Tyrome was in awe of the boldness of the fairies. They had a beer keg set up on the steps of the national cathedral and there was dancing, drinking, and even some groping from the fairies outside.
“It’s worse inside,” commented Makulu.
“Unseelie Fairies, nothing is taboo in their court, they celebrate every vice,” Rashell explained disdainfully, fixing the sparkly white puppy sweater he currently wore. Tyrome had reluctantly offered it because none of his clothes fit Rashell’s slim frame even the sweater was a bit big on him. The faerie boy applied lots of makeup from their mother’s vanity as well.
“Why you gotta look like that?” Raquan responded making a face toward Rashell’s visage.
“Like someone of a comely appearance accompanied by manners and charm none of which ya process? ” Rashell snarked. Tyrome groaned as his enraged cousin grabbed the smaller boy by the front of his sweater. Rashell looked at him with contemptuous boredom.
“Now boys, we all have the same goal, now why don’t you save that wonderful energy for our enemies?” Makulu interjected diplomatically.
Raquan turned to Rashell spitting out. “You lucky I ain’t bout to hit no girl.”
The blond raised an eyebrow. “Thy wit is as exceptional as yer intelligence,”
Raquan scowled. “Says the boy in a skirt.”
Rashell’s eyes flashed. “It’s not a skirt, it’s a kilt!”
" You ain't even white, You Asian” Rayquan scoffed. " And a bottom bitch"
Rashell looked ready to curse him six ways from Sunday. " I'm versatile"
" Yeah, what man would let you top ?" Rayquan sneered
" A Tortadore in Madrid, that spy during World War two oh, and then there was that boxer in the 1900s." Rashell said smugly.
“Hey, stop it.” Tyrome interjected getting in between them.
“He’s right. As a matter of fact you should both shake hands and forgive each other.” Makulu commented. The two boys glared at each other than at him, incredulous looks on their faces. Makulu looked at them sternly, Rashell came forward and extended his small hand Raquan eyed it as if it were a two-headed cobra. “Oh for God’s sake will you quit being a baby,” the senator stated. Scowling, Raquan proceeded to crush Rashell’s slender fingers in his own. Tyrome watched the boy grit his teeth and bare it. Not allowing so much as a grimace to cross his face, as he squeezed back with all the strength in his palms. Tyrome rolled his eyes as the two of them dropped hands hostility in both sets of eyes.
“Want a ruler?” he deadpanned.
“Shut the hell up!” was his cousin’s reply. Rashell snickered loudly in response.
“Don’t eat or drink anything” Rashell warned them.
“Why not?” Tyrome asked.
“I’ll put ya in our power,” the faerie stated.
“Thanks for the warning,”
Rashell looked deeply offended. “Never utter that word in me presence again, darling.” he warned.
“What, you fairies got something against the words thank you?” he asked.
Rashell cringed. “It’s a dismissal of a favor done fer ya, the idea mere words are gratitude is insulting,” he explained.
“So what you do?” Tyrome asked he’d never thought of it that way.
“Look human, please stop badgering me with yer questions.”
The human scowled, then wordlessly he headed off all around him he saw things that raised so many questions. A gaggle of asian girls chattering excitedly in a language that sounded like wind chimes rather than human speech. Come to think of it, Tyrome was seeing a lot of Asians dressed in sixteenth-century french garb for some reason. But that pales in comparison to the family where each member had two heads he saw stroll by next, or the girl who had eyes pokeing out of her stomach. He saw fairies that were hideous and beautiful dancing together in a circle while humanoid musical instruments stood by playing themselves. There was a live puppet show set up where faerie children sat around looking entranced or amused. Nearby, elderly looking fairies sat in a circle laughing and talking. The sounds they made sharply echoed through Tyrome’s ears like claps of thunder making his head feel as if someone had opened up his skull and poured angry wasps into it. He pressed his hands to his ears and closed his eyes against the booming noises that assaulted his senses all at once. It was as if a school of children had suddenly decided to take metal forks and scratch them down the blackboard for their latest concert in unison at the louded pitch possible.
Then he felt a meaty hand grab his shoulder. “Tye, Tye, I gots you, follow my lead you feel?” Tyrome nodded and clung to his shorter cousin who lead him into the nearest tent. Once inside, Tyrome started to flap his arms hurriedly feeling his anxiety start to fade. “You okay, man?” Rayquan asked. Tyrome nodded. “This why you ain’t wonder off without me.” his cousin scolded.
