Rock of Ages Past

Part 5

Copyright©(1999-2000) Elaine L. Becker

All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: This story is an original creation and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, real or fictional are unintentional. Any words to any songs or any poetry used in this story are attributed to their original artists in the story itself. Television and/or radio programs that are referred to in the story are not to my knowledge, real program content, but created by me solely for use in this story.

This story is about two women in love and may contain language or sexual scenes unsuitable for children or others who are easily offended by material of this nature. This is a story about same gender relationships. If you have a problem with same gender relationships, you should probably see your therapist. Hate is an illness that love can cure.

Comments or suggestions should be sent to:

The waitress placed their drinks and extra plates on the table. "Help yourselves to the buffet whenever you’re ready," she smiled. Michelle and Finian got up, filled their plates with a little bit of everything from the buffet table, and returned to their booth.

"So, what have you been doing with yourself for the past couple of days?" Michelle asked her.

"A lot of research and a lot of wondering." Finian answered her. "I realized last night how long it had been since I’ve been to the dojo. So I decided to go this morning and do some breathing and meditating and to work some of the kinks out."

"Well, it must have helped because you look more relaxed and at peace than I have seen you in a while." Michelle said. Finian smiled at her. "Thanks, I feel really good. Strange, but good."

"Strange? How do you mean, strange?" Michelle asked her.

Finian looked down at her plate and thought. She slowly lifted her head to look at Michelle. She took a deep, cleansing breath and immediately connected to her center.

"Michelle, I’ve made some kind of connection to. . . someone." She took another breath. "There is some kind of connection between the book I found, the face I keep seeing and I know that none of this makes any sense to you and it still doesn’t to me. The only way that it does make any sense to me is in the way it feels. It feels real."

Michelle looked at her across the table and raised one eyebrow. "The way you feel wouldn’t have anything to do with that blond at the bar the other night, would it?"

Finian inhaled deeply, then slowly exhaled. "Yes and no. The girl, Marty? No. The woman who came to me through Marty; yes."

The dark haired woman didn’t have long to wait for the expected reaction.

Michelle gasped and quickly clamped her hand over her mouth to keep the mouthful of iced tea she had just taken from spewing all over the table and probably Finian, too. "What in the world are you talking about?" Mich demanded.

"That’s part of it, Mich. I don’t think that the person I’m dreaming about in this world. At least not in our time." Finian’s blue eyes were staring into Michelle’s.

"Okay. Slow down. I’m not quite understanding this, Fin. In fact, I think you might even be scaring me a little." Michelle tried to smile. "I want to understand, but this isn’t making a whole lot of sense, so maybe you should start at the beginning and help me along with this."

Finian couldn’t help herself. She laughed out loud. Michelle looked quite comical, peering at her from across the table, with her brows furrowed, trying to force a smile when her mouth really wanted to frown.

"Michelle, I don’t really understand it myself, but if you and Bobbi want to come up to my place around seven for coffee and dessert, I’ll see if I can explain it a little better. At least I can tell you what I think is going on."

Michelle looked at her watch. "Yeah. That sounds like a great idea. What’s for dessert?" She gave a sidelong look and smile at Finian.

"It’s a surprise." She grinned at Mich as she reached for her credit card.


Finian stopped at the grocery store and the bakery on her way home. She was feeling like having a good old-fashioned stew. At the grocery store, she bought two large lamb chops, a couple of potatoes, an onion, and a small bag of carrots. She didn’t consider herself a very good cook as a rule, but one thing she had insisted on learning how to make when she was growing up, was her grandmother’s Irish stew. She closed her eyes for a second as she stood in line at the register and immediately smelled the stew as its aroma had filled her grandmother’s kitchen.

She opened her eyes and suddenly had a memory of that same smell in Caer’s hut when she was there this morning. Finian blinked her eyes and glanced down at the items in her shopping cart. ‘I know her name. She told me her name. Caer.’ Finian ran the name through her mind several times. Savoring the sound of it as it echoed through her consciousness.

