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Faerie And Her Neighbour (1 Viewer)

gerkintrigg

Senior Member
'Welcome to Wintermist's school,' said Professor Wintermist. 'It is always nice to see such a happy group of smiling faces. You are, of course, quite misguided.'
'Oh, that's lovely, that is!' said Daniel, under his breath.
'Statistically, six of you will get married to someone in this room.' continued Wintermist.
'Urgh!' Daniel said, a little louder.
'Four of you will become teachers, here.' There was a lot of giggling and pointing at this. 'Three of you will die.' Wintermist continued.
'Oh, brilliant'
'And twenty seven will be maimed, lost, abducted, transfigured or otherwise altered through accident or injury.'
'Remind me why we're here, again?' Orphan asked Daniel.
'Don't ask.' Daniel replied. 'Its the best, apparently.'


~*~


It was some time after dinner had officially ended that Orphan stopped eating. No sooner had the huge platters been cleared away than Orphan scooted around his new schoolmates, begging for their left overs.
'You do realise that you're going to be fed every night, don't you?' Daniel asked him, rudely. 'If you eat any more, you'll most likely burst!' Orphan was not accustomed to feeling full, and although it was very uncomfortable, he was not entirely sure that a human being splitting down one side was impossible, and so he decided to take Daniel's advice and step away to bed.


~*~


The morning came quickly, which was a mark of how well Orphan slept. He had no dreams that he knew of. It was like his head had risen almost as soon as it had hit the pillow to find a new day waiting in the morning sunshine. Despite the apparent time travel, he felt thoroughly refreshed and eager to begin his lessons.


~*~


After breakfast in the great hall, Orphan dashed to his first lesson. It was with professor Wintermist himself and according to the timetable, it was a subject he had never heard of. It was something called 'Faerie'. As Orphan entered the classroom and sat down next to Daniel, he had a strange feeling come over him. It was like he was being slapped around the face by a girl. How he knew that the slap had come from a girl, he was not sure, but it was definitely a female slap.
Orphan was dizzy and practically fell into his seat.
'You okay?' Daniel asked, concerned.
'Oh, no, not really. I feel like I've been slapped.'
'What?' Daniel asked
'Yeah, I know, weird, eh?'
'Good morning class!' bellowed professor Wintermist as if to quieten his students. Daniel and Orphan stopped at once.
'Good morning sir' came an eager young voice from the corner.
'Oh!' said professor Wintermist. 'I say... I've never actually had a response to that greeting before.' Although he looked totally amazed, he also wore a happy grin across his wiry beard.
'Today class, we shall be introducing the subject of Faerie.' As he had said it, Orphan covered his mouth stupidly. Fairy! So that was what was written on his timetable! It was surprising that he had never realised that before.
'What is there to learn about fairies?' Orphan asked quietly. Daniel shrugged.
'Well, Mr...' Wintermist said and then paused, apparently not knowing what to call Orphan 'What's your last name?'
'I don't think I have one' said Orphan. 'I'm Orphan'
'Ah. Then I would suggest that you pick a good one. Names are terribly important in magic, and even more so in faerie.'
'Sir, you talk about fairies as if they're more than just the creatures we all know about.' Daniel said.
'Mr Rider, I should hope that your benevolent sister would have taught you something more than the high jinx for which you are so renowned.' Daniel blushed. 'Faerie is the name wizards give to the land of Faerie and every thing that comes from it. Therefore, fairies as you call them is merely a generic name we give to a creature from the land of Faerie. It means nothing more or less than me calling you an earthling! It's not much use really, is it?'
'So Faerie is not on Earth?' Orphan asked.
'Well, no. No, it's not.' began Wintermist. He took a big breath and looked ready to expel a long speech, detailing the intricacies of the land of Faerie when Daniel interrupted.
'Where is it then?' he said.
'Ah now that's the question.' Wintermist replied. 'It is everywhere and nowhere. It is in your dreams and thoughts, in your magic and madness. It is in the future and the past.'
'Not the present?' Orphan asked, picking up on this interesting omission.
'Well spotted Orphan.' Wintermist said with a grin. 'No, not in the present. The present is reserved for the living. Faerie skips the present and goes straight to the past.'
'I don't get it' Daniel said simply.
'So fairies are dead?' the girl in the corner asked.
'Not exactly.' said Wintermist. 'This really is messing with my schedule, but it may be better if I show you.' he waved his wand and a trail of bright blue light streaked where it whipped through the air. 'It's all described on chapter seven of your books. Please turn there now and I shall walk you through it.
Orphan turned to chapter seven and saw a wide title which read:
Zombie Faeries Ate My Kitten
'So here we are,' said Wintermist, 'this line here is a gateway to Faerie.' he pointed to the shimmering light that still hung in the air where his wand tip had been moments before. 'it is normally only able to be seen by Faeries themselves but with a little enchantment, we can kick the present out a little and slip into Faerie. It really doesn't take much.' Wintermist pointed his wand at the line and it grew downwards, like it was ripping a hole in the air. The hole acted like a window and through it, Orphan could see a bright yellow landscape, full with a sad-looking sun and a threatening meadow of thick trees and wild grass.
Orphan stared for what felt like hours, unblinking and terrified.
'Best not keep it open too long.' said Wintermist, his voice breaking the silence only once the window was closed and began to vanish. 'They tend not to like visitors.'
'Who? Fairies?' Daniel asked.
'The Faeries you know about,' Wintermist continued 'are those who we are happy to live with. They are the kinder sort. However, Faerie does tend to breed a more vicious type. Those on Earth might be thought of as refugees from the worse kind of their kinfolk. You see, it is thought that because of Faerie's proximity to hell...'
'Woah, what!?' Daniel shouted.
'Oh yes, I'm afraid it's desperately close to hell.' Wintermist repeated, factually. 'You see, the real hell is re-living present unpleasantness over and over, and so some might say it's a mixture of Faerie and Earth.'
'So hell really exists?' Orphan asked.
'Just remember that not all fairies are good. Not all of them look like little shiny women with beautiful glittering wings and not all of them want to help you. The tricky part is picking one that is going to do your bidding. They are pranksters... Verging on madness half of the time but utterly malicious whenever they get half a chance.'
'Are you being racist, sir?' said a snide boy from the other side of the room, with a grin.
'Faeries are not of our world.' said Wintermist sternly. 'I may be species-ist... Not that that's a word, but they are not even a species. They are more than that, but at the same time, an awful lot less... A terrible lot less.' he shuddered and Orphan felt it too. There was a cold chill that spread down his neck at the mention of fairies.
'Do how do we know the difference?' Daniel asked.
'You don't.' said Wintermist sternly. 'Frankly, you cannot trust any of them!'
The rest of the lesson went by slowly by reading the slightly humorous account of the zombie fairy who ate the kitten. It turned out that the fairy was not actually a zombie, but an evil demon-like creature called Zilth. The kitten in question was not only eaten, but then regurgitated in recognisable, slimy chunks. The chunks were left as threatening evidence of his power, for the wizard who refused to release him from his magical bond. It was thought that this was less of a true story and more of a fable to teach young wizards about the dangers of setting Faeries loose on Earth. As far as Orphan was concerned, this lesson was completely unnecessary. He decided right then and there that Faerie was one place that he was never going to visit and one force he was never going to meddle with if he had any choice in the matter. Little did he know, however, that this choice was no longer his to make and that he had already started on the road to hell.
 

