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 Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.

Part 3 can be found here.

Part 4

A couple of months or so went by where it was like this. Daisy would be sitting in front of Maverick’s apartment door, waiting for him to come back from work, usually working on homework, reading a book, or sometimes even drawing. She was an excellent artist.

They would go inside, Maverick would shower while Daisy made them dinner. Occasionally, when Daisy noticed he was low on food, she would be waiting outside the door with bags of groceries.

Slowly, Maverick’s apartment became a home, not just a place to sleep and shower. Daisy brought flowers, books, rugs, lamps, and sometimes even furniture over to his place. She brought blankets, pillows, and nice sheets for Maverick’s bed so he didn’t have to sleep on a bare mattress. He always offered to pay her back for everything but she never accepted. She said that “It’s what friends do for each other.”

Of course Maverick spoiled her when he could. He bought her a new sketchbook when she filled her old one and had moved on to lined notebook paper. She only used graphite but when they were walking around one night, he noticed her looking at some watercolors. He bought those for her too.

Over the last few months, they became each other’s best friends. They saw each other every day and learned to care for each other.

It wasn’t just all fun and games, though. They had fun together, but Maverick still had an agreement to uphold. Almost every night, Daisy would have him do some small task with his magic, always amazed with what he could do though she had seen it a million times. It wasn’t always random though. Sometimes she would ask for a spell to help her with a test the next day, or she had Maverick cast a spell on the school’s president so that school would be canceled if she wasn’t feeling well, that only happened three times though.

On the days that Daisy was sick, Maverick would have her stay at his apartment, cozy in his bed. He would put a healing spell on her in the morning before he left for work and keep it going throughout the day, bringing a bottle of nectar with him to work. He would set up a little flame next to the bed and put a bowl of soup over it, keeping it warm for whenever she wanted to eat. A bottle of water was in a bowl of ice next to the bed for when she wanted it. He would end up leaving work early because he had finished an entire bottle of nectar and was on the verge of passing out, exhausted from all the magic.

Maverick would then come home to where Daisy would be napping, and drink a whole nother bottle of nectar. The healing spell would be placed on her again, and Maverick would sleep on the floor next to her, ready to be there for her if she got up in the middle of the night.

So far, over the course of these months, Maverick was able to avoid going back to the colony to get nectar, for the most part. He went almost every month, sometimes every month and a half, for a quick refill, he was careful when he drank, and only had a sip or two a day. But Daisy got sick twice, one month, meaning he went through about four bottles of nectar, two each time she was sick. It was necessary, and Maverick didn’t mind doing that for her, but he only had half a bottle left, so he would have to go back to the colony in the next few days.

When Sunday came along, Maverick’s free day, he called Daisy to tell her he had to go to the colony today so she shouldn’t come over in the morning.

“When should I come over then? What time do you think you’ll be back?”

He thought about it a minute, “You can come around three, I should be back by then.”

“Alright, I’ll see you then. Good luck. And Maverick, put your wings away before you fall back into the human world.”

Maverick laughed, hung up the phone, and grabbed his backpack. Unhooking his glasses from the top of his shirt, he put them on and headed out the door, locking it behind him.

He walked the three blocks to the boundary line, enjoying the nice sunny weather and cool breeze. As he neared the colony, he noticed that the air grew colder instead of the normally warm weather accompanying the presence of the colony. Something was up. He looked around before he let himself in through the brick wall and shuddered from the sensation of shrinking down.

Things inside the colony had shifted. Sprites were walking briskly along, no longer cheerful. They slugged around, looking as if they were carrying a forty-pound weight on their ankles. The once bright green floral houses were wilting, holes were seeping through the leaves of the flowers towering over them.

Maverick spotted the colony’s leader, Alvaro up ahead, also walking.

“Hey!” Maverick called out to him, “Alvaro! What’s going on? Is the colony dying?”

Alvaro faced Maverick, his face didn’t have its usual glow, “Yes, son. It seems like it is.” He gestured to the waterfall, “Look at the waterfall.”

Sure enough, the waterfall was drying up. It no longer shimmered and it certainly wasn’t filling the small pond below it all the way up.

“What happened?”

Alvaro sighed, his wings drooped behind him, “We don’t know. All the elders are fine, we think that someone let the word out about the colony.” He eyed him, “There are only a few sprites who are out in the world right now. You being one of them.”

“I swear, I didn’t tell anyone where the colony was. Plus, how could a human get in? We have the boundary spell for this very reason.”

