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Ch. 16 - Demonsprite

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Rhianna hung back while her friends danced with the troupe of fairies. Something tugged at her memory. Had her mother once warned her not to dance with fairies?

The tiny sound of electronica from Gretche's phone expanded until it seemed like there were giant speakers hiding among the trees all around the clearing's edge. She wondered for a moment if she was dreaming. Or lost in own imagination.

She remembered times when mom had laughed nervously and accused Rhianna of having a wild imagination. Suddenly she knew that Kasubia was not the first bizarre thing to happen to her. But until now nobody else had seen.

This time she wasn't alone. Her friends could not only see the fairies but were laughing and dancing with them.

The fairies didn't look different from regular kids except for their clothes. Teasel wore green and brown rags that wrapped around him like climbing ivy. The dancing fairies wore more elegant creations each distinct in color, some blue, some black, some red, some yellow, and other colors.

As the black dancers came close, it seemed like their garments were woven with feathers, black gemstones and thorns. The gems winked in the moonlight catching her gaze and the other dancers seemed to fade. Some of the black garbed dancers wore masks and one of them seemed to be at the center of the rest.

He danced with an energy and skill that outshone the others. His golden brown hair tossed about, matching the wildness of his steps.

"I bet I can steal the moon from the sky," said one of the blue fairies, bringing the rest of the dancers back into focus for Rhianna. The blue fairy smoothed the feathers in her hair and then out of nowhere she had a bow and arrow in her hands.

Without missing a step of her dance she drew back and, right at the moment she was leaping the fire between the two stones, she loosed her arrow. Her shot sailed high into the sky and disappeared into the bright silver of the moon. But the moon stayed where it was.

The other dancers began taking turns, each different color proclaiming that they would be the ones to bring down the moon. At each shot, Rhianna wonders if they will really do it. The moon looms so big, it's almost like she could touch it if she stood on her toes.

A far away whinny reached her ears, barely loud enough to be heard above the thumping sound of fairy enhanced electronica. Rhianna wondered for a moment if Kasubia had gotten out and followed them, but then the black masked dancer with the golden hair came tossed aside his bow and with a swaying movement back and forth, still to the beat of the music, his hands began to pull on an imaginary rope.

One by one his hands grasped in front of the other and pulled back, as though he were hauling in a giant fish at the end of his line, and the moon began to grow larger.

It loomed in her vision, and soon she could see nothing but the moon. The sounds of whinnies died away, even the sound of music except for a throbbing heartbeat, as though the moon were a living thing.

Then she felt a tap at her elbow. Teasel was there.

Rhianna blinked.

The dancers continued to whirl and jump around their fire. The moon was back in the sky, but it had swung all the way toward the tree tops on the western side of the clearing.

Rhianna was startled. How much time had passed? Was it almost morning? Was it even the same day?

She called to her friends but they were still dancing.

She went to the phone, its beat resounding through the flat stone it rested on. Rhianna could see now that it wasn't any rock, it was a toppled over standing stone.

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