Hello! This story is just a little piece of mine that I enjoyed writing. I was trying to write more than a thousand words without using any "to be" verbs. I have problems writing descriptions, so this helps me practice.
This was an all together welcome break from the Harry Potter universe. I love them, but this is original. And very fun... I can be dark and grim sometimes! Surprised even myself. Hope you like it.
One of them holds out a hand, and offers a berry. Small, succulent, and more addictive than any other substance on earth- the fruit of the fey. I accept it, of course. Because once you try it, you can never go back.
She grins as I accept the small gift. Laughter tinkles around, as they watch me slowly bring it to my lips. They love human misery- it serves as a distraction and as a game to them.
Them. The fey. The faerie folk. The wee men. The moor-children. Them of the malicious gleaming eyes and the pointed ears and the long fingers that bring me substance that keeps me spelled. They perch around my room, on my windowsills, on the bedposts, on the tassels of the curtains. A few find themselves enraptured by their appearance in my mirror, others laze around the jar that used to hold my pens. Some twirl around the dust motes visible in the sunlight from my window. But when I eat they watch me.
"Lucinda!" they call. "Lucy. Lulu. Cindy. Inda. Lucinda!" Their voices clamor for my attention, chiming like little bells as they flutter by my head. They pull my hair, touch my skin with their clawing hands, pinch my arms leaving the small red marks that made the doctors take away my pens and pencils and scissors.
I am past begging them to leave me alone. I flap a weary hand around my head, causing them to giggle and fly out of my reach. "Lucinda!" My name sets off a new chorus of laughter.
They brought me to the tanglewood, years ago. Not these ones- then I couldn't see them. Not the constant tormentors who haunt my room and make sure I don't starve to death and wither away…
No, the ones who entranced me and lead me deep inside the trees closer and closer to the elusive music and sounds of dancing looked human. If you didn't notice the pointed ears and delicately feral features and long wild hair, free and flowing. Impossibly slender and fragile with arms of enormous strength and those eyes that warned me away while beckoning me closer.
I should have remembered the stories passed down through the generations of the folk who lived by the tanglewood. The stories of the youth who emerged from the woods an old man thinking he still had a sweetheart and parents. The tales of the children who wandered too far into the trees and disappeared without a trace. The little rituals that demanded a child be baptized the day of its birth as to not find a changeling in its place. The St. John's Wort that grew in every garden and the hawethorne branch wreaths that graced the entryway. The way that no one ever left the house on Midsummer's after dark and how when the music came to us through the forest we shut the doors and tucked the children in early.
But I wandered too far past the little brook and the cluster of hawethorne trees that marked the end point of the trail. I pushed past the grove and trespassed. And that made me fair game, in their eyes.
The people I saw smiled, hungry smiles. They asked if I wanted to come with them, to the party. A bit farther in and we would be there. I would be home by midnight. Of course they would show me the way back, no need to fret. Could I hear the music? The drums, the flutes? The haunting tune that made my heart race and my blood rise and me feel graceful.
I should have recognized the curiously perfect clearing, exactly round and with green grass and purple and white flowers that exuded a heavy, cloying perfume. The music played in some corner and the people were dancing in circles, round and round and round…
And my feet lifted in step with everyone else's and we danced until I couldn't breathe. And then they came around with platters, platters with carved fruit and little brown nuts and carefully arranged berries. Small breads with the steam still rising, elaborate confections dusted with glittering sugar, delicacies I had no idea even existed. I had missed dinner, I had been dancing for what seemed like minutes but in that time the sky had changed from afternoon sun to stars and a full moon.
A serving tray was offered by a willowy woman with raven hair and smile that seemed to be waiting for something. The berries- deep red and almost bursting with the weight of their insides, drops of moisture so small as to be invisible to make them sparkle in the light of the torches lit hours ago.
A simple, easy motion to pluck a berry off the tray and bring it to my lips, the bite through the skin that gave a brief resistance, then flooded my mouth with sweet juice. Everyone paused, heads turned to look at me. And then the dancing went on and on and on…
I returned home with the dawn, head aching and body weary. I slept until noon, until a sharp tug on my hair jolted me from my sleep. My eyes opened that morning- hundreds of beings surrounded me and my bed, creatures with wings and slanted eyes and high pitched giggles.
And still I didn't remember the crime I committed until I tried to eat. Staring at the bland mortal food, my mind flashed back to birds made of fruit and boats of nutshells.
Never eat anything the wee folk offer because once you taste their honey and nectar no mortal food will sustain you ever again…
An old wives' tale. The sort of story that has no importance in place other than the town near the tanglewood or the village on the moor. But I lived in the town near the tanglewood- I used to live in the town by the tanglewood.
And now, I live out the last of my days in this place, because the forbidden fruit opened my eyes and I see them. Everywhere. They are my constant companions in this place. This place of windows and drugs and pale scrubs where smiling faces ask you to take the medicines and ask why you refuse to eat and still remain healthy…
Another one comes close and offers a sliver of nutmeat between slices of a withered wild apple. I accept it, biting into the tart and musky treat.
I am Lucinda, the girl who followed the elves and tasted the fruit of the fey. The silly mortal girl who trespassed and who the faries tricked. And one day, when they tire of me and stop bringing me their otherworldly morsels…
I shall wither away in this place.
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Thank you for reading!