My mum's side of the family is Irish, ridiculously Irish. Growing up I always had a slight accent which thickened after spending time with my grandparents. My grandfather is probably the most important person in my life, I love him very much and was practically his shadow when I was younger, wherever he was, I was two steps behind him. Our favourite thing to do together was sitting in front of the fire with our cups of tea and biscuits and he'd tell me stories. Some about his childhood, some works of fiction, some life lessons and some would be so spooky that I had to sleep on the floor next to his and Nanna's bed. But my favourite stories were the stories based on folklore. What was my favourite? The Banshee. 

For those of you who don't know what the legend of the Banshee, my grandfather explained to me that the Banshee was the full body apparition of a woman so beautiful, it was almost unnatural, with pale skin and long bright hair. She had been cursed with the ability to foresee the death of people, and her responsibility with this curse is to be the messenger of death. He would say the if I was to ever hear her crying or ever heard her scream, I would know that the life of a loved one, would soon be over. Something that he would always make a point to say was that the Banshee wasn't an evil or malicious spirit. She was simply sick of seeing death and hated being the one to tell people that death was at hand. 
I always enjoyed hearing stories about her. I never thought she was real, I was always under the impression that the Banshee was just another work of fiction by my grandfather. But she's real. I can tell you that. my first encounter was when I was 12, now I have always been supernaturally sensitive. I used to see my great grandparents almost every night, my great nanna would tuck me in and my great pop would hum/whistle till I fell asleep.

Anyways, I was at my grandparents farm walking around early in the morning with my dog, Bowie. It was winter, so you can imagine it was freezing! Probably around 4 or 5 degrees (Celsius), so I was bundled up like a little burrito strolling around the property, Bowie and I checking on the sheep, cows and bulls. I had made a decent amount of distance between the house and myself, so I decided to sit on a rock next to a small stream just in front of the bushland. Not long after doing so, I began to hear a strange noise, I didn't know if it was the wind or  a fox, possibly a guinea fowl. Bowie had heard it too, a very low growl was coming from his mouth, I felt a cloud of dread settle in my stomach, I didn't think I was alone anymore, I knew something was wrong. I took off my ear covers and pushed my beanie above and behind my ears, the noise was coming from the trees behind me. The only way I can describe what I heard that day, is sadness, it just sounded like despair. I stood and moved closer to the trees, Bowie showing his protest by growling much louder. The figure of a person emerges from the early morning fog. They're walking, no they're floating ever so slowly. The noise is clearer, they're crying, crying like they had just received the most terrible, awful news imaginable, I walk closer, my curiosity got the better of me. The floating figure comes closer as well, it's a woman. The most stunningly beautiful woman I have ever seen, in a long silver evening gown that's seen its fair share of bad days. Her hair was windswept and orange like a burning fire, her eyes, however looked as though they belonged to another person. They were tired and puffy, red as if they had been shedding tears everyday for the past decades. Those eyes met mine, they stopped crying for a few seconds, I stared in a trance and the world around me seemed to have stopped. After the longest minute I have ever lived through, her mouth opened in a sickeningly inhuman way and an eardrum-piercing, blood curdling scream emanated from it. Bowie began to bark and snarl at the woman, then ran off back to the house. I didn't move, I didn't cover my ears, I stared at her, I wasn't thinking, I don't even know what I was doing. She finally stopped the dreadful scream, not breaking eye contact, she mumbled something under her breath. This is when I got my sense and backed away quickly, turned around and booked it back to the house, when I reached the gate I turned back, she was gone. But I still felt her presence. I shook off my uneasy feeling and ran to find my grandfather, he was carrying wood from the shed to the house, I fell to my knees and cried. I couldn't get out anything but a single sentence;
"I saw a banshee..."

A week later my cousin died in her sleep, her heart just stopped.
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