stolen from something but cannot remember

An Idea

In spite of the Others, the university of Elsewhere is considered a safe place. Sure, you might need to walk the grounds with salt packets in your sleeves or instant porridge oats in your coat pocket. Okay, the vending machines might drop the occasional tooth and the shadows might stretch too far, too real and grasping. Drinking games might have more weight, and an even greater cost, with tall boys dealing the cards nimbly with slender fingers. Some students might be lost, replaced, taken, or changed by the Fair Folk of Elsewhere University.

  But there are far worse things lurking just out of sight, drawn close by the Uni’s hallowed grounds. Greater terrors kept away by the Court. Things that make even the most vicious member of the Unseelie seem friendly and mild.

  An emaciated pale ‘it’ was spotted late January, scuttling about the edges of a carpark beside the student bar. With ink black eyes, and yellow teeth made for rending and slurping arterial fluid; the beast looked nothing like the swarthy seductive figures found in young adult novels, that the student’s laughed at so often. On one night in early February, the baying of hounds and the hooting of the Fae reached a final crescendo with the piercing shriek of a dying thing. Later that morning, students showered themselves clean of the garlic and herb dip they had rubbed under their armpits, and set to work washing the mustard stains out of the dorm carpets.

  Elsewhere University is kept protected from the predators that prowl too close, chased away by the Court.

  Bloated, black-skinned corpse eaters are beaten back from the Biology labs. Watch close, as women with fox’s eyes and hair as dark as night, snarl at the scarecrow perched next to the University fountain; the scarecrow mewls quietly from inside its sack head, and is gone the morning after. Dead men with hollow eyes and hissing, maddening tongues are kept at bay, and too clever ravens, broaching bargains in return for first-born children, are mobbed by the Uni’s resident crows.

  The only boogeymen tolerated at Elsewhere University are the ones that belong to the Court of the Fair Folk. With only one exception.

  The rage of the Gentry is to be feared and respected, and the price of dealing with them is high (though the cost of crossing them is even higher). Some shadow things, nameless beasts, and wayward beings bound to moonlight, are allowed to make their homes at Elsewhere University. But never without the Court’s permission. Never for too long. But once upon a time, a force of nature came to Elsewhere. Something the Fair Folk had no power, alone or as one, to chase off.

  It came one day and took the western corner of the University campus as its home, displacing the Court that lived there with ease. The beast, huge and old, slithered beneath the rotted sports shed, hidden at the Edge of Things. Under the derelict and forgotten shed, the fairy hoard had sat (filled with treasures taken, bartered, traded, and stolen from the students).

  Now it is no longer theirs to keep. They cannot reclaim it themselves, because that is not the way. The Wee Folk of the Court do not do great deeds, so instead they gift and trick the strongest, smartest, loudest, and most cunning of the University’s students to remove the monster atop their treasures. None have returned.

So, remember, when you walk the western corner of the campus (past the metalworker’s shop), where only the crows fly, and you taste something sharp and acrid in the air, beware that rotted sports shed, hidden just at the Edge of Things. For the rage of the fae is nothing compared to the wroth of the Wyrm that sleeps there; far older and more cunning, with no patience for feeble dealings, and no compromise for those that dare steal. (themagnificentgod)

The official reason the old english building is fenced off is structural damage (it does almost violently decrepit), and possibly some kind of toxic chemical (the faculty’s reasons are vague). You don’t need to be told to stay away, though. Even before you’re Involved, you don’t need to be told to stay away. There is an animal instinct at the base of your skull telling you that you wouldn’t ever come back.

I unfold the “nothing” and there is blood
inside and there is something that once looked
like what they call by my name and there are
dead flowers and fingernail clippings and I
am smiling and they do not ask again. I am
the womb of the kind of quiet that makes the
people who know, uncomfortable. I am where
the pleasant dinner conversations were buried.
There is a sound come from within women
like me, a sound that is not ours, but that we
cannot remember stealing. It is the sound of
being stolen, the gift we could not send away.
It is the echo that haunts where the now-gone
thing once slept. It is the room we no longer
go into. It is the story we write until we
believe that it is only a story. And it is “nothing.”
—  “what not to show them when asked what is wrong.” by Emma Bleker