Tales of the Tuatha – Niamh’s Journey (chapter 32 & 33 of the keep it sweet and short tales)

Finally I’ve continued with my fairy tale and Niamh’s dream journey, – and to catch up from my  hiatus I have written two full chapters ( that are still, as usual, a work in progress- arghh). Bear with me fellow story enthusiasts and read at your leisure- or like Alice, just enjoy the pictures!!

night of the fireflies
night of the fireflies

Meeting a monk in the woods (ch 32)

Niamh knew that the spring she sought was under the protection of the Dagda. Like his cauldron it would be bottomless and in it her last dream and destiny swirled, somewhere between yesterday and tomorrow. As she walked she could hear the soft whispers from the shadow folk who slid out of the dusk. She missed Bran. Was he there between the fading sun beams?  She sat down on a broken log and knew there was yet one more vision to endure somewhere in the folding turns of this journey.

With a start she realized she was not alone.  A man in a long brown robe sat very still on the other end of the log, his lips moving in quiet prayer. He paused and greeted her warmly. He wasn’t like the old Magus of the woods but he had a kindly air and his smile was sincere. When he spoke his voice was subdued and soothing like the smoke from a campfire.

“What is your name child?  Where are you going?” he asked.  He offered her some of the berries he had been collecting.  “I am Niamh,” she replied, “and I am looking for the spring.”  He nodded brightly. “I know it,” he said, “you must mean the spring of  the virgin, the place of baptism.” “I know nothing of baptism.” she replied perplexed. It amazed her that he knew of the sacred spring and that the Dagda would allow him to come near it!

As he began to tell his story she came to understand that he had come from a far off land and was under the protection of a powerful god.  He said he had come to save souls from darkness.  Niamh placed a sweet  fruit in her mouth and didn’t know what he meant by that either.  Why, Tir-na-nog was full of light, at dawn and in Aine’s summer, between the shadows by moonlight and by the star torches that were carried across the night sky.   She came to the conclusion that the souls of men must be different from those of the Tuatha.

Niamh's woods
The forest of dreams

The Dream Rider (Ch 33)

Niamh loved stories, but she eventually felt her head nodding in fatigue. She was confused by his talk of baptism and heaven. Was heaven like Tir-na-nog she wondered?  She thought of her own beautiful world in the mound.

In her hand she was still holding her eighth dream. It shone with a throbbing light like the beating of her heart. The strange priest noticed it and his eyes widened. He stood up slowly and waved a ritual gesture with his own hand. Niamh roused herself and held the dream more tightly. He began to speak of  someone else, a traveler who had in his possession a similar and curious bauble. “It at first looked  to me like a shining tear of the blessed Virgin,” he said gravely, “but there was a  glowing firefly somehow trapped inside it.”  A look of unease came over him but his words held her captive as he continued, -“It was something this man held very dear though where he found it I know not nor did I think I would ever see another like it.

Niamh ponders
Niamh ponders

Niamh caught her breath and remembered the Morrigan throwing her dream across the path in front of the dark haired rider. The horseman had dismounted as if he too recognized what it was. Could the same rider have found her remaining lost dream, somewhere, and if he had, where was he, and who was he? As if in answer, the fireflies winked into flames revealing a path through the woodland.

49 Comments Add yours

  1. Peter Nena says:

    I missed these two chapters. Very enthralling indeed. I like the way you keep the chapters short and simple and beautiful. Appreciated.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Peter!! I always hope they are not too long!! I’ve been taking my time with this little story !!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy to see the return of Niamh! Your dreamy photos are perfection for the story. I look forward to seeing how her journey progresses. Hugs, Cybele! 🙂

    Like

    1. So glad you like it Linda!! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. DG MARYOGA says:

    I am so sorry I don’t have the time to go back and read all the stories connected to this plot.I will play it Alice … However,I enjoyed the angelic sweet song and the dreamy forest scenes that so intriguingly create the mood … 🙂

    Like

    1. That’s just fine Doda!! Niamh’s journey has been an ongoing labour of love and also a fairy tale!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so heartened at Niamh’s return. She feels to me like a long-lost friend. This is a splendid continuance of her tale, even more magical than ever and ending with a spark of real hope for your sweet girl.

    Like

    1. that is heartening for me to hear that you feel her a friend. I worried that she might not have that connection so am happy!! I love her too and as she is touched with sadness I guess helps me relate to her. Yet she is a determined little thing and takes things in her stride and doesn’t lose her own sense of how things should be!! – If that makes any sense lol!! Thanks so much Sarah for your support and feedback. If at the end there is potential for it to become a complete story I will have to work hard to revise and make it more cohesive!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I think it definitely has the potential for a complete story, but no revising until you’ve reached the end, Cybele, lest it destroy the thread of magic and inspiration for you! I always ban myself from revision of anything, until I reach the end.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. thank you for that advice Sarah!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So glad you are finding your muse–and your photos are a perfect capture for your story. Enchanting!

