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Author's Notes & Part One


you should've known the price of evil
  1. inkay-shirlee
  2. houndoom-elliot
  3. yamask-joanna
  4. shuppet
  5. deerling-andre
Heeeeyyyy! This is a story I've been working on for... a few months now, I think? Anyway, it's my first original story that isn't just one of my fanfictions with the serial numbers filed off. It's an urban fantasy story about... well, you'll see in the premise.

I originally intended for it to be a oneshot, and I might stick to that for some other platforms once the whole story is ready, but for TR, I'm going to be splitting it in two or three (not sure yet which one). This way, none of the parts will (hopefully) be over 10k, which means they qualify nicely for Catnip.

The rating of this story is probably teen. The story includes strong language, sexual references, some violence and a distressing scenario, but I don't think any of it warrants a mature rating.

That's it for the preamble! Hope you enjoy. I'm very eager to hear feedback, so if you have anything on your mind after reading, I would really appreciate a comment, however short. Thank you!


Ivy, Gina, Blue

Three women wake up in a basement - as fairies. They remember nothing but the fact that they used to be human. A man arrives to explain that he found them outside in the cold and brought them in for safety. Is he telling the truth? What will the women do, stuck in the man's house due to the cold outside and the hatred that the rest of mankind has for fairies?

Fantasy, Drama


TBD (projected to be two or three parts)


Part One


I open my eyes, and I don’t recognize the view.

There’s a featureless wall in front of me, very dim, a meter or so from the bed I’m lying on. A bed that doesn’t seem familiar either. This isn’t my bedroom. My bedroom is…

…I don’t remember my bedroom. I just know that it isn’t this. Where am I?

I sit up, but freeze as soon as I see what’s towards the foot of the bed - or what’s not there.

There is no wall. The room is open. There is a much larger room outside it, a room where there is a distant, yet giant, desk with a lit lamp on it. It seems to be the only source of illumination in the entire space.

I look to my right, and what I see there is no less shocking. There are two beds next to mine, both occupied by sleeping… what are they? They look kind of like human women, as far as I can tell from just their heads since the rest of them are under their blankets, but they’re the wrong color and… texture.

It’s hard to tell when it’s so dark, but the closer one looks blue and the farther one looks red. They have shiny plates on the sides of their heads and finely scaled skin. Two antennae extend from their foreheads. They have large eyes, though they’re closed at the moment. Their hair is bristly and grows only backwards, resembling more of a mane.

I imagine what it would be like to have features like that until I realize that I’m not imagining it. I’m feeling it.

I pull the blanket away to reveal more of myself. I have the same kind of scaly skin on my body, though greenish-gray, with plates of shiny armor on my arms and torso. My fingers end in little claws of that same material. Thinking about it more, it seems like chitin.

There’s something on my back. I look over my shoulder to see insectoid wings - like those of a dragonfly. I can feel them as part of my body. Can I… yes, I can extend them, move them, flutter them, making a soft thrrr. The propulsion shoves me forward, so I stop lest I fall on top of the blue creature.

A humanoid creature with antennae, chitinous armor and wings. A fairy.

I look back through the open wall at the giant desk in the distance. It’s not that it’s giant, but that I’m tiny. That we’re tiny. We are fairies.

But I’m absolutely certain that I was not a fairy before. I was a human. I was… no, I can’t recall. I can’t recall what I looked like. I can’t recall… anything. Who I was, where I lived, what kind of life I led. But I know I was someone, and that someone was a human.

Does the same apply for the other women, or have they always been fairies? Do they live here? Is this their house? Have they stolen it from some human? Or has some human… brought us here?

My heartbeat quickens. This isn’t good. Wherever I am, I don’t know the place, and I’ve most likely been brought here involuntarily. That means I’m being kept here. And why would someone keep another person? Not for anything good.

Quietly, I get out of bed. I don’t want to wake the other women in case they’re the ones in charge. Even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t be smart. They could still be natural born fairies, and… while people have recently started to question all the stories about them, I don’t want to take any chances.

I walk to the open wall, shuddering at the cool floor underneath my feet, and look around the larger room. There are no windows, but there are stairs leading upwards to a door - so this is a basement. There are two tables on both sides of the room with miniature displays on them, a farm on the left and a castle on the right. I look down to see if there’s a table underneath this house as well, but there doesn’t seem to be. It’s resting directly on the floor. The floor, which is about two floors down. I’m quite high up compared to my size.

How calmly I’m able to have that thought surprises me. It feels like I used to have vertigo in high places. Maybe that’s gone now that I have wings and my body knows that I can just start flying if I fall.

Flying. I guess I need to figure that out in order to get out of here. There isn’t a door out of this room, which I suppose makes sense for a dollhouse. It would be cumbersome to move dolls through doors when you can just take them out of a room and put them into another through the open side of the house.

I’m not reckless enough to just jump out and hope my instincts take it from there, so I decide to back away from the open wall and crouch. Fairies can hover in the air, right? They don’t need to always fly forwards like birds. Unless it’s a hummingbird. That’s beside the point. I’m in the basement of someone who’s kidnapped me and turned me into a fairy. I don’t have the time to be zoologically correct right now.

I start to flutter my wings, first slowly, then fast. The lift I feel increases until my crouching body rises off the floor. I then hover downwards until my feet are firmly on the ground again and stop my wings.

Okay, that was a good first flight. It wasn’t that hard, either. Just to be sure, though, I should try a few more times…

A gasp from my right draws my attention. One of the women, the red one, has opened her eyes. They’re pitch black. She stares at me in shock. I guess she wasn’t expecting me to be here. So she was brought here as well, then?

I slowly get up and raise my palms. “It’s alright,” I whisper, and realize my voice is at least familiar. “I’m just as scared and confused as you are.”

“What are you?” she whispers back.

“A fairy,” I say, “I think. And so are you.”

She looks down at herself, and her distress grows. She gets out of her bed and looks around, then walks over to me, wary of the open wall and the drop beyond. “Do you remember anything?”

“Very little,” I say. “Just that I used to be a human, and that I’ve never been here before. You?”

She takes a moment to think, then scowls. “No, it’s the same for me.” She looks to the open wall. “How are we supposed to get out?”

I flutter my wings briefly. “We can fly.”

