Zach Beauvais

black dog jumping over branches while holding a training dummy in its mouth


Lord of March

Written by Zach Beauvais

Dec 20, 2022

Paws hit the snow much faster than boots, which crunch whilst the paws tap and scratch. The air is cold and bites; but isn’t so tight as to lose all scents of pine and clay.

My feet stamp their way up the steep climb into Mortimer Forrest, looking forward to stopping at High Vinnalls for a night-time survey of moonlit mist, dew-reflective fields, and silvery sheep. My mind chooses to accept the pleasant company of pine, larch and spruce – white woods for temporary structures from and for elsewhere. I stop to watch a game trail for a few minutes. I’ve seen roe and maybe red here where the Mortimers set this place aside for their family to use for chasing hinds with horns and hounds.

I hear the thunder before the call – hooves of the family’s horses, perhaps a destrier or two – a blast acidic in brightness, and maybe the baying.

Lord Mortimer would probably be off on business – the business of bedding the queen and broadening his reach. He reigns but isn’t king. Lord of the March – the lands he’s left behind – but he’s too big for them, can’t stay back here where the moon traces the outlines of his fields; ale back at his castle and home after a cold chase in the snow with his hounds. Instead, he’ll stop at Tyburn.

My hound is at the snowy chase; retrieving polyester sacks from the tangled roots of alien trees in Roger’s backyard. There’s ale back at my little home below the city walls. I walk another few miles, my faithful hound pat-pattering around my heavy crunches.

I could hear the chase pass behind, across the Vinnalls, down the backs. It was such a calm night, I could hear anything that came to mind.

I stopped at the Spar by Roger’s ruined castle for another few ales, my hound asking me to throw one of the bottles for him to catch – I won’t, I tell him. It’s heavy, hard, will break his teeth and; I want Wye Valley’s Butty Bach for when we get home. It’ll be late, cold, and we’ll be on our own, so we kick our legs out in front of us to march quickly down Broad Street, through the town gate to watch a film, drink ales, and say a quick prayer for the Lords of March.

Related Articles


20 years ago in Glasgow

More than 20 years ago, Glasgow had more than its fair share of comfortable coffee shops. Several were lodged in bookshops, and one in particular pulls it’s way across time, sliding it’s memory-laden charge along neurones and drops me into an overstuffed chair in a...

read more

We value your memories.

Facebook shows me. Photos of old friends I’ve not seen in a decade, or more. It tells me people who don’t know me from Adam think I should go fund them. It applies a bolt of you know, those hormones that make you start, sweat, and feel like you’re not really here?...

read more