The Chalice

By Phil Rickman

Glastonbury Tor is the mythical resting position of the Holy Grail, yet anything else additionally rests underneath the hill

Glastonbury, mythical resting position of the Holy Grail, is a mysterious and haunting city. but if plump, dizzy Diane Ffitch returns domestic, it is with a feeling of deep unease—and not just approximately her aristocratic family's response to her damaged engagement and her New Age partners. Plans for a brand new highway have intensified the outdated bitterness among the local community and the "pilgrims," so already the sacred air is soured. And, because the city turns into more and more break up via violence and demise, Diane, neighborhood bookseller Juanita Carey, and the author Joe Powys needs to now stand up to the worst of all percentages: the life of an anti-Grail—the darkish chalice.

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Inform me in regards to the Cauldron. ’ ‘Not homosexual. no longer even mildly satisfied. stay away from them. ’ Juanita wiped the air. ‘Ceridwen. lousy lady. Oppressive. ’ ‘I talked to her as soon as, has to be ten years in the past. approximately Dion Fortune. i wished to understand, you notice. ’ ‘If you have been the reincarnation, having a similar initials and every thing. ’ Juanita sighed. ‘And what did she let you know? ’ ‘She was once very friendly really. ’ ‘I wager she used to be. ’ ‘But she stated there have been lots of individuals who’d wish to imagine they have been the reincarnation of the main strong magician of this century. I have in mind her commonplace cost used to be twenty kilos, which I’d stored up from my Saturday wages. ’ ‘You gave the money I paid you to that …? ’ ‘Actually, she gave me ten again. She acknowledged I wasn’t prepared. ’ ‘For what? ’ ‘To understand somehow. ’ ‘Really Diane, you have been an extraordinarily naive child, weren’t you? ’ Diane stated, ‘It should have been frightfully intriguing in Dion’s time. within the twenties, I suggest. They felt they have been near to whatever fabulous – discovering the Holy Grail or whatever. just like you and your entire neighbors within the sixties and seventies. turns out to move in cycles, doesn’t it? ’ ‘Diane,’ Juanita stated seriously. ‘I doubt there’s ever been a time while a few humans in Glastonbury didn’t imagine they have been close to whatever brilliant. That’s the trick of it. ’ ‘Trick? ’ ‘This city. It plugs itself into your adrenal glands. Over-the-rainbow stuff. ’ ‘Isn’t that solid? ’ ‘Not’, acknowledged Juanita, ‘if there’s not anything on the finish of the rainbow yet a crock of shit. hear. the truth that you didn’t take into accout The Avalonian is absolutely really encouraging. signifies that plenty of folks won’t both. So if it was once relaunched … as a distinct kind of journal, not only aimed toward the hot Age neighborhood. See what I’m getting at? ’ Juanita received up and opened the door to the darkened store, whose blind used to be no longer but down so they may perhaps see the road in the course of the store window. ‘It’s now not precisely a fit, rounded group in the market. ’ A twenty-something couple drifted previous the store, hand-in-hand. either companions have been male, one had dreadlocks, the opposite wore brief hair and a activities jacket. ‘Gay pagans? ’ stated Diane. ‘Well, they’re now not locals are they? what number genuine locals do you notice this finish of city at evening? ’ ‘There’s me. ’ ‘I intended traditional locals. Sorry, yet you’re now not. now not at all. ’ Juanita closed the door. ‘I guess this town’s by no means been as divided because it is now. The locals don’t wish the hot Agers, and the hot Agers imagine they’re the folks who’re going to inherit the holyest erthe, so it doesn’t topic a rattling what the locals imagine. They’ve stopped even attempting to comprehend one another. ’ ‘Admittedly, there aren’t many locals who wouldn’t switch some of these little retailers for a department of Marks and Spencer. ’ Diane placed down her cup to unwrap a peppermint carob bar. She’d drink scorching chocolate yet devour purely carob. opposite used to be now not the observe. ‘Let’s face it, Diane, they’d switch us for a McDonald’s. ’ ‘Not me. I wouldn’t. yet then, all of them imagine I’m bonkers. It’s okay. ’ She bit into the carob bar.

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