"To desire is to want, to want is to need,
to neither want nor desire leaves a happier man."

He was born the eldest of the Douglas clan of Alexander "Trevellyn" Douglas, Duke of Ashford and Tara Carne Douglas. Tara had been killed in a carriage accident while fleeing the castle with her three youngest children when the battle between Heathfield and Ballicastle raged under the rule of Rath. The Douglas clan, of Tyremoor Castle, being close friends and allies of the McAndrews fought valiantly by their side along with their own people. He was a fierce warrior saving the hides of a few of the McAndrews brothers, that were old enough to fight, as they did them. It was how it worked so they lived to see another day. He became known as MAD Douglas, the Blue Warrior for the painted blue lightning streak down his face coupled with the frenzy look in his eyes when he charged into battle like hell on fire.

Once Heathfield regained it's rightful throne, the battle immediately ceased. Numerous causalities were left, mostly on their side but the two major families were left mostly alive. One brother, Sean, had been killed as he sacrificed his life in order to save his father. After these dark years had passed, time was spent in renovating their keep, for it had suffered major destruction. Being the oldest, his father sent him off to Europe to study for he knew that Mal would one day rule their clan, being his heir. Many years had passed since the war and after he came back from being abroad his father called a conference to strengthen their ties with the McAndrews once more.

Danielle had already been sent ahead to Ballicastle, for Trevellyn had hoped her being around other ladies would wear off on a daughter who grew up more as a tom boy. The next to be sent was Mal himself, for his father feared his head strong daughter would either get her neck broken for her antics or cause a rift between the families. He was also overly protective of her and the brothers were often put in charge of watching her.

After the death of Tara, Trevellyn had a tendency to spoil Danielle even if he didn't know how to relate to this impetuous girl, now turned woman. On the other hand, her brothers teased to nearly torturing her as did the McAndrews lads, it kept a balance. Near on her heels Mal was to follow as he packed most of his things feeling it was going to be a long haul. He really didn't mind for he had always liked Ballicastle, not unlike their own keep, and the McAndrews were like brothers for not actually being related. Eventually Nick then Thomas and even Keifer followed to take up residence in Ballicastle. Quintan remained at Tyremoor with a sickly wife, Patricia. The one responsible for their mother's death was tracked down, leaving a path of traitors dead in their wake as he was sought out and eventually killed. The McAndrews and friends fought by their sides in this personal battle that brought about a long overdue justice.

There was a personal strife between Mal and his father that had gone on for years and that was his father harping on him to marry and produce him an heir. It seemed this was all important to him than whether Mal had feelings or not for the one he married. For many years he would get on his case every so often but it was never really pushed like it was finally that nearly had their family splitting apart. The Duke actually went out interviewing woman in taverns all over the lands for a suitable wife for his son. He had always had the troublesome experience of unwanted attention in that area but this brought it to a head making his situation even worse as even marriage was proposed to him by a stranger. His brothers witness this and had their own blood boiling to the point they drugged Mal and sent him away on Keifer's ship. The strife only escalated but eventually was brought around with many factors involved that worked together and the requirement to marry lifted.

Within two weeks he found himself a bride, on his own and for all the right reasons.. love. He had found he had held back just to retaliate against such pressure, as stubborn as his own father. Eventually he married Gene and within that year twins were born to them, Alexander Malcolm and Ailish Tara. Fate's hand was not often kind and even the seemingly 'perfect couple' not so perfect as time proved. Love is a two way street, what he thought he had... he didn't and felt betrayed when Gene left them for her own self. Things that were to her more important than them.

As one chapter closes another begins. Malcolm continued at Barrach Manor with his son and daughter. He would have the help of the Lady Lorelei along with Andrew with both Ailish and Alex as needed. He had hired a young woman in her early twenties by the name of Beth as a nanny. She was able to come promptly and was soon settled in.

She had the energy to give them both attention and get right down on the floor and play their imaginative games, sparking such even more. He also hired a man in his mid twenties by the name of Michael whom would serve in a few ways. His duties would vary from manual tasks needed to being a guard, especially on the children and Beth.  A older woman whose name was Ethel served as his cook. She was very skilled in her trade. Beth and Mike stayed at the manor home while Ethel went home each night to her own family close by.

Family Residence: Tyremoor Castle

Strategically built into the side of a mountain, overlooking the expanse of land leading right towards Heathfield Castle and left towards Ballicastle - if viewed from the ocean on a ship. The triangle of protection established - Heathfield, Ballicastle and Tyremoor - Barrett, McAndrews and Douglas ruling families

Brothers: Sean Robert (deceased), Stephen Nicholas (Nick), Thomas Keegan, Keifer Donovan, Quintan Sloan and sister Danielle Elizabeth.

Residing in Barrach Manor, Tyremoor Lands.

His Children: Twins: Son Alexander Malcolm and daughter Ailish Tara.

