At eighteen, Lucy had everything going for her: a supportive family, a rapt audience, and her dream of becoming a published author about to be realised.
A single moment in time on a dark, rainy road changes things forever.
That was then, but this is now. Lucy has suffered through eight years of haunting visions and thoughts with every raging storm thanks to a tempestuous storm creature who torments her. What does the baleful creature want with Lucy? Will the troubled woman ever be able to let go of the past and forgive herself?
Or will she sacrifice everything she holds dear?
The rain danced against the pane of glass, wild and wicked until the tempo changed,
curling and writhing into a beautiful, sensual rhythm. Bloodied fingers, a palm, and then a waxen face pressed against the wet glass. Blank eyes stared in through the window. Lucy screamed; a sound which, had it been a few decibels higher, would have splintered the glass into a million pieces. Long nails scraped against the glass setting Lucy’s teeth on edge, followed by an insistent tapping.
“Go away!” Lucy shouted, but the noise continued as though the figure hadn’t heard.
Lightning illuminated the sky, highlighting the crazed woman who stood outside sodden to the skin, black hair plastered to her face and hanging limply over her shoulders.
“One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi—” Lucy shrieked again as thunder rumbled overhead tearing the sky asunder with its noise.
The constant tapping abated, and Lucy edged toward the window with a braveness she didn’t feel. She knew it was too much to believe the woman had gone. Maybe she was at one of the other windows or doors now. They were all bolted, but Lucy knew that was just an illusion of safety when the creature could walk through walls if she wanted to. Lucy had always labelled the woman as ‘Creature’ or ‘She’ in her head but recently Adele’s name had crept into her consciousness.
Adele’s figure twirled in the lashing rain. A huge bang, followed by another flash of lightning revealed Adele laughing and spinning, her arms waving like an Indian goddess as though she, too, possessed multiple limbs. Lucy watched as Adele’s body swayed in time to the rhythm of a piece of music that only she seemed to hear, drawn from the ferocious elements. The thunder and lightning which petrified Lucy should’ve had the same effect on Adele, but the creature revelled in it. The louder the bangs, the faster she spun, until Lucy felt dizzy watching her.
Lucy collapsed on the sofa burying her head in her hands and sobbing. “Please, God, please make her go away,” she begged and edged back to the window, unable to tear her eyes away for long. She felt even God had turned away from her and no longer listened to her cries for help.
The way it intertwines both mystical and everyday, in a way to bring curiosity and tempting the pages to be constantly turned until the answers and descriptions flow to proceed the journey and story of the characters is extremely well done, at times some parts quite dark, so well done it can spook you if read late at night.
An interesting twist including the character to read her book, which is actually an extract from one of Maria Gibbs other books, is a great section that could be taken as a teaser to encourage to buy and read the whole book, as I had read it first it wasn’t applicable to me.
I encouraged work colleagues to read my copy and they all said it got into their dreams as the characters were very detailed in the descriptions and lifelike in the way they became believable.
Overall, a book I highly recommend
I have to be honest that it was nothing like I expected it to be…but saying that I loved it nonetheless.
The Storm Creature tells the tale of Lucy – an author who’s life turns upside down in the blink of an eye.
What this book does is make you think.
Maria Gibbs has certainly packed a large punch with a short story, and I will certainly be recommending this book to everybody.
The Storm Creature focuses on the mental suffering and delusions of a young woman who is riddled with guilt over being the survivor in a car accident, she felt she was the cause of.
The writing is superb and the tension is well created by the Author. I won’t give any of the plot away, but this was a stunning, little tale. I know it was a short story, but still, I couldn’t put it down for a second until I knew just how it played out. Well done to the author!
At eighteen years of age Lucy is following her dreams. Her first book is published ‘As Dreams are Made on’ which has been warmly received. Her family are supportive, she is happy, with a wonderful life ahead of her.
Then one dark and stormy night, as Lucy makes her way home, along the quiet wet, winding country lanes, one tiny decision she makes, sees her dreams washed away in the lashing rain.
Eight years on and Lucy has turned into a recluse, her family once close, barely know how to deal with her. She now lives alone in a small cottage in the woods; barely ever does she venture out, and she hardly ever sees anyone.
This troubled young woman is tormented by the events of that stormy evening and is constantly taunted by the presence of the ‘Storm Creature.’ Lucy is petrified by thunder and lightning but this crazed creature revels in it. She dances in the lashing rain, as the author says ‘… laughing and spinning, her arms waving like an Indian goddess… possessed of multiple limbs.’
Maria Gibbs has a wonderful way with words, almost lyrical at times. Check out the opening lines:-
‘The rain danced against the pane of glass, wild and wicked until the tempo changed, curling and writhing into a beautiful sensual rhythm.’
The atmosphere is set so you become embroiled within the story, you may well shiver as you are drawn in, experiencing the stormy nights with the rolling thunder. I sat tense on the edge of my seat wandering what was to come next upon the turn of the page. I was not disappointed.
For a short story this psychological thriller sure packs a lot in, with unexpected twists as you near the end. I don’t wish to share anymore because it is a story you need to experience for yourself, and in my view the author certainly does make you experience every event.
The Storm Creature wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s a poignant story that made me think more about life. It also reminded me that it is never too late to change your mind.
Maria’s words show us that the way we see things is not always as they are in reality. Sometimes it’s good to take stock before it is too late. It’s not a happy story, but it teaches us to be happy and to dance in the rain.
author, looking forward to reading your next book.
Very Highly Recommended.
An intriguing short story that hooked me on page one and kept my attention to the end. I was glad to be able to read it in one sitting, as I didn’t want to put it down.
The descriptive, and almost poetic, writing created a creepy and tense atmosphere. It was an emotional book, with a tragic ending, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
This is the first book by Maria Gibbs that I’ve read and I’m certain it won’t be the last
A moment’s thoughtlessness, an accidental death and so many lives are changed forever. Lucy’s life is shattered in a single moment, but it’s the slow disintegration of her being that keeps the story moving.
It seems the person least affected by Adele’s death is Adele.
Having read “As Dreams Are Made On,” I was really looking forward to another beautifully written novelette by Maria Gibbs, and that is exactly what I got! This author has a wonderful talent at both storytelling and writing in her own unique way.
The only thing I found a bit uncomfortable was that the protagonist of the story is supposed to be the author of another novelette by Gibbs, which makes it awkward when she writes about her own work.
With that said, “The Storm Creature” has a creative plot, executed well through the use of poetically written prose, and really has something to say, which is important when a great deal of fiction nowadays is devoid of meaning. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading “A Lifetime or a Season” next.