A Sídhí Short Story
3,000 word snippet
If my lifeMate – supposedly the perfect guy of my dreams – wasn't trying to kill me, I'd be much happier.
Sigh, sorry, let me backup. I've gotten way ahead of myself.
It all started earlier today, while I was still on Earth, walking through a park and minding my own business.
For the first time in several months mom and dad agreed it was safe enough for me to visit Earth. The real Earth, not one of the second dimensional valleys all Sídhí live in.
About four thousand years ago, we (all the Sídhí races) got sucked through a gateway and dumped on Earth. You see, a really powerful elvish had been trying to end the Great War between the Sídhí races when he shoved pure energy, aptly named synth crystal, into dozens of gateways connecting our home world to Earth. Unfortunately for him, the gateways exploded, killing him and creating hundreds of dimensional valleys that lay scattered across the face of Earth. The discharge of that much power sucked people and animals from Sídhí into the newly created valleys. We haven't had contact with the home world of Sídhí since then.
One of the largest valleys was Trellick Valley. My family has ruled over the valley since Sídhí first appeared on Earth. The current monarch, Sarah Trellick aka Chi’Kehra, was my sister. As far as older sisters go, she was the best. She never tried bossing me around, not like my older brothers always did.
There was an unspoken Sídhí law dating from the old world. Sídhí were considered adult once we passed through puberty and I went through Sídhí puberty - twenty-one days of slam-bam growth spurts of going from bone-thin twiggy to having boobs and hips – two years ago. Now, if someone would tell my brothers – and my parents – that tidbit of info, I'd be totally happy.
Yeah, I know, being smothered was part of growing up. My parents insisted I was independent, letting me go – most of the time – anywhere I wanted to go with one major concession: my shadow.
Ugh! My parents gave me a babysitter.
Get real! Hello? Today was my seventeenth birthday. Do you know how embarrassing it was to hear, 'there's Miranda... and her babysitter.'
Oh, I knew he was really my body guard, a muscle-bound hot guard, but I was sick of having a shadow.
At least today, he let me pretend to be on my own. The trees in the park helped, keeping me hidden from view. I couldn't see or smell him, but I knew he hadn't let me out of his sight. It was so embarrassing when he followed me everywhere, even into public restrooms. And, yes, that really happened! And at a high school football game of all places! I groaned just thinking about it. My friends teased me for weeks.
An owl hooted and I jumped, glaring up into the trees I searched for the culprit, but didn't see him. The wind blew the trees, making the tall oaks sway high above my head; the limbs danced between me and the dark sky.
I'd been walking the paths for several hours, only seeing a handful of people this late at night. I loved the feeling of solitude the large park gave me. Back home, at Trellick Castle, I was always on display, but not here.
I didn't have trouble seeing. My night vision made the entire area look like a store room lit-up with a dangling forty-watt bulb instead of hundred watt one. Full and brilliant, the moon helped; moonbeams splotched along the path as they passed between tree limbs.
To my right, water softly murmured as it flowed down the Arkansas River. I didn't know why, but the river smelled different than the one at home. It wasn't a bad smell, just different.
I craned my neck, trying to see the river, but only bits and pieces of the water and sand bars peeked through the trees. I picked this park, because several weeks ago, I did a term paper on mundane humans and I found a picture of bronze bears playing on rocks above a waterfall. I've collected waterfall pictures for years. When I first started my collection, I bought pictures, but last Christmas Sarah gave me a new digital Canon. I loved it! It made collecting a lot more fun. Now, I took my own pictures and I really wanted a picture of the bears.
I glanced toward the dark trees; the river called to me. Trellick Valley covered the same area of land as Tulsa, but in my home valley the river area was surrounded wilderness, not a big city. I wondered if the river looked as different as it smelled.
On impulse, I turned off the paved path, heading into the forest of trees that skirted the river. The wooded area between the walkway and the river wasn't very wide, but had a thick undergrowth of spindly trees and bushes.
A dozen feet into the wooded area I found a small clearing, not very big and not at all interesting. I crossed it with quick steps, eager to see the river before Fritz came looking for me. I was nearly at the far edge when the sudden presence of a gateway stopped me cold. The surge of power tingled across my skin, forcing chill bumps to bloom across my skin.
Gateways existed all across the world, but since they didn't normally pop into existence, at the drop of a hat, the presence of one spelled trouble.
I shuddered and fear skittered down my back. A random gateway was not normal; a single wild gateway might open every thousand years, but that was it. Whatever was going on, it must be really bad.
Yeah, I was a true pessimist; it made me feel better when the bottom dropped out.
I held my breath and turned toward the source of the surging power. Sure enough, less than ten feet away from me, a gateway stood open. A mundane human would never see it, but to my Sídhí eyes it glowed a soft yellowish-white. I glanced past the edges and into an expensively decorated room, realizing it definitely wasn't a wild gateway. I really wish it had been.