She looks over her shoulder and flutters her own wings. “Good to know.” She turns back to me. “Let’s get out right away.”

“No, not yet.” I look to the third woman still asleep in her bed. “We have to take her with us.”

“You can take her, then,” she says. “I’m not sticking around for a second longer.”

Before I can do anything to stop her, she jumps out of the house. I’m shocked to silence. But she seems fine, fluttering her wings and quickly ascending.

Okay, well, that’s her choice. I need to wake up the blue fairy. I turn to --

Steps. Steps on the floor above us.

The red fairy stops in place, then looks around, then zooms for the miniature farm and hides behind the barn. Shit. I should hide too. I take a second to gather my courage before jumping out of the house myself and catching myself with my wings. As I fly for the farmhouse, the steps approach the door. I manage to land and hide behind the building right as the door at the top of the stairs opens. Light floods into the basement, but it’s nothing compared to when the lamp on the ceiling is switched on. I have to squint my eyes.

The steps descend the stairs next. I don’t dare to peek out to see what kind of person they belong to. Heavy? I can feel the vibrations of each step, but that could just be the enhanced senses of this new body.

The steps reach the floor and make their way to the dollhouse. I breathe as quietly as I can even if I know that a human can’t possibly hear it.

There’s a tense silence that lasts for about three seconds before a scream breaks it. A woman’s scream, followed by frantic breathing.

“No! No, no, no, it’s okay,” quickly says a man’s voice. Young, uncertain. “It’s fine, it’s alright, I’m not gonna hurt you.”

“What’s going on? Why are you -- why am I -- what’s going on?” the blue fairy whimpers. Her voice is high-pitched and feeble, though I don’t know how much of that is just the consequence of her emotional state.

“It’s okay,” says the man again. “You’re safe. There’s no need to worry. You’re in my house. I found you outside in the cold, so I brought you in. I haven’t done anything weird.” A small pause. “Uh, is this your first time waking up?” he asks, his voice changing directions. He must be glancing around, looking for me and the red fairy. “Did you see two other fairies around?”

“N-no,” says the blue fairy. “This is my first time waking up.”

“Uh, okay…” The man starts walking around the room. My pulse picks up again. We’re not that well hidden. It’s only a matter of time before he finds us.

“Why were you out in the cold?” the man asks. “If you remember, I mean.”

“Um, I… I don’t know,” the blue fairy says, now less panicked. “I-I don’t think I remember anything.”

“Oh? What was, uh, the last thing you do remember?”

“No, I mean… I don’t think I remember anything at all.”

“Really? Huh. Uh. That’s not good.”

“Can you… can you get me to a doctor?”

The man stops pacing around. “Um… I don’t think I can. I can’t contact any fairies.”

“No, like… a human one?”

The man pauses. “Do you… not know?”

“Not know… what?”

“About how… how much humans don’t like fairies?”

“Oh, um… yeah, I know about that, but, like, I didn’t use to be a fairy. I was a human. If we explain that to a doctor, I’m sure they’ll understand.”

“Uh… I don’t know. I wouldn’t try that. They’d say it was a fairy trick. And then just… well, do what the law says you should do to a fairy.”

“Oh.” She pauses. “Yeah, you’re right…”

I hadn’t even thought about that. How, even if we escape, we can’t go to anyone. We’re fairies now. No one will trust us. No one but this guy, apparently.

“B-but I don’t feel that way about fairies,” the man rushes to say. “I think the stories are exaggerated, if not entirely untrue. I would never hand you over to the law.”


The red fairy shoots me a look. It’s a bug-eyed can-you-believe-this-bullshit look. I don’t know. The narrative sounds reasonable. I still don’t trust this guy as a person, though.

The man sighs. “The other two have to be here somewhere,” he says, and heads straight in our direction - shit. “Unless they snuck upstairs at some point. But first I should look here…”

And with that word, he peeks over the miniature farm and spots both of us at the same time. I freeze.

“Oh. There you are.” He smiles slightly, raising his hand in a shy greeting.

He doesn’t look threatening at all. Or he wouldn’t if he wasn’t a hundred times larger than me. He looks like… well, this is judgmental, but a nerd. He has a frail physique and a dorky look to his face, though he doesn’t have glasses. His hair is short and medium brown, the same color as his eyes. He wears a black t-shirt with a dragon on it.

“So… did you hear all that? What I just said?” he asks.

“...Yeah,” I hesitantly say. “Yeah, we heard it all.”

“Okay, good,” he says, bringing his hands together. “I won’t have to explain it again.”

There’s really no point in hiding anymore, so I stand up and circle around the farmhouse to the front, avoiding all the animal figurines placed around. The red fairy does the same.

“So you’re saying that you found us outside in the cold?” the red fairy asks the man, crossing her arms.

“Yeah,” the man says. “That’s what happened.”

“Can you prove it?”

The man scratches the back of his head. “Uh… I’m not sure. I don’t know how I would prove that. But it’s true.”

“Hm.” The red fairy pauses. “So it’s winter right now?”

“Yeah. Real cold, too.”

“Take us outside and show us.”

The man fidgets with his hands. “Uh, I-I wouldn’t go outside. It’s that cold. And somebody might see you.”

The red fairy raises her voice, her expression growing angrier. “I demand you take us outside.”

“Um… no.”

The red fairy’s about to shout, but the man interrupts her.

“I-I can give you a peek out the window, though,” he says, palms held up defensively. “A-and you’re welcome in the rest of my house. It’s not my intention to restrain you to the basement or anything.”

The red fairy sighs. “Alright,” she says, her wings beginning to flutter. “Take us there.”

“Of course. Right this way.”

He turns towards the stairs as the red fairy takes flight after, but a shout from the blue fairy stops them.

“Wait!” she says. “I don’t know how to fly.”

“Oh, it’s easy,” I chime in. “It comes to you naturally.”

“I-I can carry you if you want,” the man says.

The blue fairy gets off her bed and inches over to the edge of the room. She looks down and shies away. “Um, I think I would like to be carried,” she says, grasping her hand.

“No problem,” the man says and steps up to the dollhouse. He extends his hand in front of the room. Cautiously, the blue fairy climbs onto his palm and sits down. “Okay,” he says. “Let’s go.”

