Category Archives: Wytch History

The Wytchwood Tree

For this weeks Fridays Flash, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the past. By looking into the past, we learn who we are in the present and also our potential for the future. I haven’t spoken much about my heroine, Emeline, so I think I might concentrate on her for a couple of weeks. Here is how she was created – In a way!

It was as though no one saw the crows, all seemed deaf to their calls, they even ignored the feathers they dropped. Rare indeed.

Not one person chose to hear their messages.

Lugi called his crows back after a while, it was no good, had the witches turned their backs? He stalked over to the Wytchwood tree and leaned his forehead against the wide trunk. Blonde and brown bark grown into narrow avenues and hills stretching up from earth to air, rough and smooth, up and down. He stroked the trunk and the tree moaned and moved, its branches shivered overhead.

Pan would not show himself. Silly boy, thought Lugi. For ones who deliver courage and strength to all who ask, they run and hide in fear when someone enters the forest, they couldn’t keep a little for themselves? The tree sighed. “Oh, who asked you.” said Lugi.

He pushed himself away from the Wytchwood and stood for a moment. “So what do we do then?”

The tree sighed again but dropped a seed.

Lugi stared at what lay at his feet.

“I couldn’t.” He spoke quietly, not taking his eyes off the seed. It was the size of a crab apple, with a smooth, brown casing. The seed within held ancient magics, if planted at the right time, and in the right place, Lugi knew that as the seed grew, and its roots sought out the nourishment of the earth, the Lullie would grow with it. A renowned female warrior, the Lullie would posses the magics of the Wytch, but also the darkness of the Woo. For every wytch born, a wytchwood was first planted.

Rare it is for a crow to drop its feathers. Rarer still that a wytchwood may drop a seed. 

His crows circled above him and called out for him to take it. Lugi remained stationary, he knew he would, but he didn’t dare pick it up.

“Do it!” a voice called from behind him. “If the Wytchwood has spoken to you, and you know how to do it, then the only thing left is to, well. Do it.” Pan stood with his chin tilted up to Lugi, his hands resting beside him with a curved bow in one. “Too cowardly am I?” he asked pursing his lips and pouting in jest. “Look at you, you’re too scared to plant a tree!” The two laughed together at the simplicity of the action, yet they both knew the dangers.

Lugi’s crows had stopped their squawking; flown south to deliver the message to the Volva.

All they needed now was the Nixen and there would be no excuse, no reason not to. Lugi looked up to the moon, its waning phase cast a shadow of concern over the bright wisdom of the Goddess. “We’ll have to wait.” said Lugi. “Yes.” Pan agreed. “We wait. We allow the wolf to pass. The stag will eventually show himself and then we will work.”

“Who do you think she will be?” Lugi stooped and picked up the seed, holding it in his hand. Such a small thing, such promise of life.  


Fridays Flash

Every Friday I’ll be posting a flash fiction or a character interview from Wytch.

A glimmer, or indeed a flash, into the story that one day, *sigh* will be finished!

This week, my first week, is Destiny-ations, a little look at Ellen, one of my minor characters, who I thought deserved a voice of her own.

My destiny was the same as my mothers.

Hers, was identical to that of her mothers before her, and so on through the ages. All identical. 

I didn’t want identical. I didn’t want the same. I didn’t want to tread where others had previously trodden. 

I am aware that there are some folk who like to walk in the footsteps of those who have since passed, to step through the echoes of time, but my life – my story, isn’t his-story, nor is it her-story. It is mine.

I was born during the Sacred Moon, just as my mother had been, and her mother before her.

Tiresome. To know that from the moment I was born, my path was awaiting those first tentative steps upon it, to carry me from that moment to my last. An identical path. It angered me.

I was no different to any other newborn, that the Water Raptures visit to deliver their fate, the only difference was that we all knew my fate. This is how it has always been in our family, destined to be the Quenes hand. Our destiny set.  

True. We are each destined. All the many roads take us to the same end, the destination of which is certain. It is the choices we make upon our travel to that end, that are not so certain. The choices determine how we arrive, whether we stroll to our destiny taking many detours, resting at the wells to drink, or rush to greet our destiny in haste and in thirst.

I have been blessed. I see those things that others can not, and I drink deeply at each well. However, it is something I had to learn.

