Chapter 10

Written by: Mrellan

I opened my eyes to see the summer sun shining through lace curtains on my bedroom window.  The curtain moved softly in the breeze.  I rubbed my eyes and looked again at the curtain.  A small blue light moved slowly up the curtain.  I heard a woman’s voice singing in the distance, almost out of range of my hearing. 

 

Overcome with curiosity, I swung my legs off the bed and took the three steps to the window.  The curtain lay limp as I brushed it back and looked out.  The bright rising sun cut through the trees in the distance, making black shadows on mound the old folk called a rath.  The morning mist lay above the loch like a woman’s veil at morning Mass. I supposed that the blue must have been the flawless morning sky.  It was a rare sight in these parts of the west of Ireland. 

 

It was a perfect morning for a little fishing before me Da woke up and gave me his daily list of chores.  I grabbed my fishing pole and headed for the loch.  On the short walk my mind turned to stories Granda used to tell about the rath and the fairies that lived beneath it.  There are many stories about fairies, fairy circles, spells and magic told around the hearth on long winter nights on the Connemara. 

 

When I reached the loch the mist had burned off and trout were jumping through the sun sparkled wavelets.  I cast my pole and sat down under my favorite old tree. 

 

“Help me boy!” said a harsh gravelly voice in a loud whisper.

 

  Who was that, I wondered?

 

I looked around the back of the tree and saw an old man standing in the shadows.  His long unkempt beard covered his mouth and gave an eerie affect to his voice.  It seemed to hang mystically in the air between us.  He wore a ragged brown cloak that looked like a faded monks robe.  His feet were bare and crusted with mud. 

 

When I reached him, he collapsed into my arms.  I gently sat him on the ground with his back leaning against the tree.  I wet my handkerchief in the water of the loch and wiped his face and his parched lips.  I thought he must be the oldest man I had ever seen.  I sat with my arm around his shoulders and in a few minutes, I could no longer see or hear him breathe. 

 

I ran for home.  My Da stood in the backyard sorting tools and putting them in the back of the old truck. 

 

“Where the hell have you been, Tim?”  he said in a mock angry voice. 

 

I explained about the old man and begged him to come with me.  He silently put down his tools and followed me to the loch.  When we got to the tree, we found nothing but the ragged old man’s robe lying on the ground.

 

Mrellan Harahan (USA)

Comments

Its been a while since we heard from Mrellan but with an Irish faerie story in the offing I guess she couldn't resist the temptation. What a treat. This chapter has two or three interpretations that anyone who knows a little about faerie folk lore will know. A wonderful end to a wonderful serial and every one a real winner. Nice ending Mrellan.
I have been told that "Crown of Thorns" is an outstanding serial and it is. Mrellan has written a poetic chapter, with masterful imagery. This is a wonderful piece of writing. Thank you for your contribution.