Spook of Night looked up at the small panel on the wall that displayed the time. Why hadn’t Anna come on line yet? She tapped her fingers impatiently on the desk.
The trip to Earth was looming ever closer and she was desperate to meet up with her pen pal, but if Anna didn’t get back to her soon it would be impossible.
Suddenly Spook remembered that she had not eaten all day. She Shifted into the form of an eagle, to reach the kitchen more quickly. Once there, she returned to her humanoid form. Eagles just weren’t as good at raiding fridges.
Spook laughed. All of the Elders were at a meeting that had been called only that day, and it was glorious to have the house to herself. Though normally they would let her do pretty much what she wanted, there were some things that Spook just didn’t want to do in front of her Elders.
Why was Anna ignoring her? In all the months that Anna had been messaging Spook, she’d never once been late when they’d arranged a time to talk. Not that they actually had arranged one, Spook realised.
Anyway, maybe her computer is bust, Spook thought, trying to calm her thoughts. Human computers do that all the time. I’m sure that nothing has happened to her – Anna can look after herself.
At that moment the front door opened. Her Elders, Elorithryn and Moonwalker, had returned.
“Spook? Spook, darling, are you there?” Elorithryn’s voice was uncharacteristically worried.
“Here, Elo!” Spook called back. “In the kitchen!” Elorithryn and Moonwalker of Night were Spooks ‘parents’ – Spook grinned as she remembered Anna explaining that to her.
“Spook, you know that human you met on the internet, on that Facebook thing?” said Moonwalker, his voice strained.
“Anna? What about her?” Spook responded, trying to sound nonchalant, although inside her heart was sinking, and fast.
“Well, according to an update that a Telcontar, Matt, has just sent us, she’s not … entirely human.”
You could almost hear the whirring of cogs in Spook’s head as she tried to process the information.
“What? But … She’s not an alien, is she?”
“No. She is, in fact, half fairy.” Spook was silent, digesting this fact. Then she laughed.
“Oh, come on! Anna – half fairy? You’ve got to be kidding me.” It was the most absurd thing she had heard in months.
“You’d better believe it,” Elorithryn of Night said. “Apparently, she’s got the strongest Gifts for a couple of centuries.”
“Oh.” Spook’s mouth was a perfect circle – so much so that it was almost comical. “Are you – I mean, are the Telcontar – sure about this? There couldn’t be some mistake?” She hated to think that Anna had lied to her.
“Yes, they are. They have been for several years, but Anna herself didn’t know. They only told her a day or two ago, after all,” Moonwalker added, and Spook relaxed. So Anna hadn’t lied to her – she hadn’t even known.
“And why are the Telcontar telling us this, now? What is Anna – I mean, what does she mean to all of us?”
“She’s had a run in with the Celryn.” The word struck a note of dread in Spook’s heart. “They’ve abducted her parents and plan to execute them. Anna can’t risk herself to rescue them because she’s got to save the universe, and the Celryn have already lost a score of their number to her fighting prowess.” Moonwalker allowed himself a grin. “That was before she even knew about her powers.”
“So, Anna can defeat them?”
“When she’s got the Telcontar, yes. But we’re only telling you this – it’s classified information, after all – because you know her. We don’t want you to go bothering her, because she has to learn to use her powers to fight, and if she’s distracted the whole universe could be lost.”
Spook gulped. “And her parents?”
“Doomed,” replied Elorithryn, a sad smile on her face. “It’s too late for them, I’m afraid.”
And they watched as the sun came up, bringing with it the dawn that would destroy the last link Anna had to her old world.