The air felt chill as i bid my friend Thurston farewell upon the steps of his not so humble new abode, stepped out cautiously into the courtyard
across frosted cobbled stones that glistened as the stars above them in the clear Mid-November night skies, made my way back unerringly towards my car
and departed through the solemn gates of magnificent Thurland castle.
He had recently taken up a luxury apartment within it's walls and had enquired of me with regards to providing suitable artistic endeavours for the
voluminous wall space.
A friend from College he had prospered through the selling of art, having his own gallery in the nearby city of Lancaster, whilst i had laboured in
the production of the same for lesser gain, but still i was more than happy to take up his commision as we had discussed a basis in the rolling
countryside of the North Lancashire moors rendered in quasi-abstract expressionist manner of fleeting shades and hue, something i could do.
The reason he had decided upon me for this commission, quite apart from our friendship and admiring my work, was that also within Thurland Manor was
the tiny hamlet of Cantsfield, as he humorously put it he simply couldn't help but think of me when i was on his doorstep, as it were, whereupon i
had informed him that place in reality was the anglicized rendition of the first holding of my Flemish ancestors, who over various times had gone on
to acquire and lose large tracts of these Northern realms, including the pile within which he currently resided, as fortune and fate would have it.
This had surprised and delighted him and he could only remark that i was still that same intriguing muse he had ever known, whereupon i had smiled
and thanked him for affording me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the ancestral heartland as i would find time to venture out upon and take
in the often wild winds of the moorlands for inspiration towards the paintings i would produce.
So i was in good spirits as i followed the long and winding road up into the moorlands, alongside which ran the river Lune, and smiled to myself how
during our conversation regarding the history of these parts i had recalled but failed to mention that in the earliest records half the population
seemed to be named Thor or have that as part of their name, but by tradition always the last to know and i would keep that so.
Turning on the radio for company,i contemplated this was going to be quite a lengthy and difficult journey home along these remote unlit roads, the
air was chill and the surfaces potentially treacherous, a light mist had began to develop as i reached the higher ground of Casterton Moor.
So i was proceeding with caution when after some time the radio began to break up and crackle, i twiddled and i fiddled but presently could receive
nothing except background interference, so i turned it off as i needed to concentrate on the road, especially as blindingly bright headlights seemed
to be approaching me.
I slowed almost to a standstill and pulled over into the side as the road was almost too narrow to allow two vehicles to pass at speed. Iwaited for
the vehicle to approach and pass, but this did not happen, i motored slowly along bedazzled for what seemed an eternity and then suddenly the engine
cut out, perhaps stalled i thought, but also in the same instance the light ahead had curiously dissapeared, perplexed i tried to restart the engine,
but nothing no ignition, and i'm thinking what a great place to break down right in the middle of nowhere, after several more attempts i give up.
Reaching for my phone i decide time to call the Auto repair and rescue squad, when out of the corner of my eye i notice a small but bright blue
glowing light dash across the periphery of my vision, i look around to see where it went but nothing, only the now all enveloping darkness, back to
the phone and nothing there either, surely not a dead battery, all my senses begin to tingle as i realize the gravitas and damn weirdness of the
situation, when of a sudden a blue glowing orb reappears, this time right by the side window!
I recoil in surprise half scrambling across onto the passenger seat whilst staring directly at the glowing phenomena, which, and at this point i
thought i was going mad from fright, appears to contain within it what i can only describe as a tiny winged Faerie, things deteriorate further when i
am hearing a barely audible yet distinct high pitched voice saying;
"Madame please wind down your window!"
And tip tapping on it also...
"Madame please wind down your window!"
So what is this, i've been pulled over by some sort of Pixie Patrol i'm thinking, now i know one should never talk to Faeries but i simply had to
hear this, and so i obliged and wound down the window, feeling the cold but strangely charged air hit my face.
"Go on what?"...i summoned up the bravura to enquire.
"Madame please step out of the vehicle!"
"You are joking right, hello, you're a Faerie!"
And the same began to flap it's tiny wings and wave around it's little arms most frantically insisting in a louder and higher pitched voice;
"Madame please step out of the vehicle!"