I found my teacher, my guide, quite by chance, because of the tedium I felt about my destiny, of following in my mothers footsteps. I never bothered to look ahead, after all, I knew what lay there. Still, I was a curious child and instead of looking down in misery, I looked elsewhere, for adventure.

I peered around corners and doorways, into yards, through fences and gates. I climbed trees to find the horizon that others could not yet see, I opened boxes that sat upon shelves holding their secrets under closed lids and sometimes locks.

If I was spoken to, I rarely looked upon their face, I studied the way their hands moved as they spoke. If their hair was shiny and oiled or dirty and dry. I looked at saliva bubbling in the corners of their mouths and if their eyebrows were neat or untamed. I was always looking for something else, something that others may not see.

Out on walks, I tripped and stumbled, bruised and grazed, always because I paid attention to different things. I was 9 and returning home with lavender bread that my mother had sent me out to collect. On that journey back, through the trees that lined the stony path, the sunlight cut through the branches and stopped me in an instant. 

It had been raining and the air snapped around me, a thundery cloud above, threatened to soak the land below it once more.  It’s scent surrounded me, a primal musty smell that leaves an after taste in your mouth of damp earth. I always loved that smell, it reminds me that there is something more to where you stand at that moment, something bigger than time itself. With the smell enveloping me, and the sunlight bathing me, I felt as though I was standing in magic itself.

Dust particles danced gracefully around me, I saw flickers and orbs of colour. The branches swayed in the breeze chasing the light away. When it returned, it bought with it the sweet sweet song of the thrush. Transfixed was I, caught in the beauty of nature. Entranced by magic indeed.

Had I have not disliked my future so much and refused to look at what was in front of me. Had I have not looked up instead of straight ahead, I wouldn’t have seen that show of magic. I wouldn’t have looked around for more, and I wouldn’t have seen the gate.

The gate was small, woven from hawthorn, hazel and gorse, a simple gate, and the simple gate was ajar. Me, a rebellious child, I could not resist such a temptation to see what that gate would open to.

That gate saved me. It saved me from myself. It showed me that my path was a blessed one, regardless of the fact that the path was the same as my mothers, and her mothers before.

As I stepped over the threshold and into the garden, I was greeted by yellow flowers, green herbs, red poppies and even weeds. A host of plants, rich in fragrance, that all looked to have been planted with care, consideration and love.

I’d never met a wytch before, and when she spoke to me, I didn’t look to see if her hair was oiled or dry, I didn’t notice her eyebrows or if the saliva collected at the corners of her mouth, I simply stared at the eye. The one eye that was turned inward. It was as though someone had erased the colour, the iris, the pupil, it wasn’t turned inward. What stories had I been told!

She spoke softly, yet laughed loudly. That day, my first day of meeting her, she showed me that standing in magic was a rare treat indeed, but to walk in magic was rarer still.

She taught me that it didn’t matter that my path was the same, that all roads lead us to our end. That it was the people on our path that would make it so unique.

Such a simple notion. This woman gave me, a nine year old, time and understanding to explain the meaning of our destinies. In gratitude I left her the loaf of lavender bread, my mother was so angry with me, but it abated when she saw the difference within me regarding her life that I had to follow. 

I visited the wytch twice a week, from that day, until her death.  

Forever teaching me, guiding me, showing me how to look for the beauty in all things, even those that appeared ugly to me. She taught me about herbs and flowers. About the birds and different insects that each held their place within her garden, our land.

She taught me how to see the various avenues and lanes that branch off the main road, that each one is a choice, a possibility, an adventure. 

Throughout my life, she was the one who made my path unique. This beautiful woman taught me everything I know, she enriched my world and showed me that looking ahead is full of joy and beauty. That we need to stop and rest, to look around, to drink, so that we won’t trip or thirst. She taught me to be a witch.

Our destinies are the same, yet we are each unique.

Whilst we travel on the same road toward the same end, we can still experience different aspects that life has to offer. It doesn’t matter that someone once stood where you now stand, because it is who stood with them that counted. It is who stands with you that matters to you. It is those people who make your path worth travelling.”  

Ellen appears in Wytch at various points within the Royal storyline.

She lives at the capital city, Magda, in Dagda Mead.

