Some landscapes hold more magic than others. Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends, so teeming with the force of the supernatural, that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable. She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she knows that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art. And here she hopes that the powerful nature of the place will give her the baby they have longed for for so many years. But this high valley is home to others, too. Others such as Rhys, the charismatic loner from the croft, who pursues Laura with a fervour bordering on obsession. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighbouring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin. 'Lamp Black, Wolf Grey' tells both Laura's story and Merlin's. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his career as a seer and magician, but already his reputation had gone before him. When he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who will pay the price.
Paula Brackston runs creative writing classes and workshops, is a script reader for a film company, and sells her short stories.