A: It’s the final piece of the D/A Dialogues origin stories, written in response to the Weekly Challenge: Reflections.
D: Because we all know that, for A, following the rules and only posting one thing in response to a challenge is boring.
A: Too right, Druid.
D: (Eye roll) Today, it’s my turn to speak about my origins – about the man I am in A’s books.
A: And don’t worry – he’s not blonde.
D: Thank the gods. Anyway, some of this is from the two defunct books that make up my back-story – the tale of my parents and that first-person narrative I mentioned yesterday.
A: Mentioned is a nice word – I would have said blabbed.
D: You say tomato, I say tomahto.
A: Indeed – and without further ado, the Big Tomahto himself, Dubh an Súile. . .
An old woman, a priestess of a goddess now banished from the minds of men, once laid her hands on my mother’s belly. Long before my small movements could be felt, long before I even looked like the man-child I would become, the old woman felt my spirit, strong and true. Bidden by this, she uttered words that, on the eve of great tragedy, gave my mother greater calm: “They will know him as Dubh an Súile, and he will be a great leader of men.”
My origins – my life and its path – can be traced to that prophesy. Whether or not the old woman was correct, it followed me through to the end of my days. It haunted me as much as it bade men to follow me. It was, in turns, used as a curse against me and to rally me from despair of my own making.
The monks of the Christos and the priests of the Druid grove each had a hand in my education, but at seven years of age, it was to the grove I was sent. I was the second son, and while they knew I would not lead the clan upon my father’s death, it was hoped I would lead the grove.
It took me nine years to earn the right to sing at the hearths of my people, counsel kings and delve deep into the heart of men to see their path. I was a Druid true – not a magician but skilled in the Sight and a reader of the stars. I returned home only to have my homecoming interrupted by war. We – the mac Alasdair clan of Craig Ussie – went to aid our brethren against the Kingdom of Northumbria.
We were betrayed; my father and I were captured and held by our enemy for over a year. Our kin thought us dead, but fought on regardless. They said our deaths lead them into victorious battle. Our southern brothers were free once more, but I lost everything that mattered: my father, the woman who had given me her heart and the life we could have led together.
When we returned home, I knew I could not stay – and yet I could not lead the grove, either. I went to Éire – Ireland. I put aside my training as a mystic to earn my keep at whatever hearth could keep me. I roamed the country so long I thought I had escaped the life I once led – I sang tales of my own bravery in battle, and none knew that it was I.
The moment of my becoming – the moment when that old woman’s prophesy claimed my soul – happened as I stumbled upon an old hermit, living atop a sidhe mound. These mounds dotted the land – sacred and feared – and marked the places where once the Milesians led the Tuatha Dé Danann after they conquered the land. That he lived so close to the Fae was a temptation I could not resist.
It was a temptation that would prove the undoing of me – and be the key to my salvation.
D: I can’t actually say more, or A will interrupt me.
A: You know me too well, Druid.
D: Well, it could hardly be helped – you’ve been singing “spoilers” in the background for the last fifteen minutes. Singing off-key, might I add.
A: (Shrug) It’s what I do.
D: . . . I’m not going to suggest just what it is you do, but do you realize, A, that in all of this, we never actually gave the blog’s origin story?
A: I think we’ve been over that more than enough times.
D: Sure, but you know, the short version. . .
A: Okay, the short version is that I used to write notes between us in the marginalia of edits. Or in the back of my head. Or on napkins and notebooks. I’d giggle. I thought others would, too.
D: And . . .
A: Relentless much? And I was faced with the idea that if I wanted any agent/publisher/reader to look at me, I was going to have to learn to promote myself – otherwise known as putting myself out there. For an introvert of massive proportions, it was a big deal. Having a dialogue with you seemed like a great way to get started.
D: Also, it lets people know, right from the start, that you are stark raving mad.
A: Well, it helps. It lowers the expectation threshold.
D: Indeed – and with that, I do believe we are going to bid the internet a fond evening.
A: We are at that, D. I have Spartans to watch with The Boy.
D: I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that – those Spartans—
A: D – D in no way is the movie we’re about to watch historically accurate. Just sit back and you know, think of England or something.
D: . . .
A: (Grin) Thanks for reading everyone – have a great weekend!