The Fey

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Our protagonist Liam learns his family has always had the second sight and it was only hidden from him. Now hes in over his head with trouble from The Fey.

Submitted: May 23, 2012

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Submitted: May 23, 2012

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Chapter 1-Secondsight

The leaves crackled as I walked down the narrow path through the woods that leads to the outskirts of town. It was a roundabout way to get home from school, but I enjoyed the extra half hour of quiet time when the bend in the road took me far enough away from the city that I could no longer hear the cars rushing to their destinations.

It is an area that seems almost out of place in today’s world, one of those rare areas of nature that has yet to be disturbed by man’s hand. It is a beautiful, and peaceful place to be, but there is one place in particular I loved the most in the woods; continuing down the road almost to the end of the bend, and turning to the left I can see the remnants of what I guess used to be a road. Following this path leads me extremely deep into the woods to the point where the trees barely let the sun in; the woods feel very old there, and sometimes it even feels as if someone is watching me. We all know the feeling, your hair stands up on the back of your neck, and you turn, but nothing is there, that feeling of being watched doesn’t go away though. Once I was reading in the woods and fell asleep, when I awoke I could have sworn I heard music.

Towards the end of the trail it begins to open up until a medium sized meadow comes into sight. It has always reminded me of the stories my grandmother told me of the Faeries when I was a little boy; not the American westernized Faerie tales, but the stories of the Fair Folk, beautiful, but dangerous, the Seelie, and Unseelie courts, and the Faeries that belong to no court, and live in our woods, and sometimes even in our cities. There is a small spring on the far edge of this meadow that holds the most clear, pure water I have ever seen; I have tried to find the source of this water many times, but to no avail; it sits there completely still reflecting everything like a mirror. I have always found this area enchanting and enjoy going there just to sit and think.

So on a whim I decided to take a walk down that path today before going home, it had been overcast all day, and the air was alive with the energy you feel just before a storm. The trail was littered with leaves of red, and gold that skittered across the ground as the wind blew them about. Entering the meadow I walked across, and sat down next to the spring looking at my reflection in the water.

My black bangs hung messily in my face, and my brown shoes had a few dirt stains on them, my tie hung loosely from the collar of my white button down, and my gray sweater had brown elbow patches that matched my brown pants. Closing my eyes I just sat there, listening to the wind, and the sounds of the forest for a few minutes taking in the peace and wonder of nature; when I opened them again I saw my reflection, and standing behind me an elderly women robed completely in black.

Jumping to my feet, and turning, I took the women behind me in; she was extraordinarily skinny, and stood hunched over leaning heavily on a cane she held in her left hand. The black robe cloaked her entire body hiding her eyes, and giving her an ominous appearance; She stood there completely still, saying nothing, doing nothing, after a few moments the surprise had began to fade, and it had begun to feel awkward; I stood waiting for the women to do or say anything, the wind would occasionally pick up, and throw her cloak around, slowly I began to get the feeling that this woman did not wish me well, and I began planning my escape. Suddenly I became aware of the lack of sound in the woods, no birds were singing, not a single sound could be heard; far-off the wind picked up again, and rushed toward us, it sounded as if a wave of air was coming, and when it reached us her hood was blown off revealing she had only one eye.

Backing towards the lake as far as I could I stopped, and stared in wonder, and horror as she slowly advanced toward me. As the women got near she lifted one withered finger pointed at me, and spoke in a quiet voice that awakened a fear in me that I had not known existed,

“You have been awakened, you will be needed very soon, and you will not return.”

She then faded away; no loud pops or smoke, she just vanished. The heavens chose that moment to open up, and rain began to pour down, and I was left soaked, astonished, confused, and afraid of what had happened.


