I submitted a student a while back, the one with gold in her eyes whose family joked that she wasn't human. She's back! (I am sorry for taking liberties, it's just that I love this whole thing.)
They watch her in horror.
She does not wear iron (Her mother’s stories and beliefs were right, it seems. Iron hurts her in a way she does not want to explain.) and the rules her sister taught her all seem to cause her more trouble than it’s worth. Salt damages her hands, makes her bleed and sore, and so she goes without.
She does not carry the protections that the others do and seeing someone so easily disregard the safety measures makes them nervous. She walks in places they are terrified of, alone and unharmed, and no one wants to question why. The gold in her eyes flashes in the darkness and she carries a book in her arms. Pages and pages of drawings, of things seen in her dreams and a world she knows more intimately than her own.
(Her mother still writes her letters, but they treat her as if she never held any power over her.)
(It would seem that the jokes were truths and never something to be laughed at.)
Her golden rings, worn in her eyes, expand until the blue is all but gone. The effect is striking and some believe her to have been replaced but she is the same as she ever was. There was no replacement for her, no sweet words luring her off into Their world.
She is stuck between the two and being as odd as she is does her no favors. Too much humanity in her spirit to be right as a Them, too much Other to belong to humans. Trapped in between, this is where she belongs.
(One day, far into the future, she will be faculty and no one will ever tear her from Elsewhere. This is her home now, and she will remain.)
One girl watches her, eyes pinned on her hands as she draws, and she sighs. An audience is not what she wanted. Everyone chooses how to react to her, of course, but she wishes that some would choose to ignore, like everyone else.
The girl approaches her and she looks up, meeting eyes similar to her own, cat pupils and orange. “You have a wonderful talent,” the girl says softly. She recognizes her now, realizes that she looks like someone who isn’t there anymore.
One of Them, one who wanted to be in the world for a while.
“You praise my talents,” she says quietly. Never say Thank You, the rules echo in her head. She wonders if the rules apply to someone who has always belonged.
Both of them grin, two sets of teeth too sharp for humans.
They are never seen apart again.
(Stories will be told of them, to be sure, but they will always be phrased as, ‘Did you meet the professor’s wife yet?’)