Under The Menhir – 1.2

They were five, wearing black capes and hoods; they just walked there quietly and placed themselves around the big megalith.

Things were becoming really odd. “I… don’t know. I think I took the wrong time to visit and I should get going.”

“Please, stay.” Her voice was still calm and gentle. “You can watch. It will help you see things more clearly.”

The five people took out from their capes five short swords, and stood there with vertical blades, in a defensive posture.

“What’s going on here, exactly?” Jean felt very uncomfortable. The sun had set and the night was turning dark. None of them had any light. The city of Dol was quiet and motionless, in the distance, beyond the fields. He was alone with apparently dangerous people and all he wanted now was to run away fast.

“Every new moon we have to perform the ritual of protection.”

“Protection from what?”

Vivienne didn’t answer. She walked toward the Menhir and stopped right in front of it.

Jean could barely see her dark hair waving in the night breeze. She started to speak in a language that wasn’t French; it sounded like some kind of chant. It seemed ancient, archaic.

The wind rose from the druids circle, making their cloaks flutter.

Jean looked around, thinking that a storm was coming, but outside the circle, everything looked calm and quiet. He, however, was feeling restless. It was weird but somehow familiar.

“They’re here,” someone whispered.

Jean looked around.

In the dark, there were shadows approaching. Men, perhaps. Four or five. They were crossing the fields, because there was no other way to reach the megalith. And they had weapons.

Suddenly, the druids broke the circle and moved to face them.

When the swords crossed, Jean thought it was the right time to leave. It looked like some medieval re-enactment, but deep down he knew that things had gotten a little too real.

In the background, Vivienne was still chanting.

He turned his back to run, but he found a big guy in front of him, and suddenly his face had a close encounter with a fist.

It was an explosion of black and white, stars, and painful needles, while he fell on his back, out of balance.

For a few moments, he didn’t know who he was where he was what he was doing.

A salty liquid dripped from his nose, slipping into his mouth.

Jean wiped it with his sleeve and again the pain exploded in his head. He tried to refocus. He turned back and saw a man struggling with one of the druids. Both of them had a short sword and they were exchanging quick blows. At that rate, someone would’ve been hurt a lot.

Jean tried to get back on his feet, staggered for a moment, but then regained his posture. He did not stay for long to think about it and jumped on the man, tackling him like a football player.

They rolled on the grass. Jean found himself on top of the stranger and returned him the favor with a jab right under his cheekbone. The guy twisted his head to spit blood.

Jean crossed his arms and pressed them on the man’s throat. “Would someone please tell me who these people are?” he asked to the druids.

Fomorians,” replied a female voice with contempt.

Fo– what?”

But the druidess was already busy with a new fight and did not care about him anymore.

Jean kept pushing on the throat of the man, who was turning blue, and was actually surprised of how well he could see him now. He noticed the faint green light that was spreading from the Menhir, right where Vivienne was standing. He couldn’t believe his own eyes. Or eye, since his left one was closed by the pain and the incoming swelling.

Something reached him from his side. He didn’t see it. He just felt a sharp pressure on his chest and an inexplicable force that threw him away. He flew for about six feet before landing and rolling on the grass, ending up in a bush.

He sat up, numb, while he tried to figure out what had hit him and where it had come from.

On the path leading to the Menhir, someone else was approaching. The green light shone ghostly on his figure. The first thing Jean noticed was the black patch that covered the man’s left eye. Beside that, he didn’t look so special: short hair, of average build; maybe he was the same age as him. However, just looking at him made his blood boil. It was an inexplicable sensation. Jean felt his heart pounding in his ears, in sync with every step the stranger made toward him. His instinct told him to look around, searching for something with which defend himself.

The stranger put his hand under his jacket and pulled out something black that looked like a silenced gun.

Jean’s heartbeat increased, going out of sync. How the hell did he find himself in that situation?

The stranger pointed his gun, cocked the hammer. Behind them, the chanting of Vivienne continued.

Jean was paralyzed. Cold sweat was coating him like an icy sheet. But he realized that the gun was not pointed at him. He followed the trajectory with his eye and saw that the target was Vivienne.

