Chapter Eleven

Quinn roared and launched off the bed of flora. The colorful cloud above him exploded sending myriad petals and demi-fae to flight on the air. Airborne, Quinn rushed Merry. Or, not Merry, but Sadb. Or, maybe not Sadb, but her vision of him, or her projection of him, or her...whatever.

In the blink of an eye, Merry found himself on his back in his overgrown backyard. Air whooshed from his lungs as a gravely injured and bleeding Quinn landed on top of him. Merry struggled to regain his breath as a rainbow of Demi-fae and petals rained down around them. Everything was überclear, garishly colored, and painfully bright. Enough to make Merry squint and want to shield his eyes as he would from the sun. And everything was three-dimensional, as if he were seeing through the glasses they gave you to watch a 3-D movie. Maybe he was still seeing through Sadb’s eyes.

“Curse ye, Sadb!” Quinn’s voice thundered loud enough to leave Merry deaf in one ear.

Sadb shuddered and quivered, truly stricken by Quinn’s curse, and her flight became a chaotic zigzag through the air.

Quinn’s rage shot up Merry’s spine and he was afraid Quinn would change into his other form right on top of him. He wasn’t afraid of Quinn, not at all, but he didn’t want a monster on top of him either. My boyfriend, the monster. Talk about awkward in the extreme. “Quinn!” Merry eked out. “Don’t curse her!” His shout was nothing but a murmur.

Blind with rage, Quinn didn’t hear Merry. “How dare ye risk me Merry’s sight!”

“I did not, sire! I use me mind’s eye to shield he vision! I swear it!” she shrieked as she zinged by sending a lock of Quinn’s hair to flight on the breeze in her wake.

“Quinn!” Merry tried again, but Quinn’s weight on top of him made it impossible to take in enough air to speak.

“Ye mind’s eye not be strong enough to shield one such as Merry!” Quinn raised himself on hands and arms and Merry took a huge breath before Quinn slumped back onto him, shoving air from his lungs again.

“I be, sire! I be!” Sadb shrieked back.

“Quinn!” Merry tried again, to no avail.

“Ye not have an inkling of what ye speak!” Quinn roared at her.

Now, deaf in the other ear, Merry could think of only one thing to do. Quinn! Stop! I’m okay! I just can’t breathe with you on top of me! he shouted in his mind.

Quinn stopped yelling at Sadb long enough to look down at Merry.

I’m fine, but I can’t breathe! You have to get off me! Merry thought hard.

Quinn rolled off Merry in an instant and cried out when he landed on his shredded wing. Like an arrow, his pain-filled cry struck Sadb in the back and carried her aloft. She hit the tree stump in the mist and fell to the ground, still. Merry gulped air as he raised himself to a sitting position and looked down at Quinn. “Y-you okay?” he breathed.

Quinn’s emerald eyes looked up at him, all glimmer lost, and Merry knew he wasn’t okay. AT. ALL. He reached a hand out and Quinn took it. Indescribable pain instantly crashed over Merry’s senses and he gasped, right before the pain cut off and Quinn passed out.

Merry thought it hurt like hell when Rick beat him up, but it was nothing like this. He’d never imagined such excruciating pain and wondered how Quinn withstood it. Well, obviously he couldn’t. He passed out. “Lady Sadb! Help me! Quinn’s really hurt!”

He received no response. “Lady Sadb!” he called again. Nothing.

Something pinched the hand he leaned on and he looked down. It was a demi-fae. A guy one. His wings were as vibrant green as Sabd’s were vivid yellow, and a long parade of demi-fae arced the air behind him. With Merry’s vision all screwy, they looked like a brilliant rainbow of stars, their colors startling and almost too bright to look at.

Beidh muid ag cabhrú leat!” the little guy shouted.

The fairy’s voice was surprisingly deep for a small guy—er, fairy, and Merry had no freakin’ idea what beg me-add egg cowroo leth meant.

Cabhrú le.” The demi-fae gestured as if to lift something.

Cowroo leh? “You mean help me?”

The little man nodded.

“Lift him?”

The little man nodded again.

Merry looked to the backyards that bordered his and thanked his lucky stars that Quinn’s thunderous accusations hadn’t roused his neighbors from their beds in the middle of the night. “Yeah, okay, let’s get him into the house,” Merry whispered fiercely.

The demi-fae swarmed Quinn en masse and lifted him into the air.

Merry quickly stood and moved to open the door. “Down the hall to the right. Put him on my bed.” He bent to lift Quinn’s one good wing to keep it from dragging on the ground as they carried him down the hall. It was soft, a frail green-tinted velveteen in his hands, yet it was as clear as glass.

Merry watched as the demi-fae deftly turned Quinn in the air and laid him on the bed on his stomach. That was when Merry saw Quinn’s front. It was a red ruin to match his back. He fought to remain calm in his escalating panic. “What happened to is chest?”

The guy demi-fae was grim. “An Bhanríon pionós a ghearradh air.”

“Don’t any of you speak English?” Merry demanded in frustration.

“Ah!” Pain shot through Merry’s skull and he gripped his head with his hands.

“Ye understand we now?”

“Yeah.” Man, that hurt. “What happened to Quinn’s chest?”

“We Queen punish ‘im.”

Merry was incredulous. “She did that because he didn’t answer her call fast enough?”

“Aye.”

Holy crap. Merry looked down at Quinn. His one shredded wing lay sodden with blood, a mountain of red lace at his side. The other wing wafted slowly above him. The brief glance Merry had in the cavern hadn’t told him how large Quinn’s wings were. Merry supposed they trailed the floor behind him when he stood. He reached a hand out to touch Quinn’s back then hesitated, not wanting to accidentally hurt him. “Is there anything we can do for him?”

