Some days the words come to our manuscripts so quickly that we can hardly type them out. Other days it feels like we can do everything but write.
I’ve been having a dry spell for a bit. Even though I had a few ideas for books after talking to a few other authors.
One other author and I were discussing what genre sold today. He told me cozy mysteries sold so he wanted to write a cozy mystery with clowns which made me laugh and feel better, even though clowns scare me.
I came up with a cozy mystery involving a Wiccan that drew a comic cat series which he found amusing. I want to call it ‘One Fat Witch’. Who knows maybe I’ll work on that a bit and post it here. Please kick me in the backside and remind me to write.
In the meantime, here’s a bit of Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War (book 2 in the series)
Marcus felt the cool, early morning breeze blow through the night sky, as the horizon began to brighten to the east. The calls of birds echoed through the whispering trees as he, the rest of the warriors, and the others who accompanied them walked back towards the dun.
A few minutes before, Marcus had dismissed the Deargh Du soldiers, instructing them to dig holes in the ground to serve as their shelter from the sun. Now, their grumbled complaints rivaled the sounds of the waking day.
He followed Claudius, Mac Alpin, and the druids on the path leading towards the dun. Marcus then noticed Maél Muire stray from the group, walking at a slower pace, with her head down as if lost in thought. Just as the others disappeared into the shadows that still remained, Marcus edged back towards her, matched her pace, and gazed into her now upturned eyes. It seemed her eyes reflected a growing astonishment. Perhaps the large gathering of Deargh Du and druids had been too much for her to take.
He broke eye contact with Maél Muire and then stared ahead of them, thinking about how to prepare for the next evening’s work, when she interrupted his thoughts.
“I have never seen this side of you,” she said in a soft whisper. “Marcus, how could you be so brutal? Your actions were vicious, even for a Gael, and I have seen many bloodthirsty Gaels.”
“As a general under the command of Julius Caesar, I had not the patience or tolerance for insubordination, or the outright defiance that these Deargh Du display, and–”
“You were a general?” He could barely hear her queried interruption.
He stopped walking and noticed that she had stopped next to him. “I have never lost a battle using these tactics, Maél Muire. My men were part of a unit, and we fought for the cause of Rome. We were all unified in our struggle.” He paused for a moment. “I am just doing what I feel needs to be done to save Éire. I do not wish to offend you, but the methods I use yield winning results.” Marcus chuckled softly. “Besides, their limbs will grow back.”
As he started walking again, she paced in step with him, her shorter legs having to take two steps to make one of his.
“How are Berti, Sitara, and Edward?” he asked.
“They are all doing well,” Maél Muire answered, though her tone seemed dismissive, as if she desired to speak on a more pressing topic. “We are going to see my aunt and uncle tomorrow so they can check on Sitara’s progress. My knowledge in such things is limited.”
A pregnant pause grew between them, but soon she asked, “So, how did you become Deargh Du? Why did Morrigan choose a Roman general? Before you, She only blessed the people of Éire with Her gifts.”
Marcus sighed while trying to think of an appropriate half-truth. “Maél Muire, I do not know why the Goddess allowed it,” he began to explain. “They left me to my own devices, abandoning me to the mortal world.”
“So, did the Deargh Du encounter you within Rome, or were you in Éire? When did your transformation take place?”
“I was in Éire,” he answered, hoping she would end the interrogation soon.
“When?” she asked. “Where in Éire?” Maél Muire’s questions grew more demanding.
“Near Loch Garman,” Marcus answered, “nearly six hundred years ago.”
He heard Maél Muire stop in her tracks. He then turned around to regard her and saw pain etched across her face.
She drew her sword from its sheath and stared at him while moving into a defensive posture. “You were the Roman general who led the invasion there? You ordered the slaughter of the villagers and the druids in that grove?” Tears welled up in her green eyes.
Marcus said nothing, and yet he knew is posture exuded the guilt he felt.
“And you participated? There are still stories told of your cruelty.” He heard her voice grow wrought with emotion. “They spoke of a Roman soldier in red and gold whose swords raged like lightning strikes, a man possessed by the elements and driven with bloodlust.”
Marcus opened his mouth to speak, but she continued. “They invented words in our ancient tongue to describe you.” She finally grew silent, awaiting his answer. Her eyes now swam with angry and fearful tears as her palpable emotions intensified.
“Yes, that was me,” he confirmed, “when I was mortal. I had my reasons for being that way, Maél Muire.”
She uttered a soft cry. “I will not hear another word from you. I–”
“Please hear my story before you judge me,” Marcus pleaded. “Caesar made a deal with Mandubratius. We pledged our assistance in helping him regain his lands in Britannia. We invaded Britannia, yet there was a stalemate, and Mandubratius led one of our ships to what we all believed to be the western coast of Britannia. Instead, we found ourselves in Éire, and while ten of us went scouting for Mandubratius’ comrades, the local chieftains and their warriors killed my men. The soldiers were scattered over the beach, their bodies desecrated.”
Marcus stopped speaking to let her brain digest the information. He then continued, “The Britons were nowhere to be found. The one survivor of my men told me, before he died from his wounds, that Mandubratius’ friends had spurned us and joined with the Gaels. We then turned our fury on Mandubratius.” He decided to leave out the details of the punishment. “Then, we went to find the killers, burning the forest as we marched, killing whatever dared cross our paths. It was about justice, Maél Muire, justice for my dead men. Don’t you desire justice?”
“But you still have not told me how you became Deargh Du!” Maél Muire raged. “The bards say Morrigan Herself came down to slay the invaders! Why did She choose you? How could a murderer such as you be accepted by Her? I cannot believe this!” Maél Muire then pointed her sword at him. “If you did not have the blessing of the Council, I would insist you leave immediately. However, because you do, I will only insist that you not present yourself in my dun. Bearach will bring your things to your dark hole,” she hissed.
Marcus watched Maél Muire storm off with her jaw and fists clenched in utter fury.
Again…please remind me to write. 😉
Have a wonderful August!