Death Dances in the Shadows: Wyndwrayth Chapter One Excerpt

 

http_s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.comfthtsi-assets-productionezimages0815335180-1-eng-GBc07a9094-11c9-46b3-85ad-4ef3a666d26a

“I really must go and give that place the once over,” he said, casting his gaze towards the lonely island, which appeared to almost float on the water. Its real name, was Ynys y Niwl. However, in Nick’s mind, his anachronism fit perfectly well and ‘Fog Island,’ seemed to suit it much better than the old Welsh name, which for him was a bit of a mouthful. A constant mist seemed to float amongst the tree tops, making the place seem ever so inscrutable.  In company, if he was trying to be politically correct, he would refer to the rock as “Innis E. Newel,” disrespectfully pronouncing its ancient moniker, as if it were a bloke’s name. However, it served its purpose. The Welsh just wrote it off as, ‘another example of English ignorance,’ laughing at ‘the incomers’ pronunciation. Well it saved all that spitting and throat clearing, which made up much of the Old Welsh language. Nick took one last toke on his joint, then got back on his feet and stretched his back.

“Ooof!” He exclaimed as a couple of the vertebrae in his spine clicked back into place. “Oh yeah, that’s the way you do it,” he sighed, then chuckled as he broke wind. “Time to put Venezuela back in her boat house.”

When he’d originally discovered there was a vessel in the boathouse, Nick could hardly believe it. At first, he reckoned it was probably a derelict but on unlocking the access door, there, sitting sedately on the water, was ‘June.’ She was a beautiful old lady, once bedecked in polished wood from head to toe, this Grande D’am, simply spoke to him. “Cooool,” he’d remarked in amazement, as he gazed in wonder at her just floating there in the dark water. She needed a great deal of repairs. Her woodwork and the metal fitments, leather and enamel work, were all in serious need of some renovation but during the two years since his mothers’ death, ‘June,’ became the positive therapy he needed as he brought her back to life.

“You and me’s goin’ explorin’ tomorrah,” he informed the boat, as he lovingly stroked her refurbished bodywork. Then, he slowly cast his eyes back towards the letters on the stern of this gem and there it was, ‘Venezuela.’ He had changed her name, from ‘June,’ almost as a first act of ownership. ‘June’ sounded like a name from the thirties, authentic to her build but hardly inspiring. When he’d looked at the lines of this elegant, yet exotic creation for the first time, he’d simply commented, “No, you need something a little more imaginative!” His mind had slipped into overdrive, looking for that elusive, enigmatic, yet pleasingly suitable, alternative name. During those next few days, the name of the motor launch had many incarnations, none of them quite pictorial enough, until one day, he heard a song on the radio, being performed by a woman from Canada called Rita Connelly, whose song and title just felt right.

“Venezuela,” he’d said, “I like it!” It was a quirky enough name, one which maintained Nick’s vision of himself as an artistic man and it seemed to just trip off his tongue, as he’d repeated it, over and over again. “Venezuela.” He’d said for about the twentieth time. “Yeah, that’s it!” He’d emphatically intoned, an air of finality in his voice and then, as if to prove the point to himself. He’d said it again,

“Venezuela.”

Even as the word was leaving his lips, he’d seen images of a warm azure blue ocean and an ice-cold beer, or two. “Venezuela! Yes, that suits you much better. You may have been built in the Thirties but you’re here now. ‘June’ was just altogether too ‘Famous Fivey’ for my liking …..” Smiling at these memories, the boat secured in her house, he casually made his way back down the gravel path towards the kitchen door. It was only a two-minute walk and to this day, he still couldn’t believe his luck. He was now the owner of a fantastic cottage, with a vintage motor launch thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Death Dances in the Shadows: Wyndwrayth Chapter One excerpt.

Wyndwrayth 2

As he took his first couple of steps outside, Nick could feel the first bite of winter on the westerly wind blowing directly into his face. It was coming straight off the cold grey mountains and there was nothing in the twenty-eight miles between their lofty peaks and the coast, to interrupt the flow, or warm up the air. He squinted a little, his eyes watering as he looked across the lake towards its island.

