I faded in and out of consciousness. Occasionally, my mind would clear just enough to hear screams and gunshots, but before I could comprehend it properly, exhaustion would pull me under once again.
I could feel a constant throbbing in my left arm that wouldn’t go away. My memories of what happened were slightly fuzzy. Two faeries had attacked our hideout…and then what? Oh right. One of them stabbed me in the arm. So that’s why it hurt so much. I tried to move my arm to gauge the extent of the damage but I just succeeded in knocking myself out again.
This time when I surfaced again, I heard a voice. “MAEVE WOULD YOU WAKE UP, YOU CAN’T KEEP LAZING AROUND”. This was punctuated with someone slapping my face. I opened my eyes with a considerable effort to see Elana’s head an inch from mine. I jerked my head back, which did absolutely nothings since it was on a pillow. “Oh finally, we were beginning to get worried. You’ve been unconscious for an hour.” Elana moved her head back so I had room to breathe. “So you express concern by slapping people?” I sat upright, the action sending a shock of pain through my arm. “Why hasn’t my arm healed yet? It’s been long enough.” And then I looked at it.
“Why” I glared at Elana, “is there a pencil in my arm?”
Elana looked at it. “Oh, we forgot it was there.”
“Maeve, we’ve been dealing with more important stuff.”
“Oh? Like what?”
“The faeries that attacked us, we have them tied up.”
I frowned. “Get Arym and Credence.”
She nodded and jogged into the next room.
I examined the pencil in my arm. It wasn’t plunged too deep, but unless it was removed my skin couldn’t start healing. I took a deep breath, then quickly grasped the end of the pencil and yanked it from my arm. I clenched my teeth together to bite back the scream, then chucked the pencil onto the floor.
The door to the room flew open and our band of supernaturals walked in.
I looked at them. “Did it occur to nobody that my arm couldn’t heal with a pencil still in it?”
Credence rolled his eyes. “You heal the fastest anyway.” It was true, the wound in my arm was already beginning to close. “And those faeries refused to be tied up.”
My brow creased, “How’d they knock me out?” It was unusual for any of us to be rendered unconscious. Especially me, since I was a shapeshifter.
Arym’s face brightened. “Oh it was quite awesome really, they hit your head with their wings. I’m pretty sure everything in the room flew back.”
I winced. Faerie wings were supposed to be one of the most powerful things in the supernatural world. Though you wouldn’t think so, looking at the delicacy and translucency of each wing.
“What do they want?”
Elana shrugged. “We haven’t asked yet, we figured you’d want to be there to hear it.”
“Okay, let’s go see what they want.” I got up and they followed me out of the room.
Faeries, are just as you would imagine them. Their features are perfectly flawless to the level of eerieness, their voices soft and angelic, and their wings are a blend of a million different colours.
But they can sure look militant when they want to.
The faeries that were tied up in front of us were wearing dark clothes, with their hair tied back so tight it made my head hurt looking at the hairdo. They had similar expressions of ‘If you come near us we’ll slit your throat.’
One of the faeries – the one who, i’m assuming, stabbed me in the arm – looked at my almost healed bicep and blinked.
“Oh” I said, turning my arm in their direction. “This is where I recently found a pencil lodged in my arm. Now I wonder who put it there…”
The guilty faerie just looked at me.
“It was the faerie on the left.” Arym whispered.
Everyone in the room swiveled their heads to look at him.
“That was rhetorical.”
“I know” he said.
I blinked at him. Credence covered his face with his hand. Elana tried not to laugh.
“Okay…” I looked at the faeries and sighed. “Let’s cut to the chase, what do you guys want?”
The faeries looked at each other and exchanged a few words in a different tongue.
The one who stabbed me in the arm fixed me with a steady gaze. “We come in peace.”
“Yeah knocking someone out really just gets the message of peace across doesn’t it?”
The faerie looked mildly annoyed. “You attacked us first.”
Did I? Yeah okay…oops my bad.
“If you untie us we will talk. This is important.”
I looked at Elana. If they did try to attack us, we’d be able to take them. The only reason they weren’t killed before was because Elana, Arym and Credence were two floors down when they broke in. “Okay, we’ll untie you if you promise not to attack us.”
“My name is Faye.” Said the faerie who attacked me with stationery. “And this is Daphne.” She gestured at the other faerie.
“We know that faeries have never been on good terms with shapeshifters, vampires and werewolves, but the faerie queen has sent us. We need your help.”
Now here’s the thing. The hierarchy of the supernatural beings puts us at the very bottom. Elana and Credence – the werewolves, Arym – a vampire, and me – a shapeshifter. So that meant that until about a few years ago, there was a blatant hatred between the faeries, naiads, angels and the werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters and demons. Which is what led to most of the werewolves, vampires and shapeshifters being killed in a war that broke out.
Now that there were such few of us left and all in little groups like mine, the species got along in a peaceful co-existence, because if all of us were to be killed, it would mess up the entire circle of supernatural life.
So yeah. We’ve haven’t really been greeting faeries with open arms whenever we saw them.
Arym crossed his arms. “What do you need our help for?”
Faye turned towards Daphne, who took out a newspaper clipping and handed it to me.
“People are reporting that Zombies are breaking into houses and attacking people.”
“I’m sorry what?” Elana looked at Daphne like she was crazy. “Zombies…don’t exist!”
Arym coughed. “Hypocritical much?”
“Well wouldn’t we have seen them, or known that they’re actually around?”
Daphne cut in. “We didn’t think zombies existed either.”
I looked at the clipping. It had multiple articles written by people whose homes were invaded by the ‘zombies’.
I shook my head. “So they exist?”
Faye shrugged. “We don’t know what to believe yet. We just have to stop whatever these creatures are, before they kill more people.”
“Hold up…they killed people?” Credence’s brow furrowed. “How many?”
Daphne took a deep breath. “78 deaths and 114 injured. Out of those most were supernaturals.”
“Why haven’t we heard about it yet?” Arym asked.
Faye pointed at the newspaper clipping. “That’s 8 cities away. News would’ve reached you, but the government has shut down all the ‘zombie talk’ so the citizens aren’t frightened.
Generally it wouldn’t be our concern to deal with this but we were alerted when people suggested zombies. Also it’s an alarming rate of supernaturals dying. Either they’re being attacked, or they’re dying trying to prevent another attack. Either way it has to end soon.”
I handed the newspaper clipping back. “Why do you need our help? The faerie folk are powerful enough to take care of this themselves.”
Faye and Daphne exchanged a look.
“The faerie folk have weaknesses. Like I’m sure you’ll do too. But the zombies seem to know ours. We sent a small group of faeries to handle the situation. The next day we found them dead just outside our city. All killed the same way. Through the weakness that is. We can’t risk sending more faeries. So we need your help.”
I looked at the other three, they nodded. “We will help you. On the condition that you promise not to kill us. We will be a team.”
The faeries nodded. “We understand. And yeah, we promise not kill the four of you. Now one important thing – we figured out a pattern.”
Elana frowned. “What pattern?”
Daphne looked grim. “The zombies are going to attack tomorrow.”