Journey to Tir na Nog
by Alfred Hermanni All rights reserved Autumn 2021
Translated from german to english by myself and Dr. Google's kindly help. Sorry for any mistakes.
Comments are welcome.
„Good morning, Alfred. Happy birthday“, Erika congratulated me. A few years ago we were in love and a couple for more than one year. Now she lived with her husband Ulli in Ireland.
„Morning, Alfred. Happy birthday, too“, Ulli welcomed my appearing at the kitchentable with a grunt. But it was not meant to be evil. He even was a morning grouch. Six weeks ago I departed from my hometown Dortmund in Germany, in order to work for them. They had a small company and distributed doors and windows made of plastic. Me and Henry, a friend of them, had the installation job.
The demand for this commodity was very high, so Henry and me had a lot to do.
Almost two month ago, Erikas brother visited me and offered this Job.
At first I wasn't sure to do this, but otherwise I was unemployed and the chance to see Erika again, connected with a trip to Ireland, seemed very attractive. So I contacted Erikas brother and got the phone number.
Next day I phoned and a secretary transfered my call to Erika.
Then I heard the voice, which I last listened years ago.
Memories awakened and in my minds and I saw her pretty face. I felt her sweet breath and her hands on my skin. Yeah, it was a pretty nice time with Erika.
„Hello Alfred“, she welcomed me. „How are you?“
„I'm fine. Thanks. I'm glad to hear your voice again.“
„Yes, me too. Many thanks for your calling. My brother told me, you are interested to work for me and my spouse.“
„Sorry Erika, but what is a spouse?“
„My fault. It's an old fashioned word for husband.“
Spouse, husband. That meant, she is married. And she called her husband spouse. Seemed really... old fashioned. But anyway.
„Yeah, indeed I'm interested to work for you, but I don't know what I would have to do.“
„We are selling doors and windows. You have to install them. Do you have any experience in this kind of work?“
„No, but I think to have the confidence for doing this job“, I claimed. I wasn't sure indeed, but otherwise I had pretty good technical knowledge. My father had a small garage and repaired cars. That's why I learned a lot of engines, gears and anything else about cars and bikes. Also I worked with my brother in law on several building construction sites to finish the interior design.
Doors and windows shouldn't afraid me in spite.
It's not a real challenge, I thought.
„Sounds good“, Erika answered. „You get free lodging and accomodation. Another question, can you repair scooters or motorbikes? We have a scooter, but my spouse isn't able to repair it.“
There it was again...spouse. Sounded really funny.
„No problem“, I answered confidend.
„In the garden you could also work and some help in the housekeeping would be very nice.“
Doors and windows, gardening and housekeeping.
Erika fills my field of activity with a lot of work, I noticed.
Probably I become a butler? I started laughing, but only internally.
Seems, that I will get a full- time Job or a Job around the clock.
But anyway, this offer sounded really good for me. So I told Erika to think about it for a few days.
„Yes, do it. Think about it and we will talk soon. It was nice to hear you, Alfred.“
„For me too, Erika. Bye, I'll call back soon.“
I hung up and watched the telephone, but I didn't see the phone, I saw Erikas face and without any hesitation I decided to go to Ireland.
A new country, which I didn't know, to see Erika again and a new Job. I couldn't reject this offer.
Next day I called back to tell Erika my decision and that I had to handle some needful matters here and also to prepare my journey. The date of my departure I would tell Erika in a few days.
The next step was the central station, asking the prices for a railway ticket and the costs for the ferry.
But what the clerk offered was too expensive for me.
I tried it at a ride share where they fortunately announced, that I could travel by coach to Victoria Station in London for 30 ₤. That was pretty cheap and London would be my first stage. The coach departed from Camp 8 of the British Army, which were stationed next to my hometown. As a rule this coach drove one times a week with british soldiers to London. A good luck for me, that they also carried civilians.
From London with British Rail to Fishguard, further with the ferry to Rosslare and then I set my first step on irish ground.
Further to Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick and then to Cork. That meant, at first to the coast in the west and than back through the country to southeast. Less than 75 miles from Rosslare to Cork were extended to more than 250 miles. Almost 5 hours with Irish Rail I needed on this small island to arrive in Cork.
At last I arrived Cork central station after a 25 hour trip with the last train in this night.
I was tired, really tired. With my luggage I left the station and saw an advertising sign: Flanagan's Bed&Breakfast.
I went in and asked for a bedroom this night. I payed immediately and the friendly man at the reception gave me the key for my room.
I entered my bedroom and very soon I fell asleep. My first night in Ireland.
I awoke in the morning and got up. At first I took a shower and went down for breakfast.
I smelled the fragrance of fresh coffee, toast and bacon and eggs.
I sat down and soon the host came to my table and asked: „Tea or coffee, Sir?“
I chose to drink coffee.
He served the coffee, but after a half cup, I decided to drink tea. The coffee was... inedible.
I started my breakfast with bacon, hot tomatoes, eggs and of course, the small sausages. They tasted like, I didn't know, something like...sawdust.
I put them away and took some toast instead.
And I ate, a lot. No wonder, after this long journey.
When I was totally full, I drank a last cup of tea and went back to my room,
checking my luggage. Thereafter I asked the host for the telephone. He showed me an old style telephone at the wall. I dialed Erikas nummber and told her that I arrived in Cork. She promised to pick me up in one hour. I hung up and left the house with a friendly good bye.
Outside I sat on my suitcase, waiting for Erika. At last she arrived with a new german Opel Kadett.
She welcomed me with a hug and smiled.
„Hi, Alfred, nice to see you again. How are you?“
„Hi Erika, I'm fine. It's awesome to met you again after such a long time.“
„Come on, put your luggage into the car and get in. We have to drive almost one hour, enough time for talking.“
After loading the car with my suitcase and the backpack we started.
The car smelled new.
„Yes, it is three month old. The business is going well since one year and we could invest in our company. Tomorrow is your first working day. My spouse and me are hoping, that you will be also a good investment.“
There was it again, that word. Spouse.
Soon we left Cork and drove on a three- lane road to Clonakilty, where they established their company.
The weather was pretty good and I watched the irish landscape through the open side window.
„Why did you employ especially me?“
„It's such a thing with the Irish. We hired some, but they were all so...unreliable. They have excuses you won't believe it. One of them told me, getting up before the sun is rising, shall be insane, not natural. Can you imagine?“
„Yes, already in the summer. But now it's autumn.“
„Excuses, excuses. Another destroyed his tool intentionally to finish the work for the day.“
„You said, we have to drive one hour. Don't they have any motorways?“
„Motorways? In Ireland? They didn't realize that we meanwhile are in 1984. Near Dublin is a freeway, but only ten or fifteen miles long. That's all. This street you can call indeed...highway. Wait until we are on the landside, there are streets, which have place only for a half car.“
The landscape passed by, I saw smooth hills and valleys, small lakes and
green willows, really idyllic.
After a while I saw a new house for sale, after a few miles another one, and so on.
„There are lot of houses for sale“, I remarked.
„Yeah, people can built a house with only 10% equity, the other 90% they get from the bank, as credit. But most of them have overloaded their financial possibilities, became unemploy or had an accident, or get ill, however.
Finally they have lost everything, the bank has a new house for sale and the circle starts anew.“
„How long are you married?“, I changed the topic.
„You must know, actually we didn't want to marry. But the people in the villages are catholic... and conservative. When they experienced that we aren't married, they didn't sell us bread or milk. We had no choice but to get married. Otherwise we would have to drive to Cork, one hour round there and back for every purchase.“
We continued our small talk until the road changed to a two- lane street. Then we reached a bridge over a small river.
„This is the river Bandon, it's not far from here to Clon.“
„Clon?“, I asked.
„Clon, for Clonakilty, the next town, where we have our house, more or less 10 miles distanced.“
Not far, that meant in Ireland almost half an hour with a car.
But finally, as I recognized a sign „Castle workshop“, she changed left to a very small street, just enough for a car, but difficult for a truck. Seamed with ditches and small stone walls, we drove up the hill and arrived at Erikas house.
In my minds before, I had the image of an old hut or cottage. But this was a comfortably and proper house and it even had a roof gable with a small window.
Erika opened the door and I saw her husband Ulli inside. He was in the kitchen and dried the dishes.
With my luggage I entered the room and said: „Hello, I'm Alfred.“
„Hi, I'm Ulli, welcome Alfred. Come in, sit down and take rest. I'll put your luggage into your new room. Do you want a coffee?“
„English coffee?“, I asked carefully.
„Of course...not. Real Coffee, I brought it from Germany.“
„Fine, that's very nice.“
Ulli served the coffee and I lightened a cigarette.
„Holy shit, a smoker!“, Ulli called out with a smile.
„Ulli is a non- smoker, but it doesn't matter anyway. I will smoke a cigarette, too“, Erika mentioned.
I looked outside through a pretty large panorama window in the kitchen and could admire a breathtaking and wonderful landscape.
The view was fantastic.
At the horizon I saw mountains, smooth hills, green willows and here and there some small woods and forests. An almost circular lake, about one mile away, completed this magnificent view.
„If you want continue smoking, you must know, that the price for cigarettes is very dear. More than 7 Deutschmark for one box with 20 cigarettes. Same price like a pint of Guiness“, Erika brought me back into reality.
„That's the double from the german prices, fuck!“
„Yeah, alcohol of course is also very expensive. To dear because of the tax. It's cheaper to drink potcheen, that is illegal distilled alcohol, also called moonshine, but who cares?“, Ulli mentioned.
I should get the opportunity to drink potcheen, an almost inedible drink, at the first gulp, but the second...everything is a matter of getting used to.
„And in general everything here is more expensive than in Germany“, Erika added.
After drinking the good german coffee, Ulli wanted to show me my bedroom.
I followed him and we crossed the lounge.
The first what I noted, with a smile, was an open- hearth fireplace.
This promised some comfortable evenings with whisky, potcheen and Guinness.
Ulli opened a door and we entered his workshop, which was equipped with tools and devices.
Then we had to step upstairs on a wooden stairway before we got there.
A small room was built in the attic, which was dominated by a loft bed. A wooden ladder was leaning.
