Ben leaned his head against the worn leather upholstery and closed his eyes. Nights like these always reminded him of her. Even after all these years he could still smell the scent of her perfume and feel the soft silky texture of her skin on his finger tips. He should’ve forgotten her by now, the…
Jimmy “The Gent” McGinty had cultivated quite an image for himself over the centuries, one of a refined gentleman, a dignified vampire with honor. But that was because he learned long ago that perception is more powerful than reality. At least, in most cases, anyway.
Card Meaning: The Hanged Man may or may not be the worlds first writer. Regardless he is someone who knows the secrets of the written word and has the power to invoke the Norse gods. Generally speaking the Hanged Man is a symbol of contemplation and self-sacrifice. In some cases he may represent a traitor or a complete change in perspective.
Word Count: 988 words
Characters:@CyrusMcCall, @MenaGrazie, Sean
Summary: Sometimes, no matter how far you run, you can’t escape the past. Part 3 of the Irish Witch Hunt SL
A/N: None, really.
A gentle hand swept Sarah’s hair back. Under other circumstances, it wouldn’t have awakened her. But these weren’t ordinary circumstances. Katie was sleeping down the hall and her old friend did NOT look good, no matter what she or her doctors said. So when she felt the whisper touch, she came awake immediately.
“I dinna mean t’wake ye, lass,” Cyrus said with a smile. “Ye look good in red.”
It took her a minute to recognize him and register why he was in her bedroom in the middle of the night.
“What happened?” she asked, scooting over so he could sit down on the edge of the bed. It was a silly thing to do. He didn’t need her to move. He didn’t need to sit down.
“Ah, nothing ye need t’worry about,” he told her. “Me past caught up with me, as ye knew it would.”
Sarah closed her eyes, hiding her reaction. Guilt and pain wouldn’t do him any good and she was carrying around enough of it.
Silence was her only answer. She clamped down hard on the anger that boiled up inside her. It served no purpose. Sooner or later, preferably sooner, Rooney would give her a reason to deal with him the way he deserved. Right now, she had other fish to fry.
“Why are you here?” she asked, opening her eyes to find him staring out the window.
He turned and smiled at her.
“Yer in Ireland, where else would I be?”
She found herself smiling back, the logic of his words was undeniable. And she got the distinct feeling that he was happy. She hoped so.
“My…” Cyrus paused and almost swallowed, “people, they told me you had called them, that night the others broke the curse?”
Sarah nodded. She had expected him to die that night, either when the curse broke or at the hands of Conri’s Pack.
“Well an’ they figured if Death’s maid called, ‘twouldn’t be long before Death Herself appeared, so they lingered, ye might say. When it happened, they were with me me and waiting.”
She smiled. At least something had gone right. Everything else was a mess.
“They also tell me ye’re goin’ after the gypsy…”
“Yes,” she said firmly. She wasn’t going to debate this. “Someone willing and able to twist a loup curse has to be dealt with. You were the first but by no means the last she cast it at. And she’s been getting into other mischief as well.”
A shrill cry split the air. There was a banshee out. Cyrus moved back to the window as though the voice had been calling him.
“I can…” he began.
“No, you can’t,” she interrupted. “This is what I do, who I am. I’ll take care of it.”
“Ye don’ have to do it alone,” he argued.
“Yes, I do.”
“Because I’m the one that can walk away,” she said. “And even if I don’t walk away, no one will care, if they even notice.”
“Tha’s na true,” he said laying a hand against her cheek.
“No, but it’s close enough to pass muster,” she smiled and got out of bed.
The nightdress Katie insisted she wear tickled the top of her feet and she went to her briefcase and took out her athame. Taking a moment to focus, she drove it between the veils. Golden light spilled from the gash. She turned to Cyrus, who was watching her with wide eyes.
“What’s this then?” he asked gruffly.
“Nah, lass, I have things….”
“No. No arguments. You paid for your mistakes and then some. Lurking around here out of some misplaced sense of debt or obligation is pointless. Yes, you have things to do, but not here. Not now. Go.”
Cyrus looked at her for a long time as if he were waiting for her to change her mind. Long enough that her hand and arm began to tremble from the effort of holding the door open. Finally, when she thought she couldn’t hold it any longer, he nodded and stepped through.
The door shut with a snap and she sank to the floor rubbing her arm.
“So that’s what you were hiding,” a voice from the past said from the shadows.
In one motion, she screamed, jumped up and whirled around, her athmae becoming a much more prosaic weapon for defending herself.
Sean’s voice had lost its Irish burr. It fell across her rattled nerves like satin, cool and soothing.
