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[Fic] Reunion [Fin]


Callum O'Connell

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[note: Takes place June 6th, 2009]

The drive south was pleasant enough even though his stomach was knotted with unease. Traveling out of Boston it took Callum about half an hour to reach the edge of Milton and the northern edge of the Blue Hills Reservation. He glanced at the letter sitting on the dashboard for the umpteenth time. Okay, breeze in let him know what a douche he is for waiting until mom died to show up, breeze out and be back to Boston in time for the BBQ at the Wolf. I don’t want to keep Tom waiting.

Callum pulled into the gravel parking lot and took the letter; a letter from his biological father had sent him and waited. The letter said he wanted to meet here, in this paring lot. Callum had specifically gotten to the meeting place several minutes early; he hated being late. Clicking on his car’s DVD player, he cranked up the volume as the car’s speakers belted out the recently popular ‘Just Dance’ by Lady Gaga. He was just getting into it when he noticed the canine.

The dog was enormous, more like the size of a small pony really and it had just wandered out of the woods, along one of the trails. It sniffed the ground not in a random way, like a dog searching for treats, but in a more concentrated way, as if tracking something’s or someone’s scent. Callum was glad he had decided to stay in the car.

The dog made it’s way over to Callum’s car, gave the driver’s side door a sniff, walked in a compete circle twice and sat down. It gave a quick bark and tilted its head to the side to give that quizzical looks that all dogs seem to have mastered at birth. Callum stared, not so much in fear but rather in confusion at the mammoth creature and it stared right back at him. What the hell do you want? He could see that the animal was well groomed and that it was wearing a collar but he was unable to read it from his distance and angle. The dog barked once more, stood up once more, ambled a few feet towards the park trail and turned back to look at Callum; who hadn’t moved since the dog first showed up. The song ended and silence fell in the parking lot. The dog huffed in what could almost be mistaken for irritation, walked in another circle and barked at Callum again.

“You want me to follow you?” Callum asked more to himself then to the dog, after all, it’s not like the beast could actually understand him. This is crazy! Why am I here? No sane person would agree to this and now I’m about to follow some giant mutt into the woods? He thought to himself as he got out of the car. Chillax dude. Clearly the dog isn’t dangerous or it would be snarling and trying to tear my limbs off right now. Maybe its owner is hurt ‘cause it’s obviously not a stray.

When Callum got out of the car, the dog resumed it’s journey entering the wooded path. Callum had to take up a light jog just to keep up as the dog broke into a spirited run often bounding ahead and just when Callum thought he had lost the it, it would come bounding back down the path to circle him a few times before bounding back the way it had come.

After 20 minutes of following the enthusiastic dog, Callum broke through the tree line into a clearing at the top of Buck Hill. The clearing was quite large, covering almost the entire top of the hill and from it Callum could see Milton clearly in this distance and beyond that, Boston. It was a breathtaking view.

At the center of the clearing Callum could see a man. He was tall and had auburn hair but that is all he could tell at this distance. Callum assumed he was the man he was here to see, his biological father. As soon as they cleared the tree line the dog took off like a rocket, straight to the man. Callum crossed the clearing quickly and stopped short in front of the man where they regarded each other silently for a moment. To say the man was handsome would be an understatement. His Auburn hair nearly glowing in the light and his eyes sparkled green like two brilliant emeralds. He was enchanting to look at and Callum was rendered speechless.

“It pleases me that we finally meet. Hello son,” he said, his voice as enchanting as his appearance. At the word ‘son’ the spell this stranger, who looked so much like Callum, had woven broke and Callum remembered why he was here.

“So your him, eh?” Callum said with a sneer. “You’ve got balls to come sniffing around here so soon after mom died. Where the hell have you been?”

If his father was perturbed by Callum’s attitude, he didn’t show it. “Ah yes. I always forget the bitterness,” He said in a soft voice, more to himself and the Wolfhound that sat by his feet looked up at his master and nuzzled his hand in sympathy. “I am sorry about your mother’s passing, she was a fine woman. Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of time; otherwise I would indulge your anger towards me. Suffice to say I would have contacted you years sooner but Fate conspired against such plan. And then the Titans broke their bonds, plunging the Divine realms into war.”

