stereotypes, why not? It’s a short story, you need your words to cover other matters. If you want something about her look to be distinctly different from them you can just point that characteristic out. Or if something is to happen to her eyes for example (or hair, etc.) you should tell what they look like early on so the reader doesn’t feel frustrated changing the image they’ve created and getting distracted from the story). Also like the glasses detail, it’s like when you first see someone and you’re with them only for a short time, sometimes these small things are what your memory keeps, for me it’s the same when I’m reading, specially if it’s a short story. Harry and Indiana? Magic and the skull maybe. That’s not what I got at all. It reminded me more of those scary video games that I just could never play. “Horror” in Portugal is called “Terror” which is exactly what I feel at the slightest spookiness (hope that’s a word). That Charlie piece of yours is the kind that really freaks me out (good job on that one. Oh and really good the one about the heart missing). And the name! Ah, that makes me think of that other character of yours that you named Joy! My mind immediatly ignites, “Joy wasn’t feeling herself”, “Joy left the building”, “Joy was hateful!” 🙂
    Ha, a fan club 🙂 who cares about being published when such a great group of people enjoys what you write? You all made my day, thank you!

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      1. Oh Sharon, bless you, I love you already 🙂 Sending you, from my corner of the world to yours, tons of hugs (well at least my half of them) and all the good thoughts and energy that I’m allowed to post through the mystical airmail. Tryed to reply to a comment elsewhere but the page isn’t there anymore. If music doesn’t do just read it out loud, everybody says it works (not really for me because I speak English like a little kid with a hot potato in her mouth…).

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  4. Ooh! Thanks for that Cecelia! It’s an interesting piece and I liked it. Strangely my piece Somnambulant has tap taps on the window. I haven’t finished that one yet. I am still writing I don’t seem able to stop. I hope it will continue after the course stops. I suspect it might. He about you? Have you done any more ((hugs)) x

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