An Unholy Alliance

Daimon prowls the night on silent wings, flying towards his usual hunting grounds near the hills south of the city where the deer and the antelope play but there fortunately are quite few ranges and ranches.

Standing waist-deep in a mountain stream in the dead of winter is not recommended for humans, but fortunately Daisy Blossoms is not human. Her wings glisten in the moonlight even as the rain that falls on her turns into a silver gossamer-like mist. She lifts handfuls of water out of the stream, holding it out to the moonlight, before dropping it back into the stream, tinged with silver light.

Daimon’s curiosity is tickled; that’s unusual, and it’s in a lake in winter without freezing solid. He circles and eventually lands, silently, behind a small clump of firs, curious enough to watch.

Daisy Blossoms is probably aware that she is being watched, although she pays no attention to anything other than her ritual, lifting water to the moon, pouring it back into the stream. She knows that watchers are likely to feel captivated by the beauty of the scene in front of them, although that is not foremost in her mind at the moment. A fine silver mesh eventually rises from the stream, even as she rises from it on silent wings and hovers, wings gently flapping, her wet robes clinging to her slender body like a second skin.

Daimon sits down on a convenient rock and lights a cigarette, content to watch. This isn’t something you see every day. Not even in Ankh-Morpork.

Daisy Blossoms gathers up the mesh, easily, even though it looks like it is made of mist and vapour. She gently rolls it, and then flies to the side of the lake, close to where you are, where she deposits it on the ground. She murmurs to herself, and her robes start to steam, sending out heady scents of flowers and roses as they clearly dry.

Daimon offers a slow clap. That was some show.

Daisy Blossoms turns to where the sound is coming from. “I knew there was someone there”, she says, in a slow, soft voice. “Who are you?”

Daimon replies casually, “Name’s Daimon. You?”

Daisy Blossoms folds her wings protectively against her back even as she bends to secure the mesh. “Daisy.”

Daimon asks with an Uberwaldean accent: Mind if I ask what you been doing with — that?

Daisy Blossoms looks at the mesh. “This?”

Daimon begins to roll a cheap cigarette. “Yeah, that.”

Daisy Blossoms hesitates, even as she wrinkles her nose as the scent of cigarette wafts to her. “It’s – payment. I need to make several, but the moon has to be right. So it’s going to take some time.”

Daimon looks up at the moon before a spark springs from his thumb to light the cigarette. “Yeah? Reckon I got no clue what kinda thing takes payment in water, but it looks interesting.”

Daisy Blossoms walks warily around you. “It’s not just water. It’s water, it’s magic, and it’s the moon.”

Daimon looks up again. “Moon’s still up there, I reckon.”

Daisy Blossoms nods. “Except for the bits that are in here.” She pats the mesh. “You’re a vampyre.”

Daimon nods goodnaturedly. “Yup. And you’re… a chick as doesn’t freeze solid when bathing in winter.”

Daisy Blossoms waves a hand and a light falls to where she is, bathing her in silvery light, revealing a tall, fine-boned delicate creature, with large gossamer wings folded against her back; green eyes sparkle out of a pale slightly pointed face framed by curls in blue-black, and one of her eyes has an elaborate spiralling star tattooed around it. “I am not a woman. I am a faerie.”

Daimon looks her up and down, slowly and curiously. “Yeah? Ain’t seen one of those before.”

Daisy Blossoms eyes the vampyre before her. “Alas! I wish I could say the same but I have certainly met one of your kind before.”

Daimon blows a smoke ring in the still night. “Weren’t a happy meeting, I take it?”

Daisy Blossoms shakes her head, her eyes sad. “No. It was not. I suppose, in hindsight, we should have run. We could certainly smell him a mile away.”

Daimon says with an Uberwaldean accent: Yeah? I hope I don’t stink that bad. I bathe, you know.

Daisy Blossoms is still keeping her distance from you. “Oh yes. But you can’t bathe away the stink of blood.” She pauses. “I suppose that could hurt your feelings. I suppose you could have them. But I don’t mean it as a personal insult, you know. It’s true that whatever you eat, you smell of. That’s why we only eat fruits and berries.”

Daimon nods. “Yeah, that’s fair. ‘Swhy I come out here, to hunt.”

Daisy Blossoms unfolds her wings slowly, and they unfurl; they look strong, despite looking so delicate. She rises easily into the air. “That doesn’t sound right. There are no humans here.”

Daimon mildly says with an Uberwaldean accent: I hunt deer. Not people.

Daisy Blossoms looks curiously at you. “Nor does that sound right.”

Daimon shrugs. “I live in the city, north of here. Killing people don’t work under their laws.”

