Oh but then of course she made it up to me by giving me another bug that was going around which was ten times worse than the bug I previously had in the space of a month.
Oh but then of course she made it up to me by giving me another bug that was going around which was ten times worse than the bug I previously had in the space of a month.
Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt Love thine enemy
Yeah so I spent way too long proofreading this and procrastinating to have anything interesting to say above hello and goodbye.
No seriously, really happy with Cur, could be better, I think it needs another going through before an edit. Gonna rope in Chrissy again for that when it’s good and ready. The story is reaching the apex, it’s about to get really good. I was considering putting this next bit earlier on but my good buddy that got me into the witcher which I know hate (the witcher not my polish pal) convinced me to put it later on for more of a reveal.
I didn’t really want an ‘epic reveal’ because I wanted the story to sort of stand on it’s own. I’m still not 100% I’ll need to come back to and decide, I’ll have some other people read it and give me a general feel. I just need to set aside some time to really do a deep dive on it and get some feedback from everyday plebs haha.
But I like what’s there, I think it’s solid, it’s got a good foundation. I loved writing it, I loved getting into celtic folklore, it was really like a journey for me. I loved every minute of it, I literally have like 80+ pages of notes I took from all over the place, no not just from wikipedia.
So yeah, Diana aside this one caught me off guard and is probably the most ambition and most exhilarating project I’ve done and I can’t wait to keep it going. I’m predicting like five books but we’ll see, there may be more because there are massive gaps in the actual folk lore. It doesn’t really have an ending so that’s going to be the big thing for me. Finding a place to end is hard because the folklore is written like real history and history has no end.
But that’s about it, didn’t get a lot of Diana editing done because of irl shit and I’m staring down the barrel of a lot of day job drudgery leading up to christmas, so that should be fun. Unironically of course.
So yeah now I want to make sweet french toast that I saw on a facebook ad, bye now!
They fled Slaghtaverty before daybreak, taking a steep path out of the valley. Cur walked silent and solemn in front of the cart with Tuan at his heels in the form of a dog once again. Birog trailed behind on the cart her side lighter without the sword but her heart heavy. She looked back at Slaghtaverty and over the other side she saw smoke coming from Newgrange.
The streets of Slaghtaverty were bare and made a hollow ringing sound as the horses hooves struck the cobbles.
“Where is everyone?”
It was midday now and the streets were barren and silent as the grave. The only sound heard was the occasional shutter slamming as presumably a dweller locked their house up tighter than before.
“Some kind of peasant holiday perhaps” Bres joked atop his elegant horse. His men laughing nervously as their eyes darted here and there.
“I smell magic in the air” Dian said led along as their prisoner on the back of Ogma’s horse.
Ogma himself had a bandage over his ear that Dian Cecht saw fit to administer with a sly grin at the corner of his mouth.
Their procession continued through the empty streets slowly. Cautiously looking at every window and door frame until they came upon a stream that flowed adjacent the outer wall.
At that stream was an old washer woman on her knees furiously scrubbing something in the water.
Their processions stopped with a clattering of hooves and chainmail hauberks. Bres motioned to one of his men to approach the hag by the stream.
He did so with an air of caution which seemed puzzling even to him. Everyone felt it, a sense of distinct and terrible foreboding, they could smell it.
The old woman began to hum over the sound of her thrashing the clothes in the water.
Bres and his men approached her but she didn’t seem to notice, continuing to wash her clothes in the stream unburdened by their presence.
The soldier approached close enough almost to touch her rags and then he saw the water, red and thick with blood. “Hag, who’s clothes do you wash?”
Her humming sank low and then stopped. “I wash the clothes of those fallen in battle.” She muttered flatly.
“What battle? Who’s clothes?” The soldier craned his neck to try and see the clothes and stood stunned and frozen at the sight of the crest emblazoned on them. For it was their own.
“I wash your clothes sir knight” She said. “The one you seek, the broken king, he waits for you in the glade- blood and bone and death he wears as his mantle.”
The hag turned, her face hideous, ravaged by age and twisted by evil. She let out an ear piercing shriek which made all clutch their ears in pain.
