Date: 01 Jul 2013 12:47 am Title: Chapter 25 - Look Back and Smile
Oh Mary, I know it has taken absolutely ages, but I've finally managed to read the final chapters of this wonderful story.
I am just in awe of the way Nell managed to remove the bullet using only a pair of scissors. Your description was so realistic that I could just picture her groping around in the gory wound trying to get a grip on the bullet, no wonder the chap fainted clean away. Her challenge to Cedric was so powerful, that it was little wonder that he finally agreed that he would help Nell. He certainly learned so much about leadership from his encounter with our amazing triumverate.
Trust Hilda to see deeper than everyone else and glimpse the anguish underneath all Cedric's hostility and violence. And then, persuade the man to open up and confide the truth from his past so that even Arthur could understand something of the reasons which made him act as he did. 'Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes' springs to mind.
Merlin's magic was at work again as Hilda, Nell and (hopefully) Fidelma were all returned to their own times, safe and healed, even if Hilda did still have some back issues. At least Hilda and Nell were able to reassure each other that it had not all been a frightening dream. Poor Fidelma has no-one to confide in. Hopefully, she still has Hilda's Latin books so has a tangible reminder that it was a real experience.
Thank you for this amazing tale. I always knew you could capture Hilda and Nell perfectly, but now you've done the same with Fidelma. She really leaps out of the page for me. I do hope that the Unholy Trinity have further adventures in the future. *hint-hint*!!! ;)
Author's Response: I'll give you *hint, hint,* woman! Seriously, I would love to write another one - just give me an extra few hours in each day. But thank you so much for taking the time to read the end of this and write such a beautiful review, Linda. I'm glad Fidelma remained true to life for you.
Date: 27 Feb 2013 2:14 pm Title: Chapter 25 - Look Back and Smile
Thank you for this story. Mary. I've enjoyed meeting Fidelma, and have now read several of the books, thanks to this introduction. Now you've finished this I hope you'll get back to ND soon!
Author's Response: I'm glad I didn't put you off by my depiction of Fidelma, Ivohenry. Do keep on reading her books and thank you for reading this.
Date: 26 Feb 2013 10:51 pm Title: Chapter 25 - Look Back and Smile
You've blown me away again Mary. I was half expecting that they'd find themselves home soon after the ending of that last post. And what a round up you've given them! Poor Hilda, discovering that her back wasn't quite as free from pain as she originally thought it was. And of course, they both have to deal with the inevitable emotions which finding all those things in her bag brought on.
I too hope that Fidelma got home safely, and that she got to enjoy the books and time with her family. Here's hoping that Hilda and Nell manage to help each other through the difficult times ahead as they come to terms with the things they have found themselves doing. Hilda's words to Nell were just spot on, and I'm sure if Hilda found herself vulnerable Nell would return the favour.
I'm sorry to see this ending - Thank you Mary.
Author's Response: I'm sorry to see it ending, too, Squirrel, but maybe I'll get another flash of inspiration some day and find a different round object for them to disappear into. (How Hilda would HATE that sentence!!) Thank you for all your mammoth comments, they have been very much appreciated.
Date: 26 Feb 2013 8:54 pm Title: Chapter 25 - Look Back and Smile
Thank you, I loved this, and I feel there needs to be more at some stage please !!
Author's Response: Oh, you never know, Kathryn! Perhaps I'll have another dream about them.... Thank you for the kind words.
Date: 24 Feb 2013 9:14 pm Title: Chapter 24 - God Speed!
Wonderful update, Mary! I just enjoy this whole concept so much....hint, hint!!
Author's Response: I'll give you hint, hint, young woman!! How on earth am I going to continue ND with people wanting more of this, tell me, even if I would like to see more of their adventures myself? *rolls eyes at shesings and winks*
Date: 24 Feb 2013 9:06 pm Title: Chapter 24 - God Speed!
How does one respond to that chapter? It's just... Wow! I'm so glad that Merlin was available to bring peace and comfort to Hilda and Nell once again. And that some degree of understanding has been reached amongst them all.
I especially liked the part where Merlin pointed out that while he has his 'magic' the women are able to bring the same kind of comfort as he can in different ways.
Thank you Mary. I can see all three going home completely changed for this experience!
Date: 22 Feb 2013 9:02 pm Title: Chapter 23 - A Wise Heart Sees the Hidden Tears
Wow! And once again the power which you hold in your pen comes to the forefront. To be honest, the early stuff in this chapter has been lost in the wonder which follows. At one point, I thought I'd be focusing on how honest Cerdic was to admit to Hilda that despite it all it won't make any difference to his actions, he'll still go out as before. I thought that took tremendous courage, and was dealing honourably with Hilda - so much easier to lie and hide it all behind that lie.
I focussed on that for a while as I read on, and then you blew me away. It is oh so true that to every person's actions there is a backstory, and we simply need to care enough to find it out. In some ways, that's what I find so drawing about fiction of any kind - the drive to find the back story behind the way people act. Maybe that's also why I find life itself is a story - because there is a back story behind the way every person we meet acts. And often it boils down to some kind of protection from being hurt...
