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 – Unseelie Summer

Chapter 5 – Fragments


Sitting atop one of the four large semi-rectangular stones in the garden, Cailleach sighed and waited. The Court of Dana was the bottom-most level of the Unseelie realm, if not politically, then certainly physically. Few came there anymore, save for the aging faeries seeking Resolution, and an occasional soul at wits end. It was neutral ground, holy ground, and the closest that the common Fae folk could hope to get to the Mother, but few risked traveling so deep. The Priestesses made the walk, of course, as it was their court after all. They were neither Seelie nor Unseelie, like those of the Silver Hand, bound to serve the Mother without taking sides. But even they stayed to their temple, venturing down to the garden only when required by their charge to clean and maintain the grounds.

It was said that Gaia herself sometimes strolled around the smallish tree in the very center of the garden, the Mother’s Heart it was called. Only once had Cailleach been present when the Goddess passed close by, some nineteen years earlier, and then only for a fleeting moment. She had been seated, much as she was now, when the tree at the center suddenly grew bright with power and light. It flared only for a few seconds, but it left the faerie stunned and frightened. For that brief moment, she felt an intense joy, not her own. It was a happiness, an exultant cry of celebration and relief that literally caused her to laugh out loud. And when it was gone, she knew that she had shared in something special, some moment in which the Mother was so very pleased, not with her, but with something beyond her court. She knew the moment would never be repeated, but she often came back to the garden anyway, just to sit, and listen, and watch the softy glowing oak in the center of the large circular cobbled space. Today was different, however.

There was a gentle hum, and the tinkling of tiny bells as the tree gate opened on a larger willow at the other side of the garden. Another faerie stepped out, paused, then moved slowly to the center. She too watched the Mother’s Heart, entranced by the magical blue light that fell from it’s branches. Cautiously, she reached out one hand and gently touched the trunk.

“Does it always glow,” she asked without taking her eyes from the tree in question.

“Always,” replied Cailleach. “Though sometimes more than others. I wasn’t sure you would come this time, Keila.”

The other faerie turned, her face passive. For many long seconds she merely stared at Cailleach, pondering. “For countless centuries I have come to this garden when you asked me to. I saw no reason to change that, especially given that our respective courts are supposed to be… at peace.”

“Indeed. Tell me,” said the dark-haired faerie, dropping down off the tall stone to land as light as a leaf on the cobblestones. “In all that time, did we ever avert a single war? Save a single life?”

Keila dropped her eyes. “No.”

“And yet we both felt it necessary to try, yes?”

“Why am I here, Beira? Are you planning on going to war with the Seelie Court?”

Cailleach turned, putting her back to the faerie, something she never would have done anywhere else. Here, they could be civil. Here, she could ask questions of the one person she knew would answer her truthfully.

“Brìghde, have you ever considered what it would be like if one of us were to actually kill the other? I am the Winter Witch… and you are the Summer Sun. As much as we despise one another, what would life be without your mortal enemy?”

“Free of tyranny, death, fear…”

Cailleach turned back around and took a step closer. Keila balled her hands into fists, ready to stand her ground, but the other’s face confused her. It wasn’t mocking or angry, it looked almost pained.

“Yes, yes… all that and more. But what about you, Keila? What would you feel?”

“What do you want me to say, Cailleach, that I would miss you? My enemy? Do you somehow think us friends after so much blood has come between us?”

She looked down at the roots of the Mother’s Heart, spreading out around her feet, and sighed. “So much blood…”

“Speak your mind, Beira, or stop wasting my time.”

“For thousands of years we have been adversaries. You know me better than perhaps anyone else in all the Fae…”

“Speak plainly and be done with!”

“I’ve been having dreams, Keila.”

“Dreams?” She seemed both surprised and suddenly concerned. “What sort of dreams? You know I can’t take visions you might have to my Court as reliable…”

She waved it off. “No no, they’re not like that. They… They’re just fragments, leftover emotions of a deeper horror that fade as soon as I wake.”

“I don’t see how it…”

“I think they’re fragments of real memories, Keila.”

The lighter-haired faerie grew quiet and frowned. “Fragments?”

“Not of simple nocturnal fantasies, but of… something real.  Keila, I think… I think I may have done something terrible.”

“You mean, aside from the thousands you have murdered and maimed over the years…” She was visibly angry now. Cailleach waved it off.

“This is something else… But I just can’t seem to remember it. It’s like the memory is gone, but the feelings surrounding it remain.”

This caught the woman up short. “Wait… Are you saying that someone has erased your memory?”

Cailleach just stared at her.

“That’s crazy, Beira! You’re a principality! There’s no way anyone short of another principality could pull that off, not even a brownie. Are you sure you’re not just in need of a trip to the Temple? You have to be more than due.”

“I’ve had the sickness before, Kee-kee, I know the difference.”

Keila shook her head. “No, it just can’t be. You have to be wrong.”

“Fine, I’m wrong. Go home. I’m just imagining the fact that I have a huge hole in my memory I can’t account for.”

The other stared at her.

“Brìghde, I wouldn’t have called you here if I didn’t think there was something wrong. We may be mortal enemies, but you have known me longer than anyone else in the Fae, and frankly… I… trust you. You hate everything I represent, but I know you are honorable. If you tell me that you had nothing to do with this, then… I will believe you.”

The other’s mouth dropped open. After a moment, she closed it again as she started to understand the implications of Cailleach’s words. “I want you to remember what you have done to my court, not forget. I would never do such a thing. I have no time for this, I need to return to my duties…”

“Well, the list of those that could have is very short, Keila, and everyone on that list is in your court.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?!”

“Just that you might want to keep our conversation here tonight to yourself… and watch your back, lest you end up missing time as well.”

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