Author: Jack A Harper PM
Helena just discovered she's not human, and decides to leave the Winter Realm in search of who she really is. Her plan gets a little turned around when she ends up in a Rebel Camp with a boy as arrogant and hot headed, annoying and irritating as she's ever met. So why can't Helena stay away from him?Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 5 - Words: 10,575 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-16-12 - Published: 10-02-12 - id: 3062678
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I associated the Work House with hate. Madame Dmitri hated the workers, and the workers hated her in return. Everyone hated The Guild and the Fae, and no one trusted the Elementals. The Work House was crippled by hate, and that was why I had always found it so repulsing.
While the other workers slept, I dressed in my nicest clothes, and strapped on my work boots, the only shoes I had. With a pair of scissors I cut to slits in the back of my shirt at my shoulder blades. I crept silently to the window. The window in the Workers Barracks was the only window in the Work House that wasn't alarmed, because it was six stories off the ground. The jump would be fatal to anyone who attempted it.
Swinging my leg over the sill, I took a deep breath, and let myself fall. Air rushed passed my face, making my hair whip out behind me. I closed my eyes tightly, and spread my arms to the side. I felt the razor sharp prick of spines protruding from my shoulder blades, and in moments, a pair of delicate but powerful, sapphire blue and silver butterfly wings unfurled from my back. They fit perfectly through the slits in my shirt, and then unfolded into a fifteen foot wingspan. They caught the air, checking my downfall, and then, merely inches from the ground, my wings pumped downwards, sending my entire body upwards back into the air.
The muscles in my wings were still underdeveloped. I had only discovered this gift a few days ago, and the Work House was hardly the place to test my wings and strengthen them. I soared higher, until the castle that was the Work House was a dark shadow behind me. It felt good to know I never needed to go back, good to know that I was free after ten years. With another downward thrust of my glittering wings, I took myself even higher. With only the moon and stars as light to guide me, I headed in the direction of what I thought was the Garden Realm, away from the castles on the outskirts of the Winter Realm.
Everyone knew the Garden Realm was where The Guild lived. The Winter Realm was where the humans were exiled to, where the Reapers ruled, and where Incubi were always sneaking into women's dreams. It was also the realm of industry. The humans were slaves to work and labor for the Reapers. The Garden Realm was supposed to be the peaceful realm where the Fae lived and ran The Guild, the organization that governed and looked after all four realms. With my newly discovered wings, I figured I would seek out The Guild and see what realm I belonged in now.
I didn't know what I was. Among the dominating species in the Realms, there were several lesser species. If I had to guess I guessed I was a Nymph of some kind. Either way, it was for The Guild to decide what was to become of me. While they governed the Realms, the Winter Realm was becoming restless and disobedient. They threatened to start a war with The Guild for control of the Realms and themselves.
When my wings tired and I needed to rest, I found a small clearing in the woods to land in. I touched down to the ground gently, and folded my wings back beneath my skin. I could easily pass as human, if I kept my wings tucked away forever, but they were so pretty and useful, and they were a part of me now. I couldn't ignore them, or who they meant I was. Finding an old oak tree, I settled against the moss laden trunk and curled into a small ball for a nap. It was warm enough outside of the Winter Realm that I didn't need any sort of blanket or jacket. In fact, I kicked off my ugly work boots to curl my toes in the moss, and I felt warm and safe.
I woke up feeling a little stiff from my sleep on the ground. The sun was setting again. I had decided to travel by night. Seeing a flying girl with massive, shimmery butterfly wings in broad daylight would probably wasn't normal. I had just got my freedom; I didn't want to be captured again. Stopping by a nearby stream, I took a few sips of the cool water by cupping my hand, gathering the liquid, and raising it to my mouth. It was refreshing and sent tingles down my spine. My stomach rumbled, letting me know I was hungry. I looked around for a bit, trying to find something to nibble on. There were white mushrooms by a tree trunk. I smelled them and could tell they weren't poisonous, so I gathered a handful of them and began to eat. They were soft and mushy, but oh so satisfying.
Finally, once my stomach was full, and once the sun had completely set, I unfurled my wings and took off into the night sky again. The gentle wind that pushed me forward was quite helpful, and I made twice as much progress as I had the night before. On the horizon I could see the golden glow of the Garden Realm. I had never been there, but I had heard things. The Garden Realm was supposed to be the most beautiful, full of flowers and scents that were beyond imagination, and when the petals and leaves fell from flowers and trees, they turned gold or silver and stayed on the ground forever. It sounded like a lovely place to be.
My mind was beginning to tire, and my wing muscles ached. I wanted to get just a little farther away from the Winter Realm, but my body protested with each downward swoop of my wings. My eyes began to droop, and I shook my head to keep from falling asleep. I pressed on, just a little farther, I kept telling myself. I wanted to be far enough away that the Work House was no longer even a blip on the horizon behind me.
A large crow suddenly caught an updraft below me, and was soaring towards my stomach. I banked left to avoid a nasty collision, and found myself fouled in a tree. My delicate wings crumpled a little, and my body contorted through the branches. I stayed still for a few moments, too sore and twisted to move.
