Meridiah loves her life as a fairy—until she meets Morgean and discovers she could have so much more.
Meridiah flew from flower to flower, collecting their precious nectar. It was sticky and sweet and there was so much of it. Lulitha was right; it was going to be a bountiful spring this year. She squinted up at the mountain. Its tallest peak glinted icily in the sun. There, winter never ended. Elsewhere, it was beautiful: bees hummed; baby animals frolicked; fields of waving flowers fluttered in the light breeze; and though the air was still crisp, winter having only just passed, the sun was full and bright. The day was hers for the taking.
She mashed some nectar in her mouth, smacked her lips, then buzzed to the next flower, her translucent, azure wings carving through the air. She was fluttering around the flower’s tall stamen, the nectar glistening wetly in the sunlight, when she looked up at the sound of her name.
Dark against the bright sun, Davensong came flying down. He landed lightly on a petal, his silver hair shining, silver wings glittering. He held out his hand.
She looked over at another voice. ‘Meridiah!’
Then another. ‘Meridiah!’ And another. ‘Meridiah!’ ‘Meridiah!’
Quickly, she was surrounded. The flower swayed and tilted beneath so much weight. They were all looking at her hungrily, holding out their hands: silver, red, yellow, gold, green, a rainbow of colourful hair and wings, each male fairy as beautiful as the next. It was spring after all—mating season, where all the males sowed their seed wherever and in whomever they could. Meridiah grinned. It was her third year since she had first bled, and after three babies she still couldn’t get enough of it. The thought of it made her heat up, made her heart swell with excitement. Their eyes raked over her, lingering over her breasts, over her blue thatch, over the way her long blue hair curled around her hips.
‘Catch me if you can!’ she cried, shooting up into the sky.
She glanced over her shoulder. They all flew up as one, leaving a flurry of pollen and petals in their wake. The poor flower’s stem snapped against the force of their thrust. She turned back ahead, eyes narrowed against the light, head hard between her rigid arms, as she shot into the sky. They weren’t going to catch her so easily. She would be with child by the end of spring and that meant two months of a swollen belly, sickness and boredom. At her heaviest she wouldn’t be able to fly for two weeks. Two weeks!
She heard the buzzing of wings all around her. Silver, gold, red and green glinted in the corners of her eyes. They were gaining on her. Yellow wings fluttered ahead—Tristant. She dodged, ducked and escaped his grasp, laughing as his long fingers brushed over her. She arced, then darted towards the ground. Her skin froze and pimpled against the cold air. She skimmed the blades of grass, weaved between flowers and bushes, the males chasing her in a trail.
There was screaming and laughter somewhere up ahead, a flash of purple.
‘Lulitha!’ Meridiah called.
‘Meridiah!’ Lulitha called laughingly back.
Another female, Lulitha had her own trail of males to contend with. The two females flew towards each other, both skilled at the game, azure and lilac blending together as they hooked arms and swung each other around before suddenly letting go, using each other’s momentum to shoot away at high speed in opposite directions.
There were several thuds, shouting and cries of frustration as the two groups of males crashed into one another.
Meridiah sniggered then squealed with laughter as she shot into the air again. The fairy’s life was great: sex, freedom, light and laughter. There was nothing better.
She cartwheeled, tumbled and flipped playfully, then darted to the left at the sound of beating wings—not quick enough. She shrieked and looked back as someone caught her ankle—Zackaree: green wings, green hair, green eyes.
He pulled her against him, her back against his chest. Her wings were trapped, and they ceased their fluttering, hanging limp. He took her weight, holding her tightly as he floated down and landed in the embrace of a soft, pink azalea. Meridiah lay down in its folds, gazing up at him. He lay on top of her.
He nuzzled her neck, and she gasped as he slid inside her. Zackaree plunged without a word, a silent lover. The azalea fluttered and shook beneath them, pollen falling over them in a golden shower. It stuck in their hair. She felt its softness beneath her fingers as she squeezed Zackaree’s thrusting backside. Soon it was a thick blanket on top of them. She gazed vacantly into the blue sky. The other fairies zoomed overhead, male and female alike, as they continued with the chase. Laughter and shrieking echoed around her.
