Chapter 11 – Listen To Your Heart
That evening, after Whisper had told his story to her, Mystica left her tree house. She flew to the ground. And then walked to the edge of the lake. She stood there for a time. Until the sun had set. And the world was encased in the darkness of the night.
After a time spent just listening to the leaves of the trees, the songs of the birds, and the sound of the water of the lake, she finally spoke. “Mother…” was all she said. Then she sank to her knees. And cried. She cried the tears of pain that she had never shed over the loss of her mother, Ivy. She cried for a long time. Unable to regain her feet. Unable to think. Unable to move. She knelt there, on the ground, next to the lake. And cried.
Then she finally spoke once more. “Mother…” And when she did, a white light glowed on he surface of the lake, right in front of her. That light danced, and flickered, and twirled, and then, it grew bright in places, and dim in others. It keep moving. Until it had painted a picture on the mirror like surface of the lake. A picture of Mystica’s mother, Ivy.
Mystica reached out her hand, to the image on the water, almost touching it. “Mother…”
The image of Ivy floated there, on the surface of the lake. Not moving. Not changing. As if the lake was a canvas, and the light was paint. Ivy’s image was flawlessly rendered, on the surface of the lake. Mystica could see the little curl at the left edge of her mother’s smile. And the dimple next to that. She could see the little wrinkles next to her mother’s eyes. Wrinkles that told her how very happy Ivy was. She could see her mother’s nose. How perfectly it fit her face. The grace of the curves on each side of her nose, where it blended in between her eyebrows. She could see Ivy’s ears. The little flip up that each one had, right there at it’s tip. The way her ears parted her hair. Just a single wave of hair in front of each ear. Hair that draped down, toward her shoulders, where it blended in once more with the rest of her hair. As if her hair was water, flowing gracefully around the obstacles that her ears represented.
Mystica could see the gentle curve of Ivy’s eyebrows. Simple arches, drawing thin, white lines from each side of her nose, above her eyes, until the lines simply faded out, as they approached the sides of her face. And she saw her mother’s pure, white hair. No other fairy she had ever seen had hair of pure white.
Mystica stared at the image of her mother’s face on the surface of the lake. She stared until her knees ached, and her ankles burned, from where she was kneeling.
“I miss you…”
And then she cried more tears. Until her tears had made a path, from her eyes, down her face, to the ground. Where they ran the short distance from her knees, to the water of the lake. When her tears reached the lake, a soft white glow formed, and began to move toward the center of the lake. As it moved, it grew. As it grew, it started to take on a shape. Mystica watched, tears still falling from her eyes.
The white light gained strength, becoming a strong, soft light. Almost like the light you feel in your heart, when you see the child that you love so very much. The light continued to shape itself. Until it became an image of Ivy. Standing in the middle of the lake.
“Dear child,” the image spoke, “Why do you cry?”
“I miss you, mother. I miss you…”
Ivy walked across the surface of the lake. As she did, she sang a baby lullaby. The one that had been Mystica’s favorite.
Close your eyes
Dear fairy child
And find the sleep you need
Upon this night.
Don’t be afraid
My fairy child
To close your pretty eyes
For I will be
Here beside you.
To love you
And care for you.
Through all of time.
The love I feel for you
Is just that strong.
That even if I ever cross
Beyond the veil of life.
I’ll always walk beside you,
My fairy child.
For love like this
And is never gone.
So close your eyes
My fairy child
And find the sleep you need
Upon this night.
And always know
That I’ll be there beside you
Even in the dreams you have
When you sleep at night.
Mystica stood up, and wrapped her arms around the image of her mother. Tears flowed freely from her eyes. Ivy’s image embraced her daughter. Gently stroking her hair. “Why do you cry tears for me, dear Mystica?”
“I miss you, mother. I’m all alone. And I miss you.”
Ivy’s image smiled. A smile that reached the very heart of her child. A smile that only Mystica had ever seen. “I know, my child. I know.” She kissed her daughter’s head. “But as you can plainly tell, I am not gone. I have not forgotten you. I live beyond the veil of life. But I still live. And I watch you, and walk with you, in your dreams each night.”
Mystica felt the strength of the white magic in her heart. She knew that the words the image spoke were true. That her mother, Ivy, was still watching over her, from beyond the veil. That her mother always would. She knew too that the white magic would, from time to time, grant her wish to see her mother once again. As it had that night.
“I’m so lost. So afraid. So alone. I don’t know at all what I to do. What I should do.”
Ivy smiled, and gently brushed the hair from Mystica’s eyes. Then she gently dried the tears that Mystica cried. “Oh, but Mystica. You do know. You know exactly what to do. You know that all you have to do to find your way through this life is to simply stop, and listen. Listen to the words you heart would speak with you.”
She gently lifted her daughter’s chin, so that she could look into her eyes. “Your heart will never lie to you.”
Mystica kissed her mother on her cheek. And held her closely for a time. Ivy held her daughter, and never once let go, until Mystica let go of her. When the embrace came to it’s end, Ivy walked back to the center of the lake. Where she turned to face her child again. “Your heart will never lie to you.”
The light began to fade. Until it was gone. Taking Ivy with it. As the darkness of the night began to fade into the light of day, with the coming of the dawn.
Mystica stood there, by the lake, hearing the words that Ivy had spoken in the darkness of the night. “Your heart will never lie to you.”
She took a deep breath. And slowly let it out. “Tell me, heart of mine. What is it I should do?” Mystica then sat down on the ground, with her legs stretched out, and her feet resting in the water at the edge of the lake. It felt so very good, the way the water caressed her feet and ankles, and slowly flowed between her toes.
Whisper the owl came from out of the trees, landing on her shoulder, and whispering in her ear, “Look! Across the lake!” So, Mystica did. And was stunned by what she saw. Standing there, at the treeline, was a dragon. With black wings. And silver claws, and teeth. The dragon’s eyes were black as night. It moved silently. Mystica watched as the dragon detached itself from the shadows, and silently took to the sky. Flying just above the surface of the lake.
The dragon was powerful. No doubt about that. The way it easily flicked its wings to stay aloft. The ease with which it sped across the lake. The grace with which it moved. As it flew across the lake, it spoke a single word, that sounded very much like a metal plate being torn in half. Then, it was across the lake, flying straight at the tree line that was just beyond the clearing. When it reached the shadows of the trees, it just disappeared. As if it had never existed.
“Merlin,” whispered Whisper.
Mystica slowly stood up.
“What are you going to do now?” Whisper asked of her.
Mystica laughed. A happy laugh. A laugh that said everything was going to be OK. That she was able to let her mother go now. And get on with her life. She scratched behind the owl’s ears. “I’m going to do what my heart tells me to.” Then she laughed again. Stripped off all her clothes. And went for an early morning swim in the lake.
Whisper watched her from the shore. It was good to see her finally coming back to life. She’d needed to grieve for her mother for a long time now. Her grief, locked away inside of her, was hurting her, and holding her back. Now that she’d let that grief out, Whisper knew she would be OK. Whisper also knew that Merlin would soon stop watching over her, and protecting her. For Whisper knew it would soon be time for Mystica to learn to stand on her own.