Sample Pages 8-Scéalta na Breithlá Déag

The neasghaolta made the drive to Bunratty Castle, toured and looked around, then went back into Limerick. They were in a quiet area of People’s Park when a fairly strong looking gent and a woman that was at least his partner came over and said “Those are very striking fáinní. An bhfuil tú i measc na oilithrigh?” “Tá muid” Mark said, keeping Jill, Sue and Russ behind him, as if to protect them. “Oh, really? That’s funny, coming from you.” Mark’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean?” “Oh, look, Séamus. Clan Marcáil as well. Aren’t they a precious sight?” The sarcasm in her voice made Jill twitchy and Sue nervous. Russ stepped up next to Mark, who said “What is your problem? You asked us, we told you. We’re here on Oilithreacht go ithir dúchais.”  The tone in Mark’s voice set off Séamus.

“You nasty Americans. Always coming over here, always pretending to be on the Oilithreacht go ithir dúchais, always on a lark. Yet you’re always telling us how we should be and live. Most days, I’ve half a mind to take one of you on. You all are disgusting. So tell me: do you want to hone your cumais, to have more cumhacht agus rialú, more power and control?” Mark shook his head, slightly puzzled. “We truly came to learn.” “And take in all the touristy things. What makes you think you can learn anything at all over eighteen days? It takes you a week to relax, and you end up in Innisfaire, see Nuala’s grave, and think you’ve arrived. I’ll show you what real cumais are like.” He swung around and went for Mark’s temples. Mark, by instinct alone, returned the move just as fast. Suddenly, an angry red sciath dath sprang up around Mark and Séamus. Sue ran to them, beating helplessly at it. Russ stepped back six paces and took a few steps, trying to tackle them both to separate them. He bounced off them, enraging him. “Dammit, nobody does this to my….” “Hold on” she said. “This fight will not take ere long, and concerns you not, ní de cumas.” Russ glared at her and took a step toward her. Sue clamped a hand on his shoulder. “Ár Russ, no! Don’t do it. Don’t get hurt.” Jill looked at her. “What are they doing?” “They are fighting they way psionics do. Momentarily, my Séamus will defeat him, the glow will change to purple to white to show his victory, and then…then….” She stopped as the glow around them changed. It didn’t go from red to purple to white, showing that Séamus had won. Instead, it went from red to orange, to yellow, to green. Then that green got deeper, richer, until it was a glowing emerald green, laced with electric blue streaks.

The glow dissipated after a moment, and then the two sagged. Aisling went to Séamus, while Sue went to Mark and grabbed his arm, sending healing energy into him, scowling at the pair. Russ stood to Mark’s immediate right, his hands balled into fists; Jill stood to Sue’s left, in the same posture and position. Mark smiled slightly. “I told you-my strength comes from theaghlach.” Aisling looked at Séamus, who shook his head, clearing it. Then both dropped to a knee and said “Mo Prionsa.” Jill looked at them like they were nuts. “He’s no prince, trust me. Get up, now you’re embarrassing me.” Aisling took Sue and Jill by the hands, and suddenly Sue also had a deep, pure emerald glow around her, while Jill had a deep sky blue glow around her. Séamus looked at them and whispered “Mother of Us All, forgive me.” Aisling dropped their hands, and went to Russ. He also glowed green, but his was a darker, forest green. Séamus looked at them all. “You’re all royalty. Please accept my most profound apologies.” Mark looked at Séamus and nodded. “Accepted, I guess…on the grounds you tell us about this royalty thing.” He paused, and smiled slightly. “After all…we’re just nasty Americans, out on a lark.”

—————-

After they landed in Shannon, they rented a car and started driving. Ryan knew the drill by now: he drove so Angie could take some pictures as they went, winding down little roads until they ultimately ended up in Innisfaire. They checked into the Innisfaire Family Inn and Suites, unpacked a few things, and started wandering around town, looking for a place to eat. They for Flanagan’s Pub, and as they walked in an elderly woman arose and came to them. “There you two are, right on time. Come sit with me; I’ve been waiting for you” she told them. “Uh, Ma’am…you must have us mistaken for someone else” Ryan started to say, but was cut off. “You’re Ryan Sean Sullivan; you have the blood of leaders and fighters in you.” She turned to Angela and smiled. “And you, my dear, are Angela Roberts Sullivan. You are a child of Nuala for sure; I see it in your eyes. It’s part of why you’re here: to tell the story of Nuala of Innisfaire through your pictures and your words.” Angie took a step backward. “Someone’s setting us up, Ryan.” “I’m not, child. My name is Radha, but please…call me Grandmere. And I can prove you’re not being set up, dears.” She leaned over to Ryan and gave him Angie’s innerself name, then leaned to Angie and gave her Ryan’s. They looked at each other, warily. “Grandmere, don’t be scaring the customers” came a voice from the back. A tall man came out and looked at them. “Are these the ones you’ve been seein’? The ones in your dreams?” “They are, my boy, they are. Micheál, meet Ryan and Angela Sullivan.” He shook their hands warmly. “M’name’s Micheál Quinn. I c’n see your parents in both of you. Your meal’s on the house today, per Grandmere, an’ I’ll brook no argument about it. Now Grandmere told me that you, Ryan, like Shepherd’s Pie but you won’t be havin’ a Guinness as it’s far too early yet. Angela, she was sayin’ that you would prefer a full Irish breakfast but will eat bangers and mash if it’s done well. Trust me, I only do them to your likin’. You rarely-if ever-drink liquor while on assignment-an’ I don’t blame you a bit.” He produced two Cokes from unopened bottles, and poured them into clean glasses, dropped some ice into Ryan’s, then set them on a table for them. Grandmere stuck out a hand that was fragile and had seen many days hard work. “I’m Cosantóirí, dears. I’m a member of Clan Teaghlaigh Quinn, one of the oldest clans in Innisfaire, and I’m a prescient, dear children. I’ve been waiting several years for this day to come, since the first time I saw this, and I have a lot to tell you and show you-and not much time to do so. Welcome to Innisfaire. Make yourselves at home here while you stay in town.”

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