Dark Angel: A Gothic Fairy
Sand. Wet and gritty beneath my cheek,
between my fingers. My lungs seizing.
Twilight was bleeding
into the darker black of night. Shouting in the distance made
me turn my head. It pounded ruthlessly, bringing on an almost
overwhelming nausea. Fighting it back, I blinked hard. A rush
of wind rose above the sound of the waves and a shadow passed
I tried to follow the shadow with my eyes. The mist parted,
and for a moment, I saw something move along the edge of the
shoreline: a sleek, powerful beast, its fur black as midnight,
its pale gaze fixed on me, its enormous body swaying as it stalked
Fear possessed me, made me dimwitted with terror. My vision
wavered again, and a dark form loomed over me. I tried to scream,
certain the beast was about to lunge for me, but my lungs would
not draw breath. I turned to face it, but the creature was gone.
Instead, a man was there, reaching for me, his large hands clasping
mine and pulling me just beyond the waterline and up onto the
“I have you,” he shouted.
He hung over me, sheltering me from the biting wind. Intense
eyes beneath a slash of dark brows stared down at me from a
lean, striking face—a face hewn out of wilderness and shadows,
more frightening than beautiful, and yet somehow both.
I closed my eyes.
It did not matter who he was. I was safe.
“How in bloody hell are you here?” The deep voice above
me sounded utterly perplexed. “How the devil did you accomplish
I coughed out more water and said the only thing that came to
mind. “Please do not—swear at me, sir.” A spasm of pain seized
me, and I flinched.
“Well,” said the bemused voice. “You’ve spirit, at least. Good.
You will need it.”
My tenacious grip on consciousness loosened, and I fought to
retain it. I looked up at him with a sense of urgency pushing
me on. I had to warn him. “A wild animal…I think—it might attack…”
His unblinking gaze reminded me of the creature’s fixed stare.
“There was no animal when I arrived. You must have imagined
it in your distress.”
“I must move you,” he said. “Be brave.”
He lifted me and I cried out, my side screaming in agony.
He shifted me in his arms, tucking my head beneath his chin,
warming me with his body heat.
Memories assailed me of the captain’s terrified face, of the
futile push of oars against a raging sea, of bodies tumbling
past mine in the water, of someone reaching out, capturing my
hands, dragging me to the surface—
I struggled to lift my head and battle back the darkness long
enough to ask him about my fellow passengers. My throat was
raw with the seawater I had swallowed. I forced my head up.
“Did you…save the others?”
He paused in midstride, then resumed walking. I heard the great
weariness in his voice when he spoke again.
“There are no others.”