…I followed Kraas’s footfalls as she walked towards the stone.
Just then the moon appeared in the sky overhead and shone its half light directly onto the figure before us.
Out shot a scrawny claw which grasped and held my wrist in its iron grip, “He has silver?” screeched the witch of the wood.
I gasped in pain, slowly unfurling my still tightly clasped fist.
The hessian pouch lay scrunched and soggy in my sweating palm.
The witch snatched it up and emptied out the three, hard won, coins into her left hand…
Stepping to one side she hurled one silver piece in front of her, “For water,” she cried…
And one behind her, “For earth,” she cried…
And the third above, “For air,” she finished.
The coins disappeared from sight into the black night…
“This will do for the fire,” she grimaced, fingering the hessian pouch like it alone was worth more than silver and retreated into her hut.
Kraas followed… “Sit in front of the entrance,” she hissed, “and watch the wood.”
But she remembered to smile before crossing the threshold.
So, I sat in front of the entrance and watched the dark wood though the Lords alone know I wanted to turn and observe the unfolding inside the hut…
The hessian pouch was not the only thing thrown on that pyre.
Herbs at a guess…redolent… but it was the sounds that really got to me.
And then, after quite some while, in my direction, “Do you see aught?”
“There’s a wolf on the edge of the clearing.”
“What’s it doing?”
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)