Back at home I sat with my grandmother explaining what I had just seen, she had always been the person I was closest to in my family, and went to with questions as a little boy; it was she who had taught me of the Faeries when I was little. She told me stories of the Seelie court, and their one time benevolence towards humans until they had slowly begun to become more and more cruel, and of the Unseelie court, their violence, destruction, and barbaric rituals. I always remembered her saying when I was little,

“The Fair Folk are a dangerous people, they can be a valuable ally, and cannot lie when asked a question, but they never give a straight answer, and they never give without expecting something in return. You will always pay a heavy price. There are many theories as to what the faeries actually are, but I believe they are lost angels, not evil enough to be demons such as those who fell with Lucifer, but not quite good enough for heaven. You have to be careful out there Liam.”

And my mother in the background doing chores saying,

“Stop filling his head with stories, faeries are not real.”

Every once in a great while though when my mother thought I was to busy playing to notice what the adults were doing I would catch her giving my grandmother a stern look and shaking her head. My grandmother had only said,

“ If we are lucky he will never know, but if we are not, well he needs to at least know the stories, they can save your life.”

As a child none of this meant anything to me, and I had put it out of my mind.

I had run home to find her sitting in her customary spot; she occupied a rocking chair by the woodstove in our family room always sitting with some novel she was reading. Always she wore an iron chain around her neck, and sat covered in a light shawl; as I explained what had happened my grandmother’s face normally happy drew taught, and looked stressed, she closed her novel, set it down, and said,

“What you saw is called a Likho, they are a symbol of evil in Slavic folklore. You’re lucky you weren’t eaten.”

“Wait a minute, what I saw was real? And you said Slavic folklore, as in Faeries? They’re real? They exist? All the stories you told me as a child are true?”

My grandmother sat quietly awaiting the end of my questions then nodded solemnly,

“Yes our family has the second sight, all of us can see the Fey.”

“Then why haven’t I seen any until now? I take that trail home everyday, and I have not once seen anything out of the ordinary.”

“Your mother, and I wanted to spare you the problems that come with dealing with the Fair Folk, when you were just an infant I took you a Faerie of the Seelie court and made a deal to have her hide your second sight. We thought life would be easier for you if you could just exist as a normal child would. It was the strongest glamour I have ever seen performed to trick your own eyes into not seeing what is standing in front of you. If someone has removed this or awakened it as the Likho said then someone very powerful must have plans for you. You need to be careful.”

Her hands went up to the iron chain that hung around her neck and she handed to me.

“As you know iron burns the fair folk, wear this at all times, and if you should be called by the Seelie or Unseelie court do not eat or drink. Both courts are dangerous although the Seelie court is known to be slightly more benevolent towards humans they can be the more dangerous of the two. Their promises are enticing, and sometimes the most dangerous things are those that appear to be the most helpful.”

That night as I lay in bed looking out the window into the woods I couldn’t help, but wonder what was out there waiting for me. All my life I had believed that magic didn’t exist, and fairy tails were told to teach children to behave. But now the stories of babies being abducted, and replaced with changelings, people visiting the faerie courts, and leaving only to find out a hundred years had passed, flashed through my brain. Humans thought that they had no reason to be afraid of the dark but the truth is there are things we can’t begin to imagine out there. As I was falling asleep my mother and grandmothers voice drifted upstairs from the living room

“I thought you said the glamour wouldn’t wear off. For the price we paid we should find her.” Said my mother angrily.

“It did not wear off.” Replied my grandmother “ It was removed by someone, and someone with the power to remove a glamour like that would make an extremely dangerous enemy.”

As I drifted of to sleep the last thing I heard my mother say was,

“The Seelie queen asked for a favor in return for putting that glamour on, who could possibly be strong powerful enough to remove her glamour, and what could they possibly want? We need to see the Seelie queen.”

And then I could no longer stay awake and I feel into a deep dreamless sleep.


Chapter 2-Seelie Court

Upon waking the next day the prospect of trudging through a mundane school day after yesterday’s events was not very appealing; so I decided to skip, and head over to my favorite coffee shop in town. I decided to bring one of my grandmothers books filled with stories on the Fey with me, and as I sat reading the owner of the store brought over a cup of hot chocolate I had ordered and glanced at the book saying,

“ Faeries huh? They cause nothing but trouble, I’d avoid them if I were you.”

