29 March 2011



Medb’s crooked fingers tremble as she reaches for the clock.  Seven minutes before midnight.  She moves her bent form across the room to her standing mirror.  She heaves her robes off her withered torso.  She stands naked.  Her shock of grey hair is barely contained by an old piece of driftwood fashioned into a hair pin.  Sunken eyes, the color of algae stare back at her.  Powdery flakes of skin fall from her with every movement.  A spider web of thin blue veins stain her arm.  Faint chimes from the town’s clock tower strike.  Marred teeth emerge from behind thin lips as she smiles widely – the hour is nigh. Her bones crack as she straightens to full height; joints pop suddenly.  The scent of mold coming from her flesh dissipates as it plumps with renewed elasticity.  Her skin tints with a creamy peach hue.  Shriveled, hanging breasts round out and lift onto her chest.  She winces with the pain of tightening flesh into soft curves.  Her eyes sting bitterly.  She shuts them tight.  Once open, they are a clear and brilliant emerald color.  Glistening white teeth replace their charred counterparts.  A graceful hand lifts to pull the driftwood from her hair.  Rich brown curls flecked with wisps of gold fall down the length of her sculpted back. 
She begins to sing.  Her lyrics fall softly upon the air.  Her throat’s constant burn caused from her screeching is gone.
Void of pain, she runs to her dressing room and throws open the doors.  Moving through the room, she brushes her fingers over the luscious fabrics from every corner of the world.  The back opens into her vault.  She wraps herself in ropes of jewels to feel them on her skin.  A black cast iron safe is anchored in the center of the room.  It is in there, locked away.  That vile pot and its cursed contents. 

When she had happened upon Rúadhán all those decades ago, he was diligently working the leather for a sole.  She was hungry.  She was greedy.  She stole up on him, covering her steps with her mesmerizing voice. He had no time to prevent his capture.  With her three wishes, she demanded the location of the pot of gold, great beauty to bloom like a rose before St. Patrick and a voice heard by all.Afraid he would take flight, Medb hobbled his ankles with his own tack hammer.  She demanded her wishes.  Rúadhán granted each wish with a curse placed upon it: v  A pot of gold that could buy anything but freedomv  Great beauty that would only bloom on the anniversary of St. Patrick’s birthv  A voice that would be heard by all heralding the death of those they love… 
                                                         *******************************  The revelers have begun their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, parading into town.  Medb dresses in her finery and waltzes through her castle admiring her belongings the gold has afforded her; these treasures only she sees.  She goes into town to indulge in every pleasure afforded her; the finest meal, aged wine and whiskey and an assortment of beautiful bodies.And as midnight nears to close out the 17th day of March, her home becomes her prison once again.  Those who indulged in her beauty moments before flee in horror as her youth is ripped away. She races to the damned safe.  She plunges her gnarled fingers into the endless supply of gold coins that enslave her and hurls them across the room.  Rúadhán's distant laughter from years ago bleeds through the walls.  She wails her tormented cry and takes flight. 

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