1) Tell us about your book (s) (or short story)
The story I have included is a prequel to my dark fantasy/horror Fae story Halfling. I hope to release it later in the year. The main story follows Riley Teague, the daughter of a Fae and a hunter. When she is almost killed, she discovers this supernatural world and her place in it.
2) Who is your main character? Tell us about them.
The main character is Riley. In my short here, Azaria is the main character and Riley's mother. Riley has never had anyone to rely on in life. She is a trouble maker and has a rival in Lauren, the girl who may or may not be her half sister.
3) What is your favorite Fae myth or story?
I like stories about the Banshee. It always scared me as a child.
4) The Fae. Helpful magical creatures? Or mischievous tricksters?
Probably leaning more towards tricksters or trouble makers. They are only interested in helping themselves.
5) What is your Fae elemental? Salamander (Fire) Undine (Water) Brownie (Earth) or Sylph (Air)
I haven't include elementals in my stories, but I like Sylph's personally.
Azaria knew she would never get the chance again. Taking a breath, she hurled herself through the rift, with no thought as to where it would take her. She tumbled forever, finally landing with a thump on the hard ground. Opening her eyes, she winced as the glare hit her. Everything was so bright.
It took several minutes for her eyes to adjust, but when they did, she was surprised to find herself in the middle of a field. She lay on a carpet of rich green grass and behind her was a huge oak, stretching to the skies. It was so beautiful.
Getting to her feet, she marvelled at the life around her, not like the dark, twisted world she left behind.
"I'm in the human world," she murmured. It had been such a long time since she had set foot here. She had followed her mother here once. Back when she had tried to escape her tyrannical father, before he closed off passage to the otherworlds.
She knew she could never return to the Fae realm. If she returned, her father would put her to death. This would be her home now.
Flipping her long hair back over her shoulder, she started walking. There had to be humans around here somewhere. Humans weren't that different from Fae, in appearance anyway. They were very closed off creatures though. Most of them didn’t even believe other worlds existed. How naïve
She arrived at a village, or what was it the humans called it? A town?
She could see people up ahead. Two male humans were loading a large object onto a big metal box with wheels.
Azaria slowed as she approached them. One whistled at her, making her smile. She was considered a beauty back home. Being the princess of the Fae world didn’t hurt her appeal to the opposite sex. At least not in the beginning. Before her father lost his mind and turned their world into a war zone. Azaria was expected to fall in line and join the fight, but she was a lover, not a fighter. She thought she would do quite well in the human world. Sure, they were violent too, but they weren’t destroying an entire world.
The whistling turned into lewd comments. Both men approached her, checking out her body. Glancing down, she realized she was dressed in a gossamer gown, a see through one. Humans were more modest, choosing to cover their bodies.
“Hey gorgeous, you lost?” the smaller of the men asked.
She didn’t understand the question.
“I seek sustenance,” she said. Travelling had made her weary and hungry.
The one who had spoken looked confused.
“She’s hungry,” his friend translated.
“I can buy you dinner, but I’ll expect a goodnight kiss,” the small one said.
Something caught Azaria’s eye. A man dressed in black leather had exited a building across the street. The sign above the door read, Sam’s Bar. There was something about him, he wasn’t human. He was something else.
Abandoning the two men, she crossed the street to him. A loud screech filled the air as one of the metal boxes stopped inches from her.
Azaria ran her hand over it, to soothe the beast. It was hot to the touch.
“Get out of the road, you crazy bitch!” A man yelled from inside the box.
Returning her attention to the man in leather, she approached him. He was watching her, sipping from a glass bottle. He was well built, with long black hair and a thick beard.
“What are you?” Azaria purred, putting a hand on his chest.
He grabbed her by the wrist and inhaled deeply. “What are you?”
“I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.”
He took her arm and led her into a nearby alley.
“Gage!” someone said.
They turned to find a fair-haired man approach, carrying a sword.
“Adrian,” the leather man spat.
“Luring young women into dark alleys?”
Gage scoffed. “In case you haven’t noticed, she’s doing the leading and it’s the middle of the afternoon.”
“I told you to stay out of town,” Adrian said.
Gage faced off against him. He was taller and stronger than Adrian.
Azaria watched the exchange. The threat of violence excited her. Perhaps she was more like her father than she realized.
A few more words were exchanged, and Gage stalked off. Azaria started to follow him, but Adrian blocked her way with his arm. “You don’t want to do that. He’s dangerous.”
“I like danger,” she replied.
“You go after him and you’ll likely end up dead.”
Azaria let her eyes travel over the man. For a human, he seemed very powerful. She caught him looking at her body and smiled.
“I should reward you for saving me,” she said, moving close to him.
“Whoa, darling. I’m married.” He waved his left hand at her, which was adorned with a gold band.
