Light & Darkness
CL Foster ©2013
A mischievous grin spread across her face, as she tried to enjoy her newest game of taunt-the-humans. Such fools they were to sit there and marvel at something, as if the world would give them such beauty. She was responsible for this mystery, this wonder, and no one was the wiser. Of course they were not "wiser" anyway. The only things they understand are sex and violence. She could alter those as well. Such a shame. Ridiculous humans. If they weren't so amusing to play with, they would have no purpose for her at all.
She sat high in her favorite tree, and lazily dragged her hand through the air changing the way the sky looked with each flick of her delicate fingers. The purple sky looked enchanted with blue, and green lights swirling, dancing, and shifting into ribbons of patterns in the sky. The Lights blended into shapes, and then back to glowing wisps of glorious color. Humans called them "Aurora Borealis," but Letty knew it was just how she entertained herself on the long, Alaskan winter nights. The colors in the sky evoked a sense of amazement in others, and she loved being part of something that was so beautiful, while also being able to play with others.
Being an outcast had very few advantages, and her play time was one of them. No one was around to admonish her for not staying on task, or act like a jerk because she wasn't practicing. Of course, she was indeed practicing, and honing her skills by playing. That however, was not their business. It took power to change things, and move light. Just because she was born to do it, and she was powerful, didn't mean it was a simple thing to do. Okay, maybe it was easy for her to do, but her powers came naturally to her, which is why she was so volatile, and outcast in the first place.
She dangled her leg off of the branch, and bit into the pear she had brought with her. Play time and snacks! It was like pre-school all over again. Next, she could always try to make a macaroni art picture, take a nap, and pull someone's hair.
She flung her other leg over the branch, and leapt down toward the ground. She glided slowly, and landed softly on the snow-covered ground. Her gossamer wings tucked themselves back beneath her flimsy shirt, and she shook her head to loosen the flakes of snow that had fallen on her upon leaving the safety of the branches.
She took another bite of her pear, and began to trek toward the humans she most recently saw filming the lights. She could have some major fun tormenting those guys, by spelling words in the colors, or making the lights stop then start. Perhaps she should morph the sky from green to pink with minimal effort. It was much more fun to do such taunting things when she was close enough to hear them go, "Oh my God, did you SEE that, dude?"
Not wanting to use her wings, and be seen, she lightly padded across the field toward the people on the other side. As she got closer something in her hands began tingling. It was the same feeling she got when she was at home, surrounded by otherworldly creatures. Whenever someone of a different magical race was near her, and using their powers at the same time, her hands would heat up as if they were about to perform in a battle, and her pulse would quicken.
Letty paused, and took in a deep, slow breath. She sent her energy into the surrounding area to feel where, and what, this other creature was, but received nothing back. Her hands immediately cooled, and she began to feel peace.
"Well, that was new," she mused.
"What was?" a stranger behind her said.
Shocked that someone could sneak up on her in her own territory without her knowing they were there was bad enough. When she turned to see the stranger, she literally was swept off of her feet. A flash gust of wind ripped through the field, and knocked her over.
The stranger, every gloriously rugged, and sexy inch of him, leaned down with a strong, outstretched hand, offered to help Letty to her feet.
"Are you ok, Miss….?" The stranger asked in a low rumble.
"Yes, I'm fine. Thank you. Letty, it's just Letty," she stammered as she righted her footing, and wiped her hands on her pants. "That wind came out of nowhere. That must be what's making the Lights go all nuts." His chiseled facial features, and intense chocolate eyes caused her to momentarily daydream about what it would be like to swim in chocolate, or lick it off of him. Both sounded like a grand time. Get with it girl! Why are you freaking out? It's just a dude. Chill your gooey, girly crap and man up!
"No gloves? It's freezing out here," he questioned, looking concerned, as he rubbed his glove clad hands on his pants, then dragged a hand across his scruffy jawline.
"I'm warm by nature," she answered without pause.
"The Aurora is caused by a thermonuclear reaction that occurs inside the sun, it has nothing to do with the wind here," he stated matter-of-factly.
