Out of the moonlight

Chapter 1 - the girl at the centre of the circle

Though she knew very well that she ought not to stray so far from home she could not help but to follow it; that rich, mouth-watering aroma, so unlike any she'd ever sensed before. It drifted across the boundary between the realms, filling her with an unbearable yearning as it reached her nostrils. It called to her, and she, try as she might, was helpless to resist it.

It wasn't a good idea, she knew. Her plan was dangerous, foolish. Her mother would be furious. But none of that seemed to matter. She had to learn more, had to follow the scent to its source, to discover from what manner of wonderful thing it might emanate.

The townspeople of Caulbury rarely walked up to the old stone circle on Auberlynne Hill, though most would not admit it they had a superstitious fear of the place. It was said that on some nights, when the moon was especially bright, one could see strange things between the stones.

Though he found them quite exciting Niall put little faith in such tales. The hill could indeed be eerie at night, but it was also quiet and comfortable. Offering soft grass and a wonderful view it was by far the best place there was if one was in want of solitude.

With his warm, homely little town to the south and the vast, dark forest to the north the circle felt somehow like a passageway between the two, a landmark separating the orderly world of man from the wilderness of the woods.

A tall, lanky man of 23 with deep blue eyes and wild, dark hair, Niall, though he did not quite know why, often found himself drawn to the hill, he would sit with his back to the circle, leaning against one of the old stones as he watched the sun fall below the horizon.

One cloudy night in late august, when summer was slowly turning to autumn, he found, as he sat with his back against one of those cold, ancient stones, that his eyelids were growing heavy. Before he knew it he'd drifted into a deep sleep.

When, at last, he returned with a jolt to the waking world he found himself bathed in a silvery light. Looking to the sky he saw that the clouds above him had parted, letting through a stream of moonlight that illuminated the centre of the circle.

Following the moonbeams to where they showered the ground Niall's eyes widened as, lying between the stones, he saw a young woman. One quite unlike any he'd ever seen.

Her hair was red, a long mass of fiery, ginger locks, her feet were bare, her delicate body, impossibly slender and slight, wrapped in but a thin, green cloth that flowed round her like water round a smooth rock.

She too seemed to have been asleep, but now she was slowly coming to, her slender arms starting to move, pushing her slight torso up off the ground.

"You alright Miss?" Niall called to her.

"I..." she looked at him, her eyes wide with confusion. "I think so... Where am I exactly, and who are you?"

"Well," he answered; "I'm Niall, and this is Auberlynne Hill, about 20 minutes north of Caulbury. Now what about you? How did you get here? I've been sitting here for... well, hours probably, and I didn't so much as notice you until just now."

"I... I'm not sure." She said, rubbing the back of her head as, in one fluid motion, she gracefully rose to her feet. "I just opened my eyes and here I was. A long way from home, I think. I was looking for something..." she paused, seeming to drift off. Then, suddenly snapping back to reality, she said: "I'm... Faye, I think, by the way."

"You think?" Niall grinned, pushing himself to his feet. "I don't mean to pry, but are you sure you're feeling alright? You seem a bit... confused."

"Yeah I... I think so." she grimaced, putting her palm to her forehead. "It's just, I feel a little dizzy... My head's kind of... heavy somehow."

Niall watched as the girl took a couple of stumbling steps towards him. Though her unsteady stagger made her seem almost drunk he smelled, as she approached, no alcohol on her breath.

"Look," he said, reaching out a hand to help her steady herself. "I don't mean to impose but, lovely though it may be, this hill is no place to stay the night. I could walk you into town if you like. If you need somewhere to sleep there should be another spare room over where I'm staying."

"Well..." Faye hesitated, she seemed to be quickly steadying herself; "I wouldn't want to be a bother..."

"Oh I'm sure you wouldn't be," he reassured; "the Kendrick's are a very friendly family. Knowing them they'll be happy to help."

"Well, in that case," she smiled, taking his hand; "please do lead the way."

The Kendrick's lived in a solid old house of yellowish stone. The bottom floor was taken up almost entirely by the old town bakery whilst Mr. Kendrick, the town baker, and his family lived on the two top floors. During the day it was a bright, busy, and bustling place, but now, in the dead of night, it was as quiet as the grave.

As Niall and Faye approached the old house they found it, much like the rest of town, shrouded in darkness. There was no light in the windows and from within not a sound could be heard. As he unlocked the door and welcomed Faye inside Niall, not wanting to wake anyone, made sure to be as quiet as he could. Faye, following his example, made not a sound as she traipsed up the stairs behind him. The old steps neither groaned nor creaked under her weight. Her feet seemed somehow hardly to be touching the ground.

"Here it is." Niall said, guiding Faye up the stairs and into a small and cosy, if somewhat cluttered, attic room. "A bit sparse I'm afraid, but I hope it'll do. The bathroom's just downstairs."

"Thank you," Faye smiled. "It'll do very well."

"Glad to hear it," Niall said, stifling a yawn; "it's getting late so I'll let you get ready for bed."

As he turned to leave Faye stopped him.

"Wait," she said, her hand gently brushing his shoulder. "Sorry, I know it's late, but I'm kind of..." she paused.

"Kind of..." Niall repeated, arching one eyebrow.

As Faye opened her mouth to answer a loud rumble escaped from the direction of her slender waist.

"Oh, I see." Niall grinned.

"Yeah," Faye said, her cheeks turning a bright pink.

