Merlin had been most concerned when Mystica had declared she was heading to the foothills. That there was a fairy child there that needed her help. He’d asked her to wait until dark, and the two of them would find the child, and bring her back safely. But she had refused. She could not let the child suffer any more than she already had.
Whisper had urged her to use great caution on her journey. He made this comment, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” as Mystica had prepared to leave. And as she’d taken to the sky, she heard Merlin. His voice thundering through the air, sounding like it always had. A solid sheet of metal being torn in half. But this time, it seemed to come from everywhere. As if the air itself were being torn in half.
And now, Mystica was approaching the place where the child was. To honor Whisper’s and Merlin’s requests, she called upon the white magic to protect her. And to protect the child as well. For the last little bit, she flew under her own power. So as not to frighten the child.
She found the child at the bottom of a steep hill. The poor girl had pulled herself along for a little distance. Trying to move. But now, she was lying on the ground. Exhausted. And in pain. The little one had no tears left to cry. Mystica was afraid she would not last much longer. Quickly, Mystica used her flying skills to land on the ground, next to the little girl.
“It’s OK, little one. I’ve found you. I’m here now. I’ll help you. And I’ll take care of you.” She knelt beside the child. Barely two years old, and placed her hands on the child’s broken leg, calling forth the white magic. Using it to mend the broken bones. To heal the damaged muscles, and tissues. To put the child’s broken leg back together. As if it had never been broken. She kept going. Using the magic to heal the abrasions, cuts, and scraps on the little girl’s body. On her arms and legs.
When she was done, she hugged the little one so close. As a mother hugs her child. Mystica stood up, picking the child up with her. Letting the child rest her head on her shoulder. She reached to her waist belt, and pulled lose the flask of water that she carried. And she let the little girl have a drink. It was the first drink the child had had in several days. Mystica was very careful not to let her drink to much. Just a little bit at a time until she was better.
When she felt it was safe to move the child, she spread her wings.
She heard the sound. She knew instantly what it was. The sound of a bow firing an arrow. It was followed by several more thwips. The white magic protection around both her and the child flashed brilliant white as arrows collided with it. And were stopped dead in their tracks. And burned instantly to ash.
And more arrows came. And even more. Followed by a group of men with swords. The surged toward Mystica. Their swords held high. Ready to strike. The white magic protected her, and the child. But still the men kept trying. They kept swinging their swords. They kept firing their arrows.
Mystica did not want to use the white magic any more than she had to. She did not want to say that single word, “burn”. She did not want to hurt these people in any way. She did not want to cause them to become enemies to her. “Stop!” she cried. “Please! I don’t want to hurt anyone!” And still they struck. “I just want to help the child!”
It was then that the air split with the voice of a scream. A scream that brought absolute terror to all the men. They froze in their tracks. A scream that struck to the very heart and soul of whoever heard it. A scream that spoke one single thought. Destruction.
Mystica knew it was the voice of Scream. She realized then that Merlin’s call, as she’d left the lake toward the child, was an order to Scream. And when Merlin, the black magic dragon, ruler of all the dragons, as he had been for over 10,000 years, ordered a dragon to act, that dragon acted. Without question. Without doubt. Without hesitation.
Following the scream, that shook the ground, and the trees, and the rocks, was heard the sound of great, powerful wings, pushing the air around. In an instant, Scream was there. One wing draped over Mystica and the little fairy child. The other folded away on his back. The talons of his front legs sweeping through the men. Many of them died instantly. Shredded by the talons. Large chunks of them simply gone.
Scream screamed a second time. Looking toward the rocks and boulders, and the underbrush where the arrows had come from. As he screamed, blue-orange flames arched from his mouth and nose. Easily breaching the distance between Mystica and the men with bows and arrows. Setting fire to everything they touched. Even the rocks and boulders burned.
Mystica knew no one was left alive, save for her, and the little fairy child.
Scream turned to her, raising his protective wing. And then he spoke quite softly. In the tongue of dragons, yes, but still. So softly. In the way of a fairy, or a human. “I have done as Merlin asked.” Then he lowered himself until he was on the ground, his neck extended. “You have expended much tonight. I will carry you and the young one back to the lake.”
Mystica had climbed up on Scream’s dragon neck. Right behind his head, with it’s dragon horns, and dragon ears. She still carried the little girl. The little one was very scared indeed. “It’s OK, young one. It is. I promised I would take care of you. And I will.”
Scream then took flight. It was on the journey back to the lake that Mystica spoke with the child. “I’m the fairy Mystica. I have a small family of fairies that I take care of. We live in tree houses by a pretty lake. Would you like to live with us?”
The little child nodded her head, yes. And then she’d almost cried. “You’re Mystica? They call you White Witch. They want to kill you. I don’t know why. They told me I was evil. And had to die. And you were evil too.”
Mystica shook her head, “No. Child. No. We are neither of us evil.”
“But you have dragons as your friends! How can you not be evil?”
“In time, you will learn that dragons are not evil. They are a strong, proud people. With very honorable ways. They do not think it is appropriate for villages to throw away little fairy girls that life gives the gift of wild magic to.”
“Wild magic?” The little girls eyes were the size of saucers. “Wild magic?”
“Yes, little one. You have wild magic. That’s why they wanted to kill you. Because they can’t help you learn to control the magic that is yours. Because you can hurt people with your magic until you learn to control it, and use it, like the gift it really is.”
Scream landed in the clearing of the lake. The sun was rising. And the colors of the world were coming back to life. The fairy Dream was standing by the edge of the lake, holding hands with Musica. Rose was flying over the lake, letting her toes trace little lines on its surface as she flew.
Dream spoke first, “You’re back! I had a dream last night. I saw you, and Scream, and watched as you rescued the little one.”
“Sunshine’s sleeping in. She was really tired last night, you know,” Musica declared. Then she asked, “What is her name?” as she walked up to Scream, and reached up with her little fairy hands, and tried her best to scratch behind his ears.
“What do they call you?” Mystica asked the little girl.
“I haven’t got a name.”
The little girl looked very sad. As if she were going to cry again. Musica and Dream looked so sad too. And Rose had landed, next to them. “They never even named you?”
“I haven’t got a name.”
Mystica looked into the eyes of the little girl. And then she hugged her neck. “That will never do.” She smiled, as she hugged the little girl. “Is there anything you like? Something you are very fond of?”
The little girl nodded once again. “Yes! Yes! I like frogs!”
Mystica smiled, “Do you like other animals too?”
“Yes! I love to watch deers. And birdies! And rabbits!”
Mystica’s smile grew, and her eyes glowed with a happy light. “Then your name is Fauna, she who loves, and cares for the animals of the forest.”
“And I won’t call you White Witch, like everybody did. I’ll call you Mystica.”
And so it was that Fauna became the newest member of Mystica and Merlin’s fairy family. It would take time, but Mystica knew that in the weeks ahead, they would all learn what Fauna’s wild magic gift was.
Mystica also knew, as did Merlin, Scream, and Whisper, that it would not be long before the people of the villages turned against them, and their fairy family. She wished very much that such a thing would not happen. But she knew it would. That somehow, she’d become the White Witch to them. And they would reach a point where they would try to rid themselves of the White Witch of the Northern Forest.
With Merlin and Scream, and the wild magic of the little children, Mystica hoped very much that any of the villagers would survive.