Into Autumn

Moonshine Cove Press is firm in a November 7 publication date for The One with the Beautiful Necklaces. Hooray!

Here’s another excerpt from that book. Some of the people in it are magical, and when two magical people happen to be married to each other, their quarrels may be interesting. Opal Keenan suspects her husband of doing something that caused their first son to be born with a birthmark.


That fall Opal had another child in her. She said to Bann Keenan, “I’ll hold this child inside of me because of what you did to Tall Rider. I’ll hold this child until it dies”

Bann said, “You will not.”

Opal smiled and gathered together a bundle of herbs. She lit a fire at the end of them, and as they smouldered, a wondrous smell came over the house and the yard. Bann was almost asleep when he realized what was happening. He jerked himself awake and opened his mouth. He had himself almost forgotten the old tongue, but he remembered these words, for they were a curse and a blessing at once, and when he uttered them, a stiff wind blew and Opal’s herbs guttered out in a puff of smoke. Opal Keenan whirled around three times and called upon the Spider Woman of the South, and darkness came over the valley. Bann leapt up and ran three circles the opposite direction, and the earth moved under his feet, him calling the names of Boanna and Dana and Lugh of the Lights, that had never been heard on that side of the world before. She leapt into the air and when she came down she had become a great she-bear hunched and roaring. He uttered a spell from the left side of his mouth and became a catamount, screaming so that the cows lowed in terror in the next meadow. So it went while the afternoon wore away, sometimes flickering with supernatural lights or rolling with thunders. Smoke started in the near woods. Hail fell on the roof of the house and the sheds. When it was over, the strangest sound of all came. It was Opal Keenan laughing. No one had heard Opal Keenan laugh since she had walked out of the forest. She laughed then, holding her belly, and Bann Keenan laughed with her, rolling on the ground because the laughter came so hard. That’s what people said, anyway, a long time after, when things had to be put together from shards and fragments.

When it was over, Rider came up out of the creek where he had been playing with his McGannon cousins. His face was shining and perfect. His cousins kept touching his face, not sure whether they remembered the mark rightly or not. Five months later, Opal Keenan gave birth, and they were twins, a daughter and a son.

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