Don’t touch that dial. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.
My special guest today is here seeking our help. It’s like an APB for civilians. “Welcome to the show, Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones.”
“Thanks for having me on, Lisa. And please, you don’t have to spit out the alphabet when you talk to me, I am just plain “Elliot”.”
“Elliot it is then. Before we make that plea to our listeners, let’s get into you a bit. You recently went through a bad divorce, and fled London for New York City. Was it really all that bad?”
“It does seem like yesterday, but I wouldn’t call ten years recent. Eleanor is beautiful and devastatingly intelligent. She’s the woman of dreams. She’s… Damn it, I didn’t mean any of that. Actually, I hate her. She left me for my best friend, Mark. Ex-best friend I should say, and, I guess now ex-anything since he recently passed away. With Mark safely in the great beyond, I could return to London without fear of perhaps bumping into him at an awkward moment. An awkward moment would be any time either of us were breathing.
“I haven’t been back long, but I’ve been enjoying every minute. I did love New York. There is a treasure trove of old books the Yanks stole, I mean brought over there, allowing me to do some research as I taught at CUNY. But I do love exploring old estates, trying to be the first to lay eyes on a manuscript lost for hundreds of years, stuffed away in a great library, gathering mold. All of my best ideas have come from those dusty old forgotten books. That is what I do, read books and interpret them. A lot of people say I misinterpret them, but what do they know? In case you are wondering, I’m not a librarian or bibliophile, I’m a historian.”
“What era do you focus on in your work?”
“I like those fuzzy areas just at the verge of history, but if I had to pick one era that I specialize in, that would be British history from the time the Romans left until the Saxons were well settled and had the island carved up. It was an exciting period, full of change. And there are so many blank holes in the record of that era, which fascinates me. Imagine, some of those holes are perhaps big enough to hide a king, though I think he was more of a war lord or general, not a king at all. That’s Arthur, if you didn’t catch on. Uhm, King Arthur if you insist. Of course, my brother laughs at it all. He thinks I’m a bit daft and teases me about this little obsession with Arthur and some of my other fringes of history passions, which he thinks is a bit extreme.”
“In what way?”
“Hmmm. You’ve heard of Dr. William Everett-Jones, the distinguish archeologist, haven’t you? Half of the time I call someone they think I’m him and sound disappointed when I tell them that, no, I’m the less than distinguished Dr. Elliot, the historian. William has taken on the family profession and is as straight-laced as they come. All of the facts must be in a row, thank you very much. No room for creativity. Creativity. Right. He thinks that I am a bit too creative. Sure, some of my sources are little known romantic era authors who quote obscure 15th century poets who quote long lost 9th century manuscripts that have quotes form even longer lost 6th century letters, but I do pull some amazing facts form these madmen and absinth addicts! William just doesn’t understand. He is always so cold, so reserved. Except, except… Well, the other day, when he showed me the uhm.. well, his latest find. Hmmm. It was, how can I put it? Excuse me, it has that effect on people. Even William was at a loss for words. He felt it’s power. Yet he didn’t believe me when I told him that the giant pot he had discovered was the mythical Cauldron of Resurrection.”
“You’re going to have to flesh that out for me.”
“Oh come on, you know, don’t you? It is in just about every Celtic myth and legend written. The Welsh went wild over it. Some called it Pair Dadeni, the Cauldron of Rebirth. And there are references even in artifacts, like the famous Gundestrup Cauldron, with its depiction of an altered king creating an army of the undead. No? I mean, it is all over The Mabinogion. You know the parts about taking dead bodies and making fighting men? I’m sure you know the story Branwen the daughter of Llyr. And that’s just the beginning. There are stories of an ancient king, the Cauldron King, who used the undead, the Fireborn, to conquer large sections of Europe, pushing Celtic culture all over the continent. No?”
“Um, yeah, my history research is kind of lacking in that area.”
“You’ve have heard of Caesar, haven’t you? Julius Caesar? Name ring any bells? Right. Caesar described meeting naked Celtic soldiers painted blue when he tried to invade Britain. I’m not saying Caesar saw any fireborn, but these Celts were in costume of the scariest thing they could imagine. You see, when the Cauldron King placed a dead body in the Cauldron of Resurrection, given that it is properly heated, a fireborn will come out. This is an undead soldier. It is animated by the fire. The body is blue, like the heart of the flame while the hair sticks up like a punk rocker, but bright red, like tongues of flame. They are hot, so fight in the nude. The fireborn are dead and so can’t be killed.”
“Zombies, or super-zombies?”
“If you must call them that, yes. Actually, I think sword wielding naked blue zombies does have a certain ring to it, don’t you?”
“And what makes you think this is all real?”
