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Irish folklore

Cur chapter 15 “Angel Blood”

Ok so not gonna lie, probably the shittiest start to a new year ever.
I worked on new years eve and didn’t get to spend either christmas or new years with the person that supposedly is madly in love with me.
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.
Then my ex instead of letting me skype with the only person that truly matters to me on this earth on her birthday or christmas called the cops on me over an email. I almost spent the night in jail over an email.
So yeah, really feeling 2019 so far, at least it can’t get much worse, but I’ve been surprised before.
Ok so my life being a total shitshow is no big reveal here but I am happy to reveal one of the better chapters in terms of action mostly, I reread and it’s not as great as I am remember more mythology captured in a comic but it’s fun. And if your balls don’t swell during the call out section you have no balls to speak of metaphorically or otherwise haha.
Anyway start of a new year, optimism, all that.
See you…
 
Three days and nights the Firbolg and Tuatha De’ met on the field of battle at Moyturra. And each day despite the mental state and lack of sleep of the Firbolg it ended in defeat after crushing defeat for the Tuatha De’. Their weapons were light and beautiful but could not compete with the savagery of the men of the soil. Even exhausted as they were they fought with the brutality they’d known all their lives and the mighty weapons they’d crafted. The Tuathe were defeated as if the earth itself rose up and swallowed them.
 
“We can’t keep this up much longer” The druid Caserd croaked. “Can’t you see, the losses are too great.” He whispered harshly in the dim light of the high king’s yurt.
 
“We’re victorious” The high king said as he rapped his knuckles against the hard arm rest of his chair.
 
“I don’t like it, the spirits don’t like it, there’s something wrong. Each day we decimate them but their numbers don’t decrease. We vanquish our foes and they come back each day renewed, these are not ordinary men my king.”
 
“So I must make a truce with these usurpers, give them half of all we’ve built to avoid more death? This land is built on blood, this soil is damp with it.” Eochid hissed.
 
“That’s why they want it, there’s dark magic at work here I’m sure of it” Caserd whispered.
 
“My king” A guard shouted from beyond the yurt.
 
“What is it?”
 
“There’s an old goat herder who says he has news of the Tuatha de’ invasion, he says it’s important.”
 
“A goat herder?” Eoichid sighed tilting his head towards Caserd.
 
“What harm could there be?” The druid shrugged.
 
“I’ll hear your goat herder.” He said waving his large hand.
 
A moment passed and a slow shuffling could be heard outside of the tent. An elderly man entered draped head to toe in a long lambs wool cloak of grey and white. His beard shared the same color and was so long he threw it over his shoulder.
 
The man was very old and his movements were slow and measured. His face wrinkled with sagging jowl but not lacking in color. And his eyes retained a spark of youthful mirth as he smiled deferentially at the king attempting to bow his already bent back. Resting on a gnarled shalagh cane.
 
“Greetings high king, I be Fint-“
 
“There’s no need for formal introductions goods sir, tell me of your misadventures.”
 
“Sir what I have to say may shock you.”
 
“Well there’s no point waiting on ceremony.”
 
“The other day I was taking my goats out to the hill to pluck the crags of weeds and grass there. They like it up high ya see, climbing up there, the grass must taste better near those old stones. The portal stones they’re called.”
 
Eoichid watched wearily the old man through his fingers as he rested his head in his hand.
 
The old man licked his lips and looked for some signal for him to go on and when none came he went on anyway. “Well while I was up there wouldn’t ya know I couldn’t see into their camp or nothing. They did a good job placing it out of sight but I did see- it was after the battle.”
 
“You watched the battle?”
 
“Oh no sir, I’ve seen enough blood in my time.” The old man gave a knowing smirk. “No I saw what was after when they was picking up their dead, not one left there to rot. They gathered them all up and I thought it was to bury them, you know. Mightn’t it be their custom to bury them on the day of death I thought, but no.”
 
The old man became contemplative, his eyes narrowing and brows creasing into too many folds to count as he scratched his gristled chin. “There was this funny lookin’ fella with a big nose and pointy ears and glasses on.” The old man gesticulated all the man’s features one by one. “And he was ordering the men that was still living to take the bodies of the dead and dying. And to put them in the spring that runs off the Loch Arbhach, great for fishing.”
 
Again he paused and looked for some signal to continue which didn’t come. “Anyway they put them bodies in the spring and the long nose fella he sprinkles some magic dust in the water.” With his wizened hand he emulated the motion of sprinkling the dust. “I dunno. He says some magic words spins around and they walked alive again.” He pointed with his cane and took to a harsh whisper “I swear by the gods there wasn’t a scratch on them, they just walked out like they were taking a dip.”
 
“It’s as I feared.” Caserd sighed.
 
“You believe this?” Eoichid asked with a cool simmering rage.
 
“There magic surpasses our own greatly and they’ve tricked us.” Caserd deflated, bowing his head.
 
