Following the Wind: Part One
Also by noob
The sun shone brightly from the sky, piercing down through the thin cloud cover in radiant beams over the grassy lands of Brightvale. Groups of children ran after each other playing tag and laughing at the top of their lungs, not paying attention nor caring where it was they were going. The day itself seemed to scream perfection.
There was, however, one oddity, the form of a woman cloaked in blue sitting on the steps of the bookshop. By the way she was dressed and the bunching that could be seen in the back of her cloak, it was clear she was a Faerie. Though her face could not really be seen a feeling of calm radiated from her and a group of three children stopped to look at her curiously, putting a halt to their jovial play.
“Hey, lady, what are you doing here?” the smallest of the children asked, a little purple Cybunny with eyes wide with innocent interest.
“Ahhhhhh,” the woman sighed, her breath floating breezily as she spoke. “That, my child, is a long story if you want your question answered fully... in short, though, I simply travel.”
“What sort of story is it?” a second child piped up, this one a pushy looking red Scorchio.
The woman smiled softly, the shaded outline of her lips barely seen through the shadows of the hood that was pulled about her head. “It’s an old story, one that most everyone has forgotten and even fewer care to tell. Only the Faeries remember and there are probably only three who admit freely that it ever occurred at all.”
“Can you tell it to us?” the oldest of the children asked, a striped Eyrie with sharp eyes.
“If you wish,” the woman whispered, shifting on the steps to make herself more comfortable. “Long ago, the Faeries of different elements stood divided against each other, wishing nothing but malice on those who belonged to a different race. Back then was when it all began, before we had a queen, before Faerieland even existed. Long, long ago in a world where treachery and betrayal was law and to be honest to yourself was to turn your back on your kind. In this land there lived a girl who was only a little bit older than you...”
Elora soared through the sky, the wind brushing against her face as the elated Air Faerie darted and weaved around, laughing because she knew that nobody could hear her. She’d decided to venture out farther from the Air Faerie Cloud than was advised today but she didn’t care; wind was wind and wherever it carried her she was glad to go.
Down below she could see the expanse of ocean give way to land, green and luscious as it darted past. Elora raised her arms out wide and dove down towards the earth, her long golden hair trailing behind her. The grass came zooming in and she quickly pulled up feet before she hit the ground. She giggled excitedly again, flipped around in the air and then quickly closed her wings so she dropped down the couple of extra feet into the tall grass with a gentle thump.
She let out another laugh that resembled the tinkling of small bells, staring up at the sky she had just been soaring through moments before with a smile on her face. Surely, she thought as her back rested against the cool soil, there could be nothing happier than living like this.
As she lay there, her feet moving back and forth with the sway of the breeze a face peered down at her, blocking the sun. Elora sat up quickly in surprise, knocking heads with whoever had just bent over her. Both fell back on the ground, simultaneously crying out in shock and clutching at their foreheads.
“Owwwwwww!” Elora heard the person moan. “That really hurt!”
Her head throbbing she pulled her hands away from her face and looked over at the person she had bumped into. It was another Faerie who was about her age, her copper hair cascading down her back in waves and green eyes that were currently watering in pain. A light dusting of freckles covered her cheeks and she smiled weakly at Elora, who was staring at her in wonder.
“Hi,” the other Faerie said, getting up awkwardly and brushing off her raggedy looking green dress. “What’s an Air Faerie like you doing over here? Aren’t you guys supposed to live off in that cloud over the ocean or something?”
“Ah... yeah...” Elora trailed off nervously. “I flew out farther than usual... hey; you’re an Earth Faerie, right?”
She laughed. “Yes, what else would I be?”
“Oh, it wasn’t that... it’s just... I shouldn’t be talking to you.”
“Come on, you don’t actually listen to your Council, do you?” she asked, looking disappointed. “I’m Illusen, by the way. What’s your name?”
