Chapter 4 The Gathering Tempest

The four gathered for more agreeable discussion of past events.  The sheriff’s men were coming back, some were limping on foot, others were leading their horses, and a few were riding still unsettled mounts. One came charging up sliding to a stop. Jumping to the ground sword in hand shouting

“She is a druid witch. Burn her; burn her, at the stake.”

 

Wielding his sword into the ready,

“She is not.  She … she, is my be trove, she is to be my wife. She did not make your horses bolt“

“It was the smell of the burning wool and flesh carried on the wind that unsettled your steeds.” Avon said.  Avon thinking back a few hours back he made the same emblematic statement and now he was ready to take a life to defend this lass.  His mind still in a turbulent maze of dead end trails, missing time, and unanswered question. But one thing was clear this lass was becoming very dear.

“Heal your sword, Sir Knight, and fetch my horse” the lord sheriff said taking back his authority.

Chrisween hearing Avon’s words she reset the Katar’s blade then coyly prance to Avon side taking hold of his arm. Touching him sent her back to the den and their first embrace searing her passion of him. Hearing him say she was to be his wife brought escalating ecstasy.

The sheriff’s men now accounted for a squire reports of the casualties

“You have one man dead, two with broken arms, one with a broken leg, and one that cannot be found. There are three knight, one other squire and myself are fit for your service Sire.”.

The Sheriff speaking to Avon

“I pledge these knight and my squire of service to you Sir Knight of Lomond. “.

“Lord Sheriff, Lord Sheriff.” A man came running screaming “Viking raiders are sacking Wilton.”

“Squire, Ride to Sarisberie call out the knights we ride to Wilton” said the Sheriff.

“Lord Sheriff I pledge my sword to you, I has no horse but I can run to the battle” Avon said his blood boiling at the mention of Vikings.

“The battles will not wait for you.”  Sheriff and his knights ride off to Wilton.

Avon begs Chrisween to find a place to hide.

“Go back to the wolf den, I will return” as he started off to follow the sheriff.

 

“No, you cannot make me, I will join the fight.  See I know how to fight.  It is my place to be at your side, I am your mate.”  Chrisween deploys the Katar blade, dancing around in mock battle. She runs some twenty yards ahead glancing back to see if Avon was coming.  Avon catches up to her seeing there is no stopping her, smiling his disapproval they run to Wilton.

Kathleen watching from the shadows concludes that girl is going to get us killed.  She follows at a distance keeping out of sight and mind, recalling the confusion of horses running, throwing, menacing their charges to the wind, she could not contain her delight lets out a laughing, giggling yelp.

Seeing Wilton the battle retching, they paused, catching their breath, Avon attempts to formulate his battle tactics. Observing a berserker kill a fleeing lad, Avon enraged wielding the claymore, he now calls Bruce, charging, whirling to maximize the impose blow, demanding the berserker into, The torso lobed convulsing to the ground, the legs left standing oblivious of their loss.

Chrisween running, charged between, a knight loosens his battle with a berserker, trusting the Katar into the heart of the berserker, withdrawing, leaving him owing a favor of the knight.  The knight, Sir Erick, a hour before called for her to be burned at the stake, openly bowed saying “my lady”.

 

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Chapter 3 The first payment dew

Chapter 3

The first payment dew

The sheriff’s men encircled the pair, pointing their lances and swords. Chrisween fearing for their lives clenched her fist, releasing the blade of the Katar to give notice. Avon shaking loose of Chrisween’s hold stepping in front of her taking a defensive stance saying

“I be a free highlander, in service to the king, a Knight of Lomond. Give me the road.”

“Enough… Put them in irons” two men dismount at the sheriff’s command.

Kathleen lying in the tall grass, sensing the danger fearing for her friends prayed to Thor for guidance. Thor’s swift reply struck her as a bolt out of the blue, charging her to charge the horsemen, running under the horses, between the legs snapping, growling, and biting anything she could find to sink her teeth into, causing total pandemonium.

The sheriff’s horse rearing up on its hind legs deposited the sheriff on the road rolling like a basket caught in a strong wind.  The others scattered to the four winds their horses, running, bucking out of control.

One of the dismounted men reaching for Chrisween, found the blade of the Katar deep in his chest, coughing his last breath he slid off the Katar to lay at Chrisween’s feet.

Avon runs to the sheriff placing the point of the claymore at the sheriff’s throat.