Tyrome eyed the selection of blades on the back wall, while some were steel, others were made entirely from substances like jade and other precious gems. They must be decorations, he decided because there was no way anyone would make a weapon out of something that cracked or shattered if it was used on somebody. He watched a boy dressed in white get all up in the personal space of a pretty blond girl while a troll calmly shined a blade that looked like it was made of Crystal. Then the troll placed the blade over a strange looking forge flame that blazed white instead of orange the whole blade glowed then the glow faded. The troll looking satisfied put it on the back wall with the others.
“I don’t see how that’s going to last, the material is far too fragile,” the girl scoffed.
“See the pretty fire, Sealiea, it’s fueled by magic and that magic creates a protective coating for the blade.” White Cloak’s voice was mocking as he put the big scythe he was holding on the counter. “I need this sharpened up real nice, and a shine wouldn’t hurt.
“I do that, what you got?” the troll asked, Reaper reached into his cloak and pulled out not money but an antique music box. The troll eyed it reverently then stuck out his greasy paw. “Good work,” he muttered approvingly caressing it. Then he took Reaper’s Scythe and went into the back of the tent.
“The Seelie fae may be a bunch of weaklings but they are excellent craftsmen,” Sealiea admitted grudgingly.
Reaper paused, then added. “You’re a stupid bitch, by the way.” When Sealiea turned Tyrome saw that the girl had a giant facial scar that ran down from the side of her head. There was also a pretty jagged scar on the bronze skin of her neck as well. Rayquan put on his tough-guy face. He knew from past experiences that face meant his cousin recognized the danger.
“First of all; it’s not my fault I told them the place. Secondly, use that tone with me again and I’ll rip out all of your organs and serve them to the guests at the coronation of the new Unseelie King.” The blond girl responded baring her bottom row of shark like teeth.
“It’s time and we have no choices for the throne,” his tone was tense.
“I suspect foul play,” the blond girl retorted. “The Leanansidhe knew of Dagda’s demise,” Reaper whispered.
“The Seelie Court is too frazzled to organize the capture or murder of four dangerous dark fairies,” the girl responded.
“He could have done it himself,” Reaper responded.
Then Sealiea turned and glared at them. “Can I help you?” she sneered.
“Oh, I was wondering where ya’ll bathroom...”
The guy got into his personal space. “I don’t know you from either court,” he commented.
“We are new,” Rayquan responded nervously.
“Former solitary fae?” Sealiea asked circling him like a ravenous vulture.
“Yeah,” he responded, his fists curled.
“Your speech is rather strange.” The boy commented. Before they could interrogate them further a trumpet blew loudly.
“Announcing Reaper, Dagda’s right hand!” fairies started cheering as Reaper walked through the crowd and Rayquan took the chance to drag Tyrome away from blondie going into a tent selling what looked like herbal teas.
“Looking for anything in particular?” a fairie asked as she played with what looked like an rubix cube.
“This is the sixth tea tent I’ve seen,” he commented.
“We of the Seelie Court like our tea.” she answered.
“Yeah, no kidding,” Tyrome studied the strange symbols over the tea selection.
“You look like a summer faerie” the tea seller commented.
“You got us,” Rayquan lied.
“Why ain’t you wearing sixteenth-century garb?” Tyrome asked, noting her dress made of what looked like cobwebs.
“That’s for the nobles, silly!” she giggled.
“The rich folks with lots of money,” Ryquan nodded.
“You're not a fairie at all, are you?” she asked.
“What gave me away?” he asked.
“Money is a human concern,” she informed him.
Rayquan looked baffled by the idea “Wait, money ain’t a concern to ya’ll?” he exclaimed. “But ya’ll have nobles, how’d they get to be nobles?” Tyrome asked.
“ Being good at producing entertainment or being a part of the warrior class " She responded.
“I feel you,” Rayquan nodded.“We should be getting back.”
“It’s really noisy,” Tyrome argued.
“You don’t have to leave, why not stay awhile?“the girl pressed. She pulls out a strange instrument " Let me play you a song" Rayquan pulled out a knife and dragged Tyrome outside, he winced at the unwanted touch scowling at him.
“Why you do that?” he asked.
“I was getting a bad vibe from her,” Rayquan admitted.
“She seemed nice,” Tyrome argued.
“And way too interested in us being human,” his cousin insisted. Also did you see the cobwebs above us? “Now look we is playing with reptiles.” Tyrome frowned unable to even grasp the reference these were fairies, not reptiles.
Rayquan sighed. “I mean they dangerous.” The two of them walked back to Makulu.
