What if I told you a secret? What if I told you a secret that would change your world forever? Not for good or for bad, just changing it irrevocably. It's ok if you don't want to know this secret. Honestly, it's probably safer. For you and for everyone you love. They won't like me telling people about this but I'm too tired to care. But for those who do want to know, for those that can't keep well enough alone? Keep reading.
To know this secret first you need to look out the corner of your eye. What do you see? Nothing, right? Just the furniture, or the person sitting next to you on the bus. Now look again and look closer, look further. Shadows, right? Darkness, nothing, whatever other words you want to use, but it's all perfectly normal, perfectly plain. Until you look for a little bit longer and those shadows start to move. Go ahead, give it a try. Those things moving in the corner of your eye? Those aren't shadows.
It's the Fog that They use to make sure we can't see them unless they want to be seen. Now, you don't want to look too long because then They might notice you staring and start to stare back. I know that they are beautiful and grotesque and everything in between, but you can't stare. It is so extremely dangerous for you and everyone you know, that I want you to swear to yourself and whatever you find holy that you won't stare. Whatever you do, do not stare at Them, no matter what you see.
You're probably wondering what They are, well that is an infinitely simple and infinitely complex answer. The complex answer is that no one is quite sure what the hell They are or where They came from or what They want other than to make your life miserable, so try to avoid catching Their attention if you can. The simple answer still isn't all that simple, they've gone by thousands of names over the centuries; The Little Folk, The Folk, The Fae, The Sidhe, Elves, whatever other names humans have come up with to make themselves feel better about knowing the bogeyman is real. I call them, well, the Them. It's safer, more nondescript because guess what? They learned the other names, They learned to listen for those names, and those that spoke them, and speaking of names, do not ever let them know your name, it will only lead to bad things. Trust me. I know.
Just knowing all of this probably won't kill you, but just to raise your odds that much more in case you do catch their attention or give them your name. Rule number one, carry iron on you at all times, They hate the stuff and in case of emergencies, you can use it as a weapon. Rule number two, if you can find it string rowan berries together and keep them on you at all times. This will ensure that They can't magic you into eating dirt or taking a long walk off a short pier. Rule number three, and the love of all things good please don't break this rule, do not eat anything They give you. Their food will either kill you outright, poison you so want to be dead, or worst of all put you under Their control until they don't want you anymore. Which is somehow so much worse than being a slave to a thousand-year-old monster.
God, I hope this is enough to keep at least one of you safe. Congratulations on either being brave enough or more likely stupid enough, to keep reading. They're coming for me soon, I can feel it, but I'm tired of running, of fighting. I just hope this can help someone else and may you never meet one of Them.