Dark night, utterly dark. Probably just as well. If his friends could see him and knew where he was going…
Not that he knew where he was going himself, just who he was meeting and that was bad enough!
‘An adventure,’ she had said in that enigmatic way of hers and then she had smiled.
‘What kind of adventure?’
‘…To bring something back into the world that was lost.’
It would cost. Of course it would cost. Her sort always do one way or another. He clutched the hessian pouch tighter in his fist. Silver was not easy to come by in this day and age. Had to know where to look, and when, and how…
The hoot of an owl. A dark shape emerged from the line of trees up ahead.
“You got ’em?”
No word of greeting.
“I got ’em.”
That smile. Somehow, it was still visible in the blackness.
“The witch in the wood.”
“Do I sound mad?”
The dark figure moved off. A shadow. Lithe and silent.
He followed as best he could, cursing himself all the while.
‘An adventure,’ she had said, and then she had smiled…
…I knew the wood vaguely but even had I known it intimately this headlong dash through the shadows would have been new to me.
Rough, spindly fingers kept grabbing at my hair and clothes, scratching at my face, but we kept on running…
The phrase ‘break-neck pace’ kept flashing through my mind yet eventually the rhythm of it ensnared my qualms and propelled me back to the school room and my old letter-man Seamus.
‘The name is alien,’ he was saying to me with a familiar glint in his eye, and I thought again of the hard ‘Cee’ followed by the rolled ‘Arr’ which caught in my throat like the caw of a Black-Bird.
The double ‘aa’ drew out the word unnaturally and the ending was uncertain. Was it an ‘Ess’ or a ‘Zee’ and should the ‘Zee’ be a ‘Zed’ anyway…
Up ahead of the chase my midnight assailant was slowing on the edge of a small clearing.
I caught up to her and hung an arm on her shoulder, breathing heavily.
She shrugged off the arm and motioned to what I took to be a beehive shaped hut in the middle of the clearing with, in front of it, the dark form of a standing stone.
The gleam of a smile again in the darkness as Kraas moved toward stone…
Lands of Exile Volume Two
BECK ‘N’ CALL
Stuart France and Sue Vincent
Ben, fast becoming a folk hero after the apparent theft of a standing stone, now languishes in Bakewell Gaol. Don and Wen, suspected of being his accomplices, are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.
From England to Scotland, the officers of the Law have followed the trail of the erratic couple as they visited the ancient sites of Albion. This time, though, as Don and Wen take the slow boat to Ireland, Kraas and Jaw Dark are one step ahead.
But Ireland is a land of mystery and magic, where reality intertwines with vision and standing stones are still open doors…
How long can Don and Wen continue to evade the long arm of the Law?
Who are the men who wear the Templar emblem… and what are they doing in Derbyshire?
In the shadows, a labyrinth of secrecy shrouds a mysterious figure. What is Montgomery’s interest in a small standing stone? Just how many high-level strings can he pull… and why?
And what is the dark, winged creature that is now on the loose?
Join Don and Wen as they continue their adventures in the sacred and magical landscape of Albion.
Available in Paperback and for Kindle via Amazon
(Illustrated in full colour)