"Hey... wake up, Pip."
Rune ignored his voice telling her to wake from her dreams and she ignored him shaking her shoulder in an attempt to remove her mind from the dreamworld.
"Go to hell! I ain't wakin' up!" Rune snapped coldly.
"Aw, c'mon... don't be like that, Pip!"
She shot up at once, tired of him calling her by such a ridiculous name. "Heath, stop it! I'm not playing games anymore! My name is Rune; always has been always will be!"
"Whatever... you think your folks are going to mind that you spent the night with me... in a meadow... alone?"
Rune tried to fight back the laughter, "What are you kidding me? My family doesn't give shit about what I do! That's why I dropped out of school during my Freshman year. I haven't been back since."
The brunette girl pulled an open pack of cigarettes from her back pocket, along with a lighter. "Want one?"
Heath smiled at her, "Now c'mon, Runey, you know I don't smoke."
She slapped her forehead, leaving a red mark in the shape of her hand, "That's right... how could I forget? Heath is the wholesome one, haha, you tell that to your mama... we'll see what she thinks!"
"Hey, Looney Runey, let's not go bringing my mother into this now shall we?" Heath watched her light the end of the cigarette and take a long drag on it before allowing the smoke to trail out her nostrils.
Rune sighed, "Heath... what the hell are we doing?"
He stared at her sky eyes. They matched the blue streaks through her natural mousse colored hair. Her face looked paler than usual today. "Why? Something up?"
"Dunno..." She answered, taking another drag on her ciggy, "There's something... otherworldly going on today... I can feel it."
"How do you mean? Like... Aliens? Like what we were looking for last night? Goblins and stuff? Ghosts?"
Rune swayed her head from side to side, long ponytail whipping her arms as she did so, "Have you ever noticed how everyone always seems... to keep away from us?"
"Well... yeah... but I don't see what that has to do with-"
"What is the drive that inclines them to go out of their way to avoid us?"
"Hell if I know." Heath replied with a shrug.
Rune nodded, "It's the same drive... it's calling out to me... something incredible is going to happen today... I can tell."
The boy ran freckled fingers through his sandy hair, "If you say so, Runey... honestly... I don't feel like today is going to be much different than yesterday... I mean... I want to believe you... but it gets tiring after you've been saying the same thing for the past two weeks."
Rune stood up, "Aw hell, Heath, it's not like we're miles away from civilization... you can always just get up and high-tail it back to your piece of crap house if ya wanted to..." She began sticking her index finger into his face as if she were accusing the boy of some sort of crime, "fact is that you enjoy hunting down the supernatural... it fascinates you... and you have nothing better to do with your life than listen to a freak like me and go poking your nose into the affairs of goblins every time I say that something unusual is going to occur."
Heath had nothing to say reguarding her comment. She was right of course. This would be why he liked hanging around Rune... she wasn't like any other girl... even her name was unique. He'd only known her for a few years. He smiled inwardly... he'd changed at least, but Rune... she'd always dressed the same... always worn her hair into it's blue and brunette pony-tail... she'd only cut the split ends of her hair once to his knowledge... but what he had once thought were fairytales... he soon came to find weren't as unreal as many people lead on.
"There is magic in this world, Heath..." Rune had once told him before releasing a butterfly into the vast sky, watching it flutter away with a certain longing in her eyes, "it's not enough just to believe that it's real... you have to know it's real... and that doesn't always mean that you have to see it to make yourself believe that it is fact and not fictional."
Those words had never left him. He knew that magic was real... it had to be. Rune certainly believed it, and sometimes Heath would go as far to say that Rune herself was magical... though he dared not say it to her face.
Heath sighed, "Boy, you sure know me inside and out, huh?"
A smile tugged at the corners of Rune's mouth. A rare occurance. Rune hardly ever smiled. She told him her happiness had been stolen from her by the will of the pixies. A blank and expressionless Rune had explained to him that pixies enjoyed toying with the emotions of mortals. Of course... that was only once upon a time.
"They don't trust you... say the trees." Rune told him.
"Trees?" Heath glanced around, but there weren't any trees for a good long distance, "Rune, what're you talking about?"
