“Thank you” the young girl smiled to the grocer. He looked away quickly and began to help the next customer. She placed the package of mushrooms into her woven basket, careful not to crush the bread and set off down the cobbled street, keeping her head down and her distance from the pedestrians.
The crammed street made it easier for her to go unnoticed, but the occasional someone would get to close, and realize who they were near before grimacing and scooting away. She did her best to keep to the side of the street while rushing home, but she spun around the corner onto a side street and ran smack dab into a tall and proper woman. The women’s lavender face flushed indigo with rage when she saw who ran into her.
“Disgusting girl,” the woman spit. “How dare you.”She could hear the women's teeth grind under the force of her rage and she reached for the girls dress collar to restrain her, but the girl jumped backwards and took off down the street she came from, with the woman spitting insults to her back.
Panting, the girl decided to take the long way through the park. She had to run if she was to be on time. As fast as her lanky legs could carry her, the girl ran down the street, one arm gripping the grocery basket and the other preventing her navy dress from flying up past her knees. The park grass was muddy and stained her leather boots, but she continued to run.
The park was huge, and soon she was nearly out of breath, so propped herself against a tree to regain herself .Looking into the sky she saw the crystal lake water sparkling ahead. The fairy realm was magically located beneath a lake, and the green-blue sky glistened under the morning sun above it.
“Good morning,” came an almost inaudible voice from in the tree. The girl spun around and looked up to see a boy about her age, maybe thirteen or so, smiling down at her from the branches. She had never seen someone smile at her, and the boy was positively beautiful. His lavender skin was so pale it was almost snow, and he had dazzling wings that looked like ivory.
“Hello,” the girl beamed.
“I’ve seen you before, I think,” the boy leaped down from the tree without using his wings, and he was not graceful, but sturdy. “You’re the Brandt girl, aren't you?”
“Yes. But I’m not-“
“My mother speaks of your grandmother with high regard. She also says you’re her monster child,” He beamed kindly.
The girl flushed crimson and hung her head.
“I’m August. What’s your name? No one knows it.”
The girl looked up to see his sapphire eyes twinkling with delight. He seamed curious and friendly, not harmful, so she replied, “Mayellah”
He stuck out his hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mayellah!”
Mayellah and the boy sat down in the tree and began to talk. The boy was brilliant. His eyes sparkled when her spoke, and his jaw flexed and his eyelashes were like fine hairs from corn. She had never been permitted to look at men before, not even her grandfather, and Mayellah was so overwhelmed that she didn't hear a word he said, and was mesmerized until the face of her grandmother flashed through her mind.
“August,” she interrupted abruptly.
“I’m sorry. I’ve always been told I have too much to say.” he focused on a spot on his shoes in embarrassment.
“No, no! That’s not it at all! I think you’re very nice! However my grandmother-“
“Oh it’s fine,” he grinned. “I compleat understand. You should go before you-”
Mayellah didn’t want to leave, but sprang to her feet and was running before he could finish his sentence. Mayellah ran full out to the park gate, but not without looking behind her one last time before turning onto her street. He had climbed back into the tree and was watching her run. Mayellah smiled for the first time in a long time.
At the end of the quiet street was her grandmothers elegant manor with ivy walls and stained glass. Here she lived with her grandmother, as well as her grandfather, a few maids and a cat. It was the largest home in the realm, and her grandparents were once, and still are, very important people of contribution to the community. Mayellah ran up the curved path to the heavy oak doors and quietly snuck in the house and into the kitchen.
“You’re late,” a peeling potatoes muttered without looking up from her work.
“It was busy at market today,” Mayellah plunked the basket onto the counter and took out the groceries to be put away. The maid looked at her accusingly with her emerald eyes for a few moments before continuing her work.
“Well, she came lookin’. You musta done sumthin’ to infuriate ‘er. Never seen ‘er so livid in all my days.” the maid said casually. “Better get to fixin’ it.”
Mayellah didn’t understand. She hadn’t disobeyed that she could recall. She was simply a bit tardy returning from market. That only deserved skipping a meal. She was used to that.
Mayellah left the kitchen and went to the left wing of the manor to find her grandmother. As she walked past her grandfathers study, could smell his sent of tobacco and cologne, and heard him muttering. She thought nothing of it until she heard her grandmothers shrill whisper and pressed her ear against the door.
“What else am I to do? He’s going to come after her! He will rip down the gates and find his way into the realm. I have no other options!” Her grandmothers voice was bitter and the same for as long as she could remember, unlike her grandfathers which was withering from age.
“Do what you must to protect her-” she could hear her grandfathers horse whisper.
“HER? I’m protecting my people! She can go to the blasted school and never return! We will finally be safe and she will bother us no longer!”
“Never return? But my dear, where-“
“I will not have that foul slug in my house. I will not. She is no child of mine. She is not a child at all.”
Then the door flung open with such force it knocked Mayellah to the ground. Her grandmother strode out, a brilliant woman with fair lavender wrinkles, and quarts wings. But her eyes were not fair. When they saw Mayellah they were hard and vicious, and Mayellah scrambled to her feet as the woman took a sharp step towards her, hand raised, Mayellah dared not look away from those eyes, even though she knew what was coming. She stood tall, and those eyes were the last thing Mayellah saw before the hand came down and struck Mayellah back to the ground, and this time, she stayed there until well past supper, when the maids finally found her, and carried her into bed before wiping the floor clean pool of blood running from beneath Mayellahs long auburn hair.
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