Samhain. In Ireland that means barmbrack, sweet fruit bread slathered in butter. The children sat around the turf fire, giggling, said ta mammy as they each took a slice.

In the barmbrack there was always a rag meaning poverty, a coin meaning riches, and a ring for the one who’d marry within the year.

The babe got the coin, spat it out with a half smile; riches but no husband this year. The oldest got the rag, sulked.

The middle child smiled, ate quick for her prize. Too quick; she started to choke.

And outside a bean sidhe wailed.

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