The Celtic Prophecy
Publisher: Can’t Put It Down Books
Date of Publication: August 3, 2016
Number of pages: 215
Word Count: 65,000
Cover Artist: Genevieve Lavo Cosdon, lavodesign.com
Brenawyn knows loss. Her mother, her father, her husband…that bastard. She can’t let Alex die, too.
With the Coven closing in, Alex flees with Brenawyn to Tir-Na-Nog, even though he knows he is setting her on a path of no return. Brenawyn must say goodbye to her family forever and traverse time. She is the only one who can fulfill an ancient prophecy.
But what is Alex hiding? Has he condemned Brenawyn to serve the gods forever? Or will the depth of his sacrifice bring salvation to them both?
In Book Two of The Celtic Prophecy, Alex prepares Brenawyn to travel to ancient Scotland to claim her rightful place.
My lovely child.
I’m set upon a course from which there is no return. I have pitted myself against your father. Find it in your heart to forgive me. Someday.
I have dreams. Terrible dreams. Prophetic visions more like. Headaches—migraines with searing pain, followed by nose bleeds, dreams, blacking out, vomiting. I have never had visions before. I don’t know of anyone who has. I am afraid to ask, in case it gets back to him, your father.
These dreams, filled with blood and pain, seeing people slaughtered, sacrificed. Blurred images of a hunt. No leads though. They don’t seem to know where to start. Hunting throughout the years, throughout the centuries.Doesn’t make sense. But I feel they are hunting for you.
Choices to be made.
I haven’t helped. I haven’t prepared you. I’ve hindered and perhaps I’ve signed your death certificate. Did a botched job of binding your magic.Should have consulted Mom, your grandmother. She wouldn’t have done it. Too late.
I have seen a glimmer. Only if you choose the right path the world will be yours. Not in the clichéd way, but you’re meant for bigger things. You weren’t supposed to be born now. Or to me. You’re out of place, lost in the universe.
Choose to live.
Slamming the book closed, Brenawyn slapped it on the nightstand and vaulted off the bed. She felt like a bee in a jar. Trapped.Waiting. She had thought that reading her mother’s diary would take her mind off of things she couldn’t understand, but yet reading had brought it all home. Her mother, if she hadn’t been crazy, had seen visions. Did Brenawyn believe in that? What did the Church say about that?
Brenawyn shook her head to clear it. “You were off your rocker, lady.” She looked around the room for distraction. She spied the boxes she’d hauled from Jersey to her grandmother’s store in Salem and now to the farmhouse in the New York countryside where she had taken refuge. She wrestled one of the boxes down from the closet shelf and hefted it to the bed. She never thought she’d admit it, but thinking about her dead husband Liam was preferable to worrying about Druid lore, visions and prophecies, and of course, the Order, an ancient group of Druids who seemed to have gotten her confused as the central character in some ancient prophecy.
When she lifted the lid mustiness wafted out; the box had been stored for the three years since Liam had died in a car accident in New Jersey. The smell made her crinkle her nose. A fat envelope lay on the top with photographs spilling out. She picked them up, recognizing the first Christmas she and Liam had shared together. The camera caught Liam in the middle of laughing at something; she couldn’t recall what. She’d always loved his smile, she thought, running her finger lovingly over the photo. It was what had attracted her to him at the first. He had a stern face, but when he smiled—oh, Lord, he had a smile that would make an old woman blush.
Brenawyn leafed through the photos. There were pictures of their honeymoon to Niagara Falls, pictures of their house, even before and after shots of the renovations to the living room. Familiar faces of friends peered out from the surfaces in chronological order. The organization did not surprise her: Liam had always forced orderliness on life. Yes, they were all in order, except for two pictures that were stuffed into the middle of the stack, pictures Brenawyn had never seen before.
In the first, Liam cradled a pretty blonde in his arms. The picture captured the woman’s reaction, a hearty laugh at whatever Liam whispered in her ear, his mouth so close to her neck. The other picture showed the same woman sprawled on a blanket, a magnolia blossom in her hair.
Brenawyn looked down at the corner of the photo for a digital date imprinted by the camera. Her mouth went dry. There had to be a mistake. The date read April 2011, more than two years after Brenawyn and Liam married.
Brenawyn covered the pictures, willing them to disappear. But now that she had seen them she had to look again, no matter how reluctantly. Almost blinded by tears, she uncovered them again to examine them and tried to determine the identity of the woman—no, she’d never seen her before. She wasn’t some friend or acquaintance of theirs; they hadn’t been taken at some innocent party or neighborhood get-together that Brenawyn could remember.
