Chapter 2:

Introduction

Aya and the Cat


So the Annals Say
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The west coast of my native home is far away from the common soil that you’ve heard before. But even further west lies my home. The last Isle before the irredeemable ocean grey. Bookmark here

Standing by the icy groan of heaving wave and spray, nought but a scarf and woollen hat to shield me, I’m drawn into its wondrous depths; the annals of monks, faye and sorcery that lies beneath the ocean fog billowing before me. Bookmark here

The ocean like a demon hides its secrets well. A small being like me cannot fathom the mystery contained within. Bookmark here

Though my island home, on the outskirts of the Republic, is no less a secret, I’m always drawn to this spot on the most westerly shore. When I stand here, battered by the ocean’s howl, I’m reminded not how small I am, but how big everything else is. Bookmark here

The world surrounds me, towers over me like giants heaved up from the blue depths, and I wonder at the majesty of it all. Bookmark here

But this isn’t how my story began. I am old and the craggy island stands empty now, its rugged residents now ghosts haunting the limestone hillocks and salt rusted graves. Earth is now part of some Intergalactic space confederation were exiting the Union is now some kind of sexual foreplay. Indeed, if Donald Trump was still alive there would be no doubt that walls several light-years high would be towering above the mainland bay of my Republic’s capital city. Bookmark here

All in all, things still don’t make a lot of sense. When did they ever, I wonder? Then again, I always believed fantasy was created to wash reason away. Bookmark here

Either way, my story begins several decades ago when the Republic was young and green. When my island still hauled fish to shore every day come rain, sleet, hail or shine. When to be young meant to be young. Where I was but a lad; five foot ten; sixty-three stone; red-haired and windswept. Bookmark here

When I was in school. Bookmark here

When I met her. And the melancholy of island life shattered as if struck by an ice pick. Bookmark here

Ah...I suppose you could call this a “love story” but this stoic phrase rings hollow in my opinion. True love, boundless love cascading from a limitless source out there in the cosmos; infusing and embodying all; symbolising both the infinite and the finite; transcendence and normality in one an all, is a fleeting thing. Bookmark here

Yet it endures.Bookmark here

…and that is mysterious.Bookmark here

Carter S.
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