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The TRUE Story of Tam Lin

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I am the Faerie Queen, great in power over all the faerie people, and yet, bound by them. They are my friends, my allies, and my family. I don't want to see them die, or see them trapped, it's my natural instinct to protect them. since this is true, why was it so bad what I did to that young man, Tam Lin?



Tam Lin was an incompetent knight in the service of the Royal Army. He was no asset do his country and a danger to his comrades, so I figured he wouldn't be missed. I needed a tithe, and I had to use somebody else, I couldn't sacrifice one of our own. He was the perfect candidate. Oh, you don't know what a tithe is, do you? Or at least, not in the sense I mean. Every seven years, we are forced to send a sacrifice as a tithe to hell. I know it sounds cruel, but truly, it is a great service, as it allows the rest of us to roam free for another seven years. The problem is, even one loss of our own was too great a price, so of course I had to find somebody else! As I was saying, this Tam Lin character was the perfect choice for the duty. Frankly, I had no other options, seven years is not a long time!



So I set about following the lad about, secretly of course. At times I could not be there, I sent a pixie messenger out to bring me the perfect opportunity to seize him. An opportunity arose much sooner then expected, not even a year after watching him! Tam Lin had been riding with some of his fellow countrymen, and his horse had slipped, tossing him into a riverbed. The water wasn't even ankle deep, but it would take some time for the others to get through the bushes he'd been tossed over. I went down to him, carrying him away, and leaving evidence to suggest that he had been carried off by either the water or an animal.



Now, even though I had the boy, the tithe was sill over six years away, and I'd need to keep him occupied until then. The best thing I could think of was to give him a job as a minor guardian spirit to an abandoned estate by the name of Carterhough. Carterhough already had its fair share of ghost stories, so now he could help cement them. Tam Lin did his job respectably well, and I slowly started watching him less and less, not thinking he could get in too much trouble there. Of course, that's when that blasted Janet had to go up there, dressed all pretty, to see if the legends were true.



I had on post only a solitary hobgoblin, who told me the tale, but he was too late for anything to be done. Tam Lin had seen his way out, and had started flirting with the human! Janet was a daughter of a noble, but she had terrible manners, not that Tam Lin's were much better. Just one night, and Janet was head-over-heels in love with the freak! You would think a lady would have better sense, but not Janet! Tam Lin knew the one way out of his “curse” and had now found an instrument for his release.



He told the stupid girl of the tithe, saying that it was terrible torture that the “evil Faerie Queen” imposes upon an innocent once every seven years. Evil, imposing, torture? You should see his track record. People who live in trees shouldn't throw fireballs, as I always say, and he was lobbing some big, fiery whoppers at that ignorant, oblivious Janet. There were tears in his eyes as he said there was a way for him to be free, but it was far too risky. Janet pleaded for him to go on, just what he wanted, and explained how she would have to hold on to him while he changed into all sorts of awful things, things all of my doing. Honestly! The spell turns him into bits of his true nature, the point is to get the girl out of our business! It's not meant to be some “trial of love” or anything like that! Well, he continued to say that the sacrifice would take place on All Hallows Eve. It was true at least, about the tithe taking place on Halloween. Janet swore she would come to save him, and the two parted company.


Why couldn't the girl mind her own life! Didn't she see Tam would toss her like a used dishrag as soon as she'd done what he wanted her to do? Of course not, and an All Hallows Eve, there she was, fire in her eyes. Janet went straight up to him, pulling him from his horse, as she'd been instructed. I'm sure I was glaring pretty intensely by now, but didn't I have a right? The boy was turning into all sorts of nasty shapes, twisting into a snake, a lion, a burning coal, and yet she held on. I admire her courage, but looking back, it might have simply been human stubbornness. Finally, when all the thrashing and screaming was over, there they stood; Janet, shaking and pale as a ghost, Tam Lin, grinning but just as pale. That's when I snapped. I kept enough control so as not to fling a real spell on them, but I believe I said some terrible things, for Tam Lin simply glared at me, and turned with Janet, leaving me alone. He didn't realize what his stupid stunt had done! I'd have to find two more candidates for the tithe in seven years! That was a near impossible task, normally, it was hard enough finding even one. You couldn't stretch to three, so if I failed, one, or even two of my own might have to die. We are not meant to die, and that very fact makes the faerie people even more afraid of death then most humans.



This is my story, my telling, the true one. Janet was no hero of her time, just a stupid girl blindly following a man, Tam Lin, who was hardly an innocent doomed to slaughter. I was perfectly justified in taking him from the human world, and wanting to keep the girl out of mine. All I want is safety and peace for my people, is that really all that evil, or twisted? I don't think so.



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BriarRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm
Wow, Tam Lin is one of my favourite legends. have you read "An Earthly Knight"? it is a great version of the story. all in all, yours is well written
 
geekgrrl replied...
Nov. 28, 2009 at 7:18 am
I haven't read it, but I just googled it and it looks very interesting. Thanks for the comment!
 
evie_girl_novelette445 said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm
Interesting . . . . .
 
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