Stonehenge at Sunset, by John Constable (Yale Center for British Art).
“When the day came for the Winter Sun Ceremony, Amzai emerged from the house into a world transformed by snow. It was only a light dusting, but the sun’s rays reflecting off the clean snow created a brilliance of light that made the land itself seem to vibrate, like a low musical humming…”
“…On the riverside, a large ceremonial boat was moored, close to the village gate…On either side of the river, the white snow of the hillsides gleamed and glistened like quartz dust…They alighted by the carved posts…and…processed along the avenue, their shoes crunching the crisp but shallow snow…The sun was already low in the sky ahead of them, casting long shadows on the snow, as the shrine came into view…In the entrance to the shrine, just in front of the large, bulky stone that stood there, a small fire burned. Beside it, on the snow, lay a thick blanket of fox-pelts…”
“…Only when the gathering night had extinguished the tiny puddle of red light that lingered on the horizon, did the drumming and the ululating cease, leaving the shrine in silence once again…”
The Stonehenge that Amzai visits is not the monument we see today. The bluestones, transported from west Wales, are present as a double circle, with a monolith at its centre, but the larger sarsens, including the great trilithons, exist, at this stage, only as an idea in the mind of one of the characters, Amzai’s brother-in-law, Gwalchmai. There is scope, here, for a sequel, but that is far into the future!
Undreamed Shores, the paperback edition, is available at £8.09 from www.amazon.co.uk/Undreamed-Shores-Mark-Patton/dp/1908910410/ref=sr_1-1. Further information, including two short stories linked to the novel, is available from my website: www.mark-patton.co.uk.