Wynn Manor
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One for you, Amy.

The Legacy.


The Nineteenth Century was in its infancy and Mother Nature readied herself for the season of new life. A dark imposing cumulus began its formation on the horizon, and Nuada feared there was to be a storm, “Yes! a storm in more ways than one” she thought.

“Bi cro’ga Nuada” she muttered to herself.

She stopped a moment to listen to her thoughts and on the wind; she could hear the voices of her ancestors calling. Not only the beckoning calls, for it was near Nuada’s time, but the voice of her spirit guide warning of a possible omen, an omen that if not heeded could return her people back to the dark days, the laethanta daoirse.   

Nuada continued her laborious trudge along the winding lane then through the open fields until she finally came to the gardens of her dear friend Aylwin. A daunting journey for someone in their later years, but none the less, a task she was compelled to endure every four years to renew the vows of friendship.

As always she found Aylwin in her rose garden, clipping and pruning, then after the usual affectionate but silent hugs of endearment, Nuada spoke.

   “Aylwin thou hast been my dearest friend for many a year, but I fear this will be our last meeting, as of lately I have heard the calling of taobh thall and fear I am not long of this earth, so it may be time for thee to pass over the secret to another, but remember my dearest friend, beware the seekers”

Once again, they hugged and exchanged tears, then Nuada was gone.

 A smile beamed across the hideous face of Gauk revealing a mismatch of cracked and stained tombstone teeth. Gauk made a mental note of the private conversation he had just overheard before quickly disappearing into the undergrowth.

The Hollow19

Amy dried her eyes on the already soggy handkerchief before bursting yet again into tears. The visit had been a sad affair, seeing her grandma Arline lying helplessly on the hospital bed. Her body, according to the doctors, was in excellent condition, but her mind had taken a journey to a place they knew not where, and was unable or afraid to return.

Amy had left her grandma’s bedside and was escorted home by her governess. Then after a light lunch she made her way down to her favourite spot in the woods, a spot where she and her grandma would laugh and joke away the hours whilst splashing and paddling by the edge of the lake.

Before entering the woods she glanced back at her home, a fine old manor house, built around the turn of the sixteenth century and the home to the Wynn dynasty since that period. The house had once been part of a much larger building but over the years had been reduced to a third of the original size. Nevertheless, it was a building that still held the imposing grandeur of former gothic times.

The moon now in full bloom seemed to procrastinate on the horizon, taking in the full splendour of an early spring evening before continuing its perpetual journey through the heavens. The creatures of the night began to stir and those of the daylight prepared for slumber, our feathery friends glided through the clear blue welkin before they finally settled down to roost for the evening. That is, with the exception of Antawny, the wise old owl, who was perched on a nearby bough, one eye still fast asleep whilst the other scrutinised the strange young female human.

Amy sat by the old oak tree oblivious to all the activities around her, her face buried in her hands and her mind lost deep in her thoughts. Will my grandma ever come back to me? Have I lost my best friend? Will we never again hide in the bushes and play by the lake?

Whilst Amy’s mind reflected on the good times that had been and what she prayed would continue, she was being studied by the bright emerald eyes concealed in the bushes, eyes that seemed so out of place on the small craggy face of Corey.

Corey lifted his hand and pointed a small bony finger. “ZAP”, the incantation hit Amy directly on the forehead and penetrated deep into her mind. The hand withdrew and the craggy face quickly faded into the foliage.

For a couple of seconds Amy was disorientated but soon regained normality. Thinking this was a result of her distressing and tiring day at the hospital she decided it was time for home and quickly made her way out of the woods.

The emerald eyes followed her progress before they too retreated to the safety of the hollow..

Back home Amy readied herself for bed, then after saying her prayers with an extra special blessing for her grandma Arline, she took a moment to reflect on the curiosities of the previous days.      

It had all started two days ago. Amy had arrived home from school and as was the norm she readied herself for an hour’s walk in the woods with her grandma before dinner. But today Arline was reluctant to venture outside, giving the excuse of an impending storm, which Amy thought strange, as no matter what the weather they always had their afternoon walk in the woods. But today Arline had said,

   “Amy I want you to do something very special for me, I want you to…”

   “Grandma, Grandma” Arline was interrupted by Amy’s younger brother Tom, who ran up and gave Arline’s leg a bear hug.

   “Are you going to read me a story grandma? Please Grandma please”

   “Of course I will darling. Amy, I’m just going to read Tom a bedtime story, I will see you in our secret place in half an hour”

   “Ok Grandma!” and off went Amy to the secret room.

The secret room was actually the old library and was out of bounds to the children unless accompanied by an adult, but Amy would sometimes slither in when Tom was in one of his menacing moods and she just wanted time for her own thoughts.     

This was one of the few fortunate parts of the manor that had survived the neglect of time and all the centuries of wars and destruction that history had to offer. The library had been christened the secret room by Arline, not because its whereabouts were concealed, although it is said that within its walls is hidden the location of secret passages and priest holes, but because some books and scrolls contained within seemed to periodically vanish only to reappear days later. Yes! A room that was certainly shrouded in myths and mysteries. 

Amy entered the library; the smell of old parchment and fusty vellum hung heavy in the air. She was greeted by the welcoming smiles of residents, smiles immortalised on canvas by a friend of her grandfathers, there were many such painting hung about the library, the artist in question, she assumed, must have been the parish beadle at the time, for he always signed his work “constable”.

For a child of twelve years old the library could be an intimidating place, with its towering bookshelves and grand portraits of characters - from the Wynn dynasty - whose eyes always seemed to follow her about the room. Over the years she had become accustomed to their inquisitive stares, and often found herself scolding them, “Stop being so nosy” she would chastise and strangely enough, in her mind she would hear their rebuke replies “the cheeky little monkey”.

To the far end of the library was a small cloister, this the habitué of her grandmother and was Amys favourite place, for here she felt at home with herself, her only company other than solitude, was the vast array of books, trinkets and strange Celtic artefacts’ that were precariously scattered about the dusty shelves and floor. Here, armed with a good book or artefact she would simply loose herself in her daydreams. Occasionally the silence would be interrupted by the faint mumblings that seemed to emanate from the cloister walls, now and again she would make out a word or two, strangely enough the words always seemed to be in the old Gaelic tongue.

Whilst Amy waited for her Grandmother, she played with various antiquities but the ones she preferred over the rest were the dice, twenty-six in all, and engraved with the English alphabet, eighteen of which also had the Gaelic alphabet and some had runic symbols.

The dice were use in various games that she and her Grandmother would play. But Amy’s favourite game was “The Treasure Hunt”, this consisted of Arline hiding some prize in the library, also hidden throughout the house were cryptic clues, quite simple clues at first, but over the years they became harder and harder, for not only were these written in English then Gaelic; but also symbolic Arthurian runes .     

This was a just a game to Amy, but to Arline it was the perfect way to teach her granddaughter the language and ways of the old country. Not that Arline had ever lived in the old country but it was part of the Wynn a legacy. It was on one such treasure hunt that Amy was to discover one of the dark secrets of Wynn manor.

To be continued...

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