The Wraith

The story of...

Background

    Back in early 2007 I went through a very rough time in my life. It was the culmination of bad things happening in my family and all the teen angst I had accumulated throughout my years as a socially inept high schooler. During this period of time I reached a very dark point, the sort of point that a truly depressed person might reach, one of profound anger, sadness, bitterness and anguish. As a young writer I fed on that sort of negativity like a sponge using primarily poetry as an outlet for negative emotions. The Catharsis that creativity gave me was often very profound. During this time I wrote what I consider to be my best poem and created a sort of character, an idea that I will explain in this hub, that character is the wraith.

    The Wraith emerged from something that at the time I referred to as Spirit Mouth. Spirit Mouth was just a term for a state, a mentality in which the bullshit of the world was shed off and everything was straight and to the point (as if you were talking directly from your "spirit"). I can remember the night I came up with the Wraith I was in a state of emotional distress and I needed a Catharsis. I wanted to write something dark that would vent my soul so-to-speak and what followed from that is, in my opinion, the best poem I've ever written. It should go without saying that all the poems and ideas in this hub are my intellectual property.

Titen-Sxull logo

The original Titen-Sxull logo I used back when I first came up with the name
The original Titen-Sxull logo I used back when I first came up with the name

The Poem:

WRAITH

I am the wraith, I am the walking night
Wrapped in mystery, wreathed in fog.
I am the shadow you swore you saw,
Intangible and old, skeletal, ethereal.

Flesh is hollow, but the heart is rock.
All is silent save the Reaper's knock,
Bony digits rap upon your door,
I am the shadow you swore you saw…

I am the wraith, I am the rising dusk,
Clothed in fright, veiled by dark.
I am the words you fear to speak about
Ominous and old, foreboding, horrible.

Man is dying, but love lives on,
All is silent save my forbidden words.
Bony digits wrapped around your throat,
I am the words you fear to speak about.

I am the wraith, I am the living shadow,
Encircled with smoke, embedded in marrow.
I am the words of the terrible truth,
Hide your head or I'll haunt you…

Spirit Mouth logo

Edited version of the Titen-Sxull logo from 2006-2007ish, I was terrible with MS Paint at the time, still am to this day
Edited version of the Titen-Sxull logo from 2006-2007ish, I was terrible with MS Paint at the time, still am to this day

Return of the Wraith

The Wraith was a darker version of Spirit Mouth, not only was the Wraith speaking from the "heart" but he was haunting those who obfuscated the truth. The Wraith was there to remind people of the forbidden and inconvenient truths that they hide from.

Over the course of the next few months I continued to find the Wraith useful in my Cathartic writing. The Wraith soon returned. Please note the use of Jesus in this poem, at the time I wrote this I was still very much a Christian, although by this time I had lost faith in the Bible (see my deconversion story for more on that).

The Return of the Wraith

The Wraith becomes the walking wound,
And the wound becomes the Wraith.
Apparition fighting apathy, comes to haunt your face.
The ghoulish specter whose hurt you made,
Now it is time to be afraid.

Here lies him who once was me,
Here he was bled, sans any mercy.
With his blood his heart went cold,
Now he bleeds dry air
The same that was dealt to him is coming to you now.

These bloody puncture wounds,
Infected with your disease.
These scars will wait for you,
And they will make you see.

The Wraith bleeds still
Although now he feels but sorrow.
Close your eyes to the wounds,
And pretend there is tomorrow.

The heart beats still
Although it’s no longer moving.
I will not suffer this pill,
That will shut my crystal vision.

Stab wounds, the knife with your fingerprints.
Everyone knows it’s you, there are eyewitnesses.
But you point your finger at the devil,
And pretend he owns your sin,
And then you point to Jesus,
Hoping He’ll vouch for you again.
But He’s sick of your pretending,
Of your fake and plastic faith.
He points in sadness, at the wounds of the Wraith,
Someone He once called friend, now so close to the grave.
Thanks to your sick darkness,
Now it’s time to be afraid.

Now is the time...

