Celtic Dream Picture

Éadaoin had gone outside to get water for the evening meal. While at the well she thought she saw the family milch cow outside its barn. “That's odd”, she thought, for father was always careful to put the cow away safely in the evening.

Leaving the water bucket at the well she walked over to the edge of the field. There was no cow was in sight. Puzzled she gazed around the emerald field as the long shadows of evening deepened around her. Finally she decided that her eyes had deceived her and she turned back to the house.

The warm light of the cook fire and candles glowed from the still-open door and small windows of their cottage, but this was not what Éadaoin saw. Instead her attention was drawn to the distorted form of the beast that stood between herself and that beautiful light. Fully tall as a man but with the head of a dun-colored goat, a Fomoire blocked her path back home.

Éadaoin stayed still, hoping that the creature had not seen her. Perhaps it would pass on its way and she could get to the cottage. Moments went by, and the darkness grew deeper. The crescent moon sent a weak yellow light over the grassy hills and a curlew's call broke the stillness. Éadaoin realized that the creature was not going to pass along, and it must in fact be watching her. She thought to back into the shadows of the hedgerow, but at her movement the beast began moving towards her.

She took a few steps down the track which ran along the edge of the field and the creature continued to follow. Her heart was pounding now and every instinct screamed for her to get back to her cottage, but that was impossible. She stopped moving for an instant, but the creature kept coming. At this sight she screamed and began to run.

Over her shoulder she could spy the beast, loping along keeping pace with her. Where could she go, what refuge could she find? Sharp stones in the path injured her pounding feet while the cool night air cleared her mind of panic. She remembered the advice of her brother Hugh. He had said that all the monsters spoken of by the old folks were afraid of the holy ground around the chapel. The chapel was right down the road, maybe that was her chance.

Éadaoin ran. She ran with all her might and over the rise she could see the stoney chapel sitting solid and reassuring in the moonlight. She pushed harder and saw the high cross which stood before the chapel and made for it.

Just as she reached the high cross her toe struck a stone and she sprawled onto the ground. In terror she rolled over and threw up her hands, expecting the Fomoire to be upon her. But, it was not. Instead the creature stood still as if in shock, fear in its own eyes and a greenish light playing over its body. Éadaoin's eyes sought for the source of the light and found the high cross. Brilliant light poured from fissures in the surface of the stone and from the inscription upon it. That light seemed to cause pain to the beast, and it recoiled before the glare. With a strangling cry, the creature turned and fled into the darkness.

Éadaoin clung to the cross, which continued to glow with its unearthly light. She grew tired and eventually slept, and the morning sun found her there and roused her from her slumber. Upon her return home, only Hugh believed her tale and eventually she would tell herself that it had just been a dream. However, never again would Éadaoin permit herself to be caught outside near sundown.

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