Cathal sat in a chair in his room, looking out of the window, recollecting scenes from the day gone by.
It actually did not take long, from the estate house, just a couple of hours by horse, to reach the top of the mountain. There was a terrific vista opening to anyone who climbed: ocean as far as the eye could see - first some grassy hilltops, then, as they ended like someone used a knife to separate blue from green; the guide said, there were beaches below, just too far to go on this day; they reached the mountain top just in time for the horses to rest, feed and water, lay down a little picnic, watch the sun set in the beautiful weather, then it was time to go home again.
All this time, Frances was cheerful, full of energy and responsive. The Doctor and the Keepers were keeping an eye on Frances and him.
- Master Cathal - she said, with a smile - let's see who has the faster horse.
- It's slightly unfair - he replied - your horse knows you because you ride it all the time.
- Maybe - she smiled - but you don't have to ride in a woman's saddle. - She turned away and slapped her horse - Hyaaa! - and galloped down the trail.
- Wait! - I shouted behind her - Quick Master Cathal, follow her - shouted the Doctor. He checked my sadle again, then jumped on and followed the little trail of dust she left in her wake.
It wasn't long, before the track widened into a path, and descended into a plain, slightly hilly area, through which the path ran with green grass on either side as far as to the horizon. There were bogs and marshes either side, he recalled what the guide has told them, this path was built by the locals to be able to go to the coast beyond the mountain tops with their business; From how heavy it looked to be used, it wasn't it's only purpose, and it clearly was being maintained against being swallowed by the bog. Not just by the sheep farmers looking to access the green grassy meadows west of the mountain top. He did not have time to think about that however; The evening got decidedly darker and he had to slow down, to be able to follow the path at all, as it was twisting around some ancient boulders or lone fairy bushes that no one dared to remove from its path.
Behind one of the bends, there she stood, her face dark and determined, blocking his path; Had he not slowed down already, he would have caused an accident. But his horse managed to divert slightly, and hers appeared to have moved at the last second, so he avoided contact; His horse then knelled and kicked its back legs, ejecting him from the seat and into the soft undergrowth and the marsh beneath. The bog accepted his body with a soft plop as he made it back-first. She observed with a strange expression, as he tried to scramble back to his feet.
- Don't stand up, Master Cathal - her voice was very unlike her - it will suck you in if you try; you need to stay flat and pull yourself to shore.
She dismounted and approached the edge of the path, next to where he was stuck.
- Listen, soul doctor - she hissed - we are well away from the Doctor and his friends. You will tell me here and now, who sent you, or I will push you farther out into the bog, and no one will find you again.
- It's not exactly comfortable to lie flat and talk when you're behind me!
She stepped off the path, then stood on his chest and turned face to face with him
- Owwww what... !
- Look, do not move. if you try to shake me off, we'll both die, so lay flat and talk. I am not joking. You have until you submerge deep enough to get mud on my shoes. So do not wiggle and be quick.
- I am a soul doctor yes! I don't know how did you get to that!
- You're not the first one, that's how. You so far did all they all tried before. You have some skill, unlike the others, I give you that. What else?
- You... you know who sent me then... what else do you want!
- I can deduce that much. But there is something odd about you... You're trying to rewrite my story. But you're not hitting the usual strings as others did before you.
- Because no one told me what it is! Actually I actively avoided them telling me! All I know is that you were almost terminally ill, so much that your personality changed!
- That's what's new... you don't know my real story... poor sod. But it would be their loss this time. - she jumped off his chest and landed on the verge, then caught her horse by the reins and his forearm with the other hand.
- I will tell you my real story. You will then decide, if you want to rewrite it. But not here. We have to lose them for longer than that - she hissed, just as the Doctor and the Keepers arrived.
(16-02-18 edited a paragraph for proper pronoun usage)
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