She squatted down to meet his beautiful... and nay say, ever-so charming, hazel eyes, "Trees can speak in the wind... they do not trust you... it makes me wonder why."
Heath gave her a witty smile, "Why not ask them? They'll probably tell you."
Rune turned to her right side. Kissing the petals of a hollyhock, she whispered ever so softly to the flower, "Please... will you carry on a message from me to the trees?"
Despite the fact that Heath could not see anything, he could hear a light giggle, and he knew for certain that it did not belong to Rune.
"Your kindness is appreciated, Little One... my message is this: Do the trees have any reason to call Heath untrustworthy?" Rune asked the black flower recieving a giggle in response, "Thank you."
His eyes were wide. "What the- how did you-?"
"Shhh! Words move quickly... they send their response..." Heath remained silent until she spoke again, "They ask me why I relay messages to you... the one who searches for them even in his dreams."
"Might I have a word?" Heath inquirred.
Rune laughed a bit, "Would they listen to you? Heath, you are their hunter... they are the hunted... I do not think that the Fa- erm... they would wish to speak with such a person."
Heath sighed. He knew that they who so possessed magic were not fond of those who searched for it... and Rune was absolutely no help. He stood.
"Hm? Where are you headed off to in such a hurry, Lazy-ass?"
"Oh, Heath!" The old woman called from across the street. She looked as though she was pushing 60... maybe even 70.
"Oh... uhm... hey... Ms. Fierch..." Heath responded crossing over to the other side of the pavement. He knew she only ever spoke to him when Kate needed baby-sitting, "Erm... how goes it? What's up?"
"That girl isn't with you, is she?" she asked him.
Heath knew she was referring to Rune. The old woman highly disapproved of her. "No, Ma'am... I was only heading home... is there something you need?"
"Well, I don't want to be a burden-"
"It's no trouble at all, what can I do for you?" Heath asked, knowing that if he didn't he would only be persuaded into helping eventually... all old people were like that... they could persuade you to jump off a cliff like it was a good idea if they wanted to.
She fiddled with the grey bun that her hair was tied into, making sure that no loose pieces were falling out before she spoke, "I hope it wouldn't be bothersome for you to watch Kate for awhile... I'm just running to the store, I'll be back soon, though."
"Thank you so much! You're a real life saver!" With that the granny hurried off to the super market a few blocks down the street.
Walking inside, Heath muttered to himself, "Yeah... life saver my ass..."
Kate cuddled his leg when he entered. He couldn't remember the last time the child hadn't been delighted to see him. He wasn't the only one she accepted, Kate had quite a fondness for Rune as well. Heath sighed. He couldn't believe that he'd been suckered into walking back into this home that just reeked of old fogie.
"Hey Kate, how you been?" He asked her.
"Heath! I want food!!" The small child squealed.
He smiled down at her and chuckled lightly, "Well... we should probably fix that then."
The boy owed quite a lot to Kate. She would tell him fabulous tales from her mind... from the Faerielands as she called them. Yet her tales were always told in such great detail... and he believed every word of it. Heath came to realize that the reason for Kate's acceptance of him... was probably because... he believed her, and he wasn't a pretender as Kate called her "sister". There were many things about Kate that Heath didn't understand... but there were even more things that he didn't understand about Kaye... Kate's older sister.
Heath knew her once... a long time ago... but she moved away with her mother. Then she came back for a bit. He remembered being one of the people staring at her as a boy from his class, Kenny, desparately chased her in the school yard. Heath hadn't laughed at the sight like many of the other students had, instead, he merely walked away.
"Here ya go, Kiddo... what do you think?" Heath held out a plate of two grilled cheese sandwiches neatly cut into triangles to Kate.
She pouted, "But I want something faerie-made..."
"Kate... you know you have to eat human food first. I'll send the faeries a message and bring you back your favorite food for next time. Perhaps after you eat you can tell me more of your stories."
"Okay!" She immediately perked up, eating the sandwiches as fast as she could.
