Ina

Ina has an anxious stomach and a huge chip on her shoulder: a beautiful, talented older sister.  There’s no point in trying anything when there’s somebody around who will always do it better.  Ina wears a painful new testament to that fact; a perm that fell far short of competing with Jienny’s gorgeous locks.

But it was evident that this family vacation in Ireland was going to be horrible even before the bad hair-do.  Ina has just graduated from high school and has one last summer of freedom before the pressure to pick a path will kick in.  Spending it here with her family was not her idea of a holiday.  But it gets much worse when her sister runs off in the middle of a forest park and authorities cannot find her.  The fleeting bliss of being the “good child” is soon overwhelmed by a sense of guilt.  After all, Ina didn’t try too hard to keep up when she ran, and turned around as soon as a peculiar meeting gave her pause.  But when no one else can find the odd man she met that day, Ina must step out on her own and take the chance that she alone might be able to find her sister.

 

Laisrén
(Pronounced “lesh-RAWN”)

Laisrén, idiosyncratic loner and apparent lepidopterist, seems to be the only person who has any confident explanation for Jienny’s disappearance.  Ina’s ability to attract the butterflies he’s collecting catches his interest, and he contracts her into doing all his heavy lifting.  He claims it is in exchange for protecting her in ways that Ina cannot understand, since his tales of fae appear more fanatic than plausible, pointy ears notwithstanding. His flirtatious nature is discomfiting and puzzling to her, because she cannot imagine why anyone would pay her such attention, unless it is simply to make fun of her.  Though free with his words, he stays away from anything personal about himself, including his true name or why he really wants to help her.

 

Jienny

Though blessed with great skin and naturally curly hair, Jienny is only marginally better adjusted to adulthood. Her desire to please has developed into a studied charm, and she endeavors to say the right thing in every situation.  She is outwardly positive, patient, and in no rush to take offense, which is a good buffer for a younger sister with an acid tongue and persistent bad mood.  It also allowed her to excel in school and in employment.  In the two years since graduation, Jienny has already found success in a few possible paths, nabbing coveted slots in courses and internships.  She does so well that nobody seems to notice she still lives at home and has yet to settle on a career.

Having never been overseas before, Jienny embraces their family trip to Ireland as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Enchanted by the lush farmland, picturesque towns and places far more ancient than back home, Jienny is not about to let Ina’s baffling negativity poison their journey.  But out of nowhere, one wrong step changes her life completely.