The Piper of Pinkie Cleugh

This short story was a prompt my wonderful authorly friend Ashlie and I hosted in Mason’s Book Club. My group on Facebook. The prompt proved unsuccessful but this story was still okay.

I’m pleased to share it again for Fandango’s Flashback Friday.

The Piper of Pinkie Cleugh

His bagpipes were old and worn, but they were like an old friend to Infantryman Irvine Montgomerie. Standing tall, he shook his ginger hair at the hole in his chainmail. It made him look like a ruffian as he inflated his tartan boar-skin bag sending a war drone across the battlefield.

“The English are coming!” he yelled. Blowpipe in his mouth he marched through the early morning mists rolling off the River Esk and flowing through the grasses like spectral snakes. Irvine played a clarion call to arms – leading the charge. The cavalry galloped forth; the infantry drew swords with fierce battle cries. Then the earth shook from the reports of the mighty Demi-Cannon. Irvine would march until victory or his death stopped him.

Irvine electrified the air with the skirl and chanter of his old bagpipes. They couldn’t overcome the screams of men, run through by swords – or trampled by horses. But those spectral notes rallied the brave Scotsman fighting the bloody war for the border. Irvine increased his volume with mighty breaths powering his bagpipes. Stomping the ground, he marched toward the babbling river.

Through clouds of arrows and cannon blasts he went. Bodies littered the ground and battles raged all around him. Through it all, a dog barked loud and close.

Irvine stopped beneath a larch tree, his breath laboured and chest sore from playing his heart out.

He came prancing through the rolling fog. A tall, noble Scottish Deerhound. Grey and wiry, he was wraithlike as he turned his majestic head and sniffed the air. His dark eyes shining, finding Irvine and howling to him.

“What is it Blair?” called a gentleman coming from the riverside, looking smart in a tweed jacket. “Did you find the bagpiper?”

“What are ye doing? We’re in the middle of a battlefield. Get oot while ye still can!” Irvine yelled.

Blair ran a circle around him – barking excitedly.

“Enough, Blair!” The gentleman scratched his greying-blonde beard and glanced about the tree.

“I’m raight here, ye fool!” Irvine made his bagpipes whistle shrilly, identifying himself.

The dog flattened his ears against the sound.

“So, he’s there, huh?” the gentleman stopped beside his dog. “History tells me, you’re Infantryman Irvine Montgomery.”

“That I am. A proud soldier fighting for the Earl of Arran.” Irvine replied.

“You need to know it’s March 2020 now. Your battle was lost on the tenth of September 1547. I’m sorry Mr Montgomery, you were killed by an arrow to the chest.”

Irvine looked at the hole in his armour and nodded. He’d known it wasn’t a good thing. “I reckon ye be raight, lad. I think I played ma last skirl of war.”

“You must go to the light.” The gentleman saluted. “Thank you for your bravery in battle.”

Irvine raised himself proud and tall. “I see the light.” Saluting he marched forth and vanished from our plane of existence.

Blair and his master would never hear the bagpipes playing on the old battlefield again.

The End


Thank you for reading my friends.

Check out the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 pages here on the website for more tales.
Have a great day!

5 thoughts on “The Piper of Pinkie Cleugh

Add yours

    1. Thank you for reading, Jim. You jumped in here fast today!

      I loved writing this one. Do head over to my book club at the link above and write with us, if you’d like.

      Haves great day, my friend,

      Like

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