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Summer Queen

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She is the Summer Queen. She is the Summer Queen.

This is no tragedy. No fear should make you shiver in the night. They will not come again for another year and a day. They shall not come again for you should you wander out upon the rolling hills of green. Your feet will not take you unawares to their hollow mounds.

She is the Summer Queen of the Fae. There is nothing for you to fear.


You wake up shivering in the night despite their pretty words. You remember, impressed upon your skin as though the mists are rising again. You remember the sluggish dreamy haze that stole over your limbs and stole your breath, the haze that frosted your thoughts and stole Anna Grace away.

You find yourself at the window and turn away, startled, to catch your breath. When did you leave the bed and walk to the glass panes to look out on Eire?

You remember the green of her eyes, like the rolling hills. You remember the sunlight paleness of her hair. You remember her graceful limbs and shiver because you looked upon her beauty, commented upon her fairness. She was the fairest of them all amongst the village girls. It was impossible to look upon her and not desire such loveliness. Was it envy that drew the Fair Folk?

You shiver. You draw your wrap tighter around you. You return to your bed.


This is what they tell you when you return to the village on fast flying feet from the fairy thorn. They tell you that Anna Grace is the Summer Queen and a faery's bride. They tell you she is safe and her child will be too, that she has made the village safe until Beltane's Eve come again.

You join arms with your companions, hold them close, for Anna Grace is gone, a handfasted stolen bride. A year and a day shall pass before you will feel safe, when no one else is taken in her place.

That night, you begin to shiver.


This is the story of the changeling. Do not look with envy on your companions or your fellows. Do not be jealous of the pretty baby, the blushing bride. For this is your power: to give it to the faeries.

They look on the beautiful, the strong, and the fair. They ask for milk to nurse their children, they substitute their own children for yours, they take the unwary who wander when the barriers between the worlds grow whisper thin.

You did it all wrong. You called to the most beautiful of your friends and dragged her from her safe work before the night of Beltane's Eve. You went to the dance too soon. You ringed about the hawthorn, thinking you were safe.

You do not beg others to believe you as you walk with eyes downcast. Not anymore. You do not ask of them, was this our doing, to love Anna Grace so much? You do not let them see you tremble as you count the days of the handfasting and do not stray too close to the wooded areas.

You did it all wrong, and she is gone, no changeling in her stead.


What do you know of the fae? You see their breath frosting over glass windows at night and hear the faint music of their wild dances if you wander out too far over the green, green hills of Eire. You do not know what drives their capricious whims. You do not know why you shiver still and feel that dazed dance steal over your limbs again from time to time.

You avoid the shadows and stay in the bright sunlight as you walk about your village and to your work, between your homes. You see your two companions from that fateful night, but none of you greet each other. You are all of you wan and pale and furtive, as though more than a memory lingers and more than Anna Grace was taken.


You feel us at your fingertips. You feel us in the shadows, hovering at the edge of your vision as you settle into chairs or near the glass. You almost think you see us. You almost think you can escape our mark.

You are beautiful and lovely, but they tell you, you are safe. Anna Grace is the Summer Queen, and the faeries will not come for you again.

But you are the cord that binds the wrists together, like a thin rope around one's throat. You are the twine that sanctifies, fastening their hands, and you feel the bonds wind tighter.


She is the Summer Queen. She is the Summer Queen.

This is no tragedy. No fear should make you shiver in the night. They will not come again for another year and a day. They shall not come again for you should you wander out upon the rolling hills of green.

She is the Summer Queen of the Fae. There is nothing for you to fear.