Tag Archives: story

Traced by Angels…

*

‘Of wheel-tracks there were none just strange,

narrow paths across the moorland.’

*

*

With the dust well settled over the Living Land Workshop, and already two days into our vacation, we found ourselves in search of a map.

A big map.

One which showed in greater detail the ways and by-ways of Old Cornwall.

*

*

We had done well that first day, discovering a goodly number of the most obvious and easily accessible sites…

But this was going to need precision.

*

*

We had a name.

We had a description.

We even had a picture, and now, we had a good map.

We could not fail, could we?

*

*

 

‘Thick as Thieves’…

*

Big-Bee re-entered his bunker and appraised the scene.

“I nearly died,” he said taking in the piles of foolscap ‘sky-scrapering’ every available surface.

“There are now many who wish you had,” said Teigue-the-Fool, from behind one of the sky-scrapers.

“Treason is still punishable by death in this country you know,” said Big-Bee.

“So’s genocide,” replied Teigue, cheerfully.

“What is all this, anyway?” said Big-Bee.

“Evidence and affidavits,” said Teigue.

“Evidence of what?” said Big-Bee.

“Government incompetence, mainly,” said Teigue.

“Good job I’m back then,” said Big-Bee, “You’d better fill me in.”

“When asked why our death rate is the highest in Europe, one of your ministers claimed it was because we collect our data differently from other countries.”

“Bugger!” said Big-Bee, “That’s practically an admission of malfeasance.”

“Or an indication we’re less dishonest than the governments of other countries.”

“More honest, yes, I like that,” said Big-Bee.

“Except, when asked the same question another one of your ministers claimed our population was older and more obese than that of other European countries,” continued Teigue.

“Dammit, blaming the people for this mess is not necessarily the best way to go.”

“Nor particularly honest, either,” shrugged Teigue, “Italy has a far older population than we do, and you yourself have recently claimed that our ‘new variant strain’ is more deadly than the original infection.”

“Yes, I did didn’t I,” said Big-Bee puffing himself up, and then noticing Teigue’s expression, “Well, what of it?”

“That’s not how viruses work, sire.”

“What do you mean?”

“They mutate to ensure survival, not annihilation.”

“Who says so?”

“The science of Charles Darwin, says so.”

“Isn’t that Old-Science?” asked Big-Bee.

“Old but still current, sire,” replied Teigue with a weak smile.

“I nearly died,” said Big-Bee.

 “Yes, you said, sire,” said Teigue-the-Fool, and shook his rattle.

One of the paper sky-scrapers shuddered and slid slowly from its desk-top to the floor with a gut-wrenching ‘fallollop’…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rule of Gelid Eels…

*

‘You need hands

to hold a little baby…’

*

‘A face to express

how much you care…’

*

‘Space to cross

and reach out to others…’

*

Deep in the bowels of the Dream Factory,

there was a sound of grinding

like unfound gears,

then a metallic clunk, and eventually,

after a long, slow, wheezing descent… silence.

*

Big Bee crawled from his bunker,

rested a shock of blonde hair on the kerb-stone,

and opened his mouth to gulp in fresh air…

*

A slither of green mucus fell into the gutter.

 

‘The Cavalry’?…

*

‘I remember when I was with Special Forces…

Seems like a thousand centuries ago…

We went into a camp to innoculate the children.

We left the camp after we had innoculated the children for Polio, and this old
man came running after us, and he was crying, he couldn’t say…

We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every innoculated arm.

There they were in a pile… A pile of little arms.

And I remember…I …I …I cried… I wept like some grandmother.

I wanted to tear my teeth out.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

And I want to remember it.

I never want to forget it.

I never want to forget…’

Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now!

Chapel-en-le-River…

*

“There was one thing.”

“Oh yes?”

“Well, two things, really.”

“These days ‘really’ is not a precise term, but proceed anyway.”

“No, no of course not… it’s just that, it struck me that the stones were conceived as shadows.”

“Shadows of what?”

“The ancestral realm.”

*

*

“And the second thing?”

“We’re being haunted.”

“By what?”

“By a shape!”

*

*

“It’s a Cop.”

“Look again.”

“It’s still a Cop.”

“Or a very big Long Barrow.”

“But it’s a hill.”

“Look again.”

“It’s still a hill.”

“Or a very big Long Barrow.”

“They didn’t build Long Barrows that big.”

“Why not?”

“It’s absurd. It’s preposterous. They simply couldn’t have.”

“They built Silbury.”

“Silbury’s not a Burial Mound.”

“No, but the ‘Archaeos’ used to think that it was.”

“The ‘Archaeos’ are always getting it wrong.”

They think it’s a hill.”

“They thought all the ‘Motte and Bailys’ were mediaeval.”

“Precisley, it’s definitely a big Long Barrow.”

“It’s not definitely anything but what makes you so sure?”

“Numbers.”

“Numbers?”

“Most of the sites hold a lot of people and there are thousands of them. A lot of them would have taken huge numbers to construct and there are thousands of them and yet, the burials are relatively few. Even at the massive sites…”

“Where are all the bones?”

“I knew you’d come around to my way of thinking.”

“Especially on Ilkley.”

“We know Ilkley’s a Necropolis…

“…And yet, there are hardly any cairns.”

*

Curse of the Hay-Collar: Lame-Buck…

*

Now, that night at meat was an uncomfortable one for the Lord

of Dyved, for his companions found sport in ribbing him about

the day’s proceedings upon the Fair-Mound of Arbeth.

 

“So, was it blows and wounds or were wonders seen today?” asked Idig Arm-Strong.

