By Rebecca Demarest
We had already been driving around Ireland for a couple of days when we came across Kinvara. It
We finally found a public parking lot by the bay and the tide was out, so far out in fact that it exposed
I let the camera bump against my chest as I trotted over to the car, rubbing at the gunk on the disk. It was round and I thought I could make out some detailed swirls where the tides hadn’t worn it entirely smooth.
“It’s disgusting, there’s
Sarah and mom led the way
“Excuse me, do you know what this is?” I handed over the coin, which was worn nearly faceless, but still had the vague imprint of a harp and some sort of abstract design on the opposing side.
“O’ course! I’s an old two-penny, from afore the Euro. Here.”
She went over to the bar and drew down a small bowl, pulling a tarnished but legible version of the coin out from its useless brethren.
“’Ave this one, too. I’nt worth much now, ‘s it?”
After trying to trade a new Euro two-penny and being refused, I sat with both the coins on the table, turning them back and forth. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed that the coin wasn’t some old mysterious artifact fallen from some old smuggler’s boat, but it was rather pretty in its own way and I pocketed it with vague ideas to turn it into a necklace later.
After feasting on sea-food chowder made from mussels and clams literally picked up off the empty bay floor, we exited the raw-beamed establishment to find a cat firmly ensconced on our car. And he was not moving.
The orange and white tabby lay high up on the bonnet, propped on the windscreen wipers and was very determinedly
“Ye have a bit o’ a problem, don’
We all jumped at the sound of his voice.
“Th’ kitty thear. He’s a bit o’ a sweet-hart, but a rascal no’ the less.” He strode over to the car and picked the cat up by the scruff of the neck. “Kit-Cat’s
He shook hands around the three of us, and when I grasped his palm, it was warm, sure, but surprisingly like tree bark. I looked down to see his fingers covered in calluses but not at all gnarled from arthritis, as one comes to expect when dealing with someone who appeared as old as he did. I looked back at his face and his eyes caught and held me. They were an incredible shade of green, one that I had only found on this little island. It is the kind of green that doesn’t
He let go of my hand and I stumbled a step backwards, slightly bewildered by the contact. His thumbs slipped back into his suspenders and he rocked back onto his heels. “So, ye lasses be stay’n long, then?”
“Ah, well, no actually,” my mother flustered. “We just stopped to take a look at the castle and had lunch in the pub over there. Great food.”
“Yeah, they’re chowder was A-MAZING and I just can’t get enough of the soda bread!”
“Well, three pretty lasses such as ye’selves should fine a goo’ lad hereabou’ wit a fine piece o’ land and settle don! Ye’d be a nice little improvement to the scenery, ye sisters would.”
The three of us tittered and fumbled over an answer. We’d been getting the sister thing a lot on
“Well, we aren’t sisters.”
“No, no, I’m her mom, and this is her friend!”
“Noh, you be lyin’ ta me! Ye three be sisters, non a day t’over twenty, non a day! Well, I stan’ by wit I said. Ye find a man wit some land and settle don ou’ here. Much bettah than tho’ musky, dirty cities. Irish land, tha’s where ye’d be happy, lasses.”
We turned to look up at the land which supposedly held the key to happiness, and indeed, we felt a surreal sense of calm emanating from those hills. I opened my mouth and turned back
My mother and Sarah turned back as well and we stood there staring at the spot of pavement that had previously been occupied by a very curiously attired, small, old man. Now, most of the time when a writer says that someone stood
I turned a slow circle, taking in the rapidly filling bay, the small high street full of green grocers, pubs, and tea shops, Dungaire Castle standing stoically on the bluff, and above all of that, the brilliant green land. Kit-Cat still sat on the pavement, but was now staring expectantly at me. I stared back.
“I don’t suppose you know where he went, huh?”
He only blinked once and then stood and turned in one fluid
“What a funny guy.” Mom said, deliberately absently, as she flipped through print-outs.
“Yeah, and with those pants and everything.” Sarah sat with the seatbelt half across her body, staring out at the bay.
She shook her head and finished buckling the seat belt and mom slid the folder back into place, throwing the necessary maps and printouts on my navigator’s seat. “He must have so
I looked down at the Irish two-penny still in my hand and rubbed my thumb across the nearly erased harp in the copper. It was warm and soft and felt comfortable resting in my palm. When I looked up and
About The Author
Rebecca A. Demarest is an award-winning author, book designer, and technical illustrator living in Seattle, WA with her husband. Together, they maintain a household jungle, cater to a dog-like cat named Cat and a Portuguese Water Dog named Teal’c. When she isn’t writing, you can find her at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas teaching the youth of Seattle how to get their ideas onto the page, crocheting, embroidering, and playing lots of Dungeons and Dragons. She is currently working on the sequels for everything, so, before you ask, yes, you’ll find out what happened to Benny, Sophia will keep sticking her nose in dangerous places, and Thea will find the seedy underbelly of Oz.
Rebecca’s website: http://www.