I-6: Legend of the Mornellys- Chapter Nine
In which Breandan explains to Sean their past and how they came to be what they are now
“Now, there are some things I need to explain to you.”
Breandan sat down on a rock, Aileen sitting next to him. Sean looked around uncomfortably, then chose a spot on the grass to sit across from the two.
“First off, I realize that this is all very confusing. You remember me now, don’t you?”
Breandan had to smile a little. At least he does remember me a bit.
It could be heard to let go of the fact that most children would forget the adventures the Mornellys had with them. Sean apparently hadn’t lost all his memories, yet. It was comforting to know he’d made a bit of a difference in the boy’s life.
“Sean, we’re not Guardians. Those legends you read in whatever book you were discussing with Maine and his men- those are us, but we’re not… we’re not some supernatural beings.”
Sean blinked. “But, if those are ye, then, what are ye? And how come ye used to play with me? I always thought you were an imaginary character- no one but myself could see ye when I was little. Now everyone can see ye. I don’t understand.”
“Those legends, those tales, they are true, but we’re not gods or fiercesome warriors or any of those things.” Breandan scratched his head a little. “In fact, we’re nothing more than wandering siblings, stuck in a dimension where no one can see us except children.”
“But I don’t understand. Maine saw ye. The Sherrif saw ye. How does that work?”
“We can only sometimes be seen,” Aileen picked up. “Most of the time, we’re in a dimension where we’re invisible, except to those who See.”
“What does that even mean?” Sean demanded, exasperated. “What is this “See” thing about, anyways?”
Breandan hesitated. He glanced at his little sister. She looked up into his face and shrugged. “Perhaps I should start from the beginning,” Breandan said at last.
“Aye, please, do.”
“You see, Sean, I- I don’t know how to say this without getting you worked up, but… we’re not from this world.”
Sean stared at him. “So… yer from somewhere else?”
“And this doesn’t make ye supernatural?”
“This is what I was concerned about.” He groaned and shook his head. “We’re not supernatural. Actually, we’re quite ordinary, it’s just that we’ve been cursed to live our lives as immortals.”
“How? And why is that a curse?”
“That’s where the “beginning” comes in.” Breandan took a breath and plunged on. It was never easy to tell this story. “You see, we Mornellys, we used to live in a land called Asieopia. Where we lived was similar to Ireland, actually. Back in Asiepoia, we lived normal lives. Believe it or not, we were nobility. Our rank in society was the same as a Duke or Duchess. We mingled with princes and princesses, kings, queens, counts, the like. That was our life.”
“What- what happened?” Sean managed, barely above a whisper.
The boy’s eyes were as wide as the sun. Breandan could tell that every word he said was soaking in like a sponge. He’d have to make sure Sean understood where he was coming from. He didn’t want to leave the wrong idea in the boy’s head. The last thing I want to do is encourage his superstition.
“A dragon happened,” Breandan stated. “All of us- save Aichear- broke a treaty with a dragon. In our land, we have treaties with the dragons- if we don’t bother them, they won’t bother us. We got dared by some relatives of ours to sneak into a dragon’s cave without waking him up.”
“Unfortunately, they woke him up,” Aileen put in. “I wasn’t supposed to come along, but I did, so I was there, too.”
“It was a stupid dare, one I’ve come to regret everyday for the last three hundred years.” Breandan paused, tapping his knee with his hand. The memories, the guilt, the trial, Aichear’s disappointment. All were things he preferred not to think about. “The dragon destroyed an entire village in rage. Someone had to pay, and we were responsible for the mess. So they put us on trial and sentenced us to banishment.”
“Dragons? Banishment? Such a fantastic tale, Breandan. It is hard to believe,” Sean voiced.
“It is,” Breandan agreed. “But you must let me finish.
“Aichear couldn’t stand the thought of us all banished without him. He’d been gone on a trip, you see, when all this dare mess happened. Even Aileen here got sentenced to be banished, though she was so young. They were afraid the dragon would kill them if they didn’t sentence all who were guilty, so they did. After the trial, Aichear announced in front of the whole court that he would be banished with the rest of us. We were taken to the Forbidden Pool and shoved in. That pool, you see, wasn’t a pool of water. It was a portal.”
Breandan furrowed his brow. How to explain that? “A door, between our world and yours. Asieopians never go through that portal unless they’re banished. And that’s exactly what happened to us. We ended up in your world. It was raining so hard. Actually, Ireland was the very first place we ever saw of earth. This land holds a lot of memories for us.”
“Then what happened?”
Sean was entranced, Breandan could tell. He smile and turned to Aileen. “Why don’t you tell?”
“Well, we found out that when we were banished, we were banished into what is called the fourth dimension.” Aileen bit her lip in contemplation. “The fourth dimension, you see, is very different from the third dimension- which you and everyone else lives in. In the fourth dimension, we can go to any time period we want in seconds, because time is the fourth dimension. We’re also invisible. Someone could be standing right next to you,” she gestured to Sean, “and you wouldn’t be able to see them. That’s what we got stuck in. We got stuck in this weird time space thingy that no one could see us in- except those who See. And children. We also discovered we couldn’t age or die.”
