New Age Dimensions Press
Heather was as pale as her sun-bleached linen sheets where they were not splashed with blood. Her breath scarcely budged the plaid stretched over her, yet she sensed Brian’s presence, even turned her face toward him and offered a valiant smile. A little boy, scarcely tall enough to see over the top of the bed, Brian had sneaked into the sickroom. They were sure to be after him.
“Brian, my lad,” she said. She was his step-mother, but no mother could have loved him more. Brian clung to her hand. It was cold as the loch.
“So like your da,” Heather whispered. “My dearest laddie, I’ve a gift for ye, a little sister. Ye will see to her? I’ll not be here to take care of her. She will need ye to take a brother’s part.”
A sob twisted the lad’s throat and quivered his chin, but he clung bravely to her hand.
“See to her, Brian,” Heather whispered. “See she learns the old ways. She has the gift . . . tell her I wish I could have . . .” She seemed to drift inside herself for a moment then murmured, “She will leave this place when all is lost. Tell me ye will watch over her–my little Branwyn.”
“Yes, Mama! Don’t go, Mama.”
“Watch over her until Branwyn is a woman grown. The Goddess will send a guardian. By the linn . . . he will vow to her. Thank the Goddess!” Her eyes closed.