A heavy wind blew from the East throwing the surrounding trees into a tizzy as she stood, facing the Scottish valley.
To the unknown eye it was a beautiful valley, a calming area overgrown with a sea of Bluebells, but deep within, held the story of a deadly past.
Locals believed the land to be cursed, for not a creature lived, not a river flowed and not a house had ever been constructed atop the desecrated ground.
For centuries this land had been known to locals as Echo Valley, for what was now a luscious purple landscape was once a barren battlefield that had left the land soaked with blood.
Legend said, if you listened hard enough on a quiet day, you could still hear the echoes of battle, so long ago – the cacophony of clashing swords, pounding horse-hooves and cries of agony that gave this place its name.
It was said they came on a starless night, a bloodthirsty enemy known only as ‘The Deamhan’. Silent as the dark, they crept across the land protected by the shroud of shadows and the thick of the woods. By the hundreds they crossed the border into their target’s territory hoping to take the village with ease as it slept.
But neither the blood of a woman, nor the blood of a child was spilled that night; for the village men had foreseen this attack and had hidden them safely away, deep in the heart of the mountain. Out of nowhere the village men attacked the unsuspecting Deamhan and the great battle of Echo Valley began.
Blood spilled for four days, soaking the ground, and the wives and children in the mountain heard the cries of the men. Day after day the air rang with the sounds of battle until the fifth day, when silence dropped like a bird from the sky.
The quiet was eerie and held the scent of death. Uncertain and terrified, the women waited three more days before venturing from their shelter in the mountain toward the battlefield.
As they neared the clearing, the acrid stench of blood and rotting bodies met them, but did not prepare them for the horrific sight. Before them, the valley was stained red and the corpses of men lay scattered like forgotten toys across the field. Not one man had survived – neither of the village, nor of the Deamhan.
The weeping echoed across the land as the sounds of battle had and thus, the cursed ground was aptly named “Echo Valley.”
Staring straight ahead, she felt the heavy hold of sorrow as the past crept into her soul. This land held so much despair that even today, on this warm June day; it could reach inside and paralyze her, gripping her heart with cold fingers.
The tale of Echo Valley was one of pain and one of agony, and as she stood looking over the cursed ground, she could swear she really did hear the sounds of battle, hollow as an empty memory. Even all these centuries later, Echo Valley still whispered its story to those who listened.
Photo courtesy of caz1958 @ morguefile.com