IRISH BLUE 2 THE SONG OF THE STONES A novel by Sheila Willar Copyright 2016 Sheila Willar ISBN 978-0-9867101-4-8 You are living stones, being built up into a spiritual house … 1 Peter 2:5
CHAPTER 8 ............................ DREAMS
Erin returned to her room, where she opened the scroll and carefully unfurled it against the flat of the desk. She immediately recognized a map of Ireland. It was old and simple, with bays, mountains, and rivers, rendered in faint lines of sky-blue ink. The most curious features on the map were seven crosses, embossed and laminated in gold.
The crosses were spread throughout the country, from a small island in the Northwest, to a central valley in the South. Erin knew right away that one was located at Mrs. Mancinni’s site, on a peninsula of land North of Kinkerry, where the real Irish Blue stone chapel would be repatriated in just a matter of hours.
“Seven crosses,” mused Erin, as she scanned the map.
Just then Erin saw a vision in which seven churches rose up out of the map, one church from each cross. However, most were covered with soil and rock, and were overgrown with briar, as they struggled to be free from the land.
Erin heard a voice explain that the seven chapels formed a “circle of unity”, and that they were destined to sing together at the end of time. If the seven churches, and the seven peoples of the earth that they represented, did not come together as one, then the earth would experience irrevocable challenges similar to the Days of Noah.
Erin heard the voice say that there wasn’t much time left, and that a “chosen one” must unearth the hidden chapels so that they could be reunited. The voice said that when Mrs. Mancinni’s chapel was restored, then it would help the “chosen one” to find the others.
Father Michael went to visit the bishop, to resign as priest of Kinkerry.
“I have sinned,” repented Michael remorsefully.
“Have you now?” answered the bishop from his favourite chair.
“I have deceived you and the parish.”
“Is this about Patrick’s money?” asked the bishop.
“Yes. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Keep the money flowing and everyone happy.”
“Patrick had every right to remain anonymous. The problem is that you chose a lie where none was needed.”
“I take full responsibility and will step down.”
The bishop stood up and paced behind his chair.
“You can’t leave!” began the bishop. “It is I who am leaving.”
“I don’t understand,” stammered Michael.
The bishop’s face went ashen grey.
“Are you O.K. Father?” asked Michael.
“I’ve been having a dream. The same one over and over again.”
In the dark of night, in his bed, the bishop dreamed about a secret from his past, and by day, in the cloister of his office, he rummaged the bins of his mind for a solution. The only way out, he reasoned, was to ensure that his past remained buried where he left it.
“You will fill in for me while I’m gone,” announced the bishop.
“Just do it!” exclaimed the bishop, as he headed for the door.
“When will you be back?” called Michael.
There was no answer.
“Matthew!” yelled Leasy Patterson into the phone that hung on the wall at the bar. “Is that you Matthew?”
“Yes. Of course it is,” answered Matthew who was annoyed.
“I think we’re in a bit of trouble,” advised Leasy.
Matthew did not want Leasy to use the term “we”, and felt foolish for involving the old codger in his plans to stop the rumours about Patrick.
“What kind of trouble?” asked Matthew.
“I just overheard Patrick say that his wife is on a cruiseship, along with the new owner of the quarry,” explained Leasy.
“What does a cruise ship have to do with anything?”
“It’s going to round the point any moment!” shouted Leasy, who huddled against the phone box in the corner of the pub.
“Leasy Patterson, you’ve been drink’n and you’d better go home to sleep it off!”
“It’s true I tell ya!” yelled Leasy. “The SOVEREIGN III will be in Kinkerry any minute now and Kerry McBride’s onboard!”
When the people in the pub heard Leasy’s rant, they went silent for a moment, but then erupted in a communal laugh. Leasy had told a lot of tall tales over the years and this seemed like one of the tallest.
Matthew heard the laughter in the background, and realized that their conversation had gone public. He was about to hang up, when he looked out his kitchen window, the one that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, and to his absolute shock, there in the distance, rounding Murphy’s point, was the SOVEREIGN III. He almost dropped the phone.
Leasy became frustrated with Matthew’s silence and hung up the receiver. He curled his lip and told himself that he didn’t need friends like that. As he walked toward the exit, people patted him on the back and said, “Good one, Leasy. Good one.”
However, before Leasy reached the door, young Abigail McBride, Kerry’s granddaughter, had shoved the pub door open and yelled, “The SOVEREIGN III’s rounding the point! Come and see! Come and See!”
Again, for a split second, the din in the pub went absolutely silent in disbelief. Then the patrons jumped from their seats at once, and joined the rest of the town as they ran to the top of the hill on the point where they could get a better look. It was a magnificent ship and a magnificent sight.
Leasy stood at the head of the bluff, with elbows out, and hands in his pockets, proudly holding the nip of the cuffs, well above his ankles. He sported a grin as wide as a whale, knowing that for once, the people in the pub, would give him his due, and buy him a few free pints.
When Patrick arrived the crowd went silent. They assumed that he had arranged the whole thing, but in truth he had more questions than they did.
Bishop O’Flannan was packing his car when he caught sight of the ship rounding the bay.
“These are strange days indeed,” he thought, as his mind brought him back to the images in his dream, of a little lost chapel in a deep valley, where he had buried his past. He didn’t know what troubled him more, the idea that it would be difficult to find, or that Michael would find it first.