Author · Spotlight/Interview

Book Extract: A Bhikku’s Tale by David R. Jordan

abikku

Today on The Tattooed Book Geek, I am pleased to be bringing you all an extract from the book A Bhikku’s Tale by David R. Jordan.

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Bhikku Reilly of Fararden Wood has defeated the mad god Morpheo’s dragon with the help of Red City’s shaman, Murray. Now they face a much harder task.

In a fight with Cernunnos, Morpheo has broken off a piece of antler from the horned god, which gives him immeasurable power over the natural world. Reilly and Murray, together with the Green Man, the Sybarite and the ghost girl, Tracy, must pursue the mad god and stop him from taking over the whole country of Inis Fail.

Their journey takes them to the Otherworld and back again, crossing the paths of many colourful characters and strange creatures.


Book Extract from A Bhikku’s Tale:

Dot’s car was a Mini Cooper, about thirty years old. It was dirty on the outside but seemed to be in good condition for its age. Green and Sam sat in the back, crouched over and uncomfortable because of the lack of space and Reilly took the passenger seat which was no less uncomfortable. However, Dot had brought bottles of wine and cigarettes for the journey and these would go a long way toward easing the discomfort.

Once they were on the road, Dot told Reilly to open the glove compartment. When he did so some cassette tapes fell out and he managed to pick them up from the floor. The compartment was full of them. ‘Pick something, Bhikku,’ she said. He had a look through them. There was music of all different styles from all different eras. Reilly picked out Highway to Hell by AC/DC and put the tape into the player. Once the music kicked in, Dot said, ‘good choice.’ The other two managed to nod their heads to the title track. Sam opened a bottle of wine, the first of many, and drank from it. He passed it to the others. Dot shook her head. ‘Not while I’m driving,’ she said, ‘as much as I’d like to. However, I will take a cigarette from you, young man.’

They drove for hours. The roads were quiet. The sky was blue above them. Dot drove fast but this didn’t surprise Reilly. He had come to expect the unexpected as far as the old woman was concerned. On the dual carriageways, she pushed the car up to 75 miles per hour. Of course, there were smaller roads. Winding roads. She kept the speed at about 40 miles per hour on these. They avoided the towns. They didn’t want to draw suspicion on themselves. Everyone would have heard about the outbreak of madness in Red by now, including the police. Sam’s absence from the city might have been noticed. For all they knew, the police were searching for him. Sam was easily noticed. They all were.

When the stone walls began to appear in the fields they knew they were in the West.

By now, Green and Sam were merry from drinking wine. They were singing along to Thin Lizzy songs which were blasting out of the car speakers. They were driving along a narrow road with grass on either side and running along the centre. Dot was forced to slow down, especially when taking the corners.

Soon they entered a heavily forested area. Green gave a shout of approval and joy. They turned a corner and Dot pressed on the brake suddenly, stopping the car. Everyone lurched forward. Sam spilled drink all over his new denims. ‘Ah shite!’ he said.

After a few seconds of silence, Green said, ‘what’s wrong?’

There. Ahead of us,’ Dot said.

I see it,’ Reilly said and got out of the car.

There was a dead deer stretched out on the road. Reilly walked towards it. It was a large male, with a huge pair of antlers. There was a dark wound on its belly, where it had been shot. Dark blood oozed from it. It had started to fester.

Reilly heard the slamming of the Mini’s doors as the others got out to look at the deer.

Such a pity,’ Dot said.

What kind of an asshole..’ Green said.

Probably a very rich asshole with a gun,’ Reilly answered Green. ‘But why leave it here?’ he said.

It’s a trap,’ Dot said suddenly but calmly. ‘Let’s get back to the car. Now.’

No, you don’t!’ they heard a man say. His voice was a deep baritone. They looked around them.

Over here,’ the man said. They looked in the direction of the man’s voice and there he was, squatting by a tree. He had cropped hair, raven coloured and a full beard. He wore a red and black plaid shirt. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. In his right hand he held a rifle, butt on the ground.

Hi asshole,’ Reilly said, calmly.

That’s enough of that,’ the man said.

Did you kill this creature?’ Reilly said.