Eoichid bit the inside of his cheek and said nothing.
 
Caserd looked at his high king with lidded eyes and raised his hands emphatically. “Don’t you see, they’ve been wearing us down, they’ve been beating us in victory, tiring our men, whittling them off slowly. Everyday our losses are massive and they lose none, this can’t go on, we’ve already lost too much, what will you do high king?”
 
Eoichid rose from his seat stoic. With a savage cutting energy he crossed the room and clutched his Javelin in his two strong hands squeezing it. Listening to the noise of it creaking in his monstrous leathery hands.
 
“I will go.”
 
 
The men of the bag lined up on Moytura outside the Tuatha de’ stronghold. In front of their palisade wall they beat their shields in time casting a deadly rhythm. The sound; like bone on bone clattering, the impeding march of skeletons claiming flesh as their own.
 
“HERE I AM! THE BLOOD OF KINGS RUNS THROUGH MY VEINS! NO MAN CAN BE MY EQUAL!” Eochid bellowed at the top of his lungs, his high shield at his side and his javelin at his other. His armor consisting of hardened plates of black leather and bleached bone. His helmet fashioned from a fearsome rams skull, it’s horns protruding upward. “NUADA, I AM THE MASTER OF YOUR DESTINY!”
 
The beating of the shields came again like a wave of crashing thunder building to a cacophony.
 
Eoichid bellowed gripping his javelin and shield tightly in his balled fists.“GIVE ME YOUR KING, LET ME SQUEEZE HIM IN MY HANDS!” 
If you want to the rest of this epic chapter head on over to inkitt;

Cur Chapter 14 ‘Love thine enemy’

Ok so instead of a poem I have this beauty of a chapter as we finally get into the meat of the story.
This is the stuff I was encouraged to hold back for the purposes of a reveal and I wont really know how it works until I get some feedback or I do a solid read through.
But this is when we get into the heart of the first invasion, the real folklore not the shit I made up to go around it haha. I mean there’s a lot of that but this is the real dope and I love it. I love the mythology, I love the whole story, it’s great and I hope you do too because I’m too busy to get anything more up tomorrow. But believe me the next few chapters are gonna be coming hard and I can’t wait for you to read them.
See you…
 
Many years ago when the land was known as Inish Alga, the noble isle.
 
The goddess Tailtui kissed him and her lips were as sweet and as sour as the first blackberry of spring. Her body was as firm and as warm as a log on the fire in front of which they made love. Her body crashing against his like a falling tree she kissed him again with an intense urgency. Looking into his eyes she whispered a blessing and a curse “As long as I love you, you shall never die.”
 
The fire blew out and cloaked the room in inky blackness. A deep silence and a rattling scratching noise came from the fireplace.
 
“What is it Eoichid?” A silken voice asked.
 
Eoichid pushed her off of his large frame and strode towards the fire place. He stoked the embers stabbing at them with a poker his naked broad back to his woman. He could hear the scratching more clearly. It was a skittering noise in the chimney.
 
Just a bird trapped in the chimney” He stated his voice flat and stern as his jawline.
 
Then all of a sudden a thunderous crash and a great black bird hit the embers scattering sparks and hot ash in an explosion of chaotic furry. The bird cawed and sqwarked and flew about the room. Eoichid’s ears pricked as he finally noticed a dull metronome of flapping wings and cawing. He went to the window and the sky was black with their fetid wings. Their vile bulbous black bodies blotted out the sun as they flew as if shoulder to shoulder.
 
Eoichid woke in a sweat, he turned to look at his wife Tailtiu still sleeping, her nose wrinkled as if she smelled something loathesome. Her auburn hair like a bed of autumn leaves. Her face was pale and lovely like freshly fallen snow. Her features that of a faun, or nymph, a slightly upturned nose, light pouted lips and speckled cheeks.
 
He got out from under the furs of their bed and put on a robe. He fumbled out of his bed chambers without waking the goddess and took a lit torch from a sconce in the hall. He walked down the circular stone steps into the druid’s quarters.
 
The druid’s quarters were dank and dusty. The smell of booze and bone dust covered by the sweet scents of lavender and thyme permeated the tapestries on the walls.
 
The room was dark but the outlines of skulls and books and dirty bowls could be seen amassed on the many counter tops and spilling from reliquaries. The piled stone walls were covered in a thick layer of dust.
 
“Caserd! Caserd! are you awake you old fool?” Eochid lit up the old druid’s face with the firelight.
 
The old man spoke without moving his eyes. His face potmarked and covered with an ashen beard. “I’m always awake my lord high king.” He opened just one eye in his wizened face “Is it bad dreams sire?”
 
Eoichid stood motionless at the foot of his bed, the torch held low. “I need you to read the bones again”
 
“As you wish my king” The old druid climbed out of his bed in his night robes and cap and by the light of the King’s torch he placed a candle on the ground. Next to it, a cup of water and another cup in which he poured alcohol.
 
