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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday Teaser - Irish Bogs

In Dylan's Song, Dylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland to locate and extract a missing CIA operative who is imprisoned in ancient castle dungeons below the surface of the bogs. Below is an excerpt as Dylan and two other operatives ride on horseback through the bogs:

Lightning flashed across the sky and a few seconds later, a low rumble of thunder shook the ground beneath their feet. The horses whinnied and turned completely around.

“What’s that?” Perry asked as all three men fought to control their horses.

Dylan followed his gaze to the distant horizon. “Blue flames.”


“It’s caused by the bog gasses. Methane. It’s common durin’ storms. When I was a tyke, the old-timers used to say they were faeries, cookin’ their supper.”

It felt as though it was taking far longer for them to reach their destination than it had in broad daylight with Brenda and Vicki. But that’s the way it was at night, Dylan reminded himself. During the witching hour and in the pre-dawn hours that followed, the terrain took on the feel of a vast, empty space in which compasses no longer functioned properly. It was said there were little folk who lived in the bogs, mischievous creatures who watched every movement and waited for the perfect opportunity to play havoc—or worse. Fooling with their compasses was just one of their tricks.

They were known as ballybogs or bog-a-boos, depending on who was telling the story. Some said they were the remains of the dead rising out of the bogs. Others said they were nasty creatures that were not related to humans at all.

“You’re sure you know where this place is?” Perry asked uneasily.

He looked toward the horizon. “Aye.”

The thunder and lightning grew and intensified and the mist began to turn to more solid precipitation, though it stopped short of becoming a rainstorm. It was well known that one had no business being in a bog when it rained. It often came fast and furious and often the peat was buried beneath ponds that could suck men into them in mere seconds. Dylan found himself wondering whether the water would pour into the castle remains. It would be a horrific way to die.

He turned in his saddle and peered behind him.

“What is it?” Rich asked.

Dylan shook his head. “Just feel eyes on me, tis all.”

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