Here is an except one of my favorite chapters from a story I’ve been working on for years.
Bit of info: The story is about the last living fairy in the world. He’s living in a fictional town in Florida which is filled with supernatual beings.
And for some real life background: This story came into life because of a very good friend of mine. It is actually his world and I’m just playing in it. Many moons ago, a bunch of friends and I played an online RPG in the world of New Selene. The main character, Kay Knightstone, is the creation of my husband, Nate. In fact, that’s one of the ways he and I wound up getting to know each other.
Oh the joys of love in a technological age <3
By the time the day came to a close, Kay was so frustrated with telephones, meetings, and letters in need of answering, he thought he would break something. Even pestering Marjorie hadn’t lifted some of the stress.
Instead of heading straight home, he found himself walking towards his favorite pub, Mike’s (“Almost”, from his perspective) Irish Pub, two blocks from Red Road. Most humans thought of Red Road as the party district, which in a way it was, just not in the way they imagined. It looked like it was riddled with the average college student. In truth, the place was lousy with vampires. Mike’s location was far more ideal. Sure, an occasional vamp would come in to test the waters, but it was still very rare.
All the bartenders and the regulars knew his name and welcomed his presence. Some of the other council members thought it bad form for a public official to spend so many hours in a shady bar, but no one ever said anything to him specifically. That and the people who voted loved that Kay was just like everyone else. He understood the regular Joe’s concerns.
The pub had a nice atmosphere. The lighting was subdued, which made his mind ache less after spending hours in florescent lighting. The wood along the walls was real and it made the whole place smell like an old forest. Out of all the bars he’d seen over the years, it had the closest feeling of home to him. So many times he scoffed at the Irish in the title of other places. They tried, but damned if they had it all wrong.
He sighed with relief as he stepped through the heavy oak door. Alice, his favorite of the bartenders, saw him the moment he came in. He waved at her to which she shook her head, crossed her arms, and rolled her eyes. Kay took his preferred spot at the bar and she met him there.
“If it isn’t the big, bad councilman,” she teased.
“It’s a pleasure as always, Alice. Could I have my usual please?”
“A tall beer you won’t drink?”
“That would be it, yes.”
She shook her head again. He admired the way her shiny red hair danced around her face as it always did when she moved her head. Kay’s eyes followed her as she went to the tap, but his attention was torn away when one of the regulars came over to talk to him. For the next hour, Kay held his beer as he pretended to listen to the man’s prattle about things that needed changing in New Selene, the country, and the world. When the man finally had his fill of hearing the sound of his own voice, Kay politely thanked the man for his insightful words. Of course, this pleased the man until a new confidence practically radiated off of him.
When the man finally left on his way, Kay cracked his neck and clucked his tongue. Alice came to him, laughing at him.
“You’re a hell of a trooper, Kay Knightstone.”
“Yes, I think so, too.”
“Are you ready for the drink you’ll actually drink now?”
“That would be lovely.”
She handed him a Shirley Temple with extra cherries, patting his hand gently after setting it down before him. He shrugged, giving her his best I’m-game smile before she walked off.
Kay’s head was beginning to pound. Dealing with such tedious people as that man sometimes drove him to the brink of insanity. It made him long for times far behind him in a world that no longer existed.
His eyes focused on his reflection in the large mirror that it seemed every bar had. He searched his face, noting the tired lines in his features that had begun to mar his mostly ageless face. The lines hadn’t come from the passing centuries, rather they appeared as the world became more and more restless. It constantly amused him that humans always tried so hard to make themselves look young, when he still looked thirty years old. Of course, there were those who would forever stay the same, so he had no grounds to brag.
But there was no one like him. There hadn’t been in a very long time. No one else felt The Great Mother, the very essence of the earth, thrumming through his veins. No one could command the earth as he could, which is why no one understood him. Though, admittedly, that had been true even in the past.
Kay looked down at his beer as memories flooded his mind and his senses.
He completely focused on his mother’s face as his twin brother, Sárán, tongue lashed with cold, harsh words. Her coal black eyes narrowed at him as her thin, pale, pink lips formed a frown. It seemed wrong, somehow, for such an elegantly beautiful face to be blemished with such unhappiness. Particularly since that unhappiness was caused by himself.
“How could you be so foolish? Do you wish for the court to look weak, Cathán?” Sárán growled as he paced the room.
“It is not my intent to make us look weak, dear brother. I think we both know that to be true, even if you refuse to admit it.”
“What do you call it then? Consorting with daemon. Requesting to search for the Elders who abandoned us. It almost sounds like treachery more so than idiocy.”
Cathán managed to look away from his mother’s face to look into one identical to his, yet so utterly different. Sárán’s eyes sparkled with anger at his brother, more so than Cathán could ever remember.
“Do not pretend to want to understand me, Sárán. You’ve never before. I have a reason for the things I do,” Cathán accused, with a hint of pain in his tone.
This was enough for their mother. She stood from her chaise lounge, hands clenched in suppressed anger.
“Sárán, leave this room now. I wish to speak to your brother alone,” she said, her voice quiet yet filled her sitting room like thunder.
Sárán took in a sharp breath. Cathán knew he wanted to speak, but he dared not disobey his mother and queen. He had better sense than that. He gave the woman a short bow, and saw his way out of the room, muttering to himself along his way.
Cathán stood proudly before his mother as she walked slowly towards him. As a queen, Áinfean was a terrifying woman, completely black except for alabaster skin that practically gleamed in the dark. Even her dress was black, swishing around her like falling leaves as she walked.
As his mother, she was even more frightening. Many times, if either of her sons did her wrong, she came down on them ferociously. Every lesson in her wrath had been a harsh one.
