The Skylark Bell
The Skylark Bell

The Skylark Bell

Melissa Oliveri

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A Skylark + Boopod Special - La Corriveau (a tale of French-Canadian Lore)
OCT 27, 2023
A Skylark + Boopod Special - La Corriveau (a tale of French-Canadian Lore)

Today's episode was created as part of a collaboration with the Boopod network of true crime and paranormal podcasts. In it, we explore a deep, dark tale pulled from the folklore of my native French Canada: La Corriveau, a favourite of Ranconteurs in Quebec’s oral storytelling tradition.


Contact: [email protected]

The Skylark Bell official website - http://www.theskylarkbell.com

The Skylark Bell on Instagram: @theskylarkbell

Author/Producer: Melissa Oliveri - http://www.melissaoliveri.com

Join Melissa's Patreon for early access to podcast episodes, music downloads, and more: http://www.patreon.com/melissaoliveri

All music by Cannelle: http://www.cannellemusic.com

Cannelle on Instagram: @cannelle.music


STORY TRANSCRIPT:

Marie-Josephte Corriveau, later dubbed La Corriveau after her execution in 1763, is synonymous with tales of witchcraft and hauntings in French Canadian folklore. Stories of La Corriveau terrorizing visitors to the area of Old Quebec where her body was hanged in a metal cage have been told for centuries, and persist to this day in the minds of many Quebecers.

The discovery of her cage in 1851 at a local church cemetery revived people’s imaginations and inspired stories that appeared in several print books, both as novels and as part of short story collections at the time. Since then, the character of La Corriveau has appeared in songs, films, theater productions, and artwork such as sculptures and paintings.

In the oral storytelling tradition of Quebec La Corriveau has been depicted as a murderous witch who killed up to 7 husbands. In more modern times, starting in the 1960s and 70s, with both the feminist movement and the Quebec Nationalist movement, Marie-Josephte Corriveau became both a symbol of English Oppression and a victim of a Patriarchal Society.


THE FACTS

Born in 1733, Marie-Josephte Corriveau had 10 siblings, all of whom died at a young age. She married a man named Charles Bouchard at age 16 and had 3 children before becoming a widow 11 years later. Just over 1 year after Charles’ death, she remarried. Her second husband, Etienne Dodier, was found dead in his barn a year and a half later, with extensive injuries to the head. Initially, it was concluded the injuries he sustained were from a horse’s hooves, but suspicion and rumours of homicide quickly spread through town due in part to Mr Dodier being at odds with both his father-in-law and his wife.

At this point in history, Quebec was known as New France, and had recently fallen under British rule. Upon hearing the rumours, the British Military, who was in charge of maintaining order, opened an investigation into Dodier’s death. At the conclusion of this investigation, Marie-Josephte Corriveau and her father Joseph are arrested. They are brought before a military tribunal composed of 12 English officers and presided over by Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Morris. The court finds Joseph Corriveau guilty of murder and condemns him to death, while Marie-Josephte is found guilty of being an accomplice and condemned to 60 lashes and having the letter M branded onto her hand. 

On the eve of his execution, Marie-Josephte’s father allegedly confessed to a priest that he was only an accomplice to the murder, and that his daughter was the actual perpetrator. Marie-Josephte Corriveau was brought back to court, where she confessed to killing her husband with an ax while he was sleeping due to his poor treatment of her and his abusive ways. The court found her guilty of murder and not only condemned her to death, but specified that after her execution her body should “Hang in Chains” – this was the actual verbiage used at the time. This punishment was new to the inhabitants of New France as it did not exist while the area was still under French rule. Joseph Corriveau, Marie-Josephte’s father, was retried, found not guilty, and released.

Marie-Josephte Corriveau was executed on the grounds where the Quebec Parliament now stands near the Plains of Abraham, the battlefield where the French lost to the British. Her body was placed in a metal cage and put on public exhibit for 5 weeks after which a British commander gave the order for her body to be taken down and buried “wherever they see fit” was the quote.


THE LORE

Marie-Josephte Corriveau was one of the first people in New France to have their body exhibited in a metal cage. This lit the imaginations of the population which spun legends that have lived on ever since in Quebec’s oral storytelling tradition. The trouble with oral storytelling, though, is that it turns into a game of telephone, and over the years La Corriveau’s body count went from one husband to seven, and her character went from being a simple murderess to an evil witch with supernatural powers.

The discovery of the cage that had contained her body in a local cemetery in 1851 sparked newfound interest in her story and reactivated the legends and lore surrounding it. Authors created fictionalized accounts of a supernatural Corriveau hanging in her cage, terrorizing passersby as she pleaded with them to take her to a witch’s den on the neighbouring Island of Orleans. She was also depicted as having a deep knowledge of poisons, and was rumoured to be a direct descendand of Catherine DesHayes – better known as La Voisine – an infamous serial killer in France in the mid-1600s.

It was rumoured that La Corriveau had also killed her first husband by pouring molten lead into his ear while he slept. She was said to have been a very jealous woman and found her husband to be too much of a libertine, and so doled out her punishment. She was depicted as a psychopath and said to be without feeling or remorse when, first, her father was prepared to take the fall for the murder of her 2nd husband, and eventually when she herself was found guilty of his murder. 

