Days of Entwining

Teaser: Mairead has lived all her life on the Isle of Lindisfarne; she knows no world but the monastery, no friends but the monks, no family but her twin brother. So when a young man arrives on the island, claiming to be the son of her father's closest friend, she is faced with a conflict of loyalties. Should she take up with the attractive stranger who can give her a blood-family, or will she choose to stay with the monks of Lindisfarne and the life she's always known?

Cynewulf, a world-weary traveler constantly haunted by the mistakes of his youth, takes it upon himself to protect Mairead as a father would. But what he is to do when she resents his offers of wisdom, choosing instead to follow her feelings into the dark? What is he to do when the demons of his past trail his present, threatening to harm the ones he loves the most?

As the paths of their lives grow increasingly intertwined, both Cynewulf and Mairead will be forced to reconsider their surest assumptions about loyalty, truth, and the nature of love.

Vital Stats: Novel, in progress

Most Important People: Mairead, Cynewulf, Rowan, Cathal, Eanwin, Father Aethelwald, Emma,  Brother Alric, Brother Eosa

Related Posts: NaNoWriMo Questionnaire: Days of Entwining, Beautiful People: Mairead of Lindisfarne

Snippet: Cynewulf awoke with a startled gasp, his eyes burning. Sweat beaded on his upper lip; his heart pounded in his chest like a blacksmith's anvil. "Heaven's mercy," he whispered, and found that his throat hurt. "I thought I should never have to see that face again."

Painfully he climbed out of his cot and stood for a moment with one hand against the wall, his head bowed to ease the feeling of dizziness. Images danced before his eyes, memories as vivid as visions of yesterday. Taunting faces, reaching fingers, the sound of a shriek and then steady, quiet weeping...

"You should be proud, stripling. Your guess fell very near the mark."

Blue eyes beseeching, pale lips struggling to form a name...

"Take her from my sight. She is no longer of worth to me--I do not care what value she may hold for him."

Shouting, sobbing...his own sobbing. A cold dull ache in his chest where his heart should be. Blackness.

Cynewulf shook his hair from his eyes as if by so doing he could scatter the memories. "You're a fool," he told himself. "A fool to be frightened of a dream."

A real dream, nagged the cruel voice within him. A real sorrow, and a true ache.

Faint morning breezes lifted the cloth from his doorway, letting in stray gleams of pale light. Carefully, so as not to stumble over his cobbler's bench, Cynewulf stepped outside of his hut and into the fresh coolness of a new day dawning. From where he stood he could see the grey waves of the ocean lapping against the sandy shore, at the same time majestic and calming in the peace of their primal beauty.

The monastery, standing regally to the right of his little hut, looked deceptively still. Inside the monks would already be rising, bleary-eyed yet faithful, to say their prayers at dawn. Long years of habit, driven by desire, prodded at Cynewulf's heart; but resolutely he ignored the urges. He could not pray, not now while his soul was still so dark with the dream. He would cleanse it, refresh it with the sight of the sea, and when it felt white again within him he would make his communion.