I take to the air, and we all make our way up the stairs. He opens the door and lets us into entry hall. All the windows I can see have their shades drawn, but the atmosphere is still more open here.

The man walks through the house to the back as we follow. “It’s best if we only look out the back window,” he says. “No one’s there, so no one should see you.”

He stops in front of the window at the back wall and raises the shade. For a split second, I manage to hope that we’ll see a summer view outside, but no, the backyard is covered in a thick blanket of snow. I land on the windowsill like the red fairy has done and touch the glass. It’s cold.

“What’s the temperature?” the red fairy still asks.

“Like, minus fifteen,” the man says. “Too cold for fairies, like I said.” He draws down the shade.

I can almost hear the fairies sigh with me.

“So, um,” the man says, “is there anything else you need right now? Food or water? Or the bathroom?”

“Oh, I-I think I need the bathroom,” says the blue fairy. “But… how is that going to work?”

The man looks uncomfortable. “Uh… I don’t know. But you’ll figure it out somehow, I’m sure.” He leaves the window. “I’ll take you there.”

“I’ll also come,” I say, needing the place myself. I look to the red fairy. “How about you?”

The red fairy crosses her arms and takes a deep, frustrated breath. “Yeah, I’ll come too.”

The man takes us to the bathroom and we each go one at a time. We do, indeed, figure it out, it seems. After that, he takes us to the kitchen to offer us food and drink… though there is a problem. Every dish is too large.

“I’ll go downstairs to see if I have any miniatures,” the man says and returns to the basement. I’m left sitting on the kitchen table with the other fairies.

The red fairy sighs. “Okay. How do we get out of here?”

There’s a small silence. “I don’t think we can,” I then say.

“Well, it’s not like we can stay here!” she says. “We don’t know what this guy’s gonna do to us!”

The blue fairy shrinks.

“He won’t necessarily do anything,” I say. “He hasn’t done anything bad yet. And if what he’s saying is true, he’s only helping us.”

“Yeah, if,” the red fairy says. “But that’s a big if in my book. Someone clearly turned us into fairies. The easiest explanation is that it was him.”

“Regardless of that, I think it’s safer to stay here,” I say. “You know what humans want to do to fairies. We don’t have any better place to go.”

She crosses her arms. “Fairies have to live somewhere. We should try to find out where.”

“Fairies are said to live in pocket spaces that only they know how to enter,” I say. “The chances of us finding and then successfully entering one are microscopic.”

“What if we ask the guy to help?” asks the blue fairy. “He seems to be interested in fairies. Maybe he knows something about finding fairy spaces.”

I frown. “If humans could find fairy spaces, they would have documented it,” I say. “They wouldn’t just not do that if they thought it was possible. Humans have wanted fairies eradicated for all of history.”

The blue fairy shrinks again. “Sorry,” she says, “that was a stupid idea.”

I sigh. “You’re fine. This isn’t exactly an easy question to answer.”

“Okay,” the red fairy says, “we don’t have any place to go. But that doesn’t mean we have to deal with this guy. Aren’t fairies deadly? We should just kill this guy.”

The blue fairy gasps. I sigh. I’m tempted to say that that’s a stupid idea, but it wouldn’t be constructive.

“Fairies are only deadly when they have fairy dust to do their magic with,” I say. “But that’s not the only problem there. If we did manage to kill this guy, we’d be stranded here, eventually running out of food. That, or the cops show up when someone reports this guy as missing and kill us on sight. Neither’s good. The guy needs to stay alive.”

The red fairy is about to argue, but the sound of the man’s steps climbing the stairs shuts us up. Soon after, he arrives at the kitchen and sets down a bunch of miniature dishes and utensils on the table.

“I’m not sure how good these actually are for eating,” he says, “but hopefully it’s better than nothing.”

“Thanks,” I say, and the red fairy shoots me a glare. I shoot her back a look that says ‘we need to keep friendly with this guy’. Or try to. I don’t know if a look can actually say that.

“So what would you like to eat?” the man asks. “Fairies are said to be vegetarian, though I’m not sure if that means they straight up can’t have animal products. In any case, fruits and berries and vegetables might be good for you.” He points at a fruit basket hanging down from the ceiling with a bunch of bananas and tangerines in it. “Like those. Is banana good?”

“That’s good for me,” I say. The red and blue fairy make noises of agreement.

The man gets a banana and peels it halfway, then takes a knife and scoops out little pieces of it to put on our plates while we hold them steady for him. We then pick up the spoons and dig in. The thickness of the spoons makes it a little difficult to use them, but we manage.

“So,” the man says, sitting down by the table with us, “I don’t think I mentioned it yet, but my name’s Brian. How about you?”

There’s a small silence as all of us try to recall our names.

“I can’t remember,” I say. “I can’t remember anything except the fact that I’m a human… or I was a human.”

“Me neither,” says the blue fairy.

“Gina,” says the red fairy.

Brian blinks. “You remember your past?”

“No,” Gina says, “I just feel like a Gina. So that’s probably my name.”

“I see,” says Brian, then looks to me and the blue fairy. “What would you two like to be called, then?”

I think about it. I really don’t know.

The blue fairy stares at her hand. “I guess it would be easiest if you called me… ‘Blue’,” she says.

“That makes sense,” Brian says. “What about you?” he asks me. “Are you going to be ‘Green’?”

“Eh… ‘Blue’, ‘Green’ and ‘Gina’? That bothers me. I’m gonna be…” I let my eyes wander around the room. There’s a potted plant in the corner. A plant name could be good. Maybe… “Ivy.”

“Ivy. Got it,” Brian says.

We continue eating in silence. We finish our plates and get seconds as well as our own glasses of water. After the blue fairy is done with her plate, she clears her throat and speaks up.

“So, Brian,” she says, “what do you do for a living?”

“Oh!” Brian’s eyes light up. “I’m a spell programmer.”

“Oh, I see. Is it a nice job?”

“Absolutely!” he says, grinning. “It’s like doing puzzles. I like puzzles.” He frowns. “Of course, it gets frustrating sometimes when there’s an error somewhere that you can’t locate or make sense of. But every job has moments like that, right?”

“I’d agree with you, but I don’t know what my job is,” Gina says bluntly. “You see, I don’t have my memories.”

“...Yeah,” Brian mumbles. “That sucks.”

The room falls silent.

