Monday, May 2, 2011

Dancing with Fate - Excerpt #4

This is from one of the earlier chapters of the story, before Terpsichore and Myrddin meet, when she believes her mission is over - when really it is just about to begin!

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How long had it been since she was last in this place? On Olympus, time meant little to a god, but in the land of mortals it was different. Terpsichore took a deep breath of the fresh mountain air and looked around. The grass seemed a little greener, the leaves on the trees darker, thicker. The season was drawing on toward summer. She studied the sky, the color of the bluebells which had carpeted the clearing when she first arrived, now replaced by blossoms of many different hues. A few wisps of cloud drifted lazily across and the air shimmered, warm and still.

Terpsichore was content. She'd travelled the length of Cymru and inspired men and women to dance again. Whenever she came across a receptive individual, she'd given her gift and they in turn encouraged others to dance. The shadows of war had lifted for a while, and once more, the land was filled with music and the delight of movement. She'd finished her task. Of course, the time would come when Cymru would again need to rise up against her oppressors and the hills would echo with the sound of fighting. Wales, land of song, would once more know sorrow. However, Terpsichore had chosen those she inspired with care. The music of Wales would not die again. This time, they would not let her down. The joy of the dance would remain whatever befell these people. Her mission completed, she could return to Olympus.

The sound of the waterfall behind her caught her attention. Oh, how she missed the spring of Hippocrene, created when Pegasus struck the rock of the Helicon Mountain with his hoof and the crystal water poured forth. Beautiful as this country was, it would be good to be home. She turned and gazed at the water tumbling down the mountainside in a frenzy of white froth, the spray catching the rays cast by Helios, making rainbows dance in the clear air. The water called to her—she was, after all, like her sisters, a water nymph. She longed to immerse herself in its cooling spray, to be as one with the living water.

"What harm can it do? Cleanse yourself—rid your body of the dust of Earth before returning to Olympus. "

The voice in her mind was all too familiar. "Dionysus! What are you doing here? Get out of my mind"
"Certainly, dear sister, would you prefer me to materialize in all my glory?"

Before she could answer, he appeared, seated upon a rock, his ever-present maenads fawning at his feet.

He held out a goblet of wine. "You seem in poor spirits, sister. Have a drink; it will put you in a better humor."
"My humor’s  fine, Dionysus. I'm about to go home. I don't need any of your wine." She turned her head away from the sight of the maenads drunkenly running their hands over his body.

All at once, the purity of the day seemed tainted. How had he found her? Was it he who had eavesdropped upon her conversation with Apollo? She sighed. Somehow, she did not think so. Dionysus in his state of permanent intoxication could hardly have moved so stealthily, nor concealed his retinue of women followers.
Dionysus hiccupped loudly, causing the vines around his neck to bounce and rustle.

Again, he held out the goblet of wine. "Oh, we are 'Miss Prim and Proper' today, aren't we? Go on, lighten up, take a sip, it won't hurt you." He learned toward her, his handsome, if somewhat effeminate features wearing an innocent expression that belied the glint in his blue eyes. "After all, you wouldn't want to upset your brother, would you?"

Terpsichore refrained from commenting that he was, in fact, only one of her many half-brothers. She pursed her lips, reached for the goblet and took a small sip, before handing it back. It did not do to offend the god. She recalled that despite his affable manner, he had a dark side and it was better not rub him up the wrong way. "Thank you. Now, I really must be leaving."

His smile was more of a smirk. "All right, I can take a hint. If I were you, I'd have a good long soak in that pool before you go. Go on, you know you want to."

He lurched unsteadily to his feet, causing one of his Maenads to loose her hold on him, and fall over, giggling. He grabbed her arm and moments later they all disappeared like mist in the heat of a summer's day.
To Hades with her demented half-brother.  She pursed her lips. The more she thought about it, the more the allure of the water drew her to it. She should never have taken that wine—not even a sip. Who knew what enchantment he'd put in it?

She shrugged. What was she thinking? She was her own goddess, wasn't she? If she wanted to bathe, she would. She certainly didn't need any charmed wine to make her decisions for her. In an instant, her Celtic clothing melted away.

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lastnerve said...

Oh that looks like a really good book. I'm anxious to see what happens to her next.


Mary Ricksen said...

You really know how to grab a reader because I gotta read it. It sounds wonderful. Now who is gonna find her and what then!!!
I'm on the edge of my chair!

June M. said...

Sounds good.
GFC: June M.
e-mail there

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks so much Val,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt, it was fun to write!

Hywela Lyn said...

Mary, sweet friend, thank you for your support and lovely comment, I'm glad you liked the excerpt!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi June, thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment.

Tami said...

That sounds great. I wanna be a maenad if I can run my hands.....oh dear. I got a topic. Great excerpt Lyn.

Hywela Lyn said...

LOL Tami, thanks so much for calling by and for your comment - yes, Dionysus is quite a charismatic character in my story -not quite as hunky as Myrddin of course!