Brielle had done everything
by the book, from anointing herself in pure lavender oil to having no
animal products adorning her body. She was free of chemicals and man-made
scents, and carried no forbidden articles of technology. She arrived
at the edge of the woods as pristine as nature had surely intended us
all to be.
The young womyn dropped
her cloak at the entrance to the forest, and barefooted and clad only
in a natural cotton toga stole quietly into the woods. Clasped within
her closed hand she held the Blue-Foot Psilocybe, psilocybe caerulipes
that she had so lovingly cultivated. She looked down at the small,
knobbed mushroom cap, its cinnamon-colored gills still attached to the
greenish-blue stalk, and she watched as the fungus began to turn blue
in her palm.
She went over her itinerary
in her mind. Onset of psychedelic response, 10 minutes. Duration
of effect, up to 8 hours. Time noted before leaving home, 10:00. One
hour to get here. One hour to find the fairy ring after ingestionI
need to eat it soon.
Brielle had been obsessed
with the study of fairies for over half of her 26 years, and this obsession
went hand in hand with the study of psychotropic mushrooms. She would
never, in a normal state, find the fabled fairy ring. Only through the
magic of the mushroom would the ring make its presence known to her.
This All Hallows' Eve she felt confident that she would be successful
and come nose to nose with the small winged creatures she had been studying
for so many years.
As a child she had sworn
to her best friend that she had seen a fairy, and when her friend laughed
at her, she vowed that some day she would prove the world wrong about
the mystical creatures. She would produce concrete evidence that the
beings of myth and poem were not figments of overactive imaginations.
Well, perhaps not exactly concrete; she could not risk taking a camera
into the sacred place with her, but she would bring something back to
prove she had been there, perhaps a fairy wing or magical dustsomething
to prove their existence. She would also have answers to questions that
might arise, and those answers would be indisputable. Not only would
finding the elusive fairy ring bring her self-satisfaction, it would
bring her fame beyond her wildest dreams.
She stood in the middle
of a small clearing, opened her hand, and looked down at the now bright
blue cap. Heart palpitations increased threefold as she brought the
acrid-smelling fungus to her lips. Perhaps just a small bite will
do. No, Brielle, you know the instructions demanded that you ingest
the entire cap. Involuntarily her hand began to shake as doubt spread
its shadowy fingers and attempted to creep into her mind.
She would have nothing
of fear; she quickly threw the thoughts back into oblivion and popped
the entire mushroom into her mouth. Chew, you idiot, chew and swallow!
It will all be good. You will find the fairyfolk and fulfill your destiny.
Slowly she bit down on
the soft form. O-ne . . . "Arghhh, what a horrid flavor!"
Her first reaction was to spit out the offensive object, but her mind
overruled her natural instinct.
T-w-o . . . "By
all thats holy . . . " Burning saliva filled her mouth, and as
much as she wanted to spit, she knew she had to swallow or forfeit the
reason for this entire adventure and return to the realm of only wishing
to be a fairy hunter.
Yuck! What a rancid, bitter taste. Her stomach heaved as the
liquid and meat of the psilocybe slid down her throat. I certainly
hope this does the trick. Again she held back the desire to spit
and cleanse her mouth; she wanted to scream as her taste buds rebelled,
but she didnt for fear that her cries would be heard by the fairies
that she was intent on discovering.
She had spent the past
five years making herself familiar with the woods she now traveled.
She knew every inch of the area she was walking by heart and had a good
idea of where a fairy ring might be located from her studies of the
small woodland beings. There were several clearings in these woods,
but only one held all the signs, including a circle of tall conifer
trees with their branches rising to the sky, blocking all light save
that of the moon at the stroke of midnight on All Hallows' Eve. Prickly
brushes were abundant, making passage into the meadow hazardous for
those who didnt belong. Because the glow of the full silver moon
was strong, spotting mushrooms that only appeared minutes before the
midnight hour on a night of lunar fullness would be a little easier.
