A free sample (about 2500 words) of the novel in which an ancient and brutal Anglo Saxon civilisation returns to terrify the present, after it was re-created by a professor of history who was beaten up because he claimed that the Anglo Saxons were an exceptional race.
Copyright © 2022 Paul Gresham
All rights reserved.
Angelcynn: English, anyone who is not a Saxon.
Endelîf Eard: End Of Life Earth, or cemetery.
Eilderman/Eildermen: local councillor.
Havensea: an isolated village on the east coast of modern-day England, which was a Saxon settlement from AD 500 to 1100.
Professor Wulfgar has transformed it into a Saxon settlement.
Professor Wulfgar: Saxon, created settlement after being badly beaten by students at university after giving a controversial lecture called Anglo Saxon Exceptionalism.
Gebmund Sutham: Saxon, brutally enforces Wulfgar’s laws in the settlement
Cassie: young Angelcynn female, discovered settlement with her boyfriend, who dies in book 1.
Jack Webster: young Angelcynn teacher
Eadyg Duning: 9 year old Saxon girl, rebels against Wulfgar’s laws.
Haeddi Duning: mother of Eadyg Duning.
Einhard Achby: 12 year old Saxon boy, brutally enforces Wulfgar’s laws.
Godwin Turner: 9 year old Saxon boy, timid, afraid of Wulfgar’s laws.
Chris Sanders: Angelcynn, rebels against Wulfgar’s laws.
Miss Waerburh Deorlaf: Saxon, head teacher, enforces Wulfgar’s laws.
Miss Ethelred Stewart: Saxon, teacher, secretly opposes Wulfgar’s laws.
Chris Blake: Angelcynn photojournalist, investigates the settlement
Alice: Angelcynn journalist who also investigates the settlement
Eilderman Llanmere: Saxon, local councillor and farmer.
Chapters And Scenes
5.00 am Saxons flee from Angelcynn ‘spy ‘plane’
5.00 am Angelcynn Carl Sanders spies on ceremony
5.00 am Cassie and Jack after Saxon ceremony
6.00 am Jack Webster puzzles over Saxon settlement
6.30 am Jack and Cassie reach lagoon
6.30 am Carl Sanders sees Cassie and Jack cross lagoon
6.00 am Saxon lovers argue about Saxon rule
6.00 am Saxons return to their homes
6.00 am Haeddi Duning after arriving back from ceremony
6.00 am Eadyg Duning led to place of torture
6.00 am Eadyg Duning at place of torture
6.15 am Professor Wulfgar watches as Eadyg tied to mast
6.15 am Godwin Turner decides to rescue Eadyg
6.20 am Eadyg suffers on mast
6.20 am Einhard fears dangerous wild boar
7.29 am Wulfgar plans new Saxon settlement
12.00 noon Ethelred Stewart awakes
12.00 noon Gebmund Sutham in workshop
6.00 pm Professor Wulfgar re-lives anti-Saxon terrorist attack
8.00 pm Gebmund Sutham in Saxon Great Hall
2.00 am Ethelred Stewart awakes
2.30 am Ethelred Stewart at workshop
3.00 am Gebmund Sutham steals motor home
3.30 am Professor Wulfgar with Stewart in workshop
4.00 am Wulfgar looks at paintings in Great Hall
4.15 am Wulfgar in Great Hall
5.00 am Jack Webster goes to motor home
5.00 am Gebmund Sutham scouts Endelîf Eard for new Saxon settlement
5.15 am Jack Webster sees motor home missing
4.00 am Ethelred Stewart after leaving workshop
9.00 am Chris Blake plans to investigate Saxon settlement
9.30 am Webster returns to Cassie
9.00 am Eadyg Duning writes letter to dead Angelcynn teacher
9.00 am Cassie looks for grave of murdered Angelcynn teacher
9.30 am Eadyg sees dead Angelcynn girl in Endelîf Eard
9.30 am Saxon Miss Deorlaf confronts Cassie at grave
9.30 am Alice sees Eadyg
9.30 am Eadyg decides to steal food from Sutham’s pick up truck
9.30 am Gebmund Sutham senses spirits of dead Angelcynn
10.00 am Chris and Alice hear scream from Endelîf Eard
10.00 am Chris and Alice lost in Endelîf Eard
10.00 am Eadyg plans to speak to dead Angelcynn girl
10.00 am Gebmund Sutham sees spirit of little Angelcynn girl
8.00 pm Cassie and Jack consider becoming Saxons
10.00pm Chris Blake remembers track across field
3.15 am Chris Sanders sees body on mast
4.00 am Thursday Carl Sanders at house
4.05 am Carl Sanders attacked by boar
