#MWBB Week 3.02 : A Forest

They left Rose at the northern edge of the Black Mountains with her hands and feet tied so she couldn’t walk. Her father never looked back. The other men nodded, and patted him on the back, and spoke of how it was best for everyone.

Rose sat with her hands tied behind her, and her ankles bound. She pulled her knees in, and wished she could figure out how to untie the ropes. “This is not what I wanted for my birthday party.” Her tummy growled, and her head hurt.

She watched the sun move through the sky, the clouds come and go, and birds as they flew by. She leaned back, and stared at the sky. “I hope Daddy comes back soon, and feeds me, and takes me home.”

It was hard, but Rose rolled to the top of the hill she was on. She sat up, and looked around. In one direction, the hills grew bigger and turned into mountains with black tops. To either side of her were hills. She’d never been so far from home she couldn’t see it. But she couldn’t see it anywhere. Her father, and the others were gone too. She couldn’t see them anywhere.

In the opposite direction from the mountains, the hills grew smaller, and she saw a big forest a long way off. It looked better than the mountains behind her. She rolled to her knees, and then managed to stand.

She started hopping toward the forest. She fell over a few times, but she got the hang of it, and before long was hopping along. It kept her busy, so she didn’t think about being hungry, or thirsty, or alone.

When it got dark, Rose sat down. Something was horribly wrong. “Why isn’t Daddy coming to get me?”

Rose cried. “This isn’t what I wanted for my birthday.” It was getting cold and her feet and hands hurt from being tied together. She was thirsty, and hungry. And scared. She heard noises. Scraping, rustling, chirping, popping, clicking, scratching noises. She cried, and cried. “Why did you leave me here, Daddy? Why?”

That’s when she saw the fairy. The fairy with a broken wing. That fairy smiled, “Did they leave you here? Alone?”

Rose nodded, “My Daddy left me here.” She wanted to wipe the tears from her cheeks and rub her tired eyes. “He told me to never talk to strangers.”

“Oh,” the fairy smiled and sat on the ground. “Is he coming back?”

Rose wanted to say yes. To jump up and down and say, “He’s coming back for me!” But her father hadn’t come back all day. He and the others had gone away. They’d left her, and somehow she knew, “He’s not coming back, is he?”

“Oh, little one,” the fairy frowned, “I’m so sorry.” The fairy held her and she cried for a long time.

When Rose stopped crying, the fairy untied Rose, then helped her clean up. The fairy even had clean clothes for Rose. “Look at you! Such a pretty girl!” Then, the fairy pulled a jar of water from her bag, and let Rose drink all she wanted.

Rose wasn’t afraid of the fairy anymore. The fairy held out her hand, “You need someplace to sleep, don’t you?”

Rose nodded.

“My name is Mystica. I live near here, in the forest, with my daughters, Sunshine, Musica, and Dream.” She held her hand out for Rose to take. “What’s your name?”

“Rose.”

“What a pretty name!”

Rose took Mystica’s hand. “I have an extra house you can stay in. And lots to eat. If you want to visit.”

Rose nodded, “OK.”

Mystica picked Rose up, carried her on her arm and stepped forward. Rose blinked. The hills were gone. They were beside a lake in the middle of a forest. Three other girls were playing by the edge of the lake. Mystica put Rose down. The other girls rushed over, and hugged her, and welcomed here. Before long, all four of them were playing.

Mystica smiled. She’d found Rose in time. Another child with the gift of wild magic was safe.

683 Words
@LurchMunster


Welcome to year 3, week 2 (Week 3.02) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “A Forest” by The Cure. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

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#FlashMobWrites 1×12 : Breathe You In My Dreams

Merlin flexed his wings as he soared through the black sky, a black dragon on a black sky. He knew he was nearly invisible. Beneath him was the Kingdom of the Fairies, ruled by Queen Eyela, and King Stephan.

The kingdom was under siege, surrounded by Angels. Angels bent on destroying wild magic. Bent on destroying the fairies, and their magic, the dragons, and their magic. Bent on ridding the world of magic. Magic that brought wars, and death.

The fairies, though skilled fliers, and well-trained warriors, were no physical match for the Angels. The Angels were faster and stronger. They could fly higher, turn tighter. Angels were masters of the skies. And masters of war.

