Genres: The story is an Action/ Adventure set in 1916. It encompasses elements of the 1916 Rising and Irish myth and would belong in the Fantasy genre.
Bran—a war weary veteran of many conflicts has always closely guarded a dark secret. Now, as he fights for the survival of his men in the brutal trenches, his past has come back to haunt him. Rioghnach, a dark fairy woman, has arisen after centuries beneath the ground. She has been driven mad and power-hungry by her imprisonment. Bran must put aside his loyalties and finally return home. Ireland is a land on the verge of political turmoil and civil unrest. As the time of the Easter Rising draws near a sequence of events will begin to unravel that could bring about an age of darkness. Bran holds the key to their salvation but it could bring about a fate worse than death.Things seemed to have gone quiet up above as he stopped, the men behind him holding their breath for him to listen. He thought he had heard something through the earthen walls enfolding them but, as the seconds trickled by, the stillness reassured him and he began to crawl on. The air was thinner down here, making it a struggle to keep going, the exertion of pulling themselves along by their elbows slowly draining their strength. The explosives in his satchel were pressing against his side as he tried to shuffle through the ground works.
The boys were nervous, the tension even more palpable than usual. The number of explosions had increased a lot in the last few weeks. The cave-ins had taken friends from all the men and the most experienced diggers had succumbed to the German offensive. Bran was nervous too. His boys weren’t like the diggers - men who had worked in mines and dig works for years before the war. They were fearless, those large men with their gruff northern accents and their
dislike of the upper class officers. His lads were just normal Tommie’s; they were young and scared and didn’t like going underground. It wasn’t natural. They felt trapped.
He stopped again, swearing he felt movement through the ground. His sudden stop halted the other men as the boy at the back, barley eighteen, began to whimper. ‘Quiet’, the harsh whisper chastised him as Bran froze; the sound of breathing seemed loaded and clumsy as it became trapped between the walls of the tunnel. The other men trusted Bran’s judgement. He was a bit of a legend among the trenches, his knack for coming back alive when all around him died was enough cause for the men to listen when he talked. It was this that went against him with his superiors. They did not like the men raising lowly captains to higher stations than themselves. The superstitions of the lower ranks was a constant pain for the officers, their men not wanting to obey direct orders because they had a “bad feeling” about it. It had to be stamped out and talk of this Irish soldier, with his ‘good luck’ and ‘sixth sense’ about things, angered them all the more.
Bran pulled the glove from his right hand with his teeth and sank his fingers into the dirt of the floor beneath his belly. He shut his eyes to concentrate. Nothing seemed to move. Then he felt it, a dragging close by. He squeezed his eyes all the tighter, straining his ears. The vibration he sent out was miniscule, undetectable but he saw what he needed to. He turned his head awkwardly in the tight space until he could see Jones in the harsh lamp light. The perspiration from the heat and the fear was running in droplets from his brow down his nose. He signalled with his hand to go back as the boys began to silently crawl backwards on the long ascent to the top.
As they got higher the tunnel became wider allowing the men to walk, if hunched down, as they awkwardly plodded ever upward, the relief added to by the fresher air the higher they crawled. ‘Say it and stop sulking Jones,’ Bran chastised as he struggled with the bag he carefully protected at his side.
‘There’s going to be trouble about this. They will have your
head for turning the lads back’, Jones groaned in his heavy
Newcastle accent. He faced Bran, looking into the bright blue eyes
of the man he respected but could not understand. The other boys
pushed onwards, eager to get back up top, allowing Bran and Jones the privacy to speak.
‘There was nothing to be done. There is a German tunnel. It’s
about to intersect ours just ahead of the point we were crawling to’
Bran explained, becoming impatient with Jones’ worrying. ‘I’m
not sure if they were aware of our tunnel but they were either going
to come through the walls at us or plant explosives themselves. I’m
not putting the lads at risk for nothing.’ Jones got the puckered
skin between his brows that came when he thought for too long about how Bran knew these things. He took a deep breath of the thick pungent air as he looked at the dirt streaked face of his captain.
Amazon UK Amazon
About the Author:
Christina George is an Irish writer based in Dundalk, Co. Louth. She mainly writes Fiction with an emphasis on Fantasy. Her academic background is in the arts. After completing her undergraduate with a BA in Cultural studies in 2008 she went on to study for an MA in Comparative Literature in Dublin City University. Her first novel The Rise of the Sidhe has recently been released for Kindle on Amazon. She is currently working in the Heritage sector in County Louth and outlining a new writing project.
Connect With The Author: