The Siren’s Bones (4)

 

Previous:  Chapter Three

cottage in clare

If the Captain was ever in doubt as to Muireal’s paternity he never voiced it. In spite of the child’s impairments and odd behaviours  he doted on her as did her two older brothers. There was such a wild sweetness in Muireal’s  demeanour that captivated all their hearts.  Of course she was never sent off to school like the boys. Fiona preferred to keep her safe at home and away from any cruel stares and ridicule.

On Sunday mornings the Captain’s family often had the church pew all to themselves during service.  The village women worried that the child’s webbed hand and muteness might be contagious especially if any of them were with child, themselves. No one knew if Muireal’s afflictions had some darker aspect and so as is often the case in small communities, much whispering and speculation took place in the village.  Eventually Fiona stopped taking her daughter into town. Any teaching or bible readings from then on were done at home though Muireal continued her rather unchristian like rituals of arranging shells and bones and gesturing to the wind and waves. It was at this time that Muireal’s life began to take on a new dimension.

pampas on orkneys

One day when the younger boy Donal, was about to go off to school his trunk was mysteriously emptied of all his clothes and books. They were discovered scattered behind the sheep shed but by that time Donal had missed the sailing from the island to the mainland. During that particular crossing a terrible storm came up suddenly and blew the small ferry off course. It was dashed against the rocks and sank. Some passengers drowned and the island was plunged into mourning.

After that, Fiona began to look at Muireal in a different light. Everywhere and in everything concerning her daughter she sensed veiled messages whose meaning somehow eluded her.  During the summer when they would take their little boat out on the loch, teams of harbour seals would suddenly gather and swim around and under the keel, their heads bobbing up and down in playful greeting.  Muireal would laugh and bend over the gunwale so far it looked like she was ready to dive into their midst.  Her brothers would hang onto her skirts to pull her back. Then there was the music. Whenever Muireal played her flute out on the rocks, the following day the fishing would be very good off the nearby point. Word traveled around quickly in a small community.  Fiona didn’t know if the secret or circumstance of Muireal’s birth was a miracle or a curse but whatever it was it had begun to haunt both her dreams and waking hours.

One warm August evening, at twilight, on the night of the shooting stars Muireal was nowhere to be found and didn’t answer Fiona’s calls.  Filled with a momentary panic and premonition Fiona searched outside and finally found her lying on an old tarp at the bottom of the garden. When Muireal saw her mother she ecstatically pulled her down to lie beside her.  Leaning over and putting her webbed fingers to her lips in a wisht* motion she then cupped her mother’s ears in her small hands, all the while looking up into the unfurling curtain of the night sky.  Though no word was spoken a small voice inside Fiona’s head seemed to say “listen mother! can you hear them? the stars are coming out!” In that little gesture everything came together in clarity and Fiona understood everything. She folded her daughter into her arms and holding back a sob whispered, “Where are you going my sweet child?”  and where ever it was, Fiona now knew that she would not be able to go with her and protect her, and her tears fell like burning stars.

Duff2

Summer eventually became autumn and one night when the boys were away at school and the Captain had gone into town to meet with friends Muireal suddenly got up from her chair by the fire and began to set an extra place at the table. Fiona removed the setting but Muireal very purposefully put it back again. Just as they sat down to eat there was a knock at the door. With great apprehension Fiona  answered it and was blinded for a moment by the full moon rising up from the clouds. A man stepped out of the shadows and though years had passed she gasped in recognition. Duff had returned.

 ailein duinn – dark haired Alan

Muireal's flute2colour

 

ship2
chapter three

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Five

 

_______________________________

*Wisht is shhh

gunwale is the side edge of a small boat

To my friends and wordpress supporters!!  

Here  is another chapter though I keep revising and more revising again and again. It seems  if I sit on it for longer than two days I become more and more critical and in danger of never posting it at all.   At any rate I never know for sure where I am going with a story and sometimes I just try to let it tell itself. It’s wonderful to be given an inspiration but much harder to develop it along with the style and literary components. So read at your leisure dear “people of the page” ( I love that term by Anne Rice)- and for those who don’t read I hope you will enjoy the images which tell a tale themselves.

67 Comments Add yours

  1. milliethom says:

    The photographs and music are absolutely wonderful, Cybele, but your beautiful story is even more so. It’s a while since I read the previous chapter, so I did a quick recap, and I’m becoming increasingly captivated as I read. I’m now dying to find out why Duff has come back and in which direction Muireal’s life will head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am thrilled you are enjoying the story and hope I won’t disappoint! Many thanks Millie!

      Like

  2. Norma says:

    I’m so glad I’m reading it. 😀 The photo of the cottage is really mystical. Is the song in Scottish language, Moon? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that cottage too! The song is Scottish Gaelic which is of course very similar to Irish Gaelic as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norma says:

        Thanks for letting me know, Moon.:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. DG MARYOGA says:

    I can’t leave,I am magnetised by the majestic photos,they bring out your forceful thoughts,they paint them and sprinkle them with mysterious light … the “lamenter” the song plays,lends pain,your unreined imagery blends voices from your soul,high emotion,darkness ….
    As your story unfolds,I trace supernatural elements and strong narratives that make it tantalisingly gripping,Cybele … All seems to revolve in the legendary Lands that have imprisoned your writing spirit …
    And me,still standing outside that quaint cottage,I want to open the door,but you it’s locked,it hides all the secrets,Duff is here again;was he in the liittle ferry that sank and plunged the village into mourning … ???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh oh, I have you!! So pleased that the tale and atmosphere have taken you to other realms. It is all a storyteller can hope for!
      Duff is a rather mysterious fellow and even I don’t know how he comes and goes! Thanks so much dear Doda!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DG MARYOGA says:

