For the next few days I'll be posting some excerpts from The Beltane Choice, so that you can get to know Nara and Lorcan. Today it's Nara's turn for the spotlight.
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“Woman, you invoke the help of Rhianna, but will the goddess save you from this creature baying for your life blood? Or…will I?”
Triumphant crowing made the hairs on Nara’s neck bristle with apprehension. Was it a man alarming the boar, or something else?
“Are you Cernunnos, god of the forest?”
Cloaking fear from her voice was not possible, yet she prayed she did not reveal the horror which would result from a confirmation. Unlike her gentle goddess Rhianna, Cernunnos was well known for sadistically toying with humans. A capricious god, he was a deity not always kind to the people who invaded his territory. Visions of disembowelment, and other ghastly deeds attributed to Cernunnos, swamped her. Near silence wreathed the copse. The boar stood rigid, its breathing agitated, furious pricking of its ears matching the flickering black beads of its eyes, glistening as they did in the rays of sunlight shafting down through the trees.
“Are you Cernunnos shape-shifting? Disguised as the animal attacking this tree where I take refuge?”
“Nay, woman. I am Lorcan of Garrigill. I am no shape-shifter. Undoubtedly, Cernunnos is here in this forest, but I am not he.”
Nara mulled over the reply. This had to be a real man. Relief flooded through her. The thought of it having been the fickle Celtic god of the forest was frightening.
“Woman? You tarry. Agree, or I leave.”
An ear-splitting crack echoed around when the protesting branch splintered beneath Nara’s thighs.
“By Rhianna, nay…” Her screech of dismay muffled into the bark. She plummeted down, her hands scrabbling for the nearest branch where she hung for long moments till she was able to grip her legs against the trunk. Chest heaving, she clung tight before resettling herself as the boar resumed its battering.
“My word is yours, Lorcan of Garrigill.”
I hope you enjoy the little snippet.