13 Apr

I couldn’t come up with a title.  Sorry.  If you have a good idea, I’d love to hear it, just as I always appreciate your input on the direction of this rambling tale.

Also, if this is your first visit, to avoid confusion, go here, then here, then here. Trust me, this is a series of stories 🙂

Faeries.  It’s come down to faeries. Sabrina thought.  She was sitting at the edge of the ruined patch of love apples watching Leo, who was speaking quietly with the wolf at the edge of the clearing.  It just doesn’t fit! She watched his wide tanned shoulders rise and fall under the thin sheath of leather.  All of the blacksmith’s clan were big and burly like Leo, in fact, compared to his father, he was positively slim.  The faeries in tales were always spindly waifish things with long drooping wings and pale serene faces.  Even the other faeries she had just seen at the edge of the clearing had seemed right, only without the wings.  But Leo, only the ears seemed to fit, everything else about him did not seem faerie-like at all.  But those tales were told to wide-eyed children around campfires during the soft spring nights.  This was real.  Then she remembered the way his face had changed without the green glow of the key enveloping him.  A demonic faerie.  Maybe that was his true form.

She sighed then.  She was in love with a possibly demonic faerie.  George would have a field day with that one.  Another grand joke to add to his repertoire.  She could hear the twins now, first George then Fred would join in.

A FAERIE?  What did he do, S?  Charm you with his pretty little wings?

There’s an idea, George, we can make a faerie love charm!

And they would have, if they’d been there.  Just another drop in their big bag of wizard’s tricks.  Why couldn’t she meet someone normal?  First it had been George, a wizard with an irrepressible sense of humor and devotion to two things only:  His twin and the magic act.  Then came Ben, a sullen, angry young man.  Lucy said he had walked out of the dust into the city with nothing more than the clothes on his back.  He was gentle and kind around them, but Sabrina remembered how they had shuddered after he had sucked all the life out of the beets to bring Merry’s dog back.  And now Leo.

She couldn’t keep herself from smiling though, as she watched him, his head bent in earnest conversation with the wolf.  This was all so much more interesting than spending her afternoons listening to Ike’s poetry.  Instantly she felt badly for thinking this.  Ike had been her only friend through the lonely months.  She had learned so much from their idle wanderings.  She made a silent promise to herself that if she ever made it out of this weird mess she would be nicer to Ike in the future.  Besides, he was the most normal person in her immediate circle.

Just as she had this thought, Leo got to his feet.  He and the wolf strode over to where she sat.  Wordlessly, Leo took her hand and pulled her to her feet.  “After palaver, we have decided to follow the evil Fae into the woods.”

“Are you going to turn evil again?”  She asked, pulling back from him a bit.

Leo shook his head, his blue eyes practically twinkling.  “Not as long as we have the key.”  His long fingers folded over hers once again.  “The power of the Fae is what is making the forest dark.  The light of the key has driven their evil magic away from this place, and thus it will protect us.  What you saw was a glimpse of what their evil spell could have done to me.”

“And the wolf?”  She asked trying to keep the tremble out of her voice.

“Alas, I too was under their spell, as much of these woods are.”  Despite his proud carriage, a trickle of shame crept into his eyes.

As they left the clearing behind, they found the forest once again cloaked in twilight.  Leo had her hand once again, but the wolf seemed not to need physical contact to be protected by the key.  As she had found when they first entered the darkness, time seemed to slow once again.  Sometimes she would catch flashes of light out the corners of her eyes, and hear tinkling laughter, but these things always vanished when she tried to focus on them.

After a while they slept, the stillness of the forest pressing in around them.  The wolf always kept watch.  Time passed in this fashion.  The three spoke little, fearful of what else might be drawn out of the twilight at the sounds of their voices.

One day they awoke to find the wolf gone.  They searched through the trees for some sign of the animal, but found none.  Leo risked a shout, and they heard little other than the echoes of his voice for a long time.  After an agonizing silence, they began to walk, once again hand in hand.  Not a handful of steps later, Leo halted.  Sabrina had figured out that his hearing was significantly better than hers through their strange journey so far.  It was probably a faerie thing.  So she waited patiently.

Leo began drifting carefully in one direction through the trees.  Eventually Sabrina began to hear noises herself, and they were spit out into another clearing.

It was chaos in the clearing.  The grass in the center was shredded, trees around the edges were blown to bits, bark shattered down everywhere.  Crouching near the trees was their wolf, and floating above them were the faeries.  Sabrina recognized the spells flying from their fingertips from her time with Fred and George.  The wolf ducked and dodged.  Three faeries drifted too close to the ground and the wolf pounced, pinning them to the ground.  Leo had detached himself from her and was sending his own blue spells up at the canopy where the the faeries were immobilized, suspended in the air.

Sabrina noticed none of this.  Her feet were moving on their own to a tree that had survived the carnage.  On the tree was another piece of weather beaten stray metal.  On the wide plate were the three symbols from the key and in the center was a keyhole.  Sabrina’s hand drifted in front of her face, holding the key out.  The symbols on the key and keyhole blinked hypnotically.  She wanted to put the key in and see what happened, but it was like her mind was no longer a part of her body.

Through the haze, she heard a voice, small and far away, gradually building in volume.  She blinked once, and her vision cleared.  The noise of the clearing came crashing back into her now open ears. Her head swung back to the scene in the clearing.  The wolf was struggling with the slippery bodies of the faeries.  Leo’s back was to her, but she could see the side of his face, set in hard lines of concentration, and the muscles of his outstretched arms trembled with the effort of holding his spells.

“Put it in, you stupid human!”  The wolf was shouting at her.  “Turn the damn key, girl!”

Without hesitation, she jammed the key home and turned it with a loud click.  A huge metal door-frame materialized in front of her.  With her free hand, Sabrina pushed and the door swung open.  There was a rush of white light and then…

What did Sabrina see behind the door?

A) More evil faeries!

B) The ocean!

C) Her father!


3 Responses to “WTF?”

  1. aurora April 15, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I vote for the ocean ;->

  2. Eric April 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    The ocean!


  1. A Wolf In… Wolf’s Clothing « Tomato Forest - April 25, 2011

    […] B. Follow the faeries […]

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