It’s In The Trees!

It’s Coming!

The words in the title and heading above are from the creepy 1950’s movie –– The Night of the Demon, a Dana Andrews classic and one of my favorite early supernatural/horror movies. Those words were also used by the fabulous Kate Bush of ‘Wuthering Heights‘ fame, introducing her track –– Hounds of Love. Kate is huge in England –– a legend. But I don’t think she’s that well known in the States. She’s great –– check her out! Now that’s off my chest –– here’s the thing today…

Can you imagine a world without trees?

I guess, if you’re Bedouin, or stationed for years on Antartica that might be easy. But not for most of us. For the majority of people, trees are silent witness to our everyday. Apart from those stormy days when they come crashing down. We have a lot of those in Georgia, and back in my old home, Cornwall too. There I once spent two hours up a hawthorn tree when my van got drowned during the Great Boscastle Flood of 2004 –– but that’s another tale entirely.

I’ve always loved trees. Who can ignore the silent majesty of a lightning Oak standing sentinel in a field, a row of shimmering poplars on a rural French lane? Or else an ancient yew shading a churchyard –– a thousand years of growth and memory. What it must have seen… Stark remote beech trees crowning windy downs, rook and crow nesting and quarreling amidst. Palms swaying in sunlight and distant glint of southern ocean. Willows dipping leaves in idle water. Et al.

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I was born in what used to be the northern fringe of Sherwood Forest, a place of mines and Royal Air Force bases now. Deep within that wood stands Robin Hood’s Oak, frequented by tourists long after his Merry Men harbored beneath.

Later, as a small child gazing from my old Grandpa’s window, I could see dense thickets of hazel and birch shrouding the battleground where Harold lost his eye, way back in 1066. Trees are history. Trees know things.

I used to walk the downs with Peggy the Dog, wind and wuthering (yes, I know that’s a Genesis album,:) Admire those distant beeches, so common on the chalk hills of southern England.

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Seen the pines on lofty crags overlooking Loch Ness, the emerald majesty of Muckross Gardens in County Kerry, those ancient twisted cedars, and Monterrey Pines flanking the Pacific on 17 Mile Drive; the gum trees loaded with Koalas in the swelter of the Outback. Lucky fellow, for me trees hold many happy memories.

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But what are your favorite trees? Please let me know and also any special places where you’ve found peace amidst those silent, thoughtful giants.
Trees play an essential role in Myth & Legends: the Celtic Rowan, the Mistletoe (I know, not strictly a tree but it grows on them,) Holly & Ivy (two bartenders I used to know.) Perhaps most famous of all is the world tree –– Yggdrasil from Norse Mythology.

Then there’s Treebeard, the Ents, and Hobbits eating mushrooms –– but I’ll save that for another day.

Here’s a Wikipedea link about magical trees in mythology 

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The Weekly Fantasy Series

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Episode 13: Lost In The Woods –– Part 1

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nextWhen everything goes to ratshit, you just have to keep moving. Simple. Don’t shilly-shally. Slice and hack, kick and cuss, duck! Slice again. Move your feet. Slow your breathing. Stay alive. That’s the trick!

Easier said than done. The woods were close. Despite their reputation that now seemed his best bet. For want of a better offer. Needs must. And where the fuck was Hagan?

Corin was surrounded by excited pikemen. His ally and team were nowhere in view. No time to worry about them. Slice! A pike’s steel got through and laid open his forearm.

Ouch.

Clouter turned the blade before it could find his belly. Corin held the longsword two handed and stepped backward and sideways; he performed a nifty maneuver bringing the wolf’s head pommel up hard under the nearest pikeman’s chin. That one crumpled, but the next two eagerly filled his place.

“I want him alive!” someone yelled. Corin didn’t wait to find out who. Seize the moment! He dived low between the pikemen just as an ax warrior leaped into the space he’d abandoned.

It’s all about timing, you see. A gap! Excited, Corin forced his legs to work harder and sprinted jaunty for the trees, a host of steely-assed tiger guards giving chase. They gave up when he passed beneath the first tall elms shading the edge of the forest. Beyond their pay grade venturing in there.

“He’s gone in the bloody forest!’ A pikeman shouted. “Daft bugger, won’t see him again!” Another answered. “Some troll will make a sandwich of him,” a third added sagely. And that last fellow was most probably right were the rumors surrounding this forest half true.

But it doesn’t pay to dwell on such spooky stuff. Positive thinking — that’s the ticket! With that in mind, Corin kept running deeper into the woods, until all sounds were stifled by the moist muffled closeness of dripping tree and leaf.Title page image

It was hot and sticky in here, despite being winter. And what was that creepy atmosphere pervading this place?

I’m not alone…

Later in his career, Corin would acquire a particular loathing for woods, on account of what he’d come across when venturing inside. This little visit was just the beginning.

And the sultry-eyed woman in the long green dress seated neatly on the moss covered rock was strangely familiar. She was beautiful too, and her green/gold gaze a tad suggestive. And for the next two days Corin an Fol was lost in the woods.2013-11-27 20.20.47In future years the memory of that visit became confused. But that might have been the mushrooms he’d consumed under that willow tree. Things get hazy as the years fade.

But when, against all the odds, Corin emerged from the Forest of Dreams with his skin still on his back, things outside had not improved2016-09-16 08.17.59

 

If you enjoy reading these Corin misadventures why not visit the website and get much more? You can subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get Corin’s first full adventure free Here And you can join our fun facebook Group: Legends & Longswords and follow J.W. Webb on Bookbub, Goodreads, and Twitter Right Here!

Dare you journey with Corin an Fol- The road is dark with many twists and pitfalls!

See you next week!

JWW

 

 

 

 

 

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