He sat with his legs bony crossed on the stone floor and took a deep breath closing his eyes and then dropped a single piece of silver into the bowl of water.
 
“The bounty of the deep” The old man whispered hoarsely.
 
He clapped his hands and the candle lit. “The rising of the light”
 
He dipped his finger in the water and touched his forehead.
 
The druid gazed at the flame and cleared his throat “Between fire and water, I find my balance”.
 
He then lifted the cup with the alcohol in it. “I drink to the holy powers of the world- I drink to the ancestors – I drink to the land spirits – I drink to the shining goddesses and gods – To all the beings in all the worlds – In land sea and sky below and on high – I drink this cup of fellowship.” The old druid then threw the liquid to the back of his throat instantly causing a fit of coughing.
 
When the coughing fit subsided he took a swig from the jug from whence he poured it and cleared his throat again. He scrunched up his face and taking a handful of bones he threw them into a pewter dish.
 
He moved them around a little and squinted at them and then moved them around again. He looked puzzled for a moment and turned back to his stone jug and took another long pull resulting in the same amount of coughing as before.
 
“Spit it out” Eoichid erupted impatiently.
 
“Black wings” The old man sputtered. “I see a sky covered in a blanket of black wings”.
 
 
The next morning Eoichid looked out on the balcony of his chambers. He watched as slow creeping mist covered the mountains of Sliabh an Iarainn to the west. Looking out at them from his capital of Tailtin, named for his wife and goddess.
 
The mist remained for three days and three nights and the high king watched it with cool trepidation. Until the third it cleared but in its place a mighty ship crewed by shining people stood on the mountain.
 
They slowly advanced westward toward the sea of Ulster. A messenger was sent forth from both tribes.
 
 
Sreng the mightiest champion of the Firbolg, rode his black horse up the hill carrying the shovel headed javelin of the Firbolg. A long rounded shield on his back and an iron club on his belt to parlay with the outsiders. On his shield was the crest of Connacht, the sword arm and black bird. He wore a multicoloured patchwork cloak and a heavy hide jerkin. He was large and broad shouldered with a weathered face and long black beard and hair.
 
The shining one stood on the hill, he was small but fair of face with long golden hair with no beard and carried a sharp thin spear.
 
The sky was dark slate grey, a light mist covered the ground and a strong wind blew them both and speckled rain. The green hills stretching on forever, sheep in the fields grazing calmly, a squat crow sat on a high stone next to the hill sqwarking to itself.
 
From the hill Sreng could see the mighty capital Tailtin. Hundreds of smoke stack round houses surrounded by a huge wall of timber and the fort that was the high king’s keep towering at the top of it.
 
The shining one spoke and his voice was like honied water, calming but firm and constant, delicate but sure. “I am Bres the beautiful of the Tuatha De’ and I offer you glad tidings, brother.”
 
Sreng stopped at the bottom of the hill to look at the stranger. His skin was pale almost silver and translucent in color, his features sharp and his ears slightly pointed at the top. He wore a light and loose tunic with his arms and chest exposed revealing strange blue markings which seemed to glow when the light hit them.
 
His eyes too were strange, they were a bright amber color. There was a moment before Sreng decided to speak.
 
“I am Sreng of the Firbolg”. He bellowed, his eyes lidded and searching.
 
“So we share the same tongue – cousins perhaps?” Bres smiled jovially and carelessly.
 
Sreng stared trying to hide hide amazement for a moment in silence.
 
“My people talk of our ancient predecessors walking this, our ancestral home, is it that I look at a ghost of our past?” Bres jested with a mocking smile.
 
“I am no ghost” Sreng said as he continued to study the stranger’s weapons as he’d never seen anything like it before.
 
They looked strong and deadly sharp but were thinner than any weapon he’d seen. He could barely fathom how something as thin as a goose feather could be a weapon at all.
 
“You like my spear? Here, take it if you like.” Bres tossed the spear sideways and it floated through the air weightlessly. Sreng caught it in his huge hand and his eyes widened as he took it in and felt that it had almost no weight. He gawped at it in amazement as he ran his finger over the fine point and sharp edge and saw blood. He sucked his finger and looked up at Bres.
 
“You can keep it, we have many more” He grinned. “I wouldn’t mind taking a look at that one on your back.”
 
Sreng thought for a moment before deciding it was only chivalrous to do the same. He slid his javelin out of the doe skin and tossed it at Bres as one would a log onto a fire.
 
Bres caught it in one hand and swung it about himself as if he’d handled it a thousand times before. Cutting through the air with the savage recurved blade and stabbing the air with the rounded shovel point looking down the hefty haft.
 
“A good weight to it” He said as he jostled it playfully. “How do you get this metal to behave?”
 
“Our forging techniques are a guarded secret.” Sreng said gruffly.
 
“I see”
 
“Why is it you’ve come?” Sreng asked.
 