„You can sleep there. Last year Erika and me slept in this bed. But then I built the pavilion beside the house in order to get a new sleeping room. One morning Erika crashed down from the loft bed and broke her nose. In the hospital they didn' believe that. They thought I have beaten her. They even didn't know what a loft bed is indeed. They didn't want to believe me. But anyway, this is your place.“
This small sleeping room looked comfortable. The loft bed was in the center of the roof gable, framed by slant walls and the small window at my headside.
Almost like a pyramid, I noticed. Probably it was the construction like a pyramid, because in the next months I experienced very realistic and fantastic dreams, I never had before.
I found it good enough and went down to the kitchen, where the next coffee waited for me.
A look through the window and I decided, that's a good place for living.
„And? How old you are now?“, Ulli asked for.
„One year older than last year. Now I'm...27“, I answered during watching the landscape.
A white wall of fog arose above of the small lake. Like a big white cloud it hovered over the water and formed an almost 5 yard high, for the eyes inpenetrable wall.
„That looks fantastic“, I whispered.
„Yes. Good old Sparky told, this is the entrance to Tir na Nog.“
„Tir na Nog? What is that?“, I asked.
„Tir na Nog, the country of eternal youth. Island of immortality, or something similar. I don't know. I guess Sparky will know more.“
Sparky was a neighbour, who lived near the top of the hill.
He seemed older than he really was, but no one knew excactly and Sparky never told.
The name Sparky he got, because people have claimed, he could throw the iron ball in street bowling games with a spin, that generated sparks.
Sometimes, when he came by, asking me to drive him to his prefered pub, I drove him to Ballygurteen, the next small village, a few miles away.
The doorbell ringed and there he was, Sparky.
„Hello, I just want to congratulate Alfred on his birthday“, he welcomed us.
I was baffled.
How he knows about my birthday?, I asked myself.
I looked to Ulli, but he only shrugged his shoulders. Erika was also astonished, she had not any idea why Sparky knew.
„Yes, oh, hello Sparky, come in. Do you want a coffee?“, Ulli asked him inside.
„Oh yes, please. I like your coffee very, it's really delicious. Not this english broth, no, slop is the right word for this...stuff. At home I prefer tea, but your filtered coffee is the best I ever had.“
„How do know that today is my birthday?“, I asked Sparky.
„It was whispered to me by elves“, Sparky evaded my question.
Erika served coffee and I offered Sparky a cigarette.
„No, thank you, Alfred. Since years I didn't smoke and you know it. It's to dear.“
Sparky enjoyed his coffee and asked: „ I would like to invite Alfred into my pub, could Alfred drive?“
I knew his prefered pub.
One week after my arriving I was there with Sparky, Ulli and Erika.
I lightened a cigarette, which I bought on the ferry, when all the folks in the pub stopped talking and stared to me, like I were an alien.
Then I realized why, they thought that I'm smoking a joint. I presented the cigarette box and called: „Gauloises. French cigarettes. Very strong, hard stuff!“
A guest came to me and asked for one. He indeed tried to smoke, but this stuff was too strong. He coughed, barked and was gasping for air, he couldn't smoke this special stuff anymore. After that no one believed that I smoked a joint.
„Why Alfred?“, Ulli wanted to know.
„I would like to drink a Guiness with him, to celebrate his birthday.“
„Sounds very good, I will be happy to do, Sparky. Thank you“, I confirmed with pleasure.
„Erika and me want to offer already the same, but at Shanley's pub in Clon. In the evening Noel Redding will play guitar“, Ulli answered.
„Let's drive all together“, I suggested.
„Good idea, it's a long time ago that I've been at Shanley's.“ Sparky seemed to be excited.
As I visited Shanley's first time with Ulli, just for a pint, I saw Noel Redding playing guitar and singing Peggy Sue, a well known song from Buddy Holly.
I mentioned to Ulli that I noted this face from somewhere and he told me, that Noel was playing bass with Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Now I remembered. My brother had the LP Electric Ladyland from Jimi. Inside the cover the faces of the musicians were pictured. That's the reason why I knew Noel Reddings distinctive face.
„And now he's playing guitar, for a pint?“
„No, that's not nescessary for him. He has an own recording studio next to Clon. If you have a good luck, you will see other well known musicians. Last month Paul McCartney was here. Do you see the fotographs above the counter. All they have been here. Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Gary Moore and Phil Lynnot from Thin Lizzy...“
„It's crazy. I hope I'll see them sometimes, too.“
„As I told, if you have good luck.“
It was evening, but not yet dark, when we started to Clon. Ulli drove the car, Erika beside him. Me and Sparky on the backseat.
15 minutes later we arrived at Shanley's.
We sat down at a table, Ulli went to the counter, buying some pint of Guinness.
At another visit here, I ordered Scotch whisky.
With a grouchy face the host served me the whisky and grumbled: „This is a scottish whisky.“
Immediately I ordered an Irish whiskey, drank it and said: „I just wanna compare. The Irish whiskey is better.“
Obviously pleased he continued his job.
It's a special matter with Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey.
Both claim the historical law of the respective origin.
Uisce beatha. Ishkabaha or something like that, the celtic name for whisky sounds.
Ishkabaha...water of life, Sparky explained.
„How did you mean it, as you told the elves had whispered my birthday to you?“, I wanted to know from Sparky.
„Exactly as I told you, Alfred.“
I contemplated him, but I saw only his mysterious and knowing smile.
„You mean seriously elves, Tir na Nog and so on...?“
„What do you know about Tir na Nog?“, Sparky asked.
„Not really much, actually nothing.“
„It's the Otherworld, the land of eternal youth, island of immortality and infinity life, it is our, let me say, celtic imagination of the heavenly paradise, the world beyond.
An imagination, which is undependend from death.
Walhalla, Elysium, Garden of Eden or Shangri Lah are similar believings.
But in opposite to them, people can reach Tir na Nog and can also come back“, Sparky calmly explained.
„What? You mean, people can go to the paradise like a round trip?“
„Not so easy as you think. No one can go to there, unless he is invited.“
„Now I understand nothing. Invited, from whom? Little longnose? Little Red Riding Hood?“
„Don't kidding me! You offending me“, Sparky repaid with a serious undertone.
„Sorry...but I thought...“, actually I hadn't any idea what I should think and to offend Sparky wasn't my intention
„The irish culture has another relation to our mythologies. For us they are more real. The idea of existing forever and ever, how can I explain, in a kingdom of the death, in heaven or hell, is disconcerting for us, like our ideas are for you. In our mythologies consists interaction between both worlds“, Sparky continued his version.
„Interaction, how that?“, I inquired.
„Not only men can reach Tir na Nog, it's also possible reverse.“
„You're telling me, beings or entities from the Otherworld could visit us?“
„Which kind of...beings or creatures shall they are?“
„Elves at example.“
„You are joking. Elves. Maybe a good fairy, too?“
„And what's about the seven dwarfs.“
„I said dont't kidding me. Don't mix up the old mythologies
with any fairy tales.“
„But fairies, elves and so on are originally coming from fairy tales.“
„And from where fairy tales are coming?“
„From old legends...and mythologies“, I had to concede.
„Exactly“, Sparky answered with a smile.
„And how could I enter to there, provided I'm invited?“
„There are some special places, a special time. Let me say, especially
thresholds which make a journey possible. Secret places like caves or waters. If you trespass these, you will come to the Otherworld, Tir na Nog.“
„Do you believe that seriously? I thought you are catholic?“
„We are indeed. Catholic...alcoholic“, Sparky laughed and continued.
„But the old mythologies are older than the catholic church and even older than the christianity. And our mythologies don't compel us to anything. Which we can't claim from our religion. For us it's another real part of the world. And someone, just only a few, are...knowing.“
„How do you mean it? Knowing?“
„Because they know that they were there, or had contact.“
„I looked into a dictionary and found out that the origin of Alfred means something like: One, who's advised by elves.“
„Advised by elves. Nice idea.“
Sparky drank out and went to the counter in order to get some fresh pints.
By the way, where are actually Ulli and Erika?
I saw them sitting at another table, talking with a friend.
Probably our talking was too...esoteric. I could undertstand them.
Otherworld, druids, elves, even me as a pragmatic type of man, this theme was too...far away from my world.
Sparky came back with two pints and served me one.
„Slàinte, Sparky, thank you.“
Sparky scrabbled in his pockets and found, surprise, a box with cigarillos and offered me one.
„Thank you, I love cigarillos. They are so cool. Like Clint Eastwood in his movie A fistfull of dollars. Do you know that movie?“
„Of course I know. This movie was a great succes. No one is moving like him, no one plays a wild west movie like him. Rumours are telling Stan Laurel was his father.“
„Stan Laurel from Laurel & Hardy? I can't believe.“
„As I said, just rumours.“
Suddenly I heard the sound of a guitar.
Noel Redding was ready to start.
„Hi folks“, he greeted. „At first I'll play Peggy Sue from Buddy Holly. It's my appriciation for Alfred, who has his birthday today.“
I looked very surprised and saw that Noel sent a smile to me. A rare view, normally he looked more...grouchy.
How he kows too, that I have my birthday? I wondered. But a short view to Erika gave me the answer.
And so Noel started playing and the best...all the folks here sang the song together. It was a real great feeling, which I didn't know from Germany.
In german pubs people only bawl or scream, but they don't real sing.
And the highlight was, when all the people in the pub sang Imagine from John Lennon. A really impressing and inspiring feeling streamed through my body and into my soul. Wonderful, amazing, I couldn't find any words. Now this song became to something special for me, it had a new distinction, a new greatness.
A joyful mood which I never attained in my life, I could experience here and now.
Yes, irish pubs are very, very extraordinary.
A lot of guests called: „Slàinte, Alfred!“, and lifted their pints.
I felt well, very well and I loved Ireland.
So we drank our Guinness and finished talking about fairies and goblins.
Then we heard the last announcement for the last drink which could be purchased before closing time.
I had enough and didn't want anymore.
„Order one, I will drink it“, Sparky called for.
„Okay, I will do“, I answered and ordered one pint.
Sparky was doing the same.
I't was indeed amazing when Sparky drank two pints in two minutes and finished it with a mighty burp
„Right folks, please folks, have any mercy with me, folks!“
That was the last call to leave the pub. Closing time was finished.
