...and they lived happily ever after. The End.
I throw the leather bound book across the room and sigh. This is one princess that will never live happily ever after.
A single tear runs down my cheek and I catch it on my fingertip; I watch as my magick crystallizes the tear, turning it into a faerie stone and I tuck the stone away with the rest of the collection. For the past fourteen years, to celebrate my birthday I allow myself a single tear to honor the memory of Nicholas, my childhood best friend, my prince charming.
“Lana, get dressed,” my roommate Annabelle says as she storms into our apartment, “you’re going out tonight.”
On a normal night, I would argue and stay home with a new book. But tonight is different; it is a historical event for Elementals like us. The mortal beings of the Earthly Realm take this phenomenon for granted, but to us, we need the power that will be released on this special night.
Tonight, Friday the 13th, there is a full moon. It has been fourteen years since this last occurred, and it will be another thirty-five before it will happen again.
I have remained in the mortal world too long without returning to my homeland, the Faerie Kingdom of Aleiwen. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to return home and claim my birthright. So I need to replenish my magick when I can; the faerie light in me is fading, leaving nothing more than an empty shell. I need the magickal powers that will be released tonight during the Witching Hour in order to survive. My greatest chance to absorb the power released tonight is to be near other Elementals.
Taking a deep breath to clear my mind and steady my racing heart, I hurry and get ready to leave. The insistent sound of a car horn breaks the peaceful silence. Annabelle must already be in the car. With a quick glance in the mirror, I grab my stuff and head out the door.
Staring out the window of Annabelle’s custom candy apple red Fiat, I watch the safety of our apartment building blur to nothing more than a tiny object in the distance.
I roll down the window, close my eyes, and take a deep breath. The sweet salt water wafting off the ocean tickles my nose, and the shrieking of the seagulls pierce my eardrums.
My fingers fiddle with the hem of my shirt and a small smile spreads on my face as I gaze out into the distance and think about the time Annabelle and I first met.
The night I met Annabelle, the setting sun shimmered off the blue ocean much like it is doing now. We met a few weeks after I transferred to the All-Girl Year Round Boarding school. My father sent me away, to hide me from my step-mother, the Wicked Faerie, after her hideous beast attacked Nicholas. Father feared for my life, so I have been banished to the Earthly Realm, to walk among the mortals until the beast is slain.
Annabelle and I met while I was exploring the harbor. Being an Earth Elemental, I had only read stories about Water Elementals like Annabelle, so meeting a siren in person was a fairytale come true. Over the years we became close friends, but since we were the only Elementals in the Boarding School ours has been a friendship built out of convenience, more than true friendship.
“I know what you’re thinking, but you can’t hide in your room your entire life,” Annabelle chastises me in her typical way. “Do you want to be like Rapunzel, locked away in a tower waiting for your prince charming to come?” She steps on the gas, jolting me forward into the dashboard emphasizing her point.
Yes. Life in the mortal world and life without Nicholas–hiding away seems perfect.
Fourteen years ago tonight, he was taken from me by the Wicked Faerie. Her jealousy and twisted love affair with my father created a demonic hatred of me. That night still haunts my every waking hour.
Nicholas and I were watching the sunset before he headed home after my birthday party. He gave me the sweetest kiss goodnight and promised a special surprise in the morning.
But as the full moon climbed overhead, nightmarish screams were heard from the forest path that led to his house. The next morning Nicholas’s clothing was found shredded to pieces and he hasn’t been seen since
“There it is!” Annabelle exclaims, her enchanting voice pulling me from my dreadful thoughts, and she points to an old brick textile factory across the street.
A worn and cracked sign reading, Logan’s, is dangling by one chain in the upper left corner, a street lamp flickering overhead. An oversized red metal door is propped open, with a burly man sitting on a stool controlling the line of people waiting to enter.
“Where did you hear about this place?” I whisper. Studying the people in line, there is a mixture of mortals and Elementals. It always fascinates me that mortals have no idea we exist, but we live amongst them in secrecy.
“Lana, if you ever actually went out, you’d know all the Elementals hang out here with the mortals,” she says with her usual air of disdain.
I hope she means only Water Elementals hang out here. Sirens, Water Goblins, and Mer-people, over the years I have learned to feel safe and comfortable around. But my own people, the Earth Elementals, I do not. The last message I received from Father said the Wicked Faerie has spies in the Earthly Realm, so I prefer to stay away from other Faeries, Trolls, and Gnomes.
Around the corner from the entrance, Annabelle swerves into a parking space, kicking up the gravel. As we get out, we see the mortals are none the wiser as they shamelessly flirt with the Water and Earth Elementals in line. Great. This place is crawling with Earth Elementals. I keep my head down as we hurry to wait in line with all the other loud and obnoxious clubbers.
In the shadows near the entrance, a pair of sapphire blue eyes catch my attention but are gone before I blink. The intensity of the moment sends chills up my spine and the feeling lingers as we continue to wait.
Reaching the red door, smoke bellows out into the cool night air causing a spastic cough.
“If you can’t take it, leave,” the burly bouncer looks at me and grunts.
Covering my mouth I mumble, “I’m fine.”
His eyes narrow and he fixes me with a fiery stare. “Are you lost sugar?”
“She’s with me,” Annabelle grabs my arm, pulling me into the club and away from the eerie bouncer.
“What was that about?” I ask Annabelle, who is already rushing to the bar.
Shrugging, Annabelle says, “Come on, let’s get a drink.”
The crowd parts for Annabelle, but they quickly close behind her and I’m left staggering through sweaty bodies of people shimmying their way to the dance floor.
Shaking my head in her wake, sirens always have a certain air about them.