As the legend goes, La Corriveau, from the very first night her body was put on exhibit, would leave her cage and follow passersby. Other iterations suggest she would visit a nearby cemetery to feast on freshly buried bodies. It was also rumoured that anyone who passed by her cage and stopped to gawk would then be cursed with either accidents, psychotic breakdowns, or death.

Accounts from local inhabitants tell stories of hearing a woman screaming, as if being tortured, along with the terrible, macabre sound of iron creaking, even long after the cage had been taken down and buried.


THE CAGE

Upon its re-discovery in 1851, La Corriveau’s cage was exhibited in Montreal, Quebec City, and even on Broadway in New York City where it was purchased by non-other than PT Barnum. Damaged in a fire at Barnum’s American Museum, the cage made its way to the Boston Art Museum via an associate of Barnum’s named Moses Kimball. Upon Kimball’s death in 1899, the cage was donated to a Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. It wasn’t until 2013 that the cage was rediscovered and finally returned home to Quebec when it was acquired by the Quebec Museum of Civilization. It is still stored there today in a controlled environment to prevent its decay, and is occasionally put on display for the public. 

Perhaps, in those times, La Corriveau, once again put on public exhibit, comes out of hiding to follow an unsuspecting visitor who has lingered and stared just a little too long for her liking...



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11 MIN
A Skylark Halloween Special - The Cemetery Ghost
OCT 20, 2023
A Skylark Halloween Special - The Cemetery Ghost

Welcome to Spooky Season, the most wonderful time of the year when all things ghost and unexplained take a front row seat. In today’s Skylark Special episode, we’ll hear the eerie tale of The Cemetery Ghost, in which our listener had an uncanny experience at a nearby cemetery that not only scared her, but also the friend she was communicating with at the time.

So, get settled in… grab a blanket, and a warm drink… and let’s get started.


Contact: [email protected]

The Skylark Bell official website - http://www.theskylarkbell.com

The Skylark Bell on Instagram: @theskylarkbell

Author/Producer: Melissa Oliveri - http://www.melissaoliveri.com

Join Melissa's Patreon for early access to podcast episodes, music downloads, and more: http://www.patreon.com/melissaoliveri

All music by Cannelle: http://www.cannellemusic.com

Cannelle on Instagram: @cannelle.music


STORY TRANSCRIPT:

It was a picture-perfect summer morning; slightly cool, lovely breeze, bright sunshine... nothing to indicate what was to come.

I had been taking daily morning walks for several weeks and was tiring of the same scenery, so on a whim decided to visit the large cemetery a short drive from my house. I had heard it was a lovely place with miles of walking paths, mature trees, sculptures, statues, and a lake, and thought it would make a good change of pace. The cemetery is a prestigious place to spend the afterlife and boasts the graves of several local people of note including internationally successful businessmen and politicians.

I parked my car by the side of the path, not far from the entrance so I could find my way out easily when it came time to leave. Just inside the wrought iron gates of the cemetery was the visitor center. Next to it was a large crematorium which spanned the length of 3 interconnected buildings, each surrounded by manicured gardens with fountains and impeccable landscaping.

Across from the crematorium, a few paces behind my parked car, was the chapel. The chapel featured a domed roof and ornate tile work, it was absolutely beautiful, a true work of art. 

As I was exiting my car a friend pinged me with a good morning note. I replied, explaining where I was, as we both share a deep love of cemeteries and nature. We began messaging back and forth and I spontaneously filmed a quick video of the chapel to send to them. I then turned and began walking in the general direction of the lake, as that was the portion of the cemetery, I was most interested in. 

As I was making my way down the path, I continued to share photos and videos of the area with my friend. They marveled at how expansive the cemetery was, and how beautiful the mature trees and landscaping were. I eventually came around a bend in the path and saw the lake in the distance. The cemetery was rather hilly, and downhill from the path I was on was a separate path that made its way around the lake. The quickest way to get to the lake path was to cut through the section of gravestones in between the upper path which I was on, and the lower path. I eyed a tentative trail between the graves, some perpendicular to the ground, others flat stones, some of which were slightly overgrown and difficult to see. I then snapped a quick photo of the lake in the distance to send to my friend.

The moment my foot touched the grass I felt them. It was instantaneous. The feeling is hard to describe. I’ve felt it before, it’s familiar to me... I can absolutely distinguish it from simple daydreaming or an overactive imagination. It’s a very physical sensation, an instant tightening of the stomach. Next is the instant “knowing” – again, hard to explain. I’ll just know that the entity near me is from a certain era, or is a certain gender, sometimes I’ll sense what they’re wearing, on rare occasions I’ll know an age, or a name, or a profession, or even get a sense of their personality. In the past some of these experiences have later been confirmed with facts, it’s incredibly strange and creepy...

This time, I felt a crowd. It’s challenging to explain how this works, because I myself don’t understand it all that well, and I have no control over it. I suddenly just knew there was a crowd of people surrounding me. I would compare it to walking into a crowded restaurant and hearing loud chatter without being able to distinguish words, except instead of sound, it was the vague, silent presence of several people. It felt like they were rushing in to see who this stranger was in their midst. I didn’t feel threatened whatsoever, but I definitely felt uncomfortable, so I walked faster.

