THE NIGHT BEFORE

And the rain fell.

 

And the sky was grey.

 

Summer, so it was grey forever.

 

Night did not come to Scotland, not in July, except for a few breaths of darkness.

 

And Leah lay in bed, and stared out, and up, at the grey.

 

Her thoughts dreamed, with the clouds.

 

...how they could send the heartbroken against me, I'll never know...

 

...they are monsters, just like every other foul thing in their world...

 

...we're monsters, but we're not monsters...

 

...selkies aren't exactly fighters...

 

...he's just disappointed that he hasn't been Taken yet...

 

And her heart began to beat, with the tap of the rain against the window.

 

And beat faster, as clarity began to build from the clouds in her eyes.

 

Sebastian.

 

The selkies.

 

He wasn't angry, or racist – speciesist?

 

He was hurt.

 

...they are not the innocents you believe them to be...

 

...do they seem gentle to you? Beautiful...

 

He called them beautiful.

 

So did she, of course. Well, one in particular.

 

That smile, those eyes, self-assurance, beauty.   Real beauty.

 

Evil is not monsters, the shadowed alleyway, the bright of a knife.

 

Evil is banal. It is beautiful.  It is where you least expect to find it.

 

It is the smile of a friend with a lie on their lips.

 

Lucifer was called most beautiful.

 

Leah sat up in her bed, slowly.  The wind began to rattle the windows, as storms and violence come to Glasgow regardless of season, and paint the sky and city grey with longing and loneliness.

 

Something had broken Sebastian's heart.

 

A man who was also Geoffrey, and may have loved her.

 

A folklorist knows one thing, and that is the way a story is built, and the way magic binds it,

 

surrounds it, and gives it strength.

 

The Fae believe that they are all bound to the story. 

 

That they must follow the rules of their legend.

 

But a human knows that stories don't always stay within the margins.

 

Someone had broken out of their story and was bleeding all over the page.