Apokryphos: The Hidden Earth – Vignette 01

Ghost stories. We all love a good ghost story. Every country and culture has some form of ghost story from simple hauntings that see the faces of loved ones in picture to the truly terrifying that takes lives and laughs in the dark. Tales like this have become a phenomenon and sold tickets to movies, raised book sales, and created a culture all its own. While many of us are entertained or frightened by these tales as we share them around campfires and other ways, we
always have the same question in the back of our minds when we hear them. Could it be true?

Some of them clearly aren’t, and historians and those who study folk lore can trace the stories back to their roots and show us where they began and why. There are often bits of truth in the stories, but overall the paranormal aspect of things has been debunked or downplayed and generally only the story remains while reality is, perhaps sadly, not as interesting as the tales themselves.

At least, most of the stories turn out to be stories.

You’ve seen the videos and photos on the news and on the internet. She’s become a phenomenon herself, and there are those alive today who swear that she saved their lives from dark things. Tied to strange murders, accidents, omens, even angels, she has made global appearances throughout history and still seems to be active today. She was described by people all over the world before connections were made, and it’s always the same. She is short, perhaps 1.6 meters, or 5 feet 4 inches. Nearly everything about her is black, from her long flowing hair to her clothes, to that which adorns her which is either large bat wings that let her fly, or some sort of cowboy style coat or duster. The only thing on her that isn’t black is a brilliant silver chest piece of some sort, perhaps a breast plate, with a strange symbol described as the sun eclipsed by the moon. These details can change to varying degrees, but the one thing that everyone agrees on
is her face. Her skin tone is somewhat pale, and she appears to be of middle eastern decent, verypossibly Egyptian. Finally, the one thing that everyone agrees on and remembers with terrified shivers.

She has no eyes.

The reports on this mystery woman are always from the same people, and they are people
who have suffered a recent trauma and are giving details at a hospital. This, combined with the
fact that the stories happened in different parts of the world with people who had never met have
lent credence to these stories spurring debates and questions on what happened and why. The facts are sparse but always the same. She comes when someone is about to die. She is a powerful fighter who wields a single blade of Japanese origin. She will not hesitate to kill what she is fighting. She rarely speaks, and when she does, it is to the point and in a strange, dark voice. She has been tied to the recent assassinations of the Carillon family in London; a powerful political family whose wealth and influence has helped to shape the political landscape of England. On the flip side, she has been given credit for saving C.E.O. Autumn Collins from assassination in the United States at her own company, Dex Labs.

While those are the major news stories about her from the past several years, there are many, many more on a much smaller scale. They range from angelic savior to judgment from on high, to second chances and more. She vanishes without a trace and those that are left in her wake are always completely changed, with few exceptions, for the better, and always with the same lingering question.

Who is she?

I’ve been researching this particular question for the past twenty years, ever since I had my experience with what we call “The Widow”. I’ve found references to her in history books all across the globe that give very different pictures of what she could be or is. I don’t know anything concrete, but the earliest mention of her that I could find, or at least what I believe is a reference to her, comes from the New Kingdom in Egypt, around 1485 BCE. It refers to a story
of dark things attacking a city that no longer exists, and a woman with the “powers of the demons that attacked” fighting back against those she seemed to be a part of. The story is not complete and it’s only guess work with what information I have, but it seems that this could be the first appearance of our mystery woman. If this is true, if any of this is true, it means that the Widow is, somehow, over 3000 years old.

Answers to questions about the Widow are not forthcoming. She either isn’t real, doesn’t care, or wants to maintain her secrecy. Her motives are equally as shadowed as she and yet she seems to be, more than anything, a protector of some sort. I imagine the Carillon family might disagree, but I have to wonder what they might have been up to that got them on her radar in the first place. And while I don’t have the answers anyone is looking for, I do have stories. I spoke
with several people over the course of my research and many were more than happy to share their stories with me. Some are strange, some are terrifying, some bring up the rarer story of a twin sister who has a face covered in horrible scars. They are not answers, no, but they are interesting stories. While I might never find the answers, I can share these tales with you. I do not claim them to be true. I cannot and will not verify them. That’s not what they’re here for. As I said before, every culture and country has a ghost story.

Here is one that the world shares.