It all happened within a few seconds, but it seemed to Jean that the time had dilated. His brain was traveling a thousand miles per hour, the adrenaline made ​​him snap, almost like for an involuntary reflex, and he ran toward the man with the gun.

The shot exploded.

The stranger’s only eye rested upon him, and again something strong and invisible, like a whip made ​​of air, hit him in the chest and pushed him away.

Jean found himself on the ground next to Vivienne. He turned to see if she had been hit. But nothing. She was still standing, her hair blowing in the wind.

He heard the muffled pop of a second shot. This time he saw it distinctly, hitting the back of the woman and exploding into a flash of light.

Then there was silence. The chant was over. The green light burst and spread for a few seconds, illuminating the night like the flash of a camera.

Jean had to shield his eyes.

“Too late,” said Vivienne. “The protection spell has been cast.”


Chapters list.

Under The Menhir – 1.1

“An ancient Breton legend says that when someone dies, the Menhir sinks a little bit.

When it will be totally buried, the world will come to its end.”

 

Black ravens fly. The sky has lost its Sun.

A beak tapping on the window, as if it was calling him.

His green eyes opened wide.

Was it just a dream?

The train crossing the French Brittany had quietly lulled him into sleep.

He stretched and looked out to the sky that was turning red. He rummaged in his pocket and took out an old postcard, all wrinkled and discolored. It was from his grandfather, a picture of the big Menhir du Champ-Dolent. Granpa had sent it home during the World War II, right before he was killed in battle.

The young man didn’t know why he wanted to go there, since he ran away, but he had no other place to go. His entire world had crumbled to pieces, and that big rock felt almost like the only solid spot in a raging storm.

He sighed, running his fingers on his unshaved face and through his disheveled hair.

What are you doing?

The train slowed down to its final stop. Dol de Bretagne.

It was a little town, the station somehow modern, while the rest of the city still carried the flavor of the European Middle Ages. The stone houses with the wooden beams in view looked foreign and familiar at the same time. Maybe because they remembered him of the ancient city where he had grown up, all the things he had sworn to leave behind. Dol was soaked with the past, even the air felt different. It was clean, rich; it smelled like the ocean and baked bread.

The sky was turning dark; he knew he had to find a place where to spend the night, but first he wanted to go there. He took out the piece of paper where he had printed out the map of the town and followed the path he had marked with a pencil. He didn’t bring his phone with the GPS, too dangerous. Better doing things the old way.

Just a quick visit to the spot, then he could spend the night in some local hotel and the next day start looking for a job.

As if everyone was waiting to give a job to an illegal immigrant who had burned all his IDs once he passed the border. Sure. Easy.

Something, like a big black hole, was growing inside of him.

What kind of future could he have?

He didn’t even get a degree, because who could afford to pay the tuition fees, and you’ve always been a moron anyway, Alex, studying is not for you.

That unpleasant voice, coming back in his head, chilling his blood and tightening his stomach. He didn’t want to think about him, he didn’t want to hear him again. And he no longer would, because now everything had ended. He ended it with his very hands.

For a moment, he stopped along the way, and gazed at his knuckles. For a moment, they were covered in blood. It was his blood, but it wasn’t. Family blood.

He took a deep breath, and the fresh air of Brittany made everything fade away.

He could make it. He could start anew. He just had to forget.

With a new resolution, he kept on going through those ancient houses and quiet streets. The night was becoming cold.

While leaving the residential zone, before his eyes appeared the image of the fields. In the dark they looked blue and gray, like blankets sewn together.

He followed the lonely road that led to Champ-Dolent. It was a stretch of mowed grass with a circle of bushes in the middle, from which emerged the fierce stone figure.

Thirty feet tall, it looked like a dark monolith under the new moon rising.

It was impressive. Yet it was just a big shapeless rock. A huge shapeless rock. But it looked different from the picture he carried with him, as if something had somehow changed. He tilted his head to figure out what was wrong, when a voice took him by surprise.

“It’s broken.” It was a gentle female voice.

He turned his head and she was there.

For a moment, they just stared at each other.