There was a now generally long forgotten tradition that it is best not to allow a Faerie to say or do anything three times, but not forgotten by
myself, and so with a sigh i decided to go along with these shenanigans and as i moved to exit the car the Faerie glided back a little distance to
make room, firmly shutting the door behind myself i enquired;
"And so what now, pray tell?"
A momentarily blinding flash of light, an involuntary skreek on my part and hands covering eyes barely brave enough to peer through them, and there
stood before me the strangely glowing form of;
"Allow me to properly introduce myself, Robin Goodfellow, he of titular acclaim too tedious to mention, at your service."
An extravagant bow...
"Yes that's one of them now you mention it..."
I laughed, fear and tension evaporated into the nocturnal mists as i beheld the sight of the Hobgoblin stood before me, dressed in the gaudily
coloured apparel of a buffoon, curiosity was beginning to get the better of me.
"And so again pray tell, what is your business with me, you can perhaps fix cars?"
"Only when they're broken and your's isn't so you're asking the impossible of me there, but the journey i would now ask you to undertake requires
only the use of those legs of yours and assuming they don't need fixing could we begin...?"
"A journey to where?"
"A journey to you'll see when you get there"
A very large grin appearing on the face of the Hobgoblin.
"Go ahead then, lead on, lets get this over with..."
"And lead on i shall, so follow and attend, see you our little mill that clacks, so busy by the brook? She has ground her corn and paid her tax ever
since Domesday Book."
"What are you going on about?"
Said stumbling along behind through the clumps of moorland grasses.
"A song of Puck to entertain along the way, see you our pastures wide and lone, where the red oxen browse? Oh there was a City thronged and known,
ere London boasted a house."
"Slow down, it's pitch black here and boggy as Hell!"
An impatient gesture of his arm with ne'er a glance back and a throng of brightly glowing Faeries appear above my head lighting the way.
"And see you, after rain, the trace of mound and ditch and wall? Oh that was a Legion's camping-place, when Caesar sailed from Gaul."
The ground becomes increasingly rocky, and we are beginning to descend, ahead i hear the sound of running water.
"And see you marks that show and fade, like shadows on the Downs? Oh they are the lines the Flint Men made, to guard their wondrous towns."
"You know this had better be good wherever you're blooming taking us"
Scrambling down over rocks we arrive at a rapidly flowing stream, he turns towards me gesturing the way across over boulders scattered amidst the
"Track way and camp and City lost, salt marsh where now is corn, old wars, old peace, old arts that cease, and so was England born."
"And you know i hate to ask, but are we there yet?"
We have arrived at what appears to be a sheer and high cliff that extends upwards into the night sky for some immeasurable distance, i dimly perceive
a cavernous entrance at hand.
"She is not any common Earth, water or wood or air, but Merlin's Isle of Gramarye, where you and I will fare...yes we're there"
"And where or what exactly is there?"
"This ground upon which we stand is the Holiest in the whole of Britain, it has pot holes and shallow holes and shake holes and bolt holes, it has
caves of both witches and the Kirk, caves of our Lady and caves wherein the coal miners work, so let us enter into one of them..."
He disappears inside and i follow, inside the not exactly spectacular gloomy interior i find Puck leaning against a rock face at the far end, with
again a most satisfied grin upon his face.
"Step that way if you please Madame"
"I see no way?"
He has pointed to a bare expanse of rock, with a sigh he gestures again and sprinkles star dust into the still air, or at least dust that sparkles as
the stars, and i see that there is indeed an entrance which i move hesitatingly toward, a slap on the behind and i am propelled forward into a narrow
corridor, turning quickly in outrage and shock to see the entrance closed behind me and hear only a distant voice;
"if we shadows have offended think but this and all is mended..."
I survey then the descending passage way that lies before me as my only route, it is dimply lit by a glimmer that seems to emanate out of the very
crystalline rock itself, yet there is stronger light that is beginning to approach upward toward, as it becomes closer and more clear i see a handsome
youth clad in a pure white toga, his hair shines as if of gold and his skin is as of marble, he carries a flaming torch and approaches ever near;
"And who might you be?"
"I am Orpheus my Lady and here to guide you further if it pleases"
"I cannot say it exactly pleases, but well here we are and i see no other option, so once again i find myself saying lead on..."
