"I think perhaps I should go next?" Alex looked at Mel briefly, who nodded. She didn't seem overly concerned, so I allowed myself to relax. Perhaps this one wouldn't be too traumatic.
"Go ahead," said Sarah, smiling comfortingly. She seemed to me to be the most open of the other characters, though perhaps that was a misconception. After all, she'd had her share of bad things. But at least she was making the effort to be friendly, instead of sitting there glaring at people, like some names I could mention.
"Well, my name is Alex," he said. "There's no easy way to say this, but I'm not human. Nor am I sixteen. I'm actually a fairy and I'm four hundred and three. Please feel free to make any stupid comments now, as you probably won't get the chance later on." There was silence. "All right. Well...
"I was born four hundred and three years ago and pretty quickly worked out that I wasn't like other fairies. Well, it took my fifteen years to come to that conclusion, but after a while that doesn't seem too long. I found out that I was one of the Fairy Lovers. Basically, we're destined to love those that the Dagda - our king - has condemned to die.
"So, every time one of them is killed, it destroys us that little bit more. And I know, because I've watched them. Scores of them. Hundreds, perhaps. And nearly all of them screamed, right there at the end. Nearly all of them wished they had listened to me when I tried to warn them...
"It would have been bad, I think, if I'd been alone through that. But I wasn't. Oh, no! There was the Dagda. Well, he's a beast, but he wasn't the worst of them. Cormac was. What can I say about him? He had an iron knife. He used to cut me with it, again and again, the blade on fire...
"And the pooka. A mythical creature to most of you, but far too real for me. I can't describe what he did to me, so I'll have to take a leaf from Shard's book and do this." Standing up, he pulled off his t-shirt. If it weren't for what was underneath, I could get quite fond of this job - spend all your time in a small room with a bunch of half-naked guys.
As one, the assembled characters gasped. His back was covered with scars - whip marks, they looked like, only they were silver. Even as we watched they began to glow, unearthly fire lighting them from the inside, and Alex's face tensed with pain. "Memories. Even remembering them brings it all back..."
He pulled his shirt back on. "Most of them were whips. The Dagda's whips. Human bones, it's got in it. Shards of glass. Leather knots. But some of them were the pooka's thorns, cuts he then burned shut. He's made of fire, you know. And it hurts." There was a pause. "The rest were Cormac. But you don't need to know that.
"A little while ago, the Dagda killed the only one of those victims ever to love me back. Her name was Jennie, and she was amazing. Beautiful. She was everything to me, and he stabbed her. I wanted to die, but her sister stopped me. So I planned my revenge.
"I would have carried it out but," and here he gave a small grin, "Mel talked me out of it. It didn't do us any good."
Del looked up, tears in her eyes. "He killed them," she said. "The Dagda. Alex and Mel, torn apart at the very end..."
"It wouldn't have been so bad," reflected Alex, "if the Dagda wasn't my father."