Fairies : Mystica and Merlin
Chapter 6 – Eighteen
Mystica was 18 years old. Very young for a fairy. Even younger to be a fairy of such power. She was the castle healer. Mystica was known throughout the kingdom as a fairy that could help the sick, the injured, and the broken, when no one else could. Mystica could mend broken bones, and broken bodies such that people would fully recovery from their injuries, instead of being maimed for life. So that people could walk again, when everyone knew they would not be able to.
It was an amazing thing for a fairy so very young to yield that kind of power. No one could remember such a fairy. Even in legends. Mystica’s gift of healing was special indeed. Ivy was so very proud of her daughter. As was Eyela. Yet, both of them were concerned for her. As they should be. For they had seen much older, much more experienced, and much wiser fairies that had been broken by the responsibilities of their positions. And those fairies had never recovered.
Eyela was especially concerned.. For she knew that Mystica believed she could heal anyone. That she could always find a way to heal someone that needed healing. The sick, the injured, could depend on her. She would never let any of them down. Eyela was very much concerned that Mystica’s own sense of self, her self confidence, and her pride in her abilities, would be her fall. That sooner or later, she would fail. And someone would die. That when that someone died, Mystica would be forever changed. And sooner, or later, someone would die. For Eyela knew it was not possible to cure everyone from everything. That some wounds simply can’t be healed. That some wounds change things in life forever.
It was a beautiful spring day. The sky was crystal blue, looking almost like a big dome up in the sky. If you looked straight up, the sky was such a strong crystal blue that you would just have to stop and stare for a time. As you looked lower, toward the horizon, they blue faded away, becoming a pale, almost white blue. Big fluffy cotton candy white clouds hung here and there in that sky. As if they had been painted on the dome that the sky looked like. And the sun that shined through that sky brought the entire sky to life. Made it all look real. And so far beyond what any artist could ever capture on a canvas. It was stunning.
Ivy had gone out, as she did every morning, to shop in the marketplace. To purchase fresh milk and cheese, and fruit for the day. She shopped for these things every day. The people of the marketplace had grown very fond of her. They talked with her. They helped her pick the freshest fruit. The best cheese and milk. Ivy clearly enjoyed their company.
It was on her morning shopping walk that things were forever changed. For Ivy began to feel very week. And very flushed, and hot. She started to sweat, as she spoke with her friend Walter about dairy products. Walter noticed. “Are you feeling well today, Miss Ivy? For you do not look well at all.” At which point, Ivy fainted right away, and collapsed into a heap on the ground.
It was as if the entire marketplace just stopped. The vendors, their customers, and the people just walking from shop to shop, and stand to stand, all stopped what they were doing, and gathered around, forming a protective circle around Ivy. The dairy vendor that she’d been talking with had immediately sat down on the ground, and rested Ivy’s head upon his lap. Another vendor had brought water for Ivy to drink. A third, any pillows she might need to rest on. Several vendors had found castle guards, and told them what had happened. Several of the marketplace’s customers had raced to the castle gates, to tell the castle what had happened.
In no time at all, Eyela and Mystica both had reached the scene, to see Ivy being cared for by the people of the market place, as she laid there, on the ground, still being unconscious, and unmoving. Her breath was ragged, and shallow. And she was shivering, as if she were cold, though she was sweating profusely. Mystica checked on her mother, and found her pulse was racing, and her temperature was high, as if there was a fire burning deep inside of her. She looked up at Eyela, and declared, “We must get her to the castle, quickly. Something’s very wrong.”
Eyela used her fairy magic to gently float Ivy up off of the ground, and then guide her floating body through the marketplace, and the streets and walkways through the kingdom, back to the castle. They did not stop until Ivy was gently placed back into her bed.
It was then that Mystica acted. Mystica had made a staff. Of the hardwood of an ash tree. That staff was almost as tall as she was. At its top, there was a crystal ball. A large one at that. With many facets on it. Eyela had learned that this staff, and its crystal allowed Mystica to focus her white magic, so she could control it even better.
Eyela had already used her fairy magic to keep Ivy alive. There was nothing she could to to heal her. All Eyela could do was push the inevitable back. And doing so would cause Ivy great pain.
If Ivy was to be helped, Mystica was the only one that could help her.
When Mystica came into the room, with her staff, you could already see the white magic glowing brilliantly from the staff’s crystal ball. Mystica walked right up to the bed her mother was on. Then she spoke, quietly, “Everyone must leave.” Eyela had placed a hand on Mystica’s shoulder, “If you need anyone, or anything…” Then she had turned, and ordered everyone from the room, making sure she was the last one that left. Eyela closed the door behind her.
And so it was that the first real challenge to Mystica’s healing powers began.,
That afternoon, Stephan came in from his review of what had happened. He felt it was imperative that Eyela knew what had happened that morning, whle Ivy was in the marketplace. For what he’d learned would change many things. What he’d learned would lead to great violence.
“Stephan, it is good to see you. I assume you are here to inform me of the events that took place in the marketplace this morning?”
“Yes, Eyela. I am.” Eyela had sat down in the throne. The chair that only the most powerful of the princesses of the fairies could sit in. As she did, she noticed the look on Stephan’s face. The concern in his eyes. The fear that said that this was just the beginning of something that would last for a very long time.
“Eyela. This morning, a small group of farmers from the village of Swollow-Tail, on the northern edge of the kingdom, at the foot of the Grey Hills, entered the kingdom through the main gate, with the intent of selling their goods in the marketplace. The gate guards examined their papers, and their goods. They had three small wagons, each pulled by two horses. The wagons were reported as containing cheese, milk, and fruit. The guards reported that there were no observable weapons among them. So they allowed them in.”