“Now that we have your undivided attention,” the same blond from the tent stood in front of the crowd.
Rashell and Makulu glared at them both. “Sealiea and Reaper!” they hissed in unison.
“What happened to his head?” Tyrome whispered. An evil smile crossed Rashell’s lips briefly, then it vanished.
“Rashell here clonked him with a heating iron,” The senator responded.
“Not that yer complaining,” Rashell responded cheekily.
“Yeah right,” Rayquan scoffed disbelievingly.
“So without further ado, we give you Treasure the court jester!” The dark-haired boy with olive skin put on a hat with little bells and came to the front, grinning goofily.
“His mother must have hated him,” Tyrome remarked. He looked at his companions; Makulu looked around taking it all in, Rayquan looked bored, and Rashell was watching Treasure closely.
“Hi, everyone. Unfortunately, I can’t do any summersaults, cartwheels, handsprings etcetera tonight.” He held up a hand also wrapped in bandages. “I had a little.... accident,” he said awkwardly. Makulu gave Rashell another look.
“What was I supposed ta do? Let chain me ta the wall?” the fairie said in response. The senator merely grunted the boy upfront continued.
“I also can’t juggle,” Treasure sounded a bit annoyed then he brightened. “Although I can still do one thing.” The boy did a split right there on the ground, he then extended his hands up to the sky. “Ta-da!” the crowd clapped.
Raquan scoffed “Lame!” he protested. Treasure bounced to his feet and cleared his throat.
Rashell turned to Makulu. “Ya can stay here, but I’m going ta go find me twin. Remember don’t eat or drink anything, or go off with anyone.” Then the blond faerie went off into the crowd. Makulu started off as well. “I need a drink,” he muttered. “You boys stay here.” he ordered, the boys nodded and satisfied he went off into the crowd.
Tyrome turned his attention back to the show. “Last week I was walking in the woods and I ran across a dwarf, I said ‘Excuse me, sir, but you’re kidnappible.’ He gives me this long look and says, ’What the goddess does that mean?’” Treasure paused. “So I pick him up and throw him over my shoulder and I walk off with him.” The fairies burst out laughing as the boy mimics throwing a shorter person over his shoulder. Tyrome finds himself joining the laughter. “Thank you, you’re a much better audience then the Summer Court, Dagda took me with him for some attempt a treaty. At the feast, it was time for me to do my act. The moment I cartwheel across the grass the whole Summer Court gets up and they start running around and chasing each other, kissing passionately, picking flowers, and the children link hands and start going ‘La! La la!’ Treasure starts skipping around in a circle. “And me, I’m just standing there.” Treasure fix’s a dumb look on his face ” Bu...Bu...Bu,”
The guests howl loudly in response. “Dagda was furious, he gets right up on the table and shouts, ’What is the meaning of this disrespect? I brought my jester to entertain you!’” The jester pauses again. “And the summer king’s reply was, ’We told you you could bring your Jester, no one said we had to listen to him.’” The crowd roared with laughter. “Needless to say; that treaty didn’t happen,” the siren boy stated a matter of factly. “I’m just thankful the night ended in a low body count...of about fifty.” Only some of the fairies laughed at that one, others grimaced, and some looked angry. “Yes, the flower garden was massacred that night.” Treasure said in a mournful tone. The audience laughed once the message sunk in. “You laugh, but hearing your King shout ‘Die...you pesky petunia’s die!’ while frothing at the mouth is kind of scary.” the siren boy stated.
Then he glanced at the ones called Reaper and Jenny. A sharp wince crossed his face and he looked like he was fighting the urge to smack himself. “Excuse me?” he looked over and his jaw nearly dropped in shock at the boy standing behind him. The boy had huge dragonfly wings sprouting from his back. Dragonfly said to the people in front.
“Have you seen a fairie boy, kind of short, light blond hair looks kind of like an antique doll?” The fairies shook their heads looking annoyed at being interrupted. The boy’s face crumpled and bowing deeply he asked the next set of people. Repeating the previous gesture hands pressed to his knees. Raquan eyed the boy, or rather, his rather defined pectorals with undisguised interest. The boy awkwardly glanced around himself desperately. “He’ll be wearing makeup and unusual clothing silk or anima-”
Tyrome cut him off. “Your missing person wouldn’t happen to be named Rashell, would he?”
The boy was next to him within minutes. “You know Rashell?” he sounded hopeful.
Tyrome started. “Well I wouldn’t exactly-”
Rayquan cut him off. ” We’re old friends.” Tyrome looked at his cousin sternly.