"Well, actually since you decided to go all scientific with it, trying to appear as if you know more than I do," Letty began, "the Lights are, partially caused by wind. In fact, the solar wind is deflected from the magnetosphere to distort, and create shapes in the sky. As it stretches and changes, it then trails away from the Earth in a beautiful dance of protons, and electrons. If there is a disturbance detected in the balance of the solar wind, and the Earth's magnetic field, the results of the Lights change. The Lights we actually see, are based on energy given in the form of light, but I'm guessing you already knew that, Mr….?" Her quirked up eyebrow made him smile.
"Pike, Amon Pike," he said as he offered his hand again, this time to shake hers in greeting. "You seem to know a good bit about the Aurora. I didn't mean to sound like a smart ass, I was just saying that the wind isn't the cause of it, the reaction is."
"Yeah, of course you were doing that. Look, I don't really care what you were, or weren’t doing here, or even why. Whatever knowledge you might even think you have. I was just out admiring the scenery, and minding my own business. I'd like to get back to that now, if it's all the same to you. I'm not in the habit of hanging out with strange men after midnight in the middle-of-nowhere."
"Here, I think you must have dropped this, Letty," Amon said tentatively, as he bent to retrieve her fallen pear. "I'm not a strange man, I'm just unknown to you for now. Besides didn’t anyone ever tell you the middle-of-nowhere, is where the most beautiful things are found. Hey, does the five-second rule count in the middle of a snow-covered ground?"
"Slick. You will remain unknown, also, Mr. Pike. It doesn't matter about my fruit falling. I was finished anyway, and now I can feed it to an animal on my way home. Not a problem. Thank you," she said, taking the fruit, and giving her head a slight incline, as to nod to him as her exit.
"Was very nice to meet you, 'just' Letty. Please, call me Amon," he said as she quickly walked back toward the tree line. "Wait, you're heading toward the woods! The road is that way," he said pointing in the opposite direction.
"I know where I'm going, Mr. Pike. Don't you worry yourself over my well-being. I am quite capable of taking care of myself. I earned my Damsel-in-Distress badge long ago, and decided to trade it in for an I-Can-Do-It-Myself badge," she called as she picked up her pace.
"But what if there are serial killers in the woods?" he called after her.
"Trust me, Mr. Pike, I am the scariest thing in these woods. Good night!"
She made the short trek to her little hideaway in the woods. Another perk of being an outcast was that she had a place all to herself. No one was checking on her at all hours of the day or night to see if she needed anything. It was one of the biggest bonuses. Why would anyone need something at three in the morning was beyond her. The occasional snack maybe, but she was capable of getting that for herself. Why her parents had always insisted on the 'best' care possible for her, was beyond her. She was a normal girl, and she just wanted to be like everyone else.
Letty had made it into the woods two hundred yards, saw a moose on her way, and gingerly passed her half eaten pear his way, looking around to see if any eyes were prying, she opened her wings, and fluttered up to her hidden tree house. Her perfect little hideaway was placed around one really large tree, with a walkway from the front door, to the next tree over. There was a rope, and wooden ladder leading to the ground there, but Letty had never had any use for the ladder without anyone else around.
Her little wooden-cabin replica tree house was fully equipped with two large windows on each side of the house, a side balcony for getting a breath of fresh air when necessary, and plenty of protection from the elements. Inside, the house had tiny versions of everything she needed, including a small bed, stove, refrigerator, sink, bathroom, as well as various lamps and linens for comfort. Most things in the house were very simple, except for her sleeping area. She insisted on huge pillows, and fluffy blankets in various shades of pink, lanterns hanging from the ceiling on chains that dropped into the area at a staggered level, curtains covering the window, flowers on the table next to her bed; everything girly and whimsical.
Her punishment, or prison as her family would call it if asked, was her favorite place to be in the whole world. It was her very own, little slice of privacy, heaven, and peace all wrapped up in one. She didn't have to answer to anyone, be awake at a specific time, clean up after others, wear real clothes if she didn't want to, much less act appropriately in social situations. There were no social situations on exile!