She is excellent at keeping secrets, will occasionally meddle in other peoples love lives, and stands tall and strong in her convictions.

In memory of her mother and to commemorate the day in which her views of her mother changed, she bakes lavender bread at every Sacred Moon.

 


Q is for Quene (of procrastination)

It happened again! I got behind with my blogging duties, I’m sorry 😦

 

In all fairness, it is a rare event that hubby is off work the same week as the kids, and rarer still that we can organise days out together. Now the kids are that bit older, they want to be off out with mates and don’t really want to hang out with mum and dad – Eurgh, where’s the fun in that? Of, course, I’m still quite good at the old bribery and corruption (Easter eggs, Xbox, etc) So we got a few hours of family time.

We had a lovely day out at Eyam, plague village in the picturesque Derbyshire Peaks, a day out at the workhouse in Southwell. Yeah, I know, a day of fun at the workhouse? Er, really?

And we topped the week off with a ghost walk in Nottingham at two of the finest pubs the city has to offer; The Salutation Inn (where I spent a lot of the ’90’s drinking) and The Trip to Jerusalem (oldest inn in England).

The rest of the week was spent walking the dogs, seeing family and playing on the Xbox while eating too much chocolate. A damn fine week!

 

Anyway, all this fun and frolicking with the family out in the sun meant that I now have to catch up with my blog, and actually get down to some serious writing if my goal to finish the first draft by the end of May is going to be met! Panicking now…

Meet the Quene of Dagda Mead. She is the first wife of King Mael. She has a naughty secret (or two) she isn’t so much of a main character, but is crucial to plot. here’s her introduction in the story:

“She stepped out of the shallow waters and disrobed her grey silken skin, allowing it to elegantly drop on the wet sands.

Her new body; the form she took as human glinted under the dawning sun. With ample bosom and buttocks she felt sure Mael would be attracted to it. She had studied him for a long time, finding him to appreciate beauty in all female form, but the fuller figure and long red hair was what seemed to excite him the most.

She got to keep her Nixen eyes; deep,dark pools, soulful and alluring, as the sea itself. 

Finally, here she was, after years of planning and a lifetime of waiting.

Here, on a small cove nearing the city of Dagda Mead, covered by grey rocks and green trees, in between night and day, her old life behind her, her new life was about to begin.

A small flutter of anticipation rose up within her and she placed her hand on the soft pale skin of her belly. She straightened her spine out, wriggled her toes in the sand, reached her arms out and she gave her new body permission to celebrate by spinning around on the golden beach. A giggle reached her mouth and she allowed it to turn into a laugh, such a delightful sound from a beautiful woman surrounded by the stunning views of the city walls.

She began to walk closer to them and away from her old world that was the ocean. In the distance the bells were ringing out, as if to signal her arrival.”

 

 


K is for King

My good King Mael.

The King is a complex character with a gentle soul. He is the baddie by default. Bless him!
He was born into a time of great confusion, during harsh times and a civil war.
As heir, the King takes the throne at the death, or abdication, of the present reign.
Mael has to cope with the grief of losing not only his father, King of Dagda Mead, but also his mother.
They have died in mysterious circumstances and magic is the prime suspect.
The new King, Mael, is crowned at just seventeen, he has no wife as yet, and the previous Kings team of advisors are all still reeling at the death of their previous monarch.

He was a fair man, and also very strong and dedicated. He was humble, always giving credit to his wife, the Quene, for being such a unique and well adjusted ruler. His greatness, he once said, was due to the sheer will, strength and intelligence of the woman he loved, he owed his life to her. He had told Mael that the people of Dagda Mead should always see where their Kings strength was drawn.
Mael, himself without a wife, has his fathers words playing on repeat in his mind as he readies himself for his coronation:

“The crown would weigh heavy on Mael’s young head and shoulders.
He knew his role for the days order, and he would play it, he would play it well.
But he also knew that playing it is what he would be doing. In his gut, deep down, he knew it was going to be a hard act to follow, after all, it wasn’t an act where his father was concerned; it was his life, his love, his duty and beyond.

Mael worried constantly he would not do his father justice.

