A short story that fills in a little bit more of the story of the Realm. Maybe it only means something to me … maybe, just maybe, it is something more …
The question was asked by a rather young, red-tailed, raven-haired succubi that was trying to figure out what had been brought into her bedroom: “What is it?”
The answer—said, in a motherly way, by a regal-looking, red-tailed blond—was: “When the time is right, you’ll know, Daughter. Just leave things alone. Just know that someday you’ll know when you need to see it.”
She watched the workmen carefully, almost reverently, carry in, and then set into place, what seemed to be a … well … she really wasn’t sure. Her mother didn’t say what it was, but whatever it was stood at least twice her height and about as wide. A blue blanket or something—her mother did prefer blue around the palace for some reason, yet this seemed to be an exception—covered it, and a single gold ribbon was tied around the middle, holding the blanket or something in place.
Naturally, the moment her mother had left the room, with the workmen right behind her, the young red-tail marched over and took hold of the loose ends of the ribbon and started to pull on them. She did not like mysteries after all … She could take a peek and …
“Tera! Don’t you dare, young lady! I’ll make you walk the halls balancing your book on your horns for a month!”
She looked at her mother standing in the doorway and dropped the ribbon: “But …”
A finger wag, a mother’s look, and an added: “Just … please, Tera? For me? Just once? Curb yourself and be good?”
Tera tilted her head and then pointed at her horns: “See the horns?”
Her mother pointed at her own: “Get the picture?”
Tera smiled: “You know, that really makes for a good saying, Mom.”
She laughed as she left, her regal duties calling for her as they often did: “Just remember where you got it from.”
Tera leaned against a leather chair in her room, the one that she curled up in to read, usually very late into the night, and whispered: “Promise, Mom. Always.”
Time passed and she did, just barely, manage to not break her promise. The thing, whatever it was, remained covered, and Tera’s life changed as it was want to do. But even with changes in the room, or in Tera herself, that thing stood there covered and waiting for the longest time.
That all changed one night when Tera had a dream, one that she would never forget.
It started when she had been reading a book she had found in the Library of the Realm, a place that she loved more than any other to be honest, and one that she dreamed of, perhaps, getting permission from her mother to take charge.
A succubi could dream, couldn’t she?
It was well into the middle of the night, and she had turned herself in knots to find a comfortable position to read. But it was too comfortable, and she had nodded off, the book slipping out of her hands and landing with a thump on the floor beside her.
In her dream, Tera woke to find herself in her chair with her room looking odd. Instead of the reds with which she loved to highlight things, everything was in the deepest, darkest blacks. Looking around, and quite confused, she was about to call out when she heard a voice … her own voice: “I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to come and find me.”
Tera looked around the back of her chair—that seemed to be where her voice came from—and then she felt a hand tap her shoulder. Spinning around to see, she found herself face-to-face with … herself … sort of. It was her, but with … red hair? A black tail?
“Who are you?”
“We met … sort of … a long time ago, Tera.”
“I don’t …”
“Yes, you do. It was on the day of your birth, in your mother’s arms. I said ‘Hello’ then.”
Tera closed her eyes and didn’t say anything for the longest time. Then she opened her eyes: “I … remember a voice. Calling herself … Tail?”
“Not exactly. What I said was, ‘“Hello, Tera … I’m Tail …”’
Tera drew her legs up against her chest: “Who are you?”
“I’m … someone your mother knew … once … in the time before. In a way, you and I are prophecy for the Realm.”
“Meaning that I am … well … I’m your tail.”
“My … tail?”
“Exactly. I’ve been with you since the day you were born, and I’m always with you and watching out for you. You’re important.”
Tera laughed—not bitterly, just a simple laugh: “I’m nothing important. I’ll never be Queen or anything important like that. I’m just as happy to be me, and that’s all.”
Tail shook her head: “That’s something we’re going to have to work on. Not the part about you being happy to be yourself, that’ll never change.”
“The part about you thinking you’re nothing important. You’ll find out, eventually, about that.”
The two beings just looked at each other, then Tera asked: “So, why are you here now?”
