ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Manchan's Tale - Part 11

Updated on January 21, 2017

Previously

Maewyn was able to convince Manchan to come to his cottage and rest, but now morning's light was breaking.


"He is in the process of creating another masterpiece for eternity. But Manchan, Manchan, you must follow Him. You must desire Him. He forces Himself upon nobody. We must choose His love. To them who seek Him, He will be found."

How much Manchan heard was not clear. He lay sleeping wrapped up in a sheepskin by the fire. Maewyn continued to pray. "Lord, Manchan's journey to you is not complete. Continue to keep him safe, as you have. I know You have a plan for his life, and it doesn't include Mag Mell. it includes You. Speak to him as he travels. Reveal Yourself to him in the circumstances he finds himself in. Claim him for Your own, once for all.

"Might he, in the days ahead become a shining gem for you, that through him, many will know of You. Strengthen hm to fight the fight, to finish his race, to grasp the prize You have waiting for him. I see the plan You have for his life. Allow him to see it as well."

The sun began to break through the black of night. Another day was approaching. Maewyn gently shook Manchan to life. "Manchan, it's time to go, my son. The day is breaking and with it will be the breaking of Findcath's camp. You must ready yourself and go."

Continuing

Slow to process the order, Manchan struggled to his feet. Cráibdech was impatiently pawing the frozen ground outside Maewyn's cottage. Only a few minutes had passed before Manchan was prepared to take his leave. Quietly, he crept out into the dawning light and made his way to Cráibdech. Together they started down the worn path to the valley below.

Findcath and his men were also on the move. Their first order of business was to stop at Maewyn's home, but before they arrived, they discovered the bodies of Cronan and Aidan.

"Ahhh, the sin-bearer has struck again. He must be eliminated at all cost. We will not stop until he rests in the underworld," Findcath shrieked.

Never Give Up!

There was a restless drive in Findcath's heart that pushed him on. The last few days had been as draining for him as they were for Manchan. Still, there would be no stopping until they successfully captured Manchan. The footprints of Cráibdech were also discovered as they led down from the hills. Findcath's shrinking army was off following the path left behind in the slow melting, christening snow. They would need to keep ahead of the sun.

It wasn't long until that sun showed brightly and the first snowfall of the winter began to show signs of melting. It was, however, a matter of not enough not soon enough as Findcath continued to follow Cráibdech's tracks.

By mid-morning, Manchan stopped to rest. He pulled out a pouch containing his provisions from Maewyn. A quick stop to eat some oats and cheese was all he needed to regain his strength and energy. He instinctively knew it wouldn't be long until Findcath would be at his back. That time would come soon enough.

Cráibdech began to prance and snort. Manchan knew it was her signal that other horses were in the vicinity. Thunderous hooves could be heard growing louder as they echoed over the rolling hills. The two sped through the long, narrow valley trying to put as much space between themselves and the intruders.

Then Cráibdech stopped suddenly. The approaching river put a stop to their progress. Repeatedly, Manchan gently kicked Cráibdech's ribs to get her to move, but the current was too swift. Cráibdech ignored Manchan's orders and stepped slowly into the frigid waters. She began to make her way along the water's edge, then took off in a gallop heading downstream. After traveling on for quite a distance. The two finally came to low water. Not much of a current existed. Here, Cráibdech crossed over.

Once safely on the other side, Manchan stopped to survey the situation. His natural inclination was to continue south following the river. Eventually, it would lead to the sea and a choice. He could take up residence in a seaside town, far from his home. Or, perhaps he could take passage on a ship to a new land. Of course, that required the parting of Manchan and Cráibdech. If it meant a parting of the ways, Manchan was willing, but not looking forward to it. For now, the more distance he could put between himself and Findcath, the better. Besides, following the river would allow him to hide his tracks at any time, as Cráibdech just showed him.

"Ah, Cráibdech my friend, we must hurry. Get moving!"

Cráibdech had different plans. Manchan guided her south, but she bolted and galloped off in a northerly direction. following the riverbank.

Manchan showed his concern. "No! No! Cráibdech. Findcath will see us from the other side of the river." Cráibdech had a mind of her own as she continued to follow the river back.

Findcath's men followed Cráibdech's tracks to where they disappeared at the river's edge. What to do next wasn't clear in Findcath's mind. The water's flow was increasing in strength as the snow melted. It was at that point that Cráibdech snorted from across the river drawing Findcath's attention.

Cráibdech pranced and bucked as if to say to Findcath, "Come on. I dare you to try to catch me."

And so it was. Findcath took the dare. With spears flashing, the remaining eight charged into the cold swells aiming at Manchan and Cráibdech. Slowly the beasts swam toward the shore, fighting the intense current with each powerful kick. The freezing waters began to overtake the animals, and the fast flow of the river at its deepest point refused to let Findcath and his men cross. One by one, Fiandcath and the last of his men sank beneath the rustling waves, never to appear again.

Manchan stood on the shore. The turbulence seemed to calm as the hungry river devoured the last warrior. Findcath could be heard to say, "Long live the gods of Déaglán. Sin-bearer, you will join us soon."

From behind, Manchan heard another voice speak, yet he saw no one. "You have fought and done well, my Beloved. You have destroyed the king's army."

Brigid. Brigid. Is that you? Where are you?"

Slowly Brigid stepped out from behind a fat oak. "I cannot stay, my beloved Manchan, but I do bring a message - a message of hope. You must return to Maewyn in the morning. He is in need of your help, and he has words he must share with you. Manchan, do not fear. It's safe to return now."

In the blink of an eye, Brigid was gone. Manchan tried to shake himself back to reality as he did before, but he couldn't. The vision seemed too real. Exhausted, he sat under the same fat oak where Brigid first appeared. He breathed in deeply. He was surrounded by a familiar aroma. It was Brigid's scent of lavender.

At peace with himself and the world, Manchan went about setting up camp for the night. After several days of running, he was ready for a good night's sleep. The overwhelming peace that he felt was comforting, but that would all change in the morning.

© 2017 William Kovacic

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      We'd like to think so, Lawrence. See you next time!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      17 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Don't know how I missed this one, it was well worth coming back to read.

      Manchan is finally rid of Findcath, that has to be good.

      Onto the next episode.

      Lawrence

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      18 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi MsDora,

      Life certainly is all about choices. Manchan still has some other hard choices to make. We'll see how he fares. Thanks for the read comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      18 months ago from The Caribbean

      Manchan's inner conflict concerning the direction he should take after crossing the river, brought me back to the reality that we face the challenge of choice everyday. Good for him that he found peace at the end of the day.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      18 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks, Ruby, I'm glad you're enjoying it.We have a few moe chapters to go. We'll see what happens. As always, thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This was a great addition to an amazing story. I like that I never know for sure how Manchan will survive. I love that Brigid is always near, but I feel fearful that he has much more before this story concludes. I love reading your story...

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      18 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      A very nice mixture of narrative and dialogue...nice flow and rhythm...wel-done,Bill.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      18 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Glad it was unexpected. I know I'm going to have a lot of work ahead of me to polish this up and get it in shape, though. Still, I'm having fun going in a different direction. I hope the conclusion will surprise you as well. Thanks for visiting, Lori.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      18 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Well, the ending was different from what I imagined. I thought maybe Manchan might have left Cráibdech. So reminiscent of the red Sea story in that the enemies were drowned as they gave chase. I love the Brigid encounters.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)