Sparky went to the toilet and then we left Shanley's and got in our car.
Erika didn't drink any alcohol and so she had to drive.
Ulli had drunken almost the same as Sparky, but he was even more drunken than Sparky. If I had known it not better, I would claim, Sparky were in fact soberly.
„You can really drink a lot, Sparky“, I noted.
„You know, catholic- alcoholic. The point is, to go to the toilet after every pint.
I remind me old times, there was a trench under the counter, where people could pee during drinking their pint.“
„I don't believe it. Is that true, Ulli?“
„If Sparky said it, yes“, he mumbled.
„Incredible“, I commented.
It wasn't far away to Erikas house when Sparky requested to stop the car.
„Let's get off, Alfred. I wanna show you something.“
„Here? It's dark outside and almost one mile to my bed“, I replied.
„I know, come on. The air will fresh you. Tomorrow is Sunday, you can sleep as long as you want. You will not regret.“
We got out of the car, Erika and Ulli drove back home.
„Follow me“, Sparky demanded. A hedge next to the road blocked the way, but I followed him and indeed Sparky found a small gap in the thicket.
We squeezed through and a small path led us away from the street.
It wasn't as dark as I worried about. The air was clear and only some clouds across the moon. Just in this moment the moon appeares and illuminated our way. I proceded following Sparky along the path and few steps further I saw it.
The almost compact white wall of fog. And I walked towards it.
„This is Lough Ballynacarriga. This night is a very special night, Alfred. Your destiny led us to here.“
Almost devoutly he formulated these words.
„You will see, you will know.“
I went further and followed Sparkys shadowy, unreal shape forward into the fog.
We intruded further into this misty white wall and I saw...almost nothing. Only the scattered light from the moon, not more could I recognize. But I went on. Sparky was only seen by me as a vague shape, without any contours or outlines. Then he disappeared in the fog and I could only hear his quiet steps. All disappeared in this compact mist. I looked to my feet, but I couldn't recognize them.
I'd never experienced a fog like this.
„Sparky!“, I called. „Where are you?“
„I'm here. Don't fear, you're not alone.“
His voice seemed to come from everywhere and suddenly a hand grabbed my shoulder.
„Walk, Alfred, go on with me. Don't fear, I'm with you.“
With a gentle pressure he pushed me forwards.
„Soon you will recognize, soon you will know“, he whispered.
With these strange words in my ears I walked a few steps, when the fog around me cleared.
And then I recognized where I actually was. I looked down to my feet and the realization hit me like a hammer.
Under my feet was...the lake.
I stood on the water!
„What happens here...?“, I wanted to ask. But then it began. Instead of sinking I continued to float on the water. It didn't drag me down and slowly a vortex formed under my feet, but I didn' sink in this rotating abyss.
The vortex rotated more and more faster. Suddenly I felt the suction, which pulled me down into a dark, black nothing.
Total eclipse enveloped me, the feeling of a free fall irritated my stomach and almost I had to vomit.
I was falling. Into a bottomless abyss. Into the darkest darkness.
This total eclipse made me scary.
I got the feeling that my fall would excelerate, but I couldn't feel any drag from air. Where is up, where is down? I didn't know.
Coloured streaks or smears appeared in the darkness. All was turning around me. Then the colours unifited to a bright white light at the end of a tunnel.
I crashed down into this light and then everything became completely bright. The brightness caused me pain in my eyes, and then there was nothing and I fell into a deep unconsciousness.
Tir na Nog
Lying on my back I woke up and saw a blue sky and white clouds.
A real beautiful view. Deeply I breathed in.
„Hello, Alfred“, I heard Sparkys voice beside me.
„Hello, Sparky“, I answered sluggishly and got up slowly.
I turned to him and saw...Sparky?
That wasn't Sparky. An unknown young man, not older than me, was standing next to me.
„Who...who are you?“, I stuttered.
„You know who I am, Alfred“, the young man answered with a smile. I knew this smile and it was Sparkys voice which I heard.
The voice, the smile, the shape...without any doubt, that was Sparky.
„Are you really Sparky? Indeed? How can it be? Where I am? What happened?“, I asked several questions together.
„Slowly, Alfred, slowly. Look around, then you will see where you are.“
I got up and watched the area.
What I perceived was extremly fantastic.
Green hills, inserted in a wooden landscape with smooth willows, where colourfull flowers flourished.
The grass was greener, the sky was more blue and even the clouds seemed to be more white. All here was enveloped from a kind of...shiny glimmer. Like they are lightened from the inside.
I looked to the mountains at the horizon. A wreath of light in the colours of the rainbow lit up their contours. It was shining like an...aura.
Then I recognized that everything had this aura. Also Sparky.
A butterfly was passing by and left behind a volatilizing trace of glimmering, coloured tiny spots of light. Like a sparkler.
All colours were more intense and had that...inner glowing.
I looked upwards the hill, expecting to see Erikas house, but I couldn't recognize it.
„Let's go“, Sparky said. I followed him and we reached the street.
But it wasn't the street. It was a path, a dirt track with a heavily used lane. Wonderingly I looked to the track and stared to Sparky. But he just went on and I followed him without any question.
The driveway to his house didn't exist anymore, it changed to a small footpath.
Rapidly Sparky strode in proceed and I went after.
Suddenly something bit me and I felt a shooting pain in my leg. I could just see that an animal disappeared in the bushes beside the path.
„What was it, Sparky? It hurts me.“
„Yeah. Just a goblin.“
„Are you joking? A biting goblin?“
„It didn't bite you. It just pinched you.“
„Just pinched? Why should a goblin pinch me? It hurts!“
„Don't get weak. It only begged.“
„Begged? For what? Why?“
„You're asking to much.“
„Begging goblins, a mysterious lake, please stop kidding me, Sparky.“
„It just wanna something to eat. Here, take this and throw it around.“
Sparky gave me a handfull grains and I did like he suggest.
Immediately little black furried creatures scurried around and picked up the grains.
„This is enough for the moment. If they get nothing, they could be very unpleasant. They also like meat.“
„What kind of...creatures are they?“, I asked nosy.
„Wait a moment“, Sparky demanded and turned back. I don't know how, but a moment later one of these goblins wriggled in his hands.
„Here, take a look.“
Incredible what I could see. This black creature had the body of a rat, but very long legs on which it could stand upright or run quickly. But most wondering were it's paws, which was ending in a hand with four fingers. The head was similar to a bat, the most ugly face of a bat I ever saw. It had small ears but very large red eyes.
But the mouth was really most frightening. Full of needlesharp and black teeth.
Sparky hold it firmly in his hand as it began to fizzle and then to beep in time.
„It's calling for help. But don't be afraid, I will let it go.“
Sparky set the goblin on the ground and soon it disappeared in the bushes.
„This was a goblin?“, I asked unnecessarily.
„Yes, and I believe that you have a lot to learn, with all the questions you have all the time.“
„What's going on here, Sparky?“
„At all you have to believe what you'll see. It's as real like the world where you come from.“
„Are that phantasms, is that a dream? Did you put something in my drink?“
Sparky remained silent.
I didn't understand anything.
„We are in the Otherworld, in Tir na Nog. You must comprehend this. Take it easy. It's your destiny.“
This all, it couldn't be, but...I was here.
I followed Sparky silently and we went up the hill.
My expectation to reach Erikas house finally, would disappointed.
There wasn't a house. Only a skew and crooked wooden hut.
Decorated with signs, strange symbols and numerals.
This was definitely not Erikas house, but what then?
„Sparky, what is that? Where we are?“
„I said it. In Tir na Nog and that is my home. Come in, be my guest.“
Above my head a question mark appeared, but I followed him and went in.
The hut offered just enough place for one and a half man. I squeezed inside and took place on a very little chair beside a very small table.
„Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat or to drink?“
„No, thanks. I'm not hungry.“
In my head it rumbled. All these seemed surreal to me and I couldn't comprehend it at all.
„Not hungry? After two days without any food. I don't believe that“, Sparky answered.
Now, when he said it, I felt hungry indeed. My tummy began to rumble and told me, that I had have to be hungry and kindly have to eat...a lot.
„Two days you said? How? Just now we were at Shanley's!“, I called.
„Just now is...relative. It always takes almost two days. One night, one day and one night else. That's a fact. But now, do you want to eat?“
„Yes, please“, I answered meekly.
„Something special? Fried meat, vegetables, fruits, pizza, fish or chicken?“
Possibly I was too long in Ireland or confused, but I said: „Pizza would be nice.“
Before I could comprehend what I said at all, Sparky left the hut through the backdoor and went in through the entrance barely he was away.
I was truly astonished when he served me a giant Pizza. With seafood, artichokes, anchovies, hot pepper, mushrooms and olives. My favorite pizza.
Now a lot of question marks appeared above my head.
The sight and the fragrance of the pizza made me forget all my questions and I started to devour it till the last crumb.
„Something to drink?“, Sparkys questioning look, I answered with a nod.
Again he disappeared through the backdoor and entered the entrance with two pints of Guiness.
Any declarings please later, I thought and with a: Slàinte! we emptied the glasses.
I was really full and let out a mighty burb, which was surpassed concerning loudness and duration from Sparkys more mighty burp.
I had so many questions, but an immense tiredness spread around my body.
„Take rest. You can sleep here“, Sparky suggested and showed me a small bed at the wall.
That's to small for me. That's for children, I thought. My height was more than 6 feet, I would never fit in this bed.
But I was barely lying down, I fell asleep.
When I awoke I smelled...coffee. Delicious coffee. I got up and watched the bed.
Did I really sleep in this bed?, I couldn't believe. I looked around and of course, here inside a toilet wasn't to find.
Sparky guessed what I wanted and turned his head to the door, with a nod he sent me outside.
The first what I saw outside was the lack of the shiny glimmer all around, no wreath of light, no aura, no inner glowing.
What happened here?, I asked myself. But I put away this question for later and let out the pressure.
Back in the hut, to call it house would be too overblown, I wanted to ask Sparky immediately what's going on there. But he waved it off and showed me the table. There was my breakfast. Toast, coffee, and cheese...Roquefort, which I liked very.
How he knows what I prefer?