Merlin knew something the Angels didn’t. The magic didn’t exist. It was technology, a gift from the children of the human race. The intelligent machines.

Merlin was a dragon. Genetically, he was a modified human, created by the machines. He could use the machines, they did his bidding. On his world, the world named Cylinders, the machines were everywhere. In the air, the dirt, the water, the food. They flowed in his blood.

He waited for the darkest part of night. When the moon sank beneath the horizon, and only the stars were left. When that time came, he would deal with the Angels.

“Are you ready, machines?”

“We have always been ready.”

He almost laughed. “I breathe you in. I breathe you out. I imagine what I want. And you give it to me.”

“You know how the technology works. You know how we work.

“And yet, you do nothing to stop the Angels.” Merlin knew the machines would not interfere. They would only act when he, and others with magic wished them to act. They would on do what those with magic wished them to do.

And the magic wasn’t really magic. It was communication with the machines. The ability to talk directly to them, in their language. “You know what I will do when the time comes.”

“Yes.”

When it was time, Merlin tucked his wings close to his body. He plunged from the sky, sword like claws fully extended. He sliced into the Angels outside the kingdom’s walls. He placed himself between the angels and the walls, then called on the machines. He hovered in the air. As he pushed his wings forward, toward the angels, the machines did as he asked. His wings spawned the wind. The wind grew into a storm. It howled. It blew everything in its path away.

The Angels were helpless before the storm, blown to the ground, blown into the trees, into the sky. Their wings broken, shattered, useless in the wind.

Merlin settled to the ground. He screamed, the wound of metal sheets being torn in half. He knew Mystica heard. He knew, soon the war with the Angels would be over. And he wondered if any of the Angels would survive.

490 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×12, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×12. You might find something you like. But if you don’t try, how will you ever know?

#NaNoWriMo – A Clip From Heartsong (an unedited work in progress)

I soaked in the shower, letting the steam from the hot water fill the room. The heat felt good on my neck and shoulders. It helped wash away memories of the dreams I’d had while sleeping.

Eventually, I turned the water off. I reached past the curtain, grabbed my towel, and pulled it in. I liked to stand in the warm shower to dry off before opening the curtain, letting the cold air outside the curtain in. Getting the water off my body before the cold air found it, and felt colder than it was.

I pulled on my underwear, then my pants, then pulled a t-shirt on. That’s when I noticed something funny about the mirror. It didn’t look right. The mirror was coated in condensation from the steam of the shower, that was normal. But there wasn’t suppose to be anything written on the mirror, and there was.

I faced the mirror, read the writing, “Mystica”. That’s all it said. “Mystica”. I recognized the handwriting. It matched what was on the bottom of the sketch. The same hand had written both places.

I used my towel to wipe the mirror clear, grabbed my hairbrush, started brushing out my hair. I froze as I stared into the mirror. Floating a foot above my shoulder was the fairy from the birdcage. “Her name is Mystica.”

I dropped my brush.

“Her name is Mystica.”

Then, she was gone.

I stared into the mirror for a while, trying to understand what I’d seen. It couldn’t be real. It couldn’t have happened. Fairies aren’t real. They don’t exist. They’re just beings in fairy tales.

But I’d seen her in the mirror. She’d said, “Her name is Mystica.” And how else could the writing in the condensation on the mirror have gotten there? I couldn’t explain it.

I was realizing there was a lot I couldn’t explain.

I finished brushing out my hair, left the bathroom, pulled on my shirt, buttoned it up, put on socks and shoes, packed a lunch, and headed to work.

It couldn’t have been real. Had to have been my imagination. Or a dream. Yeah. A dream.

Fairies aren’t real.

Everybody knows that.

#ThursThreads Week 116 : We’ll See About That

Mystica watched the white flames play across the surface of the lake. She saw the Angels attack Merlin, and the dragons. She saw villages of fairies and humans burned to the ground. She spoke to the machines, “Are they coming here?”

“Yes.”

“Will you stop them?”

“No.”

“So, you will allow this war?”

“Yes.”

The flames shifted, showing her the Angels enter the Great Northern Forest. She knew they’d arrive any moment. She used white magic to float above the center of the lake, where she waited for the Angels to arrive.

