New Year’s Eve in Mivian
By: Caprice Coffey
Mivian, New Voxis was filled to the brim with people. Elves and Faeries lined the streets. New Year’s Eve had attracted crowds from far and wide to the Skyward State. Faerie trams had worked overtime to accommodate the flood of tourists that flowed in from across the world. News channels captured the crowd at the height of their zeal. Wind and Water Elves blew snow into the streets as a famous band sung on stage. A group of Faeries, in their smaller form, had formed a dancing circle. It would only be another half hour before the Renewal began.
Dany made sure to avoid the dancers as she slowly waded through the crowd. Snow landed in her dark auburn hair, some strands of which were pinned away from her face. Since there were so many mortal tourists, it was hard to weave through the dense hoard of people. Everyone’s focus was either on the band or the gold and silver orb that slowly descended toward the top of Voxis Tower. No one paid attention to a mortal girl on her way to a quiet coffee shop.
Dany eventually made it to Revelyn Avenue. She heard several groups of Elves and Faeries singing in Ingati, the ancient language of the Wielders. Dany knew enough to pick out a few words and phrases, but she was nowhere near fluent. She made a final push through the crowd until she found Dusty Rose Café. She stopped short when she saw something peculiar.
Sitting in the coffee shop, was an Elf.
Curious, Dany thought. She approached the shop, unable to stop herself from staring. His hair was dark and long enough to hide his face. He was reading a book, his body still and focused. She stared for a moment, but he didn’t look up from his book. Dany shook her head and walked inside.
The barista, a Faerie with layered, turquoise hair, met Dany at the counter. Her transparent wings glowed periwinkle in the dim light of the shop. Dany scanned the menu.
“What can I get for you?” the barista asked. Her accent wasn’t as thick as most Faeries that Dany had met.
“Um… I’ll have a rose garden mocha with a shot of relaxation tonic, please,” Dany requested. She took a seat at the counter next to the Elf. After losing a battle with her curiosity, she turned to him. “Shouldn’t you be out there, celebrating?”
It took a moment for the Elf to realize she had spoken. She watched as he emerged from the book. He turned his eyes to her, the glare from the lights reflecting off his glasses. He seemed about her age. Dany could tell his mind was still in whatever world the pages had taken him to.
“What?” he said shyly.
“You’re not worried about missing the Renewal?” she asked.
“I don’t know.” He shrugged. Dany was taken aback. Not just by his apathy, but at his lack of an Ingati accent. In fact, his accent was human. Dany guessed Midwestern, but kept listening. “It’s never really been my thing. It’s just tradition, right?”
“I guess,” Dany sighed. The barista handed her the coffee, and she paused and let the cup warm her hands before taking a sip. She tried to reign in her curiosity, but let out a deep breath and turned back to the Elf. “You’re not from around here,” she guessed, “are you?”
“No.” His eyes were on his coffee. “I moved here a few months ago.”
“Where are you from?” Dany asked, having given up on refusing her curiosity.
“Brisfield, Kansas,” he answered. Dany had been right about his accent.
“Kansas,” she repeated. She held out her hand to him. “I’m Dany.”
“Rune,” he said as he took her hand for a brief moment. She glanced at the open book.
“So what are you-”
A terrified scream cut her question short. Dany and Rune jumped from their seats and rushed to the door. She shoved open the door and followed the source of the scream. The Faeries who had formed the dancing circle, human-sized now, were scolding a group of humans. In the middle of them lay an unconscious human man.
“That’s what happens when you step in a Faerie Circle!” a female Faerie fumed, her accent thick and lilted.
“Didn’t his mum ever teach him not to step in a dancin’ ring?” a fair-headed male added. “This kinda magic makes humans trip like they’re on acid! Everybody knows that!”
“If you knew it would happen, why did you do it in the middle of the street?” a mortal woman asked furiously. She knelt down to attend to the unconscious man. Dany could see that his eyes were glazed and distant. Whatever he was seeing, it was not of this world.
“It’s a Renewal, for crying out loud!” the female retorted. Dany rolled her eyes and made her way back towards the coffee shop. Rune followed close behind her.
“What was that about?” he asked. “Does that happen often?”
“Only a tourist would be stupid enough to be lured by a Faerie circle,” Dany huffed.
“If it’s dangerous, why do they do it out in the open like that?”
“Like she said, it’s tradition.”
“What’s the point of tradition if it hurts people?”
Dany blinked. She hadn’t expected that, especially coming from an Elf. “I… I never thought about it like that.”
Their conversation continued into the night. They traded stories and opinions until they heard the crowd’s cries unify into a single voice. They were counting down.
Dany and Rune rushed outside to join the crowd. They watched and counted down as the orb finally reached the top of Voxis Tower. Cheers rang through the crowd as magic – pure, perfect magic – emerged from the orb and filled the air of New Voxis.