“I knew there was something, something more than just the witch thing.” he continued.
She swallowed several times before she could speak. It also gave her time to think. Unfortunately, it didn’t give her any answers. His face was hidden in the shadows and she was tempted to reach for the light. She could say she was buying time….
“Don’t,” he said as if he knew what she was thinking.
“Don’t?” she wanted to make sure.
“Don’t. Don’t make excuses or try to justify what you did. Just…don’t.”
He was angry. He had every right to be.
“I was going to,” she admitted.
She felt him smile.
“You wanted to see me.”
She nodded, each time raising her chin a little higher, daring him to…what, she didn’t know.
His hands slid into view, riding his thighs to his knees. He sat up, leaning forward onto his hands. Moonlight fell across a face she would always remember and had intended never to see again. Her eyes drank in the sight like water on parched earth. Which was funny, since she realized she was crying.
“Satisfied?” he asked.
She nodded and turned to put her athame away. Strong arms stopped her.
Characters: @MenaGrazie (as Sarah Kirkpatrick), Katie, Sean
Card Meaning: The Six of Cups is a card of nostalgia and longing from the past. It is a sentimental card indicating a desire to return to the golden days of the past, of innocence and childhood.
Summary: Mena, now Sarah again, visits an old friend and finds there is more going on here than she expected. Part Two of the Irish Witch Hunt SL which began with Tea and Trouble.
A/N: nothing really
Walking up the pathway to Katie’s front door left like walking into a magical world or maybe just calling on a Baggins. At least, that was the way Sarah (nee Mena) always thought of it. Of course, the metaphor wasn’t far off. Katie was a powerful witch and the path to her door did indeed lead to a world full of magic, just not the air-brushed fantasy kind. The pathway itself was straight out of a fairy-tale. The Grimm kind, not Disney or even Mother Goose. The enveloping plants could, when necessary, become an impenetrable wall of greenery filled with thorns and other nasty surprises.
She could her the kettle singing through the open window. That was unusual. Katie rarely let it boil that hot. Said it damaged the china teas pots and the tea leaves. To her knowledge no one had ever argued to the point with Katie and no one dared ignore the edict. Swallowing back a sense of dread, Sarah knocked on the door, then let herself in without waiting to see if anyone answered.
To all appearances the house was empty. Only the singing teakettle and carefully set out tea tray indicated that anyone might be home. The first thing Sarah did was remove the kettle from the flame. She wanted to be able to hear any other sounds in the house. Katie’s wards were better than her own. She really couldn’t imagine anyone getting inside who meant her harm but…other things could always happen. She began making her way through the house, checking each room for signs of trouble.
Sarah found Katie in her bedroom, lying peaceful and still upon the bed. For an endless time between one heartbeat and the next, the world stopped.
“You’re late,” Katie observed. “I hope you didn’t go and pour that water into the teapot that hot?”
“No,” Sarah caught herself before adding ma’am.
“Good,” Katie open her eyes and sat up, arranging her bed jacket around her.
“What did ye do t’yer hair?”
Sarah’s hand went to her neck, instinctively. “I know it needs to be cut…”
“Yah, an’ thas’ na what I’m talkin’ to. Last I heard you were a brunette agin.”
Sarah blinked at the old woman, caught totally unprepared. As the silence stretched between them Katie’s smile grew.
“Thought I dinna know, did ye?”
“No,” Sarah admitted, stifling a sigh. “Let me go get the tea and then you can tell me how you knew and what’s going on.”
Sarah returned to the kitchen and poured the hot water, which was no longer boiling, into the teapot after a quick glace to make sure there were already leaves in it. She got the milk from the tiny refrigerator unit and poured into into the cream pitcher then dug a tin of biscuits from her bag and arranged them on a plate. By then she had recovered from her surprise and carried the tea tray carefully back to the bedroom.
Katie had moved to the table by the window, sitting in the chair bathed in sunshine with a lap robe covering her legs. Sarah set the tray on the table and Katie reached to pour the tea. Sarah stopped her, talking the old woman’s fingers and drawing her thin wrist from the folds of her robe. A medical bracelet danced into view.
“What’s this then?” Sarah asked, releasing Katie’s hand and pouring the tea herself.
“’Tis nothin’ fer ye t’worry ‘bout,” Katie said.
“You’re lying,” Sarah smiled, seating herself across the table from her friend.
Katie sighed and sipped her tea, studying Sarah over its rim. Sarah returned the favor and wasn’t heartened by what she saw. Katie, to use an Americanism she would have hated if she’d heard it, looked like she’d been ridden hard and put away wet. She wanted t ask what was going on but knew better. If Katie wanted to talk about it, she would. In her own time and way, of course.