“Well, uh, anyway,” Brian begins, “my job does mean that I’m going to be away on weekdays, so you’re gonna have to do on your own for that time.” He gets up. “I should show you the rest of the house to let you know where everything is. Let’s go.”

He first explains the appliances of the kitchen - which are rather self evident - and then moves on to the rest of the house. Entry hall, bathroom, living room. He doesn’t show his bedroom, not that I’d imagine any of us want to see it.

“I apologize for the lack of… things to do,” he says. “I don’t really have much entertainment aside from the TV and video games and a couple of books. But!” He raises a finger. “I can go to the store and pick something up there. Like, board games, I don’t know. Name it. In fact, I’ll go get a list right now.” He visits the kitchen and comes back with a list and a pen in hand. “What would you like?”

We fairies exchange a look. Gina’s got her arms crossed, and Blue looks like she’s got something to say but doesn’t want to go first.

“Well,” I start, “board games could be good. I don’t have a specific one in mind right now, but there ought to be some classics you can pick out. Then you could also get something easy for us fairies to eat that requires little preparation and can be eaten in small portion sizes.”

Brian nods as he writes it down. “Gotcha, gotcha.”

I look at Blue. “Blue, did you have something in mind?”

“Uh, y-yeah,” she says. “Could you see if there are any… clothes that might fit us…?”


Oh, I didn’t even realize. We’ve been naked this whole time.

“U-uh, sure,” Brian says, a bit taken aback himself. “But, uh, there’s no need to feel uncomfortable without clothes. Fairies rarely wear clothes. And if you’re worried that I would be… seeing you… in some kind of way…” He sounds uneasy. “Don’t be. I don’t look at fairies like that.”

I notice that Gina has buried her face in her hands.

“Well,” I say, “that’s a good point, Blue. I could definitely use some clothes, too.”

“I’ll try my best to find something,” Brian says. “Any… preferences on color, or…?”

“Just anything is good,” Gina says, face still covered.

Brian nods stiffly. “Yeah. Alright. Anything else?”

A brief silence answers for us.

“Okay,” Brian says. “I’ll go right away. Though first, I can…” He steps past us and turns the TV on with the remote. “You still know how to use a TV, right? That’s, like, accumulated knowledge rather than memories?”

“I know how,” I say. “If someone doesn’t, I’ll teach them.”

“Right. Cool.” He sets down the remote and makes his way to the entry hall. “I’ll be gone for an hour at most. Make yourself at home.”

“Thanks,” I say alongside Blue. Gina still seems to be allergic to that word.

Brian leaves. The atmosphere of the house relaxes immediately after he’s gone.

“I can’t believe he’s been looking at us fucking naked,” Gina says. “He probably likes it, too.”

“You don’t know that,” I say, annoyed.

Gina’s voice sharpens. “What, are you defending him?”

“I’m saying that there’s no need to assume the worst,” I say. “In situations like these, we should keep optimistic. Cautiously optimistic. Catastrophizing will do us no good.”

Gina huffs. “Whatever,” she says. “Think what you may, but you have to help me look around. If he turned us into fairies - which he totally did - he probably used something to do it. Like a spell. Maybe he made it himself if he works in the magic industry. Hopefully not. Hopefully it’s from some kind of book that also has the spell for undoing the transformation. Either way, we have to find it.”

I nod along. “That makes sense, yeah. I’ll help you.”

Gina looks to Blue. “And you’ll help too, right?” Her tone doesn’t really permit a negative answer.

Blue shrinks a bit, but nods. “Y-yeah.”

“Let’s check the basement first,” Gina says. “It feels like a good guess.”

We fly through the house to the door downstairs. Gina yanks it open with little strain.

“Damn,” she says. “Fairies are pretty strong for their size…”

We descend the stairs and look around for a few seconds, but no more than that as Gina and I spot a locked metal container on top of a wooden box under the stairs. We fly closer, and I sense… something from it. Something that makes my antennae - god, I’d forgotten about those - tingle.

“Do you feel that too?” I ask Gina. “A sense of… something coming from that container?”

“Yeah,” she says. “What do you think it is?”

“Magic?” I say, glancing to my left briefly as Blue flies up to us to see what we’re talking about. “Maybe fairies can sense it. With these antennae they have.”

Gina lands on the box and tries to open the container. She can’t. “Worth a shot,” she mutters. She turns to me and Blue. “We gotta find the key to this thing.”

“Hmm…” I cross my arms. “If what’s in there is actually related to us, Brian probably carries the key on himself…”

“We should still look for it before he comes back,” Gina says.

“Yeah.” I look around, taking in the layout of the basement. I gesture at the far wall. “I’ll take everything against that wall,” I say. “Gina, you take the desk and under the stairs. Blue, you take that shelf and the dollhouse.”

“Damn, who died and made you the leader?” Gina quips, crossing her arms with a smirk.

“Your mom.”

Gina laughs, caught off guard by my incredibly shitty retort. “Great comeback.” She ends her laugh with a sigh. “Let’s get to work.”

I nod, and we all fly to our own designated search areas…


We managed to search all of the basement and most of Brian’s bedroom in the time that he was gone. We didn’t find a key to the metal container, but we did find a key that opened one locked drawer and peeked inside. Even if it was a necessary part of a thorough search - hiding a key behind another lock would have been doubly secure - we can’t say we were happy to see what was in there. At least it looked pretty normal. At least it wasn’t fairy-themed.

When we heard Brian’s car pull up to the driveway, we quickly returned the items we’d taken out of the drawers and pushed everything shut. We managed to turn on the TV and take our positions only moments before he opened the door.

He greets us, lamenting the cold weather outside, and carries the shopping bags to the kitchen. After depositing the groceries, he brings the bags to the living room, sets them on the table and shows us what he’s bought - some dolls with removable dresses and three board games. He then asks us how we fared on our own, and we lie that we simply watched TV. Satisfied with that answer, he opens the packaging for the dolls, removes the clothing and gives them to us to try on.

“Uh, one problem,” I say, holding one pink dress in my hands.

“Oh, is it… not your style?” Brian asks.

“No. It’s something else.” I flutter my wings.

“Ohhh. Oh.” Brian rubs his chin. “Hm.”

“I could fashion them into aprons of sorts,” Blue suggests. “I get the feeling… that I used to work with textiles as a human. Do you have… any equipment for that?”

