" So how was gym?" Frank asked as Ebony collapsed onto a stool beside him.
Ebony groaned, letting his head hit Frank's shoulder," Horrible, I got hit in the face with a soccer ball twice,"
Frank stroked Ebony's cheek soothingly," On purpose?"
Ebony huffed," Yes, that stupid Jerry Feldman,"
" He's just jealous that your so much prettier than him," Frank chuckled, giving Ebony a peck on the top of the head.
Ebony sniffed and stuck his tongue between his pink lips," Have you seen his hair? All greasy and dirty and ucky,"
" You wonder how his mother let him out of the house," Frank agreed.
" Mhmm," Ebony sighed through a mouthful of mango," I did make the winning shot in the game though,"
Frank smiled down at Ebony," See? Your brilliant. Feldman just wishes he was half as good as you,"
" Now your just being ridiculous," Ebony giggled," How was history?"
Frank rolled his eyes," Mesopotamians and their floods," he took a bite of a cheesestick," That was probably our fault,"
Ebony nodded," Fairies did wake up on the mischievous side back then. No wonder we have such a bad reputation,"
" We're definitely paying for it now," Frank glared at a boy who flicked them off as he passed.
Ebony swallowed," Anythings better than war,"
" It wasn't war our ancestors* were worried about. It was the next holocaust," Frank could imagine Ebony, Kylin, Seth, TJ, and hundreds of others gifted by the gods being used as tools, as weapons against the spirits, and held Ebony against him a little tighter.
(*Because being a Fairie is not necessarily hereditary, all former generations, even recent ones, are considered ancestors.)
Seth hopped off the bus and onto the hot black pavement of the street. As the bus roared waterfall past him he looked down the street to his house.The backyard was empty and the wreath on the candy apple red door had been taken down while he was at school. His stepfather's car was in the driveway, it's freshly waxed black surface reflecting the freshly cut emerald green grass of the front yard.Seth met the mailman at the driveway and collected the bundle of bills and religious magazines. He talked to the mailman (Kay) about his newborn son before the man pulled away and Seth was confronted with the square shouldered silhouette of his stepfather in the doorway.
Seth strode up the drive, up the walk and stood before his stepfather, handing him the stack of mail,"Good afternoon, Sir,"
" What were you talking with the mailman about?" Seth's stepfather looked down at him sternly.
" His name is Kay and he has a new son named Malcolm who is getting baptised at the church Sunday," Seth stared deadpan back up at the man," Don't worry, I wasn't poisoning him with blasphemy,"
A heavy callused hand lashed out, leaving a flaming red mark on Seth's cheek," Don't get smart with me young man. There is nothing funny about being the embodiment of sin," He stepped aside, ushering Seth into the house," Go say hello to your mother,"
Seth strode past his stepfather, wincing at the sting of the wound he left when he bit his cheek. His mother was in her little back room, painting the portrait of a woman in a picture from the last church festival. Her rusty hair was spread wide in the wind as she prayed palms upturned to the heavens, to god. Her warmly orange, more golden, dress whipped around around her, revealing pale bare legs and feet wet with dew. His mother had been one the most revered painters of the movement before Seth's father died and she remarried to the fanatically religious Pat Drammond, a demonstration of the worst qualities in sentient beings. But his mother was, in all the ways that counted, still his mother.
So when Seth spun her around and hugged her, she laughed," Hi sweetie, how was your day?"
" It was fine mom," Seth said absently, admiring the painting,"Kay's baby boy was born,"
" Oh that's nice. What's his name?" His mother asked, turning back to the canvas.
" Malcolm Rey," Seth replied.
His mother nodded," A good name,"
" I'm losing hold on existence," TJ/Lasia said.
" What do you mean?" Kylin spoke timidly.
TJ's and Lasia's heads turned to him simultaneously," I have been the goddess of unity for a long time child. A very long time. But I am not the first,"
" The first?" Seth looked baffled," There is more than one goddess of unity?"
" No, there is only I, but there was one before, back when the Fairie people were little more than bugs with human lookings," Kylin could almost hear the respect the words were steeped in," And there was one before her,"
" The station of goddess is inherited?," Seth thought for a moment," But that doesn't make sense, even in our most primitive form Faeries were still able to write down their history. The goddess of unity has always been called Lasia,"
Lasia/TJ turned their shining eyes on Seth," You are knowledgable child. You study the gods,"
Seth's eyes widened," Ummm . . . yes, the Faerie ones,"
Lasia/TJ nodded," You would be wise to broaden your studies child, there is much to learn from human faith," Lasia/TJ turned back to Kylin," I am old child, I am passing.As I slip further I lose more and more control over the connections that bind existence. I need to find my heir,"
She/He addressed Seth," Lasia is my title, the name of my position. The name means the post, I would expect you to know that,"
Seth blushed," Yes, of course,"
" So you need to find an heir or the whole of existence is going to collapse?" Frank asked pointedly.
" To the root, yes," Lasia/TJ nodded to Ebony, still slumped beside Frank," Thank you for the use of your portal child, the gods have gifted you,"
" Yeah, y-your welcome," Ebony assured," No problem."
Lasia/TJ smiled calmly," There is no need to lie to me child, I know my use of the portal pained you. All the more reason for my thanks,"
Ebony smiled," Good, cause that sucked,"
"If you need to find your heir why did you come to us?" Frank spared a stern glance for Ebony.
" Because," Lasia/TJ became abruptly somber," Your friend Kylin was born to find her,"