By the time I had looked up he had already turned, and began walking away; curious as to what he knew I planned to wait till the line had thinned out a bit, and ask him some questions. I sat, and waited, reading, and sipping my hot chocolate, which seemed unusually rich; the room seemed very warm, and the voices of all the people seemed as if they were coming from very far away. It had become very hard for me to concentrate, and before I knew it I had slumped over on the table; the owner walked over with a half grin on his face, and said,

“ Told you, you should have avoided Faeries.”

He then picked me up swung me over his should, and began walking towards to the door with me; as he did this the iron chain around my neck fell out of my shirt, and struck his arm. He hissed and dropped me hard onto the ground, it was then that I noticed the two sets of wings sprouting from his back,

“ You think an iron chain will help you?”

He then bent over me, ripped the chain off, and threw it across the room; as he grabbed the chain I could hear his skin boiling and popping. Picking me up again I could see the blisters on his skin where he had grabbed the chain; I tried to resist but the most I could manage was a small wriggle. The faerie carried me outside set me down against a wall, and laughed

“ You’re not going to be able to walk or speak for hours, I slipped some powdered dormio flower into your hot chocolate. Besides my lady the Seelie queen would like to meet you, and you don’t want to keep her waiting do you? And don’t think about attracting any passersby attention were glamoured nobody can see us.”

He picked me up again, and started carrying me in the direction of the woods, with each step I knew I was getting closer, and closer to danger, but in the end the drug was to strong, and I passed out as the faeries steps took me ever closer to the Seelie queen.


I awoke to what felt like an ice pick through my eye; a massive tree loomed over me in an unfamiliar area of the forest. Attempting to stand I found I was still a bit unsteady on my feet, and had to sit back down. So I decided to study my surroundings. All around me people ran about dancing, singing, shouting and, whooping, seeming to have not a care in the world; individuals each had something that made them out of the ordinary; one man ran by me with antlers on his head, another had webbed toes, and few wore nothing at all, their hair was every color imaginable. A massive fire burned in the middle of the groove, and to the left sat a tent with some troll like looking guards standing out front.

Forcing myself to stand I leaned against the tree trying to figure out my plan of action; deciding that the safest place to be was away from the Seelie court I worked my way around the tree using the trunk as support. As I worked my way out my legs felt a bit better, and I started moving faster, the farther away from the Fey I was the safer felt until I realized I had no idea where I was; the woods were deep, and the dark, and the only light I had to guide myself by was a full moon that occasionally broke through the trees giving me just enough light to walk by. Keeping on straight I began to think I might have been better off in the Seelie court; just as I had decided to turn back I emerged in a second clearing where the moon reflected off a huge lake.

I approached the lake, and gazed at the silent silver waters, the moon reflected in the water was massive, and seemed to engulf my body; I do not know how long I stood there simply gazing at the waters, but suddenly a splash jolted me back to my senses. To the left stood a tree, which grew into a V shape; a young woman sat in the V of tree, the moonlight reflecting off the water and onto her skin. She wore no clothes, was very pale, and very beautiful; her golden hair hung down past her shoulders covering her breasts; giggling she stood up, agilely ran across a branch, and dove into the water breaking the perfect stillness of the lake. For what seemed like an infinite amount of time she stayed submerged; the ripples in the water had even stopped, just as I decided I should go in after her she broke from the water, and stood in the shallows staring at me,

“ Hello who are you? She asked her voice playful, and inquisitive at the same “ My names Aq­unda.”

Before I could answer she continued on saying,

“ Would you like to come for a swim? The waters not to cold, and I would greatly appreciate your companionship.”

Her eyes burned like green fire in the moonlight, and she beckoned for me to come closer; unconsciously I took a step forward, and then another until the water was lapping at my feet. Her beauty was hypnotizing, and she continued to beckon me into the water,

“ Come in.” She purred seductively.