She watched them float above the trees, surrounding the clearing, and the lake. A single Angel silently flew across the clearing, to the center of the lake. “Witch of white! For your use of magic, and protection of those cursed with wild magic, you shall die.”

“We’ll see about that.”

The Angel swung his arms, as if he had two swords, and was trying to cut Mystica to pieces. The white magic protected her. The Angel didn’t understand. “How are you still alive?”

She stared at him. “Burn.”

White fire leaped from the lake, grabbing the Angel’s ankles, yanking him from the sky, dragging him under the water. The trees around the lake and clearing launched their branches up, like spears, into the Angels by the lake.

That quickly, the Angels were gone.

Mystica shook her head. “The White Magic protects this world,” she declared, “And I am the White Magic.

242 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 116. It’s another little tale from the world of Cylinders. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

Fairies : Half-Breed

She just walked into the clearing by the lake one day. No one saw her coming. No one knew who she was. She had no name. She looked fully grown. And somehow, she looked like a little girl. With that little girl innocence. She had raven red hair, and the bluest eyes you could imagine.She was a fairy. At least she looked like a fairy. But there was something about her that wasn’t fairy like. There was a grace, an elegance that not even Rose had. Her wings were blue. And feathered, like the wings of an angel. But they were shaped just like fairy wings.

And, whoever she was, she was completely naked.

She walked across the clearing, to the edge of the lake, and knelt. She looked into the water, and she smiled. Then she began to cry. Quietly. With the same grace, and elegance everyone could see when she walked.

At first, no one knew what to do. Or even what to say. Rose, Dream, Flora, Fauna, Chrissy, Lilly and Sunshine stayed at the edge of the clearing, and watched. Musica, the eldest of the girls, took out her flute, and began to play. A quiet little tune that reminded every one of the sound of water in a mountain stream as it flowed across the rocks and boulders in its way. As she played, she walked from the edge of the forest, to the lake, until she was standing next to the stranger.

Musica just kept playing.

Sunshine walked out of the forest, and she too approached the lake. As she did, the sun itself seemed to shine down on the stranger as she cried. As if it was trying to comfort her. Calm her. Keep her safe, and warm.

Rose followed their lead. She flicked her wings, and floated just above the ground, across the clearing. She stopped when she reached the stranger, and while hovering there, gently placed a hand on the stranger’s shoulder. Then Rose used her wings, as only she could. She danced. In the sky. Just above the lake. Every now and then, letting a wingtip trace a pattern in the lake’s surface. Every movement she made matching the tune Musica played.

Sunshine placed an arm around the stranger’s shoulders, and she spoke. “I’m Sunshine. These are my sisters, Musica and Rose. We live here at the lake.” At least the tears no longer fell from the stranger’s eyes. “May I ask your name?”

“I haven’t got a name.”

Everyone knew that could only mean one thing. The stranger was special in some way. Like each of them. Unique. Different. And misunderstood. Abandoned by her parents. Her family. Each of the fairies remembered the pain they’d felt in their hearts and souls. Each of them remembered their own stories.

Sunshine stood, offering a hand to the stranger. “You are always welcome here,” she smiled. Then she looked at Musica, the tallest of the fairies, “Perhaps Musica can find you something to wear?”

And so the day began. The fairies found clothing for the stranger in their midst. It was too small, of course. After all, she was full-grown. The clothing barely covered her breasts. And the skirt wasn’t really a skirt at all. It was a bed sheet, tied around her waist. Both were blue and white. They couldn’t find any sandals that were large enough to fit her feet, so she went barefoot.

The fairies fed her berries, cheese, and jerky. Taking care of her. Making sure she had plenty to eat, and plenty to drink. The stranger smiled. And somehow, when she did, everything seemed alright.

The stranger was indeed full-grown. Her wings were fully developed, and she could fly. Not as well as Rose, of course, but the stranger could fly very well indeed. She couldn’t hover though. Not many fairies could. Rose was one of the few blessed with that much flying skill. But the stranger could ride the air currents. The fairies, even Rose, couldn’t help but notice the grace and elegance of every movement she made through the sky.

Everyone laughed. And had a wonderful time. They even went swimming in the lake. That night Musica let the stranger stay in her home, and Musica stayed with Sunshine.

