When I was a child, my grandma used to tell me stories. At the time, I never gave them much thought. Thinking they were just that… stories. Growing up, I soon realized that they weren’t lofty fantasies and fairy tales, but memories of her past, memories of our ancestors before our world turned to shit. You see, what comes from legend, no matter how exaggerated the story becomes, there is always a sliver of truth. You just need to weed out the fiction from fact.
My grandmother used to tell me stories of the Chosen One. The one who would save us all. When I was younger, I used to believe that what she said was true. That eventually someone would be born, just as the Oracle predicted. Someone who could save our souls and bind us back to our magic. Once I grew up and saw the world unfolding around me, I no longer believed in salvation. The chosen one seemed to be more of a prayer than reality. Some dream we wanted desperately to come true. Something for which we all prayed and prayed. Something in which we needed to find hope when there wasn’t any left.
When our ancestors turned their backs on us, how were we expected to believe in this so-called salvation? Especially when all we witnessed was death and carnage ever since the great war. Nothing except pain and poverty. I used to believe the stories, used to pray for the mysterious chosen one that would rid our world of its evil. Now though, I see it for what it really is, just a dream of hope. Some out of reach fairy-tale. A story to create hope. Hope is dangerous; it makes you believe things will get better. I stopped hanging on to hope when I witnessed firsthand that it caused nothing but heartache.
When the uprising happened twelve years ago, all Fae creatures fought alongside the elves and the angels trying to right the wrongs of our ancestors from the great war, trying to restore the balance back to where it was meant to be. My parents were among those who fought bravely. I was nine at the time. My grandmother hid me in the bunker under our house, promising to watch over me if they didn’t return.
Only when we came back up, the world had changed, and so did my life. My parents were gone. Not a single person who fought in the war survived. No Elves, no Fae, no Angels. Even the humans were mostly wiped out, including the Oracle. Her death was the biggest blow because with it, we lost not only lives, but our magic.
I was part of a dying species. There were hardly any Fae left. A few hid, but we tried our best to keep to the shadows, trying to go unnoticed. I had never met another Fae other than my grandmother, yet I refused to believe we are the only ones left. We were on the bottom of the food chain now, next to humans. Ruled over by the Dragon Kingdom.
The Dragon Kingdom was different from any before it, and those that ruled were merciless and cruel. No one was allowed in or out without their say so. I have never left the city, forced to hide amongst those that live here, hoping that we remain unnoticed. Because being Fae was a death sentence. If caught and discovered, you prayed your death was quick and not the torturous death that so many were forced to suffer in the uprising.
At the top of the food chain were the Dragons, then the Lycans and Vampires. We used to be next before the Elves and the Pixies, then the Mermaids. Right at the bottom were humans. Now we were right beside them, the scavengers of the world, taking what was left after the rest discarded what they didn’t want. Fae without magic might as well have been human. We look like humans except our eyes, each unique to our bloodline. Mine were the color of amethyst, like my mother’s bloodline. My bloodline was all but eradicated. We used to be among one of the largest Fae families, helping to rule among our kind. My bloodline was royalty, now gone, just like our ancestors, leaving only me and my grandmother.
My grandmother said our bloodline used to be among the royal Fae, that our ancestors achieved great things. Now I was the last one of our bloodline and possibly the second last Fae. Once I go, that’s it. The survival of my bloodline rests entirely upon my shoulders. Yep, the future didn’t look great for my family, soon to be snuffed out of existence.
My twenty-first birthday was coming up. I had been dreading this day for as long as I could remember, the day when they would hunt me down and drag me to the castle. There weren’t many job opportunities for Fae, just like the humans. Fae were now nothing but a distant memory people refuse to believe existed, so we disguise ourselves by blending in with the humans. Most humans were sold into the sex trade or into slavery, unless, of course, you were caught and proven to be Fae.
Then you only earned the right to die painfully for the sins of your ancestors. That is why no Fae exists. That is why my grandmother and I keep to the shadows, blending in with the humans, so we remain unnoticed.
