Grab a Slice
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Grab a Slice

The Colony

A story about fairies and magic, and the hurt that accompanies fraternizing with humans.

Photograph by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Part 1

Maverick untucked his wings from under his jacket once he muttered the ancient sprite cipher and was able to cross the barrier from the human world into his world. He pushed his glasses up his nose, shuddering from being shrunken down ten times his normal size, and looked around at the sprite colony. It had been a while since he visited, it felt nice to stretch his wings again. It looked the same from what he could tell. The same floating moss ball houses were there, sprites buzzed around caring for comically sized flowers, and the waterfall which was actually just the nectar they needed to survive in the human world, was still intact and flowing freely. The nectar is actually why Maverick was back here today. After so many days without the nectar, the common brown of a sprites hair started to have a purple hue, and they became very weak, eventually dying. So alas, he had to come back and load up on his nectar.
“Ah, Maverick!” Maverick’s pointed ears pricked up at the sound of his name and his transparent wings shuddered, “It’s been a while, son. How are you doing out in the human world?” Maverick turned to see Alvaro, the sprite’s head elder, waving his stubby arms violently at him with a smile plastered to his face.
Maverick scanned the open area looking for his father while subconsciously rubbing the scars on his arms, wanting to get out of there quickly and back to his own apartment. “Yeah, I’m uh, I’m doing great, sir. It’s nice to see you again, but I really have got to get going.” He began to turn away but was stopped yet again.
Alvaro giggled a shrill giggle, “No, no, Maverick. It’s been too long since we’ve seen you, and we really miss you back here at the colony. You oughta stay for the annual spring festival!”
Knowing that he wouldn’t get out without saying he would stay, he agreed, making Alvaro smile from one high cheekbone to the other.
“Sweet pumpkins! I cannot wait to see you there!” And Alvaro floated away gently, his wings flapping so fast you could barely tell they were moving.
Maverick sighed, wishing the path to the waterfall was more direct and that he could hide from the other sprites more easily instead of using unnecessary magic and strength to appear to be someone else every time a sprite came fluttering around. He didn’t understand why they all preferred to fly all the time and everywhere. In his opinion, he thought it was much more rewarding to walk on your own two legs and feel the soft earth below you than to constantly flap your frail wings. Plus, the humans didn’t approve of sprites, so if there was any indication you were one, you would be executed. Maverick hadn’t used his wings in over three years, he was too afraid to try them again and have them fail.
Continuing on the sunset-colored fire glass path, he eventually made it to the waterfall. Though he was exhausted from having to use magic so often on his walk over, he immediately took his nectar bottles out of his bag and began to fill them with the shimmering, scaly water before taking a drink himself. It took a few minutes, but when they were all filled, he cupped his hands and drank from the waterfall itself, he felt as if he could fly, literally.
After Maverick had all his bottles filled up, it was time for him to make his quick getaway, and return back to the human world, where he belonged. He took another gulp of nectar, slung his backpack filled with bottles across his back, and started on a quick jog back the way he came. Again, he used the face conceal spell whenever he saw another sprite approaching. It was draining, but it was necessary.
