Bare Knuckle by Brandner Cindy

Bare Knuckle by Brandner Cindy

Author:Brandner, Cindy [Brandner, Cindy]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
Tags: General Fiction
Publisher: Starry Night Press
Published: 2018-04-30T16:00:00+00:00

Rain was drumming against the roof of Aibhlinn’s cottage, its soft hiss present at the windows, as though it sought entrance into the warm sanctuary of the place. Brian couldn’t blame it, for there was a sanctuary within these walls, though to his way of thinking it wasn’t the walls and the fire, but rather the woman who sat across from him now, looking at him with dark grey eyes, a spill of flame-lit hair tumbling down her back.

They had spent a lovely two hours in her bed, followed by a dinner of baked plaice, new potatoes and beans fresh from the garden. Now, they sat in her parlour, nursing after dinner drinks—Jameson for him, and ginger beer with a splash of the Jameson for her. It was a charming space, filled with books and a squashy sofa, and an armchair that was sprouting tufts of stuffing, under a hand-loomed blanket. The rest of the space was taken up by a spinning wheel and a high-backed spinning stool, as well as all the other oddments of the spinner’s craft.

The entire wall behind the spinning wheel was taken up with carefully piled balls of wool. The colours were all those of nature—puffs of grey like wreathes of smoke that had come to rest for a moment, deep blues that looked as though an ink pot had spilled through them, misty purples like heather stippled with dew, and a green like the moss upon a fallen tree trunk.

Brian was reading, his glass of whiskey on the low table next to him. He looked up from his book, and watched Aibhlinn’s deft hands pluck another chunk of wool from the basket by her feet, overlap it a few inches with the wool that was already spinning and join it to the whole thread. All this was done unconsciously, for each move was instinctive and borne of an expertise that said she had done this task for many years. The soft clicking burr of the wheel was soothing and Brian found himself mesmerized by it. It put him in mind of all the ancient world tales, which always had at their core the three fates, seated near wood or water, forever spinning out the tapestry and kismet of humankind.

“What’s worryin’ ye, man?” she asked, stopping her spinning and looking up at him.

“That obvious, am I?”

“No, not really. It’s only that I know ye well enough now, to see when ye’re broodin’ about somethin’. Is it one of yer boys?”

“Aye, it is.”


He laughed. “I see I’ve painted a clear portrait of the lad for ye.”

“What is it he’s done?” she asked, looking genuinely interested.

Brian sighed a little, an action he often took when pondering the activities of his eldest. “He hasn’t, that’s just it. He’s been awfully quiet this summer, an’ that generally bodes ill with him.”

“Perhaps he’s just outgrowin’ the trouble,” she suggested. This, he was afraid, showed how little she knew of teenage boys.

“I’m afraid it’s the opposite. I’m thinkin’ he’s found trouble of a sort which is keepin’ him quiet.


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