It was dark. Then slowly the lights grew brighter. Vivid blues, greens, reds, and yellows. The stained glass window shined with such brilliance, that the young girl had to look away - her eyes still attuned to the darkness. To the world, her name was Melissa, a small quiet girl at St. Nicholas' home in upstate New York. But she was of another world. A world where the dark takes on life. The moonlight filtered through the tall colored glass washes the echoing halls. The gargoyles beat their large heavy wings as they take off from the roof to hunt. And in one corner, Melitha Morianna DeVaski watches a baby spider spin its first web.
It had been a few months since she discovered this world, and since then the night has been filled with such small wonders. She has wandered and haunted the gothic corridors, giving the few children daring enough to be out of bed tales to tell the others. The children sensed she was different, and teased or ignored her. The teachers worried of this behavior, but at the same time were both thrilled and disturbed by her apparently instinctive knowledge.
She looked up, hearing the sounds of the other children waking two stories above. Soon the thunder of the boys racing for breakfast came down the stairs. They spoted her looking up at them from her black eyes. They paused for a moment as a fleting recognition of a dreamy form silhouetted by thunder in a half remembered dream played before their eyes again for a moment. Shaking their heads to clear the confusion, they sprang away again towards the cafeteria. She sat alone during breakfast, looking as the others occasionally looked at her with mistrust and distaste.
As she arrived at her first class, Sister Carla gave her a notice that she should go to Father's office. On the way, she wondered why Father John would summon her. Perhaps the girls finally were brave enough to report the spiders in their beds the night before. Contemplating what retaliation she would take, she entered the office.
Sitting across the desk from Father John was a tall pale man. He had long black hair tied back in a ponytail and a neatly trimmed beard. His lean body filled a stylish black suit, though she noticed more about him than the Father. It had a medieval cut to it, lined in silver. Long delicate pointed ears could be seen peeking out from his hair. They stopped talking and he turned to look at her as they heard her enter. His piercing ice blue eyes froze her for a moment He was very handsome, and Melitha momentarily lost her composure wishing she was much older.
The Father gestured for her to sit, and she took special care of her posture as she walked across the room, feeling his eyes on her the whole way. She sat delicately, dwarfed in the huge plush leather chair.
"Melissa, this is Allen Caramon, and he is interested in possibly adopting you," Father John paused to look at her otherwise unchanged expression. She then nodded her head politely and looked back to the Father expectantly. "We would like you to go live with him for awhile, to see how you get along. If it works out, you will sty with him." Father John smiled encouragingly, since in his experience, most children get upset or nervous at this point. "Very well, when am I to depart?" Melitha asked. The Father looked concern at her lack of emotion. "You may be excused from your classes for the rest of the day to pack and get your things in order. Allen will pick you up Saturday morning, and we will send someone to see how things are after a week." Father looked at Allen, who nodded his head in approval of this plan. "Thank you very much. I am pleased to meet you sir, and look forward to our time together. May i please be excused to attend to my affairs?" Melitha curtsied and left the room, listening to them as she went down the hallway. "She is a very polite and bright young girl..." Father John said nervously. "I'm sure she'll be just fine." replied a deep smooth voice.
That morning, as the run rose, Melitha stood on the churches steps. Many of her classmates were gazing out the windows as a black luxury car pulled up in front. Allen got out, and opened the door for her. She graciously nodded and looked back at the other children as they pulled away, wondering if they were happy for her. More likely jealous or glad to see her leave. They rode through the countryside in silence until Allen spoke. "I bet your glad to be out of there." "I suppose I must be..." she quietly replied as she looked out the window. "I am called Lord Alanorn Starshadow ap Elunid." "I am honored by your charity Lord Starshadow. I am called Melissa DeVaski." "Please leave the formalities for court. Feel free to call me Allen. Is Melissa your fae name as well?" "Melitha is my name for this life. There were other's, but they remain lost to the mists at the moment." "Well, perhaps we can work on that. I'll be sending you to a nearby school run by Lady Thessaly. That will suffice the state requirement of school. And you'll have time for any private studies you require." "That sounds most satisfactory Lord Alanorn." They pulled into a long winding driveway, at the end of which stood a modern victorian style mansion. "Melitha, I am pleased to welcome you to my home." "Home..." The word seemed alien to her as she whispered it.
Inside the house a short young girl with bouncy blonde curls ran down the stairs grinning. "Is this her?" Alanorn nodded smiling. "Melitha, this is Elaine. She is my mortal cousin and helps be take care of things." "And you know you just couldn't get by without me..." she teased and winked. Alanorn laughed at her. "Elaine, show Melitha around. I still have a few calls to make." "Sure thing," the young boggan said as Alanorn walked into an office. She ran up and waited at the top of the stairs for Melitha. "That way is Allen's suite and the library. Over this side is the guest rooms and our bedrooms. I have the "Dawn Room", and you have the "Twilight Room". Appropriate, huh?" Melitha just nodded as Elaine bubbled on talking excitedly. "Usually childlings don't get to go to court functions until after their Saining day, but Allen will get us invitations." "I see..." her whisper almost lost in the stream of gossip Elaine fed her. Melitha was more than a little overwhelmed and almost certain she would know all about everyone at the school before her first day. "Anyways, here's your room!" she said as she swung open the last door in the hallway. The room inside was bigger and nicer than anything Melitha ever had. The carpet, drapes, and walls were all dark, and the ceiling was a mirror. Best of all, as a small balcony with a telescope on it. "Once I heard you were a sluagh, I thought you might like it. I'm in the room right next door. We even share bathrooms, so we can be just like sisters!" "Wonderful. If you don't mind, i would like to unpack..." "Of course, is there anyway i can help?" "Alone, if you don't mind." Melitha was growing tired of her constant cheer. "Oh, okay. Well, just let me know if you need anything." After finally getting Elaine out, Melitha looked around. With the drapes drawn and lights out, it would be perfectly dark. She unpacked quickly, her clothes and belongings only filling one drawer of the massive dresser. Then she opened the door, pleased to discover the doors hinges were well oiled and opened soundlessly. She walked down the hall to the other wing, and crept into the library. It was full of floor to ceiling shelves, many of which looked to be antique and hand written. She slowly pulled a old worn book out, which was apparently a essay on Changeling history. Then she startled as she head someone speak behind her. "I thought I might find you here..." "My Lord..." She looked down at the book in her hand. "I apologize if I am intruding," "Never. This library is yours. This is your new home Melitha. I want you to be welcome here." He crosses the room gracefully and sat in a large chair. "Thank you..." Melitha whispered as she watched him move. "Feel free to conduct studies on any topics you wish that I have available here. And I can give you lessons as well if you would like." Speechless, almost fearing this was too good a thing to be true, Melitha stood there, holding the book to her chest. "I have finished arranging for you to attend school under Lady Thessaly's care. She is an approved home educator by the state. I have also made Caer aware of your fosterage. It shall officially begin the day before Samhain, in one week. Meanwhile, Elaine will take you shopping, and you can enjoy this short vacation." "Again, I thank you. I think I shall retire to my room. It was a long drive." He nodded and smiled. "As you wish." Melitha sneaked back into her room and sat on the bed. Laying back, she stared at the ceiling, at herself, hating her child form. Wondering what the next year would bring her.