“Call off your men, yield the road” stun and out of breath the sheriff motion his man to back off. Avon healed his sword and the sheriff’s man aided the sheriff to his feet.  The sheriff having not heard or seen Kathleen laid blame of his defeat on Avon. Kneeling he said “I beg your forgiveness Sir Knight; I am at your service.”

“Rise lord sheriff, I have need of your men”

The sheriff rose brushing himself off trying to regain his dignity saying

“They are yours, if we can find them. “

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 2 They Awaken

Chapter 2

They awaken

Avon asked “Is it dark out”?

Chrisween’s amicably answers

“It’s a glorious, beautiful spring morning”.

“How do we get out of here? This place is cold and cramped, and the light is almost done.”

“Come follow me” Chrisween replied.

Chrisween led the way, prancing, turning, dancing backwards to see if, Avon was coming; into the fresh morning sun. Avon follow cautiously, he could not see that well in the dark. Avon reaches the mouth of the den, squinted at the light of day, and shrouded his eye with his hand glance sortie for a familiar site.

“Where is this place, awe, you said my mate, I be not knowing of this lass.”

“I am Chrisween your mate, Thor gave you to me” Chrisween said.

Avon changing the subject said

”I, whish me had some birdies”.

Chrisween joyfully said “I will catch you some”, and started off.

“Hold fast lass, you can’t be catching birdies, you have to make them” Avon said.

Chrisween stopped, it hit her, she is not a wolf anymore, she be a woman, and she do not know the ways of man. She looked at Avon, puzzled, and said

“I don’t know to make a birdies, but I can catch one.”

Avon laughed saying

“I bet you can, maybe a quail or two, but be there water near”

Chrisween pointed at a spring some twenty yards away, saying

“There! I will catch you a quail”.

Chrisween darted off into the woods, after a few minutes, she picks up the scent of some quail. Getting down on all fours she edged close then pouncing, on one with her mouth wide open, her quarry flue away. Stunned that the quail got away she sat up in surprise. She said to herself that she had caught quail many time before, what went wrong? She stood up and paced around thinking that this being in a women’s body is becoming a problem. Growing angry with herself and the quail she picked up a rock and threw it at the covey of quail, hitting one surprised her. She ran over a picked it up, dancing around like a butterfly, giggling “I caught one, I caught one. “.

Avon kneeling at the spring, quenched his thirst, then washed his red locks. He unwound his plaid form his chest, puzzled as to how he got bound up in it. His head was starting to clear; the images of the battle came to his mind, what of James, Kyle, and Bruce. Where were they, where was he?  Hearing something moving in the grass, caught his attention; looking over his shoulder he saw a wolf and Chrisween returning with the quail. Fumbling to find a rock to arm himself he shouted

“It’s a Wolf, Lookout.”

“It’s ok, she is my friend”, quickly stepping between Avon and, the wolf. Chrisween put her hand on Kathleen, the wolf, said. “See, she won’t hurt you, I call her Kathleen”. As she petted Kathleen’s head, their thoughts mingled united as sisters began coyly maneuverings Avon’s expectations.

“I caught some birdies, I will fix them for you” said Chrisween, with insight form Kathleen.

“What are you? A witch, you be friends with a wolf.” Avon spoke as if had seen a ghost.

“No I’m awe… just her friend.” Chrisween started to say druid priestess but was stop by Kathleen. Chrisween thought she could not say she was a wolf or Kathleen was the druid priestess, somewhat confused she quietly plucked the quail.

Avon baffled by all this, as he watch Chrisween build a fire and clean the quail, putting it on to cook. He stared to remember slipping away from the skirmish with the Viking raiders; then wakening in the den with this precocious lass. He wonders about this lass, she did not seem right to him. Her saying she was his mate, and he does not remember every meeting her.   He watch the light of the fire dance on her auburn locks, she was mighty easy on the eyes but just as rough on his mind. He started to ask, interrupted by Chrisween hand him a blacken quail saying.

“Here is your birdie. What is your name?”

Avon took the very well done bird, tossing it from one hand to the other saying.

“It be hot, oh, awe, oh, hot…, me name be Avon of Lomond, oh, hot…“

Chrisween and Kathleen watched amused with the juggling, giggling and laughing Chrisween said.

“That birdie can still fly.”