4.10 am Wulfgar interrogates Sanders
4.00 am Thursday Einhard at Mrs. Duning’s house
4.15 am Thursday Wild boar escapes
4.15 am Haeddi Duning tends to injured Sanders
4.25 am Thursday wild boar escapes
4.30 am Einhard after boar attack
4.30 am Thursday Sanders being interrogated
4.35 am wild boar escapes through settlement
8.00 am Body on mast removed
8.30 am Deorlaf and Stewart plan to make Webster disappear
9.00 am Deorlaf and Stewart in long boat
9.00 am Blinded Carl Sanders appears
5.00 am Saxons flee from Angelcynn ‘spy ‘plane’
Professor Wulfgar drove his four wheel drive car across the fields that led back to Havensea after hehad been forced to cancel the ceremony that was to take place on top of the sand dunes, because a micro light ‘planehad suddenly appeared.
Behind him was a convoy of other four wheel drive cars and pick up trucks which were packed with the other Saxons who were to take part in the ceremony.
The pilot of the micro light plane was undoubtedly an Angelcynn – English, enemy agent whohad been ordered by the Angelcynn police and security services to spy on the ceremony.
Why else would he appear at the exact moment that the ceremony was due to arrive at its climax?
But more importantly, how did he know that it was to take place at that exact moment?
The answer to that question was obvious – there was a traitor in the settlement, an informer, a spy, whohad informed the Angelcynn that it was to take place at that exact moment.
Unless…unless the Angelcynn whohad camped their motor home on the marsh were the spies.
Was that possible?
Did they have a contact in the settlement – a renegade Saxon, whohad informed them that the ceremony was to take place?
Carl Sanders – ithad to be him!
He was the only inhabitant of the settlement whohad refused to change his Angelcynn name to a Saxon name!
Unless…no, surely not.
The male Angelcynn who was the new teacher at the school, whohad been on the causeway with the female Angelcynn, the owner of the motor home. Miss Deorlafhad told him that it was him, hehad never seen him before.
Was he an Angelcynn spy?
No, hehad only been teaching at the school for a few days, hehad hardlyhad enough time to discover the secrets of the settlement.
He steered his car around a deep rut thathad suddenly appeared in the dry soil and glanced back in his rear view mirror, the vehicles that were following him might not see it because of the cloud of dust that hehad created, but when he glanced in the mirror a few yards later he saw that the pick up truck that was following himhad also avoided it.
This consideration for the other Saxons in his tribe, this concern for their welfare, was an essential quality for a Saxon chieftain like himself, he mused.
He shifted uncomfortably in his long Saxon robe, it was becoming quite hot although it was probably only about 5 am. The other Saxons must be feeling the same, but no matter, they would soon be back in Havensea where they could change into their normal clothes.
Normal in the sense that the jeans and T shirts which they usually wore, for everyday use, not normal in the sense that it was right to wear them.
They should be wearing traditional Saxon clothing, but hehad not persuaded them to do that yet.
His thoughts returned to the possibility of there being a renegade in the settlement, and the possibility of the Angelcynn in the motor home being spies.
There was also the threat posed by Eadyg Duning, he reminded himself.
Shehad tried to sabotage the The Ride Of The Valkyries being played during the ceremony, by escaping from the other Saxons and trying to reach the vehicle which was relaying it to the Saxons on top of the sand dunes via its outdoor sound system.
Luckily, Einhard Achbyhad beaten her to the ground before she could do any harm,
She was now in a car which was being driven by Miss Deorlaf, a Saxon Eilderman who was also the head teacher of the school which she attended.
