In Fairy, my great grandfather’s world, someone is always singing a song. Someone always laughing. Or giggling, without a thought.
They ask me why I don’t smile with them. Or laugh and play with them. They find my lack of ‘love life’ strange. Their words, not mine. I tell them I am sleeping around enough. They scoff and turn their backs to me. Then, they pity me. Not that they say anything. But I know…
It is always day in Fairy… Always light… The sun never sets. Night never comes.
My cousins say that this is the way the world should be, that night is for the monsters and day is for the enlightened races, that I should be proud of being one eight enlightened. Again, their words, not mine.
Funny, really! What would they know about the comfort of night? They never did an honest day’s hard labor and then sought out the night to rest their tired feet. They never had troubles that needed to be slept a night on, and then thought about again, the next day, with a fresh outlook. They don’t understand that to truly welcome daylight, night must be honored too.
There is so much they don’t understand.
Beneath this flawless, incandescent surface, lurks darkness… a shadow…It lifts its blackened fingers, and chokes me. Sometimes I see it as a physical being, lurking just beyond my sight, ready to pounce if I am not looking.
I saw it, the darkness in this ever present light, for the first time, one human year, three human months, two human weeks and four human days ago. I saw it in the eyes of the witch doctor, who touched my belly and said the child growing inside me will not have the spark; that it was too human to be enough fae. I saw it in the eyes of the midwife who brought me my prescribed food that day, poisoned food, which killed my unborn child.
The darkness mocked me from their eyes and took that young life from me. With it, it also took a part of me away. They didn’t ask me what I had wanted. My choice in these matters was not important. Nor was my choice wanted or asked for.
Things returned to the usual humdrum of my great grandfather’s palace after the unwanted child was gone. After a few days, the witch doctor declared me fit for conceiving again. And the sleeping around with the pure fae males, properly selected by my family, the fucking, started again. Everybody was smiling, laughing, singing again. Everyone was happy with me, again.
The second time around, exactly seven human months and three human weeks back, the witch doctor didn’t even bother to say it out loud. He just glanced at my cousin Claudine and told us we could go home. They all looked at me and didn’t tell me anything. After my first time, I was too scared to ask. I couldn’t listen to their thoughts, but going by the way they looked at me, I didn’t even have to ask. And then I was too scared to eat the food they sent me. I didn’t eat, or drink anything for two whole days, save the water from the nearby stream. My body cried out for food. But I was scared. So I stroked my growing belly and begged my unborn child to hold on till I could get away, to someplace safe to eat again.
I plotted… And I ran.
I couldn’t get far though. One, there was nowhere to run to. Two, I was not alone. There was the baby too.
On the third day, my co-traveller, my baby, gave up the fight. I saw him leaving me, leaving my body, in a huge red pool of blood. My baby had been so tiny. It was not supposed to be big enough to have so much blood. Even I did not have so much blood. The sight of that blood knocked the fight right outta me.
My body was wracked in pain and delirious exhaustion… Pain kept me sane though. And alive…I welcomed the pain with both hands and let everything else go…
I woke up, fifteen human days later, in my beautiful bed, covered in embroidered silks, surrounded by my concerned kin. They beamed at me when I opened my eyes. They were happy that I was safe in my room again. I wasn’t allowed out of that room much, after that incident.
But I didn’t want to be in that room, or with those people. I wanted to follow my tiny, unborn children to wherever they went. That was the first day in my short life when I truly hated being the one who was alive. That was the day I couldn’t find anything worth living for. I wanted to die too…
Still, it is always day in Fairy. Always light. The sun never sets. Night never comes…
But beneath the surface lurks a darkness…hungry, greedy, deep…
It lifts its blackened fingers, and chokes good dreams, slyly in sleep.
Beyond where my sight goes, it lurks and sits, with baited breath and evil will…
To put out those last few candles, flickering against the shadows still.
Not much is left of me. The fairies brought me to their world and said they wanted to protect me and give me a family. They found me the day I buried my beloved gran, my last actual family. Her grave sat near my parent’s grave, a little away from my brother’s tombstone, right beside my human grandfather’s final resting place. All of the Stackhouses, left to become dust with dust, six feet under. Only I was left.
I felt so alone that day.
And then, Claudine, my cousin, popped beside me, near my gran’s grave, and told me I still had a family, that I was welcome and needed elsewhere too. She told me that I needn’t feel lonely. She offered me a hand to take me away. Nothing remained to tie me to my life in Bon Temps anymore. Just a few friends who would probably wander where I went for a couple of days, and then move on. Sam, my boss at Merlotte’s, would throw a fit that I didn’t show at work, would look for me, but eventually would replace me with someone else. There was no lack of waitresses in our small town.
So when Claudine offered the shiny herring of family, I jumped and bit in, headlong. She clasped my hand beside my gran’s grave, and pulled me to step over it. Mystified, I followed her step, and suddenly, the evening of Bon Temp’s cemetery fell away and I entered the realm of everlasting light. I looked back but could not find that gravestone. Instead, all I could see was a perfect rose garden around me. I didn’t know it then, but that grave became my last remaining brush with humanity.
I don’t have much left, but I would give it all up to touch that grave once more.
I have often looked, unsuccessfully, for that place again. It turned out to be a magical portal between the worlds that I couldn’t perceive and find, or cross, because I did not have enough magic for it. Full or even half fairies could see it easily and cross over. Not me.
Well, not until now.