~ ~ ~ ~
"Chi’Kehra!" Duke Kin'Tick called from the end of the long hallway. His short, plump legs pumped as he rushed toward the elvish monarch. His blond hair, with streaks of contrasting black, flopped around his shoulders. His brown elvish eyes sparked with eagerness, like a squealing pig waiting for dinner.
Chi’Kehra stifled a groan, ignoring the urgency in the man's voice. He entered his private suite of rooms, letting his guards deal with the pest who had shadowed his every step the entire morning.
He was sick of the constant court intrigue; the never-ending plays for more power. It seemed like everyone wanted something from him; even the royal advisors had one or two or a dozen ulterior motives. The few people he completely trusted very rarely visited the capital.
He detested his trips to Elfheim, the capital city, which lay sprawled across the entire width and length of the Valley of Elfheim. The city was filled with spiraling towers, vast gardens, beautiful art, and – constant – political games. If it hadn't been for the nasty games and the political backbiting, the elvish nobles played, he might have enjoyed the occasional trip.
Unfortunately, Duke Kin'Tick was only one of many courtiers who fought for more power, loving the intrigue of court life. Every noble, within the elvish royal houses, hoped to gather power by currying favor with the ruling monarch.
The fake flattery was sickening, especially when he was the recipient of so much of it.
He shoved the tedious thoughts away and walked through his sprawling suite of rooms, passing silent guards and a half dozen extravagantly decorated rooms, before sighing in relief.
He closed the door to his receiving room and leaned against it. Only here, did he have true privacy. The entire royal suite had a silencing layer around it, - manipulated synth crystal added into the very walls of the castle by the Court Fairy, - but his private study and bed chamber had an extra layer, one he added himself.
"Chi’Kehra," Mirk said warmly, slightly bowing. His body servant, of eighteen hundred years, was one of the very few people ever allowed within his inner sanctum.
"Afternoon Mirk, I'll be in my study." He turned to leave, but stopped when Mirk shifted from foot-to-foot. After so many years together, he knew Mirk's silent way of getting his attention without actually asking for it.
He sighed, knowing he must have forgotten a meeting of some sort. He had hoped to have a free afternoon of reading the latest novel by W.L. Kylupspur about a dragon – shapeshifter – who found out his predestined lifeMate was a fairy, a fairy who fell through a wild portal and got stuck on Earth.
"Yes," he questioned, raising his eyebrow in query.
"Ah, yes, well," Mirk's tiny feet shuffled and he pointed to the new fairy 'appointment calendar' sitting on a wide table near the windows at the far end of the room, "it's been beeping every few minutes. The message screen says: Meeting on Earth."
Chi’Kehra groaned. He hated new gadgets, especially fairy made; they never worked right. "My meeting with Gerald isn't until next week."
He had sent some of his best spies to Earth, some five hundred years ago. He checked in with one or more of them, once a month by opening a temporary gateway, which connected Sídhí to Earth.
When he first opened a gateway to Earth he had been excited, hoping to reconnect with the lost houses of the Elfhiem. That hope died a quick death. The constant bickering and in-fighting was bad enough on Sídhí, but the elves on Earth had continued the war against all the other races.
At the time, he made the difficult decision to remain a silent observer.
He kept the connection between Earth and Sídhí completely secure, which wasn't as hard as it sounded. As Chi’Kehra, he was the only person on Earth or Sídhí who had the power to create a gateway. The synth crystal flowed through his body like a living organism, answering his mental orders. Only the fairy or dragons could come close to manipulating the synth crystal, the pure energy created by the Ancient Ones, like he could. And comparing their abilities to his was like comparing the strength of a flea to a dragon.
His spies on Earth kept him updated, reports of the on going war between the various races continued. He honestly didn't know why they continued fighting, not after four thousand years. A war started by the previous Chi’Kehra, because he thought vampires were evil, bloodsucking monsters, was insane.
He was very thankful he wasn't in the middle of the continued fighting and even happier that Earth didn't have a native born Chi’Kehra.
An Earth-born Chi’Kehra would unite the elvish houses of that world. Once that happened, and after the elves destroyed all the other races, the Earth Chi’Kehra might turn his attention toward opening a gateway to Sídhí.
He shuddered at the very thought, praying to God that never happened. He would have a war, to end all wars, dropped in his lap. Earth's modern technology increased his worry; from what his people on Earth said, the weapons of that world had the destructive ability of an exploding synth spring. One bomb could easily wipe out the entire capital city, the surrounding mountain, and the valley.
"Hckrum," Mirk softly cleared his throat, gently pulling Chi’Kehra from his morbid thoughts.
Resigned to losing his afternoon, he approached the new gizmo. The flat screen of synth crystal woke-up at his approach, beeping its urgent message. 'Meeting on Earth with Gerald – ten minute warning!' appeared on the screen.
Frustrated, he shook his head and looked down, some three feet, to his diminutive companion. "Mirk, tell me I didn't set it up wrong."
