Extract from ‘Merlin and the Mystic Child’.
Chapter 19. Disappearance.
A small beam of light began to glow at the exact spot where Gawain had vanished. It grew. It became brighter, more real. It seemed to glow, then dim, then glow more. To either side of Ylaine were cast long shadows showing where the opening was to be found.
‘Here is the door,’ she whispered. ‘Here we may enter. All of you be quick before the charm loses its power!’
Merlin took the first cautious step through into the light, his staff out-stretched. After all, what was it he had told Ylaine once, never to enter a convergence without being ready. He too, muttered some words of magic and beckoned the others to follow.
One by one, they stepped from the Realm of the Glittering Lakes, into the Realm of Carterhaugh. At last, they were inside Queen Duarnith’s kingdom.
The light span circles of sunspots, blinding eyes. At the same time, each was deafened by the din of a hundred devils. So it was that the senses were attacked by Duarnith’s first line of defence. So it was they were unable to take stock of where they were or what was happening.
The first to fall had been Gawain, when he pitched into Carterhaugh, then had been Merlin, staff out-stretched followed by Nim e and Tamlin. Next should have been Ylaine, but of her there was no sight as the entrance shut tight behind Bonnie. With ears back, she kicked her heels and galloped off into the unknown.
The light dimmed, the sounds of the hundred devils fled, leaving three standing as they had entered, like the ancient stones: just likenesses of people who had once lived. And there, amid them all full of mirth and merriment, leapt a small, square-shaped hairy sort of man. He clapped his hands, he danced, he sang, he skipped and touched each stone as he whisked by.
‘Mine! Mine!’ he sang. ‘My way out of here! My way home. What bargaining power I have now! I shall pay for my freedom, with you stupid creatures. Oh how she will torment you for setting foot in Carterhaugh. Oh how she will repay me with my freedom!’
After a while he tired and sat down to take a breath, still humming cheerily. Then he counted.
‘One, two, three...and the pony. No bother about her...One, two, three...and another one somewhere...’ The troll’s merriment trailed away as he counted again and again.
‘It is no use,’ Merlin laughed. ‘You have lost two of us, little man!’
The troll’s face crumpled, ‘Where are you? Come out so you can fight fairly!’
‘This is fair! You cannot see me, but I can see you.’
‘Not fair,’ the troll stamped his feet, clenched his fists and began a frantic search for the owner of the voice. Suddenly he stopped.
‘Two?’ he said.
‘Two of us. Well three if you count that two of us are like one!’ Merlin replied.
‘Two like one? A riddle! If I answer the riddle can I keep these?’ he asked hopefully, pointing at the statues.
Hi, I'm Susan Sawyer, author of ‘Merlin and the Mystic Child’.
Here’s a brief introduction to my career as an author…so far!
In the beginning…
I started writing when I was 13! I sent my first book off to a publisher friend of my aunt's. I was so disappointed when it came back with a letter saying that I needed more practise at writing.
What I didn't know then was that I needed to read more as well as sharpen my writing skills.
As luck would have it, I became a primary school teacher and so I read all kinds of children's books. I just love children's literature. It's so much more FUN than a lot of the adult stuff...and I don't have to grow up too much either.
I was lucky enough to be offered a place on the Language and Literature Advanced Diploma in Cambridge. This was a classroom research based 2-year course. It was like flicking a switch. I had always loved reading and writing, but now I wanted to do some of the things the children were doing. So I did. I began writing what I asked them to write. Then I was off work for five months and could really get down to it.
I wrote several short stories and sent them off to publishers and agents. No takers. Back to work. So, I’ve taken early retirement to create the time to write.
I also completed a course with the ‘Academy of Children’s Writers’, which honed skills such as writing for brief, word count, writing synopses, dialogue, characterisation etc.
The here and now.
I’ve written two full-length children’s books and the third of the trilogy is in full flow.
My daughter has illustrated the first book and I’m biased I know, but I think they are brilliant.
You can find out more about my writing and my daughter’s artwork on my web site:
You can also buy ‘Merlin and the Mystic Child’ as e-book from my web site.