by C.J. Pinard
Sylphs control Enchantment.The Immortals protect the sylphs and humans to keep getting it.
|Synopsis: Thomas never thought he would live this long; he expected the usual lifespan of 60 to 70 years. But one terrifying night in 1946 San Francisco has changed all that; he has now been alive 86 years and still looks 20. He and his associates, Jonathan and Kathryn, have been granted Immortality by a group of sylphs belonging to the Zie Council – led by their queen, Malina – who possess an elixir called Enchantment. But what they and the rest of the Immortals have to do in order to keep receiving this elixir involves protecting sylphs and humans from the faeworlders – vampires and shapeshifters – who want nothing more than to eat, violate, and kill them. For Jonathan, Thomas, and Kathryn, policing the fae is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. And the payment is eternally priceless.
Prologue: It was an initiation ceremony. Upon reaching eighteen, the Zie threw a ceremony for each sylph. Drinks flowed freely and all the new female sylphs stood around, dressed in bright colors, holding girlie drinks, and talking with each other.
The year was 1940, and they were so ahead of their time.
Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, they were all alone on the Island of Nymph. Never heard of it? Of course not. You won’t find it on a map. It’s glamoured from humans. Sylphs do not like to fraternize with humans, but sometimes they do. They like things clean, quiet, and drama-free.
Okay – maybe that last one isn’t really too accurate.
The island was encompassed by balmy turquoise water, and was inhabited by sugar-white sand, palm trees, and grass. A warm wind blew, and hammocks swung quietly between trees while peacocks and toucan birds flitted carelessly around the island. There were both grass huts and modern houses built from the hands of human men, who were quickly glamoured and sent back to their respective homelands upon completion of the building of these homes for the sylphs.
The ceremony was in full swing, as about a dozen sylphs stood, barefoot, inside one of the carefully decorated huts waiting for the ceremony to start.
Sylphs are only female. They are born, not made. How, you ask, when there are no male sylphs? They are born when a sylph falls in love with a human man and has a female child. She knows she has to give up her daughter at eighteen to the Zie. She also has to give up her immortality and become human upon giving birth. And usually, she’s okay with that. Sylphs do not have wings, they use air portals; they are the Faeries of the air. They look human, but are very tiny in stature and love bright colors and practical jokes. They dislike shoes.
The Zie Council controls the Faeworld – or at least they try to. The council is made up of ten sylph queens who have drafted a Treaty with the Fae – the vampires and shapeshifters – in the ten regions of the world. Each region has a sylph queen who enforces the Treaty.
She stepped out of her portal, seemingly out of thin air, dressed in a purple pantsuit, her wavy, light brown hair tucked neatly under her twisted crown headpiece. She stood on tiny bare feet and surveyed the room as a long silence ensued. Then, she finally spoke.
“Greetings, ladies. My name is Malina, and today we learn how to make Enchantment.”
A beautiful blonde sylph dressed all in pink raised her free hand. “Excuse me, Miss Malina, but I thought we were here for a ceremony?”
“What is your name, Pinky?” Malina asked, eyebrow raised.
With a slight hesitation, she answered, “Serina.”
“Serina, come here.”
With trepidation, she approached Malina.
“And what’s Enchantment?” Serina asked while she made her way to Malina, drink in hand.
“Give me your finger,” Malina commanded, holding out her hand.
Tentatively, Serina put out a perfectly-manicured finger. With lightning speed, Malina pulled out a small needle and pricked Serina’s finger, drawing blood.
“Ouch!” she bellowed, immediately pulling her finger to her mouth and sucking on it, much like a child at a doctor’s office.
Malina then pulled out a very tiny vial of pinkish-red liquid from the pocket of her purple pants. She pulled off the stopper and tilted the needle with Serina’s blood on it, dumping three drops into the vial. Immediately, the liquid started to thin out and turn aqua-colored. It then began to swirl violently, as all the sylphs watched in amazement.
“To answer your question, Serina, Enchantment is what we make for humans to make and keep them immortal,” she answered with a twinkle in her eye.
“And why would we want to do that?” a pretty sylph with black hair asked. She was holding a heavy martini glass containing clear liquid and an olive.
“Because, my dear, the Immortals police the Fae world. Ever run into a vampire or shapeshifter in a dark alley?”
At the hesitant shake of the curious sylph’s head, Malina continued. “I didn’t think so,” she winked. “And you can thank the Immortals for that.”