Ogma acting quickly covered his remaining ear and with his free hand clubbed the hag from his saddle. With a sickly thudding crunching sound felled her in one blow.
The soldier fell back gripped by fear “It’s an evil spirit, a tide of ill omen sire! We must abandon this quest!” He screamed. “We shouldn’t have burned the newgrange! We’re damned!”
“Silence, superstitious nonsense, some mad old woman means nothing of our luck, now away with you!” Bres realigned himself in his saddle and spoke softly “We’ll find somewhere to recoup, a bit of rest will do us all good.” His words felt practised and empty, his eyes fearing to rest on any of his men.
Despite the initial summation, the town was not empty but sealed and covetous. Bres and his men stole away to an inn of which they made up the majority patron.
The inn was dark and cold and squalid and smelled of ash and dried blood. The barkeep a skinny potmarked man with a round gut greeted them sheepishly. His hands shaking and his skin ashen.
“We seek food and drink for me and my men” Bres stated.
“Oh” He said shakily. “And how will sire be paying may I ask?”
“You speak to the king of Inish veil, that is payment enough.” Bres bellowed.
“You’re pulling my leg, Bres, the king of inish veil would never set foot in-.” The man took aside the events of the past evening and gazed at their crest and at the visage of Bres the beautiful himself. “R-right away my lord, forgive me my king, I should’ve known by the crest, by your face, your noble voice alone! It’s just we’ve had somewhat of an upset here-“ The barkeep as if forgetting something paused and darted into the back to prepare viddels for the troop.
He returned shortly with a caske of ale, some bread and cheese and dried meats of which the men took of without hesitation.
Bres approached the cleanest looking bench and prepared to sit when a strange man slipped into his path.
“Good day sire” The man said calmly.
“Good day” Bres said with a puzzled indifference.
The stranger was slight and had a flowery way about him with brightly coloured clothes, wearing a goose feather cap.
“It is I Coirpre, I was on my way to Dun Bresse but as you yourself reside here, noble King Bres. I see no point in making the journey, I ask only the price of an ale and a good meal”
Read the rest on inkitt Dyed in the wool
Gonna keep it really short like super short because I feel like total garbage which is why there was no poem yesterday, I was too focused on not throwing up and trying to sleep than being creative.
I guess I ate something that didn’t agree with me because my stomach is in hell and I haven’t slept very good the last two days.
Then I start to try and so some work and the internet doesn’t work for some reason and would you guess I’m banned on facebook again but this time it was literally for nothing. Like I haven’t even been using that account very much since I got the alt account. But I get a message saying I had a picture removed because it goes against our “Community standards” you know that thing we keep specifically vague so we can decide literally anything goes against it. Yeah that thing. But get this, I go to see what it was they removed and it was nothing, like it wasn’t that it was a harmless picture, it was literally nothing. Where the thing they removed usually appeared it was just blank.
I haven’t even uploaded any pictures recently on that account, so not only could I not see what it was to contest it, I sent it for review, still banned, surprise surprise. Facebook is a fucking joke. This is either a fuck up in the algorithm or there’s literally someone just banning me for fun and I wouldn’t be surprised if either one was true. Someone at facebook hates me. It’s fucking ridiculous.
Anyway I managed to get some proofreading done today, thankfully it was a short chapter but it needed a lot of work and I really need another go over this book in depth when I finish the first proofread because I sense some structural and continuity problems I need to rectify.
Ok that’s your lot.
The tavern hummed with activity, drinking, games of darts and singing songs and merriment. The light of the warm fire danced along the dark wooden beams and the cobbled stone floor. On the walls made of stone not daub were exquisite paintings and tapestries depicting maids bathing by a lake like wood nymphs. The room swelled with a carefree indulgence rarely seen in these hard times. Coirpre of course, savoured every moment of it. How lucky he felt to be in the bohemian city of Slaghtaverty, to be in Ulster away from the pig farmers and yocals who couldn’t hope to appreciate his poetry. To smell fine wines and ales in the air instead of pig shit and misery.
