Camelie ran as fast as she could, back to the Violet City. Back in her quarters, she realized he gave her a book, a book she didn't notice was in her hands the whole time. She threw it at first, seeing it as evil and forbidden. But she could stop looking at it, lying on the floor, and wondering about it. Why was it evil? Why was it forbidden? Was there a good reason to fear it?
She slowly walked to it and picked it up. She opened it and leafed through the pages. It wasn't a spell book, just a book. What use does a book have when it doesn't have spells, she questioned.
She didn't know where to begin reading, she was so used to being told where to turn, what page to read and not read. She chose a random page and read. It was opening Pandora's Box and finding in it a different way of seeing the world she lived in. The more she read the more riveted in the text she became and yet it made her more confused about Az, about herself and everyone.
But what confused her most was her sudden feeling towards Ivor. It more than confused her, it frightened her. And the more frightening the idea of returning to see Ivor got, the more she desired it, enough to act on it. She couldn't sleep, eat, nor think. She couldn't ignore or deny that something strange was happening to her, and she couldn't help but feel excitement that stunned her.
The next day, she went back to Ivor, but not for a ring. She wanted an explanation, she wanted answers…she wanted him.
"Well look who came back," he smirked, awake in this meeting and not slumped against the tree. This time he was standing at the doorway, guitar strapped on his back, expecting her arrival.
She threw the book at him, "I read your stupid book!"
"I see that, so did it corrupt your mind?"
"No, I'm still the same and believe what I was raised to believe."
"Then why did you come here…again."
"We're engaged remember."
"That's not why you came here. Sleep well?"
"What is that on your back?"
"My guitar, I have about six of them. Want to come inside, I have a ton of more things to corrupt that brainwashed head of yours."
"Things like what?"
"Come inside and see?"
"Tempting me towards evil?"
"I'm tempting you towards the taboos of Azalea, big difference."
"Yeah I bet, I know enough and I'm not interested."
"If you weren't interested, you wouldn't be here."
"I'm not going in your sty of a shack."
"It's a cottage. And why not, are you afraid?"
"I'm not making that mistake twice."
"Please, it's in your nature to never back out of dares. Danger is your hidden pleasure, on top of showing off."
"You don't know me."
"I think it's more of you don't know yourself and hate that by me you're seeing your reflection for the first time."
"I'm nothing like you!"
"It's not that you're like me, it's more that you, well, like me- like something about me, that seems to bring out your true self repressed to others. You're like me in the sense that, like me, you are different from the rest."
"Despite that book, I think true virtue is a born trait and cannot be taught. I was born with true virtue and you were not. It's as simple as that. What's complicated is that we're in an engagement that cannot be broken."
"Man, are your views warped. But I know, you're not like them, you may march in line with them, but you march faster and not out of duty, but for your own competitive gains for approval. You came up to me, you let me kiss you, and you know better than I, none of your friends would have done the same. Born virtuous or not, you're not one of them, you're a nomad like me. You're here Camelie, and I know you'll eventually venture into my cottage. Like it or not, it may just be the only place in Az where you fit in."
She starred him up and down, enraged and speechless, no comeback to save her confidence in her identity. Deep down she knew he was right and she hated it.
"I may fit in, but I will never belong there."
"Fitting in is the same as belonging, my love."
"No, the Violet City is where I belong, it is my home."
"No, it's where you wish to belong to, what you want to be your home. Maybe it's time to leave the nest and enter the real world."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that just because you were born here, doesn't mean it's the only place where you have to forever be at. There a whole other world out there, a world with so much more than this. You have no idea what you're missing, no idea what you're robbing yourself of staying here. Like me, you're better than Az."
"Even if that is true, it doesn't mean anything to me. I love Az with all my heart and whatever it's missing, if it is lacking anything, I'll devote my life to bringing positive change and growth to Az."
"If you really want to improve Az, you'd come inside and see for yourself the wonders of the other world."
"Perhaps some other time then."
"Not perhaps, for there's no way you could forgo it forever. Sooner or later, your curiosity is going make you forget all your biased opinions."
"I'm going," she rolled her eyes walking away.
Ivor smiled, knowing just how to reel her back in, and with force. He took the electric guitar from his back and started playing it and singing. Camelie stopped in her tracks. It was something she had never heard before, so unlike any music she had heard. Hypnotic and addicting, she turned in a trance, feeling the music vibrating throughout her body, reawakening her desire for him. His voice…the way he sung, it drove her over the edge making her giddy and having and urge to move and sway around as if she were possessed by it.
"What is that?" she asked in a breathless frenzy.
"That, my love, is the sound of rebellion."
"Are you a siren?"
"Why? Did my voice have any appeal over you? It's not the type to lure Good Faeries."
"I wasn't lured. Your voice is nothing special."
"Yeah, you definitely didn't look lured…but then again, here you are again, right back here, and so soon. You weren't even gone a minute."
"What do you want from me?"
"You have nothing I want. The real question is what do you want from me? Better yet, can you even put it to words?"