About halfway to the boundary line, he spotted Alvaro fluttering his wings gracefully towards him and talking merrily with another sprite. Maverick’s wings fluttered nervously as he quickly muttered the concealing spell, hoping that Alvaro hadn’t spotted him making the switch. He walked past them, trying not to bring any attention to himself, and broke out into a run after he passed them, making his way toward the boundary line. He rushed through the spell that unlocked the boundary and fell through the invisible wall, landing on cold, slippery cobblestone. His body shuddered as it returned to its full size and big water droplets splattered on his head. Maverick let out a deep sigh and slowly sat up, pushing his delicate wings roughly back under his sweatshirt.
Taking one last look at the brick wall that he had just come through, he made his way back to his apartment, about three blocks or so away from the boundary line. There weren’t many people walking around today, seeing as it was raining, so it was nice to enjoy the Arc de Triomphe without a swarm of cars or tourists in the way. Turning left down the avenue, Maverick soon was walking up the steps to his small studio apartment. He fished the key out of the back pocket of his jeans and shoved it into the keyhole, shivering from the walk in the rain.
He pushed the heavy door open and stood on the shaggy stained carpet, water dripping from his long dark hair. The door automatically locked behind him as he walked into the bathroom. Removing his backpack and shirt, Maverick turned sideways to look at his limp wings in the mirror. Gently, he wrung out his wings in the sink and blow-dried them on a very low setting, smirking when they returned to their full size.
A sharp knock at the door left Maverick’s skinny legs shaking. Bringing him out of his daze from sizing himself up in the mirror, he shoved a shirt over his head, crumpling his once wrinkle-free wings, before looking through the peephole. A short girl with strawberry hair and honey-colored eyes stared up back at him. She looked down the hall and flipped her light hair behind her shoulders before knocking again.
Unlocking the door, he kept the chain hooked and slowly opened the door as far as it would go, poking his head out about an inch. “Hello?”
The girl jutted her hip out to the side and looked Maverick up and down from the crack in the door, “I saw you, you know.” She looked him up and down again, stretching her neck a little to see into his apartment.
“What do you mean you saw me?” Maverick shifted his body over, covering any space where she could potentially see in.
She raised her eyebrows accusingly at him, “I saw you when you fell earlier. You had wings. What were they? Do you do cosplay-type stuff? Or do you just really like wearing fairy wings like a little girl.” She shifted her weight to the other hip.
Maverick gulped a small gulp and blinked once, hard. “I don’t know what you mean, you must be confusing me for someone else.” He chuckled nervously, running a hand through his hair.
“Oh shut your trap. I saw them. Fess up or I’m coming in.”
Maverick unhooked the chain holding his door and swept his arms wide, inviting her in, “Be my guest.”
She crossed her arms as she stepped confidently into the small apartment, her boot steps softened by the carpet, it was oddly quiet as she searched his entire space. “Do you know the rule about fairies Mr. . . ?”
“You can just call me Maverick.”
She smiled to herself, “Okay, Maverick. Nice to meet you, I’m Daisy. My parents were quite the hippies if you can’t already tell by what they named me. I hate it. I wish I could have been named something sensible like Poppy.” There was a twinkle in her eyes, “Anything but the fruity name Daisy . . .” She stopped in the middle of the rant and slowly turned back to Maverick, meeting his eyes. “I got off track. I was asking if you knew the rules concerning fairies in the human world or not?”
He held her gaze with slight mischief in his eyes, “No, Daisy, I don’t. Please, enlighten me.”
“You’re so ignorant. If you’re a fairy living in the human world, you are to be executed- in public- if you are found out. This punishment combines embarrassment and, well, a rather gruesome death. I hear they’re bringing back guillotines.” Daisy said this last sentence with a malicious smile reaching up to her eyes.
