Remington had lost count of the number of times he had wandered among these stones. It had been so long that he’d forgotten which one was his. When was it? He could hardly recall. Yes, he did remember the Great Heathen Army. His grandfather had been felled by them at the Isle of Portland while serving under King Beorhtric. Remington himself was dispatched by one of their leaders called Ivar the Boneless, a thousand northern savages by his side. Was it at Wessex then?
It didn’t matter. Here he was as if he had always been here. That other life was so brief by comparison, it almost didn’t matter.
“Who’s there?” He hadn’t spoken in so long, his own voice sounded strange, almost as eerie as the woman who called to him.
“It is time, Remington.”
“Pray tell, for what, good maiden if that’s who you be?”
“You cannot see me. I’m calling from the other side.”
He looked around the stones and then some of the nearby trees, but couldn’t see this other side where she might be hiding. “Yet I can hear you.”
“Follow my voice, Remington.”
“Time’s up. You’ve waited long enough.”
Feeling a strange heat, so alien to him after an eternity of cold, he walked forward, heedless of any obstacles. “What manner of witchcraft is this?”
“I am no witch, good Sir. I offer you glad tidings.”
“And what might they be?” At first he felt fear, but it had been banished, and now he experienced curiosity. After all, he had already died once. What could harm him now?
“A new life.”
“Where does this light come from? I see no fire or torch.”
“Keep walking toward the light. That’s right. You’re getting closer. You’re almost there.”
Then it surrounded him like a down quilt, a soft light and warmth, such a comfort as he had never known before.
There are many tales about exactly when the soul joins the nascent body within the mother’s womb, so the one once called Remington did not know how long he remained within her body, nurtured and cherished. Though later he would not remember, he could feel the contractions pushing him head first outward toward birth and a new life.
Every Thursday, Sue posts one of her original photos as a prompt for any one to use to craft a poem, short story, or other creative work. The Tale Weaver challenge works similarly, except today, the prompt is the phrase “Time’s Up,” and writers are asked to limit their responses to 500 or 600 words. My word count is 377.
Both prompts reminded me of death, but since I’ve just finished a book with a reincarnation theme, I thought I’d reverse the process.
Oh, my fictional Remington died sometime in the 9th century. I used the events before the Battle of Edington as my source material.