I try to write something every day. I don’t always know where it’s going or what I’m doing with it. I finished the first draft of a book I was working on last week, so I’ve been in a sort of limbo. I don’t have a new project picked yet. This means I’m writing a lot of random things, waiting for that next idea to grab me. Yesterday I wrote something with faeries, again. Calm down, 30 Days Without Wings fans…it’s just a scene. I don’t see it going further. But here it is for your enjoyment.
The door to the chamber opens and I force myself to drop to the ground and walk. The surface is polished and shiny. The room is filled with the reflections of the gold from the wings of the elders, flashing around like the setting sun bouncing off the windshields of the cars on the freeway. I don’t want to be here. Every muscle in my face is working overtime to keep my from slipping into what I’m sure would be seen as a rude frown. I don’t want to be lectured.
This group I’ve flown into today is the council of elders for my community of faeries. They’re supposed to be the best fae in each field. If, for example, you had saved more lives than anyone else who was a practicing healer, you’d be the elder. The room seems to house more and more fae every year that we exist because more and more jobs are just created out of nowhere. If you’re the only faerie doing your job, you’re automatically the best. Anyway, when you accomplish something important for our society, you earn gold markings on your wings. It just happens, it’s not something you can control. So it’s pretty easy to determine who should be the elder. They’re simply the ones with the most gold.
Today is my planning meeting. It’s this old custom that says we need to go before the entire council and tell them what path we intend to take for the rest of our lives. You can’t earn any gold without being at one of these meetings. That’s why my wings are plain old clear, like all the other underage fae in our society.
I stop in the middle of the room and look around at all the faces. Do you think they notice that the ratio of men to women in here is like 70/30? Shouldn’t that be 50/50 if we’re being equal about it? Strange how that happens. I wonder if it’s always been like that.
My thoughts are sucked out of my head as a gorgeous fae stands up from her seat. Everyone else must be having the same problem because the room goes instantly silent and the rest of the council drops into their seats. She is directly across from me, and although there is half a room between us, I can hear her clearly when she speaks.
“Welcome to your planning, Mario. Have you decided what path will earn you gold?”
I’m trying to answer her, I really am. But I can’t find my tongue. She is not only beautiful, which trust me she has going for her, she’s also radiating this pulsing silver light that just takes my breath away. It’s like lightning powering the room.
I close my eyes for a full count of fifteen, which seems to work. Then I speak. “I have really taken an interest in creating musical instruments. I know it’s a new field, but I really think it’s valuable.”
“Of course it’s valuable, Mario. That is why I approved the start of the field to make the instruments. Do you play anything or just create?”
“Um, I have only played what I made so far.”
“Any guitar?” she asks. She floats off the ground as her wings twitch. A smile lights up her face. “The guitar is my favorite.”
“Yeah, a little. I really like the violin. Anyway, I’d love to earn my gold in that field. Can I?” I shuffle my feet nervously. My parents tried to talk me out of this. Music is really new for us. It’s something that was only approved as a path in the last like five years or something. I’m terrified that the council will tell me to pick something else. I’m all ready to spout off some ways I can improve society with music. It’s been shown, in humans, to actually ease suffering and help connect–
“Absolutely. But we need people to play the instruments as well as make them.” She turns her smile sideways and squints her eyes a little. “Yes, that will do nicely. Ladies and gentlefae, a musician is among us.” The council rises to their feet, clapping their hands.
Just like that, I’m a musician.