|The McGillpatrick Legacy
Author: kvm PM
While in Ireland tracking down distant relatives, Molly stumbles onto an ancestry that is tightly woven into the land's folklore. But there is more to the lineage than sixty-three generations of lovers, heroes and survivors. There is a legacy that may thrust Molly into battle against an evil that dates back to the days of Celtic gods, faeries and druids.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 24 - Words: 72,661 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 03-29-13 - Published: 07-29-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3045912
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Finn McInerney's Life Thus Far . . . At Least As He Knows It
If, at the age of fifteen, Finn McInerney were to look back on his life, he would probably be compelled to do little more than yawn. In his mind, there simply wasn't much to say about him that might draw the interest of any other person in this world, let alone himself. He was barely noticed or acknowledged around the townsland in which he lived, and outside of it – well, anyone to whom his name might be mentioned would likely reply with a "Sorry, Finn Who?"
The one and only thing that could be said about him (and even he could admit to this) was that he was particularly blessed in the looks department. In fact, you might describe his features – sandy blonde hair and bright green eyes, thick arched brows and fleshy red lips, perpetually flushed cheeks and broad angular jawline – as being quite beautiful. But that fact didn't cause him to be conceited or vain. Honestly, it might have made him that way, as it could anyone with such attributes, if it was not for one rather major sticking point. And that very distressing crux was this: he looked much younger than his years.
At school, every other boy his age looked on him as a child rather than as a young man of nearly sixteen. And the girls, well, they didn't look at him at all. At least not any of the girls in his own age group. Even if were true that the entire local population of ten year olds did have a crush on him (and you can rest assured that they did), it didn't exactly instill the same sort of confidence as would the attention of a girl one's own age.
So, Finn acted just like the outsider that his peculiarity forced him to be. He didn't socialize with his schoolmates; avoided any places where there would be extracurricular mingling, such as sports events and community dances; and even dodged the association of Micky James, who was the one and only boy his own age that lived within a five-kilometer radius of the farm. Keep in mind that Micky made an effort to be his mate for the first thirteen years of their lives, and still would be if Finn would allow it; but the other boy shot up all tall and muscular last year, and started growing facial hair, and Finn resented him for it. He began to shun everyone, and chose instead to wallow in the misery that was his lot in life: to be forever trapped in pre-pubescence.
He always knew there was something that was not quite right about him – not necessarily meaning that there was anything wrong with him. But he definitely wasn't . . . normal.
Maybe some part of that abnormality could be blamed on the circumstances of his upbringing. From the moment he was born, his entire life was spent in a remote little cottage on a sheep farm called Gwennin Ngrá. (That's what his grandfather called the small plot of land that contained their entire existence. Finn could think of a few other choice names for it, but they don't warrant repeating.) The cottage was thinly veiled by a line of ancient chestnut trees, and sat by a seldom-used dirt road, which led through the townsland of Lislahelly before it merged with a slightly wider paved road. Southward on this road was the town of Sligo. Such a journey into town was nearly twenty minutes by car, and so the separation from the rest of the world might just be what initiated Finn's adolescent feelings of loneliness and seclusion. After all, he only had his Granddad O'Toole for company. And that wasn't saying much.
Now, don't go and try to develop a romantic impression of his life from the above-mentioned detail that Finn resided in a cottage. It wasn't all June roses and grassy pastures. Certainly, they did surround the property, but they should not imply that the cottage itself was all cozy and pleasant. The petite two-story brick structure had only two bedrooms; and because it was built before the popular notion of indoor plumbing, the one bathroom in the place was added as an afterthought, and the placement of it crowded into the bedroom that belonged to Finn, cutting the dimensions nearly in half.
Still, one could argue that the quaint little place was just the right size for two people of the male persuasion, being just big enough not to step on one another's feet, and quite small enough to keep tidy without much effort. That point didn't stop Finn, though, from imagining what it would be like to have a more modernized home with the standard family structure, complete with a mum and dad around the house. When he was alone and had time to think on it, he fancied nice things about them, such as that they loved him and would never abandon him. Things that were completely the opposite of how it was.
