The Pirate Princess: Return to the Emerald Isle

BOOK: The Pirate Princess: Return to the Emerald Isle
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The Pirate Princess

Return to the Emerald Isle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew
McCafferty Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 Matthew McCafferty Morris, all rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.

 

Published by Red Beard Publishing, LLC, Norwalk CT,

in 2013.

[email protected]

ISBN 978-0989088701

 

The characters and events in this book are fictional and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.

 

 

 

For Katie,
Anessa, and Connor

Find your treasure, it’s out there.

 

 

Preface

 

This work is the product of travels in the country of my ancestors, my absolute fascination with its history and people, and a soul-shattering period of being laid off from work for the second time in my life.

I was
completely bored with the internet and decided one day to challenge myself to write a book. I have loved writing ever since some really dedicated teachers forced me to do it as a child and told me I was good at it. I had been writing a blog for a few years and thought it was time to step it up a notch. My idea was to write a story that introduced some Irish mythology and history into an adventure tale about a girl modeled after my daughters, because they needed a role model that wasn’t a princess. Well, not exactly.

I needed a beginning.

Some very dear friends of mine, the O’Farrells, had told me a story of “the knock” as it occurred to them in real life. I had loved the story from the moment I heard it, and it was the perfect way for me to start this semi-magical story. It began with a
Boom
and from that point forward I was amazed at how, at any time I needed a setting or story element, it magically appeared in a Google or Wikipedia search for me. It was as though I was being fed this story from the otherworld. In just four weeks I had written the entire book and then spent the next couple of years polishing and working on it. The hardest thing was that, as I neared completion, I finally found a job and it took away almost all of my time for writing. Here it is nonetheless.

I want to thank my wife Christie for standing by me and supporting our entire family during the layoffs and
for putting up with a crazy husband who thought he could be an author. I want to thank Ireland and its people for being such a magical place and inspiration to me since my first trip there with my grandmother on her first time back “home” just before she passed away and my numerous trips there afterward. I want to thank my parents Bonnie and Bill, who said it was just as good as any book they had ever read. My cousin Mike Reid, my first editor, whose excitement about my book really boosted my confidence and whose thoughtful insight brought it to another level completely. My early readers, Tony, Vikki, Fidelma, Rick, Diane, and a few others I may have left out who bolstered my confidence as well because no one ever said it stunk. And finally, I want to thank my editor Stephanie J. Beavers, whose careful review polished my work to where it is now.

 

Thank you for reading,

 

Matthew Morris

 

 

 

 

The Pirate Princess

Return to the Emerald Isle

 


Midnight Adventure

 

Where am I?

Green

Everywhere she looked, green was in a thousand shades, undulating, pulsing, living green, but nothing was particularly clear. It was like staring at a kaleidoscope made especially for St. Patrick’s Day: green and green and green. She tried to focus on something, anything, but her eyes weren’t working right.

Concentrate
, Meg.

She couldn’t really see
, but thought she could feel. She dialed her mind to her sense of touch. She could feel something all around her body. It was a cold feeling, not dry and not wet, either. Mist? Was it a cool mist that chilled her skin? She tried harder to focus.

Where was she?

Slowly, as though someone in the green mist turned up the volume, a sound became clear all around her. It was faint at first but grew louder the more she relied on her sense of hearing. With her mind, she grasped at the sound like she would a rope thrown from the side of a boat, and pulled her thoughts towards it. It was a sound as familiar to her as her mother’s voice: waves crashing on the shore.

When she scrunched her toes in delight with the excitement of recognizing what she was hearing she fel
t smooth grains of sand. She looked down and could make out her bare feet on a beach. Finally she was seeing something real. The wind was blowing her hair, and when she looked up she saw she was on a strange and rocky shoreline, in a place she did not know.

Ahead of her on the beach, hunched over and walking with a stick, she saw an old man in a tattered grey suit looking out upon the sea
as he moved along. She could see the man and what he was doing, but when she tried to focus on him it was as if the lights had gone out and she was thrown back in the dizzying green mist.