I waded in deeper, and deeper until finally I moved past the point of no return, slipping into the deep water and dropping like a rock. The water was black, and I couldn’t see anything; I continued downwards not caring about breathing, suddenly her green eyes lit up the darkness and she grabbed a hold of me

“ Silly boy!” she hissed her voice full of malice “ its been a long time since I have had a human play thing.”

Waking from my stupor I gasped inhaling water, I struggled against her but her grip was like an iron vice pulling me ever deeper into the darkness. Just as I had given up another body grabbed hold of us and began rushing us towards the surface. Throwing me on the shore I sat there sputtering and coughing up water.

“ Don’t go wandering off in the Seelie court boy.” A voice said “ There are much more dangerous things out here than this Rusalka here.”

The Rusalka hissed, and dove back into the lake, leaving it looking like it had when I first discovered the grove.

Sitting up I saw the coffee shop owner flanked by two of the troll guards I had seen in the Seelie court. When I had finally finished coughing I was able to ask,

“ Rusalka?”

“ The spirit of a jilted women who drowned herself, they like to lure foolish men like you into the water to drown as well, but enough of these questions my lady will see you now.”

He motioned for the two trolls, and they picked me up carrying me back in the direction I had come.

“ Have fun.” he said with cruel grin on his face as he waved goodbye mockingly.


Chapter 3- Seelie Queen

I hit the ground hard, and slid to a halt in the shadow of a throne, a tall, thin women sat upon it staring down at me. Her face was very angular with ears coming to a point; she smiled at me motioning for me to stand, her smile seemed friendly, but behind it lurked some inner cruelty that could only be seen in her gold eyes.

“ Welcome to my court, I trust your visit thus far has been hospitable.” Her voice rang out like a bell, stunning me into stillness, “ I have greatly desired to meet you, and to speak with you for sometime now, there is a matter of great importance we need to discuss.”

“ What do you need me for?” I asked my eyes darting around the inside of her tent looking for an exit. “ I’m just a boy, a mortal boy what could I possibly do to help you?”

“ Before we get into business please sit down.” She motioned and a troll brought forward a wooden chair. “ Would you like food or drink?”

What my grandmother had said to me jumped into mind,

“No I’d just like to know why I’ve been abducted, and brought here.”

The Seelie queen sighed, and waved her hand, her guards left and she leaned forward in her chair.

“ Fine we shall go straight to business, I guess you mortals are always in a rush being so short lived. You know what iron does to faeries correct?”

It burns you-” I began, but the queen interrupted me,

“ Yes it does cause a minor annoyance to us, but if we stay around iron for to long we begin to lose our magic until finally barely anything remains. There are a few of the fey who have broken our laws, and instead of facing punishment choose to hide where we cannot go, in your cities.”

“ But how can they hide near us, without magic their glamour would fade, I think someone would eventually notice a man with antlers or wings running around even in the city.”

“ They have enough magic for a small glamour, enough to hide them from the week minded fools of your race who chose not to see what lies right in front of them.”

“ You still haven’t told me what you want from me."

“ There is a women, she lives deep inside your city, and she has something that I need, I want you to find her, and bring her back to me, I have a charm here if you turn it 3 times counter clockwise when the moon is full it will summon my second in command to you, he will bring her back to me.”

“ What if I refuse?”

“ I put the glamour on you the first time, your mother owes me a favor. I’m sure I can find a suitable use for it.” She smiled at me wickedly.

“ What exactly does she have that you need?”

“ That is not of your concern, fetch her for me, and I will consider your mothers debt paid. It is your decision but remember the stories you have been told of us. Now leave I grow tired of this conversation, she clapped and her guards rushed in, I was blindfolded, grabbed roughly and carried off; I lost all sense of time and direction until finally the blindfolded was removed and I sat by the meadow in my woods under the full moon alone and afraid.