‘It’s time to go in,’ he thought, rising from the stone seat and turning towards the cottage. Then, he paused for a moment and raising his face to the sky, he turned and took a long, deep and measured breath in through his nose. There was something familiar in the tang, something that went far beyond the all-pervasive aroma of the Kelp beds at low tide and the salty sea, which was just a few hundred yards beyond the lake. Curious, he took in another long breath and held on to it, for a little more analysis. Now, as Nick released the breath, he suspected he could detect a hint of rain within the sample.

‘Sniffing the wind,’ as he called it, was as good a forecast as any other, in predicting the local weather. It had proved far more accurate than any of the generalisations that flowed like a river of conjecture from the Television presenters. He had learnt in the past few years that dependent upon the wind direction, a quick snort could generally predict with 80% accuracy, whether it was worth beginning an outside task today, or not. It was always better to wait a day or two, to avoid a deal of frustration, when inclement weather brought proceedings to a grinding halt. The few summer visitors who made it out here to the northern tip of Anglesey, often liked to call this kind of thing, ‘Country Ways.’ It was a mystery to them how these, ‘bumpkins’ were often correct.

He folded his arms as some scant protection against the worsening weather and cast his eyes up towards the ominously darkening clouds, flowing off the distant peaks like some kind of metaphorical lava, spewing from an invisible volcano in the heavens. He observed them as they raced past, trying to estimate the rate of knots they were moving. The grey mass was being propelled by a strengthening breeze, which had started the day as a gentle lilt but had been gaining velocity all morning and long since become a gusting wind. As the sun inexorably rose higher into the dark, cloudy sky and the land warmed up a little, so the wind increased and grew ever colder.

“Looks like there are going to be less and less of these mornings from now on. I reckon sitting out here, in a dressing gown and some tatty old slippers, is over for another year.” He grudgingly opined, sighed and turned to head back inside Bethyn Bryn. This day dawned every year but Nick never found, that it was any less of an annual bummer.

“I declare this autumn …. over,” he pompously stated, whilst closing the back door as if to shut the weather out until the next spring.

The warmth from the central heating hit his senses like a velvet wave and the desire to spend the remainder of the morning indoors, rose on his list of priorities. Standing there by the bay window, with the cold world outside, Nick casually looked at the small motor boat he’d tied securely to its Capstan, now bobbing around in the choppy waters of the lake. He’d strategically placed several old rubber tyres along his refurbished quay, to prevent any damage occurring to his new ‘Lady Friend,’ as she bobbed around in the water.

“Shit!” He cursed, as he realised the awful truth. ‘Now, I’ll have to reopen the boathouse and put her away again. Was it too much to ask for a few hours of peace and quiet, to partake of a little fishing?’ Pleading to the weather gods was generally a futile pursuit but Nick did it anyway, while watching the dead leaves by the quay begin to pile up against a long neglected drystone wall, in drifts.  It was no use, he would have to put the boat away. Sighing, he turned away. His grandmother’s, ‘Better safe than sorry,’ mantra that he remembered from his childhood, which resonated with deeper meanings, came to mind. It was as if those four words came from somewhere within the depths of his subconscious but on giving it a little more thought, he considered correctly, that it was closer to the barely perceptible but omnipresent, ‘galactic hum.’

“But first…..”

Nick, carefully took the top off his coffee and reached for his stash box. He considered briefly where he was going to sit but as usual, plumped for his Lazy Boy recliner, permanently positioned in the bay window, overlooking the lake with its little island. As he casually rolled himself another joint, his third already this morning, which considering he’d only been awake for barely ninety minutes, this was indeed going some, even for him.  He calmly lit his latest ‘hand rolled cigarette’ and sitting in the ridiculously comfortable American sized armchair, his mind drifted away on leaden wings of the Marijuana ‘high,’ allowing an overpowering sense of security to flow over him.

“A touch more research, me thinks and this Coffee’s damn good,” he opined, reached over to pick up his iPod and flicked on some Beatles to get himself going, after his almost transcendental garden experience.

“O.K, Heddi let’s see what you’ve got for me, on this fair morning,” he said with Arthurian grandeur. His finger’s operated automatically as he typed in his Username and Password into the computer. Then, while he waited for her to fully boot up, he took another toke on his half smoked ‘dooby’ and washed it down with another mouthful of the surprisingly delicious coffee. “Right then, let’s see if you and me, can find another revelation,” he enquired and lazily typed: Anglesey Post archive+Llyn Isaf, in the Search box.

