BeanSidhe's Wail
     By Winter Rose Nightingale~Nickerson

Have You Ever Imagined What It Would Be Like To Ride The Wind’s Back At Twilight And Soar Among The Stars And The Glittering Sunset Coloured Mists As The Rest Of The World Lies Sleeping And Dreaming  Beneath You?

Have You Ever Dreamed Of Dancing With A Faerie Creature Of Such Blinding, Ethereal Beauty, To Music So Haunting And Sweet That It Makes Your Very Soul Cry Tears Of Enchantment And You Feel That You’ll Die If The Dance Ends And You’ll Die If It Continues?

Have You Ever Imagined What It Would Be Like To Possess Immortality? The Memories You Might Create? The Spectacular People You Might Meet And The Incredible Events You Might Witness? Can You Imagine What It Would Feel Like To Watch, Un~Changed, Youthful, Beautiful, Magickal, As All Of Those Whom You Love Age, Grow Ill, And Pass On To The Spirit Realms While You Endlessly Continue On? The Tragic, Terrible Romance Of What It Truly Means To Be Immortal?

Have You Ever Dreamed Of  Having The Power To Seduce, To Enchant, To Completely Bewitch ANYONE  That You Desire? Of Having The Sort Of Un~Earthly Beauty That Legends Are Built Upon? Soul~Shattering, Otherworldly Beauty Which Men Would Kill Their Brothers In Duels Over And Women Would Sell Their Souls To Claim As Their Own, Even If Only For One Single Night ?

Have You Ever Imagined What It Would Be Like To Sing With A Voice Which Angels And Birds Can Only Envy? A Voice So Pure, So Achingly Perfect And Glorious, So Innocently Sweet, Yet Rich And Vibrant As The Colours Of A Hummingbird In Flight? A Voice Which Haunts Everyone Who Hears It So That Ever After They Are Never Again The Same As Before? Or To Dance So Lightly, So Gracefully That You Could Glide Along On A Cobweb Or Turn Pirouettes On The Surface Of A Forest Lake? To Move With Such Fragile Delicacy That Even A Swan Looks Clumsy In Comparison?

Have You Ever Dreamed Of Shifting Shape? Changing Your Appearance At Will? Gliding Silently Through The Night Sky As A Falcon Or An Owl, The Wind Barely Rustling Your Wings? Running Swiftly Through The Fragrant Forest As A Fox Or A Deer? Or Rolling Through The Ocean’s Shimmering  Waves In The Soft And Velvety, Sleek And Shining  Body Of A Seal? The Ability To Make Yourself Small Enough To Sleep Inside An Un~Opened Rosebud, But Powerful Enough To Have The Elements At Your Command?

Have You Ever Imagined What It Would Be Like To Remember Life After Life In Different Times And Places? Lives As Queens And Courtesans, Princesses, Peasant Maids And High Priestesses, All The Way Back Into The Mists Of Time?  Camelot And Avalon,  The Courts Of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Charles II And The Versailles Of Louis XVI And Marie Antoinette? To Have Been Painted By J.W. Waterhouse, E. Blair~Leighton And Dante Gabriel Rossetti? Immortalized In Poem And Prose By Shakespeare, Keats And  Byron? To Know That Strauss Was Inspired To Write “The Blue Danube”  After Waltzing With You And Gazing Into The Depths Of Your Colour~Shifting Faerie Eyes?  That Mozart Created The Role Of “Queen Of The Night” In His Opera “The Magic Flute” Especially For You, Because Your Voice Was His “Ideal”?  To Have Been There On The Long And Starless Night When The Great Lady, Titanic, Met Her Death In The Icy Grey Atlantic Depths? To Have Fought The Romans As A Druid Priestess On Mona,  To Have Learned The Secrets Of The Strega At Lake Nemi In Renaissance Italy And To Have Died By The Witch~Hunter’s Cruel Hand  In Scotland In The Tempestuous 1700’s?

Have You Ever Dreamed Of The Moon Considering You Her Daughter? The Dryads Of The Trees  Bowing Down To You As You Pass? The Naiads Of Streams, Lakes And Ponds Singing A Joyous Song In Your Honour Whenever You Come Near? Wild Animals And Birds Flocking To Follow In Your Wake And White Trefoil Flowers Springing Up In Your Footprints Wherever You Walk?

Have You Ever Imagined What It Would Be Like To Be Able To Travel Between Worlds? To Spend Half Your Life In The Astral Realms And The Faerie Courts And Half Your Life In What Mortals Know As “The Waking World”? To Know That You Have Wings? To Know That Unicorns,  Vampires, Ghosts, And The Pagan Gods And Goddesses Are Very, Very Real Indeed And That All Of The Old Myths And Legends, The Faerie Tales, Are Really, Really True? And That They All Exist Today And Could Be Seen If Only Humankind Would Believe In Them And Open Their Eyes To Allow Themselves To See?

All Of This, And So Much More, Is MY Life. My Name Is Wynne, And I’m More Ancient, And Yet, More Childlike And Innocent, Than You Could Ever Imagine. I Am A LeananSidhe, Also Known As “The Faerie Mistress” Or “The Faerie Sweetheart”. 

In His Famous Poem, “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” John Keats Wrote Of Me:

“I Met A Lady In The Meads, Full Beautiful - A Faery's Child, Her Hair Was Long, Her Foot Was Light, And Her Eyes Were Wild.”

Some Would Call Me A Vampire, A Dark, Seductive Faerie Creature Who Sucks The Blood From  Overly Romantic And Beautiful Young Men {Such As Keats, Shelley, Byron, Mozart And Countless Others} Who Then Burn Brightly With A Creative Flame Of Poetic And Artistic Glory Only To Suddenly Plunge Into The Darkness Of Dissipation And Die Young, Leaving A Pale But Gorgeous Corpse.

This Is , Of Course, As Many Legends That Have Been Told For Centuries Are,  A Slight Bit Away From The Actual Truth, So I Hope You’ll Allow Me To Set You Straight!  What I Actually Am Is What Might Be Termed A “Psychic Vampire”. I Thrive On Lifeforce And Creative Energy! And It’s Quite Easy For Me To Gather Enough Energy To Survive By Performing And Drawing Upon The Creative Energy Raised By The Performance And Amplified By The Excitement Of The Audience! No Need Whatsoever For The Pale And Wan Corpses Of Lovelorn Young Poets To Be Involved At All!