Chapter 4- Blue Roses

How was I supposed to find this faerie in a city of this size?” I thought to myself as I wandered through downtown looking for any sign of the faerie the queen had mentioned. I had been at it for hours, and it was beginning to take its toll on me; it was one of those unbearably hot days that only late august can supply; when the wind blew I could feel autumn right around the corner chilling me to the bones, but its was only a brief respite from the heat as I suffered in the muggy humidity of what was definitely one the last days of summer.

Wandering over to a vendor I bought a bottle of water, sat down, and thought of what to do next; I could search this city for weeks, and never find who I was looking for, there had to be an easier way. Reaching into my pocket I decided the only thing I could do was call my grandmother; I had not yet filled her in on the event’s of the night before and figured now was as good a time as any.

My mother picked up on he third ring,

“Hello.”

“ Hey mom it’s me, could you get grandma?”

She instantly sounded worried,

“ Why? Did something happen?”

“ I’m fine I just have some questions.”

“Ok.” She said reluctantly,

A few moments later my grandmother picked up the phone,

“ Hello.”

I then proceeded to explain everything that had happened last night, my grandmother listened quietly on the other side of the line, and when I had finished said,

“ You should come home, I may know how you can find this faerie, but it is extremely dangerous, and there is a lot I will have to explain to you.”

At home my grandmother told me of a faerie who was not a member of any court,

“ Her name is Baba Yaga, she is a very old faerie older even than the Seelie queen, and probably more dangerous. She lives deep in the woods in a hut that stands on chicken legs, and the only way to enter is to know the phrase that will make the hut present the door to you. It is said she ages a year for every question she is asked, and judging by how often she has helped people in the past I’d say its true. She’s more likely to eat you than help you, but if anyone can help you find this faerie it’s her. If you do manage to get into her hut it’s best to be as polite as you can, and if I were you I’d find the blue roses she uses to make a tea, they say that they reverse her aging process. They only bloom at midnight deep in the woods near a stream in which a kelpie lives, and only stay open for one minute unless picked.”

“ I thought blue roses didn’t exist naturally in nature, and what’s a kelpie?”

“ Just because humans haven’t seen something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, blue roses are rare, and when used properly have certain magical attributes we humans can’t use. As for a kelpie it is known as a water horse, they appear to humans who have even the slightest ability to see faeries, for some reason humans are drawn to them, climb onto their back, ride into the river, drown, and are then eaten.”

“ Is there a way to avoid them? Or to get rid of them if they notice you?”

“ I personally have never seen a kelpie, but I’ve heard that if you can beat them in a challenge of riddles they will be forced to let you go.”

“Good riddles have always been something I’ve done well at.” I thought.

My grandmother looked at me sternly,

“ I know your planning to go out there tonight, and nothing I can say will stop you, but you have to understand the faeries are unnaturally smart; if you can avoid the kelpie do it, you don’t need any unnecessary conflicts.”

“ I promise ill be back with the roses, I have to go even though it’s dangerous. If I don’t the Seelie queen will come up with some cruel thing for mother to do.”

That night I walked through the darkness of the woods carrying only a flashlight, the woods were very dark, and the flashlight cast shadows everywhere making them look even more ominous. I was suddenly reminded of the last stanza of Robert Frost’s poem “ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

It was oddly fitting; finally I came upon the stream my grandmother had told me about, looking down at my watch it read 11:50.

“Good, time to spare.” I said aloud to myself, watching from the trees I waited for the rose to bloom and looked for the kelpie. Time went by, and just as I thought I could get the rose without seeing the Kelpie a black horse trotted into sight, its mane was dripping wet, and had water weeds in its hair.

At that same time behind the kelpie the blue rose began to open on the bank of the stream, stretching and reaching out it shone with an ethereal diamond blue hue that illuminated the darkness.

