Tag Archives: Stonehenge

Nimue’s Daughter “Name that Character Contest”

I’m running a ‘Name that Character Contest’ for my contemporary fantasy short story Nimue’s Daughter. It’s a rescue from Armageddon based on the Arthurian mythology. It’s also a work in progress for Shared Whispers, the freebie anthology from Champagne authors that will be published and available for free download in January.

There’s a blank in this excerpt and throughout the entire story where Nimue’s cousin’s name should be. She’s the major secondary character in the story. She’s a feisty, red-haired Celtic lady who refuses to accept the terrorists’ inevitable Armageddon without a fight. Please give her a name. Leave your entry in a comment  for this post. The winner’s name can be included (your choice) in the acknowledgement. Winner will be announced on Monday, September 24th  at ritabay.com.

Check out this unedited excerpt of Nimue’s Daughter:

The clarion call sounded, jolting Myrddin from his healing sleep. He sat bolt upright and sucked in a deep breath—and a mouthful of dirt. He held out a hand expecting a drink. Nothing. He forced open one crusted eyelid, then the other, and saw only darkness—total, pitch black darkness. He curled his hands into fists. Vast power coursed through his body, even dripped from his fingers, but a sense of foreboding nagged at him.

He used a bit of power to cast a light into the depths of the cave that had served as his resting place. Empty, long-deserted. He held up an arm to the light. Filthy and bare. His elegant embroidered tunic lay in faded tatters on the ground around him.  He was naked, his body crusted with dirt. His hair and beard fell below his waist in a tangled mass. He struggled to stand but fell to his hands and knees, too weak to rise. Foreboding yielded to panic.

There should have been abundant light and fresh air, novices to tend him after his long sleep, and senior priests and priestesses assembled to welcome him. Most important of all, there should have been …Who? His memory failed him. He pushed himself to his feet and staggered across the floor of the cave to the entrance that had been sealed … How long ago?

A wave of his hand tossed the boulders sealing the cave tumbling down the mountainside. He clung to the opening of the cave and surveyed the vast, empty expanse of stone. Then he remembered. She should have been here. He croaked her name, then licked his lips, swallowed, and called again.

“Nimue!”

*****

“I’m sure I heard something, __________.”

“I didn’t hear a thing, Vivian.”

“You’re not wearing your hearing aids, dear. I believe it came from over here.”

Two crones dressed in long white robes rounded a boulder and stopped dead at the sight of him. He felt their fear, their panic. They were about to depart, leaving him stranded. He hadn’t understood a word of their language but had recognized a name.

He held out a hand in supplication and requested in the ancient language. “Vivian. Help me.”

No response. He tried again in the languages of the Cymry, the Gaels, and the Picts. Nothing. He lowered himself and addressed them in the language of the accursed Romans.

__________, a full-figured Celtic beauty with faded red hair, brightened. “It’s him, Vivian. He’s asking for our help in classical Latin.”

Vivian, tall and slender with bright blond hair, sniffed. “We need his help. The clarion call from our grandmothers’ stories and all.” She rang the bell that had awakened him. “There are only six days left to us, if we’re to believe the government. I drove to Anglesey because I couldn’t allow my cousin and best friend to die alone. I want us to spend the time we have left at my home in Wiltshire with Nimue, not with some dirty, naked vagrant.”

He couldn’t understand them but they were discussing him and had mentioned Nimue. They had failed to offer him the proper deference due his rank or even the hospitality due strangers and were considering leaving. He raised his hand and the women were suspended several feet in the air. He held them there for a few moments as they kicked and cursed, then gently lowered them to the ground.

He waited as the two fussed with their hair and clothing. ____________ shook a finger in Vivian’s face. “It’s him. I told you we would find him. He slept in peace until Britain needed him, just as Grandmother told us. It was our honor to call him forth. No one else believed. We must take him to my home and clean him up. You must have faith, dear.”

___________ handed him a blanket to cover himself and beckoned. “Follow me.”

*****

 Rita Bay  ritabay.com with Rita Bay’s Blog
“Into the Lyons’ Den” Champagne Books, August, 2012
“The Aegis” Champagne Books, April, 2013

“His Obsession” Siren BookStrand, April, 2012
“His Desire” Siren BookStrand, May, 2012

Tomorrow, Leeuwenhoek    Rita Bay

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Stonehenge

Stonehenge Restored

Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument located near Salisbury in Wiltshire (England), is a World Heritage Site. The site has been of cultural significance for 7,000 – 8,000 years. The earthworks and ditch (the oldest sections of the monument dated to 3100 BC) surrounds a circle of large standing stones and the site of several hundred burial mounds. It was constructed in three phases of Bluestone, Sarsen, Welsh Sandstone. The blue standing stones (erected 2200 – 3000 BC) are the oldest part of the monument.