Yes I did.’

Well then, go fuck yourself maggot,’ Reilly said.

Enough!’ the man said.

Come on. Let’s leave the asshole with the gun. He knows what he can do with it,’ Reilly said.

You stay there!’ the man shouted. Then he whistled a few notes with his lips and out of the trees stepped a small band of men, surrounding them. They were young. Most of them looked like they were in their early twenties. Some carried knives, others pitch forks, others hurleys. One of them had a pair of nunchucks which he flourished skilfully in his hands. Another had what appeared to be a cattle prod. None of them displayed a firearm. ‘You’re surrounded,’ said the man with the gun.

What do you want with us?’ Sam said.

Questioning. That’s all,’ the man said. He still squatted by the tree.

Okay, what do you want to know?’ Reilly said and Green stifled a laugh.

You know what I mean, smart ass,’ said the man.

We are on an important mission. You’d be wise not to hinder us,’ Sam said.

You can tell it all to the Boss,’ the man said.

Okay. Do you want all of us?’ Reilly said.

No. The old woman can wait here and mind the car, if that’s what you’re worried about.’

Splendid,’ Reilly said. ‘Okay, let’s go see the Boss.’

They left the road and plunged into the trees.

After walking in the dense forest for a time the man with the gun said to Sam and Green, ‘you two stay here.’ He indicated to his men that they should watch over them. ‘You,’ he said to Reilly, ‘smart ass. You come with me.’

Why me?’ Reilly said.

Because the Boss is reclusive. He doesn’t like having too many people about,’ the man said.

What?’ Reilly said, curling his lip.

Come on,’ the man said.

The trees began to thin out and so did the presence of the men until they came upon a very long legged guy, resting by a fire. He had golden red hair, fashioned into a mullet. He wore a grey shirt and black denims. He looked about thirty. The gunman brought Reilly to him but he didn’t take any notice of them. He was intent on the flames.

When the gunman had left, Reilly stood there, looking around. After a while he returned his attention to the Boss. ‘Bit early for a fire, isn’t it?’ he said. He received no answer. After another minute of silence, Reilly boldly sat down by the man. He looked into the fire to try to see what it was the Boss was looking at but there was nothing, only flames. However, he did notice that there was no smoke from the fire.

The fire helps me to think,’ the man said, eventually.

Reilly nodded.

The Titan, Prometheus, stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. I’m hoping I might get some inspiration from the flames,’ the man said. ‘Besides, some people say you can see the future in a fire.’

The fire has no smoke,’ Reilly said.

That’s because it is divine fire,’ the man said without taking his eyes off the flames.

This confused Reilly. ‘So, are you a god or a man?’ he said. ‘Or both?’ he added.

The man looked at Reilly for the first time. The Bhikku noticed a thin, gold band around the man’s forehead. It was more a lace than a crown. ‘You were brought here for questioning,’ the man said, smiling. ‘Not the other way round.’

Okay. But just one question before we start. Whose idea was it to kill the stag?’

Mine. It works as a barricade. One that we can easily move.’

Reilly was about to curse the man but thought better of it, so he reined in his tongue.

Now, what is your name?’ the man said.

Reilly sighed and told the truth. He had never made a good liar. ‘My name is Reilly. Sometimes people call me Bhikku Reilly or just Bhikku. I come from a forest very like this one. Near Red City.’

And what do you do, Bhikku?’

I meditate. But sometimes I kill monsters. Demons. That’s about it.’

The man eyes lit up and he smiled. ‘You kill monsters?’ Reilly nodded. ‘Then maybe you could help me with mine.’

What sort of a monster are we talking about here?’

My son,’ the man said, calmly.

You want to kill your son? Isn’t that supposed to be the other way round?’ Reilly said.

I’m not talking psychology here, Bhikku. I have to kill my son. Literally.’

Won’t that make you a monster?’

I’ve been called worse,’ the man said, smiling again.

Who are you?’ Reilly said.

I am Lugh.’

The god?’

Yes.’

And you want to kill your son?’ Lugh nodded. Reilly shook his head in disbelief. ‘And who is your son?’

He goes by many names but you would know him as Morpheo.’

