Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Nature of Magic Blogfest

Tessa Conte and L.B. Diamond are hosting The Nature of Magic Blogfest. You can click on over for the rules and to get your entry in before Sunday evening (the 27th). Check out the other posts while you are there.

I've decided to post an excerpt from my as yet untitled novel, hoping it will propel me back to writing.

This is taken from the prologue:

"A chill air brushed William’s cheek, followed by the touch of something gauzy and light. He opened his eyes to a flash of lightning through a curtain that fluttered against his face. It appeared he was in a one room hut. Why did this place feel familiar?

By a lowing fire a woman sat, a great furry beast at her feet, a cat curled in her lap. The dog appeared asleep, but the calico’s green eyes were trained upon him.

Without moving, William examined the room. There was a door and a window on the other side. Should need arise he could escape. Why was he here? Why was he not dead? And who was this mysterious woman?

William rose and slung his legs over the edge of the bed, pulling the soft pelt with him. His head swam and the room swayed. The dog jumped to attention between him and the woman, who sat upright and studied him. The fire danced in crystal clear eyes the color of the finest emeralds. He knew those eyes.

“Where am I? How did I come to be here?” William demanded. “What magic has kept me alive? I had an arrow in my shoulder and a spear piercing my heart. Where are the wounds I should bear?” He held the fur to him and swung his right arm as if brandishing a sword. “My shoulder bears no mark, my back no gash. What magic is this that my heart yet beats?”

“Druid magic, my lord. I am Awen.”

William recoiled. “A witch! I have been magicked by a witch?”

She lifted a taper and leaned closer, holding the candle between them. Crimson hair tumbled over squared shoulders and cascaded to a compact waist. Candlelight flickered in long-lashed eyes. Heat gathered in him as he looked upon her mesmerized, unable to tear his eyes from her face.

“A witch I am not,” she laughed. “I am a daughter of the earth, as you are its son. My powers come from her and are used only for good. You know this. You, too, have the gift. Search your heart.”

William tried to stand, but his legs betrayed him. He settled back on the bed. Doing as she bid, he felt no malice or evil from her. Nor lie, either. Still he was wary. The church despised pagans and had fought decades to eradicate them. How had she survived?

“I fled my home in England when they burned us out,” she said, answering his thoughts. “I saw my mother and father murdered by men on horses from my hiding place in the forest. When the soldiers left, I ran to the house. But it was too late. They were dead.

“I wandered for a while, living off the land as is the way of my people. Eventually, other druids happened upon me. They were leaving England and brought me along. One couple was childless and adopted me, raising me in the way of the druid. We were safe here, hidden from the world. Strong magic hides this glade. It was our ancestors before us and cannot be seen by those who do not know it.

“I foresaw your uncle’s treachery,” she continued. “He betrayed you and sent you riding to certain death. I could not let that happen.”

“My uncle? It’s no secret that his loyalties lay elsewhere. But why would a Druid care about my fate?”

“This morning I dreamed of you and of the ambush. You were killed by the spear that pierced your heart. You bled out as one of your own men watched. He betrayed you, William. He relished striking the killing blow.”

She stared at a spot just over his head, going on. “Then Normandy rebelled and neighbor slew neighbor. The madness spread through England, France and Europe. Then on to the Orient and the rest of the world. Civilization fell. Anarchy reigned.

“Humans laid waste to Mother Earth until she could no longer recover. So she fought back. Great cracks appeared in the land, fiery pits that opened up and spewed lava until the seas boiled and the air was filled with fumes too harsh to breath. Earth died. And she took mankind with her.”

William waited for Awen to continue. Her story sounded much like the Armageddon the priests read about from the bible. “And what has this to do with me?”

Awen blinked, as if waking from a trance. “Your death, William. Your death triggered the wars. If you die now, Earth and all that she mothers will die. I cannot let that happen.

“When I woke from the dream I was guided to you. I did not arrive in time to stop the attack, nor could I have. But with the help of a brave meara I rescued you and brought you here. The waters did the rest.”

“The waters? The healing waters of Luftshorne?” he asked.

Awen nodded.

“That’s a legend,” he scoffed, but wondered. Something had healed his mortal wounds. Something very powerful.

“Aye,” she agreed. “A legend based in fact. When you’re strong enough you will see them. But tonight, you must rest.”

Something in Awen’s velvet tones made his body feel heavy and he could scarce keep his eyes from closing. In the midst of a yawn, he found his body moving of its own accord and then he was lying on the feather mattress swaddled in fur.

