(Short Story) A faerie enters a forbidden area in the forests where it is said to be cursed. But she wasn't expecting the power that the remains really hold.
The remains of an ancient building lay broken in the deepest part of the forest. Three walls and a partial top show very little of the stones that it was built of and greens cover the rest. Intricate vines looping and swirling this way and that made the place look magical. But it also made the old place look dangerous. The vines drooped from the ceiling, climbed up the walls and lined the bottom creating quite a puzzle to overcome. There was only one problem with this luring scene; it was off limits among the fairies that lived among these woods.
The stories from generations tell that this place was evil. If a faerie were to enter it, they would not come back. It was said to be the home of an evil sorceress who captured fairies and used them to do her bidding. To enter this place, was said to be like taking your last breath. No one knew what was in store, except that you would not return. Once a faerie entered, it disappeared from the other’s view. No passerby could see what went on inside, if a faerie disappeared, then the search stopped once they reached the stony walls. Even though now the sorceress had been dead for a long time, it was still said that her dark magic surrounded the place and would capture all who entered.
Citrina Ivie emerged from the trees with tears streaming from her emerald eyes and down her delicate face. Her jaggedly cut, short black hair barely moved against the winds violent throws. Her attire didn’t do much for her appearance, the yellow on her shined as bright as the sun, but her face showed the worst part of a rainstorm. Her yellow garb clung tightly around her waist and bust and the skirt of it was short but frayed. Vines coiled around her ankles and up to her knees, they did the same from her wrists to her upper shoulders, creating complex patterns. Her wings remained stiff against the wind and they seemed dull in color. Citrina was unhappy, and it showed not only in her face, but in the fragile white wings behind her. They didn’t flutter nor did they glisten with the tiny rays of sunshine peeking through the treetops, they just lingered behind.
She had heard of this place only through stories, and now, she saw it before her as her only way out. The only way to leave her clan, the one place they never looked. Shortly after she was born, while playing with fellow fairies she stumbled into a patch of thorny vines and roses and when she surfaced, they had dug into her skin. When others tried to remove the vines they had created an even more intense pain that was unbearable. From then on, the vines had become her, and she had become the vines. It was remarkable that the thorns didn’t touch her wings, for if they had, she would have been paralyzed. For years the others mocked her. Teasing and tormenting her to no end and now, she had had enough.
She came to a stop and just stared at the broken down place that had frightened so many. Nothing about it struck her as dangerous. If anything, it was alluring. Her sobs hiccupped to a stop when she tried to imagine what might happen to her if she entered. Would she return? Would she die? Would anything happen at all? She didn’t see how this place could be so scary. It just didn’t make sense to her. Were the stories just a bunch of silly myths?
She took in a deep breath and without another thought; she proceeded to do what she had come to do. But within a few steps, just leaving her short a couple of yards before reaching the building, the silence was interrupted. A cough bounced off of the so called walls of the old building and continued on and into the trees around. She froze instantly but cocked her head to the side. A part of her wanted to run, but the other part of her wanted to stay. The cough didn’t sound womanly at all. Actually, it was more like a man clearing his throat. Intrigued, she jumped into the air and her wings fluttered but once and she landed on the wrecked roof. She hunched over and peered into the stony structure but saw nothing. The tiny building remained unoccupied, or so she thought. Curious, she flung her body over and onto the ground with a slight pounce. She inhaled deeply and took a step inside. A shiver went down her spine from the drop in temperature and she hugged herself. She looked around cautiously, and then her eyes fell on the corner beside her. There stood a man…a human.
Citrina stared on into his eyes and she remained still. She knew that he could see her, but she didn’t know how. Maybe it was this place, this mysterious place that had some kind of curse upon it. Maybe it revealed us to the humans.
The man didn’t move nor did he blink it seemed like, but his expression was soft. He was a very muscular man with dark hair like hers and a face that almost seemed angelic. He didn’t look like an angry man nor someone who was going to hurt her. He seemed almost calm but as amazed as she was. She looked into his eyes which were a watery blue. This color was new to her, at least in the eyes. All of the fairies she knew had green eyes. She didn’t know why, but they just did. This was the first time she had seen another shade, and she was amazed. They stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like ages and then, he took a step forward.
Fearful of what his actions were, she turned to flee but when she tried to do so, it was as if she bounced off of some sort of clear wall and it sent her flying across the room and into a pile of rubble, tangling her in a web of vines as well. Panic stricken and confused, she tried to untangle herself but it seemed as if more and more vines just covered her, trapping her. It was then that she saw the man coming towards her, he reached behind himself and brought out some sort of object that with a single, swift motion, revealed a sharp tool of some sort. Frantic, she tried fought harder against the constricting greenery until she saw the man hold up his hands as if he was surrendering. Citrina then looked up and into his eyes, taking her attention away from her struggles. She couldn’t figure out what he was doing. Was he going to hurt her or was he going to help her? But why would he help her? And these vines, were they a part of some dark magic?
“Be still,” he said in a soft voice.
Citrina’s tense body loosened a little by the sound that came from him. He then continued to come towards her and knelt down. She didn’t know what to do. She just remained still, hoping that he wasn’t going to hurt her.
