Child of Moss part 6

It was a boisterous procession that left the killing ground triumphant.  Lugh shadowed Oatey from a distance.  He did not want to intrude and wasn’t sure he would be welcomed, she was in her glory.  She was the hero of the hour, her Norfolk brothers and sisters whisked her away to feasting and consultations with the leaders of the community.  Lugh, for his part, kept his distance.

Lugh had to smile, the Norfolk marched off into the wood, here a group carrying Oatey on their shoulders, there a group bearing the bloody giant’s head.  Lugh followed, in situations like this he’d found it was best to act as if you knew exactly what you were about and if you did so well enough nobody would question you.

There was a crowd of Norfolk along the way as they neared the sidhe.  Old men, women, and children all cheered.  The whole boisterous lot proceeded into the great under hill hall where blazed a great fire that roasted the meat, gleamed off the polished copper lamps around the hall, and lit the dancers who swirled around it.

Lugh blended in to the celebration, there was food to eat, everyone was in high spirits, he even danced with the young women who asked him, getting better at the steps each turn.  The giant was dead and everyone was feeling expansive and generous.

After a few turns he realized that the basis of this dance was very like the one Oatey had done to wake the giant.  Lugh spent a moment or two wondering which influenced which.  As he danced he took note of Oatey Moss conferring with the community leaders at the head table.  She was deeply engrossed in the conversation and it wounded him a bit that she took no notice of him at all.

As the celebration drew toward a close Lugh sat drinking with a circle of the young men who had charged in to strike off the giants head.  They recognised him as being with Oatey and enjoyed teasing him about his awkward landing and the look they imagined he had as the giant fell into the copper spears.  The camaraderie was easy, unforced, and Lugh began to relax a bit with new friends and alcohol.

Just when Lugh thought he might drift off where he was, deep in his cups, a grey bearded Norfolk with a scale hauberk and the air of authority strode up to his little group.  “Don’t you all have some duty?  I need to speak to the Youth.”  All were a bit slowed by their choice of draught, “Attend them or find a bed, now.”  His new friends scattered dragging the fallen-insensate with them.