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 2 – Jiggety-Jig

In the previous twelve weeks, I had been introduced to an entire world of new creatures I didn’t even know existed, including at least one virtual monstrosity that had pretty much raped me into exhaustion. I had faced angry students calling me a traitor to the human race, and had been nearly killed by a magical curse that turned my blood into an oil-like bile. And yet, I would have almost preferred to face any of those horrors again than to go home and explain to my mom how I had deceived her; that summer camp was all just a ruse, and that I was now an Ambassador representing the very group that had allowed it all to happen.

I waited nervously by the entrance gate, seriously regretting the sugary snack I had opted for instead of a full lunch, when Ananha greeted me.

“Are you ready to go, Second Summers?” she asked as she walked up to me. Then she frowned. “Hey, is everything okay? You look a little green…”

“I feel sick,” I commented.

She reached out and put her hand to my forehead. For most people that might tell them if I was running a fever or not. But for a Grand Master Healer such as Ananha, it was the medical equivalent of a full diagnostic survey and a psych profile.

“You poor dear. Going home has really got you tied up in knots. Here, hold still for a moment…” The Fae woman then placed her hands lightly to either temple and stared at a point just above my brow ridge. Almost at once, I felt a relaxing coolness flow down over me, draining away my tension and purging the heavy anxiety that was souring my stomach. With a single deep breath, I blew away the last of my apprehension and smiled.”

“Better?” she asked.

“Much,” I replied. “Thanks.”

“Miranda,” called a male voice over the crowd. I automatically turned and saw the Headmaster striding toward us.


He greeted Ananha and I together. “I’m so glad I caught you. I would like to accompany you if it would be alright.”

I was a little surprised. “Uh… you mean to my mom’s place?”

“Indeed,” he replied, seriously. “I feel it might help things a little if I were present. I would also like the chance to apologize to her…”

“Apologize? For what?”

He sighed. “For putting her daughter in such mortal danger, of course. Miranda, despite what you might think, I do not normally or willingly allow my students to face such horrors as you experienced while here as a First. But she deserves to hear that directly from me.”

“Well, I’m not so sure it’s going to help matters, and I can’t guarantee your safety – my mom can be pretty protective… But if you’re okay with facing her possible wrath then I guess I’m willing.”

“Excellent!” he replied, clapping his hands together. “It’s settled then. I take it you were ready to leave?”

I nodded.


The faerie regarded the man for a moment, considering something, then replied, “The portal is clear.”

Professor Brightly stepped up to the mist filled ring and touched a small carved circle in the wall to its side. There was a slight pulsing of the glowing characters that made up the magical gate, and then a brief change in air pressure.

“I’m putting us in the forest behind your house, Miranda,” he explained, his voice rising above the sound of a rushing wind around the ring.

I nodded again and stepped forward. Ananha took my hand. The headmaster grinned, and then stepped briskly into the wall, disappearing. The faerie gave my fingers a squeeze and then together we followed the man through.

Even though I had gotten somewhat used to traveling through the portals to the Market, the longer jump to one of the larger trees behind my mother’s house was still unsettling. It was like being thrown into an Escher painting and then vomited out again after having taken an impossible roller coaster ride where free fall is the norm, and gravity is the exciting part. It was scary as hell, but significantly less so now that weightlessness had become more common in my life. The only hard part was trusting that the ‘ride’ would eventually end…

I stepped out onto the leaf-covered ground amid many other tall trees and didn’t even stumble this time. Ananha, I noticed, was still holding my hand, and the Headmaster was crouched a short distance away with his right palm placed against the ground, apparently listening. I recognized where I was almost at once and was about to start toward my home, which I could just see through the trees when Ananha stopped me.


“Huh? But I know where I am, that’s my mom’s place right over there,” I said, pointing.

After a moment Professor Brightly turned around and nodded to Ananha.

“Very well, but I think we should stay together.”

I frowned a bit. “Oh, okay sure.” I reached down and picked up a slightly dry leaf, spinning it in my fingers and enjoying the feel of real sun on my skin and the knowledge that I could set off in any direction and run for miles. This was no magic, conjured to create the illusion of an open sky, this was the real thing. I walked with my friends until we had just exited the forest when I suddenly had a realization that stopped me cold. After a moment I turned to my escorts.

