HAPPY FRIDAY! I’M A COLLEGE GRAD! WHY CAN’T I STOP SHOUTING?!
Okay. I’m good.
Wasn’t sure what to give you guys for today. Actually, as I type this I’m still not sure. Here goes nothing… *chooses at random*
“They spoke Scots Gaelic, you said?”
Emily nodded. “I understood bàs, but that was all.”
“Bàs a’ fèitheam?” Iain asked. Hearing the words, the solemnity of them, though she had no clear sense of their meaning, brought goose flesh prickling slow and sure over her skin.
“Yes,” she whispered, rubbing her arms in an attempt to warm herself.
Iain nodded in the manner of a man confirming that his worst fears have come true. “It means ‘Death waiting.’ My family calls them the Cat Taibhse—Ghost Cat—though they’re more commonly known as the Cat Bàs, the Dead or Death Cat. Their name comes from the truth of what they are. Most who encounter them don’t live to tell of it.”
The sound of a breath being sucked in prompted him to look at Emily. He smiled, and though there was both apology and sympathy in it, he offered no comments on Ryan’s condition. “Their claws send poison into the bloodstream. First comes the collapse and the sleep, known as the Cadal Marbh or Sleep of the Dead. When they wake, they believe death surrounds them. They refuse to be treated and fight it violently, believing all those around them are the dead or dying, come to take them to the land of the dead. With that comes the Fiabhras Marbh, or Dead Fever, paranoia, and dehydration because they refuse all food and drink, thinking them to be contaminated by the dead.
“Awake, they believe those around them are the dead or dying, ghosts or near ghosts. They fight being taken into the shadow world and more often than not die resisting food and water, driven mad by hallucinations of ghosts around them that take the form of those they love. Asleep, they dream of death, whether their own or that of those they love. They may witness deaths they witnessed or dream countless scenarios in which their loved ones die, again and again. They die fevered, hungry, and terrified, or if they survive the Fiabhras, are often haunted by nightmares for years if not their entire lives. Most die because they’re left alone and isolated, and the collapse comes on within twenty minutes of attack. Left alone, a single clawing can bring death.”