He was gasping now as he plunged fast and hard. Meridiah cried out as Zackaree arched his back and erupted inside her. He smiled at her, then pulled out. His manhood, slick with her juices, shone in the sunlight as he stood. Meridiah felt the flower give a little as he thrust himself upwards and away, his translucent green wings beating through the air. A moment later, he vanished into the distance, after another female.
Meridiah hopped to her feet and took off without delay before the next male could catch her too quickly. She was slower now, fatigued, and it wasn’t long before she was claimed again, this time by Davensong. He wrapped his arms around her, silver hair floating in the breeze, as he dragged her down.
He took her in the bushes. Soft nettles and small hairy leaves brushed against their skin as they moved as one. The bush shuddered around them, sending a willy wagtail chirping angrily into the branches of the tree above. He smoothed his hands over her thighs, her hips, the stretchmarks over her tummy. His silvery hair glittered in her face.
Then he too pulled out of her and flew away. It was the same until sunset. She didn’t count how many males she mated with. There was no point. All she knew was she was sore inside, and so tired she dragged herself through the air, her wings struggling to hold her up.
The sun glared in her eyes as it settled behind the horizon. She needed to hurry. No fairy stayed out after dark. It was dangerous and cold and ugly, a time of shadows and fear, a time when monstrous things lurked, ready to ensnare a wayward fairy and eat it for dinner.
She forced herself into a faster pace.
Morgean watched the orgy from sunrise to sunset, hidden amidst the rocks. He ducked when a male buzzed overhead. Turned his head at the sound of high-pitched laughter. Two females used each other to fling across the sky, escaping their male pursuers—one blue, one purple. He grabbed onto his groin with a grunt. It was spring, and it was his instinct to mate. The need surged through his veins, fogged his mind, made his heart pound, but unlike the other males he couldn’t partake. He was a dark fairy: dark wings, dark hair, dark skin, reviled and despised. Fairies were meant to be bright and beautiful, everything he was not. He had dared to join in the year before only to be attacked by the other males. They had savaged him, beaten him, torn at his wings, until he struggled home, bleeding and injured and barely able to fly. He would not make the same mistake. This time, he had another plan.
He watched the females, waiting patiently until the sun began to set. He would take the weakest, the most weary, the one most unable to fight. As they began to disperse, his gaze centred on the blue one—Meridiah, they called her. She had fallen well behind the others, so tired she couldn’t even fly in a straight line.
He narrowed his eyes. His body tightened. His heart hammered. Mine.
He streaked into the air, kicking up a plume of dust behind him. He glanced around but no other males were nearby. She was unprotected—and his.
She shrieked as he yanked at her ankle. He pulled her against his chest, her eyes wide with fear at the sight of him. She opened her lips, but he slapped a hand against them before she could call for help. She squirmed in his arms but he held her tightly. He could feel her breasts press up against him, feel the heat of her breath against his hand. Her smell sang to him. He moaned in anticipation. He had never even touched a female before, much less held one in his arms.
He drifted down and laid her in the soil. The flowers stood tall above them, swaying slightly in the breeze, their long green stems creaking. He straddled her. Her breasts were full and round and flattened nicely beneath his hands. Her blue nipples grew hard. Her azure hair was spread along the dirt like water. He held her down as he positioned himself.
‘No.’ She squirmed in his grip. ‘Please, no.’
‘Why not? When you’ve had everyone else. What’s so wrong with me?’
‘You’re the darkness.’
Grunting angrily, he prodded his length between her legs, seeking her opening, but stopped when she began to cry. She was even more beautiful when upset; her eyes shone in the light of the sun, her tears glistened as they spilt down her cheeks. She was so lovely and so vulnerable.
He pulled back with a sigh. ‘I’m sorry.’ She stared up at him in surprise, soft blue lips slightly parted. He held out his hand. ‘Come with me.’
‘I’m not going anywhere with you.’
He ran his fingers through his hair irritably. He glanced at the sun and an idea struck. ‘The sun has almost set. You won’t get home in time before darkness descends. Like you said, I am the darkness and can protect you against the darkness.’
She looked at the pink sky, at the blaze of yellow already half beneath the horizon. She paled. Her chin wobbled as more tears threatened to fall, but she sniffed them back. ‘You’ll protect me?’
‘Yes, and I won’t hurt you. I swear.’
‘You’ll let me go home tomorrow?’
He hesitated. ‘Yes.’
She gazed back at the sun, undecided, her face filled with fear and longing.