Callum was confused. He wanted to be angry with this man, his father, who had abandoned his mother before he was even born. If he had been around then his mother wouldn’t have married his bastard of a stepfather and things would have been different. But he didn’t and things weren’t different. He was having trouble staying mad however. Whatever charm his father had was still working it’s magic on the young man. “I don’t understand,” he finally managed. “What are you talking about, titans? What’s going on?”

“Son, I am Lugh of the Tuatha De Dannan. I am a god. You, being my son, have inherited a spark of my divine being. I have come to you now because Fate is conspiring to involve you in the wars of the Gods and I would have my son be prepared for the trials ahead,” As he spoke a true measure of his divine radiance manifested and Callum was awed. He felt a tingle of energy, something, flow through his body, his heart began to race and he felt lightheaded. Lugh grasped his speechless son by the shoulders and both could feel sparks like electricity pass between father and son. “I have awakened the Divine Ichor within you Callum, with it you will be capable of performing fantastic deeds. I have of gifts for you as well. These are your birthrights as a Scion of the Tuatha.”

Callum barely had time to recover from the shock of his Divine investment before Lugh motioned to a tree stump behind him. On the stump were a large knife, known as Scramasax, approximately a foot long with Ogham runes along its steel blade and a golden hilt wrapped in leather. Next to was a Torc, a traditional Celtic necklace, made of gold and capped the ends in silver in the shape of Irish wolfhound heads. Finally there was a cloak brooch in the shape of a dragon. It was also made of gold and silver and had little emeralds for eyes.

“These are for you. They will aid you in the coming trials you will face. Unfortunately I must leave,” Lugh said the part with a not of heavy sadness in his voice. Callum made like to speak but his father simply held up his hand for silence. “I know what you are going to say son. Nothing would please me more than to sit with you all night and talk of the things you should, nay, you must know and for you to tell me the story of your life. Alas it cannot be this night.”

“Fear not however. For your education I have arraigned a special tutor for you. She will guide you and teach you the things you need to know,” He held his fingers to his mouth and gave a sharp, unearthly whistle that resonated right though Callum’s bones. The two of them looked to the south as a shape appeared in the sky. At first Callum though it was an unusually large bird. As it got closer he could see it was no bird; it was large with greenish scales, wings like a bats and the head of some lizard. Callum swallowed hard as the dragon landed close by. This close he could tell it was somewhere between the size of horse and a car. He trembled slightly. “Courage son,” his father said, gripping his shoulder lightly. “This is Aislinn. She will be you teacher and mentor. But you must repay her by teaching her about the mortal world.”

“Hail Lugh, Shining god of the Tuatha. I have come as agreed. Is the boy ready?” Her voice was strong and regal sounding. The creature sat poised like a queen and she stared down at Callum with a critical eye. “Does he understand his role in this bargain?”

“Hail Aislinn, Dragon of Eire. The boy is indeed ready.” They both looked at Callum.

He stared at them both for a moment, before the shock of the situation began to fade. This was real. His father really was a god and this was really a dragon standing in front of him. “Ummmm, hey there,” He said, at a loss for words for the first time in his life. Lugh smile however the dragon seemed unimpressed.

“”Very well,” The Dragon began. “Let us begin your education.” Callum turned to say something to his father but the man was gone. It was just himself, the Dragon, the relics…and the dog.

“He forgot his dog,” Callum said simply.

“Not his dog, yours,” Aislinn replied. “Fiachra belongs to you now.”

Callum looked up at the majestic beast. “Fiachra,” He said and the wolfhound looked up from his post by the stump and the relics. He sighed. “Okay so…… Where do we start?”

“At the beginning of course.”

----------

Hours later, with Tom and the BBQ forgotten, Callum dove slowly home. Fiachra was asleep in the back seat. He’d wanted to sit up front with Callum but unfortunately he was too big. Callum wore the War-Hound Torc around his neck and the Badge of the Storm Dragon was pinned to his shirt under his jacket. Heartseeker, his gold and steel Scramasax lay sheathed on the passenger’s seat. Callum drove slowly; it had been a strange day and he had a lot to think about.

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