The Fairies : Roses At Christmas

Rose had always visited Fauna’s site in the small cemetery, each year. It was in a town she didn’t know the name of. She didn’t really know if it had a name, so many towns didn’t. It was the town Flora and Fauna had defended when the invaders from space had arrived, and tried to conquer the planet.

That’s when Rose, Mystica, and all of Mystica’s adopted daughters, had learned of the machines. Tiny, invisible machines, everywhere, in the air, the water, the ground. They’d explained all the magic. Black, White, and Wild. It was them. The machines. The magic was her way of talking with the machines, of letting them know what she imagined. The machines, being ubiquitous, and being so advanced, so developed, the things they did were, to her, like magic, made what she imagined happen.

With a few exceptions. Like how not even the machines could bring Fauna back.

She rode her crescent moon to the town. Everyone knew she didn’t have to. She could have flown using her wings, and that stone moon that stood so much taller than she did, weighed several tons. But, the machines moved it through the air, effortlessly. She’d asked them how that worked, how they could move such a heavy stone, so easily. They’d explained it was done through constantly adjusting the gravity around the stone, to make it float. But, Rose didn’t really understand. It was a technology the machines had developed long after they’d left their human parents behind, on Earth.

Her stone crescent moon floated down from the sky, and hovered, just above the ground, barely touching the blades of grass. It waited there, floating, for Rose to return.

Rose walked through the entrance of the cemetery, to Fauna’s site. A simple tombstone rested there. The townspeople kept it clean, and kept the ground where Fauna rested well trimmed, and cared for. They thought of her as a hero, one of the town’s saviors. Rose felt the town would never forget what Fauna had done for them.

Each year at this time, the townspeople brought bouquets of flowers, and placed them around Fauna’s grave. It took several years for Rose to see the flowers, and not cry. Even then, seeing the flowers touched her heart, and once more, she missed her dear sister, Fauna. As she had since that awful day.

Rose knelt beside the tombstone, and ran her fingers across the carefully etched letters of Fauna’s name. “This year, I have something for you, dear sister.” Then, she closed her eyes.

Slowly, two rose bushes grew from the ground. They started as tiny twigs, but grew, until they became full sized bushes. One on each side of Fauna’s tombstone. Somehow, magically, the bushes grew right up to the stone, but never touched it. Instead, they grew next to it. When they’d grown enough to be taller than the stone, they grew over it, as if held in an archway.

Once the rose bushes had reached their full height, they began to bloom. Candy Cane red and white blooms. They had been Fauna’s favorite. The bushes filled with blooms, hundreds of them.

Rose knew the blooms would always be there. When one bloom died, another would take its place. The bushes would remain, for centuries, perhaps forever, in full bloom. In rain, or snow, or wind. Rose imagined it. Rose dreamed it. Rose knew the machines would make her dream come true.

“For you, dear sister. So you will always know, wherever you are, beyond this veil of life, that you are remembered here. And loved here.”

Rose gently traced the stone etching of Fauna’s name once more. “May your heart always know joy, dear sister.” She wished once more she could hug Fauna, and cry on her shoulder, and say good-bye, though she knew she never could.

In time, the sun set, and Rose sat once more in her crescent moon, which floated into the night time sky, and took her home, to her place among the trees, beside the forest lake.

“May you always know the joy, and the beauty, of the roses you so loved, sister. May they always bloom for you.”

 

Welcome Home, Sister. Welcome Home.

Sunshine’s wings fluttered, then beat furiously, as she hovered in the sky. It had been two years since Sunshine left the lake in the Northern Forest. Two years since her sister Fauna died in the war with the invaders from space. Two years filled with storms, lightning, thunder, floods, howling winds, and the destruction they cause.

The surface of the lake was mirror smooth, the trees around its edges and the wispy white clouds in the sky reflected off its surface. She slowly flew over the lake, her reflection painted on its surface. “Should I be here?”

She floated from the sky to the center of the lake, where she hovered, and wondered, “Will my sisters welcome me home after the things I’ve done?”

As the sun slowly approached the horizon, her reflection stretch across the surface of the lake, toward the shore. She followed it. She remembered each village, each town, she’d destroyed. “I’ve done so many things.”

