Human Child was my first novel, written partially during my undergrad and partially during my Masters. I was unable to get it published (which in retrospect may be a good thing), but I learned a lot from writing it and still have a soft spot for it.
A burnt child loves the fire
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
A Changeling. A sick, rejected fairy child left in the place of a human. What would you do if your child was stolen and one of these was left behind?
Eithne’s Granddad believed in fairies. The only way to be sure was fire. Fairies are scared of fire. This case of mistaken identity left Eithne with scars on her face neck ensuring that the memory of the incident haunts her.
Now, age 12 in 1950s Ireland, strange things start happening to her and she begins to believe that maybe the fairies were after her all those years ago, and maybe they’ve come back.
Chapter 1 – Cattle Branding
Eithne was three when Father burned her. She was sitting in front of the fireplace, playing. Father was in the pub. Mama was out visiting old Mrs. John-Joe, bringing her a cake ‘for her ailments.’ Mama never specified how this helped her but Eithne was always disappointed when she got sick and was denied cake. Daidó was supposed to be watching her, but in reality he was asleep in the rocking chair – his pipe hovering precariously. Eithne couldn’t remember where Seán was that night but it didn’t matter. He wouldn’t have been able to help. The others weren’t born yet but it wouldn’t be long before Patsy arrived. A new child just in time to replace the old damaged one.