Faet & Fantasy : Nothing At All

“What other delights of winter am I missing out on?” Kiena asked Breigh as they sat together on her tier of the dell, legs dangling over the edge, and all the world growing silent with the coming night.

“A great many things.” Breigh smiled.

They were wrapped in blankets now, sipping warm cider. Kiena’s wings had warmed and flitted gently once in a while to circulate.

“That tells me rather little, don’t you think?” Her smile was bright, energetic in a new kind of way. Perhaps getting out more with someone new, to see the sights she’d never known before was what she’d needed all along.

Breigh’s eyes were fixed across the way, “Winter is among the most relaxing of times. There is no one else out, and you can hear the earth as it sleeps.”

“How is that, exactly? What does the sleeping earth sound like?”

“Close your eyes and listen.”

She did, a bit reluctantly, clasping her warm cup in both hands, holding it a might tighter as she looked into the darkness. “Now what?”

“Listen.”

Kiena did. Her ears sharpened, and she focused on the sounds around her. There was nothing there. Faint sounds of others laughing or talking around the dell, faint whispers of wind calling through the trees. But little else.

“I don’t hear anything.” She opened her eyes and looked at him.

“Exactly.”

Kiena laughed, “That’s all I get? There’s silence and that’s why it’s so enjoyable?”

Breigh winked at her, “Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy the silence from time to time. In fact, I think you crave it more than you wish to admit.”

“You’re not wrong. However, sometimes it’s nice to know others are around to hear you. My friends sleep during the winter.” Kiena added.

“Did you say you have friends?” Breigh cocked an eyebrow, “I was sure you said there were no friends.”

Kiena let out a laugh of disbelief, “Animals are friends, believe it or not, and I do enjoy their company.”

“I can see the appeal.”

She glanced at him a moment, soaking in the joy she felt being with him. His black hair had never been restyled after they landed, and locks had fallen out of his ponytail, swirling gently around his face once in a while when the wind blew. His crystal blue eyes turned to her, and she blushed, looking away.

He took her hand, stroking it with his thumb, “What’s wrong?”

Kiena’s lips tugged to a shy smile, “Nothing at all.”

Without hesitation, Breigh took her face in his hands, kissing her.

Taken off guard, Kiena put her hand on his wrist, and as the kiss deepened with passion, her fingers strayed to his loose strands of hair, gently weaving her fingers into it.

Breigh’s arms wrapped around her, drawing her near, and she melted into his embrace, feeling overwhelmed.

They parted and he pressed his face into her shoulder.

“Are you okay?” Kiena asked.

He pulled back, looking her in the eyes. Gentle and yet strong. Serene and yet passionate. “I am.”

Kiena felt nervousness slide into her heart. When winter was over, and his colony went home, would Breigh go with them?

Breigh noticed the change, “Are you okay?”

Kiena looked down, feeling ashamed of the brief pause, “I am.” She looked back up at him, sitting up right.

“Did I do something wrong?”

She took his hand reassuringly. “Nothing at all.”

“Kiss me again.” He said, putting his hand to her cheek, leaning in before she could respond.

Kiena melted again under his touch, a silent tear tracing her cheek as she let his nearness and warmth overpower her heart in ways she thought she’d never feel again.

Faet & Fantasy : Frozen

Kiena and Breigh spent much time together over the next few weeks, as winter set deeper in. Yule would soon be approaching, which meant the moments they weren’t together, Kiena was busy planning festivities.  The fae celebrated something every few days during the holiday season, and she was continually moving to and fro with preparations.  It was becoming easier for her to create decorations while she was caught up in the motions, and the holidays did not leave her much time to spend time alone thinking.

The forest around them was covered in white.  Kiena didn’t generally do much exploring in the winter months, preferring to stay close to the dell.  While she didn’t mind the cold, she didn’t like the way her wings felt when they were cold, and it took too much time to thaw them when she arrived home again.  This did not stop Breigh from asking her to join him every chance he had.

“The sun is shining, we should take advantage of it.”  Breigh held his hand to Kiena, his eyes bright.

Kiena chuckled, his expression charming and child-like, “You’re a Winter Fae, your wings are made for the cold.  What will you do if my wings freeze?”

“I shall carry you,” he said matter-of-fact, as though he’d already planned every detail of the adventure.  “Come with me, I couldn’t trust any guidance greater than yours.”

“What do you wish to see?  The world is sleeping, and my friends sleep with it.”

“Anything, as long as it’s with you.  Come.  Go with me.”

