FAIRY TALE FLASH - The Mortality of a Fae by Amelia Brown

She was tired of living.
But immortality once bestowed
is not easily shaken...
There is a tale, so it goes, that tells of a great love learned by one of the Fae. This is her story:

Day rolled into day, year into year, and still Aine lived.  
She was tired of living, for there were no more tales to learn, no more thoughts to unfold. A millennium is too long to live in any world. But immortality once bestowed is not easily shaken. Thus it was that she was drawn to the world of mortals. For Aine was fascinated by humankind; their loves, their works, their deaths. Especially their deaths. Death seemed so poignant, filled with all intensities of meaning for these mortals who lived first, and then died. How they wept and mourned, keened, and wailed following a mortal's ceasing. And yet, the strength of mortal feeling—Aine could not imagine what it would be like to be filled with such grief; unbearable, unconquerable.
Aine walked the mortal lands, peering from between the leaves of trees at these temporal lives, and the day came where bearing witness was no longer enough. Seeing a human infant left alone in its basket, Aine stole her away in the night. She would raise the earthly child and discover all the secrets of a mortal life.
The child, a girl, blossomed under Aine’s care. Aine called her Airmid and watched her grow. Soon Airmid was a beautiful woman, who fell in love with a chance hunter who roamed the wood that had become their home. Though the hunter knew nothing of her love, Airmid would watch him through the leaves of the trees. Until one day the hunter mistook the rustling in the trees for the sound of a deer and Airmid was pierced through the heart with his arrow. When he realized his error, his wail brought Aine to the side of her stolen daughter.
The wrench that tore through Aine’s body was nothing akin to any feeling she had ever known.
But Aine was not as mortals were. And as she felt Armid grow lifeless in her arms, she recalled a deep magic, older than the sands of time. Opening herself to the earth and all the forces above it, she reached for that magic. Aine felt the arrow pierce her own breast, felt Armid’s hand grow stronger than her own.  Her breath became short, ragged gasps. But her eyes, they feasted on the color blooming in her daughter’s face.
And as Aine’s life withdrew, it was then that she understood mortal love.
Amelia Brown started writing officially as a humor columnist for her university's newspaper.  She received an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest for “A Womb at the Edge of Space."  Her 101 Words Short Story will be published in Spring of 2019, and her story "The Priorities of Joan" will be published in the 81Words anthology in the next two years.  She is the author behind Fairy Stories & Other Tales, recently featured in the Warren Stories section of Dead Rabbits Books literary press website and the Tales of Bedlam podcast.  Her twitter handle is @ameliabrowntale.

Cover: Amanda Bergloff @AmandaBergloff

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