Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 97

“It is done,” the boy replied. The boy nods again. “What’s done?” Andarta asked. “OK so Phelan was on this journey, but I haven’t told you why have I?” “Your contract is bought off,” the druid said. “Come, let us go to your house. We have much to prepare.” # The man in red sighed and asked for a sip of wine, which the Ferryman gave to him. “Death in the Four and One is a big subject. But they don’t see it in the same way as us. They believe in a Wheel of Life, Death, and Rebirth and that the more tales the Bards tell, or the favour of a druid, can give you an advantage on the Wheel, allowing you to come back in a better life next time. That’s why they boast, they fight duels, they seek renown, and they have many taboos.” The boy nods, although the Ferryman doesn’t think the boy knows what the man in red is saying. Although, unlike some of his age, he is well versed in death, if only because of his mother’s passing. “They also know how to get to the Lands of the Dead. The Dan’s court. Like I told you earlier?” PAGE 96 The boy shakes his head. “Well every four years they choose a new Ard Righ, which means High King, out of the four kings of the four lands. Malvin, Phelan’s lord, was Ard Righ when Phelan set off. His journey is to invite the other lords to the gathering, Malvin had to pass the Ard Righ’s crown to one of the others. I’ll finish telling you about Andarta, who is important later in the tale, and then I’ll tell you about the Bard’s competition in the Lands of the Green Salmon…” # The boat tips and I open my eyes. The Ferryman is clambering back to his feet and taking up the oar once again. As its steady creaks fill the air I close my eyes again. “The man in red continued to spin his tale…” To be continued