'Don't be ridiculous – there are no such things as vampires or dragons or any of those bizarre creatures.' This is what Flick Leno had always been told when he talked about his adventures. None of the other kids believed him. He said that he went on magical journeys when all the other orphans were asleep- they all thought that he was telling stories of his dreams- which would be a perfectly logical explanation.
But Flick Leno knew better- for mystical creatures like dragons and vampires... faeries and daemons... leprechauns and nymphs, all magical beings were in fact –real.
He was occasionally picked on by three boys at the orphanage – Flick knew quite a few victims for their tricks and tomfoolery. One of those victims, Mary Rivers was recently adopted and the most he knew about Mary was that she had a pet rat.
Flick didn't have any friends in the orphanage – there were people who talked to him and seemed to consider them friends with Flick, but Flick generally kept to himself and preferred his own company.
Flick Leno suffered from nail-biting and fidgeting and – well, he always seemed to be nervous about something... although when asked he said nothing was wrong. Another strange thing about Flick is that he always wore a necklace – the same one too. Some of the boys spied on him in the shower and saw that he wore it then, too. It was a clear crystal stuck on a silver chain. He told the other people that it was there to protect him, but once again, nobody believed him.
Whenever there were rounds where people came to have a look at who to adopt, they'd stare at dear Flick like there was something wrong with him or there was a permanent dirt mark on his face when there wasn't- they simply got a strange feeling from him – nobody could tell if it was good or bad because no one at the orphanage could tell. They didn't really care, either.
Flick liked to spend time in the library, he couldn't read very well but he was getting there. He liked to read fantasy novels- many children thought this is where he got all his ideas from but he simply wanted more information about the amazing fantasy realm.
past and soon enough he was thirteen years old, skinny, and still
wore that necklace. It was a bit uncommon but he had very feminine
According to the orphanage staff he had been wearing the necklace when he was found outside down an alleyway when he was only four years old.
Flick was more knowledgeable than the other children – the other kids didn't like reading which Flick thought was a waste of brain. He didn't bother learning their names though- he was too caught up in his own world, even more so since his 'friends' left the orphanage.
One day he was in the library when he heard a scurrying from behind a bookshelf. He could tell something was there – it could of been a rat but somehow Flick didn't think so. Edging towards the corner, he pulled a few large, heavy books out of the shelf (dust flew everywhere). When he could see clearly he saw... a tiny girl. A very tiny girl – all around her was a peaceful green glow and she wore clothing out of what looked like leaves. She had long brown hair whose texture looked like tree bark from far back, she stared in awe with emerald eyes into his own sapphire ones.
'I've seen you before!' she exclaimed in a high pitched voice. Flick nodded.
'I've seen you before too.' He whispered, looking around to see if anybody else was around- and of course- they weren't. 'Aren't you-?'
'That tree sprite, yes.' She nodded as if she had just remembered the fact herself. She suddenly looked sad.
'What's the matter?' Flick asked her, picking her up in his cuffed hands. She hugged his finger.
'My tree's been burnt down. Do you remember that fire on Halloween?' She said quickly. Flick put her back down on the books and realised that her green glow was fainter than it had been all those years ago – it must of been because the tree had destroyed.
'What's your name again?' Flick asked, cocking his head. 'Mine's Flick.'
'I know who you are.' The girl crouched down, 'My name's Mahogany, remember?'
'Oh yeah.' Flick nodded. 'I have a question.' He didn't wait for an answer. 'Does this mean you're going to die?'
'Yes, yes I am, unless I find another tree
which isn't already guarded by a sprite.'
Flick sat on the floor, thinking. Were there any other trees around here? He decided that he'd leave that night to find a tree- with him gone, nobody would know. He'd just sneak out the window and find one for Mahogany. It would have to be a nice tree, otherwise she would throw a fit or something. Flick picked Mahogany into his pocket and told her that she'd be safe in there – despite the strange smell.
He funny thing about Flick is that he had never questioned if it was all real, he could see sprites running around all the time, sometimes other creatures, he could feel them too. He didn't even wonder if he deserved to stay in an asylum. He just knew it was real.
That night, he sneaked away and found a tree for Mahogany; it was blocks away from the orphanage in Manchester's local park. It was beautiful in the moonlight and Flick was glad to see that Mahogany would be so glad with her new tree to live in. But before she left she clicked her fingers and muttered something – a magic spell. Flick raised his eyebrow and asked what she had done.
