A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.


Tales From the Fae – Part V: The Academy of Dana

Chapter 32 – Flying Lessons

“My name is Agatha Keely, and for the next two hours I will be teaching you all the art of magical flying. You may refer to me as Professor, ma’am, or even Mrs. Keely as I have nothing against my former human name as some faeries do.” The very short fae woman seemed dwarfed by the huge space of the Great Hall as she spoke to us from a small pedestal placed at one end of the room. There were thirteen First Year students gathered around, including myself, Candice, Douglas and Michelle, and every one of us was more than a little eager to try what was certainly one of the most exciting aspects of the Fae we had yet learned of.

“Before we begin,” continued the faerie, “I assume that everyone here has learned the basic spells needed for levitation and gravitational vector change? Good. Then let’s start with safety. As you can see, we have cleared the hall and moved the tables back to give you all plenty of room. But I cannot stress enough the need for you to remain in control of yourselves at all times. Trust me when I say that the floor is going to be just as hard now as it will be if you fall from thirty feet up, and even a short drop can be serious if you happen to reverse something… which seems to happen quite a bit.”

Douglas turned to me with a wild grin and rolled his eyes.

“For your own safety, stay near the ground until you have thoroughly mastered basic control, and even then be sure to remain aware of those around you. Never assume that your neighbor isn’t about to misstep and come crashing into you. Be ready for surprises. Although injuries are to be expected, I’ve yet to have a student killed while on duty. Now… Who would like to go first?”

A brave girl in the front row raised her hand and I saw Douglas’ brows had risen slightly.

“State you name child,” asked the faerie politely.

“Maria Gonzales, ma’am,” replied the girl, moving forward.

“Well, Maria, what I would like you to do is simply hover about five feet in the air. Do you know which spell to use?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. Then come over here out of the way of the others and sit in a cross legged or lotus position and begin.”

The girl moved a short distance, sat down, and then started motioning with her hands. Without the spell to see her MOS, the action was oddly hokey looking. The effect however was anything but.

At once the girl zipped several feet into the air, and after a brief flailing of limbs, settled back into the loose lotus several feet off the ground.

“Cool,” said the mousy-haired boy next to me, and I agreed. I doubted that few people in our group hadn’t dreamed of flying magically as a kid. To see it for real now was like witnessing a miracle.

“Excellent, First. Now I would like you to continue the hover spell while you very slowly apply a second change in your gravity to move you in the direction of the far wall. Remember to keep control of your first vector at all times. Go slowly, please. We have plenty of time.”

The girl nodded, took a deep breath and then motioned with her hands again. I recognized the final position of her hand that was held out before her, palm out. It was a control stance that allowed her to adjust the intensity and direction of the spell she was casting.

At first, nothing happened save that Maria’s breathing was a little labored out of fear and concentration. Then, ever so slowly, she began to move toward us. A smile formed on the girl’s face as she traveled completely silently through the air at a gradually increasing rate. I was just starting to think she might want to slow down when Professor Keely spoke.

“That’s perfect Miss Gonzales, now back off and stop… Miss Gonzales!”

But it was too late. As she came toward the rest of us, gaining speed, many in the front row started to see the possibility of collision and tried to move back. Of course, we were all pressed up so close to see, that this was impossible. When the blond girl directly in front of Maria started to panic, Maria herself became flustered and brought up her hands to cushion the emminent collision. Unfortunately, at least one of those hands was in use as her control. Just like stepping on the gas instead of the brake when driving a car, Maria accelerated wildly and crashed into the rest of us with a small scream.

“First Gonzales! Are you all right?!” The faerie had rushed over and was helping students up from the ground having been knocked over by the flailing girl. When at last the coffee-skinned girl was brought back to her feet, her eyes were rolling in her head as she wobbled back and forth. Finally, she shook her head to clear the dizziness and focused on the faerie.

“First Gonzales?” asked the fae woman tentatively.

There was a pause, then a smile slowly spread over her face. “That was fun! Can I try again, please?”

Sometimes, as was the case with levitation spells, we were restricted in what we could and couldn’t do as new students. We had been severely warned against trying to levitate ourselves or others until we had gone through flying instruction. I figured it was a bit like learning to drive a car. They don’t want you behind the wheel until you know what you’re doing. But just like learning to drive, it’s something that almost any young adult looks forward to with great impatience. When you can drive, you can GO places.

Once Maria had shown us that it could be done, the rest of us could hardly wait to try it ourselves. Before we were allowed the chance, however, Professor Keely made certain we all understood what Maria had done wrong.

“It’s imperative that you retain control of the levitation spell at all times, even with distraction. It’s almost a certainty that you will be required to levitate in the combat games, and if you think it’s difficult now, in a quiet room, try it under heavy duress… with spells flying around you and gravity shifting every which way.”

