They once spoke of the magic that ran in my family’s veins as something sacred. I always thought of it as codswallup; there was no such thing as magic and there never would be.
When I was younger strange things would happen around me and my family; things most people couldn’t rationally explain. As I got older things got even more peculiar. As much as I tried to pass it off as a figment of my imagination, I could only use that excuse for so long.
Now I have come to grips with this reality. Strange things were destined for me. This is my tale.
The dogs started barking at nothing again today. Pa things there might be something out in the woods again. It’s codswallup in my opinion. Those dogs are just stupid, that’s all. Kendra’s coming to the farm soon. I can’t wait! I haven’t seen her since last spring, when the weird things started happening again. Well Mamma’s calling so I’ll write more later…
Ember McSanders was born into a medium sized family on the hills of Kilkenny, Ireland. Her mother Amber and her father Tristan where one of the greatest witches and wizards of their time. As much as the longed for their children to have the adventures that they had along with they’re dear friends; they vowed that they would never speak of it.
Much to their surprise Ember didn’t want to believe in the faeries and goblins that her older relatives often talked about. Even her best friend and cousin, Kendra believed in the tales. But Ember was stead fast in her opinion. It was all codswallup and there wasn’t any way you could make her believe.
Even when the family would get together Ember would not listen to the tales; not without voicing her opinion that it was all rubbish and that they were folly to believe in it all. But the strange things that happened to her family she couldn’t deny forever. Soon even she came to believe in it all. A small part of her wanted it to be true, for she longed to escape from the world she lived in.
It was a sunny day, which came as a shock to most on the farm. The wind was cool and soft making Ember’s short auburn hair blow all around her face. She wrapped her shawl around her tighter as goose bumps began to rise on her pale arms. She took in the rich rolling hills of her lands in a fiery gaze from her grey-green eyes. Today was the day that Kendra was coming to stay with her all spring and summer.
It was rarely that Ember was allowed this treat. Her parent’s didn’t always let Kendra come to stay at their farm because the strange things always happened. Ember had stopped believing them to be false; and now listened to the tales with a slight enthusiasm.
Ember was brought out of her thoughts as she heard the hounds began barking again.
“Damn dogs!” Her father roared as he stepped out of the house. The porch door slammed against the door frame and the thud of her father’s foots steps brought him around to where she stood.
Ember watched him with weary amusement in her eyes.
“Ah, so this is where you got off to.” Her father said stopping beside her and giving her a nudge.
“Oh, Pa,” Ember mock whined.
“Are you excited?”
“Ecstatic Pa, that’s more the term I’d use.” Ember said pulling the shawl closer to her again. “Do you think the dogs see things we can’t Pa?”
He gave her a stern look as he contemplated just how to tell her that they indeed did. “The dogs are just stupid like you say.” And with that he walked away.
Ember starred at him for a long time, her eyes full of questioning. Just a few moments ago she over heard him telling Mamma that they were barking at the people in the woods. Could he be hiding things from her?
The sound of her mother’s voice rang like a dull bell in her ears, “Ember Moiré McSanders!”
“Coming Mamma,” Ember shouted back.
As she walked into the house she was almost run over by her twin brothers, Timothy and Thomas.
“Oops, sorry Em,” They yelled back as they both set off into the yard; probably to work with Pa.
Ember shook her head and let out a soft laugh. As she rounded the corner her mother was right in her face.
“What took you so long?” Her mother barked.
“I was talking to Pa.” Ember stammered.
“Well you need to clean this house so Kendra doesn’t think we live in a pig sty.”
“Yes, Mamma,” Ember whispered.
Her mother bustled away brandishing a duster in her hand. Ember shook her head again. There went that slow morning she was hoping for.
By one that afternoon Ember had washed all the dishes, scrubbed the floors and windows and about a dozen other things her mother had found for her to do and still Kendra wasn’t there yet.
After finding herself finished with all of her chores and not wanting her mother to find more for her, Ember put on her walking boots and a sweater. Devon, her hound bounded over to her as she made her way towards the woods.
“Hey there,” she laughed as the dog jumped on her. “Want to come with me to the woods?” She asked the dog. She didn’t wait for a reply before she ran towards the woods.
Devon followed behind her barking playfully. Ember looked behind her now and again and laughed at the dog that followed her. She stopped as she reached the forest. There was always something about the woods that made her skin prickle. She waved her hands over the air that stood between her and the woods. The air was if it could be thicker; it buzzed around her yet was still and quiet.
She looked back to the house, biting her lip. To
go in or not to go in that is the question. She thought to herself. She turned her head back towards the woods and took them in again with her piercing eyes. She glanced back towards the house and bit her lip harder than the first time. Devon barked and she looked back into the woods quickly. A pair of stormy blue eyes looked back at her for a second before disappearing again.