“Why, I saw a great wonder,” said Tyrnonos. “A woman of uncommon looks rode past that

hill today, only to pull away from our chase without varying her pace.”

“And there’s some who’d say, they saw no looks at all either that way or this,” said

Caradawg-the-Hound.

 And all the company laughed.

 “And there’s others who’d say, that such a slight was no wonder at all but a blow,” said

Hevydd Broad-Back.

And the company laughed louder.

And so it went…

Until even Talyssinthe-Bard stood up and sang a ribald lay about a lame buck.  …

Excerpt from, Crucible of the Sun

***

Crucible of the SunCrucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold

By Stuart France

“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”

Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.

These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.

‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council

‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Former Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)

Available worldwide via Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle.

ISBN-10: 1494785137

ISBN-13: 978-1494785130

 

Curse of the Hay-Collar: Wonders and Wounds…

*

… So, the Lord of Dyved climbed the Fair-Mound of Arbeth,

and the seven chieftains of Dyved climbed with him…

 As they sat in counsel on the top of the Fair-Mound, they saw a woman, wearing gold

brocade, riding by, on a pale white horse.

Of comely bearing, and fair in face and form she was, and a fine, fitting, match for any young man.

She was approaching along the highway which ran past the hill.

“Men,” said Tyrnonos, Thunder-of-Water, “does anyone here recognise that woman?”

“No, indeed, Lord,” they all answered.

“Then let one of you go to find out who she is,” said Tyrnonos.

 

Caradawg went but by the time he had reached the highway, despite her

steady pace,  the horse-woman had already gone past without so much as

a look to the left or to the right of her. He followed on foot as best he could

but the greater his speed, the farther ahead she drew and when he saw

that his pursuit was in vain he returned to the Fair-Mound and said to

Tyrnonos, “Lord, it is pointless to follow the horse-woman on foot.”

Now, Tyrnonos, who was a prince among princes, was not used to such treatment from

woman kind.

“All right,”  he said, “but there is some meaning in this, let us return to the hall

and see if she rides past this way tomorrow.”

“A wonder indeed, we have seen today,” said Unig-the-Tall to Hevyd Broad-Back,

“a woman who will not stop for the lord and his company!” …

Excerpt from, Crucible of the Sun

***

Crucible of the SunCrucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold

By Stuart France

“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”

Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.

These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.

‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council

‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Former Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)

Available worldwide via Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle.

ISBN-10: 1494785137

ISBN-13: 978-1494785130

 

Curse of the Hay-Collar…

*

Tyrnonos, Lord of Dyved, ruled the seven townships in a dark land.

 

Tyrnonos was known as the Thunder-of-Water,

for his mother found him in a cavern, behind a water-fall,

and there was no braver man in all the realm.

 

Tyrnonos had a mare in his household and he regarded her as the best horse in all nine

worlds.  Every May Eve, she foaled, but no one ever knew anything more of the foal,

so that the Lord of Dyved said to his Master of the Horse, “We are fools to lose the foal of

this mare every year.”

                        “But, what can be done about it?” asked the Master of the Horse.

                        “Three days hence it will be May Eve,” said Tyrnonos, “and I intend to find out

what fate the foals have met with.”

 

 So, Tyrnonos went with the seven chieftains of Dyved to hold counsel upon the

Fair-Mound of Arbeth, and to see what could be seen.

 

The seven chieftains  of Dyved who were to sit in counsel  with Tyrnonos where these:

                        Caradawg-the-Hound, Hevyd Broad-Back, Unig-the-Tall, Idig Arm-Strong,

Hwlch Bone-Lip, Ynawg-the-Small and Gruddyeu Long-Head.

 

Said Talyssin-the-Bard to Tyrnonos before he set foot on the Fair-Mound, “Lord, the ancient

lays are clear as a scryed lake and on one point they all agree; it is the property of this hill

that whenever a man of royal blood sits upon it, one of two things occurs: either he

receives blows and wounds, or else, he sees a wonder.”

 

 “Well, I do not expect to receive blows and wounds in the company of such a host as this,”

said Tyrnonos, Thunder-of-Water, “but I should very much like to see a wonder.” …

Excerpt from, Crucible of the Sun

***

Crucible of the SunCrucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold

By Stuart France

“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”

Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.

These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.

‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council

‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Former Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)

Available worldwide via Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle.

ISBN-10: 1494785137

ISBN-13: 978-1494785130

Still Stone-Less At-Chat…

*

“No one in their right mind believes that stones can walk.”

“Despite the fact that the Folk-Record is unequivocable on this point.”

“It is also unequivocable about stones dancing, and drinking from streams.”

“I may be able to clarify the streams. They may be underground.”

“They may even be telluric currents, but you promised.”

“That, unfortunately, is deductive reasoning for you. It was the only bit of wall we had not checked.”

“We had so checked it… last time.”

“Only from a distance and that does not count.”

*

*

As it turned out there proved to be another bit of wall we had not checked.

Also distant and too far away to consider once the snow started.

I mean, really started.

There were compensations though, like the trees and the wildlife.

*

*

“Are you sure it isn’t the Throne-Stone?”

“Not near enough to the wall and the gate.”

“But the wall is a mnenomic. Your mind could easily have contracted the distance.”

“Not the right size, or colour.”

“Like that’s not easily accounted for.”

“Maybe you’re right and I’ve discovered a new species of stone, which can walk!”

“But that would be a New-Old species of stone.”

“So perhaps it just went for a stroll, again.”

“What, in the snow?”

“…We did.”

*