The Tempted

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Morvan glanced over her shoulder to the dark cave behind her. She didn’t know how far back it went, or what might be living inside, and she didn’t want to find out.

A look out of the cave once more showed Morvan that the boulders almost looked as if they were placed in a maze-like pattern, which couldn’t possibly be right. No one but giants could lift those boulders, and there were no giants.

The atmosphere suddenly became ominous, foreboding. It wasn’t the weather, but…almost as if a dark presence were causing the shift. There was no denying the malevolence, the cruelty permeating the very air.

Morvan didn’t like the place. She wanted to get as far from it as she could.

With no weapon in sight, she walked out from the shelter of the cave and went the way she had come to return to her cottage. Only it was blocked by a boulder. A boulder that hadn’t been there before.

Magic. Her mind voiced the word she wasn’t prepared to let past her lips.

Morvan looked up at the rock that seemed to reach the heavens. She tried to find a way around it, but both sides were melded into the rock on either side of it leaving her walled in. She spun around and faced the narrow path between the other rocks. If she wanted to leave, she was going to have to walk the trail.

Her heart thumped a slow, dreadful beat in her chest. The first step was the hardest. With every one after, she expected something to jump out at her from behind one of the boulders. She heard something behind her, but when she tried to turn around and see what it was, a voice in her head screamed for her not to. Morvan wisely kept her gaze ahead of her.

The path led her on a continual soft incline this way and that. Normally she knew her way instinctively, but she was so turned around that she didn’t know if she would ever find home again.

The rain was at least letting up enough so she could see a little ways ahead of her. That was how she saw the wall of rock. It towered before her, carved with thousands of markings of various sizes.

As a child of the woods, Morvan kept her Celtic roots close. She recognized the carvings as those of the Celts. These were ancient by their warn look. It was as if the wall was important to the Celts. Why else would they carve every symbol into it? There was also a slight humming coming from the stone, as if it were alive.

Magic, her mind whispered again.

So magic had brought her to the cliff, and magic filled the air. Why had it chosen her? That dark feeling from earlier was now gone. It had dissipated after she left the cave. Morvan began to wonder if there was some kind of entity guiding her. It made her shiver with fear – and wonder.

No matter how many times she looked at the ancient Celtic symbols, she kept coming back to a small wolf carving. The carving was larger than her hand, and the knotwork exquisite.

She knew the wolf wasn’t just symbolic. It could mean any number of things. The Old Ways taught her that a man marked with the symbol of the wolf was fearless, brave, and rarely compromised. They were the men who became heroes in the heat of battle. They would not back down, and they would take no quarter. They thrived on challenges. Their character was impeccable, and they lived by the creed of honor.

What did that mean for her, however? There were a few instances in history when a woman was marked with a wolf, but those times were rare. Besides, Morvan knew her place. She was anything but a wolf.

She stared at the etching for long moments. Another overwhelming feeling filled her. This time, she felt the need to touch the wolf etching, to run her fingers over it. She didn’t know why it was so important.

Or why she hesitated in touching it.

Morvan swallowed and gave into the need. As soon as her fingertip came in contact with the symbol, there was a loud boom, and a gust of air coming from the stone that sent her flying backwards.