A firece wind blew past Rune's face. She was still in the meadow, surrounded by the newly bloomed flowers of the springtime. Her gaze shifted up automatically to the sky. Rune glared at the darkening clouds riding on the back of the wind. "What manner of sorccery is this?" She wondered curiously.
Rune stood, deciding that it would be better for her to head back to her foster family. She thought back to when times were more pleasant for her. Her friend, Minnow, a faerie of the elven race. The nights she snuck into the Unseelie court, simply to dance among the fey and posibly catch a glimpse of Lady Nicnevin.
It was unfortunate that all good things must come to an end. Too long Rune had remained in her teenage body... Minnow had long since been slaughtered by some solitary pixies... and there were no more reasons for Rune to sneak into the Night court. Lady Nicnevin was dead, The Black Knight, Roiben, now possessed the throne... of both Night and Bright courts.
"Immortality... it comes with a price... it is time for me to run forthward again..." Rune muttered to herself.
She had a home... a real home, once upon a time... in the colonial era. She had been born in the 19th century, turning 15 around the age of Civil War in the lands. Some say it was actually the doing of the fey that caused the men to fight their brethren as they did... others claim that the humans simply grew too hungry for power.
Whatever the case be, Rune's town was under attack. Her home burned to the ground. She was blessed with the True Sight; not something that ever pleased her. A call cried out into the night. A girl... perhaps somewhere around her own age... was trapped inside a burning home of her pillaged town. Rune ran inside to find an elven girl pinned to the floor by a fallen beam. Rune could still remember how the flames burned her on that night... so violently, as she tried to rescue the fey.
She succeeded. Rune and her rescued fey friend ran to another town together, seeking shelter. No one else mattered at that point. Her mother and two younger sisters burned to death that night, and her father and older brother were both killed previously in battle.
The fey rested a comforting hand upon Rune's shoulder, and allowed the girl to cry against her. "I am indebted to you... might I know my savior's name?" Her voice was kind and gentle.
Rune had sniffled some before replying, "M-my name is... Rune Knotting..."
She laughed now... her surname had been changed so many times... but her original... it made her smile.
The elf sighed, "What to do, what to do? Might you allow me to grant you three favors, dearest Rune? Your favors are yours to ask, then I see it fit to bestow upon you a gift for my rescue... my life is not worth much more than that."
Rune nodded. "What is your name?"
The elf's eyes went wide with shock, "My name you ask? Your first favor... My name is Thrysta Reen Minnow, at your service for the time being... simply call me Minnow... you are quite clever to ask such a favor from me."
Rune didn't understand what that meant, but she presumed it to be an honor. "Have you a second favor, Rune?"
The human girl smiled, "Can I be accepted by the faerie court? Even though I am human... but still be free to do as I please?" Rune was so careful when asking favors from the fey; she didn't want to be tricked.
"As you ask it, it shall be done... and the third?"
"Faerie magic... I want to possess it limitlessly and without restraint."
The elf smiled at her, "Consider it done... my you are a strange human... now it is my turn... I find you worthy of something exquisitely special... I give to you, Rune Knotting, the gift... of human immortality."
Rune's eyes had gone wide at this, she remembered. Minnow continued, "Mind you... that immortality does not mean you will live forever or for an eturnity... but I will say this... you do have a weakness... one that could possibly cause your death."
"Well... what is it?"
The elf smiled, "I am sorry... but I do not feel inclined to tell you... however... if you think of the weaknesses of the fey... I'm certain it will come to you... Good luck, Rune. I bid thee well until our next meeting."
When they finally met again Minnow came bearing the news that Rune had been accepted into the Unseelie court, despite the fact that she was human. Although, Rune soon came to find that she was more faerie than human. As the years went by her friends began growing older... aging as humans do... while Rune remained the same... she was still in the body of a 15 year old girl with the knowledge and wisdom of a nearly 200 year old woman.
She'd discovered that her weakness... the only one that could cause her death... was iron. The ultimate weapon against the fey.
She found that every couple of years, she would have to run away and disguise herself in a new glamour each time to prevent from being found out. Rune had always told herself that friends were worthless... they would all die... just as all the ones before them, and love wasn't even possible... for Rune had lost her ability to love long ago.
