I grew up listening to my Irish grandmother’s stories about the Fae, including her encounter with a Banshee in her family’s cellar when she was a teenager. Of her many stories, this is my favorite, and I love to share it every Halloween. Enjoy!
Bumped by the Banshee
by Celia Breslin
… I lived in a large two-story house with my parents, younger sister, and grandmother. It was a cold, winter evening, nothing special or out of the ordinary. My family dined together, then my sister and I cleaned up while our parents and grandmother drank tea. We joined them at the dining table to do our homework, but my grandmother said she was tired and went upstairs to bed. My parents followed shortly after that, but my father paused on the landing.
“Maeve, it’s going to be a cold night. Fetch us some coal, please.”
I abandoned my homework, grabbed the empty coal bucket from the kitchen, and went down into the cellar. I filled my bucket and returned to the stairs. I had one foot on the first step when the temperature in the cellar, already cold, dropped dramatically. Chills ran down my back. Behind me, someone moaned.
But how could that be? I was alone...
Terror rooted me to the spot. The keening grew louder. I dropped my bucket and covered my ears. A cold wind bumped against my back. I stumbled forward as the shrieking wind rushed over me and up the stairs.
But how could that be? The cellar had no windows...
Above me, the cellar door slammed shut. The sound broke me from my stupor. I screamed and ran up the stairs and out of the cellar, through the kitchen and dining room, and up the stairs to my room. My parents and sister found me under my bed, shaking like a puppy lost in a snowstorm.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” They asked me, while pulling me from my hiding place.
“I heard the Banshee wail.”
We stared at each other in silence, all of us reaching the same conclusion moments later. We hurried to my grandmother’s room.
She was dead.
Copyright 2018, Celia Breslin. All rights reserved.
Find Celia and her books
Tranquilli Bloodline #1
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San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli works hard, plays hard, and never allows the death of her parents and her twelve-year memory gap to get her down. But her life takes a left turn when a witch attacks her on her twenty-fifth birthday.
Three hauntingly familiar vampires emerge to reveal she possesses a latent power. To protect her from their enemies, they admit to wiping her memories clean and abandoning her as a child, but now they need her help. As she struggles to evade her new protectors and even newer enemies, she meets Alexander, an enigmatic, undead musician. Insta-lust flares, leaving her wanting more.
With evil’s minions hounding her every move, and everything she thought she knew turned on its head, Carina must harness her burgeoning power, unravel her vampire family’s web of deceit, and fight to have a love life...without getting killed in the process.
Excerpt Carina and Alexander’s First Date:
… My hands roamed from his chest to his biceps. Smooth and solid, no hint of flab. Want you to wrap them around my body while you take me from behind. My little fantasy expelled the air from my lungs in a loud rush. Energy pulsed from my hands, hot and bubbly. His muscles twitched in response.
“Adrian was amused I’d followed a girl into the club.” His hands curved around my waist. “Until he realized it was you. He told me who you were, but he wasn’t happy about it.”
“What did you do then?” My voice wavered, his touch devastating, distracting.
His grip tightened. “I left.”
“The law according to Thomas. Your club is off-limits to all non-humans, except on Sundays. You yourself are off-limits to all vampires every day. Or you were then, anyway.”
I frowned. “You’re saying my uncle forbade you to see me?” This was so Romeo and Juliet. I didn’t like it. That story never ended well.
A hand slid to my back, pressing possessively. “Yes.”
I rolled my eyes. Thomas, interfering in my life. Again. “How long did you obey?”
His eyes narrowed. “Too long. But I sensed your presence after that whenever you were nearby. You spend a lot of time in my neighborhood after dark.”
“Adrian said the exact thing to me.” I bit my lip. Oops, now he knew I was talking about him. I felt myself blush like a crushing teenager.
He grinned at my discomfort. “You were hard to avoid. So I stopped trying. I showed up at the museum though I knew Thomas would intercept me. But it was worth it, to have you finally see me. I had to know.”
Talk time was over. We stared. And stared. And stared some more.
His smoky blue eyes bled to black and his power pushed at me, hot and hard, causing a response inside me, like a rumbling volcano deep in my core. My eyes widened. Was this the power my family had mentioned? No longer dormant and infinitely more intense than a little static electricity in my palms.
Alexander crushed his lips to mine. Need roared through me leaving me breathless with edgy hunger.
My hands burrowed into his thick, silky hair, holding his head as if he might try to escape. He growled his approval against my lips, his kiss growing more insistent. His tongue explored my mouth. He tasted metallic, like the blood he’d consumed. Again, I found I liked the taste. My tongue danced with his and delved into his mouth, searching for more penny metal flavor. He groaned and tightened his embrace.
I thought we’d devour each other forever, but Alexander stiffened and his head snapped up. His eyes glinted black as night, wild with lust and...aggression? He bared his teeth in a snarl, canines morphing into fangs. Long, sharp, lethal.
On instinct, I pushed against his chest to get some distance between those teeth and my neck. He ignored me, head whipping around to survey the room. A feral growl erupted from his throat and he shoved me under the table.
My cries of protest were drowned out by animalistic roars and breaking furniture. From my spot under the table, I felt around on the bench for my coat, all the while keeping an eye on the room. Dark blurs flitted back and forth, pieces of table and chair flew by...Bingo. My coat. I searched the pocket for my phone. Once in hand, I hit the button for my boys.
The fighting around me stopped. The familiar techno ring tone of Mark’s phone broke the sudden silence. He’s here?
The table above me was tossed away. Steel hands grabbed my legs and dragged me, face down. I dropped the phone and flattened my palms on the floor, trying to resist. One hand bumped into a steak knife and I grabbed it. My assailant flipped me over and lunged. I aimed for his heart but the knife plunged into his throat. …