I Am Part Of A Septet. A Performance Group, With My Six Half Sisters {All Different Types Of Faekin, Whom You Shall Be Introduced To Shortly} We’re Rather Famous As Singer/Dancer/Actresses And Models And Our Septet Is Called “BeanSidhe’s Wail”. We Perform All Sorts Of Operatic, Celtic, Pagan, Baroque, And Mediaeval Music And Do Concerts, Videos And Many Other Creative Things. We Have  Clothing And Cosmetics Lines {Very Gothy And Fae~Ish In Feel} Our Production Company Is Called “Wikkid Wench Productions” And Our Clothing Line Is Called “Dark Damsel Designs”.  Our Main Fan Base Is Young, Gothy, Glittery~Fae, Pagan~Minded Girls. We All Adore Performing And Being In The Group, But Our Real Reason For Being Here,  Our True Mission, Is To Keep The Enchantment Alive. To Bring Back Faerie Magick  And Perhaps Make The Veil Between Faerie And The Waking World A Bit Less Dense. To Get People To Believe Again. To See The Wonder And Beauty That Is All Around Them, Albeit Half~Hidden In The Shadows! Our Father Is A Powerful Celtic/European River God And Our Mothers Were Seven Different Types Of Faerie Creatures. LeananSidhe, BeanSidhe, Gwragedd Annwn, Selkie, Vila, Rusalka And Corrigan. We Are Much Like Other Sisters. We Have Our Rivalries And Our Spats, But We Do Genuinely Love One Another {Although I Sometimes Wonder About My Sister Oonagh, Who Is A Corrigan And Inherited That Race’s “Two~Faced”, Dual Nature From Her Mother} And We Get Along Well For The Most Part. We Spend Much Of Our Time In The “Waking World” On Septet Business. Escaping Whenever We Can Into Faerie, And Sometimes Into The Astral To Re~Visit Our Past Lives, Searching For Ways To Bring The Faerie And Waking Realms Closer Together Before The Rift Becomes Permanent And We’re Stuck On One Side Or The Other.

So Much For First Impressions. I’m Wynne, And This Is My Life. Welcome To The World Of “BeanSidhe’s Wail”.

The Announcer’s Voice, Rich And Deep, Spoke Over The Gothic Strains Of A Bach Fugue Played On A Harpsichord. “Long, Long Ago, In The Mists of Time, When The Veil Was Drawn Between The Mortal World And The Realms Of Faerie, The Seven Sisters Of “BeanSidhe’s Wail” Were Given The Task Of Keeping Faerie Magick And Enchantment Alive In The Hearts And Souls Of Humankind!” Laser Lights Played Across The Stage In A Myriad Of Colours. Shooting Star Patterns Representing The Symbols Of The Pagan Wheel Of The Year And The Elements: Earth, Fire, Air, Water And Spirit Written On A Midnight Sky In Whirling Elven Runes. “These Seven Faerie Maidens Have Chosen To Use Their Beauty, Their Grace, Their Gifts Of Song And Dance, To Carry Out Their Mission! And They Have Come Here Tonight, At This In~Between Time Of Magick And Mystery, To This Place Which Is Enchanted To Exist In A Dimension Of Sacred Space,  To Prove To You That Faerie Magick Is Alive And Well, In Them…And In YOU!” The Crowd Cheered Loudly. The Lasers Took On A Strobe Effect And The Harpsichord Music Grew Even More Frenzied As The Announcer Continued. The Seven Girls Each Entered As He Called Their Names. They Wore Sheer, Gauzy, Feminine, Floor~Length Gowns In A Pre~Raphaelite Style With Long, Sweeping, Mediaeval Sleeves, Delicate Dancing Slippers In Matching Shades And Renaissance Inspired Flower Chaplets On Their Heads, Ribbons Draped Down Their Backs, Mingling With Their Long, Flowing Hair.  “Moira, The BeanSidhe!” She Had Long, Straight Raven Black Hair, Large Brown Eyes And A Soft, Sad Smile. Her Gown Was Two~Layered. Misty White And Wedgewood Blue, And Her Chaplet Was Of Orchids. “Wynne, The LeananSidhe!” She Was Extremely Petite, Softly Curvy, With Porcelain Doll Facial Features And Thigh~Length Cherrywood Red Hair In Spiral Ringlets That Seemed Black When She Turned Her Head One Way Under The Lights, But Glowed Like Fire When She Turned Her Head In The Other Direction. Her Eyes Were Colour Shifting, Changing From Pale Grey, To Sky Blue, To Sea Green, To Violet To Silver. Her Gown Was  Midnight Black And Crimson Red And Her Chaplet Was Of Blood Red Roses. “Cerys, The Gwragedd Annwn!” Her Long, Curly Hair Was Bright, Gleaming Gold And Her Eyes Were A Brilliant Cornflower Blue. Her Expression Was One Of Angelic Serenity And Her Gown Was Lavendar And Soft Moss Green. Her Chaplet Was Of Gardenias. “Marged, The Vila!” She Was Taller Than The First Three, Willowy And Slender Rather Than Curvy, Her Long, Straight Blonde Hair Was The Colour Of Sun And Moon Together And Her Eyes Were Marble Blue. Her Gown Was Deep Forest Green And Wheaten Gold And  Her Chaplet Was Of Cherry Blossoms. “Regan, The Rusalka!” She Was Also Taller, And Slender. Her Hair Was A  Straight Waterfall Of Deep, Rich, Chocolate Brown With Golden Streaks And Her Eyes Were The Same Shade, With Golden Flecks In Them. She Had An Aura Of Mischief About Her. Her Gown Was Peach And Cream Coloured And Her Chaplet Was Of Lotus Blossoms. “Rowena, The Selkie!” She Was In The Middle Of The Others, Not Quite As Tall, And Curvier Than The Last Two, But Not As Petite Or Rounded As The First Three. Her Hair Fell In Long, Chestnut Brown Spiral Ringlets To Her Hips And Her Eyes Were As Large And Softly Brown As A Seal’s. She Seemed To Be A Shy And Gentle Sort, Easily Startled By The Lights And The Crowd. Her Gown Was Seafoam Green And Sunset Pink And Her Chaplet Was Of Moonflowers. “And Last, But Never Least, Oonagh, The Corrigan!” She Was Also Petite, With Just A Hint Of Curviness. Her Hair Was A Straight Mane Of Champagne Hued Blonde With Darker Golden Streaks, Reaching Her Hips. Her Eyes Were A Dark And Glittering Sapphire Blue. She Smiled, And It Seemed A Soft, Dark Little Smile, Not Quite Reaching Up Into Her Eyes, Which Stayed Intensely Focused On The Other Six Girls Standing On The Stage With Her. Her Gown Was Burnt Orange And Pale Yellow, And Her Chaplet Was Of Narcissus Flowers. All Of The Girls Were Extremely Pale. Translucent, Radiant And Glowing, In An Almost Un~Earthly Way. They Joined Hands And Curtsied To The Crowd As The Audience Cheered *Huzzah!* And The Announcer Shouted Excitedly, “Welcome, If You Will, “BEANSIDHE’S WAIL!”