She had deep dark eyes, fair skin, and long hair. Her white dress was almost shining in the dim light of the twilight. He hadn’t seen her coming, and he thought she was some kind of vision. But then she spoke again.

“It started twenty-two years ago, with a little crack. It slowly grew bigger until a few days ago, when the stone broke and the tip fell off.” She pointed at a rock lying on the grass. She sounded very sad, even worried.

“Well, it’s a pity. But it’s very old, I mean, it should be normal…”

“It’s been here for six thousand years. No, it is not normal.” She looked at him and smiled, making him feel a little weird. The hair on the back of his neck stood up, a chill ran through his spine.

A raven cawed, crushing that unnatural silence.

He shuddered, while she lifted her arm toward the black bird that was gliding in their direction. However, at the last moment, the raven missed the woman’s hand and landed on his shoulder. He saw the puzzled look on her face, followed by a sudden relief.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

He hesitated. He had decided to leave his name behind when he had left his home, so he just made it up on the spot. “I’m Jean.”

The raven flew away at the sound of his voice and landed on the top of the stone.

“You can call me Vivienne,” she smiled. “What brings you here?”

“Well…” he didn’t think about that part either. “I just wanted to see the Menhir, I guess.”

“Maybe you’ll see more than that.” She looked around, and only then he noticed the other people that were coming near. “What do you know about druids?”


Chapters list.

Under The Menhir – English version online

Under the MenhirHello everyone, it’s been a while.

Today I wanted to announce that I will be posting online the English version of Menhir, right here on this blog.

It will be divided in chapters of roughly 1,000 words that I will post while I make another proofreading. Since my English isn’t perfect, I think it will be a good way to practice and if I can get some feedback to emprove my writing it will be great.

I’ll start from the next post, and you’ll find a chapter list in the English page.

Hope you enjoy.

 

Una Nuova Edizione Estesa

menhir-db-300Dopo più di un anno, ormai ho perso il conto, ho deciso di ridare a Menhir un po’ del suo splendore originale.

All’inizio avevo scritto una storia più lunga, ma poi per esigenze di spazio e di traduzione ho tagliato molte parti per farne una novella, ma alla fine mi sono resa conto che era tutto troppo veloce e serrato, quindi ho deciso di riprendere la prima stesura, dargli una spolveratina e riproporla in esclusiva per l’edizione Italiana.

La trovate solo su Amazon, in esclusiva per Kindle Unlimited.

 

New Cover Art

menhir2-ita-300I updated all the versions of the novella fixing some typos and with a new cover that better represents the spirit of the story – and a scene from the past… hope you like it!

Everything will be updated in a few days and check out the stores, because I’ll run another free promotion soon 🙂

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Ho aggiornato tutte le versioni della novella sistemando alcuni refusi e aggiungendo una nuova copertina che meglio rappresenta lo spirito della storia – e una scena dal passato… spero vi piaccia!

Tutto sarà online aggiornato nel giro di qualche giorno, e tenete d’occhio gli store perché farò una promozione gratuita molto presto 🙂

Happy New Year

It’s been a long time since I posted on the blog and the Menhir has become silent again.

But this time, it may wake up in another form. I have some plans for the future months, soon I’ll tell.

Starting tomorrow the Italian novella will be free for a few days on Amazon (http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00DYB255A).

But the English version could come soon, and I’ll say no more.

Have a happy new year and may your dreams come true.

Due parole sul testo: Menhir tra leggenda e fantasia

320px-Menhir_du_Champ_Dolent

Menhir du Champ Dolent” di © Guillaume Piolle / . Con licenza CC BY 3.0 tramite Wikimedia Commons.

Scrivere a volte è un po’ mentire.

Raccontiamo cose mai successe di un mondo che non esiste, o anche quando è il mondo reale, non lo è mai fino in fondo. La narrativa ci richiede di inventare, piegare le regole al servizio dell’emozione.

Scrivere Menhir è stato un po’ questo, raccontare un’innocente bugia su una storia che non c’è.