It took a while at first
, but she figured out that she had to bring her senses back one at a time, as she did before, sight, hearing, and touch. Then she would be back on the beach with the old man. She tried to see who it was again only to be thrown back into the green nothingness. After doing this a couple of times she stopped trying to focus on the man and just walked towards the figure, keeping him in the corner of her vision. She quickened her pace but no matter how fast she walked he remained just ahead of her.

“Sir,” she called out
. “Excuse me, sir?” As soon as they left her lips the words she spoke faded in the roar of the ocean waves.

Although she could not see exactly what the old man was doing, he seemed to be looking for something and she felt for him strongly. Her heart was heavy for his longing and she didn’t know why. He was definitely looking out to sea for something.

She looked out on the ocean to where the man was gazing and, strangely enough, she was able to focus on the long, curved line that was the horizon on the water. Timidly at first, for fear of being thrown back into the green mist, she stared at the moving sea, increasing her attention bit by bit.

It was grey and white, rising and lowering with great waves and
, faintly, just at that point where the grey ocean met the blue sky, she saw a wisp of black emerge out of nowhere. As happened when looking at the man, if she concentrated on the black form she saw nothing. Out of the corners of her eyes, however, she was easily able to make out what appeared to be some dark clouds looming in the distance.

A storm?
She turned to the man on the shore to confirm her suspicion, but when she looked back he was gone and so was everything.

She was back in the green mist and could not feel or hear a thing.

Boom!

The noise filled
Meg’s room. It was a bang or knock or something and whatever it was, it was really loud. She sat straight up in bed with an indrawn breath. Her heart was pounding and her spine tingling. 
What in the world was that?
 

Meg’s
head was still heavy from the strange dream but she was now wide awake and very frightened. She looked around her room to see what could have possibly made the loud noise that scared her awake. Nothing had fallen off her dresser or the shelves. The room was lit by a silvery glow that came from her window, just around the corner from her bed. She looked around again. Nothing was out of place, but…Finn!

H
er comforter showed an indentation where her dog would normally be lying, but Finn was nowhere to be found.

Where did that dog go?
 The bedroom door was closed, as was the closet, so he had to be in her room somewhere. Meg got out of bed and walked towards the moonlight streaming from the alcove and sure enough, she found her big white dog. He was on his hind legs leaning on the windowsill with his ears perked up searching for whatever it was that made the terrible crash that woke them both.

 
Meg stood next to Finn at the window and looked out on the full moon shining its light on the water beyond her back yard, as a gentle breeze was leading the trees in a slow dance back and forth. The peaceful scene calmed her nerves a little, but going back to bed was not an option at this point because she was wide awake and very curious. She had to find what woke her.

“Come on
, boy,” Meg said to her dog, and headed towards the bedroom door. A tree or something must have fallen on the house; she was sure of it. She reached out and twisted the warm brass knob. She opened the door and poked her head out.

Nothing…
No lights were on and no one was out in the hallway.

Someone else had to have heard it.
 

She grabbed Finn’s collar and lead him to her little brother’s
bedroom, right next to hers. The old hinges let out a creak as she pushed the door open, but even that noise didn’t wake up the little boy who was sleeping peacefully in his crib.

Are you kidding me? It didn’t even wake the baby!

She went farther down the hall, making two more stops along the way. It was the same situation with her parents and her big sister: All were sleeping undisturbed in their beds, oblivious to the natural disaster that must have struck their old house.

Was it the dream? No way!
 It could not have been the dream because Finn heard it too. A branch or a limb from one of the tall trees in the yard had to have fallen on the roof, and her family was going to be very surprised to find out they had slept through such a racket. This could not wait until morning. She had to find out what had made that crash, and so she headed downstairs.

Meg qui
etly made her way to the first floor, the loud knock still echoing in her head. The house was completely silent and eerily bright from the moonlight. She looked out the window next to the front door and saw nothing out of the ordinary.

“Let’s go out back
,” she whispered to Finn.

As she tiptoed down the hall
towards the kitchen, the tick tacking of Finn’s paws on the hardwood floors sounded like fire crackers in the silent house. She shushed him and he gave her a confused look in return. They walked through the kitchen and found nothing. Meg decided that they had better go outside to look at the house from afar so as to survey the damage that must have happened. Meg slid the heavy glass patio door open with a rumble and walked out into the autumn night, her dog close behind.

