Please visit the Master List if you missed the previous parts of the story!
To find to official end to this story, written by Sarwat Chadda, please visit Dark Faerie Tales !
Now because we want you to choose your own adventure, here’s an alternative ending, written by A.M. Robinson
“Santiana ekkos nascissus!” she started again, gaining speed when she saw how close she was to the end of the incantation. “Hakka! Morgana! Dut!”
And that was it. Liv looked up, eager to see if her instincts had been right. Wyatt and Alice were still surrounded by trolls, and not only were there movements slower, Alice had a bloody gash across one cheek. It hadn’t worked. It hadn’t worked.
The laughter grew louder.
“Perhaps you are not as special as we thought,” Aodh’s voice said, coming from nowhere and everywhere at once. Liv watched in horror as more of the creature appeared--a lumpen, scaly black shoulder, and then the tip of a pointed ear.
She flipped through the pages again, stopping on “Unwanted Unicorns.” Well, these were unwanted asshats, so maybe it would be close enough. But just as she was about to start into the next verse, a high keening noise sprung up among the trolls.
“What the--” Aodh’s voice rumbled as his minions began to clasp their hands to their ears and moan. The few who were still on their feet ran to the crevasse, stepping on Aodh in their frenzy to dive underground. The ones who had fallen to their knees were sinking into the turf as though it were quicksand. The earth was swallowing them.
Aodh started to scream. “No! Not again! I have waited decades for this. Decades!” he roared as the fractured ground started to knit itself back together. “I will rise! I will take my rightful place as mmmmhmmmm.”
And that was it. The last thing Liv saw of Aodh was a single claw, and then even that was gone, so quickly that she almost wondered if she had imagined it. Before she could react, Alice sprung off the ground and ran over to embrace Liv in a hug. Liv was so happy just to have non-shaky earth beneath her feet that she hugged back.
“You did it!” Alice said. “I knew you couldn’t be Rose’s granddaughter for nothing.”
“I did it,” Liv said numbly, and then with more conviction. “I did it.”
Alice pulled back and punched her on the shoulder. “Welcome to the Guardianship!”
“No,” Wyatt said, and when they turned to face him, his brow was furrowed.
“Are you kidding?” Alice said, impatiently wiping at the cut on her cheek. “She was amazing! And we’ll need her for next year if Aodh--”
“She doesn’t join unless she wants to.” He looked at Liv. “We shouldn’t have tried to manipulate you into doing something you didn’t want to do. It’s not . . . you could have been hurt. And I understand if you don’t want to see any of us again.” After a second, he reluctantly added, “I understand if you don’t want to see me again.”
No one spoke for a moment, and then Alice sighed. “Well?” she asked. “I still think it would be a gigantic waste of talent.”
Olivia looked at the two of them, her world still feeling a little like a tilt-a-whirl. After all of the running and all of the denial, it was hard to say “well when you put it like that” and take the biggest plunge of her life. But at the same time, defeating a dark fey hellbent on your destruction? Kind of makes a life full of late-night pizza runs and term papers seem . . . well, a little boring. And when Wyatt dipped his head contritely, as he was doing now, his hair fell over his eyes in that way that made her melt, and she had a hard time thinking anything at all. God save her from boys with lazy haircut regimens.
“So Aodh is going to come back?” she said, deciding that there wasn’t any harm in asking a few questions.
Wyatt looked up, startled. It was obviously not the question he was expecting. “He’ll try,” he said. “It’s sort of an annual thing.”
“I see. And I can shoot lightning from my arms?”
A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of Wyatt’s lips. “Sort of. It’s a . . . well, it’s going to take some explaining. Alice?”
Alice opened her mouth to answer, but then closed it, her eyes darting from Wyatt to Liv and then back again. “You know,” she said. “I think Wyatt explains it better.” She pointed to her cheek. “I’m going to go put some Neosporin on this bad boy and get some sleep. Got a big Psych test in the morning. See you back in the room! Don’t wake me up,” she said before taking off across the field.
Liv looked up. It had started to snow again, but it was a gentle snow, with the kind of flakes that tickle when they land on your nose.
“You were amazing, you know,” Wyatt said softly. “Even if you don’t want to be one of us, you should know that.”
That did it. Liv came to a very important decision. “Want to get breakfast tacos?” she asked.
Wyatt blinked for a few moments before his lips broke into a slow smile. “At Lupe’s?”
“Where else?” she said. She slipped her hand into Wyatt’s, holding her breath until it became obvious that he wasn’t going to pull away. If anything, he pulled her in closer. “Come on,” she said, bumping his shoulder affectionately. “You can tell me everything I’m going to need to know on the way.”
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