Tutto è iniziato quando mi sono imbattuta in un articolo che parlava del Menhir du Champ Dolent, che esiste davvero in un paesino chiamato Dol de Bretagne, nel nord della Francia. Mi ha molto colpito la leggenda, quella citata all’inizio del testo:

“Ogni volta che qualcuno muore, il Menhir sprofonda un po’, e quando si sarà infossato del tutto, verrà la fine del mondo.”

E da lì la mia mente ha iniziato a vagare ed è nata Bev, la guardiana immortale.

Ci sono vari elementi della tradizione celtica che ho utilizzato come base per la storia, la figura di Lugh è piuttosto famosa, così come la leggenda di Balor dall’occhio malvagio, dei Fomori e dei Tuatha Dé Danann. Le battaglie di Mag Tuired sono citate spesso nelle saghe irlandesi ed è abbastanza noto che i celti abbiano origini continentali, seppure non si sappia con certezza chi ha eretto i Menhir, i Dolmen e le altri grandi pietre risalenti al neolitico e attribuite alla cosiddetta “cultura megalitica”, ed è qui che la storia e la leggenda si mescolano con la fantasia, con le mie piccole bugie.

La storia della nascita di Lugh è stata un po’ modificata secondo le mie esigenze: per far emergere il tema dei fratelli in lotta, ho dovuto dare a Lugh un gemello, chiamato Dot, come il padre di Balor che in realtà nel mito non è mai esistito così come non è attestato da nessuna parte che Lugh abbia vissuto in Bretagna, seppure il suo culto sia molto diffuso sul continente, tra Francia, Spagna e Italia, di cui restano i segni nei nomi di alcuni luoghi (da Lione a Lugo).

Allo stesso modo non esistono due divinità di nome Heol e Loar, che sono due parole della lingua bretone che indicano Sole e Luna, anche se il rapporto tra il sole e la luna è affrontato in molti miti di diversi popoli.

La parte riguardante l’occhio invece si ispira appunto all’occhio “malvagio” di Balor che si disse fosse in grado di grande magia e distruzione e che quando il vecchio gigante cadde, sconfitto da Lugh, il suo occhio creò una voragine nel terreno, che poi si riempì d’acqua dando origine a un lago. Anche Lugh si chiudeva un occhio per esercitare la magia, eredità del nonno Fomoriano.

Allo stesso modo tutto il resto della storia, da Bev alla conclusione, non è altro che frutto dell’immaginazione, come vuole ogni storia fantasy, ma anche ogni storia di pura “fiction”.

Quindi non prendete per vere le mie parole, non è un manuale di storia, è solo una storia e nient’altro, che spero comunque vi possa intrattenere per qualche ora, quando sentirete il bisogno di evadere un po’ dalla realtà.

Menhir in Spagnolo

Grazie al sito Babelcube, ho avuto la possibilità di trovare una brava traduttrice che si è offerta di tradurre Menhir in lingua spagnola.

Il testo sarà probabilmente disponibile nella prima metà dell’anno prossimo.

Sono davvero molto entusiasta di superare i confini nazionali con la mia storia.

Incrociamo le dita!

Dominique

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[Español]

Gracias al sitio Babelcube, tuve la oportunidad de encontrar una buena traductora que ha ofrecido a traducir Menhir en español.

El texto probablemente estará disponible en el primer semestre del próximo año.

Estoy realmente muy emocionada de superar las fronteras nacionales con mi historia.

Crucemos los dedos!

Dominique

Menhir

Menhir

“Un’antica leggenda bretone dice che ogni volta che qualcuno muore, il Menhir sprofonda un po’, e quando si sarà infossato del tutto, verrà la fine del mondo.”

Jean è fuggito dall’Italia, in mano ha una vecchia cartolina che raffigura il Menhir du Champ Dolent.
Arrivato in Bretagna per rifarsi una vita, si ritroverà nel bel mezzo di uno scontro che dura dall’alba dei tempi.

Un circolo di druidesse che fa la guardia all’antica pietra e una misteriosa donna che porta il peso di un ingrato destino.

Una storia che nasce dalla culla della cultura megalitica, passando per la tradizione celtica, fino alla Francia dei giorni nostri.

Disponibile su Amazon.