The Oracle Knows

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Young men, working hard at love … the oracle glimpses through the broken mirror of time and sees such beauty as wrings the heart. Fine as godlings in the light of lamps and lanterns are these two mortals, moving together like dancers, as if some divine hand choreographed the act. Never have I seen my sweet Soran so gentle; he might be handling a dove … never has he seen such wild beauty as the witchboy, though if he knew what flesh lay sighing in his arms, desire might fly away like a swarm of hornets.

O, do I recall the nights when I was a living, breathing man! I remember well the days of a beating heart in my breast, and limbs that ran, flesh that rose up readily in desire … eyes that saw with the keen vision of mortals who live one instant at a time, and savor them all.

Soran presses him into the divan, devours him with hungry kisses, caresses him in ways, in places, that send Faunos spinning in realms unimagined. Soran earns the whimpers of the freeman and treasures them as if they were pearls and sapphires.

By tortured steps, Faunos discovers the widths and depths of his sensuality, which is vast as the ocean, to Soran’s delight -- but I believe sweet, confounded Soranchele Izamal-xiu Ulkan learns more about himself. He loses himself utterly in the dance of love, the sweated pulse of desire, the heady intoxication of the night. He forgets who he is, and what, until only the dance remains.

Half mad with wanting he can scarce understand, Faunos opens for him like the bud of the rose, and Soran has the wisdom to pluck the bloom in the perfect instant between dewy bud and full-bown flowering. Time, at last, to be a man, Faunos Phinneas Aeson!

How hast thou wished and longed for some rite of manhood, some ritual of passage. No leopard skin ever cloaked thy shoulders, there can be no trophy for thee. So take this Prince of Vayal -- gently, delicately, cut the heart from his breast, take it for thine own, and call this the trophy of thy manhood.

And Faunos cries out aloud, wreathed in the heady perfumes of Incaria and Ilios, sundered, breathless, giving all that he has and not knowing what he takes in return --

One thought haunts him, on the periphery where sense mingles into dreaming. I hear it, whispering through the dark places in his mind, where reason and caution linger while the jaguar of manhood has sprung loose. Foolish, he thinks, to be here and do this. Foolish to trust any many, much less the witchfinder.

But in this sublime moment he has forgotten who Soran is, and where he comes from … he has forgotten the names of Faunos, and Mykenos, and even Diomedas. There is only the dance.

Will the truth be told? Even Iridan gives scant thought to the glories of the past, the hazard of the present and the uncertainty of the future, as fleeting pain becomes savage pleasure, heady rapture.

How well do I know sweet, lovesome Faunos, whom I have watched since the moment of his birth in the shelter of the Whispering Well? There, where the elkhorn runes were tossed and read – where the prophecy was spoken -- this was the place of Faunos’s birth, though only Galen knows it, and would die before he spoke.

O, I know Faunos better than he knows himself! He would bite off his tongue before he begged even for his life, yet his fingers are talons on Soran’s shoulders, and he wants so much, with such desperate hunger --

He has quite forgotten what he is -- the witchboy hidden away these twenty years, lest this very moment come to be. He has forgotten how shock and pain, joy and pleasure, kindle the Power in him as if it were a fire. And as passion soars, he has no slightest memory that it is the witchfinder of Vayal who kindles the Power in him as surely as if he were working at the hearth.

There is a price to be paid for such forgetfulness. I would pay it for him if I could, but Iridan’s time for paying such accounts is long past.

Turn page to Chapter Ten...

Return to Chapter Nine

About Legends...

This story has its roots in the 1980s. About the time I signed with GMP, I was kicking around the idea for a massive novel -- the problem being, I had no time to develop it. At the time, one of my "literary friends" was Lane Ingram, who passed away some years ago. When Lane volunteered to develop the narrative from my storyline, I was surprised and very agreeable; and a version of it was circulated on a small scale, to a very appreciative audience!

Lane had no aspirations to be a professional novelist, which meant writing was fun, and remained fun, while I did battle with "style" and "technique." And then one day Lane was gone, without leaving much of anything to mark the place in the world which had once bee occupied by an individual who was large in every sense of the word.

Let's change that. I'm bringing LEGENDS "to the screen" in a form which preserves as much of Lane's input as I possibly can, while at the same time properly developing it, bringing it up to full professional standard ... cutting and trimming, correcting the errant, though enthusiastic, amateur ... polishing it to the professional sparkle you've come to expect from Mel Keegan.

LEGENDS will be Lane's memorial. Here's to you, kiddo, wherever you are: enjoy.

Ebook screenreaders:

Downloading LEGENDS and reading from the computer screen? Join the club! Most people are stuck in the same situation ... and it's a right-royal pain. At this time, MK also is still trying to make the transition to one of the ebook screenreaders. The price of most of them is still high, but in the course of shopping around, Mel has found two that are coming under extremely close scrutiny. The Bebook and the Sony look like being the best deals at this time. In due course, we'll be reviewing them right here. Mel Keegan has decided it's going to be one of these two -- but they're very comparable, so ... take your pick. Either one would be perfect for reading LEGENDS, or other digital novels.

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The art appearing on this site, illustrating elements of this novel, is by Jade, my cover artist from DreamCraft.

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The portfolio is still growing, and a gallery is online. Return to this page now and then to see new addition...

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Research Tales

A great deal of research for this novel was done, and subjects Atlantean most often begun with a study of the Trojan wars.

Why? Because the iLiad is one of the very oldest bodies of writing which is also extensive enough to be useful. The problem with the iLiad is -- unless you're fluent in Ancient Green (and who is?) you'll be working from the translations ... and the "disagreement" between them is counfounding for one who's not a Homerian scholar!

The solution? Track down a book that translates the translations -- gets them out of the rich, ripe, flowery language of poetry and into a solid historical context. And in this, MK lucked out. Such a book exists: The Trojan War by Barry Strauss. It reads like a novel, and if you wanted something to get your teeth into ... perhaps after watching the movie, Troy, or after reading Legends -- this is the book you've been looking for.

There's another very scholarly work, The Flood From Heaven by Eberhard Zanger, which "deciphers the evidence" and places Atlantis at Troy! Now, Legends is about five thousand miles from Zanger's work (literally -- due west!) but having said that, Zanger is to Plato what Strauss is to Homer, and the work was extremely helpful.

Now, working even further back through time, you want a "scholar" (and note the quotation marks on that word) who spent a lifetime researching (ouch!) Atlantis. And again, MK lucked out, because there is such a man. A very brilliant man by the name of Ignatius Donnelly, whose "pop-science" book, dating from 1882, is still in print today, in several editions! It's thorough, it's astonishing, and it makes ... quite a case for Atlantis. Not that anyone believes in such things. Right?

There are also some good documentaries on DVD, if this is altogether far too much reading!

And of course, if you want to get into the spirit of the thing (!) you can always put on Troy and let Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and company provide the inspiration! Speaking of which, have you seen the director's cut? Highly recommended.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Legends is copyright 2009 by Mel Keegan. Please do download the whole novel, which is in HTML format, compatible with your screenreader, PC or Mac. However ... please don't gift it to your friends. Instead, give them the url of this page and recommend that they download it for themselves. The reason is simple: author's income is earned via the adverting on these pages. If they're not loaded, nothing is earned. MK has bills to pay too, and for your cooperation ... thank you kindly!

Note that Legends is NOT covered by the "Creative Commons." This work is the intellectual property of Mel Keegan. If you would like to use parts of it elsewhere, please contact MK via this blog.

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