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?”
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.”
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.