I’ve got a fun little flash piece for you tonight. This came from a prompt I found on Pinterest. And, yes, I have fairies on the brain as I’m working on a short story to submit to a fairy based anthology. More on that later. Here’s–
Discovering the World Beyond the Veil
My heart thudded in my ears as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. My room was still dark; the alarm clock on my dresser glowed a soft green. 3:33 am. I moved to sit up, to look for what woke me when a dark shadow in the corner next to my window caught my attention.
“Don’t move, they’re watching you.”
The soft voice near my ear penetrated the roar of blood in my head. I started to turn my head when the voice stopped me again.
“Blast it. I said don’t move.”
“Good, now, pretend you’re sleeping again. Hopefully, they won’t think anything is amiss. It won’t be good if they realize you can see them.”
I’m not sure why, but I followed the directions the voice gave me. Something about the urgency, the note of command, told me disobeying would be a bad thing. I cheated a little, though. I left my eyes slit a little so I could watch whatever it was studying me.
It didn’t take long, and the shadowy thing move, though no light shifted to explain it. Then it broke into three different shadows. Two slipped along the walls toward me until one hovered in front of me and I assumed the other waited right behind me. The third slid up the wall to the ceiling until I lost it. Again, I assumed based on the path it took, it hung above me.
“They can’t hurt you, just stay still.” The voice sounded so close to my ear I felt like whoever spoke should have been sitting on me.
I don’t know how long it took. My alarm clock was out of view from where I lay but the shadowy things finally floated back along the walls and ceiling until they drifted out my window. Even though they had gone, I didn’t move. Part of me didn’t want to figure out what had just happened. That part wanted to write it all off as a bad dream and go back to sleep. But a bigger part of me didn’t want to let it go.
“You’re good, you can move now.” The voice had shifted to the chair against the wall behind me.
I rolled over and propped myself up on my elbow facing the chair. “Okay, who are you and what just happened?”
The air shimmered like asphalt in summer and a figure appeared. “My name is Brannath, and those were the shadows of the Uthlin.” Branagh shuddered. “Evil creatures, those things.”
I scowled. “What are you talking about?”
“Ah, you don’t have the histories, that’s right. Those are evil fairies and I’m a good fairy. When I spotteded them slinking around your house, I slipped in to check on what they were up to. They were going to kidnap you, take you to their hole to consume your spirit over the next century. Not a good way to go.”
“What?” I blinked several times and rubbed my eyes, checking to see if I was awake because it all sounded like a bizarre dream.
Brannath leaned forward. “You’re not dreaming. Check out your arm.”
I glanced down to find a green and gold Celtic knot work tattoo wrapping around my forearm. “What? Where did this come from?”
“From the gods. You are our new chosen champion.”
I stared at Brannath, my mouth hanging open.
He grinned at me. “Welcome to the world beyond The Veil.”