The wind blew her hair as she stepped onto the stone patio and had a flashback to the strange dream
that had tingled her senses. Unlike her dream, though, the peaceful sounds of chirping crickets and waves gently lapping the shore greeted her. It was soft and comforting, broken only by the ringing of a navigational bell rolling over the water from a buoy in the distance.

This was exciting
. Meg had never been outside of her house alone at night and she was extremely alert. As in her dream, she became acutely aware of all her senses. The breeze that moved the trees and tousled her hair carried with it the smells of salt water and the decaying leaves that were everywhere in her yard. It was a strange, earthy-ocean combination. She walked across the patio towards the backyard which gently slanted down to the water’s edge.

The moon was spectacular. It lit everything outside in a bright
, silvery-blue glow from its spot in the sky just above Fishers Island. A streak of reflected moonlight ran across the water from the shore to the island in the distance where Meg’s grandmother lived. It looked like a magical bridge suspended on the waves that linked their two islands. Meg shook her head to get back to reality; she was out here for a reason and that reason was to find what caused the crash.

She turned around and was disappointed to see the roof of her home was completely undamaged. No branches or limbs were lying across the Victorian
-styled house anywhere.

But the crash had happened!
 Didn’t it?

As if in
answer to her question, a stiff gust of wind blew in from the water, startling Meg. She got goose bumps on her skin and felt a sort of tension in the air which made her uncomfortable. Even Finn was uneasy. He was standing tightly against her leg with his ears still perked. He let out a soft whimper.
There had to be something on the other side of the house.
Although she was starting to get a bit scared again, curiosity got the best of her and she pressed on.

Meg and Finn
walked around the house, through the grass and leaves, looking up for anything strange or broken at the gabled roofline that rose up and down with its numerous triangular edges that faced out to the sea. There was magic to the fall night around them. The temperature was cool, but not enough to chill Meg, and all of the sounds and smells added to the mystery that surrounded her walk. She expected to find the source of the crash at every turn of the corner, but by the time they had walked all around the house and found nothing, they were back at their starting point on the patio, and Meg decided to give up the search. 
Maybe it was her imagination? Maybe it was the dream?

She walked back inside
, puzzled by the night. Her father was standing at the door to the kitchen as she slid the patio door closed.

“What are you doing
, honey?” He looked at her over crossed arms. “It’s the middle of the night and you should not be outside by yourself.”


Daaad,” Meg replied in the sing-songy way only a little girl can address her father, “I was checking out a loud crash that woke us up, aaand I
am
almost eleven and can go outside by myself!”

“Ev
en tomorrow when you turn eleven you are not allowed to go outside by yourself at night. And the only sound that woke me up was the sound of the sliding door to the patio opening.” He looked at Meg under totally forced, furrowed brows and a little smirk that showed he was not really mad at her.

“You didn’t hear that earth
-shattering knock, like something hit our house?”

“No
, sweetie,” said her father. He reached into the refrigerator and poured a glass of milk which he handed to her, “It must have been a dream, and it’s time to go back to bed. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow.”

“But
, Dad… even Finn heard it,” she said, gulping down the milk and placing the cup in the sink. Her father looked down at the dog and Finn wagged his tail back. He scratched Finn’s head in return.

“Maybe you knocked one of the dolls off your bed and onto the floor?”

“I don’t sleep with dolls anymore, Daddy!”

He swept her up in his arms and started back upstairs. “I can’t believe my little baby doesn’t sleep with her dolls anymore. It seems like just yesterday there was a virtual stuffed
-animal army at the foot of your bed standing guard over you, but now my big eleven-year-old is all grown up and doesn’t need them anymore.”

“I have Finn now
, Daddy… and will always have you guarding me!”

That put a big smile on her dad’s face. He walked Meg into her room then lowered her into bed. She pulled up the sheets and her dad gave her a kiss. “Sweet dreams
,” he said as he walked out, shutting the door behind him.

“It had to be something
, huh, Finn?” she said to her dog as he snuggled in at the foot of her bed. Finn looked up at her with his big dark eyes in agreement. After some tossing and turning the two eventually fell back to sleep.

 

BOOK: The Pirate Princess: Return to the Emerald Isle
5.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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