Toward the Farmhouse.
Thank you for those of you who anticipate the next instalment of the Wish. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.
Comments would be appreciated.
Life is Wonderful
Ava skipped all the way home, with a handful of wildflowers, a wish in her soul and a mind full of joy upon seeing the faery.
Life was indeed wonderful. The summer sun was sinking over the western hills, but the heat of the day lingered still.
"I wished a wish upon a Wish…."
She danced along the path to the lone farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.
"... I wished a wish away... "
She saw her mother upon the porch waiting for her. With her apron on and her hair pulled back under her kerchief, Ava knew there would be cakes in the oven. She ran towards her mother to tell her of her adventures; the Wish and the walk, and the web and the fairy’s promise.
In the kitchen, she was buzzing with excitement. The words could not come out fast enough and seemed to get all jumbled in her mouth.
"Calm down, child!" Mother pleaded.
"It was a perfect Wish, mother. You should have seen it. Oh my, perfectly perfect. I knew right away it was a fresh Wish, mother. A brand-new one. An empty one, and no wishes in it. So I made a wish, but I can’t tell you what it was, so please, mother don't ask because I shan't be able to tell you, and then off it went, skiddattling through the sky and then, oh mother, the faery! You should have seen her. But the poor thing was trapped in a spider's web, and I freed her, mother. She was so small and beautiful, so I said the mother's blessing, you know, the one you taught me from when you were little and she smiled and said she had important engagement, maybe another faery was getting married, I don't know for sure, but where was I?...”
Mother sat at the table trying hard to keep up with the story and watching Ava bounce all around the kitchen and not doing a good job of containing her excitement.
"…Oh, yes, she said she'd come and see me again. To thank me for rescuing her. Isn't that wonderful mother, coming to visit me?" Ava beamed with joy as her mother smiled lovingly.
"I must go up stairs to tell Twinkle the news. Oh and here are some flowers for you mother."
With the flowers given, Ava ran upstairs to tell Twinkle, her stuffed rabbit, of the day’s events.
Mother rose from her chair, still smirking and smelled the flowers. They were sunshine on stems and such beautiful colors. She opened a cupboard to find a vase to put them in but did not find it where it was supposed to be. She searched more cupboards, but it wasn't anywhere, she looked.
"That's strange." With a puzzled look, she turned and her gaze fell upon the table she was just at, and there, right in the middle of the table, was the exact vase she was searching for. Her look became more curious.
"I must be losing my mind, that wasn't there a moment ago." She turned to close the cupboard but they had already been closed.
The Windsong Brownies
She was brought into the farmhouse, much to her displeasure, but she was safe from the goblins that they had lost in the forest. Her captors were quick and stealthy and quite elusive and before she knew it, they were all in a cozy little room under the floorboards of a kitchen and safe. It was there that she finally set eyes on what or who had kidnapped her and, ultimately, saved her.
"Brownies" she exclaimed with relief.
"Right sorry to have been so rough with you, my dear fae but it seemed that the situation would have turned out most unpleasant for you, should we have left you. I mean with those nasty goblins about, well, one never knows what they can end up doing. And sorry to put the fright in you but you know escape and evasion left us no time for cordial introductions so, please allow me. I am Cornelius Windsong, and this is my eldest son Arthur, that one is Archibald, Bernard and our youngest son William."
Each took a bow upon introduction, then took a step back to allow the next brother the spotlight.
"My lovely wife of three hundred years, Anna-Lisa, and my daughters Sarah and Shannon."
The ladies all curtsied. All were dressed in brown clothing, be it shirts, trousers and jackets for the men and brown dresses and smocks for the womenfolk. They were all neat and clean and pressed except of course for the men of the group who were ragged from the run.
"It was young William who had seen you hit the tree, young fae. He came back to get us to help, he said you were hurt bad. And in that forest, hurt bad leads to more hurt. Well by the time we got back, you had come far too close to the goblins lair and seeing as you're flying is, well, not up to scratch, we took the liberty of liberating you.”
All the time Cornelius was talking, Anixi could hear the muffled sound of voices above her. She looked up at the ceiling of the room she was in.
