Around the Cauldron · Bardic Writings

The Story Teller

I thought I’d post something different tonight. I’m in the process of writing a novel. I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that it is mine, that if anyone tries to copy it they’re in for hell. But with all that said, I want to share a small portion of it. Enough that you can’t tell of the past, and can’t see all of it’s future. It’s enough to ensure that I don’t give the entire story away.

Any feedback on my writing style is much appreciated. I’ve got two drafts in circulation at the moment. I needed a muggle’s opinion on it, as the story has some rather strong Pagan elements to it. We get it, we can piece things together certainly. I may need to go into more detail with elements of it, so I’ve asked people to read the printed copies (i.e. ones I can control circulation of) for their opinions.

So here is a small section of chapter seven.

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Looking in the long mirror, she saw herself for the first time. Her slender features, her acorn eyes.

I look like Elduan.

She had never seen it before, or perhaps she didn’t want to look. So much had changed since reading that one passage. She had never questioned being Jon’s daughter, or when people only commented on her being similar in features as her mother. She had a quick temper like Jon, so that had always been enough.

But she could no longer hide from her reflection, she couldn’t unknow it now. With the morning sun shining through her bedroom window, her hair lit up like a maple tree in autumn, a brilliant palate of reds, oranges and yellows, seemingly on fire, dancing in the sunlight. I never…it can’t be, she thought to herself, as images from her dreams rushed into thought, pushing their way through the blocks she tried to erect in her mind. A feeble attempt to stop what she knew deep down. Images of [Them], at marvellous balls, in darkness, in low light, fighting on the green. Dancing at the spring festival around the erected pole with coloured ribbons twirling around it. Their hair danced like fire. “Their hair of seasons danced like fire,” she whispered.

And him, the High General with his shining golden chest plate and helmet like a leaf. His defined chin, the shape of his nose, the arch of his brow; she caught herself checking those points on herself in the mirror, and shook her head.

No, she thought. Jon is my father. He raised me, he loves my mother, he, her thoughts trailed off as her eyes widened. There weren’t any photos of the three of them before she was two years old. She was told they had burnt in a house fire, but it all seemed coincidental. She never questioned it, never needed to question it.

Standing in front of the full length mirror, dressed in green jeans, a brown long sleeve floral button up shirt, and caramel wool coat, she no longer saw her own reflection. She knew too much, understood too much, and it was Elduan that stared back at her. She grabbed her bag, her keys and her phone, and headed out to her car, slamming the door behind her.

Once she had driven a few blocks down the street, she pulled over, and cried. It was all happening so fast, and however hard she tried, she could not keep up with all this new information. In too short a time, her reality had been flipped on its head and shaken. She was still dizzy.

She found herself at the river, parking in the only free car park available. It was full, but the area was empty. Even in winter, this area was frequented by early morning walkers and their dogs, by runners, and the occasional rowers when they couldn’t find parking closer to the club. Wrapping her scarf around her neck, she headed to the track, and walked along the river side until she came to her place.

She had been coming to this particular spot along the river since she first gained her licence. An old willow tree sat on the banks, its roots raised and trailing into the water. Its branches hung down creating a canopy, a secret closed-in world where she could be alone, free from the runners, the walkers, the dogs and the rowers.

Through her dreams, she had learnt lessons regarding the earth. She didn’t remember much when she woke, of conversations and spoken word, but some things resonated within her, as if her subconscious was holding onto these bits and pieces with all its might. They appreciated the Earth, saw it as their Mother, and worked and lived in harmony with Her. They celebrated Her changing seasons, and mourned Her losses when drought or floods came, but they knew that it was all part of the balance. And so, Cate followed suit, as it made sense to her.

Entering through its low hanging branches, she greeted the tree as she always had. She played with its leaves, hugged its trunk before nestling down in between her roots, leaning up against it, facing out towards the river. I’ve missed you, she whispered to the tree. Closing her eyes, she practiced what she had been taught over and over within the dreams – she allowed herself to sink, and become immersed within the Willow. In the waking world, she did not move; but within her mind, she and the Willow were one – sharing thought, energy, love and a friendship that would last throughout the ages.

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5 thoughts on “The Story Teller

  1. Beautiful!! Couple of small grammar things, first para – “similar in features TO her mother” not “as” , and first line of the second para, either break it into two sentences or maybe use a semi-colon where you have the comma.

    It’s wonderfully readable. Inevitably there will still be rewriting, but you are so thoroughly on target, m’dear.!! Go, go, go!!

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