In 1148, Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote of a fabled island off the south coast of Britain called the Fortunate Isle, ruled by sisters with mysterious healing and other powers. This was the first description of Avalon.Story Features
Action, adventure, romance, passionate (forbidden) sex, enchantment, real and mythical settings, imagination. Modern take on an Arthurian theme.Plot Summary
: A modern sailor who has lost his way in life picks up a beautiful young woman from the sea near an island. She is was really some sort of spirit who had been watching for him. She enchants him and leads him on an adventure into the underworld to bring back her lost sister and the important charge who her sister had been tending. Female writing partner needed
: I am looking for a female to play the part of the spirit woman. The woman initially takes the appearance of a young girl to attract the sailor because she needs his skills for her quest. The sailor has physical and mental strengths that will reawaken and come into their own as he regains his confidence. The spirit may start to lose her powers by spending too much time enjoying mortal pleasure... who knows? She is certainly shocked by her own loss of control when in human form.
My thought is that the adventure could unfold in any direction as we create physical challenges and threats for the characters to overcome and they decide how to tackle them. Along the way the sailor and woman are drawn into (lots of
) physical passion which she tries to resist because she has been forbidden, and he tries to resist because of the effects of an injury that have being playing tricks with his mind.
Don't be put off by the idea of exploring the underworld. This could take any form we wish from islands to caverns to almost real landscapes ... You don't have to know anything about Britain.
Maybe the sex/ action scenes could initially be played out on IM for immediacy and then re-written into the story on the site. But I'll take your advice on that.
Please find a gently paced intro below which paints the backdrop to the adventure...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THE FORTUNATE ISLE
The heartbeat thud of Annwen’s engine reverberated through her wooden skeleton as she headed towards the island’s southern shore, towing a small rowing boat. Mark had been relaxing at the tiller, pleasantly entranced by summer sunlight cavorting amongst the ripples of his yacht’s wake. But now, he tucked an unruly black curl beneath his fisherman’s cap and scanned the horizon. It was one of those magical Solent days when the mainland vanished and the island appeared to lie suspended between Heaven and Earth by patches of mist lazing on a glassy sea.
He traced the Downs’ gentle curves and wondered if the saints, after whom they’d been named, had endowed the islanders with their long slow-paced lives and a climate where virtually anything can be grown. Maybe, they yet watched over the spectacular cliffs and filled the sea with those tasty crabs and lobsters.
Mark was still reflecting on the good fortune of the island’s inhabitants when his eyes were drawn to a formless shape looming out of the haze directly ahead. He acted immediately, tipping Annwen’s nose away from danger and throttling back her engine. As he squinted to make out the object, a shaft of sunlight sliced through the hanging mist to reveal a person - a shapely red haired young woman in a diaphanous turquoise dress, standing ankle-deep in the sea.
On seeing him, she became animated and waved furiously, calling out “thank goodness you’ve found me.”
“Are you alright? – What on earth happened?”
“I’m stuck on this rock.”
“Hold on, I’m coming to get you.” Then with one eye on the depth readings, Mark skillfully manoeuvred Annwen closer and plucked her into his arms. It had been several years since Mark had held a woman and the sudden closeness of her lithe body momentarily stole his breath.
“Who are you?” he croaked.
“Call me Moro,” she said, with a voice lyrical as the sweetest songbird.
Mark noticed Annwen was starting to spin round, so he led the girl back to the cockpit and headed for deeper water.
“I’m Mark,” he muttered awkwardly, “Please ignore the mess and make yourself comfortable … Should I call someone to say you’re safe?”
“There’s no need,” she replied, gazing towards the island. “I live over there by the trees.”
Mark scoured the cliffs for evidence of a building or path. “How did you end up way out here?”
“I must have been cut off by the tide.”
“According to the chart, there should be plenty of water.”