Kiena coudn’t help feel drawn by the intensity of his gaze, she found herself taking his hand, and they flew together up and away from the dells.

Looking down at the forest, the trees were still.  Their naked branches reaching to the sky, while the ground below slept under a thick blanket of snow.  Sunlight brightened all the world, the world glaring bright back at the sky.

The river glinted, crusted in ice, as though enchanted by the Winter.  Kiena imagined what it might look like surrounded by different colored lights and decorations.

Breigh guided them as they flew, firmly holding to her hand. They followed the riverbed until the reached the waterfall.

Kiena held her breath as they approached, the view of the frozen falls causing her eyes to grow in awe and wonder.

Icicles cascaded one into another down from the cliff above.  A cave behind the water could be seen peeking through the delicate icy teeth, framed as though by magic, with an allure of grace.

Gently coming down onto a frozen plume of froth, Kiena took the sight in.

Breigh watched her intently, his gaze strong and passionate.

Reaching her hand out to touch the ice, she glanced up.  Their tiny bodies were half the size of most icicles, she felt insignificant in the  shadow of another plume of frozen froth above her.  Many of these frozen clusters splayed around them, as though floating in time and space, waiting to fly away.

“Breigh,” she breathed, awestruck.

He smiled, taking her hand, and flying upward again.  Gently guiding her, they danced in flight across, around, up and down the frozen falls.

Kiena laughed, closing her eyes to take in the feel of the brisk wind and listen to the stillness in this glorious place.

She could make out the sound of a low rumbling, as though the ice was breathing.  Her eyes glanced up, as she took over, guiding them to the top of the falls.

The mountain range grew in height beyond the lake, rocky peaks surrounded by  the skeletons of breathless trees stood about the frozen lake.  The gentle rumble caught her attention again, and Kiena let go of Breigh’s hand to light gently on the surface.  She knelt gently down, her hand stretched out to touch the ice.

“The water below is still moving,” she said, her eyes meeting his.

“It is.  The fish are alive below us.  The depth of the lake determines how frozen the water becomes.”

Kiena realized she did not know very much about winter.  Which suddenly she found odd, considering her and Rynn used to spend a great deal of time exploring.

Reaching out his hand again, Breigh beckoned her to him.

They took hands, and on the surface of the ice, Breigh began to dance.  Kiena wobbled a bit, not quite used to gliding on something so slippery and bumpy, she softly fluttered her wings to take her to her toes and hover above the ice until she got used to how it felt.

“Have you ever done something so amazing?” Breigh asked with a wide smile, clearly enchanted with Kiena.

“I have done many things, but this is not one of them.”  Kiena allowed herself to move and glide as Breigh led.

After a few more moments, Kiena began to feel a shudder in her wings.  She stumbled and fell into Breigh.

He caught her, righting her again, “Are you alright?”

“My wings,” she turned, “they’re beginning to feel the cold.”

He picked her up into his arms, “Let’s get you home.  We can come again.”  He smiled at her, before taking off again, heading back to the dell.

She found herself snuggled into his shoulder, wrapping her arms tight around him, not so much worried about falling or being dropped, but for keeping the memory close.  To cherish new experiences with a new friend and remember them with joy.

 

Faet & Fantasy : Starlight

After dinner, Breigh and Kiena left the party so they could find a quiet place to talk.

Breigh’s eyes watched her with purpose, as though memorizing all of her features. The intensity took Kiena by surprise, and she did her best to keep her eyes from meeting his.

A dark lock of hair fell into his face, which he attempted to tuck behind his ear as he looked away into the starlight. “I think the snow looks best when gently lit by the night sky.”

Kiena’s lips drew gently to the side as she took in the view, “Night is my favorite time of all. Who can sleep through this amazing view?” She laughed, “I will never understand those who go to sleep early to rise before the sun. They miss the best hours of the night. How do they ever see the stars? How can they truly enjoy the moonlight?”

“I suppose we will never know. Though I do agree with you.” Breigh slipped into a moment of contemplative silence.

A breeze gently stirred the air around them, like the forest let out a soft exhale into the stillness. It swirled her hair just enough to take it into her eyes. She brushed the hair to the side of her face, before feeling Breigh’s eyes on her again. Shyly Kiena turned to look at him, curious to watch his expression as he adored her.

“You’re beautiful,” he said softly. “The moonlight gives your dark hair a silver glow. I have thought this many times, though never said it.”

