Monday, January 23, 2012

The Devil in the Mirror

In 1510 a pretty young lady lived in Vienna. Her name was Clara. She led a free and unbridled life. For hours she made up her face and couldn’t stop admiring herself in the mirror.

One day the girl became very sick and when she felt that bad that she was close to die she promised in her prayers to change her dissolute life if only she would recover.
The prayers helped and after a short time she was completely healthy again.

But the good resolutions were forgotten quickly and soon she was back in front of her mirror and looked at herself full of pride. She powdered her face white, dyed her eyebrows to black and painted her mouth red.

One day engrossed in painting her face Clara heard a soft crackling of glass. She held her ear close to the mirror surface. Clearly she could hear a faint crackling. She looked for cracks in the glass but – what she saw now scared her a lot - she noticed that her face was no longer visible.

The surface was completely empty.
Surprised she wiped her hand over the mirror. Suddenly she felt held by an overpowering force detaining her. At the same moment a distorted sardonic grinning devil’s face stared at Clara out of her mirror.

Anxiously and desperately she cried, “I will not be vain anymore and I promise to live modestly and piously!”

But it was too late for promises. The devil jumped out of the mirror, grabbed Clara by her hair, turned her head around till her face was black as coal and took her down to hell.

Copyright © 2012 Ingrid Prohaska

Special thanks to the Flash Pulp Crew for including this legend in their 'FlashCast 51 - Short People' !


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Golden Well

In times of medieval Vienna when the town was surrounded by defensive walls there was a tavern outside but close to the town in an area which is still known as Leopoldstadt and part of the second district today. This tavern had the name “To the Golden Well”.

The inn was situated on an important road which led to Prague and Brno. Many merchants, coachmen and hikers had their rest there.
The innkeeper and his wife were happy with their doing and they could live in modest prosperity.

But one day war broke out, pestilences haunted the population and traders stayed away. Fewer and fewer people came to the inn and finally the owners had to borrow money to keep their house.

The situation was getting worse and so the faithful innkeeper’s wife decided to make a pilgrimage to the state of Mother Mary. She went to St. Stephen’s church and begged on her knees for Virgin Mary’s help.

Mother Mary heard the prayers and whispered to the faithful woman, “Don’t worry anymore my child, go home again and scoop water for the horses out of your house well and you’ll find a gold coin on the bottom of every bucket. But don’t take out more water than the animals need.”

The happy landlady thanked Mother Mary and hurried home. She told her husband about the prophecy. When it was time to water their horses they took two buckets of water from the well, and they really found the promised gold coins.

From now on the misery had an end. Step by step the couple could pay back their debts; and with the next gold coins they renovated their tavern.

But as it is in the nature of some people the landlord became greedy. He wanted more of those gold coins and so one night he sneaked off to the well and scooped a bucket of water.

He emptied the water carelessly on the floor and looked for the gold coin. But there was no gold coin. Once more he lowered the bucket into the well, but again – no piece of gold.

Sadly he realized that he had violated Mother Mary’s instructions and so it came that the wealth-generating source dried up.

Copyright © 2012 Ingrid Prohaska

Special thanks to JRD Skinner and the Flash Pulp Crew for including this legend in their 'FlashCast49 - The New Florida' !