A Fairy’s Tale – by Rosa Meronek
A gust of wind circled the clearing, rustling leaves from the ground. Air blew around Neela and Cabor, as they ran through the trees into the hidden glade. It cycloned above their heads, a wall of leaves, sticks, and forest debris swirling around them in the wind.
Their laughter rose on the wind, grins spreading across their faces.
Neela shivered as Cabor’s fingers brushed along the silky surface of her wings.
“Are you ready?” He raised his voice to be heard. He squeezed her hand and stared down at her. His smile warmed Neela’s heart.
Neela’s eyes drifted around the small clearing. The trees grew close together around them, forming a solid wall. A single archway opened into the hidden glade by a pair of braided trees. Above them, the fire moon illuminated the dark sky.
Her gaze returned to Cabor. His amethyst eyes watched her. The light breeze brushed his midnight blue hair against his shoulders.
A boulder weighed on her chest, and a blaze burned deep in the pit of her stomach. She was asking him to leave his life filled with wealth, servants, and anything he could ever want. For her.
“Are you sure you want to do this? To forgo being Prince Cabor, youngest son of His Majesty King Mathor, ruler of the Western Kingdom?” She infused her voice with contempt to hide the tremble of nerves.
Cabor cringed. “Of course I am. I just want to be free to be me. Just Cabor.”
Neela’s lips thinned into a hard line as she let out a slow breath, tightening her grip on their interlaced fingers. “There’s nothing here for me.” She swallowed and stroked the piece of obsidian that hung around his neck, feeling the smooth facets hum under her touch. “But, this is your home.”
Her hands moved down his bare chest. She smiled. A wardrobe full of royal clothes, and all he wore were dark, tattered pants. Her eyes moved to the blazing blue phoenix on his right shoulder. She lifted her hand to brush it, her touch light, almost as if the blue and black flames coloring his muscle from birth could burn her.
Neela sighed and shook her head, looking back up at him. “The King will be furious.”
The wind gusted, swirling Neela’s dark hair into her eyes. Her wings fluttered.
Cabor brushed a few strands off her face, tucking them behind her ear. “Without you, there’s nothing here for me either. And if we stay, we will never be free to be together.” The muscles of his jaw flexed as a deep frown pulled at his lips, and his forehead creased. “My brother will make sure of it.”
“What do you think it’ll be like?” Neela shouted as the wind grew louder.
“Nestau said it will be like nothing we could ever imagine.” His gaze moved behind her, and a sad smile tugged at his lips. “We won’t have wings though. I’ll miss your beautiful colors.”
Neela glanced over her shoulder at the vibrant hues of her wings – turquoise and magenta edged with gold. They shook in the wind. She turned back to Cabor, looking behind him at the rich shades of deep jade that colored his wings.
Cabor gripped her shoulders. “I won’t forget you. Wherever we go, whoever we become, I will never forget you.”
Cabor looked down at his chest and grasped the black stone in his palm. A smile pulled at his lips. Neela’s breath caught when he pulled the pendant over his head and slipped it around hers, settling the small chunk of volcanic glass over her heart. Neela’s wings vibrated so fast, they almost hummed.
A loud crack ripped through the trees, and the wind stopped. A large mirrored halo appeared, hovering in front of them, reflecting their images.
Their wings were gone. Cabor’s hair was onyx, and his eyes were smoky quartz. Neela’s brilliant sapphire eyes reflected as dull aquamarine. A small frown pulled at her lips.
Cabor turned to Neela, his hand tightening around hers. “Don’t let go.”
His smile calmed the flutter of her wings. She placed her shaky fingers in his palm, and he took a step into the gateway, the surface molding to him like gel as he passed through. His hand still gripping hers, he pulled her with him.
Neela started through the barrier, the surface wrapping around her leg in a warmth that felt like basking in the sun-soaked sand of the shore. Her head pushed through the portal, her eyes glimpsing a faded blue sky.
Hands grabbed Neela around the waist. She was yanked back through the gateway, her fingers pulled from Cabor’s.
“No!” She struggled against the strong arms that held her. “No! Let me go!” The veil started to shrink.
She threw her head back. It smashed into the face of the person restraining her.
A loud groan erupted behind her. The tight squeeze around her loosened.
She twisted and swung her elbow back.
The man clutching her let go. She fell.
A second thundering crack broke through the trees. The gateway disappeared.
“No!” Her scream was loud and raw.
“Did you really think I would let you go?”
The familiar deep voice made Neela’s back straighten. Her skin crawled. She lifted her head.
“Azor.” Neela spat his name.
I hope you enjoyed this sample from my current work in progress, A Fairy’s Tale. Please let me know what you think in the comments.