He tried acting nonchalant, “Well, that sucks for the sprites who are in hiding.” He felt part of his freshly washed and dried wings pop out of the bottom of his shirt. “Well, you’ve had your look around, Daisy. If you haven’t found anything then I think that answers your question.” He said, talking quickly in order to get her to leave faster, “It was nice meeting you, thanks for stopping by.” He pressed his wings against the wall, opening the door wide for her to scoot past him in the narrow hallway.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I’ll see you around, Maverick.”
She walked towards the door slowly, the top of her head coming to Maverick’s shoulders as she passed him. As Maverick pushed the door shut behind her, his back had come off the wall just as Daisy stuck her arm in the door, took a few quick steps behind him, and pulled his shirt up.
“AHA! I knew it!! You are a fairy! First the wings I saw when you fell, an obvious clue. Second, when I called your kind fairies, you called them sprites when you talked about them. Which is the true, technical name for them! IknewitIknewitIknewIknewitIkn-”
Daisy was cut off as Maverick whispered a rushed spell, slamming the door shut, and wrapped his hands around her mouth, his lips pressed against her ear telling her to shut up now.
“If anyone finds out I’m a sprite, you said it yourself, I’ll be executed.” he hissed, “You don’t want that for me do you, Daisy?”
Realizing she wasn’t answering because he had his hand over her mouth, he slowly let her go but kept within an arm’s length away from her.
Daisy jerked away from him and straightened herself out. A sly smile crept upon her face, “Oh, no. I wouldn’t want you to be executed, Maverick.” She bit a nail, “However, I wouldn’t mind having you and your powers for myself.”
“What? What do you mean?” He self consciously pushed his wings further up his shirt.
Laughing through her teeth she said, “Either you do stuff for me with your magic powers, or, I can turn you in right now.” She held up her phone that had just two numbers dialed into it. 17. The police. Maverick hadn’t even noticed her type it in. “It’s you up to Maverick. Do stuff for me, or die. Simple as that.”
Sighing, Maverick weighed his options. Die, or use his magic- which would mean going back to the colony almost every month. Honestly, it seemed obvious what his choice should be, die. How many times had he said that he would rather die than go back to the colony? Countless it seemed. But he knew that wasn’t really an option.
“Fine. I’ll do whatever. Just please don’t turn me in.” Daisy pumped her fists in the air, her smile wide. “Before you get too excited, Daisy, I have to tell you that I need nectar to survive. I can only get that back at the colony where you found me. Only thing is, humans can’t go in. Only sprites. And depending on how much magic you make me use, I may need to go back every month to get it.” Maverick sighed a heavy sigh, realizing how draining it was going to be.
Shrugging, she said, “I don’t care. Do what you have to do I guess.”
The carpet left imprints from where Maverick stepped.
Daisy remained silent as Maverick paced back and forth in the hallway. She watched him take off his wire glasses and clean them much more than they needed to. She almost felt bad, but let’s face it. She found a gosh darn fairy.
“Okay, okay, stop pacing, you’re stressing me out.”
“Oh, I’m stressing you out? You’re not the one who’s risking their life for someone they don’t even know. I won’t do anything against the law for you.”
Sighing, Daisy studied his worried face. She looked at his sharp chin, slightly pointed ears, and long nose. He was almost handsome. But it was too late for that, she already ruined what they could’ve had.
She brushed it off. This was the deal they had agreed to, she didn’t care if he was upset or thought it was a bad idea. A deal’s a deal.
“Let’s go. I wanna try out your magic.” Daisy pulled him by the sleeve, the rips in her jeans stretching as she pulled his wiry but heavy body along behind her.

