I yawn as I awaken. I look outside and am surprised to see it's still dark. What the heck? I set my clock forward last night, didn't I? I glance at my alarm clock, but to my shock, it's not there.

I rise from my bed. Nothing's familiar about this room. For one thing, the white paint on the walls is completely gone except for a few patches of some that have become yellowed and peeled, revealing the brick underneath. The room is also bare and devoid of any of my belongings. I look up and most of the roof is gone. I turn back to my bed. The bed frame is covered entirely in rust and the mattress is gone. I blink several times. Gone? But I remember feeling its softness under me just moments ago. How did it just disappear?

I then hear voices trailing up from downstairs, but I can't hear what they're saying.

I creak open the door and some of its rotten wood breaks off and falls to the ground. I grimace and step into the hallway. I then widen my eyes.

Rather than a wall in front of me, there's a wooden railway with ornate designs etched into it. It stretches in both directions for a good distance. God, there must be at least eight rooms on each side of me! I then look down and see the base of a grand, spiraling staircase leading up here.

This isn't my house. Not unless my bank account went up in millions overnight.

I saunter over to the staircase and notice the carpet covering the stairs was once a red velvet but now had faded and become worn and torn. I descend the stairs. I have just reached the bottom when suddenly, I hear a loud crash!

I jump just as a pan flies from the room to my right and into the main room I'm currently in and slams into the wall to my left. I stare at it for a moment, wondering what the hell just happened.

"Raita!" a female voice that sounds about my age yells. "Pick that up right now!" A girl looking about twelve storms into the room. She has shocking white hair pulled back into a sloppy braid and even more shocking red eyes. She approaches the pan and kicks it. It flies up into the air and slams into the ground with a loud bang! "Raita!"

The girl turns and sticks her tongue out at the doorway. "Stop acting like my mother, Titania!"

Raita? Titania? What kind of names were those? Were they foreign? Perhaps they're tourists. That'd explain the yelling.

A much taller individual storms into the room. She has long brown hair and blue eyes and looks about eighteen like me.

She also has freakin' wings.

"I would if you'd stop being such a little brat! Besides, your sister put me in charge of you!"

Raita crosses her arms. "Doesn't mean I have to listen to you."

Suddenly, Titania's clenched fist bursts into flames. I gasp, and they both turn to me in shock.

"Who in the abyss are you?" Titania demands in an angry voice. I notice uneasily that her flames had grown higher than before. "This is private property!"


Then I feel the sensation of falling, and my head slams into the stair below.


I moan, and my vision swims before slowly coming into focus. I then widen my eyes as a dagger is thrust in front of my face. "Alright, now what in the abyss are you doing here?" the twelve-year-old demands before baring razor sharp teeth at me, her demonic red eyes piercing through me. "And what in the abyss are you?!"

"I...I...uh...uh..." I stammer, too overcome with fear of the blade less than an inch from my face and the strange creature before me to get anything intelligible out.

"Get that thing out of her face!" Titania exclaims as she comes into view.

Raita waits several seconds before reluctantly backing away. Titania holds out her hand, and I take it. She hoists me to my feet.

"You okay?"

"Y-yeah," I stammer, unable to keep my eyes off her wings.

"You're lucky Raita over there has healing powers. Otherwise you'd be stuck with a bad concussion."

"H-healing powers?"

"Yeah, I know it's a little weird, considering she's a bannite and all. We're pretty sure she got it from her dad, who ate a unicorn heart."

Just what planet have I ended up on? What the hell is a bannite? And since when do unicorns exist? And why is this lady talking about freakin' magic like it's something normal? And why the hell are her ears pointed?!

"Whoa," I hear a new voice. I turn to the source and see another winged freak of nature that looks a few years younger than me. She has short, shaggy green hair and nearly black eyes. "You weren't kidding, Titania."

"Okay, I'm sorry, but what the hell is going on here?!" They all frown at me like I'm the weird thing here. I point at the twelve-year-old. "First off, why the hell does she have pointy teeth, white hair, and red eyes?" I turn and point at the other two. "And why the hell do you have wings and pointed ears?! You two fairies or something?!"

"Don't be absurd. Fairies went extinct millions of years ago," Titania replies with an annoyed sigh.

I stare at her. "What?"

"Whoa, hold on, I think I've seen someone like her before!" the green-haired girl exclaims. She pulls out a phone similar to my own (at least there's one normal thing here). She spends several moments on it before declaring, "Yes! I was right!"