“Oh didn’t I say already?” Bres licked his lips and grinned. “We’re home”
 
“What is it your people want, be clear so I may return to my king.” Sreng said curtly, letting some irritation slip into his voice.
 
Bres pursed his lips and tapped his fingers along the haft of the rugged javelin.
 
“Half”
 
“Half?” Sreng spat.
 
“Half the island” Bres smiled playfully but he was not joking.
 
“You wish me to relay this to my king, High king Eoichid Mac Erc? That you want half of all that is his?” Sreng said almost dumbstruck by this boldfaced arrogance.
 
“I can do it myself” The voice came from close behind Sreng.
 
Sreng blinked and saw the shining man on the hill was gone and next to him stood a reflection of himself staring back at him carrying his own javelin. In an instant the javelin came down and cleaved Sreng’s mighty head from his shoulders. His head had rolled halfway down the hill before his body fell.
 
“Babd, did that please you?”
 
The crow shone and changed into the form of an elven woman wearing a deep red silken dress, her lips two were kissed as such.
 
“Yes my lord”. She cooed.
 
“Take the spear and the body back to Nuada, Dian Cecht will most likely want to study both.”
 
“Yes my lord”.
 
 
“Half!? HALF!?” Eoichid shouted his voice booming around the stone walls of his audience chamber. His face youthful and handsome as it was, twisted by rage and in his eyes a battle tested ugliness dwelt. “They come into my land, the land we fought and bled for. The land we built from nothing with our own hands, the very soil carried on our backs from that cursed land that slaved us and he wants HALF!?” The veins on his neck stood out like the branches of a tree and so to the scars on his face were licked by torchlight.
 
Sreng knelt before him, his eyes fixed on a spot on the floor as Eoichid paced back and forth.
 
“Never” Eoichid whispered. “NEVER!” He bellowed. “If we give them half this day they’ll take all from under our noses tomorrow.” Eoichid walked over to his throne, which was a simple chair made of ash with a gold leaf trim and the coat of arms relief. The slim beautiful spear of the Tuatha de’ draped across its arm rests. He snatched it up off his chair “And what is this? A chariot ornament, a giant whore’s hairpin” He said as he snapped the clean wooden haft over his knee and threw the two pieces into the fire.
 
The high king calmed himself and addressed his champion. “Sreng, you will ride out at first light and ask them what field of battle they wish to die on. We’ll meet them with shovel or pick or fork if they like but they will never have this land.”
 
Sreng nodded and didn’t say another word.
 
“You’re dismissed.”
 

Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt Love thine enemy

Cur Chapter 13 ‘Dyed in the wool’

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!

See you…

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

Cur Chapter 12 ‘The burning of the temple’

 
The smell of smoke, darkness, crawling, blackness, air.
 
Dian Cecht coughed and spluttered as he dragged himself crawling and blackened out of his escape tunnel. Gasping at the fresh air.
 
“Well it’s good to see you again, old friend” A mocking voice said above his head.
 
He turned over, scrambling in the ashes, stunned to hear the familiar voice, his face black with soot and his eyes wide and frightened. He waited on his knees in the dark for the shapes to emerge from the smoke laden sky.
 
“Y-you!” Dian Cecht mumbled grasping at a clump of black earth beneath him.
 
“Me” Bres smiled atop his horse, his men behind him, looking down at the great healer.
 
Dian Cecht lowered his head, his hands splayed out in front of him. “You’re too late, she’s already gone from here, a day’s ride ahead of you, you’ll never find her.”
 
“Of course I will, you’re going to help me” Bres laughed and crossed his hands over his saddle.
 
Dian Cecht put his hands on his thighs and looked at the dirt knowing that he was right. “I may be a coward, hiding in that place but you! You are cursed by all the gods for desecrating that holy site!”
 
“Desecrating? Me? The king of Inish Veil?” He laughed looking around at his men. “Surely you are mistaken, it was a mere accident. So many candles in Newgrange, this was bound to happen sooner or later. A little mouse must have knocked one over and set fire to some old dry parchment and woof! The whole temple up in flames” His men who chuckled, all but one. Ogma gritted his teeth holding his hand to his ear wishing that both his ears were cut off and his eyes gouged and his tongue pulled.
 
“You should kill me now” Dian Cecht said almost begging, his hands tightening above his knees.
 
“Why would I do that, we’re in need of a good healer, we have a wounded man after all, Ogma show him your ear” He said turning in his saddle. Waving Ogma to approach.
 
Ogma tried to smooth out his face. Remove any of the disdain he was feeling as he removed his hand from his head showing Dian Cecht the place where his ear ought to have been.
 
“I can’t grow back an ear, not without my lab that you just burnt to the ground” His tone suddenly changed from wounded animal to righteously indignant.
 
“Tsk tsk, these accusations are very dangerous, we all agree it was just a mouse, don’t we” He said to his men who nodded and laughed.
 