“You were sensing for dangers,” I said directly to the Headmaster. “Just now, while you were kneeling, weren’t you?” I saw him glance over at the faerie.

“I told you, Marcus,” she exclaimed, her face slightly smug.

He sighed. “Yes, Miranda, it’s true. With all that has occurred in the last week, I wanted to be certain that we weren’t walking into a trap.”

“Cailleach said my Mom would be safe, because she was an ‘innocent’.”

“That’s true in essence,” added the Principality. “But nothing is certain with the Sluagh. And although it is likely that they will leave her alone so long as she remains neutral, it does not preclude the possibility that they might use her as bait. They knew you would eventually return here, and they have tried to kill you once already.” She let the implication hang.

“They damn near succeeded…”

“So it would be prudent to take all precautions,” she finished.

I turned and looked back to the home I had always known.

“Is our being here putting her in danger?” I asked.

“Be honest with her, Marcus,” I heard the faerie say with a slight warning tone to her voice.

When I brought my gaze to the man, he looked tired.

“I really don’t know, Miranda. Possibly. The Sluagh are up to something, of that we are certain. What your part in their plan is, I have no idea, but with one attempt on your life already, I can not say coming here is without risk. I have taken steps; there are sentry glyphs protecting both your house, and your mother, but they are not infallible.”

“Does the use of magic to protect her change her status as far as the Fae is concerned?”

Ananha answered. “No. The magic is not her own. Miranda, you should know that the rules of engagement that guide the Fae are ancient and complicated. But they are fairly binding. Even the Sluagh would think twice before breaking them.”

“What else do I need to know? What are some of the other rules I should be aware of?” I was a little miffed that I hadn’t been warned more ahead of time.

She nodded. “Well, for example, it’s important that she not knowingly harbor members of the Fae in her house for more than two nights.”

I frowned. “But… wait, I’m a member of the Fae! Does that mean I can no longer live here without breaking her status as an innocent?!”

“You are a blood relation, and so, are excluded. But Marcus and I are not.” She saw me frown. “As I said, the rules are complicated.”

“There’s also the matter of the gates,” added the Professor. “Ever since… Miss Lang’s death,” he said, his face visibly pained, “we have suspected that the Sluagh may have some way to track the comings and goings of Fae through the portals and tree gates. That is an additional danger for anyone that we know they are interested in.”

“Such as myself,” I posited.


I remembered the fate of the late Cara Lang and shivered, my mind reeling at the idea of being turned in a living pincushion.

“Um, I don’t mean to interrupt this discussion,” said Ananha, “but we are about to become a foursome…”


“Miranda?!,” came my mother’s voice from the back door of the house. “Oh my goodness, it IS you!” She was out and across our lawn in seconds. I only had time for a few tense breaths before she had pulled me into a hug. It took all the willpower I had not to just lose it right there. Twelve weeks was a long time. Finally, she held me out at arm’s length. “What in the world are you doing here? I wasn’t going to pick you up until later this afternoon?” She finally stopped and took a good look at Professor Brightly, and then Ananha. It wasn’t until she did a double-take at the faerie’s ears that her face changed and she looked back to me with concern.

“Miranda? Who are these people?”

“Can we go inside? There’s a lot I need to tell you.”


All things considered, my mom took it pretty well. She sat and listened without saying a word for quite some time. When she did finally speak, I expected her to balk at the idea of a faerie sitting at the table having a conversation with her, but instead, she waved it off and pinned down my Headmaster with a gaze that would have chilled a mafia hit man.

“What gives you the right to put me and my family in mortal danger?”

We were all so surprised at her response that we just sat there, mute, until finally I cleared my throat and put my hand on her arm.

“Mom, I went willingly. You can’t put the blame entirely on them…”

“Hush, Miranda,” she snapped at me. I hushed. “Well?” Her focus returned to Marcus.

“I can assure you, Miss Summers, that every care is taken to ensure the safety…”

I ducked, seeing the pit the man was digging for himself. My mom was even quicker.

“Bullshit,” she interrupted. “Look you… Brightly, or whatever your name is. Up until twenty minutes ago I thought all those stories my mother told me about faeries and the Fae as a child were merely interesting diversions to entertain and teach me to respect nature… No offense, Miss,” she indicated Ananha briefly. “But, now it would seem that she was speaking from her own past, and that she was probably… what did you call it, ‘of the Fae’ herself and everything she told me was truth.”

