by Brigid O'Connor
Past a moor, north as the crow flies, you will find an old ruin crumbling into decay, windows long gone.
At sunset, people of a certain temperament feel drawn towards the ruin which lies beneath the bleeding sun. Their hands reach towards it, they seek heat to warm their bones.
Here is where lies their folly, heat has centuries ago leaked from this ivy covered ruin, all that's left now is the unrelenting cold of the otherworld. Those brave enough to feel the chill of the time after the flat line of life echoes no more, enter through the doors.
If you stand still in the great hall close to dusk, you will see the muslin-shrouded image of a boy aged seventeen.
Look closely if you dare and see the blonde lock of hair sweep over his black eyelashed, sapphire blue, eyes.
By his side a girl of maybe sixteen holds his ghostly hand, black ringlets cascade down her back.
She leans into him, always.
He was rumoured to be a fine soldier, but not brave enough to defy the generations of his family who had chosen his bride.
On the eve of his wedding he used his favourite sword to remove him and his true love to another realm.
Only the living cried.
The boy and his love would rather have faced eternity than live a living death in this world, where a boy could not marry a serving girl.
Listen hard enough, and you will sense them smile.