Please read the first instalment here ->
…she shivered and glanced behind her, half expecting someone to be there watching her silently in the darkness.
she took a few steps towards the spot, her eye’s catching a movement … of this world or the next she wondered as her feet sank into the wet sand. The clouds drew back for a moment, allowing the moonlight to fall on the spot, illuminating it briefly…
She caught her breath in shocked surprise – a dark figure seemed to melt into the rock.
…before the clouds covered it again, plunging the night back into darkness.
Frozen, she stood amazed.
Fear crawled up her spine into her neck and shoulders, grasping her throat with icy fingers.
She spoke, horsely, cleared her throat, and spoke again, “Who’s there!” she demanded, sound far braver than she felt. I demand you answer me, be you of this world or the next!” She took a step forward, the fear leaving her now, “Who goes there?”
The moon came out again, showing the figure, robed in a hooded cloak, a mirror image of herself. The figure stepped towards her, a hand lowering the hood, revealing a face in shadow, but the long wild hair rose up like snakes, writhing around her head.
“I’m sorry,” came a young voice, “I didn’t mean to scare you!”
“Scare Me!?” she laughed, “cHild, I have been scared by better than you!”
They both laughed and gazed at each other in the moonlight; their faces were familiar to each other yet neither said as much.
“I am going to the caves,” the young woman said, “I hear, that on moonlit nights such as this, you will find witches there?”
“Tonight you just might find that’s true.” She replied, as they fell into step together, “But what would one as young as you want with witches and their craft?”
“Ah… that would be telling!” and she turned to the older woman and smiled, just as the moon shone from behind the clouds.
In that moment she knew that face, so young, she knew the girls reason for being here and she knew her own place in it all and for an instant All became clear. The cobwebs fell away from her eyes and she knew… dumbstruck, she turned towards the moon, remembering this night all those years ago, and the conversation that was about to take place.
“You come here to seek out the Old Ones?”
“And their ways, yes”
“What do you know of them?”
“I know they exist. I know you follow their ways.”
“What would you have of me?”
“To teach me this night a little about them.”
“What if I say no?”
“Then I will return again to entreat you.”
By this time they had reached the cave, chosen for it’s shape and form by those that came long before.
Lifting her face to the cliffs above she asked silently that those that had come before guide her
Find from the shore beyond stones of your choice. One for your heart, that it may be true. One for each hand, that you will know the measure of balance. One for each foot, to earth you. One for your chest, a flat one, for the burdens you will have to bear.
When you have done this, return here.”
The girl turned and looked beyond, to the shore the other side of the rocky outcrop.
“It’s not safe to do that now,” she said, “the tide will soon turn and I’ll be cut off from the way back.”
The older woman said nothing… but stared at the girl. Knowing. They eyed each other for a moment.
“Then I can do nothing for you.” Her voice was flat, dull, serious, true.
The girl looked up and down the beach, and then took flight, running as fast as she could, her hair and cloak flying behind her as the older woman watched with a sigh…
To be continued.