Her toes felt the grass beside the lake. There was no thud pause on landing, only a graceful move from flying to walking. Her wings still open, she walked along the edge of the lake. Her home remained as she’d left it, a small house in the trees. The trees made it for her, their branches had moved together, grew her home.

She stopped beside the stone memorial for Fauna. It looked so like her. Her smile, the way her wings looked when she was ready to escape the ground. The gentle softness of her fingers. “I miss you, sister.”

A hand touched Sunshine’s shoulder. She recognized it, knew it was kind and caring. The hand of her sister, Rose. “Welcome home, sister.” Rose embraced Sunshine.

Sunshine cried.

As she did, the sun set, and a soft, summer shower fell, it’s drops laced with the orange and gold colors of the sunset. As Rose held Sunshine, a runner of roses grew from the ground, up the leg of Fauna’s statue. It crossed Fauna’s hip, then her side, where it wrapped around her shoulder and grew down her arm to her hand. Every few inches a pink and silver rosebud bloomed. The last bud bloomed in Fauna’s hand.

The soft rain stopped when Sunshine dried her tears. She looked once more at Fauna’s statue beside the lake, and she smiled. “Thank you, Rose. Thank you.”

“Welcome home, sister. Welcome home.”

398 Words
@LurchMunster


This is the fairy tale I’ve written for Anna Meade‘s Dark Fairy Queen Midsummer Night’s Dream Writing Contest. Please, go read the other fairy tales, dreams, and myths in the contest. They are located here.

#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.

Rose

Rose knew she could have asked Sword for protection in his kingdom under the ocean. It was a place the Angels couldn’t reach. Rose also knew she didn’t need protection from the Angels, the needed protection from her.

It had taken time for her to understand the world she lived in. The world called Cylinders. The world of humanity’s children, the machines. Nanotechnology, they called it. Microscopic machines, in the air, the water, the dirt, the trees, the flowers.

They were in her too. Thousands of them. Millions. Maybe trillions. She had no way to know. They’d created her. They’d created all the fairies on Cylinders. The dragons and Angels too. One dragon knew how the machines worked. Merlin. The 20,000 year old Black Magic master. He’d taught Mystica, the White Witch, and her daughters, the Wild Magic fairies, of the machines. The machines had done the rest, showing them the story of their world.

During the war with the invading human empire, Rose learned the extent her ability to talk with the machines, to interact with them. Her “magic”, which wasn’t really magic but an ability to talk with the machines, and work with them, let her manipulate the sky, the dirt, the water. She knew how to use the machines to move matter. To make it do what she wanted it to do. The machines used their technology to bring her actions to life.

Rose rested in her favorite rose garden. She’d started growing it when she was a child, when Mystica first adopted her, and gave her a home. She’d asked the wolves where a good place for a rose garden was. They’d brought her to this place, filled with wild roses. She’d loved. It was her place of peace. Where her soul, her heart, could rest. After Fauna’s death in the war, her garden had been where she’d healed her broken heart.

Today, the Angels would come. The Angels had declared war against Wild Magic. They were immune to magic, “As should be.” But Rose knew the truth. They were not immune to the machines. “I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to kill.” She asked the roses if there was another way to deal with the Angels. A way of stopping them without killing them.

The roses knew what to do. That meant the machines knew what to do.

Rose waited.

The Angels arrived in the hour before sunset. They flew above the trees, their feathered wings nearly silent. They held swords, shields, bows and arrows. Rose sat among the roses, and waited as the Angels surrounded her garden. Then, she waited as one Angel spoke, “The time has come to purge the world of magic!” The Angel drew an arrow, aimed at Rose.

Rose stood. “Do as you would, Angels.”

Dozens of arrows flew, directly at Rose. Roses from the garden intercepted them, as if they’d come to life. The Roses protected Rose. No arrow got through them. Seeing the failure of the arrows, the Angels drew their swords, and flew at Rose. The ground of her garden opened up, and swallowed her. The angels attacked the ground, cutting roses down, hacking them to bits.

The pieces of roses that fell to the swords moved on their own, severed limbs connected themselves, becoming whole, with no scars. Petals and blooms magically pulled themselves back together, returning to their full beauty.

“The magic of the machines, of nanotechnology, and quantum mechanics.” Rose knew how the roses healed. She knew the machines put the back together. It wasn’t magic at all. It was technology so advanced it appeared as magic.

