Red, Black, White – Part 12

“We”, Summer and Winter said in unison, “want to ask if you’re ready to make a choice.” They looked at him steadily. Wally returned their calm gaze.

“You asked me that before. My answer’s the same now as it was then. No. I’m not going to choose a side.” Pain flared suddenly in his chest. The searing pain cut off as both Summer and Winter stepped to him, and lay a hand on his shoulders. He could feel the pain roll out of him to them. Their faces showed no change, no reaction as they took the last of the pain from him, then stepped back two paces.

“How’d you do that?” Wally asked them. “Why’d you do that?” The two looked at each other, then back to Wally. The shrug each gave was identical to the other. “We like you. You are unusual for a changling. You don’t try to bully with your power, nor do you let yourself be ostracized because of your difference. We’ve not met someone like you. It intrigues us.”

Wally shook his head. It was flattering in a way, having a gorgeous set of twins interested in him. He wished it was more that they were interested in him, and not his ability. “That’s nice and all, but I’m not going to change my mind about choosing.”

The two looked at him, and he thought he saw a change. They seemed, sad, for a moment. It was there, then gone. “Then you’ll die, Wallace Allen. Your body is changing every time you use your power. The fae part strengthens, and looks for a place. The human part strengthens through your actions. It too, looks for a place to belong. The two are not meant to strengthen together. The strain is starting to hurt you. The more you push to be in the middle, the more the ends will pull at you.”

“So, what? I’m going to rip in half? I’m going to die? Big deal. I’m not going to join Winter or Summer. I won’t be at the mercy of crazies like Maeve, or caught without a choice like you two.” He caught himself, and ducked his head sheepishly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…” he trailed off as the two smiled sadly.

“We made our choice so we could balance each other.”

Winter smiled, then patted her sister on the shoulder. “I became Winter, cold capricious, calculating.”

Summer piped up. “I became Summer. Hot-blooded, passionate, and scheming.”

They both looked at Wally. “We look out for each other, and our court. We were sent by the Mothers to give you a choice. To be Fae, or to be human. It wasn’t simply just to force you. You have much power, and much determination. If you were to choose, the place you chose would have great respect within the Fae. Summer, Winter, or the Wyld.”

A calculating look came into their eyes. “We wonder” they said in unison, “what your parents would feel if they knew you are choosing to die.” At the last word, they simply vanished. The leaves resumed their dance in the air. Wind rustled the trees. Wally was left to wonder about his parents as Marian walked up to the house, holding up her cellphone as she snapped pictures for a possible article.