That brought the group up short. Most of us had momentarily forgotten about the upcoming matches, and the faerie’s comments were quite the wake up call. A couple girls in the back looked pale and ready to throw up. Personally, I was a lot more concerned about my new Ob’ilar. I had no idea how it was going to react to the subtleties of flying, and apparently Candice noticed my apprehension. She leaned over so she could whisper in my ear.

“Relax. If you can handle the amplifier, this should be a piece of cake.”

I wasn’t so sure, but my friend’s confidence was encouraging.

“Always remember that you are not just the one controlling the magic, but that you have mass. Once you start moving in a given direction, you will continue in that direction slowed only by the air itself… or another object. You can be killed just as easily by slamming into a wall as the floor. Control… You need to feel the ebb and flow of gravity around you,” continued the faerie. As she spoke, she closed her eyes and motioned very slightly with her hands. There was a hushed awe as the woman gently and silently rose from the podium and lifted like the wind into the air. She hovered forward until she was just in front of the group.

“Feel the forces at work… flow with them… control them. Use the Mother’s pull, don’t fight it.” She demonstrated by casually falling to one side then the other. Her motion was perfectly smooth and as graceful as a ballet dancer. “Stay focussed on the true flow of the fields around you, and not what your eyes say it should be. Your eyes will deceive you, as will your opponents.” The faerie gave her hand a flick, which sent her body spinning end over end in a perfectly controlled tumble. With a final subtle gesture, Professor Keely settled lightly back to the ground near where she had started her demonstration.

“Now, I want you all to spread out. We have the whole hall to work with, so make use of it… Ah! Mistress Driel, we are honored.” Almost as one, we turned at the name of the West House Patron. As the youngest of the Principalities, she was known for being a bit of a rebel, even going so far as wearing full human clothing and disguising herself as a student so she could watch and learn (or rather re-learn) human ways. I had heard a couple of Firsts in my own house actually jealous of the West House girls for having such a “cool” Patron. I hadn’t mixed more than a dozen words with the faerie, but I had no small respect for Ananha, our own Patron. As it was, Driel was dressed somewhat formally today, which meant she had on a mostly transparent skirt (which seemed to be hanging from on her hips by magic alone), her gold headband, indicating her status, and little else.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt, please continue.”

“We were just about to begin first flights,” continued our teacher. “Is there anything you would care to contribute?”

The younger faerie thought for a few moments and then said, “Only this. If you don’t get it right off, don’t fret. It took me almost a week to pass my Proficiencies… And I failed the first two times.”

There was a brief burst of giggling as the Principality rolled her eyes in mock horror. “I really would just like to stay and watch for a while, if that’s alright with you, Agatha?”

“Certainly. Class! Spread out now and fill the whole hall… That’s it. Now take up your starting positions, lotus if you can as it will keep your legs from throwing off your balance. Are we ready? Good, then on my mark I want you all to rise straight up SLOWLY to eye level and hold it. We’ll work on speed later. For now, all we want is control. Ready your charms then… Go!”

To my left I saw Michelle zip upwards so quickly that I thought she would hit the ceiling. A moment later however, she reversed herself just as quickly and stopped, a bit flustered, about five feet off the ground. To my right, Douglas was still sitting on the ground. The look on his face made me think he was trying to relieve constipation rather than control magic and I grinned. Directly in front of me, Candice was also smiling as she fairly easily floated upward. As she reached the five foot mark however, she started to list to the side and found she couldn’t control the roll. She was also hampered by the fact that her skirt, which she now realized was a terrible choice of dress for weightlessness, was floating up around her letting everyone in the room know that she wasn’t wearing any panties.

Finally, I took a deep breath and let my own levitation charm enfold my mass and slowly lift me. Candice was right. I need not have worried about my new Ob’ilar as it only made things easier, not harder. In fact, I found that I needed to concentrate very little on the actual charm, and could instead pay attention to what I was experiencing personally.

My body was weightless, but I could still quite plainly feel my own mass. I realized, after a moment’s surprise, that I could also feel the mass of each and every occupant of the room, as well as the pushed back tables, the walls, ceiling and doorways. In fact, now that I was unhindered by gravity, I could sense something that nearly caused me to falter and drop to the ground. For a moment, I was acutely aware of the Earth’s own pull in a way that I had never considered. Previously, gravity had always been that thing that dragged me back to the ground when I jumped up in the air. But now, I suddenly saw it plainly as the entire planetary web that drifted itself within a web of other fields of gravity, and that they in turn, were part of an even bigger web.

Stunned, I started having a severe case of acrophobia. All at once it seemed that the floor had dropped away and that I was now floating over an infinite void of mostly nothingness in all directions. Panic started to well up in my middle and I knew I had to get a grip quick or I’d lose control and start falling. Just when my heart rate was reaching dangerous levels, I felt again the massive bulk of the Earth. Like a warm blanket, it wrapped around my body and I was connected with a ‘down’ again. Unfortunately, I was also no longer weightless.

I caught myself just before I crashed to the ground, my feet actually slapping the stone floor.

