The Gruagach

Bao PhamCallum’s Fate

Part of the Down on the Farm anthology coming September 23rd from Breathless Press


“The faerie world has little use for humans. You know that. You’re a game to them. Amusement for the moment.”

Donal looked at the gruagach, full of sorrow for the friends he’d lost on the moors over the long years of his life, and asked the question that had been preying on him for some time. “Why do you stay with us, Liam? We have the bodachan, the old man of the barn, content to watch the cows for fresh milk and a warm bed. Other faeries and imps share our work. But why you? A gruagach is a great blessing for our small farm.”

He went on when the other man kept silent. “I know your magic guards us, keeps us safe from the dangers of the moors. But why, my friend, when you get so little from us in return? Surely there are other places more deserving of your attention, who can give you a rich home, full of luxuries?”

Liam flashed him a look Donal couldn’t decipher, a mixture of laughter and something else. “You didn’t think I’d forget the wee lad who saved me from the brollachan, all those years ago?”

Donal laughed softly at the memory. “If a certain lovely brownie hadn’t been caught in the rafters with the Faery queen’s son… She sent those evil creatures to eat you alive.”

The gruagach shuddered. “Worse. They would have possessed me, and done great harm to the world through me.”

“Instead, those bogies chased you down the well. The way you screeched, I thought they’d trapped my new kitten down there.”

“And you drove the most feared creatures that walk the night off with a club. I suppose proving that righteous anger conquers evil.”

“I think the saying is, ‘love conquers all things.’ I wasn’t about to let them hurt my kitty.”

“You did seem surprised when you pulled me from the well instead.”

Donal’s expression softened. “You were so beautiful.”

Liam brushed the light hair from Donal’s eyes. “And you stole my breath, young as you were then.”

“I was fifteen, Liam. Old enough to know my heart.” Donal leaned forward and kissed the gruagach’s sweet mouth. He sighed, remembering the joyful days and nights which followed, learning the pleasures of another man’s body. The gruagach had been gentle, sensual. He had become lost in bliss and elation.

“I loved you,” he confessed. “I hadn’t wanted to hurt you.”

A tender smile touched the gruagach’s lips. “It was right, my sweet one. Mac is human, same as you. You were meant to be together.”

 The Gruagach

“The long-haired one,” from the Gaelic gruag, a wig. The gruagach was a fairy being with protective duties in Scottish legends, apparently of either sex. The gruagach was particularly associated with cattle, and milk was laid aside for him or her every evening—otherwise no milk would be given at the next milking. Usually this being was of a beneficent nature, although it occasionally made mischief by loosing the cattle so that the herders had to get up, sometimes several times during a night, to tie them up. This apparently caused the gruagach much impish delight.

He was usually seen only by those who possessed second sight, though there were instances when he made himself visible to ordinary people as well. He is said to have been jolly and personable, with flowing yellow hair, wearing a broad blue bonnet and carrying a long staff.     -Wikipedia

pic by Bao Pham

About diannehartsock

Author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy/adventure, m/m romance and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer.
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