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|Faries, an elf, and a priestess, though not how you might expect. It's short, but I enjoyed writing it.||
The End of the Dream
By: Jennifer Hoffman
What have you done with her? his voice broke through the mysterious hum, a crack of thunder amid gentle rain.
The pinpoints of light flitting through the clearing halted in response, violet sparks floating on the heavy, dusk air. The steady thrumming of wings focused until, beating in unison, the thousands breathed, We have saved her.
Where have you taken her? he ground out, clenching his jaw to repress his rage.
She is among friends, among family, the ethereal whisper replied. The sound danced on the air, a harmonious chord from a finely tuned instrument.
I am her only family. His voice brimmed with loathing for the incandescent sea about him, attesting that he was no longer fooled by its alluring beauty, shouting the fact because he would not. She and I are one. You cannot take her from me.
We have not taken anyone from you, the purr returned. The sound was as deceptively soothing as the glow that radiated from each tiny fairy. She is right here, waiting for you to follow her. The will of all is the will of one. We give pure happiness, fullness, belongingness. You wouldnt take that happiness from her, would you?
She was happy with me, he murmured, dangerously close to letting his emotions get the better of him. Not even the floral scents of the forest could dull what he felt anymore. Your lies will not capture me, he bit off the words as his chest tightened painfully.
Not like her. She loves so easily, believes so easily. This fate, worse than death, cannot be for her. He forced his fist to unclench, the muscles between his shoulders to relax.
Solus? The touch of a real voice after the faint, disembodied words drew an instant response from the dark warrior.
I am here.
You see, she is with us waiting for you, the murmur teased. Imperceptible wings brushed over the elfs flesh like a faint breath always beyond reach.
Youve proven nothing, he growled, irritation sharpening his tongue. I will kill you before I allow you to harm her.
Its alright; Im okay. The familiarity of the tone was comforting, inticing him to lower his guard. Theres nothing to be afraid of, my love.
You know I cant believe that, he replied, sounding stonier than he would have liked. He could have recognized that voice anywhere, but he refused to trust these creatures.
Warm, human laughter flooded the clearing, You always were a skeptic. Despite a note of criticism, the words were filled with tenderness. Ive never hid anything from you. I wouldnt start now.
We allow you to see her only because she wishes it, elf, the hum of wings interrupted, making sure that no mistake could be made as to their intention. The will of one is the will of all. You should consider yourself privileged.
Ill decide that for myself when I see her, the man corrected sternly, brushing loose, black strands of hair from his eyes.
I am here. The whisper swept through the clearing, stoking the multitude of sparks into a swirling inferno. I have always been here, the voice continued, now coming from a definite source as the streaming flame coalesced into the smoldering form of a woman.
This is just another trick! he exclaimed, his temper slipping ever closer to erupting. I wont stand for it any longer!
We told you, the fluttering sigh repeated, she is one of us now. Join us and be with her.
Come, my love, the wraithlike woman implored. Here we will never be apart. We will be of one consciousness with each other and every bit of life around us. Do you not want to be with me forever? The air seemed to thicken with her words, the sweet scent of flowers becoming oppressive honey.
Tricks. Nothing but tricks! the elf repeated, shaking his head to clear it. Despite his best efforts, his thoughts were slowing to a crawl. Desperation surged to his throat, A spell? Is this how you captured her?
We only do what is necessary, the whispering wings assured. You wish to make her unhappy. We will not allow you to make us unhappy.
I wish nothing of the sort! he shouted, strain cracking his voice as he clutched his head. Im taking her back!
You mustnt! the apparition pleaded, flowing to the mans side to caress his face with an insubstantial hand. Please, do not harm them. Do not fight this.
No. This ends now! he vowed. His body trembled as determination set in, driving him to futilely fend off the enchantment.
Realization faded the smile on her face, and the feminine specter backed away slowly before melting again into the sea of infinite sparks. It was clear there would be no cooperation. If you will not join us, then forget her and be gone.
I could never do that, the elf spat, feeling the molasses in his mind thicken even more, until thought came only in fragments. Is this how it ends?
Farewell my love.
The human voice broke through the thick haze about the elfs mind and his thoughts reached out to her. Then, this is the end. Forgive me I could not leave without you.
As I cannot watch you die.
What is this? the hum on the air demanded, shock radiating from it and resounding on the elfs face. No longer was the droning hypnotic, but rather it was becoming irregular and frantic. Never has our will divided. It is impossible!
Nothing is impossible, the elf murmured, confusion and disbelief finding their way into his already-shaking voice.
You will kill us! The hiss of wings now sounded pained as a different faint glow began to appear in the forest clearing. We do not have the energy to transform you back into the flesh!
You made me choose between yourself and him, the female voice stated with resignation. It no longer came from the fairy-engendered image, but from the new, white light that was now taking shape.
You are one of us! You will die with us!
I would rather die than have his blood on my hands, the lady responded maintaining cool composure as her glowing form became a mirror image of the previous fairy phantom.
Dont waste, the elf choked out, falling to his knees, your life for me.
Do not be afraid, my love, the woman murmured, now speaking with real lips. Believe, and things will be alright in the end, she promised, the hoarseness of her newly-formed throat mocking her words.
Fool! the buzz on the air cried as the light about the now fully-formed body faded away. With it, the ever-present hum of wings ceased, and the fluttering drops of fire began to flicker and fall.
Z-Zylia? the elf stuttered, worry creasing his already wearied face. Answer me!
As the last of the violet light faded, plunging the clearing into impenetrable darkness, a scream echoed through the trees.