I first met a Sidhe when I was 20. Leanne O’Brian was Irish and believed very much she was an actual descendant of a Leanan Sidhe (pronounced lan-awn she). She was beyond gothic-punk and World of Darkness games. She was real and beautiful and captivating.
Leanne fascinated me with her Sidhe tales. I knew little about the Leanan Sidhe, so I researched her in books and online. The Irish name Leanan Sidhe translates to “fairy, love of my soul,” which described Leanne perfectly. I loved her and wanted her to love me back.
Irish folklore says Leanan Sidhe women are female empaths. Surely, Leanne felt my love for her. It also says the Sidhe are high status members of the fairy world because they look almost human. Beautiful, sexy women would be a better description.
On the religious platform, all fairies are fallen angels of heaven and cursed by God, which is likely why my mother scoffed when I told her about Leanne being a real fairy. Or it may have been because she doesn’t believe in fairies. All the same, her biological sister warned me to be careful. The Leanan Sidhe presents a vague “missing link” between Changelings (who secretly exchange their hideous offspring for human babies) and Vampires.
I knew this from researching the Leanan Sidhe. While technically “faeries,” or “fae” for short, Leanan Sidhe are, at the same time, vampiric. They are afflicted with the desire, and indeed the necessity to consume the life of mortals. The Leanan Sidhe who tries to quit cold turkey, usually wastes away and is never seen or heard of again.
I didn’t want Leanne to quit being what she was. I even encouraged her to consume me. I knew gourmandism of the body from studying the great painter Salvador Dali and hoped to fuel Leanne’s gluttony. But she ate little and never a bite from me. And for a vampire, she never once partook of my blood offerings. I may have weirded her out by being so bold. She became scarce and left me feeling empty.
I became adept in art, music, and poetry during her absence. No one accused me of being under her curse, but I wondered. After all, I had read the tales about the Leanan Sidhe bestowing on her victims the ability to create great works of poetry, painting, and music. But her victims had been personal lovers of the Leanan Sidhe. Leanne and I had never shared a simple hug. Her victims willed their life forces to her irresistible seduction and were spent in brilliant but brief lives. Leanne was just an attraction I could barely get to notice me.
Now, 7 years later, she has returned looking ever more beautiful with her long and flowing, silky black hair, creamy elfin face and skin, and lithe and shapely body a runway model would kill to have. As soon as we met, my sanguinary desires returned, inflamed. I ran to her and she accepted me in her embrace. And for a moment, I felt her mouth on my neck and two sharp teeth grazing the skin.
But she did not bite me.
She left me in the rush of her entourage as they made their way to her next engagement.
Perhaps I am no one to satisfy a Leanan Sidhe’s need for mortal life.
But I think I am. And someday I will prove it.