Rashell expected something a little more dramatic about walking through a portal; instead, it was just like walking through a door into another room.
His disappointment must have shown on his face because Sealiea chuckled. “Yes, I thought it would be something special too, at first.”
The others stepped out from the portal onto the fresh green grass. They glanced around and realized, they were in a maze.
“The veil is in the center,” Dagda said.
“Oh, great,” Jenny groaned.” How are we supposed to find our way?”
Just then, Rashell felt a tingling feeling in the back of his neck, a presence of magical energy. Almost like a call. “I’m here, come and find me it seemed to say. Rashell had been taught by his mother once, that magic was alive, living energy. That you had to learn to focus, and shape, Magic was stubborn and worked better for some than for others.
“Do you feel that?” asked Rashell his hazel eyes glowing with excitement.
Rayanna nodded. “Yes, I think it’s the veil.”
The two of them walked almost in a zombie-like shuffle toward the pull of magic. The others followed them, looking confused except Dagda who looked pleased as if his theory had just been proven. But Rayanna couldn’t think about that now, her only thought was to follow the magic. All other thoughts were still there but they were unfocused, hazy, the feeling was getting stronger the more paths the twins took. They were now much closer to the center of the maze.
Rashell sped up his pace; the call of the veil was getting stronger. Soon he could barely hear the cries begging him to slow down as he entered the middle of the Maze. The veil was a swirling ball of magical energy in the center; it stretched from the center of the maze and covered the whole sky with a strange blue colored fog. The fog stretched all across fairy covering it in a mist so thin it was almost invisible: the magic that protected their world from human eyes. Rashell needed a moment to take it all in.
Then he noticed it there was a hole in the swirling energy, a place where the magic had started to fail. A hole that was increasing in size almost every minute. The hole was sucking the area around it leaving behind hard Grey pavement. The more the veil sucked the more it revealed. There was what looked like tall buildings slowly being revealed, Rashell could smell the taint of metal beginning to leak through. It’s true, fairy is becoming part of the human world. she thought. But what can me and Rayanna possibly da about it?
Then Rayanna came into view, she looked cross. “Didn’t you hear me calling? Why didn’t yee wait fer me?” Then she noticed the buildings. “Oh me Goddess,” she breathed.
“It’s not me fault yer slow, I wanted ta get here sometime this century, yer so slow even when yee eat artist energy ya sip it like yer having tea,” Rashell said snidely.
“Well excuse me fer trying ta make an artist last longer ” Rayanna replied.
“Ya get on my nerves, Ray, always acting like you’re better than everyone else.”
“I don’t know about better, but as the oldest, I know more,” she shot back.
Rashell placed his hands on his hips. “Yer only older than me by a few seconds,” he said testily.
“Hey, Dark Ninnies,” Fox panted coming into view. She was followed by the others. All of them looked out of breath from trying to keep up. All four of them turned their eyes toward the veil.
“Oh, my ” Treasure breathed, his dark eyes were wide with shock.
Rashell felt a little guilty for his appreciation of the siren boy’s form due to him being married. But the hormones in the lenan sidhe’s internal teenage body urged him to take in the beauty of the obviously Mediterranean gymnast build before him. It wasn't just his good looks though but an allure that radiated from every pore like the sweet scent of a Venus flytrap. Rashell's mind started to feel a bit hazy as he stared.
Rayanna shook him roughly looking concerned. " Yee alright shell" she whispered.
Rashell shook his head to clear it " I'm fine" he gave her a reassuring smile but honestly that had been unsettling.
Dagda looked troubled. “So Briar was right, this time,” he mused.
“What are we supposed to do?” asked Jenny. “We could gasp and lament the whole time but that won’t fix the veil.”
“We can’t do anything, but the Dark Muses can,” the Unseelie King spoke.
“Briar said that,” Rashell commented.
“Well, he’s right the Dark Muses created the veil, after all, fairyland was created because the Dark Muses told the stories of fairy to humans. They believed in fairyland so it became real.” Fox said in a bored tone.
“So you’re saying a bunch of bedtime stories shaped fairy?” Sealiea asked skeptically.
“I thought fairy was created by the Goddess,” Jenny said.
“Maybe she influenced the decision,” Dagda offered.
Sealiea scoffed, “Jenny, surely you don’t believe that foolishness.”
The Water Fairy was silent.
Dagda sighed. “Of course, Briar completely neglected your full training, the dosser. Okay, first of all, stand near the veil.”
The twins did as they were told. “Good stick your palms in it.” Rashell stuck his palm through the pulsing energy; it made his hand feel kind of numb. The veil crackled and more off a sidewalk slowly revealed itself, the odd red thing made of metal rested on it. Everyone stared in amazement; Rashell forced himself to focus on the magic tickling his palm.
