The Faeries

Manahata – Faerie Village

The light is dim like the sky before sunrise. It’s a deep purplish blue with pink and red streaks. I can see stars and a muted sun. Two moons, right next to each other, are directly overhead. One is brighter than the other, almost like a reflection. There are also several large dim circles in the sky which I assume are other planets.

“We’re outside,” I say.

We’re in an expansive field with trees dotted throughout. They appear to be ordinary trees in fall colors with fiery reds and oranges, but they also have deep blues and indigos. Everything seems so much more luminous than the gray and green I’m used to.

The field is crowded with people who appear to be having a party.

THE LOST KNIGHT by Candy Atkins
Dathid vs. Giant Dathid

“They’re flying,” I whisper. They’re ordinary people but they’re flitting from tree to tree, chatting, laughing, and dancing with each other. Dizziness flips my stomach. I turn to leave, but Jonah puts an arm out to stop me. “I want to go back. This is too much.”

Jonah guides me down a stone path. When we come to a clearing, my heart leaps when I see the Manhattan skyline. It’s shaded and purple, like mountains in the distance. The lights from many windows are shining in irregular patterns that blend with the starry sky, but the buildings themselves look to be just a mirage and not like they’re part of this world. I’ve always thought the buildings of Manhattan were beautiful but seeing them like this adds to their splendor.

“Are you sure? Does the park look all that familiar to you? Those buildings are a shadow. You could walk right through them. You are in the thinnest part of the veil. A place where our two worlds overlap but you are not in Central Park. You are in Manahata, land of the faeries.”

The brightly colored trees whirl past my feet. We’re flying so fast, they’re more like streaks of color than individual trees. I’m seeing the Manhattan skyline as no other human being has ever seen it: soft, shimmering indigo shadows, with gleaming points of light dotted throughout and merging with the stars. The brilliant shapes erupt from a sea of radiant trees, set against the backdrop of the purplish-blue sky and highlighting the beautiful faeries flying about.

 

THE LOST KNIGHT by Candy Atkins

Faerie Housing

Just as I start to relax, Zeal plunges into the trees, dives down under the canopy, then swoops up. I’m in a house. A tree house.

He sets me down on the wood planks beside the door in the floor. Branches pass through the spacious multistoried home, creating screens and archways. The leaves make up the exterior walls. Hetty is walking down a spiral staircase that wraps around the thick trunk in the center of the house. Everything has the appearance of nature. There are so many flowers and candles it’s like I’m in a garden.

Hetty guides me into the living room and over to a topiary with small green leaves that’s shaped like a couch. “You can sleep here.”

The Faeries

They’re opulently dressed, in fine fabrics, in a multitude of deep rich colors. They’re much taller than I imagined. In fact, every one of them is over six feet tall, which is weird; I thought they’d be tiny. Of course, I also thought they were imaginary. They look human, too, with the exception of two sets of translucent, shimmering black wings on each side of their back, like a dragonfly. The wings are as long as the faeries are tall. When not in use, the papery wings have a joint in the middle that folds them neatly down their back. I’ve never felt pretty, but in the company of such profound beauty, I’m even more plain than usual.

On the center throne sits an imposing man wearing a crown made of vines, flowers, and jewels that covers most of his long black hair. He’s also wearing a skirt, which is weird until I remember what a kilt is.

Dathid

When we return, the King is outside on the platform in front of his palace. His thrones are back and he’s in the center again. Next to him is another faerie that looks like a younger version of the King but with short-cropped hair. It’s obvious that this hard, stoic faerie is a soldier because he’s wearing silver armor and a short silver plate kilt with brown leggings.
The soldier’s piercing blue eyes study me with disapproval. He’s definitely the meanest creature I’ve met so far.

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