"Paper or plastic, Ma’am?" Her reverie was broken by the sound of the bagboy’s voice. She quickly started placing her items on the conveyor belt and reached into her backpack for her checkbook.


Finian was just getting the coffee cups out of the cabinet when she heard the knock. She walked to the door, looked through the fisheye, and turned the deadbolt, unlocking it. She really hated living her life behind locked doors, but even a small city like Salem, had its’ share of thieves and other ne’er do wells. Not to mention the drunks, who would stagger home, too drunk to read the numbers on the doors and try to get into the wrong apartment, becoming very belligerent when their keys wouldn’t open the door.

Finian turned the doorknob and swung the door open, greeting Michelle and Bobbi as she did so. "Hey, you guys," she smiled as they stepped inside. "Coffee is just about finished. Go ahead and make yourselves comfortable. I’ll be right in." She turned to go back to the kitchen and Bobbi and Michelle made their way into the living room. Bobbi stretched out in the burgundy; leather recliner and Michelle took her usual place on the left side of the black, leather sofa.

"Need any help?" Bobbi called out.

"Nope. Got it. Be right there."

Finian walked into the room, carefully balancing a wooden tray laden with steaming cups, plates, and various other items. She placed the tray on the coffee table in front of the sofa and sat down on the cool, soft leather. She handed each of the women a steaming cup and taking her own, placed it on the small table to her right, at the end of the sofa. She slid the tray to the middle of the coffee table, nodded toward it and said, "Whenever you’re ready."

Michelle looked at the three plates that were on the tray. She looked up at Finian. "Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse Pie? Mmmmmm." She leaned forward and could smell the combination of chocolate and Bailey’s Irish Cream. "I haven’t had this since your grandmother used to make it."

Michelle looked over at Bobbi and grinned. "You’re in for a wonderful treat," she said as she reached forward and picked up a chocolate dipped strawberry from the edge of one of the plates and popped it into Bobbi’s mouth.

"Well, it’s not gram’s recipe, but it sure looked good sitting in the refrigerated case in the bakery and I didn’t have to make it." Finian winked at them.

"Like you could or would," Michelle grinned over at her as she passed one of the plates to Bobbi and picked up another for herself. Finian reached for her own plate and put it back down. "How about a little Bailey’s for our coffee?" She asked as she stood up.

"Mmmm, that sounds wonderful," Bobbi answered her as Michelle nodded her agreement. Finian went to the kitchen and came back with the bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream that she had bought as an afterthought after buying the pie. She poured some in each of the coffee cups and sat back down, reaching for her plate. The three women sat in silence, devouring the pie and chocolate covered strawberries.

"More coffee?" Finian asked as she stood up, picking up the tray loaded with empty plates. Michelle and Bobbi both nodded. Michelle watched her as she made her way to the kitchen. She had a feeling that Finian was stalling for time. Finian returned from the kitchen with an insulated carafe and poured fresh coffee for all of them. As she reached for the bottle of Bailey’s, she looked at Bobbi and Michelle. "The reason I’ve called you all here tonight is…" she laughed nervously.

"To tell us what the hell is going on." Michelle said as she reached for the bottle that Finian held out to her.

"Okay," Finian said as she looked first at Michelle then at Bobbi. "Well, you know some of it already. The stuff that happened at Mystery Hill, the book, the girl at the bar…" she stopped when she saw the look of astonishment on Michelle’s face. She remembered that she had not told them about what had happened at the bar that night while she was dancing with Marty. "It’s not what you’re thinking," Finian said seriously. "So, I guess that’s a good place to start."

"I think a good place to start would be at the beginning," Michelle said.

"You’re right. Hold on a minute. Let me get something," she said as she stood up. "I’ll be right back." She walked to her office and came back with a notebook in her hand. She sat down on the sofa and opened it. "Okay, the first experience I had was at Mystery Hill. You both know about that. It was on May first, Beltaine. You also know about me finding the book on the floor and the vision of that woman I had in the restaurant and finding the apple blossoms on the ground behind the stone at the hill."

