France… again

Hi guys. Well once again (for the third time in two months) I am off to France for a conference. But never fear, I will back on Thursday and haven’t got any more trips planned till July (although something might come up before then). I am hoping to get a bit more settled back into a routine of some sort then, as much as I like travelling sometimes it can be a bit bad taking off every other week. So I am quite looking forward to actually having some length of time in Stockholm for a few months. Anyway, enough rambling… I’ve got to go to bed since I have an early flight to catch tomorrow. Meh… and a Sunday too :( I want to sleep in instead.


Arran lives the night again

Before him lay a crumpled figure, her limbs skewed at odd angles, her plain homemade dress bunching around her legs, golden hair draping softly over a beautiful face.

Smears of blood stained her perfect face, dribbling from her nose, flowing over the soft curves of her lips and rolling down her cheek. Tiny white flowers stood guard around her fallen body, their faces defiant as they clustered around her.



Arran’s wounds are reopened

”Get away from her you beast!” Lochan roared as they burst through the bushes into the clearing.

The other men ran ahead of him, their legs sure and sturdy, their swords glinting in the moonlight like fangs. Arran stumbled after them blindly, barely clutching the blunted length of the burning brand between his trembling hands. His ears were filled with the faint clank of links of rusty chainmail rubbing together, of heavy feet pounding tiny flowers into dust. The screaming had stopped.



Off to the land of chocolate croissant breakfast!

Hi guys,

So I am heading off on another adventure. Not too long… just nine days but I might not have much time for the easter long weekend either since my sister is coming over from the Netherlands (she is studying her masters there) for a visit. But never fear, I have taken the pics for my next two posts and hopefully I will have internet connection where I am going and I will have quite a lot of time to write I think. I am heading to Grenoble in France to do an experiment on the synchrotron (wheeee!). But there has to be someone there at all times so we are taking shifts while the experiment is running (some overnight and 12hrs!). So hopefully I will have a lot of time to write (unless my supervisor is sharing a shift with me… then I will be writing but it will be an article and not Mhalwae :)


Igrayne screams

“Kelgar!!! Oh Kelgar! Where are yew bein’ my little honey bee?!”, Igrayne called out loudly, not quite able to suppress a snicker as she imagined Kelgar hidden further from the clearing, fuming at her cries. She did not know exactly where they were but she knew they were close enough to hear if she called out loudly.



Lochan asks a dreadful thing

The rows of letters had begun to blur into an incoherent mess as Lochan gazed down at the pages. He had been sitting in his study for many hours, pouring over the daily journal he had been writing during their time on Mhalwae. But try as he might, he could not draw any connection between what seemed to be a random series of attacks.



Kelgar is not enough man

Igrayne was jumping up and down excitedly and Kelgar could not help but notice the way her ample breasts bounced with her. She had found the first flowers just outside the castle gates.


She bent down to pluck the unsuspecting thing from its stalk as Kelgar watched, her dress straining over her firm buttocks. He almost suppressed a laugh that a man like him and a woman like Nyawe had been sent to guard over these young innocents tonight. Of course Nyawe would not permit anything to happen now, but there was always later.


Maire rushed up to Igrayne, obviously about to congratulate her and then quickly clapped a hand over her mouth and merely grinned at her instead. Kelgar chuckled to himself. These young girls and their superstition.


The strange thing was, that while Maire and Igrayne jiggled and giggled and paraded around for his entertainment, he found his attention was almost entirely fixed on Lyiss. He could not particularly understand it. She was a rather plain girl but something about the sheen of her dusky skin, the faint shadows around the translucent skin of her eyes and the way she carried herself had him transfixed. He could not stop staring at the back of her slender neck, where the skin sometimes peeked shyly between the long strands of hair draped there. He longed to part that hair and brush his lips across the hidden soft skin, his arms wrapped around her scrawny waist.


She gracefully bent to pick a flower as his eyes followed. The other girls had heartily plucked, crushing the fragile blooms between their hurried fingers, shoving them into their apron pockets. Lyiss was different, her long pale fingers, moving down the stem achingly slowly, finding the weak point and carefully bending until the chosen flower was released and fell into her waiting hands in a lover’s swoon.