I contemplated him, but Sparky only smiled. So I decided to ask no more.
When time is coming, he will explain, I thought.
Also the best breakfast will be finished. Time for new questions.
„Sparky, what happens here?“
„Well, you're in the Otherworld, everything here is...even differently.“
„Yes, but, I mean, how you are doing this? Why do you know my favorite dish? How do you can suddenly conjure like a...wizard?“
„Let me explain like this: Your wish is my order.“
„I don't understand“, I replied.
„You like pizza, you like this ...fucking Roquefort. I can all this read in your eyes“, Sparky explained.
„You read my minds? Like a...telepath?“
„Not really reading, but you are projecting an image in my mind. Then I need only to wish and it's fulfilled.“
„You only have the wish and then...“
„Yep. For me, but not for you...not yet.“
„What does it mean?“
„That you will learn it too.“
„What? I will fulfill all my wishes? So easily?“
„If you focus enough, if you picture it in your minds, yes.“
„If I try it now...“
„...nothing would happen. It's not the right time“, Sparky stopped my question.
„Why not?“, I insisted.
„Why a child can't reproduce, why a hatchling can't fly? It needs time, time to ripe“, sparky explained impatient.
„That means, I will learn it with the time?“
„Yes, but not from alone. You need help.“
„How should it work?“
„Everything is different in Tir na Nog, don't forget it. Until now you only recognized a little part from that was here is the reality.“
„Am I ...real?“, I asked carefully.
„So real like everywhere too. But here you don't have to adapt. If you can handle it, reality adapts to your ideas.“
„It's difficult to describe, or to find the right words, but what you will learn here, for other people it looks...magic, like sorcery or witchcraft.“
„When you say it...“
„Not wow. At first you aren't so far. If I have enough time, and I have some doubts, I can teach you to become a sorcerer. But at first, you have to become a sorcerer's apprentice.“
„How do you mean that?“
„What I told you about controling the reality, only a true master is able to do, but only a few masters exist. Apprentices we have a lot of.“
„That means, there are more like me?“
„No, in opposite it is. People from your reality are very rare, but men from the Otherworld are very often.“
„And...where are the natives?“
„Here and there, sometimes everywhere, sometimes anywhere. At time I Iet them...ouside, until you are ready to explore the Otherworld. Be patient.“
„You told I have a destiny.“
„Yes, I told you. Come with me outside!“, Sparky demanded and we went out.
„As you've been outside to pee, what did you see?“
„Oh, I must think about...“
„What do you see now?“, Sparky asked.
I looked around and saw the usual landscape. The mountains, the hills, the valley and the lake...!
Where the Lough Ballinacarriga had to be, I recognized a black, light- absorbing surface, which let rise a dark feeling of fear and dread inside me.
„Sparky! What is that? Is that a...phantasm?“, I asked fearfull.
„Alfred, this is your destiny.“
„My destiny. What does it mean?“
„What you see there is the...obliviscense, the forgetting. Tir na Nog is going to be forgotten. Soon your reality will never know anymore, that we are existing.
A world, which only exists, if people are existing, who know about us. If the legend dies, Tir na Nog will die.“
„Then I will tell about, to the whole mankind. If I'll come back home.“
„You really should tell it to the whole world. But until you have to learn, how to get back home by your own power.“
„One moment! You taken me here and you should bring me back.“
„Yes and no. When I should send you back now, you would forget everything what you experienced until now and couldn't fulfill your destiny.“
„That means, I have to stay here? But, what will be, if I don't want?“
„Then you will, as I said, forget everything and also we would be forgotten and merge into the eternal nothing and vanish for all time. That's why I please you, stay until you learned enough in order to visit old McGillycuddy.“
„To visit whom? Where?“, I asked.
„To the McGillycuddy Reeks. Mountains in the northwest. There old McGillycuddy lives. No one knows his real name, but he's the one who could help you to find the way.“
„The way? Which way?“
„The way back to your world.“
„Then let us go! Now!“, I insisted.
„You didn't listen to me. You have to learn a lot of and impatient you are, it's the best we will start right now.“
The sorcerer's apprentice
Sparky proceeded walking and we followed a hardly recognizable path until we reached the top of the hill. I was pretty surprised, when I saw this strange stone standing upright on the ridge.
Immediately I associated, no wonder, Asterix and Obelix.
This grey menhir was nearly 3 yard high and looked carved by hand.
How could it get here? I puzzled.
„We call that Fairy stone“; Sparky explained, but it was no answer for my question.
„How it could get here?“, I formulated my mind before.
„No idea, it doesn't matter, it is there now.“
Sparky gave me his black scarf, which I, very strange, didn't notice until now.
He pleased to cover my eyes and I did.
„What do you see?“
„Nothing“, I answered.
„Touch the stone!“
I placed my hand on the surface.
„What do you see now?“
„Nothing...but wait, there's a glimmering around the stone, like an aura.“
„Very good, what do you see else?“
„It's strange. In the morning this inner glowing and the aura, which enveloped everything, was disappeared. But now I recognize all the things very clearly, wearing the cover in spite. How can it be possible?“
„Doesn't matter. Important is, that you can see it.“
It was really strange. At first I saw nothing through the cover, and then, a shiny glimmering all around. But the more outlines I saw, the less of glowing surrounded everything.
More and more contoures and outlines would visible and after a short time I could see as clear, as my eyes were uncovered.
I put the cover from my eyes, but there were no difference between before and now.
„Sparky, now it's getting uncanny for me.“
„Look at me!“, Sparky called for.
I contemplated him and saw...the young Sparky and old Sparky, the young man and the old man, changing in time.
Like lightened from a stroboscope, his shape changed between old and young so fast, that my eyes couldn't follow.
Then the scene calmed and young Sparky stood in front of me.
„It's only in your head, only in your head. You are determing what you
will see. I didn't believe that you are learning so quickly. That's a good sign“, Sparky explained significant.
„Good sign? For what?“
„How shall I say? That you are...the chosen one. You are chosen to fulfill the destiny.“
All my questions, but not any answer which could help me understanding something, what is obvisiously beyond my horizon.
I accepted my ignorance calmly and expected the next strange oddities.
Sparky pleased me to cover my eyes again und turned me round and around.
„Show me the lake!“
I showed him the lake, in spite I weared the cover.
„Where are the moutains?“
I pointed with my finger to the mountains at the horizon.
Another rotation followed.
„Where is my hut?“
Also I showed the direction and Sparky again turned me around several times.
I looked around and in spite of the cover, I recognized, like my view has focussed, cows on the willows, in a distance, I never could see with my only eyes.
Even a rabbit in great distance would be sightable.
I only had to focus my view and also smaller things would visible.
I looked around and coud see so much details, that I uncovered my eyes and looked to Sparky indeed astonished.
Instantly the focus disappeared and my viewing reduced to the usual level.
Then I told Sparky about.
„You're better than I thought“, he remarked. „But let us have a break now, later we have time enough.“
I squatted down into the shade of the menhir and Sparky too. As I sat there, with my back leant at the stone, I felt myself discomfortly and I started to think.
What I'm doing here? Why I'm being here? I have to learn, what for me has been always to far away from reality, to much esoteric and simply...nonsense.
Magic power, an unexplainable destiny and a black lake of oblivion.
And myself here in Tir na Nog. A sorcerer's apprentice, who don't want to be one and an old/young man, my wizard, my witchmaster or something like this.
This couldn't be true. I just want to go back, back to Germany. Home.
Slowly desperation sneaked into my consciousness, my emotions. The wish to leave Tir na Nog would overpowered.
They all can kiss my ass! Ulli, Erika, Sparky, Ireland and the fucking Tir na Nog, too!
Sparky sensed that something happened inside me, something what churned my emotions.
He talked quietly and I calmed more and more.
My homesickness vanished and I began to accept my existence here in the land of eternal youth, in Tir na Nog.
Consciously I perceived everything flowing into me, deep into my soul.
I smelled the grass, the flowers, bushes and trees.
I watched a wonderful landscape, heard the chirping birds and felt myself simply well.
I felt united with the nature, in a kind which I never experienced.
I merged with this almost intoxicationally feeling of affinity.
Deep I breathed in, internalized the happiness and joy from this moment of inner rest and silence.
„You are here now, here in Tir na Nog. This world will help you to aquire the power you need“, Sparky told and brought me back into the reality.
„How shall I understand that?“, I requested.
„It's all only in your head, as I said“, Sparky answered.
„I don't understand in spite“, I replied.
„Soon you will be ready, ready for styling your own reality. And if you are mastering this force, it will be a mighty tool, a strong weapon.“
„Tool? Weapon? Sparky, to where it's all going here? What you are telling me is unbelievable. Do you think I'm a ...Jedi?“
„What is a...Jedi?“
„That's from Star wars..., doesn't matter. You're revealing me I'm a kind of superheroe“, I noticed.
„Is there an increase of heroe? Heroe, superheroe and as next hyperheroe? What a nonsense. No Alfred, just a heroe, only just a heroe.“
In the afternoon Sparky exercised me to use all my senses.
I could here noises from far away, I could smell different plants or animals, the irritations in the air, when an insect flew by, or perceive the vibrations from a mole deep in the soil.
All these new experiences simply stunned me. But also they created new questions.
But the only answer was: „It's all only in your head.“
It made no sense anymore to insist and so I had to submit my fate.
The sun was setting and we went back to Sparkys hut. Time for dinner.
I didn't ask and we hadn't much to tell.
After dinner Sparky served a pint of Guinness and then we went to sleep.
I had learned so much, but I understood...nothing. Like so often.
But before I could ask myself any question I fell asleep.
The next day Sparky teached me...meditation. Something, I have always had an aversion to.
To sit still and do not think. Thinking, that I am not thinking, wasn't a pleasure for me. Active non- thinking. Stupid for me. But however, Sparky led me across the strangest pathes into my innermost ego, a place without any emotions, just pure rationality. Able to process acquired knowledge with mathematical precision. But only for a short moment.
My usual me prevailed very soon and me was me again.
But with the time my efforts had succes and I could see...the mirror. Sparky pronounced it: „The mirror of the water“.
The surface of reflecting water under a sky, which reflects the water.
That meant: All and nothing.
The day after I learned to fill the mirror.