Stephan gave Eyela a look that said the guards would be receiving refresher training on how to look for weapons. And that they would never forget what they learned.
“When they got to the marketplace, they set up the wagons as stands, and started selling their goods directly from the wagons. A totally normal action. We have interviewed everyone that was in the marketplace, and identified the people that purchased goods from the Swallow-Tail merchants. Those goods are legitimate. There are no signs of any poisons or drugs of any kind in the goods. Indeed, the cheese was reported as being quite tasty.”
Eyela sighed. “So we have reached a dead end?”
“No, we have not. We know that the merchants pulled both swords and crossbows from their wagons. And that when they had done so, they attacked everyone they encountered in the marketplace. Further, it appears that they waited until Ivy arrived at the marketplace before they commenced their attack.” Stephan looked very grim indeed. “A thorough search of the wagons, and goods left behind has revealed that the swords and bows were hidden inside the cheese wheels. Several cheese wheels were found to have separated into a top and bottom half, and were hollow on the inside.”
Then Stephan stopped. He looked directly at Eyela. “Eyela. Inside of one of the wheels was a scroll. Written in what appears to be blood. That scroll has words that are most disturbing in it.” Stephan reached into his pocket, and withdrew that scroll. He then handed it to Eyela. Eyela used her fairy magic to open it, and read it. So she would not touch it, in case it contained a targeted poison, or a witch had cast a spell on it such that it would target her. Once the scroll was open, and hanging in the air before her, Eyela read the words that had indeed been written in blood.
The mother dies.
And then the witch.
Order will be restored
To the kingdom.
Eyela’s heart went cold. She could feel the fire burning in her eyes, its flames running wild in her blood. The former captain of the guard had returned, it seemed. It seemed he was not alone. That he had followers, and supporters. And was preparing for a war with Eyela. It also seemed that the captain was targeting Ivy and Mystica, seeking so sort of insane revenge against them. As if he blamed them for what happened to him. For his own insolence. His own arrogance.
“Eyela,” Stephan spoke, “Our former captain has returned.”
Eyela stood. And walked to one of the windows that was located to the side of, and behind the throne. She looked out of that window, at the kingdom. At the setting sun. “I take it that you have already sent troops to the village of Swallow-Tail?”
“Yes. They will be there tonight. And by tomorrow night, we will hear from them. They will send a messenger back with a full report of what they find.”
Eyela spoke. “Stephan. Please keep me informed. I fear that this is only just beginning.”
“As you wish.” Then Stephan paused, and spoke again after a few moments. “How is the lady Ivy?”
Eyela shook her head. Then looked at the ground. It was as if she knew what was going to happen. “I am afraid that not even Mystica can help her.” Eyela looked into the eyes of Stephan. “I’m afraid that the captain’s first move has been a successful one.”
Mystica stayed in the room with Ivy. For 6 solid days. She did not eat. She did not sleep. The entire kingdom could feel the power of the white magic that Mystica yielded on those days. In the dark hours before the dawn, it was as if the castle glowed of white.
Mystica had started trying to heal her mother the instant Eyela had closed the door. She’d started by healing all the wounds. Sealing the vanes and blood vessels, to stop the flow of blood. Undoing the damage done to Ivy’s internal organs. Sealing the openings to her wounds that were visible on her skin.
That had been the easy part. That had taken the first day. Once that was done, Mystica had to prevent her mother’s soul from leaving her body. It was as if her mother had known she was fatally injured. As if the universe, and life, had known she would not survive. Her heartbeat was already so week. And already failing. Her breathing was so shallow, and getting more shallow all the time. And Ivy would not wake. Would not stir.
Mystica tried everything she knew. And then she tried new things. The white magic power flowed through the entire room. Washing over her and her mother both. She tried for days. Pushing herself beyond all of her limits. She’d never tried so hard to do anything. She tried singing to her mother. She tried asking the universe for help. She cried tears. She screamed. She fought. She kept going. Day after day. Night after night.
Until the evening of the 6th day. When the white magic itself acted. When the white magic went beyond her control. When the white magic said, “Even you cannot prevent death. Even you cannot create life. Precious child. She’s gone.”
And with that, the magic faded. And Ivy’s heartbeat simply stopped.
Ivy was gone. She’d passed beyond the veil of life.
Tears of pain fell from Mystica’s eyes. She’d failed. Her mother was gone. Lost to her forever. Murdered by someone. A stranger. In an event that no one could have seen coming. That no one could have stopped. Wounded to the point where not even Mystica and all her magic, all her power, all her love for her mother, could save her.
Mystica cried. As she sagged to the ground. She cried, her head resting on her hands. She cried when Eyela walked into the room, and held her. She cried when Eyela helped her to her feet. She cried as Eyela walked her to her room. She cried while Eyela worked her own fairy magic, providing the nutrition, and fluid that Mystica had not had for 6 days. That Mystica’s body desperately needed.
Then Mystica cried, as Eyela placed her on her bed. And covered her with a blanket. And kissed her cheek goodnight. And then watched over her. Staying right there. By her side. Until Mystica had cried herself to sleep. A sleep of sheer exhaustion. A sleep filled with dreams of her mother. Her mother that was now lost to her. That she would never see again.
And as Mystica cried in her dreams that night, the white magic reached across the entire kingdom. So that the stable hands, the guards, the soldiers, the merchants, the nobles, the healers, and even the children all knew that Ivy had died. That Ivy had gone beyond the veil. That Mystica was now alone.
There was no moon in the sky that night. And black clouds filled the sky, blotting out all the stars. That night, a cold, bitter, lonely rain fell on the kingdom. For the white magic knew.
Mystica was now alone.