Letty's father, Glyn, was the RiSidhe; what humans would call the President, or King of the Fae. Anything that happened in their world went through him, including treachery, deceit, betrayal, disappointment, and sorrow. Letty happened to have many of those characteristics, in the RiSidhe's eyes, and so was cast out, until she learned a lesson. She still wasn’t sure what that meant.
According to the laws of her people, harming another Fairy with your powers is worthy of the second most feared punishment. She was just grateful she didn't receive the first punishment; death. She knew what she had done to get in trouble was an accident. She was a fledgling fairy at the time, and was just trying to understand her skills when she accidentally tapped someone with a flash of light. She knew she could manipulate light at that time, but had no idea it could also emanate directly from her body.
Glyn was immediately alerted of the problem, and Letty was called before him only minutes later. She had pleaded with her family to see that she was flawed, needed to practice more, and was sorry for the mistake. They wanted nothing to do with her words, and the same day, banned her to exile. They told her that if they gave her a break, they would have to give everyone a break, and that just wasn't possible.
She was given funds so that she could appear to have all of the normal things humans have: a home, and money. What was basically needed each month, for food and necessities. They sent her to Alaska to be away from them. To live in a different climate than they were all accustomed to. She would be given plenty of open space to practice without harming others. All of their missions were accomplished. The place she ended up, was empty almost every day. Almost completely void of contact. She trained in the day, and played at night.
She was just about to crawl into bed when she heard a rustling in the forest below her. This caused her to pause. She opened the door with a grin, and said, "Did you return for more treats? I have…"
Taking up every inch of her doorway, Amon stood grinning.
"Quite a setup you have going on here. Love the ladder touch, as if you need that."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Pike, was it? What can I help you with? You're invading my privacy."
"I'm not invading your privacy, yet," he said, as he stepped through the doorway. "Now, I am invading your privacy. Wow, this place is amazing! Did you do all of this yourself?"
"Yes, and no, Mr. Pike." The annoyance in her voice almost sounded shrill next, "This is my private sanctuary and, I'm not sure how you followed me, or if I should even care, but I do care, that you are all up in my happy place. Can you please remove yourself at once?"
"Sorry, sassy, no can do. As soon as I saw you, I realized you were 'The One' and had to find out more about you."
"The One? Are we watching lame karate movies now? I'm no one's 'One", Mr. Pike. And I'm completely ok with that, in fact."
"Not my 'One', I mean that you are the fairy I keep hearing about, are you not?"
Her attention was fully piqued at that moment.
"Who is speaking of a fairy? You believe in that sort of thing anyway? Seems like a tall tale to me."
She felt his chuckle lick its way down her spine, as he responded, "Well of course I believe in fairies, I'm a demon."
"Oh COME ON! Life is so unfair. Of course you're a freaking demon. Sexy doesn't come with a warning label anymore, does it? Geez!"
"So, does that mean I get to assume you're the fairy that I've been seeking, since you readily believed in the fact that I’m a demon?" he asked, looking hopeful, then shy. "You think I'm sexy? Nice!"
"Seriously, dude? Do they not have mirrors where you come from? Duh, you're sexy. And okay, you got me. I am a fairy. Gah! No wonder I could feel something in the area right before I saw you. It was you! But, I stopped feeling your presence when I hit the snow. How did that happen?"
Looking down at the floor, he answered, "I can turn my powers off as a defense mechanism. I could feel you sending out a wave to check for me, so I turned my power off and appeared to you as a human, so you wouldn't kill me."
"Kill you? I am a gentle creature, Mr. Pike. I don’t just kill people for fun and games. You should learn to relax a little more. Stress is going to give that amazing face some wrinkles, and you don't need those just yet, do you?"
"Word is, the RiSidhe sent an assassin to clear out this part of Alaska. Apparently this is where a lot of Otherworldly creatures come to hang out, change their pasts, and start new lives. I have seen more than my fair share, trust me!"