The nine year old was also a keen member of the Young Saxons organisation which hehad founded, with the goal of encouraging everyone to embrace the Saxon culture.
Or rather, shehad been, until this morning.
He would decide her fate later.
Miss Waerburh Deorlaf drove her four wheel drive car across the dusty rutted fields that led back to Havensea from the top of the sand dunes where the ceremonyhad been held until ithad been so cruelly interrupted, and glanced in the rear view mirror at her passengers in the rear seat.
On the left hand side was Gebmund Sutham, and on the right hand side was Einhard Achby, while squeezed in between them was Eadyg Duning.
In theory, Gebmund Sutham could have sat next to her in the front passenger seat, to allow Eadyg more space, but Professor Wulfgarhad ordered her to have a guard at each side of the child in case she tried to escape.
Hehad yelled the order to her when he was leading the Saxons back towards their vehicles – and back to Havensea, after the ceremonyhad been interrupted.
She was slightly uneasy about having a child in the rear seat without being secured by a seat belt, shehad a vague notion that it was illegal.
But then, that was an Angelcynn law, and so many of their laws were ignored in Havensea. And in any case it was unlikely that she would be stopped by a police car on the road back to the settlement, and the law enforced, because the police rarely if ever patrolled the road.
She shifted uncomfortably in the long Saxon robe that she was wearing, the day was already hot although it was only about an hour after dawn.
But uppermost in her mind was the question: why was Jack Webster on the causeway with the Angelcynn woman?
Eadyg Duning sat in the back of Miss Deorlaf’s four wheel drive car between Einhard Achby and Gebmund Sutham and wondered what would happen to her after shehad tried to stop the Saxon music that was called The Ride Of The Valkyries from playing when everyone was on top of the sand dunes.
She didn’t think that it was her fault that whatever was going to happenhad been cancelled, it was the fault of the thing thathad flown over them.
A micro light ‘plane, it was called, the only reason she knew that was because Einhard and Gebmund Suthamhad been talking about it.
But no-onehad talked to her, not even Miss Deorlaf, who was her head teacher and was supposed to be her friend.
But there were other things that she could get into trouble for, if someone found out about them.
Shehad put a cross on the grave of Miss Parker, the Angelcynn teacher whohad been a teacher at the school before the new one, Mister Webster,had arrived.
Shehad been made to disappear, because shehad asked too many questions about the Saxons, and was buried in the grave.
But she wasn’t supposed to know about that.
The other bad thing that shehad done was shehad gone to the Endelîf Eard, theplace of the dead, where the first Saxonshad buried the Angelcynn children that theyhad killed, when they first came to Havensea, andhad said sorry to them.
Suddenly the car swerved – there must have been something in the way, and she was thrown against Einhard’s body.
He pushed her away irritably and continued to stare straight ahead.
She glanced over Miss Deorlaf’s shoulder and saw that they would soon finish driving across the fields and would reach a bunch of trees.
That meant that they would soon turn onto a proper road, the road that led into Havensea, not a bumpy one which like this that made her bump into Einhard.
Suddenly she was struck by a terrible thought.
Did he think that shehad done it on purpose, because she wanted to be closer to him?
She couldn’t move away from him because that would mean getting too close to Gebmund Sutham, a grown-up Saxon, who was sitting on her left hand side.
She wondered why hehad a rifle propped between his knees – she knew the difference between a rifle and a shotgun.
And why was he riding in Miss Deorlaf’s car instead of in his pick up truck?
Who was driving it back to Havensea?
One of the other Saxons whohad been at the…ceremony, as it was called, must be driving it back.
Then another question sprang into her mind.
Is he sitting next to me so that he can guard me?
A big grown up man to guard a little girl?
Gebmund Sutham stared moodily out of the left hand side passenger window of Miss Deorlaf’s car as she drove it across the fields towards the road that led back to Havensea.
He could think of better things to do than sit in the back of somebody else’s car and guard a kid like Eadyg Duning.
Especially a girl like Eadyg Duning, who was probably only about nine.
