Fairies : Mystica and Merlin
Chapter 25 : The Abandoned Fairy Child
It was the middle of the night. Mystica was sleeping on the tree branch above the lake. The branch had settled into a permanent home for her. It had begun to widen out a bit, so it was better to walk on, and sleep on. The limbs on the branch had branched up, and were slowly growing and wider too. As if the were turning into boards to make up walls. Limbs from other branches were also blending in, filling in the walls, and making a little roof.
She was sleeping peacefully in her place there in that tree, when she heard the sound of a large sheet of metal, being ripped in half, time and time again. She knew that it was Merlin. And she could tell by the sound of his voice that he was very much disturbed. The sound of Merlin woke her up. She put on her pale blue corset, and her three colored skirt. Then she looked out between the leaves of the branches, to see what was happening.
She couldn’t see Merlin in the clearing. Or above the lake. So she left her place on the tree limb, and floated out above the lake. That was when Whisper flew up to her, and landed on her shoulder, and whispered in her ear, “Merlin’s on his way here.”
Mythica hadn’t seen Merlin since she had returned to the lake, after that long trip to the kingdom, and Eyela, in the Southern Plains. She had never been worried about him. After all. He was over 10,000 years old. And still the most dangerous of all the dragons that there were. And he was her friend. But, to hear the way he’d sounded, she knew that something was wrong. Something was very wrong indeed.
Merlin just appeared in the clearing. The way he always had. Stepping out of the shadows of the trees, and the night time sky when he was almost ready to land on the ground, right next to Mystica. When he did, he looked into the lake for a little while. Then he spoke, in a soft voice, “Come. You should see this.” And then he took off.
Mystica had to use her magic to keep up with him. They flew through the trees, to the very edge of the mountains. Merlin lead her up to a small clearing in the brush, at the foot of a mountain. It was rocky terrain. Not the place that anyone would really want to be.
That’s when Mystica saw what Merlin wanted her to see. The body of a very young fairy child. Only a few years old. Two or maybe three. Mystica didn’t need to be told what had happened to the child. The bruises and abrasions on it’s limbs, and head told that the child had died horribly, and in great pain. The look on the child’s face was forever frozen in plain fear.
Merlin spoke, “They brought her here, to the foothills of the mountains. And they abandoned her. Left her to die. I’ve seen this happen many times in the last one hundred years.”
Mystica landed on the ground, and walked up to the body of the child. It was a little girl. With such pretty wings. Very translucent, with a yellow tint to them. The bones within her wings were very fine, not yet fully formed. They were delicate lines of off white, that Mystica could easily see within the wings.
She called the white magic, using it to heal the abrasions, and removed the bruises. To reconstruct the bones within the girl that had been broken. The child that was revealed had starved to death. Nothing but skin and bones.
Mystica’s heart ached within her chest. And her soul cried out in pain. With tears falling from her eyes, she turned to face Merlin, and she asked one single word, “Why?”
“Wild magic.” That was all that Merlin said. But that was all he needed to say. Mystica knew, and understood, why the child had been abandoned, and left to die. She’d had the gift of wild magic. Something the fairies no longer understood. Something the humans couldn’t deal with at all.
Wild magic was unpredictable. It was different in every fairy child that it appeared in. And the villages, and towns, had learned, more than a thousand years ago, that if they didn’t deal with such a gifted child, that child’s wild magic would hurt them.
“Do you know what her gift was?”
Merlin shook his head, “No. I wasn’t looking for her. I didn’t know that she was here. I just found her tonight, as I was flying by. I hear her crying. And that drew me here, to her. I got here, just before she died. There was nothing I could do for her. Nothing at all.” Merlin shook his head. “Black magic cannot heal.”
Mystica knelt beside the body of the little fairy girl. Then she picked her up. And hugged her. For a while. Until the sun came up. Then she gently placed the child’s body upon the ground. And called the the white magic once again. “Return the body to the world.” The rocks upon the ground moved. Forming a pile upon the ground. The pile was flat on top. The body of the child floated across the ground, and then up into the air, to land upon the rocks. Once the body was in place, the rocks began to heat. Heating up so that they held more heat than any fire.
Mystica and Merlin watched as the body of the child was burned. Her ashes returning to the world that had granted them to her. “I hope to meet you someday, child. When it is my turn to pass beyond the veil of this life we lead.”
Merlin looked up to the sky, and wailed. His voice making the sound of sheets of metal being torn apart. Musica couldn’t help but hear the sorrow in his voice.
They stood there for a little while. In total silence. The only sound that could be heard was the sound of the breeze, as it rustled the grass upon the ground. Finally, Merlin spoke, asking Mystica, “What do you wish to do now?”
“You’ve seen this happen before? You’ve found the bodies of how many children that were abandoned, and left to die?”
Merlin bowed his head, looking at the ground. “More than 100.”
Mystica’s soul cried out, and her heart ached so much, that she gasped in pain. “Merlin! We can’t let this keep going on. This has to end. It has to. It’s not right. It’s wrong. It’s just so very wrong to abandon a child to face death all alone. That a child should starve to death, and go through such pain. There’s got to be a way to stop this awful thing from happening again.”
Merlin looked into Mystica’s eyes. She couldn’t help but see the dragon flames reflected in his eyes. “I told you once, dear one. Your heart will guide you. It knows what you should do. And it has never lied to you.”
With those words, the two of them returned to the lake. Returned to their home. Where they sat by the lake for several hours. As they sat, the animals of the forest came out, and gathered around them. Watching them. Treating them as if they belonged there, at the lake. As if they knew that so long as Merlin and Mystica were at the lake, they would be safe and protected from everything within the forest that would do harm to them.
Eventually, Whisper had seen all he had to see. He flew down from a tree beside the clearing. And he landed on the shoulder of Mystica. When he spoke, he didn’t whisper. He said out loud, “Listen to your heart, dear Mystica. Listen to your heart.”
It was Mystica that spoke next, as she scratched Whisper’s neck, “And I know what my heart tells me that I should do.”
She stood up, and then scratched Merlin behind his dragon ears. “I have to start searching for young fairy children that were granted wild magic at their birth.” Then she smiled. Whisper had spoken the truth. Her heart truly knew what she should do. “One at a time, I have to find them. And I have to help them. Teach them what to do. Who they are.” The animals, Whisper and Merlin all began to smile. Because they understood what it was that she was about to say.
“We’ll find them. And we’ll bring them here. Where we’ll take care of them. Where we’ll teach them. Where they’ll learn to use their wild magic.”
Merlin grinned. The dream he’d had centuries ago was now coming true. Mystica was the white mage he had dreamed of. The one that would bring the wild magic to the world again. That would bring fairies to the Northern Forest once again. At long last, his own heart would feel some peace, because the evil he had brought into the world would at last be undone.
Mystica looked at all the animals. She smiled as she did. She was very excited. The journey she was about to take the first step on, though it frightened her, was the very journey that she knew she was meant to take. That she was now on the path that she was supposed to walk.
“We’ll start a fairy family of our own. Here. In the Northern Forest.”
And so, the next step of her journey had begun.