A Summer's Night
1. A nectar-feeding insect with two pairs of large, typically brightly coloured wings that are covered with microscopic scales. Butterflies are distinguished from moths by having clubbed or dilated antennae, holding their wings erect when at rest, and being active by day.
This is the definition we are all familiar with, but what if butterflies weren’t just insects, but actually humans? Or fae, as they would prefer to be called here. Would they be able to feel compassion, frustrations, have arguments and conflicts but also feel pride, just like we do? Would they fall in love, get hurt and stand up, growing stronger?
In a kingdom far, far away, once was born a girl, so charming and bright, just her smile alone would be able to melt anyone’s heart. However, her curiosity led her heart be drawn to the human world. Against all laws, she once had met a boy in the human world. A fateful encounter, one that would slowly, but drastically change not only hers but also his life. How you might wonder? Let’s find out as the story evolves...
Even for just a short moment,
I could turn human...
Would… Would His Greatness,
Be so kind to grant this very wish of mine?
No, I shouldn’t be thinking this…!
I should know where my place is and that’s not in the human world….
But, if only, just once, even if just for a second, would that be too much to ask for?
That small thought, turn into a wish and this very wish sprouted hope, until little Lily one day actually turned human on the night before her ninth birthday. It was a miracle and at the same time also something that in all honesty never should have been able to have happened.
When the moon’s power was especially strong, she managed to cross the bridge connecting her kingdom to the human world. At the very end of the bridge, was only light. It was so bright, Lily had to close her eyes until the moment that the brightness had faded to a bearable level. As soon as she opened her eyes again, she found herself in a small flower field in the middle of a forest, which strangely had this soothing aura.
He was just wandering around in the forest, with no particular direction in mind. In the midst of the night, he suddenly felt especially restless and decided that a walk in the nearby woods would do him well. In the east of the forest, he once had found a small flower field, full with hundreds of lily of the valley. Somehow, being amongst all the flowers soothed his mind and enabled him to rest and relax, letting go of the stress in his life.
This time however, he wasn’t going there to get his zen, no, something seemed to lure him into the woods. It felt as if he was being called, as if he was needed somewhere. No longer able to contain his curiosity, he decided to walk east.
Never did he think he would find there what he did. In the midst of the lilies laid a girl, with the palest of skin and the loveliest face he ever saw in his life. Carefully, he took a cautious step forward and another, slowly closing the distance between the two of them. When she woke up, her gaze met his and a pair of beautiful gold-coloured eyes seemed to look straight through his soul, suddenly making a fierce blush appear on his cheeks.
“W-wh-who are you?” her voice meek and gentle, as if an angel was speaking.
Still stunned, the boy couldn’t help but stare at the girl, not saying anything as if his mouth was shut.
“Uhm, i-if you’re going to stare that much, you c-could at least tell me yo-, um, your name,” she said nervously and an almost inaudible, soft chuckle left her mouth.
If possible, he started to blush even more fiercely, his head turning into a tomato quite fast. He already had his eyes on a girl from his high school, but his heart started to waver at the sight of the little girl in front of him. Her medium long hair rested like a soft, fluffy cloud on her shoulders and she wore a simple cream-coloured cold shoulder dress with little black specks at the hem. The skirt had a modest length, only adding to her angelic appearance.
This has to be a dream, she can’t be real. I must be hallucinating after wandering in the forest for so long in the midst of the night. The moon’s light is probably playing games with me...
Yeah... Sh-she must be a hallucination.
Lily couldn’t help but blush a little, seeing how intrigued the boy was upon finding her. His hair was a little on the long side, silvery golden locks framing his beautiful face. Two brown-greenish eyes were staring at her for what seemed like hours. After a while, she gathered the courage to break the silence, snapping both of them out of their daze.
The mysterious boy very slowly started walking towards her. He stopped right in front of her and reached out his right hand, his beautiful long, slender fingers inviting her to take his hand in hers. Before she took hold of his hand, she took a quick glance at his face and blood rose to her cheeks, as she was speechless at the sight of his face this close by. His hand gripped hers gently, but firmly and all of a sudden, she stood on her feet.
