Rosemary Flanagan, hotel receptionist in the quaint city of Tralee, was staring at her computer screen, in-between sighs of nostalgia. The picture she was looking at for the umpteenth time was of a young teenager with a naughty smile that had been her first love. His name was Bill Quinn and they had been sweethearts for almost a year until his father decided to leave town to find fortune elsewhere, taking his only son with him against his will.
“Again?!!! Oh dear, it’s been almost a decade since he left and you’re still daydreaming about him! Come on, Rosemary. You’ve got to stop living in the past and embrace the future!”
“Nothing, if it’s not done on a regular and almost obsessive basis. You’ve been so busy thinking about Bill – who’s probably grown into a hideous looking man by now! – that I’m sure you haven’t noticed that the new guy can’t take his eyes off you.”
“See? You’ve just made my point! I’m talking about the cook, the Polish guy! His name is Mar… hmmm… something. I can’t pronounce it straight!”
“Of course not! Why would I do such a...?” Fiona’s sentence was interrupted by a sudden blackout that left the entire hotel enveloped in darkness. “Okay, what just happened? And more importantly, why did it happen?”
“It could be. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised at all, considering who’s in charge of the digging!”
Yes, but… I don’t want to talk about it now if you don’t mind! How about we head outside to check out what really happened?”
The two women left the hotel through the front entrance, followed by a couple of curious guests. Soon, they realized that the entire city was devoid of electric power and that all cars and other electronic devices had ceased functioning as if they had been hit by a powerful electromagnetic pulse. Carefully, they negotiated a pathway amidst the encroaching darkness until they reached the digging site. Instead of a small hole, they found a massive crater waiting for them
“That’s exactly what happened!” Said a male voice she instantly recognized. Kevin Moore, her boyfriend, was standing on the other side of the crater. “It was all so fast, but we were fortunate enough to crawl out before the earth claimed us all!”
“Hmmm… is anybody else seeing a speck of light glowing down there?”
“Me too.” Kevin concurred.
“What do you think it is?” Fiona asked, looking at her friend.
That too came to be easily verified as fact. The glow raced upward like a shooting arrow fired from the depths of the Earth’s core. It was also becoming more intense, a concentration of otherworldly particles that had been sealed away for far too long. Before any of them could move, it was already erupting from the hollow, a whirling dervish of light that felt displaced, yet so familiar. Its beauty was a majestic one and captured everyone’s attention at the same time.
The strange floating energy spun faster now that it was out in the open and, for a couple of seconds, it was almost as if had eyes and it was looking for someone amidst the crowd. It stopped above Rosemary’s head, glowing even more intensely.
“I have no idea.” Rosemary responded, although an inner recess of her mind told her that wasn’t the truth. She knew what it was and what it wanted, and she wasn’t shocked at all when the shimmering sparkles rained down on her, shifting her perception of reality in every possible way.
We have waited eons for this day, descendant of Aisling, the last of the Fairy-Queens, reverberated a choir of inhuman voices. The Great Monarch foretold this day on her deathbed, the day when the essence of The Ancient Ones would be reborn into this world. The blood of the fairies has become thinner across many generations and yet, in you, it flows in supreme splendor.
Not in the truest sense of the word, but still, you carry within you fragments of the ones of old. Before her ultimate demise, Aisling shared some of her power with a young mortal that had strayed far into our realm to ensure the perpetuation of our kind even if in a different state. That woman, Colleen, came to bear a child that began the lineage of your ancestors.
Now, as it was predicted, you’re to embrace the supernatural remnants that linger within your body and, by doing so, become the new Fairy-Queen, the one that will create a new world order and reduce mankind to its cosmic insignificance! The voices continued, now assuming a more aggressive tone.
Look below you, descendant of Aisling. See some of your power in action.
“What have you done?!!!”
“She wanted this to happen? My ancestor was evil?”
“I refuse to believe in that!” She shouted. “We humans are indeed flawed creatures, but the power of change and adaptation is also one of our most distinctive traits. We will never bring doom to our one and only home. Aisling may have been a powerful queen in her time and age, but she was wrong!”
“No! NEVER! I don’t want that power!”
Rosemary cleared them from her mind with a vigorous scream and some of the crystals inside the bubble shattered.
You’re making a mistake, Rosemary. One you’ll regret in days to come…
A second later, she was back inside her body and everyone in town looked normal, albeit a bit confused. None of them remembered what had transpired when the strange lights had made their presence known, except her.
“Nothing,” Rosemary responded with a smile. “Nothing at all. Everything’s fine.”
“You’re still here? I thought I had made myself clear when I rejected your offer!”
“I don’t get it. Does that mean that all that talk was nothing but…?”
“… I had to refuse you.” She concluded when she finally understood what had transpired.
The fireflies slowly took off, its shimmer fading before her eyes. Rosemary was dumbfounded, yet happy, and she was about to become even more so.
“Hello, Rosemary! Long time no see! I wish I could say you’re as beautiful as I remember, but that wouldn’t be true. You look more stunning than ever!” He exclaimed.
Above them, a phosphorescent image glimmered just once before receding into the darkness of oblivion. It was hard to discern its true form, but it may have well been the celestial face of Aisling piercing into the future with tender eyes.