A magical female possessing great power over an appropriate element. They are easily identified by their wings and beautiful appearance.
(synonyms: pixie, fairy, brownie, sprite)
His lips curled in a sarcastic snicker, "Dang, how old is this book?" he thought.
The idle ticking of the clock and the humming of the people lulled him into a daydreaming state, his stream of conscious now completely free to flow "I don't know much about faes," he thought "But even I know they're not all female."
Wesley sighed through his nose, aware of the cashier's piercing stare behind him. She was always wary of the man's presence. He always went in and read the books, but never bought any of them. To make matters more suspicious, he would stay for hours, simply plucking a book from the shelf and reading it from start to finish, then moving on to the next book that caught his eye. Wesley knew that she wanted to shoo him out of the store, but the most that she could do was ask if he needed any help, which he never did.
"Trust me," he wanted to tell her "I would buy them all out and stay outta your hair if I could."
Wesley was aware of his appearance. He had skin as dark as walnut wood, and lips thicker than the average male. His nose was round yet perky, and his eyes held youth and energy. His figure and height were nothing to gawk at, but his white jersey showed off the modest muscles of his arms. Mirroring the light blue forty-two on his jersey was a pair of faded blue jeans torn from age and harsh cycles in a cheap washing machine.
A hand fell on Wesley's shoulder, causing the young man to choke on a gasp and the hand to flinch away.
"How long were you planning on staying here, boy?" the owner of the hand asked with as much surprise as her whisper would allow.
Wesley turned around, knowing exactly who the woman was, "Dang Felicia, you scared me."
Felicia held similar features to Wesley. Her thick amber hair plumed around one side of her face while the other side was woven into straight cornrow braids. High-waisted jeans and a peach-colored sweater donned her figure, and a pair of round-lensed glasses rested on her nose.
"It's a quarter to nine," the woman said with a perk of her brows, "Almost closing time."
Wesley closed the book in his hands, his eyes lingering on the page, "I just started the next chapter, though…" he murmured.
"You know you can come back tomorrow," said Felicia with a wave of her hand.
Reluctantly, Wesley put the book away and followed the woman out of the store. He could feel the cashier's eyes briefly follow them. The only thing that usually reminded Wesley not to overstay his welcome was his sister's visit. In a way, it was easy to see that the cashier was mildly grateful whenever that happened.
"I don't like walking around at night," said Felicia as they entered the warm streets of New York City, "Have you heard about the recent lycan attacks?"
"Huh? No," Wesley's eyes squinted in curiosity as he watched the cars zoom by, "What, are lycans just attacking people like dogs?"
"Yeah, and it happens out of nowhere," explained the elder sibling, "They said one minute, a guy will just be walking down the street, then the next, he gets down on all fours and turns into a wolf. It's happened three times so far."
"We, as human beings, have a history of being unable to accept our differences. Race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language, we have taken these characteristics and more and used them as barriers to divide one another. That's why mythical creatures and humans have never truly been able to get along. How can such a diverse group live alongside a group that's constantly searching for differences to fear and antagonize?"
The man's crow wings carried him up the staircase. His figure was only visible in the small beams of light that pooled in through the holes in the roof. In the hallway, he had reached a corner.
"He went upstairs!"
Heavy footsteps pounded upwards. The winged man grunted as he struggled to push his arms up. The wooden floorboards beneath him began to move upwards with his arms, but there was no time.
A ray of yellow electricity shot up towards the man.
Wesley awoke with a start, his nerves frayed and his eyes blown wide. His gasp was loud enough to be heard by his sister as she passed by the doorway in her hurry to get dressed.
"You okay?" Felicia asked, tugging her uniform jacket on.
"Yeah, yeah, just…" Wesley rubbed his eye, "Just had a wild dream."
"Tell me about it when I get home," Felicia gave a wave of farewell as she continued towards the door, "Or I'll call you during my lunch break. Bye!"
When the door shut, the silence filling the apartment fully settled in. The only sounds that could be heard were the traffic outside and the kids playing basketball in the nearby park.
It was another ordinary morning for Wesley. Like every other day since graduation, he had intended to get himself dressed and proceed with his job-hunting process.
When he looked at the graduation cap that hung from his bedpost, he was reminded of how he almost didn't make it, of how low income and ridiculous funds almost shattered his chances of a future. He was also reminded of all those endless nights of grinding and pressing for scholarships. Now his journey was over, and he could finally start paying back for all of those lost dollars.