"I want a ring and for you to show up to the ball as my fiancé."
"The one tomorrow night in the Violet City."
"What makes you think I'd go?"
"You have no choice, all my friends are going to be there and you have to impress them. You owe it to me."
"Oh that makes it sound so much better. Sorry, but I'll pass. I don't owe it to you to be your accessory. What I do owe you, is to awaken you from your dreary slumber of being a sweeping Good Faerie."
"I'm wide awake."
"So you think."
"You better be there the day after tomorrow at sundown, and have a ring this time."
"I would very much miss it for anything."
"Please, this means a lot to me and it wouldn't be too much to ask for you to make a brief appearance."
"If I do this for you, you have venture into my little corrupt world."
"Whatever, just show!"
"I'll take that as a promise."
"Fine then, I'm leaving, this time for sure," she turned and began walking.
"What no goodbye kiss?"
She turned back with such a suddenness, her face red, it was too evident that that was the forbidden desire on her mind, "Is that what you want from me?" she composed herself.
"After what the first one brought, NO," he laughed, "Why? What did it bring you? What is it that keeps you coming back over and over?"
"I thought you knew? You have to know, or else you wouldn't find so much pleasure in what you're doing to me."
"And just what am I doing to you other than 'corrupting' you?"
"It's like you're toying with me and somehow tormenting me."
"And you seem to be enjoying it more than I," he grinned mockingly.
"Don't be so ashamed, kiss me if you want, it won't kill you. It isn't such a crime if we are indeed engaged."
"I feel it'd be too dangerous," she backed away a little.
"Which makes you want to even more," he smiled winking at her.
"There's a difference between dare and temptation."
"And that is?"
"A dare is a challenge and temptation is persuasion into evil."
"Both have its own dire consequences. Very well Camelie Bluebell, I dare you to kiss me. Perhaps you're right and I was wrong about you. Then again, I don't think you do have what it takes to--"
He was immediately interrupted by Camelie literally jumping on him and kissing him with such force and abandon. She suddenly pushed herself away when Ivor responded with a French kiss. She stood there bewildered with shock of her actions and also Ivor's, and she suddenly was ashamed.
"So are you going to run off again as usual?" Ivor looked at her finding her more attractive and appealing than a few minutes ago when she was in her self righteousness.
"What just happened isn't natural, what you did to me was obscene!"
"Yes here is this insane world where magic represses every controversial human emotional and molds everyone to conform into some cliché. But in the real world, the world without an ounce of magic, it's very natural, and healthy too. Az may seem colorful and bright, but it is utterly black and white, rather dreary if you think deep enough about it. It's rather quite ironic how the real world without magic is the world of bright color that I dream of escaping to someday."
Meanwhile down in the good villiage of the Fengers, was Ranier Higgins, Ranny as they called him. He was looking up to the sky and thinking to himself rather than working on the crops.
Ranny was the third eldest child of 17. His parent were simple, too simple, as were his siblings. His whole town were too simple for their own good.
From day one, Ranny knew something wasn't right with the Fenger way of life. They would work and work and work growing crops and the crops they brought in, 60 percent were given as an offering to unseen presence that lived in a tall tower. An unseen presence that everyone believed resided there, was powerful, and controlled the fate of their agriculture. They lived their lives to please this unseen presence, they feared, worshiped, and loved the unseen presence…all except Ranny who questioned it instead.
Day and day he would question everyone to know end, upsetting them.
"I just don't get it father, why must we ration our food to nothing for this thing NO ONE has seen. How do we know for sure it's there? How do we know it's not a hoax set up to cheat us out of our resources?"
"Ranny hush! You'll upset it and it'll ruin our crops!"
"Says who? Has that actually happened?"
"I'm sorry, but you have to admit, this is stupid, this whole thing! It makes no sense!"
"Stop your mocking!"
Poor Ranny didn't know that everyone was too simple minded to grasp his claims and way of thinking. Fengers were born and cursed to not think for themselves, and to mindlessly work and work.
One day Ranny finally decided to enter the forbidden tower and see the unseen presence for himself. He was stopped by the fenger elder, Ignolance Blissius, who brought him back to his parents.
His parent were now convinced that he was evil and switched at birth.
"Are you insane?! I'm your son!"
"We don't think so, we think you were switched by some menacing fairy. We think it's best that you leave and go back to where you came from and it would also be great if you could send for our real son."
They looked at him blankly and unblinking, completely mindless.
Ranny left and started his quest for the truth behind the madness.
Camelie had always known deep down that there was something wrong with Az. Being a fairy, it was hard to ignore.
Fairies in Az, even the few who manage to become human size and marry royalty, were looked upon and treated worse than second class citizens. They had no rights and no protection, and on top of that was a strong prejudice against them. They were looked down upon as uncivilized savages with limited intelligence, only good for decoration, pets, nannies, and slaves.
