Please welcome author David W. Landrum to The West Corner! He’s here today with his fantasy ebook, The Last Minstrel!
The Goddess Morrigan has cast her evil magic over Brendálynn’s kingdom and taken her mother captive. As she goes into Morrigan’s realm to challenge her and free the woman who bore her, Brendálynn discovers that there is powerful magic in the music she has learned—more than she ever imagined.
As I walked on, though, things began to change. The path grew darker and darker. What little sunlight filtered through the trees began to fade. The dim, hazy glow of the forest turned to dark grey and then to black. I had seen this before. It was the darkness. In only moments, I found myself in a thick, choking cloak of inky black. It had come on our village twice. Mother had disappeared into it. I heard a voice I recognized as Morrigan’s.
“You stupid little harlot,” she said, her voice seeming to come from every direction. “Did you think you could walk into my very lair? I will take you as I took your mother.”
“Then do it,” I shouted. “I defy you. And I’m not a harlot. I’ve kept myself—kept myself for the man I love and I’ll give my body to him—which is more than you will ever do because you are incapable of love.”
Morrigan roared with rage. Like Ardwinna, Morrigan is a chaste goddess who has never coupled. She avoids men because she hates pleasure. The beauty and intimacy of it is despicable to her. Bringer of discord and conflict, she eschews the harmony and joy of love.
After Morrigan’s expression of rage had died away, I felt as if my body had turned to water. zed Morrigan had reached out with a spell to undo me. I gritted my teeth and resisted. When I did this, I felt myself solidify, but the strength of Morrigan’s magic struck me again, like a freezing, overwhelming wave, and began, once more, to undo me. I felt myself dissolving. Though I tried to resist, a numbing weariness came over me. My body seemed to melt away. Darkness coursed through me like an evil wind, unsubstantiating me, weakening my resolve so that Icame to the point where I could not resist at all and faded into a current that carried me like a leaf in the wind. After a moment, the wind—the force of Morrigan’s spell—lessened. My body felt solid once again and I found myself on all fours in a dimly lit place. Standing up, I looked around, hoping to see the forest, the trees, and the narrow path I had been following to the Shrine of the Five Stones. I saw nothing familiar. Morrigan had transported me to some other place.
I gazed about, puzzled. The place I had come to looked a little like the forest where the darkness had descended, but something was not right. The sky was grey. Sometimes the sky is grey, of course, but this sky was not grey from clouds. It was grey instead of blue. The trees here were stunted and barren. I saw a murder of crows cross the colorless heavens in a huge black cloud that constantly reshaped itself. Then I turned again and saw Morrigan.
“Welcome, Brendálynn, to my kingdom.”
I thought of spitting on her but remembered that she was a goddess. However I despised her, I needed to respect her divinity and so restrained myself.
“I’m not happy to be here, but thank you. Where is my mother?”
“Right over here. Come.”
The Last Minstrel is available from Amazon.
About the Author
I began writing when I was in fourth grade and have written poetry, academic criticism and, more recently, speculative fiction. I teach Literature at Grand Valley State University in Allendale,Michigan. I love writing, love stories, love to read, and to create readable stories. My speculative and literary fiction has appeared in publications in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Israel, Europe, and Asia. I have published over 300 poems, 140 stories, two novellas, and a novel. Writing is my lifeblood and my quest for answers. Stories are mirrors by which we see ourselves and a crystal through which we come to know others. My writing opens doors.