"That's the kitchen up there and those are human folk, Ava and her mother."
Mr. Windsong turned to his sons. "Off you go lads she’ll be needing a vase any minute. Top cupboard above the stove, put it on the table for her and don't forget to close the cupboards for mother. You know, she always forgets. Go, go, be off."
He turned his attention back to Anixi.
"Are you okay, my dear?"
"I guess I'm fine, thank you so much for your efforts in rescuing me. I was so scared I could not move. And my wing... oh my wing!" She inspected it intently for the first time.
"Not to worry love, we will have you fixed up in a snap, won't we girls?" The girls curtsied their approval and rushed to get things that mother would need.
"It won't be long, dear, before you are up and back to flying. I have some old healing recipes my grandmother left me, not to worry."
"Thank you, Mrs. Windsong, I am indebted."
"Think nothing of it, love," and she rummaged around for her recipe book.
Anixi gazed about the room. The men folk left and the womenfolk stayed back to tend to her. The place was cozy and comfortable and there was a warmth that came from everything there. There was love and kindness in the floorboard home of the Windsong Brownies. Anixi knew of the Brownies, although she had never met any.
They were far cousins of the leprechauns, and somehow related to pixies, but she couldn't remember how. She knew they help humans in secret by finishing chores and cleaning up after them. This was their life, and they did it for the love they had for the family. Brownies would stay with one family for generations; all they needed was a token, every now and then, not payment or reward. A bit of cream left on a plate, a tiny morsel of cake left out overnight. They were simple folk who just wanted to help others and here was Anixi, being mended by gentle hands and caring hearts of these little people she had never met before.
"Just a bad bend, love," said Anna-Lisa. "I've got just the paste for it, lilac petal with tulip and rose blossom, mixed into just a dollop of honey. This should have you up in no time. Ha, up in no time. I believe I made a joke!" She chuckled to herself as she applied the paste to the wing.
Above her head Anixi could hear the delighted squeals a little girl. Anixi turned her ears to catch the conversation as she heard the word faery.
"... Poor thing, caught in a spider's web... She was so small and beautiful..."
"Oh, my!" Anixi Jumped.
"Did I hurt you my dear?"
"No...Wait...No...Listen..." She realized the little girl was talking about Loulouthi.
"... And I freed her..." Was all Anixi needed to hear it to be more relieved.
"Is something the matter, my dear Fae?"
"No. Not now Mrs. Windsong, it seems one of my friends may have been in danger and the human child rescued her."
"There seems to be a lot of that going on today."
"Indeed, Mrs." said Anixi, as she heard the footfalls move out of the kitchen as the men returned from puzzling Ava's mother.
"Now, tell father." Archibald nudged William. "Tell him what you told me"
William was about to start when he noticed all eyes upon him. He was about to speak when he looked at Anixi.
"Go on son, what is it?"
"The goblin's talk is about war, father." He hung his head.
"War?! Amongst each other? We could care less, war? What kind of war? Mind you, there hasn't been at war since the Unseelie's tried to take Carthya..."
He stared at William.
"…100 years ago." Continued Cornelius. "You must've heard wrong, son."
"It was Mootro, father. He will lead them. And he sent word to the Valkyres.
"No" gasped Cornelius.
"Yes father. I speak of what I've heard. They say the Elpitha Tree is dying."
Cornelius turned to Anixi "My Sweet Fae, is this true? Is the Elpitha Tree dying?"
Anixi was in shock, her mouth agape. She just nodded.
"War?" She managed to say.
"Those goblins are mad enough to do anything. War would not be too crazy an idea." Anna Lisa muttered as she gathered her medicines and the girls tidied up.
"Crazy, yes, and alone they would most certainly fail. But with the news of the Elpitha Tree, the entire on Unseelie court will band together to try and take Carthya."
He again looked at Anixi, who was softly crying now.
"Has no seed returned after all this time, my dear?"
"Four hundred years and nothing. We will all perish, my family, my friends..." Her words trailed off in a soft whimper.
They all sat silent, with the weight of the looming battle upon them.
