Don't have a working title for it yet. But just putting up what I have so far
|Once upon a time in a far away land, as such stories often take place in the unreachable corners of this world, there lived a young girl. She lived her life in a small village as a member of a small family and as such an upbringing often foretells, she didn’t seem to be destined for great things.
Her name was Faye. Named for the people who had inhabited the land long before those of mortal coil began to settle on it, and the name suited her well.
It was said that once when she was a child, she was able to lay her charms on anything she chose, man or beast, and win her way. She never found fault with those around her and in turn they never found fault with her. She could come across a wild wolf and charm the creature until it padded home behind her, looking to share a space by her side in front of the fire.
When our child was seventeen years old, it was greatly assumed throughout the land that she ought to be settling down. Get busy dying, as she always thought of it. Nothing more dull than for her to be expected to set her freedoms aside for the sake of some man and having nothing more to do with freedom and adventure than making his home and bearing his children.
Faye was not the sort of biddable young woman to do what she was told merely because it was told to her. Nor was she the kind to follow custom simply because that’s just how things were done.
Faye always had a feeling about her path in life from a young age. And while she didn’t quite know what to make of it still, she knew it was closely tied to the elements. As a young girl, nothing gave Faye more pleasure in life than the sensation of being able to walk freely among trees, to dip her feet in small streams, the great strength of the summer bonfire hot upon her face, and the spring breeze with its heady scent of flowers that would come to greet her at the first thaw of winter.
To be aware of these things, and to indulge in their existence was what Faye imagined Paradise was like.
So to be told that these freedoms could soon be abandoned for the ‘honorable’ pursuit of marriage and family, didn’t settle well in her mind.
So on the night of the summer solstice, she stole away from her home, and found herself in the dark woods alone. Any other girl would have been so frightened that they would have turned around and fled back to the comfort of their feather bed and woolen blanket the minute they heard the screech owl give it’s haunting call, but not our Faye. Faye embraced the call, feeling as if she, to, were an owl, and the call was one of a kindred spirit, that spoke directly to her soul, filling her up with a longing to sprout wings and join her tenebrous kindred in their dark and deadly hunt.
Heartened by the sound of her woodland kin she continued on her journey until she came to a hut set a ways off the path. Being of a different time and place and therefore not used to the danger an unfamiliar face in the dark woods could present, she approached the hut and knocked on the door.
Now, there was no light coming from this small dwelling, but from within she still heard the shuffle of dragging feet approach the door. Then, the sound of the latch coming undone, and the slow creak of aged wood and steel as the door slowly opened into the darkness of the room.
She stepped into the black, straining her eyes to see even the slightest detail beyond the doorway, but it was as if the room was darkness itself, impenetrable by any light.
Taking a moment to collect herself, she shut her eyes against the black, and chose to simply listen to her surroundings to see if there was anything to be gleaned that way. What came to her first was the distant call of a wolf pack, hunting together as one until the dawn called them back into their den.
Next came the sound of the owl. Could it be the same one from earlier, continuing to call to her spirit and beckon her to follow him into the night?
Then the sound of the soft night breeze weaving its way thru the treetops and across the scattering of leaves that littered the forest floor. It seemed to Faye like the rustling of pages from many books, each one a witness to the year gone by.
In all of these things, Faye found contentment, because of their constant familiarity. Every night since she began to form memories, she recalled being blanketed by such sounds every night.
Just as she was mentally extolling the virtues of the calm and familiar, another sound pierced thru her revery, and try as she like to convince herself that it was nothing out of the ordinary, it had no place there.
Upon the air came the sound of music. Violins, harps, flutes. All sorts of instruments were weaving themselves into a sound that seemed dissonant and beautiful all at once. It was harmony in disarray. The song cut thru her calm demeanor and left her thoughts and emotions as scattered and fragmented as the chords themselves.