I kept my mouth shut tight and recited numbers in my head. I had no idea if my mother knew that Gran had adopted her, but I was pretty sure she was clueless that the woman was also the Goddess Dana.

“That being said, I can remember that some of those stories were damn scary, including a number about how less friendly Fae folk would often come and test those that knew of their existence. Failing a test put them in deadly peril. Is this not the case?”

Seeing that he was dealing with a no-win situation, the man finally relented. “It is,” he said simply. “But…”

“I thought so. And I assume that the deception of a simple summer camp is to protect the rest of the family, yes?”

The man sighed. “That is essentially… correct, but I might add…”

“Are all your students of legal age,” she interrupted him yet again. This time the man looked quite startled.

“Er, yes! No student may be contacted before their eighteenth birthday. Most frequently we wait until they are nineteen, as was the case with Miranda.”

“I know how old she is,” she snapped, still very much angry with the man. “You said earlier that you wait until students are officially accepted into the Fae to notify the families. Why?”

Marcus Brightly took a deep breath and looked even more nervous, if that were possible. I already knew the answer to this question, so I could understand his apprehension. “If a student chooses not to enter the Fae, then their memory is… altered such that they will remember being at a week’s worth of normal camp rather than the twelve weeks of study during the spring semester. Obviously, it’s difficult to provide a believably memory for even a week, but for their own protection, and that of their family, we have to do everything possible to keep their connection to the Fae a secret, even from themselves. This rarely happens however. Only three students have ever declined.”

I was actually surprised it was that many. My mom wasn’t impressed.

“Isn’t that brainwashing?!”


“No, it’s alright, Miranda,” stated the man. “It’s a fair question. And the answer is, yes, I suppose it is a form of ‘brainwashing’. But Ms. Summers, I want you to understand that in many cases, those we bring to the academy ARE ‘of the Fae’, whether they decide to state it officially or not. Be sure, that sooner or later, certain aspects of their heritage are going to become present and they WILL be noticed. At that point, it would be much better that they are contacted by us first, rather than the Unseelie Court… or worse. If they decline to join the Fae, we can reinsert them back into the mainstream while maintaining watch and protecting them.”

“I see. You will forgive me if I don’t put too much faith in your protections given the attacks you mentioned against my daughter.” She was silent again for several slow breaths, obviously thinking hard. “Headmaster Brightly, against my better judgement, I’m going to forgive you for nearly killing Miranda this ONE time. I am also going to give her permission to continue at your school, and with whatever life she chooses in the Fae afterward. But I want you to know that this decision has very little to do with you, or your behavior or policies, however well intentioned they may be. The only reason we are even having this conversation is because of my own mother. Had she not explained the Fae to me as a child, I would slap you across the face and kick you out of my house. Are we clear?”

“Uh…” he replied, stunned. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Very well then. Miranda,” she said turning to me. “I want to hear it from your mouth. Is this what you want? I don’t care what he says, if you want out, I’ll find a way.” She placed a warm hand to my cheek, and for a few moments I honestly believed she could. The pure conviction in her voice, the raw power of motherhood, gave me pause and actually tempted me for a second or two. Images came to mind of the two of us sitting on her porch eating watermelon and shopping at the mall for that perfect skirt. The happy moments of my youth. But I knew those days were gone, and the words of my grandmother echoed in my mind…

“Accept who you are, Miranda. Be at peace with yourself.”

“It’s where I’m supposed to be, mom,” I replied, smiling. “It may not be ‘safe’, but it feels right. In the Fae, I don’t have to hide anymore.”

She nodded and pulled her head up close to my own, whispering…

“Your grandmother would be very proud.”

Of course, I knew that already.

“Headmaster Brightly,” she said in a slightly warmer tone than before. “My mother told me that I should never refuse shelter to… er, forest folk, regardless of court, so I would like to extend an invitation to you and…”

“Ananha,” replied the faerie.

“You are welcome to stay the night in the guest room if you wish.”

The Professor looked a little more relaxed. “Oh… well, thank you, but I actually need to return to the Academy as soon as possible.”

“Marcus, perhaps I should stay until Miranda is ready to leave,” said the Principality.

