I fell in love with this song on Reign. Who knows how many times I’ve listened to it, and now it has inspired words. Those of you who have read City of the Wiccad might recognise a name in it. Those who have not need fear not, it will not impact on your ability to enjoy this story which I know will become more. I am excited for what it will become. Enjoy!
Blind but I’m Still Alive
She could see the rain falling on the mountains. It would reach her by nightfall if it did not exhaust itself on the hilltops.
Eiren hoped it exhausted itself. She was only recently dry and warm again and she was not ready to go back to being damp and chilled to the bones.
Her real name was not Eiren but it was the name that had been given to her by the Blue Lady, Brighid, who had also given her this task. Go and find the girl who would inherit Brighid’s role: Druidess, healer, witch, leader. While there were many Druids among the people, both male and female, there could only be one Druidess. One High Priestess in each generation to guide the people and be the voice of the Goddesses, be the chosen daughter of Danu – She who was once called Diana.
Eiren had met the woman who was now a goddess, though generations had passed since she first met Diana. Her daughter Brighid had grown from Maid to Mother and now become Crone. And Eiren remained as she had always been, a young woman who appeared no more than eighteen.
Brighid was near her end and ready to pass into the next realm, hopefully, to be reunited with her beloved mother once more. But Brighid could not rest and pass on until the new Druidess was found. So, for the sake of friendship and a favour, Eiren was now seeking out this person. The first mortal woman who would begin the line of Druidess. A vision had been given of the girl who had been chosen and it seemed she was a wild one.
She lived in the old lands and Brighid was too frail to travel, so Eiren went for her knowing that when she returned Brighid would help her. Eiren was blessed or cursed with extraordinary and wild powers that she could never control, powers which saw her barely ever age and never die. For finding the new Druidess, Brighid would help Eiren take control of her magic and, Fates willing, help Eiren to age and know the life of a mortal.
But first Eiren had to find this girl and convince her to return and take on this great responsibility. It would be no easy task. Her name was Leonoria and she was not one for doing what was expected and required of her.
Her hands covered her eyes. She was not sure how she could have been so foolish. The blood stung her eyes as she stumbled in the dark. No idea where she was going other than she needed to keep moving. She was soaked, the night cold, and she was near blind from the blood that would not seem to stop running from her head wound.
She did not blame Rex, she should never have taken her brother’s horse. It had seemed logical, a dark horse on a dark night, rather than her bright white filly. She had never been able to handle the stallion as well, and when the lightning had flashed she could not control him at all.
Rex had spooked and unseated her. She had fallen and he had reared again with the next burst of thunder and lightning before fleeing toward home presumably. She had not seen where he had gone as his hoof had struck her forehead. The blow had dazed her, blood from the wound had blinded her and then the rain of the sudden storm had saturated through cloak and clothing.
Now she stumbled in the mud in the direction she hoped she would find aid. Surely if Rex had returned home that would cause alarm and she would be known to be gone. The trouble she would be in was far less terrifying than the trouble she was currently in.
Leonoria knew it was foolish to sneak out against her father’s wishes. Especially for the sake of what he saw as witchcraft and sin. But it was a special night and the Old Ones were meeting again and Leonoria was hoping she might be allowed to drink their special brew again. She had such dreams when she did and she wished to have them again. She saw herself grown to womanhood and living a life that suited her well. And she saw herself with a man, son of a wolf they called him, and he wished to win her. In her dreams many wished to win her, to win a place at her side, but he was the only one she wished to win.
Now she would not make it to the gathering, she would not have the dreams again, and she would be punished most forcefully when she finally returned home. Or when she was finally found and returned home.
The rain was so heavy and the night so dark that Leonoria did not even know if she journeyed in the right direction. The haze in her eyes from the blood and the rain did not help matters. If only she had known about this storm she would never have set out tonight on Rex. But it was hard to change your actions after the fact.
Leonoria had slipped in the mud again when she heard a horse approaching she hoped it might be Rex returning to her, feared it was her father, grew terrified that it might be outlaws, and was completely stunned when the horse and rider approached and the rider seemed to be a woman.
She jumped from the horse before it had even stilled and held out her hand to Leonoria. “Come with me if you wish to live.”
Leonoria was hesitant, she did not know this young woman at all, but if she was to trust her initial instinct she should trust her. In fact, her initial instinct was to get this young woman to safety and get her dry again.
Leonoria took the offered hand and together they scrambled on to the horse. The young woman turned the horse and they galloped off in the other direction.
Leonoria had no idea if they headed toward or away from her home but she felt elated. For all that events had not gone as planned this night, she felt as though they might have and she was right where she needed to be. Or heading there.
Leonoria had always been one to trust her instincts. And they told her that adventure waited.
And also, that her father was going to be so angry his head might explode from his shoulders.
Leonoria did not let it worry her, though, instead she closed her eyes and held tight to the slim woman as she guided the horse through the dark and stormy night. That way nothing could cause her worry. Not even the mixture of blood and water that was trying to get into her eyes.