'You're a faerie, Flick, I've just helped you awaken your powers.' She gave him a wink and disappeared –leaving him a bit confused. A faerie? Him?
He pondered the matter on the way back, sneaking inside the window. But there was commotion about in his room- why was that? He squinted and felt a blush creep across his face when he saw a boy about the same age as him completely naked. Flick spun around muttering a quiet 'sorry' and jumped into bed.
'I'm new here.' The strange boy told Flick, 'What's your name?'
He sounded extremely miserable and Flick felt sorry for him- of course, he must of been miserable to be thrown into an orphanage, something must of happened to his parents or-
'What's your name?' the boy repeated, 'My name's Ed – well, my real name is Edward but I hate people calling me Edward it sounds really posh- and-' Flick could see in the light that his face was red, 'I didn't really come from a posh family.'
He pulled on his boxers and threw the covers over him. Flick tugged at his hair nervously.
'My name's Flick.'
The boy was smiling, Flick could hear it in his voice, 'Is that even a real name?'
Flick shrugged, 'I dunno. It must be – otherwise I wouldn't be called it, now, would I?'
For the very little conversation they had they grew to like each other, the next day Ed was tagging along next to Flick the entire day, his dark curly hair bouncing on his head. At first Flick thought it was a bit irritating, but then he realized how nice it was to finally have a friend.
As for the whole faerie business, he figured out what Mahogany had meant the next day when he was reading. He was reading a book about faeries and how their wings were structured and he was imagining what it would be like to be able to fly and run around the place without making a single sound. At that very thought he felt a piercing pain in his upper back and he looked over his shoulder to see a pair of wings flapping there. They looked like butterfly wings only they were see through and had a strange mystical pink-green glow.
All of a sudden he felt extremely embarrassed. What would everyone else say if they saw him with a pair of strangely coloured wings on his back? What would Ed say? He hadn't told him about his unnatural interest in fantasy – would he believe him if he told him that he had once seen a dragon fly past the window or that he had once seen a mermaid at the beach one time when the orphanage went on a trip there?
Underneath his embarrassment and shame was interest and a knowing that he had been a faerie all his life. He immediately imagined the wings disappearing and he felt it happen, he was suddenly wing-less. He breathed a sigh of relief- thank goodness he wasn't caught!
Flick was all of a sudden hit with a strange idea - If he was a faerie then maybe his parents had been faeries too. He ran full pelt out of the library and over to find Mr Bloomsbury. He found him in his office. The man looked up and Flick noticed that his hair had become greyer- it might of been the reason why he was so miserable.
Flick suddenly realized how strange it would be to ask about his parents and realized that... he would know nothing about them anyway. He'd have to ask a magical being.
'What do you want, my dear Flick?' Mr Bloomsbury asked, looking very interested in the teenage boy.
'... You wouldn't happen to know anything about my parents would you?' Flick asked cautiously. Mr Bloomsbury shook his head.
'We know absolutely nothing about your parents except that they gave you that necklace.' Mr Bloomsbury nodded at Flick's shirt where the crystal shone. Flick nodded, murmured 'thanks' and then ran away bumping into Edward along the way.
'Hey Flick, what's going on? You look kind of tired.' Ed pointed out. Flick shrugged and said quickly:
'I was up all night didn't you notice me come through the window? I was helping... a friend of mine.'
'A 'friend', eh?' Ed smirked. Flick shook his head and edged closer to Ed – he deserved to know the truth.
'A while ago there was a fire which burnt down the shed and a tree outside; I was helping the sprite Mahogany find a new tree because she couldn't live there anymore.' Flick blurted out.
Ed was silent, Flick wasn't sure if he believed him or not.
'Hey that's awesome!' Ed exclaimed loudly. Flick was confused- was he serious?
'Are you serious?' Flick asked a stupid grin on his face, 'You believe me?'
'Of course I do!' Ed exclaimed, 'Listen, I'll show you something later, meet me outside at eleven-thirty tonight-at that tree you were just telling me about.'
Flick was excited and uncertain at the same time, what was he going to show him? Edward, he noticed, looked a bit nervous. Flick himself used to get very nervous all the time- like something was watching him or there was someone else in the room- later on he realized that there had been people in the room, he just hadn't seen them, and nobody else had. They were spirits walking around the orphanage. But nobody would believe that either.