She shows the phone to Titania, who looks at me and then the phone again. "Holy dwarf manure, she looks just like one."

"One what? Let me see," Raita says as she snatches the phone from their hands, much to the annoyance of both of them (notably the one named Titania). "Huh. She looks just like a human."

"That's what I said," Titania grumbles.

"Uh, that's because I am a human. Now will someone please explain to me just what the hell is going on here?!"

"Name the continents," the green-haired girl says suddenly.

"Excuse me?"

"Just name them," she replies impatiently.

Not really seeing the purpose of all this, I reply, "Europe, Asia-"

"Okay, you can stop now." I frown, hoping this whatever-the-hell-she-is will clarify. She addresses her friends, "She's not from this time period."

"Huh?" I ask.

She turns back to me. "Those names you just said haven't been used for millions of years.”

"Whoa, whoa, hold on. Millions of years?! You saying I just time-traveled to the future or something?! That's insane! That's more insane than telling me I'm on a different planet!" I clutch my head with both hands. "This is just a dream," I murmur to myself. "I'll wake up soon and realize it was all a dream."

She puts her hand on my shoulder, and it's only then that I realize I've been hyperventilating. "What's your name?" she asks.


"Alright, Nora, this is all very real. I need you to stay calm, alright?"

"Of course you'd say that!" I snap. I jab my forefinger at her accusingly. "You're part of the dream!" I then wave my hand toward the lot. "You're all part of the dream! You're not-"

I feel someone touch the back of my hand with their finger, and the world disappears in an instant.


"Dwarf manure. I didn't mean to make her pass out. I was just going to calm her down."

"She probably needs this anyway, this chance for her brain to process all of this new information. After all, how would you react to time-traveling millions of years into the future without having a chance to fully register that?"

"So this isn't a dream?" I mutter as I flutter my eyelids. They're all standing over me.

"No, it's not," the green-haired one says as she helps me to my feet.

"But I don't understand. How can someone just time-travel millions of years into the future? And since when does the future involve fantasy crap like fairies-"

"Actually, we're fairns," she interrupts.

"Whatever the hell you guys are called and whatever she is-"

"I'm a bannite," Raita says in an impatient and aggravated voice.

"I don't even know what a bannite is! Or a fairn! They sound like something made up by some wacko writer!"

"We're not," Titania says as she crosses her arms.

"Fairns are a hybrid of fairy and human. They came into existence shortly before fairies and humans went extinct," the green-haired girl explains.

"Okay, first off, can you tell me your name? I don't want to keep calling you 'green-haired girl'."

"It's Cera."

"That's a normal enough name."

"It's spelled C-E-R-A."

"Damn it. So anyway how in hell do fairies exist and how the hell did we go extinct?"

"Fairies lived around the same time as humans give or take a thousand years. They lived mostly in places where humans aren't able to access. Like the ocean. And the deepest jungles. And places like that."


"They and humans never interacted. At least to our knowledge. Anyway, World War X rolled around and-"

"Hold on, there were ten world wars?! I only know of two!"

"Two? Wow, you're really far back in human history." Cera glances at her phone and back at me. "What human year are you from?"


"Hmm, actually you're not that far back. Extinction's only in a thousand years."

"I'm sorry, what?!"

"Anyway, after you humans nuked and gassed each other to near annihilation, many humans, and fairies too, died from radiation."


"Global nuclear fallout."

"Like the games?"

Cera raises her brow at me. "We're not going to get your pop culture references, so you might want to stop." She continues. "Anyway, After both humans and fairies were on the brink of extinction, they met for the first time. They then started mating with each other and produced new creatures: fairns. That's what we are. Fairns, obviously, have the wings of a fairy--though they don't start growing until age five and then continue to grow until age ten. They also have the height of a human. Like fairies, we can also access magic from deep within ourselves."

Frost begins to seep from her palm and into the air. "Thanks for the demonstration," I say despite the fact that I'd already seen Titania use flames.

"Anyway, after the rest of the humans and fairies died out, we started breeding with each other, slowly increasing our population. Millions of years later, the world's completely cleansed itself of radiation and other negative side effects from the human war. We have a population of about a billion now, and we've settled in Madrigal--uh, Europe--and Underia--Asia. So yeah, that's a brief history of fairns for you."