“So an’ what brings you back t’my door?” Katie asked as if she didn’t already have a pretty good idea.
“I came across someone who had been cursed and traced the curse back to a gypsy in Ireland,” Sarah succinctly replied.
Katie’s eyes narrowed and her chin took on a defiant tilt.
“So?” Sarah shrugged.
“Ye couldna’ have telephoned or emailed me?” Katie demanded.
Several answers ran through Sarah mind, all of which were plausible. In the end, she settled for the simple truth.
“I could have,” she admitted, “but I didn’t. This is personal.”
Katie leaned back in her chair, eyes wide.
“I dinna’ know you left anything personal behind….”
Sarah looked out the window. Spring was her favorite season in the UK. The verdant greens and seas of flowers made her feel welcome and at peace like few other places did. Here she could walk the hills and fields and villages for years and never feel unwelcome or out of place. Magick bubbled up from deep roots and cascaded down from skies that could change from the brightest blue to iron grey in the blink of an eye. Ireland wasn’t her home but it was as close as she could get right now. Maybe ever.
“I know the lads be havin’ a spot of trouble with a gypsy witch, but I dinna’ think they’d contact ye. I dinna’ know they could….unless it was Sean?”
Sarah’s head jerked at Sean’s name. She hadn’t seen or spoken with him since she left. That Katie would assume they were still in touch…bothered her.
“No, I haven’t spoken with Sean, nor do I intend to,” Sarah said firmly enough to imply Katie had better not do any matchmaking.
“Well, now, if ye’re hunting a witch, an in particular that witch, ye may not have a choice in the matter,” Katie told her. “But curious I am, if it isna’ Sean who made this personal, who did?”
“What happened to Sean,” Sarah demanded, ignoring the question.
“’Twould seem summa tried to curse him,” Katie grinned. “Th’ backlash lit yer gypsy up like a Yule tree and laid several other trails bare as well which is is what has the lads up in arms about her. Ye wouldna’ ken anything about that would you?”
Sarah closed her eyes and thanked several flavors of deities that the wards she had put around Sean all thouse years ago had held.
The folks over at Comicbooked interviewed Greg Rucka where he discusses the treatment of women by Hollywood and DC Comics. Rucka’s discussion of Hollywood comes in reference to the development of his Queen and Country for the big screen. That discussion, as you’ll see, turns into a discussion…
So, this is it, I guess. But, don’t worry, I don’t plan on disappearing completely. I’ll still post from Tumblr to Crystal’s account and I’ll still pop out with sudden random outbursts, I’m sure, heh…but as for RPing, on Twitter, I’m done. Not only with Crystal, but with all of my characters. The…
~curled up on a chair on the back porch watching @ThadWashington playing with the kids~
It’s been awhile since I’ve written in this journal. Things had been going so well for us. The Jackson Family as a whole has been doing amazing. We helped @CindyLouLouBear get through John’s death and we…
Card Meaning: The Queen of Wands is a savvy businesswoman who’s physically fit & passionate. She’s a good friend & a notorious flirt.
Summary: Having arrived in Dublin and transformed herself into Sarah Kirkpartick, Mena meets up with a former colleague to collect some background information and to catch up with the current status and whereabouts of her circle of local friends and contacts. Part of the Irish Witch Hunt SL.
A/N: None, really.
The Writers Museum was one of her favorite places in Dublin, especially when she was meeting other writers, or, in this case an editor. Before she’d left the States Mena had gotten in touch with a friend who also happened to be the editor of a local independent newspaper, asking her to collect some information on recent bombings that had Irish ties.
Although Maggie was now an editor, not the investigative journalist who relied on her innocent waif-like roots and deep Irish roots to cover the Troubles, Mena had no doubt her friend would provide her with the most complete file available. She had @CyrusMcCall’s story of what had happened to his family and the gypsy’s daughter. And while she felt a little guilty at questioning such a tragic tale, she needed to be sure of the facts. Unfortunately, @CelticClawsBD had managed to muddy the waters and raise some doubts about the situation. If anyone could uncover the truth, or at least the truth as the media and public knew it, it would be Maggie.
She arrived at the Chapter House Cafe in good time to meet Maggie. She had just time to grab a quiche with salmon and asparagus and a cup of tea and secure an out of the way table for two before Maggie hustled in. Management had changed her. The waif was gone and been replaced by a matron of robust girth and obvious influence. She was recognized by the locals, who nodded to her with more than a touch of deference as she stood in the doorway scanning the room.
“Sarah!” Maggie beamed, striding over to the table and catching her friend up in a fierce hug. “Bless me, you haven’t changed a bit!”
