“Morgan,” Dad’s voice is soft and gentle as he lifts me from the helicopter. Blinking the sleep from my eyes I wave goodbye to the helicopter and pilot as it takes off in the blinding snow.
Snow? “Dad, where are our things?” I look around me, not seeing them anywhere. “And why is it so hot?”
Dad just smiles. “Our things are already gone.” He turns and begins walking towards a sheet of ice. I follow, holding my coat close, more as a security blanket than anything else. I certainly don’t need it for the cold, especially as it’s getting warmer the closer to the ice we get.
“Right,” Dad smiles the biggest smile I’ve ever seen him with. “I want you to draw your element, correction, Main element to you.”
Main element, that must be water; at least I always feel the most at home with water. There seems to be enough of it around here, but I sense that maybe there isn’t. The water flows from me to the sheet of ice turning it into a glistening silver wall. Gently I touch it. Ripples spread out as if my fingers had tapped a puddle. I grin and touch it again, this time letting my fingers linger. I feel drawn through, as if something wants me to step inside. I looked at Dad.
He’s still wearing that giant grin. He nods at me. This must be it. We must be at the entrance to the Faerie world. I’m half scared, half excited. The only reason I can think of to leave suddenly is the test. That scares me. But this is where Dad grew up. I remember the first time Mom had taken me around the Grandma B's farm. She’d had that same giant grin pointing out where this and that happened.
Well thinking isn’t getting me anywhere. I take a deep breath and walk through. It tingles and chimes, like a sweeter softer version of the bells on store doors. My smile fades. I’m inside a building, not in a flowering meadow like I’d expected. Yet, yet building is not nearly a grandiose enough word to describe where I am.
This gilded hall seems to stretch for miles with a ceiling so high I’m surprised I don’t see clouds. All around me people bustle to and fro. Some look like businessmen, some look like ordinary people, but not a wing in sight. I hope Dad comes through soon.
A business man wheels his suitcase past me. I watch as he’s scanned with what looks like one of those hand held metal detectors from an airport. Once cleared the man walks through the shimmering ice. Dad, where are you, I think, taking a hesitant step forward. I can’t just stand here blocking the entrance, but I have no idea where to go, and frankly those big guys with bows and swords that are also milling about frighten me.
I jump when I hear my name called. “Morgan?” I turn to see two suited, um, receptionists, come out from behind the nearest desk. They approach me with a clipboard. “Morgan?” The one man is definitely looking at me.
“Y, yes.” I manage. Be strong, I tell myself. Just breathe. My hand goes to my pendant, drawing some strength from the love entwined in it.
“If you’ll have a seat over here,” they direct me towards a chair, “we need you to fill in this form and take it to Desk Fifty-Three. The lady there will tell you where to go.” It feels as though the clipboard is shoved at me. I take it and sit down. They return to their desk.
Sighing I pick up the pen and look at the form. I feel as though I’m applying for a passport as I fill it out.
Name: Morgan Francis Wilfred;
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
Blood status: I have no idea, do I put half-blood? I leave it blank;
Reason for entrance: Business, visiting family, Dad didn’t really say.
Others in Group: um, I go with Father on this one.
Marital status: Single, but taken. I look into my pendant for a brief moment and smile.
Element: Not enough room for all three. I look up towards the wall, but don’t see Dad yet. I look back at the form. Water is all I put.
No need to advertise I’m different, despite the fact that Dad thinks it’s potentially wonderful. Things Mom thought were wonderful got me teased when I was in school. Not that I’ll deny it if asked. I complete the form raising my eyebrows at the disclaimer. Right. I hold the pen poised to sign the form. I look up again, but there is still no sign of Dad. Taking a deep breath I sign my name.
How long can I wait here, I wonder. And which desk, of the myriad white marble desks that line the hall, is Desk Fifty-Three?