Even though the boy wasn’t much taller than Lily, she still needed to tilt her head to be able to meet his gaze. He had a beautiful face and his delicate features, which people normally would deem as too girly, strangely made her heart flutter.
A simple smile appeared on their faces as they continued to look into each other’s eyes, unable to look away. Normally, this would be pretty awkward as they had just met, but that wasn’t the case. Just being near the other felt completely natural and had this soothing vibe to it.
Lily looked at her left hand, since it suddenly felt warm. As her gaze went downwards, she noticed that they were holding hands, which made the blush on her face become an even darker shade of pink and she turned nervous all of a sudden.
“Uhmm, he-hello? Can you talk?” she asked shyly, “C-could you t-tell me your n-name? You, uhm, have not t-told me yet,” and she averted her eyes. It was a little embarrassing to ask for his name so many times, but her curiosity finally had gotten the best of her.
Her voice broke the silence and snapped both of them out of their daze. The boy was a little startled, but managed to answer after a few seconds.
“Oh! Y-yes my n-name you ask… It’s, uh, it’s---”
Sweet little Lily Lee, how lovely could someone be?
Lovable and bright, charming at night.
But only true love, could set her free.
It was a commonly sung children’s song. Everyone in Azaelia knew or at least heard of her. Five years after John and Auryn Lee had their second son, Tamani, nobody had expected their queen to be pregnant with another child, let alone such a lovely little girl. Not that Kaylin (the oldest of the two) and Tamani were bad children, just maybe a teeeny tiny bit mischievous. At least, until they turned into adult and began taking life more seriously. There was never a dull day in the castle.
The pregnancy of Auryn was announced during a grand dinner party the King and Queen held, with all of their family, friends, ministers and other rulers present. At that time, nobody knew what the gender would be, but the news alone made everyone shriek with delight. Soon, the word spread all over and had the whole kingdom in complete utter shock.
Even though pregnancies would normally take its toll at some point, this one was quite different. Queen Auryn was not as tired, or grumpy, didn’t have as many, let’s say interesting cravings nor did she have many sudden emotional outbursts, which she had when she was pregnant with her sons.
Maybe His Greatness is on the Queen’s side this time, was what the maids were whispering in the hallways. As soon as these whispers reached the ears of Queen Auryn, she simply chuckled.
“I wish this child of ours will become a little ray of sunshine, that will shine upon our kingdom. No, I do not merely wish this, somehow I can feel she will be.”
“How do you know so surely, my sweetheart?” the King asked her.
“Oh gosh John, have you never heard of a mother’s instinct? You silly,” she said and a tender smile appeared on her face, her blood slightly rising to her cheeks because of the happiness she was feeling.
On the day the little princess was born, all the flowers in and around the palace suddenly began to bloom, as if spring had come back once again. It was as if mother nature was celebrating her coming to this world.
Auryn carefully took the little baby girl in her arms, just after she was born. Her skin was very pale and soft, her face so sweet it, she looked like a doll.
“We should name her Lily, after the flower lily of the valley, as it symbolises sweetness and purity of the heart.”
“That’s a lovely name, my sweetie. May she turn out as sweet and kind as her name.”
Two days later, the couple showed their newborn baby-girl to the kingdom, as they stood on the grand balcony. Little Kaylin and Tamani beamed with pride, as they had now become big brothers.
Thus word of her birth was spread across the kingdom and so did the rumors about her being blessed with powers from within.
In the midst of the summer, Lily found herself dreaming about something which had happened a long time ago, this time it was especially detailed. Even after many years had passed, she still couldn’t just let the memory go. Unfortunately, she couldn’t quite remember what the boy said his name was. Almost every night, for the past couple of years, she found herself having that same dream over and over again.
Ever since her coming of age, when she was fourteen, her body slowly became restless. The King and Queen, but also her brothers, worried for her, since fae in general were pretty stable beings throughout their whole life. It was really rare for one to become restless at night. All the priests, healers and witches from all over Azaelia were invited to the palace to find out what could be wrong, but all of them had the same answer:
“Her magical power is too strong for her body to handle and as she will grow older this will probably only get worse.”