The kelpie was beautiful, strong muscles rippled under its skin as it stood grazing, and snorting on the bank. Emerging from the trees I found myself inexplicably drawn to the kelpie, and before I knew it found myself caressing its tough skin. Suddenly my hand was stuck as if its hide was adhesive, pulling with all I had I couldn’t get my hand free; the kelpie started moving toward the water dragging me with it. As we moved forward I caught sight of my watch, 12:00 AM; looking at the rose I stretched my arm out, and just managed to grab a hold of it.

The water began to soak through my shoes, and just as my head was about to be submerged I heard a cackle, a women stepped out of the trees, and said,

“ Oh let him go.”

Suddenly my hand was free, and I dropped into the stream, swimming back up I crawled onto shore and looked up to see elderly women wearing a deep red traditional Russian dress standing over me.


Chapter 5- Baba Yaga

The women cackled again,

“ Hehehe, hohoho you’re lucky I was on my home or he would have gotten you.”

I sat on the bank of the stream gasping for breath, the women looked about seventy; she stood over me laughing until she started wheezing.

“ Why does the kelpie listen to you?” I asked standing up,

“ He’s my pet obviously, you’re on my land.” Pointing backwards behind her I saw a wooden hut standing on chicken legs in the foliage.

Gasping I stammered, “ You’re Baba Yaga!”

“Why yes I am.” She replied smiling, she seemed very amused at my nervousness. “ Don’t worry I wont hurt you dearie.”

“ So you don’t eat people?”

“ Oh no child!” she laughed again, “ That was years ago, I’m a vegetarian now!”

I stopped, and stared for a moment dumbfounded,

“Well I guess it wont hurt to ask now. The Seelie queen gave me a task, and I was told you might be able to help me.”

“ The Seelie queen eh, what’d you go and get yourself mixed up in her business for?”

“I-”

“ Don’t answer that I have a feeling this going to be a long story, you might as well come in.”

Leading me over to her hut I realized that it was actually a quaint little building not anything like I had imagined it would be, smoke rose from the chimney on the roof, which was covered in hay. Standing on its chicken legs the hut towered above us,

“Turn your back to the forest, and your front to me." Said Baba Yaga, the hut squatted, and a door appeared in the woodwork where none had been before. Baba Yaga continued inside, and before I entered I stopped, and took one last look around. The forest that I had once thought so safe, and peaceful now seemed so foreboding; the crackle of a fire brought my attention back to the entrance of the hut, a warm glow emanated from inside the door,

“ Come on in dearie!” She called from inside, “ I’ll put the kettle on, would you like anything to eat?”

Taking a deep breath I stepped over the threshold into Baba Yaga’s hut; inside was a medium sized room with a fire in the middle, over the fire sat a cauldron, and behind it a wooden table, bench, and two rocking chairs. Behind them a door led to what appeared to be a library, catching Baba Yaga’s eye I realized she was staring at me, tapping her foot,

“ Would you like anything to eat?”

“ Uh, what do you have?”

“ Cabbage.” She replied,

“ Just cabbage?”

“ Yes I’ve grown quite fond of it, much easier than eating the heroes who come here for help. They used to cause such a mess all their squirming about, and it was such a nuisance to catch them finally I decided it was just easier to help them.”

“ Oh,” Was all I could think of to say then, “ No I don’t think I’ll have any cabbage.”

“ Suit yourself,” She said ladling cabbage into a bowl, “ Please sit down, and tell me the whole story.”

I sat down, and told the whole story to her; she sat quietly chewing on her cabbage listening without interjecting once. After I had finished she sat for a bit still chewing then finally said,

“ At least she gave you an easy task; all you have to do is find someone, I once had a hero in my hut who was tricked into helping a vampire summon a demon god from outside our dimension, now that’s a problem.”

I stared at her for a second then decided to ignore the demon god part,

“ So you can help me?” I asked excitedly.

“ I can but you’ll have to fetch something for me.”

“ What is it?”

