Today I welcome Dale Cameron Lowry to the blog to share new MM short story Born of Fire.
Born of Fire
Dale Cameron Lowry
Fairy tale, fantasy, romance
Aodhán lives most his life with painful burn scars from a spell gone wrong—until one day his beautiful singing voice catches the attention of the local fairies. They cure his pain but also put him under an enchantment, causing him to forget his home and his dream of finding true love.
When the fairies kidnap the handsome youth Cainnech, Aodhán remembers his own humanity and becomes determined to free them both from the fairies' thrall. But the fairies do not let go easily, and Aodhán risks losing his health and Cainnech in the process.
“Hush!” cried the fairies, and dragged Aodhán to a nearby window. “Here is the gentleman we shall steal. His name is Cainnech, which means handsome, and this is very true, don’t you think? It would be so fine to have him in our fairy mound. A pretty face does much to brighten up the premises.”
A young man about Aodhán’s age lay in cushiony repose with a book in his hand and his head propped up on pillows, a single candle at his bedside. Emerald eyes flicked over the pages, and the full lips, ruddy cheeks, long black lashes, and shadow of a beard on jaw and chin seemed familiar—though why, Aodhán could not say.
Cainnech lifted a handkerchief to his face and sneezed. The night-black curls around his face shook. It occurred to Aodhán there was something he was supposed to say when a person sneezed to prevent bad luck from falling upon them, but the words refused to form in his mind.
Cainnech sneezed again and the fairies tittered.
“Only one more and he is ours!”
A third sneeze came, and the words came to Aodhán: Bless your soul. Yes, that’s what one was supposed to say. He opened his mouth to speak, but a dozen fairy hands fell upon his lips and clamped them shut, while other fairies flew through the window and snatched the young gentlemen out of bed, leaving a stick in his place that took on his body’s form.
Cainnech looked confusedly about him. “What is this?” His voice sounded stuffy, and he breathed through his mouth. The edges of his nostrils were chapped pink and his eyes watery.
“We are taking you to live with us, handsome Cainnech!” The fairies threw the man atop a horse and they all rose into the sky.
About the Author
Dale Cameron Lowry lives in the Upper Midwest with a partner and three cats, one of whom enjoys eating dish towels, quilts, and wool socks. It’s up to you to guess whether the fabric eater is one of the cats or the partner. When not busy mending items destroyed by the aforementioned fabric eater, Dale enjoys wasting time on Tumblr, studying anatomy, getting annoyed at Duolingo, and reading fairy tales.
Bits of Irish history and folklore that played a role in developing this story can be found at Pinterest.