She tried to imagine what sort of coterie was responsible for such a noise, and curiosity compelled her to open her eyes. While the room was still dark, she spied a light coming from the mantlepiece. Approaching it with as much caution as a fearless girl could muster, she saw that it was coming from what seemed to be a dolls house.
What struck her as odd about it was that it was simply a much smaller replica of the house she was currently standing in. Gazing in thru the windows, she saw a sight that she could not comprehend, but at the same time was unwilling to simply dismiss as being a waking dream of some sort.
Inside this miniature home, there stood at least a dozen smaller creatures she could not name, all of them dressed to the nines in suits and gowns made of spiders webs and fallen leaves, smart hats made from acorn caps and the night blooming flowers that were plentiful in all reaches of the forest.
In the front of this gathering were two figures, who seemed to be the Lord and Lady of the house. The Lord was dressed in a suit made from the freshest of the crimson leaves that were scattered on the ground, and his Lady was gloriously arrayed in a gown made entirely from freshly plucked flowers known simply as Queen of The Night.
These two figures were seated on thrones that seemed to be carefully fashioned from tree branches that would have served as logs to a folk as small as this. They were beautifully carved all about with scrollwork and leaves. The detail was breathtaking and Faye found herself staring at the pair for such a long time that she failed to notice when the music stopped and the gathered assembly was staring directly back at her.
Not wanting to offend further by her inaction, she quickly bowed her head and asked pardon of the Lord and Lady and introduced herself quickly. Her eyes were tightly closed and she could feel the heat rising into her cheeks for being caught staring at these people who, for whatever reason, made her feel incredibly inferior despite their difference in stature.
“Who might you be, young woman?” asked a very direct and somewhat haughty male voice.
Keeping her head bowed and her eyes shut, she simply replied “Faye”
“My child, do not be afraid to lift your head and address us face to face” said the Lady
Faye lifted her head and began to slowly open her eyes, but then they shot open in surprise because she saw that she was no longer on the outside looking in, but had somehow been transported to the middle of the gathering. The Lord and Lady of her previous admiration now loomed before her, larger than life, and looking rather inconvenienced at her presence.
“How is it that you came upon us this night?” inquired the Lady, staring at Faye with a look of such coldness that it all but froze the blood within her body.
“I...I was seeking asylum in another part of this world, and came upon this hut. I took it to be abandoned at first, but then came upon your gathering by chance. I didn’t mean to cause offense”
“Whether you meant it or not, is irrelevant.” the Lord leaned closer to her as he said this, so that his gaze could pierce hers. She felt the sharpness of the look like a hatpin to the heart.
Turning to his Lady, he smiled a terrible smile and sweetly asked “Whatever shall we do with this one, my heart?”
The Lady leveled a gaze upon Faye that would have driven a lesser mortal to madness. Faye stood silently, trying not to tremble under the eye of this fearsome woman.
“ It has been some time, years beyond measure, that we’ve had the, pleasure, of a mortals company” the gathered assembly sniggered and chuckled at this statement from their Lady, and didn’t bother to hide their collective smirks. “I say we allow her, for this one night, to mingle freely amongst our kind. I feel that at the very least it would serve as pleasant entertainment for our guests.”
“Oh! Please, I have no wish to intrude further! If you tell me what it is I must do to return to the wood, I will leave you to your revelry.”
“Nonsense. We INSIST you stay” said the Lord with a smirk. “Please, take some food and drink, and mingle with the assembled company. You must be painfully curious as to who and what we are, and I’m sure there are some among us who would love to hear the tale you have to tell”
At this, Faye turned away from the pair to take her first real glance around the room at the rest of the collected party. Being among them offered her a better perspective than her original vantage point at the dollhouse window. Gathered together were mystical creatures great and small. She already made up her mind that the man and woman to whom she had been speaking were party of her namesake, The Faye, or The Fair Folk. There were others of their kind as well, but mixed in with several other creatures she recognized from fireside stories of childhood.