Monday, July 20, 2009

Guest Post with Tom Weston - FIRST NIGHT

What do you get when you mix a little of historical Boston, a fun night out on the town and a wandering ghost? Well, FIRST NIGHT by Tom Weston of course!

FIRST NIGHT is a nice read with a bit of fun and excitement tossed about the pages for the author to play with. I am quite pleased to welcome Tom here for the next couple days as we discuss his work and his book.

In answer to one of my interview questions, Tom wrote out a short story that got my brain ticking and my face smiling. Without further ado, I give you the world exclusive (at least for now), "There be Monsters!"

*Photo courtesy of*

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There be Monsters!” by Tom Weston

“There be Monsters!”

How often had I heard that refrain? From when I was a child, until today, of all days. We were preparing to leave the village; the four of us. It was a journey I had wanted to make for as long as I could remember. But there were always the doubters, the nay-sayers, the set-in-their-ways.

Don’t get me wrong! The village is beautiful, nestled as it is in a little picturesque valley, with the cascading waterfall, and the majestic mountain as a backdrop; beautiful and peaceful, but, for me, deadly dull.

It was the mountain that drew us. All my life I had lived in the valley and looked up to its peaks, and wondered what the view from the top was like. I knew that one day I would climb it, monsters notwithstanding.

I knew that Ron, Billy, and George felt the same way as I did. Or at least I thought I knew. So we had a farewell drink with friends and family, and off we set.

After a leisurely stroll through the foothills of the mountain, we made camp for the night. We built a small fire to keep away the monsters, and sat around it, and shared stories of ambition and home and lost loves.

“Fellas,” said Ron. “I can’t do this. I’m homesick. I want to go home.”

Well this was not much of a surprise to us really, for Ron was always the sentimental one. We understood that we couldn’t talk him out of it, so in the morning we broke camp and said our goodbyes, and waved as Ron took the path back to the village.

Later that day, we arrived at a little Inn on the highway. Pretty as a picture; and the Inn-keeper’s daughter was even prettier. With such delights it was hard to tear ourselves away, and so we didn’t. We got rooms for the night and ate a hearty dinner, and drank some fine ale, and had happy conversations with the Inn-keeper, his daughter, and the locals, all of them eccentric and entertaining. We told them of our plan to climb the mountain, and see the view from the top. They went silent and shook their heads in unison.

“You should not go that way,” warned the Inn-keeper. “There be Monsters!”

Billy, George and I set out early next day, but I swear the sun was not yet at its zenith before Billy called us to a halt.

“Guys,” said Billy. “If you go on, you go without me; but I am going back to the Inn. For the Inn-keeper’s daughter is the most beautiful creature I have ever beheld, and I have fallen in love.”

There was no arguing with him. That Billy was always the romantic one. George and I wished him luck with his courting.

We pressed on, George and I, and eventually we arrived at a farm house. As it was now getting late again, we took our chances that the Farmer would be hospitable and furnish us with some bread to eat, and some straw to sleep on.

“I hope he doesn’t have a daughter for you to fall in love with,” I teased George.

The Farmer had no such daughter. He told us that he once had a son, but the son had recently died after a tumble from a horse. The Farmer was most distraught; for it was harvest time, and without his son’s help he feared that he would not be able to manage.

The next morning the Farmer treated us to a great big breakfast of thick smoked bacon and freshly laid eggs. That was when George told me.

“I’m not going on,” he said. “The Farmer has been good to us. I’m going to return the compliment and help him with his harvest. George was always the considerate one.

It passed through my mind that if I was to continue now, it would be alone. But I wanted to see the view from the top of the mountain, and I knew that if I didn’t go now I probably never would. I had to press on. I said goodbye to George.

“Take care,” said the Farmer. “There be Monsters!”

So alone I went. The path became steeper. The tree line fell below me. But on I went until the walk became a climb. On I went, up into the cloud shrouded mountain.

Imagine my surprise when, emerging from the clouds, I saw a castle: white-stoned and turreted, like the ones in the fairytales. I was approached by two guards, who assured me that they were not arresting me but escorting me to the King; for I was the first villager to climb the mountain, and the King desired to hear of my journey.

So I was brought before the King. He was a mighty sovereign; Lord of all he surveyed, which included the valley below and my little village. He was rich and powerful, and had armies to command, and would never want for anything.

“Why have you come?” asked the King.

“I wanted to see the view from the top of the mountain,” I replied.

“Ha, that is ironic,” cried the King. “For all my power and riches, I have never left my castle. I was born here and I will die here. How I have longed to go down to the valley and see what the view is like from there.”

“Why have you not gone down?” I asked.

“There be Monsters!” he replied.

THERE BE MONSTERS! Copyright © 2009 by Tom Weston. All Rights Reserved.


Tom Weston said...

I know this short is a departure from First Night and Alex and Jackie, but it's amazing what can trigger a thought or two.

So thank you for the question that provoked such a response in me.



Cinnamon said...

Thank you for writing it and for stopping by!