But Professor Wulfgar had ordered him to do it just before he got into his pick up truck and hehad been forced to let somebody else drive it.
He glanced sideways at her and wondered why shehad tried to stop The Ride Of The Valkyries from being played at the ceremony.
Luckily, it didn’t stop the ceremony because the micro light ‘planehad stopped it, instead, by flying overhead.
Luckily for her, too.
If shehad stopped it she would be in big trouble, she could even be made to disappear.
Even so, she would have to be punished in some way; Professor Wulfgar wouldn’t let something as serious as that go unpunished.
Whathad got into her?
What was wrong with her?
Shehad been fine at the road block, the day before, when hehad stopped the Angelcynn car driver from coming into Havensea.
Einhardhad killed the Angelcynn, it was true, but shehad tried to kill him by firing her catapult at him, as Professor Wulfgarhad ordered her to do.
He was thrown against her as the car suddenly swerved to to the left to avoid something that was in the way, and his rifle slipped from where hehad been lightly holding it between his knees.
He quickly retrieved it and began to stroke the breech, like someone might stroke a much loved pet who has slipped of their reach. It was a point 222 calibre weapon, light enough to carry around allday but powerful enough to kill an Angelcynn.
Hehad bought it illegally when he was working as a truck driver in south west England, the one time hehad ever been away from the settlement, and even then it was only for two years.
I’ve spent twenty years of my life here!
Was he supposed to use it to kill the Angelcynn who were camped in their motor home on the marsh?
He would never know, hehad been waiting for Professor Wulfgar to give the order when the micro light ‘planehad appeared.
That was the problem with Wulfgar – he liked to be the only one who knew what was going on.
Einhard Achby stared out of the window of the car that was being driven from the ceremony back to Havensea and sensed that Eadyg, who was sitting next to him, wanted to say something about what had happened at the ceremony, because she kept shifting and glancing at him.
But he ignored her.
Why did she try to stop the ceremony from going ahead?
It was even worse than when she had tried to stop the Kill The Angelcynn game, that the kids were playing on the village green, a few days earlier.
He couldn’t understand her.
They had grown up together, although at twelve he was three years older than she was, and had joined the Young Saxons together.
What had made her change?
He wondered why Mister Webster, the new Angelcynn teacher, was on the causeway with the Angelcynn woman whohad camped there in her motor home.
Was he supposed to be part of the ceremony?
Only Professor Wulfgar knew the answer to that question, but he wouldn’t say anything about it, at least not to him.
If he was the chieftain, he would have killed the Angelcynn woman with his sword, and burned the motor home to the ground.
He glanced at the floor of the car guiltily, in case the others could read his thoughts.
Professor Wulfgar is too old to be the chieftain.
I should be the chieftain.
Ethelred Stewart drove behind Miss Deorlaf’s car and glanced through the car’s sun roof at the sky in case the micro light ‘plane appeared again, then glanced in the rear view mirror in case it was pursuing her from behind the car, at a very low level.
But all she could see was the cloud of dust that her carhad thrown up as it was driven across the field, she could see nothing of the convoy of cars and pick up trucks that she knew was behind her, filled with other Saxons who were fleeing from the ‘plane.
Was Jack Webster standing on top of the sand dunes, watching the Saxons drive away, or was he still with the Angelcynn woman on the causeway?
What was he doing there, anyway?
Shehad no idea who was in the car behind her, therehad been no time for them to get into the vehicles theyhad arrived in, theyhad just been ordered to get into the nearest available vehicle.
She knew that Miss Deorlaf’s car was full of passengers because shehad caught a fleeting glimpse of them before the car was accelerated away.
Then she realised.
Miss Deorlaf’s passengers hadn’t been bundled into her car at random, like the ones in everyone else’s cars – theyhad been carefully selected.
To guard Eadyg Duning.
That was why Gebmund Sutham was sitting on one side of her, and Einhard Achby on the other side of her.
She glanced at the passenger who was sitting in the front seat next to her and saw that he was staring sternly ahead, while the mother who was sitting on the back passenger seat with her young son bothhad terrified expressions on their faces.