“That temple was-“
 
“That temple was here long before us. Some robed fools with long beards decide it has mystical significance, it means nothing to me – or the mice as it seems” He laughed.
 
“So what is to be? Will you come with us or return to your burning temple?” Bres asked, already knowing the answer but enjoying it all the same.
 
Dian Cecht face gave up an elasticity it once had and he slumped visibly. “I will”.
 
“Good, take him” Bres instructed one of his men turning his horse to ride on along the path.
 
“You didn’t have to do that” Ogma said through gritted teeth holding his ear once more, looking past the king.
 
“No maybe not but you’re yet to understand the stakes of this game, allow me your trust in this matter.” Bres said softly.
 
“You could have talked to him.” Ogma said through gritted teeth.
 
“I just did talk to him” Bres smiled “What’s one dusty old tomb?” Bres breathed in heavily looking out at the lush pastures, the sweetness of the dew mixing with the bitter scents of smoke and ash.
 
“It sits in the shade of the stone of destiny itself” He cursed.
 
“And yet the stone is untouched as it rests on the hill of Tarah, do you wish to make a pilgrimage to it brother?” Bres turned his head, his voice full of scourn and accusation and derision. His eyes scanning Ogma up and down as if it was the first time they’d met.
 
Ogma could say nothing, his tongue seized in his mouth. His anger simmering below the surface of his stony grey flesh.
 
“We don’t have time to sit around flapping our gums, the fate of Inish Veil is at stake.” Bres straightened in his saddle, pulling at the reins of his horse, looking over the horizon.
 
“How is that?” Ogma shrank from him, his face twisting.
 
“Your job is to follow my orders, not to question them, now ride on!” Bres said sternly.
 
Ogma grimaced, swallowing his pride. “Yes sire.”
 
 
“It was the Fomori.” Abhartach said, his eyes fixed and glassy as if he were manically reciting a nursery rhyme.
 
“That fairytale again” Birog scoffed.
 
“It won’t be like last time” Abhertach scolded, looking at Birog as if she had grown another head. “They have a new king. In the time of Nemed they used force, might was all they knew. They forced the people to submit, enslaved them. They put a tax on them; two thirds of their corn, two thirds of their milk. And two thirds of their-“ Abertach’s jaw grew tight and he swallowed, his throat clacking dry.
 
“-Children” Birog shuddered.
 
“You know the stories then? You know what happened. “His eyes lit up and the dwarf became enervated with wild hand gestures. “The people, our ancestors the children of Nemed rose up and killed one of their kings in his tower, Conand. But their other king Morc retaliated and decimated the people of Nemed with a great wave and a plague that came from the sea. A cataclyism that scattered our people and changed us forever.”
 
“You expect us to believe all this?” Birog tutted.
Behold the rest of the chapter over on initt, huzzah! The burning of the temple

Cur Chapter 11 ‘Nightcrawlers’

Hey there,

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.

See you…

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

Cur Chapter 10 ‘Spirit is willing’