Although the mushrooms normally grew close to the base of the protecting
trees, on a night such as this they shed their shyness and ventured
to spawn the fairy circle in the middle of a meadow clearing.
She paced her steps carefully.
Keeping a cadence that she had used many times when she wore a watch
to gauge how long it would take her to arrive at the center of the clearing,
she could mentally regulate her progress to within a minute of when
she wanted to arrive. Tonight would be the culmination of years of study
She knew she had to keep
sharp eyes as she searched for the strange combination of mushrooms
that would form the fairy ring. Two mushrooms would make up the mystical
circle. The one she would be least likely to spot was the harmless and
edible boletus edulis, also known as the porcini or King Bolete
mushroom. Its unlikely companion, the poisonous but beautiful amanita
muscaria, or fly agaric, which in contrast sported a bright red cap
with white dots, would undoubtedly flank the broadly convex buff-brown
cap of the dull mushroom. The amanita always stood out among the other
foliage in the forest or the meadow.
As Brielle neared the
inner edge of the wood, she smiled. She felt in her heart that she would
soon reach the culmination of a long quest. A step later and without
warning, her face contorted and her stomach involuntarily rumbled as
an excruciating pain radiated from the pit of her abdomen and encircled
her entire being. The woods-borne fruit was working its magic. She clasped
her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming and closed her eyes to
focus on her inner eye. Her imagination saw her through the apex of
the pain as she envisioned herself finding the beings of her desire.
The night was dark and
crisp and the aroma of pine mixed with her own scent of lavender permeated
the air around her. When she opened her eyes again her visual acuity
was intensified. She not only saw the trees and bushes surrounding the
small meadow she was about to enter, but the glowing circle of life
that surrounded each living thing within her sight.
Suddenly, her entire
body began to tingle. The young womyn shook from the depths of her soul
as uncontrollable spasms started at her toes and worked their way up
to the crown of her head. She lost perspective as she watched the trees
accelerate in growth, reaching toward the sky at a lightning speed.
This cant be happening, there is no way those trees . . . wait
. . . the bushes are becoming gigantic! No! This is not the way
this is supposed to happen.
Where there had been
only shrubs around her ankles and calves, she now found herself steeped
in thorns that scratched at every inch of unadorned flesh. Thoughts
swirled through her mind in whirlwind fashion; a cacophony assaulted
her ears. The sound of a fallen leaf was inexplicably thunderous, as
was the wailing screech of an owl.
to me? This was not written in the books. What have I done to myself?I
feel like I'm in the middle of a bad Twilight Zone episode! Tears
flowed freely as she closed her eyes and grabbed her throbbing head
to stop the insanity. When she opened her eyes again, she screamed.
Her entire body was covered in a soft material that she soon realized
was her toga. There was a break in the material and she stepped out
and onto what had seconds before been her garment. She stood completely
naked atop an article of clothing that from her present perspective
looked like it belonged to a giant.
The trees were not
growing, stupid! She reprimanded herself. The bushes were not
expanding! You shrunk! That was definitely not in the books.
What am I to do now? She tried to focus her thoughts on what was
happening to her and still keep her mind on her intention. How am
I to get to the ring in time now that I am the size of a . . . oh, dear,
Im the size of a . . . damn! Im the size of a fairy!
"Goddess, help me," she
screamed, no longer fearing that her voice would carry any distance.
I only hope when the effects of the mushroom wear off that I return
to my normal size. Hey . . . perhaps this is how fairies are born.
She shook her head and admonished herself for thinking like a child.
Fairies were not born of humans being shrunk to their size. She scolded
herself back into practical thinking.
A cool wind blew, reminding
the now small womyn that she was totally naked and vulnerable in her
newly acquired diminutive stature. There was no time for tears if she
was still going to attempt to fulfill her dream.
Her toga lay all around
her and she needed to find some way to rip a piece of it off and cover
herself. After a little bit of searching, Brielle came upon the sash.