“Really, are you one of his artists, perhaps?” the boy questioned.
“Yeah, we his artists,” Rayquan lied.
“The both of you? Well, I suppose he’s always had a big appetite for someone so small.” the butterfly boy shrugged.
Wait appetite? What did that mean? “I’m Fergus, one of His Majesty’s personal messengers, could you please tell me which way he went?” Fergus pleaded.
“Why don’t you wait for him to come back?” Tyrome suggested. And help me figure some things out, he thought.
“Well, if you’re sure he’s safe,” The older boy stated hesitantly.
“He’s very safe,” Raquan reassured him.
“Alright, then, I will gladly join you gentlemen in waiting for him.” He pleasantly stood beside them. Tyrome had his attention turned back to Treasure’s performance, Raquan slid closer to the fairie. Tyrome groaned, his idiotic cousin was always going for boys who wouldn’t give him the time of day.
“So you and Rashell; what’s going on there?” his cousin grilled.
“Oh, no, Rashell and I work for the king, I’m no threat to your relationship,” he stated. Relationship?
“Woah, whoa. I ain’t involved with him!” Raquan burst out.
“Shhhhhhh!” Several fairies turned and glared at him.
“Sorry.” Tyrome whispered on his cousins behalf.
“You should watch your manners,” Said Fergus disapprovingly. “I’d think Rashell would teach his human pets how to act at court. I apologize for my assumption that he was bedding you both.”
Tyrome nearly choked on his tongue. “I’ve been told I’m far too blunt.” the boy apologized. Then he turned back to the performance without another word.
“And I’m going to stop with the King jokes, I don’t want to end up on the wall of jesters.” Treasure sang out. Some of the fairies laughed this time in a rather nasty way.
Tyrome turned to Fergus questioningly. “It’s a rumor, when Dagda sank into depression after... losing his son. He beheaded his original jester, hired at least eleven more and beheaded each of them as well. After he stuck their heads on his wall. According to rumor Treasure is actually number thirteen.”
“Jesus!” exclaimed Raquan, looking disturbed.
“Really? You think any part of the Unseelie Court palace survived?” Tyrome questioned.
“No, we ain’t seeing no heads,” His cousin declared.
“Why not?” His cousin gave him a ‘do I even have to answer that’ look. “I’m curious if the rumor is true, that’s all,”
The Fairie boy gave him a piercing look, then he took a piece of silver fruit out of his pocket; it was ripe, and a bit of juice ran down its skin. “Fruit, anyone?” Tyrome stared at it, Rashell’s words echoed back through his mind. “Remember take neither food nor drink.” However, he felt the urge to know its taste, to sink his teeth into its silver skin, what would a silver fruit taste like, anyway? Would it taste sweet, sour, and tangy? Would it be bliss or would it blister his tongue the moment it touched his mouth? Why did the Asian boy refuse to tell them why? Were they just supposed to take the word of someone they barely knew? Maybe he simply wanted to hoard the sweet fruit for fairies, and forbid it for humans? Like in that book in English Class where the pigs set aside the apples for themselves, instead of sharing with the farm animals. What did it taste like, and why wasn’t he allowed to eat it? Tyrome snatched the apple in his hand and was about to take a bite when his cousin smacked him in the back of the head. The apple fell from his hands and landed on the ground.
" What the hell you doing!” he exclaimed.
“For someone so smart, you ain’t got a lick of sense.” Raquan scolded, crushing the fruit beneath his heel. He turned to the fairie boy “I don’t know what you’re playing at,” He added with a suspicious look.
“I should have guessed he’d warn you, but it was worth a shot,” the dragonfly boy sounded disappointed. Tyrome was jolted back to his senses; a flush of humiliation colored his ebony cheeks.
“What have I ever done to you?” he demanded
“I was bored, it would have been amusing to see you gorge yourself until you burst.” the boy shrugged carelessly.
“Wait, so that fruit was...?” Tyrome felt sick.
“You’d have become addicted with one bite, no human food would sate your hunger again,” The boy had a look of amusement on his face. ” Come on, lighten up. That’s the problem with humans; always so dour.” The fairie boy laughed brightly and elbowed Tyrome in the ribs playfully. “I’ll wait with you; he’s always been a bit simple, ya know. Good company even if he does wear a skirt.” Fergus chuckled. ” Then again, Wild Hunt are a strange lot.” he mused.
Only then did it sink in that Tyrome was completely and deeply out of his depth.