When people say their lives aren’t complicate and then put kohl under their eyes while they’re dressed in a beautiful flowing dress and talk about the world ending, you can guarantee they’re lying.
“Did you ever wish you were someone else?” My Nana asked as I stood next to her in the bathroom. I couldn’t take my eyes off her reflection in the mirror. I’d arrived three nights ago and was still reeling in shock. I was in Ireland, with my Nana, and feeling more nauseated by the minute.
“Ah, sure,” I said. As in right now. What had I gotten myself into? I still couldn’t believe the woman I was standing next to was my grandmother. I wanted to touch her, hug her, but I was scared to. “But then I never aware of what I was missing.”
“Take me for instance,” she said, not paying attention to me as she touched up the last of her mascara. ” I asked for help a long time ago, from the Goddess Morrigan. But as a Tuatha De Danann and her being the Celtic goddess of war, think Athena on a whiskey bender, the results were more complicated than usual. I went to sleep one night and when I awoke, I was someone else. A human! I was in bed with a man I didn’t know, and pregnant with your mother. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t return to my home.”
“Nope. Not hearing a word,” I said placing hands over my ears and walked away. But no matter where I went, she followed. This was exactly why I didn’t want to come to Ireland. Every letter, every card, every call was the same for the last twenty years. A silly story about an immaculate conception and my family roots tied to the Tuatha. The fifth race of people to settle Ireland, conquering the island from the Fir Bolg, in Irish mythology and apparently my close relatives. “I hate to break this to you, but you’re not the Virgin Mary.”
“You’re so funny, Maura. Your aunt was the one named Mary, not me.” My grandmother, who looked younger than me, with her flawless white skin, black hair, grey eyes and size four frame, patted my cheek. “Your father’s sister was a weird one. She fit into California so easily.”
“Funny that, coming from you.” I watched as she sat a pan on the stove and took out a carton of eggs. She was nice, very eccentric, oh, and not to mention a total fruitcake.
“Why are you being so stubborn?”
“Me? You’re the one talking about fairies and mythological people.” I still couldn’t get over how she looked. Allison, my Nana, looked about twenty, twenty-two. Maura wanted to ask who her cosmetic surgeon was, but she was frightened to hear another of Allison’s truths.
“Stop worrying about how I look. You’re a beautiful woman, Maura.”
I couldn’t get over she could read my mind either.
“You refuse to listen or talk. What choice do I have?” She smiled placing the eggs on a plate.
“If you spoke an ounce of truth, talking wouldn’t be difficult.” I took a sip of my orange juice. Everything appeared so normal. If Maura was having a conversation with a woman her age, not someone who was supposedly three thousand years old. And her supposed Nana.
“If everything you said was so important, why didn’t you raise me?”
“I no longer have my power. You were safer in California.”
“In the town of Oz? My neighbor was a warlock.” A supposed warlock. I didn’t believe in such things.
“No one looked for you there. Your potential was covered by all the other spirits living in the community.”
I loved how she called it potential. A nice way to say I had nothing great going for me…yet. “I feel so much better knowing they’re more crazy people out there like you.”
“Like us,” she said pulling me close. “Let’s not fight. I’m just so glad you’re finally here with me after all this time.”
Her arms folded about me and I felt a sense of energy, of heat, from her. I closed my eyes, and sighed, leaning into her. “How on earth are you my Nana. You look younger than me.”
“Good genes.” she laughed. “The world works in mysterious ways, my child. I’m here to help you now. You’re ready to embrace your heritage. There wasn’t much time left and I thought I’d have to come after you. Your boss wasn’t as difficult to manipulate. Her motives are very clear, yours are not.”
“I don’t have motives. I like my life. ” The whole world was ending and it was up to the daughters daughter of the Tuatha De Danann to save the earth in the realm it was in today. And that was Maura. Yah, me. “I like my life. My life back in California.”
“But you’re a princess?” She looked at me like she couldn’t fathom me not rejoicing.
“I’m sorry I ever joked about it to Brian.” I sighed, letting go. What woman didn’t fool around about wanting to be a princess. But now that it was real? I stared deep into my grandmother’s eyes. “I don’t want to be a princess.”
“My sins have now become yours. You have three weeks to adapt. The ritual has to take place on Samhain.”
The ritual. Oh, yeah, there was more to look forward to.”My editor’s going to love that.”
“You’re still thinking of your editor.” She blinked up at me.
I sat down and took a bite of toast. “The whole reason I’m here. I came to write a story-not be a story. Now I’m going to have to invest what life savings I had, in a therapist.”
“I’ll have Regan come over. She’s a wizard with herbs.”
“When you say wizard,” I swallowed hard, “do you mean, literally a wizard?”
Nana laughed. “No.”
Relief rolled through me.
“She’s fey.” Nana laughed at my horrified expression. “Her hands are pure magic.”
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