Flick and Edward departed together to the bathrooms. Of course they stripped and got changed in different cubicles a towel wrapped firmly around them until they got into the showers- it was a pretty hot day, after all.
'Isn't it awful that they don't have proper walls here?' Ed asked, hanging up his towel across the half walls to form a barrier from his shower to the rest of the changing rooms to give him some more privacy.
'Yes it's horrible.' Flick did the same thing, he had been doing it ever since he found out that those boys had spied on him one time – it had sort of freaked him out. He was still wearing the necklace. Ed noticed but didn't ask about the necklace. They talked over the roaring sound of hot water above them. Flick asked Edward about his interests and he replied saying he liked horror films and the darkness. Flick said he didn't like the dark much, and he didn't like horror films either- he asked why Edward liked them.
'Why not? Besides, it makes me feel more comfortable. 'Edward explained, 'With the daytime- it feels like I'm constantly being blinded or burnt by the sun if you know what I mean. My skin is extra sensitive to the sun – I need to use extra sun-block at the beach too.'
nodded, running his hands through his soaking wet hair proceeding to
turn the water off. He disappeared with his towel to get changed and
then, when he came out to the middle of the change room he
accidentally saw Edward - stark naked for a split second and had to
go take a walk outside alone to calm down.
Whatever he felt for Edward was different than he had felt for anyone else, perhaps it was because he was the only person who understood him – what he was talking about with sprites and magical creatures... also with the strange spirits walking about. He decided that Edward was the only person he remotely liked at the orphanage – it was a very curious feeling indeed.
Later that evening he waited outside in the darkness (it was nice and warm being a summer night). He wandered over to the dark patch where the shed and the tree had burnt down and waited wondering what Edward was going to show him. Maybe he had his own crystal necklace of his own? He clutched the chain, feeling a bit nervous. He didn't think that was why he had been called out here at eleven-thirty at night.
There was a ruffling of leaves behind him and Flick spun around alarmed. He was relieved to see Edward clambering through the leaves wearing his pyjamas. He too was wearing his pyjamas so he wasn't so embarrassed to see that he was the only one- although he thought it would be strange if a passerby walked past – they would wonder what they were doing.
'Okay, so... I was going to show you...' Edward looked really uneasy, 'Promise you won't laugh or- or anything?'
'Of course not.' Flick gave Edward a gentle smile. Edward seemed to look happier- he nodded his head slightly and stared at a random point on the ground and Flick's mouth opened slightly –he was astonished to see that Edward's 'canine' teeth had lengthened and bat like wings sprung forth out of his back in between his shoulder blades.
Flick had only seen one other real vampire before – one night he disappeared into the darkness to tend to an injured bat he had heard screeching when it transformed into a fully grown adult and flew away- now that he thought about it- the man looked a lot like an older Edward. Perhaps that was his dad? Flick's heart sank – he was dead now.
Edward's cheeks burned a bright red. 'Well?' he stammered.
Flick grinned and then said slowly, 'I have a confession to make.'
'What would that be?' Edward flexed
his wings waiting expectantly for his answer.
'I'm a faerie.' Flick answered.
Edward's mouth dropped open and voiced something Flick didn't expect to hear, 'You're gay!?'
Flick's face went slightly pink and he laughed nervously - he wasn't sure about that actually- he hadn't really thought about it- if he was, he didn't really care about it- it didn't bother him.
'That's not what I meant -Think of the context!' Flick stammered stopping to focus on feeling his faerie wings. All of a sudden he was extremely light and he could really feel those insect-like wings grow out of him. 'And...' he paused, 'I'll never get used to that feeling!'
'The wings? Yeah, I know what you mean. It's not exactly painful... More like, uncomfortable.' Edward was smirking then flapped his wings and he lifted himself into the air. 'Aren't you coming?'
'You have no idea how corny this
would sound if it was a story and how strange it would look for two
boys wearing pyjamas to suddenly start flying. If anyone saw us
they'd immediately go see a doctor, I think I would. Well I
'Just get up here.' Ed said exasperatedly.
Flick wasn't sure what to do, he had never flown before. He batted his wings and was surprised to see that he lifted off the ground very easily.
'I'm doing it!' he cried ecstatically, 'I'm flying!'
'Of course you are, you have wings don't you?' Edward said jubilantly.
