Friday, 5 October 2012

October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge Day 5

Saoirse Fifth Year

In Saoirse's fifth year, a deadly plague swept through the city of Aberness. Many either died or were horribly crippled with lingering health issues. King Artair's only son and heir, Art, was the only one in the royal family to fall ill. After many painful days, he eventually passed away in a poppy-induced sleep.

The entire city mourned the young boy's untimely death, but could not be worried too long with the king's problem when they had their own. The city's finest physicians and witches worked to find a cure. Sealbhach, Brighde, and Saoirse were lucky enough to be free of the illness.

When it seemed as though the plague had disappeared, Brighde fell terribly ill. She remained bed-ridden and confined to a room separate from everyone else. Saoirse would often stand in the doorway and watch her mother silently.

The day finally came when Brighde knew she would die. She was getting worse and would not live to see the next sun rise. She called Saoirse to her bedside. Her daughter ran to her, not caring what the doctors said.

"My dear," Brighde croaked. "I want you to know that you are a very special young girl." She gently placed a hand on Saoirse's head and rubbed her thumb on her daughter's forehead affectionately. "I want you to understand that this was not your fault." She gently touched her daughter's eyes with her thumb one at a time. "Grace has given you a gift, and you must learn to use it wisely."

Saoirse nodded. Her eyes were glassy with tears as she watched her mother closely. Brighde was frail and weak. She seemed tiny covered in the many blankets as she was.

"I hope you understand that my death is a part of life. People come and go, with only a select few remaining in your life. You must cling to those people as they will aid you in all your endeavours. I may leave, but another will take my place. A new friend perhaps you will meet." Brighde paused and took a shaky breath. "Please know that I love you."

Her daughter hugged her tightly. When she pulled away, she found her mother had pushed a locket into her hand. "Keep it with you, for it will bring you good luck," her mother said with a smile.

Brighde shivered and looked at her daughter once more. She gripped her hand tightly and smiled as well as she could before closing her eyes and taking a final breath.

The young girl watched to see if her mother would open her eyes again, or take another breath, but when it soon became apparent she had left this world. The doctors tried to take Saoirse away from the room but she fought them. She hit them and kicked, clawing through them to get back to her mother's side. Her tiny frame shook with the force of her sobs. She called her mother's name until they took her away.

Time moved slowly. A witch gently lifted her up and took her away from the room as another doctor pulled the blanket over Brighde's calm face. People watched as she was carried away and taken to her own room. The witch placed her on her bed and left, casting one last sympathetic glance at the young girl.

Sealbhach came to the doorway and spoke to the witch, questioning her. When he heard the news he put a hand against the doorframe to hold himself up. He sent the woman away and looked at his daughter.

Saoirse lay on her bed with her back to her father. She had fallen silent, her tears falling freely down her face and onto the blankets. Her shoulders rose and fell as she took deep breaths.

Her father moved toward her and sat next to her on the bed. He gently placed a hand on her shoulder. She closed her eyes tightly. She turned and looked up at him, her eyes a piercing silver. Sealbhach hugged her tightly and she began to sob again. They sat like that for a long time, both crying onto each other's shoulders.

The moon set and the sun rose, casting its warm light into the room. Saoirse felt it was cruel that the day could be so happy and bright when a tragedy had just occurred.

"Your mother would want us to move on," Sealbhach finally said.

She said nothing.

"Dear, you must go to sleep. Get some rest and we'll speak in the morning."

He tucked her into bed and made to leave. "Father?"

"Yes, Saoirse?"

"I want to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow."

He nodded. "We shall see."

Quote of the day: I don't want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again. - F. Scott Fitzgerald