“Maverick,” Alvaro was speaking to him like the child he was before he left the colony, “You and I both know that there is about a ten-second gap from the moment a sprite opens the boundary and from when it closes again. It’s very likely that when you or someone else was going in or out, that a human who knows about us slipped in.”

Maverick shook his head, his eyebrows furrowed, “I don’t know, Alvaro. When did this all happen?”

“About a month ago, it’s a tragedy really. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ve been rationing the nectar for all the fairies, that’s why everyone is so drained. If this goes on much longer we’ll all die.”

“This is unbelievable,” Maverick looked around at the wandering sprites, their hair tinted with purple streaks, “Are there any more waterfalls near here that we could move the colony to?”

Alvaro slowly shook his head, “I’ve talked to the other elders and they said this is the last one in France. The humans have wiped out any waterfalls if they have come across them. We need to figure out what humans came in here and kill them. The elders said this happened a few decades ago and once they killed the human, the colony was restored.”

“Okay, then let’s find them. But I need some nectar, I’m almost out. Can I take a few bottles worth?”

“Just four bottles this time Maverick, that’s more than the sprites in the colony are getting but hopefully you can do some work on the outside and we can get to the bottom of what humans came in.”

“Thank you, Alvaro, I’ll see what I can do.”

They waved goodbye to each other and walked in opposite directions. Alvaro towards the common square, and Maverick towards the dwindling waterfall.

He walked along the familiar firestone path, not bothering to conceal his face this time. His head was spinning, wondering if it was him who had accidentally let a human in when a shadow came from behind him.

Maverick spun around, already anticipating who it was, “Dad.”

A beefy sprite met his gaze. It was uncommon for sprites to be this large but his Dad was a special case. He had dark, beady eyes, and a silver mustache, “Hello son, nice of you to come back. It’s been a while, I’ve missed you.”

“Yeah uh, that’s great dad,” Maverick inched away from, his wings were buzzing beneath his shirt, “Look, dad. I’m doing great and I hope you are too, but I’ve gotta go.” He took four more steps back.

“No, no. Let’s catch up, what do you say?” His mustache twitched, “It’s been years since we’ve talked, you always seem to slip in and out of here without me seeing.”

“Yeah, that’s kinda the whole point,” Maverick whispered this under his breath, unable to help himself.

His dad took a lumbering step towards him, “What did you say, boy?”

“Nothing. Dad, I’m sorry, but I have to go. Please, the colony is dying, I have to leave and find who did it.”

“Yeah right. If anything, Maverick, you poisoned this place. You and I both know how much you hated it here.”

“If anything, dad, I hated you. I still do. Now, I’m going to walk away, and you’re going to let me. I can’t deal with this right now.”

His dad took another big step toward him, throwing his hands up into the air, “Fine. Go. But you’ll be sorry.”

Maverick flinched away from him, wrinkling his nose. Then without another thought, he turned and fled towards the waterfall.

He filled the four bottles he was allowed, then left the colony, taking the back way through the trees so he wouldn’t run into his dad again. Maverick took one last look at the dying colony then disappeared through the boundary line, landing lopsided as he returned to his full size.

The phone in his back pocket buzzed, and he reached to answer it. The number was the only number saved in his phone, “Hey, Daisy. What’s up? I’m coming home right now. I have something I need to tell you.”

It was quiet on the other side of the phone, “Okay, see you then.” And the phone beeped, signaling the end of the call.

The hair on the back of Maverick’s neck stood up and a single drop of sweat raced down the middle of his back, right in between his wings. He had to get home. Without any hesitation, he grabbed hold of his backpack straps and sprinted through the crowds of people, and dashed through the circle around the Arc de Triomphe that was filled with cars going every which way. Thankfully, he made it safely back to his apartment, though breathless.

He took the stairs two at a time, trying to reach Daisy as quickly as he could. As he approached the door, he saw her, standing, not sitting as usual.

“Hey . .” Daisy shifted her weight to the other side, her belly button ring sparkled, her bright crop top vacuumed against her skin.

“Wow, hey Daisy, you look great.” Maverick was surprised to see her like this, she normally didn’t show much skin.

Her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes, “Shut your mouth, you look like a newborn. Can we go inside?”

Maverick nodded, still unable to take his eyes off of her, and unlocked the door, closing it behind them. “You sounded upset on the phone, is everything okay?”

“Yeah everything’s fine, it can wait. You said you had something to talk to me about?”

Maverick ran a hand through his hair, “Yeah, uh, so the colony is dying. Apparently, a human snuck in. The waterfall is not doing so well, it’s going to dry up soon.”

Now it was Daisy’s turn to look like a newborn, “I’m sorry about the colony, but what’s wrong with a human going in? What will happen if you don’t get nectar?”