“Are you okay, Miranda,” cried Candice who looked alarmed.

Slightly embarrassed, I blinked a few times and took a deep breath. “Yeah. Just a little more than I expected.” I floated back up to head-level and was ready when the sensation of being disconnected started to creep in. This time I held my focus on the Earth, and the room, and my local space. I could have giggled aloud when the feeling of being hugged in a blanket enveloped me but I did not fall. I let myself hover a little higher in place for a moment, then slowly adjusted the charm to let me turn in a gentle circle.

Douglas had finally managed to get off the ground, but was having a terrible time controlling himself. His arms flailing, he fought to keep himself from rolling over by what appeared to be a flapping or swimming motion.

“Use the charm,” I called down to him. His eyes flickered briefly at me, then looked surprised. He put out his hands in the correct positions to control his MOS and was righted almost at once. Michelle on the other hand had let herself roll until she was now floating upside down. She was very still but relaxed, and it appeared, thinking.

As I came back around to face Candice, she was smiling at me and holding her skirt down with her hands, which should have been needed to control her magic. I started to mouth the word “how” when she said, “I created an autonomous control to keep me level.”

I was impressed, and I’m sure my face showed it since she blushed briefly. “Now you just need to create something to keep from flashing everyone,” I joked.

“Already ahead of you…”

Professor Keely’s voice urged us to carefully move forward and back, which many in the class were already attempting, though a number of students looked as though they were fighting down some serious nausea. I did the exercise almost subconsciously while I watched my friends. We were instructed to learn side to side motions, then roll and pitch, and finally vertical controls. It was this last that showed me just how proficient our faerie teacher was.

It’s one thing to float a few feet off the ground while you do various maneuvers, but what was simple at five feet becomes terrifyingly impossible when you are thirty or forty feet from the floor. Two or three students flatly refused to rise more than ten feet into the air, and about three quarters had trouble with control at any serious height. But it was a dusty-haired girl named Tina Rouche who brought the room to sudden silence when she lost control near the ceiling and panicked. Her scream of fear as she dropped nearly two stories was stomach turning, and I’m sure she would have been killed had it not been for the quick action of Professor Keely, who raised her hand calmly and seemed to pick the girl right out of the air and set her back to the ground on her somewhat unstable legs.

“Practice closer to the ground and work your way up,” chided the faerie to the slightly shaking girl.

I let myself glide upward until I was just under the ceiling myself and then looked down. I could see why Tina had panicked, but after feeling like the whole universe had slipped out from under me, a few dozen feet didn’t seem to make much difference. Then, turning over, I more closely examined the ornate decorations embedded in the roof, which was almost flat at my location. Being weightless, it was easy to imagine that the ceiling was actually the floor, and that the rest of the class was floating upside down ‘above’ me. I smiled and took the digression to the next step and let my feet make contact. A moment later I found myself ‘standing’ on that ceiling in awe. It was exactly as though I were standing on the floor. There was no difference. My charm was subjugated to an unconscious process, and I marveled at how easy it was to simply walk around and look at various things without having to even think about the fact that I was upside down and nearly fifty feet above the hard stone floor “below”.

“What are you doing,” said a slightly worried female voice. I turned and found Dramia the sprite flying upside down just to my left. She wasn’t actually upside down, I was. But up and down had ceased to mean anything accept as personal references, so I looked at her and said calmly, “Exploring.”

The sprite looked flustered. “But you could fall and hurt yourself!”

I suddenly became inexplicably angry. “Are you about to fall?”

“No, but I’m a sprite.”


“We fly. It’s what we do!”

“Yeah? And why can’t I fly?”

“You… You’re a human!”

Her grating little voice was seriously starting to bother me, and I knew she was only there because the headmaster had instructed her to follow and watch over me. Suddenly I grinned and ‘lifted’ off the ceiling, a wicked gleam in my eye. Dramia’s own eyes widened and she started to back away. I tensed, waiting for her to break contact. And then she did. In an instant she had turned and was zipping away along the ceiling. Like a giant spring had pushed me, I let loose the charm I was holding back and sprang after her in chase.

It’s not easy to pursue an entity made entirely of energy, especially since her mass was negligible at best. Not so my own. Changing direction for her was as simple as picking a new path, even one ninety degrees off her current. I on the other hand had to move my mass around like a heavy ball and chain. If I turned a sharp corner, my body continued to want to go straight. I had to compensate on the fly, literally.

In physical form, the sprites had limitations as to speed. Maybe it was how they were created. I didn’t care, I was gaining. Together we were zipping around the main hall like a falcon after a meal, Dramia screaming through support braces and turning sharply in an effort to put me off. But still I held her tail. I noticed that the ball of swirling energy that surrounded her was beginning to glow more brightly when she pulled upward and shot through the ceiling.

“Chicken!” I yelled after her, laughing. Then hugging myself, I just floated along the length of the room letting the soft pressure of my grandmother’s spirit hold and comfort me.

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