This is a sort of fantasy story, and it may end up quite long. But please bare with me, I'll try not to bore you with it! ^_^
Fallen in Flames
"What if we get caught Io-Na?" Asked Tiril.
"So what? All the better. Then they might actually listen to us." answered Io-Na. She pushed her hair band back onto her spiky purple hair. She looked ahead, and saw the coast was clear. The two stalked across the gardens to the Desi pond, fishing nets and buckets at the ready.
"I can't believe they try to make us eat these creatures," exclaimed Tiril. Both he and Io-Na were strict vegetarians, unlike all the other faeries in the Siari kingdom. Meat was a major source of their diet, according to the Elders. However, it seemed that the Elders did not take into account the fact some faeries may not want to eat meat. The Elders dictated everything the faeries did in Siari, even their diet, and what clothes they wore. Io-Na and Tiril grew to hat this regime, as their individuality was stripped from them. Since they were nine, the two friends studied all the faery scriptures, and all the laws (although they were somewhat older when they looked at the laws) looking for as many contradictions as they could find. Where they found one, they would not follow that law, or they would bring attention to it.
When they reached the pond, Tiril bent down to have a look in the water.
"Do you see anything?" Asked Io-Na.
"Nothing yet," Said Tiril, bringing his head back up above the water. He shook his head to get the water out of his bright pink shoulder length hair.
"They couldn't have taken them already-" Io-Na was interrupted by a frog that jumped in front of her. Before the frog could jump away, Tiril grabbed a net, and trapped the creature inside. He put it in the bucket.
"Respect all animal life, they all have rights to life," Io-Na said in monotone. It was from a scripture they had studied four years ago, when they were fourteen. That was when they has first turned vegetarian.
"Animal life is beneath faery life, faeries may use animals as they deem necessary," replied Tiril, in the same tone of voice. This was another part of the scriptures. Tiril reached for Io-Na's hand, and she clasped it. She gave it a squeeze before they held their hands above their heads. It was a ritual they had maintained after they started rebelling.
Io-Na let go of Tiril, and peered at the water. After a few moments, her hand flew into the pond and back out again as quick as lightning. The difference when she took her hand out was that she was holding another frog.
"These frogs deserve to live long prosperous lives, rather than end up on a faery's plate at dinner," remarked Tiril.
"How can anyone even bare to eat it. How can they not see a once living creature when they see meat in front of them?" asked Io-Na.
"Don't be so closed minded. Some people like the meat, but we shouldn't be forced into eating what we don't want to…" he replied.
Being a vegetarian in Siari was dangerous. The Elders told the faeries what they could and could not eat. Meat was to be eaten. Anyone who opposed was deemed a trouble maker, going against the laws, and therefore the scriptures, which the laws were based on. No one had accused Io-Na or Tiril, as they were excellent at hiding their beliefs in animal rights. Although, they were always caught causing other problems.
At dinner, the two left their meat portion until last, as was customary in Siari, and then Tiril would usually faint. It was something he'd developed as a child. Eating, for some reason, triggered an activity in his wings that caused them to spasm uncontrollably. This spasmodic reaction sent shockwaves through his body, which resulted in him passing out. He could not shake this habit off. However, it came in useful. When he collapsed, Io-Na would take him to the medics, and then go back to her dining table in the school hall. However, by the time she got back, the bell had gone to signify the end of dinner, and her plate had been cleared already. She was careful to make sure she and Tiril go the nutrition they needed by stealing beans and lentils from the main kitchen. They had both been diagnosed as anaemic, so took iron tablets to counter-act this.
"there's another," whispered Io-Na to Tiril. They looked above the pond, where a frog was sitting on a lily pad. Tiril clasped the net next to him, and slowly inched to the edge of the pond. In one swift motion, he trapped the frog and put it in the bucket.
Over the next half an hour, the friends caught thirty seven frogs, Io-Na using her hands, as she was quicker with those, and with Tiril using his net, to reach those further off.
"Do you see anymore Tiril?"
"No… I think that's it for today," he answered. They gathered up their nets and buckets, and turned away from the pond. A look of shock covered their faces, as they had been caught by Jotmel, the high elder of Siari.
"What are you doing with those frogs, Tiril?" He asked, suspicion in his eyes.
"We were collecting them for the kitchens," Io-Na said, bluffing her way out, "as part of our last punishment, sir."
"I don't remember that being part of it."
"It wasn't sir. My parents thought it appropriate to add it."
"And my parents agreed," Tiril added.
"Okay, well away with you then," commanded Jotmel, not believing them. He decided to talk to the kitchen staff, and the council of Elders.