If I can find a pine cone small enough for me to handle but sharp
enough to tear at the fabric, I might be able to make another toga out
of this. She slung the tip of the material over her shoulder and
dragged it away from the discarded garment.
As luck would have it,
there were a few small cones scattered within walking distance, and
Brielle set to fashioning herself a new toga. Surprisingly, she found
that even though she was a mere reflection of her former self, her strength
remained at full power. She tore through the material easily and found
that she hadnt needed the cone she had searched so diligently
for. She worked quickly and within minutes was securely wrapped in the
Standing just on the
edge of the woods, the young womyn had never felt so totally alone as
she did staring out into the now enormous expanse of wilderness. She
had to stand on a pine cone to see above the blades of winter grass;
how was she supposed to complete her mission? She could surely get her
bearings occasionally if she could climb on something to see above the
grass, but she was never going to be able to cover enough ground in
an hour to reach the fairy ring at the stroke of midnight.
She sat with her head
between her hands and began to whimper, then chided herself again for
showing such weakness. "An adventurer doesnt act like this," she
murmured. "A warrior is meant to beat all the odds and still achieve
her goal. Midnight might be the ideal time to watch as the fairies come
out to play, but I have a full seven hours before sunrise. I know I
can make the distance in that amount of time."
She dried her eyes and
began to formulate a plan. It was then that she again heard and finally
saw the owl. It was a beautiful creature, fluid and graceful in its
descent as it scrutinized the earth below, looking for a morsel of food
on which to dine. It was only through her quickness of movement and
thought that Brielle escaped being just that dinner.
I must look like a
mouse to her. The small womyn searched for a place of refuge and
as she did so an idea came to her. I could use that bird as a vehicle
of transportation if I can connect with it the next time it thinks to
have me for a meal.
She gathered up the remainder
of the sash from her toga and tied a noose around one end of it, then
ventured out into the clearing. It wasnt long before she saw the
reappearance of the nocturnal creature. On nearly silent wings its ghostly
Brielle steadied herself
and positioned her arm to swing out and lasso the owl as it swooped
down to make a pass. She ducked out of harms way and in the same
instant threw the sash. Her aim was true and she could feel the
leash tighten as it found its mark. Eureka! Mission accomplished!
Damn, Im good, and with so little pra . . . whoa . . . hey . .
. oops . . .
It was up, up, and away,
and she held on for dear life, finally realizing that having caught
the bird she also was being spiraled up above the meadow. It was at
that moment that she noticed another plus from having imbibed the mushroom.
Along with increased visual acuity and super strength, her agility was
also heightened. Brielle had no problem whatsoever holding on and then
shimmying up the sash and crawling adeptly onto the body of the owl.
She straddled it as she would have a horse and within minutes was steering
the owl in the direction of where she was sure the fairy ring would
"I never doubted that
it would turn out this way," she giggled to herself. Dont go
getting too cocky, Brielle, my girl, youre not there yet. Ah,
but I soon shall be!
Brielle was right. The
moon was now positioned close to the center of the clearing, and far
below there was a sparkle in the meadow that appeared to be growing
as the owl neared it. Brielles hearing had also been heightened,
and she tilted her head and listened intently to the soft melody of
a foreign chant.
The small womyn tightened
the rein on the owl and maneuvered it slightly to the right of the now-glowing
circle of light. The airborne creature was close enough to the earth
for Brielle to slip off its back without harming herself, and she landed
in a dense carpet of creeping phlox.
The sound of drums echoed
in Brielles head, along with the odor of burning sage. She climbed
down from the bed of flowers and followed the music to an area where
the grass was only knee-high and she could see, within walking distance,
the stalks of the mushrooms she had originally hoped to observe from
far above. It was disconcerting, looking at a mushroom from a level
where all she could see was the stalk, a side, and the underview of
the cap, but she knew that all the signs were present and these had
to be the King Bolete and the mesmerizing amanita.
The closer she got to
the sounding drums, the larger the stalks of the mushrooms appeared
and the faster her heart beat. She was trying to figure out how she
was going to view the fairies without being seen when she felt a vise
grip on each of her arms.