The Septet Members Began To Separate. The Sopranos; Wynne,  Cerys, And Rowena To The Left. The Altos; Moira, Marged And Regan To The Right. And Oonagh, The Lone Mezzo, To The Center And A Bit Farther Back Than The Other Six. Wynne And Oonagh Began To Sing The Celtic Ballad “The Cruel Sister” While Moira, Marged And Regan Sang Harmony Leaving Cerys And Rowena To Sing Counterpoint. As They Spun The Tale Of The Dark Sister Who Jealously Drowned The Fairer One To Steal Her Lover, The Lighting On The Stage Became An Ethereal Heathery Blue~Grey And A Pinkish Silver Mist Rolled In, Shrouding The Singers Feet And Ankles In It’s Tendrils. Wynne’s Pure, High Coloratura Soprano And Oonagh’s Rich Mezzo Soprano Voices Mixed And Almost Seemed To Compete With One Another As The Notes Filled The Air Of The Auditorium. Wynne’s Voice Was Filled With Mingled Innocence And Pain As She Sang, “Oh Sister, Sister, Let Me Live, And All That’s Mine I’ll Surely Give!” And The Voices Of Her Sisters Blended Like A Choir Of Songbirds  As The Girls Began To Join In A Circle Dance, Surrounding Oonagh As She Sang, "Your Own True Love I’ll Have, And More!  But Thou Shalt Never Come Ashore!"  The Lyrics Continued, “And There She Floated Like A Swan. The Salt Sea Bore Her Body On.” Moira Picked Up A Harp And Began To Play As A Solo Dancer, A Balletic Blonde With Misty Green Eyes Who Was Especially Close To Wynne And Rowena, And Who Was Called Eliza, Danced Across The Stage, Through The Mist, In A White And Silver Sequined *Dying Swan* Ballet Costume, Complete With Tulle Tutu And Silver Toe Shoes. The Dreamy Atmosphere On The Stage Was Enhanced When Eliza Vanished Through A Trap Door And A Live Swan Flew Out Over The Audience {To Be Caught And Put Into It’s Cage By Cordelia, The Girl’s P.R. Manager} As The Other Septet Members Lifted Wynne Over Their Heads As If Carrying Her In A Funeral Procession And Oonagh Fell To The Ground As If She’d Swooned In Shock At The Words, “The First String Sang A Doleful Sound. "The Bride Her Younger Sister Drowned!” Fa La La La La La La La La La La La!"  The Song Ended And The Lights Went Out, Plunging The Auditorium Into A Momentary Blackness As Laser Images Of A Swan And A Harp Swirled Across The Stage.