I quickly wound my way between the graves to the path below, then started filming as I walked across another small stretch of grass to the lake so I could show my friend. The tightening in my stomach continued to linger. I made brief mention of what had just happened in my video, and that the feeling seemed to be staying with me in the pit of my stomach. A few deep breaths later and a few feet farther down the path the feeling finally began to ease up... but something lingered in mind. A woman. 

I walked around the entire lake, marveling at the wildlife; the cormorant lifting off the surface of the water, and the heron soaring overhead. I stood under the expanse of two large willow trees whose low-hanging branches dipped into the water, all the time sharing photos, videos, and messages back and forth with my friend who was thoroughly enjoying the virtual visit.

I made my way around the lake and returned to the bottom of the hill I had walked down earlier. This time, I began filming a video as I made my way back up the hill to the path that would take me to my car. I could feel the woman’s presence getting stronger as I neared the rows of gravestones that lay flat on the ground. As I walked past one row in particular the sensation became very strong, and I turned back to revisit the specific spot. I would compare this feeling to hearing a high-pitched noise and trying to pinpoint where it’s coming, except instead of sound it’s emotion. Another thing that happens to me besides suddenly “knowing” things, is suddenly “feeling” things... often emotions that aren’t my own. This is without out a doubt the most challenging part of these experiences. 

As I neared a collection of gravestones the feeling became overwhelming, like a sound becoming too loud... The woman was incredibly upset, devastated, agitated... I felt a terrible weight fall on my shoulders, a heaviness settle into my body, and had to step away. If I’d stayed longer, perhaps I would have been able to get a name, or an era, or some kind of identifying information... but the weight of her emotions became unbearable, so I had to walk away and leave her behind. Thankfully, after taking a few paces up the hill I felt the strength of the emotion coming from her begin to wane. I ended the video and sent it to my friend.

I got back on the upper path and felt renewed energy now that the heaviness of the woman had lifted, so I decided to go the opposite direction from my car and visit other parts of the cemetery. I walked for some time, continuously taking photos and videos to share with my friend. I noticed a message from them asking if I was okay, and replied that yes I was fine, and told them that the eerie feeling brought on by my encounter with the woman had passed. 

I proceeded to walk among many more gravestones and felt nothing out of the ordinary anywhere else in the cemetery or during the course of my walk. 

As I was making my way back to my car, I saw another message from my friend saying they were scared. I asked why they were scared and reassured them the experience I had was very brief and had ended about half an hour ago, and that I was completely fine. I filmed one last video of the crematorium gardens next to my parked car and sent it off to my friend with a note saying I was leaving the cemetery and would continue our chat when I got to my next stop. 

I drove about 3 minutes to a nearby lake and parked my car on a side street. It was here, while still sitting in my car, that I noticed my friend was only just now reading my messages. I scrolled up and saw they had actually left several panicked messages asking if I was okay, if someone else was there, telling me they were scared... I quickly sent a new message asking if they’d received all the photos and videos I’d sent. They replied they had received everything up until the video where I encountered the woman, then the conversation went radio silent, with no other messages going through for over 30 minutes. 

Needless to say, my friend had gotten worked up into quite a state of worry and was pondering whether they should send someone out to look for me. They would have found me happily traipsing through the sunny cemetery snapping photos and videos, completely oblivious to the terrifying feeling of helplessness my friend was experiencing at the other end of the chat.

At first, I thought perhaps I had walked into a part of the cemetery with poor cell reception... but then I remembered that when I first arrived at the cemetery, I had sent a video of the chapel to my friend after I parked my car, and that video and accompanying message had gone through just fine. The last video I sent was also filmed next to my parked car... cell service that had been sufficient to send my first video should have ensured the last one would go out as well... but nothing went through until I’d exited the cemetery gates.

While I was parked nearby the name Hannah came spontaneously into my head. I made mention of it to my friend, then slowly made my way home.

Exactly one week later I returned to the cemetery to see if I could replicate the experience. I walked down the grassy hill, not exactly sure of where I had felt the woman, feeling only slightly nervous but nothing more. I stopped at a row of flat grave markers... but it didn’t feel right. I carried on and as I approached the next row, I knew I was in the right place. I began slowly walking down the row, looking at the different gravestones, and one in particular caused that same strange tightness in my stomach... I had found her. Rose Shadbolt. I continued to walk down the row to test my theory, and sure enough the feeling immediately began to subside. I came back to Rose’s grave, and the feeling returned.

I went home and did some research. It took some doing because I didn’t know Rose’s maiden name... but I finally found both her and her husband. I immediately began looking for a connection to someone named Hannah, perhaps a daughter... The first thing that caught my eye was that Rose’s husband had a sister named Hannah. This seemed to fit, but for some reason I wasn’t quite satisfied, I kept digging. I felt like the Hannah connection had to be with Rose, since that’s who I tapped into at the cemetery... Then I saw Rose’s mother’s name, Johanna... Coincidence? Perhaps... but Hannah is not the most common name, what are the odds there would be two variations of it affiliated with the family?