Kiena’s heart fluttered for a moment as she nervously curled her shoulders in. Her thoughts turned to the nervous fluttering in her stomach, hoping it would go away.

Breigh continued, “I also want you to know, the way you give of yourself to bring joy to everyone else is admirable.”

She smiled, turning to meet his eyes, “Thank you.”

“Don’t let it rob you though, Kiena.” His gaze became concerned, as he reached out to brush her cheek with the back of his hand. “You need someone to lean on, too. You give to everyone else, but rarely have I noticed you receiving.”

Tears threatened to flood her vision as she turned away, suddenly thinking of Rynn. “I had a friend,” her voice a mere whisper as she blinked several times. “I didn’t know I would ever need another.”

She felt his warm hand light on hers, his fingers soft and gentle as they curled around hers. Her eyes looked to it, a gentle sniff followed the first silent tear.

“Everyone needs a friend, my dear,” Breigh responded sympathetically.

There was truth in his statement, Kiena did not deny this. The truth could not keep her from looking back to remember, though. “There was one person who knew me best. We did everything together. He was my dearest and closest of friends.” She looked out at the forest beyond the dell, to a world she used to explore tiny patches at a time with Rynn. “We were inseparable, though I don’t deny we had our disagreements. And after he was married and moved on to a new place where I could not follow- well, in short I didn’t know how deeply a heart could shatter until then.” By now the tears were freely flowing down her cheeks. “After I had given so freely of my heart, and trusted so deeply with my soul, there wasn’t a reason to find someone else to share it with, no one else who would understand quite the same.”

“I think you give your colony very little credit,” his voice remained gentle, though Kiena detected a hint of a tease.

Biting back the ache in her chest, where once she had felt complete, Kiena nodded, but didn’t respond.

“It’s okay,” Breigh spoke again after another moment of silence. “You don’t have to tell me anything. And I’m sorry I made you cry.” He turned her chin to look at her. “You can tell me in your time. Until then, I hope to ease the ache in your heart and make those eyes of yours shine again. As they always should.”

Comforted by his words, Kiena tightened her fingers around his hand, and followed through with the compulsive thought to lean her head in his shoulder.

They sat together like this for a long while in the comfort of silence under the draw of brilliant darkness watching the stars shine.

Faet & Fantasy: Dark Blue

Time was counting down as Kiena finished getting ready for the banquet.  She had picked a dark blue dress that gently sparkled when light caught it.  As she looked into the mirror, a brief memory rushed to her mind of Rynn.

“Blue is your color,” his eyes smiled as he spoke the words.

Gazing at her reflection, she tried to make the memory pass before it crept into her heart and made her cry.  Kiena turned quickly to the window, touching the glass.  The glass fogged under the warmth of her finger tips.

“I miss you, old friend,”  She whispered, closing her eyes and letting the cold permeate her fingers, the sensation reaching to her wrist.

It was better to feel the cold, than heartache.  Perhaps that’s why she loved winter so much?  The cold created a numbness that one constantly needed to fight in order to survive, leaving little room to feel emotion.  Winter Fae were not so touched by the cold, and she being half-winter thoroughly enjoyed the cold.

Regaining her countenance, Kiena noticed Breigh flying toward her ledge.  Suddenly her heart beat felt as though it would fly from her chest.  She hadn’t expected to feel so off-guard just watching him.

The moment of sadness instantly vanished, leaving Kiena in twisted nervous knots as she opened to door to Breigh.

His eyes sparkled, smiling brightly as he took her in, “Kiena, you look brilliant.”  He extended his arm to her, “Shall we?”

She reached for his arm, a new feeling of joy reaching into her heart as he led her out the door, and into the beautiful winter twilight.

Faet & Fantasy : Gifted?

“Why do you do that?”

Kiena looked up, startled by the intrusion.  The object in front of her shimmering purple for a second, before returning to pale yellow.  Her eyes met Düne, who had been somewhat stand-offish around her.

Kiena looked back at the glowing fishbowl, watching the flowers float serene on the water, “It helps brighten the atmosphere.  With mirth and light.”

“I understand this,” Düne sat down opposite of her, “but why are you doing it?”

“I like gifting people with Joy and mirth.”  She responded quietly.

“It seems to me,” Düne leaned forward, “that you save very little for yourself.”

The object shimmered green and orange, Kiena did not notice, but Düne did.

“I have plenty of joy.”  Her voice was not confident.  In fact she suddenly fell sullen.

