Although she would prefer not to admit it out loud, Silyah had spent countless, sleepless nights mourning Artemis Fowl the Second. She knew that it was absurd, that he was probably safe and sound – safer than he had ever been – back in his own time and space, but parts of her could not help but to constantly point out the fact that right here and right now, he was as dead as dust… Just like every other tribute of the 80th Hunger Games, including the two she had killed with her own hands.

Silyah shut her eyes tightly; the shadows in her room making her feel dizzy and paranoid. It was not a new sensation; she had started feeling like that ever since the victory celebrations had ended in District 3. When all the post-Games excitement had died down, the girl had been forced back into her normal life, which had been rather difficult for her. In the end, she had settled on the idea that she would be better off alone in her new house in the Victor's Village. She could not bring herself to understand how things could have remained the same around her while she had changed so much.

Sighing, Silyah rolled on her side, feeling the tear-soaked pillow under her cheek and realizing that she would not get much sleep tonight. Once again. Wiping her eyes, the girl let go of another shaky sigh. She sat up in her bed and turned on her room's light using the small remote on her nightstand. As she searched for a pencil and a piece of paper, the brunette ended up face to face with her reflection. Her messy curls were gathered in an equally untidy ponytail and, although it was not her most striking feature, her light blue eyes seemed swollen from crying. What really caught the girl's attention, however, were the dark semi-circles under her puffy eyes, which were clearly betraying her sleeping habits. I look as if I fought an army of trolls, she thought, once again borrowing a word from Artemis's adventures.

Brushing away her appearance from her vision, Silyah managed to find some writing material in the corner of her room and thus sat back on her bed to write down three words she would have never thought about before the 80th Annual Hunger Games. Following those words was a name; a name she was now so familiar with.

"I love you, Artemis Fowl," was the short sentence that had crossed her mind.

The girl shook her head. Before the Games, she had not exactly been a typical teenager. She had always preferred the company of books and pencils, needles and threads, as well as LED lights and electrical wires to the company of other people. When not in school, Silyah would keep busy with two things: art and technology, and sometimes a mix of both. The days during which she got of her house on her own freewill could have been counted on the fingers of one hand and that number was approximately the same as the number of friends she had. Never in a hundred years would the Hunger Games victor have thought that she would have romantic feelings towards someone. And yet it occurred… Unfortunately, that said "someone" had happened to be a twenty-first century time-traveler who had friends and enemies amongst fairies and who had been unlucky enough to have his name picked on Reaping Day along with Silyah's.

There had indeed been something with Artemis Fowl; the way he spoke and acted, the way his mind had appeared to work. Silyah had seen a similar behavior before and it was in herself. Throughout the though times she had endured during her stay in the arena, Artemis had felt like so familiar; almost like a safe dock on which Silyah could hold on for the sake of her sanity.

As she sketched around the sentence on her small piece of paper, the girl felt some new tears forming in her eyes. She did miss Artemis with all her heart, but that was only one of the reasons for her sobs and sleepless nights. Another thing that contributed to her desire to curl up into a ball and rock back and forth was that, while Artemis only seemed like a happy dream in her memories, everything else about the Games was still crystal clear and as vivid as ever. Silyah could not stand the fact that she could still remember the smell of Geneva and Caskar's blood with a complete accuracy, while the simple feeling of resting her head on Artemis's shoulder had only left a faint impression in the corner of her mind.

The girl dried her eyes again and looked down on her paper. She had drawn a morbid rotting skeletal hand. Clenching her own fist, she crumpled the page in a quick movement and threw it at the front of her room where it bounced off the wall and landed on the wooden floor.

She had the right to be crazy, alright! She was a Hunger Games victor for crying out loud! Not only that, but she also lived in the Victor's Village, where one inhabitant out of two had a mental issue of some sort!

The girl felt as if part of her soul had been robbed from her in order to be transformed into vague memories. In fact, she felt empty, like a shell; a body devoid of a soul. Trying not to let go of a scream, the girl leaned back, resting her head at the foot of her bed, and closed her eyes.

The next morning, a loud noise made Silyah jump out of her sleep. For a split second, her brain went through all the possibilities: a Career approaching, a sponsor parachute falling down the sky, a hovercraft, a cannon shot… And then, she caught up with reality. She was in the Victor's Village, in her house all by herself and the noise she had heard had been her doorbell. Slowly, the girl got up, wondering how her feet had managed to be on her pillow and her head at the foot of her bed.

"Coming," she shouted after having cleared her throat, hoping that her visitor would hear her. She walked to her house's front door, unlocking and opening it.

Outside, in the faint light of the awakening sun, a slender boy stood. He was not too tall, though taller than Silyah, and raven locks of hair were framing his pale features and piercing blue eyes. He was standing straight and was neatly dressed, a black coat on his shoulders to fend off the cold morning air. That person… He looked familiar…

No, that couldn't be… Silyah held her head in the palm of her hand, her eyes widening. That was it; she had gone nuts.

"Are you feeling alright, Miss Natho?" the raven-haired male asked her in a polite tone. "You look a little pale."

Feeling alright? Was he really asking her if she felt alright? As she fought to gain back her ability to speak, she shook her head. "Who are you?" she finally asked faintly.

"Oh, where are my manners?" the boy scolded himself. "Fowl," he said.

Silyah felt her throat tightening. She also felt like screaming, but she held that in. Feeling a little less than distressed, she observed the young man's features; his pale skin and familiar-looking blue eyes on a face that looked slightly too foreign to her… Just like his accent which was undoubtedly from Panem.

"Elijah Fowl," clarified the raven-haired boy.

End of Book One

The authors of this story would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for having followed us as we told you the story of the Ice Prince and the Clockwork Angel. We would also like to wish you an amazing New Year filled with happiness and joy!
We will be thrilled see all of you again in 2014 for this story's sequel!