After The Performance Ended, Oonagh Headed For The Green Room. Her Eyes Narrowed In Anticipation As She Passed By The Stands Of Merchandise For Sale. “BeanSidhe’s Wail” Cosmetics, “Dark Damsel Clothing”, Jewelry, Temporary Tattoos, Bindi, Photo Books, CDs, DVDs, Even Fashion Dolls And Soft Sculpture “Backpack Hanger” Dolls Of Each Of The Seven Sisters. She Quickly Wove An Aura Of Invisibility Around Herself So She Wouldn’t Be Noticed By The Throng Of Fans Milling About And Just As Quickly Cast It Away Once She Was Inside The Green Room. {Which Was Actually Decorated In Shades Of Pink And Lilac Velvet With Silver Accents} The Green Room Was A Teen~Aged Girl’s Paradise. The Furniture Was Queen Anne Style, Romantic And Antique. The Carpet Was So Thick Your Feet Literally Sank Into It And The Lighting Was A Soft Rose Hue. There Were All Sorts Of Chocolate Treats, Energy Drinks, And Salty Snacks, A Frozen Coffee Drink Machine,  A Dozen Different Types Of Fruits, Cheeses And PrePacked Salads, Boxes Of Herbal And Chai Teas And Bottled Water.  There Were Pretty Baskets Of Cosmetic And Perfume Samples Full To The Brim, Photo Books And Fashion Magazines Featuring The Seven Sisters Were Everywhere And There Was A 75 Inch Flat Screen Television Playing “BeanSidhe’s Wail” DVDs. A Fragrant Patchouli  Incense Was Burning As Oonagh Slipped Into The Room, Surprising The Eight To Ten Young Girls Who’d Been Selected For A “Meet And Greet”. She Smiled Sweetly. Again It Never Quite Seemed To Reach Her Sparkling Sapphire Eyes, And  Spoke In A Melodious Voice, Full Of Charm And Merriment. “Hello, Girls. I’m Oonagh And The Other Members Of The Group Should Be Along Shortly.” She Smirked Slightly As The Girls Stifled Nervous, Excited Giggles. “But In The Meanwhile, I’ll Take You, Two At A Time, To See Our Private Dressing Rooms And Costume Area.” She Picked Out The Two Most Vivacious, Pretty Girls And Said, “You Two!  Shall We Go?” The Girls, Both Blondes With Colouring Similar To, But A Pale Imitation Of, Oonagh’s Own,  Followed Her. She Walked Slowly Down A Dim Corridor And The Two Girls Gasped When She Traced The Shape Of A Door In The Wall And A Glowing Archway Appeared. Oonagh Winked And Said, “Don’t Worry, Darlings. It’s All Part Of The Magick!” She Opened The Door And Shooed Them Into What Appeared To Be A Wall~Less  Room Suspended In Space Among The Black Velvet Sky And Silvery Stars. Comets Whizzed Past And A Circle On The Floor Of The Room Began To Glow With A Bright Green Light. Oonagh Handed Each Of The Girls An Amulet, Celtic Knotwork Of Intertwining Trees  And Birds, And Gestured Them To Step Into The Circle. “Do You Know The Legend Of The Corrigan, Girls?” She Murmered Sweetly. When They Nodded In Confusion, She Continued. “The Corrigan Are A Type Of Fae Which Are Gloriously Beautiful, Eternally Youthful Maidens With Enchanting Voices During The Night And Hideous, Shriveled, Wizened Old Crones With Raspy, Froggy Voices  During The Day.  And They  Cannot Break This Spell Unless A Human Boy Falls In Love With BOTH Sides Of Their Dual Nature. Ugliness As Well As Beauty! And We All Know How Miserably Addicted To Physical Beauty Most Young Men Are, Now Don’t We?” The Girls Nodded Again And Oonagh Purred. “Well, Girls, I’m A Corrigan And I Haven’t Yet Broken My Spell. Do You Know How Difficult It Would Be For Me To Perform As A Singer, Actress And Model If I Lost My Voice And My Beauty And Became An Old HAG During The Daylight Hours?” One Of The Girls Whispered, “But How Can You Stop It, Oonagh?” The Amulets Began To Glow With The Same Green Glow As The Circle The Girls Stood Within And Oonagh Laughed, A Sound Like Crystal Chimes, But Somehow Brittle And Hollow. “With A Little Help From My Friends, Dear!  With A Little Help From My Friends!”  The Two Girls Suddenly Seemed A Bit Less Vivacious, Less Pretty, Plainer, Drabber, Almost Colourless. Oonagh Took The Amulets From Them And Said, “There Now, That Didn’t Hurt A Bit, Did It? “ The Girl Who Hadn’t Yet Spoken Croaked In A Raspy Voice, “What Did You DO To Us?” Oonagh Tucked The Amulets Into A Red Velvet Pouch And Slipped It Into Her Bodice As She Chuckled. “Just “Borrowed” A Bit Of Your Youth And Beauty To Sustain Me Through The Days! You’ll Be Fine By Morning.” She Pouted A Bit In Mock Sadness, “Although You’ll Never Be Quite As Pretty Or Quite As Energetic Ever Again, Poor Things!  Too Bad!  So Sad!  But Trust Me, My Loves, It’s For A GOOD Cause!” She Opened The Door And Ushered Them Out Into The Corridor Once Again Before Making The Glowing Archway Vanish With A Flick Of Her Wrist. “A Very Good Cause Indeed! MINE!” She Put A Slender White Arm Around Each Girl’s Waist And Whispered Seductively, “You’ll Both Forget Everything That’s Happened Here Tonight Except For Meeting Me And How Perfectly Divine And Beautiful I Am! Is That Clear, Pets?” Both Girls Nodded And Intoned, “Yes. Lady Oonagh!”  Oonagh Rolled Her Eyes And Flagged Down A Passing Security Guard. “These Poor Girls Are Feeling Ill!” She Said Tersely. “Please See To It That They Get Home Safely.” And With That, She Flounced Away, Back To The Green Room, The Amulets Glowing Warm Against Her Breasts.

Wynne Was In The Dressing Room Area Just Left Of The Green Room. Each Of The Seven Sisters Had Their Own Personal Dressing Room Setup Which Followed Them To Whatever Venue They Were Currently Performing At. Wynne’s Was Very “Gypsyish”. Red And Black Velvet, With A Persian Rug On The Floor. The Light Was Diffused To A Soft Maroon Due To The Red And Black Silk Scarves Draped Over The Stained Glass Tiffany Lampshades. There Were Gilt~Framed Pre~Raphaelite Prints By  J.W. Waterhouse And E. Blair~Leighton On Three Of The Walls And A Tapestry Of The Maiden And The Unicorn On One Wall. A Spinning Lamp With Stencil Cutouts Threw Reflected Silver Stars Across Ceiling, Walls And Floor. A Cherrywood Fainting Couch Upholstered In Red And Black Chinese Floral Satin And Covered With A Large Fringed Shawl Of Paisley Silk, Nestled In One Corner. The Antique Rococo Wardrobe And Dressing Table {Covered In Cosmetics Jars, Perfume Bottles And An Antique Silver Brush, Comb And Mirror Set} Resided In Two Other Corners And The Fourth Was Taken Up By A Small Bookshelf Containing Wynne’s Most Precious Books. As She Entered The Room, Wynne Exhaled Softly And Then Took A Deep Breath, Inhaling The Scent Of The Rose Incense That Was Burning In The Silver Dish On Top Of The Small Cherrywood Bookshelf. She Shivered Slightly, Still Aglow With The Energy She’d Received From The Performance. Energy Which Her LeananSidhe Nature Needed For Survival. She Quickly Removed Her Stage Costume, And After Opening The Wardrobe Doors And Peering Inside, Selected A Copy Of The Gown From Blair~Leighton’s “The Accolade” In Rose Pink, Crinkled Satin, With A Matching Hooded Cloak And Slippers. Not Wanting To Bother With Her Hair, She Muttered A Few Words And Her Long Red Curls Instantly Twisted And Arranged Themselves Into An Intricate Style Of Renaissance Plaits. Something Was Not Right. She Could Feel It. With A Puzzled Look On Her Face, Wynne Opened A Silver, Jewel Encrusted Case On The Dressing Table And Withdrew A Lapis Handled Silver Dagger. She Used The Dagger To Salute Each Corner Of The Room As She Twirled Gracefully In A Full Circle. “North, South, East, West. Earth, Fire, Air, Water.” She Stopped In The Middle Of The Room And Intoned Softly, “Centre And Spirit”. The Room Took On A Bright Silver Glow, Tinged With Gold, And An Archway Appeared In The Far Wall. Wynne Began Walking Towards It, And Was About To Enter The Doorway When There Was A Knock On The Mundane Dressing Room Door. It Was Cordelia. “Wynne! Everyone Else Is Waiting In The Green Room! We’ve Got A Meet And Greet AND A Press Conference About The Renaissance Fayre Tour!  We’re All Waiting For You! MOVE YOUR PATOOKEY, WENCH!” With A Wistful Sigh And A Longing Glance At The Lush And Gorgeous Faerie Landscape On The Other Side Of The Glowing Archway, Wynne Grimaced Slightly And Replied. “I’m Coming, Cordy! Hold Your Horses!” Before Reluctantly Closing The Faerie Gateway.