Here it was different, the people were cultured and open minded and what’s more they knew his name and treated him as his position would dictate. Bard’s were of course revered as much as princes for the power they held could make kings and heroes alike out of common folk and vice versa.
They could bring to life ancient battles and mighty sea voyages, they had the power to create and destroy reputations a power few sneered at.
“Please sir Coirpre, one more ballad, the lusty maid of Sliabh an Iarainn perhaps?” A women in a fox felt hat said, her comely face slackened by the ale in her cup. Her dress even more so.
“No no, I must go to bed” Coipre jested.
“But who would you take with you noble Coirpre” The woman cued shamelessly, moistening her eyes and clutching her breast wantonly. The tone of her voice flat and monotone, her eyes doughy and expressionless. A small crowd of similarly inebriated women gathering at her heel.
“My lady please, I beg you-.“ Coirpre taken aback by this proposal turned clumsily and bumped face first into the warm stone wall of the tavern. In doing so spilling the remainder of his flagon on his tunic.
Looking up from his stupor he regarded that it was not in fact a wall but a man, a man in which he recognized.
“Are you all right sir Coipre” The drunken maid asked the downed bard as he picked himself back up.
“It’s you!” He sputtered attempting to dust the bear off his jerkin. “The one who saved me from those bloodthirsty peasants in Killaloe?”
Cur didn’t even look down as he said in his guttural fashion “Out of my way fool!” pushing the minstrel aside like a common beggar.
“Yes well, thank you all the same” He muttered tugging at the bottom of his sodden tunic, his face turning red.
“What are we doing here?” Birog whispered as she dusted off a chair to sit at a table near the fire. “Isn’t it dangerous to come here, I think the fewer people we encounter the better, what if a thief were to-“
“We have business to conclude here with the Chieftain Abertach.” Tuan said as he sat down looking around at the women who encircled the bard Coirpre like a bird of prey picking a mouse.
“What business? We have a mission that will decide the fate of the whole kingdom and you want to run errands?” Birog tittered folding her arms scournfully.
Cur eyes scanned the small inn looking at every local in turn. There was Coirpre the bard fending off a coven of flat faced wenches with fat arses. A potbellied bureacrat with a bulbous nose drinking himself red in the face leering at those around him. Some merchants sat at a long table drinking and playing some sort of card game, taking it very seriously as if their lives depended on it.
No denizen of the inn stood out but one. A strange cloaked figure whispered in the ear of the barkeep who was not as subtle as the cloaked figure stopping to gawp open mouthed in Cur’s direction.
“Good evening gentle folk.” A melodious voice said over his shoulder.
Coipre bowed cross legged at the edge of the table smiling tentatively. “I believe we got off on the wrong foot and I’d very much like to apologise.” He said speaking clearly looking at Cur who did not meet his gaze. “And of course buy you all a drink, perhaps perform any ballad or song you’d like.” He smiled looking at Tuan and Birog and then as if about to take to song he lifted his head to look at the wall behind them. “As on the morrow I depart to be received by none other than Bres king of Inish Veil himself at Dun Bresse.” Coipre boasted tossing a glance at the druiddess who seemed to recoil at hearing the name.
“Go” Cur groaned.
Tuan laughed and said “But haven’t you heard, Bres isn’t home.” He smirked and watched the puzzlement circle the bard’s face before releasing him. Tuan licked his lips and put both his hands on the table. “But a drink and a ditty will do nicely, anyone else?”
“Oh yes” Birog said “I’d love to hear a song.” She smiled seeming almost giddy to forget about Dun Bresse.
“She doesn’t get out much” Tuan smirked. “Three honey meads I think”
“Speak and it is done- oh barkeep!” He snapped his fingers at the barman. The cloaked figure who whispered to him skulked away almost without foot steps. He seemed even to float out of the door and under the crest of Ulster hanging above it.
The barkeep was a skinny sweaty looking fellow with a bulging beer gut and a potmarked faced. “Yes of course honorable Coipre sir!” He said bending and scraping like he was paying some sort of debt working here.
