I woke up the next morning to a sharp poke to my side. I jumped and struggled to get my bedroll open. I worked harder at it when I heard muffled grunts. I pushed out and was met with a spear in my face. I stared at it before it was suddenly pulled from my view and I stared at what I could only assume was a Satyr. He was male and his goat legs were covered in brown hair.
My gaze travelled up to his face and I noticed he had tanned skin and blue-green eyes, with brown curly hair that matched his legs and that was cut shorter than I had ever seen anyone’s hair cut before. Horns sprouted from the top of his head and curved backwards. He stared at me with his head tilted to the side. He knelt down, making me back up slightly, and reached out a hand to touch my face.
“You are female,” he said, sounding surprised.
“Yes,” I replied hesitantly.
“And you are not an Elf,” he continued.
“Not really,” I answered.
“So then, what exactly are you?”
I did not think it was a good idea to say I was half-Elf, so I said the only other thing remaining.
“I am a Human,” I said.
He held out a hand to me and I hesitantly took it. He pulled me to my feet and, shifted back away from me, lowering his eyes to the ground.
“I am not sure what to do with you, the short one, the other…Human, or the horse creature. The Elf we shall kill. The rest of you will go back to the city.”
“Don’t you dare kill Elthinor!” I spat, stepping forward and grabbing the handle of my knife.
He stepped back immediately, his eyes wide. “B-but he is an Elf!”
“And I am sure your preconceived notions about Elves are horrible, but he is my friend and I will not let you kill him,” I growled.
The Satyr looked surprised, but for some reason, he nodded and made a strange little bow.
“As the lady wishes,” he said complacently. “But we must take you to our city. Our Queen will wish to see you and speak to you.”
“Your…queen? As in a female?”
“Yes ma’am. Would you be willing to follow us to the city?”
“If you let them go,” I said immediately. “And let us pack up and carry our things.”
He looked hesitant but gestured and the others, including Elthinor, were released. We quickly gathered everything up, threw snow on the dying fire, then I nodded at the Satyr. He bowed again and began leading the way through the snow, which had piled high in the night. We trudged through it, and even with the extra layer I had on, I began shivering soon. The Satyr looked at me and pulled off the jacket he wore, offering it to me. I declined.
“Then you shall be cold. No, keep it for yourself. I will be fine,” I assured him
He looked at me strangely, but put it back on, and on we went. Snow began falling fast and thick, obscuring our view, though the Satyrs seemed to know exactly where they were going. Time seemed to be frozen as we walked through the cold, so I had no idea how long we walked, or even the direction we were walking in. We finally got to an open city with no walls save the towering thing behind it that we could see only a shadow of through the snow. We were taken through the city to a large building and ushered inside. The Satyr who had spoken to me turned to us and we stopped.
“I hate to make you wait, milady, but our queen must be told of your arrival. I shall go and tell her if you would be so kind as to wait here.”
I nodded, rather bemused at their treatment of me versus Elthinor and the other males. Two Satyrs stood guard at a pair of rather large doors leading deeper into the building. It was through these doors that our escorts walked, leaving us alone in the big room. Elthinor immediately grabbed my arm and spun me around to face him.
“We must leave here,” he said urgently.
“Whatever for?” I asked, confused.
“They are Satyrs Fily,” he said, a bit of a whine in his voice.
“Satyrs are evil!” he exclaimed.
“Oh come now Elthinor,” I chortled. “After all we have been through, do you honestly still think that?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that we have destroyed many preconceived notions about each others’ races! Satyrs cannot be any worse than any other race.”
“They are different,” Elthinor said stubbornly, fear in his voice.
“I say we should give them a chance.”
“I say we run out that door!”
“We stay!” I said, raising my voice.
“We go!” he yelled back, grabbing my arm and forcibly dragging me towards the door.
I jerked my arm out of his grip and planted my feet. “I said no. Why are you so adamant about this?”
“Because,” he snapped. “They nearly killed me and my sister when we were children.”