Barrach Manor

Alexander Malcolm                                       Ailish Tara     

Barrach Manor: It wasn't just the rugged natural logs of the house built with a large porch, stone foundation with windows built in,... nor the cozy balconies, one that was obviously off the master bedroom above... nor the the many windows, windows that were large letting the sunlight in and topped off with stained glass designs that would add those prisms of colors when the sunlight hit them just right.. no.. it was the breeze in the treetops, glorious bedecked in rich green leaves that quivered in the light breeze like ripples on a lake.. that had him knowing this was the right place. It was a bit of heaven set in the protection of a rich forest of all kinds of trees. He didn't even need to go inside to know this would be their home now, not just a summer cottage but where the heart of his family would flourish. Large enough to accommodate many children if Fate should bless them with more and to have company, yet small enough to fit in the palm of the lands.

The foyer was tiled in polished field stones giving it a rich warm golden rustic color. The floors of the rooms were done in tongue and groove of a rich mahogany wood. The ceilings were high, most with designs swirled into the plaster. The upstairs consisted of about twelve rooms and there was even an upper level from that which was not completed, just one big open area right now. Malcolm could stand and walk unhindered through most of it but he was soon hunching over as the walls gradually slope down.

It is said that miracles do happen even when Malcolm had given up on ever finding love again. Perhaps the scar left from not only himself being abandoned by the mother of his twins, but abandoning them that struck a deep chord. Then there was the lies and betrayal of another that had him giving up hope that a woman could even be trusted. He became to believe he was cursed where women came and went in his life. Actions speak louder than words and the actions of a few soured his outlook on love and marriage. He, however, was a very good father and gave his twins all the love they needed.

It is said be careful what you say for certainly Fate would make you eat those very words. He kept his outlook on women from his children as they had hopes of having a mother. The years went by, they gave up as did Malcolm. That is when he met Georgette. A woman, for him, that brushed away the scars of old with her smile. Gentle. Loving, True to her words and she fell in love with him as he fell in love with her. His children, far more critical of any woman that neared their father as they got older, were won over easily by the natural charm of Georgette and accepted her as the mother they never had. Better late than never as some would say. He made her his wife. Elaina O'Neill lost one of her ladies in waiting while he gained the real soulmate he had waited a long time for.

Loch airde Arsaidh: Gaelic for "Lake of the Ancients. He had been drawn to Barrach instinctively, but little did Malcolm know the full reason. An ancient spirit waited there to be released from a long forgotten past and heritage, his mark would be left upon the man and his son. Each morning Malcolm would go down to the lake before the break of dawn to watch the ritual of mists to rise heavenward. He had noticed they had taken on forms that appeared to be female figures dancing around a more masculine one to the center of the lake. A very good friend of his, a woman of his past, had their paths crossing again. He came to know her better, as time was spent together and she more of him. He now wore a delicate wrought cross of hers in its care taking as she wore a dagger given to him by a friend to protect her in an upcoming dangerous journey. It was concern upon her that had him to the lake one afternoon while the children napped and a stone to be found that would be his talisman in things to come.

Skipping rocks over the smooth surface of the lake one hot afternoon had his hand to still and curl his fingers around it instead, midnight blues drawing to what he held in his hand instead. It had a pulse. He could feel it as fingers uncurled to show a roughly hewed stone in the shape of a bear's head.

There were markings on it in some long ago script and the sediment crusted to its surface spoke of how ancient it was. He pocketed it keeping it with him always now. He gradually was finding the other members of his family could feel it too... He found there was a twin lake even larger than the other. He could make out the mists the more dawn broke and slowly they formed into a dance of their own, so totally different.

These were low lying but he could swear they took on the forms of animals unlike the dance of the mists to its twin, far to the other side of those caves. There seemed to be smaller ones around a larger mound in the middle, this was the only likeness to the other. The smaller ones were slowly circling the other as if a pack....that was a pack of wolves around its prey. A frown touched as he became mesmerized and immersed in the scene unfolding before him, be it his physical sight or mind's eye, Malcolm could not be sure, only that he could see it.

It was slowly becoming brighter and the sun would soon be rising over the mountains that were a backdrop of this lake, past the waters, caves and forests. Hands unfolded from the back of his head, coming to rest to either side of the canoe's rim. He sat up just a little more as the dance of the wolves gathered closer to the center. It was what happened next that had him bolting upright and nearly capsizing that canoe. 

As the smaller forms were about to take over the center, the column of mist there, abruptly stood up. Yes, that was what it looked like and it was in the form of a great grizzly bear to emerge, rising up. He swore he cold hear that great growl, but it was not to his ears the sound came. The rush of that rise had those smaller forms, sweep back out in a gust that flattened them out and dissipate, leaving just the center to stand in triumph. His heart thundered in his chest for what seemed like an eternity before the sun's rays glided over the mountains and the mists now were all gone, as if drawn up into the sun itself.

The Legend of Barrach (page two)

(C) Copyright - This Story in its entirety is original by this writer, all rights reserved. Pictures on this page are copyrighted by McHugh Graphics: Lake, rock, and castle.

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