I went to the witch doctor again today. He touched me and gave me a huge smile. My great grandfather was immediately given the wonderful news that this time, finally, I was carrying a child with the essential spark. I was hugged all around. Preston, my full blooded fae suitor, the father of my child, looked proud and stood tall as my great grandfather shook his hand and congratulated him. A feast was organized and everyone danced till they couldn’t stand. A fae baby of royal blood, with the essential spark, was big news indeed.
I patiently waited for the festivities to end, to be left alone.
And now, even as the last of the guests are leaving the palace grounds, I am stealthily making my way towards my biological grandfather Fintan’s secret rose garden, the place where the portal is supposed to be. I couldn’t see it before. But perhaps, with my magical fae baby inside me, the one who has enough fairy blood to inherit the essential spark, my magic will be enhanced too. Perhaps this time, I would see the portal. I just have to try this. Maybe I would see gran’s grave again. Her bones cannot solve my problems. But I know they were my gran’s bones. I could pretend they were gran…
The garden is pulling at my heart, silently urging me to hurry my steps. I am feeling a strange tug inside me, a need to see the place again. I couldn’t have stopped myself even if I had wanted to. If I didn’t have that little someone to carry, I would be running right now.
I reach the high hedgerow and find the little hidden gate latch. My hands should be trembling, but they don’t falter as I pull at the latch and duck inside. I haven’t even straightened yet. My eyes automatically go to the far corner by the pool.
There it is. I can see it!
The electrified sparkling stretch of air that I couldn’t see before appears clear as day to me this time. For the first time in years, I feel emotion stirring deep inside me. A small spark of hope is igniting in my heart at the sight of a very real possibility of escape from Fairy. There is nothing in this accursed place that I want to keep or bring with me. There is absolutely nothing that ties me to Fairy. All that I want, all that I need, is on me, or inside me. Now I just want out of here. I have had enough of the family thing to last me a lifetime…
I walk up to it and prod the air with a finger. It burns a little and I see the tip of my fingernail disappear through the air. Someone grasps my hand. But instead of alarm, I feel safe. A sudden feeling of peace descends on me. Then, I am pulled forward, clean through the sparkling air…
I still don’t know why I bought this shithole.
No, I know the why… It just, confounds me!
Why the Ancient Pythoness would have this much interest in my life, or more specifically my business or personal investments, is beyond me.
‘Buy this house and the land surrounding it, in bumfuck nowhere, guard it with everything I got, which is a lot, and wait for what future brings me’, she says, in her usual cryptic way, and buy the damn place I do. Right fucking away! And of course without question…One, because I don’t want more confounding riddles, and two, because who the hell can question her anyway.
To guard the place properly, I had to make it my primary residence. She never said anything about not making changes to the house though. So I made a few improvements to suit me. The temperature controls, perimeter walls, network connectivity and the basement light tight suite, which was also connected to an outpost to the edge of the property, built to provide safe passage out of the house in case of an emergency, were the necessary additions. The basement egress opened, very aptly, in the neighboring graveyard, where my progeny or I could quickly dig ourselves in. Or out, depending on the need of the hour. After all, a good ol’ dead body in a grave would raise no suspicions. The humans were just too scared to look closely anyways. Fortunately, this town was in the middle of nowhere and the house was in the most secluded and obscure corner of the town.
There were no living neighbors for miles around. And after trying to meet me during the day, something they obviously were not successful at, the good but pathologically nosy people of Bon Temps, just assumed that someone had bought the place but no one lived in it. The assumption perfectly suited my job as the vampire sheriff of Area 5, Louisiana. Lesser the witnesses, lesser the need to hide more crime…
Yes, there were advantages to my current home. I welcomed the peace and quit. Barring the event of a zombie apocalypse, my very truly dead neighbors weren’t likely to give me any trouble.
But real estate promotions were still a long way off for the ancient Pythoness, and the old crone certainlydidn’t need the commissions from the sale. So I still had my doubts.
I shake my head and come back to the next due financial report of my area that I have been working on the whole night. It’s a drag. I’d rather be doing something else.
Suddenly I feel a pull in my blood and by long ingrained habit, I instantly go on alert.
I check my bond with my child and my maker. It’s not coming from either of the two. Now I am really alarmed! I have not shared my blood with anyone else in my thousand years. My blood should not react to any other outside influence. What the hell is this feeling?
I feel another tug…Stronger this time…
I am off my chair and out of my office in a split second. Instead of taking the main door, I decide to take the hidden tunnel exit to the graveyard instead. As soon as I start walking in that direction, my whole body feels better. Unbelievably, I can even smell something absolutely heavenly from the same direction.
With each step I take, my sense of anticipation grows…The scent becomes stronger…My need to be somewhere, the fuck I know where, becomes more persistent…
By the time I reach the graveyard, this need, this odd pull, is all that I am aware of.
I don’t care if someone saw me rise up from a dirt covered trapdoor by an old grave marked Adele Stackhouse, or not… I don’t care that the sun is going to be up in less than a minute… I don’t care about the source of this new fuckery…
I just need that, which is making my blood jump like a tide swelling involuntarily towards the moon…
Out of nowhere, a light crack opens in front of me and a hand appears in thin air. Without thinking it through, running solely on instinct, I grasp the hand and yank it towards me.
That’s when it hits me like a fuckton of bricks!
The scent…a perfume like the flowers from my birthplace…
The warmth… like sun on my skin a thousand years ago…
A pair of bright blue eyes…the exact color of my beloved ocean when the first rays of the sun used to hit the tumultuous waters…
One human woman…