The next morning, Mystica returned. She watched from her home on the far side of the lake as the fairies all woke up. You can imagine her surprise when the first fairy she saw wasn’t a fairy at all, but the stranger as she came out of Musica’s house. Mystica sensed no danger at all. The white magic indicated everything was safe. So, she stood on her front porch, and watched.

The stranger walked across the clearing, to the edge of the lake. There, she stripped everything off, and walked into the water, where she quietly bathed. Mystica noticed the elegance, and the grace in every move the stranger made.

Merlin, the black magic dragon, came out of the shadows, as he always did. Appearing out of nowhere. “Do you know what she is?” he asked of Mystica.

“I’ve never seen anyone like her? Is she a fairy?”

Merlin sighed. “Only in part. Only in part.” Merlin watched the stranger as she bathed. “She is very rare, White Witch. Very rare indeed.”

“In what way?”

“Let the white magic tell you. It will, if you ask.”

Mystica closed her eyes, and wished, “Who is this stranger in our midst?” The surface of the water of the lake began to change. It showed two pictures. One of a female angel. A real angel. The kind with feathered wings. The other of a fairy warrior. Mystica watched as the images told the story of the angel’s fall from the sky. Of the warrior finding her. Mending her wounds. Treating the broken bones in her wings.

It was the story of a forbidden love. Love between an angel and a fairy. The angel never returned to the sky above. The fairy abandoned everything he was. The two of them finding a home of their own in the ice and snow to the north. Where the elves lived. And with time, the angel bore a child. A daughter. Half angle. Half fairy.

Mystica realized the daughter of that angel and her fairy love was the stranger bathing in the lake.

Calling forth her white magic, Mystica floated across the water, hanging in the air next to the stranger. She smiled, and asked, “Do you have a name, dear one?”

The stranger smiled at Mystica, “I do not.”

“Why have you come here?” Mystica found her self asking. Knowing angels only appear when they need to.

“I am meant to be here,” said the stranger. “At this lake. With the fairy girls. And their Mother. Msystica.” She looked at Mystica. “My heart tells me this.”

Mystica smiled. “Then you are always welcome here, dear one.”

That morning, Mystica took the stranger into her home, finding clothing for her. It wasn’t much, and was very revealing. But it just felt right. As if the stranger were meant to be naked, not clothed.

From that day forward, the stranger lived with the fairies at the lake. Adopting Mystica as her mother. No one ever learned how old the stranger was. Or where she’d come from. She remembered nothing. Not even her name.

It was the first time the stranger went with Mystica to one of the villages to get supplies that the stranger got a name. When a male shop keeper saw her enter his shop with Mystica, looking for some cloth, and sandals, the male shop keeper could not help himself, and asked out loud, “Can I help you, Miss Hooters?”

Mystica had blushed. But the stranger hadn’t. She’d just smiled. “I like that.” She’d looked at Mystica, “I now have a name.”

And from that day to this her name as always been Miss Hooters. And no one save the fairies of her family, and the dragons, Merlin and Scream, know that she’s a half-breed. Half angle, and half fairy.

And no one at all, not even Miss Hooters herself, knew what her wild magic powers were.

Fairies : Sword (Part 2)

Mystica looked across the clearing, by the edge of the lake. The boy was standing there. Looking at his reflection in the water. It had been nearly two weeks since Mystica and Scream had rescued him from the village by the sea. Where he had been whipped nearly to death. His body was fully healed. Mystica had seen to that, using her White Magic to heal his physical wounds.

Her White Magic could not, however, heal the wounds within his heart and soul. The only things that could heal those were time, and the boy himself.

The boy had no name. At least, not yet, anyway. He’d refused to say his name at any time. When Rose and Fauna had asked him his name, he’d told them he didn’t have a name.

Musica was doing the best she could. Writing new songs, and new music for him every day. Always singing, and playing where he could hear her. And Mystica could tell that the music was something he needed. She’d even seen him look into the water of the lake while Musica played. And she’d see the tears he’d cried.

Dream watched Mystica. She could tell that Mystica was very much concerned for the boy. So, Dream spoke with Sunshine that day. She pulled Sunshine into the edge of the woods. “Our boy is very hurt, isn’t he?”