Mena, now Sarah, again, hugged Maggie back for all she was worth. She’d missed the woman more than she had known.
“Not all of us get to become respected editors,” Sarah chided. “Some of us are still starving artists.”
“Tha’ dinna make any sense,” Maggie said with a shake of her ebony curls. “I always expected great things from you, a bestseller or a series of articles that changed the world. You were always the better writer.”
“Just not often in the write place at the write time” Sarah grinned, it was an old joke between them.
“Na don’t be startin’ that,” Maggie said taking a seat. “I know better.”
Sarah just shrugged. In fact, she put a significant amount of effort into not being at the right place at the right time but making sure that deserving friends, like Maggie were.
“It’s good to see you,” she temporized. “An’ it’s good t’see you, as well,” Maggie smiled. “I confess, your email took me back a bit, I thought you’d left Ireland fer good.”
“Well, the world is headed to London this year, I figured Ireland was close,” Sarah tried to laugh her absence off. In truth, she hadn’t planned on coming back.
“Indeed they are,” Maggie nodded. “But the world dinna’ ask me to research bombings…” “That’s because the world didna’ need to justify a trip to their editors,” she rejoined.
“Thought it might be something like that,” Maggie leaned back in her seat as a meat pie of some sort and a cup of tea arrived. “I wouldna’ be happy t’find ye’ve taken up with the IRA.”
“Not at all,” Sarah chuckled. “I have more enemies that friends among that lot on the other side of the pond,” she reassured her friend thinking of Rooney.
“I don’ ken that I like that either,” Maggie said through pursed lips. “These are dangerous people.”
Sarah shrugged. It didn’t matter to her whether they were dangerous or not. They weren’t who she was after…yet.
“What did you find out?” she asked after a pause to sample her quiche.
“Not a thing I didna’ know. Things have been quiet the last few years, though there has been an uptick leading up t’this year.”
“Not surprising, with all the attention,” Sarah said.
“No, not a bit,” Maggie pulled a manila envelope from the copious bag she euphemistically called a purse.
“That’s one way t’stop purse snatchers,” Sarah laughed. “Good gracious, they probably couldna lift the thing if they snagged it and be afraid to put their hand inside for fear of what you’ve got in there!” Now it was Maggie’s turn to shrug good naturedly.
“I willna’ say it donna’ help,” she allowed “but tha’s na why I carry it.”
Sarah considered pursuing the topic but decided the best thing she could do for her friend was let it drop. She didn’t need or want to get tangled up in things here again.
“So,” Maggie said, sipping her tea. “You should stop by an’ see Katie while you’re here. She’s not as young as she used to be and…”
“And?” Sarah looked up from the once-over she was giving the files.
“There’s somethin’ stirrin’ but I dinna’ ken what. She’s worrit, for certain, but willna’ talk t’me. Mebbe she’ll talk t’you.”
The word Magick sat unspoken between them. Maggie knew Sarah was a witch, though her own skills in that direction were limited. Maggie was highly intuitive. Sarah had learned long ago to listen when Maggie made vague suggestions like that.
“If you think it will help, I’ll pay her a visit,” Sarah said. “I was planning to anyway.”
Maggie looked relieved. And she didn’t ask if Sarah would be staying with Katie or elsewhere. Both were unusual for Maggie. Sarah wondered what had happened, or was happening to make her friend so cagey.
“I’ll see what I can do,” Sarah repeated. “Any other business?”
“No, ‘cept maybe Katie’s troubles and tired up with other Troubles as well.”
Sarah sat back, thinking. That put things in a different light, and not a good one. She didn’t need more enmity between her and Irish rebels. Still, she had no choice but to go see Katie. She was hunting a witch and if anyone knew where to find the gypsy, it would be Katie.
After dropping that little stone in the pond, the two women fell into the easy conversation of old friends catching up on news and gossip. By the time Maggie needed to return to her office, Sarah had a broad understanding of the situation here, economically, politically, socially and personally.
“I don’t think either would enjoy it much, I always thought a meeting between Amy Pond and Dr. Watson would be funnier. They’d get on, ‘what’s yours like?’ that sort of thing, then they’d stand up.”—Steven Moffet during tonight’s Facebook event celebrating the upcoming premiere of Sherlock on Masterpiece this weekend. And based on the hand gestures, Amy is significantly taller than Dr. Watson.
I signed up again this year to be part of the WordCount Blogathon and while my tumblr isn’t my official Blogathon 2012 site (www.preternaturalpost.com is) I can’t resist sharing this with all my RP friends and family. I hope it makes you laugh as much as I did!