Barrow Girl – Tomb Raider meets the Book of Kells – Chapter Two

cc_iStock-library_16x9

Barrow Girl

Chapter 2

This is the story of a twelve year-old girl called Inteachán and the things she does. Inteachán does these things because she is very good at doing them. You might say that she was born to do them. You might also say that she has no choice. Either way you would be right. Inteachán does what she does because she has to. Or else the world will end. Simple as.

Inteachán does not always see things this way. Sometimes she likes to pretend that she is simply ordinary. Uneventful. Unnoticed, even, but someone this discreet can never really exist in a book that bears their name. Perhaps this is something to ask her if you ever get the chance?

The things that Inteachán does are also secret. Hidden. Obscure. Out of view. Unknown to most of the rest of the world. Occult, as in not apparent, but also just occult. They have to be. Do you really think that the world would knowingly let an twelve year-old girl save it from complete and utter annihilation?

© Barnaby Taylor 2018 – All Rights Reserved

Barrow Girl – Tomb Raider meets the Book of Kells – Chapter One

cc_iStock-library_16x9queenmaeve-2009pano

Barrow Girl

Chapter One

A dark and filthy night. Black as black. Like Evil settled as an inviolable sheath. A foul wind keens. In the darkness of the distance sits a small mound barely-glimpsed from here. A lonely tree bent double on top and aching from the endless torment of its exposure. Nothing is abroad. Nor ever should be. No one walks on a night like this.

But wait. A small figure stands next to the tree. Delicate amid the destruction. Gently lifting a large flat stone with a rusty crowbar. Carefully looping a rope around the waist of another stone. Tying it off. Lowering the other end into a small black hole that leers like a baleful eye in the frightening night. Pulling the rope. Testing the knot.

Inteachán is twelve years old. She climbs down holes. Retrieving relics. Important things. Tombs. Graves. Cairns.

Inteachán calls herself Bara Cailín.

Barrow Girl.

© Barnaby Taylor 2018 – All Rights Reserved

Barrow Girl (Barnaby Taylor, 2017)

IMG_1272

Introduction

This is the story of a girl called Inteachán and the things she does. Inteachán does these things because she is very good at doing them. You might say that she was born to do them. You might also say that she has no choice. Either way you would be right. Inteachán does what she does because she has to. Or else the world will end. Simple as.

Inteachán does not always see things this way. Sometimes she likes to pretend that she is simply ordinary. Uneventful. Unnoticed, even, but someone this discreet can never really exist in a book that bears their name. Perhaps this is something to ask her if you ever get the chance?

The things that Inteachán does are also secret. Hidden. Obscure. Out of view. Unknown to most of the rest of the world. Occult, as in not apparent, but also just occult. They have to be.

Do you really think that the world would knowingly let an eleven year-old girl save it from complete and utter annihilation?

Bara Cailín (Barnaby Taylor, 2017)

IMG_1272

A dark and filthy night. Black as black. Like Evil settled as an inviolable sheath. A foul wind keens. In the darkness of the distance sits a small mound barely-glimpsed from here. A lonely tree bent double on top and aching from the endless torment of its exposure. Nothing is abroad. Nor ever should be. No one walks on a night like this.

But wait. A small figure stands next to the tree. Delicate amid the destruction. Gently lifting a large flat stone with a rusty crowbar. Carefully looping a rope around the waist of another stone. Tying it off. Lowering the other end into a small black hole that leers like a baleful eye in the frightening night. Pulling the rope. Testing the knot.

Inteachán is eleven years old.

She climbs down holes. Retrieving relics. Important things.

Tombs. Graves. Cairns.

Inteachán calls herself Bara Cailín.

Barrow Girl.

Bara Cailín Ident test

Hi Everyone

Here’s a test ident for Bara Cailín. I am trying to capture that particularly unsettling feeling that I always associate with British science fiction, supernatural and horror television shows from the 1970s – in particular, Roger Price’s The Tomorrow People (1973-1979); Children of the Stones (Peter Graham Scott, 1977); and Nigel Kneale’s wonderful Quatermass IV (1979).

Bara Cailín 1: 40 ‘#The5’

Inteachán was half-way-up the ladder when the Biggest Band in the World took to the stage. The roar of the crowd was deafening now.

The darkness in the stadium was punctured by the countless tiny lights of thousands and thousands of phones and cameras taking photographs. The sky sparkled and danced, shimmering with a digital haze.

‘Welcome everyone,’ said the Rock Star into his microphone. He wore a t-shirt that said ‘#The5’.

ROAR.

‘We have a real treat for you all tonight.’

ROAR.

‘Something so amazing that it is going to change the world.

ROAR.

‘Forever!’

What does the future hold for Bara Cailín?

Bara Cailín began as a simple experiment in writing flash fiction.

I had had the idea of young child teaming up with an elderly academic to save the planet from a cosmic threat for a while and was looking at how best to develop it. Having worked at Trinity College Dublin I also wanted to make this institution an integral part of the story. So I started writing.

I always knew that the structure was going to be episodic, even before I thought of publishing it as a daily serial, and so as I began writing I could see straightaway how the story was going to unfold. The short form really helped as well; allowing me to focus on generating narrative momentum whilst also allowing me to create enough space for other people to fill in their own blanks.

As you know, I have been publishing the daily sections as chapters and this seemed fine to begin with but now that I am at the stage in the story where a natural break has occurred (but yet to be revealed) I have had to reconsider the structuring of the project. In fact it was only this afternoon that the current structure came to me and I have now changed the existing posts and those yet to be published in order to fit this new format.

Essentially, I am now using a Chapter and Verse structure, with each ‘existing’ chapter now becoming a verse. This means that as the adventures unfold Bara Cailín will become a series of chapters, each one containing a series of numbered verses.

The beauty of this structure is that it allows me to retain the story’s episodic nature whilst also delineating clear breaks in the unfolding of Inteachán’s adventures. Another reason for reorganizing the story of Bara Cailín in this way is with regard to the future of the project.

I am currently looking at how I can further develop the series – I just haven’t decided how. I am already working on a screenplay and I can see the story’s potential as a feature, animated or otherwise. But that is just one possibility. The adventures of Inteachán and her struggle to save the world from the NotBeSpeak would also work equally well as an animated series for television or YouTube or any other audiovisual platform. Another idea would be for the adventures to be illustrated and turn Bara Cailín into a novel, graphic or otherwise. As you can see, at this stage I am simply open to any and all possibilities.

The most important thing is that the story will continue as a daily serial published on my blog but who knows what the future will bring?

If you have any thoughts then please feel free to let me know.

What does the future hold for Bara Cailín?