A distasteful phrase, and one that surly hadn't been used seriously scince the 18th century.
Yet here it was, showing it's butt-ugly face in your house. That's right, your mother had gotten the brilliant idea to sign you up for an online match-making website. And now she was talking about arranged marriage.
You glared at the picture of the man who was to be your husband.
Not only was he extremely pompous looking (and slightly ugly), but he was also older than you. Like at least ten to fifteen years older.
You felt your temper flare. It was the frickin' twenty-first century!! Arranged marriages barely happened.
As you gazed at the woods that stood just beyond your backyard, an evil though crossed your mind.
'Maybe if I run away, maybe my mother will get the message.'
Hopping off your bed, you slipped on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
Making sure your mother was occupied, you slipped past her and out the back door. You shivered and mentally cursed once you were outside.
It was cold, really cold.
Too late to go back inside. Crossing your arms, you ran across the lawn and dove into the forest.
But before you could go very far, you paused and glanced back. Your house stood out against the greying sky. A tinge of sadness crept into your heart.
Why did you feel like this was the last time you were going to see it?
Like the idiots in horror movies, you shook the feeling off.
Running through the foliage, you leapt over a fallen log and nearly stumble over a twig. Over a boulder, under a low hanging branch.
Geez, only five minutes of running and you were out of breath.
And you were lost.
But that's what you wanted.....Right?
You stop, panting, regret and panic blooming in your chest.
You really hadn't though this through.
Number one, you had no idea where you were.
Number two, you had no shelter.
And Number three, You had no food.
Great, starving to death and then freezing was really high on your list of Top Ten things you wanted to get out of life.
You had started walking again, your mind filled with different scenarios.
A bear would eat you, or no, a moose would maul you with it's horns. Even better, you would freeze, then crows would peck out your eyes.
You shuddered and mentally cursed. You imagination was way to active.
A experienced forest explorer would have noticed how quiet the woods were. No bird song, not even the rustle of leaves.
But the leaves about the forest floor were moving about on an unseen current. Or as if invisible skirts were brushing through them.
And the sky rippled, like water on the face of a pond. More of a reflection then the actual thing.
You failed to notice these things.
And you failed to notice the very big vine.
You froze as you felt something brush against your ankle. Looking down you felt the blood drain from your face.
A vine was wrapped around your ankle. But that made no sense, it looked like it belonged in the jungle and you were nowhere near a jungle.
And it was moving, like a giant, blind, green snake.
You watched, unsure what to do as it slowly crept up to your knee. Then it tightened, a little, raspy scream wheezed out of your mouth, barley making a sound.
And then the world turned upside down.
To be more accurate, you flipped upside down. You were dangling by your leg, struggling to turn upright.
Your temples pounded as blood rushed into your head. You kicked, snarled in frustration and tried to pull yourself up to the the vine.
It jerked upwards and you screamed as you were flung high into the sky. The brief glimpse you got of your surroundings scared you.
It was forest all around. But you hadn't even walked more than a mile.
Still screaming, you plummeted to earth and landed on something sticky and stretchy.
It was a web, a giant spider web.
Your limbs froze and you barley dared to breath.
Spiders find their prey due to movements on the web. I don't move, I'll live longer.
You lay in the web for hours, staring up at the slowly darkening sky. Your stomach growled and you felt a breeze brush your cracked and dry lips.
This can't be Earth.
The thought struck you like a thunder bolt. The itching dread swirling in your chest only confirms this thought.
An alternate dimension? Or where you lying in the woods and this was all a dream?
Your stomach growled again and your lips made a crinkling sound as you opened them and let out a dry cough.
The web jerked beneath you.
Sucking in a breath you held it, not daring to look around to see the cause of the movement.
It came again, this time more insistent.
A loud snap and then the web fell. You let out a horse cry as you were jerked down by gravity.
Dangling by your feet, you coughed, the breath rasping through your throat. Your arms flopped uselessly by your head.
You looked around for what ever had cut the web, but there was nothing.
"Looking for me?"
You whipped your head around so fast you heard it make a small crunching noise.
A man, no a creature in the guise of a man stood inches away from you.
He had bright cerulean eyes and a longish nose. His blonde hair was tangled with pieces of twigs and flower petals.
And he had wings. Giant translucent, butterfly like wings.
He smirked when he noticed your staring, you could see that his teeth were far sharper than normal.
"You may ask me zree questions, zen I will ask you one. If you answer ze one question wrong, you never get to go home."
Geez, the guy was straight forward.
You licked your lips.
Only three questions. You couldn't waste them on stupid questions.
"Am I in a different dimension?"
One of his slender eyebrows raised and a smile of approval crossed his face.
"Mmmmmm. I caught a smart one." He paused then nodded.
"You are indeed in a sort of different dimension. It is ze only way you can explain it on human terms."
You nodded, trying to ignore the pounding of blood in your head.
"What are you?"
He grinned and you nearly flinched at the abnormal sharpness of his teeth.
"I am what you 'umans would call a fairy."
A fairy. You began thinking about all the different facts about fairies. Some were kind, others weren't. You should never eat fairy food or drink, or else you would be stuck in their world.
And...... Full names hold power.
You stared at him and took a deep breath.
"What is your full name?"
The smirk grew. He licked his lips and tilted his head, thinking.
"You can call me....... Francis. Francis Bonnefoy."
He let out a little chuckle.
"Silly, silly 'uman. You should 'ave asked me for my true name."
You felt your heart sink. If you couldn't find that out, then you were screwed.
"What is your full name human?"
You clamped your mouth shut.
Nope, not happening. You weren't going to tell him. His blue eyes bore into yours, seeming to suck you in.
"It's ______ ______."
The words slipped out unbidden, spilling of your lips and into the eger fairys ears.
"Well zen ______. It looks like I have a new pet."
Francis purred, pulling you off the web and into his arms. You tried to struggle, but fell limp when he whispered your name.
You were stuck. But for how long? After all. In stories like this, the girl always got away.
Almost always got away.