Ch. 28 - Feelings

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It was a pleasant summer evening in the land of Faery, gentle warmth exuded from her stone seat, a breeze dried the sweat of the farm from her forehead. But Rhianna felt frozen inside. How did things get to this point?

Rhianna's entire goal in life had been to fly below the radar, not get noticed, not be at the center of anything. And now Teasel was sitting cross-legged before her explaining how an entire world was counting on her.

"But I thought this was Faery?" Raisen was saying.

Rhianna shook off the static in her head and tried to recall the conversation back to the point at which her thoughts had buzzed away.

"It is Faery and it isn't. This is a sliver of Faery that was tied to the stone." Teasel swept a heavy lock of hair from his eyes. "It still encompasses all the land of Faery, but not all the dimensions or all the denizens. If you found an entrance to Old Faery, you would find all the same land, but different...with a different citizenry. It's difficult to explain. The stone has splintered us, ensorcrelled us, entombed us."

"That sound's very sad and all, but how is Rhianna the key to your tomb?" Gretch said, sitting with one of her folded knees sticking out just slighting in between Rhianna and Teasel.

"It all started with her. The stone, the splinter. When her mother stole her from Faery." Teasel leaning closer to Rhianna. "None of us know anything about the stone. It's Faery magic and yet it isn't. It was not there, and then it was. A magical wall was thrust up around us and the stone is the foundation of that wall."

"You aren't talking any sense. How could my mother steal me from Faery?" Rhianna said. Kasubia had said something about this earlier too.

Teasel sighed and settled back. "Your family is descended from an order of Dryads, a union between human and The People—fairies as you call us. It was an alliance to give strength to both worlds. Our numbers were dwindling and humans had much to learn about the spark of magic which nurtures the land. For every birth in your family since the pact, a twin soul was born in Faery, the souls are bonded and share the same spark of life. So we add new blood to Faery, and magic is born that feeds the human lands.

"It has been this way for longer than I have existed. A vestige of old magic—even by my people's standards."

"So I have a twin sister somewhere here in Faery?" Rhianna felt an overwhelming desire to turn look behind her as if searching for her own shadow.

Raisen gawped at Rhianna and then Teasel, Jenny seemed speechless, and even Gretch had lost some the edge to her suspicion. The leaves whispered secrets above and everyone leaned closer to Teasel waiting for him to speak again.

"No," he said. "There were two of you—sisters is I suppose the closest human equivalent, we call them Fetch. One in Faery and one in the human world. Rhianna, your sister died." Teasel spoke the words with deep regret and a fleck of guilt that seemed to catch in his eyes, making him blink several times in quick succession.

Rhianna didn't know how she was supposed to feel. She felt empty, like a glass awaiting a beverage she had not decided on yet. She turned to Gretch, searching her friends face. Gretch would know what to feel if she were in Rhianna's shoes. She was always so sure of herself.

But Gretch only looked sympathetic, like any good friend would be at hearing such a thing. That didn't help Rhianna at all.

There was something wrong with Rhianna, there always had been. She tried to deny it, tried to imagine that she felt some deep sad void in the pit of her stomach. And she could imagine it very clearly. She had seen sadness in others, she had felt it with them, but she just didn't feel her own.

"Are you ok?" asked Jenny.

"I'm fine." The words came out automatically. She withdrew from Jenny's outstretched hand.

"So my fairy Fetch died because my mother took her?" Should she feel angry at her mother?

"No," Teasel said. "Your human Fetch died and your mother could not bear it."

Everything clicked.

"I was born here? I am the fairy Fetch?"

Teasel nodded. "Your mother ripped you from Faery and when she did something broke. When the winds of chaos settled we encountered bindings in our world as we never had before. We realized new limitations, and a vast emptiness of dimension.

"Kin were lost or trapped in the human world. And that was when we found the stone. Something that had never existed before, but now existed in both worlds like a wedge driven between."

"What are we waiting for, there were some heavy looking hammers in the barn. Rhianna you can smash that stone to bits." Raisen jumped to her feet and Jenny got up after her, brushing the moss from the backside of her pants.

"It is not that simple." Teasel shifted to his knees. "It will take magic. A lot of magic."

"Like the mask." Gretch said, not quite a question, more a reluctant whisper.

"Now you see why this mask is a stroke of luck. Rhianna is just a Fetch. She has only a sliver of the magic of Faery, she is closer to the power of a talented human witch than one of The People. As herself she could never do it. But as a master of the Mask of Grimina..."

"But you don't know that for sure. You are just guessing. Meanwhile, she will risk Grimina's fate." Gretch jumped up, planting her feet apart on the stone and towering over Teasel. "You can't make her decisions for her!"

Everyone seemed to be standing now, so Rhianna got up too. Teasel stayed where he was.

She still didn't know how to feel.

A/N: I know I know. It's not enough. It's never enough. But it's all I can manage right not. I'm woefully behind on my NaNoWriMo words. I hope you liked learning some of the secrets of Rhianna's Faery past.

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