I don’t know how to explain this... sensitivity... to things other people don’t see or feel. But I have noticed something about myself that may explain it on a small level. When I was crouched under the willow trees by the lake, I turned to look behind me because I felt something was nearby. It was a fly, landing on a leaf, several feet away. There was quite a bit of activity going on peripherally; airplanes overhead, people talking while doing landscape work, the wind in the trees, birds... amidst all that, I noticed the presence of a fly landing on a leaf several paces behind me.  I believe, at its core, this ability, for lack of a better word, is simply hyper-awareness, to a degree that allows me to detect emotions, imprints, energy, sounds, movement, shifts, changes in air pressure, that others have no awareness of.

Many of the women on my mother’s side of the family seem to share this ability on some level, so perhaps there is a genetic predisposition to it. Whatever the case may be, I like to think that someday science will be able to provide an explanation, or at the very least a working theory. But, in the meantime, I will simply continue to share my world with people that others will never know are there...



Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/theskylarkbell/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
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16 MIN
Skyedive - Epilogue
OCT 13, 2023
Skyedive - Epilogue

Today we read the final chapter of the Skylark Trilogy, the epilogue to SkyeDive, in which we catch a glimpse of the world after the timeloops have been closed, and get a hint at who was truly pulling the strings all along.


Contact: [email protected]

The Skylark Bell on Instagram: @theskylarkbell

Author/Producer: Melissa Oliveri - http://www.melissaoliveri.com

Join Melissa's Patreon for early access to podcast episodes, music downloads, and more: http://www.patreon.com/melissaoliveri

All music by Cannelle: http://www.cannellemusic.com

Cannelle on Instagram: @cannelle.music

Official Merch Shops: http://www.melissaoliveri.com/store


The Skylark Bell is brought to you by: Phaeton Starling Publishing and Things with Wings Productions.


FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Things with Wings Productions presents: The Epilogue of The Skylark Bell, Skyedive. I am your host, Melissa Oliveri.

In last week’s episode Magpie found herself at a crtossroads in a place called Between, and made the choice to travel to what comes After the pivotal moment she jumped off the cliff to stop The Skylark Bell from creating hers and Farfalla’s time loops.

Today we read the final chapter of the Skylark Trilogy, the epilogue to SkyeDive, in which we catch a glimpse of the world after the timeloops have been closed, and get a hint at who was truly pulling the strings all along.

Before we dive into the story, I want to give a special mention to my dear friend Amy, without who this podcast, and the last two books in the Skylark Trilogy, wouldn’t exist. Amy is the one who sparked me into releasing a story I had shelved for the better part of a decade, as a podcast. She lit a spark that turned into a roaring fire in the form of 2 additional novels. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Amy for this incredible adventure. 

Just like Magpie, I don’t know what comes After, but my hope is that it involves publishing The Skylark Trilogy in print, digitial, and audiobook format, so you can enjoy the full story without interruption and at your own pace. I am also working on a brand new book, which may turn into a series, called The Tales of Ledia Roy, that I am very excited to share with you. All these projects take a lot of time, effort and funds. If you are able to support me either through a donation, or by subscribing to Pareon or Ko-Fi, know that every penny will go directly toward moving this and future creative projects forward. I am excited for all of us to discover what lies ahead – in the After.

Now, for the last time in the Skylark universe, it’s time to get settled in… grab a blanket, and a warm drink… and let’s get started.



“Phew, I think this is the last one!” says Mrs. Phaeton, setting a large box on the dining room table.

“We did it!”  says Magpie, her bright blue eyes twinkling and a proud, excited grin on her face. She looks around the main floor of the house, taking in the vintage wallpaper, the wooden beams on the ceiling that support the second floor, and the old stone fireplace. She sets down her box next to her mother’s and walks over to the fireplace to take a closer look at a framed photograph on the mantel. “Is this Great-Great-Grandmother Farfalla?” she asks, pointing at the photo. 

Mrs. Phaeton walks over with a glass of water and hands it to Magpie before squinting at the photograph. “Indeed, I believe it is! And that is her husband, James, standing next to her, and the little girl at their feet would be my grandmother Elisabeth!”

“Isn’t it amazing that our family has such a rich history with this place?” breathes Magpie. 

Mrs. Phaeton wraps her arm around her daughter’s shoulders. “So, I’ve been thinking about a name...” she begins. Magpie turns around, a look of doubt on her face. In the past, her mother has thrown out some rather... unconventional... ideas to say the least. “It came to me in a dream, believe it or not!” she laughs, “Okay, ready?” she asks. Magpie nods and rolls her forearms one over the other to indicate she is ready for her mother to get to the point. “Drumroll please....” Mrs. Phaeton pats her palms against her thighs “How about, The Lark and Bell Artist’s Retreat?!”

Magpie’s brow furrows. Why does the name sound so familiar?

“You don’t like it,” says her mother, unable to hide the disappointment in her voice.

“No, I love it, mom! It’s perfect,” replies Magpie, hugging her mom. A sudden knock at the door startles them both. “I’ll get it,” says Magpie, “You see if you can find some dishes and napkins.”

Magpie opens the massive wood door. Behind it stands a boy about her age. He’s somewhat shyly holding his hands behind his back. “Hi, I’m Lucas,” he begins, “I live across the road with my grandmother. She asked me to bring you these and wants to know if you need anything,” he says, handing Magpie a box wrapped with a purple ribbon.