“You’re not of the island, so you won’t know that when the moon and seasons are right, the sea drains off the ledge. It happens less and less frequently nowadays. But today, I saw the signs and, on hearing your engine, came across.”
She leant over and stroked his beard with the tips of her fingers.
“And now here you are. So, thank you for rescuing me.”
He felt himself flush at her attention. “Look, it’s no trouble. I was just searching for a spot to barbecue a few fish I’d caught… Is there some place I could set you down?”
"See just there? If you pass between those stones, you’ll find a pool where you can anchor. It’s next to my favourite beach.”
His eyes followed the line of her arm, picking out a narrow gap between jagged rocks. “Are you sure there’s a way in? Any sort of wind and we’d be ground to a pulp on those teeth.”
“You’re right. This coast is littered with wrecks of ships that have come to grief on the ledge. It’s perfectly safe today though,” she said cheerily. “My family used to live here, before the land was lost to the sea, and I know every contour.”
“Alright then,” he said, finding himself smiling at the challenge. “I’ll give the clashing rocks a go, if you’ll watch out for obstructions.”
The passage was very narrow and Annwen only had inches to spare as she passed through. But Mark made the navigation look easy and soon he’d anchored up and they set off for shore in the rowing boat. The moment the boat buried its bow in the sand, Moro leapt out and performed three perfect cartwheels before flopping onto a dune, giggling.
“What a delight it is to be alive,” she called, “to feel warm grains between your toes and breathe invigorating sea air.”
He shook his head in awe at her vitality.
“Mark, you’re the most skilful sailor I’ve encountered. And,” she said as if suddenly far away, “I’ve known many - I’m impressed.”
“Thank you. It was worth it to discover this idyllic spot, and,” now falteringly, “to meet you.”
“Well, let’s enjoy the beach.
Cook your fish, fisherman, whilst I fetch wine. It’s the least I can do.” And with that she danced up the beach and disappeared between crouching oaks.
Mark built a fire and it wasn’t long before the chuckling flames released a swirl of mouth-watering aromas. He’d just turned the fish when he felt delicate fingers slide down the back of his neck. They probed gently between his shoulder blades sending tingling waves of pleasure along his spine.
Moro eased her grip, laughing. “Here, taste this. I made it from the old vines at ‘the Hill of the Gods’.”
“Do you mean the island village, Godshill?”
"Oh yes, they call it that now." She offered a glass. “Morgan showed me how to make the wine. She calls it the ‘Blood of the Earth’. It’s supposed to keep you fit and healthy.”
“Who’s Morgan, your mother?”
“No, my elder sister. She taught me everything.
“Well, I could do with some healing. I was invalided out of the navy after fracturing my skull. I still have to be careful,” he said, swirling the thick liquid, “particularly with booze.”
“Wait, then,” she instructed, tipping fruit out of a glass bowl. “What Morgan does for people who are ill is to get them to drink wine out of this. - Go on, try it.”
Mark poured his wine into the bowl, turning the claws of its engraved dragons a deep red. Moro watched intently, as he lifted the pearly rim to his lips and nodded, “to health, then”. He took a long sip, releasing an orchard of ripe summer fruits onto his palate.
“Wow, delicious, quite spicy and penetrating - I feel invigorated already…
Ah, and the fish are ready, so let’s eat.”
Mark dished out and they enjoyed lunch under a clear blue sky.
Moro finished first. “That was perfect - you must stay and teach me your secrets.”
“You wouldn’t want anything to do with me. I still get nightmares and flashbacks from the old injury. No, now it’s just me and Annwen. That’s how it must be - and I enjoy every moment. Anyway, I can’t believe a gorgeous woman like you could be lonely.”
She turned her head away from him, a tear glistening in the corner of her eye.
Mark felt confused at her sudden change of mood. “Look, I’m sorry to intrude,” he mumbled.
“Don’t be,” she said, wiping her face. And without warning, she took his cap and ran off across the beach.