“Leave?” asked my mom. “You’re leaving again?!”

I jumped in. “Uh, I sort of already have an internship planned for the summer…”

Her shoulders slumped and she sighed. “I should have known. You rarely do anything halfway, my daughter.”

Marcus bid us farewell and literally stepped into a big oak tree at the edge of our property, the fuzzy, wavering gate appearing at the sweep of his hand. My mom looked like she was about to start hyperventilating, and I steered her back to the normalcy of our house so she could sit down. Ananha raised her hands to apply a magical remedy as she had to me, but I stopped her.

“No, she needs to come to grips with this on her own. Just give her a moment.” I wasn’t simply being difficult; I knew my mom. She could handle major shifts to her world view as easily as reading the morning news, but even that action takes a minute or two. In fact, her world had been turned upside down more than once. The first was the death of my dad when I was still less than a year old, and then again when I was nine and my grandmother faked her own passing. We thought it was real enough at the time, to be sure, and I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to tell her that it was all a lie and that gran was actually the Goddess Dana, the creator of all life, and the living planet incarnate. No, she could do that herself.

“I… I’m okay.” My mom said after a bit. We were all relaxing around the kitchen table.

“Th-that was…?”

“A portal,” answered the faerie. “Like a hole in space to jump from one place to another.”

“A tesseract, I see. Alright then. I suppose I will have to expect such impossible things to become a bit more commonplace.” She took several deep breaths. Finally, she asked, “Ananha, I have a somewhat awkward question…”

The faerie looked startled. “Yes?”

“Do you… eat? I was going to have meatloaf for dinner since it’s one of Miranda’s favorites, but I have no idea if your kind, er…”

“Meatloaf sounds wonderful,” answered the Fae woman, smiling.

“I guess I thought you might be vegetarians or something.”

Ananha smiled. “No, though most Fae tend to shy away from processed foods… It’s not that we don’t like them, we just can’t digest them the way humans can. I’m actually fascinated with human cooking, would you mind if I helped?”

My mom looked delighted. “Not at all! Miranda never took to it, so I’ve sort of missed out on that aspect of motherhood.”

I shrugged my shoulders. “It lost some of its appeal after I understood the chemistry.”

Both women laughed, but I wasn’t sure why.

“Mom, I’m going to go unpack… and then repack some things I want to take with me back to the academy, okay?”

“Sure dear.”

I bowed to the Principality, grabbed my bag and then headed upstairs. It was a little weird leaving the faerie alone with my mother, but I figured it was a good opportunity for my mom to ask the questions I knew were still lurking in her mind… some of which were certainly the kind that you couldn’t ask with your child sitting there. But it was all good. She’d work it out like she had so much else in our lives.

My room looked small, and warm, and friendly, and I took a few moments to appreciate the fact that I might be seeing a lot less of it for a while. There were two large windows that faced out to our backyard and I found myself comparing the view to that of the single large window in my ‘house’ in the Iron Mountain.


I wondered if everything I did now was going to be a comparison to ‘reality’. Illusion was such a large part of the Fae. What was real? The science behind what we called ‘magic’ was sound. It might still be mystical and awesome, but it was no less real than anything else. I flicked my wrist and brought up my Ob’ilar. I had half expected that it somehow might not work here, that the mere presence of my old life would have negated the magic. But the twirling lines and symbols that looped around my body in the form of a glowing web, looked just as they had from within the Academy of Dana. Even the larger, slowly rotating glyph above my head was the same as it had always appeared.

“I wonder what you think of all this,” I said to the magical construct, not really expecting an answer, but more to break the silence. To my surprise, it pulsed softly and made a gentle humming sound as though in response to my voice.

“Well, that’s certainly new.” I flicked my wrist again and sent the entire busy magical world back into invisibility. Then I dumped my bag and looked around for what I wanted to take back with me. Obviously more clothes, a few photos, a memento or two from my family. There was a small crystal magnifying glass set in a brass ring with a chain that had belonged to my father. I hadn’t wanted to risk losing it before. Now though, the thought of being without it seemed worse and so I clipped the chain on a belt loop and dropped it into my pocket.

Finally, when I was done repacking, I went to the door, turned around for one last look at my room, and then nodded. I was letting go of this part of my life for now; embracing what was to come. It felt weird.

