Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shannon's and Rory's Journey - Parts 1 and 2

I have been looking for the story, assuming it exists, about Heather sending Shannon a message that she is coming from Scotland to Lawrencium because "we need to talk". He convinces himself that she wants to reconcile, then cannot wait for her long journey and decides to meet her on her path south. The following series begins at that point.


hannon put the stone into Rory's boot and his message about leaving where he knew Rory would see it. He shrugged on his knapsack and slung his new lute over his arm. He was wearing a combination of his old clothes and clothing he had gotten from Jean. "I hope me pirate friend dinnae want these back.. I'll have to ask Rory later to ask about that." Shannon turned his steps towards the door and out into the courtyard, then out the castle gates to the open road.

As he walked away from Lawrencium to the north, he whistled a tune. "Aye," he thought. This be what I need now. Fresh air in me lungs and fresh thoughts in me head. Me darlin' Heather in me arms again soon, with the saints help."

Shannon had thought about using Nimue's stone to go somewhere his legs couldn't take him, but his recent experience told him he was better off staying in his own fictional world. The real world, especially the 21st century, was an ill fit for him. Even friendships made there were subject to miscommunications. He thought of Jean and sighed. "Me lad, I hope ye can come to remember the good times we had.. ye deserve that."

The trip to Connery was no mean feat.. A man of his stature can walk about 2 miles an hour, and depending on the terrain and other detours, might average at most ten hours of walking in a day, or about 20 miles. Walking from Lawrencium to Connery, about 325 miles was going to take at least three weeks, probably longer. In 2006 the same trip would take a little over five and a half hours by motorway.

He could not even hope to make it to Nottingham until the second or third day, but there was a skip in his step as he headed that way.


Rory picked up the message Shannon had left. He read it and sighed. "Me darlin' Shan, may ye'r journey be a good one."

Throughout the day he thought about Shannon and the recent news his friend had received from his wife. Rory had not thought that Heather meant to rekindle things with her husband. Quite the contrary. Then he thought about their recent visits to France and Shannon's weekend with the Scotswoman. If Rory had lived in a later era the word "manic" would have come to his mind. But in his own time his only thought was, "Me friend is headin' for a fall, to be sure."

Rory scrawled a hasty message to the King and Queen taking his leave with his apologies. He was confident they would accept his decision, as he was more friend than minstrel, and Shannon was as well. Both the Queen and Duchess Larisa had asked him confidentially about his understanding of Heather's intentions, and he had shared his misgivings. They would understand that he had to go and find his friend, so the man would not be alone if and when the final blow came.

Rory gathered up the knapsack he had taken when searching with Bo for the Queen. This time he did not bother with the monk's robes, as there was no need for secrecy. He took the stone out of his belt pouch where he had put it after retrieving it from his boot. He took up a bundle with the clothes from the 21st century and the music player the Lady of the Lake had given him. He said aloud, "The chateau" and found himself there long enough to drop the items on a table, then he said "Shannon" and vanished again before anyone saw him.

Next: Shannon's and Rory's Journey - Part 3, Shannon's Resolve

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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .