I was seven years old when the Druid claimed me. Twenty years later I stood second to the Chief Druid of the Arverni Celts. The Arverni trade agreement with Rome was more than two hundred years old. Both Roman and Celt profited. Arverni farms stood green and fertile. Fields of ripening grain stretched to the horizon. Our days are red and blue – these are the best of days.
When the legions invaded we stood confused, asking why? Finally with nothing left to lose I abandoned Druidry and led the fighting men of the Arverni against the legions. We knew we could not win. We knew we were doomed but – we fought anyway. Six years later I fled the land of my birth with a price on my head. The Arverni no more than distant voices in the sky. The Romans kill everything. I fled to the coast and secured a berth aboard a Veneti deep sea sailing ship. The voyage was long and not without incident and I thank the Creator that I lived to reach the shores of the Far Land (America BC). I was not born to be a sailor man. I disembarked with the intention of forging a new life for myself in this vast, rugged land.
Season followed season – the haunt in my soul for my once people lived on. I began to despair, seemingly I am fated to live and die alone. And then one day in the light of a blood red sun I stood at the edge of a vast plain – a sea of grass. The dusky light of the waning sun stained the grass pink. The plain reached out towards forever. I carry a long blade of iron. My head is full of mysteries and secrets; and for all I know, I am the last surviving Druid on earth.
I met darkness and light out on the plains
I fought side by side with painted warriors
I stood friend to a Holy Man and against all odds I found Love!!
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And then one day I awoke to find myself surrounded by warriors. Six there were, sitting on their haunches regarding me with quiet amusement.
There was something about them that bade me beware. Fierce eyed, lean and hard, armed with bow and arrow, flint knife and club. Each warrior gripping a long, deadly looking lance adorned with feathers.
Slowly I rose to my feet and with exaggerated care added sticks to my smouldering fire, fanning the embers until flames licked and crackled. Skewering meat I broiled it over the flames. No one moved or spoke. When the meat was done I handed it to the nearest warrior, cooking more and passing it round. If they were going to attack I reasoned; they would have done so by now. I had yet to learn how notional Indians can be.
Suddenly one warrior said through a mouthful of meat, “Sleeps well.” Another said, “Something to do with his height I think.” Another said, “we should call him Touch The Sky,” they all chuckled softly.
I smiled then, more from the fact that I could understand their speech than from anything else. Again I stood, unsheathing my sword in one fluid motion.
They reacted with blinding speed, lances levelled at my heart and throat.
“Easy,” I said softly, “I simply show peaceful intent,” and lay my sword down near my feet.
Six lances lowered. One who seemed to be the leader said, “You show courage. We could have killed you.”
“No, you only think you could have killed me,” I replied with an easy smile.
The leader eyed me in silence and then, driving his lance into the earth, stepped forward and said, “We fight, bare hands, for sport, for fun.”
He’s testing me I thought, to find out if I’m windy words or something else. “No,” I answered, “not you alone,” I gestured towards the others, “all, or none at all.”
His warriors gave whoops of delight and quickly lay their weapons aside: And then without warning swarmed over me.
I stand six feet, eight inches tall, my arms and chest thick with ropy, iron hard muscle. I had fought against the Romans for more than six years and been hailed as the only man alive to disarm Brigit and walk away in one piece. I was going to enjoy this. With a wicked smile I moved amongst them like a hungry cat, striking twice with empty hands. Two warriors fell, their breath whooshing out as they hit the ground. Turning, I picked one warrior up and hurled him aside, plucking another from my back as he tried for a strangle hold. Laughing, the remaining two hurled themselves at me. Shrugging them off with easy strength, I stood hands on hips grinning at them all.
“Do you want to try again,” I asked?
Their leader, whose name was Ghost Dog, shook his head. We sat down, gathering up our weapons.
“Who are you,” I asked?
“Ah,” I breathed out softly, “the lance people. I have heard of you. You are warriors, everyone says so.” They all beamed at that.
“And you,” Ghost Dog inquired politely, “who are you?”
“I come from a distant place,” I told him, “from beyond the bitter water.”
A subtle change came over the seated warriors, as though what I said conveyed some hidden meaning. They looked at each other in silence. Ghost Dog said, “You come from the west, from beyond the land of the Mound People?”
“Yes,” I replied, and so I had, in a round about way. “Is this important to you,” I inquired softly?
The Comanche shifted uneasily, avoiding my eyes. Something was happening here, only I didn’t know what it was. A small wind skittered between us. The rising sun hot on my back, sweat trickled down my face. Somewhere a bird squawked, the sound loud in the silence. Would they attack, I wondered silently? I prayed they would not. I had no desire to harm these men. Moments stretched out, my senses alert and thrumming.
Ghost Dog looked up, “You are the last of your people,” he stated quietly.
Caesar hunted the Arverni to death, yes; I might very well be the last. “Yes,” I said finally “I am the last, the bones of my people are dust and all that we were,” I added softly, “now we are not.”
“Hieee, hieee, hieee,” the Comanche chanted. They looked shocked, the way someone does when they suddenly realise they have unknowingly offended another. Rising to their feet they backed away.
Unsure as to what I might have said to change their mood I stood, wishing my long blade lay closer to hand.
Ghost Dog, a question in his voice said, “You are an Old One returned?” When I made no reply he said, “Sometimes spirit is born in the wrong place. Sometimes spirit wants to return to the right place. Maybe,” he shrugged, “spirit remembers, maybe it does not.” He said again with emphasis, “You are an Old One returned,” And in a softer voice, “a Red Sun rising.” We have heard about this; we know it is so therefore it is,” he stated emphatically.