Yesterday, his attempt to glean a little more information regarding the history of Bethyn Bryn, had yielded little he wasn’t already aware of. He’d learnt of the estimated year of her construction, her previous owners and their family members. There seemed little else to glean from the census and council records, so it was time to look further. He’d decided last night, while watching The Papers on the BBC’s 24 Hour News Channel, that he’d have a look at some of the local press archives for something less dry. A click here and a click there, opened up the world he’d been seeking all along.

“At last, it’s not a scientific project, or anything heavy,” he said to ‘Heddi,’ and started to read. His eyes fell on a file named, ‘Mysterious Death’s and Curious Disappearance’s, 1900 – 2007 inclusive.’ Intrigued, he opened it and peered down at the long list of headlines. Then he saw a search box for the file and typed in ‘Bethyn Bryn.’ It threw up an article which read:

Mysterious Black Water Claims Two More Souls by Elrond Peters

 

            The deep black waters of Llyn Isaf have struck again. This time claiming two more lives from the locality. Local farmer, Mr Bryn Hughes, 56 of Bethyn Bryn and Mr Jack Pritchard, 58 of Ty Croes. The two men were reportedly searching the lake and its mysterious island for Mr Hughes’ son David, 20 also lately of Bethyn Bryn.

            I reported the disappearance of David Hughes only two months ago. His boat was found floating in the reeds off the island, Ynys Y Niwl after spending a night fishing on Llyn Isaf. The police put his disappearance down to falling overboard into the lakes freezing black waters and drowning, like so many have before.

            Mr Bryn Hughes, inconsolable at his loss, refused to give up hope that his sons body may yet be found. He and his friend, Mr Jack Pritchard continued to search the lakeshores and the island. According to the police, it was on one such venture last Friday, in Mr Pritchard’s inflatable dinghy, that they went missing.

            So far, no evidence of either men or their boat, has been found. Yet again, the police have filed this one under ‘accidental capsize and drowning.’ Their deaths bring the total number of those consumed by the dangerous black waters of Llyn Isaf since 1900, to 146. 

            A spokesman for Lord Cuthbert and Lady Cleaver, the present owners of the estate which includes Llyn Isaf, Ynys Y Niwl and the lakeshore and island properties, has stated that the lake will continue to be closed to all local people except for permitted shoreline fishing. However, those renting properties on the lakeshore have historic legal boating and fishing rights and can continue to use them. They have erected signs to inform and warn the public of the rules and dangers of the lake. In addition, the area is patrolled by Seth Gordon to ensure compliance and life rings are available at several points around the lake.

            Mr Bryn Hughes is survived by his father Tecwen Hughes, 78 who remains living in Bethyn Bryn. Mr Jack Pritchard leaves a teenage daughter.

Death Dances in the Shadows: Wyndwrayth – Prologue excerpt; The Year 1016

9eb267095f64e862bf00438d0771b707

Last winter, as all the remaining meat began to fall off my ever more visible bones, I thought that I was going to die. One day, whilst out on a futile scavenge for something to eat, I found a dead child, poorly buried in the snow. My hunger had reached the point of eat or die. It compelled me to release the remainder of the dead child from the snow’s frozen embrace and take it home with me. The body seemed to have been in its tomb for only one or maybe two days, as it was more, or less intact. The animals had barely troubled it.

After gutting the little boy and leaving his offal for the beasts, I ate his liver raw, then I hung the rest of the body in the Fogou to season. By this time, I’d been starving for so long, that I could hardly remember my name, Gideon.  That child was a gift that saw me through.  It made me swear to the Gods that I would not spend another winter on those islands.

I don’t recall now how many men I had to kill, to secure my passage off Flotta but I knew I would never be returning. Olaf Gunderson is not a man you would wish to anger, lest you wish to receive a visit from “The Eagle.” I was ever mindful of that possibility when I joined the crew of “The Red Witch” and prepared to depart from The Northern Isles.

As the Sea God’s would have it, The Red Witch was blown off course by endless storms and when the last barrel of fish was emptied, being unable to fish in the high seas, we all began to die of hunger. I was so weak, that I had several of what the ships navigator nee healer, called, ‘Head Fury’s.’  I oft wished for death to take me, anything to release me from my suffering. I longed for the eternal darkness to consume my aching hunger, before madness overwhelmed my being.