Bonjourno, did things a little differently today, did my proofreading and spamming in the morning and I’m doing this now, hence it’s later than usual.
No reason, I just like doing stuff like that haha.
So yeah been proofreading, I did this bad boy right here, and I’m working my way back through Diana After Dark and it’s going pretty well. I feel like I’m being really objective like I can step back and look at it as a whole, because I know how it played out so I can see holes and I smooth out rough areas. I think it’s really helping the flow. And I’m looking forward to fixing a few plot holes I may have left open later in the book, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I think after this segment of 3 ring is done I’ll focus on proofreading it full time until it’s done and then start spamming it to agents when I’m near enough done.
Been an ordinary week, writing stupid clown shit and battling depression and possible retardation, nothing new there haha. Just been feeling shit, like I’m enjoying writing 3 ring but it’s also fucking depressing knowing it’s really a waste of time because no one’s gonna read it haha. I know I’m just writing it to stay sharp but I know my time could be spent better and I really think I need a new job so I can turn some of this excess time into money I can use to hire more editors and see the people that mean the most to me, the few of those I have.
Not been reading as much either which is lame, the latest Parker book just hasn’t hooked me, its kinda just a bunch of stuff happening. This is sorta continuation of that lame themepark book and I thought it would redeem that but so far its a little flat but I really haven’t read that much of it. But there aren’t any characters or plot points that jump out at me. It’s kinda just treading water, which sucks because it’s referencing one of the strongest books in the series at the start. Where to get back at this Mafia organisation he gives the green light on a bunch of the people he’s connected to to do a series of coordinated hits on them, punching them straight in the wallet. Basically trying to show the outfit that he has as much power as they do in regards to control of their money. But that was a great book which set up quite a few characters who appeared later in the series and all the little robberies were great but in this it’s just Parker and Grofield doing some really boring robberies for pennies to piss off this guy who they think stole the take from a botched job but he actually has no idea where it is.
So it just feels like it’s running up a hill, spitting in the wind, pick a saying haha.
I’m just not desperate to rip into it like I usually am, I really need a new book series to read haha. Another Dexter would be great, maybe I could just read Dexter again haha.
Anyway about Cur, going over it still, cleaning up a lot of it, it’s rough but it has potential, I think I was a little overconfident with it, maybe overextended but it has something, I just need to keep chipping away at it. There’s something good there, I just need to clear away the shit and pull it together. Because in some respects it feels a little small because it’s really just a piece of an epic story. There’s no way I could do the whole tale justice in one book without doing just a big birds eye view without getting down to the nitty gritty. It would end up just being the mythology not a story. So I needed to get down in the mud a little bit and get creative to craft an origin to this war. And I think I did an ok job. I really only have one person’s opinion on it but he thinks it’s alright haha.
Anyway, gotta go do something else now, eat maybe? I dunno, what do I even do except write and talk shit?
See you…
“Why have we stopped?” Bres called out to the stone coloured sky as he tilted the visor on his helmet back. His armour was gaudy and extravagant, hints of white gold and gold leaf burdened a chestnut mare.
Ogma rode silently at his side aloft his dappled grey, his visor down.
“Sire, a swineherder blocks our path and wishes to speak to our captain.” A young knights errant said, hiking his hauberk up as it seemed a little too big for him.
Bres sighed and made his way to the front of the convoy with Ogmar trailing behind him in a terse canter.
The path they were on was a narrow dipping one lined on both sides with stones separating an embankment of rocky crags. The stones demarked a break in the fields used for grazing from the sacred groves of Newgrange. The village folk liked to have their livestock feast on the grass on those groves. They thought the grasses there imbued with some mystical properties. Producing milk and meat sweeter and heartier and wool hewn softer and stronger.
To turn back they would have to climb the embanked and loop around by crossing open farm land. Adding annoyance and further time to their journey.
Bres beheld the man with raised eyebrow and a sneering condescension as if expecting to witness a pig rolling around in the mud at his feet.
The swindeherder was deshevelled and appeared hobbled with a large white branch cane. Despite his deformities he had the broadback of a farmhand. His dark cloak covering most of his face and body, with one sleeve hanging loose at his side. A placid shaggy dog panting at his feet.
“What is it you want swineherd?” Bres said with the listlessness of a court maid.
The man rolled one stoney eye towards Bres and Bres was taken with a queer feeling as if someone were scything grass to make a grave. He swallowed it down and scoffed as the swineherder took some time to answer.
“Well out with it, I haven’t got all day, you stand before the king of Inish Veil” He said softly, as a light spattering of rain began to fall.
“Is that so?” The swineherder said in an almost mocking colloquial tone, his posture not changing at all.
“What is it you want peasant, speak now or be run down!” Bres said idly, trying not to look at the vagabond.
“I wish to issue a challenge” the old swineherd said his voice low gritted.
Bres sighed “We don’t have time for games or riddles old man and we wouldn’t waste the coin now out of our way!”
“I wish to challenge the strongest amongst ye to single combat” The old man said as if he was asking for a sip of water.
The men all laughed after a moment and Bres too could help but chuckle.
All but Ogma laughed, he instead bristled with a cool anticipation. There was something not quite right. Some drive or pull, some whispering in the back of his head that told him something was padding the earth downwind. Something waiting to see the soft side of a belly to slash. Some great battle lay over the horizon just waiting to cast his legend in bronze, his death in history.