Finian stood up and walked across the room. She turned around and faced the two women sitting in her living room. She started nervously. "The night we went to the bar…the woman, Marty, that asked me to dance…when the song ended and I started to leave the dance floor, she grabbed my hand and asked me to stay and dance." Finian stopped, took a deep breath, and continued. "The song that was playing was ‘The Long and Winding Road’. When I looked down at her face as we started dancing, it wasn’t Marty. The woman I was dancing with had green eyes. Sea green eyes. Marty’s eyes were brown. It was Marty’s face and Marty’s body, but it wasn’t Marty’s eyes."

Finian stopped talking and looked over at Michelle and Bobbi. The two women looked at each other in silence. "Finian, I’ve known you a very long time. I have never known you to be delusional, overly imaginative, or even very good at fantasizing." Michelle said as she stood up and walked over to where Finian was standing by the end of the bookcase. She looked up at her friend and said, "Fin, I think this needs a little more explanation. I’m not sure that I understand what you are talking about here. It’s starting to feel a little out of my league." She tried to smile, but her concern and uncertainty were making it difficult for the smile to reach the corners of her mouth. She reached out and took Finian’s hand. "Come on. Come sit down." Finian followed her back to the sofa and sat.

"You say that the woman at The Labrys had brown eyes but when you were dancing with her, they were green?" Bobbi leaned forward in her seat and looked at Finian.

"At first I thought it was some trick of the lighting." Finian answered her slowly. "But, I looked, Bobbi. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that those eyes I was looking into were green. And I didn’t have that much to drink before I danced with her. It was after that I had too much." She forced a grin at Michelle and Bobbi.

"Remember when I went to the lady’s room?" They nodded. "I bumped into her table and spilled the drinks." This time she did manage a slight giggle at the memory. "Marti’s eyes were brown." Finian sobered and looked at the two women. "And that’s not all. At some point during the song, I wasn’t hearing The Long and Winding Road any more. I was hearing another song, another type of song. The words meant only for me. She plays a harp." She lowered her eyes to the coffee table. "And I remember all the words." Finian handed Michelle her notebook. "I have also seen her and heard her in my dreams." She said as she glanced over at Bobbi, then Michelle. "I’ve been keeping a dream book since all of this started. I’ve kept one off and on since I was a kid. The other night, I sat down and put it all in chronological order. In there." She pointed to the notebook that Michelle now held in her hands.

Finian stood and motioned for Bobbi to come over and sit beside Michelle. "I’m going to go start another pot of coffee. Why don’t you sit over here so you and Michelle can look at it together? Then, I’ll tell you about what happened this morning." Michelle and Bobbi followed her with their eyes until she disappeared through the kitchen doorway, looked at each other then down at the notebook in Mich’s hands.

‘What am I doing, trying to tell them about all of this? I don’t even know what the hell is going on myself and I’m trying to tell them!’

Suddenly, Caer’s beautiful green eyes filled Finian’s vision. There was a smile playing upon the corners of the visionary eyes. The familiar voice spoke one word. "Anamchara." Caer’s vision faded away as Finian rolled the word over in her mind, finally letting it roll off her tongue.

"What did you say?" Michelle called to her from the living room at the same exact time that Finian realized she had spoken the word aloud. "Ah, um, just a word I wanted to remind myself to look up later. If I say it out loud, I have a better chance of remembering it," she called back to Michelle as she finished setting up the coffeepot.

Finian walked slowly back into the living room and took her usual place on the right side of the leather sofa. She glanced over at Bobbi and Michelle. They were just looking at her. Michelle’s face seemed a little paler than usual and the look on her face would have been comical if she weren’t so serious. "Finian," was all she could manage to say.

"Her name is Caer." Finian said softly as she let her eyes drop.

"Caer?" Bobbi and Michelle asked simultaneously, causing the dark haired woman to raise her head and look at them.