She leapt back from the woods tripping over the dog and falling right on her backside.
“Bloody hell,” she breathed.
Devon barked again and the noise, like that of a flute met her ears. She had never heard anything like it in all her life; and she lived in Ireland for Christ’s sake.
“Ember,” Her father yelled, “Ember, Kendra is here!”
Ember gingerly sat up, never taking her eyes off the woods. There had been a pair of eyes, a pair of blue eyes, hadn’t there? She looked up to the house again and then quickly back to the woods. She finally believed what the dogs had been trying to tell her all along; there definitely was something, or someone in the woods.
Running up the hill she found Kendra getting her belongings out of a car. She smiled and bounded over to her.
“Kendra,” She greeted.
“Em,” Kendra squealed turning around in a rush of deep chocolate waves.
The two gave one another a great big hug that lasted for several seconds.
“It’s wonderful to see you again.” Kendra smiled her honey brown eyes beaming at her cousin.
“Yes, it’s been too long, hasn’t it?” Ember said smiling.
“Indeed it has,” Kendra said going back to getting her bags out of the car.
“Here, let me help you.” Ember breathed grabbing up two of her bags.
“So, Aunt Amber tells me that you finally believe.” Kendra said sweetly.
Ember laughed, “Yes, I finally do. After-all when you live here, next to those woods, you have to start
believing sooner or later.”
Kendra gave her a coy look.
The pair had been trying to enter those woods for years, yet Ember’s father or mother had always stopped them from entering.
“What do you mean, Em?”
Ember glanced around her, making sure that no one else was around. “I saw something, just a little while ago. I’ll tell you more when we put all this away.” She whispered.
Kendra nodded and the pair continued on in silence.
After putting down Kendra’s bags in the spare room, Ember led Kendra outside and away from the house.
“What is it already; I can barely control my excitement.” Kendra said giggling.
“Oh, fine,” Kendra whispered.
“I was at the woods just before you came. I was going to try and enter, but something kept me away from it,” she paused looking around again before continuing, “It was like I knew I needed to wait for you before entering; but while I was there I saw a pair of beautiful blue eyes look back at me, human eyes Kendra.”
“Human? Are you sure?” Kendra asked.
“I’m quite sure,” Ember whispered. “And then they disappeared when I fell back and then this beautiful music filled my ears.”
“Oh!” Kendra exclaimed and then put a hand to her mouth, forgetting that they were supposed to be quiet. “You must have seen one of the faeryland people.”
“Do you really think so? Or do you think that there is just some young kid in my woods?”
“No, don’t be silly. Remember the stories that Grandpa and Grandma used to tell us of the faery people?”
“No, I never paid attention.”
“Well, they say that after you see a faery person you hear this beautiful music that sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard. No instrument that was made here can ever sound like it.”
Ember looked at her cousin wide eyed. “That’s exactly what it sounded like. Oh my…”
Kendra giggled some more. “We have to go in this year.”
“Are you crazy?” Ember hissed.
“You tried going in yourself today and then didn’t feel right going in with out me. Well here I am! Let’s go in.”
Ember gave Kendra one of those you’ve got to be kidding me looks.
“Oh, come on. You know you want to go in.” Kendra said teasingly. “Besides, we’re both 18 now, so we can’t get into trouble for going in.”
“That’s right!” Ember ex lamed. “How could I have forgotten that?”
Kendra laughed, “We are talking about you aren’t we?”
Ember playfully hit Kendra’s shoulder. “Oh hush.”
“So how exactly do you plan on getting us in?” Kendra asked after the pair had been sitting in silence for some time.
“You mean how do we plan on getting us inside.” Ember retorted. “Honestly, I don’t know if there is a
way. Pa’s always outside late at night…”
“Why’s he out late?” Kendra interrupted.
Ember fixed her with her grey-green eyes. “I don’t know. Mamma and Pa don’t tell me much of anything. And now that I believe they’re telling me less. Usually I would have been in big trouble for going anywhere near the woods. Luckily, Mamma and Pa were to busy to see me sneak
“Hmm…” Kendra mumbled. “I think the best course of action is to sneak out. We should do it tonight though; remember your mom always lets us stay up after they go to bed on the first night. We can sneak out then!” Kendra whispered.
“Tonight? You want to sneak out of this house tonight? Are you mad?”
“No, of course I’m not mad. It’s just the logical thing to do. We’ll have to sneak out some food of course and some extra clothes and water. Oh, and we should bring some weapons and possibly a walking stick…”
“Are you suggesting we gather all of those things today?”
Kendra sighed, “Well of course.”
“Than we better get started,” Ember smiled.
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