We followed the vivid light and came to an unimaginably bright, colorful, mystical jungle-type forest.
"What on earth. . . ?" Jem mused, looking around in wonder.
Kate spun in circles slowly, taking all of her surroundings in with amazement. Griever looked astonished. I couldn't speak, for I was too stricken with shock.
Ali giggled and ran around, jumping up in trees and hanging on vines. "Boy, isn't this a sight for sore eyes. I haven't been back here in years!"
My head snapped back to her. "What do you mean, 'been back'? You've been here before?" After surprise came anger. "Ali, why did you neglect to tell me that you knew where this place was!?"
She looked down at me from her vine, an innocent expression on her face. "Why would I tell you? To me, you're just another babysitter. Although I have to admit, you're better than the last one. I guess that's why I decided to stick around. That, plus Griever. He's cool. You know why? Because he goes hunting with me! You never--"
"I don't give a damn about why you stayed! You still should've told me! Or at least one of us here!" I shouted, losing control of my anger. I could almost feel someone cringe behind me; I'm not one to use foul language.
She scoffed at me. "See? I don't dare take such serious assumptions from life, lest I become so uptight. Unlike you, I make an effort to have fun."
Honestly, the audacity of that little girl. . . "Make an effort to be a burden for everyone else because of your insatiable urge for blood, you mean?" I retorted through clenched teeth.
Now it was her turn to get angry. "Listen, you. . ." She climbed half-way down from the tree and leaped the remainder of the way, landing inches from my face. "You're lucky I didn't skin you alive while you were in that freaky cat form!"
"Alright, alright, let's calm ourselves," Griever started as he walked in between the two of us. "We're all in a stressed situation at the moment. Now Ali, you say you've been here before? Did you come by yourself?"
Distracted by Griever and his questions, Ali's mood lightened. "Well, sure! I wouldn't let that stupid Bavra follow me anywhere."
"Bavra?" Griever asked.
"Oh yeah, my old babysitter. A dumb broad, that lady was," Ali said, nodding.
Griever sighed, smoothing his hair back in a slightly flustered manner, and then continued. "Anyway, how many times have you been to this forest?"
"Only once before this, although I would've liked to come here more often." Suddenly excited, she turned to Kate and Jem. "Actually, we could build a new camp here! It would be so much better than that old boring camp. Can we, can we?" She might have an evil mind, but she still has a child's spirit.
Jem shook her head. "No, our current camp is fine the way it is. Besides, we wouldn't set up camp in a completely unknown place such as this, nor would we even dare to stay here overnight." Kate nodded her head in agreement.
I sighed. How could a girl like herself, who kills and devours, be a Fae? Faeries are supposed to be gentle and kind, the opposite of her.
Griever heard my sigh and turned. "Yes, m'lady? Do you have something to say?" I only scowled at him in reply. Yes, he was much like an older brother-- caring, but also loves to annoy you.
"No, Griever, I'm fine," I said, trying to be a good sport. No point in acting grudgingly about it.
Just then, an opening appeared out of one of the nearby trees. From the opening came a squirrel. It skittered up to us, sniffed my dark green leather boots, then ran back into the portal-like thing.
Curious and enticed by the squirrel, Ali cried, "Ooh. Trina, come back! I want to skin you!" And off she went, into the strange opening.
"No, girl! You don't know what that thing is! It could be dange--" another Hawk started to say, but I stopped him.
"There's no point, she won't listen to you." There was an instinctive pull, an attraction to the mystical entryway. I could feel it. There was no mistaking it; this was the world of the Fae. Then the realization came over me, creating a lump in my throat that made it hard to breathe-- I'm not alone. I don't have to be alone anymore! Suddenly, the urge to enter the odd warp in space became much stronger. As the opening began to close, so did my chance. Without a second thought, I leapt through the entryway and had a weird sensation wash through me. It was a feeling of belonging, the feeling that I had a place where I was meant to be.
I came to the end of a long tunnel that I had been walking through. As I stepped out of the gateway, I scanned my surroundings. Yes, there were Faeries here. Many of them. I could sense it. But Faes aren't what I saw first. What I saw first startled me. There were Faeries mingling and milling around, but that wasn't where my attetion was. My attention was focused on a human, bounded to a large tree stump. She looked to be about seventeen summers aged, clothed in fringe attire from her jacket to her leather boots. She had long, dark hair and black eyes, from what I could see. All around her were dogs -- more shapeshifting Fae -- about five or six of them, all snarling and barking at the girl who was tied up.
When the lady caught sight of me, she yelled in a sarcastic tone with a thick foreign accent, "I could use some assistance over here! Or are you just another blood-thirsty killer like the rest of these fiends?"
Dumbfounded, I shook my head. "N-no ma'am, not on my life. I could never do such a thing unless my life depended on it."
At the sound of my voice, the large dogs all turned to face me. There was a dark burgandy-colored mutt (being a feline, it is only natural that I detest dogs, especially those who would kill without reasoning) who was slightly larger than all the others; I suspected him to be the leader of the group. After studying me for a moment, they all shifted into their human forms, putting capri-length pants on as they morphed. I vaguely wondered how they were able to do such things.
Walking up with a swaggering kind of walk, they approached me.
"Well well, what have we here? A little girlie, how sweet," the leader said. I heard the human behind them give a relieved sigh.
I folded my arms, feeling older than I was. "And what have we here, a bunch of brutes? Disgraceful Fae."
The leader, who looked as though he was about nineteen summers aged, scoffed. "And what of you? A little half-human. You've got some room to talk." The teenaged boys behind him chuckled.
"At least I'm no mutt. Unlike you," I said in a mature voice. I hated it when people treated me as a child.
The older boy's stance shifted. "From your talk, I'm assuming you're one of those filthy cat Fae. Ya know, you stupid felines always did aggrivate me. I've got half a mind to teach you a lesson."
I stared him down. "Is that a challenge?"