Introduction

Welcome, dear readers, to a tale of love, friendship and sorrow.

Much is heard of European folklore- of banshees, dullahans, chichevache, or gargoyles. A wide variety of these legends take root in Ireland and most accounts speak of the appearances and actions of these mythical creatures.

Set during the 1840's in a small town in Ireland, this tale revolves around the lives of a small family at the time of the Great Irish Famine. Intertwined with their lives is that of a girl who seems to have sprung forth from the legends themselves!

[The Great Irish Famine, mostly attributed to the potato blight, was a disaster that struck Ireland and England, claiming the lives of many, and causing the population to fall by about 25%, some from starvation and others from diseases like tuberculosis, smallpox, typhus, diaorrhea, and so on. Many who survived migrated to other lands.]

Before we move on, here are some name/word translations that might come in handy.

Word meanings

1. Dadaí- daddy

2. Daid- dad

3. Dearthaír mór- elder brother

4. Aíntin- aunt

5. Mamaí- mommy/mom

6. M'iníon- my daughter

7. Deirfiúr- sister

8. Mo shíorghrá- my eternal love

9. Dia ár sábháil- God save us

10. A pheata- mother's darling

Characters:

*In order of prominence*

Bronagh (pronounced: brone-ah; meaning: sorrowful one)

OR

Aislinn (pronounced: ash-ling; meaning : dream/vision)

OR

Cara (pronounced: car-ah; meaning: friend)

OR

Bláthnaid (pronounced: blaw-nid; meaning: little flower)

The banshee who wants to prove to herself that she is no monster. Usually appears as a girl of about ten years but can take various forms.

Aoife
pronounced: ee-fa
meaning: beautiful

A girl in her younger teens, it is she who first accepts Bláthnaid for who she is. While her age is considered very young in our times, given the setting of the story she would traditionally sound more mature, especially in difficult times.

Nolan
pronounced: now-laen
meaning: noble

Aoife's cousin brother- he is the only other who wants to see their families united once more. About twenty years of age, the age difference between him and Aoife leads him to treat her as a child rather than a peer.

Aodhán
pronounced: aid-awn
meaning: fiery

Nolan's older brother, holds grudges for long just like his mother. He is never visibly affectionate towards anyone.

Alma
pronounced: ahl-mah
meaning: kind

Aodhán and Nolan's mother. She is a good woman but one who holds grudges for long and holds her heart close. She cares deeply for those close to her.

Liam

pronounced: lee-am
meaning: guardian

Aoife's widowed father, a kind man whose decisions are mostly influenced by his past.

Aine
pronounced: awn-ya
meaning: radiance/brilliance

Aoife's deceased mother and Alma's sister. (Only mentioned)