The Meet And Greet Was Over And The Press Conference Was Well Under Way. Oonagh Was Flirting Shamelessly With A Young Reporter Who Looked Like A Clone Of Diego Luna And She Seemed More Than A Bit Put Out That He Directed His Next Question To Wynne. “Wynne, Do You Have A Boyfriend?” He Flashed Her A Shy Smile And Before Wynne Could Answer, Oonagh Batted Her Eyelashes At Him And Interjected. “Oh Wynne’s Heart Was Stolen Ages Ago! Unfortunately They Can Only See Each Other Twice A Year! And It’s A Shame Too, Because He’s A REAL Prince! Their Relationship Is Just Like A Faerie Tale! Completely Spellbound, If You Know What I Mean!” She Smiled Smugly At Her Sister Who Looked As If She’d Just Been Run Through With A Sword. The Reporter Sensed The Undercurrent Between The Two And Quickly Changed The Topic, Turning Back To Oonagh. “Errrr…Why Is It That BeanSidhe’s Wail So Seldom Does Daylight Performances Or Shoots? Is It A Style Choice On Your Parts?” Regan Flashed Wynne A Comforting Grin As She Said, “Let’s Just Say That Our Oonagh Isn’t Always…At Her…”Best” In The Morning!” Which Elicited Merry Giggles From The Rest Of The Septet. Rowena Took One Of Wynne’s Hands And Moira Took The Other As Cerys Replied, “And That’s The Understatement Of The Millennium!” Marged Smiled Brightly At The Adorable Reporter And Said, “Well, I Don’t Have A Boyfriend!” Which Caused Him To Blush A Bright Crimson Shade And Stammer A Bit As He Asked Them About Their Upcoming Tour Of Renaissance Fayres. That Was When Cordy, Looking Sweetly Geeky In Her Black “BeanSidhe’s Wail” Corset~Laced T~Shirt, Purple Broomstick Skirt, Doc Martens And Her Blonde/Brown/Red {Depending On Who You Asked And When} Ambiguously Coloured Hair In Asymetrical,  Anime~Style  Pigtails, Spoke Up. “The Tour Will Be Of Major Mediaeval And Renaissance Fayres On The East Coast And Will Coincide With The Release Of The Group’s New CD, “Renaissance Fair”. It’s A Play On Words, You See…Fayre/Fair…As In “Fair Maidens”…” She Stammered A Bit, Endearingly, And Looked Away, Proving That Even She, In Her Businesslike Way, Was Not Immune To The Allure Of A Cute Boy. The Reporter Asked A Few More Questions And  Was Invited To An After Concert Backstage Party For The Following Night. Then Cordy Nodded Decisively And Said, “I’m Afraid That’s Got To Be All For Now! The Girls Are Very Tired And Need Their Beauty Sleep!” The Septet Murmered Their Farewells And Oonagh Sneered A Bit At Cordy As She Brushed Past Her On Her Way Out Of The Green Room. “Beauty Sleep? As IF! Speak For Yourself, Cordelia!”

Wynne, Moira, And Cerys Were Still In The Green Room, Drinking Herbal Tea And Watching One Of Their Videos Play Quietly On The Huge T.V. Screen. They Were Joined By Rowena Who Had Brought Eliza With Her, And Wynne Found Herself Lost In Memories As She Listened To Their Cover Version Of The Blackmore’s Night Song “Catherine Howard’s Fate”,  Thinking Wryly, “And Just For The Record, I  Spelled It *KATHRYN*!”

The Images Floated Across The Screen And She Slipped Back In Time, Into A Past Life As A Doomed Young Queen…

In The Video, Wynne Was Kathryn Howard’s Ghost. Dressed In A Tudor Gown Of Shimmering Blue~White, Glittering And Pale Like Andersen’s “Snow Queen”. She Wore Dark Blue Lipstick. Her Skin, Translucent And Glowing, Was Dusted With An Icy Blue *Diamond* Body Glitter And She Stood, Alone, To One Side Of An Ornate Ballroom As Her Six Sisters, All In Vivid, Jewel Toned Tudor Gowns To Offset Wynne’s Ghostly Whiteness, Danced La Volta With Six Absolutely Delicious Faerie Boys, Three Blonde And Seelie, Three Raven~Haired And Unseelie, But All Brought Into The Mortal Realm Just To Shoot This Video. The Boys Were Dressed In Velvet Tudor Finery, All Matching  The Gown Of Whichever Sister They Were Partnering And It Was A Glorious Image.

As Wynne Sang, “Truth Within The Writing Of A Letter, Signed And Sealed Poor Catherine Howard’s Fate!” Another Faerie Boy, Even Prettier Than The Others, With Hair In Streaks Of Silver, Gold And Copper, And Eyes Of Brilliant Green, Appeared On The Other Side Of The Ballroom. Portraying The Ghost Of Tom Culpepper, Just As Icily White And Glittering As Wynne, But Holding A Vibrant, Blood Red Rose,  He Walked Slowly, Deliberately Toward Wynne, And The Six Dancing Couples *Froze* As If Suspended In Time, Leaving The Centre Of The Ballroom Floor Empty. Tom’s Ghost Took Wynne By The Hand And They Danced La Volta Gracefully Together In The Centre Of The Ball Room As A Clock Struck Twelve, Un~Freezing The Other Couples. One Of The Unseelie Boys Pulled Tom’s Ghost Away From Wynne And Oonagh, In Deep Sapphire Blue And Ivory, Pulled Wynne Away From “Tom”, Dragging Them Apart. The Blood Red Rose Fell To The Floor And Moira, In Emerald Green And Gold, Picked It Up And Held It To Her Cheek, Sadly, As Her Dance Partner, A Blonde Seelie Fae Who Was A Perfect Contrast To Moira’s Raven~Haired Darkness, Held Her In His Arms. The Music Swelled As The Song Ended And The Other Couples Began To Dance Again As Wynne And “Tom” Struggled To Reach One Another, To No Avail. They Could Not Escape Their Captors. Torn Apart In Death As They Were In Life…

“Truth Within The Writing Of A Letter, Signed And Sealed Poor Catherine Howard’s Fate!”

