I-6: Legend of the Mornellys- Chapter Five
In which the other three Mornellys show up and Sean makes a discovery
It became pretty clear early on in the brawl that the three youngest Mornelly brothers had bit off more than they could chew. Clearer still was the fact that these six men had weapons, and they, unfortunately, did not.
It was with little joy and excitement they accepted the aid of two figures who appeared out of nowhere and joined the fight, pummeling the opponents right and left. Their sheepishness turned to downright embarrassment when they realized just who had come to their rescue.
The six highwaymen lay on the ground, groaning. The one named Maine was cursing quietly under his breath. Aichear stooped down and picked up the man’s sword, grasping the handle and getting a feel for the weight. He dropped it, uninterested, and turned to Breandan.
“Well, Breandan, might you care to explain the situation?”
Ciarán, Damhán and Breandan glanced at each other. Damhán looked away, Ciarán stared at the ground, and Breandan cleared his throat. “Well, Aichear, it appears we owe you a great deal of thanks.”
“And myself.” Bran stepped forward, the swords of their fallen enemies in his arms. He tossed them aside, far away from the men, and frowned, his brown eyes narrowed. “You three seriously thought you could win a fight with six armed men? Are you daft, brothers?”
Aichear pulled his glasses from his chest pocket and put them on, adjusting them. His blue eyes surveyed the area sharply, then he called, “All right, Aileen, you may come out now.”
Breandan turned just in time to see the light brown haired head of Aileen pop up from behind a rock. The ten-year-old scrambled from her hiding place and ran forward, engulfing Breandan in a hug.
“Hi, Aileen,” Breandan greeted with a chuckle. “Good to see you, too.”
“Breandan! I was so scared when we couldn’t find you guys. Aichear, Bran and I ended up way on the other side of the hill from here.” She gestured behind her, towards the far green hills. “Why were you guys fighting the bad men?”
“Good to see you too, sis,” Ciarán snorted. “Where’s our show of love?”
“You and Damhán push me away when I try to hug you.”
Damhán rolled his eyes. “That’s ‘cause hugs are for sissies.”
Aileen glared at her brother closest in age, released Breandan from her hold and crossed her arms. “You see?” she snapped. “That’s why I don’t give you hugs anym-"
Bran held up his hand. “Before we get into anymore arguments, I think you three owe us an explanation as to why you attacked these men.” He gestured behind himself.
Aichear looked at each brother and waited.
“Well, we’d hoped to make it a surprise attack,” Breandan began, “but we sort of lost the element of surprise when I went to save Sean first.”
“Sean?” Aichear raised an eyebrow, then nodded in understanding. “Sean O’Hare, your charge from 1850. Understandable you’d attempt a rescue. May I inquire as to why he was in such dire circumstances?”
“Well, Spock, we didn’t get that far,” Damhán retorted. “He kinda, y’know, ran by the time we got into the fight. We were out to save him, not to ask him stupid questions.”
“Where is he now?” Aichear turned to Breandan, ignoring Damhán.
“I sent him to a cave he and I used to play in when he was little,” Breandan replied. “No one will find him there.”
“Then let’s go find this- cave, and let these men be on their way.” Bran shoved one of the unconscious men aside with his boot. “Perhaps they learned a lesson or two.”
“I don’t think so.” Aileen shuddered. “They look like mean men.”
“Stop being such a wimp, Aileen.”
“Aichear!” Aileen whined. “Tell Damhán to be nice.”
Aichear took Aileen by the hand and led her away from Damhán. “Lead the way, Breandan.”
It took a lot of convincing to get his siblings to believe there was a cave under the frigid ocean water. Harder still to get them to jump into the water after him. His two older brothers debated and tried to devise a better way of reaching the cave, while the two younger brothers griped and mumbled how they could have been to mars and back by now due to the lack of decision on the older sibling’s part. In the end, it was agreed they’d do what Breandan said, and Aileen would stay behind. Aileen was perfectly happy with this arrangement- it was a well known fact Aileen was terrified of water. With that settled, Breandan led the charge under the freezing liquid temperatures and guided them to the cave.