Magpie takes the package and motions for Lucas to come in. She places the box on the counter and gently unties the ribbon. Inside she finds a few jars of blackberry jam, a hand-knitted blanket, some cookies, and a book wrapped in tissue paper. She gently releases the book from its wrapping and reads the title: The Skye Lark Belle. An inexplicable shiver runs down Magpie’s spine, and she does her best to shake it off before turning back to the boy.

“My grandmother says Farfalla gave it to her years ago when she was young. Farfalla said it was her favourite book growing up. Grandma said she felt like you should have it,” explains Lucas.

“What is it about?” she asks, her curiosity piqued.

“Here’s some money, why don’t you go find us some supper?” interrupts Mrs. Phaeton as she walks in from the kitchen.

“Mom, this is our neighbour, Lucas. He and his grandmother live across the road, and he brought us a welcome gift,” explains Magpie.

“How kind! Thank you, and it’s lovely to meet you,” says Mrs. Phaeton. “I’d better get back to work, I’ve unpacked four boxes and so far the most useful thing I’ve found is a spatula!”

“Well, I’ve been assigned a mission. Which restaurant in town would you recommend?” asks Magpie, turning back to Lucas.

At this, a smile teases the corner of Lucas’ mouth. “There’s only one restaurant in town, it’s called The Early Bird, but if you want something from there, we’d better hurry, they close in an hour. I’ll tell you the story of The Skye Lark Belle along the way,” he says, turning toward the door.

Magpie shouts goodbye to her mother and she and Lucas step outside into the warm evening air. The orange glow of the setting sun wraps itself around them. Lucas turns to look at Magpie as they amble down the main road, gravel crunching under their feet. “So, The Skye Lark Belle had red hair and blue eyes, just like you,” he begins, “they say she had a beautiful voice that could calm even the most frightened child, almost like she could hypnotize them. No one is quite sure how she arrived in their village, but after she arrived, she never left and lived to the ripe old age of 105!”

“That’s amazing!” breathes Magpie.

“After she died, the villagers decided to honour her memory by holding an annual festival and crowning a new Skye Lark Belle each year. Some say the original Skye Lark Belle was a mystical creature, that she came from the ocean, and that’s why she had such healing powers.” 

“What an amazing story!” says Magpie, intrigued, “I can’t wait to read the book.”

Lucas glances at his watch and says, “Enough about that, it’s getting late, we’ve gotta fly!”