The Memories Were Spinning Before Her Eyes, The Song’s Refrain Haunting Her. Tom Culpepper. Tamlin. Her Lost Love. One And The Same. How Many Times Must They Find One Another Only To Be Ripped Away From One Another’s Arms?

Noticing Wynne’s Stricken Expression, Moira Said Gently, “You’re Thinking Of Him. Of Tamlin. Aren’t You?” Wynne Nodded And Cerys Put A Hand On Her Shoulder. “It’s Not That Long Until Beltaine. And You Can Still Visit Him, Even If He Won’t Be Able To…You Know…Appreciate It…”

Just Then, Oonagh Sashayed Into The Room And, Fixing Her Dark Blue Eyes On Wynne, Announced, “I’m Going To Check Out This Place Called “Sonnets” Before Going Back To The Hotel. Do Any Of You Want To Tag Along?” Her Smile Was Ingenuous, Almost Mocking. “It’s A Shakespearian Themed Club.  You Might Enjoy It, Wynne! After All, Shakespeare WAS One Of Your Boy Toys, Wasn’t He?” Rowena Stood Up, Taking Eliza’s Hand And Countered, “Oh Just Ignore Her! Let’s All Go And Have Some Fun, Shall We? I’d Love To Dance A Bit Before Heading Home To Bed!” Everyone Seemed To Be In Agreement, And Oonagh Laughed As She Reached The Door, Calling Back Over Her Shoulder With A Smirk, “Meet Me Outside In Fifteen Minutes. I’ll Have A Car Ready! Oh! And Rowena, It’s A Bit Chilly, Dear! You Might Want To Bring A Wrap! Something Furry! SEALSKIN Perhaps?” She Was Gone Before Rowena Could Respond And Cerys Rolled Her Eyes In Disgust. “The Tragic Thing Is That She REALLY Thinks She’s Funny! ”  The Sisters And Eliza Shared A Giggle And Headed Off To Get Changed For The Club.

Back In Her Dressing Room, Wynne Quickly Changed, Yet Again, Into A Pale Pink,  Midriff~Baring  BabyDoll T~Shirt With Glitter Lettering Reading “Shalt Thou Compare Me To A Summer’s Day?” On The Front And Underneath,  In Smaller Letters, “HELL Yes, Thou Shalt! If Thou Wisheth To Live Unscathed!” And An Ankle~Length Pink And Silver Lace *Gypsy* Peasant Skirt Studded All Over With Silver Pearls And Pink Ice Crystals. She Added Silver Ghillies {Irish Step~Dancing Shoes} With Pink Ankle Ties, Silvery~Pink, Shimmering  Body Glitter And Pulled Her Scarlet Mass Of Ringlet Curls Into Two “Little Girl” PigTails Tied With Pink Satin Ribbons. The Final Touch Was A Pink Ice Elven Star Bindi On Her Forehead. Now That She Was Ready To Join The Others She Realised That She Had A Moment Before She Needed To Leave,  So She Quickly Opened The Jeweled, Silver Case On Her Dressing Table And Retrieved The Lapis Handled, Silver Athame. She Repeated Her Spin, Called The Directions, The Elements,  And Sighed As The Glowing Archway Into Faerie Appeared Yet Again. Quickly, She Raced Through The Door, Finding Herself In A Wooded Clearing At Sunset. She Heard The Cry Of A Hawk And Saw The Bird Whirling Overhead. It Was A Magnificent, Pure White Hawk With Brilliant Green Eyes. Obviously A Creature Of Faerie Magick. It Went Into A Dive, Swooping Ever Closer To Wynne, Who Held Out Her Arm. The Hawk Lighted Gently On Her Wrist And Began Immediately To Nuzzle Her Cheek With Its Beak And Preen Her Curls, Nipping At Her Ear With What Seemed To Be Affection And Adoration.  It Hopped Slightly, Adjusting Its Balance And Flapped Its Wings Once Or Twice As Wynne Walked Gracefully To A Forest Pool, Reflective In The Moonlight. She Gazed Down Into The Water, Seeing Not Her Pink Glittery Ensemble And Pigtails, But Herself In Her Full LeananSidhe Glory, Dressed In Red And Black Silk With A Full~Length Velvet Hooded Cloak. She Exhaled Slowly, Seeing Not The Hawk, But A Vision Of A Faerie Prince, With Hair That Was Streaks Of Spun Gold, Silver And Copper Tumbling About His Shoulders. A Prince Who Slept, Eternally, Like Endymion Beneath Selene’s Silver Light. A Prince With Lips Like Honey~Meade And Eyes That She Knew Were The Most Translucent And Brilliant Green Behind His Closed Lids. Wynne Bit Her Lip In Frustration As She Stood Up Straight And Raised Her Arm, Setting The Hawk To Flight. She Murmered, “Farewell For Now, My Love! My Tamlin! I Shall Never Give Up Hope Of Lifting This Terrible Curse!” The Image Of The Sleeping Prince Rippled And Vanished And She Walked Slowly Back Through The Archway, Closing It After Her And Putting The Athame Back On Her Dressing Table. Marged Knocked On The Dressing Room Door, And Opened It Before Getting A Response. “Are You Ready? We’re All Going! Even Cordy’s Been Tempted!” She Smiled And Her Blue Eyes Were Concerned. “Are You Alright, Wynne? You Smell Of Faerie!” Wynne Nodded. “Yes, Darling! I’m Fine!” She Wiped Away A Small Crystalline Tear And Quickly Grabbed A Delicate Pink Battenburg Lace Shawl Embroidered With Silver Thread, Slipping It Over Her Narrow Shoulders. “I Just Felt A Sudden Chill!” She Put Her Arm Around Her Vila Sister’s Slender Waist And They Left The Room, Closing The Door Behind Them.

