Joined: 1 Apr 2009
It was a cold night. The wind was surrounding me with it's chilly gusts of air, the
leaves rustling in an eerie way. The moon was too large, it's face peering down on me as
if it was going to swallow me whole. I couldn't believe this day was finally here.
Fourteen years ago I was born on this day, and now it was time for the ritual that all of
our kind must go through. If I survived, I would be allowed to enter the realm. If not,
I sat on the edge of the boulder, ready to bolt into the air if needed. I was certain the
wolves had found my scent, but I hadn't seen them for ages. It would be dangerous to
assume they were gone from the woods.
I suddenly felt a chill go up my spine, my wings tingling. I slowly turned around, and
could just make out a pair of light blue eyes with silver flecks in them staring at me
through the darkness of the night. I stopped breathing; even the animals were deathly
silent. I couldn't move. The eyes had me locked to the boulder. I willed it to come, to
just get it over with. I was strangely calm. Finally, a dark shadow leaped from the trees.
The leader of the wolves, the Monocurran. It had come to kill me.
I woke up, sweating and breathing heavily. The dream. It had come again. It must be a
sign. But what?
I got out of my leaf hammock and slowly unfolded my wings, arms stretched high into the
air. I could hear the early bustle of the morning, as Fae flew left and right, up and
down, to and fro. It should have been a regular day, but it wasn't. Today, I was to start
Every Faerie must go through the ritual on it's fourteenth year of living. The Monocurran,
a ghastly beast who leads the wolves, is let out and instructed to kill. The Faerie must
try and survive the attack. It it does, it is deemed worthy enough to enter the Fae realm,
where it can live in peace. But sometimes, the Faerie does not survive. I was afraid this
would happen to me. Of course, I could choose to simply not go through the ritual. But
then I would be burned or stoned, for I would have put my family to shame.
There are ways to get out of the ritual, such as if you decide to work in the village
instead of in the realm. But if that is so, you must prepare for it your whole life in
order to be ready. You may also choose to become a trainer, but again, it takes many years
to become one. Sometimes, a Faerie is too ill to join the ritual. If the Spirits in the
realm decide it is so, that Faerie will not participate in the ritual. However, the Faerie
will miss it's chance and must live in the village that is dangerously close to the human
world, but surrounded by a wall of invisibility and protection, forever, never able to
enter to realm. Those Fae can stay and breed, open shop, or accompany other Fae on their
journeys and travels. And so, my only option was to prepare for the ritual that was to
come in exactly two months, and hope for the best.
I heard a bell ring suddenly, three chimes followed by the shouting of my name. "Artemis!
Come quickly! We must begin your training in one hour," called the voice. It was Marita,
my trainer. She was not one to be patient, so I immediately flew to the lower level where
she was waiting. In her white blouse, gray jacket, short black trousers, and cropped,
graying hair, Marita looked all business. She was tapping her foot in the air when I
"There you are! Come, you must eat and dress. Do not skimp on the food, as you will be
eating nothing until one o'clock. Now, as soon as you finish, change into this and meet me
in the courtyard." She set a folded pile of clothes on the table and flew away, head held
high. I smiled and shook my head, then sat down and began to eat.
After I was changed-deep red shirt, cropped pants identical to Marita's, and black shoes
with matching red streaks (unusual, considering Fae usually wear nothing on their feet)-I
met Marita in the courtyard. As soon as the tips of my wings flapped an inch by the gate,
something large and black flew out at me. I caught a glimpse of shining silver and
gray-black wings. I tumbled to the ground just inside the gate. My head was spinning and
the world was dark for a few moments. I opened my eyes then to see Marita watching me,
mouth set in a straight line, and a very handsome Faerie staring at me bemusedly. I saw
now that the silver was a blade, a small sword. It was pointed the ground, swaying
slightly, as the Faerie bobbed up and down in the air, his wings beating almost in slow
"You have failed the first test," announced Marita. "You must be prepared for
anything that comes. Today, you will learn cat-like reflexes. Oh, and this is Junbody. He
will be accompanying us during many lessons to help you fight."
"Call me Jun," he said with a small smile and a little wave. I managed something
resembling a smile back. Jun reached out to help me up from the ground. I took his hand
and was surprised at his soft, gentle hand that still managed to almost throw me a couple
of inches into the air. I remembered a split second later to beat my wings so I wouldn't
look like a fool and fall.
As Marita started explaining what we would do today, I glanced at Jun. He watched Marita
intently, flipping his jet black hair out of his eyes every few minutes. His eyes looked
familiar, though I couldn't place where I'd seen them before.
"Did you hear me, Artemis?" I suddenly heard Marita say. I looked at her blankly and she
sighed. "This is going to be a long two months," she said disapprovingly. I noticed Jun
smiling at me. Yes, it would be a very long two months.