“I should have some sewing stuff,” Brian says. “Though they might be hard to use with your size.”

“I’d still like to try…”

“Oh, of course, of course. Yeah. I’ll go… I’ll go get it right now.”

Brian gets up and fetches the equipment from his basement, something that we’d already come across during our search earlier. The needle is, indeed, longer than Blue’s entire forearm, but the thread is at least easy to fit through the needle's eye. The biggest difficulty seems to come with the scissors, though, which is understandable given just how massive they are. Even then, Blue assures us that she can get the job done, and we all decide to watch some TV while she works.

The news comes and goes. Afterwards, I think about how nice it was to get a refresher on what was happening in the world, though it didn’t seem like any of it was relevant to our plight. I had silently hoped that there would be something about missing women, but there was nothing of the sort. Just war in faraway places and politicians arguing about taxes.

After the news, some crime show comes on. It keeps us sufficiently entertained until Blue announces that she’s finished her work. Gina and I fly to the living room table while Brian follows close behind.

“I hope they fit,” Blue says, offering me the pink dress, which is now missing its back. “I tried my best.”

“Even if they don’t, we appreciate it,” I tell her, taking the dress.

We try on our new clothing, though not before asking Brian to look away. Even if we’ve been naked this whole time, something about putting on clothes makes it seem like it suddenly matters. Regardless, the dresses fit us, even if they’re not perfect. They get the job done, and they’re not as uncomfortable as I’d feared.

“This really works,” I say. “Thanks, Blue.”

“Yeah, this is great,” Gina says.

“Can I turn around now?” Brian asks.

“Yes,” I respond.

Brian turns around, and his brows rise. “Wow,” he says. “You look really pretty in those.”

Gina frowns. “Don’t say that. It’s creepy.”

Brian shrinks. “Sorry. I was trying to be nice.”

‘Nice would be to actually let us go,’ I can practically hear Gina think, but she keeps her mouth shut.

Brian brings his hands together. “So, what would you like to do now? Try out a board game?”

I exchange a look with the other fairies. “Yeah, why not.”

He smiles. “Alright! What do you wanna try? Wooden Tower, Letterexicon or Whodunit? You girls might be pretty good at Wooden Tower given your new size and all - maybe that would be…”


We played Wooden Tower and then Letterexicon by ourselves. Brian was a little disheartened when he was told by Gina that we didn’t want him in the game, but he respected our choice and went downstairs to work more on his miniatures. Truthfully, we could have spent the time searching for the key, but we didn’t want to take the risk with Brian in the house with us. We needed the levity anyway.

Come nighttime, though, it was time for action again. We waited until Brian went to sleep, and then we searched the pockets of his day clothes. I’d been pretty optimistic, but that optimism turned out to be misplaced as we found nothing but lint.

”The key has to be somewhere in the house, then,” Gina had whispered. “We’ll search more tomorrow once he leaves for work.”

We retreated to the basement to sleep, though with little success. Gina and I decided to have a chat, which we spent wondering what Brian’s intentions for us were, while Blue kept quiet. She probably still didn’t want to believe that Brian was the one that had transformed and kidnapped us. Personally, I would have been thrilled to find out that wasn’t the case, but I wasn’t naive enough to count on it. With some locked up magic-emitting artifact in the metal container while we were searching for an explanation for our transformation, Brian was looking extraordinarily guilty.

It could have been worse, at least. Brian’s considerate persona seemed to be genuine, and he hadn’t forced us to do anything against our will that wasn’t simply staying in his house. And he wasn’t exactly enforcing that demand himself, either - the cold outside and the hostility humans had for fairies were the ones that really kept us indoors. I had to admit that all of this was making me reconsider my position on fairies. Were they really cruel by nature as the stories said, or were their deeds simply a consequence of contact with a world that threatened and frightened them? And how many of those deeds had really happened?

Sleep did eventually come. I don’t recall the dreams I had, but I feel like they had something in them from my human life. Adding that together with the fact that Gina seemed to remember her name, it seems quite likely that our memories have not been fully erased but rather simply sealed away. That means that there’s surely a way to get them back.

Brian woke us up in the morning. He made some breakfast for us - oatmeal with strawberry jam mixed in - before leaving for work, as it was Monday. Afterwards, we continued with our search. We pretty much spent the whole time scouring the house, only taking some food and bathroom breaks, but there were no new keys to be found. By the time Brian returned, we had started our second search-through in case we’d missed anything the first time. Not that any of us expected that to be the case.

We told Brian that we’d simply been exploring and playing games and watching TV. He seemed happy with this. He asked us if we were getting bored, and we said that things were fine for now. We didn’t need anything to do now that we simply wanted to rest.

I didn’t get to just lie back and watch TV, though, as Blue took interest in Brian’s miniature work in the basement. We’d agreed before never to leave any one of us alone with Brian, so someone had to join her. Gina was too appalled by Brian, and I was too nice for my own good, so I ended up as the one to chaperone her. And now I’m here, watching our kidnapper work on whittling some wood while he chats with Blue, who is using a piece of graphite chipped off the tip of a pencil to draw. It seems she is quite the artist.

“And… I think that should do it,” Brian says, turning the little wooden man in his hands - though it’s actually rather close to us in size. “Next up is the paint.”

Is he gonna stop here for tonight? Please let him stop here for tonight. I wanna go lie on the couch instead of sitting on this hard table.

“I won’t lie, it already looked finished to me when you first picked it up,” Blue says. “But I guess I understand that perfectionism. I can get the same way with my drawings.”

“Well, now that you brought it up, can I see what you’ve been working on?”

“Oh… sure, yeah. Though it’s not finished. And it’s very small.” Blue crawls backwards and flutters her wings to hover in the air.

“Doesn’t matter to me.” Brian rotates the paper to face him. “Let’s see…” He hunches over the table even more than he was already hunching, squinting his eyes to see what’s on the paper, which I can’t see from where I’m sitting.

“Looks good,” Brian says, pushing back the paper. “I see you’re into anime.”

“I… saw that you were also into that,” Blue says, landing back where she sat, “from your tapes.”

“Anything you also watch?”


I saw the tapes for that cartoon as well. They seemed familiar, but only in the sense that I knew a show like that existed. I don’t think I watched it myself.