"Ok, Finian Delaney! You need to come clean here." Michelle picked up the notebook from where it was lying on her knees and shook it at Finian. "These notes are all fine and good, but there is still a lot missing. Like what the hell are you talking about? Like, this is all stuff that has happened, but none of it has happened. Or something like that. Hell, I don’t know. Finian, what is going on? Is this Caer a real person? Is she someone you know? Is she someone you’re seeing or have seen and just didn’t tell me? I just don’t understand any of this."

Michelle looked at Finian with imploring brown eyes. For a second, Finian thought she was going to cry. Bobbi quickly reached over, put her arm around Michelle’s shoulder, and pulled her close to her.

"Honey, I get the feeling that Finian really doesn’t have the answers to many of those questions. I think she’s sharing all of this with us because she needs our help to sort it all out." Bobbi looked at Michelle then over at Finian and deep blue eyes. Finian shrugged her shoulders and nodded her head.

"At first, when all of this started, I thought it was my imagination. And then I thought that I was losing my mind," she forced a small chuckle. I’ve been researching some of the stuff that has come to me and after writing it down in the notebook," she nodded toward the book still clutched in Michelle’s hand, "I’ve come to some minor conclusions or maybe I’d better call them guesses." Finian looked directly at Michelle. "Michelle, I never really paid much attention to my sexuality. It just didn’t exist. I wasn’t interested in relationships period. You know how I feel or felt. If you form close bonds with people, they leave you and it hurts." Finian stood up and walked over to the bookcase. She stood there for a moment with her back to Bobbi and Michelle. Slowly, she turned around to face them. "But, if I were to be honest with myself, I would have to say that I do feel more comfortable around women and always have."

Michelle suddenly found her voice. "Are you coming out? Are you really finally admitting it and coming out? You’ve met someone. This Caer. So, why are you hiding her in all of this cryptic stuff that you’re talking and writing about?" Bobbi put her right hand on Michelle’s arm to get her attention. "Come help me get the coffee," she said as she gently pulled Michelle to her feet and reached for Finian’s cup.

Finian stood staring at the two women as their backs retreated across the room. She hadn’t even thought about what she had just said to them before she said it. It just fell out of her mouth. She thought about different people that she knew and had known in her life; both male and female. She thought about how she felt around them. She posed the one question to herself that she had never dared ask before. ‘If she were going to be intimate with someone, who would that someone be?’ Suddenly, Finian saw Caer’s face smiling up at her from the recesses of her mind. She had her answer.

When the two women returned from the kitchen bearing fresh cups of steaming coffee, Finian looked at Michelle. "This really isn’t about coming out, Michelle. I don’t know if I can explain it in a way that you can understand, because I don’t really understand it yet, but I’ll tell you what I can. It may take a while, though."

"We’ve got as long as it takes," Mich said as she made herself comfortable on the leather sofa. "I’m not leaving here until you tell us what you have been up to and why it has been such a big secret."

Finian closed the door behind them and locked it. She turned around and stood with her back to the door, resting her full 6-foot body against it. She wasn’t sure how much Bobbi and Michelle had really understood or believed. Bobbi seemed to be more open to Finian’s explanation, if an explanation is what you could call it. Michelle left still insisting that Finian had Caer concealed somewhere. ‘I guess that’s better than her thinking that I am just plain crazy and in desperate need of drugs or hospitalization.’

She wasn’t very pleased with the way the evening had gone, but she did feel better. She pondered her feelings of disappointment and clarity as she pushed herself away from the door and headed across the living room toward her bedroom. She realized that talking to Michelle and Bobbi about everything had given her more understanding. Telling them her thoughts about what it all might mean had helped her to see and understand more of it herself, even if Michelle and maybe Bobbi, too, were probably thinking that she had truly lost her mind.

As Finian undressed for bed, she thought about the words from the song she had heard in her dream the night before. She picked her notebook up from the table beside her bed and read the words slowly.

Where are you my Finian?

Where are you my love?

Will you come to be with me?

As on the wings of a dove?

I can’t be there to guide you

To place your hand in mine

To lead you through the passages

From your time into mine

But listen to my music

When I come to you at night

For my words will gently guide you

And my lyre will be your light.

