The next day a bucket appeared also a plate with bread and water. Spring refused to touch the bread after finding a bit of mold on it. Summer split his own loaf in half. “Here,” he offered.
“I shouldn’t take your food.” Spring looked ashamed of himself.
“We need to find how the food came in,” Reaper suggested, all day they spent searching the room but to no avail.
“It’s bad manners not even explaining anything to your captives,” Spring huffed.
“It’s cowardly, they should fight us one on one,” Summer argued.
“They’d still win,” Reaper said glumly as he used the bucket.
That night everyone was too discouraged to even tell stories.
Another day passed, Reaper woke up next to a head. At first, he was delighted until he turned it over and saw it was the head of the Unseelie soldier he had joked with a week ago it the same horned head and golden eyes. Trying to gather his composure he got up slowly only to feel something squishy under his foot; it was a clawed arm. Reaper looked down and saw to his utter horror he was standing in a pile of limbs, legs and an alligator-like torso, wings and all of them were familiar.
Reaper felt his throat clench up his heart pounded. No, no, no no! It had to be a trick, right? But he could smell a coppery scent and feel the heaviness of each body part. Reaper backed up tripping over a messy landfill of body parts he tumbled back, his seal skin tunic now stained with dark green liquid. Then he sees it a bloody severed head of red hair the crown of skulls still wrapped around his brow. Reaper squeezes his eyes shut heart pounding in his ears no no no no, no no not them...not them!
“Hey, hey!” The Unseelie faerie opens one eye and sees Summer’s face.
“You okay?” the Summer fairie sounds troubled.
“Okay.....haven’t you seen it?” Reaper chokes.
“What are you talking about?”
Reaper opened his eyes reaching furiously for a piece of his Court but he feels nothing looking down Reaper realizes there is nothing. The room was just playing with him. Reaper throws back his head and laughs. “I....have....to stop... them.” He howls louder tears spill down his cheeks. An omen or a taunt he doesn’t care he’s getting out and then he’s coming for every one of his captors. Spring puts a hand on his shaking shoulder and Reaper allows it this once.
“There’s a game in my court, it’s called coconut toss, but we can use this.” Summer pulls a book from the shelf and tosses it toward Reaper, he catches it in one hand, some useless children’s book about an old winter fey celebration. Summer’s trying to distract him from troubling thoughts Reaper realizes in bewilderment as he hurls the book back with all his strength.
A few days later and Spring was trying to teach Summer meditation techniques from his court. “It’ll relax your body and rid it of negative energy,” he offered. Reaper who was in the middle of doing push-ups frowned inwardly. While Spring and Summer had formed a tentative alliance to deal with the Unseelie Court and Wild Hunt. The two Courts had never been united and often distrusted one another. A friendship between the two of them could change that. Reaper had to be sneaky about it though despite the show of compassion. Spring and Summer still didn’t trust him.
Spring opens his eyes. “Wait, what if we wait for tonight and attack whoever brings our food?” he questioned.
“Why didn’t I think of that?” Reaper berated himself.
“This room is messing with all of us,” Spring reminds him.
“No more.” Reaper’s eyes glinted wickedly. As he motioned Summer to join them. “Now I've got a plan, here’s what we’re going to do.” That night the three fairie boys lay in the darkness, Reaper reached out and pinched Spring’s arm.
“I’m awake.” the Seelie court fairie said with an edge of annoyance.
“Had to be sure,” Reaper said innocently
“Keep it up,” Summer warned.
“What are you, his mom? Spring isn’t a helpless child.” Reaper said.
Spring frowned but before the conversation could continue the wall started to glow. “That’s your cue, Spring,” Reaper hissed.
Spring jumped to his feet and waited as a door slowly appeared it opened to reveal four hunched creatures with the backs of lizards and the eyes of a bullfrog, they had three horns sprouting from their heads, and long talons. Reaper would have pegged them as some breed of snow goblin except they were way too tall. “Excuse me, you are our jailers, yes? I demand to speak with our captor at once!” Spring said crisply.
“You not ‘posed to be awake,” the first creature growled.
“How can anyone sleep in such conditions? I've had to bear hug both my rivals to stay warm.” Spring said in a clipped tone.
Reaper and Summer quietly crept to their feet. “Look, your highness. Her imminence has treated you very well under the circumstances.” the second warned.
Now, Summer punched one of the guards in the face. Reaper came at the second one who used his bony legs to leap straight over Reaper’s head, bounced off the ceiling, and launched himself straight at the death fairie. Spring pushed him out of the way and took the blow straight in the chest and lay limply on the ground. The creature blanched. “Oh shit!” he exclaimed the other creatures stopped what they were doing minus the two tussling with Summer and hopped over to their comrade.
“Icy, you idiot, you didn’t break his skin,” the first sounded scared. “Prince, hey princy, please wakie,” the creature called Icy begged, crawling forward and shaking who Reaper now knew to be Prince Angus, heir to the Spring Court who winked at him.
“Let me take a look,” Reaper tried.
“Unseelie help Seelie?” asked the third.
“Unseelie doesn’t want Seelie to die,” the death fairie offered.