Yet Rune could not deny that the boy... Heath... was a fascinating human. He never ceased to amaze her. She found she had developed a strong bond with him over the past few years... so strong a bond that she'd perhaps remained in this glamour a bit too long... it was now her time to leave. Although, Rune supposed she could spare him one parting farewell... a token of their friendship. All she needed to do was find him.
Her feet tramped along the concret of the sidewalk without much sound. Though it was springtime, with the coming strom, the air was becoming chilly; Rune zipped her jacket to help shield her from the cold. She could sense Heath closer than where his home was... which meant that he was baby-sitting Kate. Rune picked an apple from one of the neighbors' trees, it looked edible. She glamoured it to look like some of the faerie food Kate was used to eating. Rune knew the girl had quite the sweet tooth.
Rune did not even need a key to enter the house, she simply turned the knob... that idiot Heath had left the front door unlocked. "Hello?" She called.
"Runey!" Kate called clutching Rune's leg tightly. "I wondered if you were coming!"
Rune did not make to smile at the child, but pulled the glamoured apple from the pocket of her jacket. "I thought you might like this... the faerie send their love."
Kate took the apple greedily, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Runey!"
Heath laughed, looking down from the staircase, "You don't even smile and she likes you more than me."
"Heath... I need to talk with you..."
"Okay... Kate, will you go wait for us out front? Oh! But don't go outside the fence! Got it?!" Heath asked the tiny child.
Kate nodded, taking her first bite out of the apple, thinking it to be from the faeries. She exited the front door, carefully closing it behind her. "Why send her out there?" Rune wondered.
"We were going to examine the thorns growing through the chain links of the gate... she and I both seem to think that they mean something... because thorns just seem... really out of place." He paused, "Anyway, what'd you need to tell me? You aren't pregnant, I hope?"
Rune laughed at that, "No. Is that what all men believe a woman wishes to tell them when she asks to speak with them in private?"
Heath shrugged, "Well, you never know... so spill, what's going on?"
"I've decided to run away... I can't stand living here any longer... maybe I'll go to the city..." Her stomache churned thinking of all the iron that was there though, "Or maybe I'll build myself a log cabin in a deeply wooded forest or something..."
"What? No! Why don't you just-"
"Sorry, Heath... but you can't change my mind... good-bye." Rune opened the door behind her to find a most unusual sight in the yard.
Kaye was kneeling beside Kate, asking her what she was doing with the thorns. Although, where Heath saw Kaye... Rune saw nothing more than another pixie... but this one... just happend to be her King's consort. "Oh hey, Kaye!" Heath called, pushing past Rune and running to greet Kate's older sister.
Rune walked over to the pixie slowly, not wanting to alarm anyone. Rune knelt in the grass, "My Queen... a pleasure to see you."
Kaye looked at rune a bit confussed. It was obvious that she had never seen Rune before... and to Kaye... Rune looked just like any other human. "Have we met before?" Kaye asked.
Rune rose to her feet, "Alas, I can not say we have... but I know my place among the court of Unseelie... I must say, it is well beneath you."
Heath and Kate didn't seem to have been listening to the conversation between Kaye and Rune. The woman's words reminded her of Roiben's. The context of speech was nearly identical, though the girl speaking couldn't have been any older than 16. "With that said, I shall take my leave." As Rune turned to leave, Roiben stood in the direction she would need for her escape.
Roiben's eyes were as unreadable as ever. He'd always been that way, Rune supposed, but she did not see his purpose in coming other than to annoy her thoroughly. Rune bowed slightly, "My King," Not wanting to seem unusual, but at the same time not wanting to seem unrespectful, Rune spoke "I did not know you were paying a visit upon such a dreary afternoon..."
The dark clouds were overhead now, covering the sky so the blue was not visible. "Rune... not a face I expected to see." Roiben replied.
"My appologies... I will spare you the flattery that you must tire of and leave your presence at once." Rune made to leave, and was surprised the Black Knight allowed it so.
Ah yes. That was indeed refreshing. Thoughts for an aspiring author? Many thanks.