Guest Blogger: Lea Ryan
The creature known as the white worm has had a few incarnations. The legend began in England during the middle ages. It goes something like this: a guy named John Lambton skipped church one morning to go fishing in a river. An old man warns him not to go to the river, but John doesn’t listen.
He catches a creature that looks like a large eel or a salamander, and then dumps it down a well because the old man tells him it’s the devil. The thing grows into a massive beast that poisons the well and terrorizes local villagers by eating sheep and small children.
The worm is not a charming creature, but the legend was interesting enough to inspire Bram Stoker’s Lair of the White Worm. Stoker’s worm has much in common with the Lambton worm. It’s still a carnivore, of course, and white and huge. It likes to snatch small children and snack on livestock.
However, Stoker’s worm is a shapeshifter. Her human name is Lady Arabella. She lives among the other characters and even sets her sights on the wealthiest man in the area for marriage.
Stoker inspired me the way the Lambton worm inspired him. When I read Stoker’s Lair of the White Worm, I loved the concept and the general creepy atmosphere of the story. I wanted to write a modern story featuring the same type of creature.
Isabella is my Lady Arabella equivalent. Like Arabella, she is as involved with the people around her as much as anyone else. She has the monster issue, the bloodthirst. My goal was to amplify both sides: the monster and the human.
I changed the spelling of worm to wyrm to differentiate it from Stoker’s book. I also gave my wyrm three pairs of eyes, some horns, and the ability to fly.
When I wrote my Lair of the White Wyrm, I tried to bring the best of the original book along. I really loved the concept, and I hope I did the monster justice.
Lair of the White Wyrm
By Lea Ryan
Sometimes when you run from your problems, they follow you.
Eric Duncan wants nothing more than to be an ordinary, sane guy. He believes he can escape his troubled past by leaving home. However, the voice in his head, that of his dead friend Benjamin, fights him every step of the way.
Eric finds his new home is a place filled with secrets far darker than his own. A monster prowls the grounds, and it wants to keep him close.
He will discover that his inner demons aren’t the only things he should fear. In order to confront the wyrm and survive, he must also face the worst parts of himself.
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