"Human," a husky-voiced
fairy addressed Brielle, "how fortunate you have arrived on this celebration
"Fortunate for me or
fortunate for you?" Brielle asked in as unruffled a voice as she could
muster. She turned her head to the right, her eyes leveling at broad
shoulders. Turning to the left gave her a similar view of the second
fairy. Each of her captors was at least a head taller than the small
"You shall be the judge
of that as the night progresses," came the formidable answer.
Without another word
the fairies fluttered their wings and with ease lifted Brielle off the
ground, carrying her toward the drums, the mushrooms, and the revelation
of secrets that had been kept for far too long. She wasnt sure
whether to be frightened or elated that these two had found her and
were escorting her to her desired destination.
Before she could decide,
they were beyond the border of the mushrooms and within the center of
the mystical fairy ring. Brielle was deposited a few feet away from
a roaring fire and admonished not to venture any further. The area was
void of inhabitants, but huts dotted the perimeter, evenly spaced between
the mushroom stalks. A soft glow of iridescent light flooded the entire
area, accompanied by the stark blue-white that poured in from the heavens
and illuminated an intricately carved throne that stood almost within
Her senses still heightened,
she knew that although there was no one in sight, she was not alone.
The drumming had stopped and the silence was eerie. This was not at
all the way she had expected to be introduced to the fairies.
In the blink of an eye
the entire scene transformed as fairies came flying in from all directions.
The drums reverberated and from far above their heads the caps of the
mushrooms rained down glistening specks of rainbow-hued confetti. The
area now bustled with excitement as hundreds of fairies made themselves
The two who had originally
brought Brielle to the spot upon which she stood returned and again
"You will follow us,
human," the larger one commanded.
"Okay," Brielle responded
softly, her stomach beginning to flutter.
They moved her away from
the fire and even closer to the ornate throne.
"You will wait here!"
"Um . . . okay," Brielle
answered, fear gripping her insides in anticipation of what the fairies
had in store for her.
The fire was now rimmed
with a dozen or more scantly clad fairies dancing to the undulating
The musicians were now
in plain sight, and joining the drummers were fairies playing flutelike
instruments and rattling objects that reminded Brielle of castanets
and maracas. The rhythmic tribal beat was mesmerizing and she found
herself swaying to and fro while watching as dancers assembled around
the blazing fire pit.
They were beautiful,
yet nothing like Brielle had expected. She had imagined storybook beings
with gossamer wings, delicate and colorful. These creatures did, indeed,
have diaphanous wings, but that was where the similarity stopped. The
clothing was camouflage, blending into the green, brown, ash, and burnt
orange of the surrounding area, and many were adorned with feathers.
Moccasins or boots covered the fairies feet. Looking around, she
also noticed that all of the creatures were female; there was not a
male fairy to be seen. She hadnt remembered reading anything about
totally female clusters of the small creatures.
Her thoughts were disturbed
when the drums stopped and the sound of a horn brought everyone to stillness
A well-muscled fairy
entered the area from the hut directly behind the throne. "All hail
her majesty, Anex," the fairy roared, and Brielle found herself being
pushed down onto the ground. She attempted to lift her head and was
immediately reprimanded. "Do not attempt to move until the queen gives
How am I supposed
to know when that is? Brielle silently complained.
The horn resounded again
and from her position of compliance the small human could feel a change
in the atmosphere surrounding her.
"Stand tall, human,"
she was ordered.
Brielle stood, afraid
to open her eyes for fear of upsetting the gruff female who had a firm
grip on the top of her arm. But when the drums began to softly beat,
she did open her eyes and beheld a creature more beautiful than anything
she could have imagined. Brielles astonished green eyes were caught
and held by an intense sapphire gaze. Before her stood a female fairy,
larger in stature than any of the others. Unlike the others, she was
dressed in a leather outfit adorned with a metal breastplate, as well
as wrist- and armbands that glistened in the moonlight like spun gold.
