Kylin slipped through the turqouise door to Frank's room, revealing the smoky quiet of his fellow Fairies. They were all lounging on the furniture or floor, staring at one part of the lime green walls or another, cigarette's dangling from one corner of their mouths. Cigarette's damaged even robust Fairie lungs given enough time, but it was a once a month indulgence, and like all things best left at convenience stores, moderation was the secret. Frank was laying upside down on a footon at the far side of the room, his feet propped up on the wall above him. He stared at the noxious plumes puffing from between his lips, winding his fingers through the smoky contours. Ebony sat beside him, the only person in the room without a white stick of nicotine protruding from his mouth. He pushed his long, dark hair out of his eyes, watching Frank's fingers dance in amused contentment.
Kylin stepped over Jay's sleepy body, picking his way toward's the footon through the mess of Fairie's, waving at the happy, familial greetings," Frank," As Kylin approached, Frank tilted his head back, Ebony's eyes remaining fixed on his fingers.
" Hey Kylin," Frank grinned, throwing his now spent cigarette into the waste basket at the other end of the room," How's it going?"
" Monotonously," Kylin collapsed on the other side of Frank," Hey Ebony,"
Ebony looked up, startled, and smiled delightedly," Kylin! Glad you decided to show up!"
" I wasn't aware this was a required gathering," Kylin said with mock scandal.
" Oh yes of course, you can't be a real Fairie unless you show up in Frankie's room every other day!" Ebony laughed.
" Well I'm certainly not human," Kylin said.
" You've read my mind way to many time's for that," Ebony shuddered.
Kylin sighed," I keep telling all of you that I don't read mind's. Thing's just pop into my head . . . things that usually happen to be important."
" well, he's never been able to pop up in my mind," Frank squirmed around between them, somehow ending up upright, his ruffled dark brown hair slightly askew.
" Why would I want to? I don't want to know what goes on up there,"
" How many months of highschool do you have to go through before you realize that heaven and hell might be exactly the same place?" Lydya asked as Sara handed her a soda and a scrawny kid with fingerless gloves and a band T was shoved into a locker by a muscled kid in a grimy red baseball cap.
" 0.1," Sara said as she gulped her water and a light sputtered above her.
" There has to be bad to appreciate the good," Kylin shoved a notebook into his bag.
" They do balance each other out pretty nicely around here," Sara glanced at the clock, one minute left," Heaven and Hell mixed together to make both more bearable,"
" Pop quiz," Kylin said triumphantly.
" Excuse me?" Lydya looked up, downing her soda.
" Mr. Farthen's giving us a pop quiz on the crusades today," Kylin looked confident.
" They really should throw you out you know. It's not fair for the rest of us," Sara complained half heartedly.
" Maybe this one more day will stamp the Fairie out of me," Every lesson taught at Chasten High left out most events in which Fairies played a major role, a lasting sign of the old paranoia and fear.
" Maybe," Lydya sighed as the shrill bell rang theough the crowded hallway.
The shop smelled of wood, oil, and Fairie when Kylin jangled his way through the door,"Kylin!" Ebony sat behind the counter, rocking back and forth in the spinning chair," Hi!"
" Hey Ebony. Where's Mark?" Kylin asked, jumping the counter.
" Downstairs, working on a new piano," Ebony looked put out," They never invite me down there,"
"Well they don't want to get your pretty face all covered in sawdust," Kylin chuckled, pinching Ebony's cheek as he turned to go.
Ebony giggled," Yeah, right,"
" Seriously," Kylin pushed open the heavy gray door that led downstairs, taking the crumbling concrete stairs two at a time.
The scrape of sand paper and murmur of voices grew steadily louder as Kylin traveled further down, until he turned a sharp corner and saw them. All three were standing around what could one day be a piano, sanding away at the light swirls of wood, chattering about, of all things, Kylin's musical taste.
"Just because all your favorite artist's are women Seth doesn't mean that male musicians aren't worth anything," Kylin chuckled when Seth jumped.
" I think your worth something. Just not most of you," Seth smiled and tossed Kylin a piece of sandpaper.
" You know Seth, for being such a nice guy, your surprisingly sexist when it comes to music," Kylin threw the sandpaper back at him.
" What can I say, we're all prejudice about something," Seth shrugged.
" Personally I think you both have horrible taste," Frank said," Wouldn't you agree Mark?"
" I really can't say much about it. I haven't listened to any music lately, except when I tune the pianos, and Ebony does that usually," Mark kept his eyes on the wooden contours of the pianos surface," Too busy,"
" Locked down here with your pianos night and day," Frank shook his head," I do have to admire your dedication Mark,"
" Well, sometimes when you do it for so long, it's hard to stop," Mark shrugged.
" Okay, that might explain fifteen hours of work, but not fifteen weeks," Frank looked at Mark apologetically," Not that fifteen weeks of work is bad. I'm just amazed that someone could have that much focus . . . that's not a Buddhist monk,"
Kylin nodded," It certainly is remarkable,"
" Um . . . guys?" Kylin turned, Seth was fading in and out, the sandpaper falling from his incorporeal fingers. One moment he would be barely there and the next in sharp focus," Something's happening upstairs,"
Frank dropped his sandpaper and headed up the stairs, Kylin at his heels. Frank pushed open the door," Ebony!"
Ebony was lying on the rubber tiles behind the counter, unconciouse, eyes fluttering, body convulsing. Kylin could only see white's.
Frank took Ebony's head into his lap," Something's coming. Something big,"
The hubbub of the Frank's house nearly knocked Kylin off his feet when Frank opened the door," Kylin. What's going on?" Frank looked confused, most people avoided his house whenever possible.
" I'm looking for TJ. He's sleeping right?" Kylin reluctantly stepped into the house when Frank waved him in, and was immediatly clipped by a little boy on a metal scooter.
" Watch out for other people Jeremy! Not just yourself!," Frank rolled his eyes.
" Frank, I know he's sleeping, but I really need to see TJ," Kylin said.
TJ was Frank's little brother, and the only one of Frank's eleven siblings that was also a Fairie like Frank. One Fairie a family was rare enough, but two? Frank's parents, humans both , must have made a magical combination of genes. TJ could speak to the Faerie gods. He was born with two personalities, one was just TJ, the other was the side of TJ who knew the faerie tongue. When in the prescence of one or more of the Faerie gods, this other self took over as a way for the gods and the Faerie people to communicate. As a result of his abilities, TJ was almost pathollgically introverted. TJ believed that he could never truly speak, and never truly be heard, until he had spoken to one of the high gods.