This is an extract from a story that takes place before the Awakening of Magic.
This story was published in Death and Rebirth.
When Kyle the man came back to himself the next morning, it was to find himself back in the clearing as naked as when he had started the rite, but now his mouth felt sticky and something like meat was stuck between his teeth. Sitting up, he wiped the back of his hand across his mouth and saw that a red stain was smeared across it. It was this stain that helped Kyle understand what Grey Back had tried to teach him about the after effect of the change. The coppery smell of the blood washed over him like an overpowering wave, its stench making him gag, but he managed to keep his bile back. With a struggle Kyle got over the stench of the blood and once he had wiped his hand clean, he realised that it had masked many other smells. For all his senses seamed sharper as though they had been enhanced. He could smell the dew on the grass, he could smell the grass, he could discern rabbit droppings and he could smell more blood and a familiar smell beneath. He could not only hear the bird’s song in the trees, but he could hear the bird move as it moved along a branch, its claws rasping against the bark. Although Kyle had taught his senses to hear much of the forest, he had never been able to hear and smell and taste some of the things he was experiencing now. He heard a rustle in the grass beside him and looking in that direction his senses once more caught blood and a smell beneath it, he saw that Bright Eyes was sitting not two feet away.
“How do you feel?” She asked, as she tossed him a water bottle.
“Like I’ve been reborn into a body that is more alive than the last one.” Kyle said, after wetting his lips.
It was true. It wasn’t just the stronger senses, his entire body felt stronger, harder. He felt as if his muscles had become marble and his sinews had turned to steel. He felt as though he could run for miles or, swim forever. He felt as if fire was burning in his veins.
Bright Eyes smiled broadly, her eyes flashing with joy.
“I pleased to hear it, since you have been reborn.”
She might have said more, but Kyle remembered what had been lingering in the back of his mind. That memory now broke upon him like a wave, and it was cold.
“Bright, is it normal to see images in the cup?”
Bright Eyes drew in a sharp breath and her eyes went wide and then narrowed to slits, as she stared at Kyle.
“You had a sending in the cup?”
Kyle nodded, as he saw in his mind’s eye the images that he had seen in the mirror black surface of the liquid.
“I saw the Silver Lady, or at least I think I did. A woman clad in silver armour with a veil of silver over her face. She was wounded and bleeding.”
“She was! What was she bearing?”
“A silver scimitar and a silver shield.”
“That was the Lady, but you say she was bleeding?”
“There was a great rent in her armour and something like blood it was silver, was leaking from it.”
“This is not good. Anything else?”
“There were armies of black and white soldiers that seemed to crash against each other like great waves.”
“The emblems of good and evil. Anything else?”
Kyle’s face screwed up as he tried to remember anything else that he had seen in the dark liquid.
“all the armies, both white and black suddenly fell, it was as though someone had blown on them and then there was a huge cloud, a cloud that looked like a mushroom.”
AS Bright Eyes gasped and her face went grey, Kyle was overtaken by a name and all the cold horror that that name bore with it. He had never heard the name and did not know where it had come from, but it had appeared like a shark, out of the murk of his mind and now hovered like a thunder cloud at the edge of his mind.
“Bright Eyes, the cloud it has a name doesn’t it?”
Bright Eyes stared at Kyle for a long time, before saying in a tight voice.
“And what name is that Kyle?”
“yes that is the name,” Bright Eyes said, her voice and face both grave. “But how do you know that name Kyle, the world of men is not part of your teachings, that weapon is not something Grey Back would teach you.”
“I don’t know Eyes, it just appeared in my mind.”
Bright Eyes stared at Kyle for a long time and then she asked Kyle a question.
“Kyle if I said Trinity, Little Boy and Fat Man, what do they mean to you?”
Kyle did not even need to concentrate; the answer was on his lips before he even knew what he was saying.
“The Manhattan Project.”
“Then it is true, you have the memories,” Bright Eyes said as she turned away from Kyle, her face suddenly hidden from his eyes.
“Bright Eyes please tell me what has happened to me, how do I know these things?”
“You shouldn’t know them Kyle you are not a Druid.”
“I don’t understand Bright!”
Bright Eyes looked to the east and taking a deep breath turned her piercing blue eyes on Kyle.
“Kyle I am about to tell you something that I probably shouldn’t, and you must promise on your spirit not to tell anyone else what I am about to tell you.”
Kyle nodded, but this was not enough for his sister.
“Promise,” she snarled something of the black wolf she had been coming back into her face.
“I promise upon my spirit that I shall not repeat what you tell me.”
“Good, then listen well. When a Druid or Druidess passes within and joins the order they take part in an initiation ritual like the one you just took part in. When we drink from the cup we receive the Ladies blessing and she awakens our other lives.”
“Other lives, the ancestors?”
“In a way, it allows us to access past lives and memories and knowledge that others cannot remember or know.”
“And this is what has happened to me?”
“Not exactly, if you had the past lives you would remember more than just words you would be at Trinity reliving the bombs test. Never the less you seem to have received something of the gift.”
“Probably because you pledged yourself to the Lady. Without knowing it, you made a similar pledge that we as Druids make to her. It seems that she has rewarded you for it.”
“But the vision Bright, what does it mean?”
Bright Eyes grimaced as she shook her head.
“I am not certain Kyle, interpreting visions is an art, but I would guess that the Lady is warning us that the world of man may be about to go to war and in doing so may destroy both their world and ours.”
“But Bright is this a vision of what will happen or, what may happen?”
“I hope and pray that the Lady is giving us a warning in time for us to prevent it, but that Kyle is a thin hope and we may be too late already!”
Kyle winced a look of horror crossed his face.
“If that is the case what can we do about it?”
Bright Eyes shrugged, a look of resignation crossing her face, followed by one of fear.
“Not a lot Kyle, if man uses the weapons at his disposal there is little we can do except what we have always planned for such a moment. To hide and guard what we have and hope that we and the rest of the world can weather such a storm.”
“And can we weather it?”
“I don’t know Kyle, but even if we can, if we cannot find out what is going on in the world of man and put a stop to it, we are all looking at a very dark future.”
“Some life I have been reborn into!”
“Perhaps, but Kyle all any of us can do is pray and hope.”
“Is that all we can do?”
“There maybe more that you and I can do Kyle, but not until we know more.”
“Then maybe it might be a good idea to get dressed and go out into the world of man and find out what’s going on out there.”
“But you’ve never been to the world of men have you?”
“No, but I have been reborn remember and if it is one thing I know it is that this reborn cub needs to be up and doing.”
“You are reborn aren’t you?”
“well we’ll soon find out.”
“I only hope you haven’t been reborn in time to see the death of a world.”
“Not if I can help it.”
© Christian Boustead 10/01/2018.