Mystica stood on a tree branch that hung over the lake. The surface of the lake was, as always, mirror smooth. It was several hours before the dawn. She had been awakened by a dream. She stood there. On that branch. Wrapped in her bed covers. Watching the surface of the lake. As images formed. Images of white. On a blue background. She spoke softly to the lake, “Show me the wounded boy.”
The images on the water took shape. Shifting. Swirling. Forming into a village. On the edge of body of water. The water was like nothing Mystica had ever seen. She could not see the other side of it. I wasn’t like any river, or any lake she knew of. And this water had waves. The surface was always changing. And the water made noise. Sounds. She had no idea where it was. Or what it could even be.
She continued to watch the images on the surface of the lake. As they played out a story right before her eyes. Taking her into the village. The houses there were arranged in a circle. In the center of the village there was a circular ring. The images continued, painting pictures, telling a story that left Mystica speechless.
The people of the village gathered around the circle. They were cheering. And laughing. And appeared to be having all kinds of fun. Musica watched as two very large men entered the ring. They both had braided whips. Whips with barbs on them. The kind of whips that tore skin apart if they struck that skin.
A third man entered the ring, and everyone had grown silent. Everyone had watched that one man as he spoke. Mystica sensed that he was some kind of leader. When he finished what he was saying, he turned to face the opposite side of the circle. Then he waved his arms, and two other men entered the ring. Between them was a small boy. A boy with wings. Like the wings of a butterfly. The boy was a fairy. Maybe 8 years old.
The crowd went wild. Making all kinds of noise. The two men holding the boy threw him across the ring. Straight at the two men with whips. The boy tried to gain control of his forward motion, so he could land standing. But as he did, the men with the whips struck. The whips tore into the boy. Tearing apart the skin on his arms, and legs. The boy screamed with pain. But the men with the whips continued striking him. Drawing blood from his chest. His back. His wings. His face.
They struck him many times. Mystica was so shocked she couldn’t even count. All she could do was stand there. Stunned. She had never seen anything like it. The brutality of it. Whipping a fairy boy like that. She stood there. Transfixed. Unable to look away.
When the whipping stopped, he fairy boy was prone upon the ground. Mystica had no way to know if he was alive or dead. The crowd around the circle cheered. Smiles were everywhere. The two men with the whips withdrew from the circle. The two men that had thrown the boy moved out of the circle. And the one man that was the leader, spoke once again. When he was through speaking, the crowd dispersed, and the man left the circle. Leaving the boy there. Alone.
Mystica watched the images again. And saw the boy try to move. Somehow, he was still alive.
Mystica screamed, “Merlin!” And her friend, the black magic dragon, Merlin appeared, as if he had been there the whole time. He spoke softly to Mystica.
“Scream is on his way. I can not carry you. You will need to use the White Magic to get there.”
“Where is there? I’ve never seen such a place?” As Mystica spoke, Merlin looked at the lake. And the images of the lake changed. The village shrank. Becoming a dot on the shore of a great body of water. A body that had no end. The land simply ended, and the water began. As the image changed, the Eastern edge of the Northern Forest came into view.
Merlin spoke once more, to Mystica, “Go.”
Mystica took flight. The white magic lifting her above the lake. Above the forest. And then, the magic gave her the speed that only Mystica, the White Witch, could achieve. She headed East. Streaking through the sky, above the trees. A brilliant white streak of light across the pre-dawn sky.
The sun rose. Then it set before she reached the end of her journey. She hoped the boy was still there. Still alive.
As she approached the village, she heard Scream, the mighty dragon, as he screamed. He had arrived before her. She had known he likely would. The speed of the dragons had always been the stuff of legend. And Scream was second only to Merlin in the order of the dragons.
As the village came into sight, she saw the circle of homes. And then the circle in the center of the village. And in that circle stood Scream. He was there. Protecting the boy. There were several dead men outside the circle. They had been foolish, and attacked Scream. No human did that and lived. Mystica was saddened to see the dead. But she more than welcomed the fact that Scream had not destroyed the village. For that meant he was indeed changing. Trying not to kill. Unless he felt he had no choice.
She understood that he hadn’t wished to kill the humans. That he’d merely been defending himself, and the fairy boy. But his speed, and strength were such that without intending to, he had killed the attacking men.
Mystica floated down to stand next to Scream. Scream had screamed. A scream that could be heard for miles. That shook the homes in the village. And absolutely terrified all the villagers. When his scream was done, he had looked at Mystica, and then at the boy.
Mystica walked up to the fairy boy. She hoped he was still alive. She placed a hand on his back, feeling his back move raggedly up and down. As he breathed. He was still alive. But he was dying. And if Mystica did not act, the boy would die. And he would die very soon.
She knelt beside the boy. And put one hand on his broken, bleeding face. And one on his back. And she spoke. “Heal.” And the white magic responded. Knitting together broken bones the whips had fractured. Restoring veins, and flesh. Healing every physical wound the boy had endured.
Mystica was not done. Not by any means. She placed the boy’s head on her lap, and closed her eyes. “Free him from the pain.” Again, the white magic responded. And the little fairy boy was encased in a white glow. Mystica knew what the White Magic would do. As it encased the boy, it sank into him. Past skin. Past flesh. Into his heart. Where it found the memory of the hurt the boy had endured. The agony, and terror, of having been whipped to near death, and then left, beneath the sun, to die. In misery. And pain.
As the pain the boy was in faded away, he relaxed. The fear and hurt in him fled. And the little boy fell fast asleep. Mystica picked him up. And walked up to Scream. She handed the little boy to Scream, who cradled him in his two front arms. “Please, Scream. Please take this one home. He is one of us now.”
With those words, Scream looked to the sky, and he screamed a second time. The homes in the village shook again. And the scream carried for miles. And then, Scream flexed his wings. And took to the sky. Heading to the West. With the speed of a dragon. He was soon gone.
Leaving Mystica in the circle, in the middle of the village. All alone.
The people came out of their homes. They were not happy. They held whips. And swords. And clubs. And they surrounded the circle. And their leader spoke. “Destroy the heathen one!”
Mystica looked at the leader. And she spoke one word. “Burn.”
And white fire erupted in that village on that day. It burned through every person that lived there. One villager after another collapsed to the ground. Screaming in agony, as the white magic burned the darkness out of them. Many of the villagers fell unconscious, getting merciful release from the flames that burned through them.
The two men that had use the whips collapsed to the ground. Their hands reduced to ashes. Their chests in flames, where their hearts had been.
All that was left of the leader was a small pile of ash, where he had once stood.
When the white magic flames had burned everyone, they faded away. Leaving Mystica standing in the middle of the circle. It was then she spoke. “I will be watching you from now on. And if you should once more strike down a child as you did that fairy boy, I will be back. And I will unleash the white flames on your village once again.”
And with those words, Mystica called the White Magic to lift her, and carry her to her home.