Mirk grinned at him, adding to his sour mood.
"Fine, please tell Gab I'm opening a gateway, but shouldn't be long." He glanced down, watching Mirk's uncharacteristic quiet agreement. "You've already told the Captain, haven't you?"
"Yes, sire," Mirk said formally.
He grunted. The only time Mirk became formal was after he did something questionable. "What did Captain Gabriel bribe you with this time?"
Mirk was tight-lipped and utterly loyal when it came to serving him, so it had to be something of extreme value.
"I would never disclose your appointments to anyone, except the captain," he said primly, ruining the effect with another gap-mouthed grin. "He offered me an entire bushel of fiskberries if I warned him the next time you planned on opening a gateway to Earth. You know how nervous he gets when you refuse to let him send guards with you."
Chi’Kehra tried suppressing a chuckle. Gab must have been desperate. "Fiskberries are out of season."
Mirk grinned even bigger, teeth gleaming, and bobbed his head up and down. "I told him I'd only accept the freshest and plumpest of berries."
Chi’Kehra nodded his acceptance, not really surprised; the two had gone behind his back, bickering and working together, for over a thousand years. His personal guards and household staff were more like family than servants. Pleasure tightened his chest; he'd have it no other way.
He glanced toward the row of windows. The snow covered mountain loomed high above; frozen in place like a sentinel. Its massive presence guarded the castle, which was carved in the side of the lower mountain, sprawling outward down the valley.
He walked toward the wide opening of the window – not that it mattered where he opened a gateway – and raised his hands.Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Mirk race from the room, no doubt fetching the captain of his guard. He wasn't worried. Even if he was attacked, not many people could injure him, much less actually kill him. As Chi’Kehra, he was nearly indestructible with synth laced bones and instant healing.
With a mere thought, he gathered energy from the synth crystal, feeling the raw power hum through his veins. It sizzled and burned through him like a wild animal released for the first time. He focused, tightening his grip on the volatile power, and mentally imaged a tunnel, a gateway leading from Sídhí that opened in a small grove of trees on Earth. The small strip of trees was part of a public park that lay on the edge of a river, which flowed through a large town. Good thing it was the middle of the night on Earth. A casual observer was not likely.
He funneled a minute part of his vast power into his desire. The air shimmered and a gateway opened, connecting Sídhí to Earth. He stepped into the glowing archway and froze. The park was not as deserted as he thought it would be.
Near the tree-line was a young woman, frozen in mid-stride. Her long white-blonde hair swung around her hips, rippling down her back in layered waves. Her scent drifted toward him on the gentle breeze and he inhaled the purest aroma he had ever smelled. Like a mixture of midnight roses and a hot summer breeze, her scent woke a part of him that had long been dormant.
After such a long life, females all looked alike to him; he'd grown bored with their song and dance a thousand years earlier. Their constant attempt to manipulate him rubbed him raw and he refused to put up with it.
This willowy female – he inhaled her mouth-watering scent again – might change all of that.
She turned toward him, slowly, as if fearing what she might discover. Her intense blue eyes, the color of a shallow sea cove, widened in fear and her heart raced. He watched as she argued with herself, trying to decide if she had any hope of out-running him.
His pure-blood elvish core trembled in shock; he was attracted - and completely smitten - with a halfling. Her vampire/elf scent should have warned him, not tempted him beyond rational thought. Her beautiful blue eyes, not elvish in shape, and tiny pointed ears peeking through her thick hair shouted her impure bloodline.
He didn't care, briefly wondering if he could convince her to return to Sídhí with him. She would make a magnificent concubine. He would keep her until he found his destined lifeMate, perhaps even longer.
He ground his teeth together, realizing he didn't have the luxury of offering her a choice. No one but him – the dreaded Chi’Kehra – had the power to open a gateway. If he didn't remove her from Earth, she'd scream her newfound knowledge to anyone who'd listen.
~ ~ ~ ~
Fear froze me.
At the threshold of the door-sized gateway stood a man, a gorgeous elf with shoulder length midnight colored hair and hunter green eyes. He looked about twenty-five, but it was impossible to tell how old a Sídhí was by their looks, appearances could be very deceptive. Once we reached our mid-twenties, all Sídhí stopped aging. For all I knew, he might be thousands of years old.
It was brutally apparent he was an elf; his eyes and ears were different from a vampire. His pointed ears were about an inch taller than a non-elf's ears. And the black center of his eyes were larger, as well as the colored area. Actually, I could barely see the white around the dark green of his eyes.
His eyes held my attention; they indicated he was older than me, much older.
I wished I knew how much older. I got a small hint when his normally large pupils didn't expand upon seeing me. A younger elf couldn't suppress the expanding reaction when surprised or when their emotions changed.
I groaned. Elves were wickedly fast. I might have had a chance against a younger elf, but not an older one. I was so screwed.