I never believed in fairies, until I met the Prince of the Fey at mini golf.
I never believed fairies were real. Not even when I was young.
But that didn’t stop me from meeting the Prince of the Fay at the local miniature golf course this summer.
“I’m not the Prince. I’m a prince.”
“What? But I thought you said–”
“There are different courts in the Fey. I’m part of just one.”
“Oh.” I take another lick of my strawberry ice cream.
“Is it confusing?” He smiles at me, pointed ears twitching.
Chills go down my spine.
“No. Just . . . something new.”
There is silence between us as he gathers colorful golf balls, abandoned put-put clubs, and the occasional candy bar wrapper. I watch as he grips a couple of the clubs, the metal in contact with his skin. We swing by the rental building. He puts up the objects and throws out the trash. I catch a glimpse of his hands. They are as perfect as ever.
“What is it?”
I jump, guilt smacking me in the face.
He chuckles, “You are a weird one.”
“No. I was just . . .”
We set off again, roaming the courses as parents chase their kids around.
“How come you don’t burn when you touch iron? Isn’t that a thing with fairies?”
He chuckles again, the sound of bells in my ears. “You’re very straightforward, aren’t you?”
I look away.
“We do get burned when we touch iron. Even to the point, our flesh can melt off.”
The thought of melting flesh, especially magical flesh, turns my stomach. I throw away the last bit of my ice cream in a nearby trash can.
“But why touch those put-puts?”
“I can because of this–” he gestures to the marble hanging on a string around his neck.
“So, marbles are able to save you?”
Another chuckle. “No. It’s enchanted right now. So no one will expect it. Just looks like a cruddy arts and crafts project in this form.”
“Trying to be hipster, then?”
“So if it’s under an enchantment, then what does it look like?”
“You really want to know?”
His grin widens like a barracuda’s. It unnerves me.
I didn’t believe his story of being a part of the Faye when he showed me his ears. Just another cosplayer, I thought. But it was only when he revealed his powers to me on the sidewalk that I became convinced. Those wildflowers by my house always remind me that he is something different.
I shake my head. “I don’t think–”
“Come on!” He grabs my wrist and starts for the back of the golf course.
“Don’t worry! I’m not going to do anything!”
We head out the employee’s entrance and through the small parking lot. Once we hit the border of trees, he runs, forcing me to keep up with him.
My lungs burn.
I breath shortens.
I’m amazed that I’m not falling over every broken limb or raised root.
But that wears off as we come to a halt. I heave as I try to take in my surroundings. It’s a small opening among the trees. Nothing too big. I look up at him. He isn’t even breathing hard . . .
Why doesn’t he have to catch his breath after that marathon?!
His smile is more serene, though, as he cups his marble in his hands. “I’ll show you something not many humans get to see.”
A bright green light flashes from his hands, blinding me completely. And it stops.
In place of the marble and cord, hangs an intricate silver necklace, with loops and swirls decorated by tiny silver jewels that lead down to a huge emerald shard.
I can’t look away.
“This is what you humans used to call a philosopher’s stone. In reality, it’s a piece of the Eye of the Fey.”
“E-eye of the Fey?”
“Yes. When all pieces are gathered, it can create a perfect talisman. What it’s capable of is unknown, though, since it hasn’t been together for thousands of years. But to make sure it never is, the different courts hold different pieces. I hold what I like to call the Piece of Tuiscint.”
“W-what?” I shake my head, trying my best to not stare at it.
He kisses it, returning it back to a marble.
“If you stare at it for too long, I suppose you’d become my slave.”
He waves me off. “Not that I’d ever do that. At least not on purpose.”
And I start to question why I even hang out with him.
I huff and turn back from where we came. “Let’s just get back before you get in trouble–”
He pushes me to the ground.
“Hush!” He whispers.
He’s motionless. I follow his stare to a nearby tree. A steel arrow is embedded into a tree, slowly melting its trunk away.
“What the . . .”
I stumble up just before the Prince grabs my wrist and starts running back to the golf course.
Trees blur past.
Leaves smack my face.
He’s tearing my arm off!
I trip over rocks.
A buzzing sound grows behind us.
I try to look behind but stumble into a hole.
I fall forward.
He spins around, pulling me into his arms.
We hit the ground with a thud.
My head whips around.
A bug-like creature hisses at us. Drool dripping down sharp fangs, hitting the ground with a sizzle. A sleek, black armor shoots between us.
“Now it’s mine–”
I scream as green goo falls on my hand and burns my skin.
The creature is thrown to the side, falling to the ground before melting away.
My head whips back around to see a tall figure. Armor, which looks like hardened leaves molded together, shimmers in the sun.
“What . . .”
She offers a silver hand. I take it without thinking.
She pulls me up. The prince springs to his feet.
“Sir Ren,” she says, her voice sharp. “What have I told you about showing the Tuiscint in the human world?”
“Hmm. . .” He taps his chin lightly. “Not to?”
“Exactly. If your father heard about this, he would–”
“He would flip. I know. I know. But I had nothing to worry about.”
“That hunter would have stolen it if I wasn’t here.”
“You see.” He grins. “You always keep me safe.”
She sighs. “You should have stayed at home.”
“Uh . . . E-excuse me?” I look from the prince to the woman and back again. “Wh-what just happened?”
He chuckles. “Just an attack.”
The woman stares at me, sapphire eyes piercing through me.
I try to inch away, but she pulls me closer. She presses my hand between her own. Butterflies flutter in my stomach as blue light shines between her fingers.
It dies down and she lets my hand go. There is no more pain and no sign of a scar.
She jumps and disappears into the trees.
“Uh . . .”
The prince’s arms wrap around my shoulders. “I’m so glad you were finally able to meet my bodyguard! She never comes out unless it’s to scold me.”
I just blink, turning back to the golf course.
I walk away, the prince following right behind me.
“Don’t you want to know about her?”
I shake my head, trying to ignore the headache that is forming.
They’re just too weird for me.
© E.N. Chaffin 2017. All rights reserved. Any reproduction without author permission is against the copyright laws of the United States of America.