At first with cloures, then with emotions followed by pictures and movements.
Until the moment, when I saw a movie, with me as the director, camera and cast. Fantastic. Cinema from me and for me.
But then something appeared in my images.
A shadowy unreal shape without any clear outlines pictured in my mind and slowly it began to form contoures. But then it merged to a bubble, formed again something, what grew to an amorphous...thing and transformed to a human body.
The body of a woman.
She looked pretty, very pretty.
A perfect beauty.
With a plopp she bursted like a soap bubble into smallest drops.
The drops enlarged to bigger drops, to bubbles, then to baloons and finally to a perfect globe.
A sphere, inside filled with thousands of glimmering, tiny spots of light.
One of these spots flew fast in my direction, but then I realized, that I was moving to it. I dived into a light, down into a sphere, which created more colours and details. Seemed like an unknown planet. With clouds, water and continents. With insane speed I crashed down on the surface and suddenly the mirror broke in a million pieces.
And I was back in my reality.
„It was...incredible! It was overwhelming“, better I couldn't express.
„What did you see?“, Sparky wanted to know.
I described everything what I experienced, sometimes searching for the right words, but at the end Sparky said: „Well, very interesting. It is like I told so often, it's all only in your head.“
„What did I see actually? Who was that woman? What kind of world did I see?“
„Slowly, Alfred, slowly. Her name is Vivianae. She's the mistress of the waters, and now she knows, that you are here right now. She's waiting for you.“
„She is expecting me? Where? Why?“
„The place where she lives is far away, somewhere in the mountains. You have to find it, that's the reason why you have to go to old McGillycuddy. He will advise you.“
„But I thought he would lead me on my way.“
„By sending you to the mistress of the lake, or the waters, however you like. So, now you know. Let us proceed!“
Days passed and became weeks. At least it seemed like that to me. My sense of time was totally confused. I couldn't determine which day it was and how long Sparky and me exercised my new skills.
One day in the morning, Sparky left his hut without any word and returned hours later.
„I have a a very special gift for you, Alfred“, he told and presented me a rod.. On the first sight it looked like a pilgrim's staff or a trekking pole, more than six feet high.
I admired the wood grain of this black ebony wood, the fine ornaments carved in it and the perfect handling.
The handle had three carvings. The face of a snake, above a wolf and on top an eagle, were cutted into the wood. This pole looked really ancient.
„This pole will provide you good services. It can lead you the right way. You can focus all you power in it. It is useable as a tool, but also as a weapon. You have to decide carefully, because you can't abuse it“, Sparky continued.
„Abuse? What do you mean?“
„You will see it, if you try. But think, it is one of the...good. I don't know, how to tell, it's even...positive.“
I weighted the pole in my hand, it wasn't heavy but hard and firm.
It was perfect in my hand, like an extension of my arm.
„Thank you, Sparky. It's a great honor for me.“
„You're welcome. Indeed it should. I've waited for so long to choose the worthy one. I am persuaded. that you must be the...chosen one.“
„Is that the only reason?“, was my request.
„I present it to you, because today you have to leave.“
„Already today?“, I asked totally surprised from Sparkys answer.
„Yes, in the evening, when the sun has set.“
„But then it's dark!“, I contradicted.
„Yes, exactly. Then you will find the right way more easier.“
Above my head a question mark appeared. Again.
Encounters of the strange kind
The farewell needed only less time. Sparky pressed and forced me literally out of his hut. Outside he turned his arms around me and I saw a few teardrops in his eyes. He gave me an empty bag made of coarse linen which I could hang on my shoulder. To collect food and other things, Sparky told me.
After the sunset I set off, into the dark, into the realm of darkness.
Into the darkest night in Ireland, no, in Tir na Nog...
...where I am right now, I thought.
But it wasn't really dark for me. Thanks to my new skills I could see clearly and precisley, but unfortunately only black and white. I didn't ask myself why I could see in this kind. I reminded Sparky, who said, that everything is only in my head.
I guess, that's my fate, I summerised.
The direction was determined by the pole. It pulled me, following the line of least resistance, to northwest.
The mountains were so far away, I knew, it's a long way and I would need a long time. Suddenly I had a notion, an idea. I reminded me an old fairy tale of my childhood. From someone with the seven- league boots, one step for seven miles.
Just thought, my view focussed to a point far away and instantaneous
I was there.
Wow, that was really fast, I thought impressed.
I hadn't any idea how I did this. Just a new skill.
Now I found me on a crossroad.
I continued walking and after a while I saw a small house, which stood hundred yard offside. I changed my direction and went to it.
But then I decided to leave that way. I didn't want to fear the people inside, because it's night after all.
Instead I walked along my way through the night.
Clouds began to cover the sky and a breath of fresh air came up.
I got cold and was glad, that Sparky gave me a warm sheperd's coat for my hike.
The night passed by and the first silverline at the horizon welcomed the new day. Soon the dawn was over and the sun was rising.
I got hungry for a tasty sandwich, as I heard a sound like tummy rumble. It came definately from the bag.
I looked inside and discovered a sandwich with cheese...Roquefort of course.
Very practical, was my first mind.
Time for a break. I sat down on a stone beside the way eating my lunch.
Roundabout my place, I could recognize dozens, no, hundreds of small bubbles. I hadn't any explanation what they are made from, but I should else experience it in a really unpleasent way.
Right now, I wished a piece of smoked salmon and immediately my bag started tummy rumbling and offered me a delicious piece.
And now a pint of Guinness, I wished, but nothing happened. No beer inside the bag, nothing. Not even water.
Probably this foodbag generated only solid food.
I wasn't really thirsty, but cautiously I wished an orange, which my foodbag made reality, accompanied with the tummy rumble.
Now I knew, how Sparky pretended me all those magic tricks. Thanks to the foodbag.
Just in that moment, when I decided to continue my hike, I heard a quiet noise, like something scraping beneath the soil.
Suddenly the ground arched upwards, the soil broke together and formed a little funnel. Almost the same size like a small molehill, but reverse.
A brown furried creature, looking like a guinea pig, broke through the soil and held it's nose sniffing into the air, then it turned around and only the ass, a few inches out of the ground, was visible right now. It kept the ass into the fresh air, which no longer should be fresh, and started to fart.
Loud, flappingly, changing the pitch several times and long, very long.
I never heard a fart like this one, never heard before and even never smelled in the past. The stench which was spreaded around smelled detestable, horrible.
I was literally gassed and supposed that my facecolour changed to greenish.
This fart was really despicable.
Never I believed, that a stench like this is possible at all.
Do the flowers hang down indeed?, I asked myself, when I saw the meadow.
A good luck, that I had my lunch before, otherwise I had lost my appetite.
But it wasn't all over.
Roundabout me a sinfony of farts filled the air. Dozens of these... masters of the intestinal winds, performed their contribution to gas supply.
I imagined hearing a melody in this overture of fragrances, but it developed to a sinfony of horror.
Suddenly, with a loud plopp and more and more other plopps, a hailstorm of
small black chunk of shit, rained down on me.
The stench was absolute disgusting. Sickening, how it burned my nose inside.
Was it a fantasy, to taste these fragrances of hell... on my tongue?
But not abnormal enough for the goblins.
A handful of them scurried into the holes. I heard them fizzle
deep in the soil, probably hunting the little creatures.
And me, I felt compeled to leave this place of fart and dreadfull stench.
I went further my way and recognized the mountains, not too far away.
It was a fresh and cold morning, better to pull the hood over my head.
With two of my supersteps I reached the bottom of the mountains.
And then I saw him, the first man in Tir na Nog.
Joyfull I moved towards him, but without greeting he passed by.
Funny, I thought and turned to him, but he simply went on.
I called out a good morning and visibly frightened he looked around, to the left, to the right, shaked his head and proceeded walking.
Once again I welcomed him and before he could go, I greeted again, but the man ran away in panic.
I didn't understood and ran behind, pleased him to stop, and he did.
Searching the area he looked around.
The running warmed me and I lifted off my hood.
„A sorcerer you are, a master of magic art. I should have known. Why did you frighten me?“, he complained.
I examined the man.
Actually he was a tall, 16 or 17 years old lanking fellow with lighter hair. His face was littered with freckles.
„I didn't want to frighten you, excuse me. Do I look so horrible?“
„You didn't even look, your voice came out of nothing, you were invisible“, the fellow explained.
Now I understood. If I put on the hood, I became invisible. Nice trick, one more again.
„Excuse me, please. My fault. Do you want something to eat?“, I offered, hoping to talk with him, the first man I met in Tir na Nog. After Sparky, of course.
„Indeed I would like to. I hadn't any breakfast until now, although I could have had.
„What do you want to eat?“, I asked for.
„Bacon and eggs, fried sausages, hot cherrytomatoes and toast, please.“
The classical english breakfast, indeed. So I served him what he wanted.
Strangely he wasn't surprised, that I could conjure food out of my bag. In my mind I thanked him, to avoid further questions.
I wished the same for me and soon we had breakfast together.
An english breakfast in Tir na Nog seemed...somehow surreal.
During eating I told him about my meeting with the... masters of flatulences.
„Yeah! I call them stinker. They have to leave the underground periodically, otherwise they would suffocated by their own farts.“
„The stinking death“, I mentioned ironically.
„But in this way, sad for them, they're luring the goblins with their farts“, the young fellow told me. „Stinker are their favorite dish“, he added.
„What's your name?“, I asked him.
„I'm Henri Miller from Holly Hill“, he answered.
„Hello, Henri Miller from Holly Hill. I'm Alfred from Germany.“
„Germany? Where is that? I know almost every place, but I never heard Germany.“
„Germany is a country“, I explained him.
„That's silly. There is no other country, only Tir na Nog.“
„What's about England, Scotland...Ireland?“, I repaid.
„Never heard. Just as I told, there's only Tir na Nog.“
Sounded strange, but I experienced a lot of strange things here.
„What a pity, I can't offer something to drink. My foodbag only creates solid food“, I told him.
„I can help. What you wanna drink?“, he asked.
„Tea will be pretty good, I think“, I suggested.
The fellow pulled off his backpack, which I doesn't recognized until now.
He grabbed into and served a cup of tea.
