I quickly realize after the first sip that it is poison, the sour iron taste of táir burst forth, causing me to gag. I spit out what saliva was left in my mouth, but the damage is already done.
Looking down the long, elegant table to my dinner companion for the night in agony as tremors shake my extremities. My breathing rapidly increases, taking my composure with it. Wira stands and walks, unhurriedly down the length of the table, gliding her hand along the ivy-covered lip of the table. She takes careful measure as she draws a small, needle-like dagger from inside her slender sleeve. Twirling it between her fingers idly as though it were just another fairy-light glittering among the trees in this grove, “‘How long will it take for you to pass?’ I’m sure that’s the question on your mind right now as you squirm.” She smiles fully and pierces her knife into the thin flesh of my cheek.
Fighting her poison and manipulation, I lick the knifepoint on the inside of my mouth. “I was more wondering something along the lines of how you plan on getting out of this on top. You’re trapped here.” She twists the knife as she laughs her twinkling laugh.
“You would think that wouldn’t you, Highness. In truth it should be rather easy, but I’ll keep this short given the pace of the táir tracing through your veins,” She nods to my hands, the veins were stark in their black color against my brown skin, pulsing to bursting. “I’ll simply slip through the Veil.” I smile back at her causing the rip in my cheek to widen, my blood pumping more freely from the slash, tearing almost to my lips.
“I thought you despised the creatures on the other side of the Veil. You wouldn’t belittle yourself by consorting with them would you, dearie?”
“Oh, on the contrary, I consider the humans to be cute, in the way a hunter considers a rabbit. I’ll use them until they are no longer required.” She leans down, whispers, “Our great chess game is now done.” The convulsions meet their peak and I can no longer control my façade. The veins in my hands finally rupture. Blood spatters the table and the lily centerpieces like pollen.
The enchantress tips my chair back with, but a single finger, “It is only my pleasure to bring the almighty Faerie King to the ground.” She sighs wistfully and turns to leave. I watch her feet stalk away from under the table.
The living soil underneath me suckles my blood, taking the magic in my veins back into the soil where my bloodline originated. I feel the darkening spark and scream, the muscles in my neck pulling taut and trembling. The cannibalistic land pulls every last scrap of ancient blood from my veins as the táir takes my life. I can only watch blissfully in my narcotic haze as stone crept up my ashen skin. Moss and grass took the place of veins, flowers sprouted instead of freckles and roots take my paralyzed body back into Domhan.
Leave it to the enchantress to use the most cowardly way of murder, and the most effective way to kill a god. My ravished body, lying spilled from its chair, has nothing to do but force my eyes to stare at the deep purple sky, bruised as my pride and light as the spirits that awake for the night.
Green creatures trudge out of dens, blue phantoms float down from the canopies and brown, translucent carcasses rise from deep in Vipin’s heart. They swarm around me, taking in my vulnerable state and begin to feast. Tearing my calcified prison of a body apart to get to the magical flesh trapped beneath for tonight's nourishment. Little did they know they had stumbled upon a spirit’s delicacy: an undying body once filled with magic. Now a dead sac except for the musty spirit trapped inside. Vipin will not stop them just as he did not stop Wira or the táir in my veins from killing me.
The irony did not escape me. Not in life, not in death.
The Immortal Fae I swore to protect as my subjects were indeed undying. Except for the spirits that wander the beautiful groves at night. We were born into a world made to kill us. We are only undying on the other side of the Veil. There is the irony of my world for you, this and that this beautiful grove, bursting with vibrant flowers and ancient trees, flickering with warm light and smells of deep peace, was filled with nothing but death, beautiful death. Is that not ironic? Is that not cruel?
Should I be able to utter a sound, the whispering leaves and sprites would only be accompanied by my own manic laughter as the land drinks my magic and swallows my spirit.
I leave my fate to vox nihili.