Marged And Wynne Caught Up To The Others In Front Of The  Auditorium. All Nine Girls; The Seven Sisters, Plus Eliza And Cordelia Piled Into The White Mini~Cooper Stretch Limo With The Red Convertible Top, Down, Of Course, Which Oognah Had Procured. Cordelia Drove, And As They Rolled Out Of The Parking Lot, Regan Quipped, “Fabulous Wheels, Oonagh! Huzzah For The BeanSidhe Mobile!” The Others Chorused “Huzzah!” It Was A Clear, Star~Filled, Chilly Night. The Moon Was Full And A Breeze Rushed Over Them As They Headed Onto The Highway In The Direction Of The Restaurant. Cerys Began To Sing, And Within Moments, The Entire Septet Was Giving An Impromptu Performance Of “Lady Marmalade” From “Moulin Rouge”. The Sight Of Them All Together, In The Mini Cooper Limo, Singing, Was Enough To Cause An Eighteen Year Old Boy Who Was Driving Past Them, To Become So Distracted, That He Swerved Off The Side Of The Road Onto The Verge, Causing  Regan To Laugh Wildly As Moira Playfully Blew Him A Kiss. Oonagh Leaned Out, Dangerously Far, Over The Back Of The Car, Hair Streaming In The Wind, And Shouted, “In Your DREAMS!”

“Sonnets” Was A Huge, Tudor Style, Half~Timbred Manse Located In A Beautifully Landscaped, Woodland Area Quite Far Off The Highway. It Was Brightly Lit, And Marvellous Elizabethan Music Was Floating Out From The Doors And The Leaded Glass Windows. Cordy Drove Up To The Valet Area And Handed Over The Keys To The Attendant As The Others Climbed Out Of The Car And Linked Arms To Walk Through The Fragrant Elizabethan Knot Garden Towards The Front Entrance Of The Restaurant. Moira Took Wynne’s Hand And Whispered, “This Is A Beautiful Place, But Gods Does It Un~Earth Some Memories Better Left Buried! Leave It To Oonagh!” They Stepped Through The Doors And Were Greeted By The Spectacle Of A Tudor Great Hall, In All of Its Legendary Glory. Much Like The One At Hampton Court Palace. Gleaming, Gilded, Carved Wooden Ceilings, Fantastic Murals Of Gods, Goddesses, Angels, Mythical Beasts, Maidens, Knights And Cherubs Painted On The Walls, Torches Burning Brightly. There Was A Sweeping, Grand Staicase With A Carved And Gilded Bannister Leading To The Upper Floors, And At The Far End Of The Great Hall, A Small~Scale Reproduction Of The Three Sided Thrust Stage Of Shakepeare’s Famed Globe Theatre. As They Entered, They Were Greeted By A Couple Flawlessly Portraying Young Queen Elizabeth I And Her Lover, Robin Dudley. “Welcome To “Sonnets”, Fair Maids Of The Faerie Glens!” Said Lord Dudley Smoothly. “Pray Permit Me To Escort You And My Incomparable Queen’s Majesty On A Processional About Our Small Domain?” He Offered An Arm To His Elizabeth, Who Nodded Graciously, And The Other To Cordelia, Who Was Quickly Jostled Out Of The Way By Oonagh, Who Claimed The Handsome Young Actor’s Arm And Purred Up At Him, “We Would Be Delighted, Good Sir!” While Batting Her Dark Blue Eyes And Fluttering Her Golden Lashes. A Bit Startled,  At Her Overt Manipulation, And Obviously Flustered By Her Fae Beauty, He Stammered A Bit And Responded, “The…Pleasure…Is All Mine, Fair Lady!” Moira Rolled Her Eyes In Wynne’s Direction And Quietly Fell To The Back Of The Group, Observing The Visual Feast Around Them.

