We all hid when the faeries dueled.
You and I were in the closet, wishing to each other half-secretly among the motes that the duels could be rare as dragons, at least. Instead they were only rare as quarter-moons.
Ground liquifies, sometimes, during a duel. The stars brighten and fall faster, leaving holes in the ground and setting forests alight. The sun hides in a bird’s nest, they say.
We did not see when the damage was done. We were accustomed to avoiding to know even the names of those who fought. Our eyes were far from windows.
But duels always ended the day after they began, and we stepped out as if we were free.
Your eyes caught the light first, and when I followed them my air caught in my throat. Like going underwater without the protection of a mermaid.
That day our world was on fire. The glass of the town hall had melted to colorful puddles on the ground. Some houses were gone - some people too, I realized. Survival was as common and unpredictable as trees blooming a week early.
I still do not know the name of the faeries who dueled that day, although both were buried sometime later. But I do know the shape of the town we lost and left behind, and sometimes today I see it in my dreams.