As stated in the summary, you do not have to read "The Anti-Fairies" to understand this. It would help, but it's not required. If anything in this first part confuses you, don't worry. It'll get explained later on.
Also, it is canon that magical creatures get drunk on sugar. Remember that one scene from the episode "Power Pals"?
Prelude: Just the Way Things Are
I remember the night I visited the Head Pixie's dream and told her about her son. She seemed pretty surprised that he would be the next Head, and I didn't blame her for her shock.
Before him, all the Heads had been female.
But, change is coming. Not for tens of thousands of years. But, it's coming.
"Ross, tell me three things the Head Pixie must never do."
His mother did this sometimes. Quiz him. Expect right answers. Correct him if he was wrong, and he would nod and take a mental note - a physical note, if he had the proper materials on hand - of the right answer. There was never any rhyme or reason to when these little Q-and-A's popped up. It was just whenever his mother felt like asking. Today, he had been in his room, sitting at his little desk and doing his calculus homework, when she'd decided to step into his formerly private domain and quiz him.
Ross Grey hopped out of his chair, straightened his dark gray t-shirt, and adjusted his glasses. "He mustn't befriend other political figures. The relationship must be strictly professional." His mother didn't respond. "He shouldn't fall in love, because that's distracting, and he has to be focused on his duties and his people." Her gray-violet eyes bored into his matching ones, but he didn't flinch. "Finally, he can't show weakness. No crying, no shouting, and no fits of violence unless absolutely necessary. And, if he must do any of those things, it should be in private. Somewhere that no one will see or hear him or around someone he would trust with his own life." He shrugged. "But, that last thing is just societal expectations and applies to all pixies."
His mother nodded her approval. "Well done."
"Mother," he said, as she started out the door. "While I have you, I've been meaning to ask you something." She looked patiently at him. "I know everyone says that the Sister of Grayscale chooses the next Head, but the Heads are always women, right? So, why did She choose me?"
She smiled wistfully. "Ah, who knows why our Goddess does what She does? She's shared Her visions of future events with you, correct?" Ross nodded. "Then, She chose you, my son. Woman or not, there's something about you that She likes, and who are we to question Her motives?"
"I'm not doubting the Goddess." He was doubting himself. He was seventeen years old. He'd been having visions since he was two, and his mother had been preparing him since then for the day he'd take her place as the Head Pixie. But, how could he ever fill the role? His mother had been at this for thousands of years. She knew what she was doing. He couldn't possibly lead his fellow pixies half as well as her, and that was without having to interpret Grayscale's visions.
Not that he'd ever say that aloud, of course.
"I know you're not." His mother was oblivious of his anxiety. "You're nervous, are you, son?" Maybe, she wasn't so oblivious. "It's okay. I was, too, and I wasn't the first of my gender to take the reigns. But, that's just the way things are." She frowned in thought then put her hand on his shoulder. "Perhaps it's time I told you a little something. But, this stays between us, alright?" Curiosity peaked, Ross nodded. "When I was pregnant with you, the Goddess appeared in my dream."
"Grayscale spoke to you?" Ross gasped. "Directly?" How come She only ever showed him confusing images that didn't make sense until the last minute?
His mother chuckled as his reaction. "I, too, was rather surprised. But, it was Her. There wasn't a doubt in my mind. She told me that my son would be the Head Pixie after me. Honestly, I was a bit confused, seeing as you would be a boy."
"Did She say why She picked me?"
His mother took a moment to consider her words. "She told me that you would be a Head Pixie unlike any other." She patted his cheek. "Now, do your homework. Dinner's in twenty minutes."
She left without another word, leaving Ross more confused than ever. He wanted to question her further, ask why he was special, what else the Goddess had said. But, he knew he wouldn't get a straight answer. His mother seemed to believe that he could figure things out for himself. Nine of ten times, he could.
Now, if only this was one of those nine times.
Like the some of other magical worlds, Pixie World was close enough to Earth that sometimes harsher weather would carry over from the strange...planet? Was that the word? Sanderson Davis didn't know, nor did the ten-year-old pixie care. He just knew that it was cold. Really cold. There was water falling from the sky. Maybe it was the cause of this bizarre weather? Either way, it was freezing, and Sanderson didn't want anything to do with it. Of course, the shelter wasn't much better. The old building had running water and a decent enough Wi-Fi connection, but a heater? Up until today, there hadn't been a reason to have one, and it wasn't like any of Sanderson's family, biological or otherwise, was capable of pinging one up anytime soon. No one who lived here had magic. Well, none of the adults did. Sanderson had magic, but the out-dated cellphone he'd found didn't project it very well. His sister had magic, but she was only a few weeks old and was pretty much useless in that department. There were no other kids living with them, so it looked like Sanderson would have to freeze his wings off.
He wondered if his mother was okay. She and a few others had gone to work (which, in their case, meant searching for stray food or money or kindly souls who would provide something for them), and Sanderson wasn't keen on them being out in this kind of weather. What if something happened? There were plenty of bad pixies and other creatures who would gladly hurt them. Or, what if Mom got sick? Sanderson had read somewhere that being in the cold for too long could make you ill. Fatally, even. What if Mom got fatally ill from the cold water? What if the water itself was poisonous? They'd already lost Dad. He and his sister couldn't lose Mom, too.