Cornelius stood up abruptly. "Not without a good fight. I say. Carthya is but a day away from here. Wife, how long before our little fae here can fly?"
“By morning, I would gather."
"Good. Morning it is then. Get some rest, little one, for in the morning you fly fast and strong back to Carthya to warn them. Tonight lads, we will head out to the pixies and forewarn them. I say by morning, we will have most of our numbers recruited. Not to worry girls the Windsong men are up to the task. We will be back by sunrise."
The men packed supplies and left, as the Windsong women, and Anixi, sat silent.
All that was heard was the far-off song of the human child. "... I wished I wish upon a Wish..."
Anna Lisa looked up to their ceiling and smiled. "She's a sweet little thing. Bless her. It is she who will suffer lest this battle be stopped."
"Come little fae," said Sarah, "Shannon and I will take you to see Ava. The human child, she loves faeries."
"To meet her?" said Anixi.
"No silly, we just watch her. We are not ever to meet her, just help. Come."
They gathered Anixi up, and they raced away under the floors up the staircase Cornelius built in the walls, along another floor and into Ava's room. They hid behind a dollhouse and watched and listened.
Ava was playing with a pink stuffed rabbit.
"... And wouldn't it be lovely Twinkle, to have tea with the faeries, with cakes and treats. It would be most delightful. I must say. We must get ready Twinkle. She said she had an important engagement and would be back to see me. We must get ready."
Sarah and Shannon smiled. "Isn't she sweet?" Shannon asked Anixi. Anixi did not answer. She was gone.
"Where did she go?" Asked Sarah.
"Do you suppose she's in the room?"
They searched the room completely, even with Ava in there, but there was no sign of the little faery.
"Maybe she went back downstairs." But when they got back to their mother, she was not there either.
"She's gone mother."
"I can understand that. She is upset and needs to go home to help. She will be fine, children, not to worry. We will wish her luck and good fortune, girls, luck and good fortune.”
The Ash Grove
She had been so incredibly lucky, and she knew it. The forest was bad enough, but being alone and caught in the web? Unto the Great Mother; she gave thanks to meeting up with a pure souled child. As she flew, she shuddered at the thought of anything or anyone else finding her there trapped.
The sun was casting out at the last rays of the day, before bidding the meadows good night. It was the time of the dusk dance in Carthya, a celebration of the day that passed. A thanks for the gifts of the earth and a hope that tomorrow would be a day of sharing with nature once more.
Loulouthi loved the dusk dance. With her friends, she would frolic as carefree as the Wish had danced on the back of the breeze. Just as happy that she was a faery in the glorious place like Carthya.
Her mother had told her tales of wonder and amazement of great faeries, who had done wonderful deeds. The bringing of the Fete was one deed she was thankful for. Many, many years ago, the faeries, nymphs and sprites were separate groups of the Seelie Court. They never worked together, always unsure of the others, until the rising of the Unseelie's, the dark side of the enchanted world. They too were once apart, but when they started the battle at Faerin, there was no option for the different flights of the Fete. Pringipsa brought them all together to become one mighty flight and because of that, not only had the Seelie Court defeated any and every attempt the underworld had ventured to take over Faerin, Wisteria and twice at Carthya, but this enabled Loulouthi to find her best friend, Anixi.
Now, somewhere was her best friend, and Ylika, doing the job she should be helping with. She searched the skies, but the dusk had taken the distance out of her view. It was too dangerous to fly at night, with the dark curtain of night opening to the vile underworld stirrings. This was when they came out to wreak havoc on, not only the Seelie world, but in the human realm as well. Many a child was switched with a changeling in the night, many a nightmare was born by the works of the bogeys and pixies. Houses burned, livestock stolen or killed, they were an evil lot, all of them, and the night was their stage.
Now she had to find a place safe from the night’s frights. She saw her haven; a grove of ash trees. The faery nymphs made their home there, and it would be safe. As she neared the top of the tree, three nymphs came to greet her. They were kind and welcoming, once they realized who and what Loulouthi was. They quickly escorted her into the safety of the ash. She was welcomed with warm nectar of stargazer and the comfort of friendlies. Once settled, she was brought to a large room within the tree.
