Seeded: Part Three
Isabelle awoke slowly, her heavy eyelids blinking a few times before fully opening.
When they did, all she wanted to do was shut them tight.
She was sitting on the ground at the base of a tree. Her hands and ankles were bound tightly with rope that bit into her skin so she couldn’t move.
The sky above her was dark; night had fallen over the woods. She had been asleep for hours. And in that time, a lot had happened.
The center of the clearing was no longer bare. Instead, there was a giant cauldron set on top of a blazing pile of burning wood. The heat from the flames was intense, lighting up her skin in a sickly yellow cast and blistering her face.
Three light faeries in long black robes walked around the pot, throwing in herbs and ingredients that landed into the bubbling brew with plops and hisses. Fog crept out of the cauldron in voluminous plumes. Isabelle inhaled the rancid smoke and immediately started coughing.
The faeries looked up at her in unison. “She’s awake,” one noted, turning towards her companion angrily. “Your slumber spell was supposed to make her sleep for at least another hour!”
“The Seed spell weakened our powers, in case you didn’t remember,” the faerie snapped back. Stray pieces of her blonde hair plastered her face from the heat of the fire. “I haven’t been able to cast a decent spell in thirteen years.”
“That will all change tonight.” The third one grinned, her teeth flashing wickedly in the darkness.
“What’s going on?” Isabelle asked, finding her voice. She looked around, trying to see if she could spot the baby that Ziya had mentioned, but it appeared that she was alone with her three captors. “What have you done to that little faerie? The one who you planted the Seed inside of?”
“Little faerie?” the first one repeated with a smirk. “Oh my dear Isabelle, that little faerie is you.”
The earth faerie froze. “No. I-It can’t be,” she stammered, unbelieving. “Ziya just had the vision the other day. And she said it was a baby...”
“Ahh, so that’s how you know about the Seed! Your little Seer friend. You should know visions can show the past as well as the present and future, Isabelle,” the second one chided.
“I still don’t understand,” Isabelle felt herself begging. “Who are you three? What’s going on?”
“Our names are not that important,” the third one said, uncorking a vial with blue liquid and pouring it into the caldron. The smoke turned bright orange. “Though I am surprised you never noticed us. We live in town with you, but of course, a mutant like yourself would never pay us any heed.”
Isabelle felt her face flush with anger and her one good wing trembled. But she realized they were right. She did recognize them. One worked at the food stall every Saturday, and another had two daughters. But Isabelle had always been so reclusive that she never gave them a second glance, opting to stay away from the others in her community and live life as an outcast.
“We knew of the Seed spell,” the third one continued. “It’s legendary. It increases a faerie’s power a hundredfold. And so when you were just a baby, before you could even walk, we decided to let you be a part of our spell, make you the vessel to hold our magic as you grew. You should feel honored, Isabelle.”
“Why me?” she asked in confusion. “Why did you choose me?”
The first one grinned wickedly. “Your wings. Or rather, wing. The Seed inside of you repels others away from you, makes them wary. Your deformity was the perfect cover. We knew you wouldn’t suspect a thing. And you didn’t.”
Isabelle’s stomach clenched. She felt sick. She could almost feel the foreign nexus of magic deep inside of her, pulsing along with her heartbeat, and she felt violated.
But more than that, she felt betrayed.
I could have had more than just a single friend, she realized. It wasn’t my wing that made me a loner; it was the Seed.
“So today is the day we three have been waiting for,” the second one said. “I saw you when you walked into the clearing today. Your earth faerie powers have come in already, which means the Seed has grown all it can. So today was the perfect opportunity to steal you away. Today we take our magic back from you.” Her face was bright and hopeful, her eyes locked onto the future. “In just a few minutes this potion will be done. And we’ll have power beyond our wildest dreams.”
And with a smirk, the faeries left her on the ground to resume their potion making.
Isabelle watched them as they prodded the potion with a large stick, throwing in more ingredients from vials they withdrew from the hidden pockets of their cloaks. One of the faeries held a spell book in her small hand and began to draw a large rune on the ground with a twig.