Wesley burned hours conversing various topics and putting intrigued smiles on people's faces as he visited shops and businesses. A simple inquiry about the business would branch into an extensive conversation about family and life goals. Wesley's fun ended when he realized that the afternoon was already hitting and he still hadn't found a job opening.
"Dang," he muttered, taking a rest on a park bench, "Whatever job I find is gonna have to be out of town."
After a brief moment of watching the young adolescents play around, Wesley's phone buzzed in his pocket. He reached in and pulled it out, immediately knowing who it was without having to check the screen.
"Hello," he answered.
"Hey Wesley!" replied Felicia's voice "How are you?"
"I'm good. Still unemployed, but good all around," he said, his eyes still lazily following the people at the park, "I couldn't find anyone hiring nearby, so I think I'll have to go online and find something."
"So you're going to the bookstore to use their internet then?"
"In a minute, yeah."
"Okay, don't stay too late," warned the sister, "I'm stopping off at Jaeylin's house, so go home early."
"Okay, I…" Wesley stopped, because in that moment, his eyes landed on a familiar figure.
Walking on the adjacent street was the man in his dream. Although he didn't have the crow wings Wesley recalled, everything else was the same: nearly ink-black skin, micro dreads pulled into a ponytail with red tips, dark red and green clothes.
On the other line, Felicia continued to speak "…I'll bring home something to eat cuz you know she's always cooking and—oh yeah, tell me about that dream you had!"
The man absent-mindedly pocketed the phone with a whispered, "I gotta go…" as he moved to follow the man.
"'scuse me, sir, sir!" Wesley called out. He wasn't sure how this man would react to being stopped by a random stranger. In the city of New York, all sorts of confrontations could happen. Wesley didn't want to make the guy think he made to prepare himself for a fight.
However, the man turned around casually and looked to Wesley, "Me?" he questioned.
A part of Wesley shrank down. The man's voice carried a faint English accent, and his eyes were level with Wesley's. His clothes were tidy and cologne wafted from his figure. Suddenly Wesley felt like a dirty street rat in comparison.
"Uh, well, it's like…" Wesley cleared his throat, "You're probably not gonna believe me, but I think...some guys are after you."
The other man's friendly expression turned concerned, "Seriously? What makes you say that?"
Wesley nervously chuckled, realizing the explanation that he was forced to give, "And here I thought that was the craziest part, but this next part…" he shook his head, trying to mask his unease, "I hardly believe it, myself."
The other man's interest seemed piqued. For that, Wesley wasn't sure whether to be relieved or regretful.
"Now, I don't really believe in things like psychics or clairvoyance, but last night I had this dream," Wesley tried to make his tone sound casual in order to sell his fantastical claim, "We were in this old abandoned house and, like, some guys were chasing you upstairs. I didn't get a good look at their faces, but they didn't look like any typical thugs or anything."
Much to Wesley's surprise, the man actually seemed to take him seriously. He wasn't nodding condescendingly like a parent listening to a child's babbling, but he also wasn't frowning like a bystander listening to a ranting conspiracy theorist.
"How many would you say there were?" questioned the man.
Wesley tapped his chin in thought "Uhm…four, maybe five?"
The man nodded once, his expression serious as he looked around, "Damn…" he muttered.
Wesley looked around, as well, suddenly paranoid.
The man gripped Wesley's shoulder, "We need to get indoors."
Before Wesley could even get out the word "What?", he was being ushered inside of a nearby restaurant. In spite of himself, Wesley found his mouth watering at the smell of fresh french fries and burgers wafting around the air.
Immediately, the cashier lifted her head towards the two males in a welcoming motion. Unfortunately, they weren't there as customers.
"Are those guys out there?" Wesley asked.
The man looked out of the window beside him, "I'm not sure, but I didn't wanna take any chances," he returned his gaze to the interior of the restaurant, noticing the odd look he was getting from the cashier.
"We can't stay here all day," he said, "My car is just down the street. I can drop you off at home."
"What'll you do after that?" asked Wesley.
Much to Wesley's dismay, the male looked lost.
"I'll be fine," he reassured, "I don't want to drag a stranger into this."
"Hey, I'm not letting you go after what I saw," asserted Wesley, "Those guys looked dangerous. If they end up killing you, I just can't live with that."
"And what if they end up killing you in the process?" questioned the other man.
Wesley shrugged, "Then at least I didn't die over something pointless."
