Title: Fantasia Divinity
Series: Short Stories
Release Date: August 3, 2017
ISSUE 12, JULY 2017
My story, "The Visitors" is the lead tale in the latest issue of Fantasia Divnity magazine, originally published July 2017.
"Tell me a tale," I demanded of Máthair every night. I was a child, impatient and fretful. If I didn't ask, she might forget.
"Tá go leor agam," she always whispered back. I have many.
Tales tumbled from Ma's mouth like ripe fruit from a summer tree. She would pierce each one open with her voice, sending words flowing like juice, and me there to drink in every drop. I received my sweet portion at bedtime as part of the tuck-in ritual, but I had to wait in the near-dark, burrowed and warm under one of her misshapen crocheted throws until she was ready.
Eventually my bedroom door would swing wide and she'd stand in the in-between, a shadow blocking the hallway light. She would cross into my world, closing the door behind and leaving us illuminated by nothing more than my nightlight – a ceramic fairy resting on her knees, head bowed, hands cupped in her lap. The fairy's wings pulsed with thin shifting colors.
Ma would turn to English then, which I understood better. "Have you collected all my tales yet, Fianna?"
"I'm trying," I'd insist.
She'd loop one of my dark unruly strands of hair around her fingers then, and tug gently. "Well," she'd say. "I must give you some more."
When Máthair spoke, her stories were about everything: dreams and perfect nothingness, unimaginable beasts and soaring bright birds, worlds beyond this and lost creatures that ventured between one and the other. Her tales had no beginnings, no conclusions. They just were, as if she was in fact plucking them from unseen branches.
She would speak for a time with her musical lilt, then her voice would pause and the silence stretch out. She might crane over me then, thick auburn hair whispering over my cheek. If I was not already lulled to sleep – and I became very good at not being so lulled – I would let my eyes fly open and in that moment see her as a creature from her stories.
"'Tis all for tonight, mo stór," she would finish. My treasure.
She never said, "The end."