"Why would anyone assume my fath… well, the RiSidhe would do that? He's not a violent person by nature, and would never punish someone for wanting to do better in their life."
"You are Letycia?" he said, suddenly looking horrified and then falling to one knee, to bow gracefully at her feet. "A thousand apologies, your Highness. I did not know you were the InionRi."
"Oh for the love of applesauce, get up you big oaf," she stretched her hand out to help his rise easier. Not a simple task since he was definitely twice her size, or more. "I am his daughter, yes. But I am no "Highness" or anything like that. No one knows I am the InionRi, because I am in exile. I was sent away, which means I have no standing in the royal house as of now, and even if I did, I wouldn't want you groveling at my feet unless you were my lover begging me for attention, then I might consider it."
He stood, much easier than she would have thought he could, and smiled at her. "Is that an offer for us to become lovers? This is so sudden, but I like where your head is at. I actually have business to attend to first, but hold that thought."
She rolled her eyes, "As if I would take you as a lover. You knew what I meant. And besides the fact, you are a demon. My sworn enemy. I shouldn’t even be having a conversation with you. Then again I've already broken every other rule, why not this one, too?"
"There is a rule for you not to speak to me, specifically, or demons in general?" The pained look on his face gave her heart a tiny flutter.
"Um, no. Demons in general. Ugh! The first smart, good-looking person I meet just had to be a freaking demon. Of all things! A demon!" Letty's short rant stopped quickly, and she looked at Amon. "So, Mr. Pike, what is that I can do for you?"
"I want the body I am in to be cleansed, and my demon self to be released, then killed. I am tired of being a bad person… thing… whatever it is that you would call me. I didn't start life out this way, and I certainly don't want it to end this way either."
"So, you came to a fairy to kill you, why? What makes you think that someone of my nature would do something so horrifying. We’re gentle creatures."
"You’re feared here. I've heard stories about you, all through the forest, and the neighboring towns. You keep to yourself, and all you ever do it train. They watch you, and see your skill and strength. It is rumored that you are training for a big battle to take over the RiSidhe, but I'm guessing they don't realize who you are for them to think that."
Letty burst into laughter. "It is thought that I would want to go to battle, to be the next RiSidhe? How hilarious! I am training to be accepted back into the family, yes, but not to take over. I deserve to be there, and I made a horrible mistake that I am actively trying to fix. That's all! My goodness, rumors can start because of anything, can't they?"
He kept his eyes on the floor for most of their conversation. Not looking into her eyes made her feel strangely. She didn't want him gawking at her, but she also wanted that connection with him at the same time. Weird.
"Can you please look at me, Mr. Pike?" she asked.
"Of course, your Highness," he quickly clashed retinas with her.
"Please stop calling me that, I am not royal, nor do I want to be," she pleaded with him.
"I will do that, as soon as you start referring to me as Amon," he smiled, knowing she was trapped in her own request now. Either way, he was winning this mini-battle with her.
"Fine, Amon. Is that better? Are you happy now?"
"Yes and maybe. I mean, I'm not happy that I still have the need to find my rescuer, but that was a small victory to get you to use my first name. I can tell it pained you to do it," he chuckled.
"I just don't like getting close to people. Using their given name makes them closer, somehow. The last person that was close to me, well, it didn't end well for them."
"I'm sorry, Letty," he said sincerely, with pain in his eyes. "I know what that is like. That is my most important reason for wanting to be cast out, and killed. I don't want to hurt anyone else ever again."
"Birds of a feather!" she chirped with mock enthusiasm.
"Yes, I suppose. Okay, so what's our next step?"
"You are going to get out of my home, and I am going to eat something then go to bed," Letty announced.
"You would put a man out in the freezing cold, and then sleep? Heartless?" his words were vicious, but his eyes danced.
"A man, maybe not. A demon, yes. You and I, are enemies by nature. Good versus evil, and all that jazz."
"Yes, but you and I are both good. We have just made mistakes more than others, or have been caught more, I'm not sure which."
