The Sluagh

“The Unforgiven Dead”

The Artema anthology Magic Creatures From Celtic Mists, featuring my story “The Unforgiven Dead”, is now available. All my proceeds go directly to the brain tumour charity Taylan’s Project.

Since his untimely and tragic death, Taylan’s family have done an incredible amount to raise funds for research and to help others affected by this terrible disease. Please take a look at their site and the work that they do.

“The Unforgiven Dead” arose from various ideas that had been swirling around my head for some time. I wanted to set a story in the glorious Scottish Highlands, which I’ve camped in and hitch-hiked around several times. I’ve never actually climbed Suilven, but I’ve driven past it and wished that I had. And, of course, if you’re going to spend a night in a place like that (in one of my stories), you’d better be prepared to encounter some sort of strange alien or supernatural presence. I did some research, not yet settled on the type of creature or creatures my character would meet, when I came across the Sluagh, and one image in particular (see below). Mix in noctilucent clouds, too much time spent in hospitals, tandoori lobster — and “The Unforgiven Dead” is the result.

Andrew L. Paciorek's Sluagh

One of the images that inspired “The Unforgiven Dead”. The Sluagh, as envisioned by Andrew L. Paciorek.