How he longed to have his mother by his side, her pride would be overflowing. She would hide her sadness and own grief for the passing of the man she loved, in exchange for power and grace for her son, as he took the seat as head of the kingdom.
But his mother wasn’t by his side.
Her body lay cold in her grave beside his father.
The two of them watching him in spirit.
Maybe.

 

Mael took a moment to meditate on his proceedings. Something his father had taught him to always do.
‘You can’t rule a kingdom by the seat of your pants! Gut instinct alone isn’t good enough. The mind is power, the soul is wisdom and the body merely the vessel to work from.`
His father had plenty of advice for Mael. He always thought there would be more, and for years to come. Sadly, he was wrong.

He was seventeen. What did he know?
He stood and looked at himself in the long mirror in the dressing parlour which adjoined the council suite. He was tall and broad, quite imposing.
The hair on his chin let him down slightly; not enough.
He practised his stare. Focused, intense.
‘Kings must have penetrating eyes. They need to look as if they can see everything.`

If the kingdom of Dagda Mead were not at war with magic, would the new young king now be standing before an earth rapture for courage instead of a reflection of his own nervousness?

Would the inspirational Awen not be here beside him, helping him through this tough and emotionally charged time of his life.
Would the young King, the new King, not have all the necessary help here, at his side, advising and encouraging him; using every possible resource?
Without argument he would. They would all be here in force, a team of magical creatures advising and tending to him for the good of all the land.

 

Of course, wouldn’t his parents still be alive and ruling beside each other, with Mael outside hunting and frolicking instead? Instead of being here right now in a ridiculously heavy purple cloak, grieving the loss of his parents, the loss of his princely childhood. With the fear of facing a representation of the people who also felt lost, alone and scared, stretched out before him.

He drew back his shoulders, inhaled deeply and out with force. Stared at his own young face and told himself ‘It’s time to take on the world Mael.`”

 


C is for Civil Unrest

I think it’s fair to say that I’m struggling a little with this, our third day, of the A-Z challenge. So, C could also be for Confused, Challenging, Crying, Cringing, and is it okay to say Crap?

Here is my problem: We were advised by the wonderful people over on the A-Z blog not to create posts over a certain amount of words. People might become bored. But, this letter has me flummoxed, as I can not come up with another word within my book that I want to write about. Yes, I said can not. (there goes my Nans voice again “there’s no such word as can’t!).

However, in order to deliver to you my excerpt of civil unrest, it would run over the advised wordcount.

BY A LOT.

Try, in fact, the whole chapter. I’ve reread it a hundred times, to the point that I really don’t like any of it now! And there is no way I can pick out a piece to give to you that really gives this title justice.

Tentatively, here is an excerpt. But it may not be exactly what you expect by the title. So, without further ado, I give you:

C is for a calamity of crazy crafting in a culture called Coventia who created a civil commotion, causing campaigns to cancel conjurings and charms!

 

She clawed at the rope that was bound around her neck, trying to free the strangled breath. Her body jerked and twisted against the still morning air.
The hanging had not broken her neck, her heart had not given up as she rapidly fell when the horse ran from under her.
Her one eye bulged in its socket at the pressure, and she saw her last sight; of the pinking sky over the blue cliffs that dropped into the ocean green.

The hush of the sea against the shore wept at the death of its heroin.

The bough of the sleeping tree creaked with her weight, and let out a moan of distress for her passing.

Her tongue thrust forward pushing the gathered saliva out of her mouth in a small and steady stream down her chin.
It was Old Leafs tongue that had killed her.
It was Old Leafs tongue that was blamed for the series of ill-fated events that had befallen the village of Coventia.
Ten words she had spoken;
“Shut your mouth Mags, or I’ll shut it for you!”.

How was Old Leaf to know that Mags would suffer with lockjaw that morning, after her daughter had died giving birth to a babe with one eye turned inward. It was only Old Leaf who had been with the girl and the newborn.

How were the villagers themselves to know, that whispers on the wind would soon travel throughout the whole of the kingdom, that after Old Leaf had hanged for these events, the problems and difficulties they had suffered would cease. As if perhaps by magic.
No more foul weather, food shortage, or hunger, and disease.
Ten words that started a war against the wyt.
Ten words that changed the fate of all the lives of a kingdom.

Pinterest. The Way of Wytch.

 

 


%d bloggers like this: