Blood Wedding

Jack Merry here. Let me put aside Emma Bull’s Finder: A Novel of the Borderland which I’ve been reading this foggy evening. Do have a pint of Dragons Breath XXXX Stout with me while I tell you a tale…

Depending on how you figure it, it’s either late summer or early fall here on the border even though it’s barely past Summer Solstice. What that means in either case is that it’s time to shift into the Winter mode of being here at the Green Man offices. Both our Oak King for this coming year, Paul Brandon, and our Winter Queen, Josepha Sherman, have been making use of the offices we set aside for visiting writers of note. Now admittedly both of them seem to be more interested in the music and drink in the Pub, but that’s fairly typical of all who are here for any length of time. (Josepha’s fond of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, but will drink anything so long as it’s not light beer.) And both are very fond of the twice told tales they hear in the Pub. Why, Old Willie, an Irish poet we knew all too well, could spend days upon end in the Pub, telling the most amazin’ tales!

A story oft times repeated here is of the Seelie Court wedding in the Great Hall where bloody near everything went wrong. Now how much of it is true, and how much is pure embellishment down the years matters not. As I’ve heard it from Reynard and others who were there — I was elsewhere gigging on that Hallows Eve — the bride and groom were, as might be guessed, a member of the Seelie Court and a mortal who should’ve known better than fall in love with the Queen of the Seelie Court. (Who was every bit as beautiful as Emma Bull was as the Summer Queen is in the War for the Oaks video.) But then Reynard noted the groom never had the best luck at picking his betrothed as he’d been nearly wedded to a selkie once! That said, he was a regular fiddler in the Neverending Session so we had to wish him well.

(A word from me, Reynard. He owed me money from the last poker game he played in here, so I’d hoped that he could make good on his debts. Should’ve known that bastard would find a way out again!)

What else went wrong? Oh, some of the guests thought that other guests were food. And those guests got even more upset when Queen of the Seelie Court started tearing the flesh from their King. (Being foliate, he did look like a large salad of sorts, or so said the Queen.) The resulting fight was epic on par with the wedding of Branwen and the King of Ireland, at which Branwen’s brother incited a serious fracas by insulting the Irish guests. It was part really nasty food fight, part slapstick comedy (with language Lenny Bruce would’ve blushed at), and with blood tinged red, green, and otherwise everywhere. It was fortunate that swords, knives, and even spells had been banned from the Great Hall or more than broken teeth, crippled wings, and damaged egos would’ve happened. Reynard says it was a sight for all the Fey to realize their spells wouldn’t work inside the Great Hall!

The groom apparently decided that marrying Her Royalness was not the best idea he had of late, so he grabbed his fiddle, his kit bag, and much of the faerie gold that was a gift to the not-to-be wed couple. Now I know and you know that faerie gold is likely to vanish in the morning sun once it’s carried over the mortal border, but he seemed not to care. Fiddle in one hand, a bottle of Midnight Wine in the other hand, pockets full, and his travelling kit over his shoulder, he was last seen headed not towards the mortal border, but deeper into the faerie realms. The Queen Herself along with the Wild Hunt, was fast on his track…

All I know is that poor Tom was never seen here ‘gain…

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