„Wow, you can conjure drinks, I can't.“
„Yeah, everyone can do it. Because you don't have a cup inside, you can't. Here, take one of mine.“
„And you also can conjure food?“
„Of course, everyone can do, it's nothing special.“
I thought about what he said and conclured a few questions.
„If all people here can conjure food and drinks, are you going to work?“
„Going to work? What does it mean?“
How should I explain that?
„How do you earn money?“
„Money? What is money?“
Holy shit, where is this supposed to lead at all?, I asked myself.
„Well, you are doing something for another and get some money, to buy food“, I proceeded.
„There's no need to buy food here. Why should I even work?“
„That means, that nobody here is working?“, I asked astonished.
„Exactly. What is that thing around your left hand?“
I looked on my arm and saw my wristwatch.
I didn't noticed it all the time that I weared it.
Must have been due to habit, I supposed.
Strangely it didn't work.
„This is a clock. I can measure the time with it“, I explained.
„Measure the time? How you mean that?“
„It shows me when it is morning, afternoon and evening.“
„For what shall I need a clock? I see the sun rising, see the sun at noon and I see the sun setting. It makes no sense for me.“
I decided to interrupt this communication, because it would lead to nothing.
Instead I asked: „How old are you?“
„I don't know. What do you mean? I'm here since...ever.“
„And all the other people here, young and old?“
„All people are here since ever. Here is Tir na Nog“, he explained like it's naturally.
„What's about old McGillycuddy?“
„It's just his name.“
„I'm on the way to him.“
„Fine, give him my best regards. Good bye, Alfred from Germany. I have to go.“
He got up and continued his way.
But then he turned back and asked: „Would you exchange your....clock? I like the shine.“
„This is a Rolex...“, I advertised and added meekly „...copy.“
I bought it sometimes for less money.
„I will give you this coin“, he offered and gave me a coin made of gold.
Strange signes, runes and symbols decorated the coin on both sides.
Because I couldn't use the clock anymore, I changed.
„Thank you and good luck on your way“, was the last what I heard from him, until he disappeared behind the next bend.
I followed the path towards the mountains and heard a rumbling and rattling. A carriage came in my direction. Drawn from an old, dirty horse...no, a dobbin. It consisted only from skin and bones. The fur was pale, matted and full of dirty spots. The coachman was ugly, hideous ugly. He had the sickeningly face of a...pig.
Dangerous looking tusks grew out of his lower jaw.
Slobber dripped out of his mouth and the stench he spreaded was awful. His eyes were only slots and the nose in his face, I should better call it...bulb, olfactory bulb, was extremely big.
The holes in this...face lump, seemed like entrances into a cave.
Sporadicly some bright red bristles grew out of his headskin. Indeed it wasn't a fur, he had hardly any hair, only a few bristles. His upright standing ears were dirty from clumps of greasy earwax and tufts of hair, which sprouted out of the chunk.
In opposite to his appearance, his clothes were spotlessly clean.
A long pipe and a web was hanging from his shoulder and he weared a pointed, triangular small hat. Immediately I associated a ratcatcher...the pied piper of Hameln a german fairy tale told.
On the trailer he had loaded a locked cage, with dozens of trapped goblins inside, which scurried around. They pushed on top of each other, constantly beeping and fizzling.
With the pipe he lured and with the web he caught the goblins, I thought by me.
„Hey, coachman! Good morning. Where you going?“, I called to... Pork- cheek.
„Out of the way!“, he screamed and threatened me with a whip, in spite I welcomed him gently.
Then he tried to beat me with the whip, but I stretched my pole with the tip forward, the whip curled around, I pulled him from the seat and he crashed on the ground. Immediately he jumped upright and rushed rageous foreward to attack me. I pointed the tip of the pole to this...chimera and something like an ignition spark or a tiny flash hit his leg and he began to stumble. He cried out loud in pain and held his aching leg.
„I don't wanna have any dispute with a master“, he shouted angrily and stopped.
Pork- cheek turned away, trying to escape.
But I still had some questions and pulled this creature, by the force of the pole, back to me.
„I asked you, friendliest, where you going, you owe me an answer! And what are you up to do with the goblins? Answer quickly!“
„I'm on the way to the mistress of the waters and the goblins are a gift from me, master“, the chimera hurried to explain.
„What does she do with this poor creatures?“
„I don't know, master.“
„What do you earn for this...duty?“
„The mistress promised to give back my true look, if I have collected enough goblins. Before I've been a pretty young lady, you have to know“, Pork- cheek complained sadly.
I didn't want to know, what she has done to get a punishment like this.
„You will set them all free and I will renounce any consequences“, I promised.
„Of course, master, of course.“
When all goblins disappeared in the shrubs and bushes, I turned to Pork- cheek.
„ I hope to see you never again with the cage full of goblins, otherwise...!“, I threatened.
The conversation with Henri from Holly Hill made me think and I decided to find answers. I looked around and saw a hill. Quickly I reached the ridge with one superstep. Wide land under a blue sky with hills, valleys, woodlands and meadows presented a real eye- feast. Focussing my view, I recognized houses, farms, streets and people. Indeed all people I saw were young.
Tir na Nog, land of eternal youth. Otherworld. Yes, the name became really true.
Well, for now I knew enough.
Time to find old McGillycuddy.
But where indeed I had to look for him, I didn't know.
I walked around with no fixed goal, strayed through the country, when a shape in a distance caught my attention. With giant steps it approached into my direction and very soon it reached me. Never I saw someone which such long legs.
Seemed he moved on stilts.
A small head on his shoulders with an extremly long nose, made him look like a...stork.
No, stork wasn't suitable, rather an african marabou.
A too short cutted tailcoat and a big, black top hat completed the impression of this ugly african bird, which was named, because of the appearance, as the mortician under the birds.
I want to greet him, but before the „marabou“ only said: „No time, I'm in hurry. No time, no time, must go on, further and further...“
His teeth rattled and rounded up the impression of a...funny bird. A really strange figure. The funny bird stalked away and disappeared after a few steps behind a bend. This land was full of surprises.
Like the funny bird I also had to go on, further and further.
I jumped with my superstep to the top of the nearest mountain.
Then I could see the wanted mountain, a strange mountain.
More than thousand yard high and formed like a pyramid.
The view fascinated me. Perfect like an egyptian pyramid this massive mountain arosed, seamed from smaller mountains, in the middle of a fantastic
This could only be the right one, I thought.
It needed just a short time to reach the bottom and even less to find the entrance to a big cave.
Of course I went in, but slowly at first. I expected nothing and so it was.
Only detrital, rocks and peebles covered the ground of the entrance, but the further I went, the less of it was lying on the ground.
After a few bends it was getting darker and darker, but not for me. Thanks to my exercises with Sparky, it was like daylight for me, just in black and white.
The exploration of this cave led me to a small pool, filled with black water. Bright light, which shined through cracks and holes in the ceiling of the cave, illuminated this uncanny basin.
Behind I recognized something which seemed like a chair or an armchair.
During the approach it turned out to be a throne, standing in the shadow.
The nearer I came, the more I could see. It was indeed a throne, but made of stalagmites and stalactites. I'd never seen something like this. Natural art, perfect designed by an artist named: Nature. Otherwise I could not name it.
With reverence I approached to this work of art and following a rising impulse, I sat down on this strange...furniture.
„Which unspeakable creature dares to take place on my throne?
Away with you, fiend! Don't dare to poison this place with your unworthy presence!“
A loud yelling voice I heard from somewhere in the cave, followed by the echoes.
A shape, like me wearing a coat with hood, moved towards me.
„Who are you, to pollute this place with your evaporations?“
„One moment, gentleman“, I interrupt him. „Don't fear, I'm Alfred from...Germany and I'm looking for old McGillycuddy.“
„Germany? Never heard, and who dares to call me old? Stranger, guard your tongue!“, he warned me.
„I'm asking for forgiveness, my dear lord“, I hurried to apologize. „But I'm looking just for you.“
I rose from the throne and instead the old man sat down on it.
„Then please, tell me the reason why“, he demanded patronisingly.
„I'm on the way to the mistress of the waters, which lives somewhere in the mountains. I was made known, that you could help me to find the right way.“
„Well, to the mistress of the waters you want to go“, he repeated and started to laugh.
„Why do you laugh?“
„Many young guys wanted to find her, but no one came back.“
„Why? It's very simple. They all wanted the incorrect and made the wrong choice. “
„How do you mean that?“
„You will recognize, after your wish.“
„But then it's too late.“
„Therefore choose carefully the right one.“
„What happened to the guys, which achieved the mistress?“
„They are all...with her. She has...assimilated them.“
„What you think again. No, she has incorporated them, she sucked their souls out of the bodies. It is food for her...soulfood. Until the right one, with a pure heart is coming. Then she will become a woman again. Then the curse is banished.“
Of all things I had to find this...person, what a nice day.
„You have a really wonderful walking pole. Let me see it!“, the old man demanded. During he examined the pole I contemplated his face. I found that he wasn't old, not really. He had my age and only his mighty beard, interwoven with silver threads, made him older than he was indeed.
„That's an amazing work. Well, I mean to know it, but I can't remember, must be a long time ago, I guess“, old McGillycuddy noted.
The cutted figures obviously caught his attention.
„Alfred from Germany, that you own this pole is something very special. Are you a chosen one?“, he asked very carefully.
Chosen one, not the first time I heard this.
„Sparky named me like this.“
„Sparky? Never heard. But anyway, that you own it without burning hands,
prooves your worthyness.“
„Worthy for what?“
„For that, what will happen now.“
The „old“ man gave back the pole and spoke in a never heard strange idiom.
At first a snake slithered towards me and I wanted to step back. But old McGillycuddy commanded me to stay in place. The snake erected with a fizzle and grew up more and more and transformed to a giant snake. Even the snake head was more than twice the size of mine.
In front of me it swayed from left to right and stared with its black eyes at me, to hypnotize me.
But instead I stared back and the moves would slower and slower and stopped finally. After all this monster of a snake shrinked to the size of a...blindworm. It crawled to me, reached the pole and ringled upwards until it found the cut of the snake head.
The cutted, wooden snake head transformed to pure silver in which the snake disappeared.
Surprised I looked to the pole, but it went on.
