Wednesday, June 13, 2012


photo courtesy of Cabochons By Bev

Anne Marie MacClarren wandered though the markets. She hadn't been to London in decades. As she held the heavy silk of her skirts out the stinking mud, she silently questioned her choice to visit now.

She had lost any intent to purchase anything offered as she passed tables of smelly fish, rancid fowl, and moldy produce. Not at all appealing, the vendors no more appealing than their wares.

One ramshackle booth was piled with likely stolen trinkets and crudely crafted jewelry. She took a moment to look over the clutter. Upon occasion, a true treasure could be found in such a pile if one knew what to look for.

A pendant caught Anne Marie's attention. A slice of muddy green stone, edged with a thin band of copper and hung on a ribbon. The shadowy image of a woman in the center.

Her breath stopped as she recognized the silhouette.

The dirty young woman behind the table saw her interest. "That be a special charm, milady, I can make a good deal..."

"Where did you get this? Where is the rest of this stone?"

"Its one o' a kind..."

"Do not lie to me. Where is the rest of the stone?" Her breath was coming in gasps. She could feel panic tightening her chest.

The vendor took her distress for anger. She produced three more slices of the stone from a tattered basket behind her. Each bearing the same figure.

"Just these,lady. These are all 'ats left! The rest was sold ."

Anne Marie ripped them from the girl's grubby fingers,"How many! How many more are there! Do you have any idea where they are!"

"There was 13 my da' cut. I been sellin' 'em some days. I dun know who buys. I just collect my coin for 'em."

Anne Marie muttered an ancient curse as threw more than enough coin for the three pieces at the shaken girl.

The young woman scooped the coins up, a bit braver than she had been. "Crazy foreign woman," she muttered.

Anne Marie grabbed the woman's wrist. "I'm not the foreigner here, girl. My blood was old in this land long before you fathers knew this isle existed." She threw the girl's arm down and turned from the stall.

She left the narrow street and its overpowering smells. When she reached the tiny room she had taken for the night, she laid the slices of stone on the table.

The image was unmistakable in each piece.


She'd returned to her homeland after years of wandering, hiding from the voice that was always in her head. Years searching for a way to free herself from Lillian's grasp. Years to find the answer now tucked in her pack.

She had barely touched the ground of her birthplace when the witch confronted her.

"Annag, you've finally come back to me. There was no other choice, you know. You must always come back to me."

Anne Marie almost lost the nerve she'd summoned at the old witch's voice. "I am called Anne Marie now", she told the woman.

Lillian sneered, "Anne. And how precious, Marie, for your dead mother Mara. Come, Annag of no clan MacClarren, I have chores for you. You must remember who you owe your life to, girl. Everything will be alright now."

Those last words triggered the desperation, the hatred and fear. She reached into her pack, her fingers gripped the dull green orb.

As she pulled it out, balanced on the palm of her hand,the chant she'd learned began to flow from her terror dried lips. The words in a language more ancient than the old Gaelic of her childhood.

Lillian looked at her with mild curiosity. "What game do you pretend to play, child? What gibberish is this?" Then her eyes widened in shock, her jaw opened to utter a scream of denial as the stone began to glow.

There came no scream, the old witch was still, frozen by the power of the conjure. The glow became a pulse, and with each beat Lillian began to fade.

When the words stopped, Lillian was gone. Anne Marie held the stone in shaking hands. She felt drained, almost as faded as the witch had been.

She finally looked hard at the surface of the orb. It was dull green once again. But as she studied it closer, she could see the ghostly image of a woman, her eyes wide, her mouth open in an eternal silent shriek.


Anne Marie could still hear the voice. "It will be alright." But it never was. It was never alright again.

you can read more about Anne Marie/Annag here and here and here too


  1. Great job with setting, language and the dialogue.

    more please, this is really intriguing

  2. Wow. That's a great concept, with a lot of potential for exploring. I love the moment you reveal who/what the image in the slice of stone is.

  3. That was intriguing. I'm curious about the stone and it's power.

  4. You lured me right in - I want to know more now! ~Tui, from #StoryDam chat

  5. Nicely written and very well done. I enjoyed the flashback, even though that may just be because I'm a dork for all things Celtic. Very, very curious about what you're working on. :)