He returned swiftly with their drinks but under the one meant for the firbolg was a folded note. He he took it and unfolded it regarding it nonchalantly. He looked up at the barkeep who seemed hesitant, waiting for a response, his mouth slightly open as if he forgot to breathe.
“He’ll see you now” He said trying to whisper but his throat was too hoarse and it broke almost instantly.
Cur said nothing and slowly rose to his feet. Tuan and Birog did the same instinctively feeling as if the mood had changed drastically.
“The gentleman must go alone” The barkeep said putting out a pale thin hand to bar them with only the ghost of a threat.
“No, they come to” Cur growled.
The barkeep let his hand drop to his side as if it were made of wet rags “If you’re certain”. He swallowed painfully, his gaunt throat visibly contorting.
The barkeep nodded thoughtlessly, looking off into nothing.
Tuan looked at Coipre who held his loot about to play, a bemused expression on his face. “Be a good chap and mind our drinks won’t you” He smirked.
They left the table and followed the barkeep up a short set of steps beside the bar and around a corner into the back. There was an ordinary looking door, that seemed like it might lead to a cellar or cold room. The barkeep approached it and rapped on it three times.
“He’s here sir, the stranger” The barkeep said his head tilted forward waiting for a response.
With that the door opened and the barkeep moved aside and watched them as they went inside as if waiting for a pat on the head.
The door closed behind them. Before they knew it, they were boxed in on both sides by a couple of dwarf heavies in thick leather jerkins who padded them down for weapons. Going about it with the cool disinterest of a farmhand patting a sack of grain.
Cur grabbed the hand of the first that tried for his blade. A young but strapping dwarf with a pale beard but no moustache. An impish expression on his face as if he was caught stealing a bun from a market stall.
“I keep my weapon, you keep your fingers.” Cur hissed.
The dwarf froze, sweat dripping from his forehead he looked off at the other end of the smokey dark room. A large desk and the figure sitting behind it, waiting for some sign.
The figure at the desk waved some pipe smoke away and in so doing made a gesture. The dwarf heavy with permission retracted his hand scournfully, glaring at the side of Cur’s head.
Birog started a slap fight with her molester, ending in a red face for both of them but her attacker looked far more embarrassed. An older dwarf with a cue bald head and small boxed in ears, a long beard plated at the corners of his mouth. His ruddy face and beard made him appear more like a goat herder than a hired thug. Despite Birog’s protestation he succeeded in separating her from her sword belt and spiriting it away with him back into his corner. A dismayed look on his face as if he expected an apology.
Tuan rarely carried a weapon and thus did not object to the search. Merely tutting then rearranging his coat.
“Sit” The figure behind the desk said. Two more diminutive but stocky bodyguards stood behind him. Their arms crossed in front of them, large crossbows cradled on their tattooed forearms.
There was only one seat purposefully dwarfed by the desk, the Firbolg took it. Tuan and Birog were expected to be invisible, standing between the desk and the door.
“He might have thought you were jesting.” The dwarf behind the desk said as he stubbed out he rapped his pipe dumping the embers into a wooden tray.
“New boy, Abbertach?”
Abhertach didn’t take his eyes off Cur as he repacked his ornate hand carved bone pipe. One of the archers lit the pipe with a candle held in a hand missing most of its fingers. Abhertach let out a tight little laugh as he realised his mistake. The bodyguard missing the fingers growled under his breath. His face frozen in a bitter grimace. “Yes, he is.”
The dwarf with the missing fingers was completely bald and so clean shaven it looked like he could not grow hair at all. He scowled at the Firbolg as if somehow that would grow his fingers back.
“I should have told him not to search you but you see it’s a force of habit, no harm no foul, this time. I didn’t know you were coming.” Abhertach tried to smile warmly but under it was a cold clenching of teeth and sharp inhale of breath.
“The great Abhartach, spy master and thief, didn’t know we were coming” Tuan chimed in.
“And who are you sir that you know me enough to call me a thief?” Abhertach’s demeanor was jovial but barbed with a clear threat.
“No one” Tuan shrugged.
