Brown eyes peeked above the pages. A Study in Scarlet, the cover read, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Across the room, a large barrel-shaped man, a holstered gun at his side, an air of importance about him, shook hands with another man. He wore an ink-black suit, a briefcase curled into one palm, large round glasses nestled on the bridge of his crooked nose.

"I just don't get it." The coroner said, shaking his head. "Who would do something like that to someone like Atticus Green?"

Elise King watched their interaction with analytical eyes, her father smiling and thanking the man, Mr. Lucas Brewer, for his dedication to the case.

Mr. Brewer smiled back, and Elise fought down the growl rising in the back of her throat.

Not yet. Elise reminded herself, releasing the tension in her muscles. Not yet. Tonight. She curled her feet under her, the thought of what was happening sending jolts up her spine. 

Mr. Brewer looked over Elise's father's shoulder, his green eyes hungry and cruel. "Goodbye, Elise."

He whirled out of the room, leaving behind the faint smell of pine. Elise's father crossed the room to the bar, his back turned to her, and poured a drink.

"So," He paused and took a sip, looking at Elise evenly. "Let's add Mr. Lucas Brewer to the list, shall we?"

Elise said nothing, but closed her book and sat it gently on the table next to her. "He knew facts about the crime scene you didn't tell him." She said after a minute of staring at him.

Her father nodded and sat himself down in the plush recliner. "The turned over table, the shattered picture frame of Mr. Green's daughter."

Elise stood up and shoved her hands in her jean pockets, pacing the carpet. "That's a good observation." She paused for a second and let her father goad to himself for a moment. "However, adding him to your list would prove to be ineffective."

She watched as her father blanched, looking at her with wide eyes. "How?"

Elise stood in front of him, shoulders back and eyes steady. Unwavering. She thought. "If you were to ask him, he'd say he was with his girlfriend, Ava Lauchlan, which at first, would seem like a lie, considering Ava is indeed the wife of a Preacher and loves her husband dearly."

Elise stared into the void, her mind spinning in circles. "But, Ava and Preacher Lauchlan have been separated for almost a month now, a wedding ring is no longer present. The cause of their impending divorce: her string of affairs. His story checks out."

Elise's father grimaced. "You're forgetting one small thing." He leaned forward as Elise's head snapped towards his in shock. "Ava Lauchlan flight to New York was two hours before the murder."

Elise frowned as her arms dropped to her sides. "I thought I had everything." She turned away from her father, masking her extreme disappointment. She was close this time, but not close enough. She fought the urge to pull and tug on her brown hair.

"Except," Elise spun around, her excitement flooding her body. "It was canceled. So you were right." Elise's father's complimenting words made her ears ring. Unfazed. She reminded herself. "However, you didn't have all the facts. You were right for the wrong reason."


Three hours later, forty minutes after midnight, the moon shone brightly through the window, illuminating Elise as she moved silently through the room. Her footsteps were soundless, although she was wearing thick-soled boots.

The small attic room was taken up mostly by a large mirror, possibly from the seventies. It was hideous, but it allowed Elise to survey the practicality of her outfit. The score: 0. But, it let her blend in.

She wore a long red dress made of tulle. It seemed to float around her and glow in the silver light. The sleeves dipped off her shoulders, exposing her pale neck. She dropped the bottom of the skirt, and it cascaded to the ground, covering the unusual boots.

If that wasn't peculiar enough, the metal buckle of a leather belt glinted across her waist. Hanging from it, a scabbard. Inside, a three-foot-long Longsword.

Elise grinned in the mirror, the glow of the moon making her face look skeletal. Perfect she mused thoughtfully. Her hair hung in thick, heavy curls, the smooth brown of her hair almost making it seem... fluid. Her lips were painted in a velvety purple. Magic it was named. How fitting.


"Wow." Her father said as he turned away from the counter and toward her. "Some costume party."

Elise nodded. "It always is." She could tell by the way his left eye twitched that he slightly disapproved of her outfit. But he wouldn't say anything. Not now.

"So... what are you?" He asked slowly.

Elise just shrugged. "I'm not sure. I threw something together."

Elise and her father just stood facing each other for a second. They never knew what to talk about unless it was books, school, or murder. "I'm gonna go," Elise said finally.

Her father looked slightly crestfallen. "Alright. And-"

Elise cut him off. "No drinking, no drugs. Got it."

She whisked herself through the front door before he could give her another lecture about being 'safe'. He was, after all, a detective. He loved lectures.

Elise took the front steps two at a time.

Although the cool night air ruffled her hair and her dress, sending shivers down her spine, Elise didn't waver. She sauntered down the driveway and onto the sidewalk.

Her boots thudded on the concrete as she strode along, her excitement soaring with every step she took.

If anyone saw her they would say she looked rather mischievous as she paraded down the street. "Downright impish" as she looked around, grinning, making sure no one was watching with curious eyes.

"Extremely bizarre" as she snapped her fingers and disappeared in a flash of purple light.


Elise laughed in pure ecstasy as she landed, both feet on the ground. Balanced she thought fervently.

She stood in front of an old dilapidated building. There were cracked or missing window panes. Although a padlock was wrapped through the door handle and around a tall pole, the door only hung off of one hinge, and the chain had enough slack for the door to open at least one foot. In the corner of a window, a sign read Condemned. Keep out. Elise knew better.

She jaunted forward and placed her hand on the padlock. A spark of purple shot from her fingertips and the chain crumpled to the ground. "Easy." Elise hummed.

Elise pushed the door open with one hand, the rings that adorned her fingers glittering in the orange streetlight.

