Thank you so much to Ofelia for having me here to day to tell you about As the Crows Fly, my new short story—11,500 words—in my Reworked Celtic Myths collection. The stories are a loose set of contemporary stories set in Wales, and the seed of each one comes from a Welsh or Irish legend.
The seed for As the Crows Fly is the story of St Kevin. You can read about him in the afterword of the story (ha! See what I did there!) or on my blog. The original story was a bit lacking in romance, even more so that my previous story Playing Chicken, which involved St Dwynwen and a magic well full of eels; so I took the bits that interested me and ditched the rest—the murders and the almost drowning the woman who tried to seduce you, that sort of thing!
The stories so far are based in very resonant locations for me—I lived in Wales for quite a while in my twenties and thirties and I love the landscape and the sense of ancient place that’s there in the countryside.
As I was writing the first scene in this story, it was rolling out in my mind at a place called Manorbier, that turned into Flint Head in the story. It’s a village with a ruined castle, right on the edge of the sea. I envisaged poor Kevin and his sick car in the car-park by the beach and saw him walking home westward along the cliff-top with Webster. It’s somewhere I’ve been many times and without wishing to sound like an employee of the Pembrokeshire Tourist Board, it’s a lovely area.
The castle is open to the public, but if you go down to the beach you can look back up toward the village, past the castle, and see the crows. There are always crows, dancing in the wind above the ruins. On one side you have the sea, crashing on the beach. And on the other you have this beautiful, majestic, eerie ruin, strewn about with tiny black specks tumbling and twisting above it.
So, that’s some of the background! It’s a short, hopeful story, a complete change from my usual longer historical angst-and-magic-filled queer books. I hope you enjoy it! I’m planning on adding to the collection regularly over the next few months.
As the Crows Fly
Paul Webster has come out the army after a twenty-two year stretch with a trick hip and no idea what to do with his life. He takes a few weeks walking along the Welsh coast to get his head on straight.
Kevin Davies is a veterinary nurse and an artist. He’s getting lonelier and lonelier in his cottage on the edge of the sea, kept company by his cats and a friendly flock of crows.
What happens when the two men hunker down together to wait out a wild March gale?
A 11,500-word short story in the Reworked Celtic Myths series. This time, there are crows.
A. L. Lester is a writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense. She lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat, and some hens. She likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.
Find her at her website, allester.co.uk or you can find on your preferred social media via lnk.bio. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now, shockingly, Tiktok!