A wolf appeared and circled me with a threatening growl.
Then the wolf also grew up to a huge creature and sneaked around me.
I turned with it round and round, always following the movements. Then it succeeded me to stare into its eyes.
My glance changed to the hypnotical view of the snake and soon the wolf shrinked also and submitted for me. It also climbed up the pole and transmuted to the golden head of the wolf.
Now the eagle was missing.
Just thought of as an giant eagle appeared and pounced on me.
With a fast reflex I ducked and the eagle narrowly missed me.
With outstretched claws it started a new attack.
I tried to beat it with the pole but the pole didn't obeyed my will.
So much for that the pole couldn't get abused as a weapon.
Useless to handle with it further, I wanted to throw it beside. But the pole stopped as if rooted.
Next attack, I skilfully dodged the claws with a bodyturn and wondered about my fast my reaction. The reflexes of the wolf.
The eagle started a new attack, when I lickety seized the claws.
Immediately the process of shrinking began and I set the eagle on the top of the pole, as it disappeared into the carving too, where it transformed to pure crystal.
„Now you are reunited. The power of the deep earth, the power of the wide country and the power of endless skies and winds. Combined in this pole. Use it wisely and it will lead you where ever you want to go“, old McGillycuddy almost prayed.
Then he contemplated me for a while and smiled.
„I've been here since so long time, waiting that one day a young heroe will appeare, to make my dream come true.“
„Which dream?“, I want to know.
„The dream to have done it.
To combine the power of the elements into this pole. That was my destiny.
Now I can rest...now I can sleep.“
His last words were barely audible. His voice was dying and old McGillycuddy transformed to stone.
Turned to stone on this stony throne, a sculpture carved in stalactites by an unknown artist.
And now? Time to go. But where to go? To the mistress of the waters, of course. But where exactly? Where are the waters, which gave her the name?
To leave the cave the same way I came, would be senseless.
I explored my environment and heard the echoes of my steps in this stone cathedral. I listened attentively and heard waterdrops, falling into a basin.
Five dark shadows I recognized at the cave wall. Entrances to the underworld or exits to other worlds? That was here the question. The eagle broke away the pole, flew into the middle shadow and I followed. A winding path led through the mountain until I saw light, which showed me the way out of the cave.
At the exit I had an amazing view and saw ...the lake.
In the middle of a green valley, surrounded by mountains, an island was located in the center.
With my focussed view I recognized a mighty castle on it.
Now I knew, where I had to go.
To the lakeside it wasn't far...for me and my skills. But for all other, it would be a difficult way to go, down through thorn bushes, scree and mud.
But I decided to go this way by foot. I followed a small path which made my way downhill a little bit easier.
But the more I went, the murkier the way. Even for my eyes the fog was impenetrable.
Walking through almost compact mist I arrived finally at the lake.
Like a big, white cloud the fog floated over the water.
Standing at the lakeside, I asked me how to cross the water. The idea of building a small boat was discarted by me.
But then I had a funny idea. Actually improbable, but why not?
In Tir na Nog everything seemed possible.
Out of my pocket I grabbed out the golden coin and threw it into the lake.
But not one noise was heard, not any dabble of water or anything else.
Instead a dark shape in a small boat rowed to me and docked on the shore.
Wearing a black robe with a hood, which made his face almost unsightable, the ferryman showed me the coin and I went on bord.
Without any word, he set me over through the fog, until we reached the island.
I got out of the boat and walked through the fog, which only surrounded the outer edge of the island. The center was clear and unclouded I could see the castle. It was a big, huge and mighty building. An almost sixty feet high wall arted by mmade it impossible for me to climb over this barrier.
Probably this wall, offsetted with battlements, was dozens of feet thick.
But it wasn't built with single bricks. It seemed to be carved from one piece. Incredible!
Strength and impregnability was the message of this massive fortress.
The size I guessed proximately 200 yard to every side.
At every corner almost 50 yard high watchtowers surveyed the land.
Conical roofs covered the viewpoints.
Not even any trench or drawbridge provided protection.
The only access was a circle in the wall, which looked like drilled.
The diameter was about 10 yard and tapered to 5 yard at the exit to the courtyard. This funnel- shaped structure seemed suspicious and I supposed not without reason a trap.
The view through this unusual gate seemed clouded by haze, it looked like veiled.
I threw a stone to this veil, but it rebounded. It wasn't a veil but a shield.
Carefully I approached and touched this shield with my fingertips.
It was easy to penetrate and one step further I stood between two shields or rather spheres.
The entrance behind me, the exit to the courtyard in front of me.
But before I went on, I want to know something and went back. But how I expected, a way back wasn't possible. This was a one- way street.
I was trapped and the only way out, led me into the courtyard.
So I went in and reached the inner courtyard, an almost empty and lonely place.
No one was to be seen, no man or animal, not even a plant. In the middle I saw few stacked cages, which I knew from the goblin- catcher.
The main building was decorated with a lot of plastered artwork.
This building had a dome- shaped roof and must be almost 100 feet high. A citadel, which seemingly towered on the roof of the dome up to a height more than 100 yard.
I recognized that a parapet, which was covered also by a conical roof, surrounded the top of this ivory coloured tower.
That's my goal, the top of this ivory tower.
The end of my way?
How could it be otherwise.
But to reach the top, I had to enter the main building.
I continued my way.
The mistress of the waters
I went straight to the main portal, which was made of an iron, black leafdoor.
As if by magic, the portal opened and gave way to the inside.
I went in and the portal closed.
The view was breathtaking. The citadel doesn't towered on the roof.
The bottom of the ivory tower was based in the center of the dome, piercing upwards through an oculus in the ceiling.
Bright light was beaming through this oculus and illuminated this very large hall.
At the bottom of the dome wall I spotted a lot of holes, seemingly mouse holes, but larger.
That had a reason, because these wasn't mouse holes. Dozens, hundreds of fat rats rushed out and attacked me.
But my pole came to life and the snake appeared.
Downwinding the pole the snake multiplied itself in two, four, eight, sixteen and many more other snakes and as on command, the snakes started their dinner.
They exterminated all the rats and left nothing.
Then the snakes reunited to a giant node of snakebodies, shrinked smaller and smaller and became one snake, my snake.
But was then happened took literally my breath away.
Beginning with a light trembling of the ground, then vibrations in the air and finally a barely audible whistle filled the dome, which swelled louder and louder.
Suddenly, accompanied by loud crunching, a rock appeared!
With a sword plugged in!
It was well known, I saw it in so many knight movies.
If there is written Excalibur on the sword, I eat my hat, I thought with inner laughing and went to the rock. I walked around it, one time, two times.
But then I grabbed the sword with my right hand and pulled it out. The obligatory metallic clinking noise sounded when I pulled it out of the rock.
I weighted the sword in my hand and could see strange symbols and unknown signs on the blade.
Possibly there's written Excalibur on the blade indeed, just in another language, was my first idea.
Without thinking about, intuitive, I held both, sword and pole, over my head and crossed them.
As they touched each other, sparkles and flames flickered out of the blade and my pole disappeared into the sword, like them had merged.
They have fusioned, indeed, but where is my pole now?
But the answer was easy. I changed the sword into my left hand and the pole appeared in my right.
Practical, two in one.
Drawing out the sword must have triggered something, because a noise, like chalk drawed over a blackboard sounded and I felt a shiver on my skin.
A look to the bottom of the ivory tower and I could see the entrance to the inside, which wasn't there a moment before. This was definitely the invitation. The invitation to dance. All right.
I entered the tower and a spiral staircase led me upwards. Strewn with bones and fragments, sceletons and empty skins of...goblins.
Loud whistles and beeps sounded from upstairs and I knew before what will happen. Hundreds, thousands of goblins rushed down the staircase purposing to attack me. Too much for my blade, but my pole had an answer. The wolf appeared, multiplying like the snake before and very soon all goblins were scared away or devoured. Then the wolfs reunited to my animal companion.
I started climbing the stairs to the top. A tedious undertaking I found. But I had an idea and let the wolf become bigger in my imagination. Then he grew up to a size like a pony. I jumped on the back and we began climbing up the stairs. Here and there some brave goblins tried to attack us, but with the only succes to be eaten or simply swallowed from the wolf. Sometimes the wolf enjoyed the lunch by biting and chewing the goblins. Then it licked its mouth and burped satisfied. A mighty burp. And it smelled disgusting.
A few times I had to interrupt the wolfs eating, before it has been overeated and would need a digestive sleep.
The way to the top didn't need too much time and I reached the portal to the inside of the tower dungeon. From the bottom of the tower it appeared much smaller, but I entered a wide hall with pale and from dust clouded light.
Then I saw her, sitting on a black throne, with a black robe, black eyes and black dreadlocked hair.
The mistress of the waters.
In front of her feet, countless heap of miffed skeletons and bone fragments were lying around. She was chewing, during she held a fried leg of a goblin in her hand.
But she wasn't alone. A man stand offside, he was wearing a black and white priest's robe.
Before I could say anything, the priest's voice sounded: „Don't dare to have a look at the blessed mistress or speak to her! Unbeliever! You must be an unbeliever, because you're riding this demonic creature into this holy hall of Avalon! What is your desire? Let me know, before you draw God's wrath upon you and before I'll get order from the Lord to send you into satan's hell!“
Avalon? This castle was called Avalon? I'm indeed in legendary Avalon?
I contemplated this priest, more exactly than before. Especially his black helmet, which had on the top a circle with a cross inside.
„Who are you?“, I replied powerful.
„Who I am? I'm Maerloinius, the highpriest of the holy mistress of the waters.
The Lord will judge you, when you carry sin within you, in order to poison Avalon. Only the pure faith has importance here!
The promised salvation the true believer befalls, and only who believes truly to the teaching of the Lord will receive the mercy from the Lord!“
Now I knew what the matter was here.
I puzzled all the informations together and recognized the reason of this doom.
The black lake, the forgetting, Tir na Nog's disappearing out of the world
of the...believers, christians and all other people. This was the root of evil.
And exactly this root I would destroy.
Resolute I strode to the priest and smashed with a mighty blow, the sign of the cross. It broke into pieces, which soon faded and completely vanished.
Unbelievable what happened then.
