Epilogue

A woman stands at the edge of the great forest, called by the fairies’ song.

Her feet know the way so she does not need the moonlight falling through the canopy of leaves to lead her, turning the shadows to silver, but she does not go in, hesitating just at the edge of the tree line. Once, the longing would have driven her to run deep into the forest to dance, but now she simply stands, eyes closed, listening. For a moment, she is still, breathing in the cool night air, letting the beauty of the music, the sweetness of the magic wash over her.

Hearing the sound of footsteps, she casts a glance over her shoulder to see a wild-eyed warrior with hair as dark as a cloudless midnight sky. He takes her hand. He is her anchor, her way between worlds, to venture near the forest without wandering in too deep— for her place is still in the world of mortals. And she knows this.

Still, from the edge of the forest she can see the will-o-the-wisps dart between the leaves of the trees, lighting up the canopy of branches like dancing starlight. Deep within the forest, she knows the fairies twirl beneath the moon singing their songs and the Great Prince roams, keeping balance between the dark and the light. All is as it should be, so she wonders why this night of all nights she feels as if she is waiting for something, anticipation, like magic, hums in the air, rooting her in place.

“Let’s go home, love,” the warrior says after a time, when the fairies’ song begins to fade. 

“Not yet,” she replies in a whisper.

And that’s when she hears it.

A snatch of a song whistled on the wind.

THE END

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