WARNING: this complete short-story contains horror-erotica, very dark themes, and is 18+ ONLY! It may contain triggers. Not for the faint of heart.
“Cleo, welcome to the ranks of the Fairy Lists,” my supervisor welcomes me in front of the King and Queen of Fae Kind, “We have your first job assignment.”
I lift my head high, proud to take account of magic, wherever they needed me to audit, “Whatever you need.”
A lull falls on the Fae Court, and when I look behind me, it is not another sewerage leak disrupting our tiny miniature realm, under the tar of a major mortal city.
We were protected by roots of the Eternal Tree, but occasionally shifts in the Earth caused damage to our Fae Kingdom.
The disruption is rather nothing.
Everyone in the Court is silent and staring at me, in anticipation.
What were they expecting?
I face my supervisor again, who is holding out a letter with the first name I must audit.
I smile at my first job, until I see the seal is black and dripping with the heat of the name inside.
A… demon audit?
They were not for first time recruits. This is odd. Or maybe a challenge?
I accept the letter with a neutral expression.
“Open it, and I shall explain,” my supervisor waits, and the hush in the court deepens.
I break the seal, and inside is one name.
I fold the letter and put it in my locket, around my necklace.
“Anubis,” I pronounce the name, “What creature is that?”
“Anubis is an Ancient Lycan, who lives in the Under, in a restricted zone of the supernatural,” she explains.
“His name sounds familiar to me. Wasn’t he a God to humans?” I ask, “Not a demon?”
“Listen to me closely. A human interpretation is a human interpretation only, highly inaccurate to his real nature, so disregard their records,” my supervisor raises her brow, “Nevertheless. Anubis has gone quiet. We have no marker of his energy anymore. We are sending you to check if he is alive.”
“I will check his life, take my audit and return with my findings,” I answer, professionally, “Is that all?”
“…yes,” after my supervisor hesitates, I am let go.
The King and Queen of the Fae Kingdom nod at me.
I bow and turn around.
As I walk out of the court, everyone’s eyes follow me with caution and curiosity.
I myself am still a little confused at their reactions.
I take myself to the roots of the Eternal Tree, where other Fairies are at work.
I place my hand on the root of the tree, in the Assimilation Zone. It was time to check on a strange first case. We learned Lycans were extremely violent and unpredictable and all kinds of thirsty. However, as a tiny Fairy probably the size of a Lycan’s claw tip, I am unworried about death or being spotted.
A Fairy’s job was not to interfere in any other realm, only to take note of the energy, record it and log it back at home. We made lists. We loved lists. Any inconsistences would be resolved in due time. That’s where our trickery came in. We could twist fates, through kind means and cruel means.
We ate the decomposing supernatural dust, it was our appetite and gaze us our magic. It could twist us, if we feasted too much on one type of magic, such as devil’s dust. That was better avoided. It was better to eat the dust of angelic beings.
But that is why we were Fairies, we had a mixture of both types of dust in our veins.
If Anubis was dead, he would be recorded as dust decomposing.
I place my hand on my round locket and my other hand on the silver root of the Eternal Tree.
“Anubis,” I say his name, ready to be transported to his restricted zone.
When nothing happens, I let go of my locket and step back, confused.
When I look down the majestic corridor, I see my supervisor coming toward me with a tough stride. Her fancy dress rolls and billows out behind her, as if she is drawing on other friends for support.
I wonder what the threat is?
I look behind me but no one else is in the Assimilation Zone near me.
“What’s the matter?” I ask her, too naïve, too young and too low rank to understand what was really going on. When she does not stop approaching, I dare say her name, you were never allowed to say the name of a Fairy of a higher rank, but now I am troubled by her approach, “Feeb!” I call out, “What’s going on?”
Feeb pauses in her strides, her hands slowly go to clasp something behind her back.
“I forgot to tell you how to be transported to Anubis,” she calms down, and the magic billowing out behind her, flows away in soft waves of light.
Some Fairies just liked to be dramatic.
I try to ignore it.
“I am listening,” I answer her.
“Face the root, hand out, other hand on the locket again,” she commands me and I turn back to the root and do what I did before, “Now close your eyes.”
“Why?” I ask, before doing so.
I look to her with my anxiety, and she relaxes her tense shoulders.
“Do not be nervous, this is something you must listen closely to me about. Close your eyes and visit me in the Mind. For privacy.”
I close my eyes and reach out to her Mind, as she reaches out to mine.
We connect and see each other as projections.
In the sparse darkness of her Mind, she is stern once more.
“No experienced Fairy wanted to check Anubis. But we must. It is our duty.”
“I already agreed so this is no issue to me,” I respond, “Tell me how to get to Anubis.”
“This is information I wasn’t going to share but I have changed my mind. I’m sorry it had to be you, but your final grades were not becoming of a Fairy who would level beyond a Rank 3. You failed emotional reading… every single time you took the class. You were too kind. You communicated to every test assignment, whether by speech or sign giving. You are too empathetic for a Fairy. You are likely to die in the field from over exposure to other realms. Every time you reach out to another, you break down the barrier.”
“I am so sorry about that. I went to see the therapist and my teacher, it’s normal to be off the spectrum sometimes. That’s what they told me. I am just a little difficult when it comes to rejecting emotions. I enjoy them –”
“That is why we decided, as a court, unanimously, that you can be sent on this mission,” Feeb’s nostrils flare, “Cleo, leave this Mind.”
I obey her and disconnect, facing the root, wondering why there is now a splattering of blood on my fingers and the root itself.
And also why I cannot breathe?
And also, why I cannot feel any pain, if I was inflicted a wound?
“Your job is to audit,” Feeb reminds me, standing right behind me now, her hand on the back of my neck, “If you survive. When you return, we will return your Fate,” I have my answer when my body is not sucked into the root. Only my tiny Fate is, as Feeb says his name, “Anubis.”
The destination for me to arrive is set.
A restricted zone in the Under.