Author’s Note: Thanks to exams, I have been horribly stressed and falling down an endless pit of darkness, so because of my lack of creativity and motivation to do anything besides sit in my PJ’s and watch Sherlock, here’s a short story that I wrote before the sheet of despair clouded my vision. Feel free to tell me what you think, and whether or not it would be a good idea to continue! Thanks so much!
Amber ran, breathing short, until she finally came upon the edge of the cliff. There was no turning back now, the fey were catching up on her. She couldn’t do anything to stop them from tearing her apart as soon as they reached her, their magic was so much stronger than her mortal abilities. She could try swatting them away, but she wasn’t sure that would help much. She struggled to stop at the edge, her leather shoes grasping at the dirt for any sort of grip. Finally she came to a stop, but it wasn’t before the faeries came crashing out of amongst the trees: Small creatures with various earth-like designs over their bodies, some with tree-like limbs and heads, some with flowing dresses as if the sea itself had agreed to give part of itself away to become part of a clothing. Others wore jewels so bright it looked like the stars themselves were trapped inside. Amber let out a breath, this is it, isn’t it?
Her mind flashed back to her dying mother at home, so sick. She had encountered some sort of disease along her journey, and her state was decreasing quickly. The life seemed to be draining out of her as if she were a rain cloud; as soon as all the rain had finished, there would be nothing left.
“Amber, don’t… I am dying, Amber. You won’t be able to save me, but it’s okay. I will always watch over you and your brother. And your father. I know you kids are strong, but your father, not so much. Keep an eye on him. Don’t let him ruin himself. I love you, I love you so much. All of you… I couldn’t have asked for a better family; a better life. I have no regrets, Amber. I am ready. And I am exited. Exited to see what awaits on the other side. Who knows what journeys might await me?!”
Her mother had said, skin pale and tears trickling from the corners of her eyes. Amber had said nothing; it made her want to shake her mother’s shoulders as hard as possible, to see her so delirious and talking about death as if it was as simple as moving houses, or attaining a new job. Maybe if Amber had had more faith in the gods, she would have felt better, but like this she had just felt betrayed. Her own mother, who had always taught her never to give up, had given up right in front of her. Had just thrown away her own life without even trying to find a cure. But that’s why Amber was here now, she knew her family wouldn’t be the same without their mother. Her father would crumble. She’d have to take care of her brother by herself.
Stepping closer and closer toward the edge, her heart beating like an angry bull, the fey advanced on her. They chattered their teeth together like squirrels, and sung like the jays who nested around Amber’s home. She was ready to fight her way through as many fey as she could. Even if she had less chance of escape than a fly on a spider web, she wasn’t about to give up like her mother was. She was going to fight for her life for as long as she possibly could. Even if it meant torment by the faeries.
They came at her with their claws and teeth bared, scratching at her with immense ferocity. Amber reflexively shielded her face with her arms, before remembering she couldn’t just stand there and let them capture her. It would be a disgrace to her family; to her mother.
She flung her arms out wildly, a few fey shrieking away with shock. She felt solid mass connecting with her arms as they swept the air, but the fey retaliated quickly. She felt teeth sinking into her right forearm and let out an involuntary scream. They hadn’t even had to bring out their magic and she was already wanting to give up. Not being able to think of anything that might grant her escape, she sunk down on all fours and attempted to scramble back into the forest.
The faeries attack from up high because they have the ability of flight, so they won’t be expecting me to flee on all fours!
She kept going, and was just about to crash through the bush when they caught up to her. They latched onto her legs like leeches, and began crawling up her body. Amber let out another shriek, as they crawled up towards her upper body. She had heard the rumours, but nobody actually believed the fey sucked your heart right through your chest, did they? It couldn’t be true. Laying faerie eggs inside a dead heart? Her mind raced with possibilities – of course she’d thought about the myths – but that’s why they were called myths, right?
She kept scrabbling at the ground, nails coated in dark soil and clothes ripped to shreds. Another scream tore at her throat, and she felt sharp claws sink into the flesh of her stomach.
Go, go, go! Move! Get up, run!
She shouted at herself, but her body screamed in protest. Despite herself, she struggled upwards, grabbing at her stomach and curling her fingers around a small body. As soon as she felt it she yanked it away from herself, squeezing tightly. It scrabbled in her hand, clawing and biting and spitting like a butterfly trapped in a small glass bottle, except more violent than what Amber remembered them being like. She was about to throw it into the flock of fey at her heels, when she was hit with a billion different sensations at once; the fresh feeling of standing on the edge of a lake during the spring, the tinge of the air after a lightning storm, the earthy smell of grass, and finally the heated face of being sat next to an outdoor fire. She was overwhelmed with memories, flashing through her mind as if a whip cracking against her back. Pushing her brother off of a cliff they used to play at. Searching for their dog, Nala, after a lightning storm had scared her out of their backyard. The smell as she rolled down the hills with the neighbors and her brother. Sharing a campfire with her small family; roasting strips of rabbit and laughing like nothing was wrong in the world. That was all before her mother encountered her illness and everything fell apart.
Suddenly Amber was back in the real world, her face pressed against cold ground. She felt the swarm of fey scrambling over her body; bees over a honey comb. They bit and tore at her skin, and the last thing she felt was one on her back, ready to tunnel and extract her heart for their young to be born into.
And then she was met with darkness.
To be continued… I hope.