“The scary thing is you’re not even joking. I know that face,” I managed to painfully squeeze out after a long uncomfortable silence. Was my mother going crazy after all these years of not seeing my father? Did she think that this stupid little fantasy of an explanation was gonna cure us of a pain that we couldn’t ever run away from? Did she really still think that I was still her little baby girl that she could feed lies to about who she was and make everything out to be a big fairytale? I was way past that phase of life. “Who in the world do you think you are telling me this? You’re meant to be my mother, not Hagrid come to take Harry to hogwarts!” I’m sure the Harry Potter analogy didn’t help but my sarcasm always had to break through at some point.
“Fay, I know it’s a huge thing to take in but you can’t...”
“”Mum, I’m not a kid anymore! What in the world are you saying? You need help.” Those last words dripped with disgust. I couldn’t believe my own mother was finally turning into a lunatic after all these years.
I didn’t dare look back at her as I got up to grab my hot chocolate tainted slightly with coffee and stormed straight to my room, clicked the lock in place then leant against the door and sighed in exhaustion. Physically I felt like I could run a marathon even though I didn’t actually have the fitness to even attempt, although my mind felt like it had done it’s own marathon. Despite all that, all I could do was think about what my mum had just said. Faylinn, you are a faerie. What made her come up with that? Had she really taken some sort of drugs or started to age beyond her years and had started to sound like a grandma telling her grandchildren crazy stories of their ancestral roots? Or was she really telling me the truth? Her face was so stubborn, it didn’t crack in the slightest or show any sign that she was lying. Could this all have some sort of truth behind it? Maybe all that crazy witchcraft was really getting to her.
My eyes bored into the back of my skull for a while thinking of nothing until I finally regained my original sense. No, there couldn’t possibly be any such thing as faeries. That’s the most absurd thing I’ve heard in my life, as far as my own logic went.
As I reached my bed, I automatically grabbed and placed my laptop in front of me. Cross legged I tried to think of something to do that would distract me from whatever nonsense I’d almost had hammered into my brain. But when my fingertips started to tap the keyboard, I found myself typing the word faeries into the search engine. "Curiosity killed the cat but I'm apparently no feline," I joked quietly to myself.
Straight away I got a bunch of results but it took me awhile to find something promising. A website which looked like it had been written by a wiccan (somebody who studies the art of magic and weaves in with their own lives as a personal practice) seemed to catch my eye. It was quite an interesting looking page with lots of information about these “Fae” people that made the world seem beautiful. One of the paragraph’s had a quote which stated,
“‘Faeries’, or ‘Fae people’ as some call them, are known as a light weighted, winged creature that has been known to dwell amongst the forests of the world, due to their species being very attuned to nature and animals.”
The first thought that came to my mind was, God that sounds so unrealistic… But as soon as I had that thought, my eyes drifted to the fluffball that was at the end of the bed. My beloved Mocha, who looked like a little lioness with her cream coloured fur and caramel markings that presented themselves on the sides of her legs, back and face. Her head shot up and her sky blue eyes connected with mine. I looked back at her with curiosity silently repeating the last few words that I’d read. She meowed at me almost as if to say, Really, Fay? Then she slowly closed her eyes again, smiling as she rested her head on a soft toy. Cats are so strange, I thought. The information continued,
“They have been known to previously interact with humans but for unknown reasons have hidden away from the human world in their own paradise known as ‘Avalon’. The fae are divided into two separate courts; first the Seelie Court and second the Unseelie Court. Both courts are seemingly at peace but tend to have their irreconcilable differences so they stay separate from one another. The fae have been said to have a natural affinity with animals, such as being able to understand them or even play around with them in the forests, something that humans may not be able to achieve due to the natural fear between the species. It has been founded that these faeries are so close to the animal kingdom that they are able to shapeshift into a certain animal, not of choice, but the animal that closely represents their spirit and soul, thanks to the Goddess, Gaia in which these fae worship. These representations usually show themselves in the form of a watercolour tattoo placed somewhere on their body, although this is said to appear on the skin rather than placed their by a tattoo gun…”
My eyes skimmed over that last sentence a couple of thousand times before it finally sank in. This was definitely not coincidence. My mother had been telling the truth and nothing could fake the tattoo that stood out like a painting on my arm or her torso.
Thinking over how little family I had seemed to give more evidence that I was obviously not a typical case. I had no knowledge of a grandmother or grandfather, no uncle, no aunty, no cousins… my mum had never mentioned anyone before come to think of it. The last time I had asked a question about family was when I was seven and I wanted to know why everyone else spend christmas and new years with their families and we didn’t even have anyone else other than my mum and I. But I wasn’t going to automatically assume that I was something of another species at that age, not even now due to my current logic and reason. But this website was telling me otherwise; that all those childhood fantasies of faeries, mermaids and witches could actually be true.
Scanning the page for the bookmark button I clicked it unhesitantly and then resumed to the search engine to search up Avalon. I’d definitely heard of that name before, it was the most common name used for the faerie world from what I’d either seen in movies or read in books or even games I’d played. I typed it in and when I searched images I found nothing that seemed to appease my curiosity. It was almost like I had a feeling that the pictures I was looking at was nothing compared to what it could be, almost like I’d seen it before. I almost ached to see what it was like, but no human could ever capture a proper photograph to a beauty that shouldn’t have existed so there was no hope.