Christ!’ Reilly exclaimed.

What’s wrong?’

You mean the god, Morpheo? The dream god?’ Reilly said.

Yes.’

You must tell me everything,’ Reilly said to the god. ‘Please.’

There isn’t that much to tell. My son has gone mad. He has raised an army of the undead in the Otherworld with the intention of invading Inis Fail. There is a cave near here where he will try to pass with his army. We are guarding it. Nobody goes in and nobody comes out.’

And you want me to kill him? Can’t you do it yourself?’

No. For the same reason I couldn’t kill that stag.’

Which is?’

The gods never get blood on their hands.’

How can you say that? You know you are responsible.’

I mean literally, Bhikku.’

Reilly sighed and said, ‘how can you be so icy?’ Lugh smiled but said nothing. ‘And why are you so concerned with Inis Fail and its people? You never have been before.’

Why did Prometheus choose to give fire to mankind? Why did he choose to be its benefactor?’

I don’t know. Nobody knows.’

Yes, you do. He did it as an act of defiance.’

Defiance against whom? His father?’

No. Against Zeus and the Olympians. The next generation.’

So, you’re afraid of Morpheo taking over? Are you saying he will usurp you?’

Lugh returned his attention to the fire. ‘That is what I’m trying to find out,’ he said.

You have to let us through the entrance,’ Reilly said. ‘We can stop Morpheo.’

How?’

I don’t know. Maybe I can get through to him.’

I’d rather have him dead,’ Lugh said.

How big is this army?’ Reilly said.

About a thousand strong.’

That is all?’ Reilly said, surprised at the number.

That is all. That is all he needs to take over Inis Fail. Remember, this is an army of the undead. How can you kill that which is already dead?’

So, you think deicide is the only answer?’

Yes.’

Listen to me Lugh. Morpheo has a…an object of great power. It is a piece of antler from the head of Cernunnos. He must have used it to raise his army. If we can get that piece of antler back, I’m sure the army will fall apart and return to dust.’

How do you know this?’ Lugh said.

We don’t have time for explanations, Lugh. Let’s just say that we’ve been pursuing Morpheo. We want to stop him. He will turn the country to madness if we don’t.’

And how do I know you’re not his spies? How do I know you weren’t sent here to find out my plans and then relay them to him?’

O come on, Lugh. If I was a spy you wouldn’t have told me everything, would you? You told me because you trust me.’

So, if I let you go through, what about the old lady? Who’s going to look after her?’

Reilly laughed and said, ‘O, I think the little old lady can look after herself just fine. If we go through, have one of your men tell her to continue on to Stone. Okay?’

How will you stop him?’ Lugh asked.

I’m not sure. I have an idea that might work. That stag you killed. Can I get a piece of antler from it?’

Of course. One last question. Why are you doing this? What do you want from me?’

I’m not doing it for you but if it will make you feel better there is something you can do. Bury the stag. And don’t kill anymore. If you do this, I won’t tell Cernunnos on you.’

Lugh said nothing but nodded in agreement. He returned his gaze to the flames.

See anything yet?’ Reilly asked.

Lugh sighed and said, ‘I see very little. But there’s going to be blood.’


Purchase A Bhikku’s Tale:

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Amazon UK  / Amazon US


About David R. Jordan:

dave

David Jordan is a writer based in Cork, Ireland. He has published two works of fiction and a book of verse entitled, The End. He has an MA in English from University College Cork. When he is not writing or reading, he plays the bass guitar. He is a dog lover and a coffee lover.


David can be found:

Website  /  Facebook


519n1m8ltsl-_sx311_bo1204203200_

Bhikku Reilly of Fararden Wood has defeated the mad god Morpheo’s dragon with the help of Red City’s shaman, Murray. Now they face a much harder task.

In a fight with Cernunnos, Morpheo has broken off a piece of antler from the horned god, which gives him immeasurable power over the natural world. Reilly and Murray, together with the Green Man, the Sybarite and the ghost girl, Tracy, must pursue the mad god and stop him from taking over the whole country of Inis Fail.

Their journey takes them to the Otherworld and back again, crossing the paths of many colourful characters and strange creatures.


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