The Green Man
The steady low drumming cadence of hoofs on the road to the river Thames lulls the unsteady meanderings of Avon. Looking off at the county side yet not seeing a thing his mind is of the days pasted, all he has come to know of a uncertain tomorrows . The gentle grapple of Chrisween and the occasional squeeze pander his thoughts. The demands of little Bruce on his thighs beseech for the comfort of his knees to meet. Sir Redwald calls a halt to the march and the order to dismount is welcome by Avon. He lowers Chrisween to the ground and finding a handhold he petition his strength to remove little Bruce form his anatomy.
On the ground Avon hold Chrisween by the shoulder saying “you should ride in the in the cart with the ladies. We be getting close to the Viking and a battle, your safety is what I be praying for.”
Chrisween twist away from Avon grasp saying “No; I must be at your side you are my mate. I will fight at your side and protect your back.” Chrisween ponders her backside and wonders if walking into battle or riding it the cart would not be a better tact then riding the vigorous backend of little Bruce, but the thought made a hasty retreat as the thoughts of being away from Avon challenged the moment.
“Best you think of this lass. It would be better for you to ride in the cart. Please I beg your leave, I be in need of the woods to return the morning ale to its beginning” Avon said bowing and turning away to the yon trees with do haste.
Chrisween senses the return of Kathleen as their minds meet a bolt of fears battles the concord, hearing the voice of Agrona filled with the desire to break the bargain with Thor, Kathleen’s burning rage seeking revenge for the killing of her parents what’s more she sees the embers of desire for Avon in Kathleen.
Kathleen muses “Hehewuti has transformed me and now I have embodiment of Agrona but I was give control of her and endowed with the powers of a woman, we must talk. There is more here than our live at stake.”
Chrisween is hesitant to respond to Kathleen all the complication to her desires has made for a chaos of conflicting feeling. Pacing about, she scan the woods searching for site of Kathleen.
A squire taking charge of little Bruce noting her distress “Milady, can I be of service?”
Chrisween response with a sharp “No, do you see Avon?” She thinks “I cannot tell him of Kathleen but I must find her” she continue to pace searching for signs of her and Avon.
Avon finding sanctuary among the trees, plants The Bruce in the bark of an oak with a startling response.
“You not be doing this with the blade of Justice Highlander. It was made to slay the unjust not to addle an old oak.”
Avon quickly replied “What enchantment is this? Who are you? Where are you?”
“I am just a very old oak, the green man of your great grandfather’s father’s time, Keeper of the woodland realm. I know of you wee beard of Lomond.”
Avon riveted with the tormenting fears of first the death of his companions, that precocious lass and now a talking tree. “What be you god or demon?” Avon demands trembling fearfully holding The Bruce at the ready.
“I be a peaceful spirit of the woods and forests, I stand before you. Come now me lad you not be taking me in battle, I be not armed. You be a chosen one. ”
The weight of The Bruce weighs heavy on Avon arms, he lower the blade as the perceived threat to his person fades. The trembling subsides Avon ask “how do you know of me”
“The owl be tellen of you, and the crows sing of your battles. The birds have told all, me young highlander.”
Avon prods “What do you desire of me?”
“Why nothing, it is you that be want of me”
“What is this you say of my blade it is the sworn of my friend Bruce who lay dead on the Salisbury road he was no executioner.” Avon questions?
“Look at the blade what does it say?”
Avon examined the blade and sees there is writing on it and reads “May god have mercy on your soul” Avon is stun by what he reads he reply “How is this, how can this not be the sword of Bruce?”
The green man responds “It is the sword of the ancient one, the goddess Themis. You must not use it with revenge it will not defend you, but will take your life. The Viking have the sword of Bruce. It was left for you, you are a chosen one.”
Avon riddled with confusion not expecting an answer not one he would understand ask “I was just there on the road to Salisbury and all this has happen and now I am here, what is going on? What do you mean chosen one?”
“Do you not see the sun does not cross the sky, the night comes and the moon does not wax or wane and the stars stand still? Why do you stand in a mud puddle?”
Avon steps back “it be the ale” coyly kicking some dirt on the spot and looking around for a place to hide from his embarrassment. Just then the birds take flight, the hush sound of rustlings of leaves, bristles the hair on his arm, he see movement in the brush “ who be there, arm yourself man or beast.”
The sultry voice of Kathleen comes from the shadows of the brush “I see no one, are you alone, can we talk”?
Avon again “who are you, man or beast, show yourself”.
“Beast “was Kathleen’s reply as she steps out from behind the bush.
“I be going daft or mad from bad ale”, Avon said aloud “I be talking to a tree and now a wolf speaks”.
“Great day priestess of Stonehenge, welcome” Green man greets Kathleen.
Hearing the voice of green man Kathleen remembers Hehewuti words to not speak if there are others that can hear with painful flashbacks of her encounter with the king oak Kathleen falls mute to respond.
Avon backing up brandishing The Bruce “Hold your ground beast, I be not having any of this.” A hand touches Avon shoulder “oh here you are” Chrisween jolts Avon’s muddle up presents and his mind.
Green mans leaves rattles with laughter “highlander you would be better to yield you are outnumbered”.
Putting her arms around Avon, Chrisween lances cold hands off stare at Kathleen. “You can ride into battle and I will run at your side. I will be safe” Chrisween said tracing the cross on Avon chest with her finger trying to please.
Coming through the brush the clamor of armor, Sir Erick shouts “you two can be lover later, the Vikings are having a feast over the rise and there are reports of dragons. To your mount highlander we ride to battle. God wills it.”