Today I add here the penultimate chapter of ‘The Door to Caellfyon‘, my novel for young readers. I apologise for the tardiness of this latest instalment. The role of political activist and freedom fighter can be a tad busy at times and, with the UK’s puppet-government once again playing the role of silly buggers, last week has been a hectic one.
More on that another time, perhaps.
Here, in Caellfyon, it is a desperate time for the inhabitants of Skenmarris. Forced to join a rag-tag band of embattled refugees, they must endure a scrambling flight to flee their homeland and outrun an advancing hoard of malicious adversaries.
Given the delay in submitting this latest episode, it will be good idea for me to recap on what transpired in the earlier chapter.
Chapter Eleven saw our reluctant hero, Levi, call on his knowledge of American Indian culture to suggest a means of transporting the sick and injured as the despondent population of Skenmarris hastily evacuated their homes.
Though it had not immediately been apparent to him, Levi soon realised that the tragedy of those proud indigenous people somewhat mirrored the plight now faced by his friends.
In the yard outside the hall, Levi proudly watched as the few remaining Wormwich invalids were gently laid onto what appeared to be long, triangular stretchers. Bullyrag wandered over to him, his overshirt billowing in the stiffening breeze. The old badger’s sorrow at leaving his home appeared to have been replaced with a steely acceptance.
‘Well done, young fuff-feller,’ he said, fondly slapping a hefty paw on Levi’s back. He nodded towards one of the stretchers. ‘Watcha say that contraption’s cuh-called again?’
‘A travois,’ Levi replied. His blonde hair, grown long during his time in Caellfyon, was now tied back in a ponytail secured by a leather strip. Into this he’d now strung a pair of kestrel feathers. They hung down his back, their mottled brown colouring matching perfectly his warm, woollen overshirt.
‘Back where I come from,’ continued Levi, ‘people known as Red Indians used them for carrying their homes when moving from one area to another.’
Bullyrag pursed his lips and nodded thoughtfully. ‘Used? Yer mean they duh-don’t now?’
‘No, they were robbed of their lands and driven onto something called reservations. Camps.’
‘Why, that’s tuh-terrible. Such inventive folk an’ all. What drove ‘em out? Cruel invaders, like the mink?’ Levi nodded as he considered the irony of it all. Here they were, fleeing from thieving, land-hungry raiders in Caellfyon, adopting an idea from a native people who themselves were cruelly treated by settlers in his own world.
‘Yeah, you could say,’ he said.
Bruised but unbowed, Levi will continue his hero’s journey next week. He and his friends may have endured a traumatic setback – but not a defeat. It is by no means game-over. Indeed no. It’s game on.
Access Chapter Twelve via the menu or, to download a free PDF copy, click here.