10 themes for The Secret of Kells
Some drabbles for this wonderful movie, more informations and explanations in the comment^^.
Some nights, Aidan’s dreams were plagued by his memories of the two invasions he had come through. It was even worst when they were twisted, becoming even more horrifying. And having the accusing stare of the people he had loved on him, their eyes empty and dead, crushed his mind with guilt and self-loathing.
The old illuminator would wake up, his face wet with tears and feeling nauseous.
Sometimes, Brendan was the one waking him up, gently, his eyes full of concern and sympathy. The boy was all he had left now, along with Pangur Ban.
Aidan swore he would do anything to protect him.
Brendan looked around him, curious and a bit wary about his new environment and all the people gathered around him. Instinctively, he grabbed his uncle’s hand, who gently squeezed it back. It helped him relaxing.
The monks were asking them a lot of questions, but they seemed very nice, and Kells looked really beautiful. After all, this place was the one the greatest Illuminator chose to finish the most precious Book in the world –as his uncle and late Brothers had told him.
His attention was suddenly caught by a white cat coming his way. Brendan smiled at it, muttering “hello” to the animal, before a voice called out:
“Welcome to Kells, Brothers!”
“Abbot Aidan!” smiled Cellach.
The two men shook hands –but Cellach’s other hand did not let go of Brendan’s. The boy rejoiced, he was finally meeting Aidan! He wished he and his uncle would have come to Kells for more joyous reasons, but he was still happy.
“And who might this little Brother be, my friend?”
Brendan tensed when he realized Aidan was staring at him, leaning. Despite the kindness he could read in the old man’s eyes and grin, Brendan hastily stepped back to hide a bit behind his uncle’s robe, hugging his leg.
“This is my nephew, Brendan, a promising Illuminator in training.” introduced Cellach, a hint of fondness in his voice. “Brendan, meet Bro- Abbot Aidan, the greatest Illuminator of our time.”
His uncle caressed his head and gently pushed him forwards, encouraging him. Brendan slowly looked up at the still grinning Abbot and smiled shyly back.
Monks chattered among themselves in low voices as they ate, trying to be as quiet as possible. Brendan was seated between Brother Tang and Brother Assoua. Aidan was sitting next to Abbot Cellach, at the end of the table, muttering in their conversation.
“Where is Brother Leonardo?” Tang asked.
Assoua and Brendan glanced at each other before scanning the table. Indeed, there was no sign of their Italian Brother.
“I saw him getting up earlier.” whispered Assoua. “I think he…”
The Illuminator was interrupted by the man in question barging in and screaming in rage:
“WHO THE HELL TOOK THE CHEESE?!”
The people seated either jumped back or froze, staring wide-eyed at the enraged monk. Brendan gulped and pitied whoever had the bad idea of doing such a thing with Brother Leonardo around. Then, his eyes caught a movement.
He had to bite his tongue and try not to laugh as Aidan shoved a big piece of cheese in his mouth, chewing and swallowing it quickly while no one –but him- was looking.
“How in the name of Odin is it possible?!” exclaimed Harald Red Tooth.
He stopped to catch his breath, most of his men behind him. Some collapsed, others had to carry their knocked out companions.
“They did not pursue us, did they?” trembled Bjorn.
The chief bit his tongue and tasted blood, enraged and humiliated. How could these people be so strong?! It was inhuman!! And even wolves were chasing them away now? Why?!
He could not help but shiver as his men debated among themselves which one of their foes had been the worst: the clergy man in red, the monk child, the monster child with white hair, the black monk, etc. Internally, he voted for the old man all dressed in white before shouting to his crew to hurry, they had to get out that cursed forest!
Meanwhile in Kells
“They’re all gone!”
“We did it!!”
“We’re all saved!!”
Cries of joy shrilled in the whole village as everyone leaped or danced with joy, hugging one another. Brendan and Aisling held each other’s hand and spun together laughing, Pangur Ban clinging on the boy’s shoulder. Cellach sighed in deep relief, a hand on his heart while Aidan commented on how much better he felt now, proud he could avenge his late Brothers’ death without actually shedding blood.
The recipe of that magic potion would be preciously kept from now on.
5. First Time
Brendan had a lot of memories he cherished, among others, he especially treasured the first time he showed the finished Book to each of his loved ones.
He remembered Aidan's hands shaking as he took the book from him. How his face lit up as he turned the pages leading up to the Chi rho page, where he was instantly left awestruck. Brendan recalled the warmth of his embrace, as the old man shed a few tears, holding the book against his heart. Hearing him whisper "thank you".
The way Uncle Cellach wept in joy, as he remembered the beauty and light that lingered in the world. How he tried to wipe away his tears to avoid them from spilling onto the pages, before Brendan gently closed it and laid it aside. He allowed his uncle to cry into his chest as he held him tightly, crying with him as he recalled how much he missed him all those years ago.
And the beaming smile of Aisling, first silent and blank when she peered inside the Book. He remembered how her eyes gleamed with joyful innocence before suddenly looking older in a blink of an eye. The young man had seen a glimpse of her beauty when she handed the book back to him. Telling him sweetly "Thank you for bringing light to my forest again, Brendan."
