So this came out of nowhere again. I was drawn to the photo that prompted this one and next thing I knew I was writing about characters I didn't know but were connected to ones I know very well and have written about for years. Funny how that happens.
The seal meant nothing to most people who walked by. Some assumed it was some long-defunct ironworks company that had left its mark to be remembered - or forgotten - by future generations. People walked on in, children jumped on it, and drunks vomited on the Celtic knotwork that didn't really stand out there in the alleyway. It didn't matter if it was light or dark out. It wasn't important. It wasn't noticed.
Unless you knew what it was you were looking for. Sinead Callaghan did. Her parents had told her stories, some ranging back to a time when one couldn't believe they were even always. Well, perhaps her father hadn't been, not that long ago. But they, her parents weren't normal, and neither was Sinead. That abnormality is why she hung back from the iron workings and looked to her friend Angus instead. "Please, Angus. It's iron. Might be cold iron. You know I can't."
It was new for Angus. Sinead had only recently told him what she was and his head was still spinning from the shock of it. It made him wonder about the rest of the Callaghan family, not just Sinead's parents. It made him wonder about himself. He crouched by the seal, now realizing it was a grate, one that Sinead somehow knew how to open.
"Yeah, hold it there, in the upper left corner, then twist about a quarter turn clockwise and push." Angus followed the instructions, pushing his auburn hair out of his eyes. He needed a haircut. Again. Sinead directions got increasingly complicated and Angus briefly wondered why a faery who couldn't even touch this seal wanted to go where it led. But he didn't ask. He knew it had to do with her parents. Something or someone down here had answers for her.
He knew what kind of fairy she was: her desire to fly, her ability to go unseen, her clear affinity with the very air: she was a sylph. He dreamed of her often flying through the cold winter night sky, and it was those dreams that kept him by her side when she revealed the truth to him. He just didn't know how he knew to dream it, what his connection to her really was. He tugged opened the grate and slipped in first, invisible thanks to Sinead's glamour. Maybe down below they'd find answers not just for her, but for him as well.
prompted by this picture