"Okay, now what the hell is she?" I ask, pointing at Raita.

The twelve-year-old growls and whips out a dagger before sending me an icy glare. "I swear you'll get sliced into ribbons if you're not careful."

"Thanks for the warning," I reply uneasily.

"Sweet little Raita here is a bannite," Titania replies after patting the child on the head mockingly.

Raita's right eye twitches, and she lashes her fist out at her. Titania catches it with ease, which seems to bother the kid even more. She jerks her hand away and crosses her arms. Titania only smirks.

"Yeah, I got that. Several times. But what the hell is a bannite?"

"I...uh...I actually don't know," Cera replies sheepishly with an apologetic shrug.

"Let me guess: your damn textbooks don't like to mention us," Raita says angrily.

"And when they do, they like to call you guys savages," Titania adds bitterly.

"Uh, what are you talking about?"

"Most fairns aren't exactly...accepting...of bannites," Cera explains.

"That's an understatement," Raita retorts. "They drove us underground and forced us in our 'permanent reservation'. It's more like a freakin' prison for criminals who did nothing wrong but live here first."

Cera places her hand on the furious girl's shoulder. "We'll change that, Raita. We swear it."

She rolls her eyes and crosses her arms. "Yeah, sure. Anyway, I didn't even mention what the fairns did during the war. Or right after."


"Fairns went to war against bannites, and they did a lot of awful things."

Raita clenches her fists. "They called a lot of the fighting 'battles', but they were really massacres. Men, women, and children alike. No bannite was safe." She then slams her fist into the wall. "And they're the ones who call us savages!" she yells. "They call us monsters and beasts when they're the ones who killed our people and drove us from our home even after we'd already lost the damn war! They even made promises to make things better for us, but every single damn time they've broken those. They're liars and cheaters as well as murderers." She pauses and then looks up at the fairies--I mean fairns. I then see for the first time in the angry and vicious little girl admiration and respect, and maybe something even deeper. She smiles slightly. "Well, not all of them, anyway."

"So, yeah, that's some history for you," Cera says as an awkward icebreaker, and though it's certainly not the best, it gets the job done well enough. "Anyway, back to your whole being-stuck-in-a-different-time-period situation."

Before she can continue, I ask, "Why do you guys not seem that surprised at meeting someone who's sprang forward in time by millions of years?"

"A few months ago, we kind of embarked on this 'quest', you could say," Titania replies. "We've seen a lot of weird dwarf manure."

"Like an army of different races determined to kill everybody in the world," Cera says.

"And an evil lady who controlled them all from a different dimension until she eventually escaped," Raita says. "Who's also a murderous and torture-loving skiderikadran."

"Not to mention her psycho twin sister who likes to experiment on others," Titania says.

"Then there was the whole your sister having that split personality with one of the most powerful beings on the Earth," Raita says.

"And then of course there was the whole thing with my other sister not being dead but actually split into different personalities by Ophelia," Titania says.

"Then-" Raita begins.

"Whoa, whoa, hold on!" I exclaim. "This all happened to you just a few months ago?! Half of that crap I didn't even understand!"

"I don't think that's even half of what happened," Titania says.

"We'll probably have to tell you the whole story sometime. "Anyway, let's get you to Sid," Cera says to me.

"Who's Sid?"

"Titania's hubby wubby," Raita mutters with a snicker.

Titania whips her head to her and glares at her, her face red as a beet, which only makes Raita snicker more. She turns back to me. "Sid is from an alternate timeline."


"He came from a timeline where he and Titania were married and had a kid, but then something messed it all up. Long story. Anyway, he built a time machine and traveled back to this time period," Cera states.

"Uh...so he's a time-traveler?" I ask, which is the only thing I ended up getting from that. I then widen my eyes. "Hold on, can he get me back home?!"

"He might."

"Hey, that's good enough for me. Can we go now?" I ask excitedly, anxious about the possibility of being able to go home where everything was nice and normal.

"Yeah. The others will definitely want to meet you," Cera replies.

"Just know that Zeva will probably end up reading your thoughts, so don't freak out," Titania says.


"If you think that's weird, just wait until you hear the whole freakin' story."

God, what the hell have I gotten myself into? I didn't expect my first day with my clocks sprung forward for daylights savings time to end up like this, that's for sure. Oh, well. At least I'll have a real interesting story to tell once I get home.

If that even happens.

April 02, 2020 04:35

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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