Mark hesitated. She was like a rose in full bloom. What could she possibly want with a wounded old sea dog? Nevertheless, as he watched her skip effortlessly round and round, he felt his spirit revive. Maybe it was the alcohol lowering his inhibitions - but whatever it was; he kicked off his sandals and, with the old smile returning to his lips, ran after her.
“Give me back that hat, I’m the captain here.”
They chased through the shallows splashing each other, then up the beach until he caught her and they rolled over and over in the golden sand. He retrieved his cap and threw it. She pushed him onto his back and leant over him, a curtain of flaming hair teasing his face. He glimpsed the boundless emerald depths of her eyes and, at that moment, knew she was the most desirable woman he’d ever met.
She kissed him softly on the nose three times. He responded by sliding his fingers through her hair and pulling her lips against his. Then, just as he folded his arms around her, he heard a faint chiming and looked round for the source.
It was a breeze strumming Annwen’s rigging.
A thick bank of angry-looking cloud had crept over the horizon - she was calling to him, warning him.
“I’ll need to go soon. There’s a wind rising and I don’t like the look of those clouds…”
Moro sat up and saw waves washing against the last rocky outposts of the ledge.
“My time is up too,” she said mournfully. “The sea will shortly reclaim the land and I must leave the island to search for Morgan.”
“Whatever happened to her?”
“Her healing craft was known far and wide. One day, a king came from overseas seeking urgent treatment. She searched everywhere for her bowl, but it had gone, so she set out with him to find another way.
His people yearn for him still - and now I’ve recovered the bowl, there’s a chance...”
“Look, why don’t you come with me? It sounds crazy, I know, but why not? We can look for your sister together – she’s presumably on the mainland – gone to herbalists in Portsmouth or something. I’ve been all round the medical centres myself. I’m sure we can find her.”
“Do you mean this?”
“Yes, of course. I just know we can be good for each other”
“Wait there, then – I’ve something for you.”
She danced over to the dying fire and returned with an armful of fruit.
“If you thought the wine good, our cider’s legendary. Indeed, this island was once known as the Apple Isle – although pirates and other thugs who landed here for supplies usually called it the Fortunate Isle, because the earth teemed with fresh fruit, flowers and herbs. They told of water with magical properties and fields that tended themselves.
Of course,” she grinned, “it was simply that the islanders hid in the southern hills until unwelcome guests lost their nerve and sailed away.
That was, until the Christians decided to stay…
Would you like to try one of our famous apples?”
“And what does your sister have to say about them?”
“She says apples bind the souls of those who share them, so their paths become one.”
Mark selected a piece of fruit and turned it in his hand.
“Hmm, I like the through of our souls entwining,” he said, sinking his teeth deep into the juicy flesh.
“Good, because I’m in need of a skilful sailor to guide me.”
As he watched her take the second bite, he experienced a terrible ripping sensation in his head that obliterated her image. - He slipped forwards onto his face, oblivious even to the sound of the sea.
Mark spat sand and opened his eyes. His brain pounded as if under a steam hammer. There were no stars, nor moon and no lights on the horizon - just a faint green glow over the water. All was calm apart from occasional wailing from a dense fog bank and the sound of water lapping gently against the rowing boat.
He thought back. ‘Bugger - when will that injury leave me alone? Illusions and fits – I’d hoped they’d gone forever… ’
Mark struggled to his knees but was held by a hand on his shoulder.
The voice was familiar, but rougher – more rook than blackbird. “So, you’re alive then?”
“What?” he groaned.
“I reckon drinking wine from the bowl saved you…
Rest now, we’ve a long journey ahead if we’re to find Morgan and bring back the king.”
“Who is this king?”
“Why, Arthur, of course… Morgan led him here, through the gateway, into the caverns of the underworld.”
~~~~~~ For Continuation ~~~~~~~
If you would like to share this world or have suggestions about how the plot could be changed to suit your preferences, then I would love to hear from you - please PM.