My violet eyes gazed at my much younger sister, Max, and her mafia of barbaric four-year-old children. I would’ve loved to have gone outside, but I burn way too easily. I was born with a rare condition known as Nymph’s Genesis, which makes life harder; I can’t go outside, I have purple eyes and platinum hair that grows fast, I tend to get random body aches, my skin, stomach and eyes are sensitive, and at times people with my condition claim they hear or see stuff. Being my parents’ first child, they had a difficult time figuring out how to raise me. It doesn’t help that my grandparents thought I was cursed when I was diagnosed; they begged my parents to give me away. My grandparents love me now, and even think I’m a gift. They also attended Max’s Fourth Birthday.
Margarita, my mother, put some animal crackers and juice boxes on the picnic table in my backyard. The ravenous children charged at the tables, and tackled each other while trying to find the largest cracker. They looked like starving seagulls fighting over an abandoned subway sandwich.
“Xena, do you want something to eat?” Margarita’s voice creeped from the kitchen door. I walked to the kitchen and was greeted by the comforting scent of homemade fudge. My father, Elliot, was drinking an Arnold Palmer while reading the instruction guide for a helium balloon pump.
“Rita, I’m going to go pick up the cake,” my grandfather said, leaning in to kiss Margarita, and then pecking the top of my head before heading out.
“Xena, I made you something.” She handed me a bowl of Brussel sprouts. Call me crazy, but I loved when Margarita made those things. I thanked her, and then savored them while watching the children play outside. I stared at Margarita’s koi pond, at the koi fish that were still small. It must be so fun so swim, I thought. Max and her friends were plucking grass with their tiny fists. I felt a sharp pain on my sides. One of her friends, I think his name was Pierre, picked up a rock and began throwing it at the koi. That was when I’d had enough. I opened the door to my backyard, and stepped onto the grass for the first time.
I immediately fell in between the blades of grass. My body hurt from the fall, but my skin wasn’t burning off, and I could see a little better than expected. My first instinct was to scream for help, but then I noticed something odd. Everything was big. The grass was taller than me, yet still so light and easy to move through.
“Goodness, these cubs couldn’t get any crazier.” The voice of a young girl came from someplace close. I searched my surroundings and tried to adjust to everything happening.
“Stupid elf,” a boy’s voice from the same direction laughed. I got up on my feet and felt my hair brush the back of my shins. I immediately got chills, and looked at my own body through a droplet I found on some dew. My nose was smaller and pointier, my violet eyes were suddenly lilac and longer, my lips were paler, my lashes were jet black, and my hair was weighing my head down. I backed away from my reflection, a little shocked.
“Hey, watch who you’re calling elf,” the first voice returned naturally. I followed the voices, and was surprised to see two peculiar people, both my size, speaking to one another. One of them was a boy who seemed somewhat older, with green wings and vibrant red hair, and the other one was a pretty girl with an orange-to-red colored dress and lilac eyes just like mine. I watched them argue.
“What are you, anyways?” the boy chuckled.
“I’m a sprite,” the girl replied arrogantly.
“Kooky.” He rolled his eyes at the girl.
“Excuse me,” I interrupted shamelessly.
Their eyes slid across the landscape, missing me. I pushed aside a blade of grass, revealing my identity.
"Xena!" They dashed over and looked at me.
"You haven't grown at all," the sprite stuttered.
"Actually, you've gotten much smaller." The winged-boy rested his elbow on my head.
"I don't believe I know you," I spoke sheepishly.
"My name is Fauna, and this repulsive pixie is Octavian," Fauna, the sprite, clarified.
"My name is Fauna," Octavian mimicked, attempting to speak in her gentle pitch. She let out a sigh.
"I can control Max," he exclaimed proudly.
"For the worse," Fauna added; she was vexed. Octavian rolled his eyes so intensely he could potentially see the back of his own head.
"Watch this," he flew up above the bottle green blades of grass, "Maxi! Come look at the daisies!”
Max’s head immediately located the daisies; her eyes pointed right at them. She waddled her way to the daisies, her little bob bouncing through the wind. Octavian flew behind her ear as if he was her conscience, guiding her every move. Under his breath, Octavian’s words convinced Max to do something, so Max-like. She violently snatched the head of the daisy with her fist, unplugged the stem from the ground, and threw the crumpled up flower into her mouth.
“MAX!” I gasped; Fauna sighed and Octavian had the most devious smirk on. Max’s friends wobbled over to where Max was standing and attempted to reenact that tragic daisy eating, but there weren’t enough. Their eyes scanned the area and then their pupils widened when they spotted the Ixora flowers behind Fauna and I. Suddenly the children came running towards our direction. Fauna and I sprinted, but we weren’t fast enough. I ducked down, and waited for the children to finish running.
I lifted my head to find Fauna had been kicked into a white dandelion, and the children were attacking the Ixora flowers. Octavian was over where the kids were, ready to cause more mischief in Margarita’s Garden. I made my way over to Fauna, and she seemed unconscious.
I placed my fingers on her wrist to check her pulse like I’d seen on T.V. Her eyes widened as soon as I touched her wrist.
“I wish that one of those kids could tear his wings off,” she looked over to me, “Xena are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m alright… Do you have to deal with him often?” I asked her as she sat up and brushed the dandelion puffs off herself. She nodded, watching the children destroy the flowers and eat them.
“You’re nothing like Max.” She sounded confused. “You were quieter and calmer, and her hair is much darker than yours. Her eyes are brown.
“We’re actually not biological sisters,” I tried to clarify, but her expression persisted.
“I was adopted, meaning I came from different parents than Max,” I started, “because my original parents couldn’t keep me. My grandparents thought I was cursed; they refused to speak to my real parents unless they gave me up for adoption. My parents handed me over to Margarita and Elliot when I was very small, and they’ve loved me since.” I again tried to provide clarification. Fauna had a blank stare. Her arms rapidly wrapped me into a suffocating hug, and pulled back.
As Fauna tried to start a sentence, there was a terrifying scream that came from the children. Max had Octavian in her hand and was ripping his beautiful green wings off his back. She dropped him and ran away.
“Octavian!” I gasped. Fauna got up of the ground, and sped over to him; something I wouldn’t have ever done. I ran after her, while the toddler mafia made their way indoors. Fauna was holding Octavian legs, and dragging him face-down to my direction.
“He’s unconscious.” Those words tripped off her tongue so breathily. Lucky for us, we were by the koi pond. I rolled his body to his side. I cupped my hands, collected as much water as I could, and threw it on his face. He moved a bit, but it still wasn’t enough. Fauna brushed the soil beneath her and then blew it into his face. Octavian was finally conscious, and filthy. He stood up, and hugged Fauna. That was when I noticed that Fauna had her own pair of wings. They were green just like Octavian’s, but they had been torn off as well.