Not all of the wraith poems turned out to be masterpieces, as the above clearly shows, but each was fed by a steady stream of dark emotions. I'd rather not get into all the things fueling those emotions but in some sense I do miss the ability to be so genuinely dark in my subject matter. The idea that the Wraith was wounded, the wounds of the Wraith theme, became recurring and also did the idea of being afraid because the Wraith was on the way.

The Hour of the Wraith

Now is the hour of the wraith
Now come his piercing gaze
Now, falls the shadow of the wraith
Now it is time to be afraid.

Now, the wounds you made will chime
They ache until the wraith is sans his flesh
Now, the things you’ve done remain
They will make you see mistakes.

Now, the blood will eat your skin
And the hurt will swallow you whole.
No different the pain than the wounds of the wraith
The same… the same… the same.

You will not call him by his name,
For you have used it as a curse.
Now the darkness and the shade,
Come to make it so much worse.

Now is the hour of the wraith,
Fear his eyes that bleed.
Now comes the piercing gaze,
Now is the time to be afraid.

The skeleton hands: you robbed his flesh;
The hollow eyes: you stole his soul;
The bleeding rest: you made the wounds
But your conscience is clear? WOE TO YOU!

No guilt, no love, no thing remains.
Now is the hour of the wraith.
Hide your head and be afraid,
It is the hour of the wraith.

I will not be bound, I will not be a slave,
Now is the hour of the wraith
Not by you or any man
Not by this wound, made by your hands.

The poison in, the toxin free
Spreading your ignorant disease
Clinging to religious things
To justify each injury.

Each wound, each word of hate
Is claimed by you as right.
Each cursed act of hurt
Is made out to be of light.

You force us into darkness
To push yourself up high,
But woe to you self-righteous
The wraith is drawing nigh.

A monster that you made
A life that you have taken.
He is the bloody wraith,
His eyes will leave you shaken.

Now is the hour of the wraith,
You made his hurt but lack the guilt
Now is the time to be afraid
The prophecy fulfilled:

It is the hour of the Wraith…

Equilibrium

    Slowly and inevitably the emotional turmoil from which the Wraith had sprung died down and things returned to semi-normal in my life. I decided, of course, to keep the Wraith around. By this time I had an image of the Wraith, an idea of what sort of fictional being he was. I wanted to use the Wraith in new poems and songs that had no correlation to any of my former turmoil, so that's just what I did. The first such poem was Rise of the Wraith which I find to be more along the lines of the original Wraith poem than the other two.

The Rise of the Wraith


A shadow, wrought blood across the floor,
His form illuminated only by onyx flame.
The indigo electricity that surrounds his being…
Bony digits rapping on your skull
The dark arrives,
And in the dark there is nowhere to hide…

He takes you from your slumber
He’ll shake you from your sleep
He’ll rake your face with fingertips
He is the haunting wraith.
He comes, with vengeance in his voice
A blade beneath his guise
The living shadow’s on the rise…

His footfalls bend the floorboards
The ground bleeds beneath his feet
Children turn pale as moonlight
And the rest are torn in his wake
Each word he says sends a shockwave
Forbidden and banned from use
He’ll wrack your head with feelings
And he’ll resurrect the truth…

The shutters close nervously
As his feet pound into the stone
He’ll bring the fog bank with him
Down the cobblestone road
His eyes will hollow out your ribcage
His gaze removes the stone,
That was beating within you
In its place now a bloody rose.

Each petal is soaked crimson red
Each thorn will make you feel again.

He raps upon the door, the sound echoes in the dark
He will stay a little more; he searches for a missing heart.

Lost in her midnight eyes somewhere,
Beside the aching wound.
Lost in the twilight stars somehow,
Beside the glowing moon…

He’ll show you the words you put away,
Whether by word or fist.
He’ll show you that love and heartache
Really do exist…

The shadow ambles to and fro
Until the sun arrives
But in the night he will walk again
The wraith is on the rise…

Dickens anyone?