A courteous bow and we begin our descent down the gentle gradient, the surface of which is as smooth and flawless as the wall and ceiling are also, i
become curious of my guide;
"Tell me Orpheus aren't you a little far from home, you know as in Greece?"
"Not at all, the Underworld is now my home and that extends everywhere beneath the Earth, besides which never was the Bardic tradition held in such
esteem as in your Land."
He had a point there, if there's one thing we've always been good at it's making it up as we go along, and if short of inspiration our endless
conflicts, tales of dare and do, have provided an endless supply of heroes and villains, i stepped up and took Orpheus by the hand as we walked;
"Could you recite to me some verse if you would to ease this dreary journey?"
"I'd be delighted to, what would you like to hear?"
"Oh anything, your choice as guide"
Smiling he thought on the matter a moment and then began to recite, and as we descended together his voice murmured soothingly with gentle echo along
the corridor, which now had began side passage and junctions, though we never turned once.
"Attend Musæus to my sacred song, and learn what rites to sacrifice belong. Nyx, parent goddess, source of sweet repose, from whom at first both
Gods and men arose, dreams and soft case attend thy dusky train, pleas'd with the lengthened gloom and fearful strain.
Dissolving anxious care, the friend of Mirth, with darkling coursers riding round the earth, Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play, whose drowsy
power divides the natural day"
I sensed with some sadness we were approaching the end of our journey, the passageway had grown wider, more formal and elaborate carvings of a pattern
resembling Celtic design began to cover it's surface, deeply and precisely carved.
"I take you no further."
"Then with some regret on my part it seems we must separate and i venture on."
"Indeed so my Lady and fare well."
I released his hand and gave a quick peck on the cheek which caused him to blush most endearingly after which he hurriedly turned and ventured back
the way we had arrived, as he disappeared into the gloom i turned to face the large chamber i stood at the entrance of, above which was the
inscription DEO IALANO CONTRE SANCTISSIMO, the most sacred and inimical god Ialanus.
I entered within to what appeared as a grove lit by a mysterious and sublime golden hue, encircled by trees broad in girth that extended upwards into
a seemingly interminable blue mist and outwards likewise the same, in the centre a pool ominous deep and dark, yet with silver ripples that played
upon it's surface, around the edges hung soft verdant ferns with drops of dew that hung like pearls upon the fronds, a solitary figure that gazed deep
into the waters...i approached and spoke.
"This i take it would be the Heart of the Dreaming?"
"Yes, welcome, and please be seated you have ventured far."
A deep yet distant voice tinged with sadness, a rugged and handsome bearded appearance, long and flowing dark locks hung about his face , the dress of
an ancient shepherd, he scarcely looked up enough to indicate with his glance a stone bench beside the pool across from himself, which i went and
seated myself upon.
"It was yourself that had me brought to this place?"
"Indeed, i am Ialanus Contrebis, he that dwells amongst you, Lord of the sacred grove, the first clearing, the valley of the River Lune, as the
Goddess Luna watches on alone ever above then so i observe and regulate from within, and i have done so since the time of first settlement."
"Well nice to meet you, but i just have to ask and please forgive me for doing so, but is any of this real...?"
"An inner reality and illumination, i generate streams of consciousness regulate tides of thought"
He looked directly at me as he said this, with dark eyes of infinite depth and soul such that i lost myself within them, were all separation in time
and space between us seemed to vanish, hesitatingly enquired further;
"How did you first come to this place, and why?"
"This is where i was created to serve according to the purposes of the Guardians"
"And what are those and who are they?"
"That you would need to ask them yourself."
"And how should i do that?"
"You would first need to prove yourself worthy, to do so you see that mighty hammer over there, you must take it up and with it fell all of these
twelve trees of this sacred grove."
I looked over to were he had indicated, and indeed i now saw such, i wandered over to it and it was very much certainly a mighty hammer, made of iron
with inlaid golden runes, the head of it reached almost to my knees and the haft almost to my full height, placing both hands around this i struggled
to lift it even the slightest off the ground, after several attempts at trying lifting or simply dragging it across the ground i gave up and let go.
