TITLE: Ciara's Tale
GENRE: YA Historical
Ciara didn't want to be a druidess.
She dragged the comb through the tangled masses of her hair and sighed, knowing she could never speak of it to anyone. Certain death waited if that fatal secret escaped.
Her maid gasped behind her and Ciara flinched. Had she spoken the dreaded words aloud? But Eabha had only uncovered a field mouse cowering in a dusty corner. She whisked the intruder out with her broom and bustled about the sleeping chamber, humming while she straightened the fur blankets.
Ciara finished plaiting her hair and repressed another sigh. She had hidden the secret for as long as she could remember. No one knew, not even her beloved father, and she had never kept anything else from him. And now in a shrouded corner of her mind another seed of doubt had swollen like the plump green buds of spring's primroses -- what if the gods weren't as all-powerful as she had been taught from her childhood?
Ciara shivered. She could never let the secrets escape. But winter's seed had rooted as the feast of Beltane approached to celebrate the returning sun. Its tiny head pushed toward the surface of her mind like the shoots that sprouted from the awakening earth outside. At any time it could burst out of her, like bodies in the great bog suddenly surfaced after years hidden below its treacherous skin.