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Immortalized Hearts

There is a tale that, long ago, there was a beautiful girl with hair and flesh like moonbeams, and eyes that could pierce the soul. Her mother dressed her in vibrant silks and lace like patterns of frost. Her mother named her Fynnavhair.
When Fynnavhair was a very young little girl, her mother unknowingly took her to a Goblin Market. Therein, magnificent creatures of all shapes and forms gathered to trade and barter. That fateful day, Broadinan, King of Faerie, saw little Fynnavhair and became taken with her. So besotted with her was he, he watched after her as she blossomed into a gentle, kindhearted maiden from afar, his heart growing fonder of her by the day. But as his love for her grew stronger, his magic touched her, and she became more like a faerie. She could not lie or stand the smell of iron. She found herself daydreaming incessantly and dancing by moonlight, stars and in the rain. She woke in the middle of the night to the sounds of fiddles, flutes and drums, lilting voices beckoning her to join them from beyond the great boughs of the old oak outside her window, gentle as the midnight breeze.
One night, after having a horrible argument with her mother, Fynnavhair crept out of their modest home on the moor, clad only in shift and cloak, her pale hair cascading like starshine down her back and shoulders. She let the voices lead her deeper into the shadows of the neighboring forest, the rain-dampened ferns and moss making a soft carpet for her to run across as she chased after naiads and will-o'-the-wisps. They led her to a bonfire, where faeries danced, whooped, and sang with vigor. They were elegant lords and ladies and riled ruffians, clad in flower and leaf, furs and satin, with hair (in cases of both men and women) down past their knees and braided with shells and feathers. Some had pearlescent wings, others had pointed ears knifing through their knotted hair. They lounged against tables laden with sweet cakes and fruits known and unknown to her, even a fat pig on a spit, all spread around the roaring inferno. And, directly across the fire from her, sat the faerie king himself, his crown glimmering against his long ebony hair and pale ocher skin. He crossed the enormous flame unharmed and swooped Fynnavhair into his arms.
The two danced through the night in grand waltzes and jigs that made her head whirl. When she grew tired, they lounged on golden chaises as he fed her exotic fruits and honeyed cakes, letting her sip mead from a shimmering chalice. The fey crowded around her, stroking her and crowning her with wildflowers and leaves. Her vision grew sharper, and the fey began to seem strange to her, with extra joints in their fingers and some even with antlers sprouting from their aristocratic brows. As Broadinan and she began to dance again, she realized with a sort of frightful giddiness that she was turning into a faerie, and not just any faerie, but the queen.
"Stay with me," Broadinan asked her as the night began to draw to a close, his immortalized heart yearning for her to say yes. Without any hesitation she agreed, and the faeries rejoiced their new queen's reign as the first rays of the dawn pierced the sky.
That morning, as the king retired with his new bride from the revelry to their forest palace, he sent a changeling to take her place in the mortal realm, knowing that, even though the poor changeling would have to live a mundane existence, his queen would never be happy any other way.

THE END



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