Chapter 34: Sky

Time was different for humans, fleeting as it was, but it passed for me all the same. How long had it been since my world had been upended? Nearly a decade now, I thought.

I no longer lived among the fae; I lived with my sister in paradise, or as close to paradise as humans could achieve.

My sister had her own reasons for coming here. As ever, they involved the Sun King. I had reasons of my own as well: this was a place devoid of memories, either mine or Lyanna’s. A place where the sun was always shining, or so the humans said, where shadows couldn’t reach.

When I let my gaze wander, I saw only the lovely landscape, albeit slightly marred by the desires of humans.

My home with Rain was crudely built, a far cry from the elegant architecture that had surrounded me in my youth, but the surrounding beauty more than made up for it. The islands were alive with birdsong, forever in bloom.

I waited for my sister at the door, as I always did when she was away too long. The sky was still bright, but the sun would set even here, islands swallowed whole by shadow.

My sister was strong, equipped with all the power and fury of a hurricane. And yet, every time she left, tendrils of dread wrapped around my heart and squeezed mercilessly.

A shadow monster couldn’t cross oceans, not like we could, I reminded myself. He couldn’t find me here. Couldn’t kill me or torment me or anything else. Only in my thoughts…

During these times alone, with my sister doing whatever she did off by herself, I tried to keep busy as best as I could.

I…hadn’t painted much as of late, though not for want of inspiration.

It wasn’t so difficult, I thought, to push one’s worries aside when surrounded by such splendor…

And humans had a strange realm of their own called the “world wide web,” a place with horrors and fascinating discoveries in equal measure.

It was there I discovered some of the meanings humans attributed to bluebells in the so-called language of flowers: humility and everlasting love, with humans once believing that they could be rung like bells to call fairies.

I was grateful I hadn’t seen any growing here.

The shadow monster hadn’t brought me bluebells since I’d fled with my sister years ago. Perhaps he’d forgotten about me. If only I could do the same…

I left the computer and wandered downstairs, where I discovered a message in a bottle with the rest of our mail. Lyra was coming to Sulani to visit; her grandfather and his husband had retired here, and she planned to visit him as well.

Lyra. It had been far too long since I’d seen my friend. I hoped her health had improved.

Where was my sister? If she stayed out too much longer, the sun would surely set.

Had she forgotten me? I knew she didn’t worry for me as I worried for her…

But the moment I heard my sister’s cheerful whistling, I rushed out the front door and jumped down the steps, throwing my arms around her. “You’re safe!”

Rain laughed. “I wasn’t gone that long, sis.”

“You didn’t see any shadows? Only sunshine and clear blue water?”

“No Sun King either,” she said glumly, “but I know the bastard’s here. No place can be this sunny all the time.”

“I hope it stays like this forever. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the sun never set?”

Rain gently extracted herself from my embrace. “Can’t have day without night. Hey.” She looked at me carefully. “Have you been outside at all today?”

“…A little.” It wasn’t a lie, not quite–I hadn’t wandered more than a few paces from our house, but I’d still felt the breeze against my skin and breathed in the scent of fresh flowers. “But I don’t want to go anywhere without you, Rain.”

“You should go somewhere sometime–maybe the beach,” my sister said. “On your own. It’ll make you feel better.”

“I feel fine.” That wasn’t a lie, not when the sun was high in the sky and my twin was at my side.

“Fine isn’t good enough. Not for most people.” Most humans, she meant. There was a time when I’d known nothing but unadulterated joy…now, it felt like little more than a fading dream. “Come on, we can go for a run. Part of my training.”

My sister had assimilated quite well among the humans, dressing and acting like one, even if she was no such thing. I was grateful that the houses closest to us lay empty for most of the year, only filling up during the cooler months. Humans were too curious, too friendly, too talkative.

I only wished to be left in peace and paint scenes from fairy tales–the ones after the prince discovered the princess trapped in a tower and slew the beast so she might return to his beautiful castle, all her worries forgotten.

My sister was strong and fearless, but she wasn’t a prince. I was a princess, though, wasn’t I?

In the end, my sister’s “run” had been little more of a diversion to take me shopping. She knew I didn’t like to leave the house for long, if I ever left it at all, instead leaving all of the shopping to her.