I’ve known those eyes of blue

They’ve held me in their stare

Some time past we pledged our love

For eternity to share.

I know not how you’ll come to me

Only that you will

And I’ll be waiting by the stones

My lyre the air will fill

Though winds of time have parted us

I know the time will come

For the wheel of fate is turning round

When you and I are one

Finian put the notebook back on the bedside table and turned out the lamp. For probably the first time in her life, she felt an emptiness in her bed as she lay down and pulled the huge body pillow toward her. "I’m listening, Caer," she whispered into the night.


Caer woke up with a start. She looked around her quickly and then back at the fire. There was nothing more than hot embers left. She must have been sitting there for a long time, she thought, as she became aware of a lingering warmth in her root chakra even as she felt the chill from the earthen floor through the heavy pallet. She smiled as she reached for a piece of firewood to lay on the dying fire. When she moved, Caer was aware of the dampness between her legs. She felt her cheeks start to warm without benefit of the fire. "Goddess," she blushed, as she tossed the wood on the embers and sat back down.

Suddenly she remembered soft caresses and warm breath on her skin. And the bluest eyes she had ever seen. On her fingertips, there still lingered the slightest hint of their contact with Finian, where her astral hands had caressed her soulmate’s essence.

Caer closed her eyes and was quickly engulfed with a memory of their energies intertwined and undulating with one another. She heard herself whisper her own name to her dream lover. Her body reacted to the memory with an involuntary quiver and the warmth and wetness between her legs intensified. Caer suddenly realized that her heart was racing and her breathing was becoming rapid. With more than a little effort, she opened her eyes and took three or four deep, evenly space breaths, slowly gaining control of herself.

Caer stood up from her pallet and went to the door of her hut, poking her head out and looking up at the sky. It must be around midnight, she thought as she noted the positions of the moon and certain stars. She went back in, retrieved her cup from her small wooden table, and filled it with chamomile tea she had left warming at the edge of the fire. She sat back down on the pallet and sipped at the warm liquid.

Caer started thinking back about the few relationships she had had in her life. Not that there were many. And if she were going to be very honest with herself, none of them were really relationships. She had never been pleasured to the heights that some of her friends had giggled about after many Beltaine fires. She had done some minor experimenting with a couple of the young druids on Beltaines past. But nothing more than kissing and a little petting. But when things started to heat up, she had always doused the fire. She had always felt that when you committed the great rite, it should be with either the god or Goddess themselves or with someone of the earth whom you were connected and committed to. And until recently, she had never met anyone that she felt that way about.

Caer finished her tea and placed her empty cup on the edge of the hearth away from the fire. She put some more logs on the fire and banked it to keep it burning slowly through the rest of the night. She quickly made up her bed and with a long sigh, lay down. She reached out to draw the quilted bed cover closer to her body and as she did, she felt for the first time, the emptiness of her bed. Caer felt the emptiness through her whole being. Her arms ached to embrace Finian’s warm body. She pulled the quilt closer and hugged its thickness against her.

In the hut next door, where Loic lay healing, low voices filled the interior. Enya had sounded brave and knowledgeable when she had spoken with Caer a few days ago about the invasions, but she had heard that things seemed to be escalating lately. She had asked Loic what he knew about his attackers and they had ended up talking for several hours. Loic told her that he didn’t know anything personally about his attackers, only that they were Protestors.

"There was much talk at the Beltaine fires at Newgrange about rebellion. And if we are hearing these stories, then the Protestors are hearing them also. They are beginning to attack all who do not adhere to the crown and that includes the Druids along with the Irish Catholic," he said to Enya as he tried to raise his upper body from the pallet.

"Here," Enya said as she moved to help him sit up and stuffed a small folded pallet behind his back for support.

"Thank you," he smiled, "I was really getting tired of laying down and seeing nothing but the thatch." He looked slowly around the small room until his eyes fell back onto Enya. "They are getting closer. We were warned when we left Newgrange about the Protesters that had been seen in the area. We were told that there were stories that the Irish Catholics are talking about a revolt against the Crown and the Protestors. They want to reclaim the Emerald Isle and restore her independence from the Crown."

