Redbreast

Another bit of WIP in response to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt

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The pool shows her nothing; her robin-child has disappeared. Nor can she find Richard in any of the places where she has left a part of herself curled in the depths. Fear grips hard and cold, colder than the serpent coils that shift in the water, mocking her, calling to her to give in to that part of her nature that will wreak destruction on those who betray her.

The island beyond the sea is always wreathed in mists and she tries to see through the eyes of the seer, the red-haired woman’s kinsman. She reaches into the pool where he does his magic but it is full of madness and red as the berries he chews incessantly now, not just to give him visions, but to try to calm their chaotic dance through his head. When she finds his face, his lips are red with berry juice and she sees shreds of their skin in his teeth. There is nothing in his face but murder, stabbings and blindings. In a fury, she leaves the pool and calls up the white mare.

It is a three hour’s ride to the sea from Striguil, even for a horse such as the white mare. The evening tide is out and she rides across glassy sands to the edge of the water. When the mare’s hooves splash and foam hisses over them, she dismounts. She clears serpent-thoughts from her head and gazes into the shallows. She sees only clouds, their breasts white and billowing, and one is specked with red.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

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