Elements – Chapter Nine
The people in the room stopped talking when Bet and I walked in. Some were sitting on the sofas, while others stood in groups. From what I could see, seven people occupied the room. My mother and father sat on one sofa, his hand holding hers, their attention now on me. On the opposite sofa, a man and woman I did not know sat apart, their postures stiff. Aidan and Elron stood in front of the patio doors. They were in deep conversation that stopped when they saw us enter. The only person alone was a woman who stood by the fireplace, her eyes appraising me.
Bet walked to join Aidan, stopping to stand between him and Elron. My eyes briefly met Aidan’s. His knowing grin forced me to look away. Walking further into the room, I took a seat on an empty sofa, one where my back was to Aidan. His presence unnerved me. Having my back to him gave me some control over the anger threatening to surface. As the silence stretched, I looked towards my mother, but it was the woman sitting in front of her that finally spoke.
“Alexa, I am sure you have questions, but I would like to first give you a brief history of why we are here today.” I felt waves of disapproval coming from her. Who was this woman? Why was she judging me? My mother was looking at her with a strange look on her face. Even Rider was startled by her tone. From behind me, I heard Aidan take a step towards me before stopping. He was angry again. Barely contained fury flowed from him. Only Bet, holding onto his arm, stopped him from coming closer. I looked at this stranger in the eye, not flinching from her stare.
“And who are you exactly?” I put all my resentment in my words. The man next to her touched the woman’s arm. Her eyes drifted to him briefly before returning her attention to me. She attempted a smile that did not reach her eyes. I felt Aidan behind me narrow his eyes, not trusting her. I tried to pull my awareness back to her, still feeling him behind me.
“My name is Eliana.” She finally offered. “I am Aidan and Bet’s mother. This is Asher, their father.” She pointed to the man sitting next to her.
“You have already met Elron. The woman over there is Vanya. She is my trusted adviser.” She continued, pointing to the silent woman by the fireplace.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but what am I doing here? What does any of this have to do with me?” I did not feel like giving an inch to this woman, who was looking at me like I was her inferior.
“In order to understand that, you need to know about us. We have waited centuries for this. Let me continue without interruption, please.” Even her please sounded like a command.
“Please, do go on.” I sarcastically replied, eliciting a small smile from my mother. From behind me I heard Aidan stifle a laugh by coughing instead. Eliana’s eyes narrowed at my response. I stared back at her unflinchingly.
“This story goes back one thousand years. Pay attention.” Her haughty manner was back.
I sat back on the sofa, making myself comfortable. Bet came to sit beside me. I was grateful for her presence. Aidan walked around to stand behind his mother. He leaned against the wall casually, his arms folded across his chest. He winked at me, a grin on his face. I rolled my eyes at him.
“A long time ago our people lived peacefully in our realm, separate from the human world. Our race goes back thousands of years. We lived happily, until one of our own betrayed us, that is.” Her words made me think she was crazy. Only looking at Aidan, whose face showed no signs he thought his mother had lost it, made me sit still. I listened as she continued her history lesson.
“The one who betrayed us was imprisoned for one thousand years. He was then released having served his sentence. His name is Elsam. Once he was free, his treachery continued. While pretending he reformed his way of thinking, he continued with his plans for revenge. The enchanted crystal, the Kaemorra, that protected our world was spelled to disappear, to hide it from Elsam. The Kaemorra was the only thing guarding our land. Without it, the protection of invisibility that safeguarded us fell, humans became aware of us and their fear made them think of us as enemies. In order not to destroy your world, to let humans live in peace, we abandoned our lands, hiding ourselves on earth while living among them. Our life has been spent trying to find the Kaemorra and return it to its rightful place so we can go home.”
“Do you know where it is?” I asked her, going along with her for the moment.
“No, no one does. There is a prophecy one will come to lead my people to it. When Elsam first had the Kaemorra interfered with, he used an earth woman to do his bidding. This woman was a powerful witch, who placed her own spell on it. Elsam confided in her that the reason he was bent on earth’s destruction was humans had murdered the woman he loved and his child. He had fallen in love with a human woman, and fathered a child with her. The woman was arrested after being accused of witchcraft. After a trial she was sentenced to death. Elsam thought his child was dead as well. He set a chain of events in motion never realizing his son still lived. The witch knew the truth, as she was a seer. She cast a spell that a descendant of hers, as well as one of ours, would have children who would be able to right his wrongs.”
Absorbing what she told me, I wondered what this meant for me. How did I fit into this fantastical tale? Who were these people?
“What does this have to do with me?” I could tell this was a simplified story she was feeding me. She was holding a lot back.
“You are directly descended from Meredith, the witch who cast the spell. Your father is from our race.”
Were these people all on drugs? Some cult following? My eyes sought Aidan, his face held no emotion. I felt nothing from him. He was holding his emotions in check. Playing along with her delusions, I asked her a question I thought she may not answer.
“Who are you? What race are you talking about?”
“We are from a race called the Sidhe?” Aidan answered for her. I looked at him, surprised he was going along with this.
“You mean like fairies?” I could not help but let out a laugh at the ridiculous notion.
“Not exactly like fairies, but close enough.” Eliana interrupted what Aidan was going to say.
“I think that is enough for now. We can finish this later. I’m sure you need time to absorb this.” My father broke into the conversation.
“No, I want all of it. There’s more, isn’t there?” So far they told me what they were doing here. I was still waiting to find out why I was brought here.
“Meredith said her descendant and one with royal blood would join together to forge a new path. Do you remember when you found me and Elron this morning? Did you feel anything different about where we were?” Aidan asked me.
“No.” I thought back to this morning. Was it still the same day? “I’m not sure. It felt peaceful, like nothing would harm me there.” I answered Aidan, ignoring my mother’s startled look.
“Alexa, Elron and I were not on earth. We were practicing in a place known only to our kind. It is a place in between this world and ours. It is a place that the Sidhe can enter, but humans cannot. It is called Deis-dé in our language.”
Stunned, I looked at him trying to understand what he was saying. If he was there, then he was saying he was not human. How was I able to get there if only they could? What did that make me? Everyone was staring me, just as bewildered as I was.
“Your powers should not be apparent yet. On the day you turn nineteen, you should start to show the strength and abilities of your father, as well as those of your mother. The fact you were able to pass through to the other side is remarkable. I don’t know what to make of it.” Aidan explained.
“What about my mother?” I looked at her. She could not be one of them.
“We will talk about that later.” Her response came quickly, cutting off Eliana who was about to speak. She inclined her head towards my mother, agreeing.
“I’m not sure I believe anything you said. It all sounds too out there. Who are you really?” I looked at Eliana. Everyone was letting her do all the talking, like she was in charge. Her commanding presence, her domineering force were both plainly evident. From her straight posture, the way she spoke, to her pristine high-collared dress, she exuded strength.
“I am Eliana, the queen to my people.” She said, raising an eyebrow at me. “Asher is our king.”
The man next to her bowed his head slightly towards me. He was dressed as formally as she was. In a pin-striped, navy blue, single-breasted suit, the white starched collar of his shirt had left a rash along his neck. He looked uncomfortable. Shaking my head, I wished I was anywhere but in the room with these people.