I was grateful she took me to the closest place that sold food–a “tourist trap,” as the humans called it, and quite expensive.

But it wasn’t close enough. By the time we returned home, night had fallen. The shadows returned, and I despaired.

“It’s okay, Sky,” my sister murmured. “I’m here. Let’s go inside. I won’t let anybody hurt you.”

“Why?” I cried out, a question with no answer. Why had my soul once belonged to another? Why had a monster chased me from my home? Why couldn’t I return to a simpler time–to my innocence?

Rain gently guided me inside. “Let’s watch a movie,” she decided. Humans were masters of finding new ways to distract themselves, and movies numbered among those distractions. Rain was always careful to choose ones with happy endings, without any of the violence and gore that some humans developed a taste for.

As long as my sister was with me, I could survive. I could.

But the shadows were always waiting. I could only hope a prince found me before those shadows consumed me…

13 thoughts on “Chapter 34: Sky

  1. Are they… are they… YOUNG ADULTS?!

    Wow, Sky, cheer up! You’re kind of a sad banana, aren’t you? 😬

    So she’s hiding from Shadorlando.
    N Rain is hunting for the Sun King (duh, as always).

    Well, I’m glad they’re out in the world, putting themselves out there where adventures can happen 😁

    And aww, sisterly togetherness 😩
    That always gets me right in the feels!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are indeed YAs! 😱 Tiiime skiiip~

      Sky’s def a sad, scared banana now. 😔 Shadorlando could be anywhere! And ofc Rain is hunting for the Sun King. 😉

      I never have enough sisters in Fangs–but at least these two are really close now. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor Sky… she used to be so vibrant and happy 😦 And now she’s developed a codependency on her sister… oh dear 😭 I’m glad Rain seems to take good care of her (when she’s not busy on the all-important Sun King quest, of course 😛 ) but I hope she can learn to be strong and independent eventually!

    She needs to find peace within herself… which might mean letting herself get more in touch with Lyanna again, and confronting her dreaded “shadow monster” at last. Even just talking to him — or, letting a little bit of “Lyanna” speak to him. Some kind of closure would probably be healing for all souls involved here!

    The life she’s living right now feels so cold and empty, even in such a beautiful and sunny place. 😭

    (PS: Awwww I hope my wrinkly boy Ham is loving sunny life with his sunny hubby!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Sky has changed a lot–and not for the better. Her closeness to Rain comes at a price. 😬 But there’s still time to change and grow…

      Running away from her fears probably wasn’t the best idea. She’s built Orlando up to be something he’s not–and avoided any bit of Lyanna inside her.

      You can bet Ham and Caspian are very happy in Sulani. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel so bad for Sky. She’s slowly slipping into a depression or maybe she already has. 😢I guess she already has and Rain is trying her best to help her. She ran. But couldn’t get the fear to go away. And will Rain ever find the Sun King and who is her Sun King? Hmmm.

    I’m excited to see what adventures lay ahead when Lyra comes to visit. I bet she’s gorgeous! But … she could be even more sickly now. Maybe she’ll seek out The Handsome Dead Fish Doctor again. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, she’s already dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety. 😢 Sky could run from what she believes is the cause of her fears, but the source is inside her.

      Yeah, it’s hard to predict whether Lyra will be better or worse off than she was when we last saw her! Though I guess you could say that about a lot of these former teens… 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a feeling all of these young adults will be in not so good places. All of their young experiences have been challenging. With love being ripped away and wrong decisions being made all around.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Honey…a prince never solved a thing in the history of princesses. You need to solve this yourself!

    But how? She’s miserable and I get the feeling she’s creating her own prison out of fear. There’s not much Rain can do at this point. The girl needs professional help. Where’s Dr. Puck when you need him??? Because Sky is at a mental breakdown, not acting at all well. And what happens when Rain finds the Sun King, wars with him, falls in love and goes away to have babies?

    This isn’t looking too good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true! And Rain is being as supportive as a sister can be, but she can’t replace the help Sky really needs. Therapy helped Lani deal with her problems, but maybe they’ve all been among the fae too long to recognize that Sky needs a lot of help too…

      Sky is definitely trapped in the prison of her own mind right now, but hopefully she’ll be able to break out–without a prince, because that bit of escapism isn’t doing her any favors.

      Liked by 1 person

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