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Fear welled up in Eibhlin’s chest, squeezing out the air. “Y-you mean… am I going to die soon?”

“No. No, you will not die from it; at least it is unlikely,” said Mel. “You mentioned your hair changing color, did you not, Milady? When we emerged back into the Mortal Realm, it was white, but right now, it is dark, dull. This is because the sunlight of the Mortal Realm, the Mortal Sun being in its proper station as ruler of the immediate heavens, counters the powers of the Fae Moon, revealing the Moon’s true color without her Sun. In most cases, sunlight from the Mortal Realm would eventually purge the poison. However, because the poison is part of you, it cannot be, not entirely. Whenever the sun leaves the sky, your hair turns back to white, and the sickness returns. When we first arrived, you were sick at all hours. Now, with exposure to the sun and with the moon waning, the symptoms appear to be much weaker, which hopefully means you can live a mostly ordinary life, at least when the sun is up, and that you shall not die from the poison.”

“But when night comes, I’ll get sick again? And it’ll never go away?”

“So it seems,” said Mel. “…There is one more thing, Milady. I do not think you should travel into or through the Fae any longer.”

“What?” cried Eibhlin. “But I have to! I have to use the next fairy door. I have to find Mealla. I must!”

Abbot Callum placed a hand on her shoulder. “We know,” he said. “Melaioni and I have already spoken together. It didn’t tell me everything, but I understand your desire to finish your journey. Only, please understand us, too, Eibhlin. In allowing you to enter into the Fae, in sending you to the Witch’s house, for me I felt like I had sent you to your death. Even though you returned, you came back in this state, and Melaioni could do nothing to help you and can do nothing now.

“Now think. You have already been poisoned by the Fae Moon. If you return there, vulnerable as you are, how well will you resist her poison in the future? What if the poison simply flows into you again? What if you get pulled away from your road and so cannot find a door through which to escape? Do you understand our worry, Eibhlin? If either of us simply lets you go into the Fae again, we shall twice have done nothing but let you run toward death.”

Eibhlin’s heart sank. She almost cried. She wished he wouldn’t speak so calmly about it. She wished he would guilt her and demand she stay. She wished he would give her something to fight, not speak to her so gently, so sadly, not plead with her with such mournful restraint.

She nearly gave in. It was true she was tired. She was scared. She didn’t want to go to the Fae again. She didn’t want to face any more dangers. She didn’t want to be sick and helpless. She didn’t want to go onward. She wanted rest, and she wanted safety. She wanted to stay. She wanted to give up, and if her memories had not resurfaced in her dreams, she might have. But now, in the back of her mind, she could hear her father’s weeping. She saw her mother’s smile and how he had looked at her, heard the longing and laughing voices.

Eibhlin spoke. “I… Father Abbot, when I was at her house, the Witch offered me a chance to go back in time to save my dead mother, and I refused. Even if it would have been impossible to save her, it’s still a fact that I gave up on her. I threw away my only chance. I don’t know how much Mel told you about me, but the reason I’m looking for Mealla is to get back the only thing my father had left of my mother’s. Abbot Callum, I can’t turn back now. After giving up on returning my father’s greatest happiness to him, I can’t also give up on the last fragment of that happiness. I can’t give up. I must find Mealla!”

Callum sighed. He rose and placed the instrument on the chair facing Eibhlin. Gently placing his hand upon her head, he said, “Very well. I understand. I only ask that you wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow, our moon shall be almost half waned, and I can have the doctor mix together some medication while I gather some traveling supplies. That, at least, shall give me some comfort. Rest now, Miss Eibhlin. I shall see you off tomorrow morning.”

When the monk had left, Eibhlin said, “I didn’t want to make him sad.”

“He already knew, as did I, that it was futile,” said Mel. “But we had to try to dissuade you anyway.”

“You know,” said Eibhlin, “you don’t need to come with me, Mel. If I die in the middle of the Fae, you’ll be stuck there until someone else finds you and brings you out. And who knows how long that would be? You don’t need to risk getting trapped because of me.”

“No, Milady. Whether good or ill, I shall witness the end of your story. As I promised, I will not let you go alone, Eibhlin.”

“Thank you, Mel,” said Eibhlin. She then lay in bed, her tainted hair falling into her eyes, and a sob caught in her throat. Curling up under the covers, she began to quietly cry, and she whispered in a voice only she could hear, “Thank you.”

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Fairy Door series cover
The Moon's Scar episode cover
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Fairy Door

Created by
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V. A. Boston
After years of neglect from her father, Eibhlin has had enough. But when a purse of infinite gold, a fairy, and a trade shatter what little relationship she has with her father, she resolves to set things right. Aided by a magic compass and a talking instrument, she now seeks three magic keys and their magic doors to find the fairy once again and recover what was lost. She broke their relationship. Now, she’ll brave the Fae to fix it. If she can get there. From the fantasy tradition of The Chronicles of Prydain and The Hobbit comes a tale of love and redemption perfect for fans of all ages.
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