Girded for Battle, Chapter The First
Long before the age of men
Long before the first blood was spilled. There came to be The Land of Laigin, there came to be those of The Age. There came to be for the Irish, those that they could call their own.
The Laigin loved and laughed and brought forth The Magicks
And The Curse, applied to those, whose end was tragic.
There were useful Fae and those under foot; those with wisdom, whom none forsook.
They loved one land more than another.
Their Isle of Green and those they called brother.
Their pettiness and victories walked before them.
But without belief to light their path, their path, like memories, became dim.
The gave they took and they bedded and drank.
They pissed off one witch…
…and with her breath cursed them so that their shit did stank.
“….time stands for all and wallows for none in fair Laigin…” Old Snooze, Washer Woman and Singer of The Night.
Labraid Loingsech was an ancestor and a descendent of The Oldest Tribe of The Laigin. He was not an Elder but he was one of The First of the Migicks to be called forth.
On earth, his fineness was The First High King of Ireland, long may the Emerald Isle stand and be fruitful! Long may the High King sit upon his throne!
When he had last sat in his own throne room, there on Eire, surrounded by those that loved him dear, with the quiet blessing him, it seemed like an age and an age, ago.
Now, noise assaulted his ears. He had been called home to The Land of Fae. He had been called to court, to stand before The High Laigin, called Cian.
Here in the land of The Magicks, King Cian, there stood none higher. And at times, Labraid laughed silently, none lower. On more that one occasion, his king and good friend, why they had gone drinking and whoring, together. And none other had the power to call him home except for the King, himself.
This was bothersome but had to be for he had been caught with his pants down and pleasing a human lass and a wee one that the baby’s mother had named for him. The one he had bedded had been a comely wench with breasts as soft as pillows.
Tara, his intended, continued her tirade against him. Labraid cast his will about, thinking to soothe her, to no avail. That was not to be for now his lady, his betrothed, Tara, stood accusing him and sought to cast him aside.
Labraid could find no fault in her words, they were all truth. She was now pleading with her father, the High Laigin, to banish him from her sight. Labraid was amused at the mockery in her voice. Many things about her amused him. This…this trial of sorts, did not.
“He slept with my human sister,” she wept and all the women present wept and wailed along with her. From the smallest of the blossom kissers to the tallest of the giants. On their faces was the tragedy done to their sister and the baleful glare to the male who had put her in such a state.
All the feminine creatures of Fae stood with her to support her. Never before had so much female flesh turned out to spread the newest gossip about him that would be on all their lips when this was finished.
The Banshees wailed along with her. “It is not bad enough that my father pilfers the curls of the human female, but my Labraid, as well.
To spend himself inside my father’s daughter! My own sister! He took her to bed and got her with child while I have waited patiently to be his bride. When she came knocking on the tree stump, with the babe at her breast, it was plain who the wee one’s sire was.
I who have been faithful have been faithful…and there stands he who would lie with the evening breeze, stroking him to hardness.
Curse him to human!” she pleaded and wailed. “Curse him to human,” she sobbed. “For my heart is broken and never can it be mended. I am doomed…all my days to virgin be…and I curse him that never shall the love of a woman warm his soul, again.”
Behind Cian’s daughter stood his own widowed bride. For that is what she would be if he moved in favor of Labraid.
He was Cian, The High King of the Laigin, the father of herself. So much like him that his balls shriveled at the wonder of it. And so much like her mother that his ears would begin to bleed when she opened her mouth to speak.
Labraid was regarded by all present. Labriad, the lesser deity who showed no remorse, no pity, no shame for what he had done. “For the sake of your balls, Labraid, and mine and all males present,” Cian wanted to shriek above the din, “at least do not smirk at her!”
But still, there stood a younger version of himself! The king kept the smile to himself. Cian admired the younger. His long legs, his black hair, those orange eyes. No worries, no cares, no wife to counsel you, no days or nights, only the rut and the women of earth….o’, to be so blessed.
Aye, human flesh was lovely, warm and wet to the touch. A human woman writhed and struggled beneath you, always wanting more. Screamed her passion as you found your pleasure and took your pleasure in her body.
A human could and would consent to many unseemly desires. Mating with humans was not just to father a child, but for pleasure. And pleasures abounded in the flesh of a human woman!
There was jeering coming from the women. Why he knew not, but his dreams of flesh and pleasure refreshed him more than these crying females…but reason took hold of his fornicating mind and brought him back to task. Consent must be asked of the mate before dallying on earth. For their seed took hold and Laigin children abounded in a realm where it should not but did and their wives and sisters would hold them accountable to the child that they had not mothered.
There were several humans that bore a striking resemblance to himself. There were several men that carried the likeness of Labraid.
Tara’s voice droned on.
“Let him continue to live as a human for a thousand years on our Eire, but them, cast him away, away from the land that he loves… away from the very rocks and waters that feed his soul. Away from me, the female who wanted to love him…only him.”
