|Arawn (in Cymru)|
Arwel and Aelwen looked at each other darkly as the first horn sounded in the valley. Immediately it was followed by others throughout the valley along with shouts and curses from men outside the house.
“Damn ogres,” Arwel muttered as he started out the door with spear in hand.
“I don’t think this is a good idea at all, Dafydd,” Rae said as they headed out across the bridge. It wasn’t crossing the bridge they had come across last night that bothered Rae. It was the next one to the north, closer to the heavily wooded mountain that formed the edge of the valley and in some respects the end of the world here. Jon and Ama kept right up with Dafydd, neither one wanting to admit they were more than a bit concerned as well. “Rae, are you scared?” Dafydd threw back over his shoulder. Rae fumed a bit but kept walking. She wasn’t going to be accused of being fearful by a ten year old! “It’s not much further. Really, guys. The view is amazing!” Dafydd practically skipped ahead with excitement.
|They are running off to the right of the picture|
“Ok, a bit of a climb here.” He started up the hillside which turned into a bluff quickly. He clambered up vines and tree roots until he stood at the top looking down on his followers. “Well, are you coming up or not?”
Jon and Ama managed to clamber up the hill fairly quickly but Rae was really having troubles with the climb. She sat for a moment after about the third fall and decided finding an easier path was in order. Dafydd called out to her, “We can see you! Head off a bit to your left. Not much of a path but it’s a lot easier than the bluff!” Rae headed over and then into the woods up the draw at Dafydd’s direction, anger growing with every step.
“Come on! I didn’t think was going to take us all day! It’s just over here. Look!”
Dafydd led them to a crack in the hill, probably about 8’ high and 3’ wide. It looked much smaller with vine overgrowth and several large boulders outside of it which broke up the outline. “Isn’t it great?”
Rae was not amused at all. “This is an extremely bad idea, young man. No one knows we are here and we have no business being here in the…where are you going? Stop!”
Dafydd winked at Ama and cuffed Jon on the arm as he darted inside the cave. Jon and Ama looked once at Rae and then ducked inside as well. Rae heard giggling and laughing inside, so, exasperated, she went in also.
|Rae is NOT having it!|
“Jon and Ama, come out here right now!” Rae said definitively.
They walked out, eyes fixed on Rae. It was dawning on them exactly what they had done. “I’m sorry,” they said, almost in unison.
“Dafydd, we are leaving now. It would be best for you if you came along immediately,” Rae pronounced. Dafydd came out and started to say something but the words stuck in his throat. He was looking out towards the cave entrance with his eyes wide. He raised a hand and pointed. “They’ve come back,” he whispered.
“That is the most ridiculously stupid trick and it is not going to work. I will let Uncle Arwel decide what’s to be done with you when we get back. If I let you get back. I tell you what, young man…AIIIIEEE” Rae screamed as she was hoisted from the entryway. in a net.
Ama had started to run down the path Rae had come up when she was met by Arwel and kin. Horns continued to sound as men from the valley ran with runes flashing and glowing, speed enhanced by family devotion and hatred of all ogres. Ama quickly told them about Rae and the men ran into the woods beyond the cave. In just a few minutes they returned with Rae, who looked shaken, but more embarrassed than hurt.
As Arwel and kin came back with Rae, Kymeth and Aelwen had made it up the hillside. They started to look for Dafydd and Jon when Jon appeared. “Mam, he won’t stop.”
"Who? What?” Kymeth asked worriedly.
“Dafydd. Come see.”
They all walked over to the ledge and looked down. There sat Dafydd atop the ogre, stabbing the chest over and over. Really, what was left of the chest. Rise and fall. Occasionally there would be a “clink” as the blade struck the rock through the bloody mess.
Kymeth approached the young man. His face was blank and he continued with both hands on the hilt and his eyes closed. Rise and fall. Rise and fall. “clink”. Rise and fall.
Kymeth began to sing, quietly at first but progressively louder. She sat next to him and continued singing a song of motherly love and tender moments, a song of rest and peace. After what seemed an eternity to Aelwen and everyone standing with her, Dafydd rolled into Kymeth’s lap and fell sound asleep. As he slipped securely into stolen dreams, the heirloom dagger slipped from his loosened hands.