She remained safe, in the ground, protected from the Angels. She waited for them to stop fighting. It took a while, but eventually the Angels realized they were accomplishing nothing. After a time, they gave up and left. “We’ll try again, on another day, witch!”

When they were gone, the ground moved as it returned Rose to the surface.

“I know they will be back. Today was only the first day of this. Sooner, or later, I will have no choice. Sooner or later, I will have to fight back.”

She listened to the roses, “It is the way humans are.”

Rose wondered if her people, the human race, the makers of the machines, would ever learn, or if humans would always kill each other, in their senseless wars. As she wondered, she sat among the roses of her garden.

Rose cried.

She didn’t want to fight. “It’s like all we understand is violence and destruction.”

The roses surrounded her, “It’s why we came to Cylinders. To help our parents change.”

She smiled. “To help us break free of the cycle we’ve lived in for thousands of centuries.”

“Sleep now, friend. We will keep you safe.”

Rose laid on the ground, The ground shifted, became soft as any bed, grew a pillow beneath her head. The roses rearranged their limbs, formed a blanket to cover her.

“Sleep now, friend. We will keep you safe.”


It’s April 21st, the 17th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 17th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter R. Tomorrow brings the letter S. I have no idea what I’ll write for that.

#FTT 31 : Fingers Trembling

Fingers trembling, he slowly unrolled the ancient document. His mother, Oceana, sealed the note centuries before he’d been born. He’d always known about it. “I’ll leave you a note one day. On that day, you will open this.”

When he woke that morning, the castle was in an uproar. Oceana was gone. “All she left was a note on her pillow, addressed to you!” He recognized her handwriting, signature, and seal on the note. “I’m leaving to find myself. You are king now. Please, don’t follow me. It’s time to read the note.”

Sword closed his eyes and took a deep breath, “Breathe in. Breathe out. Recognize your fears. Step past them.” He felt the tremors in his fingers fade, and managed a smile. “Mother, you told me this day would come. May I not fail you.”

He read the note she’d written so long ago.

My dear son.

Someday, I will leave the kingdom, and return to my home, the sea, to find myself, and remember who I am.

You will become King that day. It will be a big responsibility, but you will be ready.

The people of the ocean will be ready too. They will need you to lead them, to guide them, to protect them, as they take their next step into the future. I cannot see what that future will bring. I only know you are the one to lead our people into it.

It will be your turn then, to write a note for your child. Daughter or son, I cannot tell. And explain to them the day you will leave. The day they will become the ruler of the ocean kingdom. The day they will lead our people as they take the next step in their journey into the future.

Your loving mother,
Oceana.

Sword knew what to do. He called the captain of the kingdom’s guard. “The queen has declared we are not to follow her, or look for her. She has declared I am now king.” He ordered no one search for his mother. “The kingdom guard will spread the word of Queen Oceana’s abdication.”

He ordered a week of mourning for the departure of his mother. Followed by a week of celebration of the future. “It was always her wish the people of the kingdom be happy.”

Then, he invited emissaries from the machines to the kingdom, so the people of the kingdom would learn of the machines.

Lastly, he ordered the kingdom be searched for any fairies with wild magic, with any found brought to the castle, where he would teach them of their wild magic, and how to use it responsibly, and for the good of the kingdom.

At the end of his first day as king, Sword visited the surface. He stretched his wings, soaring into the sky, where he watched the moon, and the stars. Change was coming. It was time for he asked Rose to become his queen.

492 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 31 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#ThursThreads Week 93 : It’s Beatiful, But It’s Flawed

The kid looked at his hand, and watched the blood leak from it. I’d tried to warn him, but he hadn’t listened. This was Earth. The world of the humans. Where even the flowers were violent, and dangerous.

I laughed. “Careful, boy.” I pulled a strip of medical tape out of my pocket, and wrapped it around his finger.

“What happened?”

“The humans have a song. Says every rose has its thorn.” I carefully reached into the rosebush, and pulled the stem out into the open. “The song doesn’t lie.” He could see the stem, and the thorns spaced randomly around it. “This is a rose, kid.” I cut the stem, and pulled the rose bloom free, handing it to him.

He studied it. “It’s stunning.”

“Yeah. It is.” I sighed. “Every bit as beautiful as anything in the City of Gold.”

He nodded his head. “Look at the way it’s petals all wind together.” He ran his fingertips across the petals of the rosebud. “They feel like velvet, or silk.”

“They are one of Joshua’s most exquisite creations.”

The kid stared at it. “And yet, it’s filled with thorns.” The kid shook his head. “How? How can this be?”

“This is Earth. Where Lucien and the fallen live.” I looked up at the moon in the star filled sky. “Perhaps Joshua’s greatest creation.” I took a deep breath, and slowly let it out. “It’s beautiful. But it’s flawed. It’s why Joshua trapped Lucien and the fallen here. On Earth.”

250 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 93. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 7)

Dawn on the sixth day of Sword’s journey was absolutely beautiful. The sun slowly inched above the trees, turning the clouds and sky shades of pink, purple, and blue. Sword had slept well that night. The birds woke him up in time to see the sunrise. They could be very loud when they wanted to. Especially a screech-owl, standing next to your head. Sword’s ears were still ringing.He’d been angry at first, wondering why they would wake him so early. But as he watched the birds, he began to think they woke him for a reason. As if they knew there would be a beautiful sunrise. And they wanted him to see it. As if it was a gift. And the sunshine breaking through the darkness of the night, and bringing all the colors of the world to life once more was beautiful.

And he realized it was a gift. Sunshine. A beautiful day. This was a gift from the fairy child named Sunshine. Mystica’s first adopted daughter. She had the wild magic gift of weather. Sword smiled. Then he laughed. He felt great. His friends, Mystica and her daughters, were looking forward to his visit. And he was almost there.

Once the sun was up, Sword resumed his journey. Chasing the birds from tree to tree. It had become a game. Sword, chasing the birds, and the birds staying just out of reach. It was a marvelous way to pass the time on his journey. And in no time at all, Sword and his bird friends had covered miles. The birds were singing, and dancing. Sword was laughing, watching them dance. He’d never known birds could dance. He’d never paid attention before. But they were dancing. And Sword joined right in, hopping around, fluttering his wings, craning his neck, flapping his arms, and doing his best to imitate his avian friends.

The birds led him down from the trees, to a small clearing, filled with roses. Sword stopped there for a time. He looked at roses. Deep red velvet ones. Cream colored ones. White, pink, yellow. His favorite were the multicolored ones. With red fringes on yellow petals. Or white trails through red petals.

Sword sat down in the middle of the roses, on a well-worn path. And he closed his eyes. He knew. This was one of Rose’s gardens. He was getting close to the end of his journey. And he would soon see Rose.

The birds stayed there, among the roses, with him, as he heard a rustling noise. He looked to the West, and saw a shadow in the forest. A big shadow. He watched as that shadow slowly detached itself from the forest, and walked into the daylight of the roses. It was a wolf. A big one. It stayed on the trail through the roses. It stopped a safe distance from Sword. And it sat down.

The birds sang for a while. Then, they took flight, scattering in all directions. Leaving Sword alone with the wolf. The wolf just sat there. Watching Sword. “Am I supposed to follow you now?” The wolf nodded. Then stood up, turned and headed back the way it had come. After a couple of steps, the wolf stopped, looking back at Sword.

Sword got to his feet, and followed the wolf. In this place. In this forest. Near the lake. Sword began to realize things were different. Dragons weren’t dangerous. Wolves didn’t attack people. Predators and prey lived in peace. Side-by-side.

This was the land of Mystica and her daughters. He could feel it. It was a distinct feeling. A happy feeling. A safe feeling. A caring feeling. Where everyone was welcome. Every creature welcome.

The wolf led Sword down a well-worn trail. A trail walked by wolves, and others. A trail that blended into the woods. One that was hard to discern. But following the wolf, it became obvious to Sword. He knew he would never have found it on his own.

He’d been planning to head West, until he reached the river. And then, he’d explore the river to the north, hoping he was south of the lake.  After a couple of days, he’d turn south, and search for the lake to the south of where he’d found the river.

Now, he didn’t have to search. He could feel the wolf leading him to the lake.

Along the trail, Sword noticed more and more vines filled with green leaves, and flowers. White and pink flowers. And he began to feel music. He could close his eyes, and he could feel music gently caressing everything. The flowers, the trees, the ground, the wolf, and himself. He knew the music was Musica. And it was music that soothed all the aches and pains he had from his journey. He couldn’t help but smile.

The trail came to the river. Sword had never seen this part of the river before. But he knew it was the river leading to the lake. And he was happy he had the wolf guiding him. The wolf turned south. So did the trail.

The wolf stopped and took a long drink from the river. Sword did the same. The wolf waded into the river, diving under its surface, splashing around. Sword realized the wolf was taking a bath. So he waded into the river too. And splashed. He washed the dirt off himself. Washed the debris out of his hair. Got his shorts soaking wet, and mostly clean.

The wolf and Sword returned to the trail, where they stopped, and waited for the water to dry off of their bodies. “Thank you, kind wolf. You are wise to help me make myself more presentable for Mystica and her daughters.” Sword swore the wolf smiled.

When they’d dried off, they continued their journey to the south. Bushes filled with flowers filled in both sides of the river, they bushes were well cared for. Sword realized all he had to do to find the lake was find the roses of that garden. Find the trail. And follow it to the lake.

And suddenly, there it was. The lake. The trail just ended, and opened up to the lake. The wolf led Sword out into the clearing.

Rose was there. Waiting for him. She smiled at him, and gave him a big hug. Wrapping her arms around his neck. She never said a word. Neither did Sword. And when she finished hugging him, she took his hand, and led him into the clearing, where Mystica, Dream, Sunshine and Musica waited.

“Welcome to our home, Sword,” Mystica greeted him. “It’s so grand of you to visit.” She picked him up, like the little boy he really was, and gave him a hug before setting him down. “I must tell Oceana that you are here, and unscathed.”

That’s when Dream spoke. “OK. Mommy. We’ll take care of him.” And she smiled. And Sword, for the first time in his life, blushed. It was an interesting feeling, that burning sensation in his cheeks, and across his chest.

Mystica laughed, and so did her daughters. “I’m sure you will.”

And so ended Sword’s first journey to the lake. It was a journey he would make twice a year, every year, from then on. At first, Mystica’s daughters knew he was coming to spend time with all of them. But, over the years, it became obvious to all of them. Sword made his journey twice a year for Rose.

The two of them were like two halves of one whole.

He spent plenty of time with all of Mystica’s daughters. He loved them all. And they loved him. But he made that trip, twice each year.

For Rose.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 1)

Six months after Mystica, her daughters, and the dragons had returned Sword to Oceana and her ocean realm, Oceana knew it was time to ask. She knew from Sword’s behavior what was wrong with him. Why he lacked the focus he’d once had. Why he had been that way for the past six months.

Oceana sighed, in her room, and knew what she would do the next day.

When the sun rose above the horizon, the Oceana’s realm came to life again. The other ocean fairies and the mere-people woke from their rest, and began to carry out their day-to-day lives. That’s when Oceana spoke to her messenger. “Have Sword come before me.”

The messenger had raced from Oceana’s home beneath the ocean to Sword’s lands. Sword was the young prince. Son of Oceana. Heir to the kingdom of the seas. He had a special magic. The magic of the sword. With the ability to swing his arms, as if holding a sword. And the air, and sea both would cut what he swung at as if he’d struck it with a sword.

He was already among the greatest warriors of the ocean realm. And he was only a boy.

The messenger informed Sword of Oceana’s command. And Sword happily complied with his mother’s wish, visiting her in her home. When he arrived, Oceana embraced him, as a mother does her son. And then, she asked him, “Do you wish to visit Mystica and her daughters where they live by the lake in the woods?”

Sword almost leaped for joy. “Yes! I would love to visit them!”

Oceana wasn’t through with questions, though. “My son. Is there anyone there you especially wish to visit?”

Sword’s eyes shined in their brilliant ocean blue. “Yes, mother. There is.” And Sword, the brash prince that he was, actually looked at the floor, and stared at his feet. As if searching for words. As if afraid to speak. “I miss Rose.”

Oceana smiled. It was as she’d always known. Since the day he saw the little girl named Rose, and the way Sword behaved around her, she’d known. She’d also known that Sword and Rose were too young to know. But Oceana knew. She could see it in the way they two of them behaved when they were together. She knew each was the missing half of the other. That one day, each would make the other whole.

“Then, my son, it is time you began your journey from boy to man. We will contact Mystica, and let her know of your wish to visit. Then, you will make the journey to their home on your own. So that all will know this was your decision. And your wish. And all will know that I would not deny your wish to you.”

So it was that Oceana summoned her fairy magic, and called for Mystica. The water before Oceana shifted, and Mystica’s shape gradually appeared. Oceana smiled. “Mystica, of the White Magic.”

“Oceana, of the ocean realm. How may I help you on this day?” Even as she spoke with Mystica, she felt the white magic building. And in a few simple heartbeats, the image of Mystica became  Mystica herself. Mystica couldn’t help but notice the questioning look in Oceana’s eyes, and felt drawn to explain. “Yes, Oceana. I had this ability to travel great distances in mere moments when I traveled to the ocean realm to rescue Sword.”

“Yet, you did not use it. Why?”

“I have only used it rarely. And at those times, it left me nearly exhausted, and very weak. Merlin has explained to me that with time, I will grow stronger, and using the magic of travel will become easier. But for now, it’s difficult.”

Oceana smiled. “I understand. I can only imagine how much effort it takes to travel such distances in such short times.” And both laughed. They talked briefly, Oceana asking about Mystica’s adopted daughters, and Mystica sharing stories of her daughters, and how they had grown in the past six months. Especially tiny Dream. They also talked of the wild magic the girls possessed, and of the way they were learning to live with it. And control it.

Then the topic drifted to why Oceana had called Mystica. “Sword has asked to visit your home. He misses you and your daughters.”

Mystica smiled. “And we all miss him. Especially Rose.”

And so it was that Sword would make the journey from the ocean realm to Mystica’s home on his own. Scream and Merlin would talk with the dragons, and the dragons would watch over Sword on his journey. They would help Sword if he needed help. And Mystica would watch over him from the lake in the forest. If Sword needed help, and the dragons were not able to help, Mystica herself would help.

Mystica and Oceana embraced, as if they were sisters. And then, Mystica simply faded away.

The next morning, Sword started the six-day journey to the lake. As ordered by Oceana, he went alone. This was one more step as he grew from boy to man. The ocean kingdom was so proud that the prince was growing up, taking the next step toward becoming a man. They knew he would one day soon become the great warrior he was born to become.

#ThursThreads, 26 April 2012

[Author’s note : Each week, on Thursday, @SiobhanMuir graciously hosts a Flash Fiction event on her blog. Having never tried Flash Fiction in my life, when my friend and fellow survivor of NaNoWriMo 2011, @janiecrouch invited several of us NaNos to participate the week she was the judge, I decided why not. And I’ve been hooked. These Flash Fiction challenges are great fun to me, and push me into writing words I would never have written on my own. I’ve been asked by several people that know me to share the FlashFiction entries I write, here, where they can find them. So, that’s what I’m doing. I’ll put the entries up, one at a time, as I get to them. And at the start of each, I’ll leave a link to the actual entries of the #ThursThreads challenge, so that you may read all the other entries from that week. I have encountered some truly grand writing, and truly grand writers as a result of this baby step I’ve taken into the world of Flash Fiction. And I’m very thrilled that @SiobhanMuir has provided this opportunity each week. On that note, here’s the promised link to the entries from Thursday, 26 April 2012. Happy reading, everyone.

Mark]

 

“Sword, what is this place?” Rose asked, as we stepped from the trees, into the ruins. I took her hand. Relishing the way it felt in mine. The softness of her skin. The warmth of her palm. The way her graceful fingers laced through mine.

I walked forward, and she walked with me. I’d always come to this place alone.But I wanted her to see it. I would have no secrets from her.

There were strange things there, I know she’d never seen. The ruins were like some kind of grid. Made of big squares, separated by big walkways. There were the remains of huge castles everywhere. But they were not like any castles I knew of. The biggest castles were no more than four stories tall. But there were castles here that had more than 20 stories.

The walkways had once been clear of vines, and trees. Wrecks of four wheeled carriages were scattered everywhere. Vines climbed over and through the wrecks.

I lead Rose to to a building I knew of, stopping to look at her. Her strawberry blond hair. Her blue eyes. The curve of her neck. I reached up, and brushed her hair out of her face, back behind an ear. My fingers had never felt so alive. I wanted to stand there forever.

“We’re here.” I spoke. “What’s inside will change everything you know about the world that we live in.”

It was time to show her the machines.

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.