ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Manchan's Tale - Part 8

Updated on December 27, 2016

From Part 7

In chapter seven, we left Manchan desiring death. Had he finally reached the end?


It seemed to match Manchan's heart. He saw no reason for anything. Life no longer made sense as his world continued to spin out of control. The pressures, the stresses mounted and pressed heavily upon him. In an instant, his world was changed, and he would never be the same. Dark forces grabbed at him from without, from within.

In his mind's eye, he stood on the edge of a dark abyss looking down. The bottom couldn't be seen, but Manchan instinctively knew there was no end to it. It seemed to call his name drawing him closer, daring him to face what was there. Should he jump? Or should he allow Findcath to push him?

He tried to shake himself back to reality, just as he did when he imagined Brigid dancing across the moors. But then, this was his reality. He knew the abyss was waiting for him. He knew it was just a matter of time before it would claim him for eternity. This was his lot in life and in death. The voices continued to call. The voices continued to taunt.

There was only one thing left to do. In the quiet and the still of the young night, Manchan stood to his feet and screamed across the valley. "Findcath, the sin-bearer waits for you! Take me now before I see the light of another day for I may change my mind/"

Continuing

The sound of Manchan's voice echoing in the night startled Findcath. He waited. Manchan repeated his request, and immediately Findcath and his men started for the other side of the valley. "Manchan, you will die. There is no escaping now. We will have you surrounded in a matter of minutes. The Abyss awaits your arrival."

Unmoved by Findcath's threats, Manchan sat down under the ash tree and awaited his end. Torches could be seen crossing the expanse below as one by one the warhorses made their approach up the narrow path leading to Manchan.

Indeed, in minutes, he was surrounded. All hope was gone. All purpose had long ago left. Manchan slouched under the old, weathered tree waiting to be led to his death as a sheep is led to the slaughter. His end in the netherworld seemed to be a welcomed option. His focus was on the here and now, not what awaited him in his lonely abode to come.

Findcath spoke. "Your end is not yet, my friend." Findcath chuckled with a good measure of delight and sarcasm. "We will return you to Déaglán. He will have the pleasure of sending you away."


A cry could be heard from down in the valley - ever so softly but growing louder with each passing second. it was Déaglán's servant riding hard through the night, searching for Findcath. Seeing the torches flicker in the night from below, he made an abrupt turn and headed up the hill to where the men were gathered.

"Findcath! Findcath! Déaglán demands your return right now. Immediately, if not sooner!"

"What seems to be the trouble, my boy? We are about to bring in Manchan. Just give us a few minutes."

"No, my lord. It's imperative you return immediately. Déaglán must see you - now!"

"Ronan, you stay here. Guard the prisoner. We will be back shortly."

The men and their sure-footed beasts made their way through the woods and down the hill. Once out on the plain, they exploded into a full gallop. Déaglán's cottage would soon be in view.

Déaglán could be kind when it suited his purpose. Most of the time he was just plain ugly. His temperament wavered from anger to hate. From deceit to vengeance. From hostility to manipulation. In other words, Déaglán was full of all kinds of evil thoughts, attitudes, and motives.

He ruled the people by causing fear. The fear enveloped and reigned in Déaglán's small, yet powerful kingdom. As soon as his cottage was in sight, that fear came over Findcath and the rest of his men. They rode up slowly.

Déaglán met them at the door. "Well, my good Findcath, have we the sin-bearer?"

"We do. At this very moment, Ronan is holding the sin-bearer captive across the valley. As soon as our business is finished here, we will return and bring him to you."

"My good Findcath, your group seems rather small. Tell me, kind sir, where is Aengus?"

"Aengus is in the woods watching Manchan from another vantage point to be sure our sin-bearer will not escape," Findcath lied.

"Ahh, I see, and It seems that Eoim is not present as well. Where might he be?"

