Authors: Markelle Grabo
Tags: #Fiction : Fantasy - General Fiction : Fantasy - Epic Fiction : Fairy Tales, #Legends & Mythology, #Folk Tales
I could hit my head! I could get hurt! What had Katie been thinking? It was so first grade, yet it had worked. I was making a fool of myself, which was exactly what she wanted.
I waited for the fall to come, but it never did. Instead, I felt firm hands on my shoulders and the weight of another body holding me up. I was saved, but
I looked up into the eyes of a boy I had never seen before. He had raven-black hair that went just to his chin in rustic cut-off angles and seemed to shine unnaturally in the cafeteria light. He had a strong jaw, bright green eyes, and perfect pale white skin. I wanted to touch it; it looked so smooth and beautiful. Like how marble would feel, only I detected a slight color tone in his cheeks. He was pale, but definitely a living, breathing, masterpiece. He had an intense look on his face, but I could also detect a slight grin.
This was just too weird for me. Not only was he beautiful – I mean hot, drop-dead gorgeous beautiful – but he also reminded me strangely of Addison. Like her, he looked serene, beautiful, and almost
. It was as though he had a kind of power others only dreamed of, like he and Addison had something others didn’t have, something that gave them an aura of incredible power and grace. He was strength, but not in a physical way – rather, in a spiritual kind of way. He was the essence of something mere mortals could not grasp.
It was weird how just by looking at him, a rush of mature and regal-sounding words came to mind.
I couldn’t look away from his features, as if my eyes were permanently fixed on his face. He was just so utterly breathtaking….
But I tore my eyes away from his beauty to focus on the matter at hand. This guy had just saved me from what could have been a dangerous fall. He deserved a thank you.
“Thanks,” I breathed out.
“Are you okay?” he asked in a sweet tenor voice.
“Yeah, I think so.”
He helped me to stand and made sure I was on my feet before he let go. I was somewhat sad that he did. I had seen hot guys before, but none like this.
I looked over to Katie, who was still and quiet. It seemed the whole lunchroom had shut up.
“Thanks for that,” I said to him, my gaze returning to his face.
“No problem,” he said smoothly.
“Those were some great saving skills.”
He laughed and ran a hand through his amazing black hair, as if he had done this kind of thing before. “I have been told I’m always in the right place at the right time,” he remarked.
“You were this time. Thanks.”
I couldn’t stop saying thank you. I must have sounded like an idiot to him.
He smiled, showing perfect sparkly white teeth.
“I’m Ramsey.” I put my hand out for him to shake. He hesitated, then took it firmly and released.
“Stellan,” he replied.
He definitely had the perfect name to match his perfect looks. This guy was sure
I couldn’t stop marveling at the grace with which he held himself. It mesmerized me completely to the point where I felt weak in the knees and an aching inside to throw my arms around him. No boy had
made me feel this way. I hadn’t even
of anyone this way before.
I wanted to say more. I wanted to think of a way to keep him talking to me. To keep him focused on me. To make him find me as interesting as I found him, though I knew that was impossible. I couldn’t compare to this. I may be attractive in some ways, without my ears of course, but not like this. Stellan didn’t look weird. He looked like a dark-haired angel.
Unfortunately, the lunch bell rang almost instantly after our introduction and he turned away to leave.
“See you around, Ramsey,” he said before he left.
I gasped, covering my hands over mouth, my eyes wide open in sheer astonishment. It hadn’t been his line about seeing me again that had me almost gasping for air – though that sort of thing hardly ever happened and should have surprised me. No, it wasn’t his words.
It was the pair of perfectly pointy ears that finally showed as he walked away that totally freaked me out. I decided that maybe he
a little weird. Just. Like. Me.
Things had just gotten a lot more complicated.
Then I fell for real. By fell, I mean fainted. At least it was in a different direction so I didn’t hit my spilled lunch. Sadly, this time I had no one to catch me.
I woke up in the nurse’s office, woozy and in pain. They told me I had hit my head pretty hard when I fell. That was obvious. That cafeteria floor wasn’t made of marshmallows.
