Summer Solstice

Today marks the onset of summer, at the time of the longest day and shortest night of the year! Many around the world started their celebration last night with the lighting of a bonfire while they kept watch to greet the new dawn as it emerged. I can probably babble on and on with the different thoughts/meaning that this day stands for- but I won’t. Just know it’s the first day of summer!
I’ve been working on a new spin off of the Secrets Trilogy that follows the storyline from Lilura’s Secret. A new generation has been born unto the old world which will bring new opportunities of adventure. The first several chapters had me smiling with joy while dashing tears from my face at the same time. It was hard to say goodbye to characters that I loved- yet it was meant to be to issue in a new one. Here is a small un-edited piece of the first chapter- Blessed be my friends!

Ballads were sung loudly that night, the feast laid before the guests, tables groaned with the weight of the food and drink. People in their finest danced, the swirl of colors dizzying to the eye. The hearth was lit with the yule log as winter solstice was upon the lands, Wolf warming his old bones next to the fire as the children gently patted and lavished him with love and treats from the tables. Castle Wild’s doors and battlements were thrown open to welcome any and all to the celebration of life. Babies were passed around, kissed, blessing given as the toddlers ran amuck through the legs of their elders. Exaggerated stories were blown up tenfold as glasses were emptied and refilled a dozen times. The minstrels were bold in their song and storytelling, extracting cries of joy as well as sorrow at their tales.
The Clans gathered to say farewell to their beloved rulers. Queen Elena Fae of the Fairy Mounds and her hand maiden were present. King Obarack of the Mountain Trolls as well as King Rhodosidian of the Dragons were attendance that night. Ambassadors of the Clan of Man were gathered and mingled with the folk of the Isle.
I watched from the shadows as my father approached my mother, bowing deeply before her, his hand outstretched in question. I watched the smile spread across her face as she placed her hand in his as he pulled her out to the center of the hall. The fires and candles dimmed as the music grew soft and light as he spun her and her gown fluttered around her ankles. My beautiful Mother, face still fair and lovely, slight wrinkles around her blue eyes and mouth proving she had a lifetime of smiles and joy. Father, looking down into her face as he held her close, his brown eyes sparkling with his love for his mate. Other couples melted off the dance floor to watch in the shadows, no eye remained dry as they watched their King and Queen danced. Above them a magick weave of blue and green spread out about them, cascading down and around them as they swirled upon the family crest.
The moon was being chased by his mate as dawn was beginning to break over the waters, sending the sky into muted shades of pink and yellow. Heart in my throat, I knew that the winter solstice has broken its long nights fast. A future I was ill prepared for was being thrust upon me as I attempted to gather my wits about me.
The music stopped as my parents turned, hand in hand to wait for me to join them. Obediently I emerged from the shadows, Wolf trailing beside me. I reached down and gathered a fist full of his graying fur, a habit I did when I was upset as we followed them through the doors of Castle Wild.
I heard the shuffling of feet as the hall emptied behind us, making a trail to the moor, to the Stones of Wild. Our holiest of places, where blood was spilled in love, war and honor. Flowers dotted the countryside where my parents walked.
Great Grandfather and Grand’Mere were already there, pawed and winged creatures of the Isle circled the Stones in silence as we approached. Great Grandfather, her beloved Papa, grabbed my mother in a fierce hug that lifted her from the ground. When he was done, he whispered in her ear and then gently kissed her on the forehead. His eyes were glistening in the early breaking of dawn, a spectacle I would have never thought I would have been privy too.
They walked into the center of the Stones, each raising a hand for me to join them. I tried to be strong as I made my way forward, sobs at the ready to burst from my throat at any minute. Wolf huffed and wined until my pace matched his. He was ready for his rest. I stood before my parents as they stood before my mother’s decades ago. They reached for me as I stumbled into their arms. I felt the release of their power as they held me. I accepted their fate and responsibilities filling that missing void deep inside, a void I didn’t know existed until that moment. They were free to go on their last journey- together. Each kissed me as they whispered, “be well.” We refused to say goodbye- since we all knew we would see each other again. I turned and hugged my mother’s beloved Wolf. He pushed his wet nose into my neck before he turned to follow them.
I stood and watched them disappear as the sun broke the mound’s surface, a bright light shown where they once were. I raised my head to the winds and howled, calling upon the Wild Hunt to send them home to the stars as the warriors that went before them. I poured my sorrow into the call, as I felt the tears finally find their release as they cut rivulets down my face. Thousands of voices across the land filled the air, sending the news to the four corners.
When all was silent again, only two silver crowns were left behind sitting in the morning dew as three new stars glistened in the sky.
The Child of Magick and her Mate were home with their protector.