“I swear to god I didn’t do it!” I protested to my mother as she outstretched my arm exposing the ever so beautiful water tattoo that just happened to plant itself on the inside of my arm, just below my wrist. I couldn’t explain myself. It was just there when I woke up. Of course, my mum would never believe me. Yeah, mum I’m not lying. A tattoo just magically appeared on my wrist the night after my 18th birthday party. You know I would never do such a thing. Nope. She would never believe me. Unless she believed in miracles which I doubted straight away even though she was considered a high priestess of Wicca which was practically magic in a sense, because none of the stuff she did made much sense anyway.
“I told you; no crazy stunts or acts of stupidness. This included.” She chastised while pointing at my arm. “Just because you’re 18 now and able to choose these things for yourself, doesn’t mean you should go crazy with the call of opportunity. You are a straight A student. Imagine what the teachers will think of your actions.” My mother seemed to almost feel sorry for me. She didn’t have an easy life growing up so she knew what it was like to make stupid decisions too. But the difference was that this wasn’t my decision. It definitely wasn’t there when I went to bed last night. I would definitely notice that.
“Mum, I swear to god. It wasn’t there when I went to bed. I don’t think I would have missed something as crazy beautiful as this. I was perfectly conscious the whole night. You know I’m not a big drinker.”
“Ok darling. Well when you can give me a reasonable explanation on how this, pretty but highly inappropriate, tattoo got here, then I shall believe you.” She studied the work of art for a little bit longer with a look on her face that almost seemed knowing, before she turned to retrieve the toast that had popped out of the toaster. “So, what did you want for breakfast darling?”
I stared at her with a blank look. “I’m not that hungry really.”
“I’ll open a can of fruit salad for you. After all, you’re an adult now. I hope you didn’t think that metabolism of yours would last forever,” Mum replied with a wink.
It was true, I wasn’t overly big in size. In fact you could compare my body shape to a pixie. If they ever existed, something which I certainly didn’t ever question about. That type of thing was looked down on in society. I kind of doubted that I would ever immensely expand just because my body was meant to somehow now not able to process food as quickly as before. If anything I wanted a few curves. I wasn’t that type of sexy, tan, blonde that was attractive. I was more supermodel thin with the flawless and glowing yet pale skin. My hair was a sandy blonde and my eyes were a special kind of violet. No one else I knew had the same eye colour. It was funny because I didn’t look like my mother in the slightest. She always said I looked like my father but she never had photos of him so I never knew what he looked like. Sometimes I wish I knew where he was, but even my mother was clueless of his whereabouts. According to her, he left when I was only a baby, claiming he had to be somewhere more important. She always said that he didn’t mean it in a bad way. There were things she just couldn’t ever explain until I was much older. That thought struck a heartstring. Maybe I was old enough now to know what my mum had meant all those years.
“Mum…” I said hesitantly.
All of a sudden I didn’t find it hard to say the words. “Where’s my dad?” Mum’s body stiffened and she slowly twisted around to place my bowl of fruit salad at my hands. I really did not have any appetite at all but I knew she expected me to finish them before I left for school. “I’m old enough to know now. I’m eighteen and I think you need to explain to me what really happened back then and where he is,” I spoke without hesitation.
Her face filled with shock, almost not knowing how to respond to my assertiveness. I was certainly never this demanding when I was younger, but now I felt a surge of energy flow through me, a feeling of wanting to know who I was and who my father was. “I see that you have grown into a strong confident woman and I should start to acknowledge that. But this specific subject… can it wait until after dinner tonight at least? I need to think about this. It’s hard to explain, but you will soon realise why.”
I couldn’t understand how hard it would be to tell me. Could it really be that bad? Did he die? Was he a marine in the army who just never came back? Or did he just leave with a stupid excuse because he didn’t care about us anymore? My mind started fooling with my emotions and I started to feel lightheaded. “Ok that’s fine.” I tried a spoonful of the fruit my mother left in front of me. I felt a little better although I had no appetite, it sweetened my tongue and filled my body with natural sugar fueling me with little enthusiasm to go to school. I just wanted to get it over and done with. I wanted to know now but I knew that I couldn’t persuade her to tell me any sooner. She wasn’t much of a thinker, and the thought of my dad upset her a little. Mum had never dated anyone from the time that he left. Maybe she thought he would come back one day. Or maybe she just knew he was gone for good but just never got over him. Although still massively curious, I got up from the seat in the kitchen to grab my bag and start leaving for school. “Thanks mum,” I murmured.
“Oh and Fay?”
I quickly spun around to see if she was going to say something more about my unknown father. “Yeah?”
“Be careful now. It’s a big world out there and it’s too easy to find trouble. All I’m saying is re-evaluate everything you think you know and keep an open mind. You won’t believe what you will find.”
Disappointed about the lack of information and her unwillingness to speak about the subject any sooner, I promised her exactly that. Then I walked out the front door without saying goodbye.
That night we sat silently on the couches separated from each other; one end of the couch each to ourselves. Normally I would sit right next to her and she would stroke my head while I leant on her shoulder. But tonight was different. There were unanswered questions that I wanted solved and she was definitely taking her time. I decided to take a stand and start off the interrogation, as a policeman to a suspect.
“Ok… mum. I know this is going to be hard for you. But right now I am asking, as your daughter, for you to just toughen up and give me a straight answer.”
She closed her eyes for what seemed like forever, and then she inhaled and exhaled deeply, almost as if she was meditating. She looked up at me with tear filled eyes and smiled. “You’re father would have been so proud of what you have become. You’re exactly how he said you would turn out to be.”
I didn’t understand one bit. Was he a clairvoyant of some sort? I was sure you couldn’t exactly determine how your children would turn out unless you were the one to parent them and he definitely wasn’t there for a massive fraction of my life.
“Faylinn, I have to tell you something that you may not believe and it very well has something to do with that artwork on your arm.”
“What? This monstrosity? The thing you couldn’t believe me about this morning and you gave me crap for it?” I was fueling an explosion of my emotions. It wasn’t what I needed if I wanted to get information about my dad but I was finding it hard to contain. It was also the first time in years that she had called me by my full name. I stopped myself for a second and took a breath. “Wait… so you mean that you knew about this before it even happened in the first place? Did you knock me out or something?”
She sighed heavily. “No I had nothing to do with it. I’m not like you. Well, I am, just not the same right now.” I almost took offence until all of a sudden she became too serious for my liking. “You have blood in you which makes you different from everyone else. Well mostly. There are only so many other kids who are like you but it is very rare to find another exactly like you.”
“What are you talking about, mum? You’re seriously freaking me out now.” I looked at her with wide eyes. Was she trying to tell me?
“Two people came to see me last night while you were out. Two very special people… they knew your dad. You are needed somewhere, Fay. You say that you are old enough to take on responsibility and be mature for all that it’s worth. Because everything you decide now places you between the possibility of life or death. The tattoo, the horse within the art, the strength that you feel now, demanding to know who, what and where your father is which will determine who you are, there is all a reason for these sudden changes. There is a reason we have a similar tattoo.” All of a sudden she slid her top up and just to the right of her belly button was the most beautiful tattoo artwork of a swan with green intricate lines swirling around it almost exactly like mine.
I became too enveloped in fear to breathe. I was worried about where she was going with this. Finally I managed to squeeze out a reply, “Mum… just tell me.”
She repeated the deep inhale and exhale then bored her eyes into mine, almost like she was about to tell me my destiny or something.
“Faylinn, you are a faerie.”