“ Faerie rock, it’s very hard to find in this part of the world but lucky for you I have a portal; I’ll send you to a place where it’s more abundant. You’ll have to wade through a swamp to the island where it lays, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Just don’t stray, and you’ll be fine. Got it?”

“ I-.”

“ Good!” She cut me off; clapping her hands a portal appeared, and the next thing I knew the hut was gone, in its place a dark, dank, ominous woods had appeared, and stretching out in front of me a swamp. Off in the distance I could barely discern the island she had mentioned to me as it was covered in fog; the black water was foreboding almost as if it were a sentient creature waiting for some ill-fated person to stumble along and be sucked into the murky depths.

Sighing I picked up long thin branch, used it to test the deepness of the swamp, and then proceeded through the muck towards the island.


Chapter 6- Will-o’-the-wisp

The stick stuck in the bottom of the swamp, and broke in two,

“ Damn it!” I flung the stick off into the fog; the swamp had severely tested my patience, each step was made difficult by the swamp water, and before I even took a step I was forced to test the depth to make sure it didn’t lead to a drop, and my death.

The roots of a tree stood slightly out of the water, and I decided to take a break on top of them; the muck reluctantly let go of my shoes making a loud squelching noise. As I stood panting on the root wiping as mud of me as possible when unexpectedly I heard a faint,

“ Help!”

Looking around I saw nobody, the fog rolled around me, and I figured it must have been imagining things when again came a distinct,

“ Help!”

It was clearly a female voice, but I had no sense of direction in the fog except that the island lay straight ahead, again I heard the call. Looking around I saw a red blinking light floating off in the distance; as I watched a slowly more lights appeared until there were blues, yellows, greens and reds floating around, I stood there hypnotized until once again I heard the call for help. Reaching up I grabbed a overhanging branch, broke it off, and waded off towards the lights, for what seemed liked ages I struggled through the swamp, but seemed to get no closer to the mysterious floating orbs; on and on I went for what seemed an eternity, the orbs always just out of reach. Pausing to catch my breath I realized I was completely disoriented, and could no longer see the island in the fog.

I stood there trying to get my bearings when suddenly I heard a crash, followed by a scream; the calls for help resumed; struggling towards the sound through the swamp I was led even deeper into the fog until I finally reached the floating orbs. As I entered the clearing the ground underneath my feet dropped off, plunging into the deep, black water I saw the orbs one last time before my head submerged; standing on top of the water were children, each held a somber expression, and a candle in their right hand; they stood staring at me with vacant eyes as I disappeared into the water.

At that moment I remembered another story my grandmother had told me about Will- o-the-Wisps, floating lights seen in various locations. They were the souls of lost children who had died in the area and had not yet found there way to the after life, the lights travelers see were the flames on the candles the children carried as they looked for home. Often times people would be led astray into dangerous situations as the Will-o-the-Wisp could only be found where the children had died.

I flailed wildly in the water searching for anything I could use to get my head above water, for what seemed like an eternity I poked about with my walking stick until finally I felt the ground. With the last of my strength I pulled myself up and, coughed up water; when I had finally regained my composure I looked up to see nothing, the floating lights were gone. I sat there for quite a while in despair, I could no longer see the island and as the fog rolled around me I felt hope slipping away; the sun had begun to set and I had no idea where I was, my mother would be taken by the Seelie queen. I had failed.

Just as I had completely given up I felt the hair on my neck stand up, slowly twisting my head around I saw a small girl standing behind me. She had medium length brown hair, and was faintly transparent, although her most remarkable feature was her eyes. They were such a vibrant blue, and they seemed to beckon to me as she turned, and walked away; following her through the swamp she led me through dry land twisting and turning until finally we reached the island. Up small slope she led me where the fog cleared, stopping I heard her voice faintly,

“ This is what you were looking for, correct? Faerie stone.”

I nodded,

“ Why did you help me?”

“ Our soul’s have not moved on because of the Faerie stone, it has certain magical properties that keep us here. Long ago a sorcerer lived here and cast a spell using the Faerie stone that keeps our souls here, if you remove it we can go free. The other children have forgotten who they are but I have not been here as long as they have and I want to be free.