Something which is so clear in this. What a heartbreaking story. And how chillingly honestly he tells it. I want to give Cerdic a hug as he reveals his past to Hilda. How her compassion reaches out and touches him - and how the others must take this revelation as well. Ouch! Both Hilda and Nell can well understand what he went through, and can understand the self destructive tendency which sent him down the road he went down. Were things any different they could easily have followed a similar route.
I do hope that the chance to share with others who have experienced similar tragedies has lightened his load somewhat.
Thank you Mary
Author's Response: Gosh, Squirrel, what beautiful comments about poor Cerdic and Hilda's talent at getting to the bottom of things. Thank you so much for taking the time to think about it and then compose such insights... Thank you so much.
Date: 21 Feb 2013 10:34 pm Title: Chapter 22 - Cerdic Stuns Them All
I think I'd like a sequel please. Or some prequels!!! ;-)
As for redeeming villains... It's because they're humans I think. Were they not to have a spark of promise in there you'd start to question if there really could be such evil in the world - and you'd want to explore just what had happened to them to make them behave that way... And so the story grows!
Your question took me right back to... Was it Jo Returns? Joey burnt her first ms, and Gwynneth told her something along the lines of everyone having a mix of good and bad in them - 'that it ill behoves any of us to speak about the rest of us!' or something like that. A while since I've read it! ;-)
Author's Response: You're right, Squirrel, it was in Jo Returns, and Matey does indeed use those words. It is hard to conceive of someone so evil there isn;t even one glimmer of light inside. And after all, until you've walked in their shoes, how do you know what they've suffered?
Date: 21 Feb 2013 10:15 pm Title: Chapter 22 - Cerdic Stuns Them All
I have to say there is tremendous power in all of this. Cerdic is doing well - and making good decisions. May he build upon his current beginning and continue to move in the way he has begun.
Well done Nell once again - and to Fidelma, for having the courage to stand up for her beliefs, but also to apologise when she realises that she has indeed mistepped.
In fact, I admire each person's actions in this post - and am definitely looking forwards to seeing Cerdic catch up with Hilda, and how she deals with him and Fidelma who requires her special brand of affection...
Author's Response: Thanks, Squirrel. As I said to Elder, why do I have this need to redeem my villains? Remember Meg? Mind, there's more to Cerdic than simple redemption, as you will find out when Hilda gets to work on him. *winks*
Date: 21 Feb 2013 9:20 pm Title: Chapter 22 - Cerdic Stuns Them All
I'm both glad they are going home and want to say Nooooo, then the story must be near to an end ! I'm also trying hard not to think about the implications for generations of people who might have been born as children of the two dead knights ! Or the possibility of someone reverse engineering the scissors or safety pins etc and history being changed due to this !! (mentally reminds self IT IS A STORY....) Thank you.
Author's Response: *giggles wildly* Oh, Beecharmer, what a compliment, that you start worrying about the consequences, but I'm afraid you're right - it IS only a story, a slightly crazy, totally insane story, but I so enjoyed writing it. I could, of course, write a sequel.....
Date: 20 Feb 2013 9:24 pm Title: Chapter 21 - Nell Plays Doctor
Wow!!! Well done Nell. That can Not have been easy for her. And yet, with a bit of encouragement and plenty of assistance, she did what she had to do. I'm sure that she was the only one who could have done the job - both the job of removing the bullet, and the need to do her best to get it across to them exactly what she was talking about. 'infection' would mean nothing to them of course, but 'angry, hot and red' is more understandable. Here's hoping that doesn't happen, given all her efforts.
I love the difference that we see in Cerdic - even if Arthur doesn't trust him. He has definitely changed and shows that he can care about the soldiers in his company.
Thank you Mary.
Date: 20 Feb 2013 7:26 am Title: Chapter 19 - Merlin's Song
Being honest, I didn't really realise that there was anything missing - though I had wondered where the handcuff key came from. As well you inserted it really! ;-)
I don't know what it is about these conversations with Hilda and Nell though - they reach out and touch the heart of the person who is reading it. Almost like they are infused with the peace of God. Seeing that they are offering comfort to each other that's pretty apropriate though.
It also explains Nell's state when she joins the others in the following chapter.
Thank you Mary
Date: 19 Feb 2013 9:06 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Merlin's Song
Thank you! That does makes more sense! You should be able to edit story and move the chapter up by tapping the arrow next to the chapter :-)
Author's Response: Thanks, Beecharmer! Never thought of doing that.... I'm always afraid something will disappear if I try to change things. You're a star!
Date: 16 Feb 2013 9:03 pm Title: Chapter 20 - Being a Leader
I think this segment ought to be called 'Nell comes up trumps, again!'
When she first comes out of the room she appears crushed and hopeless. How my heart aches for her. And yet, it isn't long before she takes on Hilda's mantel again and begins to dispense her own special brand of wisdom again.
