• Lilly

An Excerpt From the Pictish Novel!

As most of you know, I'm researching to write a novel set in Pictish times. A lot is still to take shape but I thought I would post a bit of a teaser into 2 characters I am developing. I hope it leaves you intrigued!


Each morning she descended from the long abandoned hillfort to sit in the ashes. Each day she felt the empty hollowness expanding. One day, she started up the hill as the telltale shadows of an ending day signalled the coming of darkness. She stopped.

"What point is there in protecting myself from the darkness," she thought. 'Life IS darkness now. Better that the wolves should tear me limb from limb than to endure another day."

She had reached the end. Any lingering curiosity to understand the point of her existence had been snuffed out by the suffocating ash around her. She was all that was left, and she no longer considered herself worth the fight.

“All is lost.”

The words echoed around the empty recesses of her soul. Her shoulders slumped as the unfathomable weight of hope slid off her back. Her lifeless eyes scanned the ever darkening shadows of her lifeless village. The winds picked up, and with it the swirling ash played tricks on her mind. She saw shapes of a former life, nearly bringing her to feel something, only to cruelly dissipate. She saw the shape of a wolf on the path at the outer edge of the village, and waited for it to fade into the breeze with the rest of her memories. It didn’t. Instead it took a more defined shape as it ambled towards her with an uneven gait. As she realized it wasn’t another ashen ghost, she felt a strange absence of fear. Death had come, and she was ready. She closed her eyes, intent on saving her last moments for thoughts of what once was. She kneeled, placing her hands and face on the cold, ashy earth. She heard the wolf as it stepped nearer. She could hear something dragging in between each footfall. Again she tried to shut out any thoughts of the present. But as she tried to focus she heard a whimper. The footsteps stopped and she felt a heavy thud resonate across the earth between herself and the creature. She opened her eyes to see not a wolf, but a bleeding, burned, broken, shadow of a dog. It had fallen inches from her and their eyes were level. The dog’s eyes reflected back at her the same emptiness as her own. “All is lost.” The words resonated inside the wretched animal’s soul as well.

In that moment, a flicker of life was restored. She was not alone. This creature was suffering. It needed her, and she would soon realize that she needed it. She pushed herself out of the ashes, rising to her feet. All was not lost, she would see to that.

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