Billy Part 26 - Silver

Present Day

The light of the full moon formed an eerie silver shadow across the desolate landscape. The five roughly hewn stones, known locally as witch stones, appeared almost to stand as guardians upon the hillside. The barguest lay peacefully beside the farthest one watching Elizabeth and Grispheran patiently.

Elizabeth gazed almost spellbound as she surveyed the wild landscape, every inch of it called out to her. She was overcome by an intense desire to run across it and continue running as far and as long as she possibly could.

And what was now
Floats by forgotten

“Washed away softly, by the call of the soul.”

“What? What did you say?” Grispheran’s spoken words had broken into Elizabeth’s thoughts and carried her back down to earth.

“I quoted from a poem, the name of the poet escapes me for the moment,” Grispheran materialised behind her and placed a hand on each of her shoulders.

On a night like this
When the moon fires silver
Every rush of breath
Coats the mind with frost
And what was now
Floats by forgotten
Washed away softly
By the call of the soul

As cloaks of iced whispers
Rush through the darkness
Every rustle of leaf
Traces desire upon stone
And what was now
Forfeits forever
Burned to a cinder
By the call of the soul

“Thought I’d find you here,” said a voice behind them. “Worked it out fer yer’sels, then?”

Elizabeth spun round. “Hughie! Worked what out? We’ve only just got here!”

“I think yer’ll find you’ve been ‘ere quite a while,“ Hughie said, glancing pointedly at Grispheran. Grispheran shot back a look of thunder in return.

Hughie cleared his throat. “That Ed Lord fellow dug up one of those holey stones. Somehow it made its way to that Howell fella and his crony Davie Blade.”

“Holey stone?” repeated Elizabeth, perplexed.

Grispheran walked over to the largest of the witch stones and directed his conversation for Elizabeth’s benefit. “Each of these stones has a hole ceremoniously carved into it for a purpose. This large one,” he pointed to the stone where he was standing, “was used to cure. The Living would pass a sick child through it three times, an adult would crawl backwards through it nine times.”

“Did it work?” Elizabeth asked sceptically.

“It worked alrite!” answered Hughie enthusiastically. “People forget the old ways, but the magic’s still there if yer believe in it.”

Grispheran gave the pair of them a look of exasperation before continuing. “In any case, these are not the holey stones. A holey stone is the part of the standing stone which has been removed. It is powerful and can do much harm in the wrong hands.”

Grispheran leaned against the large stone he was standing beside. “The holey stone from this one can cause sickness and pestilence.”

“And the others?” Elizabeth asked anxiously. “What are they capable of and how do we know which one has been taken?” Elizabeth’s worried gaze darted between Grispheran and Hughie.

“Luckily, I’ve seen it! It’s about this big,” replied Hughie, forming a fist. “Don’t know what it can do, mind you. Suspect they’ve managed to turn back time somehow? Up until a few hours ago they’d no idea what they’d done or what the heck they were dealing with!”

“They do now,” Grispheran announced calmly.

There was only one stone it could be. The three of them looked over to where the barguest was now standing.

“What was that one used for?” Elizabeth asked Grispheran with trepidation.

Hughie lowered his eyes and kept them fixed on the ground. Sweeping his foot side to side, he flattened the short coarse grass. “They says if one of the Living looks through that ‘un during a full moon they can see t’otherworld, fairies, ghosts and t’future.”

“And so the holey stone does what?” Elizabeth asked Grispheran with an added sense of urgency.

“Unravels time and permits the keeper to dictate how events proceed.”

Something in Grispheran’s manner alarmed Elizabeth greatly. “Why don’t you just go and demand it back?” she asked outright. “I’m sure they wouldn’t be able to resist your powers of persuasion!”

Grispheran and Hughie both laughed.

“Shouldn’t imagine it’s as easy as that, lass.” Hughie said with only half a smile. “Yon man’ll be able to tell us more though,” he nodded in Grispheran’s direction.

“The battle cannot be fought here,” said Grispheran gravely. He had moved away from them and was looking across the hilltop towards the town. “We will have to accompany the barguest back through the stone opposite the one they have taken and we shall have to go tonight while the moon is full.”

“We?” said Elizabeth and Hughie simultaneously.

“You don’t think you’re going anywhere without us do you, Lizzie?” asked Gemma, descending onto the hilltop alongside Paul and Tashriel.

Elizabeth, initially startled, now rolled her eyes -- as if they didn’t have enough problems!

End of Volume Two

Volume Three ~Sidhe~

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  • At 21 March 2010 at 21:38, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Well, that's all for now Folks! Hope you enjoyed the story :)

  • At 30 March 2010 at 14:21, Anonymous Melissa said…

    Gah! Now Gemma? :D I love that poem! you spin such a tale and give your readers wonderful details in a way that is so smooth. I ate this scene up and want to go where they were standing. This is one of my favorites now!

  • At 3 April 2010 at 12:05, Blogger Miladysa said…

    The hill cairn exists on the real Hades Hill - you can see a view of the real one from the google map in the sidebar and the fictional one in the artwork (also in the sidebar)

    The stones are not there although, there are megalithic stones scattered about on the moors around here. I just carried them off in my imagination and placed them here :)

  • At 2 June 2010 at 15:18, Anonymous @howiehippobum said…

    You obviously know your stones, and the myths attached to them!
    Have you seen the holey stone in Cornwall known as the Men-an-Tol?
    Who did write the poem, by the way?

  • At 2 June 2010 at 17:21, Blogger Miladysa said…

    I have only seen photographs of the Men-an-Tol in Cornwall Howie but I would LOVE to see then for real - one day :)

    I have to confess to writing the poem - is it pants? LOL

    & Thank YOU for reading x

  • At 2 June 2010 at 22:10, Anonymous @howiehippobum said…

    Your poem is very definately NOT pants! it's very good, and fits in with the context of the story very well. In fact I wish some of my own poems were that good!

  • At 2 June 2010 at 23:11, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Thanks Howie :)

    Do you publish your poems online? I would love to read some.

  • At 3 June 2010 at 10:01, Anonymous @howiehippobum said…

    I did have a poetry blog on Blogspot (which is how I discovered you), but as no one seemed to be interested, I got discouraged and closed the blog down. Right now I'm going through one of those periods where I think everything I've ever written is rubbish. I believe a lot of writers & artists go through such periods - bet you do yourself! But when I've snapped out of it, I may post some of my efforts on Facebook

  • At 3 June 2010 at 11:42, Blogger Miladysa said…

    "bet you do yourself!"

    ALL the time, Howie :( Fingers crossed with both rediscover our Muse (as well as confidence) again, soon. Your comments have certainly helped buck me up :)


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Whituth's living can't see the dead but psychic Elizabeth Whyte can see everyone: living humans, delayed souls, fallen angels, vampires and fae. She helps maintain the fragile peace between light and darkness in her work with RoYds, an unworldly refuge. But that peace has suddenly become fragile. Whituth's carefully maintained balance is tipping toward darkness. Now Elizabeth and her angelic allies must discover who or what is threatening both town and refuge before balance is lost forever


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