Mauree

A
  few days later, Carina asked “Do you think I’ll be caught if I go to town tomorrow?”   Not only was she nervously brushing her hair before bed but she was also claiming to be low on food again.

“Probably not,” Mauree assured her, “If you want, we could pack up here, go into town then leave for wherever you were planning on going.”

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Mauree ran as soon as she realized what happened.  Carina did not wait for anything; she dashed in between carts and through large crowds.  Walls were no longer barrier but instead she used them for stability as she tore around corners in a frantic attempt to remain standing.  Mauree was struggling to even keep her in sight. Read more...

Several feet after the border the next morning Carina felt it safe to stray back to the dirt path they had been following earlier.  She walked fast enough that once again Mauree was struggling to keep up.

They walked all day until Carina found a small inn nestled away from the main road.  Usually she would pick the first inn she could find but today the twisted and turned through streets before she stopped in front of a run-down little building with a sign so faded the letters were not even visible save for a faded l. Read more...

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Carina came back close to an hour later.  Mauree’s eyes flew open while the door slammed shut.  Carina’s little bag was bulging with strange shapes that stretched the dark fabric.

“Why’d you leave me there?” Mauree demanded angrily as soon as the door was closed.  She swung her legs over the edge of the bed.  Carina ignored her and began taking things out of her bag.  “Hey! I’m talking to you.  Why’d you leave me?” Mauree repeated, anger and resentment building.  Carina continued to say nothing until Mauree fell silent. Read more...

“Hey Carina, you’re early this year,” a girl pushing a broom said as soon as they entered.  She was wearing classic Fairy clothes: a dark blue dress of wool that ended two inches above her wrists with little embroidery or embellishment.  It did not fan out around her but hung off her hips straight to the ground.  She had dark, tanned skin and hair to match.  It was pulled back into a braid that started at the front of her head and ran down her back, parallel to the row of buttons that afforded the space for her wings.  Her wings were the only color that she had, a brilliant orange that mimicked a butterfly’s fantastic coloring.

The common room was all but empty; only two men sat sipping ale in a corner as they muttered back and forth to each other.  The room was clean enough that the young Fairy did not need to be sweeping as she was doing. Read more...

Now that she had left, doubts began to gnaw at the edges of her confidence.

“C’mon Mauree, this is stupid, just keep walking.  What’s so scary?  Nothing’s out there, and don’t even think about turning around…” she continued to talk herself into going for some time after actually leaving.

It was beginning to get dark and she hadn’t even reached the next town yet.  She walked as quickly as she could but the moon slowly rose above the treetops to find her still on the road.  The darkness made her jumpy.  A rabbit raced across the road and Mauree let out a scream that made her glad she was alone Read more...

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“It’s been decided,” her mother said soberly, “that we’ve been attacked.”

The two children had very different reactions.  Mauree’s eyes widened and all the remaining color drained from her face.  Mark’s eyes also widened but in excitement as his mouth formed a soundless “cool”

“Why?” Mauree said, nearly shouting angrily, “We haven’t done a thing!” Read more...

Mauree came out of her room with blood, still quite sticky and wet, running down her hand and off her elbow onto the floor in small drips.  It had already stained her breeches but because of the darkness of the fabric it could barely be seen.  Tears mirrored the effect on her face.

“Mauree, where’s Ginger?” her mother called, “You came in but where’s you sister?”  Mauree did her best to keep from crying again.  “Oh, come here honey,” she called comfortingly, “Mar-mar, what’s wrong?  Did you hurt your hand?”  The tone took on a much more fearful note. Read more...

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What would go down in one particular girl’s memory as the most terrible started off the same as any other since.  Mauree got up out her bed, got dressed and ate her oatmeal with cinnamon.  Nothing out of the ordinary happened until her sister, Ginger, came out wanting to play outside with her friends.  Mauree’s mother made her go and watch her sister and gather up three of her friends.  That’s when Mauree started to get annoyed.  Her sister was eight with dirty-blonde hair half-way to her waist and pale skin.  When Ginger saw the argument was won she walked back to the little room that she slept in, dragging a doll behind her as she walked. Read more...