Dudley Continued To Speak, An Excellent “Tour Guide”,  As They Walked, Exploring The Different Themed Areas Of The Restaurant. There Was An Opulent Egyptian “Antony And Cleopatra” Room. The Servers Were All Dressed As Sexy Egyptian Slaves And From A Raised, Platform, Marc Antony And Cleopatra Presided Over The Entertainment, Exotically Garbed Belly Dancers And Acrobats.  There Was A Twilight Hued Enchanted Forest Straight Out Of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Complete With Pastel Coloured Mist And Twinkling Faerie Lights Everywhere. The Woods Were Inhabited By Faerie Servers And Oberon, Puck And Titania Told Diners About Their Various Schemes And Plans To Meddle In The Affairs Of Mortals {Which Of Course Elicited Lots Of Giggles From The Seven Sisters} The “Prospero’s Island” Area Actually Had Streams And Brooks Running Through The Room. There Was Even A Small Pond. There Were Sirens, Mermaids, Water Sprites And Naiads Dancing , Singing And Cavorting In The Water, Mischeviously  Playing  Tricks On The Diners Who Were Watched Over By Prospero, Miranda And Ariel. The Garden Area Was “Julius Ceasar” Themed. Sexy Servers In Roman Chitons And Togas, And  Living “Statues”, Actors And Actresses In Convincing Body Paint, Who Every So Often Became “Animate” And Interacted With The Diners In Amusing And Mischevious Ways. Their Final Stop Was The Renaissance Italian Themed “Verona” Of “Romeo And Juliet”. There Was A Central Plaza With An Ornate Fountain, Surrounded By Facades Of The Montague And Capulet Villas. There Were Swordfighting Montagues And Capulets, Street Singers Performing Renaissance Love Ballads, And The Wait Staff Were Dressed As Either Montague Or Capulet Servants. In The Central Square, Romeo And Juliet Lay In State Upon A Stone Bier, Strewn With Flowers, Dressed In Their Wedding Clothes And  Beautiful In “Death”. Robin Dudley And Queen Elizabeth Led Them All Up A Winding, Circular Staircase To A Sumptuous, Baroque Chamber That In Many Ways Resembled An Opera Box Or Sky Box.  They Had A Breath~Taking, Panoramic View Of The Entire Restaurant. “This Is Our Private V.I.P. Room.” Said The Young Actor. “It’s called “Juliet’s Balcony” And We’d Be Very Pleased For You To Dine Here, Ladies.” There Was A Large, Polished Mahogany Table, With Huge Silver Candleabra On Either End, And Throne~Like, Blood~Red Leather Upholstered Chairs. The Room Was Attractively Lit By Torchlight And There Was Even A Quartet Of Musicians Playing Lively Elizabethan Music From A Curtained Alcove To The Right. A Young, Gypsy Dark Waiter With Curly Hair And Flashing Eyes, Dressed As A Renaissance Era Pageboy, Entered With A Tray Full Of Frosty Pewter Goblets Filled With Honey Meade. Wynne Took One From Him. Almost Absently, Noticing The Admiration, Almost Bewitched Befuddlement, In His Large Brown Eyes. He Smiled Shyly At Her And Said, “Looking At You Makes Me Want To Burst Into Song Or Write A Poem In Your Honour, But Nothing I Wrote Could Ever Do Your Beauty Justice!” He Blushed, Embarrassed By His Fervant Outburst, And Bowed, Almost Dropping His Meade Laden Tray. Wynne Smiled At Him Sweetly And Said Gently. “You Look Like An Aspiring Musician. Are You?” He Nodded. “Actually I Am! My Name Is Mason, Milady.” The Dazed Expression Had Spread From His Eyes To His Smile, Which Was  Ear To Ear. Wynne Touched His Shoulder And Whispered, “I Think You’ll Finally Be Able To Write That Song That’s Been Haunting You Now, Mason!” She Brushed A Chaste Kiss Across The Boy’s Forehead And Said, “For Luck.”  He Gasped, As If He Were Almost Afraid To Draw Breath, Lest This Magick Should End, And Wynne Gently Turned Him Toward The Rest Of The Sisters, Eliza And Cordy, All Of Whom Were Soon Served  Goblets Of Meade As Mason’s Eyes AND Smile Grew Bigger And Brighter With Each New Lovely Maiden In Turn. As He Backed Out Of “Juliet’s Balcony” He Muttered, “The Guys Are NEVER Going To Believe THIS! And I Don’t Even CARE!” Oonagh Sidled Over To Wynne, Who Was Standing With Moira And Cerys, Looking Out Over The Sights And Spectacle Of The Restaurant And Said, “Whyever Did You Let HIM Get Away, “O Faerie Mistress”? He Was Delicious! I Wouldn’t Have Tossed Aside A Pretty Toy Like That If I Were You, Wynne! After All, It’s Rather Difficult To Make Love To A HAWK, Isn’t It? And Honestly, Why You Haven’t Given Up On Him AGES Ago  Is Beyond Me!” Moira Shot Oonagh A Black Look And Cerys Hissed “Mind Your Tongue, Corrigan!” Wynne Merely Looked Oonagh Straight In The Eye And Said, “Because, “Cruel Sister”, I’m NOT Like You!” She Shook Her Head Sadly, Took Moira And Cerys By The Hands And Led Them Away, Singing Softly, “She Walks In Beauty, Like The Night, Of Cloudless Climes And Starry Skies. Wantonness Is Her Delight. She Kisses Boys And Makes Them Cry!” “Damned Bloody Right I Do!” Oonagh Shot Back. “Weaklings!” She Downed Her Meade And Perched Upon A Leather Chair, Arranging Her Burnt Orange Taffeta Petticoat {Worn As A Skirt} Artistically, And Flicking Her Long Fall Of Shimmering Golden Hair Over Her Shoulder.

The Actress Portraying Queen Elizabeth I Cleared Her Throat And Spoke. “It Is A Rare Occasion When We Are Graced With The Presence Of Guests Having Such Celebrity Status As Yours, Ladies. Therefore, We Would Be Most Honoured If You Would Accept Your Revels And Feasting Here This Night As The Gift Of The Sovereign And The House!” “Dudley” Chimed In. “So Speaks The Queen!” The Sisters Nodded In Gracious Acknowledgement And “Elizabeth” Continued. “HOWEVER, We Do Realise That Your Special Talents Would Be Most Appreciated By Ourselves, And Others Of Our Noble Guests, And We Would Request That After Your Own Meal Has Been Finished And Cleared That You Might Take The Stage At Our Globe Theatre In The Great Hall And Indulge Us With A Small Performance?” “Well, Well,” Oonagh Laughed Merrily, “A Royal Command Performance!” Regan Curtseyed To The Queen And Said, “Absolutely, Majesty! If I May Claim A Dance With Lord Dudley Later!” Lord Dudley Seemed Quite Amused When The Queen Nodded And Agreed. “So Be It! But I Warn You, Mistress! No Fae Trickery Or I Shall Have My Court Magician Exorcise You Straight Back To Elphame!” There Was Laughter All Around And The Sisters Looked To Cordelia For Confirmation That It Was Alright For Them To Give A Performance After Their Meal. She Nodded Her Assent And Dudley Seated Each Of The Sisters, Cordelia And Eliza In The Comfortable Overstuffed Leather Chairs.  Oonagh Had Already Seen Fit To Claim The Head Of The Table. Queen Elizabeth Clapped Loudly, Calling “Let The Fete Commence!” She Took Dudley’s Arm And Smiled Up Into His Handsome Face. “Come, Robin. We Must Continue To Greet Our Guests And Prepare The Stage For Our Faerie Entertainers!” They Glided Regally From The Private Dining Room As Several Pages And Maids Entered To Serve A Feast Fit For A Covey Of Queens. Mock Turtle Soup In Steaming Silver Tureens, Partridge Stuffed With Mushrooms And Quail’s Eggs, Pokerounce  {Honey And Pine Nuts On Toasted White Bread} And Poached Pears In Burgundy Glace. Wynne Found Herself Remembering Other Feasts. Feasts In Real Castles. Hundreds Of Years Ago. She Remembered Being Isabeau De Hever, One Of The Two Beautiful Daughters Of Hever Castle In Kent, England, In The Early 1100’s. And Presiding Gracefully Over Her Father’s Table After Her Lady Mother’s Death. Deeply In Love With Her Chosen Knight, And He With Her, Until Her Cruel Sister, Margaret, Acted Upon Her Selfish Desire For Wynne’s Beloved, Resulting In Wynne’s Murder At Their Abusive Father’s Hand. She Remembered Being A Queen,  The King’s “Rose Without A Thorn” Pampered And Petted By All. That Is, Until Her Fall From Grace. Until She Was Stripped Of Her Finery. Condemned And Executed For The Horrible Crime Of Being Young, Passionate, And In Love.