“Your magic, give it to the veil,” Dagda said. “I think,” he added.
Fox shot him a look. “You think?” asked the half-demoness condescendingly.
“It’s been over a thousand years since I saw a Dark Muse do this, ” Dagda said defensively.
“Nothing’s going to happen to us.” Rayanna gulped. “Is it?”
Dagda smiled. “You’ll probably be fine,” he told them.
That wasn’t reassuring at all, Rashell thought. Rayanna and Rashell focused on the veil letting their magic flow, “Come on, magic,” Rashell coaxed. “Ya can do it.” He felt a little silly doing this at first. Until he realized it did yield better results to talk to the powerful energy like a person. Rashell guessed it was like the theory, about plants growing better when you talked to them. Although Rashell had to admit he’d leave talking to plants to the nature fairies.
The magic flowed down his arms and into the veil. Was it just him or had the veil gotten smaller? Rashell blamed this on his imagination and kept pouring out his magic. Another jagged hole appeared in the veil. Rashell heard a crackling and swings appeared. It was now almost all sidewalks stretching from the center of the maze outward and sides were starting to disappear.
Then it hit him. “Ray, stop! We’re not repairing the veil, we’re making it worse!”
Rayanna pulled her hands out and so did Rashell. “What are you doing? Put your hands back into it!” Dagda ordered.
Rashell was confused. “Didn’t you hear us? We’re making it worse.”
“Are you Muses really that naive?“Fox sneered.
Dagda’s gaze was stony. “I really hoped I wouldn’t have to resort to this.”
Rashell felt a chill slid down his spine. Fox tried to attack the Unseelie King, he easily pinned her in one move.
“Yee son of a—”
Dagda cut her off.“Now, Rayanna, there’s no need for that type of language.”
“Odin’s eye socket there isn’t,” Rashell said angrily.
Rashell tried to jump on Dagda’s back, but Jenny grabbed him. “Now none of that,” said the Water Fairy. Rashell kicked at her, but Jenny’s leathery skin wasn’t easily bruised.
“All of you set us up.” he realized. Treasure looked guilty and ashamed. Sealiea shrugged, while Dagda nodded.
“Treasure can do it,” the Unseelie King said.
Treasure looked at Dagda in confusion. “But my lord...”
Dagda smiled and put a hand on his shoulder hissing in his ear. ” You really don’t want to argue with me” he reminded him. Treasure looked fearfully at Sealiea who turned nervously then he opened his mouth to the first few bars a beautiful, yet masculine voice, came out, filled with power but there was a hint of eeriness to it. Rashell could feel sudden feelings of affection for the brilliant, handsome siren boy before him.
He vaguely noticed that Rayanna was still struggling for five extra minutes before her eyes were beginning to look glassy, Rashell felt the urge to please, and Treasure returned it, filling him up until it was all he could think of. He would suddenly do anything for the other boy. Even end his own life, if the other wished it. The thought should have terrified him, but it just felt natural.
“What do ya want me to do?” the Leanansidhe asked, looking at the siren adoringly. A frown crossed his face as he noticed how sad the siren looked.
“Are ya, alright? Is there any way I can make it better?” Rayanna asked before he could. Rashell was filled with annoyance; why was his sister such a suck-up?
“You can both, lift the veil...that would make me happy,” the siren said quietly, looking at Dagda for approval. The Leanansidhe felt envious at the sight but he had a job to do. Then he saw Fox being restrained, something about the sight bothered Rashell.
“What’s the matter?” Treasure asked him. The Leanansidhe felt giddy at the idea that Treasure would care enough to ask. He really had the best master.
“I don’t want her ta die unless ya want it,” Rashell said quickly.
“No, I don’t want that either.” The siren turned his attention back to Dagda. Rashell felt annoyed, what was so great about the Unseelie King?
“Fine, I will spare them, now remove the veil!” Dagda said impatiently.
He turned to Treasure for confirmation. “Do it,” the siren boy ordered. So he joined his sibling and they both walked to the veil and thrust their hands in. This time they didn’t stop, not even when they begin to feel dizzy, not when the ground was spinning, not when they were losing their vision. They kept destroying fairy; pouring every last drop of magic, until fairy crumbled and both the twins were swept away themselves.
Unaware, all of the unknowing magical creatures were filled with terror as the magic that once protected them, discarded them all over Washington DC like a bored child scattering its toys. That humans in nearby cities screamed in terror as bits of cottages tore through what was once the walls of their homes. Buildings entwined with trees, and trees entwined with buildings. Whole power lines broke and crashed unable to contain the unfamiliar energy that now filled them. While darker entities both magical and mundane crept out of their holes, drawn to both the smells of blood and vulnerability. This was the beginning of what would be a very dark time.