Having cooled to handle, Avon pulled off the burnt crust and found the bird had been stuffed with wild onion, mushrooms, and lemon grass. The first bite sent shock waves of flavor changing his thoughts some of the precocious lass.  Finishing the bird and stuffing he looks to see if there is more saying.

“I guess you can make a birdie. Very good is there more?”

Kathleen comments could not be heard but by Chrisween.

“Not bad for your first home cook meal for a wolf.” Chrisween thoughts, yeah with your help.

Chrisween responded saying to Avon.

“Yes, here is one more.”

Avon while feasting on the burn offering asks.

“Where do you live?  Is it far?

Chrisween started to point at the den then pointed to the south replies.

“Over there the other side of Stonehenge in the village.”

Avon said.

“I think you for the fine birdies lass, but I need to see too me lads. I must be going. Where is Salisbury from here?”

“Come I will show you” said Chrisween.

They started out of the woods. As soon as the cleared the trees Avon saw the still smoldering cart of wool and bodies. He paused for a moment in disbelief; then ran to the smoldering remains of his friends and fortune.

Chrisween and Kathleen followed; Kathleen found something lying in the tall grass and barked to get Chrisween attention. Chrisween call to Avon to come and look. Avon stops ten yards from the bloodbath. Chrisween seeing it was a sword pick it up and drug it to Avon side.  Seeing and smelling the carnage she turns her back to it covering her mouth, trying not to be sick.

Avon turns around and put his arm around Chrisween savagely morns his loss.  Chrisween let go of the sword to join Avon’s embrace. The sword fell on Avon foot, giving him notice of its present. The freezing rage that chilled his heart was being warmed by the passion he held in his arms. Chrisween lock in the embrace was in rapture wanting only to stay.

Avon push himself back abolishing his feelings for the young lass returning to the business of finding is friends. He step back and saw the claymore of Bruce lying at his feet. Grabbing it with both hands he runs screaming; swing the eleven pound forty eight inch broad sword chopping and hacking the charred remains of a berserker.

The load sheriff of Salisbury, and ten men in armor, arrives at the scene.

“Highlander, heal, thy sword. Are you responsible for this mess on the king’s road” demanded the sheriff.

“It was those bedeviled Viking raiders, they hit us out of nowhere, killing me lads and burning our wool.” Avon ranting and swing the sword around like a wild man threatening the Sheriff and his men.

“Cease him.” the Sheriff ordered.

Chrisween ran to Avon side grabbing his arm, the Assassins Katar mounted on her arm ready to defend her mate, with the wild menacing glare of a wolf beaming from her face.

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Chapter 1 They Began

Chapter 1 revised 1.5

They began

Avon and his company of three and a Durham cow pulling a full cart of fine wool on the Salisbury road.

“Come me lads, the fair does not wait” Avon said walking beside the cart.

James a hearty lad prods the cow to hasten the pace. Bruce broad of weight from too many birdies and beer; tarries the pace.

“Slow down ye be breakin’ me legs” Bruce complained.

Kyle the youngest at twenty runs ahead.

A crossbows bolt buzz hit with a resounding thud found the cows wooden yoke, a second strikes James back shoulder, with a mortal cry he drops; quickly Avon kneels at James side, pulled the bolt from his shoulder, a shadow loomed its graced, Avon responds wheeling his saber, a hand and mace tumble to his feet The shadow now has a face, a Viking raider, Avon reacts; reels his saber finding the neck, the head cascade to the ground, ‘we’re under attack’ lemmas found no time to leave his lips.

Avon focused now, sees a craze hoard of Viking berserkers;

he glances back at James saw he had rolled under the cart safe for now, Avon fending off another attack, bracing the attacker’s arm leaving the ax lodged in the carts wheel. Avon ran him through and then slashed his throat. A fight for their life out number five to one, Avon sees Kyle in the road lying, arrival without his head. He looks to Bruce dismembered body resemble a half eaten birdies.

James finds his feet and a pike joins Avon side holding the pike in one hand braced against the cart wheel, leaping a craze berserker; the berserker’s ax found deep in James chest, the pike coming out the back of the assailant.

A blow dances Avon head and a sharp pain broke in his side, Avon fell and was left for dead.

The raiders turn their attention to the cow, like a pack of starved wolves, tearing, pulling, at the flash, and eating the meat, repugnance the charge, making waste of it. Finding a cast of scotch, setting fire to the cart, they feast and boost of the victory kicking Kyle’s head about.