Brian grins. “Yeah, I love Starriors! Watched it every Saturday morning growing up.”

Blue also smiles. “I must have done the same. When I looked at the tapes, I got this strong sense of nostalgia.” She frowns. “Shame I can’t really remember what happened in it…”

“Oh, well, that’s no problem,” says Brian. “We can watch it together. You’ll get to relive all of it.”

“Really?” She sounds excited. I frown. She really doesn’t believe Brian was the one to kidnap us. The more she denies it, the harder it will be on her once we find the key and unlock the container to find whatever he used to turn us into fairies and wipe our memories…

if that ends up happening. We might never find the key - maybe he even got rid of it - or we might find the key and find nothing incriminating. While that feels relieving at first thought, it would mean that we have no clues on how to turn ourselves back or restore our memories. We might be stuck here for the rest of our lives… however long that is for a bunch of fairies.

I realize I’ve sunk into my thoughts and return myself to the present. They still seem to be talking about the cartoon.

“I hope this isn’t weird, but I always thought the fairies in the show were really cool,” Brian says, “even if they were pretty evil. They could do all sorts of cool magic with their fairy dust.” He huffed, amused. “Of course, I researched fairies a lot since then, and a lot seemed to be wrong. Like, stories of their homeworlds don’t describe them as dark and sinister places with man-eating plants, but rather bountiful forests with colorful flowers and exotic berries.” He sighed wistfully. “I’d really like to see a place like that…”

Blue fidgets with her fingers. “It seems like places like that are the only places where me and the other fairies could go outside without being… captured.” She leaves out the killing part.

Brian is silent for a moment. “If you could go to one, what would you tell the fairies there?”

Blue tilts her head. “What do you mean?”

“About humans,” he says. “And would you… tell them that you used to be human yourself?”

“Uh…” Blue’s gaze wanders and meets me. I shake my head while keeping steady eye contact. No. No, you do not want to tell the creature that hates humans that you were one.

“Probably not,” she says. “Better safe than sorry.”

“Hmm.” Brian grasps his chin. “Yeah, I get that. Fairies probably don’t think very highly of humans after what we’ve done - killing them, stealing their fairy dust, grinding up their parts for potions… all sorts of terrible stuff. But…” He leans back. “Provided that you did, you’d probably be the first human they’ve met in a while. What you said could prove some notions they had wrong. You could be an ambassador of sorts.”

If they didn’t just kill her as soon as she said it.

“Ambassadors are what we need,” Brian continues. “Peaceful humans to show the fairies that we can be better. To see that fairies aren’t so bad, and to tell other humans back home the same. People probably wouldn’t believe it at first, not the majority, but there could be some that get curious and want to understand more. More people to act as ambassadors. And then when they come back and say what the first people said, even more people could start to believe them.”

If they weren’t just arrested immediately.

Actually, hold on. Is this… is this why we’re here? Did he abduct us to make us… ambassadors?

“Peaceful fairy-human relations are possible,” he says, his volume rising and words quickening as passion takes him further, “and we should be trying to make them a reality. I mean, it’s ridiculous how we’re still able to hate an entire species after we’ve realized how bad racism is among ourselves. Don’t you think so?”

“I -- yeah,” Blue says, caught off guard by the question.

His motives are becoming clearer. While he hasn’t actually revealed anything that would suggest that he knew how to contact fairies, it’s not unreasonable to consider that his plan.

Brian freezes, then sighs. “Sorry. I’m getting pretty heated… but I do think I’m in the right here. Fairies are living, thinking beings. People. We should treat them as such, no matter how lousy our relations and history are. We shouldn’t be killing them indiscriminately. We shouldn’t be killing them at all.” He clasps his hands. “I’ve been talking a lot. I should ask you what you think about fairies. So… what do you think about fairies?”

“Well…” Blue takes some time to think about her response. “I won’t lie, I’ve been looking at fairies like they’re dangerous and malicious all my life. I didn’t, like, think they should be killed on sight, but I wouldn’t have thought about friendly relations ever being possible. But now…” She flutters her wings. “If we’re fairies and we aren’t evil, maybe the fairies aren’t, either.”

Brian smiles. “Exactly! There’s no real proof of them being hostile without provocation, only folktales.”

“Hmm, yeah,” says Blue, then gets up on her knees and looks directly at me. “Uh, what do you think, Ivy?”

Brian flinches before turning to face me, having apparently forgotten about my presence.

I better put things nicely. “Well,” I start slowly, “I think it pays to be careful when it comes to fairies, but there’s no need to be cruel towards them.” I think about saying something more, but decide that that was enough. I think it sums up my opinion pretty well.

Brian nods. “Yeah. I agree.” Well, that much was apparent already, wasn’t it?

Silence falls upon the room.

“Well, I think I’ll get the paint,” Brian says, getting up.

Oh my god, he’s not done for today. I’m gonna have to keep sitting here.

“I think I’m gonna go upstairs,” Blue says. Thank god. “Ivy?”

“Yeah,” I say, practically springing up. I hop into flight and so does Blue. We make our way upstairs and fly through the house to the living room, where Gina is watching TV on the couch.

She looks over as we land on the arms of the armchair. “Oh, hey. Is Brian still working on his stuff?”

“Yeah,” I say.

She seems to relax a bit. “Alright. So how was Mr. Creep?”

“He’s not a creep,” Blue mutters. Gina’s too far to hear it.

“He seems very passionate about the subject of fairy rights,” I say.

“Of course,” says Gina, then mutters something that we’re also too far to hear. No doubt something Blue wouldn’t agree with.

“I think he might have taken us to try and get us to help him mend human-fairy relations,” I continue. “I don’t know what his plan is exactly… but he may be looking for a way to contact fairies.”

“Oh, great,” Gina grumbles. “Just what we were missing. More bullshit.”

“You think he would do that?” Blue asks.

“Well, you heard the guy,” I say. “This obviously means a lot to him.”

“I just don’t think he’d… kidnap three women over it…”

I sigh. “You don’t know that he wouldn’t. We have to consider it a possibility.”


“A very likely possibility,” Gina mutters.

There’s a pause. My attention shifts to the TV screen. The news is on.

“Anything on missing women on there?” I ask.

Gina shakes her head. “Nah. Nothing that sounds like it could be related to us.”