I caught myself feeling a little melancholy and chastised my emotions. I shouldn’t have let myself feel sad over something that was meant to be fiction, but yet it was so close to truth. The debate in my mind rambled on and on about whether all this was real. I took a long hard look at the horse on my wrist and again the emotions inside me tossed and turned with guilt. Mum wasn’t lying so far, but if she was going to put this burden on me all of a sudden then she was going to have to answer a few more questions before I admitted to her being right. I wasn’t about to back down now, I was still quite upset.
I closed my laptop and got up to go downstairs, and as I reached the door I inhaled deeply before I twisted the knob slightly to release myself from my safe haven. With footsteps quiet as a mouse, I slowly made my way back out to the lounge where my mum was, still sitting in the same position she was before; stiff with a strained look on her face. It was weird to see my mother looking so unnatural so I decided to loosen up a bit and cut her a bit of slack. I sat next to her, finally releasing the breath that I had taken before I had left my room. I didn’t release I’d held my breath for so long.
“Ok… I’m sorry I reacted so irrationally. I just…”
“Fay, it’s ok honey. I’m the one who should be sorry. This was something I had to protect you from until now, but I didn’t realise that this would take such a huge toll on you.” She picked up the tv remote and switched the noise off so that it was peaceful enough for us to talk.
I took another deep breath, “Mum, you realise how crazy this sounds? Tell me you’re honestly not having early stages of dementia.”
“I swear to you, Faylinn. Once you see it for yourself you will believe. You once were a part of that special world, but due to certain circumstances we had to leave in order to protect you.”
“Avalon?” I intervened. Her eyes instantly narrowed. She could tell I searched it up. But I was still having trouble processing this information. “Ok just dumb it down for me. Say it straight. I wanna hear what you have to say.
This obviously wasn’t your typical interrogation between mother and daughter, if it meant finding out that your whole existence was really a lie and that you weren’t actually human. My hands cupped tightly together in my lap as I readied myself to hear the truth.
“Well to put it simply, we don’t actually belong in the human world. We never belonged here in the first place. It is true some others, I guess you could say ‘supernatural beings’, dwell in the human world such as witches, angels and vampyres. I am originally a birthing of one faerie and one witch, therefore I have the abilities of both species.”
“Woah, wait up,” I haltered her speech. “Witches? Vampyres? There are different ‘species’?”
“Well technically Witches were originally the offspring between a faerie and a human. A very long time ago we did reveal our existence to humans but things got too complicated and the modernized world found our powers far too intimidating because they couldn’t do what we could. So they told us to go back into hiding if we wanted our species to stay alive.” She looked back at the tv and zoned out for a while until she spoke again, not releasing her eyes from the screen. “Faeries live in a place called Avalon. It is the most beautiful place you will ever come across and not just anyone can enter. You either have to have Fae blood or be a trusted being of a species such as witch, human, undine, angel, etc. However, Vampyres are forbidden to enter.”
“Well that’s understandable. Who would want a bloodsucking creature anywhere near them?”
Mum sighed, “That’s not the point. They don’t gain satisfaction from us because we originated from plants, not humans. It’s what they did that hurt us, our memories, our history. We can never forgive them for their crimes.”
“Well what did they do?” I pushed on.
She spoke hesitantly, with a pained expression, “Long ago they were allowed access to Avalon, allowed to live there such as other species were. It is known as the Faerie kingdom but they were fairly generous to others and accepted the help and abilities that others provided, such as witchcraft for remedies, potions and elixirs or healing the wounded. But these Vampyres occasionally left to visit the human world in order to find satisfactions for their thirst. We didn’t mind because as long as no fae were harmed, all was at peace. We didn’t care about what happened to the humans because they were the ones to exile us in the first place. But one night, a group of vampyres that went hunting never came back for five moons. A group of fae warriors were sent out on a search party to look for them. They came back and claimed that the vampyres had found a, once a faerie but evil turned, banshee. She claimed to them to be their Goddess Nyx incarnate, who was there to help them through their suffering, but this came at a price. She wanted the vampyres to attack both courts of Avalon as her revenge for them turning her down to join either of the royal families. So not long after these warriors came back the rogue vampyres ambushed us and attacked. These vile creatures attacked the men and raped some of the woman. In return she would provide enough blood to keep them satiated. Although a lot of our own people perished during the incident. Thankfully you, your father and I were living in the palace with mass protection of the warriors and security so they weren’t able to harm us. But a lot of the fae from both courts were abused, injured, or killed. Your father and I were quite close to some of them that were severely affected by the consequences of that attack.”
All I could gain from what she said was ‘living in the palace’. “Are we royal? What were we doing in the palace?”
Mum smiled and looked out the window that she had decorated and covered in wiccan ornaments. “Your father was, and he would have made a great ruler. But he chose not to for the greater good.”
“Woah seriously? Why on earth would he turn down such an honoured and amazing role?”
