Sean Frederick Forbes
Cashel, Ireland, 2,000 B.C. In ancient Ireland, bogs were sacred areas; a cool wetland mirage meters deep of peat during demoralizing drought. Greenish-brown landscape of mystery, insufferably slow plant growth. What must a farmer have thought as his wife offered a vessel of golden butter to appease a merciless deity? He plunges his hand deep into the bog, brings a handful of drenched soil to his eyes, squeezes and watches as his hairy forearms stain a deep rust. At home, he listens to the tink tink of his wife’s dull bronze bracelets against her wan wrists. He thinks about the young King’s wife in all her finery. Would this Queen of hope sacrifice her coveted amulets to bring good rain? No, he turns his attention to the King’s body; of average height, imperially slim, easy to force him back to the russet hill of his kingship initiation, bludgeon him, revel in his failure to defend himself, break at least two limbs, watch him writhe, listen as he squeaks for help, twist his limp, clothed body into the fetal position, cradle his offering with bloodied, bruised hands, trusting this delicate flesh will nourish the goddess’s appetite.