Mom came to pick me up; the school’s procedure was that I go home. Don’t worry, they said; I could still go to the ball.
I thought sarcastically to myself. Too bad I didn’t get a concussion or something. It would have been nice to have an excuse not to go. But I wasn’t so lucky.
“What happened, Ramsey?” Mom asked during the car ride home.
I decided not to mention the encounter with my pointy-eared rescuer. That would have definitely made my mother ask questions I was in no mood or position to answer. Instead, I went with an easy excuse, one that I knew would work as long as I didn’t let anything about Stellan slip. I had to admit it was hard not to say his name aloud. Just the thought still gave me goose bumps. I could picture his face clearly in my mind. Focusing on his image seemed to take the pain away from my head. Then I would remember his ears, and the headache would start all over again. Things were getting very weird lately, even for me. I knew that eventually I would have to come out of this huge mess of denial, because my plan to ignore the strange occurrences that kept happening wasn’t exactly working. Almost as if the more I ignored them, the more weird stuff kept happening.
“Katie tripped me during lunch, and I fell and blacked out,” I said.
“Why are girls your age so mean to each other all the time? When I was in school, I remember there being mean girls, but they never did anything physical!”
“Yeah, if only we could go back to the good old days,” I said sarcastically.
Why did parents always have to bring up when they were in school? As if it mattered what had happened to them. I was living in the now, and right now my head was killing me.
“Oh, stop it, Ramsey. I know your head hurts, but try not to act so foul.”
“Sorry,” I said.
“You know, sometimes I just don’t understand you, hon.”
“No one ever does….” I sighed.
“Maybe you need to open up to people more. Let new friends in.”
I rolled my eyes and shook my head, which only made the pain worse. Not even my loving parents would ever understand my life. Though I probably hadn’t been thinking clearly because of the pain, in the back of my mind, I had a feeling that if anyone were to ever understand me, it would be Addison, or even Stellan….The feeling both unnerved and comforted me.
Mom went back to work after I was safe in bed, so I had some time to think. What had happened today? I still could hardly believe what I had seen and what I had heard. That gorgeous guy was actually a freak like me. How could it be possible? I thought I was a genetic mess-up, an accident. Now here stood Stellan, incredibly good looking with
I knew somehow that Addison fit into all of this. I just didn’t know why all these strange things were happening all of the sudden. Why had she told me I was an elf? Surely, it couldn’t be true. There was no way my life could be that interesting, that unreal. I was simply a freak. There couldn’t be anything more to it than that…could there?
Something in the back of my mind was screaming to be known, but it may just have been my head begging for painkillers. The weak stuff they gave me at school wasn’t doing much good. In fact, it felt like I hadn’t taken anything at all. Didn’t those nurses read their manuals?
Thinking of manuals finally led me to remembering the book. The book…that’s what I had trouble remembering! I had meant to look at the page in the inscription, but I had forgotten all about it. I had to look through it now. I couldn’t put it off. I knew somehow that this book – no matter how crazy it sounded because it was just a fantasy book – held something important for me. Being careful not to move too quickly, I slowly reached under my bed and felt around until I found leather.
Without hesitation, I turned to page two hundred and seventy-three. The sight of the picture hit me with an invisible force I couldn’t describe, and I felt the woozy feeling coming back again.
It was a woman: pale-haired, pale-skinned, green-eyed, and with pointy ears. She was extraordinarily stunning, pure like an angel. Her skin was almost luminescent, glowing with an incredible light. Next to her was another woman, but this one had pitch-black hair that shined unnaturally for a picture in a storybook. The man next to them looked almost exactly like Stellan, handsome and regal.
I struggled to read the name at the top of the picture.
,” I barely whispered.
Had Addison been telling me the truth? Was I really an elf? How? Elves didn’t exist! I couldn’t deny the fact that I had believed in things like fairies most of my life, but the belief had never been so close to the truth. I never expected the fantasy to become a reality, but now it appeared as though it was.