The Stonehenge Riverside Project identified the area as a burial ground far in its shrouded past. The true significance of the monument remains unknown. Proposed possibilities include a temple for sun or moon worship, a healing center, a calendar or a burial site. Early British investigators attributed the monument to Druids, however, the construction of Stonehenge predates the Druids by a couple of thousand years. Recent investigations have identified a large timber circle (oriented to the rising sun on the midwinter solstice) at Durrington Walls overlooking the River Avon and a second avenue leading to the Avon River, two miles away. Evidence of bonfires lining the Avon River and the avenues indicates a connection between the two. It has been suggested that Durrington Walls with its wooden henge was of the living and the cold stones of Stonehenge were of the dead with the avenues and rivers connecting the two along which processions were held. Today, the Stonehenge monument is closed to visitors around the monument which is maintained by several groups.

Tomorrow, More Stonehenge.   Rita Bay

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Pic of the Weekend: Stonehenge 1830

Watercolor of Stonehenge by John Constable, 1835  (There’s a man painted in the middle of the pic.)

Tomorrow, An Author’s Desk  (Mine)   Rita Bay

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Pic of the Weekend: Stonehenge 1610

Stonehenge by cartographer John Speed, 1610

Tomorrow, Another Stonehenge      Rita Bay

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Person of Interest: The King of Stonehenge

The Amesbury Archer

In 2007 Wessex Archaeology discovered the richest grave of the early Bronze Age in Amesbury, Wiltshire, England. Called the King of Stonehenge or the Amebury Archer, he was approximately 40-45 years old when he died. Analysis of his teeth revealed that he had lived as a child in the Alps, most likely Switzerland, around 2300 BC. His kneecap had been destroyed which caused his left leg to be frozen at the knee, requiring him to walk with a limp. An abscess in his teeth and an infection in his bones left him in constant pain.

What is most remarkable about the find was the wealth of the burial. The grave contained about 100 items including pottery, arrowheads, and gold ornaments. The gold hair or ear clips that he wore were the first example of worked gold found in Britain. The three copper knives from Spain were also rare. The source of his wealth could be related to his ability to work gold or craft weaponry.  He wore an archer’s wristguards and had the tools to craft arrows buried with him. In general, he brought new technology to Britain which was very profitable. He might even have worked on the stone phase of building  Stonehenge.  Next week’s Person of Interest: Meet the Archer’s Companion.

This weekend, My favorite old paintings of Stonehenge.  Rita Bay

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New Wonder of the World Runner-Up: Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument located near Salisbury in Wiltshire (England), is a Wonder of the World Runner-Up and World Heritage Site. The site has been of cultural significance for 7,000 – 8,000 years. The earthworks and ditch (the oldest sections of the monument dated to 3100 BC) surrounds a circle of large standing stones and the site of several hundred burial mounds. It was constructed in three phases of Bluestone, Sarsen, Welsh Sandstone. The blue standing stones (erected 2200 – 3000 BC) are the oldest part of the monument.

 

Aerial View

 

Stonehenge 1877

Stonehenge Restored

The Stonehenge Riverside Project identified the area as a burial ground far in its shrouded past. The true significance of the monument remains unknown. Proposed possibilities include a temple for sun or moon worship, a healing center, a calendar or a burial site. Early British investigators attributed the monument to Druids, however, the construction of Stonehenge predates the Druids by a couple of thousand years. Recent investigations have identified a large timber circle (oriented to the rising sun on the midwinter solstice) at Durrington Walls overlooking the River Avon and a second avenue leading to the Avon River, two miles away. Evidence of bonfires lining the Avon River and the avenues indicates a connection between the two. It has been suggested that Durrington Walls with its wooden henge was of the living and the cold stones of Stonehenge were of the dead with the avenues and rivers connecting the two along which processions were held. Today, the Stonehenge monument is closed to visitors around the monument which is maintained by several groups.

Tomorrow, Sydney Opera House Rita Bay

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