“Thank you for helping me.”

Bending over I picked up the stone and Baba Yaga appeared, clapping her hands we suddenly reappeared back in her hut.

“ You could have just teleported yourself there?” I asked incredulously.

“ I could have but the sorcerer that cast the spell would have sensed me, you however have no magical energy and therefore were in no danger-.”

“Except for the will-o-the-wisps.”

“ But you succeeded, now give me the stone and I’ll find your faerie.”

“ Ill be right back she said.” As she took the stone, and walked through the door, I could hear pounding, and then some muttering in a language I couldn’t understand. Then she came back through the door,

“ Well I found your faerie, but you wont like where she is.”

“ Where are they?”

“ Well they are in a place that hard to find.”

“ How so?”

“ There are places that are hidden, even from us with the sight, they are lost to the world. When people disappear, and are never seen again, the Holy Grail, Amelia Earhart, the Bermuda triangle, all these things end up in these places; they fall between the cracks of reality.

“ They are in one of those?”

“ Yes, and I can make you a portal there, but I wont be able to get you back out, you’ll have to find your own way, and that rarely ever happens.”

“ Well I guess I’ll have to do it.”

“ Fine then, it’ll take me a little while to prepare what I need, you get some sleep while I get ready.


Chapter 7- Into the Cracks

Baba Yaga had opened the portal, I stood in front of it poised to enter a world I knew almost nothing about, and knew even less about how to get back to home.

“ Good luck!” Baba Yaga said as I walked through the portal, turning I could see her waving then slowly she faded away, in her place a strange mixture of buildings from all different time periods arose. Buildings with columns that could either have been Greek or Roman, Native America Teepees, long houses, and even a medieval castle. Baba Yaga had told me that only the one faerie had found its way here, and she should be easy to find.

Walking along I asked some of the people I passed along the way, and they all told me about a wise women who healed people miraculously; pointing me to a large tent that sat in the shadow of the castle I watched and waited until nightfall, the full moon cast its shadow up the street where I crouched and waited until I saw all the lights go out in the tent.

Creeping into the tent I lifted the flap and crept noiselessly through the rooms looking for the women. Hearing snoring coming from the next room I stopped, and reached in my pocket for the Seelie queens charm, as I took it out of my pocket it slipped from my fingers, and landed in a metallic bowl sitting on the table letting out a sharp ringing sound that reverberated throughout the tent.

The snoring stopped in the other room, and in the faerie ran,

“ What are you doing here?” She snarled, looking down at the table she saw the charm. “ Your with the Seelie queen aren’t you? To bad you woke me now you’ll never get back to her.”

With a flick of her hand bowls, and other assorted flew across the room pelting me, falling to the floor a knife nearly missed me going over my head and sticking in the wall. Crawling over to the charm the faerie laughed,

“ Oh no you don’t!”

As I reached for the charm it flew into her hand, she laughed again, and objects continued to pelt me; struggling to my feet I did the last thing she expected, and charged her. Tackling her to the ground, she let out a gasp of breath as the charm skittered across the room. Crawling towards it I grabbed it and spun it counter clockwise three times as the faerie landed on my back slamming my head against the wood floor, she had grabbed the knife, and was preparing to stab me when the Seelie queen’s second in command pulled her off me and threw her into the arms of the trolls.

I felt my vision beginning to tunnel as blackness crept in from the corner of my eyes, then I hard the Seelie queen’s voice,

“Leave him, he is no longer of use, I promised him his mother would be safe and I cannot lie, but I never said anything about him, he shall rot here.”

Before I passed out I remembered the Likho saying,

“You have been awakened, you will be needed very soon, and you will not return.”

Then blackness overtook me, and when I awoke I was trapped between worlds with only the fact that my mother was safe to comfort me.


© Copyright 2020 Ian Brunner. All rights reserved.

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