As she stepped in the door, a burst of warm air flooded around her. Thudding music immediately enveloped her, and low light warmed her skin. She stepped into a crowd of writhing bodies.

She glided through the crowd, trying intently to avoid elbows and stepping on toes. The air smelled like a mixture of sweat and something sickly sweet, like honey mixed with bitter flowers. It was slightly intoxicating.

Elise finally forced her way through the dancing crowd and stood at the edge, peering in.

At first glance, there was nothing unusual about the crowd, but if you looked a little closer, other things began to show themselves. A boy Elise's age, about seventeen, danced slowly at the edge. His skin was deathly pale, and if he turned his head just right, and the moonlight from the window hit it, the skeleton was illuminated from underneath.

Clinging to his arm was a girl, no telling how old. She stared up at him with pitch-black eyes, and when she flashed him a smile, her canines were slightly longer than they should be.

Occasionally, there were sparks of color, not unlike Elise's. They came in shades of blue, and green, pink and yellow, these, however, were brought on by passion, not willpower.

Finally, Elise's eyes landed on who she was here for. He wasn't dancing, but leaned against the bar, talking to the man behind it. She approached slowly, her stomach slightly churning.

"One Faerie Elixir." He told him, glancing over his shoulder. Meeting eyes with her, he sighed, his head drooping. "Make that two."

"I can't drink Faerie Elixir, Eoiran." She reminded him, sitting on the stool next to him.

"Right." He refused to look at her as she stared up at him intensely.

"Are you happy to see me?" Elise joked as the man behind the bar handed Eoiran his drink.

He frowned at the clear blue liquid. It looked almost like Windex but had the consistency of milk. "That's not fair." Eoiran groaned. "I can't lie."

Elise laughed, throwing her head back. Eoiran glanced at her, startled, his amber eyes wide. His shocked expression melted into a smile. "I like it when you laugh." Happy Elise thought.

"I like it when you're happy to see me." Elise cocked her head to the side, her painted purple lips in a lopsided smile.

Eoiran shook his head. "So did you come to see me, or do you need something?" Straightforward she noted approvingly. Perfect.

"I need something," Elise admitted. "But, I have time."

"Honest. That's nice."

"I do it for you."

Eoiran rolled his eyes playfully. "Thank you. So what do you need?"

"I can wait." Elise rebuked, shaking her head.

The corner's of Eoiran's mouth turned up. "How 'bout you ask, and I answer, while we dance." Elise looked at him with amusement dancing in her eyes as she took his outstretched hand.

Eioran led her to the middle of the floor. "Show me how to do it again. Human dancing is weird."

Elise laughed and guided one of Eoiran's hands to her waist, the other she intertwined with her own. "Just sway." She told him as he looked down at his feet, confused. "Have you told your father yet?"

"What? That I'm dating a witch?" Eioran looked at Elise guiltily. "No."

Elise looked at him with penetrating eyes. "Okay." She said simply and moved on.

"I need to know who Kilden is," Elise informed Eoiran, looking up at him, watching his eyes darken. He subconsciously pulled her a little closer.

"He was a Faerie who murdered a werewolf child in cold blood." Eoiran answered her, his voice strained.

"There's more to it than that. There has to be." Elise pushed, unsatisfied with his answer.

Eoiran hesitated, his eyes boring into hers. "He was next in line for the throne." He revealed to her, clenching his jaw.

Evy furrowed her eyebrows. "But that would make him-"

"My brother." Eoiran growled.

Suddenly, with the intense look of fury that Eoiran had, Elise realized just how terrifying Faeries could be.

"But what happened? Why would he give that up?"

"I don't know. He broke the law, and my father banished him. As revenge, he murdered a child." Eoiran shook his head and closed his eyes. "For fun." He said in disgust.

The hand that didn't grip Eoiran's, brushed across his face. Elise ran her thumb along his cheekbone.

"He knew that the pack would blame my father for being unable to control his son."

"It wasn't his fault."

"Everyone is looking for someone to blame, El." Eoiran disclosed.

Elise thought for a second, looking evenly into his eyes. "I think he murdered someone else."

Much to Elise's surprise, Eoiran didn't look shocked. "Who?"

"A man named Atticus Green." Elise told him, looking around at the faces next to them. They looked unconcerned by their conversation, too wrapped up in the night to care. "He was a local business owner. A nice man. Even I liked him."

Eoiran frowned. "I have no idea why he would kill a human. He thinks they're below Faeries. He'd get no gratification from it."

Elise gave Eoiran an almost worried look. "He wasn't human. He was Fae. A rouge I guess."

"What makes you think it was Kilden?" Eioran wasn't defensive, just curious.

Elise let go of Eoiran's hand and reached into a secret pocket of her dress. She pulled out a piece of rolled parchment, a blue piece of string wrapped around it. "I found this at the crime scene. My father didn't notice it."

Eoiran let go of Elise's waist and grabbed the paper from her, slipping the string off.

"Dear Kilden," He read.

"I miss you dearly. The stars have finally burned out, and the stream rises."

Love, Iasekh

19 Sep. 2019

Eoiran looked at Elise, amber eyes burning like the sun. "The person who wrote this: Iasekh, is dead. Has been for ten years."

January 16, 2020 20:53

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Dale Lehman
14:45 Jan 23, 2020

An intriguing combination of hard-boiled detectives and fantasy world. There's a lot going on here that I'd like to explore further. In a way, it's almost too much for a short story, and the conclusion left me hanging a little: who is this Iasekh, anyway? That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. This could be a jumping-off point for a novel!


16:01 Jan 23, 2020

Thank you! For your interest, and your criticism.


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