Düne smiled knowingly.  He had struck a cord.  “You are not required to be fake, Kiena.  You’re beautiful and unique as you are.  I don’t know what hurt you.  But what I do know is you cannot hide from the heartache.”

A tear escaped, tracing her cheek with a glisten, “Excuse me.”  Wisking her tear quickly away, the faerie leaned over for another fishbowl.

Düne understood the cue and excused himself, watching as Kiena tried to make the next fishbowl glow.

She felt a heavy sadness settle into her stomach.  She could produce hope.  Even if she didn’t always allow herself to feel it.  It was her right.  Nobody else should suffer because she did.

So why must she be so obvious?

Faet & Fantasy : Delight 

After meeting Breigh officially, Kiena spent several days with him and his friends.  They were delightful.  She enjoyed every moment in their company.

Winter was setting it.  Morning frost turned into gentle layers of snow.  Kiena watched her new friends craft snowflakes and icy layers of crystal.

Capra caused the ice to glow.  Dax told Kiena that Capra’s people were said to have descended from the stars.

Breigh seemed genuinely interested in including her in their daily activities.  When Kiena was not working she was most often found with them.

It felt good to be included.  She found herself cheering up little by little as the days turned into weeks.

Before long, Winter Solstice was approaching, and they were preparing for the seasonal festivals.

As Breigh flew to her on the top of the dell where she was preparing to work on filling decorations with joy, Kiena realized for the first time she no longer woke up thinking of Rynn.

Their eyes met, causing a jolt of electricity to spread across her chest.  She blinked twice, darting her eyes to the bowl in front of her.  “Hi, join me,” she said, clearing the space next to her.

“Actually, I wanted to ask if you would join me.” He plopped into the chair, propping on his elbows and smiling with a comical grin.

Trying not to laugh, Kiena glanced briefly at him twice, focusing on the object in front of her, “I have a lot to do right now, where did you want to go?”

“To the feast tonight,” he paused briefly so she’d look at him, “with you.”  He finished with a wink.

Not altogether surprised, but definitely hiding excitement Kiena could not keep from smiling ear to ear, “Why?”  She asked.

Briegh blinked, visibly nervous as he worked to answer, “I thought that, while we usually just meet each other, it would be nice if you go with me.”

Warmth spread through her chest, “Why wouldn’t we just meet each other here?”

“Because I don’t want to just meet like friends would.” He reached for words, and reached for her hand, “I want to come to your door and take you by the hand.  And then, perhaps we would walk together.”

“That sounds nice.” Kiena beamed, not realizing the object in front of her radiated, the aura grew with intensity.

Briegh smiled knowingly, “so I will plan to be there shortly before sunset.”

“I will wait for you.”

“Good.”  Breigh nodded, and awkwardly said goodbye before flying away again.

Kiena watched him go, and then turned her attention back to the bowl.  “Oh my!”  She exclaimed watching it glow, suddenly realizing she’d completely given her emotions away.

Faet & Fantasy : The Dinner

A slow gnawing sadness crept into Kiena’s heart.  She tried to fend the tears, offering a wisp of a smile to everyone she passed.  Hopefully none would pursue and tell her to be festive.

She felt anything but festive.  Even the orbs emitting joy from the tables and hanging decor did not reach her heart to boost the mood.  Why the sadness had settled over her so suddenly, she’d not yet determined.

Crossing the great lawn where they held feasts on the flat of the dell, Kiena hoped to find an empty table near the edge of the crowd.  She scanned quickly to determine which of the empty ones she wanted, feeling a sudden tap at her shoulder.

“Excuse me?” A male voice said.

Kiena turned, baffled to know who might have possibly wanted her attention.  “Yes?” She responded, trying to sound friendly.

It was the same fae she’d shared a brief glance with the day he’d arrived.  “I’m Breigh.  I couldn’t help notice you looking for a seat.”

The slant of his eyes, point of his ears, style of his hair– Kiena felt her heart melt just staring at the face before her.  Flustered, and a bit embarrassed trying not to gawk, Kiena nodded, “I am.  I was going to sit over there.”

He seemed to notice she was staring, “Would you care to join us instead?” His hand stretched out to the table behind him where five others were talking and laughing.

She felt herself blink several times in her surprise to the request, “Sure.” Kiena smiled, walking over to the table with Breigh.

“Friends,” Breigh acknowledged, “this lovely young sprite has agreed to join us.  Your name, mi’lady?”

Blushing, Kiena laughed, “Oh, yes.  How silly of me to forget.  I’m Kiena.”