"Let's have a look in the kitchen then. I'm sure we should have some leftovers lying around."

The two having made their way to the kitchen Niall had soon dug out a loaf of bread, some ham and cheese, and a tall glass of milk for his new guest. As soon as he'd put the food down in front of her Faye eagerly dug in.

Her appetite surprised him. Though the food was nothing special the girl ate as if she'd never tasted anything like it. For someone so elegant her table manners were surprisingly crude. She shovelled the food into her mouth, letting out a slight moan as the flavours hit her tongue.

Had he not seen it with his own eyes Niall would never have thought that anybody so thin could eat so much. By the time Faye was finally done her flat stomach had grown a noticeable curve, a tiny bulge packed tight with food. Only as she leaned back in her chair, a pleased groan escaping from between her food-smeared lips, did she notice that Niall was staring at her.

"What?" she said, smiling as she raised her brow.

"Oh, it's nothing. I've just never seen anyone eat like that."

"Well," Faye blushed, absently wiping her chin; "it was very good."

"Really? It was just a sandwich."

"Well," Faye grinned; "then I guess it was a very good sandwich."

At that Niall couldn't help but let out a chuckle.

"If you say so..." he shrugged.

"I do." Faye said, pushing herself to her feet. "Thank you, now I really do need to get myself some sleep."

Watching as the girl walked to her room, happily rubbing her tightly packed tummy, Niall couldn't help but smile.

That night, tired though he was, Niall found it hard to sleep. Having tucked himself comfortably into bed he found that he was simply unable to leave the waking world behind. Somehow the image of Faye would not leave his mind. He thought about her, happily enjoying the food he'd made her, her tiny tummy packed tight, made bloated and round as she kept stuffing his food in between her eager lips, as he kept on feeding her.

Shaking his head he pushed his covers aside and pulled himself out of bed. Perhaps a glass of warm milk might help put him to sleep.

As he made his way to the kitchen he couldn't help but notice that Faye had left her door ajar. He knew it wasn't polite, but somehow he couldn't help but peek through the gap.

Buried beneath soft blankets the girl, though definitely asleep, was mumbling to herself, soft little murmurs escaping from between her full lips. She seemed perhaps to be in the throes of some bad dream.

What might she be dreaming about? He wondered. Who could she be? Where could she have come from?

Niall shook his head; it was far too late for him to be worrying about such things.
65 chapters, created StoryListingCard.php 7 years , updated 2 years
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Yuri33 4 years
Have this story a continious?please go on
CountingCarbs 4 years
Loving this story! Lettie and Annie need to get together!
Ripley84 4 years
this story is amazing!
Kipler 4 years
Out of the moonlight isn't near is its end, is it? (That last chapter made it feel like it's getting real close to it. I'm not ready!)
Kipler 4 years
Now that's got me curious as to what Eponymous has been up to that's kept them so busy. How are you, author? I hope well. It's great that you've updated your stories as often as you can. Much appreciated! Keep up the fantastic work!!
Eponymous 4 years
Thanks! I've got a bit more time on my hands now, so this story should be back to updating fairly regularly again.
Theswordsman 5 years
Im glad to see this continue
Eponymous 5 years
Thanks for your comments, Anneke, Kipler, and sorry that it's been so long between updates. I've been really busy these past few months, and thus I haven't really had the time for all the planning this story requires.
Kipler 5 years
Eeeeeeeepoooooooooonnnnnnn! What happened? You disappeared without a trace; where'd you go? We miss you! And you left me hanging with your last chapter! I hope you're just taking it easy at least during this hiatus. Keep me posted! Take care, Mr. Writer.
Kipler 5 years
Niall and Lettie being allies is something I didn't know I needed. Oh my gods, I love it! And Nooo!!! Poor Faye!!! ;A; why are people so cruel?! (Thanks for the new chapter, Eponymous!)
Eponymous 5 years
Thanks, Girlcrisis! I'm heartened to hear that you’re still following and enjoying this not so little tale. smiley
Girlcrisis 5 years
I’ve been enjoying this story from the beginning but your last few updates have been particularly excellent.
Eponymous 5 years
Thank you, Kipler! And, to be perfectly honest, so am I.
Kipler 5 years
Ohmygods. Why does it always feel like I'm talking to a celebrity when authors are kind enough to respond to their fans? Thank you, Eponymous! I'm so excited for what is to come!!
Eponymous 5 years
And yeah, Lettie and Annie do make for an enjoyable couple, don’t they? Needless to say, there’s a fair chance that something more will happen there, eventually.
Eponymous 5 years
Thanks Kipler, I’m glad you’re enjoying the story, and flattered that you’ve gone to such lengths to leave a comment. It’s a challenging piece to write sometimes, I’m not sure every chapter has quite worked out, but, overall, I’m very pleased with it.
Kipler 5 years
There's not enough characters to express how I feel.
Kipler 5 years
Secondly, yoooooouuuuuuuu!!! That tease! Twice already!! Something better happen between Lettie and Annie (eventually)! I didn't realize I needed it until it was happening! They're so good together. Anyways, please write more but don't overwork yourself e
Kipler 5 years
Your storytelling is top notch as well as your use of descriptive language in regards to the parts we come here to feast upon. This is one of my favorite stories on this website because it's long running and well paced (good thing come to those who weight
Kipler 5 years
First, you made me create an account just so I can say something after being a long time reader. Amazing work, obviously. But you already know that. Your storytelling is top notch as well as your use of descriptive language in regards to the parts we come
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