Daisy Blossoms nods, circling slowly. “Ankh-Morpork.”

Daisy says: I live there.

Daimon nods. “That’s it. The Big Wahoonie. City where even vampires can hang out.”

Daisy Blossoms twirls up into the air, seemingly unable to stop the carefree spirit inside of her, despite her outwardly formal appearance. “And where fae can walk amongst humans, provided we keep our wings safely out of sight.”

Daimon asks with an Uberwaldean accent: Sounds about right. Must be pretty used to seeing us there then?

Daisy honestly says: Not one like you.

Daimon draws a leg up under himself, resting comfortably. “Vampires in town all got to play by the rules or they can’t stick around.”

Daisy Blossoms leaps gracefully from branch to branch, landing lightly on her toes, going in a circle around you. “Most vampyres in the city are beaten down, torn up. You still seem free.”

Daimon says with an Uberwaldean accent: As free as I wanna be, yeah.

Daisy Blossoms descends slowly, slightly closer to you, so that you can feel the draught from her wings. Her eyes, though watchful, are also sympathetic. “And yet you have given up much.”

Daimon does not look like he’s prone to suddenly pounce but then, predators rarely do until, well, they do. He finishes his cigarette and tosses the butt end away. “Naw. Ankh-Morpork’s an okay place for vampires these days. Just need to go somewhere else to hunt. Like this.”

Daisy Blossoms’s wings continue to beat rhythmically. “It’s okay. The city is not perfect. But I’ve discovered that nowhere is.”

Daimon nods. “Sounds about right. So you’re like, some kind of nereid?”

Daisy Blossoms shakes her head. “Actually, you know, I am also feared, even by my own people. My sister and I are part elf, part fairy.” She smiles, a little sadly. “An unholy alliance, some call us.”

Daimon says with an Uberwaldean accent: Oh yeah. Elves. Got a bad rap too. Reckon people hate ’em even more than they hate us.

Daisy Blossoms raises a hand up to her face and moves her hair to one side to reveal the familiar pointed ears of the elf. She twitches her hair back again. “I cannot hide my wings, but I can hide those.” Her glittered tattoo glints in the moonlight. “My father. He was the elf. Also feared, but different. Not like the rest.”

Daimon stretches his legs gracefully. “Yeah? Well, reckon having wool and curly hair don’t have to make you a sheep.”

Daisy Blossoms listens to your startling statement and then, as it sinks in, laughs; it’s a lilting musical sound. “Yes. I agree with you. If you have wool and curly hair, you could be a curly haired human or dwarf who is wearing wool.” Clearly a joke is something that also needs to be taken apart, understood, and then laughed at.

Daimon grins slightly, not particularly eager to reveal the fact that the fairy thing’s presence makes him want to pull the wings off butterflies just to see what they’ll do about it. “So, you come around here often then? Do — that thing you were doing?”

Daisy Blossoms smiles. She nods. “Not always here. But always near water. Water is important. And only on moonlit nights.” She is still holding the mesh. “I would offer for you to touch it, but it will change you, and it is not ideal.”

Daimon says with an Uberwaldean accent: Yeah, I’ll pass on that. I kinda like being me.

Daisy Blossoms nods solemnly. “I like being me too. Mostly.”

Daimon asks with an Uberwaldean accent: There… a lot of you guys out here, then? Fairy… elf… ladies?

Daisy Blossoms shakes her head. “Not many. Not any, in fact, now that my sister is – yes. I am the only one in Ankh-Morpork. Of this I am certain.”

Daimon says with an Uberwaldean accent: Oh, I’m sorry. About your sister, I mean.

Daisy Blossoms glances down at the mesh in her arms. “There might be hope for her. We shall see.”

Daisy Blossoms rises, her strong wings lifting her higher. “I suppose I should go. In Ankh-Morpork I live near Phedre Road. I can be found most evenings in the Pishe temple. Perhaps we will meet again.”

Daimon grins. “Not inside that temple we won’t. But maybe outside.”

Daimon says with an Uberwaldean accent: My girlfriend’s got a place on Peach Pie Street.

Daisy Blossoms smiles, and nods. “Yes, I know that street very well. Goodbye, Daimon.” The name is pronounced carefully. “Good health and happiness to you.” She twirls, silver-tipped wings glowing in the moonlight. “Until we meet again.”

Daimon says with an Uberwaldean accent: Look after yourself, fairy chick.

About Daisy Blossoms

A fae creature, born of magic, Daisy is half elf, half fairy. Pure-hearted, gentle, and serious, it was no wonder she joined forces with Pishe, goddess of life and healing. She has found a home in Ankh-Morpork, but who knows for how long?
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