Liam watched the boy move through the shadows and noted that his movements held the familiar grace of the faerie world he was leaving behind. The Book of Lore & Legends was tucked firmly in his pack and he wove his way through trees and thickets toward the sea where Luiseach would meet him and see him off on his departure from the Irish Isle. Like Liam had been years before, the boy was tasked with protecting the sacred magic from the Dark One. Of course, what none but Liam knew was part of the sacred magic remained here, on the Isle, and another part resided with someone known only to Liam. Despite its name and the history it held, the Book of Lore & Legends held little connection to the sacred magic now that those pages had been removed by Liam.
As the boy neared the sea, Liam sensed the shifting darkness and willed the boy and Luiseach to move quickly through this final stage of the boy’s passage into the human world. For quite some time now, Liam had felt Myrddin, the Dark One, winding his way into Dearbháil seeking the ancient magic that had existed long before many of the faeries except for Dearbháil, Luiseach, and Ulleam (before he became Liam).
At last the boy stood upon the rocky shore and the cloaked figure of Luiseach approached from behind the dunes. Overhead the clouds closed in over the moon, leaving the sea and the forest edge in deeper darkness and Liam sensed the Dark One hidden too close by. The boy must have felt it also within the Book’s power, for his head looked to and fro as if in alarm and he clutched his sack closer to his chest, searching for escape.
“Luiseach,” the boy called to the approaching figure. She did not respond and Liam realized that the figure was not, in fact, Luiseach, but Myrddin himself. How had he known where the boy would be, Liam wondered.
“Run!” Liam shouted from the tree line. Liam, too, began to run, but unlike the boy who ran from the shore at Liam’s insistence, Liam ran toward it, and toward Myrddin. From the dunes, the boy watched the aura surrounding the cloaked figure shift and grow, a menacing darkness swirling around the figure and overtaking all that it touched with ink-black dense darkness until the boy could no longer see either figure on the beach.
“You must go now.” Luiseach appeared beside the boy from the surrounding darkness.
“Who is that on the beach?”
“Myrddin is seeking the magic. There is no time for anything but leaving now,” Luiseach told him.
“Ulleam did not say your destination in his instructions except for an address in Boston.”
“Boston,” the boy repeated.
“And, dear Anrái, your human name will be Henry, as close a connection to home that you will have aside from the Book,” said Luiseach.
“Henry,” he said, trying on the name.
“You will grow into it,” Luiseach assured him. “Now, you must go. And, remember, the Book’s portal to Dearbháil must only be used as a means to protect the sacred magic.”
Henry nodded. Behind them, on the beach, the storm of darkness intensified until it exploded across the sky like a tempest. The sizzle of lightening in the sky gave Luiseach and Henry a brief glimpse of the two figures on the beach, and they could see that the one who had run down from the trees and was holding off the Dark One was weakening. Luiseach turned to the boy and anointed him with a tincture she pulled from within her cloak and chanted the ancient verses that would send Anrái into the human world to become Henry where he would protect the sacred magic. [Insert an Incantation later]
As Luiseach spoke the final word of the Incantation, thunder rumbled and lightening split the sky and Henry disappeared into the night. With haste, Luiseach cloaked herself in the essence of hyssop and lavender and flitted swiftly into the deep center of the forest of Dearbháil. Behind her, weak and worn, Liam lay half dead from his effort against Myrddin and yet he gave thanks that Myrddin left him in pursuit of the boy and Luiseach, neither of whom he knew Myrrdin would find. With great effort, he, too, covered himself against the night and made his way toward the town he’d left much too soon to hide himself from all those who still sought him.
Henry stood in the middle of the Public Gardens with only his pack and an address. He wondered again at the distance between Boston and the Irish Isle and how being here related at all to the sacred magic, but for the moment he sat enchanted by the misty essence of the pond, the weeping willows, and other looming and bending trees that stood like sentries along the pond’s edge. Henry had chosen one such weeping willow as his temporary haven from the human world. Hidden from the people who were walking with determined gaits through the garden, Henry stared at the address and wondered what he would discover there. For this night, however, he chose to bed down beneath the tender branches that stretched toward the ground and gave him a small sense of being at home in Dearbháil.
“Hey!” Henry awoke to someone rocking him to and fro with a booted foot on his legs. “This is my spot so move on.” With a groan, Henry sat up and looked at the man whose face was now inches from his own. “Didja hear me, boy?” the man demanded.
“I did,” replied Henry.
“Then move on out,” the man said.
“If you’ll just help me out with something, I’ll certainly move from this spot.”
“I don’t owe you no help.”