Enya looked at him and took a breath. "Yes, and because we are not Catholics and do not embrace the church and it’s teachings we are targets as well as the Protestors. The monastery not far from here use to be a friendly place. We often traded with the Brothers and sometimes shared our music and stories. A few moons past, we went bearing our monthly offer of fresh baked bread and the gates were locked to us. None would come to tell us why. One day, a few weeks later, one of the young priestesses happened to be in the area of the monastery’s far garden when she heard a familiar voice call out to her. It was Brother Richard, who had always been extremely respectful of our beliefs and one of the few Catholics who seemed to truly understand that there is more than one path to redemption. He told the young woman that the Brothers had been ordered by the Roman Catholic Church to have no contact with anyone not native Irish Catholic."

"Yes," Loic began, "I have heard similar stories from other Druids who have been friendly with the Brothers of nearby monasteries. It doesn’t seem that we have much support from our fellow human beings," he smiled wryly.

Enya shook her head. "It just doesn’t make any sense to me; groups of people fighting over something as personal as their connection to their creator."

Loic thought for a moment. "When people look outside of themselves for redemption, salvation and comfort, they find chaos, loss and disruption. They must tear things down and destroy that which gets in their way and prevents them from finding that which comes from within. Destruction of another’s belief in order to find your own is secular. When one reaches within for those things, they are found, embraced, and nurtured as an integral part of ones' being. There is nothing to destroy. Nothing to attack."

"The Christian god is portrayed as an all powerful being. This being is the archetype of control. It has been taught through the ages that this god is male and that there is no female than can equal him. It is an unbalanced system that seeks to control but not to nurture. Without nurturing, you can have no growth. Without growth you cannot attain the supreme."

Enya looked at him. "You are very wise for someone so young. It will take Druids like you to enable our beliefs and our culture to survive. And in order to begin doing that, we may well have to move our settlements deeper into the forests and break up into smaller groups to be less noticeable."

Loic stared into the fire. "I have heard that some Druids are arranging passage to America to escape the destruction of Eire that they fear is coming. They talk of establishing settlements in areas that our forefathers visited many years ago. The standing stones exist in many areas in America. Some feel that they were constructed for this very reason. So we would have a place to go to continue our lives and our teachings."

Enya smiled, "The Goddess always has a plan. I just don’t think that particular plan has me in it. Though, I have heard that America is a beautiful country, much like our own. Many years ago, an old Druid who had spent time there lived among us. He told us stories of the standing stones in the New World. We often spoke of how such ancient stones came to stand in America." She stood up from the stool she was sitting on and walked to the small larder. "How about some biscuits and gravy? All this talk has sure made me hungry."

Loic nodded in the dim light of the hut. "Yes, I am rather hungry, now that you mention it. In fact, I think I could eat a whole leg of mutton right now," he laughed.

Enya looked up from the small table where she was preparing the biscuits and smiled at him. "You must be feeling much better. Perhaps when the sun comes up and the day warms, we can get you up off that pallet for a short time and maybe get you outside for some sunshine." She squinted at him across the dim space. "You have gotten a little pale from being indoors for several days. The warmth of the sun will speed your healing now that you are stronger."

Caer was dreaming about being on a large boat. A ship, actually. She and Finian were standing at the ship’s railing, watching the waves break against the side of the ship as it cut slowly through the vast water. Finian had her arm resting lightly across Caer’s shoulders. "You’ll love America," she said smiling down at the short blond woman. "It’s very much like Ireland, you know. Green and lush and fertile. An ocean on either side of the country and mountains in the middle. And standing stones to carry on the Goddess’s way."

Caer looked into the sea blue eyes and smiled warmly. "I’ve waited too long to find you to risk being separated so soon by madness. If I must leave my homeland to survive and to be with you, I will love it." She lifted her arm up and encircled Finian’s waist, drawing her closer.