Ohhh, the sorrow. Cian felt it wash through him. The tears of Tara were plentiful and her heartbreak, real. She had not lain with a male, human or Magick. Reasons there were many. Her tongue was first and fore most on that list. For, her father could admit, perhaps she was a shrew. Perhaps she would drive the strongest of them into the arms of another. Perhaps her days and nights as a virgin was a blessing to any and all males from this time forward.
Perhaps she would stop this caterwauling…or perhaps not. His daughter, like her mother, continued on…
“Let his days and nights be cold and alone. Banish him away from any children that he might leave, behind. Curse him to wander the seas with humans, then curse him to live in the shadow of our realm and theirs, always seeing the humans that he loves,” she sneered, “at his finger tips and like a shadow fade with the moonless evening night. Let him take one to bed and let her be cursed, as well. Her days of beauty faded at his touch. Her passion for him increases as she flits and flutters in despair. Her body beautiful, but his touch will bring her death.
Let his countless years be filled with great yearning…and great sorrow and heart break. Let the castle of the High King stand forevermore and let this path to the woman who wants to love him be well marked.
Let them find their way to him
and let him love them all.
Let them sorrow and puke their Words,
For Words are Symbols, after all.”
Slowly, she sunk to the bricks of alabaster that lined the paths of Laigin. “Without his love my days are barren and endless. The stench of loneliness wafts to the gates of the Laigin and from this day forth we shall shit and it shall stink.
Let it,” she wept, “let my sorrow and curses flow like a river down into the world of men. Let the stink of Labraid’s’ betrayal fill their watery bowels and feed their children and let their histories show that I am doomed and in Labraid’s arrogance, he had cursed the human race, as well.”
Amongst tears and wailings and the calling of the Banshees’ cries, the women left, then the men, who all rolled their eyes at Larbraid and gave him the finger as they went to make peace with their women folk, as if they were the one who had done the wrong.
Cian sat down and motioned for Labraid to sit beside him on the bench. “Such are the ways of women,” he smiled.
The young man nodded. “That was quite the show. How much of that was just for me?”
“What?” The older man regarded him. “That was all for you. All of it. Her mother is Witch and she,” he stressed, “is her mother. You are cursed.”
“What?’ he smiled. “I am such that can not be cursed, only with charm and my handsome face.”
“Cursed,” Cian replied.
“But you can undo this,” Labraid said, his voice sure. “You have the power to undo this.”
“There are things I can do and things I can not do. My daughter, Tara, is a shorter and less talkative version of her mother.”
“So,” Labraid stood, his brows knit together, “so what does all that mean?”
“You have another thousand years as High King on the stone and soil of Eire. Love every rock and blade of grass on her as you will. Then you will be swept off our Isle and onto the seas where you shall roam…who knows for how long,” he shrugged. “You can settle yourself on the big island, but you will not be allowed back here.
So, build yourself another castle in Scotland and be done with it for you shall live in shadows of this world and the human one as well.”
The two men drank their ale in silence, admiring the horn they brought to their lips as they thought about the future. One still smirking, the other with…with…he regarded his fine clothing that covered his stomach. He thought perhaps a cat was purring there.
Cian drained his. Standing, the older regarded the younger. “And she has cursed us to shit and it shall stink. I wonder if that is the male only and if she included the fair sex in that as well? It does not matter…what is another load of shit along with the one that I bear, now?
I shall miss you,” Cian said. “The days of mirth of a thousand years shall pass quickly, the loneliness shall live on, forever.”
“Seriously?” Labraid said.
Heaving out a sigh he nodded yes. “Will you apologize to her?” The older ask.
“No,” the younger replied. “Let her womb shrivel and may her desire be for kumquats and persimmons and other unripen fruit that shall cause her mouth to pucker to the proper position for a blowjob and her teeth to rot so that all men look,” he chuckled, “away.”
“Nicely said,” Cian smiled at him. “I shall do what I can for you, but in the end, the women,” his voice was steady and calm, “the women always win.”
“Not this time,” Labraid smiled and winked. “For I am your favorite whoring and drinking partner. You shall miss me at your side. You shall work your magic and put all to rights.”
Cian’s eyes were sorrowful. “Those days have passed. Doomed us both you have.”
His hands went to his stomach. “My bowel grumbles,” he said in surprise, “and no longer purrs. It appears that my nature is now to shit.
Do not,” the older eyed the handsome youth, “provoke herself any more than what you have…”
“Why,” Labraid winked and lifted his tankard, “I would never do that.”
The next morning, Tara rose as the dew drops swirled like a mist on the air and the light reflected a million rainbows. Her favorite time of day was to look from her window, fresh from rising, upon her garden. Her perfect pink lilies stretched out before her on their light pink stems with leaves of white with pink veins running through them.
From the tower where Tara slept, there were screams and more screams as she flowed like a raging river down the stairs! From the garden where her favorites bloomed, more screams rent the air to the fabric of their world as she stood in her flowers and wept for the travesty that had been done.
As she cried and cursed and bullied the elements, all shuddered, but still, she could not undo what that man-whore had wrought.