I heard laughter as I came down the stairs, and my mom and Ananha grew suspiciously quiet when I entered the kitchen.

“Hey, honey,” said my mom as she took out some milk from the refrigerator. “Dinner is almost ready.”

The two women were all smiles. “You guys seem to be getting along,” I commented.

They met eyes. “Ananha was just telling me about some of your classes. She said you were already taking advanced studies. You okay with that?”

We both knew what she meant. “Sure. It’s just the same as it would be in a, um… regular college environment I suppose. The subjects are a bit more interesting.”

“It sounds like it. Thank you, Ananha,” she said taking a bowl of mashed potatoes from the faerie, who had been fluffing them.

“I was trying to explain to your mother what a normal academic day might entail.”

“Normal academic day?”

With mittens on her hands, my mom lifted the meatloaf from the oven and set it on the stove. “Sure, you know… Mathematics, History, Enchanting… boys…” She giggled, and the faerie grinned.


“She mentioned that you were seeing someone…”

I knew the topic of my love life would come up eventually. I was always frank with her concerning anything sexual, and in return, she let me make up my own mind about what was right and when. I took a deep breath and dug right in.

“His name is Douglas McBride. He’s an historian.”

“Also very talented,” added Ananha.

“So? Descriptions please,” she demanded as she showed the Principality the correct setting for the plates.

“Uh… About my height, Irish redhead, nice sense of humor…”

“Nice sense of humor?” She looked over at the faerie and rolled her eyes. “Daughter o’ mine, stick to the important stuff… Is he cute?”

I knew she wasn’t going to let up until I gave her what she wanted.

“Yeah, he’s cute. He’s got the kind of eyes that let you know he’s listening… just to you. His humor is teasing, but respectful, and he makes me feel like no matter what else happens I can count on him being there to hold me. He’s good to me, mom. He knows I’m special but he sees past all that to just the girl.”

My mother sighed and gave me a certain wistful jealous look that I knew was her approval.

Dinner was fantastic, if not a little strange. I mean, my mom can cook. Really. She’s the kind of kitchen wizard that uses the recipe as a base for improvisation. It used to frustrate me immensely when she would be trying to teach me the finer points and would start to stray away from the guide.

“How can you replicate the experience if you change it randomly each time,” I would argue. To which she would reply, “You can’t. Each meal should be an adventure.” Whatever, I was happy to eat anything she put in front of me, and to her credit, I couldn’t think of a single ‘failure’. The meatloaf that night was no less adventurous.

“This is fantastic, mom,” I said between bites.

“Thank you, Miranda. Have some more green beans?”

I nodded and scooped another helping on my plate. Sauteed almonds really added a nice touch of flavor and I smiled.

“So, how is the food at the Academy?” she asked, sipping a glass of wine. I noticed that Ananha had only water.

I shrugged my shoulders. “Not bad, I guess. Always lots of choices. But it’s a pale reflection to this.” I put another fork-full of meatloaf into my mouth.

“I would have to agree, Tiffany,” exclaimed Ananha. “This is really exceptional.”

My mom grinned, obviously pleased.

About three-quarters through the meal, Ananha suddenly looked up with a glazed expression on her face.

“Something wrong?” asked my mom.

She blinked twice and then looked over. “Oh, sorry. No, everything is fine. The Headmaster has just returned the Iron Mountain back to standard time.”

“Standard time?”

“During the last week of the school year, the time reference at the Academy of Dana is increased so that twelve weeks of school can be compressed into a single normal week. It’s during that week that the Firsts arrive and have their initial semester.” She turned to me. “You should be aware, Miranda, that the Market keeps the faster time reference throughout the year.”

“That’s convenient,” I commented.

“I heard the words, but I have no idea what you two are talking about.” My mom looked like someone had just spoken to her in Cantonese.

I jumped in. “Well, just think of it like a calendar with an extra three months squeezed in during the last week in May.”

She just stared at me for several seconds, then said, “So, you’re actually three months older than I think you are…”

“Well, yes. I suppose I am. But, remember, aging in the Fae is somewhat optional. Three months here and there won’t really make much of a difference physically, since… um, mom?” The woman had gone white. “Are you okay?”

A tear slowly slid down her cheek. “Y-you can live as long as you want?”

