The Stolen Child

She had read and reread all the old stories until she was sure. This was the best way, it had to be. And that was what brought Alexa out into the hills on Midsummer’s Night. She crept past the fires, past the dancing and the reveling, past the laughter and the cheer. These fires were not mortals fires. This was where the Fair Folk came to spend their evening in the mortal world. Her business was not with them. Once she’d gotten beyond them and felt the strange shifting as the mortal world fell away and the Otherworld rose up to catch her, she relaxed. Now all she had to do was find the specific hall she sought.
It was the cries of an infant that guided her through the twisting maze of corridors. Entering the long room, she found two lines of bassinets, each holding a small baby and all watched over by a few young women who were as human as she. That drew a tight smile to her lips. It was exactly as the stories had said. Her plan would work.
“Little Kieran is fussing again,” said one girl, her tone distant and almost distracted.
It was the same with all of them, their eyes were far away and they seemed only half here. Alexa took a deep breath and reached out to touch the woman who had spoken.
“I have it.”
She scooped the crying babe up into her arms, wrapping him in his blanket. For a moment, she just stood there and marveled at his tiny pointed ears and the smile that came to his face as she brushed his dark curls back. One last time, she looked around before turning her back to the room.
Alexa ran into the night, back the way she had come until the mortal sky was over her head and the sun was rising. She had played the Faerie games and she had won. She had stolen a Faerie child away to be her son.


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