On the precipice of slumber a thought struck him, making him quake. He was in a Druid’s lair and under the spell of the Druidess. He must escape."

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this little snippet. Please leave a comment before you go, then click on over to read the rest of the entries. Thank you, Tessa and L.B.


stu said...

A very different take on a particularly tumultuous phase of history.

Michelle Gregory said...

i loved it. you have a gift with words and setting. i want to read more. :)

Jules said...

Mercy... no wonder you have been scarce. I see your world has been transposed to ink on paper. Wonderful read, Rebel!

Glad to see you back :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Laura Howard said...

Hooray... I have a soft spot for pagan stories, very intriguing!

Scheherazade said...

Nice setting. The story pulls you in. Since I'm reading the Mists of Avalon right now, I find myself gravitating to these kinds of stories.

Michael Di Gesu said...

This is wonderful, Olivia!

I love anything to do with the Druids. Are you familiar with Terry Brooks writing? He'a an amazing fantasy author and has several books about Druids.

Your writing is superb. Incredible details and the voice was captivating. Well done.


Jules said...

I gave you an award for this today, come pick it up :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

Ooo, Druids. Love it. I wish your story started much earlier, though. It sounds like a lot of exciting things just happened, and I wish I could have seen them! It sounds like you have an action-packed book.

Autumn Shelley said...

Oh Olivia, there's so much to love here, and that was before I got to your Magick piece! I love your banner, it reminds me of the Ozark mountains that are my home. *sigh* I really miss them!
You have a beautifully written and engaging piece here. I like your take on the Druidess and the message about our planet. Well done!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Hi Stu! I've missed you and your blog!

Aww, Michelle, thank you. I must say that reading your Eldala has inspired me to continue. Thank you.

Jules, oh that that were true. This was written a few months ago, before my writing came to a screeching halt. Posting this has made me hunger for more, though. Thanks!

~ Olivia

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Laura, thanks!

Sche, thank you. Mists of Avalon is on my TBR list. For years. Hmm, maybe I should get to it. Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting!

Michael, wow. Thank you so much, I am humbled. I read Terry's Magic Kingdom series and loved them. I have the latest on my stack TBR. But none of his Druid novels. Maybe I should check those out. Please come back and visit more often!

~ Olivia

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Jules, true friend are you. Thanks for the award!

Teralyn, I love your name. You're the first Teralyn I've ever met. So nice to meet you, btw! Yes, there will be a lot of action in this series. You betcha. The actual story takes place in modern day, well, actually in the not-too-far-distant future. Hope you'll come back to follow the progress.

Autumn, awww. There is a lot of love here and it's a banner day for me when a kindred spirit like you stops by and adds to that. Thank you so much. Please don't be a stranger!

~ Olivia

Laura said...

Hi there - I'm sorry I came back to you so late, but I started reading this yesterday, and wanted a proper quiet moment to read it properly - what a fantastic read! I loved every minute of this and can't wait to read more (p.s. my father studied with the order of Bards, Ovates and Druids for a time - it's worth checking them out if you haven't already - OBOD)

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Hi Laura, thank you so much for your wonderful words. I did run across OBOD in doing research. What did your dad think of his time there? I hope you come back here in the future, it's great having you!

~ Olivia

Unknown said...

Alternative historic fantasy! Cool! Haven't seen anything like this in ages, it's about time!

Thankx for sharing,


ps. do pop in on the 30th of March to vote on the finalists

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Hey Tessa, thanks for stopping by. This part of the book lays the groundwork for the rest of the story which takes place in the future. Somehow or another I'll be weaving the two stories together. Wish me luck! :)

I'll definitely pop over on Wednesday! Olivia

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, love the imagery! I wanna read more. Thanks for participating!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Laura, thank you so much! And thanks for the special mention, I feel very honored to be included with such amazing writers.

Thank you, too, for co-hosting this blogfest. I look forward to seeing you around bloggerville.

~ Olivia

Just Another Sarah said...

I hope this does propel you back into writing! This looks like a great place to start. Thanks for sharing the excerpt! Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog! Your comment made my day. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I liked this piece very much. Such a great idea, that the death of one man would cause so much catastrophe.

Wendy Lu said...

Ahh I want to know what happens next...more please. :D

This was awesome...some great writing right here. :)


Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Sarah, thank you! :)

stickynotes, I'm so glad you liked it, thanks for stopping by!

Angel, sigh. Thank you!

Thanks, guys, you've really made me itch to write again. Now I'm kinda wishing I wasn't doing the A-Z. Hmmmm.

~ Olivia

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