Flick noticed Edward's fangs had grown back into his head – he must of simply had them out to show Flick that he was a vampire instead of a boy with bat wings. Flick wondered... Did he drink blood? He didn't seem to need it. Flick remembered what Edward said about being sensitive to the sun- perhaps the more blood he drunk the less sensitive his skin was- he mustn't suck the blood out of people too much if that's the case because his skin is so sensitive to the light - maybe he thought it was unhygienic?
Flick and Edward flew around the city laughing at them for flying and those bellow who couldn't – it was an amazing experience – the wind blowing through their hair, being so high above everybody else but feeling safe and free to do what they wanted – which was technically true.
'This is great!' Flick exclaimed cheerfully. Edward
grinned, and pointed behind Flick.
'Whenever you flap your wings they let off some sparkly glowing dust.'
Flick blinked, 'Oh no!' he moaned, 'It must be faerie dust!'
Edward noticed his friend's shame and smiled at him saying 'Don't be embarrassed, I think it's...' he was searching for the right word, 'I think it's... very... dazzling.'
Now he was the one who looked embarrassed and he laughed in spite of himself- Flick snorted.
The rest of their flying trip was rather eventful – they nearly flew into an owl and had to avoid a few people in the park who looked suspiciously like couples, they passed a bar which was extremely lively despite the time, and when they turned around to go back they got lost and it took them a while to get back.
They landed outside their dorm window worn out from flying – not that they were physically tired – more emotionally drained than anything else. They were so glad and could hardly believe that they had met each other – it was just so unlikely, but it happened.
'Birds of a feather stick together.' Flick grinned back at Edward as he snuck in through the open window. Flick helped pull Edward through the window.
'Flick the faerie, it's sort of catchy.' Ed said randomly. 'Edward the vampire, however...'
'Who cares about names, honestly?' Flick said shutting the window behind him, 'We've both got something hardly anybody in the whole world has.'
That being said they
both jumped into bed and fell asleep, dreaming peacefully.
The years past by with Flick and Edward sneaking out every night to explore and find creatures to help or become friends with- Flick found Mahogany in her tree in the park and she was very happy. Although after the first time they put on clothing which wouldn't look so peculiar- at least they weren't wearing pyjamas now anyway. Just like with Flick, couples coming to adopt found something strange about Edward and didn't adopt him- the two laughed about this secretly as they were the only ones who knew why.
However something happened that they didn't believe possible when they were both seventeen years old – they were both adopted by separate people. They were told at breakfast by a surly looking Mr Bloomsbury and both Flick and Edward spent the rest of the day moping about the place. They couldn't even have a single cheerful conversation together – it was well and truly the worst thing that had to happen to both of them. They were told they were to meet their new families the next day.
They didn't leave the orphanage that night; they both lay in their beds, covers over their heads. They wouldn't be able to see each other again! They would stop being friends that meant.... didn't it? Flick didn't know about Edward (did he really want to know?) but he cried silently that night feeling extremely depressed and knowing he couldn't change what was to happen to his best friend.
The next morning they dragged their bags out to the front of the orphanage, waiting for their new families to arrive. They wondered why they had been accepted in the first place. While they waited in the cold winter air, shivering, Mr Bloomsbury stood near them telling the two how he'll miss them – Flick didn't really care- neither did Edward. They only cared about each other.
Flick had had enough of this. He grabbed Edward's hand and dragged him away from Mr Bloomsbury around where the shed had been burnt down (a bunch of pretty little purple, pink, blue, yellow and white flowers grew there) and around outside where the window was. Flick ignored Mr Bloomsbury's yelling.
'Listen.' Flick said, 'We could still see each other couldn't we? We could meet somewhere every night like before and-'
'-No, we can't.' Edward said darkly. Flick was confused.
'But why not? It'll be perfect!' he retorted. 'Just like before.'
'We're not kids anymore, Flick.' Edward said seriously.
Flick was angry, 'That doesn't mean we have to stop seeing each other, you idiot! That doesn't mean we can't still do what we find fun! Do you remember when we flew together that first time? Didn't you have fun?'
'Yes I had fun!' Flick thought Edward's eyes were slightly red, 'But isn't it best for things to change now? Isn't it best to adapt to this new lifestyle and forget about each other and lead perfectly normal lives?'
'We'll never be able to live normal lives because we're not normal people! But we can still see each other!' Flick was upset with his friend's thoughts. 'This doesn't mean it's over. I mean – I thought it was but then I thought about it again and it makes perfect sense.'
