For every good
I had not stopped running since it was decided that the
Many of my fellow priests were crucified, as they stood by our rites and traditions but a coward I fled. North, the hold of Rome was not so tight outside of southern England. Many Scots still followed the old ways but since the vile calumny lodged against Somerled and his subsequent assassination, even the warriors of old were turning to Rome. From the rolling hills and pastures of Argyll I fled again, to Ireland, where my church was still held in reverence but the North was held and controlled by the Scots king who was a devout follower of Rome and so I
In one of the remnants of the great Caledonian forest near Leinster, hiding, unable to follow the road, I met a woman gathering herbs. She was fair in an Irish way, pale skinned, freckled and
Her hovel was clean, the fire banked with nasty smelling mud that sparked and stank but kept the small place warm and I was grateful for that small mercy. Some water and an apple were my
I was given a blanket and a place near the fire, Maeve slept on a small pallet near where I lay. My journey, long and filled with danger, this respite; a blessing, and for once, warm, with a full belly; I fell asleep instantly.
I woke in the dark of night to see Maeve naked crouched before the still glowing fire, the skin of her back was covered with tattoo’s that seemed to shift and move in the flickering fire glow. Her head turned and she saw me looking. “It is
Priests of St. Fillian are not held by the strictures of Rome and so are able to marry and have children, there is no sin in this. I will tell you nothing of our nights together except that they were warm and filled with love.
I did not travel south but remained with Maeve and though we were not married in the eyes of the church, we were together. I would often wake to see her sitting naked by the fire but this is a cold, wet, country had little comfort. I watched the tattoos on her back each time she rose and saw that it was not the flickering firelight or the shadows of the room that caused them to move, rather that they moved of their own accord. I watched them intently, fascinated, until I saw myself in them, my body dead and broken, my eyes, open, white, unseeing, Insects making their homes in my dead body. I remembered that I was already dead, the ball entered my chest as I ran from my hunters, my body falling onto soft grass as the life fled from me.
Maeve turned and smiled at me, her face changing, growing longer and thinner, her hair growing as dark as a raven’s wing. Her smile predatory. “your reward for a good life” said the Morrigan.
The reaper of the dead.