“You’re going to need someone to talk to soon. There’s something coming, Tera, and, when it arrives, you are going to find your world is changing. I’m here to help.”
“I can talk to my mother and father, you know.”
Tail smiled, softly: “I hope so. But I’ll be here.”
“How am I supposed to speak to you? I can’t just knock myself out when I want to see you or something.”
“When you wake up, pull that ribbon and see what you mother brought you.”
“Not supposed to …”
“… until the time is right. It is, Tera. Do it soon; you’ll need me.”
Tail picked up the book and dropped it to the floor with a loud bang. And the dream ended, Tera finding herself back in her own room, the reds she loved in the right places once more.
She saw the thing, whatever it was, standing in its spot as it had since the day it had first arrived and she walked over to it. Holding the ribbon in her hands, she hesitated, thinking about what her mother had said, and what her Tail had said—and that in itself just sounded weird. No one had ever talked to her about that sort of thing, but her Mother had told her that she was special.
Tera had always thought that was just what mothers told their daughters, something that she hoped someday to do as well… if she found the right person to be her Eternal that was.
She was about to let go of the ribbon and chalk up her dream to being up reading far too late when she saw something out of the corner of her eye.
Her tail was hovering there. And it held a small white sign on a stick which read: “Ribbon. Pull. NOW!”
This was new, and a little bit frightening to be honest. Then the sign spun around until it read: “I haven’t got all day.”
Her tail then moved back behind her and, when she looked at it, the sign was gone, but the tip of her tail, the heart-shaped end of it … seemed to be looking right at her.
Tera thought about this, and then realized that she had seen her tail do the same thing many times before, but she was sure had imagined it looking at her, it couldn’t possibly do that.
But it could.
And so, the ribbon was pulled, the blue blanket slid off and Tera had her very first look at … The Mirror.
It was edged in gold, the frame being made of images of succubi and incubi entwined together in various ways. And in the mirror itself, was a mirror image of Tera’s room, but all in black, and her other self, her Tail, standing there in the mirror, arms crossed over her chest and tapping a foot in irritation: “It’s about time.”
“This is weird. Mom’s never going to believe this.”
“What makes you think I wouldn’t, Daughter?”
Tera spun around to see her mother standing at the door and looking inside. She nodded at the mirror and asked: “May I come in? The time appears to be right. I’d … like to meet her.”
Tera looked at her mother, then her Tail: “I … um …”
Her Tail moved to one side so she could look at the Queen and called out from the mirror: “Come in, Your Majesty. It’s been a while.”
Tera’s mother came into the room and stood beside her, the two looking into the mirror, but instead of seeing both of their reflections there, only the red-haired, black-tailed image of Tera’s Tail-self was there.
The Queen asked: “Are you alone?”
Tail shrugged: “Not really. This is … just the best way to be able to talk to you … both of you.”
“Are you …”
“You know the answer. You’ve always known.”
The Queen nodded, just once, and then turned to Tera: “Daughter … Tera … I know this is a lot to take in. Honestly, I didn’t believe what the white tails told me. But they’ve been right so far.” She looked into the mirror: “I trust her. Listen to her. Confide in her. But make your own choices.”
Tera asked, quietly, as she looked into the mirror: “Who are you?”
Her Tail smiled and was about to answer when the Queen did: “She’s your Tail.”
“I’m so confused.”
“I’m sure it will be interesting for you both. You’re going to be stuck with each other for a long time to come.”
Tera had a thought and asked: “Do you see … everything, Tail?”
Tail smirked: “Everything … Redi-Whip included.”
The Queen looked at Tera: “Redi-Whip? Something I should know about, Daughter?”
Tera buried her face in her hands: “Thanks, Tail. I owe you one.”
They talked into the early morning, talked until Tera couldn’t go on and she crawled into bed, falling asleep the moment her head hit the pillow. After her daughter was tucked in, the Queen approached the mirror and saw Tail standing there and watching.
Her Majesty nodded: “I owe you.”
Tail nodded: “You never owed me anything. I did this for her.”
“Look after her for me.”
“Promise. She’ll never be alone.”
“That’s all I can ask for.”