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Once Upon a Time … Part 2, Aoibheann’s Story

For Part One: http://wp.me/p2VCul-kr

Yes… what did become of Tabitha’s twin girls?

Older by mere seconds, the sunkissed daughter placed in Alba grew up as Aoibheann. Aoibheann lived in a world of toil and worry. Placed under strong glamour by her mother at birth, she appeared and acted human.

Evil dragons scourged the forests and towns of Aoibheann's homeland.

Evil dragons scourged the forests and towns.

Evil dragons scourged the forests and towns of Aoibheann’s homeland, and she and her brother Aodhan were forced to flee and find work and sustenance wherever they could.

Aoibheann worked hard to keep herself and her brother alive.

Aoibheann worked hard.

Aoibheann worked hard to keep herself and her brother alive, but something was always missing; something wasn’t right. Even as she grew into a young woman, she knew something was missing.

Something was missing.

Something was missing.

Aoibheann always knew something wasn’t right.

She just wasn't sure what it was.

She just wasn’t sure what it was.

She just wasn’t sure what it was. Nothing seemed to make her happy, not the simple pleasures her brother enjoyed, not the prospect of growing up and bearing children. Aoibheann did not even have tales of fairies and magic to sustain her. And when finally she and her brother found a town where they stayed for a little while and became part of the community, Aoibheann made a friend, Alithe. Alithe was a seer in a world that distrusted magic, and one night she and Aoibheann shared a bottle of wine and talked about their lives. Alithe went into a trance. Wide-eyed, she pointed at Aoibheann and intoned: “Sídh! Aoibheann Sorcharós, Sídh!” The next day, word had spread all through the village that Aoibheann was an evil witch of the sídh and must be dealt with in the harshest way possible. So, at the age of twenty-one, Aoibheann prepared herself to die a horrible death while her brother looked on unable to stop any of it.

The flames climbed higher.

The flames climbed higher.

Aoibheann knew it was useless to protest. Her former friend, Alithe, who had become her betrayer, was in front of the crowd, screaming insults. Her brother, stunned, pleaded with the mob to stop, but feared for his life in the end. He didn’t stay after the screaming started; it was too painful.

As the flames climbed higher, Aoibheann tried to block out the shouts of the crowd. As she began to shout against her will for help, her vision began to cloud, and a cooling wind seemed to blow across her face. Shocked, she reached out toward it with her mind; it was better than the horrible smell of the fire and her clothing turning to ashes and the already growing stench of burning hair and the beginnings of singed flesh.

And it seemed then that she found herself beside a river, in a place far beyond the crowd and the shouting, heavy with the scents of rushes and reeds, the chirpings of frogs, and a sound…the sound of oars as a boat pulled up alongside the tiny pier near where she sat, peacefully, on the unmarred ground.

"Well met," said the Boatman.

“Well met,” said the Boatman.

“Hello, Aoibheann,” said a voice, a voice full of promise. “Hello, and well-met. Things aren’t going very well, back where you’ve come from. What would you say, if I told you you could leave all that behind?”

Aoibheann looked at him, senses still adjusting to the new environment. “I don’t understand,” she said.

“No,” he replied, “and that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Nobody ever understands. But I’d like to offer you the chance to escape the cruel fate that awaits you back in Alba.”

Still a bit stunned, Aoibheann listened to the Boatman’s offer. Without much thought, she agreed, since life was better than death at any cost. And so, he ferried her across the river, and Aoibheann arrived in the settlement of Jasper Cove, tentatively taking the first steps toward her new life, still unaware of her legacy and the fate that awaited her.

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