Magpie and Lucas keep chatting as they make their way down the gravel road toward town, leaving a cloud of dust trailing on the breeze behind them. 

~~~~~~

Across the ocean, in the middle of a vast forest, an ancient oak tree reaches for the moody, grey sky. The wind picks up, blowing through its rusting leaves and causing them to spiral to the ground. A flock of birds lifts from its multitude of branches, forming a blanket of moving wings that temporarily blocks out the daylight before scattering off toward the ocean.

From deep within ground, at the tip of the tree’s roots, a melody begins to form. The sound travels upward through the oak’s trunk and out through the tips of its branches. It soars over the forest toward the fields, valleys, and mountains until it blankets the entire island. The melody stretches across the ocean like a hand reaching for something it desperately wants, crossing over the shore on the other side. Just as the sound is about to wrap itself around Magpie like fingers clutching a precious, coveted item, a woman with long silver hair steps forward to intervene. 

She stoops down to place something at the base of the tree, then stands and lays her hand flat against its trunk. “You must be patient; it is not yet time...” she whispers, the blue streaks painted on her face moving with each word. The melody retreats, reluctantly retracting back across the ocean, through the branches, and down the trunk to the roots before dissipating back into the earth. “Don’t worry, her time will come,” adds the woman before vanishing into thin air, leaving her gift behind.

At the base of the tree sits a small silver bell, its outside etched with a spiral of skylarks swirling into infinity.


Thank you so much for listening.  Sharing The Skylark Trilogy with you has been an incredible, inspiring adventure. It has given me the opportunity to connect with amazing, creative people and create both partnerships and friendships. 

Thought the story of The Skylark Bell is over, I have many more stories to tell, and one of my favourite things in the world is working Easter Eggs into my work, so plan on hearing from some of the Skylark characters in future stories and books. There are several Easter Eggs hidden within The Skylark books themselves, I will share a document detailing them on my Patreon page. 

Please consider following me on social media so we can stay in touch – I keep active accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as occasional postings to TikTok – I would love to connect with you, and you can stay updated on what the future will bring to The Skylark Bell podcast.

The Skylark Bell has been brought to you by Phaeton Starling Publishing and features original music by Cannelle, which is my stage name. You can find all the music from the podcast on major streaming platforms and BandCamp, I’ll provide a lin in the show notes.

 Creating and sharing The Skylark Bell trilogy has taken a lot of time, effort and funds. If you are able to support me either through a one-time donation, or by subscribing to Pareon or Ko-Fi, know that every penny will go directly toward moving this and future creative projects forward. Patreon and Ko-Fi subscribers get access to bonus and exclusive material, and will be the first to receive an complimentary copy of The Skylark Trilogy in Audiobook format once available.

Remember that leaving a rating and a review helps boost the The Skylark Bell’s visibility on podcast platforms, which allows others to discover the story – why not help share the joy?!

Lastly, if you’d like to sport some Skylark Bell merc, head over to my website, www.theskylarkbell.com – there you’ll find links to two print-on-demand sites with various designs that can be applied to everything from stickers, posters, clothing, mugs, notebooks and more.

I’ll be sure to include a list of all necessary links in the show notes.

Once again, thank you for listening – I’m Melissa Oliveri, writer, host and producer of The Skylark Bell Podcast, and I will be back very soon with more magical, mystical stories to share.



Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/theskylarkbell/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
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18 MIN
Skyedive - Chapter 39, Nothing
OCT 13, 2023
Skyedive - Chapter 39, Nothing

In today’s episode we read the chapter 39 – Nothing – in which Magpie finds herself at a crossroads. 


This week's podcast partner is The Boopod Network of true crime and paranormal podcasts, which includes the following:

The Activity Continues: https://bit.ly/m/TACpod

The Nightcap Nebula: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-nightcap-nebula-podcast/id1672430903

The Paranormal Truth: https://linktr.ee/paranormalexposed

Mums, Mysteries, & Murder: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mums-mysteries-murder/id1578866284

Generally Spooky: https://linktr.ee/generallyspooky

Shittin' Bricks: https://linktr.ee/shittinbricks

Horror Roulette: https://horrorroulette.com/

Certainly Strange: https://open.spotify.com/show/1stSYQC9Sqox9TwbU48Dof?si=ct4_QX_NQh6hHZHxZ9eyVA&utm_source=copy-link&nd=1

Haunted or Hoax: https://linktr.ee/HauntedorHoax

Spilling the Crime: https://linktr.ee/spillingthecrime

Murder Roadtrip: https://www.instagram.com/murderroadtrippod/

Dark Tales from the Road: https://linktr.ee/darktalesfromtheroad

The Skylark Bell: http://www.theskylarkbell.com


Contact: [email protected]

The Skylark Bell on Instagram: @theskylarkbell

Author/Producer: Melissa Oliveri - http://www.melissaoliveri.com

Join Melissa's Patreon for early access to podcast episodes, music downloads, and more: http://www.patreon.com/melissaoliveri

All music by Cannelle: http://www.cannellemusic.com

Cannelle on Instagram: @cannelle.music

Official Merch Shops: http://www.melissaoliveri.com/store


The Skylark Bell is brought to you by: Phaeton Starling Publishing and Things with Wings Productions.


FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Things with Wings Productions presents: Chapter 39 of The Skylark Bell, Skyedive. I am your host, Melissa Oliveri.  

In last week’s episode Magpie stopped The Skylark Bell from causing the boating accident that set Farfalla’s time loop, and consequently Magpie’s,  in motion.

In today’s episode we read the chapter 39 – Nothing – in which Magpie finds herself at a crossroads. 

Today’s podcast partner is The Boopod Network – a collective of independent True Crime and paranormal podcasts which includes The Skylark Bell. There have been several fantastic collaborative projects featuring various members of the Boopod network over the past year or two, and each individual podcast is fantastic in its own right. Just check the show notes for links to podcast that are part of the Boopod Network, and be sure to give them a listen, you won’t regret it.

Now, it’s time to settle in… grab a blanket, and a warm drink… and let’s get started.


At first there was nothing. 

I remember my thoughts swirling. Is nothing something? How can I have thoughts if there is nothing? Thoughts are something. 

I could quickly feel myself losing my grip on reality when suddenly there was something. A spark. A flash of light. A reflection.

I turned my gaze to it, and gradually the light grew bright enough to illuminate the woman. She had long silver hair and was dressed in a somewhat shapeless white linen gown with colourful embroidery on it, birds and flowers and animals. I remember being fixated on the stitches, like focusing on them would help keep me grounded in this strange, frightening instance.

I looked down at her hand and found the source of the light to be the bell. The one I had grasped in mid-air as Farfalla hauled it off the edge of the cliff. So the bell still exists. That wasn’t part of the plan. 

I glanced at our surroundings, but there was only darkness. Darkness as oppressive as the silence at Meadow Lane. Again, nothing. We were surrounded by nothing. Nothing but darkness. Perhaps darkness is something? The swirling thoughts again.

Finally, I chose to speak, my words echoing in the emptiness around us and cutting through the madness attempting to claim my mind.

“Where are we?” I asked the woman. 

“We are in Between,” replied the woman, a slight smile on her face.

“In between what?” I asked her.

