We have arrived at her castle! I don’t wait for the others because they are not as eager as I. I want to be there and take pictures back to little Grace O’Malley to show her the castle I tell her about. I’ve been here before but it was before she was born. I want to intrigue her with the vision of the castle and the life within.
I stepped through the door. The fire was burning and the room was hot. There was fresh straw across the floor. The dogs were lounging in the corner off from the fire. The pot over the fire was huge and the smells coming from it over powered even the stench of the bodies lying about in rest and the dogs with their boggy sea smell. Though most of the men were lying about they were talking amongst themselves about the previous days fighting.
I walked in. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was as if my imagination had come alive. I entered her castle. And I had come home. The men roused themselves to their feet in respect and love for her. Me. She-I- walked regally in the truest sense. Upright, strong, powerful and wise. She-I- smelled as bad as the lot of them because she-I- fought and worked along side of them. And this they admired. No other Queen was as royal as she-I- in their eyes. It took me a few minutes to understand because I felt like I was watching this. I could see her in her fighting garb. Her hair dark and long. There was silver in it. Her face was Irish as they come, square and strong. Eyebrows dark and heavy.
I stepped in to the room just a bit further and felt like I had stepped into the vision. What I thought was a vision.
It was me! She was I. I was she! The men were talking to and expressing their thrill of the defense of the day. They were pleased with the swiftness that they attacked the intruding ship. Who would it be that thought they could come through her waters and not pay her homage or her fees. She, I, shared in the moment with them but passed through them quickly to retreat up the ladder, through the lady servants chambers and on up to her own. My own.
The fire was burning in the fireplace. They would have seen her return and prepared the room. And they did. They always did. For all that she provided them they were eager to provide for her the warmth of the fire, the water for bathing, the food she loved and clean clothes to replace the battle dirty clothing. They would repair her clothes as well, for there was always another battle, another day.
I didn’t stop on my way through to the parapet. I’ve been gone too long and the view is what I need to unburden. As I step out and up to the wall the wind catches my hair. It feels like it is blowing the stench and effort of battle off of me. So stand there I do. Until I am cleansed through and through body and soul. The battle is relived and I know what must be done for repairs and preparation of my ships.
Time is not measured. But when I return to my chambers the sun is long gone. The moon is high. The sky is it’s darkest blue. My dinner awaits me. I take my time to enjoy the feast. I eat in silence, alone and at peace. I’ve provided for my people.
Upon my seat I gaze over the bay.
Always knowing to watch for the bloody intruders.
And stop them. Make them pay. Take from them what they have taken from us. From me.
I can not sleep for the energy of the day and I make my way down through the stair well. I hear the noises of the cleaning and cooking even at this time of night. I approach the door and will them to be quiet. There is no one I want with me. I go past my sentries and nod my greeting only. I walk out the door and to the path down by the water.
I can’t get enough of the water. It gives me nearly everything.
I sit among the rocks. Likely I slept but thought all through the slumber.
I rise to return to the castle.
To Rockfleet. I walk upon the grounds and pass two local women who bid me good day . My mind is clear and I speak with them briefly before turning to my door. I walk upon the threshold.
And the door is locked.
I turned around in total disappointment to David, Chloe, UT and AC. I can’t believe it. The other ladies talk with us and are disappointed as well. The one has been there often and never known it to be locked. David tries to find the holder of the key. Eventually we find out that due to the death of the grounds keeper and property owner there is no entrance permitted. The feckin attorney’s have advised against it.
The door may have been locked. But I got in.
And lived like a queen.