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

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rory and Ceridwen Series: Rory's and Ceri's Handfasting, Paart I

I know perfect well that neither of the songs Rory sings to Ceridwen existed in the 8th century.  Aignish's lyrics were written by Robert Burns and The Lark in the Clear  Air is based on a poem by Yeats.  I chose them for my own reasons, so just sit back and enjoy them on my Internet radio station, Radio Dé Danann!

"That's the tree I sometimes come to dream in, and often as not fall
asleep in," Rory said to Ceri as they stood near the harbor and the

The two of them could not let go of each other. They had gone from
where they had stood, kissed, and promised themselves to each other.
They had wandered aimlessly through Lawrencium and thence through
country lanes arm in arm with frequent stops for kisses, to this
spot. It was well into the evening now.

Rory had taken Ceri to the water's edge and stood with her in his
arms looking out to sea. She knew he was thinking of his friend
Shannon who had drowned in those waters. She laid her head on his
chest and said nothing, that he might have time to contemplate his
dear friend.

Then he had turned her so he was holding her from the back, his arms
around her waist, she looking out over the water. "Shan, this is
Ceri. I love her and she and I are to be handfasted. I wish ye could
be here." He had rested his chin on the top of her head and sighed.

A slightly larger wave rolled in and ran up the beach, almost lapping
at their toes. They jumped back laughing. And as they continued to
stand there together on the sand, the sky and the sea grew dark and
became almost indistinguishable. Ceridwen longed to say something to
comfort Rory in his grief. "He is happy for us, Rory," she said
suddenly, and the words surprised her as much as Rory, as she knew
not where they had come from.

Rory had looked gratefully into her eyes. "Macushla," he had sighed
and lifted her hands to his lips to kiss the fingertips.

Ceri laughed now looking at the odd tangle of branches and limbs of
his favorite tree. "I do not believe you can sleep in that tree!"

Rory's eyes even in the dark were merry. "Och, aye? And then I shall
have to show ye." He reluctantly released her hand so he could boost
himself up. He scooted his back up one limb and bent his long legs so
they would be braced against the opposite.

Ceri laughed. "I did not say you could not get up there.. just that I
do not believe you can sleep there." Rory reached for her hand and
pulled her up the trunk and into his lap. She made a little cry of
alarm as she thought for a moment they both might fall, then laughed,
and settled in contentedly.

"Then ye shall have to trust that I speak the truth, lass," Rory

"If you say it is true, then it is true. I trust you completely, in
all things." She leaned and kissed him. He held her and the kiss for
as long as he could.

Then he made a grimace. "'Tis not as comfortable with two.. I think I
need to walk some more." She jumped down nimbly and turned to watch
him painfully extract himself from his Celtic knot of a
position. "'Tis easier to get into this tree than out."

It was getting quite chilly now with the sun well down. Ceri
suggested they get their cloaks from her uncle's house and continue
their walk. Neither could stand the idea of not being within touching
distance of each other. "I can sneak in quickly and get them."

Rory agreed and followed her to her uncle's door. She opened the door
very carefully, letting the burst of song and happy chatter out in to
the street for a moment. She reached for her own cloak on the hook
where she had draped it and pulled Rory's out from the pile on the
chest in the entryway. She did not notice her Aunt Gitta looking up
to see her furtive actions, but Gitta just smiled. She had also
caught sight of Rory in the doorway, his hand on Ceri's arm.

Back outside Rory took his cloak from her and swung it around to
drape on his shoulders. "Ye knew which one was mine, then?"

Ceri smiled. "Of course. There are many things I might not know about
you, but at least I can know your cloak."

He put his arm around her shoulders and she around his waist and they
unconsciously started to walk towards the site of the Beltane
festivities from the month before. "You will learn the other things
in time, macroidhe," he murmured to her.

Next: Rory's and Ceri's HGandfasting, Part II: The Hilltop

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About the author

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