Author's Note: Lindsey and Marie here. We've finally come to the end of this story...for now! Yes, you heard correctly! We will be writing a sequel! However, until then, please enjoy this final installment of Feet of Flames. As always, Feet of Flames and Lord of the Dance belong to the genius of Michael Flately.
Five Years Later...
"Micheál!" Saoirse called into the open door of her and Ceól's home.
A small child tumbled out; a boy of about five, with dusty curly hair and bright grey-blue eyes. He had a white shirt on that was almost too big, black pants, and hard shoes with tiny silver heels.
Saoirse smiled down at her son, offering him her hand. "Come on, you don't want to be late!" Micheál nodded and trotted along side his mother, his shoes clicking a little as they hit the ground. Saoirse, in a long white dress and soft shoes, guided Micheál along through the all-too familiar path through the woods to their people's favorite clearing.
When they were only a tree's thickness away, Saoirse stopped, slowly kneeling down in front of her son. "Are you ready?" she asked.
"I...I think so, Mama," he replied. Saoirse smiled, pressing a small kiss into her son's curly hair before standing again, walking into the clearing.
She watched carefully as Micheál's eyes went wide, looking at all the men and women dancing all around in bright, flowing colors, music swirling all around them. The women laughed as their partners lifted them high into the air, their tightly curled hair and free skirts flying in all directions.
"Lá breithe sona, Michaél," Saoirse whispered, smiling at her son as he continued to look around in wonder.
Firinne danced up to the mother-son pair breathless and smiling in her blue outfit, her tightly curled brown hair still slinging around her. "What do you think?" she asked, kneeling down to his level. "Are you excited?"
"Very," he replied, the first word he'd said since he took in the scene before him.
"You have a few steps, don't you, Michaél?" Saoirse prompted, scooting her son foreword a little. "Don't be shy, mo mhac. Go on!"
Stumbling a little, the young boy regained his balance quickly before glancing around at the smiling, expectant faces, waiting for his first steps. Michaél took a deep breath, and started, his steps slow, cautious, and almost anxious; being such a small boy in such a large audience, one can understand his nerves.
As he picked up a little bit of speed, Saoirse noticed a little bit of golden sparks began to twinkle off his shoes. And, suddenly, one or two landed together, and there sprouted a pure white flower with golden veins. Michaél's small audience gasped, then broke into applause, causing the small boy to blush.
A strong, deep laughter filled the air, and Michaél's eyes widened with delight. "Papa!" he cried, running towards his father.
"Oh!" Ceól laughed, catching his son and lifting him high in the air. "You did well, mo éan. Very well."
"Thank you, Papa," Michaél smiled, once Ceól had sat him down again. The little boy ran back to his first performance, plucking the flower and looking around, trying to see who to give it to.
Saoirse walked over to her husband, trying not to laugh as their son found Nóinín, John and Firnne's daughter of about the same age, and presented her with the flower. "Like his Uncle John already," she winked, laughing again as Ceól rolled his eyes.
"I wouldn't say that just yet, my dear," Ceól smiled. "Just the other day..." his voice faded out as Saoirse glanced around her and was smiling at her sweet son as he kissed Nóinín on the cheek, when she noticed a movement out of the corner of her eye. Glancing that direction, she caught a glimpse of something, just for a second, something she couldn't quite place. It was a red shade...
"Saoirse? Saoirse! Are you all right?"
"Oh!" She exclaimed, shaking her head a little. "I'm sorry, mo ghrá, I just...thought I saw something over there."
"It's all right, banríon mo," Ceól soothed, turning Saoirse's gaze back to her family. "We're safe now. That chapter is over, and your new one is about to begin."
Saoirse smiled as Michaél ran back to his father, hugging one of his legs. She looked around her at her wonderful family of dancers, and back to her husband as he gently placed a hand on her blossoming stomach. "Our new chapter," she corrected, and The Lord and Lady of the Dance shared a sweet kiss.
"Let the new chapter begin!" Ceól shouted, and Síochána threw her magic in the air; music filled the clearing again.
All the adults leapt out into the glen, their hard shoes clicking on the wood floor. Ceol danced at the head of the formation, then he waved everyone to a halt. He signaled with his arms, creating two sets of four bangs.
As everyone began dancing without music, sections of the floor began to rise up, lifting the dancers into the air on enormous wooden stairs. On the front of each section was a different color of Eire, causing Síochána to wink at the children.
The two children gazed in awe at the spectacle before them, catching a glimpse of the future they would someday share with their families. Someday, they would learn that there was a much larger world beyond Erin's Isle, and not everyone in it was friendly. Until then, they were content to live in Planet Ireland, dancing with the spirits of the earth.
And the Dance never stopped.
Lá breithe sona, Michaél-Happy birthday, Michaél
Mo mhac-My son
Mo éan-My bird
Mo ghrá-My love
Banríon mo-My queen