Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Faerie Tale Queen - Chapter 20


Kieren felt like she had walked onto a movie set. Shenanigan’s was exactly how she had pictured an authentic Irish pub; rich wood everywhere, low lit candles on the tables, fiddlers playing on a small stage, a burly redheaded man behind the bar, a beautiful buxom girl waiting tables, and old men sipping a dark muddy brew.
As Logan relieved Kieren of her coat, the sultry vixen sashayed over to greet them. “It’s good to see you Logan.” She said and kissed him on the cheek. “And who have you brought with you this evening?”
“Kieren may I present Mary Katherine MacClennan or I should say Mary Katherine Shaunacy now, but we all call her Molly. Molly, this is Kieren Byrne Cleary.”
Molly gave Kieren a brilliant smile, “Ah, so this would be Paddy’s granddaughter finally come home. And where is Paddy? I haven’t seen him since I was but a young girl, but oh I loved that man.”
“Molly, Paddy passed away a few weeks ago.” Logan informed her, sparing Kieren from having to respond.
Molly gathered Kieren in a quick but fierce hug, “Oh dear, I’m so sorry for your loss, as I said, I loved the man.”
“Thank you.” Kieren replied, not knowing what else to say.
Molly pulled back, then squeezed Kieren’s hand, “Come, come. Let’s get you set up. Tonight will not be about being sad, it will be about celebrating a wonderful life.”
Kieren had no idea what Molly was talking about until after Molly had seated her at the table, then climbed up on the stage and drew everyone’s attention. “Settle ye selves down. I’ve just learned from Kieren Cleary over there, that her grandfather, Patrick Christopher Byrne, has passed.” She raised a glass, and when every patron had his glass raised as well, she said loud and clear for all to hear, “Here’s to you Paddy, you were loved by all and will be missed by many. May the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.”
The crowd cheered and drank, and Kieren was reduced to tears. It was her grandfather’s funeral all over again. She barely had time to swipe at her tears, when the music began to play and someone had taken her hand.
She looked to Logan and he told her, “You cannot refuse love, it’s for Paddy.”
For Paddy. She allowed herself to be whirled away. Since she had no idea what she was doing, she simply held on tight and allowed one partner after another spin her around the room, each attempted to share a word or two about Paddy as they danced. Eventually the music stopped and she was returned to Logan and her table.
Throughout dinner, people would sit at their table and share a story about Paddy with them. By the time they had finished eating, Kieren’s tears had completely dried and her sides ached from laughing.
When Molly stopped by the table to check on them, Kieren thanked her again. “I’ll still miss him every day, but now I think I’ll be smiling when I think about him instead of wanting to cry.”
“Then we did well and I’m glad.” Molly wagged a finger at Logan. “Make sure Logan here gives you my number, so if you’re needing anything when he’s not around, you have someone close to call. I only live up the road a piece, and if I’m not home, I’m usually here.”
“That’s very sweet of you. Thank you.”
“Ach, think nothing of it.” Molly dismissed. “You’re one of our own, even if you haven’t realized it yet. Now, I won’t be bothering you no more. Enjoy the rest of your evening and I hope to see you soon.”
When she left, Kieren turned to Logan and asked, “Is she always so kind?”
Logan laughed and shook his head, “Actually, she isn’t, but for some reason she’s taken a fancy to you. Count your blessings. You don’t want to be finding yourself on Molly’s bad side.”
Kieren raised an eyebrow, “That sounds like you’re speaking from experience.”
“That I am love, that I am.”
“Spill it buster. What did you do to that poor sweet girl to get on her bad side?”
“Sweet my arse. She has a mean streak which would give the Devil himself pause, our Molly does.” Logan eyed Molly from across the room. She responded with a beatific smile, for she knew Logan was being forced to recount his tale of woe.
Kieren noted the exchange and prompted, “So…”
“Let’s just say I was a bit of a prankster when I was young, as most young boys are, and Molly didn’t appreciate being the butt of one of my pranks, and she made me pay for it for a very long time.”
Kieren’s eyes widened, “Oh no. So this has been going on for a while.”
“Damn near twenty years.”
“But she seemed genuinely happy to see you when we arrived?”
“Oh, Molly and I are great friends, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever let me forget the time when that wasn’t so.”
Kieren couldn’t contain her giggles, and eventually Logan joined her in laughing at his own misfortune.
“It’s getting late and we should be getting you home. I have a big day planned for you tomorrow, so you’re going to need to be well rested.”
“Is that so?”
“It is.” He said as he helped her on with her coat.