So, out of a desperation, I prayed to The Keepers of Ragnarok, beseeching them to deliver my soul to the Gates of Valhalla, so I may be judged by Odin. To be either rewarded, or punished, as he saw fit. I knew this was a risky path to take but surely, my befuddled mind reasoned, it couldn’t be worse than the anguish of wasting away on a salty ocean….

 

Death Dances in the Shadows: “Wyndwrayth”

Wyndwrayth 2

Finally, it’s finished and available from all the usual outlets and direct from the publishers @:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/779278

This was a really intense thing to write, all the characters had their own voices, flaws and idiosyncrasy’s and sometimes they informed me of where they were taking this story. Believe me, sometimes that kind of thing can be somewhat disconcerting. It got so bad, that at times they even invaded my dreams! The problem is that sometimes, the dreamscape and your novel, are not comparable on this level. On more than one occasion, a whole load of gigantic bouncy Marshmallows and a couple of Dayglow Klingon’s, were the main player’s invading Wyndwrayth in the night’s acid plot. They were not useful!

All that kind of stuff, is just a garbage dump and should definitely not be interpreted, as a guide to any future plot lines. Outside of the Star Trek domain, there are few opportunities for a Klingon and stable, long-term employment, is almost unknown. As for the marshmallow’s, that’s one for the ages…..

Well, it’s here now and I hope you enjoy it. “Powderfinger,” was a tale set in and around one of the deserted areas of a major city, in The North West of England. An area I knew well, in all its guises.

“Wyndwrayth” on the other hand, is set in a basically deserted area of North Wales. It draws on my life here, it’s history and the landscape for inspiration. It took longer than I originally anticipated because about half way through the first draft, I realised that I wasn’t really ‘feeling’ it, on any appreciable level. I simply wasn’t getting creeped out, frightened or even revolted for that matter, on any level that I consider to be essential when writing this flavour of head food. In addition, the tale was eating itself…which is something that was anticipated by my editor when I ran it by her.  I knew best of course and continued fruitlessly for almost a year before having to bow down and kiss her feet.  The ignominy!

So instead of attempting a cut and paste, job, I started the whole thing over again. It is a much more interesting story and I hope you will enjoy reading it. I suspect, that Nick Swann, quite possibly survived the process, a little better than I did.

Now that “Wyndwrayth” is completed. I’m taking a few weeks off and refreshing my existential creativity by working on “W900.” I have the bones of the next Nick Swann investigation in my cranial shaker and will begin it soon….. once I’ve run it by Zinzan! I’ve learnt my lesson!

Death Dances in the Shadows: Four Star Review by Literary Titan for Wyndwrayth!

Wyndwrayth 2

Wyndwrayth by Keller Yeats proves to be both interesting and captivating as the reader follows the central figure, Nick Swann, as he bumbles through his semi-isolated real world life and slowly discovers the existence of a second, more deadly world, all around him. These two parallel worlds slowly converge as you turn the pages to reveal what is undoubtedly a cleverly researched horror novel yet still containing moments of strong humour and absurdity.

The first passage of the novel only offers the briefest glimpse of what is to come as it describes events of 1016 in a place named Flotta in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. Much later a more sinister story is revealed, as the full impact of ghosts and ghouls condemned to a life of perpetual purgatory wreaking havoc from their haunted house for a 1000 years follows.

After this brief immersion into Norse mythology the story abruptly introduces the daily life of Nick as a self-styled geek, working occasionally on business research for associates at Bangor University, from an inherited cottage on the island of Anglesey in Wales.

Despite apparent excesses of marijuana, brandy and coffee, Nick still manages to investigate further into the mysterious local occurrences, drownings and inexplicable disappearances which all combine with the mythical backdrop to reveal the cold stark reality of evil forces at work on his doorstep.

As the chapters proceed the two sides are drawn ever closer to their inevitable confrontation – for the outcome you will have to read for yourself, but I quite enjoyed this ethereal mesh of myth and contemporary life. As the two classically configured worlds of good and evil come closer together will Nick and Wendy survive or will they pass into the world of the undead? The only spoilers I will offer here are that if you are offended by strong language and an occasional blood-letting scenario then turn away, but you would be missing an riveting story that I could not put down.