Turning back to Ialanus in exasperation not to mention desperation i saw that he smiled for the first time.
"Well never mind my dear, you know it's the thought that counts, and you tried..."
And you know what, by Thor he was right, taking up the hammer once again with a single hand i raised and swung it about my head and with a fury that
any Nordic berserker would have been proud sent tree after tree crashing to the ground in a mighty fall amidst a whirling haze of splinters and leaves
that enveloped me in an ever increasing darkness, until finally there was nothing left to hit and the hammer fell apart in my hand leaving me holding
barely a handful of dust.
Surveying the scene i found myself completely alone inside a dark cavern lit only by a single glowing and pulsating red light set centrally within the
floor, this seemed electrical of sorts, and looking more closely i saw inlaid conduits within the ground that ran to the surfaces of the cavern,
examining these i found set within them smooth and highly polished granite like stone that seemed to sparkle with life, as i ran my hand over these i
began to understand everything as if by the release of memory that had ever been self suppressed.
So i tarried a while, contemplated the wonderment of it all, a deep underground electro-magnetic information relay system that had established a two
way process with humanity gathering information directly form the minds of individuals whilst at the same time guiding and other times chiding them
with dreams and inspiration, a creation of the Guardians of the Divine Covenant that had constructed a global network to watch over their charges,
that had remained in some sense ever present, i smiled, i also knew there to be an 'OFF' switch, but not this day.
Turning to the short upward flight of steps that i now recalled had been there all along i made my ascent into once more clear night air beneath the
Upon realizing that i found myself at the site of an ancient mound that stood at the margins of the village of Cantsfield, were by repute lay the
bones of many mighty Nordic warriors that had fought in a great battle there, i made my way back to Thurland castle and buzzed at the apartment of my
friend, and looking all so forlorn i explained that my car had broken down on the moors and i had spent the several past few hours walking back, which
was true enough i suppose.
Graciously he had insisted i pass the night there as i must be exhausted and in the morning he would return me to my car and undertake any necessary
repairs, and so with a few drinks inside me and sat before the embers of a slowly dying fire within the impressive granite fireplace of his luxurious
and capacious apartment i contemplated the events of the previous hours, and perhaps it was all just as i had described to my friend, and that i had
simply amused myself with a fantastical tale to while away the onerous trek...i no longer cared either way.
edit on Kam1130310vAmerica/ChicagoFriday0730 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)
So delighted to have stumbled upon this whilst having my morning coffee. And a Puck. No! I mean biscuit. I don't talk like that......... I must
still be partially dwelling within your lovely story.
Enjoyed so much.......... I think my coffee even tastes better this morning because of it. Entertaining, interesting and fun. All the mental images
it conjured up.......... I feel like I've been there.
edit on 11/13/2014 by ladyinwaiting because: (no reason given)
Yes all of that and the rest but only in terms of shattering personal illusions, to hit the off switch and end the dreams of all would be to initiate
Ragnorak, as the invocation of Thor related to his slaying of the serpentine warder of the Earth;
In the poem Völuspá, a dead völva recounts the history of the universe and foretells the future to the disguised god Odin, including the death
of Thor. Thor, she foretells, will do battle with the great serpent during the immense mythical war waged at Ragnarök, and there he will slay the
monstrous snake, yet after he will only be able to take nine steps before succumbing to the venom of the beast:
Against the serpent goes Othin's son.
In anger smites the warder of earth,—
Forth from their homes must all men flee;—
Nine paces fares the son of Fjorgyn,
And, slain by the serpent, fearless he sinks
So hitting the 'off' button would end the world as we know it, and behaving responsibly i chose not to kill the cunning power of the underground
serpentine network, or at least that's how i conjectured things in the story, which isn't necessarily true, and no worlds were destroyed or lizard
men harmed in the telling of it!
Some hobgolbins are also trolls that eat children and grow egos as massive as the sky gods they pretend to be in boweling over other people's lanes...
devouring (a)head for a herd of creation, fixing cars is under a cover known as all's.
Thanks for the story... nature of the beast is quite a caricature in lifes masquerade.
edit on 10-7-2016 by BigBrotherDarkness because: (no
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