The man then brought his knife up and slipped it under some vines that had captured Citrina and she snapped her eyes shut and clenched her teeth. And then with a snap, she felt some of the tightness give way. She peered out of a closed lid and saw the man smiling at her. She then looked down and saw that he had cut away some of the restraints. It was then that he spoke again.
“My name is Alex,” he then proceeded to cut away some more. Her body then relaxed, and mesmerized by him, she remained quiet. She never took her eyes away from his face. Citrina thought that he was far more beautiful than any other faerie that she had ever seen and it was odd how she began to trust him so quickly. She didn’t know why, but she did.
Once all of the vines had been taken care of, he put away his sharp tool and held out a hand to her. She glanced from the hand to his eyes and then back again, it was then that she decided to speak.
“My name is Citrina Ivie.”
She eagerly reached out to take his hand but before she could reach it she noticed her arm. She gasped at the sight of it. She then looked at him in disbelief and then back again. She did this several times, but somehow it just didn’t seem to soak in.
The thorny vines on her arms were gone. It was nothing but bare skin. She was astonished at the sight of it. And there were no punctures from where the thorns had been. Not a single mark was left on them. She then looked down at her legs and those vines had been cut away too. A huge smile then smeared across her face and she threw herself forward, embracing him.
She couldn’t contain all of the joy and excitement that was swelling up inside of her and without a thought, she kissed him. After recovering from his shock, he then wrapped his arms around her as well, and kissed her deeply.
When they finally pulled away, she bounced up and onto her feet, examining her body.
“How did you do it?” She asked.
Alex scratched his head and stood up as well before answering. “I didn’t do anything. It’s this place.”
“This place?” She cocked an eyebrow prior to speaking again. “But everyone fears this place.”
“And by everyone you mean your…” He paused, trying to find the right words by observing her ensemble. “Your people.”
“Yes. I don’t know why though, this place is wonderful!” She squealed. “How could anyone be afraid of this place? And why are we so afraid of the sorceress?”
“The sorceress?” He asked, amazed.
“Yes. None of our kind ever returns once they enter this place. I’ve always been told that she used some sort of dark magic to capture us.”
“I can’t believe this,” he said in disbelief as he began pacing.
“What can’t you believe?” Citrina began rocking back and forth on her feet, waiting for a reply.
“I can’t believe this but you’re talking about my great, great grandmother.” He stopped pacing and turned to face her. “I always wanted to believe the stories but it’s just not possible.” He then scanned her body again before him, and she stopped her motions. “Until now.”
“So…” She tried urging him on, curious of what he had to say.
“So you’re the one.”
She looked at him, confused. She didn’t know what he was talking about but she wanted to. “I’m the one for what?”
“For me,” he blurted, and a smile wiped across his face. But his smile showed nothing but happiness. So much in fact that his eyes started to glaze over.
“What do you mean for you?”
“Exactly that, you’re the one, for me. We’re meant to be together. I never thought this would happen but,”
“Wait, hold on! I don’t understand. How can I be yours?” She took a step back.
“You came here today out of misery, am I not right?”
Citrina thought about this question for a moment. She wasn’t sure of where this was going but she knew he already knew the answer, so she slightly nodded.
“Me too! I had never been here before but I had heard the stories and I wanted to see for myself, no matter the cost. I didn’t care if anything happened to me. I just wanted to see if it really did exist. And it does, it truly does. Wow, who would have thought, my great, great grandmother a matchmaker.” He chuckled to himself and a single tear fell down his face from happiness.
Citrina struggled to speak, as she was puzzled as to why he acted so oddly in front of her. “A matchmaker?”
“Yes. She gave your kind a chance at a new life. Sure, there is a sacrifice to be made but for a good price isn’t it? We get to spend the rest of our lives together!” He then embraced her once again and she remained limp. It was as if she was in a daze, things didn’t quite make sense. At least, not to her perspective.
“Sacrifices?” She gulped.
Alex pulled away slightly, and looked into her eyes as he spoke. “This place has striped you of everything you once were, except for your eyes and clothing. You are no longer a mythical creature that can not be seen.”
It took a while for his words to sinks in; she pulled away from him and looked out into the forest from the opening that she had just come from. She held her hand up and felt a cool, tingling sensation on her hand that resembled a wall, and when she pushed, her hand didn’t move a muscle. It was as if she was touching a stone wall.
Her eyes started to sting as she managed to find her voice, “I’m human now…aren’t I?” When she didn’t get a response, she dropped her hand and turned to face him. Tears were now streaming down her face, once again.
“Yes…you are.” He approached her and took her hands in his. “But it’s not so bad is it? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I think my life is looking up now. Now that I’ve met you.”
“But this means I can never go back right? I can never see nor hear nor speak to anyone I’ve ever known?” Citrina was now starting to hiccup along with her sobs.
“Sadly, no.” He paused as she looked away and he struggled to meet her eyes again. “But you will have your memories.” He leaned in to kiss her once again, but this time it was a long, passionate kiss, that caused her tears to cease, letting the streams soak into her cheeks.
She looked one last time into the forest, feeling as if she should have seen something. But all she could see was the grass and trees blowing in the wind.
Alex then took her hand and she turned away from the life that she once lived, and he led her out through the other side of the stony dwelling and into their new life…together.