“Tell me when either of you wants to leave, and I’ll get you out of here immediately. The fey can be a bit overwhelming, especially when they’re excited.” I instructed, worried that my parents might not really be ready for this. On the other hand, they took a glimpse of Raine in her other form fairly well.
“Umm.. son… who is this?” asked father.
“James!” exclaimed mother. “What are you doing!?” she demanded of father, having actually called him by his name for once.
Though Alma was quick to clothe the elven girl in fog, she hadn’t noticed the girl’s presence soon enough to save father from having her press against him. I did my best to instruct her to release father, but she wasn’t being very cooperative.
“I’m terribly sorry, Rachel, but this one can be particularly difficult.” stated Alma as she physically removed the elven girl from father.
“She’s practically impossible to detect when she wants to hide.” I informed them.
“Even my sensors fail to locate her when she’s fully invisible.” commented Mila.
“I like her.” stated Brandon. “She’s friendly and doesn’t cheat too much at games.”
“Uh huh…” replied Brenna, crossing her arms and giving her brother a disapproving look.
“Whaaat? I’m being serious here!” he claimed.
I felt he almost meant his words. Almost.
Emma punched his arm. “Don’t worry, Brandon. I totally believe you.” she assured him, though her wink belied her words.
I felt confusion from the elven girl along with an image of her hugging father. She apparently knew that he was my father, and I also go the impression that she was simply greeting him as the image showed her hugging the rest of us in a similar fashion, as she often did despite Alma’s admonishments.
“I know for certain that they’re over two thousand years old, so you can’t really hope for them to learn any better quickly.” I informed my parents.
“What? Really?” asked father.
“She looks… young.” stated mother, still eyeing the girl.
“A two thousand year old vampire knew them from when she was young, so there can be little doubt.” I told them.
“And one of them is my grandmother… sorta.” stated Emma. “No clue how many ‘greats’ should be thrown in there, but she’s my ancestor.”
“You’re joking.” replied mother.
“She generally looks a lot like a small tree, but she can appear pretty womanly.” insisted Emma.
I was about to reply, but more images were entering my mind, and I doubted my parents would be able to pay attention to my words with the distraction they were surely getting as well. More and more of the fey started gathering around us.
“They always come out in the greatest numbers when James is in the forest.” claimed Alma.
She wasn’t lying, but I had to ask “When have you come here without me?”
“I’ve visited a few times with Aaliyah and Emma.” she replied.
Emma nodded and said, “We don’t want them getting lonely when you’re too busy for them.” She grinned at me, looking all too mischievous.
“Is it safe for Aaliyah to come here?” inquired father, looking at the various creatures with a hint of trepidation.
“You’d be quite surprised. She somehow manages to make them heed her words.” replied Alma.
I wished I could tell her what Aaliyah’s “voice” was like to the fey. Even remembering the immense sensation was incredible.
“Do you know how she does it, dear?” asked mother.
“Well, yes, but it’s not something I can put into words.” I insisted, knowing I shouldn’t explain too much on that end.
I quickly caught a small rock that came flying toward my parents. “Careful!” I warned, picturing my parents getting injured as a warning to the fey.
Brandon had already engaged some of them in a game of catch.
“Use this instead!” suggested Emma as bushy, round plant sprang into being.
“Sure! Thanks!” exclaimed Brandon as he grabbed the plant and gave it a toss.
A small bird and my little fairy friend were chasing each other around mother’s head when a beautiful bird of fire sprang into being, flying away from them. Both chased fiery bird as Alma made it dart around the trees. I could feel her magic pulsing through it.
“That’s beautiful. What is it?” asked father.
“One of my ancestors was once with them, and he used to create these for them to chase.” explained Alma.
“Wow.” he whispered. “I wouldn’t have thought them capable of creating anything that complex. They seem so…”
“Simple, but they’re not. They’re flighty, for certain, but they actually have sharp minds in general.” she told him. “The problem between them and humans lies more in cultural differences. The fey don’t understand greed or lust for power. The concepts are alien to them. They understand death and aren’t opposed to killing, but I don’t believe they’ll kill for revenge, not when their mood changes so rapidly. Though they can show you things that happened thousands of years ago, they don’t seem to hold grudges. They will, however, protect the land and each other with great ferocity.”
Nodding, father said, “I’m amazed we managed to subdue them. Even the little I’m seeing would have been overwhelming in a fight just a hundred years ago.”
“You didn’t. My family nearly wiped the fey out just over two thousand years ago, one of our great mistakes I fear. You can travel hundreds of miles without seeing land as lush as your son’s.” stated Alma.
“But that’s thanks to Emma… isn’t it?” asked mother.
Emma shook her head and said, “Not in the forest. I only tend the land outside of here. Besides, my magic seems to come mostly from my fey heritage.”
“Mostly?” questioned father.
“Emma’s part of my family, though distantly related.” explained Alma.
“My sister and I are much more closely related.” stated Ai as she hugged Jarod’s arm.
“The magic is similar.” added Mai.
“Yes, though the twins’ magic doesn’t seem so strongly affected by their emotions. Mine, unfortunately, can grow quite dangerous if I’m not calm.” admitted Alma.
Emma giggled and said, “You should see what happens when I’m in a bad mood. Picture an angry briar patch looking for a fight.”
Laughing with her, Brenna said, “I can’t imagine it without you looking cute.”
“Aww.. thank you.” replied Emma, giving Brenna a hug.
“I don’t have to imagine it. I’ve seen pictures of her old house from after her father died.” stated Alma.
Emma stuck her tongue out at Alma, saying, “You didn’t have to mention that.”
“Sorry, but I’d compare your ‘bad mood’ to a forest out of a nightmare.” insisted Alma.
I never thought to ask more about what happened around that time. I had guessed that Emma and her mother moved at some point, since I couldn’t imagine any male wanting to live at her mother’s current residence. How did Emma manage the yard after Regina died? There was a great deal I didn’t remember from that time.
Conversation turned back to more pleasant topics as my parents grew distracted once more by the conversations of the fey wanting to play. I was fortunate that entertaining them was easy. Little displays of magic could go a long ways to entertain, and my parents seemed to enjoy a great deal of what they saw.
Though my parents planned on returning home, I convinced them to stay for the night at least, feeling they’d keep what they learned closer to heart if they stayed to watch our morning exercises. The demonstrations earlier were a bit chaotic to say the least. I just hoped they’d stay safe and not carelessly look into the extraordinary world around them. Sitting at my desk as the others slept, I wondered if Aaliyah had truly meant my parents had years ahead of them.
“Hmm… Maybe!” came a whisper from a giggling voice by my ear.