They walked about a half mile before arriving at a semi-vacant park. Maverick hadn’t talked to Daisy much, he was still processing what this meant for him. The colony was never a place he longed to be in.
That’s why he left when he was seventeen, the legal age at the colony. He left his dad behind, his mom died during childbirth, and he had no siblings. Scars and bruises left with him, the scars still haven’t faded. It’s been three years since he left, and it was still hard to go back knowing that somewhere his dad was waiting for him to come home.
It was hard being afraid of your own father, of what he would do to you if you ever did something wrong. But that was how Maverick had lived for the majority of his life.
Daisy jumped up and down, trying to get Maverick’s attention, “Hello, Maverick, earth to Maverick.” his head snapped towards her, “I’ve been trying to get your attention for like, five minutes. I know you hate me right now and we just met but we made a deal. Honor it, or I will turn you in. Don’t think I won’t.”
Maverick nodded, his straight hair falling into his eyes. “Let’s do it.”
Smiling wide, Daisy thought a minute, then commanded him to push the tree, about fifteen feet from them, over.
Maverick’s eyes widened as he glanced around, “Are you crazy?! There are way too many people here to push a tree over right now. It would draw too much attention especially because,” he motioned his arms to his surroundings, “young healthy trees don’t normally just fall over by themselves on a sunny day.”
She rolled her eyes, seemingly brighter than before, at him, “One, it was just raining like, forty minutes ago, it could have happened. But fine. Break off a branch and pull it towards us through the grass. No one will see that.”
After whispering a few words to himself, sure enough, a small branch broke off the tree and soon rested at Daisy’s booted feet.
She parted her lips, “That was amazing! What did you whisper before you did it?”
Maverick hesitated, they weren’t really supposed to talk about the spells with non-sprites. But he already demonstrated his magic so what’s the harm, right?
“Eabrk ffou, oecm euehr.”
“Woah Woah, slow down, Mav,” Maverick glanced quickly down at her then diverted his gaze when she met his eyes. “Maverick, sorry. Pronounce those words again, but slower. I want to learn it.”
He crossed his arms, and tapped his awkwardly long fingers, “Eh-ah-berk foe, oh-ay-cim ew-ay-hir.”
Daisy cleared her throat before starting, “Eabrk ffou, oecm, euehr. Did I say it right?”
Shaking his head, Maverick answered, “Use a hard C on oecm, not an S sound. Other than that, yeah. It was all good. Good job.”
She did a little jig, lifting her arms above her head, “I’m a better sprite than you.” She chanted, taunting him.
The sides of Maverick’s mouth slowly upturned, exposing his slightly pointed teeth.
“Yeah, sure you are, miss bare-back.” He chuckled as Daisy continued frolicking in the grass, not a care in the world.
She stopped, breathless. “Okay, next. Make a flower grow. A daisy! Because those are obviously the prettiest flowers.”
Maverick laughed, “You’re unbelievable. Eethr aiiedss ousprt.”
And just like that, almost as if it was magic, three daisies sprouted up from the ground next to where Daisy was standing. They continued to grow and grow until they reached about mid-thigh.
“Oh. My. Gosh. These are beautiful, Maverick! I can’t believe you can do stuff like this!”
“Don’t get too attached to them, they’re going to die in the next couple of minutes.”
Daisy pushed her too-long bangs out her eyes, “What? Why?”
“Because, Daisy,” he glared at her, “We’re in the human world. Not the colony. Most of the magic I do in the real world fades quickly. It also drains me three times the normal amount it would take to do a simple spell like this in the colony.”
A few minutes of silence passed by, as a large group of tourists walked past them. Arms were seen pointing up at buildings, oblivious to the fact there was a real-life sprite standing just three yards away.
“We need to go somewhere more private if you want to keep doing this today. But, Daisy, I’ll be honest. I work during the week and I really can’t be using my magic every day like this. It’s draining, and soon enough we’ll get caught.”
Daisy giggled, “Ah, you think I care if we get caught do you? Well, I don’t.” she shook her head, “But I understand. What’s your work schedule?”
“Monday through Saturday, nine a.m. to four p.m.”
She shook her head again, “That’s going to be tough. I go to school Monday through Friday, at Collège de France. It’s about ten minutes from the Arc de Triomphe, and you live down the street from there right?” Daisy eyed him, raising an eyebrow, waiting for him to lie to her.
“Yes, down the street from there. You’ve been there, why would you think I was going to lie to you about that?” He leaned his neck forward over her, sizing the small girl up.
“Just testing you,” she said, smiling sweetly at him. “Alright, well it’s getting dark so I’ll call you, yeah?”
“You don’t have my number, how are you planning on calling me?”
Daisy pulled his phone out of her back pocket and, walking backward, tossed it to him. “I snatched it on the walk over! You should try putting it somewhere that’s not sticking halfway out of your pocket and falling onto the streets of France.” hollering she said, “Catch ya later!” And she confidently walked away towards the sun, hips swaying, until she was out of his sight.

Part 2 can be found here.

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A Fantastical Thing

A Fantastical Thing

Hello! It’s great to have you here! My name is Aubrey & I love to write short stories & poetry & about plants. Feel free to follow! Instagram:@afantasticalthing