“Family Fair and True,” by Dayle A. Dermatis, appears in Stolen by the Fae, the 6th volume in the anthology series A Procession of Faeries.
My feet crunched over tiny snail shells as I descended, the air growing more moist and cold, and the darkness more complete. The weak moonlight couldn’t extend this far into the earth. I reached the bottom, breathing in the earthy scent of loam, and stopped.
I thought about why I was here, and what I wished for. I couldn’t go on if I had any doubts, any hesitation.
But this was what I had yearned for since I was old enough to understand what I was.
A plentyn cael . A changeling child.
My “parents,” Cerys and John (I couldn’t really call them my adoptive parents, as they’d had no choice in the matter), had brought home from the hospital a sweet, fair-haired baby and then found, shortly thereafter, a temperamental, black-haired thing in the crib. (The latter would be me.)
If they had tried any of the folk remedies to banish a changeling, they refused to tell me, but I couldn’t imagine that they didn’t make an attempt to get their real child back. Why wouldn’t they? Cerys was a professor of folklore and mythology at uni, and John was a renowned fantasy artist; they knew what had happened.
—from “Family Fair and True,” by Dayle A. Dermatis, in Stolen by the Fae
Dayle A. Dermatis is the author or coauthor of many novels (including snarky urban fantasy Ghosted and YA lesbian romance Beautiful Beast) and more than a hundred short stories in multiple genres, appearing in such venues as Fiction River, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and DAW Books.
Called the mastermind behind the Uncollected Anthology project, she also edits anthologies, and her own short fiction has been lauded in many year’s best anthologies in erotica, mystery, and horror.
She lives in a historic English-style cottage with a tangled and fae back garden, in the wild greenscapes of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time she follows Styx around the country and travels the world, which inspires her writing.