His sister… He should have been watching her instead of staring out the window and daydreaming. "Taylor," he called, floating through the premises. "Sis? Are you playing hide-and-seek without telling me, again?"
He passed Atkins, who was passed out on the floor. Sanderson wanted to wake him, but there was an empty can of cherry Pepsi lying near him. He wasn't waking up any time soon. Atkins wasn't a mean drunk, but he wasn't very helpful either. Mostly, he would ramble until he lost consciousness. And, when he lost consciousness, he didn't regain it for hours. At least sugar was hard for them to get, so he didn't get drunk often. But, of course, the one time Sanderson needed help, the only grownup present was taking a drunken nap. It was kind of strange that his mother would leave him and his sister in Atkins's care. Perhaps, she didn't know he'd been drinking? No, that was usually pretty obvious.
More likely, she trusted Sanderson to look after himself and his sister. Well, that wasn't going very well, apparently.
Was that paper taped to the wall before? Sanderson took a closer look and recognized Taylor's childish handwriting and misspelled words.
Im gunna find Mome.
Sanderson spotted the open window nearby, his insides seizing. Goddess above, she didn't. How did she even get the window open? He flew for the window and called out his sister's name. No response. She couldn't have gotten far, right? He climbed out the window and shrank back when frigid droplets slammed into his face. Oh, but the weather fine, when Taylor hadn't gone missing. How did humans put up with this? Maybe their skin wasn't as sensitive or something.
Oh, who cares? He needed to find Taylor!
He raced through the sky-water, wishing he was strong enough to fly. He wasn't used to the feel of his still-developing wings being pelted with what felt like tiny shards of glass, and the wind seemed to be trying to force him back inside. Humans must have been made of concrete, if they weren't affected by this stuff. Still, Sanderson pushed through it and ran to find his sister. He called for her every other second, wishing there was at least someone around to help. But other than the homeless and or desperate ones, like his mother and their friends, no one with half a brain would set foot in this crazy weather.
After what was either a few hours or a few minutes of being a soaked, shivering mess, Sanderson spotted something moving across the street. "Taylor!" he screamed.
Hugging herself, she turned, her face almost completely blocked by her thick brown hair. Sanderson ran over, not bothering to look both ways, picked her up, and held her tightly as he ran them home as fast as his legs would carry them.
Atkins was still sound asleep, when they returned. Wet, cold, and emotionally drained (turns out sky-water hadn't been the only thing streaking his cheeks), Sanderson walked them to the small bedroom they shared. He sat his shivering and feverish sister on the bed and looked around for something to dry her off with. His old sweatshirt would have to do. He gently rubbed Taylor with it, as she continued avoiding guilty eye contact with him.
"Sis, what were you thinking?" he asked, wrapping the sweatshirt around her small shoulders.
She hugged the material tighter around herself. "Daddy died 'cause he went to get food. I didn't want Mommy to die for the same reason."
Grief over their recently-deceased father resurfaced, and Sanderson's heart broke all over again. "Oh, sweetie." He placed a hand on her flushed cheek. "That was different. Dad died, because the other pixies didn't like how kind he was to us. Not all pixies care about us."
"Dad was special. It takes a special pixie to love pixies like us."
Why, indeed. Sanderson never did understand it. Pixies became outcasts from breaking promises. The Goddess, Grayscale, valued loyalty above all else. If a pixie broke a promise or contract, She punished them by removing their wings and magic. But, that didn't mean that the wingless didn't have good reasons for going against their word. Sure, there were those who did so for the wrong reasons, but what about the ones who had genuinely good reasons? Why were they punished? Sanderson and Taylor were born with magic and wings, so did they truly classify as outcasts? Did anyone, really?
Sanderson shrugged and provided the only answer he could think of. "That's just the way things are in Pixie World, Taylor. There's nothing we can do to change it. Now, let's get you to bed. Hopefully, a good night's sleep will help that fever of yours. Oh, and let's just keep this little incident a secret. The adults worry enough as it is, especially Mom."
"Mm'kay," Taylor slurred.
Sanderson tucked her in and, when she started reaching for him, lay down beside her. He wrapped his arm protectively around her, as she pressed her warm face against his still-damp shirt. Their mother came home to find them sleeping in each other's arms.
I have to say, I've outdone myself.
Person A: a man born wealthy to the Head Pixie and growing up being respected and getting pretty much anything he wanted. A bit on the spoiled side, doesn't like to be told 'no,' but devoted to those he cares about. Whether he'll admit it or not.
Person B: a man born into poverty and growing up with little to zilch. Carefree in nature yet fiercely protective, especially of his baby sister.
A strange combination, but these things tend to happen, when Person A is predetermined to meet up with Person B. That's just the way things are. Everything happens for a reason, and the person who came up with the word 'coincidence' clearly had no idea how fate works.
Whatever. As long as Ross and Sanderson meet, everything will fall into place as it was fated to.
Are you curious? Do you want to read more and find out what the hell is going on? I sure hope so, 'cause I fully plan on continuing this. Review!
Oh, yeah. I also made a list of songs, in no particular order, that fit with what I have planned for this little series. Make of them what you will.
Lucy - Skillet
Unwanted - Avril Lavigne
Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift
Not Strong Enough - Apocalyptica
Armor - Landon Austin