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 16, 2010

Shannon in Norway: Inklings, Part II

Once in open waters, Drivvid sought Falni out. "What is wrong, love?" he
asked as he put his arms around her as she stood on the deck facing away
from him.

She did not answer at first. Then slowly, and looking around to make sure
none of the crew could hear, answered. "I don't know. I just suddenly felt
you slipping through my fingers."

He held her, unable to reassure her that he would never leave. Until he
knew who he was and what obligations he might have to other people from his
life before Jarlsfjord, he could not in good conscience make that sort of
promise. She knew this as well as he and did not expect it.

He looked out onto the water and up into the clouds. "Falni, all we really
have is now."

She nodded and turned to put her face in his chest. She forgot her crew and
wept openly.

They were at sea for only a few days, there being little chance of a catch.
In that time Drivvid felt memories stirring. He found himself trying to
stifle them. But how could he do that? There might be a connection, an
obligation he would want to remember, would want to go back to. He tried
hard to let the memories come, warring constantly with his inner conflict.

Sitting with his back to a crate and staring out onto the water seemed to
calm him and let the images come. He knew Falni was watching him ruefully
and that she knew what he was doing. She had lashed out at him one time,
just before they headed for home. She had accused him of wanting to leave
her. But she had instantly melted onto him weeping. The crew minded their
own business.

As he sat he tried to guide the memories to the surface of his mind.
"Ireland.. " he said to himself. "Ireland.. where? Ulster.. what is
Ulster? It is where my sisters and my brothers live. No, just one sister..
Kathleen. And no, my mother is dead.." Then painfully, "My father killed
her." His face twisted with pain. He did not want to remember things like
that. Why was it you had no choice?

He decided to change the key. "Christenlande," he thought. "Christenlande.
Lawrence. Lawrencium. Josephine.. and who else? I have no wife.. but I did?
Or do? No wife in Lawrencium. Perhaps in Ireland? No. She's in.. in..
Northumbria. Why Northumbria? He could not remember. But that meant he
did or had had a wife.. and children? A boy with hair like his own? A girl
who looked like her mother? Who looked like.. Heather? That Web Site it,
not heather.. but the name Heather. Again his face twisted in pain, but now
he did not know why.

He knew there was one other thing, one other terribly important thing. Was
it a person? Or was it something else? Maybe it was connected.. maybe
something to do with his being a bard. R-r-o.. no it would not come.

Finally back ashore they learned that the men from Northumbria had long
gone. Drivvid was quiet, almost morose. Falni tried to remind him, "All we
have is now.. that's what you said.." but nothing helped.

He tried to explain. "There is something just over the horizon... something
that won't let me rest until I remember."

That night when she waited for him to come to her bed, Falni saw Drivvid
sitting by the hearth fire with his head bowed. She went to him.
"Drivvid, come to bed, won't you?"

When he turned to look up at where she stood by him she saw his eyes were
damp and red. She sat down by him with a chill running through her.
"Drivvid, what is it? Now what have you recalled?"

"Falni," he started, his voice thick with emotion. "I am married. To
someone named Heather. We have two children. I don't know if they think I
am dead, but if they do, I can't let them go on grieving. I have to go

Falni paled. She trembled. She could not speak.

He went on. "I can't come to your bed without implying that those people
don't matter. I am sorry, Falni.. I wish with all my heart and soul it
wasn't true. But I guess we both knew it might be."

He looked up at her with agony written on his face. "I will leave as soon
as I can get someone to take me to another port, where I can find a ship
that will take me to Christenlande."

Falni had put her hand on her heart, feeling it thud rapidly through her
chest. "Drivvid.. "she began, then turned. She went to her bed closet,
climbed in and shut the doors.

Drivvid sat on by the fire. He longed for the time not so long ago when all
he was just Drivvid and Falni's love. He regretted the fact that you can
forget but you cannot un-remember. He lay on the ground by the fire and let
sleep overtake him.

Next: Total Eecall

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About the author

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