“Do you hear this Ogma?” Bres said still chuckling “This swineherd challenges you to duel, do you accept?” Bres grinned.
Ogma said nothing and dismounted his horse.
He approached the stranger slowly tracing a wide semi-circle. Drawing the steel club from his belt.
“Draw your weapon stranger.” Ogma said cautiously.
“I have no weapon” The old swineheard said.
“A weapon!” Ogma called.
Another steel club was thrown at the swineherd’s feet but he seemed not to notice. Only after a moment stoopping slowly to drag it off the ground leaning over his cane awkwardly to do so. It was revealed he was a cripple. He only had one arm.
“Tis a brave cripple” Bres jested “P’haps he seeks an honourable felling?” Bres laughed, tugging at the reigns of his horse trying to keep her straight.
Ogma gritted his teeth as he felt a low ebb of malice coming from the stranger. An aura of hate kept at bay by a slow flowing of misery and disgrace at his pitiable appearance. His chest nevertheless swelling as he could hear trumpets of battle ringing in his ears but couldn’t explain why. The hair on his arms bristling. He could almost see the blood stained grass swaying as he looked upon the stranger, hear the thunder. He could feel the static air but he dare not make his feelings known.
“Come on Ogma take pity on the poor wretch, his swines have turned fowl!” Bres joked “He wants you to put him out of his misery, but it hardly does your honor any good to thwought such a wretch”. Bres laughed and rested his chin on his gauntlet as if to pounder.
“The knight could tie his good hand” The stranger said at once in a low drawling tone from unseen lips.
“What a good idea!” Bres said, his armor jangling as he slapped his thigh. “Tie your good arm and then fight the swine herd on fair terms and keep your honor, there we’ve settled it.” Bres smiled, pleased with his idea.
Ogma breathed through his teeth as he gripped the haft of his club tightly. Feeling the sweat on his palm then releasing it again, then tightening it again.
One of Ogma’s men tied his arm behind his back and then stood back as Ogma stretched his now only arm with the club extended. He walked slowly crossing one leg over the other circling the swineherd as his men cleared an uneven circle with their bodies and erect pikes.
The stranger did not move or adjust his footing. Only seeming to exhale and rise slightly allowing the bleached branch he was using as a cane to fall on the ground.
Then suddenly a flash and the swineherd threw the club with a ferocious speed and vitriol. It caught the crowd by such surprise they had no reaction whatsoever but stunned silence. Ogma was a skilled warrior and his senses were keen and swift and with his own great strength he met the blow. Ogma deflected it with some difficulty. The force of it lifting him off one of his feet and making his hand ring with energy, sending sharp pains up his arms and down his back.
But he could not rest. The swineherd was relentless and vicious taken by the spirit of a wild boar himself he threw his cloak soon after not stopping for a beat. Never once thinking one attack would fell the champion of the Tuatha de’. The cloak was heavy and sodden with the beast’s sweat hitting heavily and sticking. Ogma tried to bat it away but the cloak wrapped around his head. Without his other arm for support it drove his club back hitting him awkwardly around his shoulder just nicking the bottom of his helmet.
The swineherd was used to having one arm and all his movements compensated for it, never slowing or struggling.
Bres who had been laughing and smiling and geering jovially up to this point had grown silent and constipated. “That face” He whispered to himself as his own face drained of all colour and he took on the appearance of a ghoul. “Not possible” He laughed it off his mind playing tricks.
The man standing before them was not old nor infirmed but a man at his full height erect towered over them all. His face scarred and horrid, head bald, shaven awkwardly with scraps of hair missed dangling like that of a corpses. His skin pale and drawn and wet looking, clothes of mesh and leather, dark and fitted for speed. A sick sadistic smile on his twisted face. Eyes burning like coals with what seemed like a relentless savage rage, a fire that would consume all that touched it.
In an instant he’d picked his club back up and was on Ogma who was still struggling to remove the sodden heavy cloak from him with only one arm.
The swineherd laughed as he hit him in the stomach. Ogma doubling over, another blow sent Ogma’s helmet flying revealing his bonny face as he sprawled on his back like a wingless fly.
The swineherd pinned his other arm with his foot dropping the club carelessly by his head. Cur withdrew his strange blade from his belt, stooped swiftly and stopped to grin at no one. He sliced Ogma’s ear off as if he was cutting himself a piece of cheese. Ogma’s silver tongue wailed out in pain as he writhed under the heavy heel of the stranger.
Cur held the bloody ear in his hand and closed his fingers around it. he stooped again to put back on his cloak as the men around him said nothing. The sounds of their hauberks and plate mail jangling as they stood frozen said it all. Shaking, petrified from fear and shock and rage as they watched their hero, their champion defiled by one so pathetic.
Cur glanced around at them and laughed softly as they encircled him. Their breathing heavy as they tried to muster the courage to draw a blade, even one.
“Let him pass”
They turned to look at Bres as he sat atop his horse tapping nervously on his thigh.
“I said let him pass, would you besmurge your honor to kill a man for winning a duel mutually agreed?” His voice was strained and irritable as if the words tasted foul and burned his tongue. “An ear can mend, honor cannot, I said let him pass damn you!” He spat swatting at the air with his reigns, his mare swaying beneathe him.
Nothing but the sounds of straining jaws and clacking teeth and shaking mail knees and chausses. Fear and rage and a grotesque swallowing of all of it as they cleared a path for the beast before them.
Cur turned to smile at Bres, it could have been an acknowledgement of his nobility, a grateful smile. But it wasn’t, far from it. It was a wicked arrogant grin and it set Bres’s teeth on edge. He clutched angrily at his horse’s mane causing it to whiney and shake it’s head violently as he watched the familiar stranger walk away.
Checkout the rest of the chapter right here.
Spirit is willing