Pangur Ban always loved to snuggle against Aidan; whether for sleep or for a cuddle she enjoyed it. Ever since she was a small kitten, she could smell the odour of her family on the old man's skin. She kept habit even after they had to flee Iona, after all her friend needed it more than she did.
When they escaped Kells with Brendan, she allowed him to squeeze in with them. So she'd snuggle between the two, from resting on Aidan's shoulders to curling up on Brendan's lap. The day they finally found a place to stay, Pangur diversified her sleeping spots throughout their little hut. Even her kittens would follow her from place to place.
But as time passed, the white feline spent even more time with Aidan, feeling he would not be there for much longer. On his last night, she stayed with him, curling up next to him long after his last breath.
Brendan –now a grown man- decided to leave the valley shortly after, and Pangur was determined to stay with him. She settled on his shoulders almost the whole journey back to Kells.
The old cat feared sometimes Brendan would not need her as much as Aidan did, despite his genuine affection for her. But once they settled back into Kells, she found someone else really needed her warm company.
Pangur Ban purred as the old Abbot hesitantly, but gently, petted her; she laid her front paws on his chest and felt his heart beating with more vigour.
“Brendan! Look out!” shouted Brother Square, as he watched the 9 years old boy running on the scaffoldings.
The English illuminator now understood why the Abbot was always so worried and stressed all the time. Brendan was adorable, true, but reckless!
Brother Friedrich was standing on the scaffoldings too, trying hard to keep up and catch the child.
“Don’t worry, Brothers!” chirped Brendan, as he skipped. “I can…”
What had to happen finally happened: misjudging the distance, the lad fell down. A cry had barely escaped his lips, Abbot Cellach was there, ready to catch him. Square wondered for a second how the man could have come so fast, but quickly forgot about it.
Brendan’s cape had caught on something, stopping his fall abruptly. However, he was now hanging at the end of it by the throat.
Everyone in Kells jumped at the Abbot’s horrified scream.
(And Square swore for a moment he had become deaf.)
Brendan was standing in front of him, holding a candle which barely illuminated his face.
Cellach rubbed his eyes quickly. When he opened them again, he realized it had not been his nephew, but the little girl he had protected the day of the invasion. One of the few people he succeeded to save.
“Abbot?” she called him, looking so lost and frightened.
“What are you doing here, child?” he asked her gently, kneeling in front of her. “It is late. Your mother will worry about you.”
“But I can’t sleep!” her voice trembled. “I’m scared and she won’t wake up!”
Cellach blinked once more, he thought Brendan was with him again. His eyes watered. Shaking, he got up and requested the girl to put the candle away from him. He turned his back on her, trying his best not to burst into tears. As he breathed deeply in, trying to calm down, he felt small hands clinging to his legs and gasped.
“Please, don’t be sad Abbot!”
A few tears leaked down his cheeks and his breath came out as gasps.
Later that night, Fiona was sleeping soundly snuggled against his chest. And Cellach felt more serene than he had been in a very long time.
It had all started innocently, really. Brendan was now used to seeing Aisling as a young woman, but he had never paid that much attention to her body until then. Even after they kissed, one day. So, when Aisling jumped in the water, inviting him to do the same, he had followed without second thoughts. But after splashing each other, “struggling” friendly and chasing after one another, the Illuminator found himself staring at her.
She was stunning. Brendan had just realized that, and her wet clothes sticking in such a way on her snow-white skin didn’t help with his discomfort. But instead of being offended or confused at his stare, the Faery smiled seductively and slowly wrapped her arms around his neck.
And their two bodies became one.
“What are you thinking?”
Brendan smiled and tightened his embrace on his beloved’s naked body.
“That I have just seen the wolf.” he chuckled at her raised eyebrow. “And that it is the most wonderful being I ever had the chance to meet.”
Aisling let her familiar giggle escape her lips.
10. UST (unresolved sexual tension)
Bree remembered the day her mother told her and her sister:
“Until proved otherwise, a man is unlikely to run away seeing a woman’s naked body.”
At that time, it had been told to reassure them, especially her dear sister who had many insecurities about her look. Today, she thought about telling her she had found the exception that proves the rule.
Not that Cellach had ever seen her naked and run–oh no- but he seemed to adore her in the most platonic way. Sometimes, she even wondered he did not picture her as a Saint or someone so sacred that she was not to be touched. Bree didn’t mind that much, she would choose a man like him over one who would stare at her and try to touch without her permission.
But since that day… the healer hoped for more. She smiled tenderly at the memory, her cheeks colouring. It had not been a great deal, honestly, but it had lit a fire inside her –a fire she thought was forever extinguished.
They had just lied down together, keeping a distance between them, and talked until Cellach dozed off. And in his sleep, he had held her –her back against his chest. That had not been a first either, but suddenly, the hand usually wrapping around her waist was placed on her breasts. It had not even been grasping them, the touch had not even be intentional, but Bree had went rigid.
It had made her realized she wanted to feel his hands all over her, and that she wanted to touch him back. A sigh escaped Bree’s lips as she remembered how her beloved had jumped back as he woke up –realizing what he did- but giggle at the memory of his red face and how adorable his embarrassed expression had been.