I sigh. I look at the clock. It’s five past ten. Brian went to bed at eleven last night and so did we. Honestly, I’m all ready for bed, but if Brian is still going to be painting in the basement, I won’t get any sleep until he leaves, anyway. I hope the smell of paint won’t be too strong once he does…

And then there’s tomorrow.

“Are we going to keep searching tomorrow?” I ask.

Gina sighs, frustrated. “Well, we have to, don’t we? We can’t just sit back and let this guy advance his plans. Whether it’s about human-fairy relations or not, I’m sure it can’t be good.”

“I know,” I say quickly to calm her, “I know.”

Blue and I sit down, and we all quiet down to watch the news, hoping there’ll be something even slightly relevant to us. There isn’t.


“...ake up! Wake up!”

I open my eyes and sit up, heartbeat accelerating at Gina’s urgent whisper. ”What?” I whisper back as I turn to her. Blue’s sat up as well.

“I know where the key is,” Gina says, grinning. “It’s in the car!”

The car… I hadn’t thought of that. Still… “That’s great, Gina, but couldn’t it wait until morning?”

“No,” Gina says, knotting her brow. “In the morning, Brian will drive away. Then when he comes back, he’ll be in the house. It’ll be much more dangerous trying to sneak out then.”

I rub the bridge of my nose. “You’re right. Unfortunately, you’re right.”

“The car’s still parked some distance away from the house,” Blue says. “Are we going to be able to take the cold?”

“Pfft. It’s just a little cold. We can handle it.”

“And if we can’t?” I ask.

Gina quiets.

“I’ll stay back,” Blue says. “If you two don’t make it back and it looks like I can’t help you, I’ll alert Brian. He’ll probably be mad, but… better that than freezing to death.”

”Is it?” Gina mutters.

“Yes,” I say emphatically. “But yeah, that’s a good idea, Blue. Let’s do that.” I look around in the desk lamp’s distant light - Brian leaves it on for us so we can see if we need to go to the bathroom at night or something. “We should try to look for something to keep us a bit warmer, though.”

“Yeah,” Gina and Blue both say.

After putting on our aprons, we begin searching the basement for some fabrics, but soon decide that the entry hall is probably a more sensible target. We fly upstairs, keeping quiet, and make our way to the entry hall in the dim light still shining from the basement. With bated breath, we switch on the light of the entry hall. We flinch at the light and wait, but we hear nothing from Brian’s bedroom. He probably has the door closed, or he’s a heavy sleeper.

We search the shelves for garments that we could wear to at least some extent. We settle on a glove for Gina and I each, wearing them half-everted so that we’ve slipped ourselves waist-deep into the middle fingers. At least our legs will be warm.

“I think we’re ready,” I whisper. “Give me the keys.”

Blue flies up to fetch me Brian’s keys from their hook, house key and car key attached to the ring. I hold on to them with one hand while the other hangs on to my glove.

“Now we open the door,” I say. “We’ll pause afterwards to listen for Brian again. If we hear something, we’ll shut the light and hide. Blue, go to the light.”

“On it,” she says, and flies to the switch. Gina’s at the door lock, grasping the knob with one hand and watching me for a signal. I give one with a nod, and she twists the knob. The door opens with a clack, and cold air rushes in. I shiver, but stay where I am. Once again, nothing can be heard from the back of the house.

“Alright,” I say. “Let’s put the doorstopper here.”

Blue flies down to the floor and moves the doorstopper into place. She quickly leaps back afterwards with a shudder. “The air’s really cold,” she says. “Are you two gonna be alright?”

“It’s fine,” Gina says, a little annoyed. “This won’t take long. Let’s go.”

I nod, and we slip outside, holding on to our gloves. The yard is dim, but the lightposts of the street illuminate it enough for us to see the car, helped further by the white snow. The cold becomes much harsher and a wind picks up, leading an instinct to tell me to get to warmth as soon as I can. I suppress it and continue on to the car. I arrive at the door of the driver’s side and raise the keys, but realize I need both hands to unlock the door.

I try spreading my legs to keep the glove up. It’s awkward, but it works. I select the car key and use it to unlock the door. “Should be open now,” I tell Gina.

“Right.” Gina flies to the handle and pulls on it. The door opens, and the inside of the car lights up. Gina slips inside, and I follow, eager to get away from the wind - though noting that it isn’t much warmer.

The car is mostly empty with only some papers on the backseat. “Check the glove comp-” I begin, but Gina’s already got the idea on her own. She opens the compartment as I fly to her, and we both perch on the door as it’s lowered. There are more papers inside as well as some CDs and a bag of bubble gum.

Our first action is to empty the contents onto the car seat, which takes some time along with some more uncomfortable positioning of my legs to free both my hands. Once we’ve unloaded everything, we check the emptied container, but there’s no loose key.

“It could be in the CDs,” I say, “but it’s probably in the door pockets. Let’s check there.”

We empty the pockets next. The items feel… heavier and heavier, and my limbs and wings feel strained. I’m also beginning to go numb. This is bad.

“Gina,” I say, “I think the cold’s getting to me. I’m getting… slower.”

“Me too,” Gina responds. “Let’s try to be quick.”

As I move away the final item in the passenger side door pocket - a map - I see something glint. It’s a silvery key. I barely restrain myself from just throwing away the map and instead carefully place it on the stack of all the other items before flying in and grabbing the key.

“I found it!” I shout, grabbing Gina’s attention. “I mean, there’s no guarantee it’s the key we’re looking for, but it’s a key, at least.”

“Good, let’s go with that,” Gina says. “Let’s put everything back where it was and fast. I can barely feel my fingers.”

I nod and place the key on the dashboard before beginning to load the items back where they were. I notice myself straining more and more with each one, even find myself running out of breath. If this is how I feel inside the car, am I even going to be able to fly back into the house?

As much as my anxiety wants to think about that, I can’t let it. I have to stay hopeful.

“There,” I wheeze as I manage to insert the last CD into the glove compartment. They’re probably not in the same order as we found them in, but there’s no way Brian will actually notice, right?

“Great. I’m done too. Let’s go,” says Gina.

I grab the key and Gina opens the door with a grunt. The wind outside dashes in, but I can barely feel it save for the dull sense of cold permeating my body. We slip out and close the door, the car’s indoor light shutting off, and fly for the lit crack of the house’s front door in relative darkness.