Initially, I did find Nick’s apparent excessive talking to himself annoying; but ultimately I felt like this added to his slightly eccentric and bohemian character. Wyndwrayth by Keller Yeats offers an enthralling well-researched read. The author is able to methodically create an enthralling character, place him in a vivid world, and face him against an enthralling antagonist. If you enjoy stories about myths and legends then you will certainly enjoy this novel.

Pages: 739 | ASIN: B078ZM1R17

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Postcards from the Wastelands

The Worst Summer Ever!

“More Trident anybody?” Asked the new P.M. hopefully. 

Trident2

 “No thank you, Terreza. I doubt, that I could even manage another tiny mouthful and that Plutonium topping, is simply darling but I regret that I must decline,” answered the rather plump guest, defensively.

 I’m having a certain amount of trouble, with “The Labour Party” at the moment. What with The Jeremy of C, endlessly playing Militant Tendency 2,  “The Hatton’s Revenge” on his Amstrad Door Stop – personalised brick stylee computer – the ghost of Uncle Joe is rising from the remains of his fetid political party, inevitably leading to a repeat of the early 80’s.

imgres-1

“Prepare thi’ sen, for a lifetime of opposition, mi ‘arties.”

O.K, so I am now a member of The Green Party…….

Don Didondom Trump, America’s Boris J is talking endless crap over the pond and with this place being held hostage to fortune, by a bunch of Brexit morons, who sadly believe that they can have their cake and eat it …… twice.

imgres

 “Jeebus, we’re all fucked.” 

 Add to that the utterly crappy weather and this has got to be:

“The worst summer……. ever!”

2015-04-21-1429644072-5826168-dobsky_web-thumb

Ship of fools…..sail away from me!

Postcards from the Wastelands

And the war drags on……

I’ve decided to change the focus of any future ‘Blogs’ that I write and stick to the stuff that interests me on a regular basis.

Out will go any more mentions of Women’s Sport, they don’t need any further help from me, they’re doing fine on their own. (See Male’s trying to play Football, at the recent European Championships). Case made and proven, I think.

I could harp on, about the state of modern music but my pennies worth isn’t going to make Adele stop dropping the odd flat note into her repertoire. So, I’m not going to rail on against the wind of modern acceptance of substandard trash. No! I’m going to stick to items such as Drugs and the appalling shit we’ve sleepwalked into, regarding the Euro Referendum. 

Brexit and it’s illegitimate Sons, will lead to one of two things: either there is going to be a fiscal disaster, “Forgive them Lord, because they are too dumb to know what they have done,” or, we will emerge into the new dawn, of glorious solitude and a new form of empirical power will save us from our own righteous stupidity.  However, while we have got Hinkley ‘C‘ and the Trident Nuclear Non Defensive System to worry about, it seems that we are continuing along Moron Boulevard, on the road to nowhere.

Terrorza May, was asked if she would be willing to launch a missile and kill 100,000 people, to which the New Tory hag replied, “Yes” and sat down again.

Cold?

“Yes undoubtedly.”

Cruel?

“Of course, she’s pretending to be Hilda Thatcher.”

Heartless?

“You bet, it goes with the job.”

 But where is Old Grey Jeremy, the ancient guardian of the ludicrous militant left, prey tell?

He’s sitting back and planning his next Non Democratic move, utterly paralyzed by his own inadequacies and unable to see that he’s no longer required in a very realistic, ever more right wing world.

Postcards from the Wasteland

el_010_moon_hare

We’ve got a field of Barley just cropped in the field next door and last night, there was an enormous Hare, just sitting there, looking like it owned the place. That’s one of the great things about living out here, the wildlife just does it’s thing and doesn’t give a fuck about us, we’re just viewed as entertainment.
We’ve got this damned wedding to go to on September 31st or something like that.
I thought, that all that kind of thing was out of the way and marriage had died the death but “No,” my daft Niece, decides to play the traditional card and goes for a large, country house, near Clitheroe, (or Clit Hero as my wife so charmingly has dubbed it!) stylee of wedding. “Fuck me,” it’s going to be right up my street. “Not.”
I reckon, that you can put weddings, somewhere near the top of a worst things to do list.