Because human families didn't want daughters and wanted sons, that when they got daughters, they managed to have sons instead…by a method called Changelings. It was a method where humans would trade their daughters for male fairies. Fairies were now so poor and living in a destroyed habitat, that they would have no choice but to trade their sons for money. After years of Changelings, there was a great shortage of maidens for men to marry…
It was then that fairies, a select lot of young female fairies were given a chance to be respected by joining the Good Queen's court thus being worthy to marry princes, dukes, and gallant knights. The fairies in the Good Queen's court were given vials of daily potion to make them human size and they were even allowed to keep their wings…until marriage that is, for no man in Az would publicly marry a fairy(despite possibly being a fairy himself, unbeknownst to him…)
This was the world Camelie lived in and had to face everyday. She wore a hooded cloak for safety, for if anyone were to see her wings would most likely cause her to be kidnapped. There were only a few marked habitats for fairies to safely live in where humans couldn't disturb them.
And here she was many miles from a fairy habitat, angry at Ivor and running, not knowing she had dropped the most vital object for her safety, her vial that she had to take before the sunset or else she'd go back to her original size…
She realized too late as she searched frantically seeing the sun set and panicking. And in the distance she could hear two humans. There was no way she could get out of this mess, she had to have that vial and had to take it at that moment or else she'd be her real small size for a day, if lucky enough.
The last bit of light faded as she suddenly in a poof, shrunk down. It was too late, even if she found the vial she'd have to be this size till the next sundown.
She could hear the two voices come closer…
She had to take her cloak off to fly and in the dark of nightfall, fairy wings glowed like fireflies.
"Look Edmund! A fairy!!" a human girl shouted, "If you love me you'll get it for me! NOW!"
Even worse, Camelie winced. She hated human girls, as most of the fairies in the court did. Human girls, maidens as they were called, were rare and highly treasured. Because of their great privilege, they were nasty spoiled brats with high expectations. They were her biggest competition and most hated at that.
She flew faster as they chased her. The last thing she wanted to be was a pet to this snot nosed girl.
The boy with her had a net with him, telling Camelie that they were specifically there to capture fairies.
"That was easy, usually fairies can't be spotted this close to the city," he said.
"She's getting away! I'll hate you forever and marry Chriswell if you don't catch her!" she whined.
The boy ran faster at this and was getting closer to her with the net barely touching her toes. Camelie kept reminding herself that she was officially the fastest fairy in all of Az, but that didn't seem to help.
Then in a smack she was caught by two hands.
"Gotcha!" she heard a familiar voice before blacking out...
Ivor had found a glass vial on the ground. He recognized the potion as being a popular one having had seen it many times. He read the directions on the tied tag and instantly knew this was important to Camelie.
He dashed after her, trying to recall her trail. After looking for ten minutes, he heard the whining of the girl, thinking it was Camelie. He finally had found her in the nick of time.
"Hey that's my fairy!" the girl declared to him.
"Says who?" Ivor asked with a smirk.
"Excuse me, but I saw her first, so could you please hand her to me. She was suppose to be a present for this beautiful maiden right here."
"Yeah I heard her whining even from over there."
"Edmund, get this man give her to me! She's mine!"
"So Edmund, my pal, does she always whine this much?"
"Her voice is the sweetest sound to my ears."
"Sure it is."
"Just give me the fairy and we'll be on our way."
"Tell me, do honestly think that getting her this fairy is going to be enough? You get her a fairy, the next day she's going to want something else, and so forth, and on and on she'll wine. It'll never end I tell you. Is she really worth it, do you really want to marry her and live with that for the rest of your life?"
"Edmund! Did you hear me, get me that fairy! EDMUND!!"
"Everyday, my pal, everyday," Ivor repeated, "her voice aint going to sound as sweet after the honeymoon."
"Give me the fairy, please. I have to get it for her."
"No…. She's my fairy."
"Well then why aren't her wings cut off? You can't have a pixie with wings?"
"They'll fly away!"
"Well not if you treat them as equals."
"You're joking! Right? Come on, they can't be treated as equals."
"Well because they're different. They're not civilized like we are."
"Civilized? You really think we're civilized? Different from fairies, true, but more civilized? Now that is a joke. Clearly it is."
"Who in Az do you think you are?!"
"Well certainly not a civilized being, like you," Ivor laughed.
"Edmund! What's taking you so long!"
"You ought to be ashamed of yourself, mister."
"Why? Because I don't brutally kidnap innocent fairies against their will, or is it because I'm not at the mindless beck and call of an annoying brat?"
"Keep your pixie, my lady deserves better."
"Yes, your maiden does deserve so much…though not as much as civilized men," he joked under his breath.
"So much what?"
"You figure it out my civilized friend, before it's too late."
"You're strange," he backed away from Ivor, "C'mon Lily, we're going!"
Ivor watched them leave, before opening his hands. Catching her had knocked her unconscious, and she lay limp in his hand. He also saw that one of her wings were torn.
"And I thought I had problems, no wonder you're so agitated all the time," he whispered to her.