The way she is able to gently direct the actions of those on her own side, all the time noting that while Fidelma is greivously bruised, she looks more at peace. Fidelma's words prove that she's still suffering from the events of the past few hours, but at least she has recovered slightly from that first horror. I'm sure Nell doesn't really feel the need for the apology she eventually tendered, but...
And soon Nell shows just how well she has learned Hilda's tricks. The way she manages to change Cerdic's mind was absolutely masterful. He goes from thinking the man a fool, liability and expendible, to admitting that he is a good man... I cannot believe that if he had any idea of how little care Cerdic was showing for him earlier he would be anything but more rebelious. Having had the error of his ways pointed otu to him, Cerdic will hopefully be able to both mend his own ways, and teach his soldiers better...
Thank you Mary.
Date: 15 Feb 2013 10:48 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Nell's Spirit Finds Some Peace
I'm momentarily stunned, trying to work out how on earth to come up with any kind of real response on this wonderful conversation. My main thought reading through was how well Hilda and Nell compliment each other. Like two halves of one whole... Hilda does for Nell what Nell did for Fidelma, and what Merlin had already begun. Really, I see them all working to help each other, and Merlin having some part to play in the healing of each, in whatever way possible.
In fact, that's possibly a band for this whole section. In the aftermath of the event, everyone present is doing their best to bind up the wounds of those involved. Well, except for the Saxons perhaps, and even they are included in the ministry of the others.
I did love Nell's surprise at how calm Hilda was at the result of their actions. She was so ready to have a Hilda broken at not having been able to show mercy to people. But then, those people weren't exactly repentant, and as she said - what else was she to do when they were all literally fighting for their lives. To be gentle would have been to condemn a friend to death. Turn the other cheek is fine, right up until those you care for are in danger, and then watch out!!!
There will be more to say on this, but for the moment, thanks once again Mary. :-)
Date: 14 Feb 2013 5:31 pm Title: Chapter 17 - Nell's Theology
What a blessing Nell is here. She is exactly the one who is needed for the situation we have. Not that Hilda wouldn't have worked some magic of her own were she the one involved, but Nell is perfect in her role here.
I had to laugh when Nell was examining the soldier and deciding that he was a baby for not standing for her idea of healing him. And how masterful is her ownership of Latin! Same for Hilda as well of course. I keep remembering where I'm at with it - knowing a few rough and ready phrases from wherever, and Hilda and Nell apparently know it well enough to make it suit their own purposes rather than having to speak in set ways in the way someone with a lesser knowledge would have (being fair to myself, I didn't even get through 6 months of Classical Studies before it was decided I'd be better off learning something else...). Their knowledge of it has certainly proven its worth in this situation.
The scene where Nell has to explain just how removing the bullet is not a way to kill the soldier but will rather save his life is also wonderful, as is the complete lack of understanding as to her insistance on her equipment being properly sterile. So many things which the advancement of undersanding has made seem strange. Well done Nell for finding something to say which will help them understand even slightly.
Then Fidelma has her moment with Nell... Poor Fidelma. She may be more used to a rougher lifestyle than Hilda and Nell, but she does have her own scruples. At least Nell is able to offer some comfort, and by doing so, confirms to herself that they were right to do as they did...
Thank you once again Mary.
Date: 12 Feb 2013 10:45 pm Title: Chapter 16 - On Wings of Song....
And so the mood changes, as you so masterfully push the flow of your writing to your will in how it should go. And yet, despite the mood changing, the urgency, the compelling nature of your writing is not lost. The heat of the moment is lost, but the great fear and the natural reaction of all they have gone through has hit in. The post action stress and concern is there. The fear for Hilda.
I love the way that Nell and Merlin make peace with each other. They may never be friends, but they are certainly allies. And Nell sees once again how Hilda's kind heart can influence others who did seem to act against them to look on them with favour.
I also like Merlin's honesty. He will do all he can for the three women to help them in the wake of the battle, but while he knows he cannot repay all they have already done for him, were Arther and co to need their help again he would still call on them. He may be sorry to put Hilda, Nell and Fidelma through even more, but the most important need to him will always be those belonging to the court he serves.
His insight into the differences between the way Nell, Hilda and Fidelma have taken the battle was also very telling. Hilda and Nell may well live in a battle now, but they don't experience the rough way of life Fidelma must be used to. Her culture is far more casually rough than the one they have grown up in. She wants something done, much of the time she has to do it. Hilda and Nell have been more accustomed to being protected from the nastier side of life, and have been cossetted far more - even if they are used to doing more for themselves than Merlin expected them to be.
Thank you for telling me my words are wise - I'll not attempt to judge on that score! However, you'll understand why I say I do need to be able to think so I can actually comment properly! ;-)
Thanks for taking the time to update once again.
Date: 12 Feb 2013 11:17 am Title: Chapter 15 - Things Take an Alarming Turn
It's not true that the last chapter held no appeal for anyone! I love it.