This story is the beginning of Shara’s Tale, from the Flash Fiction piece – Ignite
Posting over the next few days for quick reads.
The Fairies’ Witch
Shara looked at the little creature lying on the forest floor. No bigger than a child with delicate blue wings and graceful, elegant features. The fairy coughed, a tearing sound from deep in her chest.
“Twil be all right,” Shara whispered gently. She carefully rolled up her blanket to support the little creature’s head. She walked over to a stump that would serve as her work top. She took her mortar and pestle from a pocket and carefully ground herbs, a pinch of sage, a smidgen of nettle, a sprinkle of feverfew. She chanted as she worked the pestle in a counter clockwise motion.
“Powers of earth and air
help me heal this creature fair
by the power given me
I banish this illness
make it flee.”
With that she put a pinch of the powder into a small bottle, added full-moon water and shook until the potion glowed with a subtle lavender iridescence. Carefully Shara set the bottle to the fairy’s lips and poured the potion down. The fairy stirred for a moment and then fell into a deep slumber. Shara covered her little friend with her shawl and set about preparing small, sheltered, fire.
Sometime later, the fairy awoke. Cautious eyes looked around Shara’s rude shelter. Elarinya, the fairy, quickly felt at her side. Yes her sword was still there, good. What had happened? She remembered feeling so tired and hot and then … she woke here. She looked hard at Shara’s back, trying to get a feeling as to what this human was up to. She was neither caged nor bound so, what did this human have in mind for her?
A thousand scenarios ran through Elarinya’s mind, each more horrible than the next. How many friends had she lost at the hands of humans. Burned within their own forests! Elarinya could still hear their screams and she clamped her hands over her ears in a vain attempt to block them out. Well, if this human thought she would go without a fight, it was well and truly mistaken. Elarinya slowly rose to her feet, drew her sword and tested her wings.
Shara turned to see her little friend standing, with sword drawn and a vengeful look on her face. Shara dropped the wooden spoon she had been stirring the stew pot with and gazed with wonder at the fairy. She calmed her countenance and quietly spoke, “Hello, are you feeling better? Do you think you could manage a bit of stew?”
Elarinya halted in mid launch. What was this? She could feel no ill intent from the human and her voice held no malice. She fluttered slowly toward the human, but kept her sword raised.
“What do you want with me human?” Elarinya asked in her most threatening voice, gesturing with her sword.
“Oh I beg your pardon, Ma’am.” Shara continued bobbing a curtsy, “I want nothing but to help you. I found you here, you were ill. I thought to help you regain your health. Some broth?”
Shara had retrieved and cleaned the spoon and filled a cup with soup from the pot holding it out toward the fairy who eyed is suspiciously. Shara sighed and lifted the cup to her own lips, taking a cautious sip of the hot broth. “See, it’s safe.”
Shara set the fairy’s cup on the table. Then she scooped a portion into her own bowl and sat on the log that served as a chair. Elarinya, sheathed her sword. Sitting cross legged on the ground, she removed a little spoon from one of the cunning pockets of her frock and quickly finished the soup. Shara poured more into the cup and the fairy nodded her thanks.
When they had both eaten their fill. Shara cleaned up the eating area, banked the fire and sat on the ground beside the fire. Elarinya, perched nearby on a large stone, warmed herself by the fire of this curious human.