Findcath could feel the sweat beginning to form on his brow. "He also is with Aengus keeping a close watch on the situation while we, your servants, have returned at your bidding."

Déaglán looked down at the ground, then looked up into a cloudless night sky. He looked left, He looked right, as if trying to keep a secret. "You men, come with me."

The single line procession followed Déaglán around to the back of his cottage. The night was washed away by the light of the torches of the ten remaining men. It was that light that fell on the lifeless bodies of Aengus and Eoim.

Déaglán roared - "What have you done? What has happened to these good men?" No answer was forthcoming. Déaglán spoke yet again. "II'll tell you what has happened. The Whispering Wind has told me. They have met their death at the hands of the sin-bearer. Get you back to Ronan lest he also meets the same fate. BRING ME MANCHAN!".

The despair of Manchan was soon replaced with hope as Cráibdech began to prance. Her encouragement gave Manchan a desire to carry on once more. He addressed Ronan.

"Does it not seem strange to you, Ronan, that you've been left here alone? Findcath wants the glory for himself. He is allowing his men to be removed one by one. You know of Aengus and Eoin."

"You shepherds are so stupid. That's why you lead stupid sheep. We are all Déaglán's men. We share in the spoil. Aengus is following you from behind. He no doubt sees us right now. Eoin is guarding your property waiting for you to return to care for those miserable sheep."

"Aengus is dead. Eoin is dead - their life has been taken by the sin-bearer, and now Findcath has set you for the same fate.."

"Impossible, you filthy shepherd. You don't even have a weapon."

Cráibdech reared on her hind legs, coming down just inches from Ronan's feet. The surprised Ronan jumped, watching the powerful animal the whole time.The distraction allowed Manchan to pull his knife from its hiding place. Manchan did indeed have a weapon!

He remained still with the knife carefully placed under his right leg. "Actually, you know, Ronan, we shepherds need to be quite intelligent to lead a flock of stupid sheep. We need to protect them from wild animals, lead them to pasture, make sure the parasites stay away. It's really quite complicated and detailed work.

"Shortly you will meet your end, Ronan.Will it be Mag Mell, or will you be joining me in the abyss?"

Cráibdech snorted loud in Ronan's ear. In the split second that passed, Manchan threw the knife point-first into Ronan's heart. He fell backward. Spurt by spurt, his life drained from him. Cráibdech began to paw the earth. She could sense Findcath's horses on the move.

"Come, my friend, Cráibdech. We must hurry." The light of approaching torches could be seen in the shadows of the night.

© 2016 William Kovacic

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      21 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I'm glad you're enjoying it, Lawrence. That makes the writing all worthwhile.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Manchan is fighting back, his trusty steed helping him find hope. Really enjoyed this tale.

      Lawrence

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      21 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You sure are catching up! I better get busy to get another chapter done. Thanks for the visit, Jackie.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      21 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Your story is not just exciting Bill but I love the images your words bring to make it like watching a movie.

      Will try to get back soon for the remaining two.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      21 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      It's on the way soon.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      21 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Keep it coming.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      22 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      And a Merry Christmas to you and Bev, Bill. May the new year bring you all you hope for!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The first sentence is a powerful one, and that's what I always look for first....and now we must wait until after the holiday to find out what comes next. Carry on, my friend, and Merry Christmas!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      22 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Ruby! This is an experiment for me. I don't know where the chapter is going until I sit down to write. I guess we'll see where it ends up. As always - glad to have you stop by.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      22 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Glad you were able to catch this one, Dora! Thanks for taking time out to visit. Just wondering - did you get the questions for the TGAF interview?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I really thought this time Manchan had given up, but his faithful horse gave him renewed strength. This is a great story full of suspense, yet hope seeps through with each episode. See you next time...

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      22 months ago from The Caribbean

      Have missed some Manchan's tale but the sin bearer seems to be living in a hell on earth. Death and despair seem to everywhere until your last sentence introduces light. Good work.

    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)