“Queen Muirgan take he ability to heal for such a time it be long in returnin’. Well, so, we tend ‘im ‘til he be right to heal heself.”

Merry cursed the Queen silently. “What can I do?”

“Ye bring water and flower from ye garden. Many flower be grand. More color, more fine he be.”

Merry tapped his foot impatiently and surveyed the flowers in the backyard as he waited for tap water to fill his mom’s largest salad bowl. There were tons of flowers to choose from and he wondered if any in particular might be better or worse for Quinn. When the bowl ran over, he turned the tap off, and carried it to his room, careful to spill as little as possible in the process. He set it on the milk-crate desk. “Are there some f-flowers that are b-better for him?”

The demi-fae looked at him, confusion plain on his face.

“I-I mean, like, stronger?”

“Nay, lad. They all be as kind to ‘im as he be to ‘em. Bring as many as ye can carry.”

Merry grabbed a brown paper grocery bag from their small pantry, a scissor, and ran back into the backyard. The whole vision thing made the foliage loom large at him, a hallucination a thousand times more brilliant than it was in real life. He steeled himself against the Alice in Wonderland feeling, and collected brightly colored pansies, irises, orchids, and roses, and didn’t care that thorns tore and pierced his fingers and hands. He didn't know how Quinn could stand such incredible pain and wanted him healed as fast as humanly—er, fairily possible. As he neared the misty corner of the backyard, he heard a tiny shriek.

“Get ye cursed hands off me, ye fowl thing!”

It was Sadb and he only now remembered that she had crashed into the tree stump and fallen to the ground. He walked to the stump and found her little, scraped and bruised form sitting in the grass, one wing lying terribly askew.

She slapped at the other demi-fae. “Away with ye!”

The demi-fae shot away, narrowly avoiding the slap. “Lady Sadb, allow me to help ye to ye feet, at least,” he pled.

“Ye be fowl! Ye not touch me with ye unclean hand!” she shrieked.

Merry glanced back at the house. He needed to get back to Quinn and didn’t have time for this. He squatted next to them. “Lady Sadb? Are you hurt?”

“Not matter if I be! I not want an unclean one to touch me!”

Unclean? Merry looked at the little demi-fae. He looked a little freaky like all the others he’d seen, but he didn’t have horns or a tai—oh. He had a tail...and kind of a glittery, sugary thing going on. As brilliant and sparkly as he was, he had this whole...well, a whole kinda reddish bug thing going on that made Sadb look tame. Like, maybe to an extreme, and his wings weren’t soft and fluttery like those of a butterfly. They were thin and clear, and a little creepy with veins running through them. Pulsing veins. Okay, he was a little freakier than the others were. “Hi,” Merry ventured.

The little sugary guy gave a brief bow. “Nolan an Dearg, at ye service, lad.”

“Merry. Nice to meet you,” Merry offered in return.

“Aye, I know of ye.”

“Ye know nothin’ of the sort!” Sadb shrieked.

Merry winced at the sound of Sadb’s high-pitched voice and frowned. “What’s wrong with him, Lady Sadb?”

“Can ye not see, human? He be dragon!”

Dragon? Merry studied the little guy. Ohhhh. Dragon. Yeah, he had a dragonfly thing going on. Merry didn’t find anything wrong with that. He loved dragonflies. “So what?”

She gaped it him. “Ye be daft? He be unclean!”

Merry shook his head ever so slightly, irritated. He didn’t have time for this. “Here.” He set an open palm next to her.

She glanced at Nolan before dragging herself into his palm.

“Do you need help?” he asked Nolan.

“Nay, lad, I be well. I wait for all o’they in ye garden ‘til we Prince be mended.”

“Come inside with us.”

Nolan waved his hands at Merry, but before he could speak, Sadb shrieked again.

“Nay, nay! Ye not permit such a thing in ye home!”

Merry was angry now, and he did NOT have time for this. “C‘mon, Nolan. Follow me,” he said as he stood.

Nolan waved his hands again. “I remain in ye garden.”

Half out of his mind with worry, Merry acquiesced. “You sure?”

“Aye, lad. Plenty o’flower t’keep me company.”

“Okay. I’ll be back.”

Nolan suddenly flew to a dandelion, plucked it, and held it up to Merry. “She spores help we Prince mend.”

Seriously?

“Aye, lad. She healin’ take to the air. Be best to mend we Prince’s wing.”

Okay, this little sugary dragon guy could read his mind, too.

“Ye not say we secrets! Be forbidden!” Sadb shrieked.

Merry wanted to choke her as he took it gently from Nolan and added it to the bag of flowers. “How many does he need for his wing? It looks”—hot tears suddenly stung Merry’s eyes—“He’s really hurt.”

“Ye take ye flora to ‘im and I collect ye many dandiflies ‘til ye return.” The little guy nodded rapidly.

“Thanks.” Merry sped to the door, carefully holding Sadb to his chest so he didn’t drop her. He couldn’t help but look back at the little fae. He looked alone and lonely, much like Merry often felt. “It was nice meeting you!” he called back.

Nolan rose in the air and gave him a dragonfly salute with the tip of a veined, cellophane wing.

Merry lifted the hand that held the bag of flowers and gave him a one-fingered salute in return.

“Ye not do such a thing!” Sadb scoffed.

Shut up! Merry thought.

The look of indignation on her face told Merry that she’d heard his thought.

Oops.

“Here.” Merry set the bag of flowers next to the bowl of water on his desk. “Nolan said the dandelion is good for his wing.”

Every demi-fae in the room turned to him, all eyes now too large in their tiny faces. They looked stricken.

The first chapter of Fairy was originally published in
Harmony Ink’s May 2013 newsletter.
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Chapter Ten                                                  Table of Contents                                                Chapter Twelve

©2012-2015 Cody Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.

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