Fairies : Mystica and Merlin
Chapter 28 : The Campfire
Scream was enjoying the campfire very much. He loved the way that Mystica could make it burn for hours on end, and not run out of wood. It’s not something that was supposed to happen, but with the White Mage, it sure could. She’d explained it to him once. That all she really did was turn it down a few notches, so it didn’t burn as rapidly as it could. But she let it burn just enough to generate sufficient heat so that everyone felt nice and cozy around it.
All Merlin had done when she’d explained that to Scream was just laugh. “You still have much to learn, young dragon. Very much indeed.”
He loved to hear the story of how Mystica met Merlin, and how they became friends, and decided to start their family of misfit fairies together. He wasn’t sure they’d planned on having a half fairy, half angle among them. But, even Scream had to admit. If anyone among them was a true misfit, Miss Hooters certainly was. And cute as a button too… Ah… Sometimes, Scream thought, it might be fun to be human for a few days…
He knew all about the fairies around the fire. He’d been there to see each one of them as Mystica and Merlin had rescued them from what would have been almost certain death. Each of them had been abandoned by their people. That still made Scream want to destroy everything. But, he was older now. And wiser than he’d been a few centuries before, when this had all began.
He sometimes wished that Oceana would visit them more frequently than she did. But it was a long way from the ocean of the west to the little lake where they all lived. If you ever visited that lake, or found it as you were just passing by, you’d never know that anyone lived there. Every house was a natural thing. Where the trees had grown places to live for each of the fairies of the family.
And that’s what they had become. A family. That was the only way that Scream could describe it. Especially when it came to the fairy, Sunshine. Hers was, perhaps, the greatest wild magic of them all. For however she felt, that’s what the local weather did. If Sunshine cried, it rained. Is she smiled, the sun shined. If she was angry, well… Let’s just say that the wind can be very strong indeed for something that you just can’t see. He like it most of off when Sunshine was happy. Because that’s when the breezes flirted with him. He could feel different breezes everywhere. Little eddies in the air. Currents that tickled his ribs. Or that blew right under him, between his legs.
He loved to fly in those breezes. The breezes weren’t strong enough to even blow around a bird, but if you depended on the breezes to keep you heading in a specific direction, when Sunshine was happy, it would drive you mad. ‘Cause the breezes blew in ever direction known to man. And to a dragon too.
He’d had such fun watching the other fairies as they had to learn to change the way the flew when Sunshine was around. More than one of them had gone swimming in the lake getting used to the way the air moved. Miss Hooters had actually made a game of it. Closing her eyes, and letting the breeze guide her. Sometimes it was headfirst into the water. Sometimes, it was beautiful, as it ran parallel to the lake. Just an inch or two above it. And Miss Hooter’s fingers and toes had left trails across the lakes surface.
Dream was, like Sunshine, exceedingly gifted with wild magic. While her magic wasn’t as strong, or as powerful as Sunshine’s was, in many ways, she was perhaps the most dangerous fairy Scream had ever known. Perhaps the most dangerous being Scream had ever known. For Dream had the gift of dreams. And it was when she had nightmares that things could get really bad. More than a few people had died when Dream was asleep.
Mystica didn’t have to watch her every night any more. But there was a time, when Dream had first arrived, when Mystica and Merlin had used their magic every night to keep themselves, and everyone else safe from the dreams that Dream would have.
Let’s face it. A nightmare of being hacked to bits by swords, or being eaten by a dragon, or attacked by wolves. Those were potent things to have all on their own. But when Dream had such dreams as those, the people around her had them too. And those dreams sometimes became real. That’s why the village she’d lived in had abandoned her. They’d woken up one day to see Dreams birth parents bloodied, and chewed up, and very much dead indeed. Dream had had an awful nightmare on that night. Of fleeing from the wolves. And failing to get away. And that dream, and the wild magic that was hers, had cost her the lives of her parents.
It was quiet a bunch of fairies that Mystica and Merlin had formed. The way the animals of the forest loved to play with Fauna. Oh, he’d never seen anyone play with wolves, and bears, and foxes before. Of play flying games with eagles and with hawks. But Fauna could. And did. That was her wild magic gift. The ability to talk, and live, and play with all the animals, of every single kind. She could ask them to do things, and they always would. But she’d learned long ago to never ask them to do anything, except to play. Scream had to admit it was great fun to see a rabbit and a fox play hide and seek.
And everywhere you looked, you could see the work of Flora. Hidden in the trees, and in the underbrush. She had this way with plants of every single kind. They all just seemed to know what she wished for them to do. If she wanted flowers to grow by the side of the lake, they would. And somehow, the wouldn’t drown from all the water they received. Plants just did what she asked them too. And like her sister Fauna, Flora never asked for anything. Except for their help in keeping their home safe without hurting anyone.
Of course, Screams favorite fairy was his best friend, Musica. She was the one that had saved him. He knew that much for certain. It was a funny thing, he thought, how Eyela, at her birth, had saved Merlin, and 10,000 years later, a little fairy child name Musica had saved him. He’d destroyed her village. He had. For what they were about to do to her. For their plans to abandon her in the mountains. Where she would have died. And where Scream would not have been able to help her. He’d known, of course, that Mystica and Merlin would have found her. And given her a home. But he was so angry at the time. It just wasn’t right to do such a violent thing to a little fairy child. Just because she’d had the gift of wild magic.
He’d destroyed more than a few towns and villages because of that. Because of the way that people in the forest, the mountains, the Grey Hills, and the Southern Plains treated fairies with the gift of wild magic.
He tried to force them to change.
But when he’d destroyed Musica’s village, he’d left her alive. And taken her to the kingdom of Eyela herself. And then he’d changed. He knew it was in part because of Musica’s wild magic gift. She had the gift of music. Not just any music. But the music of the heart and soul. That wild magic music had touched Scream. And slowly made him whole.
Yes. Scream loved his fairy family. He loved each one of them. And he knew, as he laid there on the ground, right next to that fire, that he was exactly where he belonged.
Leave it to Sunshine, of course, to put it best. For when Mystica’s telling of the story was all done, Sunshine got up to her feet, and walked over to Mystica. Then she hugged her. Just like a daughter hugs the mother that she loves so very much. “Thank you, Momma. for telling us the story once again.”
They all stayed there, around the campfire. Where they spent the night. Right there by the lake. They told stories. They sang some. And several hours before the coming of the sun, they fell asleep. Even Scream.
But Mystica and Merlin stayed awake. They went to the lake, and they had themselves a drink. Then the two of them floated across the lake, to the trees that were the home of Mystica. Where they spent the hours before the dawn sitting on a branch that overhung the lake. Mystica enjoyed every minute of letting her toes hang down to touch the water. Feeling the water flow through them, as she swung her legs. Merlin laid down on the branch. His head in Mystica’s lap. And he looked at her, and spoke, “And so it dig begin. The story of Mystica, the fairy White Mage. And Merlin, the Black Mage Dragon. And what a tale it’s been.”
They sat there on the branch, and watched, as the sun came up. And the colors of the world returned to life again.