Chapter 6

Written by: dannyo77

I must have passed out right where I stood at Lough Gur. It was mid-afternoon when I came to, lying in the knee-length grass, my head still thumping from the head injury in the tunnel. But - was I dreaming? My eyes opened to the sight of Florence leaning over me wiping my head with a damp cloth and singing quietly to herself. She was close enough for me to smell her perfume. The aroma was intoxicating.

When she noticed I was awake she leaned back and gave me a meek smile.

“You made it,” she said. “You have passed through.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Florence stood without answering and started walking up the hill from where I lay, humming gaily. Sitting up I looked back toward where I had exited the tunnel. Upon a low hill, overlooking the lake Lough Gur stood another rath that looked very similar to the rath on my father’s farm.

It wasn’t long before Florence was out of sight again. I stood to follow her, feeling very woozy. To my surprise I couldn’t see where she had gone and assumed she had entered into the tunnel again. I wasn’t willing to go back into the rath. What else might befall me if I entered again?

I remembered from our field trip that there was a small town called Bruff to the south of Lough Gur, so I started out for the main road leading south, hoping to find someone who could help me. It took close to an hour to reach the outskirts of town and it was a relief to return to some reality.

The town was far less built up than my memory suggested but the same landmarks guided me toward the town centre. On the left I passed the quaint little church with a single short steeple. The weathered headstones of the surrounding cemetery complemented the dark brickwork of the structure. I overtook a statue commemorating some fallen hero on my right and then noticed an excited gathering ahead outside a small shop. A photographer stood apart from the group holding up an antiquated folding camera.

As I drew nearer the crowd a young man came out of a nearby door. Seeing that I was not a local he smiled.

“Hello friend,” he said, “are you here to see the archaeologists artifacts? They are showing them to the reporters over there.”

“What sort of artifacts do they have?” I enquired.

“All sorts. They’ve had a successful dig at the Lough Gur rath” the young man reported enthusiastically. “The most amazing is a beautiful gold lunula. Here’s a photo.” He handed me a newspaper and pointed out an article.

It looked almost identical to the one Florence had shown in our archaeology lecture less than a week before.

“That looks like the one they discovered in 1947,” I mused.

“Yes, that’s it,” he replied with a quizzical look on his face. “1947… this year’s expedition.”

Dan Oliver (NZ)

Comments

A nice tie-up here with the artifact and a great idea to incorporate 'passing through', showing Dan did his homework. A whole new dimension has opened up that gives the last four writers another direction to follow. The fairies have decided that the travelers have gone back in time after passing through. A well balanced and descriptive work with enough dialogue to make us feel part of the scene. Nice one Dan.