Within the room, the tone was serious. Head council stopped their talk upon seeing the Carthyan faery.
"Have you come with news?"
"I'm afraid, honorable Council, I have been sidetracked from my seed duties, and have found myself here, merely to rest for the night. News, I have none and know not any to pass on of any importance.”
"You know not of the pending war?"
"Yes, my child, word has come the Unseelie are gathering forces to take Carthya.
They are with knowledge of the dying of the Elpitha Tree and know that the Seelie will soon become weak. We have but one hope Carthyan, and that is that your seed make it to enchanted soil. For the moment it touches the earth in Carthya, it will start to grow in the shadow of its ancestor. It will root quickly and with the love of the Seelie, it will grow strong and each enchanted Seelie will grow stronger with it. Each one of us needs that seed. We will send out scouts at dawn to locate it. We will send word tonight for news of its whereabouts, and by sun-up, you'll be back at your post. Rest now, Carthyan, for at break of morn, you must find the seed and protect it with your life.
Go now, Elina and Sanna will show you where to sleep. Sleep well Carthyan, sleep well."
The Council all bowed to her and she too returned the gesture and left with the escorts.
She was afraid of the talk of war. She was a mere faerling when the last battle for Carthya took place. It was horrible. So many faeries hurt, too many killed. It was something she could not think of now.
Now she needed her rest. The council's promise of help eased her mind and after a good night's rest she would be back with her friends and on the way back home.
The darkness came on quickly, and the breeze died down to a lilting little current. The Wish floated aimlessly along an invisible path of its own design. Ylika was thankful for the break from the craziness it had displayed all day. If not for the time in the dark forest, she would have had no time to rest. Still, the memory of the goblins face stayed fresh in her mind. She pushed it away and glided along effortlessly alongside the Wish.
The night sky was darkening and below, meadows glowed in the light of the full June moon. The Wish flew high enough up to avoid any danger, yet low enough to see the sights clearly below. In the midst of a long steady glide she saw the lights below. In the clearing, among the thicket of trees. Lights arranged in a circle. Candles flickered and hundreds of creatures gathered there in. It was a chilling sight to see so many goblins in one place. She was thankful the breeze kept moving to propel the wish away from such a gathering. She felt better with every second further from the clearing, but not twenty minutes away, yet another circle and another and it seemed that every forest had a candlelit circle with hundreds of goblins assembled. While she was studying the last gathering, the beast came after her. With silent wings massive in size, she heard them a split-second before razor-sharp talons were about to grab her.
That split-second was enough to change her flight path and dive out of reach.
The owl must have been old and confused and mistook the faery for a bird or a dragonfly or something else that he could eat.... Either way, she was not about to get into an argument on what owls eat and what she was.
Now she had to put on a display of aerial maneuvers to lose the giant raptor. Being large did not stop the owl from being agile. It kept up with Ylika move for move and she was running out of new ones.
She had a plan, check the position of the owl to see how much space she had, very little from her guess. Ylika took a sharp U-turn and gained six feet on the bird by that move alone. She drove every ounce of strength into her wings to gain just a bit more speed and dove hard into the clearing, toward the candlelit circle, toward the hundred or so goblins that were there.
The owl would not let up the chase. There was no option left as Ylika careened towards the unsuspecting Hoofta of goblins, plummeting closer. The owl was now ten feet away as Ylika turned up her dive and flew mere inches above the goblins heads. Just as planned, the goblins in the back yelled as they only noticed the swooping owl above their heads. Within moments, just as Ylika soared up to the sky and out of danger, the owl was swatted, mid-flight, out of the air and mauled by a dozen or so hungry goblins
Ylika looked down to see clouds of feathers arising from the swarm of goblins. The relief of escape was short lived as she realized the Wish was gone. Above the trees and even with the help of the full moon, she could not see it. She hovered in one spot and gauged the wind, it was soft and gentle steady and eastbound. Her only hope in finding the Wish was to follow the invisible current and hope the Wish was sticking to this path and not skipping away as it did earlier that day.
Until we meet again....