Chapter 1: Prologue: Destiny of a Gargoyle
Chapter 1 Prologue
In the time when fairies ruled the Earth.
Donal Foley grumbled and cursed his father as he trekked through the dunes on the shores of Connaught in what is now part of County Galway Ireland. He was there to see the Queen of the Fairies, a fair-headed lass with a temper. He didn't have good news and he dreaded telling her. As a gargoyle, he was sworn to protect fairies, but his father, Seamus Foley, a man prone to drink, had deflowered a fairy and she was now carrying his child.
As the oldest of Seamus' three sons, it fell to Donal to tell the Queen that he had relieved Seamus of his duties as the head guard of the land of Connaught. He stopped to gaze out at the ocean, its blue waves crashing in anger against the white sand. The sea reflected the reaction he expected from the queen.
The Foleys had been guarding the fairies for generations and never had there been a problem. Donal pushed his black hair away from this steel blue eyes. Putting off the task would not make it any better.
He turned back to the land in time to see the Queen herself alight on a white rock, her wings fluttering in impatience. Had she heard already?
“Donal Foley. What brings you here to my domain? You are supposed to stay on the perimeter of my queendom," she said.
She crossed her pale arms across her chest. She tapped a finger on her arm.
He might as well say it. “Seamus has been relieved of his duties and been banished from the Land of Connaught."
Her eyebrows went up. “Why?"
“Because he has lain with a fairy and she is with his child."
Donal braced himself, but she remained impassive.
“Yes, my Queen."
“I am not your queen. I am merely your employer, but this news displeases me."
Donal hoped to get away with his life.
“Since I cannot punish Seamus himself then I will punish his sons. The Foleys will no longer guard the fairies."
“With all due respect, we didn't do anything."
“No matter. Bring your brothers here to hear the sentence."
“All of us?" Donal said. “Leave my siblings out of this. Punish me."
She shook her head. “No."
Two days later the three Foley brothers stood in front of the Queen of Fairies. Donal had tried to negotiate with her to let go of his brothers, Sean and Declan, but to no avail. The Queen was not going to budge.
The wind had picked up on the beach and sand blew around them without touching the fairies that had lined up to see the brothers' punishment. Like a crowd at a sporting event, they all looked on with rapt attention.
Donal would have preferred to do this in private, but it was the Queen's show.
“I've thought about this and I can only come up with one punishment."
Donal braced himself.
“You will be cursed to remain in stone at the church across the path. You will remain in stone until such time a fairy visits you who is the one you are supposed to protect. You will have to be with them for a day before you will become alive again. They will come to you when they will be in danger. If you fail to save them from the danger, you will be returned to stone again."
“But Your Majesty that could take millennia," Donal said.
His brothers grumbled beside him.
“No. Your father was a special gargoyle assigned to a specific fairy. The three of you would have gotten the same assignment. Somewhere out there is your fairy, and only she can save you. Or her offspring."
“And just how will those fairies get here for us to see if they are our charges?" Donal said.
The queen laughed. “That is not my problem."
With a wave of her hand, Donal found himself and his brother positioned over the door to the church, in stone.
That hadn't gone well.