~"Hold my hand..."
Harlowe lent forward and gently closed his large square hand around the trembling fingers. He had felt a growing affinity with David, an affinity which at first he instinctively resisted, both as a professional man and also on a level he had no time - or so he told himself - to address at the present moment...
"...I have been waiting" she said firmly, with an unwanted smile playing on her lips
Hakon dismounted and studied the young face before him. Every excuse he could think of, flashed through his mind. Then he saw her eyes...
"I'm sorry" he said.
Her brown eyes flashed and twinkled with the stars, as he took the small hand offered to him.
"You're a Dreamer Hakon. You forget time as you stand the dream and think." She paused "And what do you think about?"
Brigid was jealous to be barred from any morsel of her lover, who stood reflected in her eyes like the shining god of the sun.
"What do you think of now"Harlowe chose the word "thinking" with a rapid care - something told him to be careful of going to far, too quickly.
Her young face slowly broadened into a wide grin.
"I am thinking I love you"
Harlowe often found that he accompanied his subjects during their regression, often staying with them, like a disembodied voice or indeed a 'soul'. This time it was somehow more powerful.
"Who are you" Harlowe's question was as gentle as it was inquisitive.
"My name is Brigid"
'Another female incarnation' he thought - he looked at David - at the blue eyes and sandy-blonde hair,
"Where are you now?"
Harlowe could see from the corner of his eye, the sudden change of position as Petra leant toward her monitor screen. Then the rapid tap of the keyboard, followed by a silence as she waited for the information - then...
"Albeun was the ancient name of Great Britain, around the time of Jesus, or just after" her voice was bell-like and impassive.
There was something superior about Petra; "Damn superior" as the doctor would often mutter under his breath, as he watched her glide out of his office.
"If only she could be wrong - just once"
So David had regressed to the first century, he looked at his assistant - Petra's face was oval and glowing, like the silent-
-scream of the ripened moon and the blood on the wheat.
Her grandmother had said to her (old hands on young shoulders) that soon her blood would flow, to course down her thighs and give new life to the earth...
...and there it was at last - but all too soon, as Hakon appeared above the reddened wheat and became, all at once, both still and silent.
"Hold my hand, I am dying"...
..and yet there was a drama of youth around the frightened voice - and a slightly too careful gathering of the brown fustian skirt that hung almost to her ankles - a gathering that somehow contrived to show a knee that still bore the scars of young-rough games.
The nails cut through soft flesh
Hakon looked at her as she stood, below the sun and the moon, in the darkening blue of the sky.
She was all reddened eyes and sticky tears that mixed with the brown earth and the blood on her hands that she smeared across her face - like a prophecy of storm clouds.
The sun turned to fire, as it sank below the waves
"My sisters are older than me." said Hakon, smiling at the shy, burnished face.
And then - clouds of shame and anger and knowing and happiness. Then - and just - laughing and giggling and making love, in the blood and the earth and the ripening wheat - with the storm clouds raging through the stars, as they hurled and blustered across the impassive face of the harvest moon.
"Your hand is bleeding Dr. Harlowe." Petra held out a damp swab to wipe the blood from where Harlowe's nails had dug deep into his left palm. She looked at him...
"...and I will freeze within your eyes"
thought Hakon, as he finished explaining that he would only be gone for two moonths. Suddenly he decided to Decide...
"I will return on the second night the moon is full" he declared (looking so young and important)
Brigid knew the truth and lowered her proud head so very slightly
"Are you sure you will return?"
Her face was anxious as she looked up at her young "sol-barn"
"I am sure", he said, not knowing if he spoke the truth or a lie. It would not matter either way to the wild girl who would stand barefoot in the blustering cold of the island, by the sea's margin and wait for him. Wait for him for ever if needs be.
"Then I will stand at this place each month and I will wait for you."
She stood before him - an Angel from the Moon
"My woman" he said, as he knelt before her.
"My man" she whispered - her eyes full of eternity.
Harlowe quietly stood and stretched his legs. He turned and looked across at his young patient. David seemed to be changing, like one superimposed photograph upon another. Harlowe crossed the room and leaned over the couch, peering down at the drawn face below him.
David's eyes opened.
and they were brown.
A stern look from Petra steadied Harlowe, bringing him back...
"...Where are you Brigid"
"I am on my island"
Harlowe paused, took a deep breath and mouthed her answer as she replied
"Where?" repeated Harlowe
David had vanished and a wild girl stared at him with wide brown eyes.
"Lyndysfarne, off shore from Bernicia."
Petra's fingers worked rapidly on the keyboard, then...
"Bernicia is the ancient name of Northumberland on the north-east coast of Britain and Lindisfarne, it's name unchanged by holiness and sanctity, is a small island no more than half a mile off-shore from the mainland"
It was perfect and yet unsettling for Harlowe. Each time Brigid would speak, he found the words forming in his mouth at the same time.
Harlowe sat back in his chair. "Dim the light Petra"
"I think I can see Lindisfarne."
The two lovers stumbled across the natural causeway back to the small island that could only be reached with the moon's permission and the tides abeyance.
"I will sail to the east as the sun rises"
"Norway lies to the East"
Petra's voice was as faint as an echo as Harlowe began to comprehend.
"Hold my hand"
Harlowe held tight onto Brigid's hand, but a force he could not explain drew him away from the couch. His fingers gripped, until the flesh above his knuckles turned white
"Don't go" she screamed
"I will come back" he shouted against the roar of the tide.
"Hold my hand"
Harlowe's grip finally broke and he staggered backward against the wall. He looked at the girl. She was reaching to him.
"Hold my hand" she screamed once more; then she tilted and fell, crumpling into a small sobbing ball on the floor by the couch.
Petra gently wiped the tears from Brigid's face as Harlowe crouched quite close, but with care,
for this was a wild spirit.
"Did Hakon return?" asked Harlowe, already knowing the answer
"No" said the old voice. "I journeyed to Lindisfarne every moonth, when the goddess was full with child. Each season passed and each year and each age. The island became my prison and through it's watery bars, the moon gazed at me from the infinity of her freedom, as my blood dried and my hair became woven with the silver threads of Samhain. But each moonth at midnight, I would walk onto the margin of the sea and reach out and shout to the sky and the waves and the serpent wind."
"Then one night I heard him. I heard him and I knew that Hakon was calling to me from the sea..."
"...Hold my hand."
Harlowe gently grasped the quivering hand
The moonlight reflected off Petra's oval face, as she stood in the shadows above them, gazing down as they knelt, with their eyes meeting and forming an endless corridor of reflections that curved and dipped below each of their horizons
"I have returned", he said.
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