But the key weighs tons. My wings are sore. My flight is wobbly and I’m losing altitude. The same goes for Gina.

“Ugh… hang on!” she shouts. I’d like to say that it helps, but I remain weak. A gust of wind picks up and I veer to the left, not enough juice in my system to correct my course. Shit.

“Ivy!” Gina shouts.

I groan in frustration and discomfort. “Go!” I shout back. “Get Blue!”

The wind strengthens. I try to push back - and something in my right wing jams. I lose all control and the grip on the key and glove, and l fall. I think I’m falling, anyway, everything’s spinning so hard that it’s impossible to tell --


I’ve slammed against something hard and cold. Ice. No, snow, just hard snow. Not soft enough for me to fall into. Hard enough for me to walk on… if I can walk.

I try to get up, but the wind is strong and my legs are weak. Crawl. I can crawl. But where? Over there, there’s the light of the door.

I crawl on the snow, but I’m on my last legs. I breathe hard, and even that’s getting tiring. I try to reach forward and collapse. God. Oh, god. What if I’m gonna die here? What if I’m really never getting back home, wherever that is? Never seeing my loved ones again, whoever they are? No. No, that’s too cruel, that can’t be right. But it is, isn’t it?


I raise my head. My vision is blurry. I can only see the snow and the dark. I… I let my head down again. If I’m gonna die, I might as well try to make myself as comfortable as I can…

Being touched. Being carried. Shouting, words. Light. Something. Is that warmth? That’s warmth.

Being placed down. Oh, soft ground. Warm ground.

Thump. Talking. Then quiet. Then other thumps. Fluttering of wings. Talking, masculine voice, louder.

Something’s picking me up. Something large and warm. I freeze. Am I in danger? It’s too blurry to see…

More light. Oh, it’s bright. But I want to rest. Oh, I’m lowered onto something. It’s hard and not as warm, but it’s stable, not moving. I can rest here…

The man is talking again. Then some women talk. Argument. Oh, shut up. I’m trying to rest.

The argument continues anyway. Well, whatever. It’s not my problem. I’m already drifting off again…

I awaken with a jolt. I’m on a table. On the living room table. My body is… burning, ah! It’s like I’ve been in the cold for a long time before coming inside.

Cold. The outside. The car, the key. The key!

I push myself up to a sitting position, grunting at the aches it brings. Where are --


I look behind me to see Blue run up to me. “Uh, hey…”

“Are you okay?” Blue asks, speaking fast. “Don’t exert yourself. You need rest.”

I hear the flutter of wings and turn my head again to see Gina fly up to me. “Yeah, what she said,” she says. Further into the room, Brian gets up from his armchair and walks up to the table.

“I’m okay,” I say. “Just… achy and hot. What happened?”

“You passed out outside, we brought you in, and Brian caught us,” Gina explains.

I want to ask about the key, but Brian is present. I don’t know if they got caught with it or if it’s still out there in the snow. “I… heard you arguing,” I say.

“Sorry,” says Blue. “Brian was… upset.”

“Of course I was upset,” Brian huffs, crossing his arms. “You nearly got yourselves killed.”

“Don’t pretend like you care,” Gina growls.

Woah. Must have been some argument.

Brian rolls his eyes. “Ivy,” he starts, tone softer, “there’s some food and water for you here.” He gestures to my left, and I see that he’s correct. There’s a tiny cup of water and pieces of tangerine. “Try to eat some. You need to gather your strength after what you went through.”

I nod and crawl over to the food. Brian doesn’t seem to be mad at me, at least, even if I’m just as guilty of taking part in… what does he think we were doing? Did he find the key or not? Ugh, I can’t ask before he leaves. I have to live with the uncertainty for now.

The room is silent from the moment I tear off the first vesicle of the tangerine flesh to the moment I swallow the last piece. I really had become hungry while I was out.

“Alright,” Brian says. “Do you want some more?”

“No, this is good,” I say, and I mean it, even if I would have motive to lie in order to get him to leave sooner. “I’d just like to go to bed now.”

“Oh, you and me both,” Brian sighs. “I’ll carry you there.” He gives the other fairies a stern look. “And you two better follow.”

Gina grunts to herself, but hops into flight like Blue once Brian picks me up into his hand. Unfortunately, it’s sweaty, and he doesn’t seem to notice. Whatever.

Brian carries me to the basement as Gina and Blue follow and brings me to the bedroom of the dollhouse. I find the strength to get up and crawl into bed on my own. The other two fairies get into their own beds, and Brian finally leaves. Once the basement door has closed, I clear my throat. Time to find out the truth.

“What happened to the key?” I ask.

“We brought it in and hid it before Brian saw it,” Gina says, and I deflate from relief. “He doesn’t know about it.”

“Good.” I sigh. “How bad was the argument?”

“Eh,” Gina says, shrugging. “He was mad that we tried to leave, and I told him how we felt about being trapped here. He kept up the whole ‘I’m just taking care of you’ facade, and I didn’t like that. I called him some names.”

I look over to Blue. She looks dispirited. I can tell that she wants to argue, but doesn’t have the energy for it.

“Did he say anything… threatening?” I ask.

Gina huffs. “He didn’t have to say anything.”

I return my gaze to Blue. “Do you agree, Blue?”

“He didn’t say anything threatening,” she says quietly.

“Come on,” Gina scoffs.

“Did he make any kind of tangible threat?” I ask Gina sternly.

“He doesn’t have to --”

“So he didn’t.”

She rolls her eyes. “Are you on his side?”

I shake my head. “No. If I was on his side, I would have told him about the key.”

Gina sighs. “I guess.”

I sigh too. “Okay. Where is the key?”

“Hid it in a shoe. Gonna fetch it when Brian falls asleep again. We can try it on the container tomorrow.”

I nod. “Sounds like a plan.” I take a deep breath and let it out. “I’m going to sleep now.”

“Be my guest,” Gina says. “And… sleep well. You need the rest.”

“Thanks.” I lie down and bury myself under the blanket. A moment later, Blue does the same. Gina, instead, gets up and flies off towards the desk, probably to keep herself awake.

With yet another sigh, I close my eyes and welcome sleep.

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