Friday, October 14, 2011

What the Aufnocker!

Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance sounds sexy with all of the vampires, werewolves, demons, etc.  I decided that I liked faeries which has brought out a great love of folklore that I forgot that I had.  Leave it to me to turn writing something sexy into a proto-scholarly pursuit.  My husband asked me the other night if Moss Woman were like dryads. I got so excited I must have been smiling like a freaking fool.  I told him that they were more like hamadryads and went on to explain why in probably more detail than he wanted to know.  I was also super excited that he actually reads my blog and paid enough attention to ask me an intelligent question.  I am such a big fat dork.

In my head, I lump faeries together with all things that go bump in the night.  These creatures are all part of the folklore which is why I am drawn to them.  Today for Faerie Friday, I am going to write about the Aufnocker.  It might not be a traditional faerie, but this is my blog and I’ll write what I want.

The Aufnocker is German spirit.  It’s like the Belgian Kludde and the English Hedley Kow had a love child.  You don’t know what those are, either?  The Kludde is an evil shape-shifting demon that often takes the shape of a dog (among other things) and the Hedley Kow is an evil shape-shifting bogey beast that often takes the form of a horse (also a cow but cows aren’t sexy so I’m sticking with horse, and it works better in my analogy.)

In canine form, the Aufnocker is huge black dog with burning eyes.  What’s a large black dog without burning eyes – hard to find.  English, Scottish, Irish and German folklore is just filled with menacing black dogs and all of them have wild red eyes that burn into your soul.  Cue the gothic undertones.

The name Aufnocker translates is “leap upon.”  In its dog form, it jumps up on an unsuspecting traveler on a lonely night and goes for the poor bastard’s throat.  Sometimes it just hangs off the guy getting heavier and heavier until the guy dies from exhaustion or gets crushed by its weight.

It looks innocuous in its horse form.  Picture yourself as a weary traveler.  It’s late at night and you happen upon a horse.  Your feet and back hurt.  It’ll be hours, if not days, before you will get to your destination on foot.  So you decided to take the horse.  Wrong.  What makes you think taking some sketchy horse for a ride is a good idea?  It’s not.  Especially if it’s an Aufnocker.  The horse will run wild and try to buck you off over a cliff or into a swamp.  Dawn’s first light or church bells are the only things that stop the Aufnocker and save you from a horrible death.

And sometimes the Aufnocker takes no form at all and that is probably truly the most terrifying Aufnocker of them all.

Please join me back here tomorrow for my regular post.

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