Turning twenty-one was a significant day for Fae creatures. It is the day when our magic is supposed to manifest. No Fae have been found since the uprising, at least not that I know of. It’s believed when we lost the war, then the Oracle it angered the fates, and they shunned the Fae stripping us of our magic. The ancestors turned their backs on all of us. My grandmother told me it was to try to stop the extinction of our kind, yet I believe they just gave up on all of us.
Confined to the shadows, while a hopeless existence, was probably for the best. Remaining powerless meant that our true abilities could not be yielded by the evil forces that now plagued our world.
These days, the Dragons and Vampires summon all humans on their birthday. Humans would line up and stand before the rulers, who would ultimately decide their fate. If you showed any magical ability, they killed you instantly, whether or not you were Fae. And if they were unsure? Well, you would die anyway. My grandmother said it went against everything she believed in. That magic was sacred and meant to be something celebrated, not condemned to death for having.
In one week, they would summon me. My grandmother and I have remained hidden in the hopes I go unnoticed. My grandmother refused, point blank, to let them find me. She could not imagine me being sold off to the highest bidder. Yet, deep down, I knew she was powerless to stop them. Sure, she had power, the only Fae on earth with ancient magic still flowing through her veins. The magic that had kept us alive. Yet her magic was slowly dwindling. It would eventually die out. Then, we would truly face our demise.
My grandmother coughs as she comes up behind me, pulling me from my thoughts. I was lost in thought, reliving the stories of my childhood and the tragic events that unfolded in the years between. She grabs my hand, making me look at her. Her pale face holds a knowing look, like she knew what I was thinking. I never doubted her ability to read people. She often knew me better than I knew myself. I dry my hands on the towel before letting her drag me to the broken table that sat in this tiny rundown kitchen, the place is falling apart, the paint peeling on the walls, the benches made of chipboard were flaking and crumbling, the place falling apart, none of the appliances worked but the fridge, not that it had much in it. Even the roof was sloping inward from the water damage caused by the last storm. Rundown was an understatement, this house was condemned and abandoned a long time before we stumbled across it, in a search of somewhere semi-dry to sleep. Sitting in the chair across fr
Victor, the store owner, looks up. A smile plays on his lips when he sees me. He always liked my grandmother. They used to be friends before everything went to shit. “Elora dear, how is your grandmother?” he asks. Victor appeared concerned at seeing me this late in the day, he knew I had to try and be home before dark. That’s when the night creatures like the vamps would come out to hunt down their victims. It was never safe to be on the street after dark, easy picking for the more malevolent creatures. “Not good, Victor. The cough hasn’t gone away. She is getting worse,” I tell him, retrieving my grandmother’s wedding band from my pocket. I drop it on the counter, shooting him a knowing look. He snatches it, placing it in his pocket, and nods his head before ducking out the back and bringing back a bottle of liquid. Victor knows what my grandmother is, yet he never mentions it, knowing it is a death sentence if anyone heard him speak of the Fae. “Give her this three times a day
“Grandma, get up, we need to leave. They are going door to door,” I whisper, slipping my holey boots on my feet and quickly doing the laces. I pull my hair into a ponytail, so it doesn’t get in my face. Slipping my contacts in, I hear more screams coming from outside and people fighting. “Come on, grandma get up,” I tell her, pulling on her arm. She shakes her head before pulling a small knife from the coffee table drawer into her lap. She looks up at me with a sad look on her face. “Run, Elora. I won’t allow them to know. I will only slow you down. You need to leave without me,” she whispers. I looked at her, panicked. What is she talking about? “No grandma, come on. We need to leave now,” I tell her, trying to get her to her feet. She shakes me off and shakes her head. “I promised to keep you safe. I can’t if you don’t go now.” “What are you talking about, grandma? Promised who?” “Remember the stories, Elora. You need to remember the stories. Now run.” “No, I am not leaving wi