The way Liam, her husband, was looking at this blonde-haired woman was just…. Brenawyn threw the pictures in the trashcan beside the bed. I won’t even think about it. What good would it do? Rage at the possibility that Liam had an affair? Now, three years after he is gone? He never gave me any reason to doubt him. Disgusted with herself she grabbed the can and tore into the trash; finding the glossy surfaces, she stormed out to the living room to dispose of them. She found a match, lit it and touched it to the photos, and after watching the flame take hold, tossed the pictures into the empty fireplace.
She stormed away but returned just as quickly to watch the last of the embers wink out. She stood there silently considering the incriminating, albeit circumstantial, evidence. “Ugh. Damn it!”She slammed her hand on the mantle. “Do you even know that he’s dead?”
“Is everything a’richt, a chuisle?”
She turned to find Alex sitting in the leather wing chair in the shadowed recess of the room, book on his knee.
Brenawyn’s breath hitched as she sighed. “Unpacking the last of the boxes from the house I shared with my husband.” She glanced back at the fireplace, “I found some pic … some unexpected things,” she amended.
“Ah, lass, dae ye want ta talk about it?”
“No, thank you. I’d rather forget it all together.”
A few steps into the hall took her back to the bedroom door where she stopped when she saw garbage strewn on the floor and her dog, Spencer, crouched in the corner, chewing a used tissue. “Spencer, put that down!” The dog bolted but Brenawyn wrestled him to the ground, prying his mouth open enough to extract his treat. “Mine!”She held the wet tissue aloft.
Sitting up, Brenawyn looked around her bedroom, now strewn with the contents of the remaining boxes from her former home.
Three years. Three years. If I close my eyes … picking up the phone to hear … seeing the wrecked guard rail, the car…. Ugh. Time doesn’t heal shit.
Brenawyn reached over for the box of tissues on the nightstand and patted the bed beside her, “Come here, boy. Come on up.”
She caught the eighty-pound bundle of wriggling fur. Not content with either licking her face or being as close to her as possible, Spencer did both simultaneously. “Eww, no doggie kisses.” She scratched him under his collar. “Who’s a good boy?” The dog tried one more time to sneak a last minute kiss that barely missed her open mouth, before giving up and settling down with a grunt as he nestled in, molding his body to her side. Absently she petted him, “You didn’t know Liam. He was a good man, even though he was allergic to dogs.”
The next item in the box was a small notebook filled with her husband’s tight neat script. She leafed through it before recognizing what it was—the notebook that they shared when they took the philosophy class together during their last year of college. How she managed to get an A in the class was still a mystery to her when all she was concerned with was the heat of his body as he sat next to her.
She pulled out the insurance papers she had seen too often. “Again? How many copies did you keep? Did you think I would forget where they were?”she said aloud. She could almost hear his voice. This is where copies of the insurance papersand the keys to the safety deposit box are….“How many times did we argue over this?”
Brenawyn dropped the papers, pushed the box across the bed, and flung herself back on it, startling the dog. She didn’t move until she felt his wet nose nuzzle her arm. “It’s okay, Spencer. Talking to you is one thing, but talking to the dead husband … I need to stop that.”
Resolved to finish, she picked up the box and extracted the last item in the container, a small wooden box. Brenawyn ran her hand along the ornate brass fittings. Locked. She upended the box. No key. “Hmm.” Running her hands along the back revealed a weak hinge. She tried prying the hinge with the edge of her fingernail, only to be thwarted when her nail broke. Sucking on the injured finger, she unfolded herself from the bed, climbed over the unmoving dog, and searched among the items strewn on the floor for the screwdriver she had seen earlier.
The hinges gave little resistance to the flathead screwdriver. Reaching in, Brenawyn took out a brightly wrapped gift box complete with a silver Mylar bow, flattened now after so long. She put the box on the nightstand, hesitant to open it. Liam had always been giving her surprise gifts. Packing his things away had been filled with the pain of finding boxes and gift bags he had obviously stowed away to give her at some future date. Or had he meant them for that other woman? The thought came unbidden to her mind, but she dismissed it quickly. It was unfair to Liam. It was just that it had been so long since the last time she stumbled upon a surprise like this from a man long dead.
About the Author:
For most of her life, Melissa Macfie has pursued artistic endeavors such as drawing, painting, and sculpting. She holds a M.Ed. in English Education from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, and has spent the last sixteen years as a public school English teacher. She also spent a short time serving as the co-host of Alpha Centauri & Beyond, an Internet talk radio show about science and science fiction. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Donald. Their children, Elizabeth and Donald, are grown and pursuing their own dreams.