THE FAIRY KING

 

By

 

Catherine Paige

Chapter One

As exhausted as Trudy was from her flight all the way across the ocean to Ireland and the long drive that followed that to reach the little village she was staying in, she was still so excited when she’d settled in her room she couldn’t rest to save her life. 

She tried.  She undressed to get comfortable, darkened the room and turned on her ‘white noise’ machine that she always used to focus and achieve calm for relaxation when she needed sleep.  She closed her eyes and pretended she was actually listening to the patter of rain on a tin roof.

According to the clock, she spent a full hour trying to get to sleep just to take a two hour nap.

Giving up finally, she got up and went to take a shower since she felt sticky and germy from travel. 

It didn’t relax her.

In point of fact, it perked her right up.

Dismissing the idea of actually resting while she was on vacation, she got dressed and decided to take a little walk around the village while she waited for her dinner.

She was probably going to fall asleep at the table, she thought irritably, but she had some daylight and it seemed a shame to waste it when she only had a short five day stay and it would probably be her one and only trip to Europe.

The village was everything she’d hoped for and still nothing like she’d expected.  There were structures from the old, old days—a time when they’d built things and didn’t want to have to build them again.  There were modern structures and pretty much everything in between.

She got to hear local talk. 

She couldn’t decide if they were speaking English with an accent or Gaelic—but she didn’t understand a word.

And she was very happy about it.

It might be inconvenient, but she hadn’t flown all the way across an ocean to listen to accents she was completely familiar with—and spent a sizable chunk of what was supposed to be her retirement money.

For the most part, she was ignored, and she was satisfied with that, too.  She got an occasional nod—which was nice—but she hadn’t expected them to be particularly thrilled to have her so she didn’t take in bad part.

In point of fact, since her grandmother was Scottish, she’d thought it possible they were as standoffish as the Scotts—well her grandmother’s ‘clan’ anyway.

 Not terribly warm people that she’d seen and they were deeply suspicious of strangers—her grandmother’s family.  She hadn’t been to Scotland.  She hoped to get the chance, but she mostly wanted to see the Emerald Isle.

In any case, she was focused on ‘absorbing’ the local atmosphere and staring at the goods displayed in the shop windows in hopes of finding something really, really special to buy as a souvenir.

She came upon a bookshop after a bit that had a display of tourist pamphlets in the window and went in. 

The shopkeeper immediately greeted her—she was pretty sure.

“I’m sorry I’m southern.  I can’t understand you.”

The woman looked at her blankly and then frowned.  “Are ye Yank then?”

Cassie gave the woman a look.  “No.  I’m from Georgia.”

The woman looked even more confused.  “Russia?”

Cassie gaped at her.  “My accent sounds Russian?” she asked blankly.

“Ah … no.  Ye said Georgia, though.”

“Oh!  Georgia in the USA.”

The woman frowned.  “I thought ye said ye weren’t a Yank.”

“I’m not.  I’m from Georgia …. OH!  No we call northern people Yankees.  Never mind.  I was looking for something local to help me find my way around to see the local sites.”

“Ah, well, yer in the back of beyond here, lass.  Ye’ll not be seein’ much.”  She moved closer, though, and picked through the pamphlets until she found one on the local history.  “Would that be all?  Or will ye lookin’ around?”

The Fairy King

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