The third book in the Witches of Galdorheim series, Scotch Broom, is set in the Scottish Highlands. Of course, I had to include at least one fairy in the mix or I’d be violating some unwritten fantasy rule.
If you write Celtic fantasy, then you know that Sidhe is pronounced Shee in Ireland and Sith in Scotland. I wonder where George Lucas got Sith lords? Hmm.
Anyway, I found a particular sidhe I liked. She’s a big black cat with a white chest. Aha! I happen to have the model for said cat (in a much reduced size) sitting at my door every morning demanding a handout. We call her Bitch Kitty. Yes, she has attitude in spades. So, there’s my model for Cait Sidhe, a companion to my erstwhile heroine, Katya.
Katya has already found two companions: Sianach a stag and Cusith (another sidhe) a giant, green hound. They’re tromping through the swamps trying to find the Trow King’s hall in the middle of the Otherworld (the alternate magic world in the Scottish Highlands).
They marched on in a straight line, having no better idea of which direction to go, while Cusith zigzagged ahead of them with his nose close to the earth. Suddenly, the green hound raised his head and bayed. A moment later he galloped across the moor, water splashing when his huge paws hit the tiny pools.
“What’s up with him?” Katya asked.
Sianach lifted his chin for a better view. “He appears to be in pursuit of an animal of
“I hope he’s not hurting some little swamp creature.”
“If he is, then the beast is making Cusith pay for the privilege.”
Katya and Sianach walked faster after Cusith, the dog’s trail marked by flying grass and water. When Cusith finally stopped, Katya and Sianach trotted to catch up. The hound was standing over something furry and black that lay on the ground beneath his huge paw.
Don’t hurt it,” Katya called out. Cusith turned his head toward her, tongue lolling.
“I won’t. It’s not food.”
Katya reached Cusith’s side and knelt down to examine the raggedy clump of ebony fur. It leapt up, scrabbling for a foothold, but Cusith clamped his paw down harder to hold it still.
“It’s a cat!” Katya said. She reached out with her mind, but met the same blank wall she had with Sianach and Cusith. So, she tried the old-fashioned way. “Here kitty, kitty. Nice kitty.” An ear-splitting yowl almost knocked Katya back on her rear.
“I am not your ‘nice kitty,’ you rude thing! I am Cait Sidhe, I’ll have you know. Surely, this stag . . . and mutt . . . have heard of me.”
Sianach, who stood to one side to stay out of the fray, nodded his elegant head. “Yes, I know you. Not that it is a pleasure.”
The cat hissed and swiped a pawful of razor sharp claws across Cusith’s foot. The big dog quickly released the black cat. “Sorry, Cait,” Cusith said. “Just having some fun.”
Cait sat up and licked a couple of swipes over the white spot on her chest. “Now you’ve covered me with mud. It’ll take hours to get clean again.”