The man stared at Wesley in disbelief for a moment, then sighed in resignation.
"I can't say no to an answer like that."
For the first time ever, Wesley experienced a lack of conversation.
Silence filled the space between himself and the man as they drove through the city. During that time, Wesley took note of the transformation the scenery went under as they drove by. The grass was cut more evenly and the sidewalks were cleaner. The cars and homes were fancier, and Wesley saw businesses he had only read about in magazines.
"I never did tell you my name, did I?"
The man's question was so sudden, Wesley almost missed it, "Huh? Your name?"
The man nodded "It's Logan," he said, "What's yours?"
"Wesley," said the other, "Guess we forgot to introduce ourselves, huh?"
Logan laughed, "Well, it's not like we met over a cup of coffee."
"True…" Wesley said, "So who's after you? And what do they want?"
Logan gave an uncomfortable sigh, gripping the steering wheel a bit tighter, "I guess I'd have to tell you eventually…" he muttered, "I'm a witch. This group of witch hunters has been tracking me down for over a week."
Wesley jerked his head in the man's direction, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, you're serious? You're a witch?" he gasped, "You don't look like one."
Logan snorted, "Were you expecting some hunch-backed old lady like the ones in those outdated books?"
Despite the joking smirk on his face, Wesley felt he had insulted the man, "Ah, sorry. Those books in the store were all written by humans, as far as I know," he said, "Then again, it wouldn't be the first time I read a book that made ridiculous assumptions about an entire race of people."
Logan glanced at Wesley with a sympathetic look.
The ease between the two came to an abrupt halt when the car began to sputter. Logan was able to pull over onto the curb just before the vehicle died altogether. The man inspected all of the lights on his dashboard to locate the issue.
"Did we run out of gas?" Wesley asked.
"I don't know," Logan reached for a button below the radio and the hood of the car popped open.
Wesley watched as the man stepped outside of the car and lifted the hood for further inspection. He gave a quiet sigh. He really wanted to believe that the sudden stop was only due to a common occurrence. Now was not the time for a major malfunction. At least, that's how it felt.
Wesley let his eyes wander listlessly, and caught sight of something odd in the peripheral mirror.
A cluster of shapes moved down the street in a single, gyrating unit. Wesley squinted into the mirror to get a clearer image. Once he finally saw what it was, he bolted out of the car.
"Yo, we gotta leave," he warned through clenched teeth as he walked around the lifted car hood.
Unable to see what Wesley had seen, Logan furrowed his brow "Why?" he asked.
Just as that word escaped his lips, a yellow jolt of electricity knocked down the hood of the car, exposing the two males.
Five men strode down the street. They were all dressed in black, leather clothes. Their hats and boots' tears mirrored the hints of age in their faces, which showed experience and knowledge. The man responsible for the electricity concealed a weapon in his jacket. Unlike the more open neighborhood Wesley had lived in, no one was outside to witness this event.
"Shit!" Wesley reacted first, taking hold of Logan's arm and sprinting in the other direction.
At first, he had a hard time dragging the man along, but within a few seconds, he felt the weight gradually lighten up.
Wesley gasped as Logan's arms reached under his armpits and pulled him up from the street. The ground grew farther and farther away from Wesley, who clutched desperately at Logan's hands.
"Ow, ow! Be careful with your nails!" griped the man above him.
However, Wesley could hardly hear him past his own panic.
He was flying above the city. The only thing keeping him from falling was this man's grip. Wesley shut his eyes, unable to take in his situation.
He had to admit the the experience was akin to being on a swing or a bicycle. The cool air brushing past his ears at a decent speed calmed his nerves slightly. However, the constant tug of gravity beckoning him downward against Logan's best efforts to hold him tight made him feel sick.
"I think we lost them," huffed Logan, his voice full of exhaustion.
Wesley dared himself to open his eyes again. He was immediately met with the sight of the afternoon sky. The softness of the underbelly of the clouds pulled him into a brief moment of enchantment. He sees clouds every single day, but something within him stirred upon seeing them this time.
That sight slowly disappeared as he felt Logan dip down into the thicket of trees below them.
Both men grunted as twigs scraped and poked them during the descent.
When Wesley's feet hit the ground, he nearly fell because his legs had become so numb.
Behind him, Logan panted heavily with his hands on his knees. Wesley now had a good look at him.
