Triand In The In-Between – Chapter 8

my novel
my novel

 

We run, Grey Wolf leading the way, and are soon joined by
others. A white wolf runs on my left flank as a smaller silver
one joins on the right, others soon fall in around us. I am surprised
to feel heat on the pads of my feet and realize we are no longer
running in snow but on the packed red soil of what looks like a high
desert landscape.
“Jump!” I hear Grey Wolf command in my head.
I know we are in the In-Between but it seems much different.
There is an odor of death and decay all around which to my heightened
lupine senses seems almost palatable. We stop to drink at a stream
and I look at my reflection.
“You are as handsome in your guise as wolf as you are in human form
and your markings are striking against your black fur.” said a familiar
voice in my head as the small silver wolf who ran at my right flank
joins me
“I know you from the Stone Circle Coven; you’re the one who
endowed me with the gift of mind speak. Thank you, Ma’am. I am
glad someone I know is part of this, besides Uncle Grey Wolf, that is.”
“Yes, I’m Luna, but I can hardly be called Ma’am, I am not but
three years older than you in this life” she laughed, “and you’d be surprised
how many in your pack you already know in human form.”
“What do you mean……?”
“We run.” came the command as Grey Wolf bounded north.

We stand sentinel on a jagged out crop of rock above the Valley
of Tears,
“See the fog beyond the lake, now, look closer. We join battle with
the others there. Prepare to fly.” comes the order.
In human form, I unsling my bow, as Shine and several other horses
gallop forward, each seeming to know which person to go to. We are
perhaps two kilometer from the main battle at a makeshift camp and
instantly mount up to ride out.
“Use this when we get close, it has a homing spell on it and never
misses.” yelled Skywalker throwing me a spear as he galloped by.
By this time we are in the center of the fight. The demons are
everywhere, for each one we kill or vanquish two more seems to take
its place. With no time to think I react and let my instincts take over. I
stab at a flying demon and impale it on my spear just as it goes for my
throat, flinging it loose I throw it at another as it swoops in than bring
down a third with an arrow before grabbing the spear when it returns
to me.
Suddenly Shine rears up on her hind legs and kicks at a scaly six
armed thing in front of her.
I tighten my grip on her flanks and loose two arrows as I see sparks
flying from her hoofs, the creature screams and runs off smoking
towards the demon pack where it bursts into flame. Slowly we work
our way through the gore and slime driving the minions of the
Dark Lord in front of us out of the valley, killing as many as we can
before they can make their escape back through a portal and into the
Under Land.
We battle long into the night and by sunrise we have driven the
hordes of demon to the portal. but it seems we are about to be overcome
by sheer numbers alone as the portal opens again not to let
what’s left of the Dark Lords minions turn and run to make their
escape but to let thousands more vile creatures swarm in.

 We fight on;
losing the ground we’ve shed much blood to gain.

Then from every direction trumpets sound and I see Unicorns,
Centaurs, and the Tree Folk streaming in from all sides carrying Elves
and other Majickal creatures on their backs to join the battle. The sky
above us is filled with Bird People and Giants are stomping on those
creatures that still pour from the gateway.
* * * * *
I feel an urgent need to reach the portal and as though she can read
my thoughts Shine rears up and leaps into the air, wings unfurl and
she flies above the battle towards a small group of people who are
clustered by the portal. Three winged demons swerve to stop us and
I take one down with the spear as the other two are stopped by the
talons of a gigantic eagle and an arrow from the bow of an Elf sitting
atop a nearby walking tree.
Shine lands beside Queen Ananna Lei and Luna who are chanting
as others, including Nana, frantically work to close the portal while
trying to stay out from under the feet of the Giants.
Sliding off her back I reach in my pouch and grab the first thing
my hand touches, a roll of duct tape and run for the gateway just as the
door slams shut.
“I am Prince Triand Wambeeska Kearney, Shaman and Warrior from the
Above World, Beloved of The Goddess, Crowned Prince and Champion of The
In-Between, direct decedent of Ainmire Mac Ciarrn chosen by Merlin himself
to lead the Children of Brighid and the Others through the gateway to this
land. As he once sealed the portal in the name of The Goddess so shall it be
sealed once more, never to be opened again.” I begin applying the tape around
the perimeter of the door as Luna hurries up.
“I am Caitlinn Luna Nakoma Halloway from the Above World, Priestess
of the Stone Circle Coven and direct decedent of Caitlinn Mac Cairn of Inbher
near the Rath Boyne, midwife, sorceress, priestess of Brighid, and wise woman
of the Clan Mac Douggle, mate to Ainmire Mac Cairn and granddaughter of
Merlin. As she once helped to seal this portal in the name of The Goddess so
shall it be sealed once more never to open again” and she follows behind me
touching her wand to the tape I am applying.