Avalons hall would illuminated in a brightness, which I could only call...a wonderful beauty.
Maerloinius began to shiver, he trembled and began ghastly to scream.
Vivianae sat further on the throne, looking without any move and a stony face
to this spectacel.
The priest began to transforme. His former tall and mighty shape shrinked, became thinner, almost scrawny and transformed lastly to a very old man with a white, long beard.
The priest's robe had dissolved, instead he weared a dark blue and long coat embroidered with ornaments, symbols and runes.
A magicians 's cape. Without any doubt.
But more miraculous was the modification of his helmet. The blackness differed to a golden, bright and beauty shine.
On both helmet sides antlers grew out and formed 24 horn tips. A really mighty antler.
The old sorcerer went slowly to me, smiled and hugged me, teardrops ran down his cheeks.
„Thank you, young heroe, thank you“, he whispered with trembling voice.
At last the sorcerer finished hugging me and I turned around.
Then I saw her.
In the golden light of the hall.
Standing in front of her golden throne, in a golden garb and with golden hair, looking at me.
Oh yes, she was more than pretty.
The most beautiful woman I ever saw.
The essence of a lackless appearance.
„Welcome unknown heroe. Who ever you are. Thank you. Now is the time to banish our curse! At last we can awake from this nightmare!“, she called out freely. „So long we have waited for you, the chosen one, to find us.
You, who redeemed us with one strike of his sword. Please, tell me your name, my unknown heroe.“
„My name is Alfred... from Germany.“
„Germany? Never heard. But tell me, Alfred from Germany, why you didn't slay Merlin with your blade, like all others have tried before?“
Merlin, the old sorcerer was Merlin, the legendary Merlin. I could hardly comprehend it.
I rescued Merlin!
Merlin, the sorcerer from the legend of Arthur!
But probably the legend isn't a legend and there is more truth behind.
All this became more and more surreal.
Now I stood alone with a sword in my hand, talking with Merlin and complete spellbounded from the situation.
I needed a few moments to understand all this, but then I said with raised head: „I never ever killed a man and I don't know, provided I would be such a heroe, wether I would do this.“
„Every tough warrior came to here, to become a heroe, and lost his soul, but you...? You must own a pure heart, which only a man with purest soul could own“, Vivianae explained.
„Be insured, I don't have a pure soul. No man on earth do have one. But I cognitioned the doom which came over Tir na Nog. I had to act like I did.“
„If you don't have a pure soul, how you could be able to recognize all the evil, which happened to us? Please, answer to give more comprehension to me. “
„It is the sign of the holy cross, which was the burden of Merlin. A sign of the christians of the catholic church, which force you to a faith in only one deity. This religion prohibited and punished all other opinions, all other thoughts and ideas. I could recognize, that my world, hardly know something about old mythologies and especialyy Tir na Nog. Slowly all of you will be forgotten and will vanish into forgetting. That's the reason why I want to set you free from this symbol of suppression. To enable all of you, finding back to your roots.
But an instrument of torture and a victim, which was tortured to death, as the symbol for a religion, must not invade the Otherworld. It would have had devastating consequences. This is my conviction.
In my world this religion only brought terrible wars, poverty and injustice. These should not happen here. With too much indiscribable horror, this...believing, covered the countries and people. It would be a fatality, a disaster for Tir na Nog, if priest's should rule your world, to tell you how to live, to think. To threaten all the people with God's wrath and hellish torments, if they deviate from this faith.
That's why I could not permit this aberration! For the sake of your world!“
I changed the sword into my left hand and the pole appeared. A barely noticeable trembling in the pole I could feel, when I was already drawn to Merlin.
Dignified and proud I was striding to him and presented the pole. Into the hands of the truly owner.
Merlin took the pole with thanksfull looking and breathed deeply in.
The horns of he helmet began to transform...into pure crystal.
„Thank you, Alfred from Germany. We all are indepted to you.
You have awakened our country. But it's not all over, you still have to pass another exam“, Merlin mentioned significant.
Just another exam? Wasn't it enough?, I thought desperately.
„You have to choose wisely and with pure soul, and sorry, still listen to your heart“, Merlin continued. „Your work, your doing, was done by a true heroe, you. Now you will get your reward.“
What kind will this be? What kind of reward could get a heroe? Of course, the woman. In all legends and fairy tales, the heroe got the woman.
I looked to Vivianae, this lovely and beautiful...entity, which only could be a phantasm, a dream creature. A heavenly creature of dreams.
And she could become my wife.
Every man on earth would be enchanted, to marry this graceful and beguiling
„You choose her... to become... your bride?“, Merlin asked hesitant.
During looking to Vivianae, I explored my heart and soul for endless moments.
„No!“, I replied decisively. „I will leave Tir na Nog, but you need your mistress, your Queen. And also there is the lack of something, what I really need to marry her.“
„What are you missing, why did you disdain her? What is nescessary to make her your wife?“, Merlin insisted.
„She has all what a man needs. There is no lack of anything. But I lack the love for her. She's not from my world and I don't want to stay here. Even I would take her, it would be like payment, an exchange from...things. But she isn't a thing. She's the mistress of the waters, your mistress, your Queen.
It should remain so for ever.“
„You have spoken wisely. This was the right decision, Alfred from Germany“, Merlin confirmed and touched gentle my arm.
„Return home, back to your world and tell about us!“, Vivianaes voice sounded. „ Let end the forgetting of us and make Tir na Nog coming back to your world! You shall be our ambassador, Elfred. Elfred of Tir na Nog!. This will be your name from now! A name which everybody in the Otherworld will know and proclaim with reverence and respekt!
Farewell, Elfred of Tir na Nog!“
These were the last words I heard from Vivianae, the mistress of the waters, the ruler of Avalon. Queen of Tir na Nog.
Merlin pushed me with gentle pressure to the parapet and knocked with the pole on the ground. Three times.
An undefinable flying chimera appeared and flew down on Merlins arm. This fantasy creature had the head of a lion, a body like a dragon and very large wings.
„Here, take it. It's a Sphinx. It will help you to leave Tir na Nog, my friend“, Merlin invited.
The Sphinx enclosed gentle my shoulders with its claws, took off and this mythical creature flew away from the ivory tower, constantly gaining altitude. The wings flapped up and down and the Sphinx carried me through the air away from Avalon.
In steady gliding flight we crossed Avalon's lake and soon I was back on the landside, where the Sphinx landed and left me.
Now I had to get back, back to Sparky, back to Lough Ballynacarriga where it all began.
Without Merlins pole my supersteps doesn't work and I had to walk by foot for a while.
Hours later a rumble and clippetty- clop announced the approaching of a horse drawn carriage.
A few moments later it passed by.
„There you are, my noble lord, who banished my curse. Good morning, Elfred of Tir na Nog. I'm so lucky to see you again“, a young woman welcomed me. She weared long flowing, red hair and had a pretty nice appearance.
It was Pork- cheek, which transformed to a young and pretty woman.
„It's also my pleasure to meet you again, young lady. It's so amazing to see you in this wonderful shape. You are indeed very pretty, my lady. But tell me, how did you call me?“
„Thank you, Elfred of Tir na Nog. That's your name here in Tir na Nog. Everybody knows your name. Elfred, preserver of Tir na Nog, guardian of the Otherworld. Tell me where you want to go. I will drive you, that I owe you.
Elfred of Tir na Nog, a name which pleased me.
„I have to go back. To Lough Ballynacarriga, if you know.“
„Of course I know, Sparky lives there.“
„You know Sparky?“
„Naturally. Everybody knows Sparky, who teached the chosen one the power of Tir na Nog.“
„There I want to go, to Sparky.“
We needed two days to reach the area. In the evening we arrived at the lake and the time came for the farewell.
I said goodbye to Eileena, the name of the young lady and went uphill to Sparkys hut.
But Sparky wasn't there.
The sun set and I went into the hut.
The same small table, the same small chair, the same small bed in which I slept...long time ago?
I didn't know.
But I felt tired, very tired and I lay down on this most uncomfortable bed I ever used, and fell asleep immediately.
Next morning, nothing to see from Sparky,
I was hungry, just thought, when the foodbag started rumbling and served a tasty breakfast.
I have to leave the bag here, I can't take it into my world. It wouldn't work.
Following I went out to enjoy the fantastic view for a last time.
The lake was covered again from a white, compact cloud.
Sad, that I couldn't say farewell to Sparky.
The way down to the lake was emotionally not so easy for me. Should all end? Should I return to my reality?
I reached the lakeside and there I stood. Alone, staring to the misty cloud.
The step on the water I tried to avoid, but then the fog cleared by magic and Sparky appeared, standing on the water, waving to me.
Without any hesitation I went on, carefully and step by step in spite. I walked over the water and reached Sparky.
„Sparky, I'm so lucky to see you! If you know, what I have experienced...“
„I know what you have experienced, Elfred, preserver of Tir na Nog. All of us know it. You will become a legend. This is part of your destiny and I'm proud to have been your teacher. But now, return back to your world and fulfill your destiny.“
„Sparky, one point...are you Merlin?“
„Merlin, good old Merlin“, Sparky answered and looked into the distance.
From the deepest soul he announced: „Merlin was my...master!
The greatest sorcerer of all times!“
Then I submerged into the lake...
...and awoke at the lakeside, lying on my back. Sparky sat next to me, good old Sparky, Sparky from Ballynacarriga, County Cork, Ireland, 1984.
„Your last pint must be one too much. Or probably the cigarillo? Or the magic mushrooms in it. Weeks ago, I crumbled some into the tobacco, but I forgot it“, Sparky mentioned with a laugh.
„You literally stood beside yourself and tried to walk on the water. I must hold you back, Alfred and then, totally drunken you fell asleep.“
Drunken, sleeping... mushrooms? Were that all phantasms, a dream?
How did Sparky say? It's all only in your head.
NowI knew, what he wanted to told me.
The legend of Elfred, preserver from Tir na Nog. Guardian of the Otherworld.
All this, only in my head.
I remembered the last words from Vivianae.
I should tell the world about Tir na Nog. That this fantastic country become unforgettable.
Which I have fulfilled here and now.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Alfred Hermanni.
Published on e-Stories.org on 09/23/2021.