Abhartach was a gristled dwarf with shrewd rodent like eyes. The physique and shoulders of a warrior with a barreled gut of a chieftain. But the cheeks and soft wrinkled face of some sort of blood thirsty merchant who’d sell his grandmother for a higher cushion.
Abhartach twirled his enormous moustache which he wore with no beard which was uncommon for dwarfs. They were usually full bearded or clean shaven.
“Now that the formalities are out of the way, what is it you want here?” Abhartach said leaning back in his chair looking down his nose at them slowing his breathing.
Cur looked about the room which was grand in it’s relative squalor. A small secretive office with extravagant furnishings, a mix between a thieves hideout and a whore’s boudoir. The desk was high and he undoubtedly sat on a raised chair and made sure the guests chairs were shorter so he could look down on them.
“I paid you for the last job and I have no further use of you”. He said as he leaned forward clasping his hands dismissively in front of him as if discussing rug sales.
“The woman” Cur said.
“Ah yes” Abhartach said scratching the side of his nose with his pinky. “Well-“
“You set us up, there was a witch in the woods waiting for us” Tuan said merrily, no hint of accusation, he remarked on it as if finding a penny in mincemeat pie.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, who is this?” He asked the Firbolg.
Tuan without reservation jumped across the table transforming in mid air into the from of a wolf taking the dwarf chieftain by the throat.
The young dwarf who tried to frisk Cur put his hand on the Firbolg’s shoulder and pressed down trying to stop him from rising. Radiating his will downward.
Cur took the lads hand and pulled him down so he could take him by the scruff of the neck. Cur smashed his face smashed with a vicious indifference against Abhatach’s high desk, flailing a few of his teeth across the blotter. The unbridled and unwarranted cold savagery of it froze the room in amber for a few moments.
The bodyguards readied their cross bows.
“Wait” Abhartach strained lifting a hand.
The crossbow men lowered their aim.
Tuan took human form again and hopped off the desk smiling as if it was a little show he put on descending the high stage with a click of his heel.
“Out with it Abhartach, you work for Bres?” Cur scolded.
Abhartach rubbed his neck and smiled trying to laugh but only coughing. “Bres? You could say he works for me”.
“What fantasy is this?” Birog said.
Abhartach looked at her for a moment puzzled then back to Cur as if she hadn’t said anything at all.
“Surely he order you to kill the chieftains of the villages that wouldn’t pay his taxes?” Birog said almost to herself. Now in the dim darkness of this smokey room those words sounded so feeble and childish coming from her.
Abhartach became grim and started to breathe heavily. His face draining of colour and his eyes becoming long and hollow staring at nothing as he rubbed his neck. His face locked and expressionless as if he pictured himself somewhere else as he spoke in hollow tones. “If only that were the case” He said hauntingly.
“What do you mean” Birog asked.
He looked at her and saw nothing and licked his dry lips. He started breathing heavier and his neck became red as he rubbed it. “You don’t understand, the taxes aren’t Bres’ at all” He said almost whispering his eyes looked scared even thinking about it.
“Who left here?” Cur said.
Abhartach let his mouth hang open.
“If it isn’t you then- where are the children?” Birog asked.
Abhartach slammed his fist on his desk and screamed “I DON’T KNOW!” He calmed himself and said again “I don’t know, oh goddess save me I don’t know.”
He went on shyly “They just wanted me to choose, they knew of me, knew I would know the right villages to- I had no choice. They said they’d, they’d do the same to Slaghtaverty.” He breathed heavier and heavier and seemed to sink into his chair as if he were deflating.
“Who?” Cur asked.
“They didn’t want to do it like last time, they’re smarter now, they have a new king, they rule from the shadows. They wanted me to choose and cover it all up for them.” He spoke faster seemingly rambling.
“You used us” Tuan said.
“Yes, I thought if I could spread a rumour of a vampire or some such monster I could distract people from the truth. You just had to go there and cause a ruckus, kill a few elves and then they’d come for the rest but the blame would fall on the mysterious stranger.”
“Who are they?”
“It didn’t occur to me that I chose villages that refused to pay their tax, its just a coincidence, I had no choice- they wanted the children.” His eyes reddened and he spoke quickly as if it all had to come out at once, as if every word unburdened him somehow.