Stephanie Andromeda

Senior Member
This story could have used a bit more introduction. I have no idea who these character's are outside the context of this school, so it almost feels like it begins In Medias Res.
Besides the explicit existence of Hell, I'm not sure how this is qualitatively different from other Young Adult fantasy stories. I mean, you have your orphan kid attending a magical school taught by an eccentric professor, and...? With so many stories now with variations on that very premise, I'm not sure why I'm supposed to pick yours over all of them. Again, a bit more introduction to establish Orphan's character would be nice. what happened to his parents? Does he miss them? Is he entirely human? Does he have any odd quirks, weird interests, etc.? What is this school, and why is Orphan going to it? Without you answering these sorts of questions, no matter how interesting the system of magic or magical beings are, it's hard for me to care.
I think it might be interesting if Wintermist were not entirely trustworthy. Maybe the Fairies humans interact with, the, as you put it, "little shinging women with beautiful glittering wings" are actually the more malevolent sort, whereas the "pranksters" are relatively harmless. Perhaps the entire purpose of the school is to train the children to kill fairies, and the story is of the transition from innocent children to child soldiers. It could be that Wintermist is himself a fairy, and is just angry at the rest of his kind. There are a lot of directions you could take this, but if your description of fairies is any way to gauge the tone you're going for, then you should probably start dropping hints as soon as we encounter the school that it may not be entirely safe. The only way I'd find the descriptions of the fairies intimidating was if the school itself felt intimidating, which it isn't.
If you intend for the school to be a sort of safe place, then maybe hold off on the exposition about the fairies until later, preferably in a more private setting. The way you're doing it, it almost feels like something I'm being told by a teacher in a classroom, which, if you want me to be the least bit scared of the more malevolent fairies, is a bad thing. It's like having a teacher present to you in class about AIDS, you're not thinking "Oh my god, STDs are really scary!", you're thinking "Yeah. HIV. Bad. Can we go to lunch now?" which I don't think is what you're going for with your fairies.
 

gerkintrigg

Senior Member
Thanks for the feedback Stephanie. yes, this is one of the later chapters.

Orphan was plucked from an orphanage by two people who smell of apples and transported to a magical land by travelling through a mirror. it's hard to explain all that before every post, but your feedback is valuable and i shall try to make the school more threatening.

Wintermist isn't a fairy, he's a wizard, but yes, he does have a grudge.

Tinkerbell fairies are grumpy, but otherwise usually fairly harmless, but not all of them look like that and many are a LOT worse.
 

Nemesis

The Black Goat
WF Veterans
the very first segment made me laugh, I liked the dialog. I'd recommend watching your use of names multiple times in one paragraph though. It sounds strange if you use the characters name in one sentence after another.
 

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