A tenuous hint of a believer wafted on the wind. That warm onshore breeze gently stirred the chest hairs exuberantly spilling forth from his shirt, and in his mind it was an omen. Lir sauntered along the beach smiling like a shark going in for the kill. Happy hour here continued on for the next five or so hours, which would add a different kind of potent magic to the evening.
Four quick shots of scotch and he knew he was ready – the tingle was in his fingers but not yet his teeth. It was a paltry buzz compared to the fealty of followers, but he had little else. In honour of himself, Lir ordered a Blue Lagoon and added a drop of his quintessence to the cocktail. The glass now radiated a muted, marbled glow. Thus prepared, he set to mingle.
His drink instantly caught the attention of a gaggle of gossiping backpackers. They clustered around him cooing excitedly and Lir couldn’t believe his luck.
Then the phones came out.
Inwardly he groaned. He should have known they were followers of the newest trinity: anthropomorphisations of the smart phone, social media and the selfie. What would they want with one such as himself? A hint of ensorcellment and they moved on.
In the corner sat a lady, her hair in a steel grey bun. Lir aged himself imperceptibly with each step as he approached, whistling a shanty between his teeth. She looked around, surprised eyes glistening.
“My Roland used to sing that, when he’d return on shore leave.”
“And when is he due back?”
She gave a tight smile.
“May I?” said Lir, gesturing to the seat.
She nodded wordlessly.
Past the lump forming in her throat she said, “He’s been dead, these past ten years. Always did love the sea more than me, so at least he died doing what he loved.”
“Not the Roland I know!” said Lir.
Dipping his finger in one of her tears on the table he crafted a rune of forgetfulness. Tears of sadness turned to joy. For the remainder of the evening, the Sea God’s dweomer brought her Roland back.
There was no midnight chime, instead there was a bosun’s call and Lir faded back to his demesne. He’d found no new believers, but he’d reminisced about one of his flock with their beloved. What more could a forgotten god ask?
I normally struggle to find time to write on school holidays as it’s a time for family. But I couldn’t help but enter the Dark Fairy Queen’s Midsummer Night’s Dream contest as entries were all over my RSS feeds and popping up in Twitter all the time. My entry (400 words on the dot) was somewhat influenced by our holiday on the beach.
Go read all the other great entries here: