Fairies : Mystica and Merlin
Chapter 22 : Burn
Mystica was in her tree house. It was an hour before the dawn. She was sleeping soundly. She felt safe in her home. It had been a long time since she had felt safe. She’d had a good few months. Making friends with the villagers in several villages around her. She’d visited villages, and healed sick and injured people there. And the villagers had helped her. They’d given her some tools to help her build her tree house into a better home.
Merlin had helped her too. He was an amazing craftsman. Probably because he could use his claws to slice through wood, and make boards, and trim them to size almost at will. Like scissors cut through paper. Her house now had a real roof. And three rooms. The main room, a bedroom, and a kitchen. And in the bedroom, there was a real bed. Without a mattress of course. But it had some nice blankets on it. Including one that she slept on. Blankets filled with down.
The birds, and geese and ducks had donated that. As they shed their feathers, they provided them to Mystica. And she made her blankets and quilts, and pillows filled with feathers, and with down.
She had several sets of clothing. Including clothing that she’d made from the cloth she could get from the villagers. Her favorite was that light blue corset, and the brown, red and white skirt. The two looked good to her. And wearing them made her feel pretty.
She even had a pair of sandals. She didn’t wear them very often, but she had them. And she had a brush, so she could brush her hair. She had everything she needed to live happily in her home. And she found that she was happy.
She was peacefully sleeping, having beautiful dreams of flying over the Northern Forest, exploring it, with her friend Merlin. Visiting villages, and meeting people. When the dreams suddenly changed, and she was suddenly fighting for her life against soldiers.
The dream woke her up, to see Merlin standing next to her, with Whisper on her pillow, next to her head. Whisper whispered into her ear, “The captain and his minions are nearly here.”
Mystica was stunned. “The captain? He’s alive?”
“Yes, dear friend. He is. And he’s nearly here. He’s coming to kill you. That’s what he wants to do. It’s time for you to get up, and get ready. They will be here very soon.”
Mystica got out of bed. And then she got dressed. She put on a white corset, and a long white skirt. She got her staff. She left her tree house, and used her magic to rapidly cross the lake, and stand on the tree limb that she loved so much that hung over the lake, so close she could sit on the limb, and run her toes through the water. There, she waited. And she watched.
Merlin flew into the trees at the edge of the clearing, where her home was. And simply vanished from sight, hiding in the shadows. She was surprised, even after spending time with him for the past few months, at how silent he could be. And how motionless. He could hide in a shadow mere feet from you, and you would never know that he was there.
Whisper flew to a perch, high in a tree, overlooking the lake, and the clearing both. He would not be much good in a fight, being just an owl. But Merlin had given him a mission. And he’d followed it through. And when the time was right, Whisper knew what to do. He would fly up above the trees, and the he would scream. And when he did, the dragon Scream would descend from high up in the sky, and fight with Merlin, and Mystica.
They all waited.
As the sky started to change from it’s velvet black color to daylight, the captain and his men arrived at the clearing. They spread out. Moving to form a circle around the clearing, and the trees adjacent to it. So that no one could get past them, and escape. The captain then took six of his men with him, into the open of the clearing. They all had their cross bows. Mystica watched as they formed a semi circle looking at her home, where it was in its tree. Then she watched as they prepared to fire their cross at her home. Even more than that, she watched as they used extended bolts, that had flaming tips. They fired the bows into her home. Setting it on fire. Then they watched it burn.
The captain informed his men, “Be ready. She’ll come out at any time.”
Mystica watched as her home burned. And the fire did not stop. It took hold of the tree her home was in, and then began to spread through the trees by the lake. Destroying everything she loved. Destroying her home, the trees, the clearing.
Mystica called the white magic. She help up her staff, and she spoke, “Rain!”, and rain began to fall from the sky. It fell in torrents, only on the fire. Only on the clearing, and the trees near the clearing. An isolated storm. Rain that would put out the fire, and keep it from spreading further.
The captain thundered, “She’s here! She’s here, somewhere! Find her! Find her!”
Mystica used the white magic to move high into the trees. As she moved, the soldiers spotted the white light that surrounded her, and that glowed so very brightly in the crystal ball on her staff. “There! There! Across the lake!” They loaded bolts into their cross bows, and began to fire them at her. Whisper watched it all. It was time. He flew into the sky, and screamed at the top of his lungs.
Scream the dragon, screamed. His scream shook the trees. And caused ripples on the lake. He flew down, toward the soldiers that were firing at Mystica. He breathed out flames. White hot flames. It felt as if the air itself was on fire. And the flames struck the ground among the soldiers. Setting two of the six on fire. “Dragon! Dragon! Take cover!” The soldiers fled into the trees.
It was there that they ran into Merlin. Merlin moved silently. And with blinding speed. Flitting through the trees. His razor sharp claws wrecking havoc among the soldiers that the captain had brought with him. Soldier after soldier fell. Swords blindly swung at nothing, striking trees, and thin air. Cross bow bolts flew into the forest, embedding themselves in trees. Or missing everything, and just falling to the ground.
Mystica knew what she had to do. She knew that it was her place to deal with the captain. She knew that Merlin, and Scream would not deal with him. He was after her. She would have to face him down.
She used her magic to float across the lake, just above it’s surface. The captain saw her coming, and he raised his crossbow, firing bolts as rapidly as he could load them, right at her. She felt two bolts embed themselves in her broken left wing. She felt one bolt pass clean through her left shoulder.
She said, “Protect”. And the white magic around her intensified a hundred fold. And the cross bow bolts became deflected by the magic light she was surrounded with. Bouncing off to either side.
She landed on the burned ground of the clearing. The grass there was now gone. There was a great sadness in her heart that such a thing could happen to such a beautiful place. She looked at the captain, and she asked, “Why?”
The captain said nothing. He screamed in hatred, and in rage. He drew his sword, and charged at her. His sword hacking uselessly at the wall of white magic around Mystica. He changed his approach, and simply hurled his own body weight at her. The magic protected her from injury, but not from his body weight. Mystica was knocked backward, falling into the water at the edge of the lake.
The captain stood above her, his sword swinging relentlessly. “Die! Die! Die!” he screamed. Again, and again, and again! “Die! Die! Die!”
Mystica struggled to get to her feet. But the captain kept on swinging. The magic kept her safe. She looked around the clearing by the side of the lake. She saw the bodies of the dead soldiers. She heard the chaos in the trees, where Merlin was wrecking havoc, as only the most deadly dragon of all time ever could.
She saw the soldiers firing bolts at anything that moved. She saw them even shooting each other. She saw Scream, standing on the ground. With soldiers charging him, swords raised.
And the captain screamed, on and on, “Die! Die! Die!” Pure hatred in his eyes.
Mystica spoke, her voice filled with sorrow, and sadness. Tears falling from her eyes at the violence that was there, all around her. With the knowledge that the soldiers were like the wolves she’d stood against just a few months earlier. Knowing there was no good at all left in their hearts and souls. She uttered just one word.
The captain swung his sword, right at her neck. With everything he had. The sword struck the white light around her. And the white light locked onto it, and wouldn’t let it go. Mystica watched as white flames shot up the length of the sword. White hot heat flowing through it. The sword blade melted. Turning to liquid metal. Falling to the ground. The the flame reached the captain’s hand, and the captain screamed, as the flame consumed him totally.
The captain screamed in horror. He screamed in rage. He screamed in hatred. He screamed in pain. He kept swinging his sword arm, as if he still carried a sword. As the flame engulfed him, the orange light of fire erupted from his skin. His arms, his legs, his body.
He became fully consumed by flame. Real fire. And he burned. His body burned in the heat of hatred that he felt. The flame was more fierce than any Mystica had ever seen. She watched, tears falling from her face, as the cleansing fire of white burned through all the darkness inside of him. The darkness of his heart. And his body turned to ash as the fire raged. Because there was no light at all left within his soul. All there was to him was darkness.
The ashes of his body fell to the ground. Forming a small pile of the body that once was. And still the captain stood there, encased in the white magic fire. Screaming of his hatred. Of the seeking of revenge. Of the things he’d do to Mystica one day.
And still, the fire raged.
As it burned, the fighting in the trees stopped. The soldiers there came out into the clearing. And they dropped their weapons, and they watched. The soldiers in the clearing, fighting with the dragon Scream, dropped their weapons too. And stood there, faces showing pure terror, at the things they saw.
As the captain’s soul stood there, in that pure white fire, the captain’s image changed. He became pure black. Darker than the darkest night. He grew black fangs from his mouth. And a long black tail. And black horns on his head. And his voice changed from words, to growls.
Four black shadows came up from the ground. Forming the corners of a box around the white fire that was consuming the captain’s soul. Two of them had long black spears. With very nasty, penetrating points. The plunged those spears into the captains pitch black soul. Passing clean through it. Forming the shape of a big letter, “X”. With a dark shadow holding each of end of each spear. And still the captain screamed of his hatred, and his rage. And his need for revenge.
Then the four black shadows, returned to the ground, taking their spears with them. The captain’s soul remaining impaled on the spears. As they drug the captain into the ground.
Then, everything was silent. And that silence lasted for a while. As the soldiers stood there. Frozen in their places. Terrified with fear at the things they’d witnessed on that morning, as the sun was coming up.
Scream walked up to Mystica, taking a place beside her, to her left. Standing at his full hight. Towering over Mystica. Merlin came out of the shadows, there among the trees. To hover next to Mystica, where she stood, at the edge of the lake. Blood slowly leaking from her re-wounded wing. And from her impaled shoulder.
Scream screamed. And somehow, everyone within that clearing new exactly what it was that Scream had said. “The captain had no light at all within his heart and soul. He’s gotten everything he wished for. He’s been drawn down into hell.”
Merlin spoke. His voice sounding like sheets of metal being torn apart. “Leave this place,” he spoke to the soldiers. “And never do return. Tell everyone you see what happened here today. And then simply stay away.”
Mystica cried tears of sorrow, and of pain. “There was nothing but darkness in his heart. There was no light at all. How can someone be that way?”
Merline answered her, “It was the choice he made. He chose to banish all his light, leaving only the darkness that is left, when the light is gone.”
Whisper floated down, landing on Mystica’s right shoulder, and whispering into her ear, “This fight is over, little one. Now it’s time to heal.”
Mystica heard the words of her dear friend, Whisper the wise old owl. They caused her to speak one more word of magic on that night. “Find the injured soldiers, and heal them.”
White balls of fire lanced outward from the crystal ball on the top of Mystica’s staff. The flames lanced into each of the soldiers that was left standing. Broken bones healed. Open wounds sealed. The soldiers were soon, physically alright.
Then, the soldiers fled. They dropped all their weapons, their cross bows, bolts, and swords. And they simply ran. Fleeing the lake as fast as they could.
Merlin, Scream, and Whisper gathered Mystica up. Then they carried her up into a tree. Where they’d set up a little platform, on which Mystica could sleep. And Merlin stayed there, in that tree with her. Watching over her. As she laid down on the platform. And soon fell fast asleep. Merlin watched as the white magic took care of the mage. Healing the new injuries to her broken wing. healing her left shoulder, where the cross bow bolt had been.
She slept until the dawn of the next day. And on that dawn, when she woke up, she knew that through the rest of her days, no matter how many there were, she’d never be able to forget what she’d seen happen on the day the captain and his men had attacked her.