As he was watching Maire came and planted herself between them, her hands on hips that were tilted towards him.


He winked at her and she gave him a cheeky grin. She was a bold one this one, he thought but still he tried to gaze past her as Lyiss smoothly rose to her feet.

“Goodness me girls!”, Nyawe called from down the hill, “If you’re going to dawdle like this for every flower we’re going to be here to till the crock crows”.

Then she snickered, “Perhaps he will be crowing anyway… but enough of that. Let’s be on our way.”


It was Igrayne once again who found the next flowers, a patch of tiny white daisies scattered haphazardly across the ground. She had run on ahead and when they arrived she was grinning up at Kelgar as she lay among them.

“What have we got here then… look at all these beautiful daisies and the loveliest of all lying right in the middle. I think I would like to pluck that one”, he grinned wolfishly down at her as she blushed.


She leaped to her feet pummeling at his chest with her tiny fists and shaking with silent laughter. He noticed Lyiss watching him, over the top of Igrayne’s tiny golden head.


“All this dilly-dallying! Don’t you girls want to know who your husband will be? The sun setting and you’re only two flowers along. Enough flirting and lets be moving on”, Nyawe called out.

Kelgar looked over to see that she too was standing as Maire had, hands on hips, her slightly swollen belly swaying in his direction and he thought he detected a slightly brassy ring to her voice. So mama hen wanted to play too, he thought to himself with a grin. Well there was plenty of him to go round.


After searching for nearly an hour, Igrayne and Maire had managed to find all but one flower. This last one had proved much more difficult and they had searched everywhere. Kelgar was not willing to take them any further into the forest and so, he would have to deliver the disappointing news soon.

Then from the edge of the clearing came a delighted squeak and he looked up to see Lyiss clenching her fists in excitement, a glowing smile spread across her face.


His heart faltered then, tripping over its witty comments and winking replies. It was the first time she had smiled the whole night and it was a beautiful thing to behold, the faint glow of the swelling moon brushing her face and kissing her dimples.

She had found a tiny patch of flowers huddled at the base of a birch tree, shivering as the faint night breeze caressed their petals.

He regained his composure and sidled up to her, “Well done young lady well done! What would we have done without you, oh Lyiss of the flowers”.


“Surely you deserve a great reward for what you’ve done”, he lowered his voice huskily, raising a hand to pat her mock heartily on the shoulder.

Her face fell, smile wilting, the petals of her lips closing to shut out the night as the slender stem of her body arched away from his reaching hand. It dropped uselessly to his side.


She backed away from him, lowering herself to the ground to reverently cup the open flowers in her hands, their soft blush matching the one that was spreading across her face and down her neck.

He heard the shuffle of heather beneath determined feet and he looked up to see Maire standing beside him, gazing at him defiantly. These women… it was too much for him. What did they expect of him honestly.


“Well… I see we’re done then”, Nyawe snapped, “if you would hurry up and stop communing with the flowers Lyiss then we could head back to the castle. I’m quite parched and my poor aching back would very much like a sit down. Kelgar… perhaps you would be so good as to fetch me some ale when we return”.


Kelgar gaped at her, perhaps he had been wrong, four women was too many for one man to handle. All he wanted was to bury his face in a curtain of pale reddish hair and lie quietly for a while.

He felt a tiny arm slip through his and a warm breast pressing against his upper arm just below the metal plates of his armour.


He looked up sheepishly at Nyawe who was glaring at them both.

“Oh… how kind of you Kelgar, to offer your arm to a lady. Perhaps I might take your other so I don’t stumble and hurt the baby”.

Another arm slipping through his own, another warm larger breast pressing against his arm.

“Of course my lady. It would do me a great honour”, he replied, as they set off towards the castle gate.

“Very kind of you Kelgar”, Nyawe purred in his ear and he felt Maire’s body stiffen beside his.


He had been wrong, he thought he knew how to play the game but these women were more cunning than he could have imagined. Suddenly he was not so happy to be one of the only potential husbands on the island. And now he was trapped, wedged between two of them while another swayed her hips before him in the hope he might be watching.

But the only thing he was thinking of, the only thing he was watching was the tiny pink ear that was meekly glancing at him from behind the strands of hair tucked neatly behind it.