Tiril and Io-Na ran from Jotmel, in the direction of the kitchens. When they were out of sight, they took a sharp left, away from the kitchens, towards Jenna-Mei's secret animal sanctuary.
~ ~ ~
Jenna-Mei was a rebel like the two friends. Pets were not to be kept by faeries, unless they were farmers. However, as a strict vegan, she refused to allow farmers to take her animals away from her, or their natural habitat. So she set up a sanctuary for injured animals, where they could recover from any injuries. Any animals that were not injured were passed to her rebel friends, the fallen faeries. These fallen faeries had received the worst punishment available to them. Their wings were broken, and they were sent to live on Earth, a desolate planet of evil. Yet, although evil, the humans that lived there had a lot of respect for stray or injured wildlife. Some mammals, birds, fish or even reptiles, were kept as pets. The fallen faeries passed Jenna-Mei's animals onto these rescue centres, or gave them to deserving families. That day, she was expecting a barrage of frogs from the Desi pond.
Tiril and Io-Na burst into the sanctuary, disturbing some of the birds.
"Shh!" whispered Jenna-Mei, "Do you want the elders to find me?"
"Sorry," they whispered together.
Jenna-Mei closed the last cage, and turned to face them. "Let's see then," she said, peering into the buckets, "how many?"
"Thirty-seven, we would have got more, but I think they've taken them to the kitchens already," explained Tiril, "sorry."
"Don't worry, Tiril. The meat eaters need to have some meat," she told him, slightly exasperated. "Well, they all seem to be healthy. Leave them by the examining table, then you'd better go."
"Jen, how's Risi?"
"See for yourself," Jenna-Mei pulled out a small ferret from her pocket and handed it to Io-Na. Io-Na looked at it in amazement. It had one ear, and a large scar going from it's left eye, to it's lower back. As she took it from Jenna-Mei, she noticed it's walk, while it scattered up her arm.
"She's walking again!" When Io-Na and Tiril first found her, Risi was bleeding from her ear, and it looked as though she had been in a fight. She could barely move. All three believed there was little hope for the ferret, yet after only two months, she had completely recovered.
"Limen found a family on Earth who would take her in and look after her well. They already have three other ferrets. I'd better take her back before she attacks the birds again," explained Jenna-Mei. She took the ferret off of Io-Na's shoulder, and put her back in her pocket. "My pockets her safe haven."
Tiril took Jenna-Mei's hand and held it above her head, the Jenna-Mei did the same to Io-Na. The two friends left quickly and quietly. When the had passed the school, they slowed their pace to normal walking speed, and walked casually to their living quarters.
~ ~ ~
Io-Na opened her door, to find her parents sitting at the couch talking to Jotmel. She started to panic inside, but then remembered that this was her chance to bring light to the law and scripture contradiction. Gulping, she walked in and closed the door.
"Io-Na? Come in dear," said her mother, Kesi-Lo. Io-Na sat by her parents on the couch.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"What is this about you doing extra work for the kitchens?" Her father, Choni, asked in confusion.
"We were taking the frogs to the kitchens, as part of out punishment," Io-Na said, struggling to remember the lies she told.
"It was not part of your punishment, Io-Na," her mother replied, "in any case, your punishment finished last week."
"We do not give kitchen duties to trouble makers," Jotmel commented, "now tell us what you were really doing with those frogs?"
"We took them to the kitchen staff," Io-Na insisted on this, yet Jotmel shook his head knowingly.
"I spoke to the staff, Io-Na, no-one was expecting, nor received, a delivery of living frogs."
"Io-Na gulped again. She knew she was caught, but how could she explain what they did without getting Jenna-Mei in trouble. She didn't mind getting herself in trouble, she was always causing problems for the Elders. However, she did not like to involve other people, except Tiril, but he did so willingly. Jenna-Mei would be in danger of having her sanctuary shut and her wings broken.
Frustrated, Jotmel stood up, "Io-Na, I hereby summon you and Tiril to the Elders for interrogation. Appear before us at nine-thirty sharp tomorrow morning," and he left.
Choni looked at his daughter in desperation. She had been causing problems in Siari since she was nine. They did not understand why. She was an antisocial, and did not often talk to her parents. They wanted to help her, to put her on the true faery path. However, her rebellious ways would not cease. To them, she was out of control.
Kesi-Lo could not understand what her daughter was doing. It seemed that she was summoned to see the council every other week, when it was unusual to see them once every two years. She was close to being sent to detention centre, which was a prison like school attached to the council. They could keep an eye on the rebels there. Most children that went in came back as perfect faeries. Those that did not had their wings broken. Io-Na found this ridiculous. They were punished for standing up for what they believed in.