ISIS, ASTARTE, DIANA (dee – anna), HECATE, DEMETER,
KALI (kaa – lee), INANNA
Everyone picks up the chant as one by one they step up and reinforce
the seal with a few words or a token of power. When this is
completed they turn their attention to the wounded and dead.
The bodies of the demons and other beasts are thrown into a
pit and set on fire with witch light to prevent them from jumping.
Those comrades who have fallen in battle are wrapped in shrouds,
each color representing their lands and laid into wagons to be transported
home accompanied by a contingency of The Queen’s Guard
and their countrymen.
We will travel as wolfs to The Mesas, ancestral dwelling place of the
Anasazi and Wakan – Tanka, to honor our native brothers and sisters
but first we must accompany our brothers and sisters to Gaia’s Green
as part of The Queen’s Guard. We lead the way using our lupine abilities
to handle any lurking bands of demon or attempts at ambush.
We have been traveling since dawn, stopping only long enough to
eat and rest the horses, aside from a few minor skirmishes things have
been quiet. It is now the fifth hour of darkness and we stop for the
night to set up camp. We eat and the soldiers take turns standing watch
as the rest sleep. My pack and another do the same; Grey Wolf, Luna,
and I along with a light brown wolf called Seth and his mate from the
Werepack form one group and take the first watch.
Just before Second Watch we receive a telepathic message from
Luna informing us of several hostiles milling around in the shadows
about a kilometer out. The message is relayed on to the other groups
and then back to the camp telling them to stand ready as those of us
on watch begin circling in from all sides to attack.
I can see shadows moving in front of me; not sure whether they are
trying to lead us into an ambush or just jockeying for a more advantageous
position but thinking it best not to wait around and find out,
I decide to press the attack. The others, reading my thoughts, do the
same. In the next instant I spy a rat – like creature crouching in the
underbrush and attack.

By daylight we survey the scene of the skirmish, fifteen demons
and half – demons dead including two bat winged flyers that tried to
attack the horses. We only sustained one serious casualty when Two
Feathers got caught with a backlash from a Scorpion Demon’s tail.
While the rest of us were treated for minor injuries by the herbalist,
he was attended to by Nana and an Anasazi Shaman from the Mesas
then moved to the hospital wagon. Deciding to stay in wolf persona in
the event another attack came we pressed on and crossed the boundaries
into Gaia Green late that evening without any further problems
other than having to vanquish a few stray abominations.
Foregoing any celebration of the battle, the packs slept and the
next morning headed out at a dead run across the kingdom in order
to reach the Mesas in time. We left Two Feathers in the hands of the
Court Physician to recuperate. Arriving at the Spirit Gathering just as
the Ghost Dance and Drumming begins; we take our places around
the Funeral Pyre.
After releasing the spirits of our fallen brothers and sisters into the
smoke and flames to meet Wakan – Tanka we gather to pass the pipe
and tell tales.
“You will take your rightful place as pack leader on the journey
home, the Elders have decided in council that you are ready and the
pack agrees” Grey Wolf says handing me the pipe.
“But—- – that is your responsibility; I do not wish to usurp
your authority.”
“Didn’t you know, Grey Wolf was just filling in until you were
ready, the position has been open since last year when Lone Wolf died;
besides, you’ll make a great leader what with you being a shaman and
all, and a direct descendent of such powerful ancestors,” added Luna
who set on my left as she took the pipe.

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