Mairead stared down at the angry sea. A massive ship with wing-like sails came into view, almost at the foot of the white cliffs. When the sun rose the next morning, they’d be sailing to the future, to Blackpool, then overland to Shillington. Far from Gregory of Dee, to a place of refuge, where the craft would persevere, thrive, and survive across the years, timeless. Across the oceans, even.
Raven cawed quietly as Jacques crossed the field toward her. Together she and he dropped the muddy carrots and parsnips in the basket splayed at her feet. Hand nestled in hand, they made their way back across the rocky shoals to the stone cottage, smoke from the peat fire blackening the sky. Jacques swung the basket in his free hand, as Mairead struggled to keep her thick amber hair under her kerchief, to no avail.
Raven followed, the sound of his flapping coal-black wings blending with that of the whistling wind and the laughter of the two humans he guarded. At the door of the cottage, Jacques tossed the basket to the ground. He swiveled toward Mairead and kissed her blood-red lips.
And in the early spring of the next year, in another place, another town, Mairead birthed three bonny babes, a miracle never before seen in those parts. Barren women and impotent men began seeking her counsel. But others whispered tales of the Devil’s doings.
*Working title. The story of a cunning woman born in Tudor England. A work in progress.