He’d forgotten that young Sean was an act-then-think-later sort of guy. Breandan popped out of the water at the mouth of the cave and was promptly hit in the head was a rock. After resurfacing again, sputtering for breath and howling from pain, he managed to calm Sean down enough to keep him from throwing the next rock at him. Instead, Aichear ended up being the next victim. He managed to fall back on the other three air-deprived brothers, causing a chain reaction of gasping, bad-mouthing, arguing and a couple of stray swear words to erupt when everyone managed to get back to the surface.
“Don’t- hit- please,- don’t- hit- us- again,” Breandan panted.
“Stay away from me and I won’t,” Sean threatened. “Get out of that water and I’ll pelt ye so hard ye’ll be feelin’ it for the rest of yer sorry lives!”
“Come on, kid,” Damhán moaned. “This water is freezing. We went to all that work to rescue you, and then follow you here and now you won’t let us out of this blasted freezing water!”
“He’s only two years younger than you, Damhán,” Breandan interjected. “Which means either you’re still a kid or he’s a man.”
“Fine. Sean, please let us get out.”
“Who are ye?” Sean demanded. The cave was pitch black. They could only hear his voice. “How do ye know me name?”
He doesn’t even recognize my voice. It hurt to think that after almost thirteen years of being his best friend, his guardian and his loyal playmate, that Sean didn’t even remember his voice. Breandan rebuked himself, reminded that no one else who grew out of “imaginary characters” remembered him, either. You’d think they’d at least somewhat retain a memory or two of the friends who were always there for them.
He pushed those thoughts out of his head and tried again. “Sean, I’m the man who helped you get away from those thugs back there. I told you about this cave. I don’t expect you to remember me, but I used to play with you a lot here. Can you please let us get out of the water?”
Their teeth had begun to chatter. Bran muttered something under his breath about hypothermia, to which Ciarán replied that they most likely already had hypothermia.
“Real encouraging, bro, really encouraging,” Damhán growled. “Exactly what I wanted to come down with the entire time we’re in Ireland.”
“Be quiet!” Breandan snapped. “All of you!”
Silence reigned. Breandan could hear Sean breathing somewhere in the cave. The poor young man was frightened, he could tell. Who wouldn’t be? He’d just dealt with six highwaymen and now five even stranger acting guys had found what he thought to be his secret cave.
“Why do ye sound so familiar?” Sean finally managed.
A small ray of hope lit in Breandan’s heart. “I don’t know, Sean. Why don’t you tell me?”
“I know yer voice.”
So he does remember! Perhaps he wasn’t a lost cause, after all!
“Where from, Sean?” Breandan encouraged. “How do you know my voice?”
“That’s just it. There’s something…”
There was a scuffling sound. The next instant, Breandan felt a hand on his head, then that hand traveled down to his and offered to help him up. Breandan quickly accepted, climbing out of the water, his whole body shaking from the temperatures.
“Mind if I help my brothers up?” he asked the darkness.
“Don’t try anything,” Sean warned. “Ye can’t see it, but I’ve got a pistol aimed at ye and I sure wouldn’t want to be on the other end of it.”
Never mind that Breandan knew Sean had never owned a gun in his life, he’d play along and let the boy pretend he was in charge. “Sure, sure. That’s fine. I just want to help my brothers.”
“Hurry up, Brenda! We’re freezin’, here!”
“Shut up and don’t ever call me that again, Damhán.”
Breandan helped first Bran, than Aichear, then let them help Ciarán and Damhán up. He turned back to where he thought he remembered the voice of Sean being at. “Sean, are you still there?”
Once more there was quiet, except for the dripping of water from the Mornelly brothers’ clothes. Breandan strained his ears to try and figure out where Sean was.
“Ye- no, it can’t be.”
Breandan turned to face the voice. “Sean?”
“Ye...” Sean’s voice trembled. “Yer name. He called you Brenda. But that’s not yer name. Ye can’t possibly… yer name isn’t Breandan, is it?”
Click here for more>>> PART SIX
Click here for more>>> PART SIX