‘What choice do you have?’ he said. ‘Can you brave the darkness alone?’
She blanched at the thought. He held out his hand again, attempting a kind smile. She looked at him, blue and black eyes meeting. Morgean’s heart leapt as she slipped her hand into his.
This is a bad idea, Meridiah thought to herself. But what else can I do?
She shivered as it grew cold, the darkness closing in quickly.
‘Are you all right?’ the dark fairy called after her as a gust of wind blew her off course. ‘Can you make it?’
‘I’m fine,’ Meridiah huffed, straightening herself.
The sun had set, casting a chilling red glow across the horizon. It spilt along the ground, reflected off the dark fairy’s wings and hair, making him appear more frightening than ever. But he wasn’t as frightening as the monsters in the dark.
They left the fields of flowers and entered the forest where the trees stood thick and tall and gathered the shadows. Just as the last of the light pulled away, the dark fairy descended, landing in front of a pile of rocks. Meridiah followed, hitting the ground a little hard in her tiredness.
‘Home,’ he said, gesturing her over as he crept into a gap.
Meridiah stared at the rocks in disgust. This was no place for a fairy. Fairies lived in tree trunks and flowers, in the nests of friendly birds or the burrows of warm and cuddly animals, not in a place like this where it was dark and cold and hard.
But then she entered and gasped. There was so much light—and blue, dotted all around, like the stars in the night sky she had only heard about in legends.
‘It’s moss that glows,’ he said. ‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’
Meridiah glanced at him and paused. He was no longer black but the brightest blue, bathed in the light of the moss. She felt herself relax.
They lay down together in a bed of soft mushrooms, first side by side, then in each other’s arms as Meridiah grew cold. She had never slept with a male before. Lulitha was her usual sleeping partner. Males only stayed long enough to plant their seed before flying away. Meridiah watched him beneath half-shuttered eyelids as he gazed at the light above. He was so strange. So unexpected. First he stopped the rape, then apologised, and now this. Any other male would have done the opposite.
Her eyelids grew heavy, and she slept.
She woke early the next morning, refreshed and alone. She sat up, went to call for him, before realising she didn’t know his name. Above, the dazzling blue of the moss had dimmed against the sunshine pouring through the entrance. She rose to her feet and followed the light outside.
He was a few steps away, his back towards her as he leant against the rockpile, gazing at the rising sun and the first few early risers already buzzing around. Long black hair flowed down his dark back. His dark wings fluttered, the golden light turning the edges red, like they were on fire. Meridiah caught her breath, having forgotten his darkness after all the blue. He turned at the sound, frowning as she stepped back. Then she caught the look in his eyes, the hurt and fear, and her heart dropped. Her wings drooped.
Pushing her fear aside, she joined him, slipping her hand into his. His gaze softened, the hurt and fear replaced with surprise. ‘I don’t even know your name,’ she said.
‘Meridiah,’ he finished for her, smiling at her startled look, gazing down at her in a way that made her shiver. ‘I know who you are. I’ve watched you enough. Heard the others call your name.’ He frowned again and looked back at the fairies. ‘You going home?’
He turned back to her with the broadest smile. She laughed.
They spent the day together, exploring the forest, steering clear of the fields of flowers where the others flew. The trees weren’t so scary; tall and looming they might be, but their shadows hid no monsters.
She had never travelled so far before, too afraid of the unknown, but with Morgean she felt little fear. They passed over a large pool of water—‘A creek,’ he told her—so clear and still she could see the rocks beneath. The only water she had ever known was that collected in flower petals or the dew on a cold morning or the light sprinkle of rain she could cup in her hand. Heavy rain she had to hide from; it could beat a fairy to death.
‘What’s that?’ she said, pointing at something moving tranquilly on the surface, leaving gentle ripples in its wake.
‘What’s a boat?’ She squinted. ‘And what’s that moving in it?’
Morgean grinned at her, black hair whipped back over his shoulders, dark eyes bright, as he flew alongside her, a flitting shadow over the water. ‘Ever seen a human?’
‘A human?’ She laughed. ‘There’s no such thing.’
‘Isn’t there? Why don’t you see for yourself?’ He took a sharp turn and darted towards the ‘boat’.
Meridiah shot after him.
