“You shouldn’t be here” Danu smiled, her hand was out beckoning him forward. He did so, the power emanating from this blonde woman was immense.
She waited for him and knelt down, her hand was on the ground and Rory clambered in. She took him up to her face and began to speak.
“I’m Danu, I am very old and I know everything in this world. You are Rory from the village Marghara. I’m afraid your parents believe you the Curse of the Village” she laughed lightly “but this is not so, you are the first human to enter the other side. It’s not a curse.”
She sat Rory on her shoulder , he gripped her blur cloth tightly so he wouldn’t slip. It was a long way down. Danu looked around, she started to hum a melody.
“Who was that King, Dani? Why is he killing those people?” Rory gently asked.
“He was a very nasty King Rory, he killed many but he killed an ancient tribesman. He wanted to learn our old ways but was unsuccessful, he killed the ancient.
And so as a final farewell the ancient follower of our ways banished him here for all eternity. With his final breath he uttered sacred magic to the king. He will play out his hatred and see no satisfaction forever.”
Danu looked sad, her blue eyes welling up with tears.
“All he had to do was give up his kingdom, he could have found his way with our ways. Men’s hearts are material now and they harden their hearts to love.” She looked at the tunnel and heard faint screams, then she turned to the main pathway.
“Danu, who are you?” Rory was perplexed.
Danu startled by the question did a little giggle “men always surprise me!” Her mouth did a smile to the side.
“I have many names Rory, I am mother earth for one. I was here at the dawn of time and will be here forever. It is so complicated for you to comprehend who I am, for now I am just Danu.”
Rory sat up straight.
“You mean you’re all powerful? A goddess?” His mouth dropped.
“I was” Danu smiled weakly “until betrayal.” She tugged at her hair as if trying to shrug a memory away.
Rory looked around the cavern, so beautiful and massive, they were in the middle of the cavern. Suddenly the scraping of a sword coming from one tunnel nearby. They both looked to the left and there the Viking stood. Magnus fully armored and sword unsheathed.
He approached Danu.
“I smell him on you” his voice full of hatred “where is thing?” He licked his lips looking up and down Danu. Danu in a flash put her hand up and Magnus was frozen in place.
“He is a bothersome beast” Danu shivered “such a pity he’s full of hate.”
She took her hand and placed it on her forehead, focused and pointed to the ground. She awoke from trance.
“There! The path, second before the end on the right. That’s your path to Margartha. She is hidden even from me. But I shall stay here with Magnus, he will bother you no more.” She gently took Rory off her shoulder and kissed his head. He was placed on the ground.
“Thank you for being here Rory, it has been lonely for Mother Earth” she smiled “go on your noble quest to the witch.”
“Thank you Danu!” Rory was exasperated. He waved farewell and travelled down the path.
He approached the tunnel Danu had told him to go down. The path through this tunnel was extremely cold, deathly cold. He shivered uncontrollably from the atmosphere. He carried on and walked straight in.
The coarse tunnel gave way to smooth stone, he passed many pathways into other parts of this wall. He knew what it was, a maze. A huge maze at that.
He heard a blood curdling scream. It was at the centre, a woman’s voice screaming. Rory ran into the maze looking for the voice, desperately trying to find the woman. Screams hurting his little ears.
He sat on the ground helplessly.
He was lost in the labyrinth with the screams getting louder.
He was lost.