Na braithrean - The brothers

Written by Wim Beunderman, posted on wednesday 24 july 2019

Flay by xray70

It is said that one day, when the world is in turmoil and humanity is lost in chaos, the Brothers shall return. It is they who will shine the light of love into the darkness and reignite the spirit of unity.

Scottish Highlands, hundreds of years ago

Ewan and Owen smiled at each other as the early morning sun shone its light over the mist-covered heather. They took their time to enjoy the scene that filled them with a sense of calm. Nothing could disturb them, save the buzzing of a bumblebee that hovered over a nearby dew-glistened thistle flower.

“Look over there,” Ewan pointed out to his younger brother, speaking softly so as to not alert the old stag grazing in a glen by the edge of the copse, some hundred paces to their left.

“Isn’t he magnificent?,” he whispered.

“Aye, he certainly is,” Owen agreed. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the one that father spotted together with us when we were but young laddies.”

Ewan nodded in agreement.

“He too was a lot younger then.”

“True,” Owen said with a broad smile.

He had barely spoken when the stag reared its magnificent head and grunted loudly, its warm breath visible in the fresh highland air.

“Something tells me he has a message for us,” Owen added with a frown.

Clannad Poison Glen

Coffee by Little Foxy

Edinburgh, Scotland, Summer 2021

John Hillman awoke with a jolt. A glimpse of the bedside alarm clock told him it was 5:59 in the morning. He seated himself upright in his bed and with eyes still blurry with sleep he looked around in the dark trying to make out if he was actually at home in his bed or still in the bad dream he had just had.

“It was such a strange dream,” John said to his elder brother, Stephen.

The two of them were having breakfast together at the Italian coffee bar ‘Dolce Far Niente’, just around the corner from their consultancy agency called Hillman Brothers.

“I know,” Stephen agreed, “and what makes it even stranger, is that when you texted me this morning, I instantly saw an image before me of a glen up in the highlands, just like the one you described just now.”

Stephen’s revelation sent a shiver down John’s spine. His dream held a message he could not yet decipher.

“What do you think it means?” Stephen asked, sensing his brother’s unease.

“Good question. I don’t know, but I’m sure it will come to me,” John replied and took another bite of his sfogliatella.

As he relished the delicious tasting chocolate filling, his gaze turned inward and he began to recall the events portrayed in his dream.

Within seconds, the sunny glen was clouded by a misty and ominous veil of darkness.

“I don’t like the look of this,” Owen spoke calmly to his brother.

Both of them sensed there were unknown powers at work. Evil powers that sought to divide the clans.

“Neither do I,” Ewan replied, “We need to alert everyone right away.”

“Aye, let’s get a move on,” Owen said.

The brothers spurred their horses and galloped back in the direction of the village, without as much as a glance over their shoulders.

Landscape by Frank Winkler

Later that day, they found themselves riding towards the bluff that overlooked the plateau where a dozen armies totalling well over a thousand men had gathered to do battle. The grim look on their faces when they arrived, betrayed the disappointment they felt after failing to convince the chieftains to maintain the peace that had reigned over this land for ages. Both Owen and Ewan knew what had poisoned the chieftains’ hearts.

“Look over there,” Owen cried, pointing his right index finger in the distance at what appeared to be a huge and dark shroud of mist coming up and enveloping the rows of men that spread out over the plateau.

“It’s coming from the glen,” Ewan said.

Owen nodded. It was then that he inhaled a strong and animal-like smell.


“Aye, the blood of these fine young men that will be spilled before long,” Ewan added.

The brothers turned to each other and looked deep into each other’s eyes. Then Ewan smiled.

“You can feel it too, can’t you?” he asked.

“Aye, I can.”


“Huh, what?” John replied as he returned to the present time and absent-mindedly wiped chocolate from the corner of his mouth with a serviette.

“I just received a text message from the lads across the pond,” Stephen explained. “It appears something big is going to happen.”

“What do you mean?”

“The powermongers are going to shut down the internet and cast us all into darkness.”

“That’s a coincidence. I just had a sequel to my dream and experienced something similar. It felt like a flashback, actually.”

“What happened?” Stephen asked.

He listened carefully as John described his daydream. Towards the end of the story, he was surprised by a glowing sensation in his heart that seemed to grow stronger by the second.

“That’s it, John,” he exclaimed excitedly.

“What do you mean?” John asked, surprised at his brother’s sudden outburst.

“I know how we can stop them. Come on,” he said, jumping to his feet, “there’s no time to waste.”

The Gael from The Best of Celtic Music

Within minutes, Stephen and John were at the office. After giving their colleagues instructions, the place was buzzing like a beehive, with people phoning, video calling and working on their computers.

“This is going to work!” Stephen shouted with an ear-to-ear grin on his face.

“Yeah, we’ll show ‘em,” John joined in, with equal enthusiasm.

It did not take long before everything had been set into motion. Without speaking, John and Stephen sensed that they had shared a similar experience before, in another time and another place. Just like then, they would avert the attempts of the evil powers that be, so that love and unity would once again prevail.

An hour later found them in John’s car, speeding towards a designated place in the highlands.

“This is the spot, right here,” John said and steered his car on to the verge.

He got out and was about to make his way up a steep path that led to a rocky bluff when he saw Stephen still sitting in the car staring into space.

“Are you okay, mate?” John asked as he slowly opened the door on the passenger side.

Stephen turned towards him and smiled with dewy eyes.

“Now I remember,” he spoke calmly. “We’ve been here before, John. You and me. And it wasn’t up till now that I realized I too have had dreams like yours. I know what’s going to happen,” he said, placing his hand on his heart.

John followed his example and then reached out his other hand, which Stephen gratefully accepted. After a few heart-warming moments, Stephen also got out of the car and together they made their way up to the bluff.

Bee by KostaCZ

Once they had reached the top, they stood hand in hand with their eyes closed. Side by side, they faced the vast plateau before them and recalled the dream they had unknowingly shared for who knows how long.

Simultaneously, Owen and Ewan drew their swords and held these up high with the tips touching. As their hearts glowed brighter and brighter, the two brothers felt an enormous build-up of electromagnetic energy surging through their veins and into their swords. The swords began to emit rays of light that spread out across the sky like lightning bolts. These became so strong that they lit up the plateau and dissolved the eerie mist. What was doomed to become a battlefield turned into a field filled with blooming thistles around which bees hovered. All eyes were on Ewan and Owen now. The clansmen lay down their weapons and walked over to their supposed enemies. They took each other’s hands and formed row upon row of mixed tartans.

Stephen and John opened their eyes and looked in surprise at the plateau. A multitude of men, women and children was forming as far as the eye could see, and stood hand in hand, row upon row. And, in the same way that Ewan and Owen had spread their light, Stephen and John now too spread the light of love from their hearts across the plateau. This was only the beginning. They did not have to check their phones to know that all around the world, people had laid down their work and made their way to prearranged places like this one, to form the biggest flash mob in history, spread out over all the countries of the world. Tears of joy flowed down the brother’s faces. No-one, not even the most evil entity, could break this unity. From now on, the people would live as one in a paradise on Earth.

For E. and Y. X

John Newton Amazing Grace (performed by Royal Scots Dragoon Guards)

Symbolism deer: Gentleness; Keen senses; The call to adventure

Symbolism bee: Miracles; The wish for all living things to co-exist in peace and love


‘Flay’ by xray70 on Pixabay

‘Coffee’ by Little Foxy on Pixabay

‘Landscape’ by Frank Winkler on Pixabay

‘Bee’ by KostkaCZ on Pixabay

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