The Healing ... ISBN - 978-0-6487654-0-0

Fiction/Fantasy/Romance 18 years and upwards (306 pages)

BLURB - Giselle, a young foundling, and maid to Lady Betts,, is brutally raped by Pharyn,, lord of Feather Stone Castle. She cannot exact her revenge without laying her own life on the line, so she runs away hoping to find healing. Instead she discovers a road fraught with disappointment, murder, and intrigue . Behind it all there is a secret  - one that will eventually entice her back to Feather Stone to face her demons.

Excerpt

     ‘Good morn to you, sirs,’ I said brightly. ‘Please forgive my tardiness, but –’

     ‘No need for apologies, Giselle,’ Voltare interrupted. ‘Come tell me how you fair. I see your face has healed nicely … ah … and you have grown some too, along with your hair. Are you no longer Rodney then?’

     ‘No, sir, maybe not though …’ was quickly followed by, ‘have I?’  I had not given any of this any thought. All my concern was centred on the possible healing of my soul.

     ‘Yes … yes, you have. Sit and have a bowl of tea, then we might take a walk, I think. How does that suit you?’

     I eyed the empty oatmeal bowls, but before any words came forth Voltare said, ‘The oatmeal was good. You must have some before we go out to enjoy the morning air.’

     Convinced, I helped myself to some porridge and poured an amount of honey over it. I loved my bowl of this delight and always thanked the bees when I saw them out and about. A grin crept across my face I know, for I was aware of how lucky I was to be here, with the Father and Voltare. This time I also mentally thanked the Gods and Goddesses. I could not afford to be remiss in this area for one never knew what the next day would bring.

     When I had finished my repast, I went to fetch my cloak. The air was decidedly cool this day and a walk amongst the trees would be cooler still. I found Voltare waiting patiently for me at the door of the cottage. We both set off, leaving Father Timion with the daily chores. In some ways I felt a little guilty, for there were many things that needed attending to each day. I then reminded myself that he fared well enough before I had come along.

     Voltare and I took the path along the stream’s edge. We walked until we reached my favourite place. Here we sat on the grass and I wondered what to expect, for the wizard went quiet. We had been chatting amicably about trivialities while we ambled along, but for some reason the getting of the water’s edge brought about a strange detached silence which I did not understand.

     Then, the wizard spoke. ‘I believe you have seen the gates to Avalon of Our Holy Land?’

     I exhaled the breath I had been holding loudly. ‘Oh … my goodness, sir, for a moment there I thought that I was stepping foot into trouble.’

     ‘No, not at all. I bless all earth where I rest my weary bones. It takes but a second and is a habit that has been with me for so many years that I perform the ritual without consciousness. I am sorry if I frightened you.’

     I swallowed my initial anxiety and smiled. ‘I am fine now that I know this, Voltare. I think my past worries plague me still. I wish they would leave me be, but it is not an easy thing to banish such hurts.’

     ‘It is understandable, Giselle, just be aware for the future.’

     I nodded eagerly then settled myself back against my tree.

     ‘So …’ Voltare encouraged. ‘Avalon …’

     ‘Yes, yes … oh, yes,’ I answered excitedly. ‘I was sitting in this very place and I saw the walls opposite shiver like they were alive.’

     ‘Good,’ Voltare nodded his shaggy head. ‘So … I believe you might have discovered the meaning of the first scroll also.’

     ‘I have,’ I responded.

     ‘Tell me now, what it is you think you have found,’ the wizard continued.

     I hesitated before taking a deep breath. ‘I saw the heart, the sword and the wand and at first I could not see the significance. Then, I had a dream.’ I stopped suddenly, remembering the movement of the stream’s bank opposite when I had ventured here yesterday. I looked across at the colourful wall and for a blink of an eye I thought I saw a small ripple shift across the surface.

     ‘What is it, Giselle?’ Voltare questioned, puzzled at my hesitancy.

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