The queens raven-colored hair was pulled back into a single thick
braid, while bangs kissed the gorgeous womyns forehead. Iridescent
wings shimmered on either side of the broad shoulders.
Im looking at
a dark angel. The thought kept repeating in the young humans
mind. No one will ever believe a creature such as this exists.
"Come forward, human,"
the queen commanded. Brielle felt her knees buckle, but had no choice
but to move toward the queen as she received a motivating jerk on her
arm and then a release of the guard fairys hand.
"Come closer," the queen
Brielle found her legs
and walked the few feet to the queens throne.
"So . . . you are an
ingenious human, now, arent you?" Anex asked. Although Brielle
had found her legs, her voice was still in hiding.
"Are you mute, human?"
Brielle sputtered, coughed,
and cleared her throat, "Ah . . . no . . ." She shook her head. "Not
mute, your . . . umm . . . your highness." The small womyn curtsied,
not sure exactly how to address the queen of the fairies.
Anex nodded and a crooked
smile graced the beautiful face as a single eyebrow raised in a knowing
glance toward the human captive.
"Not quite what you expected,
are we," she continued.
Regaining control of
her emotions, Brielle squared her shoulders and took a deep breath.
"No, to tell the truth, youre not."
a human. Did you expect to infiltrate our tribe, observe us, and flee
without any thought to the consequences if you got caught?"
"I really didnt
expect to be this size," Brielle answered. "And, as a matter of fact,
I thought exactly that. I intended you no harm, I just wanted to prove
to the human world that you existed." She surprised herself with her
answer. She had had every intention of speaking in an apologetic tone,
but instead she was being demonstrative. What in the world is wrong
with you, Brie? Keep it up and youll never get out of this little
Now a full-blown smile
graced the face of the fairy queen and Brielles heart did a flip-flop
at the beauty it imparted. She was still terrified, but there was something
in the attitude of the fairy that touched her heart, and for some reason
her fear was beginning to dissipate.
"My, but you are the
feisty one," Anex said. She then turned to her companions. "Let the
festivities begin. I will speak with this human in private." With a
wave of her arm, the volume of music increased and the fairies all turned
their attention from the queen and her prisoner.
"Come with me . . . do
you have a name?"
"Well then, Brielle,
come with me." She motioned and Brielle followed the queen into her
hut. "Sit," the fairy demanded and the human sat.
"You seemed to have gone
through a great deal of trouble to enter our world. The least I can
do is to give you some sort of satisfaction before we decide whats
to be done with you."
Emerald eyes grew wide
at the thought of what exactly it was the queen had in mind to do with
her, and she ordered her heart to stop beating so fast. She had a suspicion
that the fairy could see into her very soul, and although it should
have frightened her, it didnt. Suddenly, all her fear had vanished.
She knew, as surely as she had believed there were fairies, that this
vision of loveliness standing before her would never hurt her. With
a different set of senses, she now listened intently to the fairy queen.
"First, let me assure
you that our dealings with humans are not normally under conditions
such as these. You are the first who has ever attempted to penetrate
our village at our own size. Did you think we would take you as a rebel
fairy who had abandoned her wings?"
She knows now that
I had no intention of meeting her like this--I didnt know the
mushroom would shrink me. Brielle breathed deeply, figuring that
being small might just be a plus in this situation. "No, I already told
you I hadnt intended on being this size, but once I realized I
had shrunk, I guess assumed that if I met you on your own terms that
you would have no fear of me and might allow me to . . ."
The queen began laughing
so hard, Brielle thought the fairy was going to fall off her chair.
"Fear of you? Do you honestly think fairies live in fear of humans?
Come now, you are more of a child than you look. Humans have no defenses
against fairy magicdont your stories mention that?