        My pleasure Cybele dear!I usually read your captivating story after midnight and when everybody sleeps.It’s so quiet,the only thing I can hear is an owl ululating ..”u-lu-lu or a calling tu-whit-tu ..and when the night is balmy some crickets join …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oh that sounds like a magical time!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. DG MARYOGA says:

        Hope tonight I’ll come along … 🙂 xxx
        I have received 2 more emails with your story,I saw them on my tab while I was sitting on the beach outside our seaside house in Peloponnese.I can’t wait 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. oh thank you Doda, whenever you have time. Thank you so much for your support!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. DG MARYOGA says:

        I do it with great pleasure,dear Cybele.I am looking forward to reading the rest of your fabulous story 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This story is amazing, Cybele. It’s so full of mystery and wild beauty. I can smell the sea air behind those words of yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad I was able to evoke all that! Thank you for reading and for another lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. katieprior says:

    ooh! how exciting, I’ve missed reading these stories, now have got loads to catch up on, I’ll go grab a cuppa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted you are enjoying it Katie!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sixpixx says:

    Oh, wow. This could easily compete with a whole range of young adult fantasy fiction – and I read lots when the boys were younger – any chance you fancy writing a whole novel? I’d love to read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are very kind!! thank you Six!! A whole novel seems a bit daunting lol!

      Like

    1. thank you! Virtual images do go well with these stories it seems too.

      Like

  7. Peter Nena says:

    Where’s more? You know those stories you read and you don’t even know that you are reading them because it’s your heart that’s doing the reading? The Siren’s Bones is like that. It’s like it goes with the heartbeat. I remember I had the same feeling when reading the Nightingale and the Rose

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t imagine a more wonderful compliment, seeing that Oscar is one of my favourites too!! Thank you so much Peter and there is more to come! it’s a process of putting my words and vision together in a cohesive manner- a tad harder work and I’m slow lol!! Hope to read something by you again soon!! Take care my friend and have a good weekend!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Suzanne says:

    A great story and such fabulous imagery. You really take your readers into another, more magical world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much Suzanne! I’m thrilled and honoured that you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. pattimoed says:

    You’re spinning a wonderful tale, Cybele. I love the elements of mystery and the supernatural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for reading Patti!! I hope I can keep the right combination!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It just keeps getting better and better! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks my friend!!!

      Like

  11. Amy says:

    Thank you for introducing the book. Your photos, Wow! am speechless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you like them and thank you Amy! As for the tale- It’s only a short story with a few chapters . It’s easier for me to write them chapter by chapter, like the old cliff hanger lol!!

      Like

  12. Adrian Lewis says:

    Well, you know me, Cybele, I’m all for images – and these are fantastic, and especially so the 2nd and 3rd down – wonderful stuff! A 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Adrian! Images work for me too!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great, I’ve already read. Thank you Cybele!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Della!!! More to come!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the story and pictures. Please continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Sherry, I will try!!

      Like

  15. Loving this magical story Cybele and I absolutely adore that picture of the cottage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. your support means so much! Thank you Andrea! and yes, I’d like to live there! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, I’m sitting on the edge of my chair wanting to turn to the next chapter to find out how this meeting goes!

    Great images as always. I love the cottage with its wonderful flower boxes brimming with blossoms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Deb for reading and for your enthusiasm!! it will all unfold- somehow! I am a bit slow these days and it seems WordPress is very slow loading for me on my PC. I’m wondering if anyone else has this problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I adore your images. I found your Flickr page and I am blown away by the atmospher in your photos. I have bookmarked the story to read at another moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Christel and welcome. oh and Your travel blog is lovely!!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. sedge808 says:

    ‘the stars are coming out’
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you hear them too eh?! the “eh” is very Canadian btw! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    2. PS and thanks for reading!!

      Like

  19. I am immensely enjoying your intriguing story, Hannah. Your images are so beautiful. You know I was always admiring the images, but now I am really into the story too :-).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so pleased at such a great comment, it means a lot! Thank you Pam!!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. lauramacky says:

    I have a feeling that the girl came from a place I once knew and loved. FABULOUS imagery Hanna! You have got the gift!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura! I’ve been home sick the last few days and a wonderful comment like yours cheers me up immensely!! Thank you for reading! Hope all is well and though I’m behind again (in everything lol) will pop over to visit you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lauramacky says:

        I hope you feel better soon! Life is all about balance. Something doesn’t go right or we don’t feel good, it’s nice when something brightens us up! I’ve been off here too because of my twitching eye lol. I’m here a bit more now but still have to monitor my computer use. Pun intended!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. witty girl!! we have to take care of those “windows” to the soul 😀 The PC is not good that way I know, but I don’t think TV is either. Hope it rights itself soon!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lauramacky says:

        Grins. Thank you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  21. sheldonk2014 says:

    I like what you said about messing around with it too much
    You won’t post it
    That’s exactly what I do
    I did six collages one rite after the other
    Yours are beautiful as usual
    Words of wisdom
    Great to hear
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Sheldon!! Glad you understand lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Dang…………..you stopped. What is Duff doing back? Great pics (as usual)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, the b—er!! lol it will unfold! thanks Julz!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Boudicca says:

    This tale is taking us on such a wonderful journey …..every chapter opens a window on the unique and mysterious world of Muireal.
    I thirst for the next chapter..but hate the thought that it will bring us closer to an ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy you are enjoying the story. Thank you for taking the time to comment so encouragingly! Thank you Boudicca!!

      Like

      1. Boudicca says:

        Always a pleasure.
        B x

        Like

  24. Sue says:

    Ooh, it’s taking shape, Hannah! And as ever, your photographs are mesmerising….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh I am so pleased. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        You are most welcome! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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