Sidhe Moved Through the Faire

by Rie Sheridan Rose

Under the hill and far away is the land of the Fae—world of magic and mystery. But what happens when a pair of curious Sidhe twins from beyond the hill decides to visit a human market faire and lose their hearts? Can true love triumph and find happiness when Sidhe Moved Through the Faire?


Chapter One

“Shh…quiet! If they catch you, they’ll pull your wings off and feed you to the witches!”

“Shut your gob, you git! They don’t suffer witches. More like put us in cages and charge tuppance to see the beasties. But I’m no’ afraid.”

“You should be. Fae aren’t welcome here.”

    “Mayhap they’ve never seen our like. Makes folk nervous. They’d learn better if the King would let us be seen.”

“Still your tongue, fool!” Aisling glanced over her shoulder nervously, her iridescent wings trembling at the thought of what would happen to her lack-wit of a brother if the King or one of his Court heard him talk so.

Ailill sniffed. “What’s foolish is that we have to skulk around like shadows in our own country so as no’ to be seen by the mortals. What’s the harm in learning more about them? Can’t we all just get along?”

Aisling shook her head vehemently, and hair the color of leaves in autumn cascaded about her shoulders. “They fear the Sidhe. Treat us like demons if they catch us about. We can’t just walk up to them and say hello.”

“And so we cower in the bushes,” he muttered in disgust, sweeping a hand to take in the cavern-like space under the willow they crouched beneath. “‘Tisn’t fair.”

“Maybe no’, but it’s safer.”

“I want to go down there.” Ailill pointed down the hill to the brightly colored market square. They could hear the din of lively trading going on even in their hidden bower half a league away. The smell of roasting meats and freshly baked bread wafted up to them on the breeze. “I can pretend to be one of them.”

Aisling looked at her brother’s winter-pale hair framing tilted green eyes. The tips of his ears peeked through the rough-cut thatch of hair, and his wings shimmered in the sunlight. “Only if they are blind.” She rolled her own slanted eyes.

“All I have to do is pull in my wings and keep my ears covered. Come on, it would be an adventure. Doesn’t it sound like fun to you?”

“It sounds like a damn fool thing to do, that’s what it sounds like to me.” She sniffed, and ran a grimy hand beneath her nose. “We shouldn’t have come this close.”

“I promise I’ll take care of you, Aisling. Nothing bad will happen. Please…come with me.” Ailill used the charming, wheedling tone that Aisling couldn’t resist.

She hesitated. This was the most foolish thing he had asked for yet. To go down into the center of the human town and try and pretend to be a part of it…but on the other hand, the market was a siren call tugging at her heart. The sounds. The colors. The smells. It was all so…alive!

Life in the Sidhe Court could be so very dull. Especially for adolescent Fae with only a century or so under their wings. The twins weren’t considered old enough to be part of the council, but they were considered too old to play with the hatchlings. Even Mother shooed them away in exasperation when they seemed more underfoot than needed. She had sent them out of the barrow today with orders to ‘find something useful to do.’

After wandering for most of the morning, they had wound up here, crouched in the dirt beneath the willow. Ailill found humans fascinating. He had studied their ways since he was a tiny hatchling. Aisling usually went along because he was her brother. Her twin brother.

They were an uncommon pair. Twins were rare in the Sidhe society. If they had not been younger siblings of the house, things could have been worse, leading to complications over Father’s council seat and other inheritance matters, but their elder brother Darargh held the place of heir in the unlikely event of Father’s death.

Aisling glanced down the hill again, biting her lip nervously. She did want to go down there, if she was honest. But how could they hope to fit in?

She looked at her dress of spider gossamer and moonbeams and Ailill’s tunic of autumn leaves over moleskin breeches. They looked about as human as the King’s prize stag.

Ailill caught her glance. “Don’t worry. I have a plan. See there?” He pointed to an isolated cottage on the other side of the hill.

Aisling followed the direction of his finger and saw laundry spread to dry on the bushes beside the cottage. “What are you thinking, Ailill?”

“I’m saying we steal us some clothes—loose ones to fit on over these—and we go to the Faire.” He grinned at her.

“What about our wings?”

“I can pull on a smock over mine. I’ve done it before.”

She glanced at him sharply. “When?”

A faint tinge of color bloomed on his pale cheeks. “Never you mind. I’ll find you a table cover or bit of bed linen you can drape into a bodice, and you can pull your wings down around your shoulders like a shawl of your own.”

Aisling sighed. He obviously had given the matter a great deal of thought, and he was usually right about such things. It could be very exciting…


"Sidhe Moved Through the Faire" - Rie Sheridan Rose


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