“Not really, but still... we really shouldn’t be talking... Illusen’s a pretty name, though. My name’s Elora.”
“Oh hey, Elora?” Illusen asked, her face suddenly lighting up with excitement. “I know you don’t think we should be hanging out or anything, but... well, I was wondering if you could show me how to flip around like you did before you landed. That was really cool.”
She felt herself surge with pride; she’d spent hours practicing that move until it was perfect and now finally someone had noticed. “Okay, I don’t mind,” she said eagerly, the fact that their interaction was forbidden by both their races driven out of her mind in an instant. “Come on, let’s fly up and I’ll show you.”
They looked at each other, wide smiles spreading slowly across both of their faces before they took off into the air, twirling around in the sky. They seemed to dance along the wind for hours, Elora showing Illusen exactly how to balance her weight if she wanted to do a spectacular flip. When the sun began to set, sinking slowly beneath the trees, they finally landed, exhausted and aching with the day’s activities.
“That was so great!” Illusen cried out, grinning from ear to ear. “Oh! This was the best day ever! I’m so glad I went over to see who you were!”
Elora beamed back, her joy almost overflowing. “I’m glad you found me too. Nobody ever wants to hang around me back home; they think I’ll cause them trouble or something.”
“Really? Me too! They think I’m too nosy or something,” Illusen said, looking irritated at the thought before brightening up again. “Hey! We should do this tomorrow too!”
“Yeah, we should,” Elora replied, looking up at the sky nervously. “It’s getting really dark, though, so I should head back. I don’t want them thinking I ran off or something.”
“Okay, yeah, I should go back too. You really meant it when you said we should get together tomorrow, right?” Illusen asked, her head tilting in concern before she pointed over to a large tree silhouetted in the distance. “I’ll be waiting over there for you around noon if you mean it.”
“I do! I really mean it!” Elora said, already planning in her head what she would show Illusen next. “I’ll be there at noon too, I promise.”
With that, the Faeries parted, heading back to their respective homes. Elora sighed. She had a long flight ahead of her, but she was glad she had decided to follow the wind currents; if she hadn’t, then she never would have met Illusen.
Dusk turned to dark and still she flew until she came upon a large cloud with a small city formed on top of it. It bobbed up and down lazily as she landed before the city gates, sneaking around a sleeping patrolman and sprinting back to her home, hoping that her passage had gone unnoticed. It had not.
From the shadows a figure clothed in the dark of night sprinted up to the castle, her footsteps making no sound. She slipped through the doors like a ghost and made her way to a large antechamber were a group of five Faeries sat. The figure entered the light and revealed herself to be a beautiful blonde haired Faerie with a single streak of blue trailing down one side of her head.
“What is it?” the head councilwoman said, her harsh voice ringing off the walls bitterly.
“Lady Atrik, it’s Elora; she’s been flying out too far again,” the woman said, kneeling down in the center of the hall, a smug smile twisting her otherwise gentle looking face.
“Your point?” she snapped. “That girl is always going out too far; it’s hardly treasonous to go flying.”
“Ahhhh yes, my lady, but what of the things she’s been doing while she’s gone?” The woman’s voice seemed to snake out and twist around the whole Faerie council.
Concern flashed across Lady Atrik’s face, paranoia entering her mind like poison. “What is it? What has the girl been doing?”
The smile on the woman’s face grew wider. “She’s been... mingling... my lady.”
A whisper ran through the council before it was silenced by a hand wave by Lady Atrik, who spoke again, her mouth pinched together in cold fury. “Mingling? With who? How did you come about such knowledge?”
“She was in the presence of an Earth Faerie and they didn’t break contact for several long hours,” she said. “I saw fit to follow her after her continuous long outings and this is what I discovered.”
“It appears we have a traitor in our midst,” Lady Atrik whispered angrily before addressing the woman crouched before her again. “Very well, bring her before us to stand trial tomorrow morning. You have done very well, Jhudora.”
To be continued...