Luckily, Cathán was her favorite son. Sárán was too stuffy, she had said to the other son in strictest of confidences. Cathán’s ability to make her laugh and his tenacity to do what he willed struck a strong cord in her as she was very much the same when she was young. At least, that’s how the story went when asked.
When she reached him, she placed a hand on his face, stroking his cheek softly. He dared to look in her eyes. It calmed his heart to find some compassion there, even if she didn’t fully understanding him.
“When I named you Cathán, I had no idea that you would follow suit in its meaning. You do indeed battle every idea and tradition, don’t you?”
“You wouldn’t have me any other way, Mother, and you know it.”
She smiled, though it never quite reached her eyes. He knew she worried about him and his decisions. And, even if she never said so, she didn’t approve of them either. Her smile quickly fell to a look of deep concern. Her hand brushed down his long, dark hair until it dropped from it.
“Why do you believe him? Why take the word of a daemon?”
“Lord Kheliden may be a daemon lord, but he is also a good man. He has taught me many things about his people and about the world. If Sárán would only give us both the chance—“
“You must understand your brother’s perspective, child,” the queen snapped. “It has always been his task to protect this court and the creatures we rule. Your father appointed him as such long ago. The daemon have been our enemies for years.”
“I am aware. But this thing on the horizon, whatever it is, is bigger than the rivalry between our kinds. I have to find the answer before it is too late. Please, mother. ”
She stared at him, considering his plea. Eventually, she turned away from him. “You are asking me to allow you to go gallivanting around the world in search of the Elders who do not wish to be found. And it is all based on what Lord Kheliden suggests.”
“His people have left our plane en mass. Simply packed up everyone they could and vanished from the earth into a new realm. They have some of the strongest and most powerful leaders and none thought they could stop it. What chance will the fae have if the Kings of Hell cannot fend it off?”
“We are the more powerful peoples, Cathán,” his mother told him.
“We are the more proud ones, Mother,” he challenged.
She turned to him again, arms crossed around her body. He could almost feel her weighing his words, hoping for some muse to help her with a retort. Cathán held his breath, waiting for her final answer.
“There is no point holding you here since you would find a way out either way. Very well, I release you from court for now, so be off on your search for answers. Though, you’d do well to not expect to find any.”
He let out his breath as a heavy sigh. “Thank you, Mother.” He bowed to her deeply, giving her a broad smile. Before she could change her mind, he hurried to the door.
“And what shall I tell Órlaith?” she asked just as he opened the door. “Your wedding is only days away.”
His shoulders slumped. He had been so caught up in the potential disaster, it had completely slipped his mind. Of course, he had no interest in his betrothed golden beauty or the idea of being tied down at all. The whole thing was simply a formality to appease the other court, which he saw as pointless.
“Tell her…” he mumbled, swallowing hard at the break. “Tell her not to wait for me.”
He rushed out of the room, passing Sárán along the way without giving any acknowledge of the other’s presence. Later, as madness nearly gripped him in the center of an empty home, he would wish that he had. It was the last time he would see either of them alive.
Fingers snapping before him pulled Kay from his memories. He gasped, jumping back and away from the offending fingers. When he looked up, Alice’s hazel eyes were filled with concern.
“Hey, are you okay? It was like you were somewhere else or something,” she asked.
“Perhaps I was. My mind had gone long ago,” he told her as he managed a weak smile.
She gave him an odd look as though he’d grown a second head. He raised an eyebrow at her in confusion.
“Are you, uh, practicing a British accent? You went all European pretentious on me, there.”
His eyes widened. Damn, he spent years perfecting a nice, from nowhere American accent and kept it going for a long time. At least she decided he was pretending…
“Yes. Well, sort of. I was going for more of an Irish one. Did you like it? I’ve worked hard on it,” he replied as sheepishly as he could.
“Yeah, it was pretty good. Needs a little tweaking to make it sound more authentic,” she told him with a thoughtful expression on her face. Inwardly, Kay’s mind boggled at that statement. He was as authentic as it got. “I’ll tell you what, an accent like that would probably get you laid.”
Kay’s eyes brightened with humor. He hadn’t been intimate with a woman in over two centuries, and it hadn’t been for the lack of offers. Interest in an act that truly doesn’t change waned over the years for him.
“Is that so?” he purred in his true voice. “Were you offering, my dearest Alice?”
Alice gave him her classic you’ve-had-one-too-many look. It took everything in him not to laugh at her. Plus he was grateful that the feeling was mutual between them.
“No accent would be enough, Kay. Sorry. No offense or nothing. Just not my type. Too tall and lanky.”
This time he did laugh and it felt good to do so after such painful memories. He reached out and patted her hand. “You bruise me so, lass, but I understand.” He brought the hand to his lips where he oh-so-delicately kissed her with as much sensuality as he could muster. Despite his apparent lack of appeal, her eyes seemed to glaze over at the gesture. “I just hope we do not live to regret it,” he whispered against her freckly skin, waggling his eyebrows.
She pulled her hand away from him abruptly with a blushing, confused smirk. He laughed again, loudly while leaning back in his chair.
“Damn it’s good to see you laughing,” she grumbled. “I was beginning to worry about you. I’ve never seen you like that before.”
“Sorry. I’ll try to behave from now on,” he promised, reverting to his American voice. “But, since it’s getting late, I think I’ll head out. Have a good weekend!” He stood from his stool and gave Alice a salute.
She picked up his untouched beer and empty glass once containing his Shirley Temple. She shook her head and laughed.
“Yeah, see you later, Kay.”
With that, he headed towards the door, waving to those who were also regulars at Mike’s. He held the warm feelings he had right at that moment close to his heart as a shield from more bad memories. However, he could still feel them lingering around his heart.