The moon had been full. Anna knew that because at the time she had been looking out of the window, staring at the stars which, so rare nowadays, had made an appearance. As she watched, one of them winked out of existence. A black cloud passed across them, and when it cleared, that star still was not there.
The cloud came towards them. Perhaps it was because Anna had seen the destruction of the stars, perhaps it was because she was intelligent, friends with Matt, and most of all, not entirely human.
For Anna had fairy blood in her veins, and although she did not know it yet, it was growing stronger every day.
The cloud had reached her window. She could see, now, that it was not a cloud at all: it was a group of black, fiery devils. They smashed through her window. Broken class hit her desk with a thud and left indents. Her own arms were scored and bleeding.
They had taken Anna by the arm and led her into her parents’ room. Maybe it was to make them suffer more; we do not entirely know.
“Do you know what this girl is?” they had said. Her parents had nodded, white and frightened. Anna was wearing only a thin nightdress and her legs were almost bare. She shivered.
“We must kill her. She is a danger to us.” Their voices were curious – a sort of grating whine which seemed awkward passing through their sharp, dangerous teeth.
“No!” Now the front window smashed, and through it came a boy. He only appeared to be about sixteen, and from his back came two white wings, similar in shape to those opposite him. Except that theirs were covered in scales, and his in feathers.
“Get out of here, Telcontar!” shouted the demons. “You’re not wanted.” He did not heed them, however, and took a step forward.
“I may not be wanted, but as I can see, I am needed,” he said quietly. And then he acted.
It was quite incredible to watch. He moved so fast and seemed to be almost a part of the air. His back feet connected with the demon after a backward flip, and his slim, pale hands closed around their neck.
“Leave her alone!” he said. Then he took from his pocked a small device. It was silver, in the shape of a cross. He placed it against the demon’s wings.
Matt had smiled, then. It had been so long since he had got close enough to do this, and now that the time had come, it had been so easy. These two were inexperienced and young; he had defeated them quickly. They started to scream as the silver crucifix burned them.
“Get it off me!” it screamed, but Matt was relentless. Its companion tried to escape but Matt’s arm shot out, oh, ever so fast, and caught it.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he said, but did not give his prisoner a chance to reply. He pressed a silver cross into their wings, too.
Anna and her parents watched in amazement as the creature’s wings dissolved, vanishing with a bang. Several seconds later the twisted creatures themselves seemed to implode, and only a minute or two from the first touch of the silver, two creatures like Matt stood there, white and pure and glorious.
“What did you just do?” said Anna, spellbound.
“Inverted their evil,” replied Matt. “I forced them to understand me, and by doing so removed all traces of who they were, and made them Telcontar.” That went straight over Anna’s head, but she ignored it.
“What were they?” she asked, still revolted by the way they had tried to kill her. She had seen the hungry look in their eyes; seen how sharp their teeth were.
“They, Anna, were two members of the Celryn.”