Hours past, the moon is raging Avon racked with pain see a chance to seek shelter, a hundred yards an oak grove, a place to hide and regain his strength. Avon finds his feet and make for the oaks, unnoticed. Pain rape his mind, each step his life weeps form his side. The ground pitches and rolls, the oaks toyed, first close then far. Avon folds to the ground twenty yards from safety. He lay for some time, the cool tall grass wet with dew; caress his head giving life to press on. Avon came to his feet check to see if he has made good his escape.

”that one’s lives, after him” yelled a drink craze raider.

Avon lunged onward, the wet grass pulled at his legs begging him to stay. He makes it to a tree, hugging it as if it were a long lost friend, he felt his side; finding something lodge in his ribs. He tries to pull it out but the pain pushes his hand away. He looks and sees dark figures coming fifty yards, coming fast. He scrambles on snatching branches to keep his feet. Stumbling his grip failing he falls into the brushes and down a hole hitting his head on some rocks.

Four raiders reach the grove and start searching.

”There is no one here, you’re seeing ghost” said one of the raiders.

“I tell you I saw someone” was a reply.

“You have had too much mead” shouted another.

Down in the ground Chrisween is waken by Avon’s limp body rolling to her. She growls loud and low and then barks a louder freezing growl. The sound carries echoing amplified by the dens walls, was heard thundering, booming, from the ground.

“OODIN, ODIIIIIN.” Hearing this a searcher turned pale as a ghost.

“Odin is coming for the dead, RUN” a berserker said screaming running past his comrades. The other joins running stumbling tumbling to the light and warmth and safety of the fire. Screaming

“Odin comes, Odin comes”.

Joining the rest of the group they tell of the encounter.

“Burn the dead” The leader said.

They hastily gather all the body and through them on the fire and anything that would burn including the half cast of scotch. Fearful of Odin they lit torches and force marched, double time, back to the coast.

Chrisween sensing no sign of fear or movement from Avon edged closer. Sniffing and licking the wound on Avon forehead; Avon wincing a whimper wine. The smell of blood and the scent of the field flowers, the musk of Avon. Avon whispers stirred feelings deep in her; feelings of being needed, of motherhood, feelings of love, consumes her. Chrisween continues to clean Avon’s wounds. Having finished she lies her head on Avon’s abdomen, Avon stirs reaching for his side, his hand rest on the nap of Chrisween neck, they sleep.

Chrisween senses the days dawn awaken, she slides form under Avon’s arm, slowly as to not disturb the sleeping Avon. With aberrant reluctance she ventures out of the den, too fine food and water. She finds the consequence of the gatherings grizzly feast of the night past; Repulses by the smell of smoldering burnt wool and flesh, she backs away. She finds the cows mutilated remains wet with spice of scotch and mead. Scattering the black bird she ate her fill, taking a shoulder scrap she runs back to her charge.

Returning Chrisween place the scrap on Avon’s chest, she muzzles his hand back on her head falling into a slumber sleep deep with love.

The pull of the spring equinox new moon rises; Chrisween wakes to the faint song of Kathleen singing in the Henge. She slide away and runs to the Henge, too Kathleen. There she pulls at Kathleen to come with her. Kathleen senses Chrisween urgent plea of help and follows Chrisween hurried gate.

In the den Kathleen light her candled lamp.

“What do you have here” Kathleen asks.

Chrisween replies with a sorrowful cry.

“Must be one of those heathen raiders, I cannot do for this one he is of the dead”. Kathleen said.

Chrisween’s cry became a barked command she push Kathleen’s hand to the object in Avon chest. Kathleen pulls it out saying

“This is an Assassin’s Katar”


Kathleen wondering said, admiring the artfully crafted dagger.

“How did you get here? “

Chrisween barked pawed Avon’s chest. Kathleen looked and saw the wound was bleeding more. She grab cobwebs for the dens walls and packed the into Avon’s wound. Taking Avon’s plaid she rapes it around his chest.  Chrisween paced and cry like a protective mother, hovering on Kathleen every move. Kathleen rubbed mistletoe, oak, and brunt orchids in her hands making them reveal perfumed oil, she rubbed the oil on Avon forehead wounds. Then placing an oak and mistletoe wreath on Avon chest, she began to chant

“Joro, Joro, come Joro, come Joro, make well this one, Joro come”

The den begins to fill with a bright luminous intensity violet mist, a voice come deep within the back of the den

“Who wake Joro” coming closer the voice of Joro speaks

” why do you seek this man, he is Odin’s”.