“In Between. Between everything and nothing, between fire and water, between earth and sky, sound and silence. Between the head and the tail of the Ouroboros,” she replied. “In every opposite, there is always a small sliver, a place called Between. Most people never succeed in finding it, but you have,” replies the woman.

“How do I go home?” I asked her, not entirely sure I’d grasped the full concept of what she had just told me.

At this the woman laughed quietly, “There is no home. There is no you or I in Between. Come, take my hand,” she added then, reaching her free hand out to me.

“Who are you?” I asked her, suspiciously.

“I am Cailleach, the keeper of Between. There are not many of us here. Farfalla joined us for a time... but, things have changed now,” she replied. 

I hesitantly grabbed her hand, and we were instantly transported to a clearing surrounded by a mass of thick forest. In the center of the clearing was a large oak tree, taller and more massive than any tree I’d ever seen before. “This is Darragh,” the old woman said, laying her palm on the trunk of the tree. “Darragh has been here,” at this she waves her hand around to include the forest, the air, and the earth in her description of ‘here’, “longer than anyone or anything else. Darragh is the beginning, the end, and the in-between.”

At this point I had no idea where I was or what this woman was talking about, the entire experience felt dizzying, and I started to think perhaps I had simply fallen off the cliff and was in the process of having one last wild dream before dying.

“You did not die,” says the woman, as if reading my mind, “but you did not live, either.” 

At this my head whipped up toward her. “What do you mean? Where am I?” I asked, my voice cracking with palpable fear.

“As I told you, you are in Between, and you have a choice to make. You can go to what was before, or you can go do what comes after. Or you can stay here in Between and experience it all...” says the woman.

I remember the precise moment realization hit me. I was standing at a crossroads, my path branching off into three. I could choose the Before, and go back to my time loop, to how things were, and repeat the lifetimes of losing Lucas. Or I could choose to stay in Between, trapped inside an oak tree like Farfalla; eternal, shifting back and forth through time, but living as only half a person, half a consciousness. Or I could choose the most frightening of all. The After. The Future. The unknown. Would I be dead? Would I be a baby again, born with a fresh start? Would I disappear altogether, no one remembering that ever existed? I had lived my lifetime so many times, I had grown accustomed to knowing what was to come. The thought of the unknown was the most terrifying thing I could think of.

“I want what comes after,” I said.

“Very well,” said Cailleach, smiling.


Thank you so much for listening.  Join me next week for the final chapter of The Skylark Trilogy – and epilogue that will end all 3 books: Meadow Lane, Wingspan, and SkyeDive.

The Skylark Bell is brought to you by Phaeton Starling Publishing and features original music by Cannelle. If you are enjoying this story, please consider leaving a rating or a review, they are both greatly appreciated. You can also support my work by subscribing to Patreon or Ko-Fi, where you get early access to episodes as well as MP3 downloads of the music, artwork, behind the scenes videos and more! You can also find The Skylark Bell exclusive merch on my website, www.theskylarkbell.com. Just check the show notes for all necessary links.

Once again, thank you for listening – I’m Melissa Oliveri, writer, host and producer of The Skylark Bell Podcast.  



Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/theskylarkbell/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
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9 MIN
Skyedive - Chapter 38, Skye Dive
OCT 6, 2023
Skyedive - Chapter 38, Skye Dive

In today’s episode we read the chapter 38 – Skye Dive – in which Magpie and Farfalla's plan is set in motion.


This week's podcast partner is Cozyland: http://www.cozylandpod.com


Contact: [email protected]

The Skylark Bell official website - http://www.theskylarkbell.com

The Skylark Bell on Instagram: @theskylarkbell

Author/Producer: Melissa Oliveri - http://www.melissaoliveri.com

Join Melissa's Patreon for early access to podcast episodes, music downloads, and more: http://www.patreon.com/melissaoliveri

All music by Cannelle: http://www.cannellemusic.com

Cannelle on Instagram: @cannelle.music

Official Merch Shops: http://www.melissaoliveri.com/store


The Skylark Bell is brought to you by: Phaeton Starling Publishing and Things with Wings Productions.


FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Things with Wings Productions presents: Chapter 38 of The Skylark Bell, Skyedive. I am your host, Melissa Oliveri.  

In last week’s episode Magpie and Farfalla came face to face and devised a plan to end the time loops once and for all.

In today’s episode we read the chapter 38 – Skye Dive – in which their plan is set in motion.

Today’s podcast partner is Cozyland. Hosted by my dear friend Amy and me, Cozyland takes peek at those movies that make us feel warm inside. The ones that often have predictable plots and character traits that repeat from one film to the next. From Hallmark Holiday movies to films about food, fashion, and travel, to the cozy mysteries we like to dive into both in book and TV format... cozyland has all your comfort needs covered. Check the show notes for a link to the Cozyland podcast.

Now, it’s time to settle in… grab a blanket, and a warm drink… and let’s get started.

We didn’t get up from that table until every step of the plan was clear to both of us. 

She really thought this through. She’s brilliant. Like Elisabeth. Like me.

Part of me is afraid this won’t work, that I am going to lose her like I’ve lost everyone else in my life. I would take on the task myself, but it is impossible. I cannot cross my own timeline in this form. She is our only hope. We can’t keep going on like this, something needs to be done.

We waited until it was night, then walked to Meadow Lane hand in hand. It pained me to see the house so disheveled. The place where Paloma and I laughed and played, where Papa spun us in the air at the end of his arms, where Mama would shout to us that “Dinner’s ready!”. I thought back to the days when Cousin Bruno and Auntie Freda would come to visit, he would whip out his camera to photograph the trees and animals, and Auntie Freda would throw apples from the porch, too afraid of the wildlife to get any closer. 

Strangely, after I left Meadow Lane it seems as though I thought it would stay the same forever. Yet, unbeknownst to me, time slowly ravaged it, and I found myself shocked that it wasn’t in the same condition today, nearly a century later, as the day I left. It is nonsensical, I know, but nostalgia is a matter of the heart, not the mind.

Magpie had to remind me that time was of the essence, or I would have fallen deep down the rabbit hole of memories. We noted the gentle breeze that was thankfully swinging the Skylark Bell back and forth on its hook where Magpie had placed it mere hours ago. I did allow myself a moment to stare at it and think back to the day Marius gifted it to me. I must admit I had a brief moment of doubt knowing that what we were about to do would all but ensure Marius and I would never meet, but I swallowed it down. The most I can hope for is that I will not remember any of these lifetimes, that I will have no recollection of Marius at all. Once cannot pine for something one has never known.

We walked to the Oak Tree, and I circled my arms around its massive trunk. The tree was even larger than I remembered. I felt its life pulsing beneath the bark and smiled. Finally, it was time for me to play my part in this plan. I held Magpie in my arms for a long time before instructing her to place her hand on the Oak Tree. She told me she thought she could feel a heartbeat and I smiled. I asked if she was ready and she nodded, so I started singing that mythical song, and something strange happened, the tree started singing along, its harmonies weaving in and out, cresting and falling, sending Magpie to a different time and place. 

She disappeared about 3 minutes ago, and I have been sitting here with my head leaning on the tree, listening to our synchronized heartbeats, wishing, and hoping for only one thing: To forget.