In her sleep, Caer snuggled closer to the heavy quilt that she had bunched up against her. She moved her head in synch with her dream. Her dream lovers’ head bent down toward Caer’s upraised face. Caer followed the other woman’s full lips with her eyes. As Finian’s lips neared her own, Caer slowly closed her eyes. When the anticipated warmth of her lover’s lips on hers didn’t happen, Caer opened her eyes to an assault of sunlight peeking in around the drape hanging in her only window.

She sat up on the pallet and ran her hand through her flaxen hair. When she got past the disappointment of the unfinished dream kiss, she began to wonder about the dream she had just had. ‘America,’ she wondered. ‘Why would I dream about going to America?’ Then she remembered the reason for going to America in her dream.

Caer threw a couple of logs on the warm embers and quickly got dressed. She could not believe that she had slept as late as she did. ‘Enya must be more than ready to go back to her own hut and get some rest,’ she thought as she hurried out of her hut to the hut next door.

Enya looked up as Caer entered the hut. "I’m sorry, Enya," she said as she met Enya’s eyes. "I don’t know what happened. I just now woke up. I can’t remember the last time I slept this late."

Enya smiled. "That’s okay," she said as she nodded toward the pallet where Loic lay sleeping. "Loic will probably sleep for a while. We spent a great part of the night talking. I made biscuits and gravy just before dawn and he ate like he hadn’t seen food in eons," she laughed. "I believe he is just about healed. Today would be a good day to get him up and walking around some. Get him outside into the sunlight and put a little color back into his face. Another day or two and he should be up and about on his own and strong enough to return to Newgrange."

Enya went to the table and started preparing a plate as Caer walked over to the pallet where Loic lay sleeping soundly. "Yes, he is healing well." she said softly, in order not to wake the sleeping young man. ‘Loic,’ she thought as she watched his breath rising and falling in his chest, ‘Are you an omen of things to come? Were you sent here as a messenger from the Goddess to show us how close we are to being forced from our homes and possibly our homeland? Is this the Goddess’s way for us to survive and carry on Her ways? To leave our homeland?’

"Enya," Caer said as she walked toward the short, round woman preparing food at the small table, "Do you know anything about America?"

Enya’s head snapped up from the plate she was preparing and her brown eyes stared at the green-eyed woman now standing across the small table from her. Her mind quickly went back to the conversation she and Loic had shared. "Why do you ask such a thing, child?" she asked.

Caer thought for a moment and said, "I had a dream last night. In the dream, I was on a large boat and we were going to America." For some reason, she didn’t want to tell her about Finian. "I had the feeling that we were going there to escape. That the only way to survive and carry on the way of the Goddess is to leave here and go to the new land."

Enya pushed the plate of biscuits and gravy across the small table toward Caer and said, "Sit down and eat." Caer did as she was told, suddenly realizing how empty her stomach was, as Enya went to the fire and poured two cups of steaming Chicory. Enya returned to the table and sat down opposite her. "It’s funny you should ask that question today," she said as she looked up at Caer. "Loic and I were talking about America last night." She didn’t want to frighten the young woman, but she felt that Caer should have some knowledge, if not understanding, of what was happening. ‘How could anyone possibly understand something as profane as what was going on around us?’ she thought before continuing. "And stranger, still, that you should have such a dream." She smiled at Caer to try to relieve some of the tension she was feeling.

"Loic told me last night that some Druids are trying to make passage on ships to America in order to escape what many of us fear is coming." Enya looked over at the still sleeping man then back at Caer. "I have heard that America is much like our own home, here. Green and lush and fertile. They say that many of the trees, plants, herbs and animals that thrive here, also grow there."

Caer smiled as she remembered Finian’s strong arm around her shoulders in her dream. "Are there standing stones in America?" Suddenly she had a feeling that somehow the stones were connected to Finian’s coming to her. And if that were true, she must somehow let Finian know about the stones.

