I-6: Legend of the Mornellys- Chapter Ten
In which Sean says goodbye to the Mornellys
The Mornellys seemed anxious to get Sean back to his own home, speaking of”tremors” and how it was going to be “soon” when they’d be thrown back into their own time or dimension or whatever they referred to it as.
They ate their meal quickly and set out on the road with Sean, back to the old property and farm. The little conversation that did take place was polite and formal, nothing deep. Sean could tell the siblings were not thrilled by whatever was going to happen next. It seemed they didn’t want to have to go home.
The long walk back from town gave Sean a bit of time to mull over his and Breandan’s conversation. It was all very hard to believe, quite fantastic, actually. The pieces fit into place, though, and he could tell the twenty-five-year old wasn’t lying to him. He struggled to believe, though. He struggled to understand. What would it be like in a couple days when they were gone? Would he ever regain his ability to See, as the Mornellys referred to the gift of being able to see them?
Something caused all of the siblings to stop. Aichear glanced back at his brothers and nodded. “We don’t have much time left,” he announced.
Groans came from the two younger boys. Damhán sighed. “Well, it was fun while it lasted.”
“What’s going on?” Sean asked.
“Tremors. They’re getting harsher,” Bran replied.
“You cannot feel it, but for us, the whole ground is shaking, shifting, throwing itself around. Like an earthquake,” Breandan explained. As if on cue, all of them stumbled in different directions. “Kinda like that. It means that the time space continuum is balancing itself out again and we’re going to be thrown back to the fourth dimension.”
It was almost comical to watch them struggle to keep their balance. They’d regain it, then be pitched forward again. A long pause came in these “tremors”, and Breandan turned to Sean.
“Sean,” he began, “don’t feel bad if you forget me.”
Sean gulped. Why do I want to cry?
He was fifteen, he was a man! He shouldn’t cry! But oh, did he want to. “How can ye be so forgivin’? I forgot about ye.”
“I don’t expect you to remember, Sean. I don’t expect you to See forever. Everyone grows up.” He smiled a bit. “I do hope that you’ll remember the good times we had when you were younger. I hope you can remember our adventures, the fun we’ve had, everything. I want you to remember me as your best friend, even if in a couple years you won’t remember me as anything else but imaginary.”
“I’ll- I’ll try,” Sean managed.
“That’s all I wanted to hear.” He stepped forward clumsily, the rest of his siblings shifting their weight and acting like they were about to fall over.
“Breandan, it is time,” Aichear called.
Breandan stuck his hand out to Sean. “It was an honor to be your “imaginary” character, Sean.” He grinned. “Try to stay out of the way of highwaymen, though.”
“Will I ever see ye again?” Sean asked.
“I do not know. Time will tell. Perhaps I’ll be thrown back into this dimension in the next couple hundred years. We’ll see.”
“I don’t want to forget ye.”
“Don’t fear the future. Accept it.”
Sean was hesitant to shake his hand. If he did, this would mean he was saying his final goodbye. If he didn’t, he may never get a chance to say goodbye again…
Without warning, he threw himself forward and hugged Breandan. “Ye will always be the best friend I ever had.” He released Breandan sheepishly. “And ye’ll always be the big brother I never had.”
Breandan laughed, opened his mouth to reply- and was gone.
Sean blinked. He turned in a full circle. Nothing. No one was there.
The sun was beginning to set on the ocean. The temperatures were dropping. He shivered, reminded of his earlier afternoon out here. Did he really meet highwaymen? He frowned. Already, it’s beginning to leave me.
So much had happened to him today. He would write it down, yes. But he knew, in the back of his mind, that he would never regain his ability to See.
The road called “Adulthood” had claimed another young man who had lost his ability to use his imagination.
Fifteen years later
Sean turned to his youngest son, taking a moment to pause in his hammering. “Aye, son?”
Young Breandan giggled and pointed behind him. “I want ye to meet my friend!”
Sean frowned and scratched his beard. He stared at the empty space behind his five-year-old boy and raised an eyebrow. “I don’t see anyone, Breandan.”
“Oh, but he’s right here!” Breandan insisted. He pointed again. “And guess what, his name is Breandan, too!”
A faint jolt in his memory. A day long ago when he’d encountered- or thought he’d encountered- his own imaginary character. A man he’d named his own son after, a man that didn’t exist except in his childhood imagination.
He stared harder at the empty space. He couldn’t see a thing. Still, something deep inside of him stirred. A long lost memory, a happy childhood, an imaginary friend who played with him no matter what…
“Well, I’m so glad ye have a friend, Breandan. And how fun it is that he has the same name as ye,” Sean told his son. He glanced at the spot once more and smiled. “I hope he’s as good a friend to ye as he was to me.”
Breandan O’Hare turned to the unseeable character and looked up. He smiled and turned to his father. “He said he’ll do everything he can to be the best imaginary friend ever.”
And Sean knew this imaginary friend would do exactly that.