After a few minutes of watching, Isabelle’s eyesight began to blur. Eventually, she felt the streams of hot tears running down her face. She wiped them away on her upper arm, trying to stay strong, but she couldn’t help but feel a mixture of fear and despair. It was hopeless. She was all alone in the woods; no one knew she was there. The last time her mom had seen her, she had just stormed out. And Ziya was off in Faerieland.
But worst of all was the fact that she knew she couldn’t escape on her own. She was deformed and powerless. Her wing prevented her from flying, and her wrists and legs were bound with rope made of thousands of strong fibers.
Fibers! she realized suddenly, her eyes lighting up. Fibers were found in an assortment of plants, and she was an earth faerie. She had earth magic.
She closed her eyes and focused on the rope tied around her ankles, digging into her soft flesh. She rubbed her forefinger and thumb together, trying to conjure up some of the magic inside of her and connect with the plant fibers in the rope.
Isabelle felt the rope twitch slightly, responding to her magic weakly. I’m not powerful enough, she realized. The fibers have been dead for a while. They don’t respond as easily living plants.
But she needed to try. Her magic was her only escape, and she was going to make it work. Pouring her magic into the fibers, she slowly felt them loosen up, strand by strand.
“I finished the rune,” one of the light faeries suddenly announced.
Isabelle snapped out of her work and she glanced upwards, her heart racing. She needed more time. She scanned the rune the faerie had carved into the ground; the handwriting was sloppy and careless.
“Was that rune... drawn properly?” she asked, a note of nervousness creeping into her voice.
“Properly enough,” the faerie said. Her fingers twitched anxiously, and she turned to the faerie stirring the large cauldron in the center. “Is the potion done?”
“A few more counterclockwise stirs should do it...” Suddenly the clearing lit up with a flash of blood red light. The faerie grinned evilly. “It’s done.”
Before Isabelle could truly comprehend what was going on, a goblet was pressed to her lips. The steamy potion was inside, smelling sickly sweet like overripe berries. A light faerie was whispering softly in her ear, holding the glass to her mouth. “Drink, Isabelle,” she whispered. “Drink the potion.”
Isabelle refused, keeping her lips shut tight. The faerie groaned, “Don’t be such a hassle!” and pinched her nose. Isabelle held her breath for as long as she could, but her mouth eventually gulped open for air. In that split second, the faerie tilted the cup and the potion slid down her throat.
Isabelle coughed wildly. It burned on the way down and settled into her stomach like lead. Suddenly she gripped her chest. It felt like there was a ball of energy trying to rip itself out of her: the Seed.
“The potion works!” the faerie cheered. She yanked a hacking Isabelle to her feet. “Come on! Into the circle!”
“No!” Isabelle thrashed out of her grip. With a burst of magic, the rope around her ankles split apart. She was free! Frantically she made a mad dash towards the tree line.
“STOP!” one faerie yelled, and a bolt of magic hit Isabelle square in the back. Isabelle felt as if she had been hit by a brick and stumbled. The faerie immediately latched onto her and dragged her to the center of the rune.
The faeries formed a circle around her. Isabelle had freed her feet, but she knew there was no way she would be able to break out of their circle. Her wrists were still bound. Not only would she not be able to fight her way through, but she wouldn’t be able to get on her feet in the first place.
This is it, the earth faerie thought miserably as the three surrounded her. Her eyes stung with unshed tears, but she refused to cry. I won’t give them the satisfaction.
Mustering up her will power, she straightened herself up and glared into their eyes, defiant of their spell.
“Look at her,” one faerie remarked, flipping to the right incantation in her spell book. “Acting all high and mighty. Are you ready, little Isabelle? Ready to fork over the magic?”
Isabelle didn’t respond.
The faerie grinned triumphantly, her bright blue eyes wild. “So let us begin!”
However, just as they were about to recite the incantation, the entire clearing was immerged in a deep unearthly darkness.
To be continued...