With a heavy groan I began to untangle myself from the tree, and I managed to slide onto the ground with little incident. I tested my wings. They seemed capable, despite the pain that shot up my back and through my wing joint. I tried to take off, only to find that there was a tear in my beautiful wing. It stung when air passed through it, and it made flight impossible. I let out a whimper of pain and frustration as I curled my wings back beneath my skin. I had no idea if it would heal or be permanently damaged. The thought alone made me queasy.
My head began to spin, after shock to my collision with the tree, and my body felt so heavy. I couldn't hold my own weight, and I had to sit down on the ground. I didn't even have the energy to crawl to the shelter of a tree. I collapsed into a heap in the grass, all out in the open for anyone to see, and my eyelids closed over my stinging eyes. I saw, heard, and felt no more.
I dreamt that I was flying between the clouds. It was daytime, and the sun shone brightly, warming my skin, and tingling the tiny, powdery feathers of my wings. I swooped in and out of the clouds, dipping low to touch treetops and soaring high to warm in the sun. I was completely carefree and happy, until I saw dark clouds forming on the horizon. They were coming from the Winter Realm; at least that was what I thought at first. The thick, rolling, black clouds spread across the sky, faster than they should have been, and it took me another few minutes to realize that the cloud cover was spreading from the Garden Realm. Terror shot through me, The Guild had fallen to the Winter Realm, it had to be, only, when I looked back at the Winter Realm, it looked as snowy white and peaceful as ever. Suddenly, I was hit with the truth of what was happening, what was going to happen in the Realms. I screamed, the knowledge being too much for me.
I was shaken awake, and a loud siren was screaming in my ears. It took me a minute to realize that the screaming siren was actually me screaming! I sat up abruptly; something flew off my chest and crashed to the floor, shattering, whatever it was. I was completely in the dark, so I knew I couldn't have been outside. There were no stars, and no moon. I was also in a bed, another strange factor, since the last thing I remembered was falling onto the ground. I could feel someone else nearby. I could hear their breathing and just sense them. They must have been the one to shake me awake.
"Hello?" I asked into the darkness. There was no response, but the breathing quickened. "I know you are there, I can hear you!" I said sharply. I found the edge of my bed and swung my legs over the side. I tried to stand, but found that my legs were too weak. My body crashed to the floor, and I waited for the impact. Instead of hitting solid floor, something warm and glowing wrapped around me and supported me, helping me gain my footing. I couldn't see very well, but the glow was red, like embers from a fire. The warmth wasn't uncomfortable or burning, it was rather pleasant.
"What were you doing out in the Woods Realm, Guild?" A very masculine, very harsh voice asked me.
"The Woods Realm?" I asked. "Is that where I was when I fell?"
"Our Crows saw you spying," The voice said. That warm ember like entity that was holding me up gently placed me back on the bed. I could still barely see anything.
"Spying, on who?" I asked.
"Don't play games, you are a spy from The Guild," The harsh voice said with vehement anger.
"I'm not a spy for anyone," I said. "I was going to The Guild to find out where I belong."
"The Guild would tell you that you belong to them, little Fae," The male voice said.
"Fae?" I asked. "Is that what I am?"
"Don't play games little Faery," The voice said. Despite its harshness there was warmth that was almost soothing to it.
"I'm not playing," I said. "For the past ten years I've been in a Work House in the Winter Realm. I just discovered my wings less than a week ago. I didn't even know they were Faery wings." My confusion must have sounded sincere, and it was, because two candles were lit, and I could make out the room I was in. I was in a small thatched room with a large bed that I was sitting on, two small tables, and an armchair. There was a door with a curtain hanging over it that must have led to the rest of the house.
"Where am I?" I asked finally.
"You're among friends," A sweet, feminine voice said as a tall, slender woman moved from the shadowy door into the small room. "Patch, please bring more light, I can't see a thing!" She said addressing the male in the room with me. I heard him exhale deeply, and suddenly the room was alive with candles. I could see things clearly now. The house I was in was like a mud hut with a thatched roof, and the room I was in was smaller than I originally thought. The woman who had entered was standing on my right, examining me, but I wasn't really paying attention to her.
What caught my eye was the boy standing on the opposite side of the room from me. He was lounging gracefully against the mud wall, baggy sweat pants hanging low on his hips, and no shirt to speak of. His skin was a pale, almost silver metallic looking in the dim light, and his abs and chest were chiseled into perfection. His arms were solid and muscular, and although he was defined, he wasn't bursting with muscles and veins. His face was gentle, relaxed, mocking almost. He had a shock of such black hair that it seemed to be part of the shadows. His eyes were liquid pools of sapphire ice, and his jaw was the perfect shape. His lips were dark and inviting.
I caught myself staring and turned to look at the woman beside me. Her green eyes were penetrating and watching my every move.
"What is your name?" She asked.
"Helena," I said slowly and softly. The woman's green eyes softened lightly.