Story for the Day: Godly Sight
While Aoidhe and Borras regularly appear to Frewyns during prayers or holidays, more prudent Gods only appear to some in secret, and when there is a child to be humoured, even the most illusive of Gods will reveal themselves:
|More of Menor here|
Amongst the bouquet of well-wishers crowding the royal party, who were come to offertheir compliments and say their long goodbyes, amidst the examining of watches and passing remarks of the hour’s being later than anyone had expected, though the sun had be gone many hours, amid the pandiculations of feigned fatigue and the heady stagger of inebriety, Brighel looked up at the sky to mark out the scintillating stars and attach herself to her father’s leg. The chief of her evening had been spent in sitting with the children at table, lighting marshmallows on fire and cracking through the charred remains, dancing with her brother and cousins, and tugging on Chune’s flaxen tresses whenever she could. She was a darling child, sweet and sanguine, with golden curls, bright green eyes, and a splendid countenance, her cheeks tinged with colour, her aspect full of affection and ambition among the other traits that belong to a child at six years old. She was quiet amongst the bevy of cousins, following in Carrigh’s line rather than Alasdair’s, learning to be observant rather than rambling and lively. She had a silent spirit, one that would rather glide in from the shadows and watch than assume a more active role in family games. She liked her brother and cousins, liked that they included her in all their schemes, but the glamour of the stars and their muted particularities held a greater charm for her, and she examined the constellations for sometime, her eye calculating size and distance, following the natural lines around the canopy, the stars speaking their extravagant secrets across the murrey mere, as she held to her father’s leg.
“Hello, my darling girl,” said Alasdair, in a softened voice, looking down and putting his hand on her head. “Are you tired? Are you ready to go home?”
It was said exactly in the way that all parents, whether regal or rural, ask their children questions merely for the purpose of declaring what they should like to do themselves: children should never be allowed the limits of autonomy in staying awake when parents should like to be asleep, and Alasdair, having passed an agreeable holiday, was very ready to go home.
“She is tired,” said Alasdair, speaking to one of his well-wishers, “aren’t you, Brighel?” There was no answer given. “Yes, she is very tired and has been well up past her bedtime, so there will be no storytime with Grandpa Draeden when we get home. We are going straight to bed after dressing and brushing teeth. She’s beginning to rub her eyes, and we all know what that means.”
Brighel gave her father an incredulous look, and in the absence of eye-rubbing and looking tired, Alasdair rubbed her eyes for her, pretending to brush away a smudge from her cheek, and looked around.
“We will just finished cleaning the table—yes, thank you, if you could just take that inside—and we will be going—Calleen, do you have enough help? She needs my help, certainly for washing if not for anything else—Yes, Maith Mean Fomhair to you and your family—I think I hear Carrigh calling me—I’m coming, I am just saying goodbye to the MhacDemhins—oh, there you are, Carrigh. Will you stay here whilst I go and help inside? They need more for washing and drying—Brighel is tired and we ought to go home—“
Both parents looked down, expecting to find their daughter, but Brighel was gone, hurried off to a quiet corner of the farm, away from the demands of royalty and the delegations of the kitchen and toward the stables, where Moraig and her colts were hard at work on the mangolds Lochan and Beryn had set down for them. Any child and most adults will prefer the easy addresses of the animal kingdom: slipping away from unwanted company to pet a cat or feed the horses is the greatest escape of everyone’s life, and Brighel, belonging to the first circles in Frewyn, had learned how to exchange the kindness of strangers for the quiet affection of everything in Beryn’s byre very thoroughly.
There was a giant boulder by the stables to look at besides. It had snow on its shoulders and moss on its head, and it was allowing Moraig’s colts to graze on it.
“I greet you, my child,” said Menor, his stone lips cracking into a devoted smile.
Brighel bobbed a courtesy, and what was once a large boulder was suddenly an immense creature, his shoulders broad and niveous, his form mountainous and crumbling, his aspect at once smiling and sorrowing. He knelt to her and bid her to approach with an open heart.
“Come, my child,” he purred, holding out his hand to her, “and tell me how you enjoyed your harvest.”
She spoke in a softened voice, hoping to avoid notice from the party at the house just behind, telling him of the games they played, the races they ran through the corn maze, and of the many marshmallows she destroyed after leaving them too long over the fire.
Menor exhaled a grin. “You enjoyed yourself, child?”
Here was an eager nod.
“I am pleased to hear it.”
Brighel eyed the moss scaling down behind his ear, creeping across his neck, and an idea suddenly struck her. “Are you Menor?”
“I am,” the God’s voice resonated, the acknowledgement of which brought a twinkle to her eye. A faint gloriole emanated from above, reigning over Brighel and lighting the stables.
“Can they see you?” Brighel asked, glancing over her shoulder toward the long table, where the rest of her family stood.
“All our children can, if they wish.”
“Why don’t you go over there so everyone can say hello to you?”
“For the same reason you have come over here to say hello to me.”
Brighel smiled up at him, and the ground rumbled in answer.