Sure, kids in school had called me Elf Girl, but I had always thought of elves as Santa’s helpers. These elves were beautiful and different. They were thin and tall. They were magical. They seemed so alive, full of mystery and intrigue.
I decided to read on. I had to know every fact and every detail. I didn’t know why I was buying into this so quickly, but I didn’t stop to think about it.
I started with the introduction. Under “appearance,” I read that elves – or elfin folk – were more beautiful than humans, either fair-haired or black-haired, had excellent singing voices, and were a lot like fairies without wings. They had pale skin and angelic physical characteristics, described as
. They were angels without the wings, mysterious and pure.
Elves were much more gifted in magic than humans, stronger mentally but not physically, had sharper senses and perceptions, and were said to be wiser as well. They loved nature and the forest, and hardly ever lived very far from a group of trees.
It was all there. I matched everything: their appearance, singing abilities, mentality, and physical ability. It also explained why I liked the forest so much. It was all there for me in standardized print.
Yet, a small part of me didn’t want to believe it, because believing it would change my life. Until today, I would have traded anything for a new life; now I wasn’t so sure. I was afraid of what the future would bring if I chose to believe.
Nevertheless, how could I truly be an elf? My parents weren’t like me, and neither was my sister. How could I have been born an elf randomly?
I looked under the family section to see if I could figure it out. It said elves and humans never mated because elves tended to stay in their world and humans in theirs – whatever that meant.
If they did, the elf gene would be gone, leaving the new baby completely human. An elf couldn’t be born without two elfin parents. So, if it were true, I would have different parents, parents other than the ones I had shared a home with my whole life. I wondered if I even wanted to believe in the possibility….
Did I forget to mention that some countries thought elves were demons? They looked like angels, but that was to deceive humans and lure them with their magic and beauty. Yeah, that’s right. I could be a demon. Once again,
Before I could shut the book and throw it across the room, another section caught my eye. It was on elf circles. I had heard of fairy rings from my fantasy books. If you stepped in the mushroom rings, you would end up in the fairy world. I had never heard of elf circles. Curious, I decided I would read just a few more lines from the fantasy guide:
“On lake shores, where the grass met the water, you could find elf circles. They were round places where the grass was flattened like a floor. Elves had danced there. It could be dangerous, and one would fall ill if one stepped over such a place or if one disturbed anything there.”
I threw the book across the room and it smacked against my bookshelf before dropping to the floor. I lay back on my bed and rubbed my temples, feeling a stronger headache coming on. This was all too much for me to handle, too much information, and too much shock and confusion. I couldn’t process it.
Was I really an elf? If so, what was I supposed to do about it?
Addison’s name floated through my mind, and suddenly I knew with a one hundred percent certainty that she was the key to all of this. Finally, I knew the reason for my gut feeling. I knew why she had such significance.
I decided I hoped Addison would be at the ball tomorrow, because I was
leaving until I got some answers.
I tried to hide my problems from my family, but it didn’t work. They knew something was wrong, just not what it was. I wanted to keep it that way. Until I had some answers of my own, I didn’t want to give any to anyone else. Thankfully, Dina spent all Saturday getting ready for the ball and didn’t have time to dig any deeper into my issues.
We met downstairs, both dressed in our new gowns. Dina was ready to party; I was ready to get some answers.
I had to admit, I looked good in my dress. If it weren’t for my ears and the dozen questions clouding my mind, I would be just another girl excited for a fairytale night at the ball. However, that was not the case. For a brief moment, I wished I was going to the ball with someone other than my sister. Maybe someone like Stellan….The thought drifted in and out of my mind.
Dina looked gorgeous – as always – normal teen material, unlike my odd forms of beauty. Her dress was a soft peach with rhinestones decorating the top and sparkles all over the skirt. It was also strapless, making her look older and more developed in the chest region, which sparked some remarks from Mom, who didn’t really approve of the dress. She would definitely get looks all around, the good kind. I would be stared at, but not because I looked good. Just because of who I was.