~~~~~~

Magpie stares in awe at the archway that stretches over the forest path. She remembers if from her previous lifetimes but seeing it in person gives it whole new meaning. It is truly a work of art. She gives herself a moment to get her bearings, unsure of which direction she should take. Suddenly, a red deer appears on the path ahead.

“Hello Ru,” she says, smiling. Farfalla had mentioned she would do her best to somehow send him to guide her. The deer turns and takes quick, graceful strides along the path between the trees. Magpie scurries to follow it, hoping it isn’t tricking her into going deeper into the woods.

Finally, they reach the tree line and Magpie sees the fields that stretch to Carnifex House, and the large rock that separates their property from the neighbouring farm. Magpie turns to the deer. “Thank you,” she whispers, leaning close to its face. The deer’s soft, knowing eyes tell her all she needs to know. If she succeeds, she will somehow be helping it live a better, happier life too. Somehow it has gotten trapped in these endless time loops with her and Farfalla. Magpie watches as the deer disappears back into the forest.

“Hullo,”

The small voice startles Magpie, who spins on her heel to look behind her. A small face is peeking out from behind the rock. “Hi Ash,” she says, smiling at the boy. 

The boy’s big blue eyes light up for a moment, but quickly find themselves filled with concern. “You need to hurry, she’s almost at the cliff,” he says, pointing to an area beyond the field. 

Magpie gives the boy and encouraging smile and nods. “Thank you,” she shouts over her shoulder as she begins her race against time. She can feel the slick wetness of the morning dew coating the grass beneath her feet as she races toward the cliff. Everything feels surreal. She has had so many visions, so many dreams... It’s hard for her to distinguish between those and reality. But this is the plan, this is where she is supposed to be, and she knows exactly what she must do. Real or not, this is her only chance.

Magpie sees Farfalla ahead, white gown and red hair both blowing in the wind as she races toward the edge of the cliff. Magpie remembers seeing her before, from a vantage point down below, perhaps in a boat. Was that real? Was it a dream? She’s almost certain it’s a memory.

To Magpie’s dismay, Farfalla stops running and stands at the edge of the cliff, her arm stretched back in preparation to fling the bell over into the sea.

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” shouts Magpie at the top of her lungs, but her words are instantly carried away on the wind. She recalls that the earth, the water, the air... the world!... had heaved when that bell hit the crashing waves below. Whether it was a dream or a vision or reality, she knows she has to stop that from happening. This is the only way to close both Farfalla’s time loop and her own. If the bell never hits the water, young Farfalla won’t travel back in time and will never create the bell in the first place. There won’t be a silence at Meadow Lane, Lucas will never disappear, Marius will never exist... 

Magpie keeps running, as fast as her feet will take her, and watches in horror as Farfalla’s arm swings forward and the bell is released from her hand. Magpie sees a shard of sunlight reflect off it as it soars into the air, as if in slow motion. She keeps running to the edge, not slowing down, not stopping. She keeps running even though she can no longer feel the ground beneath her feet. She stretches out her hand as far as it will go and grasps the bell, her fingers closing tightly around it. She brings it in close to her chest and heaves a sigh of relief, but the feeling of joy is short-lived as she comes to the realization that she is falling, falling, falling…


Thank you so much for listening.  Join me next week for Chapter 39 – Nothing – in which Magpie finds herself at a crossroads.

The Skylark Bell is brought to you by Phaeton Starling Publishing and features original music by Cannelle. If you are enjoying this story, please consider leaving a rating or a review, they are both greatly appreciated. You can also support my work by subscribing to Patreon or Ko-Fi, where you get early access to episodes as well as MP3 downloads of the music, artwork, behind the scenes videos and more! You can also find The Skylark Bell exclusive merch on my website, www.theskylarkbell.com. Just check the show notes for all necessary links.

Once again, thank you for listening – I’m Melissa Oliveri, writer, host and producer of The Skylark Bell Podcast. 



Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/theskylarkbell/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
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11 MIN