In the next two weeks, I'll be choosing a winner from comments left here and at my facebook page.
The gift is an 8 x 10 print of Grant Tower at Urquhart Castle, also known as the north tower of Glenmirril, where Niall and Shawn fell asleep. In the foreground is Loch Ness, on which Urquhart and Glenmirril sit.
Just leave a comment to be entered. Comments are moderated, so please be patient.
Late at night, Niall leaned on the tower parapets, gazing over the dark loch, far below. Its soft murmur reached him, and an occasional splash as a fish leapt for a night insect. A rich baritone melody floated up the tower stairs. "The Laird's own bard to war is gone."
Niall smiled, and sang back, softly, "His harp and sword at hand."
Iohn appeared in the arched doorway, crossed the small space, and rested his arms on the wall beside Niall. "Feeling better?" he asked.
"At times." The summer breeze lifted Niall's hair. He tugged his cloak closer. "Suppose it were true." He turned to Iohn. "Suppose you fell asleep and woke up hoondreds o' years on?"
"Go 'won," said Iohn. "Doona tell me ye believe in fairies!"
Niall laughed, not bothered by his ribbing. "I'll no tell ye sich. But 'tis no the only story, what Rabbie told, o' hoondreds o' years passin' when a man thinks 'tis but days or hours. Ye've heard the things Thomas the Rhymer claimed?"
"Aye." Iohn nodded. "Being whisked away by the fairy queen for three days and findin' seven years had passed. And they say there was ne'er a more honest man."
"What would it be like, d' ye think?"
"To wake up and find hoondreds of years passed?" Iohn mused, staring out at the loch, resting his arms on the tower wall beside Niall's. "Mayhap the forests would be gone, as the story says? More villages?"
"Does aught ever change?" Niall asked. "A few villages more or less. But life goes on as always, no? We fish and hunt and rescue our cattle from the thieving MacDougalls."
~~ from Blue Bells of Scotland
Book One of The Blue Bells Chronicles