She knew them both, but knew him better, he was called Godwin Turner and was a pupil at the Havensea primary school, where she taught.
He was a timid frail boy whohad been selected as the victim at the Kill The Angelcynn game which was played on the village green, last Friday evening.
Eadyg Duninghad tried to protect him buthad failed, hehad been beaten up despite her unwarranted interference.
She desperately wanted to loosen the Saxon robe that she was wearing, so that she could cool down, but wasn’t sure that this would send the wrong signal to Eilderman Llanmere, although as he was twice her age-he was seventy six, she was probably safe enough.
“A sad day for our Saxon cause, Eilderman” she said to him.
“If only the Angelcynn would leave us alone” he said bitterly.
“Perhaps the pilot wasn’t spying on us, perhaps he was just interested in what was going on” she ventured.
“No, he was spying on us because the Angelcynn who are among us informed him about the ceremony” he said emphatically.
She wondered who he meant. Did he mean Jack Webster, her new co-teacher at the school, or the woman in the motor home on the marsh?
Both of them?
Suddenly he leaned forwards and thumped his fists on the dashboard.
“But they’ll pay for it!” he yelled.
“With their lives!”
Suddenly she realised that Godwin Turner and his mother who were in the back seat were probably listening, but decided that it didn’t matter.
Mrs. Turner was a committed Saxon, who probably agreed with Eilderman Llanmere, while Godwin was too young to do anything about it, even if he disagreed with Llanmere.
Godwin Turner slumped in the rear seat of the car, only half-listening to the talk about the Angelcynn micro light ‘plane spying on the Saxons.
He was more interested in the talk about the Angelcynn spies who were supposed to be in the settlement, as it was now called.
The only Angelcynn that he knew about was Mister Webster, the new teacher, but he hadn’t been in the settlement for long enough to know what was going on.
He didn’t even know what the Saxon long boat that was in the school playground was used for, he thought that it was just part of the playground.
He had tried to find out, on the last day of school, just before the holiday started, but Einhard had stopped him.
Mister Webster had better watch out, or he would be made to disappear, like Miss Parker, the other Angelcynn teacher who was at the school before him.
He really liked her, she was nice, and helped him with his maths, but it was no good being nice and a good teacher if she wanted to find out what was going on in Havensea.
He was glad that the ceremony had ended, it was far too hot standing in the sun in his tunic with his sword in his hand.
And what was supposed to happen to the people in the motor home?
The couldn’t be made to disappear, not both of them, not on the marsh where everybody could see what was happening.
People were made to disappear in private, where nobody could see what was happening to them.
That was how Miss Parker had gone.
One day she was his teacher, the next day she had gone.
Nobody asked what had happened to her, because Professor Wulfgar had come to the school the next day and talked to them, in an Our Saxon Life lesson.
He said that the good Saxon doesn’t ask questions when people disappear, because it means that the settlement is better off without them.
Sometimes he wondered if he had helped to make her disappear.
She got talking to him one day, in the playground, because the other kids were bullying him, and had asked him about the Saxon long boat.
Mister Webster didn’t get a chance to ask any questions about it, he didn’t even get a chance to look at it, because Einhard had stopped him.
A kid-stopping a teacher from doing something!
But it was okay, because Einhard was a Saxon and Mister Webster was just an Angelcynn.
“What does it mean, Godwin?” she had whispered to him, so that the other kids wouldn’t hear her.
He didn’t tell her, because he would be in trouble if he did.
He had reported it to Einhard, instead, and the next day she had disappeared.
Suddenly he realised that his mother had turned around and was staring into his face, the way she always did when she knew that he had done something bad.
“Don’t!” she suddenly hissed.
He knew what had happened – she knew what he was thinking.
She wasn’t a magician or anything, she always seemed to know what he was thinking.
“I’m sorry” he muttered, and hoped that she wouldn’t tell anybody else that he had been thinking about Miss Parker.
It wasn’t fair.
The Saxons had made her disappear, but he kept thinking about her.
Why didn’t they really make her disappear?
Make her disappear so much that nobody could remember her, or anything about her.