Spirit Smoke #Rainbowsnippets 113

Welcome to my 113th  #Rainbowsnippets. This one, as always, is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.

Are my stories in Haints and Hollers queer? Well, they’re recounts of my own experiences and I’m queer so… yep. They most certainly are but you have to look closely to see it.

Blurb: Thirteen tales plus one, an uprooting of tradition with another just for fun. A strong mix of history, speculation, and, perhaps, a wee bit of fear. The haints in these hills are listenin’, child, so come sit a spell. You’ll hear tales you ain’t before; dark yahoos, wishes gone wrong, veil walkers, and someone’s head might well roll. Ain’t nothin’ really, just a few new stories you can take back to the holler and share with you and yours. Maybe they’ll shiver. Maybe you will too. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll hug someone tight when things get scary enough.

This is an anthology of nontraditional Appalachian ghost tales. It’s not that we don’t like the classics. Rather, we’re ready for something new.


Today, I’m sharing from my second story in the anthology, “The Neighbors are Fantastic.” This tidbit comes from about 1/3 way into the story.

     Late that fall, Anna texted pictures of the house and property to a friend in West Virginia, and her response was swift. “Tanya wants to know if the house is haunted.”

     “Why did she say that?” I asked.

     “Because of this.” Anna held up her phone so I could see the pictures she’d taken. Every image had a strange mist across it. “She says it’s spirit smoke.”

     “No.” I gave her back the phone. “If anyone here knows about such things it’s me, and this house isn’t haunted.” But the wooded lot next door was a different matter. I’d already pondered this at some length. I’m an eclectic witch, sometimes called a green witch. I’ve experienced natural magic on many occasions, and I knew the wooded lot had something residing in it, a presence, an entity I couldn’t easily define. I’m certain that’s why no one had built there, but our house and gardens weren’t haunted. Still, I began looking for evidence to prove my suspicions, even though I was confident we were safe within our home. I’d saged the house, placed charged crystals in the corners, and hung wards over all the doors when we’d moved in. In hindsight, however, my protections might have actually cleared a path because whatever resided in those woods knew I was aware of their presence.

     By the new year, it wanted to say hello, and our doorbell, which it chose to speak through, was outside the house.

Just like with “A Visit from a Peculiar Entity,” this is actually nonfiction. I was a part of this happening. Think what you will. I know the truth.

Next week, I’ll share a little more from “The Neighbors are Fantastic.”

*RainbowSnippets is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ authors, readers, and bloggers to share 6 sentences each week from a work of fiction—published or in-progress—or a book recommendation. Feel free to join in.


  1. This sends shivers down my spine! I believe in spirits and magic and I think you’re right that they’re often attracted to magic work and ritual even if it’s intended to keep them away!


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