“Yes, Dream. He is.” Sunshine looked sad. Which explained the grey color of the sky, and the clouds on that day. “I wish there was something we could do to help him. To show him we’re his friends. And that he’s not alone again. And that we’ll never hurt him.”

Dream smiled. “I know! I have an idea!” She put a hand on Sunshine’s shoulder. “Why don’t you smile for a while. I’ll have to give you a reason to. I know. You are you. And you can’t turn your smile on and off.”

“You like him, don’t you, Dream?”

“What?”

Sunshine smiled. “You like our boy.” Dream blushed. Her cheeks turned bright pink. And she could feel the heat in her shoulders. Sunshine just smiled even more. “You like our boy.” Then she said to Dream, “That makes me happy. That makes me smile.”

Dream smiled to. And the heat in her shoulders started to fade away. As did the pink in her cheeks. “Yes. I like him. He’s cute.”

Sunshine said, “I’ll smile more now. I like thinking how you like him.” Then she looked at Dream, “I like him too, you know. But he’s so sad. So hurt.”

Dream could see Sunshine’s smile start to fade. So she decided to tell Sunshine the rest of her plan. “I’m going to speak with Momma. I’m going to ask Momma if I can walk in our boy’s dreams. And see if there’s something there that he’s afraid of. Something there that’s hurting him.”

At that, Sunshine’s smile grew strong once more. And it remained strong through the rest of the day.

Mystica walked up to the boy. Standing by the lake. She reached out a hand, and touched his shoulder. He didn’t stop her. “There’s something I wish to show you,” she said. He didn’t move. He just stood there. Looking into the water of the lake. So, Mystica continued on. She looked at the water of the lake, and she spoke to it, calling the White Magic. “Show me the ocean.”

The mirror like surface of the lake shifted, white shapes taking form on it. Until the image of a strip of sand appeared. Next to that enormous body of water. That body of water that had such huge waves near the shore. Mystica knew it as the ocean. She knew it was surf. But she’d never seen it in her life. Until she’d gone to the village by the ocean, and rescued the boy.

She left the image of the ocean’s shore on the lake. Her hand resting on the boy’s shoulder. While he watched. “Your home is there, isn’t it?” The boy said nothing. But Mystica couldn’t help but see the longing look in his eyes. “By the ocean. That’s where your home is, isn’t it?”

The boy spoke. For the first time in days. “No.” Mystica was surprised. “Not by.” The boy turned and looked at Mystica. “In.”

“In?” Mystica was somewhat surprised. She’d never known anyone to live in the sea. “You live in the sea?”

The boy had looked at Mystica. Right into her eyes. “Yes.”

Before Mystica could respond, the boy had spread his wings, and taken flight over the lake. Just above the surface of the water. He flew rapidly to the center of the lake. And then, he dove. Straight down.

Mystica followed him. She called on the White Magic to encase her. And protect her. And it did. Keeping her safe, as she dove beneath the surface of the lake. And followed the boy, all the way to the bottom of the lake. Maybe 15 or 20 feet deep.

It was there that she saw the boy, walking along the bottom. Perfectly at ease underneath the water. Perfectly at home. He walked there. Looking at the rocks. At the mud. And the solid ground. Looking at the fish that swam. As if it was all something he’d done all his life.

Then, the boy stopped, and looked at Mystica. And he spoke. Underwater. “I belong in the sea. I want to go home.”

Mystica couldn’t speak under the water. The boy seemed to know that. So, he pushed off the bottom, and returned to the surface of the lake. Stretching his wings out, and taking flight once more. Mystica following. They both returned to the clearing. By the edge of the lake. “I want to go home,” the boy repeated.

Mystica finished his sentence for him. “To the sea.”

“Yes.”

Mystica thought for a moment. Then looked around the clearing, at her adopted daughters. Musica, Dream, Rose, Sunshine and Fauna. And she smiled. “I somehow think my daughters would like to see the ocean.”

She turned to the boy, and said. “We’ll start the trip in the morning.” Then she smiled at him, “And thank you, for letting me know where you come from.”

Later that day, just before the sun set, Dream called for Mystica, “Momma! Momma! I would like to talk with you!” Mystica had used her wings, and slowly flown across the lake. It was hard for her to fly. She’d injured that wing in her battle with the wolves years ago. And it had never healed quite right. She could still fly. But only slowly. And only with a lot of effort. And only for short distances.