Cur Chapter 8 ‘Thick as thieves’

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.

See you…

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!”

 

“No 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 see”

 

“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-?”

 

“Cruel?”

 

“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.

Thick as thieves

 

 

Cur Chapter 6 ‘Hammer to fall’

Good morrow gentle folk,
Gonna keep this super short and sweet because I sort of lost yesterday in the best way possible so had to cram everything I had to do then into today so lots of editing spamming, procrastinating, all packed into today haha.
So yeah that’s it, see really short right haha? But that haiku yesterday was cool right? Right?

See you…
*spoilers*
This chapter is really spicy haha.
 
A crow perched atop the highest stone structure of Tallaght. It watched as Birog of the Tuatha De’ descended her horse and cautiously entered the walls of the cursed city.
 
She stopped in the entryway and seemed to sniff the air taken by a familiar scent. She dropped to one knee taking off one of her gloves and touched the ground with her bare hands.
 
She rubbed some sort of substance between her fingers before cautiously putting it in her mouth to taste it. She instantly spat it out and said “Sea salt, how odd.”
 
She rose from the ground and put her glove back and mused to herself “All their salt is surely mined, why would sea water be here, inland of all places? When a fresh water river runs but a stones throw.”
 
She stopped and straightened rigidly as she craned her neck trying to listen for people or animals but not even the crow cawed. Just dead silence and the calm creaking of the empty houses echoing the empty streets.
 
“The village is abandoned, but I was sure they were here, perhaps they camped here and then moved on, maybe I can find something in one of these houses”
 
She tied her horse up at the gates. Briefly she glanced at the standing stone with alien symbols not of her people, she assumed it must have been left from the Firbolg.
 
She entered the small round house tucked closely by the outer fence which was a stone layered daub and thatch wall. Similar to most perimeter construction in villages at the time.
 
On the surface the house was fairly unremarkable. A simple stone and clay hut with the standard spiral thicket inlays and a thatched conical roof. The village had seemed strange to her but she had assumed the village had been abandoned but the inside of the hut seemed to tell a different story.
 
One where food was left to spoil in the pot and a table was lain ready for it to be served. A number of sets of simple hide and leather shoes left untouched and clothes slowly being devoured by all manner of insects.
 
Conclusion could only be that they fled in a hurry or they hadn’t fled at all.
 
The same strange smell of sea spray and the salt hanging in the air, so odd for it to be here as well. The building was a very simple dwelling with the fire pit in the centre and the beds on one side and a simple table for eating on the other. The beds looked slept in but untouched, a thick layer of dust covering them. One adult sized and two small wooden frame bed with hide and fur bedding drawn up.
 
A strange feeling gripped her and she took to looking at the ceiling and the inner thatch working. Staring at the elaborate patterns of cobwebs that had collected there.
 
She paused breathing in through her nostrils and closing her eyes. Then swallowing her fear and trepidation she marched over to the adult bed and drew back the covers swiftly.
 
As she feared underneath the remains of a couple clinging to each other, their expressions of horrifying finality. They had no eyes or tongues or lips but there was something there, something that struck a terrible enervation in them. Skin, what little was left was drawn and yellow and putrified. The smell of the sea salt must have masked it or else there was nothing left to rot. The beetles taking all the flesh for their own and leaving naught but cold off white bone.
 
“They must have been preparing food and then hid here” She remarked to herself. “What could have scared them so?”
 
She shuddered and covered them up again and looked over at the children’s beds.
 
“Oh goddess no”
 
She slowly walked around the adult bed and approached the children’s small simple beds. She took another deep inhale of salty air and turned over their covers.
 
She sighed in relief to see them empty.
 
“Empty?” she ground her teeth “Where are the children?”
 
A noise outside, the clopping of an unfamiliar horse on hard stone, a heavy harsh whinnying that sounded like a howl of a man pained.
 
She took to the small shuttered windows. She got low and peeped out at the cluttered claustrophobic streets seeing nothing. Only hearing the distant closing sound of devil hooves.
 
Then suddenly a black horse’s head appeared close to the window too close, the sound of the hooves completely divorced from its distance. She shrunk back into the hut stupidly trying to avoid the gaze of a dumb horse and reaching for a sword that wasn’t there. Terrifying as it was looming over her.
 
The horse passed by the window and she caught a glimpse of the rider. He was enormous, much larger than any tuatha she’d ever seen. Black armor that looked like bones and a skull death mask with gleaming red jeweled eyes. The black rider silently seemed to throb with breath. His armor rising and falling heavily, making a terrible noise like ribs being scraped with a knife. The plates rattling and shifting as the horse jossled.
 
The mysterious knight scanned the area, what was he looking for? Why here? Why now?
 
After a moment, he whipped the reigns as if angry at the air, spurred the horse and disappeared from the frame of the window.
 
She left it a moment, holding her breathe as she listened to the horses hooves get further away and it’s terrible cries cease.
 
Cautiously she approached the entrance to the round house, taking careful quiet steps on the earthen floor covered in loose straw.
 
She swallowed and listened and when she was satisfied stepped out of the small building and looked around. Without warning a tight gripping sensation around her heart told there was strong magic trained on her. She froze looking at the ground and a huge shadow growing at her feet.
 
She turned and saw the black knight on horseback standing on the thatched roof of the hut looking down at her. The horse scrapping at the straw and snorting breathing heavily.
 
“Hello girl, I’ve been looking for you!”
 
 
Head on over to inkitt to get the rest of the chapter right here.

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