‘Not possible,’ she whispered as she joined him, hovering over the reeds amidst the dragonflies. There were two humans. And so big. They wore strange things over their skin, odds things over their hair and they had no wings. ‘They’re only legends.’
‘Do you doubt your own eyes?’ he said.
The boat slowed to a drift as the two humans put their heads together.
‘What are they doing?’ she asked.
‘Kissing?’ She pushed aside a reed, watching more closely. ‘Why?’
‘They love each other.’
‘Love.’ She touched her lips. Faeries never did that, not kissing, not loving.
‘They’re interesting—humans. They live a long time, you know. So much longer than us, one hundred years almost. And their babies take years to grow.’
‘One hundred years?’ Fairies only lived six years and were fully grown within one. Her youngest had been living her own life for the past two months. She shook her head in disbelief. ‘How do you know so much about them?’
‘I watch them all the time—and listen. I can understand them well enough now. And they aren’t the only two. There are many more.’ He hovered beside her, wings beating lightly as he watched them. ‘What else am I to do when alone?’
Meridiah frowned. Something softened in her heart. She reached out to touch him.
‘Come on,’ he said and flew away.
By the time they began their journey home, darkness was falling.
‘Hurry up!’ Meridiah called, but he didn’t seem anxious to return, lagging behind, taking his time. She wanted desperately to zoom ahead but didn’t know the way. ‘Hurry up!’ she shrieked as the sun dipped below the horizon.
‘Have no fear,’ Morgean said, suddenly at her side, gently grabbing her arm. ‘You’re with me, remember?’
‘The monsters!’ She yanked out of his grasp, but he pulled her against him, arms wrapped tightly around her, as he guided her to the ground.
‘Trust me,’ he whispered in her ear. ‘The darkness is nothing to fear. The only monsters are in your mind. Look at me. Am I a monster?’
She shook her head, and he gave a gentle laugh as he pressed his mouth against the tears on her cheeks.
A sudden warmth coursed through Meridiah’s veins, peeling away her fear. She pulled back in surprise. ‘You kissed me.’
‘Yes, I did.’
She stared at him. ‘Do it again.’
And this time he kissed her on the lips. Heat flooded her body, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes, and she kissed back. His tongue was warm and wet, his breath hot, his lips soft.
He pulled back, smoothed away the hair from her face as he gazed into her eyes. Meridiah gazed back, unable to look away. Something strange was happening to her; she wanted him, needed him. But there was something more. Something that ignited in her heart and chased away the last of the cold, the last of her fears and doubts. It was the way he was looking at her, the way he was touching her. She had never experienced anything like it. And then she knew—love. It was love.
They made love out in the darkness, out in the open, out where the monsters were supposed to lurk, and dangers abided. But Meridiah didn’t care. She was with Morgean and that was all that mattered.
She laughed as he kissed her all over, on her lips, on her breasts, her navel, between her legs. She cried out as he licked. Then he entered her, and she had never known such pleasure. She craned her neck. Moonlight streamed through the branches, glancing against their skin. The stars sparkled between the leaves.
She wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him in tightly, wanting to be a part of him, wanting him to feel the deepest part of her. He thrust harder, pushed in deeply, and they came together, Morgean with a groan, Meridiah with a gasp.
They clung to each other, still united, waiting until their bodies ceased their throbbing. Morgean stroked her hair, touched her lips, then pulled away with a start when he brushed at a tear on her cheek. ‘Why are you crying? Did I hurt you?’
‘No.’ She wiped away more tears. ‘It’s just—’ her lip trembled; her throat swelled ‘—I’ve only just found you.’
‘I’m four years old, Morgean.’ Never had she thought of her death before, and it frightened her. ‘Why couldn’t we have met sooner? Why couldn’t we be human? We’d have forever. It isn’t fair.’
She looked away as more tears rolled.
He sighed, gently grasped her face and pressed his forehead against hers. ‘Then we’ll just have to live and love forever in the time we have, won’t we?’
Meridiah touched his hands, trying to heed his words, but only felt grief. She looked past him, up at the sky. Stars twinkled. The moon glowed. A cool breeze fluttered through the leaves. Fear had made her avoid the darkness for so long, needlessly, pointlessly, and look what she had missed. She turned back to Morgean and entwined her fingers in his, gripping him tightly. She would not let sorrow do the same.
‘Yes,’ she said and kissed him.
© Morgan Tonkin 2018