Excerpt from Foxfire

Home Biography Novels Musicals Contact Me Links
Heartwood Excerpt Bloodstone Excerpt  The Inside Story




He is the fox that stalks its prey on silent paws.
The weasel that sheds its summer coat for winter white.
He is the jackdaw that scolds in the treetops
And the snake that slithers through the grass.  
No man shall see his true form.
No woman shall know his heart.
Honor him. Praise him.
And pray that your paths never cross.

Chapter Five


The familiar pre-dawn hush had settled over the forest. Although the sky overhead had lightened to charcoal, the shaft of moonlight in which the fox stood was as brilliant as ever. Rigat waited, sharing his vision mate’s eagerness.

The fox’s brush lashed, and the moonlight rippled like someone drawing a finger across the still surface of a pool. As Rigat rose to his knees, the shaft of moonlight split open. But instead of the trunks of the pines, he found himself staring at the back of a man in a long robe.

Again, the thick brush moved, more lazily this time. The gap widened, as if two unseen hands had grasped the edges of the white light and were slowly pulling them apart. 

There were dozens of people, he realized, gathered in a circle. Peering between their bodies, he spied a dark, gaping pit.

A red-robed priest in a feathered cloak raised his staff. Although the man had to be forty paces away, Rigat could clearly see the black markings zigzagging down its sinuous length, the painted red eyes that stared skyward, even the grain of the wood. His eyesight had always been keen, but this was impossible. It took him a moment to realize that the staff looked like a giant adder.

<Very good, Rigat.>

As one, the people began to chant. The language was unfamiliar, but Rigat was certain the meaning of the words lay just beneath the surface of his consciousness.

The chant grew louder as the sky lightened. Perhaps it was some kind of prayer to welcome the dawn. But the gaze of every person remained fixed on the pit as if fascinated by whatever was happening in it. Determined to see more, he pushed himself to his feet and took a cautious step forward. 

A man’s head jerked towards him. He shouted something unintelligible. The chanting faltered. More heads turned. People gaped at him, some frozen in shock, others pointing, still others peering uncertainly as if they could not quite make him out. Fingers flew as they made signs across their chests, all the while jabbering in their tongue.  

Guards converged around a black-haired girl on the far side of the circle. Another spun toward him, spear upraised. Before Rigat could do more than open his mouth, the spear arced toward him. 

Panic ignited his smoldering power. It penetrated flesh and muscle and bone. It warmed his belly and stiffened his cock. It surged through his legs and down his arms until his toes and fingertips tingled.

The spear slowed as if the air around it had grown thick. Tiny details impressed themselves on Rigat's mind: the sweet-smoky scent of the torches, a tiny scratch on the surface of the spear point, the fox’s eyes – golden as honey.

He controlled the power, feeding on it and allowing it to feed on him. And all the while, he watched the spear coming closer. Now ten paces away. Now five. Only when he feared his body would burst with the power, only when he could smell the metal, cold and bitter as a winter morning, did he whisper, “Stop.”

The spear hung in the air, the point a mere hand’s breadth from his chest. Rigat slowly raised his hand and wrapped his fingers around the shaft. Only then did he accept that it was real. Distantly, he heard shouts and screams, but when he raised his head, the portal snapped shut.

His arm fell to his side, suddenly heavy. The spear slipped from his grasp. Then his shaking legs folded.

The pungent odor of male fox vied with something sweet – honeysuckle? But honeysuckle only bloomed in the summer.

The slide of a wet tongue against his cheek startled him. Opening his eyes, he found his vision mate staring down at him.

<You did well, Rigat. I’m proud of you.>

A small part of him registered happiness, but body, mind, and spirit were numb. Never before had the use of his gift left him so drained.

<It will get easier. In time. For now, just sleep.>

He summoned enough strength to ask, “Why did you show me that?”

<There will be time to talk later.>

Stubbornly, he fought the overwhelming lethargy. “When?”

<Soon. But now you must sleep. Sleep and grow strong, my beautiful boy.>

This time, Rigat succumbed to the soothing voice. As he drifted off, he smiled. My beautiful boy. His mam used to call him that when he was little.



Home Biography Novels Musicals Contact Me Links


Questions? Comments? Feedback?
Contact me