A remedy you might ask? None of them had any idea unfortunately.
Until one day, an infamous healer from deep within the forests eventually came to see what all the rumours were about. He was the one who finally had an answer to the infinite questions Lily’s overprotective family had.
“Only if she finds true love, she will find peace and be able to balance her magic. Just true love by itself however will not suffice. Let’s state that her, uhm,” an unreadable expression clouded his face, but he continued, “physical needs will also need to be fulfilled, in order to find true balance.”
This news left the King and Queen devastated. Their precious little Lily would soon need to find a partner. Not that fae couldn’t enjoy things like, erhm, intercourse, it was just quite unheard of one needing it. Nobody really had the desire to indulge in such activities, but maybe once in a while, enjoy themselves.
Once every thousand years, a fae could be born with the gift of nature, blessed with stronger magic than one would normally possess, if one would even have magical powers. Maybe around fifteen percent of the population possessed magic, somewhat varying in strength. Possessing magical powers meant that you could slightly enhance potions, help vegetation grow or maybe even be able to start fires or actually make flowers bloom. In Lily’s case, no one actually knew how strong her magic would be, but many assumed she would be able to do all of the previously mentioned skills, probably even more than that.
“Dad, do not worry about me. I am perfectly fine! Look, I can run around and fly with no problem!” and Lily showed this by making pirouettes in the air and flying upside down.
“Yeah yeah, my little butterfly. I can see that you’re healthy, but no trips outside of the city boundaries. Do you have any idea how worried we all were when you suddenly disappeared on your ninth birthday??? We had all royal guards search every nook and cranny within the castle grounds, as soon as one of your maids found you weren’t in your bed anymore. Even your brothers helped in the search. Gosh, if it wasn’t for your mother’s endless pleas, I would have not even allowed for you to leave the castle building.”
“I know daddy, my apologies for having asked for permission to leave the castle. I know that you and mother and of course also Kaylin and Tamani are all very worried about me. Your concern is truly appreciated,” she said and gave a small courtesy bow, flashing her father a big bright smile. Just the simple gesture alone melted away the deep frown the King had on his forehead.
When Lily left his room, John whispered, “My little hun might become the death of me, how could I keep her satisfied, without confining her somewhere safe? At first, she only asked if she could visit neighbouring villages, but that soon turned to cities, countries and today, she even asked if she could go to the human world!” a strained laugh managed to escape his mouth, “Dear little Lily, your smile soothes my soul, but your requests make my heart anxious…”
It was almost midnight, the moon was shining it’s brightest since years. A soft chirping from the crickets seemed to try and soothe the lonely souls of the night. One would almost not believe Azaelia was real, as it was really similar to the human world, maybe only much, much greener. Also the fae living there made a huge difference.
Their beauty otherworldly, mesmerizing and an extensive variety of wings adorned their backs. A fae’s wing was quite similar to the ones butterflies have, as they are closely related. When one lifespan was almost due, a fae had two options; going to the human world to spend the last stage of their life, or return to mother earth once again. Most fae chose the former option, as it had a slightly romantic touch to it. A second chance at life, maybe finding love with someone once again? Yep, fae could sometimes be pretty big airheads and huge romanticists, no wonder they were so peaceful, haha.
After a while, the crickets’ chirping sounds had gotten slightly less, but this didn’t quite help our Lily to fall asleep easier. Somehow, she could just feel the human world calling for her, almost as if it were begging her to come. After turning around in her bed, trying to get to sleep, all of a sudden, a vision of the mysterious boy Lily once met popped up in her head, this time him being years older than when they first met.
I-I can feel it. He’s calling me.
Slowly but surely, she stood up, eyes gazing towards the moon. Her feet dragged her in the direction of the double doors that led to her balcony. A soft breeze tickled tickled her arms and played with her long locks. Carefully, Lily headed to the gardens, going to wherever her feet where taking little Lily to.
The wind is calling. I---.....
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