Chapter 2

 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 from my grandmother, the legs wobble and I sigh heavily, worried about her deteriorating health. Her purple eyes had lost most of their light over the years. When I was a child, they used to burn brightly, almost glowing. 

Now, they look dull and lifeless, almost hollow. Yet also knowing and wise, as she had seen a lot over the years. I knew her memories haunted her like a bad dream. We hide our eyes mostly, hoping to blend in with the humans that survived the wars. Better to be human then hunted down and killed like they did with the Witches.

Her once shiny black hair turned white as snow, hanging to her hips. My grandmother used to be the strongest person I knew, but years of hardship had taken its toll on her. She was now frail, barely able to walk without support, her muscles shrinking to shadows of their former selves, leaving her looking like a skeleton with skin.

“What are you thinking, my child?” she asks, her eyes softening as she looks at me.

“Nothing grandma, but I will go get something for that cough. It has lasted too long,” I say worriedly. I can’t afford to lose her too. She was all I had left in this world. My grandmother shook her head, but I stood up, not taking no for an answer. 

“Elora, we can’t afford medicine, dear. I will be okay,” she tries to reassure me. She is right, we can’t afford medicine, but I know I can find a way. I always do. Grandma must have known what I was thinking as she tries to stand up but sat down quickly, her coughing taking her breath away as her body heaved with each breath.

“You can’t, it was your mother’s,” she says, before coughing again. I rub her back, trying to help before grabbing a glass of water and handing it to her. She sips slowly, trying to catch her breath.

“Here take this,” she said, pulling her wedding band from her withered old finger, it slipped off easily, much too big for her frail finger. The ring was one of her most prized possessions, with intricate vines wrapping around the band. 

“I won’t allow you to sell any more of your mother’s things for me.” I hold the gold band in my hand. It was another family heirloom that was given to her by her late husband, my pop. Passed down from his mother. I close my hand before dropping it into the pocket of my jeans. 

“I will be as quick as possible, grandma. Try and stay warm,” I tell her, trying to put her mind at ease.

I grab my coat, throwing it on as I walk outside. The snow is sinking into my holey shoes, making my toes go numb. Winters were always unforgiving, and this winter felt extra cold. We lived in the city in an old abandoned shack. It isn’t much, but it at least keeps us dry and away from the elements. I say shack because it certainly isn’t a house. One side had collapsed in on itself after a storm, making only half the place liveable. On the bright side, it has running water and a working toilet, so it is better than the last place we lived.

We wanted to leave the city, but the Dragon lords refused to let anyone leave. Guards are stationed at every checkpoint, and in our opinion, it wasn’t worth the risk. The Dragon Kings had killed off the last two elders when they tried to escape and she was the closest one to the castle, forcing us to live in rundown abandoned houses. We have been lucky enough to go unnoticed for as long as we have. 

They don’t know of my existence yet, and I prayed it stayed that way. But being a Fae in the city was hard. I struggled finding work because I couldn’t remain in one place for too long; anyone looking too hard would be able to tell I was Fae. My grandmother, who was unable to use magic to disguise herself, could not work either. 

So, my options were scavenging and bartering or being forced to steal. I hated being forced to steal from others and I also hated stealing from humans, like the Fae they were helpless and dying out. Humans didn’t have much to begin with, not in this city that was overrun with the homeless. Everyone was forced to live in poverty, unless you were Dragon, Lycan, or Vampire. There weren’t many Lycans in the city. The Dragons tolerated them to a certain degree, but they were by no means friendly with each other. Dragons are territorial creatures and so were Lycan’s making them unsuited to live close to each other.

Walking up the muddy streets, I retrieve my contact lenses and pop them in, instantly turning my eyes to a mud brown. I hate wearing them, my vision was enhanced being Fae, and I could see every line on the thin film irritating my vision. The streets of the city are littered with rubbish and homeless people. It wasn’t even considered strange seeing the dead lying on the roads and paths. Famine is the biggest killer to humans other than the cold. 

The homeless are at high risk, if the elements didn’t kill them first, predators did, and there were plenty in the city, like the vampires, who use humans as their personal juice box. The Lycans that got into the city or were allowed to reside here which was very few, Lycans liked to kill for sport, and they loved the chase. The streets weren’t safe anywhere in the city, the place was overcrowded. Many creatures walked around doing anything they could to survive the next day. 

Growing up, I quickly learned the difference between the various species. Since then, Elves, Angels, and Witches have become extinct. I had never met a single one of them.

Dragons had reptilian eyes and were big, brooding, and muscular. Dragons are the most easily identified. Dragons stood taller than any other supernatural creature in the city, they also had this air around them that told you they were a predator. Their godlike appearances made it blatantly obvious what they are. However, only three Dragons resided in this city. The dragon lords ruled, and the city was their playground and they only allowed us to merely exist here. 

Another strange fact about Dragons was no female dragons had been born since the war, making the Dragon lords angry, fuelling their hate for the Fae. They too were a dying species. Although immortal, most have spent their lives alone or chose to take another male as a mate. I had seen the Dragon lords from afar, but never got close enough to actually meet one and I prayed I never would. There are three lords and rumors circulated through the city that when they couldn’t find their mates, they chose to mate each other, hoping to keep themselves strong enough to rule over the kingdom.

Sometimes people would be forced into the castle, never to be seen again. That was particularly true for any woman to pass through those gates. Dragons were insatiable and impulsive, usually taking a woman before killing her, it didn’t matter what species or status they held, no one survived them once they stepped through those iron gates.

For the most part, everyone looks human apart from their eyes or the color of their skin, Vampires are paler than humans, they looked like creatures of the dead and had blood red eyes and fangs. 

Whereas shifters, like the Dragon Kings appeared human besides their eyes which reminded me of snake eyes. Their skin is said to be harder, thick, and impenetrable. 

Lycans also had similarities with dragons; they could also partially shift even in human form like the dragons could, they didn’t require having to shift completely to suddenly become the monsters they are. I kept my eyes downcast as I walked through the streets. Most people would glance at me and assume I was human.

 It was safest that way; being Fae was dangerous. My DNA would get me killed if discovered. My species is hunted down and dragons are our biggest enemies. Dragons hated Fae for the part we played in the war, so if discovered we would be killed.

Vampires were the easiest to spot with their blood-red eyes and pale skin. Lycans eyes were black like onyx, tall and extremely muscular. They were temperamental creatures like the Dragons. I tried to avoid them at all costs; they were merciless, like the Dragons. Not that many passed through the city, it was no secret they weren’t liked by the Dragons. The Dragons sometimes gave them permission to come into the city to look for potential mates. Dragons had mates; most supernatural creatures had mates.

 Not Fae, though. We got to choose our fate, we didn’t have mates like Dragons and other shifters. No, Fae got to choose who we wanted to be with. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean we couldn’t be fated mates to each other though. Before the world was taken over there were plenty of mixed species, and it wasn’t unheard of back then for another species to claim a Fae was their mate. So I was free to choose who I would love.

Rounding the corner onto the next street, I glance up to see the dirty wooden sign that indicated I had arrived at the pharmacist. The man that worked there was a nice human, and since money was scarce here, he would allow me to barter for what I needed, gold being one the hardest to come by currencies yet also the most valuable. I drop my gaze and start walking, trying to blend into the crowds of people.  Making my way into the derelict store, I remove my hood, letting my black hair cascade down my back like a veil.

Comments (14)
goodnovel comment avatar
Garbo Eda
the rewards is quiet good.
goodnovel comment avatar
Getting repetitive, but hoping it smooths out further into it
goodnovel comment avatar
Like it so far!!

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