Another voice echoes through the night. “Enough,” bellows the dragon lord who stood watching over the crowd of women, but he yelled the word too late. I flinch when I hear the swish of the whip before its crack, bracing myself for the impact. Only it doesn’t come. I hear the whip cutting through flesh, yet it isn’t mine. I take a chance and look up when I hear a collective gasp from the crowd. Lifting my eyes slightly, I find the dragon lord standing beside me and can see his muscular arm outstretched beside me. The whip is wrapped tightly around his arm. He wraps his hand around the whip, yanking the man holding it towards him. The man stumbles, falling at his feet, his terrified eyes peering up at us. “I’m sorry, my lord. I didn’t hear you,” he sputters out. I hear a predator’s growl rumbling deep within the dragon lord's chest before I see his foot come down on the vampire's head. Blood sprays out as his head is crushed into the ground. I fight the urge to throw up, seeing his b
“I said strip,” he repeats, raising an eyebrow at me, daring me to disobey. I struggle to remove my shirt, trying to cover my bare chest by turning away from him. The girl beside me starts to remove her clothes as well. “Not you, child. I don’t want to see you naked; you’re only here to make sure she obeys orders,” he says, making me relieved as she pulls her dress strap back up. I remove my pants, leaving me only in my panties. Using my hands, I cover my breasts before turning around to face them. The Lycan man steps forward, he licks his lips approvingly making me flinch. “Remove them,” he says looking down at my panties. “Please,” I beg, not wanting to remove them. “Remove them or I kill the child,” he says tauntingly. I look at the little girl who darted behind me at his words. I feel my cheeks burn with embarrassment. This was so degrading and humiliating. I pull my panties down before placing one hand over my breasts and the other trying to cover my lady parts. Both men
Dropping my gaze to the floor. My long black hair falling to my sides creating a veil. I see his boots come into my line of vision. He then kneels in front of me and grips my chin, bringing my gaze to meet his own. “Why aren’t you sleeping on the bed?” he asks curiously. I look at Lilith, who is still asleep, and I don’t know when we fell asleep, but we were both warm in front of the fire and the rug was comfier than any makeshift bed I had slept on. “We fell asleep,” I tell him. I watch as he cocked his head to the side examining my face carefully before he lets go of my chin. I see Dragus walk in behind him carrying a tray with what smells like chicken soup. He sets the tray on the desk. “Get on the bed,” Dragus says, making me glance at him. I feel sick suddenly, my blood running cold at his words. He seems to notice what he said before putting his hands up in mock surrender. “Not in that way, take the girl with you,” he says, looking down at Lilith laying on the floor. I pl
The next morning, I was awakened by someone opening the door. A woman stands in the doorway. She looks to be around my age, but her skin is chafed like she spent a lot of time outdoors in the cold. Her blue eyes look at mine with curiosity before turning away. “I’m Abigail, follow me please,” she says, looking at me before noticing Lilith who is also awake and alert to the newcomer. We quickly sit up and walk to the door. Peering out the door I notice Abigail was waiting at the end of the hall. She waves us to follow, which we do obligingly. She walks us to a large kitchen area where people are busy preparing food and cleaning dishes. One thing I noticed was all their slaves are human or at least appear to be. The room is huge and modern looking, different from the rest of the castle’s traditional look. It has stainless steel appliances and black marble bench tops, a huge island bench sat in the middle with three women standing around it chopping different fruit and vegetables. T
I take the basket back to the cleaning closet and walk fast to the kitchen, only to notice Lilith is no longer there. Walking over to the woman with red hair and freckles I ask her. “The little girl that was with me. Where did she go?” “The guards came and took her; her mother has been looking for her,” she tells me. I nod, feeling a little sad, but relieved knowing she is safer out there than in here with these monsters. I exit the kitchen and head to the small room where I slept last night. Walking in, I see a small, dark object sitting atop the bed. It is the book I was looking at earlier in the library. Matitus’s deep voice behind me makes me jump. “If you want to read that you should also read this,” he says, holding another book out toward me as he steps in the room. I take the book from him and look at it. It’s a book on Dragons and mates. I look up at him. “Read them. I know Fae have their own stories of the past, but what if they aren’t correct? What if your ancestors lie