Chapter Five – Overland

(See previous chapter)

MELO placed his hand beside the rock and told Sean to grab onto his thumb.

Fiach stood up from her hiding place behind the rock. “Can I come too?”

“No little one, not this time. Sean has things to do and I wouldn’t want him distracted by one as pretty as you.”

Fiach tittered and blushed and ran toward the village.

“Take care son. Do as Melo bids!”

Unafraid, Sean smiled at his father. Gently Melo lifted him up to a pocket in his shirt.

“Climb in Sean, you will be safe in there.”

Sean could just see over the top of the thick woollen pocket.

‘I can see the world from here!’ he thought.

“Now Sean, let us go for your talents are sorely needed.”

With huge strides, Melo left the village. Sean held on tightly as the wind whipped past his face. They headed West, toward a new range of mountains, the land beneath them a blur.

The sea to Sean’s right tumbled waves onto different shorelines. Some with black foreboding rock, others, white-gold sandy beaches.

Ahead, the mountain grew bigger. Sean could see the different outlines as they drew near. On the lower slopes sheep grazed.

Further up, white stones pushed through the purple heather and at the peak blue-black granite stretched upward, trying to touch the sky.

Finally, Melo came to a halt. They stood on the edge of a valley, nestled under the tallest mountain peak. Startled by the noise of their coming, two skylarks soared into the air, trilling a warning cry. Through the long grass a hare bounded then paused to wriggle its nose at them before taken off again.

Only the sound of water running, filled the silent air as Melo lowered Sean to the ground.

“My friend, we must part for a while. I have business elsewhere, and you, will meet your kinfolk. Tell them what has happened in the village and ask for their help.”

Nervously Sean looked around. The sun was disappearing behind the mountain, sending long shadows across the valley floor.

“You’re going to leave me here – all by myself?”

Melo gave a low chuckle. “Fear not little one, you are among friends. Before you know it, I’ll be back.”

With that, he took two strides and was gone from sight.

Sean licked his dry lips, heard again the falling water and walked in the direction of the sound.

Crystal water splashed over smooth round stones to swirl into a pool under a willow tree. Sean took a long drink and wondered what Melo meant, when he said he would meet his kin. What were kin?

He felt as if someone were watching him. Looking up he saw a sparrow, standing on a rock staring at him with one beady eye. It seemed to bow as it spread its wings, taking flight into the evening sky, singing until Sean could hear it no more.

He lay back, resting his head on a moss covered rock and looked up at the first star of the evening. Sean felt his eyes grow heavy, sounds of soft bells filled the air. He smiled, he liked the gentle music they made.

His eyes closed and he fell into a deep sleep.

To be continued

(See NEXT chapter)

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© John W. Kelly