The air was heavy with fog. This much I knew. Other than that, I didn’t have a clue where I was or even what century I was in. The ground crunched below my feet as I moved forward, trying to escape the cotton candy-like cloud that surrounded me. A brisk wind blew in and scattered the fog, as if wafting it away with invisible hands. Up ahead, I saw a small village with dozens of snow-covered huts belching thick chimney smoke into a steel, gray sky. The landscape was primitive, yet somehow familiar.
The huts all looked the same, but one grabbed my attention. I had a strange feeling I’d seen it before. The next thing I knew, I was indoors. A man, a woman and two small boys moved around the cramped interior but seemed unaware of my presence. A loud popping sound drew my attention to a roaring fireplace piled high with logs. The smell of burning pine triggered an avalanche of random memories, all tied to this strange land. Then I heard a ringing inside my head. The noise intensified into a piercing shriek, growing louder and louder until I thought my head might explode. Then, just as quickly as it arrived, it was gone. My mind cleared and all the random memories aligned, making perfect sense. I knew exactly where I was. This was my home and the people milling around in front of me were family … my family. I recognized Mum, Paps, big brother Ronan and the little boy huddled under the worn-out blanket on the dirt floor. That was me. My name was Brennan and I had just turned six years old. The year was 1307 and I lived in the town of Magennis, on the northeastern shore of Ireland.
My vision blurred and I pressed my eyelids shut to regain focus. When I opened them, I was gazing out through the eyes of a child. The bright glow of the flickering fire cast long shadows across our tiny living space, bringing warmth and comfort along with it. We were doing our best to ignore the biting chill of another ruthless Irish winter. Mum kept busy stirring the kettle, while Paps entertained us boys with stories of the Celtic legend.
Anthony Mesi has a new novel
SAGE Volume II