The character of the Wraith was inevitably influenced by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, since he's very grim-reaper-wraith-ish
The character of the Wraith was inevitably influenced by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, since he's very grim-reaper-wraith-ish

Bringing the Wraith Back to Life

    I haven't written many poems in recent days, I tend to focus my writing efforts on combating religion, writing song lyrics and the occasional fan-fiction (I'm a nerd at heart). While the idea of a wraith appears in my songs fairly early on it wasn't until early 2010 that I fully resurrected the character of the Wraith I had created in 07 in a song aptly called Back to Life.

Back to Life


I am the mystery
THE HIDDEN FROM REALITY
I am the truth you hide
Even from yourself

I AM THE ENIGMA
THE ANCIENT SECRETS NEVER FOUND
The missing piece
Of the world you’ve made
THAT HOLLOW FEELING IN YOUR SOUL
THAT INKLING THAT YOU’RE NOT ALONE
When you look at the stars
WHEN YOUR HEART IS COLD

I AM THE WRAITH!
THE HAUNTED HIDDEN TRUTH!
THE MYSTERY!
THAT YOU FORGOT AFTER YOUR YOUTH!

The longing to know
The courage to ask the question
LONG SINCE GONE!
MISSING FROM YOUR REFLECTION

I AM THE ANSWERS YOU ARE AFRAID TO FIND!
THE FORSAKEN TRUTHS STILL LOCKED INSIDE!
I AM THE DARKEST RECESSES OF YOUR MIND!
THE DREAMS THAT YOU HAVE ALLOWED TO DIE!

COME BACK TO LIFE!
I AM THE WRAITH!
THE HAUNTED HIDDEN TRUTH!
THE MYSTERY!
THAT YOU FORGOT AFTER YOUR YOUTH!

The haunting face of the moon
SHE STARES BACK AT YOU!
YOU WANT TO KNOW HER SECRETS
TOUCH HER PALE SKIN AGAIN!
LOCKED IN THIS TURMOIL
HIDING THE PAIN IN EVERY BREATH!
MASKING THE WAY YOU FEEL WITHIN
AS YOU STRUGGLE TO LIVE!

I AM THE WRAITH!
UNPLEASANT REALITY!
THE TRUTHS YOU HIDE AWAY!
WILL COME BACK TO LIFE!
I AM THE WRAITH!
THE HAUNTED HIDDEN TRUTH!
THE MYSTERY!
THAT YOU FORGOT AFTER YOUR YOUTH!

I AM THE ANSWERS YOU ARE AFRAID TO FIND!
THE FORSAKEN TRUTHS STILL LOCKED INSIDE!
I AM THE DARKEST RECESSES OF YOUR MIND!
THE DREAMS THAT YOU HAVE ALLOWED TO DIE!

The main difference is that my wraith is wreathed in onyx flame and has no relation to a holiday :)
The main difference is that my wraith is wreathed in onyx flame and has no relation to a holiday :)

The Story Always Continues

Thus far the Wraith has been mentioned in more than a dozen of my written works. At one point I even had plans to write a novel based on the Wraith. The basic premise would be that a young man filled with angst and upset with all the injustice he sees in the world is granted dark powers and becomes the Wraith in order to set things right. I barely made it out of the note-taking stages for the story but perhaps one day the Wraith will rise again. Here's a teaser snippet from the total of two pages I have written:

The creature breathed deeply as his hollow sockets gazed upon the full moon. The deed had been done, the man was dead, the Wraith was born.

Conclusion

Well that's it. I just thought I would share one of my favorite creations with you, the concept and character I call the Wraith. I hope you enjoyed it and let me know what you think and if you'd like to see more of the Wraith.

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Comments 3 comments

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Would I like to see more?? Yes I think I can definitly answer yes to that one.

Thank you so much for sharing a great piece of work.

I push all the buttons for this one and I look forward to reading much more of your work.

Take care,

Eiddwen.


Julie2 profile image

Julie2 5 years ago from New York City

Thanks for inviting me in.


Lybrah 2 years ago

I wish I could take the pain away

if you can make through the night

there's a better day...

You don't have to be afraid

I get you.

I feel your pain.

You shouldn't feel lost

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