Fiona traveled back in time and when she opened her eyes she was in front of
Castle Athdara. “Okay. I hope I did this right.” She looked around. Statues
could be seen everywhere, sparkling with marble flecks. The bushes and trees
were immaculately groomed into shapes. “I’m here.”
There were no guards around
the castle. Fiona went through the main door. The aroma of roasted goose
surrounded her. “Yum. It must be supper time.”
“Who are you?” A young boy
with dark hair and eyes stared up at her. He held a book in his hands.
“My name is Fiona. I’m here
to see your mum. Is she here?”
“Mama. Mama.” Prince Rayad
ran into the main hall. His mother sat there with the three other children.
“There’s a woman here to see you, Mama.” He stood behind her.
Queen Sarmantha watched as
Fiona walked towards her. “Hello, young lady. Can I help you in some way?
Are you lost? Do you need something to eat?”
Fiona grinned at the family.
“I’m fine. My name is Fiona. May I please talk with you, alone?”
The queen clapped her hands.
A young woman came running out. “Nicolette, please take the children into
the play room. I have an appointment.”
The little ones ran over to
their nanny without argument and she took them out of ear’s reach.
“Fiona, you say? How can I
help you?” The queen gave Fiona her attention. “I haven’t heard that name
before. Where do you come from?”
“I need you to listen to me.
What I am about to tell you is the truth. I am from the future. I live in
the 21st century and I have come through a time portal to here. I
know all about you and your family and tomorrow you will all be murdered by
King Dugan’s men.”
“What? Who are you? Who sent
you to do this?” The queen stood and paced the floor.
“Queen Sarmantha, I am not
lying.” Fiona showed her the necklace. “Your husband wore this but King
Dugan cuts your husband’s head off, tomorrow, and keeps it, passing it down
through the generations until a man named Drayton gets it.”
“The necklace. Where is my
“He’s in the 21st
century. I have come back to get you and your children and take you there to
be with him. It is not safe here. Johnny, I mean, Alroy Cathmore is there
too and all the twelve men that the king sent out with the jewels from
“How do you know all of
“Because I am telling the
truth. I’m your descendant. You’re my great great something grandmother
through Isabella or Anna.”
“My Isabella and Anna?
They’re alive?” The queen wept.
“Yes. They never died, at
least not by the hands of King Dugan. They came to this castle to be with
you, but found out you’d all died. They married local men and had families.
I am from one of those families. You have to believe me. You are in grave
danger and so are your little ones,” Fiona said.
“Nicolette, bring the
children here,” Queen Sarmantha said, clapping her hands. “Fiona, show us
what to do.”
“Nicolette and all of your
staff need to come too, your servants, I mean. They will be killed if you
leave them here.” Fiona glanced around the room. “Everyone will be.”
“Nicolette, go and gather
the cooks and everyone you can find. Have them meet us in front of the
castle. Hurry.” The queen gathered her little ones around her.
Once everyone was there,
Fiona led them through the portal into Angus’s croft. Nobody was there.
“Just wait here. King Kegan will come shortly. Anyone who walks through that
door is your friend. Don’t be afraid. See, there’s the orb and there is
Alroy’s book. Sit on the settee and be comfortable. I’ll be right back. I’ve
got some unfinished business in Zanaad.” Fiona disappeared through the time
Mairi and Angus felt like
they had walked forever. “Elspet, how far are you taking us? What is it that
you want to show us?” Angus was out of breath. “I can’t go any further.”
“It’s just around those
trees,” Callum said.
“I don’t believe you two,”
Mairi said. “I think this is some con game to lure us away from the croft.
What’s going on? Spit it out, Elspet. I’m no dummy.”
“All right,” Elspet said,
unable to lie to Mairi. “Fiona went back in time again. She needed us to get
you out of the way.”
“What? Where did she go?”
Mairi stomped her foot.
“She didn’t tell us really,
but she’ll be fine,” Elspet said.
“That girl! Wait until I see
her. I’ll give her a good talking to. We’re going back to the croft. Come
on, Angus,” Mairi said. “You two come along. You’re not getting off that
When they opened the croft
door, there sat Queen Sarmantha in all her finery, her four children and an
assortment of servants. Mairi’s mouth fell open. “Hello. Are you Queen
The queen stood. Her deep
maroon dress hung to the floor. “I am Queen Sarmantha.”
Callum shouted, “Cool. This
must be Prince Cerdic, Princess Gelis, Prince Rayad and Princes Gilian. I’m
Callum. This is Elspet.”
The children were unsure of
how to react. “Do you like cats?” Elspet took Gilian’s hand. She nodded.
“Would you all like to see the cats? There are a lot of them.”
“Go ahead, children.
Nicolette, go with them,” the queen said.
“I’m not sure who all the
rest of you are, but you’re welcome in my home,” Angus said.
They bowed and curtsied and found a place to sit. The queen introduced her
servants and then they sat, listening to Mairi’s story, from the beginning.