Her father named her Mary after his grandmother, and this was a good catholic name. Her mother named her Falan, which was meant to be some kind of Irish thing, Falan wasn’t sure. Kids had made fun of her name, and she had taken it in stride, because that was how it was. She always felt a little different, but she figured it was because she was first generation Irish-American. The fact that her parents had her at an older age was another thing that kept her apart from other kids at school.
Despite their age, her parents were nothing but devoted to each other and their only child. What she lost in her difference was made up with love from her parents. The talked incessant about Ireland, and generations of family they had there, but attached with each story was a somber note. She didn’t understand why they left, and it was never really discussed, but when her mother approached her about accompanying her to Skibbereen, she agreed. Her curiosity won.
“It’s been three weeks since Miss Sarsfield sent the missive to her relatives in America, Mr. McCarthy. These things take time, especially if it involves anything to do with inheritances.”
Osmund turned from a large double pained window of the solicitor's office. His gray eyes looking serious but compelling. If the old solicitor was prone to nervousness he didn’t show it.
“I am well aware of the details involved in Simon Sarsfield’s estate, Mr. Benton. I am just a little rushed to be done with this business. The longer I am made to wait, the more compelled I am to find another property.” He intended it to sound as threatening as possible.
The Solicitors already pasty skin turned a shade lighter, “I understand, the American Sarsfields are suppose to arrive any day now, but again, it is unclear who inherited the shop.”
“My offer stands on whomever is the owner. But please pass along the need for expediency.”
“What if they do not want to sell?” Mr. Benton played the role of devil’s advocate.
“Then you will inform them that is a very handsome offer... or perhaps it is better if I inform them.” Osmund smiled a wicked smile that nearly had the old man faint. “I will be on my way Mr. Benton. I trust you will summon me when the American Sarsfields arrive.” With that Osmund left the solicitor’s office.
On the street, his persona vanished. He felt exposed in his guise, he always felt uncomfortable above ground. Especially this far was away from the ring.
He looked down Bridge street to the corner where Sarsfield’s shop stood. He had never met the man Simon Sarsfield, but he knew about the shop, or at least the land it stood upon.
He moved with the river at his back as he came to the vacant shop. 30 years of dust grime and filth pasted the pained windows so one could barely see in. Osmund didn’t give a fig about the shop, but the land, it was special. He knelt down to the old cobblestone pavement and scooped dirt out with his index finger and brought it to his nose. He let the aroma pull him into the back ground. The power was strong here, it always had been. For centuries his people had used it to come above ground. And that ability would be in peril if the land fell into the wrong hands.
The Council had sent him to procure the land. And this time he wouldn’t screw up...No matter what human came to harm.
Falan stopped the car at the edge of the street where her mother told her to. This was suppose to be the shop her father had toiled away in until he met her mother. This was the shop that generations of Sarsfields had owned and proprieted. It was suppose to be all that, and a few of her own dreams tied to it, but it looked like a worn down dilapidated building, that had been neglected for a quarter of a century. She didn’t want to get out of the car because of her great disappointment, but it meant so much to her mother she did.
Brina took her hand and tugged her along the uneven sidewalk to the dirty shop front. “Look Falan, tis it. Tis the place.” Her mother said, in her lilting voice which only seemed to deepen the farther they traveled.
“I see mom.” But she didn’t see. She just wanted to get back in the car and drive to the inn, and get this business settled. Something died in her when she saw the deterioration of that shop.
“No, you don’t darlin.” Her mother took one of her flowing scarves off and started to wipe the grime off one of the windows. “Now, look inside.”
“All right.” She reluctantly looked through the glass her mother had cleaned. What she saw made her instantly glad she did. The shelves were bare, dust was ever where, but it had something, something that can only be called magic. It so startled her that she let a slight sigh out.
“Yes, you have a lot of your father in you.”
Falan brushed it off, “I was just saying that it was in a good location.” She didn’t want her mother to think that she fell in love with the little shop.
“Well, it has that yes, for more reasons than one.” Brina seemed to drift off as she looked at the ground at her sandle clad toe. She shuttered. Falan looked to her mother’s silk sun-dress and thought that she might be getting cold. She ran to the car to get her sweater.
A figure was between her and the car at the end of the street. She muttered an “Excuse me,” as she passed by the man but she couldn’t help but glancing behind for a second look. He was almost a dark specter with gray eyes and black hair. He was wearing all black, which included a long overcoat despite the heat. His tall muscular frame through off an aura of danger which both frightened and captivated her. She thought all these things in the split second that she had glanced over her shoulder and as he was moving away. She suddenly felt an overwhelming sensation to turn around and follow the man. She shook her head to regain her senses.
She finally reached the car and realized that her mother already had her sweater and was tugging it on over her shoulders as she watched. “It’s time to check in at the inn Mom.” She called to her mother.
Brina picked up her blond head, lost for a moment. Falan wondered if this was a wise idea coming here after all. She hoped it didn’t effect her mother in an adverse way. Brina smiled a brilliant smile and almost skipped to the car like a school girl, to the astonishment of Falan.
They were both settled in the car when Falan said, “Did you see that man?”
Brina looked at her daughter and raised on blond eyebrow. “What man sweetheart?”
“The man dressed all in black with the trench coat.”
Brina’s lips had a small twitch. “No... I didn’t see any man, we were alone. Maybe you are just succumbing to some jet lag.”
“I know I saw him mom.” Falan insisted. She could still feel the slight brush of his coat and the hint of sandalwood in the air.
Brina pursed her lips thoughtfully, but didn’t say anything more.