“Welcome, Kiena!” One of the females exclaimed brightly.  “Come sit.”

The unexpected exuberance of the winter fae at the table energized Kiena and made her forget her sadness for a few moments.  A seat was open next to Breigh and she sat as he introduced his friends around the table starting with the one next to him, and ending with the one next to her.

“Kiena, meet Dax, Jordi, Düne, Loreghlyn, and Capra.”  Breigh pushed her chair in and then took his own seat.

Capra smiled broadly, “Tell us of you, Kiena.”

Kiena wasn’t used to having attention put on her, and she certainly did not wish to have it now.  “I’m not all that interesting, though I enjoy dabbling with growth and emotions.”

“You seemed to emanate sadness earlier.  A lovely fae such as yourself shouldn’t be sad with such fun to be had.”  Dax beamed, drumming his fingers in rhythm on the table, “Do you dance, Kiena?”

Kiena nodded timidly, “I do, I haven’t in some time though.”

“Broken heart.” Jordi winked at her.  His smile gentle, “Figured it out.”

Everyone at the table groaned, as though they hadn’t figured it out first.

“What?  Figured what out?”  Kiena felt her cheeks blush.

Loreghlyn chuckled, “Ignore them, what else do you do, Kiena?”

Lately all Kiena seemed to do was mope.  She tried to think of a pass time she used to enjoy, but none stuck out, “I bless others.  It’s not exciting really.”  The image of Rynn flashed in her mind.

“I find it exciting.”  Dax winked at her again.  He looked at the others, “Imagine the energy it takes to do that all the time.”

Kiena had to admit she’d never considered the amount of energy it took to cheer others up from time to time.

Breigh nudged her arm, “You’re doing it again.”  He leaned in, speaking to just her.

“What?  What am I doing?” Kiena questioned with puzzlement.

“Emanating sadness.  Feast!  Laugh!  Be merry, my friend.  Tonight you have no room at this table for ailments.”  He winked, lifting his cup out so she might clank it with hers.

Kiena smiled sadly, tapping the brim of his cup with hers, her heart a flustered tangle of knots.

The night was fun, and Breigh gave her undivided attention through the whole evening.  The image of his face seared into her memory  and remained as her eyes closed in bed that night, falling into a deep, peaceful sleep.

Faet & Fantasy : Winter

The magnificent sound of a thousand fluttering wings melodiously echoed as the Winter Fae arrived at Raven Dell.

Kiena watched from her porch as the hosts of Raven Dell cheered.  The Lord of the colony took forearms with the Lady of the dell in welcome.

Bored with formalities, Kiena scanned the newcomers interested in how many there were this time.  She’d never paid a great deal of attention to the Winter Fae as she and Rynn took off on marvelous adventures more often than not prior to Acacia arriving.

Kiena found herself staring at one of the fae.  While she was looking him over, his eyes met hers.  Caught off guard by the piercing stare of blue eyes, Kiena looked immediately away.

Foolish move. She thought to herself glancing his way again.

His features were sharp and angular.  Long black hair pulled back at the nape of his neck, setting off his pale skin and blue eyes, with his sharp ears pointing out of his hair.  His wings were like crystal, tinted with lavender.  She only imagined his voice was just as glorious as his appearance.

His eyes trailed to hers.  He could feel her staring.  Hiding her cheeks from the coming flush, Kiena stood and went inside to hide from the embarrassment in being caught staring.  This last time she was sure he smirked and shook his head.

Her throat constricted nervously as she peaked through the narrow seam of her curtains hoping he wasn’t on to her, Kiena admitted she felt foolish hiding from him.  Maybe he would forget– though, she reminded herself, being the only one in her colony with black hair, Kiena stood out like a dandelion in a field of grass.

As the colony began to disperse to their seasonal homes, Kiena watched him fly across the way with a group of males.

He was single from what she could tell.  Perhaps she might consider getting to know him.

El Niño

A little boy emerged from the sea looking for his playmate.

Once he emerged, and the world welcomed him.

A second time, chaos ensued and the people scoffed.

They shook their fists at the sky, they threw their hands up in the air.  Some wept, others laughed.

Angry, the little boy confused their seasons, scattering the Winter in strange places.

Where piles should drift, there were none.

Where ice should be dripping, rain fell instead.

Frustrated the people continued to complain.

The little boy did not relent.

Meanwhile groundhogs everywhere laughed, playing with the boy as he ran through the fields and forests looking for his playmate.  Still she could not be found.

While Mother Nature slept her children were up to no good.