"That is an excellent point. Okay, how about this. You can sleep here tonight, since it's nearly daylight, and I'm sure you're exhausted. Then, tomorrow, I will travel with you to the next town. I know a witch there, and I'm sure she can help you somehow."
"Cool! A sleepover! Do we have junk food, and movies? Do I have to wear fuzzy socks, and sexy panties, because that's where I draw the line. No real man likes fuzzy socks."
She nearly fell to the floor with laughter. "But the panties, those are okay with you? You are ridiculous!"
"Yeah, well, I'm a guy, so panties are one of those things we can forgive in almost every situation."
"Okay, well get your mind off of panties, there will be none of that at this 'sleepover'," she announced, expecting him to complain.
"No panties? Sweet! This night just gets better, and better."
"Oh my goodness! You are so annoying!"
"You mean adorable? Or hilarious? Either way, you're definitely pronouncing that wrong," he grinned, as she turned to grab something from the kitchen.
"Here, I have beef jerky, donuts, and chips! Any great sleepover must have amazing snacks."
"I can't eat things like that, Amon."
"What? Why? Are you afraid it will go straight to your wings?" he asked with a snort of laughter.
"Ha. Ha. You are so funny. No, jerk! It would make me ill. You have your snacks, I will have mine. No big deal," she finalized. "I actually don't own a television, or movies. I'm not a movie sort of girl. I read mostly. Basically I sleep, train, eat, read, repeat. Sorry."
"Well, that's okay, I actually have my portable DVD player with me in my backpack, and a few movies if you wanted to watch one with me. We can do that, or we can sit here and be bored nerds while you read, and I pretend to read."
"Geez, what else do you have in that backpack? Food, DVDs and a player, next will you bring out the cure for Cancer, and a time machine?"
"No," he said, sucking air through his teeth, "those are in my overnight bag. I wasn't expecting to stay, sorry."
"Well, you make sure you remember those at your next sleepover, I'm sure everyone is dying to play with your time machine!" she said as she burst into a fit of giggles.
Hours later, Amon woke up to an empty tree house. The day was still very young and he felt strange being in Letty's home without her there. He stood from the floor where she had made him a pallet to sleep on, and did a tiny stretch. The place was far too small for him to stretch properly, unless he stayed laying on the floor, so he made it work, with what little space he had.
He strolled to the tiny kitchen, close to the front door, and saw little sweet cakes sitting on a plate.
"Cool, she made snacks!" he said as he gobbled one in one mouthful. His eyes widened, and he smiled, "My goodness. Gorgeous, knows how to cook, sassy mouth. I could really get to like this girl."
"Well, thanks so much for your glowing review on my finer qualities, but you've not even seen my best trait yet," she chimed in, as she stepped through the door with a small canvas bag flung over her shoulder.
"Ooh, now you have made me curious about your best trait. Is it your smile? Wait, no, it's definitely your sassy attitude. No, that can't be it. Stubborn-ness? I give up, tell me."
"Har har. You're epically funny. Now I won't tell you, you will just have to see it for yourself sometime," she poked at him. "What makes you think I can cook anyway? I'm a horrible cook, and usually just eat raw fruits, nuts, anything natural, and I love honey! Sweets are kinda my thing, and carbs. I love carbs, but that's 'cause it doesn't stick to my bones."
"Yeah, I could tell. I had one of those little cakes you made, they are divine!"
Her eyes bugged out and she said, "Oh goodness! No! No! NO!! You ate that? How long ago? How do you feel? Oh no!"
Fear skated across his face, "What's wrong? What did I do? I'm sorry. Geez, I have no manners. I didn't even ask. Were you planning those for something?"
"NO! Those are fairy food!"
"They are poisonous to outsiders! Oh geez, I leave and someone gets hurt again. AGAIN! No wonder they kicked me out of the family."
"Okay, let's be rational about this. You weigh as much as my finger, and can eat them. I had one that was like, what, a mouthful? I think I will be okay. Try to calm down."
Suddenly his body seized, and he fell to the floor, shaking the house with the crash of his weight.
