I twiddled my coins unintentionally around my suit pocket as Katha and her mother Layla walked in front of Morgan and I.
“Dad, are you ok?” Morgan asked breaking the silence between us as I daydreamed, unwittingly staring at the back of Katha’s mother’s head. I jumped a little and a dusty old golden coin flew out of my pocket. Morgan picked it up.
“Who is she?” she smiled looking at the back of the coin.
I grinned. “That’s Helena, our queen. She’s beautiful isn’t she.”
“She is, but what does this mean?” She pointed to the other side.
“That’s the faerie bird of peace, like a dove, and on its chest is the symbol of air, it’s her element.”
“Wow.” She ran her thumb over the design.
“Our coins are pretty special you know.”I took the coin from her and held it up. “Each time our queen or king died the new one would be chosen and we would change the coins to match the symbol and portrait of the new one. After a while the coins sort of changed themselves.”
“They know who the new monarch is?” She raised her eyebrow sceptically.
“Yep!” I smiled again as she took it in. “They are made of a special faerie metal called Carimintine. That’s how we always know who the new chosen leader is. They are the longest line of faerie we have, Helena has no children yet but she’s still young, I doubt I will ever get to see a new turning of the coins in my lifetime.” I sighed, the turning of the coins was a truly beautiful event.
Morgan would be meeting Helena before she realised. A meeting of the whole council meant Helena as well.
“Here keep this, you never know when you’ll need it.” I passed her back the coin.
“Thanks dad, she grinned.
After we had all settled in the room below they gave us an hour to say goodbye, wish luck and have snacks and drinks.
“Tea for you my ladies?” I asked them all.
“Yes please.” They all said in practical unison.
As I returned I noticed Morgan was missing. Katha told me she had gone to get sandwiches so I brought her drink over to her at the sandwich table. I saw her through the crowd and was approaching her when I heard a nasty threatening snarl.
“I can’t believe a measly half-blood fish like you got through.” A tall and built blonde boy was stood next to Morgan with another boy at his side. “You better watch out tomorrow swampy.”
“She better watch out for what?” I stepped in and the two boys withdrew their threatening looks and stepped backwards. I had to stop myself laughing as the smaller one of the two hurriedly apologised to Morgan reluctantly and they walked away. “Don’t worry about those two Morgan they are all words and you beat them both in the test.” I grinned handing over her drink.
We made it back through the throng of crying mothers and proud fathers towards Katha and Layla. We talked for a while until the large man called across the room it was time to go. I waved as they left the room. Morgan was now on her own, there was nothing more I could do to help her. I knew she could do it but now she needed to prove it. I turned back towards Layla and saw a small tear roll down the edge of her cheek. She began to take off my jacket.
“I guess I’ll see you when they come back.” She smiled and walked towards the door leaving me with just my warm coat and a flash of scarlet as her hair whipped around the door.
“Layla!” I don’t know what possessed me to run after her. “Wait. I can’t just let you be alone like this without Katha. Come out for coffee with me.” I suggest.
“I haven’t been out since... Well my family keep trying to drag me out, and I’ve promised I will go with them but I just can’t face going out with them all yet.” She sighed.
“Well let me take you out then.” I grinned. “There’s only one of me and hey I’m practically a stranger, you can tell me everything that's happened in the last twenty years, for you and the rest of the place.” I smiled what I hoped was a comforting smile. For some unexplained reason I wanted to know more about her. I always put this pulling feeling down to fate because that was I have an excuse to follow it to whatever end. It was the pulling feeling that made me buy my first bike and a pulling feeling that drew me to get on the bus that day.
“That sounds nice.” She smiled again and accepted my coat once more. It was nice to feel i had someone other than family in this world.
“um, so do you know any good places for coffee?” She laughed as we walked out the door.
“I think I know a few places.” She smiled. As Morgan and I headed off in different directions our next few days would be crucial for how the future would map out.