I was seventeen when it started, although, to hear my mother tell it the signs had been there before I had even been born. My first indication of the change of direction my life was about to take had been my wings. I wasn’t the first to notice the change, my mother had become increasingly jumpy around me the older I had become and more recently I had caught her staring a number of times, mostly at my wings, but at other times just at me.
It had taken them over a year to fade. First the colour had started to leach out until they became pure white. It wasn’t the greatest of changes, my wings like those of my siblings had only ever been a pale yellow but the change had worried me. Especially since my mother’s were still the same yellow they had always been.
The next stage had been what had really worried me, ever so slowly my wings shrunk until they were no more than a tiny set upon my back, a far cry from what they had once been. And finally there was the morning I woke up to discover that they were gone. With no sign that they had ever been there. I was human. One hundred per cent human and that terrified me.
Don’t get me wrong here, I like humans. My father is human. So is my sister Erin but I was supposed to be a fae, like my mother and my other four siblings. The loss of both my wings and my fae abilities was not something that was supposed to happen. But it had.
The day after my nineteenth birthday my grandmother arrived and while I was usually thrilled to see her this time I wanted nothing more than to curl up into my room and cry.
“Jo, honey, your grandma would like to talk to you.”
“Go away!” I screamed at them both, before turning to face the wall.
They didn’t listen, I could still here them talking softly just inside the doorway.
“This would have been easier if she had been given some warning” Lucia commented to my mother.
When most people think of grandmother’s most people would think elderly. This was not the case with my mother’s mother. Grandma Lucia didn’t look any older than my own mother which when I consider that my mother was fae and my grandmother was not, it made me wonder just how she did it.
“What exactly was I supposed to say, mum?” my mother snapped, “I was going to tell her but she just always seemed too young”
“and just how much warning did you get mum?”
“None, but I didn’t have to deal with the other side effects that Joanne seems to be experiencing, either”
“So, you think that the loss of her wings is a side effect?”
I felt the bed dip slightly when my grandmother sat down on the bed without saying a word hesitantly reaching over to lay a hand on my shoulder.
“I think that our shared destiny requires us to be human. Which, was fine for me – I was already human.” Lucia finally answered, “In Joanne, I think it’s suppressing her fae heritage in favour of her human one.”
The words ‘shared destiny’ caught my attention. I had some idea of the what the word destiny meant to my grandmother. I didn’t know all the details just that she believed it was the result of some long-lost curse. Whenever I had visited my grandparents they had never shied away from the topic and if I had asked questions they had always answered them for me. I had never realised that it would someday also affect me, if I had I would have paid more attention. My Aunt Belinde had always thought it a little strange because when she had asked her parents the same questions they had answered but never in as much detail as when I asked. Now I knew why.
“Will they ever come back?” I whispered, at that moment willing to do anything to make myself feel whole again.
“I’m sorry, Joanne”, she told me honestly. “I don’t know”
“but they might?” I asked as I sat up on the bed and turned to face her. I was desperate for some kind of reassurance. “My wings could come back?”
“Maybe” she said simply, her hand reaching up to touch my cheek. “It could happen”
A/N: If you are new to this challenge it might be helpful to take look at the Young Babies Heirs Page for the backstory on previous heirs. 😀