“William dug up the cauldron. One-hundred-percent-fact-based William. It’s real. I touched it. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve seen it. There is nothing in the universe that has so affected my mind, not even Eleanor. It sucks the energy out of the room like a black hole yet spits out a dark energy. I’ve had dreams about it. I’ve seen them. The fireborn and more. My dreams match my research, obscure sources be damned. And it’s not just me. Everyone who has come into contact with it has had the dreams, even needs-ten-references-to-take-it-seriously William. The dark lord, the Cauldron King, would speak to him in his dreams every night. William told me this.”
“Maybe they used the cauldron to brew some kind of super hooch and it’s still potent enough to give you guys hallucinations.”
“No, no, no. Well, OK, there was a mythical cauldron like that, but this isn’t it. William’s kettle was guarded by bodies that still looked alive, including one I suspect was the Cauldron King himself. It all fits. It all is exactly as my research says it must be. Not that I’d mind finding the never-empty super-brew cauldron. In fact, I used to enjoy a pint at a pub known for its bottomless glasses and topless… oh, never mind. What’s important here is that the cauldron vanished into thin air. It weighed over a ton, the car park was muddy as all hell, and someone took it without a trace. No helicopter was involved. It’s just gone. That would only happen if it were, you know, the Cauldron of Resurrection. Damn. We need to find Caledfwlch right away. Uhm. You know, Caliburnus? Ah, yes, I’m sure you call it Excalibur. We need the Sword!”
“Yes. Excalibur. It was created to kill the fireborn. Didn’t you ever wonder where it came from? I’m still researching the Lady of the Lake, but I do know that she is the keeper of the sword. She rose form the depths to give Arthur the sword in Britain’s time of need and his men tossed it back to her when he rid the land of evil and died. We need her to rise from the depths again and give us the sword now that we are in our own time of need.”
“Strange women, lying in ponds, distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.”
“Ha ha, I say ni to that. Or perhaps no as I don’t want to be king. And if you were listening, Arthur wasn’t a king either, just a warlord that became famous because he rid Britain of the fireborn. Which he did because he had the Sword. It all comes down to that blasted sword. We need our fiery sword to stop the fiery undead, to stop the… Well in your terms, the zombie apocalypse. It is coming. Bullets can’t stop them. Arrows can’t stop them. Locomotives can’t, uhm, well, clichés can’t stop them. The sword can stop them. It is the only thing in the world that can kill the undead. Please, if there is anyone out there that is listening, if you have seen a forever young lady handing out magic swords, please call into this program. She’ll most likely be around a body of water, but if she is standing in a pond, puddle or on Lake Street… well, just call, OK? Do I sound a little desperate? I hope so. We need the Sword.”
“To tell you the truth, I hope you find Excalibur. I’d like to see it in a museum somewhere. On the off chance the Fireborn are coming, I’d also like you to find it. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”
“Thanks Lisa, I think you are the first one who has taken any of this even half serious, or perhaps it’s a quarter serious. I’m known as an eccentric and I’ve screamed about this so much people are beginning to think I’m a lunatic. Those who don’t assume I’m just doing promotion for another one of my books. I’m not! It’s been several weeks since the cauldron vanished. The police are clueless and aren’t listening. I’m sure that sooner or later it will be all over the news. All of you out there, please be careful and keep your eyes open. If there is even a hint of sword yielding naked blue zombies, uhm, damn, I love saying that… as I was saying, if you hear a hint of the fireborn, stay away! They can’t be killed. Well, without the Sword. You’ll keep your eyes open for that too, won’t you? Let me know if, well, you know. Hmm, it does sound silly when I saw it out loud, doesn’t it? But, damn it, we need to be ready for them. They’re coming!”
“Elliot, I wish you luck in your… might as well call it a quest at this point. Listeners can learn all about Elliot, the cauldron, and the Fireborn in the book The Fireborn, by Trent McDonald. I’ll post all the deets on the website after I go off the air.
“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Trent and Elliot would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. Some would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate Romantic era authors. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.
When the Cauldron produces the evil fireborn, Elliot is forced to confront an army of these mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding the legendary Lady of the Lake to give him Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.
The Fireborn is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The entire book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with a large variety of characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.
US Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1522046488
US Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074MMH537
UK Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1522046488
UK Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074MMH537
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I never decided what I wanted to do when I grew up. I compose and play music, draw and paint, take a lot of pictures, and yes, I write. I’ve written a couple of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to go out and I write a new short story almost every week, which I often post on my blog, trentsworldblog.wordpress.com. I’ve collected some of the best short stories I’ve written and put them out as “Seasons of Imagination”.
I also like to eat, so I work as a computer nerd during the day while I figure out what it is I really want to do.
If you really need details, I was born and raised in Ohio by the shore of beautiful Lake Erie and now split my time between mountainous New Hampshire and the coast of Massachusetts, specifically, Cape Cod.
One thing to know about me is that I hate to write bio-blurbs in the third person.