Here is the next (and second last) part of Purnima (Book 7 of Waldmeer).
Dark and Deep
On the way home from Ajna Temple, on November Purnima, Merlyn suddenly knew what to do about Stone Ground. Since her return from Borderfirma, she had been staying at Malik’s house because, due to her long absence, the owners of her flat had given it to seasonal renters who were in abundance now that the weather was warmer.Instead of driving back to Malik’s cottage and falling into bed, she parked at the entrance of Twenty Mile Track.
The full moon didn’t have a chance with thick cloud cover and the tree canopy acting as a second light blocker. It was dark. In the country, it can be so dark that you can’t even see your hand. Merlyn slowly picked her way along the rocky track. She was careful to avoid the mossy rocks next to the riverbank. Eventually, she spotted the glow of Purnima Passage.
Although there were nicer shops a suburb or two closer to the city, Merlyn made a point of shopping at the Pittown ones. It seemed to her disloyal not to use them. Besides, she found the people interesting. Not infrequently, someone walked past her and turned their head to give her a second look. They looked like they thought they knew her, but then decided that they didn’t. Sometimes, they looked at her quizzically as if they were thinking that she didn’t belong in Pittown.
The bus driver announced that there would be a half hour stop at Wurt Wurt Koort to change a tyre. The road from Waldmeer to Darnall ran through the hills and forests of the Leleks. At the highest point was the little town of Wurt Wurt Koort. From the Wurt Wurt Koort Town Hall, if one looked further inland, one could see Darnall in the distance. In the other direction, one could just make out the sea. Waldmeer lay beside it.
At one time, Wurt Wurt Koort was a thriving, respectable hill-town, thus the presence of a rather pretentious town hall. However, the death of a local child changed all that and now it was surviving, but barely. Further, it was rumoured to be run by witches. It was said that they were the only ones who remained. They weren’t bad witches. In fact, a number of them had businesses and were visited, with some success, for healing, readings, and other mysterious type activities. There was a leadership group or coven of thirteen. They were all women, although, these days, they said that they were gender-neutral. They ranged from fifty to positively ancient. Their headquarters was the local cafe, the Wurt Wurt Koort Tearooms, which was next to the town hall.
Two months had passed. It was still winter but no one in Gabriel and Amira’s Dementia Unit dance class was cold. Everyone was hot and pumping jive. The class had come to an equilibrium of its own accord. Gabriel was given notes from the “proper” dance instructors, although, somewhat begrudgingly. The notes were enough to give a loose direction and Wolfgang and Madeline would demonstrate the technical elements of each dance for anyone interested. Although Madeline’s mind could not remember the technique, her body remembered perfectly well the movements she had practised for so many years. Lacking in technical knowledge, Gabriel and Amira decided to go with transferring the feeling of each dance and giving their students an immersive experience. Basically, all that meant was turning the music up and dancing enthusiastically with the class members in, more or less, the appropriate style.
Ever since Farkas had stormed out of the cafe, not to return, Maria had felt ill. She was even finding some of the cafe customers annoying. Mrs. Reisenden was one of them. Maria’s mother liked her and enjoyed talking with her whenever she was visiting Waldmeer.
“You have returned,” said Maria’s mother with obvious delight. “Do tell me how life has been in the city since you have last been here on holidays.”
In the spirit world of a garden, in Waldmeer, on Earth:
The gardener walked into their lives bright and sharp. Her need was covered by a ready smile. She came from a house with walls that echoed loneliness. On the very first day, her eyes were drawn to the little flower in the corner of the garden. Its beauty was in its simplicity. The gardener’s jealousy was already born. She watched it every day. It moved to the breeze and reached for the sunshine. The flower did not complain about the dark, the wind or the cold. Its roots had strength unseen.