She wanted to scream for help, but no one would hear her anyway. She grabbed him and tried to flip him over. After struggling for a moment, she finally got a good grip, and he rolled over, onto his back as he burst out laughing.
The horrified look on her face made him sit up quickly and say, "I'm sorry. I couldn't resist. You looked so freaked out about a little fairy food. You are not dangerous to people in general, and I am not evil simply because I am a demon. Okay? Lesson learned? Can you scoot over a bit, I've been on this floor all night and I'm really stiff."
Tears had filled her eyes as she sat on the floor beside the demon, "I thought I had truly killed you, you asshole!"
"Aww, and you would be sad if I died? There would be one less demon to taint your beautiful little fairy world. I would think you would be pleased!"
"I don't wish to harm anyone, ever. I am trying to do my best to prove to my family that I am not a threat, and want only to use my power for good, so I can be a part of my family again."
Realizing his joke was not received well, Amon leaned forward, grabbed Letty, and pulled her onto his lap. She tried to squirm away, but he held her tightly to him and hugged her.
After fighting him for a few seconds, Letty melted into the hug Amon offered. It had been so long since someone had cared for her, she was skeptical to take it, but touching Amon meant that she could truly feel if he was safe from her poisonous food, and self. She had to know.
Once she saw that he was in fine health, she wiggled from his embrace, stood, and said, "Okay, we have to go. Get your stuff."
"Ouch, getting evicted so quickly into the day. I really have to work on my people skills."
She rolled her eyes heavily again, "While you were snoring the day away, I went to visit the witch I told you about earlier. Her name is Selene and she lives just through the woods, going that way," she pointed to a thick patch of forest to the West.
Taking a step toward the kitchen, she scooped her canvas bag from the floor. She had discarded it during the whole fake poisoning incident. Maybe that jerk needs a real poisioning, she mused with a chuckle.
"Okay, you trust this woman? And what is so funny?"
"Yes, I trust her. We have worked together many times, and it is a free country, I may laugh at, and whenever I choose, Mr. Pike."
"Oh! Now we are back on the Mr. Pike crap!"
"No, I was only teasing you, Amon. Come with me, I made you an appointment!"
"Great, now you're my mother. This day just gets better, and better," he said while rolling his eyes, and following behind her. "You're lucky I am so desperate here. I don't let anyone boss me around usually."
"Yes, well you don't usually know people like me, I'm sure. Now come on, and stop bitching. Geez. You sound like a woman."
His startled face turned into a huge smile as he laughed, and agreed that whining nor nagging, were ever a good look on a man.
They met the witch, Selene, at a shop in her village. She told them of a potion that releases demons from their host, and assured them both that the potion wasn't toxic to the body or harmful to anyone around them. She also touted that it was made with "all natural" ingredients, and possibly ground up bone fragments from her last victim, then she said she was joking. They weren't fully certain of that last part's truth, so they decided not to worry about it, and made a pact not to ever piss her off.
The meeting ended with a promise that Selene would deliver the potion the next day to Letty's tree house. Apparently it takes a while to "cook up" things the right way, the witch had told them. No problem, patience was a virtue for a reason, right?
However, Selene not bringing the potion until the following day meant that Amon was to stay with her for the duration of the day, and another sleepover would take place.
"This is good news, evil cake princess!" he joked.
She gave him a droll stare, "Really? Evil cake princess? You are such an ass."
He chuckled and agreed, "Ok, that was a low blow, but I have to spend the night again, right? So I guess I should swing by my place, grab some supplies, and then we can have an even better sleepover the second time!"
"Or you could stay at your place then come to mine in the morning to retrieve your cure, and then go away!" her excitement looked as if it pained Amon.
"If that's what you want, I can do that. I just like to be around you though. I haven't been able to be around someone that understand, or accepts me in a very long time. I do get it if you don't want me there invading your space," he said reluctantly.
She sighed audibly and said, "Fine, you can stay, but hurry up getting your things. I haven't trained today, and I need to do that before it gets much more dark. I hate these short winter days!"