“You sent a messenger to meet us with our bounty, he lured us out to a witch, lured us into the woods.” Tuan mused.
“I sent no messenger, I always paid you here, it was them, don’t you understand, they were done with you, you were a loose end they had to tie up. Do you understand?”
“WHO?” Cur stood and slammed his massive hand on the desk towering over Abhertach his voice booming over the sounds of merriment below.
The night was darker than pitch, cold and moist. The cloaked figure could still hear the dampened merriments of the folk inside. He looked up at Abhartach’s office window and grinned.
He took something from the sleeve of his cloak and started to sprinkle it on the ground muttering some sort of incantation.
He then started to walk the street of the town, all in their beds but the tavern folk. Their chimneys slowly dying as the children slept soundly their mother pecking them on the forehead. Their fathers tucking them in.
The figure continued to walk, humming to himself as a bluish fog started to cover the town of Slaghtaverty.
Read it on inkitt Nightcrawlers
Spirit is willing
Cur certainly needs that, I’m thinking of almost rewriting it entirely before I even hand it over to an editor because I dunno along the way I think I let it wonder off the mark a little bit. And I haven’t too clear headed these last couple of months what with the sleep experiments which are sort of working but also not because I keep fucking them up and on top of that the weighlifting messes with my sleep even more. So a lot of the time it’s like I can’t even think straight or I’m too tired to put it together and make sense of it.
In other news, thinking about the new Diana book has already begun, implying I don’t have a plan/have it half written in my head already. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile waiting for the mood to be right and for lightning to strike.
Bit of a chill one today, its raining outside and I’m feeling gently melancholic – but in a good way haha.
I really do love the rain, sometimes I can’t sleep without hearing it. Don’t know what I’d do if I left the country to some hotter climb. I think I’ll only truly be happy when I move somewhere where it rains all the time haha.
It really doesn’t rain in England as much as people think.
I dunno, I don’t like going out in it but I could spend hours just watching it. Something about knowing that someone else is doing the exact same thing somewhere. Or that outside the world is bare of people, just all huddled around inside watching as it comes down. The steady rhythmic metronome of the rain hitting the ground and trees. Something about that really gets me.
I don’t have much to say other than that, not been up to much except proofreading. I think I really need to go over Cur a couple of times because it’s just too big of a project not to. It only worked out around 50k words but when I say big I’, referring to the scope. I tried to make a little fantasy story but the source material is unrestrainably epic.
I did borrow my brothers ps4 to try out the new spiderman game, I think the last spiderman game I played might have been spiderman 2 haha. It’s pretty good but it has some serious flaws, I might write a review when I finish it.
Down to this latest chapter of Cur, probably the most pivotal chapter up to now in terms of the lore and the backstory for the characters as well as the main themes for the story overall. No action unfortunately but *in Bain voice* ‘That comes later’.
This is sort of where the main story really takes off in terms of an actual quest and some epic duels will follow on from this. This is basically the end of this part and the next will all be about the actual task that Birog is to be given. The main story is of course about Cur but Birog is the character that carries the driving force of the plot.
Ok so enough rambling about that haha. I’ve been too knackered to finish Plunder Squad recently, that’s the name of the Parker book I’m reading, please don’t judge them by the titles haha. Thankfully kept away from the witcher. Not sure I’ll return to that honestly, just a chore to read.
That’s all for now, hope you like this excerpt and if you do, head on over to inkitt to read the rest and my other stories.
Hear- could hear nothing but the sound of the lapping sea and the gulls circling overhead with their monotonous chatter. The sea roared at his feet, the sky swirling with black and grey clouds. His mouth was open and dry and he could feel the sand under him but nothing else and he couldn’t move, couldn’t think.
He stared up at the clouds unable to move his head or close his eyes or feel any of his extremities whatsoever. Not the cold of the wind, nor the spray of the sea, only the sand below him shifting and the little things crawling beneath it.
There was no pain, or pleasure, or sense at all, just the sea’s endless roar.
