Uneasy Alliance, page 1
Tales from Seelie High #4
by Aubrey Fredrickson
Copyright 2015 by Aubrey Fredrickson
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Table of Contents
Synopsis of Previous Stories
About the Author
Connect with the Author
Discover other titles by Aubrey Fredrickson
Synopsis of Previous Stories
Tales from Seelie High is a series of short stories that I have been publishing one at a time since March 2015, roughly one story per month. Uneasy Alliance is the fourth full-length story in the series. It takes place one week after the events of the second story, Leena the Giant, and ends about one week after the events of the third story, New Boy.
Due to the length between the publications of each story, I recognize that my readers might not always be able to remember specific details from earlier stories. I do attempt to give a short explanation of any significant plot points as they come into play in each new story, but I am including here a brief synopsis for each of the previously published stories as well. Whether you have read them before and just need a little refresher or are new to the series, I hope you will find this helpful!
New Girl (#1)
After her parents’ divorce, Kira Nichols and her mother move to New Elphame, Michigan. On her first day at Seelie High, Kira is surprised to hear a girl named Aislin recite the following prophecy during roll call: ““It has begun. That which was lost has come back again. The bell has tolled the hour of returning. The key has been revealed and the way that was closed shall be open once more.”
She doesn’t think much about it until the prophecy begins to come true. Along with her newfound friends—Daphne, Aislin, and Fin—Kira is amazed when the cracked bell in the library’s tower is miraculously mended and begins to toll for the first time in many years. She finds a book in the library which claims that New Elphame was founded by a group of fairies and mentions the Lost Ones, or descendants of one of the original settlers who left and was never seen again.
Later, Kira notices a mosaic of tiles in the middle of the school courtyard that form the picture of a door. Aislin begins to prophesy again and tells Kira that she is a descendant of the Lost One and can open the door. Obeying Aislin’s instructions, Kira touches the mosaic and the door magically becomes real. She opens the door and is about to step inside when Daphne prevents her. The story ends with Kira trying to explain to her parents what has happened.
Leena and the Giant (#2)
On the Friday after Kira’s adventurous first day, a woman named Aileen Wallace holds a secretive town meeting at the Giant’s Head, the town pub. Her daughter, Leena, has always been a dutiful daughter, but feels burdened by her mother’s somewhat vague expectations. She wishes that she could be more like her twin sister, Caitlin.
The meeting begins and Kira is invited to explain what happened on the day she opened the door. As soon as Leena sees her, she is overwhelmed with intense feelings of anger, although she doesn’t know why. Distressed by her violent emotions, she exits the pub and is followed by her sister and a group of their friends. They decide to go up to the high school and check out the door for themselves. They are joined by Leena’s boyfriend, Barry.
Once they see the door, the teens begin to discuss the possibility of one of them going through it. Leena doesn’t like the idea, but Barry tries anyway. He is repelled and knocked unconscious.
Leena rushes back down to the pub to get help, but is stopped when the Giant, the ten foot tall wooden head that adorns one wall of the pub and for which it was named, comes to life and begins to talk to her. The Giant tells her that it is time to wake up.
Suddenly, Leena finds herself flooded with memories of other lives and comes to realize that she is the reincarnation of a powerful fairy, known as the Lady, who brought a group of her people to the world of humans from the Otherworld to escape the wrath of a dangerous Queen. The door in the school courtyard is one of the doors that leads back to her home. She had hidden the door with magic to protect her people and to prevent travel between the worlds.
She also remembers her five special guardians, immortal beings who travelled with her from the Otherworld and have vowed to protect her for eternity. They include Mr. Shanachie, who owns the pub; Dr. Berne, Leena’s pediatrician; his wife, Shannon Berne, a guidance counselor at the high school; Annie Jacobs, one of Leena’s friends; and Gideon, Annie’s boyfriend. Leena is delighted to find that Annie, who is actually married to Gideon, is pregnant. She learns that the Five had been guarding the door, but that Annie and Gideon had left it unguarded in order to rush to the hospital when Annie went into premature labor earlier that evening.
The story ends with Leena going to visit Barry in the hospital. She kisses him in an attempt to break the magical sleep he has fallen under, but to no avail. She promises that she will find a way to wake him up and then looks in a mirror, when she realizes that she has developed fairy wings. Although she is troubled by the weight of the responsibility she now feels to protect the town, she is relieved that she finally knows who she is.
New Boy (#3)
Dylan arrives in New Elphame to live with his new foster parents, Connor and Vivian Tierney, who are themselves newcomers to the town. Although they are very kind and seem happy to have him in their home, he feels certain that the arrangement will not last. It is revealed that Dylan has been previously diagnosed with sedatephobia, or the fear of silence, and hears voices whenever it is too quiet. He carries an iPod around with him at all times so that he can drown out any periods of silence with music.
He starts school the next day and meets Daphne, Aislin, and Fin. He notices the door in the courtyard and is curious about it. He opens the door and is shocked to see the Otherworld through it. Daphne and her friends prevent him from going through the door and close it again. Over lunch, they try to explain about the door and the history of the town. Daphne mentions that Kira is in Portland, meeting her dad’s new fiancé.
Dylan does not believe their story and grows angry when Aislin tells him that she had a vision about some people who were searching for him because they loved him and did not want him to go through the door. Wanting to prove that the door can’t possibly lead to another world, he rushes to the courtyard and goes through.
He finds himself in a forest and meets a strange person called Aodh, who poisons him. When Dylan wakes up, he finds himself in a castle dungeon. He is taken to see the Queen, who tells him a story about a wicked girl who stole the key to all the magical doors that once led from the Otherworld to other lands. The Queen claims that she wants to find the girl to retrieve the key so that her people can offer their magical aid to these other lands. Although she describes herself as a beneficent ruler and loving mother, he realizes that everyone at her court, and especially the human children she keeps as pets, is frightened of her. The Queen tells him that he is her son and that he was switched at birth for a human child by the magic of a people called the changelings as part of the Queen’s plan to find to find the wicked girl.
The story ends as Dylan realizes that since he has come to the Otherworld his appearance has begun to change and that he now looks more like the Queen. He accepts that she is his mother.
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