_Elves are marvelous. They cause marvels._
_Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies._
_Elves are glamourous. They project glamour._
_Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment._
_Elves are terrific. They beget terror._
She wasn’t sure how long ago it had been since she’d been caught up in all of this. Everything had seemed like some kind of dream, at first. He’d carried her away upon meeting her, over his shoulder, a terrifyingly beautiful, wild King of the forest. Amidst beautiful, swirling waves of colors, time had seemed to fall away from her form as he held her, a lover like no man she’d ever met. Sensations no mortal could describe, or inspire. And He gave her everything she could dream of, everything she could want. He had called her beautiful.
If she’d had any understanding of the Sidhe, she would have realized that such a love could never last. The Sidhe were timeless, immortal, and she a mere human. If she’d heard His story before she’d met Him, she would have known that theirs was a story that had been repeated time and time again throughout the history of the Seelie Court. If she’d listened to the tales of her great-grandmother when she was a small child instead of running off to play with her friends, she would have heard of the deadly ire the Seelie Queen held for those mortal lovers the Seelie King took.
Like the others before her, Mary Allen had gotten with the child of the Stag King. Like the others before her, she had born the pain of birthing a child of two worlds. And like the others, she had looked into the tiny eyes of a swaddled newborn babe that were as much human as they were something else, something strange, and beautiful and alien. And like many of those others before her, something in her mind gave out in that moment.
They had come for her, and her child, while her Stag King was away from their shared paradise. He would not save her from them. Instead, it was his servant that lead her away through a faerie circle whislt the axemen chopped down the Stag King’s stout door. She had brushed strange, pink hair from her suckling babe’s forehead as she rode the enchanted horse from the realm of the Faerie and back again to her own.
Like all gifts from the Fae, Mary Allen’s had a price. She had long lived a timeless existence of joy with her lover in a land that was untouched by the mortal world. Forty five years had passed upon her return, and those years immediately claimed her for their own. Her beauty, so loved by the Stag King, faded like a dying rose. Her skin became wrinkled and began to sag, the passage of time writ large upon her features in a single passing moment upon returning to the mortal world. Her babe began to cry as its hunger took hold when it was unable to draw milk from her any longer.
By the time the enchanted horse had brought her home, Mary Allen saw the graves of her family members. What was left of her mind began to collapse, though she still held fast to the one thing that was hers, her child. Her strange, Fae child. There were others in her home now, who claimed to be her brother’s children. They were older than Mary had been when she’d disappeared. One of their daughters had lost a child, and Mary took her newborn child to the girl to be fed.
Although the children of her brother found her tales difficult to believe, they could not discount them entirely. Mary, her babe, and the girl who was able to feed the child, were taken far from the Allen farm and hidden away for years to avoid the wrath of the Seelie Queen. The people in the village they had moved to called her Mad Mary, for her stories always seemed so unbelievable to them.
And Mary’s child grew. One thing that was very different about the tales that Mary’s great-grandmother had told was that the child of the Stag King had always been a boy. This time, a Holly Princess had been born. And a timeless story, repeated in the Seelie Court throughout the ages, found its telling changed…