Finders Keepers

On being Taken and being the one who Takes.

There was talk in some parts of campus, at some times of day, by some certain people of a person who was willing to go Underhill for students and teachers and would come back unharmed; sometimes, she was said to have come back with Spoils.

Everyone knew at least one story of someone being Taken Underhill. Being Taken was something that happened to other students, the ones who were too Involved for their own good, who trod the line between Here and There a little too carelessly. 

Some students blurred that line and danced along the smudges.

They called her Fi, and she had Ways about her. The Elsewhere seemed to bend to her instead of her to it, and she knew just what was happening. Those few who knew her before said she was touched even before she came to Elsewhere, that there was always something just a little off. She didn’t wear as much iron as she should have, and she seemed to think salt was more a suggestion than a safety, and she cut deals and made trades with things that seemed too Other even for Elsewhere. 

They said she had been her for years and years and years, they said she was a new student every year. The few that knew of her Before said precious little and those who knew of her After said even less.

They said she went after a student that had been Taken and Took a member of the Gentry in return. 

No one knew how she managed it, how she returned from the Else unscathed, dragging a dazed and stumbling freshman in one hand and a lesser one of Them drifting behind her. Some said that the Fae she’d Taken had tried to Take her but through some grace of a strange god or through her own will, she’d flipped it. 

She didn’t say, and the student she’d saved couldn’t talk about the Elsewhere, and the Gentry she’d dragged through the Boundary seethed but couldn’t harm the students.

It was chained to her, and they called it Ke. 

She didn’t talk much, if at all, but if you’re in the right place at the right time and you have the right offering, someone might be inclined to tell you of Finders Keepers.