It was a dew-soaked morning in the forest, and Amelie skidded to a halt; her tiny foot had caught in one of the sticky bubbles that gathered on the needles of the fir tree.
“Oomph,” she muttered as she pulled herself up, wiping the thick dew from her cheek as she stood.
Amelie grimaced at the dark stains that had formed on her dress, a pale yellow shade similar to the outfits the other Summerborne wore. She would have to treat it with her oils before the sap dried.
Pinecones hung from the massive limbs in front of her. These were no usual pinecones, who would gather innocently in piles on the ground until they would bevome a nuisance-
No, these pinecones were magnificent, and they hung as large as the vehicles the fae heard tale of in the desert.
Amelie hopped along the scales of the mighty strobulus, using them as steps as she passed by the tiny homes the fae built on the cones. She made her way to the structure at the top; her home built from small scraps of tree bark.
The home had a single room, with nothing inside but a simple cot and a tiny bark table. A small man already sat at the table, Amelie’s house-guest whose clothes and body were gold in color.
“Good morning Gunther, I hope you slept well?”
The little man smiled at her, fluttering the golden wings on his back as he did so.
“Yes very well, thank you Amelie.”
She began to open and close the tiny shutters of her cabinet until she found a small bottle of black oil. She poured a small bit of the oil onto a scrap of linen and got to work vigorously scrubbing the sap stains from her dress.
Her own delicate wings shook as she worked, the white and gold patterns caught the muted light that filtered through the bark, causing the wings to sparkle in a most entrancing matter.
There was a loud caw outside, and the fae leaped from their seats, rushing outside where the other Summerborne had gathered to investigate the commotion.
It was one of the giant crows that frequented the forest. The bird thrashed through the nearby branches, its massive body knocking needles and pinecones to the ground as it struggled. The fae gasped in horror as they watched the cones fall, worried for their own vulnerable homes.
The bird quieted as a dark shadow fell over the trees, and the peaceful hum of nature became eerily silent.
Amelie stared upward at the ship that had appeared overhead, and she felt the worry of the entire Mainland in her bones as the large white vessel landed in the grasslands nearby.
The creatures crept through the branches. Tiny fae, the size of butterflies, moved alongside the oversized squirrels and mice who towered over them.
They tiptoed toward the newcomer, stopping when they reached the edge of the forest.
Others came as well, and thousands of eyes watched in silence as a loud hiss came from the hatch of the ship. A door rose slowly, and the smaller creatures took to the trees for a better view of their visitor.
Two boots pulled themselves from the vessel. They were white in color, like the rest of the man’s uniform, and the clothing was made from a material that had never been seen in the forest before.
The man pulled the heavy helmet from his head and shook out his pale hair. All of the Mainland took a collective gasp at the sight of the man, the one they had been warned about often in the Tales of Fae, the one they called human.
© Hannah Truelove
Check out more at hannahtruelove.com/novels/ and follow me for a chance to win a free book!