Behind the Ivory Veil
Publication date: November 22nd 2017
1955 The Great Stone Circle and The City of the Gods
Doc discovers a path to the legendary City of the Gods, their abandoned home on Mount Olympus. He enlists musicologist Wesley Allen to return and interpret the strange musical notations at the site.
Wesley’s fiancée, Rebecca, goes to the University of Edinburgh to complete her thesis on matriarchal thealogy. She meets Mrs. Weed and is initiated into the ancient Coven Carles. But Doc’s one-time protégé, ‘The Blade’, dogs Rebecca’s footsteps, attempting to locate Doc’s dig. His intent: to find and claim the lost goddess hidden behind the ivory veil.
Myth, magic, and mayhem nearly destroy the coven and place an impenetrable curtain between Rebecca and Wesley.
Sunday, 1 August 1937, Northern England
The walking stick held in his hands came to life and flames
sprang from tip to tail as he held it over the laid wood. The fire leapt
from the walking stick to the dry tinder and it burst into flame. Yet his
hands, grasping the staff stayed cool as the flames licked around his
fingers then flickered and died.
In a country where witchcraft was classified as an offense of con artistry and vagrancy, young Doctor Phillip Heinrich had just participated in a ritual that made him keeper of a sacred tool of Coven Carles. He was now The Flame Keeper and would never be parted from the walking stick called Iäpetus until he gave it into the hands of a new guardian. Around him, the naked dancers were caught up in an ecstatic spiral around the burning fire. Doc was passed from dancer to dancer, kissed, fondled, and brought to his own crescendo as the dancers shouted and fell to the ground leaving only the sound of the fire and their gasping breaths in the wake.
And then Doc saw. It was more than his eyesight. His eyes could see the exhausted coveners lying around him, some clasping each other,still lost in their unions. His eyes could see the fire in the pit. His eyes could even see the outline of the stone circle that surrounded them. But his mind could see further.
His mentor, disgraced Professor Benjamin Wilton, stood at the edge of a cliff. Wilton was headed back to Greece—not as a professor this time, but as a renegade. His paper on the lost goddess of Metéora was a subject of ridicule in academia. He was going back to find the proof he needed.
“I’ll find her, Phillip,” he said. “I may never come back, but I’ll leave you a sign. You know now that it is real. You’ve seen the power manifest in your hands. The establishment may never accept it, but you know the truth.”
“Truth? What is truth?” quoted Doc. “Can I believe what my eyes tell me? If the staff was on fire, my hands should be burnt. How can I know the truth?”
“I’ll leave you a sign. You’ll know it when you see it. When that day comes, your doubts will disappear.” With that the professor turned away from Doc and toward the edge of the cliff.
“Wait!” Doc shouted. “What do I do with this stick?”
“Go on a walking tour of the Lakes and Scotland. Listen to people. When they ask if that is not the staff of the Vagabond Poet, respond with the words ‘Merry meet.’ Then listen. They will tell you stories you could not imagine. Return here at Mabon and you will never again question what to do with the staff. Blessed be, Flame Keeper. Blessed be.”
“Blessed be, Firebrand,” Doc whispered. “Stay clear of the Germans. They say they are moving into Greece.”
Wilton turned back toward the cliff, naked as the day he was born, and dove. A long time later, Doc heard the distant splash.