Underneath him and he could feel his hair knotting in the sand, damp and being pulled by something. His feet too were being tugged by something out of his line of sight.
“We want the dead one’s boots” A little guttural voice said.
“We wants his eyes” The harsh voice tugging at his hair said. “Whats you need boots for under the waters anyways?”
“To trade” The affronted one said.
“You already have your trophy for the king of the deep, begone with you!”
The two figures continued to bicker and pull at the dead man lying on the beach.
“What’s that?” One of them said.
“Leg it!” The other said accompanied by the sound of skittering little feet.
And then by his feet a splashing sploshing noise as the waves swallowed one of the little things pulling at him and the other darted into a bush.
“What do we have here?” A new voice said, one that sounded like a bear and a bird talking at once. “There is life left in this one yet”
Time passed as the dead man watched the sky roll over him without care. The sun seen through the clouds turning orange as he felt himself being dragged on what sounded like wooden plank along the ground.
The sounds of the waves then replaced with the sound of a campfire and the blanket of clouds replaced by the blanket of night. The stars like pin pricks in the roof of the sky beaming down on his lifeless inert form. Only remnants of his consciousness left to stare out of a blank face for eternity as the rest fell away.
Cur awoke from his dream, his neck feeling stiff after being trampled by the black mare. He hushed himself as he heard quiet conversation and the melodious playing of a harp and the light of another fire.
“It’s quite alright, I’d probably rob me too if I met me” The druidess laughed.
“Our time on the road has hardened us, I beg forgiveness my lady” Tuan tittered like a bard.
“And the other one?”
“He fell out of his mother hard as a rock” Tuan chuckled.
The druidess giggled “However did you meet him?”
“It’s a long and very embarrassing story.” Tuan said.
“Well? Do tell shapeshifter” She fawned
“You see I was caught short, let’s say, a mating ritual -interrupted.” He smiled and waited for a response.
“I was, how do you say, conducting myself in an indecent manor when some loutish fishermen caught me with my trousers around my ankles should we say. They bound me before I could change into something more formidable. There was nothing I could do, I was at a loss” Tuan said with a waiffish arrogance.
“Fisherman, in their nets, I’m sorry I’m not following.” The druidess balked as she talked into her cup.
“Forgive me, I forgot to mention I was transformed into a salmon at the time.” Tuan said absentmindedly staring off into space.
“Oh I see, Oh I see” She giggled.
“Yes, so these idiots were planning on cooking and eating me, I tried to talk to them but they wouldn’t have any of it. I tried to tell them I wasn’t a fish but that just made it worse. You see they were convinced for some damned reason that eating me would give them all the knowledge in the world. I have no idea why.” He said as he took a sip from his cup.
“Why didn’t you change into a Wyvern or a crocodile?” Birog said wide eyed, listening intently.
“I was already confined in the pot, and I couldn’t think of anything, I get terrible stage fright, all animals fall out of my head when pressed.”
“So what happened then?” She said shaking her as if the drink was getting to her a little bit.
“Well all the noise of me shouting and arguing with the fishermen drew out the ogre. Who I suspect was trying to take a shit in the woods at the time and he came out and scared them off.”
The druidess burst into laughter spilling her wine over her shoulder.
“I only suggest that as his trousers were around his ankles as he chased them.”
She tried to catch her breath and sputtered “What happened after that?”
“Well I pledged my life to him as he inadvertently saved it. But of course sour one as he is, he didn’t take kindly to it at first but I was sure to follow him to one day return the favor. But as you might have guessed saving the life of a dead man is quite impossible.”
“What an interesting story, I don’t think I’ve heard anything like it in all my life.” Birog gaped. “But can I ask- why is he so-?”
“I’m not sure that’s the right word for it, I’m not sure a word exists to describe what he is. He’s cold but inside burns something truly- monstrous, something I couldn’t envision even in my dreams”.
“I know little of him but of his people, I have seen much.”
“What have you seen?” She said intently as bit from a leg of succulent roast pork which turned on a spit over the fire.
“I have seen Connacht in ruins as a crow sees it.”
Check out the rest of the chapter on inkitt.