Her next answer completely obliterated everything I had once thought about him. “To protect you, his daughter.” A tear sneakily escaped the corner of her eye. Mum never had a problem with showing her emotions. She continued, “Avery was a great man, completely selfless. Always thought of others and did everything he could to help after the Vampyre crisis. But in order to protect you from the evil king of the Unseelie court, who we had heard was planning an attack on Avalon in an attempt to take you away and raise himself, we had to leave our beloved home and live in the human world. Still, Avery wasn’t even able to stay put. He felt like he needed to help out that little bit more. Goddess, I miss your father so much.”
Everything was a blizzard of information in my head and I couldn’t manage to think straight. So he had cared after all. Way more than I gave him credit for. I almost thought about releasing my emotions but I was too stubborn to show them. But I felt so bad. All this time I had thought my father was a selfish man who left us behind and never bothered to contact us again, let alone his own daughter who wouldn’t have minded at least a few calls or at least an email every now and then.
But he was really a giver and a helper.
“But why did he leave? Where is he now?”
“Well when we were trying to get away, the people who were working for the Unseelie king managed to take away my grace while we were trying to escape, the only thing they could get their filthy hands on apart from you, and I haven’t been able to connect with my magic since. After we finally settled here, Avery told me he would go after my grace and get it back for me. But he hasn’t ever returned since and the Seelie guard have done everything they can but they aren’t powerful enough to save him. Half of them perished while trying to fight the Unseelie king. We don’t know whether Avery is still alive or … dead.” Her voice cracked on that last word and all I could feel was numbness.
“So there’s nothing we can do about it? Can’t we go save him?”
“Trust me Faylinn, I’ve thought about it but I would have no power to fight with and I can’t risk losing you too. You’re too important to me.” She leant forward to pull me closer in a warm embrace. She smelt of garden roses, herbs and the crisp morning wind, funny enough I could say it was quite an obvious thing to think seeing as we had apparently originated from nature, not monkeys, thank god. I didn’t really like that adaptation of how humans supposedly originated and I actually preferred the religious stories over the scientific ‘logic’.
I pulled back from the hug to question her more. I wasn’t quite done yet. “So tell me about this ‘grace’. Do I have it too? And this magic you can’t reach?”
She sighed, almost like she were reminiscing about good times with an old friend. “Yes, you do have your own grace. It’s almost like a life force of the magic inside you which is gifted to every single fae at birth. It is a beautiful thing. The only time most people will ever experience the presence of the goddess as if she were standing right next to you. I remember when you were gifted your grace, I swear I heard her say eklektós which translates to ch… ”
“Chosen one in greek, yeah I know.” I’d taken Greek in high school. I hadn’t the faintest clue why but I had found the language interesting and thought I’d give it a go. Mum seemed almost thrilled that I’d chosen it, now I thought I knew why. “Why do you think she said that? I mean I’m not special or anything. I don’t even know what powers I have.”
“Ok, let me explain this to you. The way a faerie’s powers are determined is the time that they are born. This time is measured in months. You know the astrology charts where if you’re born a certain day of the month then that determines your astrological sign?” I nodded. “Well that is all true in a way, it actually determines a fae’s power. If you’re born on September 8th like me then you’re a Virgo.”
“Which would mean your elemental power is Earth,” I pointed out the obvious.
“Yes exactly. My power was Earth, but due to the absence of my grace I can no longer reach it and not being able to use your element is like not being able to use a limb of your body.”
“Great analogy, Loralei,” I said jokingly. “But yeah I understand. Well obviously I can’t really empathise because I’ve never used my power before.”
“Believe me honey, once you do use it you will know the feeling when it’s gone.” She added. “But you’re a different case. You know how you are born on the cusp of a month? So technically saying, you are meant to be two elements, but logically that can’t work using two elements, mainly because nobody has ever been able to use more than one element. Seeing as your birthday is on April 20th, you are meant to be both Aries and Taurus, but you can’t wield both Fire and Earth. Therefore your element is Spirit.”
“Spirit?” Thinking of the word it kind of sounds stupid for an elemental power. What can you do with spirit?
Like she knew what I was thinking, she said, “Now don’t go thinking that it is a useless element, it’s actually been proven to be the strongest out of all five. But you have only just come into contact with your power so it might take you a while to get used to it and begin to reach out to it.”
"And when will that be?"
"Soon. Just be patient, it will find it's way to you slowly."
I grimaced, I was curious to know my power and what I was capable of. But unfortunately my disappointment overpowered that curiosity and I gave up trying to ask anymore questions.
Mum finally stood up and arched her back into a stretch, "Oh my, better get to bed soon." She was right, it had gotten late discussing all this supernatural stuff and we had lost track of the time.
I groaned, "Yeah I better get to bed, I have a Greek language test first period tomorrow so I can't be late for that."
While walking towards her bedroom she spoke with her head unturned, “I’m assuming you studied hard, you’re going to need to know that subject well enough if you will want to pass further education.”
I had heard enough tonight to know without a doubt that she wasn’t talking about human study. My life was about to go in a completely different direction and knew for a fact that my future would never be as I thought it would be.