“So yer saying yer immortal?” Sean asked.
Aileen nodded. “You see, it’s hard to explain. Myself, my brothers, all of us- we can’t age. We can’t get older. When we were banished, we lost the gift of aging. We’re stuck here forever, your world, that is. It’s very lonely. You have no idea how lonely we are.”
“Yet kids, ye just said they can see ye,” Sean pointed out. “Ye said that yerself.”
Breandan smiled a little, a sober, pain-filled smile. “Yes, most children can see us. But even children have to grow up someday. Then we become a memory, a fantasy. They remember us like we never existed. To them, we’re nothing but imaginary characters. Even though we were their best friends. Even though we were your best friend, Sean. You forgot us. Everyone forgets us. We’re doomed to live a life of loneliness. We are the ones that were always there for you but you will never remember.”
“So what we’re saying, basically, is this; we’re immortal, but we’re not supernatural beings. We can’t die, but it isn’t because we’re special. We can’t be seen, but that isn’t fun at all.” Aileen fingered a strand of her light brown hair. “Actually, being immortal isn’t anything anyone should ever want. You watch everyone you love grow older than you and die, and you are stuck the same age forever, cursed to live longer than everyone around you.”
“But- but I still don’t understand.” Sean shook his head, obviously burdened by the amount of things he’d experienced that day. “How come Maine- and the Sheriff- could see ye? How can I see ye, if I’ve grown out of seeing ye? I grew up, like you said most do. I stopped seeing ye. How come I can see ye today?”
“That is something very complicated that I don’t think you’d understand,” Breandan answered. “In fact, we’re not even quite sure how it works. Sometimes there are earthquakes and northern lights or some other rare occurrence, and something in the magnetic field will shift and we’re thrown into the third dimension- where people can see us, that is- for a limited time. Then snap!” Breandan snapped his fingers, “We’re thrown back into the other dimension where no one can see us anymore. We never know how long we have in the real world, so we take that time to help someone out.”
“I, still don’t see how some can see and some cannot.”
“That is something we don’t quite know the answer to, either.” Breandan smiled. “But children can See us. I think it has to do with the fact that children believe beyond what they experience, while adults do not, usually. There are some exceptions. We know a few adults who can See as well.”
“But why me?”
The question of the century. Every child asked them this. They never had an answer good enough for them.
“I found you one day.” Breandan smiled. “I found you one day when you were two. I was wandering around here in the mists and found you. Sometimes, we are there when a child is first born and are their guardian all the way up to when they can’t See. Often farther than that- we will help those who can’t See us, even though they don’t know we’re there. With you, Sean, I was just out walking- and there you were. I just saw it in your eyes. You needed a friend. I wanted to be your friend. And that’s how I came to be there for you.”
“The day I stopped seeing.” Sean looked straight into Breandan’s eyes. “The day I stopped seeing ye- were ye there?”
Breandan sighed heavily. He looked down at the ground, unsure how to answer.
He remembered that day. He remembered it clearly. He could still recall watching as Sean ran across that field, screaming for his father. He remembered watching them pull Sean’s father out from underneath the wagon. He could still see in his mind the days that followed, the hours spent trying to save Mr. O’Hare. He remembered the funeral, as well. It was then that Sean lost his ability to See.
“Ye were there?”
Breandan nodded. “Sean, I was there all through it.”
“I never saw ye.” Sean looked like he was on the verge of crying. He brushed his eyes with his fist. “I didn’t see ye at all. Why would I forget that fast about ye?”
“Because, Sean, that was the day you grew up. That was the day the responsibility of a man was passed from your father to you. That was the day you lost the ability to believe that there are good things out there, that you will always have friends as long as you believe you’re never alone.”
Aileen tucked her hand in Breandan’s. He squeezed it, the silent message passing between them. Why is this so hard to explain?
There was silence between the three for a good long while. No one said a word. Breandan watched the young man, a hope tugging at the corner of his heart that perhaps this would change the past, but another voice telling him he would never regain this boy’s trust again.
“Breandan, I don’t know if I believe any of this,” Sean said at last.
“I don’t imagine you will. In a couple of days, when we are gone, you will have a hard time believing any of this happened to you. It’s very normal.”
“You must hate my refusal to believe what I do not see.”
“I do not. I am used to it. I understand, Sean. We can’t make anyone See us. That’s up to them. I tell you all of this to make sure you do not think of us as something we’re not. We are not special superhumans. We are not gods- heaven forbid we be that! Look at how we treat each other! We fight like cats!”
This caused a small smile to cross Sean’s face. It was enough for Breandan. He stood up, gesturing for Aileen and Sean to do the same.
“I think we’ve had enough explanations for now,” he announced. “Since Maine and his brother are out of town, we don’t have much else to do but finish up supper and then return you home, Sean. Sound like a plan?”
“Aye,” Sean agreed. “I am very hungry.”
“Then let’s go and round up some steak before my brothers eat it all. Immortal or not, we eat a ton of food. You don’t even want to know the amount of food we go through back in our dimension…”
To read the final part click here>>> PART TEN
To read the final part click here>>> PART TEN