That's a subject his thoughts often tended towards when he sat atop the wooden beam over the kitchen in the old partially renovated hut that stood in the back corner of his Granddad's property. The beam was his private spot. No one would ever think to bother him there . . . if they really even wanted to; and while he spent his free minutes dangling his legs from it, he went over in his head again what must have happened here on this isolated little farm in that time before he could remember.
He only caught minute details of it from the very little that Granddad divulged to him during rare conversations, but it was enough for him to piece together the circumstances and draw his own conclusions.
Here's what those conclusions were:
Finn's mother, Kaitlyn, grew up in the same cottage, sleeping in the same half-sized bedroom that Finn now occupied; and, like Finn, Granddad O'Toole was her only parent. Granddad never mentioned how old she was when she met Declan McInerney, or how long they'd been married before Finn came along; and he never mentioned whether or not the young couple were happy together, or if they had ever planned on having children.
The boy did know that his parents had intended to rebuild this little hut, to turn it from the ancient ruin of an old dwelling that long predated the settling of the O'Tooles, and to make it into a second residence on the property. It had been a dream of Kaitlyn's since she was six years old. They never got very far; barely even started really, beyond clearing out some rotted wood from the decaying floor on the second level.
And the reason for that? Finn's birth.
According to Granddad, Kaitlyn disappeared two days after she brought her son into the world. Finn's father followed after her, and they were neither seen nor heard from again.
The only conclusion Finn could make to this story was that they didn't want him.
He often felt a prickling pain that started at the top of his head and surged downwards into the depths of his chest over the idea of not being wanted – of being the thing that made his mother run away – despite the genuine, if absent-minded, love shown to him by his Granddad. How could anyone feel happy or satisfied in this world, knowing that they were so unwelcome that their parents fled from them?
Finn had to suppose that, either Declan never found his forsaking wife, and decided to move on, going his own separate way from everyone involved; or perhaps they did find one another, and they started a new life, free from the burden of a child. Either way, the boy harbored no love for his parents, and attempted no excuses for them; and, although he hid his feelings from his Granddad to save the old man from any added distress that losing his only daughter might have already caused, in the privacy of his mind, Finn allowed himself to feel all the contempt and hatred he could towards them.
And the isolation of this place did nothing to relieve his bitterness on that score, as Granddad was no great company. He typically sat in his armchair in the corner of the parlor after dinner with a look of wistful distance on his gray wrinkled face. Each night, when Finn went up to bed, he left the old man in that same faraway state, and when the boy came down the stairs in the morning, Granddad was already back in the chair to continue whatever daydreams danced around in his head.
How any of the household work ever got done, Finn could never understand. For as far back as he remembered, when he turned in for the night, the supper dishes were still stacked in the sink, catalogues and newspapers were sprawled about the parlor, and piles of smoldering embers sat upon the hearth; but each morning the dishes were in their cupboards, the parlor was in order and the hearth looked clean enough to eat off of. Granddad, though he moved barely faster than a sloth during the day, seemed to find his momentum in the wee nocturnal hours. This phenomenon fascinated Finn when he was a small child, but all those years of repetition eventually turned into an ordinary routine, and the routine became monotonous.
It may be said that monotony is fuel for discontent, and discontent without a foreseeable opportunity for change, is a catalyst for self-pity. Add that to his other woes, and so far, life only held bleak prospects where Finn McInerney was concerned. Something in his situation really had to give, and fast, or the boy would go nuts.
Little could he fathom that, on one evening in late October, as he plopped himself down upon the wood beam for his few minutes of respite after the farm chores were done, a bend of fate was making its way towards him.
A/N: This chapter does tie into the rest of the story. Please bear with me to the next chapter.