You, my dear Brielle, have ventured into the realm of the Amazon Fairies;
we above all fairyfolk have no fear of mere humans. In fact, we customarily
have only one use for the likes of your kind and only in those dealings
do we bring ourselves to have contact with humans. Furthermore, humans
who do end up having dealings with us never remember the encounter beyond
the edge of the woods. Do you not wonder, now that you have seen us,
why there are no tales of the Amazon Fairies in the annals of fairy
"I guess I never really
thought about things in that respect, Your Highness. I only know what
Ive read in books. And youre right in assuming that Ive
never read any research or stories on Amazon Fairies."
"Of course you havent.
It simply is not allowed." The queen had bent forward to listen to the
smaller womyns answer, and now their faces were mere inches apart.
Brielle broke eye contact
because she felt as though the fairy was searching her soul, making
sure that she was telling her the truth. In reality Brielles discomfort
did not stem from the conversation, but rather from the fact that she
could not keep her mind from wandering as she listened to the queen
speak. The soft contralto voice was weaving a magic of its own and Brielle
found it extremely difficult to keep from losing herself in the indigo
eyes of the fairy queen. She lowered her own eyes to keep from revealing
too much emotion to the beautiful creature in front of her.
Seemingly content with
Brielles answer, Anex continued her discourse. "This is All Hallows
Eve, as you have named it in your world. It is a fitting night for us
to appear to humans. But mark my word, we only do so once every 500
years." Her voice softened and she stared intently into the eyes of
her captive listener. "I not only knew of your arrival in my woodsI
was expecting you this evening." She saw a small smile of disbelief
flicker across the lips of the fair-haired womyn before her. "I didnt
actually know it was you who would arrive, but I knew that your
soul would be seeking my company.
"You see, my dear Brielle,
I am the queen of the Amazon Fairies, and it is my duty to find a consort
and produce an heir. In all these long years I have not found a partner
among my people, so I sent out a call to my soulmate on this dark eveI
knew she would enter my woods with desire in her heart." She reached
out to the womyn sitting in front of her. "Brielle, take my hand. Not
only will I allow you to see into the depths of my heart, I will enable
you to see into your own, as well. You will see what is in store for
you, if you go back to your world, and you will see what you will gain
if you remain in mine."
Remain in mine?
Whats she talking about? Is she bewitching me? It doesnt
feel like she is. I know fairies must have more magic than humans can
ever comprehend, but I dont feel as though she is trying to trick
me. Brielle gazed into the bluest eyes she had ever seen, and in
an instant all her suspicions dissolved into oblivion. No. There
is no trickery here. In fact, I would trust this person with my life.
"Listen to me, Brielle.
I sent my scouts out with this decree earlier this evening: they were
searching for you, for you and for two other souls who are as dark as
you are light. The other two will certainly suffer a much different
fate, but one that will undeniably be easier than the path they had
already chosen for themselves thus far in their young lives. The darkness
will leave them and their remaining years will be spent in peace. We
are not evil as some may depict us to be. Here . . ." She handed Brielle
a parchment scroll. "Read." Then Anex sat and watched as tears formed
in malachite eyes she had already come to adore.
Two souls with hearts
devoid of light
Have entered into
my woods tonight
Although they know
not where theyre bound
By Amazon Fairies
they will be found
A third bright soul
will meet her mate
And then through love
will seal her fate
My soulmate dwells
in the woods this eve
Bring her safely here,
our love to conceive
"You really knew I would
be here," Brielle whispered. And you knew I would find myself hopelessly
falling in love with you, without regard to the differences between
"Yes, I knew, at least
in the respect that I knew the other half of my soul was venturing into
my woods. But I have no control over your answer to my question. You
must decide totally on your own what will happen from this minute forward."
"Okay, you have my full
attention." Brielle tried to put a touch of sarcasm into her voice,
but it fell onto deaf ears.
"First, put your hands
in mine, experience your hearts desire, and see a vision of the
rest of your life as you will choose it to play out. I will try not
to influence you in any way. When we are finished I will not need to
ask you the question, for I am sure you will have drawn your own conclusion."