    Like

    1. thank you so much Naomi!!!

      Like

  6. Gorgeous photos Cybele and so much beautiful imagery in this story, great to see its return 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Andrea!! It’s a work in progress and fun though perhaps not entirely cohesive but I’m trying to make it so!! It kind of took off in it’s own direction since I started it!! Thank you for the read and for your supportive comments!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes! The Tales are back! This is definitely a story that keeps us sitting on the edge of the seat! Love it!

    Like

  8. Ali Isaac says:

    Intriguing… and right up my street! 😁

    Like

    1. thank you Ali!! So pleased you like it! I had no idea where I was going with this little tale when I began it. it started to take on a life of it’s own- and a bit convoluted! 😀 Loosely based on the Oisin legend as I’m sure you know!!

      Like

      1. Ali Isaac says:

        Well I do know a little about Oisin, but I will have to go back to the beginning of your story… it is quite captivating. Its amazing how once you start, the story takes on a life and pace of its own. Glad you discovered that and are enjoying it… its a feeling no one else but a writer knows, although I’m sure all artists and creatives experience something similar.

        Like

      2. If you do go back to the beginning you will notice it’s not entirely cohesive but I gained a direction and momentum as I went along. I’d have to do a bit of revising later on I fear. – But it’s been fun anyway!! I didn’t expect to get this far and by the way it’s become harder to write in a sense the closer to the end I am getting. 😀

        Like

  9. Suzanne says:

    It’s good to read this story again though I am not sure where you are taking it. I love the forest of the Tuatha and hope Liamh stays there despite the new religion coming to her land. Your illustrations are wonderful and your writing has a lovely, poetic lilt that sweeps me along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Suzanne- I am basing it on the legend but of course with my own imaginings and a “slightly” different approach. Mind you the dreams have led me! or some such as I’ve gone along for the ride. The journey is coming to its conclusion and hopefully all comes together!! ( hopefully!!) I’m not a seasoned writer by any means! Perhaps when done I will rework it’s cohesiveness. Thank you hugely for your continued read and feedback!! I enjoy your writing immensely! 🙂

      Like

      1. Suzanne says:

        I didn ‘t realise it was based on an old story. You are writing it very convincingly

        Like

      2. at the end I will make reference to the legend of Oisin! But as I say reworking is still needed as I’m sure you know.

        Like

      3. Suzanne says:

        It great that you are finding such inspiration in retelling an old story (and making it relevant to readers in the 21st century). You have gift for writing – being inspired by the legends and stories of the past is a time honoured source of inspiration for creativity.

        Like

      4. thanks so much Suzanne- your feedback means a lot to me!

        Like

  10. scotia2014 says:

    Thanks for once again taking up the weaving of this lovely tapestry. Beauriful images reminiscent of the illustrator Edmund Dulac.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!

      Like

  11. Glad to see you back 🙂 The concept of lost dreams is so creative!

    Like

    1. oh thanks so much Christy, I have had some very positive feedback on it but not being a seasoned writer I see lots of awkwardness and grammatical things etc – It’s a work in progress!! 😀

      Like

  12. Very impressive story Cybele

    Like

    1. thank you Della!!! It’s a work in progress and I’m never totally happy with it!! 🙂

      Like

  13. lauramacky says:

    Magical! That forest image is stunning.

    Like

    1. thanks so much Laura!!

      Like

      1. lauramacky says:

        You’re welcome! 🙂

        Like

  14. Roy McCarthy says:

    Beautiful matching of words, pictures and music Cybele. I must go back and pick up the story from the beginning!

    Like

    1. thanks so much Roy, I appreciate your comment!! I am still working and reworking the story as I am not a seasoned writer.( more a storyteller or what? lol) I see lots of grammar and awkwardness that needs correcting. It began as a very little story post and as I wrote more it kind of took off and changed as I went but I’m glad if people like the magic of it which is what I hope .

      Like

  15. suej says:

    Cybele, your images are beautiful, and I love the story!

    Like

    1. I’m happy you like it Sue and thank you for such a lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. suej says:

        Good!

        Like

  16. The forest of dreams is so beautiful, Cybele!

    Like

    1. thanks so much PK! I always hope the pictures match the story!!!

      Like

  17. Love the forest image with all the golden fireflies showing the way!

    Like

    1. thank you Deb!!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Amy says:

    Dreamy!

    Like

    1. so true Amy!! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Maria F. says:

    So nicely illustrated, full of intrigue

    Like

    1. thank you so much Maria!

      Like

    1. Niamh will be pleased by your welcome!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Come on , don't be afraid to squeak up!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.