“What?” I asked bewildered and a bit shocked.
“They captured us as children and all I remember are their crystal eyes! If my grandfather had not saved us they would have killed us!”
“I am sure we can-”
“I refuse to stay here!”
“Come now Elthinor,” I said, forcing myself to calm down. “Give them a chance.”
“No! They are monsters like the Aswang that killed your mother!”
Ice went through my veins. “Do not bring my mother into this,” I hissed, my eyes narrowing.
Elthinor was still angrier than I had ever seen him before, and he grabbed my arm in a grip like iron and began yanking me towards the door.
“Unless you want to die a bloody, gruesome death like she did, we should leave.”
At those words my mother’s image came to me. She was lying in the pool of blood with her stomach eaten away…I screeched and grabbed Elthinor’s arm.
“Shut up!” I shouted. “Stop talking about her!”
“No. I will keep it up until we leave! You are a mere girl and know nothing of the Satyrs! Your mother knew not what she was doing, either, when she married your father. I will not let the same thing happen to you!”
“My mother knew what she was doing!” I said hotly, digging my heels in.
“No she did not! And it was because she was stupid and-”
I punched him. Hard. He went down with a gasp and gaped up at me stupidly for a moment before leaping to his feet, eyes blazing with fire. He lunged at me and I spun, dodging him. He turned to face me, growling.
“Filynora, Elthinor,” Nolan said hesitantly after a moment. “Please. Do not fight,” he said quietly. “Maybe we should leave and just stay outside the city?”
“No. I want to make friends with the Satyrs and show Elthinor that they mean us no harm,” I spat, my eyes trained on the silver and green Elf.
“They will kill us all!” he snapped back, narrowing his eyes.
“A house divided cannot stand,” Valtrak suddenly said. “Fighting each other will do no good. Working together would be more productive.”
I knew he was right, but that horrid Elf had insulted my mother. He could have said anything he wanted about my father, but not my mother! Elthinor and I stared at each other, not moving.
“Take back your comment about my mother.”
He smirked and said the magic word. “No.”
I drew my knife and threw it. Elthinor ducked and it stuck quivering in the door where one of the Satyr guards had just been standing. The two guards looked at each other then shoved the doors open and began running down the hall, calling out again and again for somebody named ‘Miyana’. I ignored them and Elthinor rushed me.
We clashed like Titans and fell to the floor, grappling with each other. He would have had me pinned if my anger hadn’t burned so fiercely. I would get another burst of strength just when he almost had me down and on and on we would grapple. He finally tumbled off me and stood, me following his movements.
“Stop this madness!” Gabrithon exclaimed, not daring to come too near to us.
Elthinor suddenly got a cruel glint in his eyes. “Tell the freak that!”
I heard Tynan’s voice in that insult and I screamed, flying at him. He and I locked arms, but neither of us could get the upper hand. Fire was in my veins and I felt some of it leaking out of my eyes and down my tingling cheeks. I could see in Elthinor’s eyes that I looked like an Elf now. With yet another burst of strength I pinned him to the wall. I heard the two doors fly open and a female voice cry out “What is going on in here?”, but I ignored it and glared at Elthinor with hatred and loathing filling me, mostly directed at myself.
He seemed to understand he had crossed a line because he released my arms and reached for me as if to calm me. At that point, I did not want calm so I lashed out in a way that would hurt him as much as possible: I kneed him in the groin. His face contorted and he dropped. I let him go and he hit the floor and curled into a ball. I began kicking him, tears still going down my face. I heard somebody screaming and I realized it was me. It was more of a chant.
“I’m not a freak! I’m not a freak!” I kept saying over and over.
I felt arms grab me and drag me backward. I turned and fought back. The arms let me go, but a hand on my arm stopped me. I spun again and found myself staring into feminine eyes that were the exact same shade of blue my mother’s had been. I sobbed and fell into the female’s arms. She wrapped them securely around me before ordering my friends to be taken to their chambers. With that said, she led me down the hall. I followed blindly, crying too hard to see.