Giant Hill, Cerne-Abbas
…We stop, looking out across the processional way… as the torchlight approaches.
The sky is clear, and the Hunter’s Moon illuminates the white outline of the giant.
From the Trendle comes the sound of drum beats… soft and insistent, an echoed heartbeat of earth… the truncated scream of a stag pierces the night as the drumbeats increase their rhythm…pounding like blood through the temples…then dying down to a soft thrumming which waits….
She watches from the hilltop.
There will be blood tomorrow too… for vengeance, for betrayal… for a kingdom…many will fight for her… many will die…but she holds the power.
They will come, over the hilltop, through the valley… and they will be caught.
She has the high ground and those who serve her know its ways…But tonight she watches and waits… there is another service… she watches the dark forms approach from the enclosure…The man is bound with the skin of the stag, but not immobile… naked, washed with pure water from the spring, oiled and perfumed, beautiful in his youth….
She holds her blade before her… speaking to he who is led…drawing the sharp point, almost gently, across his skin…marked with the blood in spirals…tracing them with the blade and watching his body respond…
“Whither goest thou, Priest of the Sun?”
“I go hence to the hillside for the land is in need.”
“What is that need?”
“The need is Life.”
“And what will you give for the passage?”
“I will give life.”
She draws the maiden to her side. She too is naked and blooded, but unbound.
Her hair falls in a long cascade, glinting in the moonlight.
She places the maiden’s hand on his and nods…the two are led away onto the hillside…The drums begin again, softly at first, but with growing insistence, thrumming in the blood… rising, louder, faster…mirroring the rite on the hillside…reaching fever pitch…Life and death… this hillside will see them both…generation and destruction….
To be continued.