XIX
Again, they woke as dawn broke. Ailis had tendered beautifully to Inanna throughout the night and had even managed to pop her in a new nightdress. She couldn’t bear to send her off in that soiled and bedraggled rag. She had gently managed to wash the dried blood from Inanna’s face, arms and legs. Ailis had wondered who this animal was that could inflict such harm on a defenceless young woman. “Why she must be no older than nineteen”, she thought. She had daughters of her own and was immediately drawn to Inanna’s mother. She would be heartbroken to see...
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XVIII
Micheál went as fast as he could but the road was rough and full of potholes and he had to decide whether speed or gentleness was his best method. He would stop every now and then to check on Inanna and try to give her some water. He would hold her gently, tilting her head and opening her mouth just enough to get a little in. When she managed a cough he was elated. She was alive and conscious, finally. He had no idea how much damage Beircheart had caused in that short amount of time. Physical damage was one...
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XVII
Micheál had anticipated he would have to save Innana at some stage. He had sent messages out to the three local villages he would have to pass through to get to the healer. He requested warm fires, healing broths and soups, rugs and clean warm clothing. He made sure the villagers new Inanna was gravely ill. He was days away from any real help and he knew his chances of getting to the medicine woman with Inanna alive were slim, but he would take his chance. At least she would die while someone was trying to help her, rather than...
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XVI
The beatings got worse when one particular night and on one extremely rare occasion they made their way to the nearby village for an outing. Beircheart was particularly proud to show Inanna off and for a fleeting moment Inanna could forget her worries and enjoy herself. She absolutely adored music and loved dancing even more. When she danced she could feel her life force. She felt carefree and wild and let herself go completely – it was her happy place. She couldn’t remember the last time she danced, she thinks it was under the light of the full moon with...
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XV
She counted each one of them, thirteen in total. He stopped when her head hit the ground. He had literally knocked the life right out of her. When she came to later that night all was still and dark. She thought this was probably a better option than sleeping with him. She would avoid this at all costs. She lay on the cold, stone floor, her head throbbing and her face stinging. If she thought the wrath of her father was something to behold, then Beircheart’s was on another level. How she thought she could outrun this beast of a...
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XIV
Inanna awoke suddenly, her mother and sisters all shaking her excitedly – today was the big day. She had dreaded it since she was introduced to Beircheart. Her mother had laid out her own wedding dress on the bed for Inanna to wear. Millicent and Frances had been out early that morning foraging for flowers. They had gathered two baskets full and were so pleased with their efforts. The girls were in charge of the wedding bouquet. Inanna wanted nothing structured and neat, preferring natural and informal. She didn’t like fuss and she didn’t like bother and on this particular...
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XIII
She felt serene, weightless. Her body floated effortlessly through the water for what seemed like an eternity. Her struggle was over and with eyes wide open she traced the rays of the sun that had broken through the surface of the ocean. Finally she had succumbed and allowed the waves to carry her gently to her watery grave. Finally, she had learnt to surrender and let go. Let go of the pain, the sorrow, the hatred and the anger and in its place she felt profound peace. A warmth enveloped her heart and she felt a deep-seated love for everyone...
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XI
“Inanna, I’d like you to meet Beircheart Laird” Unattractive was the first word that came to mind; unattractive and unappealing. He was orange, and white – not at all to her taste and the polar opposite of her beloved Eamon. He was big too and his skin freckly and weathered. He had an oversized beard and she wondered what was hidden beneath his hat. His head was big and round, to match his 6 foot five build. To Inanna he was uninviting and very plain – there was nothing exotic about him at all. No depth to his eyes, no beauty...
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X
Inanna’s father was growing tired of her moping around – her silent presence fell thick and heavy on the house. Soon the whole vibration of the home matched hers and everyone seemed to walk around shrouded in an aura of sadness. When Inanna was young she used to lift the vibration of everyone in the house. She would paint, dance and sing. The whole room filled with her unique energy and you couldn’t help but feel happy and uplifted when she was around. But the mood had long changed and her father thought it was high time he did something...