Eight large black feathers hovered over Logan's back, imitating crow wings. They emitted a dark energy. A pointy dark green hoodie hung halfway off of his ponytail. The deep maroon shirt underneath it covered his abdomen. Dark green pants were tucked into black cuffed knee boots.
"Wow…" Wesley gasped quietly.
Logan stood up straight. He opened and clenched his fists, then looked at Wesley.
"I'll fight them off by myself," he sighed.
Wesley shook his head, "No way, there's five of them. Look, I'll just call the police and—"
"The police can't help in this kind of situation," interrupted Logan, "I've been trying this entire time and they never get anything done."
Wesley sighed through his nose, shying his hand away from his pocket where he had planned to reach for his phone "You've gotta be kidding," he muttered.
"Listen, I've been running away from these guys this whole week, but this time, I'm gonna fight back," Logan motioned around him as the leaves and the grass seemed to whirl around, "I'm in my element."
Wesley smiled, "And what do you need me to do?"
"Find a safe place to hide," said the witch.
Just as soon as it appeared, Wesley's smile vanished, "I'm serious."
"So am I," countered Logan, "Look, this is a battle between a witch and a group of witch hunters. There's no place for a human; you'd be overpowered."
Wesley crossed his arms, "Damn, you're right. Without anything to fight with, I would just get in the way…" he admitted.
Logan pointed to his left, "I saw a house just up that way. Stay with whoever's inside," he looked the other way as dark green energy emitted from his hands, "I'll go find those bastards."
Wesley gave a single nod and jogged in the direction of the house. Endless minutes seemed to tick by as he shuffled through the trees. His breath began to grow weary just before the number of trees dwindled. Once he saw the house in the distance, he was immediately hit with a jolt of energy.
He was already constructing the story that he would tell the inhabitants in his mind, trying to figure out what would convince them to let him stay for a while without raising too many red flags.
As he neared the house, an uneasy feeling began to settle in his stomach. Something wasn't right about the house. Regardless, he knew staying outside wasn't a good idea.
Wesley knocked on the door, noticing that all of the lights in the house were off and that there was no car in the parking lot.
"Hello?" he asked, knocking again "Is anyone even…there?"
Wesley's statement trailed off as he noticed the door was only slightly closed. He pressed the door open with his finger tips and entered the dark home. Slowly, dread began to fill his being.
He hadn't seen the outside of the home before, but now that he was inside, he knew. This was the same abandoned home he had seen in the dream. Although blurry and only lasting seconds, Wesley knew that this was unmistakably the same place.
Logan flew into the house and raised his arms purposefully. As he did that, the doorway became blocked with tightly woven grass strands.
Wesley jumped back, "Did…he do that?" thought the awestruck man.
Logan turned to Wesley and desperately clutched his shoulders, "Where're the owners?"
"No one lives here! It's the same pl—"
The grass stretched and snapped as the men on the other side pushed against it.
"Find somewhere to hide," Logan then hurried up the stairs.
Wesley watched as his crow wings carried him up the staircase. His figure was only visible in the small beams of light that pooled in through the holes in the house's old roof. Wesley knew that if he didn't act now, his dream would become a reality.
He hurried after the man and heard the witch hunters break through the grass barrier.
"He went upstairs!" one of them called out.
Heavy footsteps pounded upwards behind Wesley. He panicked as the sound drew nearer.
Upstairs, Logan was caught in a corner. His eyes were wide with horror when he turned around to see Wesley and the hunters.
The winged man grunted as he struggled to push his arms up. The wooden floorboards beneath him began to move upwards with his arms, but there was no time.
A ray of yellow electricity shot up towards him. Wesley leaped in an attempt to push Logan out of the way, but ended up right in the path of the electricity.
A white light encompassed the space. It was gentle yet crisp. Both the hunters and the witch watched in awe.
Sky blue pants tucked into white ankle boots with blue laces. Blue armbands matched the accents lining the sides and the edges of the short-sleeved white shirt. Transparent moth wings flexed from the man's back as he stood straight.
Sparkling smoke emitted from Wesley, his eyes closed in a state of peace and focus.
The floor rocked as five hard thumps were heard. Then Wesley opened his eyes.
When the smoke cleared, the witch hunters lied on the floor. Soft snoring could be heard from some. Wesley blinked in shock, watching the enchanted smoke linger around their bodies before dispersing in a matter of seconds.
"Y-You're a fae…?!" he heard Logan gasp behind him.
Wesley looked down at palms where the smoke emitted from, then looked back at Logan.
"I guess so…?"