Elaine had been captured. She was left behind on a web, her wings broken when she was pried off. Now she sat on a table under a glass like a bug. The room around her was dark and cluttered. Stacks of old books towered on the floor, and strange bottles lined the shelves. A large pot steamed before her, she could only imagine the horrendous things done in this broken shack. Humans caught fairies often for their magical properties, and when she saw the leftovers from previous extractions her stomach ached. With fairy magic, humans could perform their own spells. This was at the cost of the fairies’ life. What made matters worse, she wasn’t the only one to be caught. Another fairy sat with his back turned. Atticus, the fairy who once held her heart.

Elaine and Atticus had been dating for at least a month now, actually. He convinced her to fly with him earlier that day despite the high risk of humans. As Elaine had predicted, a human spotted them. In an attempt to escape Elaine flew straight to a spider web. When she called for Atticus to help, he left her behind to the spider that waited and the human that lurked. She still hasn’t decided if it was better or worse to be caught by a human, but her being caught was his fault.

“Looks like you got free,” said Atticus.

“No thanks to you,” said Elaine.

“I was going to get help.”

“I highly doubt that. You left me without a word and never came back.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious why I didn’t come back,” said Atticus. He kicked the glass with his foot.

Elaine crossed her arms. Her wings were stinging enough to make her cry, but she refused to do so in front of him.

“It isn’t my fault you flew into the web,” said Atticus. “I honestly think you’re being a little dramatic.”

Elaine felt a rush of profanities and insults flood her mind, but she knew she needed his help so she held her tongue and stared at him with a burning rage.

“Look I have much bigger problems to worry about right now. I need to get out of here, and because of you I can’t fly,” said Elaine.

“Again, it’s not my fault,” said Atticus. “But we should work together.”

The flood rose higher inside her to which she released only a deep sigh.

Together, the two of them pushed the side of the glass towards the edge. The glass must’ve been made from the heaviest material. It moved slowly as their feet scraped against the rough surface of the table. When the glass finally went over the edgde, a stench from the black cauldron seeped into Elaine’s lungs, leaving a foul taste in her mouth. She hadn’t noticed how thin the air had grown in the glass, and she preferred the thin air over this. Across the room shone a broken window. She could see the woods peering over the sill. She tiptoed to the edge and looked at the broken glass.

“Can you fly?” Atticus asked.

“I just told you I can’t,” said Elaine.

Atticus let out a sigh and grabbed her hand.

“Excuse me?” said Elaine, tugging her hand back.

“Look, I’m just flying you home so we can get there quicker.”

Elaine hesitated, then grabbed his hand. As much as she hated it, she had to trust him. He flew towards the window slowed by her added weight. The human abruptly opened the door and Atticus dropped behind a stack of books on the ground. The human plopped a cage on the table and left the room stumbling like a drunk. Atticus didn’t hesitate to start flying again. In the air Elaine looked to the cage. Inside was a dragon, no larger than a bird, tucked in the corner. It’s black scales shimmered in the setting sun. It’s thin, icy blue eyes pierced Elaine’s heart, reminding her how she felt on the web.

“Atticus wait,”  Elaine whispered. “We have to help it,” she said, pointing at the small beast.

“You can’t even fly, we need to get ourselves out,” said Atticus.

“Atticus, we can’t leave it behind, I’m not like you!” said Elaine.

The human could be heard making his way back up the stairs. Atticus looked at her then at the caged dragon. He took Elaine to the window sill and hugged her.

“I’m sorry I left you,” he said. “Don’t wait for me.”

Elaine froze, unable to say anything. He had moved so quickly she didn’t have time to react. He pushed her through the window and went back inside, leaving her again with those few words.

Elaine landed in a nearby tree, just below the window. The wind swayed the branch as she waited for him to return. After a few minutes, she heard a crash followed by incomprehensible shouting. The small dragon flew through the window without a glance back. A new feeling rose inside her, something she dreaded. This couldn’t be how they left off, she still needed him.

“Come on, Atticus,”  she said. “Come on.”

She waited, sitting in the tree until the sun went down. She didn’t want to leave him, but he never came. Her throat clenched and her vision blurred. When the stars lit the sky, Elaine knew she had to return home. With her sore wings and heavy heart, she made her way down the tree and back home. She never saw him again. His apology rang in the back of her mind like a bitter sweet memory. She wished he could’ve heard her own apology, and that she had hugged him back on the final day.

Fresh into her twenties,  Serenity Patterson is pursuing her writing degree with Full Sail University. Away from work and school she spends her time with her cat, Kuro.