The Fae were not monogamous creatures, love was shared freely. Another reason why the humans were intriguing.
“I don’t mind,” she said.
“Well, I do,” he said, taking a step back. “Who are you, anyway?”
“Azaria, daughter of Oberone. Princess of…”
“Whoa, hang on. Princess? You’re not from around here, are you?” he said.
“I am Fae.”
His grip tightened on the sword, his stance became rigid. “I’ve dealt with Fae before. It ended bloody.”
For the first time Azaria felt something akin to fear. “I have no desire to fight you. I escaped my world and I cannot return.”
“Why here?” he asked.
“This is where I landed through the portal. I only want to live in peace,” she said.
Adrian sighed. “You’re not going to fit in dressed like that.” He took his jacket off and handed it to her.
“Come with me, I’ll get you some clothes.”
She followed him from the alley, curious as to why she needed more clothes, when she would like it very much if they both shed theirs. The leather man had disappeared, and she was disappointed. She would look for him later, following his scent should be easy.
The man called Adrian led her to a metal box. He helped her inside. She watched as he used a small key to make the beast purr. She giggled as he pulled away from the curb.
“Never been in a car before?” he asked, looking amused.
“No, it is a mighty beast,” she said.
He laughed, “That it is.”
She watched the scenery as it whizzed past. It made her feel dizzy and she loved it. Settling back in the seat, she closed her eyes, feeling weary all of a sudden.
“You’ll never escape me, Azaria.”
Her eyes snapped open as she heard her father’s last words before she fled. His face was so full of hatred towards her. He had never been a kind father, he was distant and strict, but she never believed that he hated her. He had become consumed with gaining power and all because the old woman had told him about her. The rise of the Morrigan. The Morrigan was feared among the Fae. All powerful, she could decimate all of Fae kind if she wanted to. For most, she was a horror story told to children, but the old woman said she would be reborn and she would rule once more. Oberone flew into a rage. He would never give up his throne, so he was determined to rule over everyone, then the Morrigan would have nothing.
Nothing, because he left nothing once he was done. Nothing but a wasteland.
It took a moment for Azaria to realize that they had stopped. A huge house stood before them.
“A castle,” Azaria said. “Are you a prince?”
Adrian laughed. “No, far from it. It’s a family home. Come on inside, no one is here.”
She followed him into the castle. It was beautiful. She kept stopping to look at things and Adrian had to move her along. He led her into a bedroom and opened a wardrobe. He removed several gowns and laid them out on the bed.
“You can pick something to wear. These belong to my wife, but I’m sure she won’t miss one.”
Azaria ran her hands over them. The material was coarser than she was used to, but the colors were amazing. She picked up a blue one and held it against her.
Dropping it back on the bed, she stripped off her own gown, letting it fall to the floor. Adrian’s face went red and he quickly turned away.
“If it pleases you to look, then look,” she said.
“I’m good,” he said.
She dressed in the gown and spun around for him. “How do I look?”
“Good. Nice. We should go.”
“I need to take you to the other hunters, so they can make a decision on what to do with you.”
“Hunters?” she said, backing away.
He held up his hands. “No, it’s okay. They won’t hurt you. Once they see that you are not a threat, they can decide what to do.”
Azaria didn’t know much about the human world, but she understood the word hunter. She would not be slain now, not after all she had been through. She backed away, as Adrian approached her.
She felt her wings unfurl, tearing the dress. They sprang out and Adrian let out a cry of alarm.
“Holy shit,” he said. “They look like…angel wings.”
“What is an angel?” she asked. She folded them behind her. They were a beautiful, vibrant white. White like her mother’s. Her father’s wings were black.
“It’s a…Never mind. I promise you, no one is going to hurt you. Please trust me.”
She stared at him. Trust wasn’t something she did easily, but there was something about him. He was kind to her.
“Okay,” she said.
“Um, you can’t go out like that,” he said, pointing to her wings.
She closed her eyes, concentrating on retracting the wings. When they were out of sight, she changed into another gown, this one was white.
They returned to the car and he drove them back through the town. He stopped in a deserted spot, about a hundred yards from a house.
“I’ll go in first and talk to them.”
She felt the fear again. “Please don’t. I am not dangerous. I will go away, and you won’t see me again.” She clutched his arm, eyes filling with tears.
“Don’t cry. Please, I promise it will be okay,” he said.
She leaned in and kissed him, knowing what her Fae aura could do to a human. He kissed her back for a second, then pulled away. “I can’t do this.”
“Yes, you can.”
She straddled him, kissing him passionately. He stopped resisting.
About the Author:
Kat Gracey is from Northern Ireland and she writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Her latest book Brewing Storm is available now and she hopes to release Halflings later this month.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”