Gaelsong Contest Entry Picture

This cover was designed by Colleen and Chandra at Gaelsong and used as the inspiration for their "Quoth the Raven" Short Story Contest.

I won third place in the contest with 227 votes and was awarded $100. There were 293 entries, so it was fairly competitive. You can read my entry here:

“A Druid’s Destiny”
 
Maeve would never forget the day she found the battered, leather bound book…or had the book found her?   Sometimes books have a mind to do this, shooting off a shelf to land with a commanding bang much like a gruff general beating at the barracks of sleepy soldiers.   It was a stormy Samhain Eve, complete with flicker flashing lights and beastly roars of thunder, but the tempest’s theatrics earned nary a glance from the MacCool family who were caught up in their own storm of activity as they raced to ready for the festivities.    MacCools from five counties were en route and Maeve, mama and her sisters had spent the morning cooking.   The house smelled of rosemary from the Remembrance Cookies.   These were Maeve’s favorite, and she used a gingerbread cookie cutter to shape them in the form of loved ones who had passed into the Otherworld – Tir Na Nog.   The clan would enjoy some of these treats that evening as they recounted thrilling tales of ancestral exploits.   The rest would sit on the Samhain altar next to the shimmering candles as an offering to the dearly departed.
 
Maeve was scrambling to set the candelabra in place when she almost tripped over the book.   The pages peered up provocatively and she bent curiously to scan the strange combination of scribbles and parallel strokes.   No one had taught her Ogam, the secret Druidic language created to keep the brutal Roman army from discovering the Celt's battle plans. No one had told Maeve that this was a grimoire, a book of magic, and that touching it could upend the universe. All she knew was that the words whispered to her insistently to read them, and so she did. It was some sort of incantation.

When ancient words
MacCool's heir speaks
to rouse the druid
from enchanted sleep

When mighty battle ravens three
rise from the sacred Rowan tree

Then will present, future, past
dance in Pendragon's hourglass

The Veil torn, the Gateway opened wide
What fearless soul ventures inside?
For there is merriment and mischief there
A mix of both foul and fear

On this night of unrivaled power
Dare ye enter Declan's oaken tower?
For only one with courage and tenacity
Can defeat our age old enemy

Now is the choice, now is the time
to resolve the riddle in this rhyme
pluck the pomegranate from the tree
spin the scrying ball
Set ME Free!


As Maeve finished the poem, the words were punctuated by a snarl of thunder, lightning lit up the room and the air echoed with the caws of a raven. Later she would discover the crystals, the spirit board, the tarot….later she would meet Declan, the druid trapped in the hoary oak tree, and learn that the myths of Eire were but masks hiding a truth older than time. But the book, the book came first….the book that changed her life forever.
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Gaelsong Contest Entry
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