The Prince of Two Tribes

The Prince of Two Tribes by Sean Cullen Read Free Book Online

Book: The Prince of Two Tribes by Sean Cullen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sean Cullen
Faerie side, he’d walked by this corner many times. Where Roncesvalles split with Dundas Street West stood a bank building that was now occupied by a coffee chain. Brendan had shared a hot chocolate with his father a couple of months ago and never suspected that a café catering to Fair Folk existed on the same spot.
    Kim had arrived at the park in good humour to find Greenleaf trapped in his wooden prison. After a few minutes spent savouring his predicament, she’d made the roots of the tree narrow slightly so that Greenleaf could wriggle out. Mission accomplished, the three of them had walked over to the café for a hot drink. But instead of stopping at the coffee bar, Kim and Greenleaf continued through to the hallway that led to the washrooms. Brendan was puzzled.
    “Aren’t we going to have a drink?” Brendan asked.
    “Yeah,” Kim said. She jerked a thumb at the ceiling. “Upstairs.”
    “Upstairs?” Brendan hadn’t noticed any upper floor. He followed Greenleaf and Kim into the hallway. Brendan expected his friends to go to one of the restroom doors or the employees’ entrance. Instead, they walked directly into a blank wall between some stacked boxes of paper cups and vanished through the solid surface. Brendan stopped short.
    “Hey!” The wall looked completely solid to him.
    A young woman in a green apron came out of a door marked EMPLOYEES ONLY and found Brendan staring at the wall. “You looking for something?”
    “Uh,” Brendan stammered. “I, uh . ” How could he explain? My friends just disappeared through a wall.
    Suddenly Kim’s head popped out of the solid surface. Waves spread out from her like ripples in a pool. “You coming?” Seeing the young woman, Kim smiled. “Hey, Cassie. What’s up?”
    “Not much,” Cassie replied. She smiled at Brendan. “You must be Brendan.”
    “Yeah.” He nodded, still a little confused. “You’re … one of us?”
    Cassie winked and grinned. For an instant, Brendan glimpsed her true appearance, her dark hair sparkling with silver streaks and her golden eyes. The moment passed and Cassie returned to her glamour as a mousy-brown-haired Human woman. “First time at the Pot?”
    “I guess so,” Brendan answered.
    “Have the hot chocolate,” Cassie suggested. “And good luck with the Proving Challenges. I’m sure you’ll be awesome!”
    Cassie turned before Brendan could answer and went back through the employees’ entrance. Brendan stood looking at the door. “Proving Challenges?” Brendan didn’t like the sound of that. “What’s she talking about? Proving what?”
    Kim ignored his question. Grabbing his elbow, she pulled him through the wall.
    He found himself at the bottom of a stairwell. Golden light shone down from above as he mounted the stairs. Lively conversation, laughter, and the hissing squeak of a milk steamer greeted his ears as he rose into a warm, airy room.
    Brendan stood at the top of the stairs and looked around. Tall windows lined the walls, looking out over the street. Rain pattered on the skylights above, mixing with the mutter of conversation to create a pleasant buzz. Small, round tables were filled with Faerie patrons of every description. Here and there, Lesser Faeries flitted in the air, some delivering drinks or pastries, others merely visiting with friends. Behind the counter, its wood polished to a golden lustre, a male and a female Faerie worked swiftly, steaming milk, drawing espresso, plating delicious-looking cakes and pastries.
    “Brendan!”
    Kim and Greenleaf had found a table by the window and were waving him over. He wended his way through the small forest of tables. He was so distracted, gawking around the room, that he bumped into an old man.
    “Excuse me,” the old man said. For an instant, Brendan’s eyes were gripped in the bluest, most intense gaze he’d ever encountered. The old man smiled.
    “Forgive me, lad. I’m awfully clumsy.”
    “No problem,” Brendan mumbled. He was about to

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