I wasn’t sure what to say.

“I think, Miranda, that this is something that you need to give your mother time to…”

“No, I’m fine, really,” she replied, wiping her face.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think about how you would feel about it,” I replied truthfully. “Are you mad?”

She looked at me, surprised. “Mad? Oh, Miranda, I’m not mad at you, not at all. You just told me that you’re going to live forever! What mother wouldn’t want that for their child?!”

“Well, I don’t know about the ‘forever’ part, but I don’t have to age…”

“You silly! You couldn’t have given me a more wonderful present. To know that my daughter is going to live on, able to experience the world with youth and vigor for as long as she chooses? What could possibly be more wonderful?!”

My throat started to close up as I spoke in hushed tones. “Mom, just because I may be immortal, doesn’t mean that I’m indestructible. I could still be killed…” My mind started to shift to the conversation with my gran and I shook it off mentally.

“Oh, I know,” she continued. “But that’s nothing new. Just the possibility that you could live hundreds of years is staggering.”

“Thousands, even…” interjected Ananha. “Years, I mean.”

We both looked at her, my mom with her mouth open.

“Are you…” she asked.

“I’m actually pretty young by Fae standards… a little over twelve centuries.”

“Oh my god… You don’t look any older than Miranda! Could she really live that long?”

The woman nodded once and glanced over at me with a smile. “It’s possible. It’s been a very long time since there were humans that old, but if it is her choice, I see no reason she couldn’t live even much longer than that.”

After dinner, we settled out on the porch for coffee and apple pie. I was surprised to see Ananha smiling over her cup of steaming brew with a wide grin, her eyes closed as she thoroughly savored every aspect of the simple drink. She must have sensed my attention, because she finally turned to me.

“It’s hard to get a good cup of coffee in the Iron Mountain. I’ve tried to explain it to Professor Cho, but it’s one bit of cooking magic she just can’t seem to replicate.”

“It seemed alright to me,” I commented.

“Forgive her, she’s still young,” said my mom from behind us. “The subtleties of proper coffee escape her untrained palate.”

The faerie smiled.

“Do you really need to return to school tonight?” my mom asked finally.

I got up and sat next to her. “It would be safer for you. Every moment we’re here could draw the attention of… less welcome guests.”

“But you’re excluded, right? Ananha could go on without you and you could go back to school in the morning.”

“Mom, Ananha is here to protect me. The Sluagh probably aren’t even interested in her, at least not more than normal. But we know they have it out for me. I don’t want to put you at risk.”

“I can take care of myself.”

I smiled. “I know. I promise I’ll be back again before the fall semester. Maybe if things have quieted down I can stay longer then. Please, mom. I need to do this.” I took her hand. “I need your blessing…”

She looked up at me in surprise. The phrase was something between just the two of us. It was a request that she used to ask of gran when she knew she was about to undertake a life changing endeavor. She invoked it when she asked permission to marry my father, and she had passed it on to me when I got my period. It was our personal code to signify change of the permanent kind. By asking her blessing, I had told her quite clearly that my life would be different from that moment forward, but that I wanted her to be a part of it. It was a signal that she had to let go.

Quietly, she reached out and placed her hand on my head and sniffed back a tear.

“Go, daughter. Go and do what you were meant to. You will always have my blessing.”

I got up and wrapped my arms around her, holding her tight and memorizing everything about her, from the slight scent of cinnamon in her hair, to the trembling purr she made as she tried to keep her emotions in check. I had no illusions about this life choice. My grandmother had spelled out my future pretty clearly, and yet, nothing was certain. The Fomorians might be years away, or they could attack tomorrow. And so, I would live each day, each special moment as though it were my last. It was cliche, but right then, it just seemed right.

She held my hand all the way to the edge of the forest, and didn’t even flinch when Ananha created a tree gate like the one the Headmaster had gone through earlier. The Fae, and its magic was already becoming commonplace in her mind.

When it was time, I didn’t know what to say. We stood there looking at each other until finally she smiled. “I think I’ll get a cat.”

It was the most unusual thing she could have said, and I laughed out loud.

“A cat?”

“To keep me company. I’m going to miss you terribly you know.”

“I’ll miss you too. I’ll be back before the fall semester. Love you…”

With that, I turned and followed Ananha through the portal.

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