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Le Monde de L'Écriture » Encore plus loin dans l'écriture ! » Textes non francophones » GTG: Irish in the forest

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GTG: Irish in the forest
« le: 29 avril 2014 à 14:48:07 »
Un texte Anglophone pour une boite qui s'appelle Ghost Train Games

Hésitez pas à donner votre avis :)

The snow had been falling for months now on the half dead trees, covering everything with
 a thick white coat like dust on a tomb, sending blue shades over the frozen trunks and smothering every sound. Deep into the woods, nothing could be heard but the flapping wings of a lonely crow, the crackling of a fire and the low chatter of the three men around it.

“Pess’ me de bottles Mikey, eh’m fehling teh cold ’round ere.” said a thick mass of leather and furs with an even thicker Irish accent.”

“We’re almost ou’, we shoul’ have bough’ som’more.” replied Mikey, a much younger voice whose last spark of brashness refused to die despite the freezing cold.”

“O’ brought mor’ f’om the boat.”

“Oh thot swee dehlight of the Donegal whiskey, at least we we’en’ freezin’ our arses.”

“Bot we hod nothin’ to eat.”

“Yer talkin’ nonsense Paddy, it’s not lek weh hav’ mech more ‘ere!”

“Dat’s true dat’s true.”

Mikey, the young one slowly unfolded his arm to check on the third man, an old white and grey beard covered by a hood. His tattooed hands felt cold to the young Irishman. A crow came from the low white clouds and landed on the tree next to the first one, a short croak resonating for any seconds between the empty trees.

“Is e’ moven ? ‘E ain’t dead?”

The old beard had been sitting like that, not moving an inch under his brown cape. No fog was coming from his rough lips, lost among the hair and the countless wrinkles that seemed to form the map to a forgotten land, forsaken in time unknown. Mikey could have sworn the old roots surrounding the elder in an intricate circle were not there before, as if they had just grown in the last hours but what did he know? He was cold and hungry and these woods didn’t feel right.

“Shan’t we wake ‘im op o’ someding?” he asked again. Snow fell from a branch nearby in a dull thud.”

“Neh, ye know ‘is kend, net liek us. Fo’ all ye know ‘e was a lad o’ teh ‘igh kings o’ someding. Don’ worreh ’bout thet Mikey, ‘e’s mech better dreamin’ then ‘ere in teh cold…”

A third and a fourth crow came to join the first ones. The old man mumbled something. Even though he didn’t understand, Mikey didn’t feel comfortable, these woods didn’t feel right at all.

“Wot did he say ? Yo kno’ I don’ understand his kind.” he said with a hint of defiant shame.”

“Whet de I know? That bitey wend is chewen’ meh hears, can berely ‘ear yeh.”

Eh, damn shame yeh didn’t learn the old ways.” A bitter wind had risen, throwing eddies of snow in the frozen air. The young emigrant couldn’t help but stare at them as they took shapes and disappeared immediately.

“Eh should heve taught yeh teh ol’ werds when yeh came to meh but yeh had spent teh mech time on teh roads. It’s a damn shame for any son of Eir net teh know hes own language.” Paddy said bitterly.

“Wasn’ my fault my village wos borned.” He grumbled.

“Eh know, Mikey, eh know, yeh know em not sayin’ dat.” Paddy apologised.

Mikey knew he wasn’t to blame: the English had come and burned his land, evicting his family when they wouldn’t pay to stay in their village. The village priest with his beard and his tattooed face had been sent off far away, the cairns destroyed and his people forced to give up the old ways. He had the words back then but they left him, as did his family, all dead. For they held close and kept alive the old ways, the ways of the rocks and the rivers, of the little people and the old gods. Nothing remained, only the elders remembered the myths, hidden behind the thin veneer of a Christian faith peddled by the last preachers. They went by the forests and the lakes, by the hills and the valleys, speaking the old tales about forces greater and more powerful than the invaders.

“C’m’ere boy… ‘m’ere…” He opened his arms to welcome his nephew and share the warmth. Reluctantly, thawing his joints and dusting off snow, Mikey stood and started past the fire when he shrieked in surprise and fear.

“Wet is it boy? Wet did yeh see?”

“I don’ kno’, I, I think I saw a face in the wind but that must hav’ ben my mind. I don’ kno’.”

“Better be careful den, these ‘ere woods dun’ feel reght teh meh either te be honest. Semthing chelling and it ain’t teh wind.”

Paddy didn’t want to admit it to Mikey but he had seen, he didn’t know exactly what he had seen. Blue silhouettes walking between trees at nightfall but there were no footsteps to track them. There were sounds haunting his dreams, nightmares coming again and again. Once when he was scouting for a place to spend the night he had seen bones in the snow beneath one of the biggest trees he’d ever seen, fresh bones, the meat starting to rot in a puddle of half-frozen blood. These weren’t bones from animals, he had seen his share when he buried the corpses of everyone he knew, before he took that boat and came here. He recognised the bones and they didn’t come from any animal God above allowed any good Christian to hunt.

He came back in the morning and the bones were gone, a few tracks going around them and disappearing without going anywhere, anywhere but the tree. He went back to the camp, didn’t tell anyone about it and had barely slept since.

More crows were coming, the branches heavy with them now. One started to croak. A second followed, then a third and a fourth. The old man became agitated. He opened his eyes and straightened up.

