In The Dark Of The Night

By: Neko-chan

A/N: There's a German song that talks about the Erl King. (He and/or Odin are thought to lead the Wild Hunt.) In the song, a little boy is being held in his father's arms, being taken home in the dead of night. Over the course of the night, he begins to see things-disturbing things. His father tells him that it is nothing; it's a wisp of the fog, a shadow, and so on. Eventually, the boy starts to see the Erl King and the father begins to worry and he begins to believe his son. When they finally get home, the boy is dead. I got this story idea while listening to the song in English II Honors. I do hope you like it (even though it's just a little ficlet). Enjoy! ^_~

Disclaimer: I don't own the song about the Erl King (I'm sorry, but I can't remember who owns it and I can't remember the song name). But the story idea is my own.

She looked down at the book, tilting her head to one side. "A Witch's Guide to Faerie Folk," was the title. It had sounded interesting and so she had bought it. There were different spells on how to summon different Fae-there was even a couple of spells that showed you how to make your own faerie guardian. But that wasn't why she had bought it for; true, it had been ONE of the reasons, but it wasn't the main one. The book had a dictionary of all the different types of Fae.

She hadn't summoned anyone; no, not yet. It was becoming increasingly tempting, but who could she summon? And if she did-would they actually appear? It was a daunting thought; but still, the temptation was there.

The girl paged through the book, eyeing each entry with curiosity. Look-Herding Boys. What were they? Oh, wait. Never mind. Taking pleasure in harming and torturing animals? A glance at her black cat. Nope. Definitely didn't want to summon _that_ one.

Another couple of pages flipped by.

Hmmm? What was this? The "Erl King?" The name sounded vaguely familiar. Where had she heard it before? A blink...a frown... Oh, yes! Now she remembered. The Erl King (it says in the book that he was also known as the Elf King) was a German myth or legend. There was a song about him. He sounded a tad bit scary, but...interesting, nonetheless.

'Contact Unadvised.'

'Contact Unadvised?' Her brow wrinkled. What do they mean by that? Sure, in the song, the Erl King kills the boy-child. But isn't it just that...a song? It couldn't possibly be true...could it? A hum of excitement. A glance at her clock and the neon numbers showed: 11:56 p.m. Four more minutes until midnight. The witching hour, where the veils between the different worlds were thinnest. She could wait four more minutes, couldn't she?

11:57...

11:58...

11:59...

Wait, wait...wait. The seconds just seemed to drag on and on and on. It seemed as if hours had passed, not less than a minute. Shouldn't the clock have displayed midnight by now? It seemed to be taking a long time. The clock's face blinked and finally the numbers that she wanted appeared in bright blue.

12:00

"I summon thee! I call upon thee! I call thee to me at this very hour! Come to me, Erl King!" she yelled into the deep night. It seemed as if everything was holding its breath. Nothing made a sound, nothing moved. It was all silent and normal. But as still as Death. Shouldn't something have happened by now? Shouldn't he have come to her by now? She _had_ summoned him, after all. And nothing had ever been able to refuse her summonings before. Nothing. Eventually, they all came to her call.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the lights began to dim. It took her several seconds to finally notice that her room-which had been bright with light before-was now dim and growing darker by the second. It felt...eerie. And it felt scary. But why...?

A presence let itself be known.

In the shadows-there. Who was that? She knew, but she didn't want to admit it to herself. As she had known beforehand, whatever-or WHOEVER-she called eventually came to her. This time was no exception.

He was tall...there seemed to be no end to him. He was at least five inches over six feet. But still, it was hard to tell because he seemed to blend in with the darkness around him, becoming one with the night. Black leather breeches and boots. A black tunic, trimmed in obsidian. Menace seemed to radiate from him in clouds. Black hair, so dark you couldn't tell where his hair ended and his clothes began. And violet eyes so cold they looked as if they were chips of amethyst.

What had she done?

He smirked at her and his smile was just as cold-if not colder-than his eyes. _What had she done?_ "You summoned me here, little one," he said softly. Even his voice was dark-full of dark velvet and dark secrets. Secrets that could kill and take pleasure in that killing. "And now, you must pay your price."

Mutely, she shook her head, her eyes wide. With terror or with surprise or with...recognition? _WHAT HAD SHE DONE?!_ "No," she whispered hoarsely. "No..." Why hadn't she listened to the stupid book? There HAD to have been a reason why 'contact unadvised.' Was this the reason? Oh, Goddess, what had she done? 'Please... Oh, Goddess, please... I hope I didn't unleash the Wild Hunt,' she thought desperately, squeezing her eyes shut tightly. Maybe... Just...maybe, if she shut her eyes and prayed as hard as she could and pray to the God and the Goddess...maybe he would go away. He could go away. He _had_ to go away.

"Bradhadair..." he whispered. A name. Her name. The name she hadn't told anyone. It meant 'fire star' or 'fire starter' in Gaelic. How could he have known _her name_? Her eyes opened slowly and she looked at him, a stunned look in their depths. He smiled again, this time softer. The Erl King held out his hand.

She looked at his outstretched hand and then looked at him. Not knowing what to do, she bit her lip until it bled crimson blood. What to do? Why did he want her? What should she do? She didn't know-but she did know that summoning the Erl King had been a mistake. A grave mistake. Would it be one that she would live through? Again, another question she didn't have the answer to. His hand was still outstretched, waiting.

...

A/N: Anyway, I hoped you liked it! If you actually managed to read all the way through, I would really appreciate a review of what you thought of it. I do know that it's not very good; you don't have to tell me that. I already know. But at least SOMEONE (hopefully) enjoyed it. Ja ne [See you later]! ^_~

~Neko-chan