Night 433, Isle of Searbh
Biorn put the journal down. “My mother is the Morrigan? Am I immortal?!” Biorn asked with pride, he had that smug smile striping his face.
“No you moron.” Fiachra said, “Keep reading.” Fiachra was irritated, it had been an hour and nothing had happened. They were still being kept in Conn’s study. What was going on? What did Murtagh want with his parents? Just kill them already or let them go. He feared they would be tortured. Or kept in a dungeon, in a dark damp hole until they died from the poisonous gases that welled up from the depths of the Earth. He was staring down the consequences of what the faeries had asked and he felt sick. Kinvara looked pale.
“I didn’t think Murtagh would take my parents too.” Kinvara whispered. “What have we done to them?”
“What we had to do. Once your fate is revealed you cannot change it. At least that’s what my Grandda said.” Fiachra said.
“I think it can be changed.” Kinvara said, “We will what we want from the world, if only we have the courage to try. We were cowards.”
Fiachra bristled at her mutiny. “Well then lets change it. How do we get out of this?”
“And how do you explain why my Mum didn’t marry our dad? Why is your Mum the Chieftainness of Galway, while my Mum is dead? Why is Murtagh, a lowly clansmen, the Chieftain?” Biorn rambled on.
“Just keep reading!” Aoibheann tumbled over her words, though she said them with gusto. Half the bottle was gone, and she was going for more. She got up and stumbled over to Biorn. “Let me see it.” She pulled it from his hands. “I’ll read it to you.” She sat down next to him.
“I don’t need you to read to me. You’re too self absorbed to understand any of this!” Biorn said.
“Yes I will!” Aoibheann insisted.
“Why do you care anyway? I thought you weren’t .” Biorn said.
“Don’t judge me!” Aoibheann slammed the book. “You take the easy way out on everything. Take your stupid book back. I’m going to look for Aonghus.”
“You mean my brother?” Biorn asked. Beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle together. “Keeping it in the family, Aoibheann?” Biorn smirked.
Aoibheann dropped the journal on his toes. “You’re not as great as you think you are. One day, you realize that, and you won’t be able to handle it.” Fiachra and Kinvara looked at them awkwardly.
Hours passed and the moon climbed high into the sky, and then it began its descent. Aoibheann collapsed into the chair behind the desk and fell asleep, the pleasant stupor a drunken mess. Biorn fell asleep reading Conn’s Journal, he snored softly. Kinvara and Fiachra stared at the walls, waiting.
The door burst open. “Time to go.” Aonghus said.
“What about our stuff?” Kinvara asked.
“Pack a bag, make it quick.” Aonghus barked, he ignored Aoibheann’s attempts to engage him.
The four rose to their feet disoriented. They stumbled to their rooms followed by Aonghus’ guards. Quickly clothes, shoes, bows, books, anything of value were stuffed into their bags and they filed down the stairs. Past the Great Hall where they could see their parents, hands bound, sitting against the walls. Kinvara looked away, and whispered a prayer of protection for them all. Even awful Riagan and Saoirse. How was it possible that she would be separated from her parents once again, unable to say goodbye? Would they ever be reunited and remain this way? Or was this world built on separation and loneliness?
She followed the guards to the docks and on to the boats under the starlit night sky. The air was crisp and frost covered the island in a crystal shell of pretend beauty. But it was not beautiful. Nothing about this day was alright. She had betrayed her parents. They had many faults but they did not deserve to be bound and under the arrest of Chieftain Murtagh. The sense of hope and purpose she felt the day the faerie reach out to her was a false joy. No purpose was worth harming another. No fate a prize if she carried out a deed that destroyed a piece of her own humanity, her love for others.
Her mind was swirling. For over a year she wished for this moment. To leave the island where she was forced to stay. To be free to roam where she wanted to. Never did she think the moment would be as bitter as this. She was leaving, but no to go home but to go even farther away. She sailed in the opposite direction of her Eamon. Far away she guessed from where Vidar was. The pieces of her heart were scattered in so many places and now another piece was breaking off, to remain on Searbh’s shores. As long as her parents were here, her heart would be.
“Did you hear where we are going?” Fiachra whispered. Kinvara shook her head no. “To Innis Aran and then to Asger’s camp. Along the Shannon River.”
“Vidar.” Kinvara whispered.
“Maybe, just maybe we will meet up with him.” Fiachra smiled. “It’s going to be okay. You have me and I have you, nothing will change. Our friendship is bonded by fate.”
Eamon stood over the fire, at the shrine in the little cottage of Bricriu. He put small handfuls of ground up powder into the flames and watched the flames glow in hues of the rainbow.
“What are you doing?” Aoife asked, quietly. She walked from her bed and came to sit down next to him.
“I had a vision in my dream. She is leaving, taken by someone. But she is not on the island anymore. She was on the island of Searbh this whole time and now she is gone.” Eamon said. “So I’m offering to the flames. To see if they will give me more. I need to know where she is and if she is safe. I can’t relax Aoife, until I know she is safe.” Eamon’s chin quivered in the pain of love unable to be sustained. He knew he was losing Kinvara. The longer she was in exile, the harder it would be to pick up their engagement, the more they would be strangers when they met again.
“Then go after her Eamon. There is nothing stopping you.” Aoife said, frustrated at his constant melancholy.
“How? If I leave Bricriu will know why and alert the Chieftain and the Dowager Chieftainness.” Eamon replied.
“Bricriu is not in their corner, Eamon. He doesn’t believe in the exile nor does he accept Tearlag and her reign. He never did. You forget that Conn and Tearlag were not the happiest, even at their best. Their marriage was a union of Kingdoms, but their love fizzled at the first hardship and it was Bricriu and Seamus that became the hands of the King.”