The Good Son

On May 12, 1935, Giulia was being served up the queen’s treatment: a surprise breakfast in bed and now, surrounded by flowers and candies, she leaned back with her feet propped up on a fluffy ottoman in the parlor of her lovely Los Angeles home.

Her doorway was abuzz with activity. Friends and neighbors were dropping in with presents in their arms and kisses on their lips. And her children were arriving one by one. Soon, seven of them would be there. This Mother’s Day had almost not happened and everyone was making sure it was a special one for her. Her heart attack last September had left her weak and ruined her sight and hearing and they were sure that the only thing keeping her going was the love she had for her family. Especially her baby. He’d always taken care of his mama like nobody else. He never forgot her. She was so proud of him.
“Nicola,” she called out to her husband, “Is my bambino here yet?”

Nicola approached her from behind and placed one hand on her shoulder and crossed himself with the other. His eyes watered at the mention of their son.
“Cucciola mia… I’m sorry. Russ called earlier... He’s still making that picture in England but sends his love.”

Giulia sighed softly.
“Maybe for Christmas…”

But Russ wouldn’t make it home that Christmas. Or the next. Popular singer and actor Russ Columbo had died in a freak accident while Giulia was still recovering in the hospital from her heart attack. Afraid that the news would kill her, her family decided to keep it a secret. Russ would be forevermore on “an extended European trip.”
Ten years on, Giulia still hadn’t seen her son, but her dying words were "Tell Russ I am so proud..."


The Last Fairy in Ireland

On March 18, 1895, in County Tipperary, Ireland, two miserable figures sat on a limestone wall.

Michael’s twisted face told the tale. He was living in a fog, on the verge of collapsing. He’d not eaten well nor had proper sleep in 14 days. Since his wife had fallen ill. Or rather, since she’d been exchanged for that… thing… that had occupied her bed. He’d made daily four mile treks through the snow and rain and cold only to find the doctor not at home. And when the doctor did at last call upon his door, he was drunk and dismissive. When he walked four miles in the other direction to find Father Ryan, he at least did come to administer the Anointing but he refused to return again. No matter. By that time, he was sure that the Seanchaidhe was right. It was not pneumonia and that was not Bridget. The sudden unexpected flippancy of the beast was what finally led to his decisive actions.
But the question still nagged him: why hadn’t it flown up the chimney?

In his peripheral vision, he could see his friend nodding off.

“Look alive, Jack,” Michael said. “This be the third night, you still think the procession will pass by the ringfort?”

Jack sat up straight. “In the name of God, Michael, I do! Look for the white horse. You cut the reins as it passes by and your wife will be freed. The white horse, Michael…”

Four days later, the burnt mangled body of Bridget Cleary was found in a shallow grave a half mile away. Even as he was being arrested, Michael swore that it wasn’t his wife. It was a fairy. He’d only tortured and burned the changeling in order to get his beloved back. Why couldn’t they understand?


Three New Welcomes

...makes it an even 100! Thanks for the "follows" from Salima, Amira, and Bella. I'm hoping to have a worthy story up tonight, or if not, then tomorrow!