“Na préacháin.”

“Wot did he say?”

“Ní dhéanann na préacháin ag iarraidh orainn anseo!” blue piercing eyes going from left to right but going beyond, beyond the trees and beyond reality, his deep voice like an earthquake in the morning, shaking the mist from millenial trees but still barely overcoming the infernal croaking of the murder of crows flying above.

“Eh don’ understand wot he says! Wot’s going on?” screamed Mikey.

“Fader, whet’s going on?” asked Paddy, equally agitated.

The old beard, his face deformed by age, turned toward Mikey and a rumbling voice resonated in the nervous young man’s mind.


And they fled, running and stumbling in the snow as the crows arose from the branches after them, cackling and croaking again and again, driving them to madness and conjuring unreal images in their minds as the snow took shape, more and more precisely with each minute of fear and flight, burning eyes and fiery mouths appearing for a second and being blown away in a loud whisper.

The crows started pecking at them, tearing at whatever skin showed on the men, heedless in their panic. The old beard led, barely hesitating as to the direction to take.

The croaking, again and again. CROAK CROAK!

The shapes whirling around them like reflections on molten metal in the freezing air of the


Mikey tripped on a hidden root, falling face first in the snow. Paddy stopped as the crows gathered around them, a black cloud of beaks, wings, feathers and blood dripping thickening the air, covering the white snow in a fog of red, croaking and biting again and again.

“We are not far.” boomed the voice again, urging him to get up.

“I can’t!” he yelled, pinned down by the crows, Paddy trying to help him, shielding him.


Maddening, deafening whispers echoed throughout the forest and filled their ears, bringing words of despair and cold, words they couldn’t possibly understand but whose meaning was, oh, so clear.

“Ye can get up! Eh won’ let us die en ‘ere son!”

Mikey managed to free his foot tangled in the root and they started running again, running until they reached a clearing. There the crows stayed at the edge of the forest, leaving an eerie sense of calm beyond the trail of blood they left.

The snowy phantoms hung back among the branches, surrounding the men but not advancing into the small meadow. They seemed like men, overly skinny and with weird, long arms. Passing among them was a small storm, a vortex of white feathers passing and whooshing among the trees. Catching his breath, Mikey turned to the center of the clearing. There was one of the biggest trees he’d seen, a massive oak in the middle of the pine forest, strong and green despite the biting cold. Craggy knots and whorls covered each of the man-sized roots where the tree sprang from the soil.

There was no snow under the green branches and it was even warm, as if it took energy from the center of the earth, from the heart of the land.

“It looks like one of dee trees back home.” whispered the young Irishman, astonished by the incredible sight.

The old man was kneeling in front of it, one hand on the powerful trunk.

“Fader, is thet whet eh’ think et is?” asked Paddy.

He nodded.

“Thet, son, is a very eld tree, breght ‘ere by old kings and druids. This, son, is the mark of the Eir.”

The wrinkled tattoos on the old beard’s hand seemed to glow, the faded blue taking the color of his eyes. One by one, the crows seemed to stop croaking.

“Are we safe no’?”

“Seems liek et’. ‘E has powers thes one, mightey powers. Might keep ‘em at bay fer a while.”

So it seemed. They bathed in the calmness of the place, warm like a new Spring. Mikey swore he could even hear birds but that may only have been wishful thinking. It was so peaceful.

Until Paddy screamed in terror before finishing in a gargling. Mikey turned quickly, to see him on the ground, a second mouth opened on his neck, putting flowers of blood on the warm ground. A native, his face painted as a skull and fire in his eyes looked at Mikey with the smile of a predator and rushed at him. Surprised, he tried to retreat but fell again.

More flowers on the ground.

The old beard came out of his trance as the native was running, weapon in hand before being stopped abruptly by roots growing around his legs, entangling them. The snowy phantoms flitted forward across the meadow from the forest edge as the first snowflakes fell on the ground. His tattoos glowed bright for a second, pushing the shapes back as the warrior’s neck snapped like a dry branch.

The tree opened its trunk and the old beard fled to it, sitting in its warm embrace, his blue eyes the color of the skies of Ireland scanning the clearing. However, he immediately felt uncomfortable, he felt as if the bark and wood had forgotten the ancient pacts and were denying their succor. Around him, the trunk started to tighten and tighten.

“That’s impossible!” he thought but a few seconds later he was trapped.

The loud flock of the murder of crows filled the meadow. The shape of a man drapped in feather stood next to the old oak, his hair white as snow, his skin white as his hair. He was grinning as if it was just the set up to a bloody joke.

“I have lived through thousands of lives. I have planted countless trees and I have seen kings rise and fall, empires disappear into dust when I was walking by the roads and the rivers. I have seen lakes dry and mountains crumble as I was keeping the fire of the gods warm and you think you can get me like… ”

He was crushed by the tree he thought would protect him before he could finish.

The tree withered and the grass froze.

The ghostly newcomer slowly passed his hand on the druid’s beard which fell to the ground in a soft sound as bubble of blood came to the old man’s lips in a gurgle. He stomped it with his feet, his long and black nails rattling the bristling grass.

“You don’t understand you fool. You may have defiled the lands and humiliated us but they’re still ours…”
Impossible n'est pas français!


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