Here’s a short piece of fiction I’ve been working on, the premise of which is: What if a banshee is unintentionally seen by someone destined to live a long life? Tradition says that if you see one, it means you’ll die soon, so what if you see one by accident and assume the worst? Maybe you’ll make different choices once you know your days are numbered….
Fintan moved quickly through the forest, habit keeping his footfalls light and silent despite his boiling frustration. A noisy hunter seldom returned with a kill and Fintan was the best hunter in the clan. He wasn’t surprised when his feet delivered him to the shady glade deep in the forest’s interior. Here, all was peace and beauty, where a man could ease his mind and find sanctuary from the world’s demands. And Fintan was in sore need of a quiet place to think.
A narrow stream trickled in a steady flow near the edge of the glade and Fintan knelt to drink from it. The cold water sprang from deep within the earth and was easily the most refreshing water in the kingdom. Priests came to collect it to use in church as holy water, some said the stream was likewise favoured by those who held to the old faith. But today Fintan was blessedly alone, free to drink his fill in peace.
His mother’s words still burned in his brain.
‘You will marry the daughter of Bran Ui Choilean,’ she had said, ‘the match is agreed whether ye like it or not.’
Fintan had met his intended bride the previous summer. She was a slip of a girl, of an age with him but appearing much younger than her years. God knows, he’d tried to like her but it was hard, even for a character as affable as his. Nothing pleased her. Nothing displeased her. Nothing seemed to make any impression on her whatsoever.