Kiss of a Druid Bard

Book FOUR of the series, Garland of Druids

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Brittany, May, 1920
Stephen sang his Druid lays of lost loves and fallen kings. His flute kissquiet in his hand, his dulcet singing reached out to everyone in the tavern. Touching their heart in the deep spot they’d tried to bury. His baritone voice, true and resonant, filled the room. In this small town in Brittany, still a land of the Druids, his audience sat spellbound, listening. And somehow they knew the imposing man before them had endured some of the sadness of which he sang.

When he stopped there was a moment of silence, surely the best tribute a musician can have. Stephen stood, put his flute in his pocket, and accepted the proffered glass of wine.
He would be on his way tomorrow. This room, although full of kind strangers, was not where he belonged. Maybe the next town held some answers. After all, Brittany was filled with Druid tales and fascinating ruins for a wandering minstrel to explore.

He’d found interesting ruins and megaliths. He’d found friendly people and a surprising amount who averred to be Druids, or descended from Druids. He’d been treated well, beyond well, in fact.

He’d found no peace or happiness.

Stephen strode along, his red-gold hair glinting in the sunlight, his long legs eating up the kilometers. Bronzed deeply from months of walking in the sun, his blue eyes were a startling contrast under his bright hair. His handsome features and magnificent build proclaimed him a man to be remembered. The day grew warmer and he paused to remove his shirt and tie it around his shoulders.

Warm sun on warm skin, a feeling he relished.

He rounded the corner of the small town of Gouarec. Traffic was sparse and mixed. Some jangling horses with carriages and farmer’s carts, and a few automobiles. Two or three bicycles. The horses’ hoof-clomping sounded louder to his sensitive Druid ears than the noisy engines of the few cars in this rural part of France. He noticed mostly Breton natives but also a sprinkling of sight-seeing foreigners. Brittany was a popular destination for tourists, with its interesting relics, marvelous weather, and excellent beaches.

He passed two attractive taverns. He’d decide on one for returning to for dinner. Singing his bardic lays would pass some time, as well as bring offers of food and drink. Nothing that would attach him, but might give him some hours without having to lament. Or even feel.

Suddenly a puppy scampered across the road, a small Renault roared round the corner, and a tiny girl ran after the puppy.

Stephen saw the drama converging, shouted a warning and started to sprint. Damn fool must have been going fifteen miles an hour. In town, too.  Blessed Merlin, he couldn’t reach the child in time to toss her out of the way…

All books in the Garland of Druids series
can be read as a stand alone book.