Early May, 2015
Something had happened, Grainne had no idea what but suddenly things were different. She and Moira had been invisible for so long, Grainne couldn’t remember what it felt like to be noticed and seen. She would never forget the day it had happened though; she could still hear Cormac’s voice as he addressed them.
“My wife,” even the passing centuries hadn’t lessened her memory of the contempt in Cormac’s voice, “and her maid... lovers!” He’d spit that last word out as if it left a foul taste in his mouth.
That had been the last thing he ever said to her. He’d locked Grainne and Moira in Grainne’s quarters and left their keep. Several long hours later Cormac had returned with a Druid who’d imprisoned them permanently, on the stone wall of the castle – visible to each other though unable to communicate, but invisible to the rest of the world. As the druid and Cormac walked away Grainne had listened to their conversation.
“Don’t worry.” The druid’s voice had sounded comforting as he addressed Cormac. “They’ll be there until the day their union will be accepted by a majority.” The memory of Cormac’s cruel laugh in reply still sent shivers down her spine because she’d always known how to translate it. He’d laughed because he believed that day would never come.
Two days ago their invisibility had been lifted. People in strange contraptions on four wheels stopped to look at them. Words like beautiful, sentences like how could anyone think that’s wrong, and love is love reached Grainne’s ears and she knew she didn’t imagine Moira pressing closer to her. It had made no difference for their entrapment but had made Grainne feel less alone for reasons she couldn’t explain.
May 23, 2015
The pain was astounding. Grainne felt as if a power she couldn’t see tore at her, ripping her apart limb by limb and for the first time in hundreds of years she heard Moira’s voice, as her lover’s pain-filled cries mingled with hers. Grainne closed her eyes and accepted that the end of their curse had come and death would bring the release she’d longed for ever since that awful day.
She didn’t know what to expect when she opened her eyes again. Whatever she’d thought death might look like, it hadn’t been standing in a field, surrounded by cows staring at her with their big and rather dumb eyes. She hadn’t dreamed Moira would be with her in the next stage of their existence, holding her hand and stroking a thumb over her skin. Together they stared at the stone tower in front of them, the only part left of Grainne’s former home. The stone was bare, no trace or their image left, the shimmer of magic gone from the air.
The druid’s words as he’d walked away with Cormac came back to Grainne and hope blossomed in her heart that the impossible day had arrived; that the world was now ready to accept the love between her and Moira. They were free, they were alive and they were equal.
Yes, once again there's a clear link between my story and the referendum we just held and PASSED here in Ireland. Considering how momentous an occasion that was, I'm sure you understand my preoccupation and forgive me.
Other stories based on this image can, as always, be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook. Make sure you don't miss them.