The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 8 -


It all seemed so familiar, a kind of deja vu; the long
wooden boat, the horses, the anticipation on the cold white
faces of the men as the ships quietly slipped through the
mist shrouded rocks at dawn and slid onto the beach. This
was an invasion, there was no disputing that, a twelfth
century Norman invasion.

The image was breathtaking as the boats roared onto the
shore to the sound of screaming horses and shrieking steel.
You could hear them as the knight's horses bolted into the
surf and circled on the beach in a loud clanking swirl.

The barefoot young woman on the hill seemed fascinated by
it too, almost drawn to it as the fierce iron men raised
their banner; a blood red X and moved off the beach. The
delicate, blond Siobhan had seen invaders before. Bands of
wild, red-headed Vikings in their dragon ships had long
plundered the coastal towns. But these men were different,
she thought. They were quiet, almost solemn, as if war for
them was somehow a sacred event.

That was when she spotted the young man in his black
armor as he saddled his horse and prepared to move inland.

He fascinated her, the Black Knight with his pale skin
and long chestnut hair. There was something about him that
set him off from the others and as they headed up the narrow
road she moved in through the yellow flowers for a better

Hidden by her long yellow hair, she lay quietly as they
emerged from behind a rocky bend and passed. They were
close, so close she could almost make out the words of their
whispered prayers under the jangle of steel and the clop of
hooves. It was a strange tongue, but she knew from her
mother's daily attendance at the Christian chapel that the
chanted words were Latin.