Each had its own name for it. Fobit was the word used by the Feywild. Vorbidden was the term chosen by the Vampyr. Both Snow and Xavi were familiar with these words and yet still they met, evening after evening, hands touching across The Wall. It was here that the setting sun’s light was shielded by the peak of Mighty Mountain. Xavi was safe from the fire orb’s holy rays. Equally when the sun had finally set and Luna rose to cast her soft beam through the black of night Snow could soak up the little sunpower that reflected from the nocturnal ball. For an hour or two the couple flirted with Forbit and Vorbidden, for love oft causes rules to be broken or at the very least bent.
Xavi’s family turned their back upon him, a non-feeder and a lover of the enemy. Snow’s family saw the relationship as something else. Knowingly committing Fobit was an embarrassment certainly, but Snow was their youngest daughter and she was still loved. There was many a sin that girl could commit for her beauty was renowned and her loyalty to family and the Feywild was unquestionable but for this sole infactuation.
“Where do you go each night, sister?” Snow’s brother Sylvi-um sang every afternoon. He called from the Seeking Post a league from The Wall. The boy knew where it was his sister ventured but still it was his role to query all who passed, each fey played their part to keep the whole Feywild safe.
“Where I go be no person’s business but my own,” was always Snow’s reply.
Pale of complexion and locks the colors of the sun’s light, Snow would then step amongst the drifts and disappear. Sylvi-um considered following his sister but the monsters of the night always came when the lady Luna awoke. They came hungry and Sylvi-um, as brave as he was dared not leave the bonfire’s warmth and safety. He knew his place and his place was the Seeking Post.
“Daughter of fire and air, the brightest spark and the coolest breeze, why do you torture us so?” begged Snow’s mother and father each dawn.
To these the girl was far less spiteful. To those whose love was eternal Snow showed far more respect when she replied.
“Mother, father, the heart pleads! The air calls! I am drawn to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and the light touch of Luna’s kiss.”
Snow’s father Kinder considered banning his daughter from her wandering ways, but it would have been easier to tie the wind or hold the rains of winter in a single leaf. He realized that the child that was his wild spirited daughter would go where and when she willed. Even growing as a child Kinder knew his daughter’s wildness and free spirited nature caused her to venture forth when others wiser or more fearful would remain flatfooted.
Snow’s mother would not allow her daughter’s disobedience to slide by however. In silence she listened to father and daughter converse. Knowing her husband and the blindness he had toward their daughter’s faults she silently vowed under the sun’s rays to follow Snow into the twilight.
Thus it was the next night that Sylvi-um as always called to his sister and smirked at her common reply. As his keen eye caught sight of Snow’s older twin he reacted far differently.
“Mother, I cannot allow you to venture forth. It be only an hour before the sun vanishes for the day.”
“Precious Sylvi-um,” laughed his mother in reply. “Your sweet thoughts I shall wrap around me as a shield.”
“I wish to own bravery such as ye, Lioness,” said the son. “I would be striding deep into the drifts with spear thrust forward as a compass and the flames of the home fire the beacon at my back.”
“Light of my life, remain as guardian that the vampyr be kept from our door and from our throats.”
The boy nodded and allowed his mother to pass.
Snow’s mother, Starr was the mirror of her daughter. Pale where her husband sun-kissed, blonded where her husband chestnut. Like Snow, Starr too could slip into the cool drifts and vanish.
“Return to us upon the cool winds of night,” sang Sylvi-um as he faintly overheard the crunch of his mother traversing through the hard packed snows.
When the sun reached its final moment of setting the two lovers sat together upon the wall. Their fingers were entwined. Xavi whispered in Snow’s almond shaped ear.
“My wish upon the evening star would be to pull you over this wall and into my waiting arms.”
“To venture this far from home this late is enough risk for myself and my kin to experience,” replied Snow. She shivered at the lack of sun’s heat and flames heat too. Xavi made to wrap strong arms around the girl but bloodless until he fed his offer of comfort would do naught but make Snow shiver more.
To Starr it caused feelings of fear and joy to step into the shade Mighty Mountain, spying the young vampyr leaning toward her daughter. Resisting the urge to rush forward and strike the monster instead she paused for a moment and witnessed her daughter pushing away a lover or friend. Such love as she had once felt for Kinder in the early years. Instead she drew slowly nearer.
“Greetings, foolish youth,” the older called, revealing her position.
“Mother return home for it is not safe!” called Snow, suddenly panicked.
“Child I know of the danger,” replied the mother. “What I wonder is, do you?”
From the snows drifts came forth thirty or more dark shadows. As if summoned by Starr’s voice they approached The Wall.
“Flee crone! That we over run thee and feed upon the chicks we find within your nest!” eerily chorused the shadows as they began slinking nearer.
“Stay friend and family!” cried Xavi cried passionately.
“Silence unfeeder! Vorbidden be a crime punishable by banishment!”
Xavi hoped over the wall and stood beside Snow and her mother.
“To raid such a nest there are three you must first fly over or through!” called the boy back at his kin.
“So be it, child!” growled the gathering.
As one they struck; a flock with a single simple mind and purpose.
Snow and Starr were caught in the darkness of the just night still awaiting Luna’s kiss to grant them power. Xavi though knew his kind and how they thought. He turned against his mind’s orders to strike down the enemy and feed. That signal had come the first time he had drawn too close to Snow and he had been able to resist the vampyr urges then.
“Stay behind me,” urged Xavi of the two Sylva.
As the wave passed over the barrier of stone it flew at the young vampyr and slipped by. Sixty claws slashed at the trio, drawing thin lines of crimson. Without Xavi standing before them the fey would have been slashed to pieces. The boy acting as his own wall gave the two the moment they needed. At Luna’s kiss the light of holy sun burst forth as Starr expired. Half the shadow was touched and with a scream they burned to lifeless ash. Fifteen still remained and moved with swiftness through the snows. Snow bravely sped after but the night had weakened her, slowed her.
Xavi flew past, over the snows, his claws not marking the pure white as his leathery wings caught the air and molded it to his urgent needs. As the Seeking Post and great fire came into view Xavi hung back as Sylvi-um threatened with spear. Behind the little vampyr came the remains of the shadow. As one they blew and the fire vanished. Then they made to strike. Again turned Xavi and he stood before Sylva-um and the Seeking Post and the shadow passed by. Into the nest flew the vampyr. One by one the shadow was snuffed but not before their threat came true.
As Snow stood beside her brother and her friend she wept at the silence. Love had charged the ultimate price and taught the harshest lesson of all.