Edward said something but Flick didn't hear it. Flick saw that he was crying and his heart plummeted into the ground. 'No don't cry, Edward. See we can still see each other, it's all going to be okay.'
The two stared at the ground, almost loosing it. They heard a couple of cars stop in front of the orphanage and Flick panicked.
'Do you want to see me again?'
'I want to lead a normal life – I mean, I can still see you, but I want to make friends outside of... the fantasy realm.' Edward mumbled, his eyes darting nervously over to the front where he could hear voices conversing. 'If we ever bump into each other, then, that'll be great but... I want to start over.'
Flick was lost- start over why? It hasn't all been bad with him at the orphanage had it?
Flick was suddenly punched in the face. What the hell was up with Edward!? He was fuming, and Flick didn't know why.
'Gonna suck my blood are you?' Flick wiped the blood from his nose onto his sleeve. 'I'll let you! Seriously I would!'
Edward's eye twitched, 'I'm afraid of you! Because you make me feel... strange- I don't want to be like this- it's awful, I'd become an outcast – I need to get away from you... Away from you that way I can... like other people... like, a normal person.'
He looked embarrassed and upset. Flick stared at him. 'You're gay?!'
Edward laughed. 'Aren't you as well, you faerie boy?' he smirked.
'But I don't understand-' Edward looked at Flick in awe, 'You can't ... 'switch teams', I don't think you could, even if you really wanted to.'
This seemed to upset Edward even more, but then he took a deep breath and punched the brick wall. Flick cried out and Edward bit his lip clutching his hand. He straightened up.
'I think we have to go.' Edward said calmly. Flick was unsure what to do, he felt like doing something to comfort him but he didn't think it would work so he followed.
They found their way over to Mr Bloomsbury who looked at them both cheerfully. 'Here they are!'
The two boys smiled weakly.
'Don't worry they're just sad to leave. They're great friends, y'know.' Mr Bloomsbury looked at Flick and Edward admirably as if he wished he was as close to someone before.
As it turned out- Flick was going to stay in London with a girl named Blueberry, nicknamed Blu. Flick wasn't even aware the name existed. He remembered his first conversation with Edward where he asked if his name was real and he smiled sadly. Blueberry herself looked like she had lost her husband- Flick got the feeling she did – but she smiled however pushing back her blond hair, she was rather pretty, and young- maybe around twenty-five. She wore a lacy blue dress, white shoes and a sea shell necklace and a straw hat. Flick thought she had a very interesting style of dress.
Edward was going to live with a couple; the lady, named Lisa, had come out to greet him as her boyfriend, Michael was in the car. 'We're going to be such great friends!' she exclaimed cheerfully, Ed couldn't help laughing with her. She wore jeans and a purple shirt- and had a bit of a tan too.
'We've come all the way from New York for a holiday, and we thought of adopting- we're leaving tomorrow. You seem very interesting however.' She winked at Ed. Edward couldn't help wondering if she knew that he was a vampire boy, however, he didn't think he'd go on any midnight strolls anymore. He glanced at Flick. 'New York!' he mouthed in awe. Flick grinned and sadly waved at Edward as he hopped into the car after packing his things. He knew he was going to miss him horribly but he would survive.
'C'mon Flick, let's go home.' Blu said, putting his bags in the back seat of the car. Flick nodded, sliding into the front seat.
Flick had a feeling that living with Blu as a parent wouldn't be so bad. There seemed to be something about her- he thought as they drove off.
'Are you a faerie?' Blu asked casually as they drove off.
Flick stared at the girl in amazement and saw that she was grinning.
'What do you-?'
'I can tell.' She smiled.
Flick relaxed a bit – he knew there was something about her- something different.
'Yes, yes I am.' Flick laughed, 'Flick the faerie, at your service.'
'Catchy.' She smirked, turning left down a street. 'Nice to meet you, faerie boy.'
'Um,' he began, 'I really am a faerie, just so you know unless you want to turn around and bring me back to the orphanage.' Flick said slowly. 'You know, wings, faerie dust, the lot.'
'I know.' Blu said, 'Oh, I know, don't worry.' Then she paused. 'You're going to love London.'
'I think I will.' Flick said absent mindedly. 'By the way, are you a faerie?'
'Me?' Blu chuckled, 'No, I'm a mermaid.'
'Wow...' Flick said in awe.
'We're going to get along well, don't you think?' she smiled.
'I can tell.' Flick chortled.