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Authors: Bernadette Walsh

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One day, when Rosemary was six years old and the older boys had gone with Declan to see a match, she took my hand and walked with me the mile to my mother’s old cottage. Together we sat in my mother’s garden and watched as two kittens chased each other among the foxglove. Rosemary laughed and told me her father loved kittens and he had one that he petted all the time.

“Rosemary, what are you on about? You know Daddy hates cats.”

“Not Daddy. My father. I visit him in my dreams.”

“Rosemary, Daddy is your father. You know that.”

She looked at me, and her blue-black eyes were so sad, so adult, that any further protests faded from my lips. A few months later, Caroline invited me out to Sayville to attend the christening of her new son. She asked me to be godmother. I surprised Declan by saying yes.

The children had school, so Declan stayed home with them while I made my quick trip back to Long Island. In my rental car I drove past the old yoga studio that had become a children’s tumbling studio. Before I drove to Caroline’s, I stopped into my old haunt, the Sayville Coffee Shop, for a frappachino.

It was after lunchtime on a Monday and the coffee shop was empty. I asked the barista for a frappachino, and it took me a few moments to realize the worn woman with the thin white hair was my old coven mate, Claire.

Her eyes were dull as she mechanically asked if she could help me. Claire registered no recognition of me as she loped away from the counter, her ungainly gate showing a noticeable limp. Dear God, what had I done to this unfortunate creature?

Without thinking, when she handed me my change, I grabbed her hand and returned to her the fluidity of her limbs, her physical grace, the soft lilt of her voice. I gave Claire back her beauty and as I held her hand, its skin softened, her hair returned to its burnished gold and her eyes, her beautiful blue eyes sparkled again. But I didn’t return her magic or her memories of me, Simon or the coven.

I released her hand. Claire smiled. “Can I get you anything else, miss?”

“No. Nothing else.”

I took my frappachino to go.

The next day I drove out to Sag Harbor. The spring air blowing from the water was warm as I walked around the back of an old clapboard Victorian. Simon, his hair completely silver now, was perched in a wheelchair under a veranda, motionless except for his left hand stroking a sleeping cat. An old fat woman in a nurse’s uniform sat dozing a short distance from him.

“Simon.”

He turned to me, his once sharp black eyes now clouded, almost gray. I touched his hand and returned to him half of all I had taken from him. With some regret, I felt the portion of his elements I released, air and water, rush from me and back to their rightful owner. His limbs, inert for so long, jerked, causing the black kitten to jump from his lap. After a few moments, his limbs stopped moving. The reason returned to his eyes. He looked at me and smiled. “I knew you’d come back.”

“Did you now?”

“Yes.” He reached out and stroked my cheek. “How is our daughter? She is beautiful. The best of both of us. She’s been such a comfort to me.”

“She is beautiful and smart, kind. And funny in her own way.”

“Is she happy? Are you?”

“Yes, we are all happy and now you can be too.”

“Thank you, Orla. Thank you for... Just thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Simon. You’re very welcome. But remember, I’ve given you only a fraction of what I took from you. My power still dwarfs yours. If you want to keep what I’ve returned, you stay away from me, you stay away from my daughter and the rest of my family. No more meetings in her dreams or in the astral plane or wherever you’ve been meeting. Understand?”

“But I love her, Orla. My mother died last year. She’s all I’ve got.”

“Once you’re out of that chair, you’ll rebuild your life, and if I remember correctly, there was never any shortage of love in your life.”

“You can’t do that to us.”

I leaned down and whispered, “I can and I will. Do what I say, otherwise next time instead of a wheelchair, you’ll wind up in a box.” I kissed his cheek. “’Bye now, Simon. Best of luck.”

* * * *

The full moon lit the desolate stony field. My white sheath reflected the moonlight. I pulled my cloak closer to me to fight the autumn chill. I reached the mountain of white stones that glistened under the full moon and added to it, as was our custom, another large stone I’d carried from the shores of the Feale. I circled the stone mound counter-clockwise three times.


Mna Dorcha. Raven-haired Women of the Mountain, I call you. Come to me.

And from the mist emerged my raven-haired sisters. My mother often came, Roisin always. Together we sang the ancient songs, hands clasped, our voices raised in joy, in exultation, as we danced till dawn.

As we danced together on
Slanaitheoir’s
grave.

 

 

Other Lyrical Books By Bernadette Walsh

 

Gold Coast Wives

 

Devil’s Mountain

The Devlin Legacy Series: Book One

 

Devil’s Daughter

The Devlin Legacy Series: Book Three

Coming soon to Lyrical Press

 

 

About Bernadette Walsh

 

Bernadette Walsh is a native New Yorker with an appreciation for all things Irish. While the locale of Kilvarren and Devil’s Mountain is deliberately fictional, she was inspired by the desolate hills of West Limerick and of course, the Kingdom of Kerry. The town of Sayville, Long Island, is real and it is rumored to have a strong Salem connection. Fire Island is also real and when the throngs of summer tourists are gone, it can be a desolate yet spiritual place.

 

 

Devil’s Shore

9781616504267

Copyright © 2012, Bernadette Walsh

Edited by Mary A. Murray

Book design by Lyrical Press, Inc.

Cover Art by Valerie Tibbs

First Lyrical Press, Inc. electronic publication: December, 2012

 

Lyrical Press, Incorporated

http://www.lyricalpress.com

 

eBooks are not transferable. All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

 

Published in the United States of America by Lyrical Press, Incorporated

 

 

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BOOK: Devil's Shore
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ads

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