“Well, it’s fine if a sprite goes into the human world because sprites are part human. But humans are not part sprite. It upsets the balance and magic used to keep the colony alive since it’s hiding inside the human world.” He sighed, “It’s hard to explain, but there’s a reason why only sprites are allowed inside the colony. The colony isn’t built to let non-sprites in, so when they do enter, the magic enters the human world, not leaving enough to keep the colony alive. It’s affecting the waterfall, our only source of nectar. We need it to survive, so I’m not sure what will happen when it runs out.” Maverick looked out the window at the bustling street, “I was allowed to take four bottles, but it won’t last long.”

Daisy let her arms hang, the deep v in her shirt sinking lower, “Is there any way to fix the balance?”

“The only way is to kill the human who snuck in. They upset the balance, so if that person is dead, the balance will be returned back to normal, and the magic will return to the colony.”

Daisy grew quiet, “Maverick, it’s only been a few months but,” She pulled up her short denim shorts, “I really care about you and I just need you to kn-”

Daisy was cut off when Maverick grabbed her roughly by the belt loops and pulled her close to him, “I know, Daisy. I know, I do too.”

Maverick slowly leaned in, arching his back to meet her lips. He kissed her softly, closing his eyes. He moved his hands to her waist, sending tingles into her spine as he felt her soft skin.

Her hands were in his hair and she pressed herself into his body, trying to get closer than was even possible. Maverick’s shirt ripped in the back, letting his wings expand to their full glory.

Maverick stopped for only a minute, looking into her eyes, quietly asking if this was okay. She answered by lacing her fingers with his. Smiling, Maverick kissed her again, squeezing her hands with his own.

He placed his hands on her back, and Daisy gently pushed him back and giggled as he put his hands in her hair.

Through kisses, Daisy whispered into his mouth, “I think it was me who ruined the colony.”

He pulled her closer, not breaking the kiss. He cupped her face with his rough hands.

“Maverick,” Daisy tried breaking away, “You need to listen to me.”

“Daisy, what is more important than this moment right now?” He brought his hands back to her waist, grabbing her.

Daisy finally broke away from him, but his hands remained. Maverick’s eyebrows furrowed together.

“I think it was me who ruined the colony.”

Maverick laughed, pulling her into a hug, “Daisy, there’s no way it could have been you, you always waited behind at the apartment when I went in for nectar.”

Daisy shook her head, “No. There was a time, about a month ago. I got curious so I followed you and tried slipping in right after you. I didn’t think it would work but it did. I didn’t stay long, only a few minutes. I left right after that when another sprite walked through. I didn’t think anything bad would happen.”

Maverick let go of her, his eyes blazing. He calmly stalked to his dresser and got a shirt for himself, his other one lay ripped in half on the floor.

Daisy stood silently and watched Maverick effortlessly slip his shirt back on over his wings.

“Okay, so it was you. What was all this then? Just a ploy to distract me and make me pity you?”

Daisy shook her head violently, her bangs swayed side to side, “Not at all Maverick, I do like you, I really do. I would never take advantage of you.”

“Oh, but you have, haven’t you. You come to my apartment every day and make me use my magic for your benefit or sometimes, for no reason, just to do stupid crap! Even after we became friends you never let up. And now this? You expect me to believe that you weren’t taking advantage of me and trying to worm your way in so that when I found out, I couldn’t hate you or turn you in.”

“Mav-”

“No, Daisy. No. I should have known what you were trying to do when you showed up at my apartment after I found out about the colony, wearing that ridiculous top and those shorts. Did you visit the colony today too? How did you know I would find out today?

Daisy’s honey-colored eyes filled with tears, “Yes. I’m sorry, it was so beautiful last time I was there, I had to see it again.”

Maverick threw his hands up at her, “Why would you do something like this to me? Do you not care about me in the slightest?”

“No, Maverick, I do care.” Tears streamed down her face, “I didn’t know or mean for any of this to happen. You didn’t tell me about what would happen if a human went in, how was I supposed to know?”

“Oh,” Maverick laughed, taking a step back, “So now it’s my fault for not telling you that a spell protected, invisible to humans boundary line leading to a world populated only with sprites was off-limits to humans? My bad. I guess the next time I make a human friend I’ll be sure to tell them that very vital piece of information.”

Wrapping her arms around her stomach, Daisy cried harder, her face turning beet red, “I’m sorry, Maverick, please don’t turn me in to the sprites to be killed.”

“I don’t see what other choice I have, Daisy. You die and hundreds of sprites including myself get to live.”

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