Gathering her robes and her crown, she went and stood before her father.
“I want justice,” she hissed. “I want his head and his whoring parts put on public display. I want him dead, for a thousand years and then I want his breath so I can kill the bastard again and again.”
Cian waited until the rant was over. “What,” he asked softly, “what child, has he done?”
“My garden,” her tears fell like the first morning dew that watered their world. “My lilies are orange. My…my flutter-bys are orange and black, the colors of that man-whore’s standard. The vegetation is green…it looks…” her sobs took her, “it looks like Earth! It is unnatural.”
“Child,” he sat uncomfortably upon his throne. “You have cursed me to shit. And so I do and so I must. That is unnatural. And yet, I must say, it is an experience that clears the mind and the bowel and I feel much better for it afterwards.
You have had your say. I can not undo this. Speak to he that can.”
“I shall not,” she said in defiance.
“Then I shall continue to defecate and our time together will be the shorter because of it.”
With a growl, and a twirl, and a swish of her skirts, she left.
“I shall be,” he said with a smile to his court, “in The Library. Please do not disturb me while I am in there.”
Picking up a book of their heroics, The King of the Fae strode with a purpose towards the room that had been set aside for his pleasure. Closing the door, he sat down on the stool. “This is fucking brilliant,” he smiled. “No one bothers me, not even the Lady Wife. The smell, she says, is disgusting and foul. For once, when the daughter ran at the mouth, some good did come of it.
Silence,” he smiled as he turned in the book to his favorite part where he slays the dragon and rescues the maiden.
Of course, what the heroics did not say was that he was running from his Lady Wife and her curses when he bound to the top of a rock and leaped onto the back of the dragon to make good his getaway. Her curse toasted the dragon instead of himself. As they plunged to the earth, the dragon begged for death.
From the wreckage of burning flesh, wing and bone, he managed to crawl, away.
Gazing into the pain riddled purple eyes, his hand was steady and his eyes full of tears as he beheaded the beast.
Such was the stuff of legends as he felt the tears once more fill his eyes.
He would once more take a ribbon to tie upon the tree and tell the crow to guard it well.
The Lady Wife and her daughter Tara walked the woods.
“Your father loves Eire,” she said to make polite conversation. “That is why there is a flavor or two here in Laigin.”
“Yes, seems Himself has been here this day,” Tara replied as she stopped at the ribbon tree. “I would have thought one would be, enough…”
The Crow smiled at her and winked.
Sticking her tongue out at the crow, her attention was back on her mother. “My rant and rave about my garden impressed him not. My flowers still reek of the orange and black.
Alas, my poor flutter-bys…”
“And you still reek of virgin,” The Crow cawed with laughter, “forever and a day. All though not present at the cursing, I have heard all as your words traveled on the wind.”
Tara started to speak and then stopped. “I did not curse myself,” she smiled.
The Crow cackled wickedly. “You are correct of course!” As his caws of laughter filled the sky and disturbed all in the woods. “He, Himself has been to see me this morn. He left a ribbon,” he thought he might fall from his tree with his cackling, “drenched in his own blood. Your oath stands. Labraid cast aside without love and you forever a virgin and barren, be.”
Turning to her mother, Tara could see the truth of the crow on her face.
“Daughter, when you run at the mouth, you say things you should not. A barren loveless life for Labraid. A barren, virgin life for you. In the same breath you also cursed us all to shit. Your father enjoys the shitting and so it stands. It is the one place he can escape my voice.”
“No,” Tara whispered.
“All those things you said in one breath, it all stands, because you can not break up the curse and remove one portion and not the other. I have told you to always stop and think before you speak and to never curse in anger.”
“I…I…I…” she stuttered, “I am to be virgin all of my days because my father enjoys shitting?” she wailed.
“It appears so,” her mother replied with a sad smile. “Your father enjoys his place of refuge more than he enjoys the sound of my voice or cares for your maternal needs.”
The anger flared in her and Tara did her best to contain it and reason this through.
“So, Father is alone in his shitting room. You are alone with the sound of your own voice. I am to be alone in my bedchamber…” a genuine smile covered her face. “But Labraid will always be alone in his heart. I can live with that.”
Lady Wife silently regarded her daughter. What Tara did not understand was that men equated the rut with love. And Labraid had spent his time on Eire. His thoughts on this matter would run with the human male. Labraid was handsome and charming and would never lack for bed partners.
Her daughter did not understand that Lady Wife preferred her own company to that of anyone. If she had her way, she would speak to no one but the nature that surrounded, her.
What was most obvious, was that He, Himself, was thoroughly pissed off at his daughter! The tree proved that. There was enough of his blood spread out on the tree to make Tara’s curse stick forever and a day. And her daughter had no idea just how long that really was. Their daughter could live with that? Lady Wife thought perhaps not.
But Tara was going to find out just how long a virgin’s life was going to hold her in its sway. And learn the lesson that when you cursed one to loneliness, you often cursed yourself, as well.