One day I was walking home from school. I was a cranky fifteen year old because I had so much homework and my dad usually collected me from school, but wasn't going to today. I was also quite tired because I had had strange dreams the night before. (I know you're not supposed to talk about dreams, but I think I should mention it.)
An old man dressed in a brown robe and sandals came into my dreams and started talking in Irish.
'Dia duit, a Mháiréad.' (Deea gwit, a vawrade)
'Bí cúramach leis an mac tíre aonarach.' (Bee cooramach lesh on mahc teera aynarach)
-Be careful of the lone wolf.
'Sabaháil tú féin. Abair paidir an Tiarna. Slán go feoil.' (Savawl too fayn, Abir podir on teerna, Slawn gu foal)
-Save yourself. Say the Lord's prayer (the Our Father). Goodbye for now.
And with that, he disappeared.
I didn't think much about that as I was walking home. I was more interested about the flowers that were blooming at the time. I paused to look at some Yarrow and Forget-Me-Nots. For some reason, I looked up, and there before me was a huge black-grey wolf with reddish eyes that showed hatred. He bolted into the hedgerow and I thought of the night before.
Maybe it's just an angry-looking dog, I convinced myself.
But I was still wary and jumped at every sound.
I heard pawsteps behind me and I turned around quickly to find a black tail dashing into the undergrowth. I heard rufflings in the bushes and it scared me so much that I thought I wouldn't come home alive. I was semi-jogging now and I heard the wolf chasing me hot at my heels. I suddenly turned round and the beast jumped and soared to my head. I fell to the ground and whimpered the Our Father in Irish.
'Ár nAthair, atá ar neamh...'
I opened my eyes once more and the wolf had gone.
'Thank you,' I said aloud.
Then I heard a soft whisper in my ear.
'Tá fáilte romhat.' (Taw fawlta rote)
-You are welcome.
The Banshee's Curse
When I was around 12, I was spending a night at my cousin's house. There was a full moon outside among a dark star-studded sky. My cousin's grandmother was really sick at the time. She is no relation of mine, but I was still worried for her.
We were whispering excitedly until the early hours of the morning. We were just beginning to fall asleep when we heard the doorbell ring. We both jumped. I heard when I was growing up, that the banshee (a death announcer) occasionally rings the doorbell at a house where a person is at their deathbed.
'What the hell was that?' my cousin whispered.
I paused. 'Probably some prankers, you know how teenagers can be,' I replied.
I didn't want to admit this, but I heard the howl of the banshee outside. I quickly opened the window. I peered outside, and I saw a ghostly white figure sitting on the wall brushing her long wavy hair and crying. She then indicated at something and I followed her finger's direction. Outside on the driveway, was the Costa Bower (Death Coach), with six black horses. I looked at the driver, discovering he was headless.
'What are you doing now?' my cousing said impatiently.
I put my finger to my lips. I was standing there spellbound when another figure floating over to the coach. It was my cousin's grandmother. She entered the coach. The coach rose and the ebony horses cantered in the direction of the moon.
I returned my gaze to the banshee. She gave one final mournful wail, and disappeared off the wall.
'Maddie...What are you doing?' my cousin was getting extremely nervous.
'It was just an owl hunting,' I clambered back into bed.
The next day, we woke up, yawning and stretching in the morning sun. My cousin's mother came in weeping.
'Your grannie is dead.'
I know that to some of you this may sound far-fetched and nonsense, but it did happen. Why would I be lying?