In Untold Story 2, I invited readers to tell me about the ivy-choked ‘Goblin Park’ in Keszthely, Hungary. Yvon Hintz’s writes about an earlier incarnation of The Band, and their encounter with angry spirits among the trees…
They were tired from a night of fighting a nest of demons that had infested a house but they had promised to entertain at the festival in the little market town of Keszthely on The Balaton. So they found the strength and played lively music to entertain the people. The laughter and the music revived them somewhat in the course of the evening but tiredness soon returned and when the festivities ended, they still had to get home. A travelling music group rarely had money to spare and that night was no exception; they could not afford to hire a carriage. They had to walk and the quickest way to their lodgings was across the town, through a dark, wooded area with unsettling feelings.
They were surprised half way along the path through the trees by the appearance of a young woman and her statement to them that there was magic in music. They could not disagree… using the magic of music to fight the evils of the world was what the band was all about. She had heard them play and understood their power and asked for their help to free her lover from a grove in the wood. Had been killed by an older man who had thought that she was his to marry. That man had then died and in his spite his spirit had moved into the wood where she and her lover and first met and sang and loved and been so happy. He vowed they would never be happy there again.
Her heartfelt plea could not help but soften the hearts of the musicians and tired though they were they took out their instruments and began to play and to sing and to tap out a rhythm that would induce the wayward spirit of the man to leave the grove and allow the young man’s shade to go to its natural place in the world hereafter.
But there was something not right. The evil seemed stronger than they had expected, its hold on the wood more tenacious than even their weariness would have predicted.
They played, they sang, they sat on the ground to stop themselves from falling down in dead faints and still the evil kept its grip.
Their leader, an older man, one whose years had given him wisdom as well as experience, suggested they change their mode of attack to one less headlong. ‘Sing to the plants’ he told them- make the wood itself do their bidding to hold the evil in its leafy arms.
The trees bent, the grasses rippled and whispered to their command and vines began to grow and snake across the ground. With a sigh of wind through the leaves the wood expelled the spirit that had held it in thrall. The man was angry. He railed at the group… he cursed the girl… he renewed his vow to make sure that she and her lover were never happy in this place.
They intensified their singing and their music but they could not get the man’s spirit to leave and he was strong, seeming to draw power from trees and rocks. In spite of his power, however, another spirit appeared – that of a handsome young man. The girl gave a happy cry and ran to him and the band almost faltered in their playing and singing as the pair met and melded in spiritual union. It had not occurred to them till that moment that she was in spirit also.
The pair had eyes only for each other and the musicians smiled as they expected them to fade and disappear into the world beyond where they belonged. But something was still not right. The evil they sensed in this place was still with them, still powerful, and it was not all coming from the vengeful shade.
It was the youngest member of the band who realised the truth. She played her flute and while she played images and visions would sometimes come to her. The vision that came to her now, which she quickly shared with the others, was that the lovers were not entirely innocent. When the older man had become too much of a irritant to their plans they had murdered him and laughed as they wrapped his body in cloth and rocks and threw it into the lake and then laughed again as they came to this wood to enjoy this place they had claimed as their own. When they eventually died he had captured their spirits and kept them with him in the wood.
With an understanding of the situation now, the group felt renewed strength of body and will. They played harder, they tapped and sang and the plants that had been for so long tolerant of the spirits in their midst turned against them, trapping them, holding them, preventing them forever from moving on, leaving them together in their own green hell.
If they had not been so tired the group might have tried to clear the place completely, but their beds called and dawn was coming and they felt that justice had been done. Perhaps, some time in the future another incarnation of the band would find the wood and finish the job.
– Yvon Hintz
Yvon is a writer and artist from WA. Read/see her work at Word Cafe: Yvon HIntz.
Kitty and Cadaver is the latest incarnation of a band that began in England in 1267. Their mission? Protect the world from the things that hide in the dark, using magic through music. The Untold Story posts show fragments of their 700 year history. The details have been lost in time – so I invite you to imagine what the story could be.
Stay tuned for the next Untold Story!