She landed, softly, on the grass next to Dream. “Momma. I have to ask you something. But it’s a secret.” So, Mystica had crouched down, on her knees, so Dream could whisper in her ear. “I want to visit the boy’s dreams. I want to see what kind of dreams he has. So I can try to help him.”

Mystica was surprised, to say the least. Dream was certainly growing up quickly. And sometimes, Mystica was afraid that Dream’s curiosity would get the better of her. So, she closed her eyes, and asked the White Magic for guidance. And the White Magic showed her nothing. All she heard was a single thought. “Follow your heart.”

Mystica’s heart told her to let Dream try. Told her how much she loved Dream. As if Dream were a true daughter. Told her that Dream would be OK. And that Dream was going to try anyway. Even if Mystica told her not to.

“Yes, Dream. You can try. But please know that I’ll always be where you can find me, if you should need me.”

When the sun set that night, the boy settled in for one last night on the ground. He always slept by the edge of the lake. On the grass. Where he could hear the sounds of the water of the rivers that flowed into and out of the lake.

That night, Dream waited until the boy was asleep. And then she walked across the grass. Settling on the ground next to him. And she reached out a hand for the first time in her life. And put it on the boys cheek. And said one single word. “Dream.”

Dream was walking along the bottom of the ocean. There were all kinds of strange fish, and plants that she’d never seen. But the boy knew them all. And as she watched him in his dream, she heard him cry, “Mother! Mother! Where are you! Help me! Please help me!”

She watched him as he closed his eyes in his dreams that night. And dreamed of his mother. Slowly, as Dream watched, a figure started to take shape. A full grown fairy. And not just any fairy. This fairy had a crown upon her head. And a trident that she carried. She had a regal air. And Dream could tell that she ruled the ocean. That the fish, the plants, and all the creatures of the sea, recognized her. And knew her. As their queen.

The boy’s dreams continued on. And she saw him swimming. She was swimming right along with him. She never saw the net. Neither did he. He ran head first into it. And got tangled up. The net twisted around him. Trapping his arms. His legs. His wings.

And the net got pulled up. Up, and out of the water. As it did, the boy was exposed to the sky. She knew he’d never seen the sky. The sun. The clouds. The boy was absolutely terrified. Frozen by fear.

The net dropped, landing on the deck of a boat. With a hard thud. Dream felt as if the wind had been knocked out of her. Something started to untangle the net. And Dream realized it was humans. Several of them. And when they saw the boy, the leaped on him. Pinning him down. Trapping him on the boat.

That’s when the boy had called on fairy magic. Fairy magic his mother had taught him. He’d flexed his wrist. Like he was holding a short sword. And that invisible sword of fairy magic had sliced into the arms of one of the humans. Drawing blood. As if a real sword had been drawn.

The other humans had backed away. The boy standing in the midst of them. Swinging his arms. Running at his captors. Trying to get to the water once again. It only took a few seconds for one of the humans to get behind him. And hit him over the head with a wooden pole. And then, the boy collapsed. Unconscious. On the deck of the boat.

Only to wake up in a prison cell. His arms bound by chains. His feet chained to the floor. Two men guarding him. Each with a bow and arrows. He knew there was nothing he could do. That they were out of his reach. That they could shoot him with the arrows.

He knew he was doomed.

Dream knew the rest of the story. The circle in the village. The whips. The pain. The hurt. Being left to slowly die on the sand. The arrival of Scream. Then the arrival of Mystica.

Dream quietly pulled her hand away from the boy’s cheek. She stood up. And walked away. Quietly. Mystica was waiting outside Dream’s little home in the trees. “Good. You are OK.”

All that Dream would do was say, “I know his name.”

She looked at Mystica. “I know his name. His name is Sword.”

Mystica had held dream for a while. Dream had been through a lot that night. The first night she’d ever walked within another’s dreams. And it had been a big test of her self. Her confidence. Her control. She’d told Mystica everything. Everything she’d seen in Sword’s dreams. And she’d cried herself to sleep that night.

Like the 6 year old girl that she really was.

Fairies : Sword (Part 1)

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.