Chapter 6

Written by: dannyo77

“Nothing there neither.” I closed the box of books and sat down with a sigh. A cloud of dust erupted from the ancient chair that I sat in.

“Well, it was a logical place to start,” conceded Brian. The thrill of the chase was waning after an afternoon of fruitless mooching through Grandma Brown’s back room.

“That it were, with the fire here and all,” I agreed. “Let’s take this interesting book anyway, all right Gran?”

“Certainly Jack,” replied Grandma Brown with a broad smile. The book appeared to be a copy of a local history tome. It was in poor condition so Brian had suggested taking it away to explore further.

We left the house, a little dejected, into the late afternoon sun. The fresh smell of the newly budded trees lifted my spirits a little and I reached a friendly arm around my Rose. As we walked along she suddenly stopped and raised an arm in the direction of the square.

“Look at the May Pole, Jack!”

Just then the unmistakable shriek of a hawk filled the air, the same hawk involved in the mysterious events of yesterday. There it was sitting atop the village May Pole, its wings outstretched like a totem. It levelled its gaze in our direction, bent forward into another ear rending screech before taking off again.

“Is it trying to tell us something, Jack?” asked Rose.

“Maybe,” I replied, “though I been up and down that May Pole all yesterday setting it up for fayre. Naught of interest there.”

“Let’s follow up this book for some clues,” suggested Brian.

***

It was almost 4a.m. when we heard Brian knocking frantically on our bedroom door. He had been poring over the voluminous manuscript all night.

“You’ve got to come and read this!” he blurted.

Rose stirred a pot of porridge in her dressing gown while Brian explained his findings across the table from me. The book contained all sorts of historic references from various sources. The book had been compiled by my great grandfather, and contained several of his own letters. According to the book, my great grandfather made the statuette and blessed it at the fairy rath near Ma’wick to be an omen against the spirit of Shaphina ever returning to the village to seek out the book.

“So is it coincidence that the year it was missing is the year we’ve these funny goings ons?” I mused.

Brian looked embarrassed, “I guess it could. But why did it happen on May Day? There is no indication here. Nor any reason that he felt the need to make the statuette.” He closed the book, a look of frustration on his face.

As we listened to the porridge bubbling, Rose finally ventured, “Jack, there’s a big stone near Ma’wick that has an inscription about hawks and wraiths. I saw it when I was a lass.”

Brian looked up.

“We’d best get to Ma’wick to see for ourselves,” I offered, “after breakfast that is.”

Dan Oliver (NZ)

Comments

Gosh, what a super chapter, Dan. I'm so glad the hawk is back. The significance of it's presence will be interesting to discover. An easy read with atmosphere and ambience and the characters are well drawn.
I am late in commenting but that doesn't make the chapter any more uninteresting to read. Great chapter, Dan. More bringing together all the relevant facts and info and that keeps the reader guessing. I like the way the country dialogue (especially Jack) has been followed on and now we have a plaque with more clues. As always, a pleasure to read - nice one, Dan.