Humans – Part 1

“For the last time, Fáelán, there’s no such thing as humans.”
The small boy perched on the wooden bench kicked his heels, boots sounding against the wood.
“But Mam, I know what I saw! She was little like me, but her ears were all over round just like Kyran said they’d be.”
Fáelán reached up to touch his own pointed ears in remembered wonder. His mother sighed and ruffled his hair. There was no harm in letting her little lad believe for a few more summers. Someday, he’d be a man grown and have no more time for imagined humans in the endless plains of Tir na Nog. But Fáelán knew what he’d seen in the hazy light upon the moors and as he got up, he promised himself that some day he would catch a human and show everyone that they were as real as anything in the Land of the Ever Young.
Fáelán Mac Caiside walked through the moors and over the hills, his bow in his hands and his dreams in his head. At first, the sounds coming on the wind meant nothing to him. But soon they began to make a kind of sense. It was a song and not one he knew. Picking up his pace, he jogged over the rise. Scrambling, he nearly fell in the grass and a whoosh of air escaped from his lungs as he righted himself. The singing stopped and he heard uncertain footsteps.
“Is someone there?”
The voice was soft, almost scared sounding, and light.
“Just me,” he shouted, running full out now.
As he surged up over the top of the hill, he stopped short and spilled over, rolling a bit. Sitting in the grass, he stared up at the girl who leaned over him. She was his size, with bright curly red hair, and round ears. It was her ears that caught his attention. He sprang to his feet with a whoop.
“I knew it! I told her. You’re real! Humans are real!”
Her eyes were huge now.
“You’re…you’re a-”
Before she could finish, he grabbed her by the arm and started to tow her up the hill.
“Come on, you gotta see my Mam so she knows you’re real.”
The girl wrenched her arm free.
“I’m not going anywhere with you, Faerie Boy. I don’t want to end up in your stew or a pie or just stolen. I’ve gotta go home.”
Fáelán scowled at her.
“We don’t eat humans, ya daftie. Mam doesn’t even believe in ‘em. Now come on.”
But she stood stock still, arms crossed over her chest.
“I don’t believe you.”
He stomped one foot.
“I can’t make you believe.” Then he held up both hands, still holding his bow in one. “I swear on my honor that I, Fáelán Mac Caiside, won’t hurt you or let anyone else hurt you long as you’re in Tir na Nog. Better?”
She nodded once, sharply.
“Then come on, let’s go see my Mam.”


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