The Storyteller

By: Terri Brisbin

(Ghosts of Culloden Moor Book 45)


The Storyteller


From USA TODAY Bestselling author Terri Brisbin …

Struan Cameron has spent the last 270 years trapped between life and death on the battlefield of Culloden Moor. His role as the Storyteller has kept many of the other ghosts from going mad. But now, the powerful Muir witch has offered him the chance to see an end to his time on the moor and he plans to take it. He is given up to two days - back as a man of flesh and blood -- to perform some task for the witch that will earn him a chance for revenge or release. With the touch of her hand, the witch sends him … to Maine.

Fiona Masters has lost everyone important to her in a terrible accident that she believes was her fault. Mired in pain and grief, she decides she cannot live another day and plans to take her own life. With all the arrangements made and the gun in hand, she is stopped by a tall, handsome, sexy Scottish warrior who bellows at her in Gaelic! Believing she is caught up in a situation like 'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' and its ghosts of past, present and future, Fee allows this Highlander into her life, knowing there's nothing he can do to change her mind or make her want to live … Or can he?

Two strangers who have suffered similar loss and grief find that they do have some comfort to offer, but at the end of two days, will either of them be alive?


(Please read THE GATHERING first - it sets up the series and has valuable bits for readers beginning this series!)








Prologue


Struan Cameron looked out on Drummossie Moor and saw nothing but the mist swirling before him. Only with great effort could he begin to pick out the others there in the thick, white fog. He let out a breath that did not move the mist around him. He had not had an effect on the world since that day, the sixteenth of April in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and forty-six. The day he fell in battle. The day he and the others here died.

They were fewer now than that day or the next when the seventy-nine spirits rose on the battlefield. Soncerae, the young but powerful Muir witch, had begun calling them to her and sending them off … somewhere. None had returned and Struan wondered when his time would come and how she chose those she summoned.

Mayhap he should fear her, fear her power, fear whatever was to come? Oh, aye, she’d tried to explain it to them before she began, but he knew not yet if he would seek his vengeance on the Bonnie Prince as she’d offered or not. Struan did not doubt that God Almighty would forgive them if they sought to punish the man for the willful destruction his actions and desires had brought to Scotland and the clans here in the Highlands. Facing their final judgment now, more than two hundred and fifty years after their deaths, made him consider what his choice would be.

As he watched one and then another approach the lass and disappear, he knew it was a different sort of thing from the way he could fade away. That happened sometimes when, after telling his stories to the others, he lost the ability or strength to stay here on this field of tremendous loss and injustice and he would just let go. ‘Twas never for long. ‘Twas never completely in his control. One moment he was there and the next … well, he was not.

After some time, Struan would wake or come to awareness in the same position and place where he’d died, in the middle of the moor where the fighting had been the worst. His right arm, his sword arm, sliced off by an English soldier, lay separated from his body on the ground next to him. The only good thing was that just as this form in which he existed lacked form and substance, it also lacked the ability to feel pain.

Now, the mist scattered as young Soni walked over the moor toward him. Struan stood to meet her and watched as her expression softened. She reached out to him, her cloak flowing around her slight body. The bright green ring of power that surrounded her ebbed and flowed with each step she took.

“Struan Cameron, ‘tis yer turn,” she said softly. “If ye succeed, the choice will be yers.”

A nervousness he’d not felt in centuries filled him as he rose to his full height and nodded. A tension tugged on him, pulling him closer to the lass.

“Ye have up to two days, Struan,” she said softly. “Two days to prove ye are worthy for the reward awaiting ye.”

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