Written by: Drake Morgan
The ancient Celtic societies that still pocket the Isles are a treasure-trove of legends, myths, and horrific stories that lurk in the shadows. William Meikle’s novella, The Auld Mither, heads to Scotland and delves into the legend of the hag famous among the Gaelic peoples. References to the auld mither can be found in a number of Scottish writings, including the poetry of Jeremiah Eames Rankin. The hag is traditionally depicted as an old woman, wizened and magical, but tinged with a sinister edge. Using this legend, Meikle weaves a dark, fantastical tale of fear, legend, local superstition, and the fine line between them all.
No one really believes in fairies, leprechauns, and magic these days. Come now. George Duncan certainly did not. Neither did his two children. This was after all, modern day Scotland. It wasn’t the land of the wee people and ancient spirits. Meikle creates strong, believable characters and we the readers do not believe any more than they do. Or do we? The narrative skillfully draws us into a world not seen or experienced for centuries, but one that lives in the crags and moors under a blanket of fog across the Isle countries to this day. By the end, we believe. As Meikle also reminds us, those with Celtic blood have always believed. We just need reminded. This easily could have been developed into a full-length novel and the subject definitely deserves such a treatment. Great read.
Order The Auld Mither here.