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IX
Six months had passed and Inanna still only uttered a word when she had to. She started experiencing throat infections that were so bad she would be laid up in bed with high fevers and chills for weeks. The medicine woman from the neighbouring village visited almost daily. She would bring essential oils, harvested from the leaves, flowers and roots in the forest – Mother Nature always generously providing. Through a process of distillation she would extract the highly concentrated form of the plant, which contained its original medicinal properties. This art had been handed down from generation to generation....
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VIII
Her mother tried to hug her when she arrived home – she offered to bathe her and pop her into bed. “It was for the best Inanna” she murmured, not game enough to look her in the eye. Millie ran up to her, relieved at having her sister home; Frances took one look at her and knew without a shadow of a doubt, she would never have her sister home. She spent weeks in bed talking to no one. She would get up only to bathe on occasions. She had barely eaten in that time and her fragility was reflected...
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VII
How could Inanna ever think of marrying a lowly servant – a farm-boy – what was she thinking bringing disgrace to the family in that manner? In Eamon, Innana didn’t see a lowly worker, when she looked at him, she saw only his heart and in it - pure love. Inanna stood in her power initially – fighting for her right to choose, but her father only thought of her assertiveness as unladylike and aggressive. To Inanna being powerful meant you could be kind while still having healthy boundaries and not letting people push you around. Her father found this...
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VI
If it was possible to die of a broken heart – Inanna felt sure this would be her fate. Every single day was worse than the last, an unbearable darkness descended upon her. She took no joy in anything anymore – the anger had subsided and in its place lingered bitterness. She spent more and more time locked away in her bedroom refusing to interact with the outside world, refusing at times to even eat – her appetite lost. She couldn’t bear to look at her father and refused to speak to him – at the moment it was impossible...
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V
The first time they made love was raw but gentle. They had waited long enough and it was time to unleash the pent up energy inside. With Eamon she felt safe, so loved – it was unlike anything she had ever experienced. With him she felt whole and complete, understood and protected. He seemed to know exactly what her body wanted and needed at the time – seducing her with his gentle hands and adoring gaze. He was attentive and present – every time they made love he was present. She could give herself to him freely and uninhibited. She...
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IV
He lived in a tiny stone hut, not far from the main house, close to the stables. The hut had a bed and a fire place, with a little window framing the vast lake behind. Inanna had made a habit of sneaking quietly down there in the dead of night, once she was sure everyone was asleep. Her sisters were very good at covering for her when their father's suspicions were raised. When all was quiet, she'd run down the stairs, past the kitchen in her nightdress and bare feet. Her tousled hair fell naturally. Unkempt from laying in bed....
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III
Her life changed forever when, as a 16 year old girl, she looked out the window and saw a young man - the latest farmboy. Her father's harsh ways meant he went through them quite regularly and she was used to seeing men come and go: tending to the horses, keeping the hedges trimmed and the grounds neat and tidy. As soon as she locked eyes on him, she felt something stir deep inside her. It was a knowing - a warm feeling that sent flutters through her entire body. It would be days before she would meet him.   Inanna...
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II
Inanna was a striking girl. Even when she was young, she was sultry. Inviting. Different from her two sisters with dark brown hair falling to her shoulders framing her oval face and beautiful bone structure. Her light blue eyes and olive skin setting her apart from her fairer sisters. Both had light hair and green eyes, their temperament matched their fairer complexions and Inanna’s matched hers. She was feisty, and from a very young age expressed herself through her spoken word. Inanna didn't let anyone push her around: She held firm her beliefs and fought for her rights. Should anyone try...
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I
That familiar taste ran down the back of her throat as it had done so many times before. She stood staring out at the moonless sky, the river just a few feet away, barely visible in the darkness: a reflection of her own soul? Wasn't the new moon all about sewing the seeds of something new? New beginnings, new intentions, fresh starts? The pain wasn't so bad. It was his words that ran over and over in her mind - keeping her enslaved: Worthless Useless Weak Pathetic Whore They were said so often and with such vigour, they had become...
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