"I have been told there are. As I told Loic last night, many years ago, before you came to be with us, an old Druid came to live out his life among us. He had spent many years in America and talked often about the stones. I was a young girl, younger than you are now. The old Druid often humored me," she smiled in remembrance. "I would often talk of the stones with him and marvel that our ancestors must have been in America as well as the British Isles." Enya raised her hand to her mouth as she tried to stifle a yawn.

Caer stood up and picked up her empty plate, "Enya, I am so sorry that I have kept you from your bed. First I am late, and then I talk your ear off. Go. Go rest. And you needn’t come back tonight. I think that Loic is healed enough that he no longer needs someone to sit by his side and watch him sleep." She smiled at Enya. "Don’t be sorry, dear, it was I who did most of the talking." She laughed lightly as she patted Caer on the shoulder on her way out of the small hut. When she reached the doorway, she stopped and looked at Caer. "I’ll come by this eve to see how our young charge is doing." Caer nodded as the older woman turned and went through the doorway.

Enya had a feeling that Caer was going to want to know more about the unease that was settling in among them. She wanted to be there for Caer to ease her fears and answer any questions she was capable of answering. Caer had worked along side her since she was a very young girl, learning everything that Enya had to offer her and more. Enya had come to look at Caer almost as a daughter. She wondered about Caer’s dream as she walked across the small clearing to her own hut.

Caer checked on Loic who was still sleeping and went outside to wash her plate and other dirtied utensils at the cistern. Just as she was finishing up, she heard a familiar voice.

"Caer." She turned around and found Da’an standing behind her. Caer put the clean utensils down of the edge of the cistern and hugged her best friend.

"Where have you been?" Caer said as she dropped her arms from around her friend’s neck. When she stepped back and saw the huge grin on Da’an’s face, she dropped her eyes and her fair cheeks turned pink. "Oh. That was not a smart question," she said as she looked slowly back up at Da’an. "Please, don’t answer it," she laughed.

"Ok," Da’an said with a grin on her face. "Then I get to ask some."

Caer looked at her friend with a puzzled expression on her face. "You know what I have been doing," she nodded toward the hut. "Enya and I have been nursing Loic who was attacked by a band of Protestors. But, surely, you knew that?" She half questioned Da’an.

Da’an had a twinkle in her eyes that Caer hadn’t noticed before. "Any more dreams? Any more meetings with the mystery lady?" She grinned at Caer. This was definitely, Da’an, her friend and not Da’an, the priestess, that stood here teasing her, she thought as she smiled at her friend.

Caer looked down at the ground and then back at Da’an. "Her name is Finian," she said.

"I guess that answers one of my question," Da’an grinned. "One of your questions?"

Caer raised one eyebrow as she gave Da’an a sidelong look. "And just how many do you have?"

"Now that you have told me you know her name," Da’an began, "I have more questions than I started with." She laughed out loud.

Caer looked at her best friend and laughed with her. "You will have all of the answers that I can give you, but you will have to find a way to contain your curiosity for now." She nodded toward the hut. "Loic will awake soon and I must prepare him something to eat. I am going to get him up today and bring him out into the warm sunlight. It will do him good and speed along his healing."

"I must be getting along, myself," Da’an replied. "I came down to the large storehouse to get some potatoes and I saw you come out the door."

"We will get together soon, I promise," Caer said as she rested her hand on her friend’s shoulder. "Loic is well on the way to recovery and tomorrow could see him on his way home. If not tomorrow, then the next day for sure. When my time is once more my own, we will spend some time together." She squeezed Da’an’s shoulder lightly as she let her hand drop.

"Do you need any help getting Loic up and outside?" Da’an looked at her, sizing up her small form.

"No, I think he is capable of getting himself up with just a small amount of support. Enya said he was sitting up last night and did not seem to get tired even after many hours of talking."

"Then I am off to make stew," Da’an said as she turned and started to walk across the common area toward the large storehouse. "I’ll see you in a day or two," she called back to Caer over her shoulder. Caer waved to her friend as she picked up the now dry utensils with her other hand and went through the door into the hut.

Part 6

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