Billy Part 16 - Fae

Present Day

Elizabeth wished she had not made the decision to take this particular route into the dell. The soles of her boots kept slipping on the uneven stone-strewn surface of the makeshift pathway she was attempting to pick her way over. There was enough sunlight to make her way through; the problem was the amount of rain that had fallen throughout the night. What had earlier been a reasonable path had subsequently been transformed into a ribbon of mud.


She was about halfway through her reckless early morning trek when she consciously acknowledged the singing. At first, she thought her mind was playing tricks on her and that it was some kind of insect. After a while, she realised that it was definitely singing, although no matter how hard she tried, she could not make out the words, or even any tune come to that. There seemed to be a number of voices and they never grew closer or further away.


She decided to step off the path and continue over the short carpet of weeds and bushy plants that edged it. It was a good decision and she was able to improve her speed marginally.

The singing was beginning to irritate her -– who the hell could be making such a racket at this time in the morning? It had been a long time since she had made such adventurous early morning forays into the dell. Just then, she stopped abruptly and took a good look around.

Peg darted from the undergrowth to the side and ran, panting heavily, towards her. Hughie in hot pursuit.

“Quick, lass,” he cried. “We need to get to Annwn’s as fast as we can!”

The look on Hughie’s face did not warrant any argument. Elizabeth took heed and raced behind them as the singing, accompanied by a newly acquired scurrying, pursued them from the distance.

***

Despite her fear Elizabeth gasped with delight when she glimpsed the round, stone built and thatched cottage amidst the trees in the distance.


How on earth


Peg raced through the open door, followed quickly by Hughie. Elizabeth reached it a few seconds later. Her brief view of the dark interior from outside was limited to the glow of a fire and the long back of a wooden settle. The building appeared to be on one level above ground and was no more than fifteen feet wide at its extreme.

The singing and scurrying noise increased dramatically. Elizabeth felt trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. Just then, Peg poked her small head around the door frame. With one red ear cocked she gave Elizabeth a wide-eyed look.

Elizabeth rushed inside.

***

“You took your time!” said Hughie, closing the door firmly.

“Where did all this come from?” Elizabeth asked incredulously, taking in the room around her.

The interior of the cottage was spacious and full of rustic charm. Peg settled down upon a woven rush rug before the open log fire and Hughie walked over to join her. He rubbed his hands together over the open flames and then turned to toast his backside.

“Always been here, lass.”

“But...but...I’ve never seen it before! In fact, we first met here -– remember? There’s only ever been the remains of a building on this spot before today.”

“Not so,” said Hughie with an air of joviality. “Just cos yer’s never seen it -– doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!” he chuckled.

Elizabeth walked around the room marvelling at all the wonderful old objects it contained. Carved animal figurines, hammered pewter ornaments, even a small silver mirror. Everything was whispering temptingly to her. She wanted to reach out and touch it all, yet she respectfully refrained from doing so. Just then she remembered the beings they had been running from.

“Fae,” said Hughie distastefully. “Nasty little buggers! It’s the weather yer see -– cheeses ‘em off when the rain washes the iron ore out of t’soil into t'river. What they need is an ASBO -– the flaming lot of ‘em.”

“I’ll second that!” said Elizabeth enthusiastically. “If Gemma Bolton is anything to go by, anyways!”

Hughie frowned. “What? That wee lass? I’ve noticed yer’ve had yer differences -– seems to me that you have a knack of bringing out the worst in each other,” he lectured, helping himself to a green apple from wooden bowl upon a dresser at the far side of the room. “Besides she’s not really fae -– not strictly speaking that is.”

Elizabeth’s was somewhat annoyed to hear Hughie defending Gemma, her green eyes flashed. “What do you mean by that? I should know, I have been at the receiving end of her mischief!”

Hughie shrugged. “Story goes, her Nan was never a full shilling. Wandered off from the Living when she were a nipper and turned up twenty years later, same age as when she disappeared. Claimed to have been away with the fairies -– of course none of the Living believed it.” Finishing the apple, he tossed the core into the fire where it hissed and spit, disturbing Peg momentarily from her slumber.

“S’pect any magic she has is probably ter do wiv something she has in her possession rather than owt else. Maybe her Nan was gifted with something by ‘em? She wouldn’t be the first and I doubt she’ll be the last come to that. They can either love you or hate you.”

Elizabeth considered Hughie’s words carefully. Hughie, with his back towards her, peeked at the breaking sunshine through one of the stone-lintelled windows.

“All I’m saying is, it can’t have been easy for her growing up with a foot in each camp can it? After all, you’ve had a similar experience yersel.” Peg jumped up onto the windowsill and joined Hughie in his observations.

“Is it safe to leave yet?” Elizabeth asked, changing the subject and walking over to join them.

“Shouldn’t imagine so,” said Hughie, glancing at the latched door. “It’ll open when it is. Anyways, what are you doing down here so early?”

“Thought you might be able to help me figure something out,” smiled Elizabeth warmly.

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5 Comments:
  • At 26 February 2010 at 19:07, Anonymous Melissa said…

    I love this! And the description of the singing voices being neither close by nor getting further away. It's great to see these three together -- and I just love Hughie (saw Simon Peg throughout, lol). I have to say, too, that it made me think less judgmentally about Gemma. :) I also love how Elizabeth wants to reach out and touch things -- that they were calling out to her. Bravo!

     
  • At 26 February 2010 at 20:52, Anonymous Miladysa said…

    *massive grin* Thank YOU Melissa! YOU made my day :)

    Next up...Billy meets Mabel ;D

     
  • At 26 February 2010 at 20:53, Anonymous Miladysa said…

    Or should I say -- Her Ladyship? ;D

     
  • At 1 June 2010 at 10:53, Anonymous @Howiehippobum said…

    ASBO on the Fae - I like it!

    I'm supposed to be going out, but this is so good, I keep putting it off!

     
  • At 1 June 2010 at 11:51, Blogger Miladysa said…

    LOL @Howie

    "I'm supposed to be going out, but this is so good, I keep putting it off!"

    Once again, YOU have made MY day, Sir! Thank you :)

     

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Whituth's living can't see the dead but psychic Elizabeth Whyte can see everyone: living humans, delayed souls, fallen angels, vampires and fae. She helps maintain the fragile peace between light and darkness in her work with RoYds, an unworldly refuge. But that peace has suddenly become fragile. Whituth's carefully maintained balance is tipping toward darkness. Now Elizabeth and her angelic allies must discover who or what is threatening both town and refuge before balance is lost forever

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