Edge of a Memory

By: Katie Stevenson

Revelry looks out across the glade, her muddy red, wiry hair creating a curtain around her face, illuminating her peripheral vision, hiding where she stands and only showing where she wishes to go. She sees the sprites in the marsh and hears their giggling as they push one another from the rolling stone backs of the dozing trolls into the murky water. She can even spots the open backs of the Huldra in the forest beyond, their cow’s tails swishing from the branches.

She pays them all no heed besides a glance and rather basks in the glory of the brown peaks above them. The face of which is made of rocky creatures—but only this side, for across the peaks is the Fabric. Beyond: the human realm.

Revelry has heard that word over and over from Fae mouths as they come to the glade with their nets, traps and cages. “Human Filth.” “Meek mortal humans.” “Ugly humans—they’re much prettier on this side of the Fabric.”

Gazing at these mountains, through all of her memory, has always looked… wrong. On the edge of her memory, it whispers in a nearly inaudible tone, wrong side.

The brittle looking, brown thorns that are her, that grow out from the small of her back, attack her. Stabbing and clawing at her green skin, sharper and stronger than barbed wire. Revelry endures as it tightens around her forearms, peeling up the leaf-like skin there. She endures, begging and hoping to herself that she will cross the edge of her memory, see what this curse doesn’t want her to remember.

A hiss of pain whistles through her teeth as she scrambles to imagine a world on the other side of that Fabric. What the humans look like. What the Fae mean when they say through their sharp teeth, “prettier on this side.”

With excruciating consequences, Revelry keeps her tawny green eyes on that mountain range even as they well up with red-liquid blood—tears.

A cry that is more a roar, bubbles from her throat and she pulls her gaze away from the mountain tops as all the other creatures turn towards her, not alarmed, or worried, anymore.

The thorns pull her arms back towards her hollow tree, telling her to melt into it, to forget the Fabric, the humans, the memories, to fight, and become what she is: plant life.

As the leafy skin on her fingertips matures into bark and spreads over her body, her eyes grow heavy with exhaustion—hopelessness—and the vines grow from her to grab onto the tree, to pull her into its hollowed middle.

Revelry, with only phantom feelings of energy, surges forward, clawing towards the peaks, as if she could grip them and pull herself away. But those thorns—those awful thorns—pull her arms behind her harshly—painfully—to where they’re flush against her bare back and backside. With another hard pull, she falls against the back of that hollow into that rough bark, and where armored skin meets the tree, they mold together, form together, until she is only that damned plant.

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