Kathleen cower on the ground her face pressing the ground. Chrisween snarls growls barks a warning.

“Speak beast of dogs, you have a tongue”. Joro demands

“He is my mate” Chrisween answer

“You mate with a man; he is not of your kind”. Joro laughs.

“I love him, please; I will do anything, just give him to me”. Chrisween pleaded

“I cannot change him into a dog, he is Odin’s” Joro said.

“Handmaiden, what do you say of this” asked Joro. Kathleen frighten still prostrate on the ground “men they frighten me, I know not of them” Kathleen said. Joro replies “bests you be a dog” Kathleen said “if that is your wish, would I run wild”.

“Enough, of this he is my prize”. Odin roars.

Thor step in

” I will be the judge of this, Odin what is your price”.

“Fifty men in honored battle” Odin snaps.

“Joro what do you say to this” Thor said

“My handmaiden is a dog and the she is a warrior heart sick with love of man” Joro replies.

Thor strikes his hammer and said

“Done, handmaiden you are now the dog, you will hide from men, you will be hunted, you will howl at the moon praying to be release and you will fear man.”

Chrisween now Kathleen back into the shadows cowing low her eyes turn cold and blue of a haloed moon.

“She you are now the woman, you will have your mate. You will know love. You must pay Odin’s price fifty men in honored battle. The Assassin’s Katar is your bond.” Thor commands.

Kathleen now Chrisween stands her eyes turn brown as the ground, her hand holds the Katar.

Thor strikes his hammer, saying

“You Woman and She shall not enter Valhalla, till the debt is paid. Your time will stand here till paid.”

Thor strikes his hammer again saying

” it is written in Stonehenge.”


The thunder roars the lighting flash. And they’re gone.


Avon wakes saying

“Where am I?  Who are you?”

Chrisween replies

“I am Chrisween your mate and we are in the den of a wolf call ‘She’ “

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the story begins

CHRONICLE OF KATHLEEN

BY

ROY DURHAM

 

 

INTRODUCTION

the frier

Hehewuti
Kathleen Chrisween

I be breaking my vow of silence. I be the Friar Stone, the scribe, the sentinel of the Stonehenge, and the guardian of Hehewuti womb, but just be the wee friar heel of Stonehenge.

Day is coming when; Kathleen and Chrisween will meet as they began. Hehewuti mother of Joro wife of Thor will wake. Kathleen the priestess Queen and Chrisween then she wolf will cross the threshold of the arbor and enter Valhalla. You know not of this, so I’ll be telling you.

It all began back then; Avon a young lad of Ben Lomond was bringing shags of wool to the fair of Salisbury.  I’ll by bee he a wee beard of twenty three, best of long red locks, and shoulders to fill an oxen’s yoke. He be plaid of black and white his tam black as coal, and, from his black baldric hung a highlander’s broad saber; Truly a Knight of the Lomond Heights..

Then my pretty Kathleen when she came to the stone dress in the head and cape of the stag hind; the horns bleach white as new moons polish her robe of purest white. She, be seventeen the new high priestesses, virgin queen adorn with mistletoe and oak. Six day past the new moon, for the winter equinox she came to dress the womb of Hehewuti mother of Joro. Her train of flowing auburn locks graced the wind. Burnt orchids’ kissed her neck as she prepares the bed for Hehewuti with fresh lady’s bedstraw a temptress’s invites for her mistress’s lover. She kneels and watches the morning dawn, the morning light reviles her eyes are blue as the dawn.

Then the seventh day of the new moon the wind carried mournful low cry of She. She who comes for the hind,

Chrisween

Chrisween lone for the cry of whelps yet unborn, She burns within; fire for a mate her eye windows of flame. A wolf not of the pack, nor mate, they call “She”, Chrisween. She comes to the stone whimpers for Kathleen to feel her passion to find love.

Dark clouds boil Thor speaks “SILENCE; BEST YOU BE VOW OF SAND”. Lighting sparks about the Henge, and the friar cowers mute to say No more.”TO YOUR POST, HELIOS COMES FOR JORO” Clouds darken the tempus rage ravage of time regressed, Helios rides on, and Joro sleeps.


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