Anex cradled the small
womyns hands in her own and watched in anticipation as two distinct
futures were revealed to Brielle. In the first she was a lonely, bitter
spinster who could not convince anyone in her world that she had truly
been in the company of Amazon Fairies. Her heart ached to recapture
the feeling of elation that she had felt in the presence of the Amazon
Fairy Queen, and she regretted her choice to go back to the world of
humans. In the second vision, two small fairy children with features
that looked to be a combination of her own and Anexs surrounded
Brielle. The feeling in her heart when she looked upon the happy scene
was one of contentment and love, and she giggled as she gazed upon a
vision of herself with fairy wings. But the thing that tugged at her
heart more than anything else was the feeling that filled her very soul
when Anex walked into the room and took the three of them into an embrace.
Never in her life had she ever felt so loved and wanted. There was no
choice to be made here. She had wandered into the woods on this fall
evening desiring to prove beyond a doubt that fairies existed, but instead
she had walked into an enchanted fairy tale in which she was to play
one of the main characters. At the bend in the rainbow, under the full
moons light, she would find the soul that she would never have
found in the realm of humans. Love at first sight had always been another
fantasy that Brielle had believed in, and now not only had she found
her elusive fairies, she had also found her soulmate.
Anex squeezed Brielles
hands and the visions disappeared. "Im sure there is no need to
ask the question," the queen said.
Green eyes blinked as
if to awaken from a dream. The small womyn tilted her head and spoke
in a voice barely above a whisper. "When two halves of the same soul
are placed within proximity of each other, theres no question
as to whether or not they should remain together. The question would
be if either of them could ever again be separated, and my answer to
that would be definitely not."
The queen pulled the
womyn into an embrace and whispered into her ear, "You will never regret
your decision, Brielle. You will be loved beyond your wildest expectations."
"I was hoping youd
say that," Brielle answered as she felt her heart leap with joy. "But
I do have a few unanswered questions."
"I definitely knew you
would say that," Anex replied. "Ask away."
The music outside the
hut continued and with it, songs of celebration. The queen paused and
held her hand up as she tilted her head and listened to the change in
the rhythm of the drums. "Im sorry, go ahead. It seems it is timely
for you to ask."
Brielle breathed a heavy
sigh. She needed to dispel her fear that she would be unable to remain
in the land of the fairies once the effects of the magic mushroom wore
off. She assumed that the queen had stronger magic than that of a mere
fungus, but she still needed confirmation.
Anex smiled at the query
and affirmed that fairy magic could not be compared to that of vegetation.
She assured Brielle her diminutive stature would remain, and because
of their cosmic link, her transformation from human to fairy would be
a rather simple effort.
The second question was
more difficult to formulate, and Brielle was careful to pick her words
so as not to offend the queen.
"You spoke of two other
souls that entered the woods tonight. What is to be their fate?"
"What have you read of
queens and kings of fairyfolk?" Anex asked. "What do you know of the
legends of immortals?"
The smaller womyn thought
for a few minutes before answering. "I remember that their immortality
is not something that comes naturally and that only those of royal blood
and their consorts are even eligible to become immortals. It has been
speculated that the average fairy lives to be over 100 years of age,
but no one has ever attempted to put an age on fairy royalty."
Again Anex smiled. "You
have definitely done your homework. Now I will tell you the truth of
the matter. Most of my people live to be well over 200 years as expressed
in human time. But those of us who were born to be leaders, either by
birth or marriage, are blessed with a natural life span of at least
double that. When we reach maturity, we no longer physically age. When
we have lived 400 years, we must determine whether we want to live out
the final years of a natural life or extend our innate existence. If
we decide on the latter, we must go in search of the essence of youth,
an elixir that will rejuvenate us for an additional 500 years each time
it is taken."
"Where do you go to find
such an elixir?"
"We have a code that
we live by, and that is to do no harm to those who would not harm us.
We also have the ability to help those lost souls in need of salvation.
Although extracting the elixir depletes the human of their youth, in
return they are given peace of soul, and believe me, these tortured
beings are the better for it."
"How did you come to
pick the two souls tonight, and why two?"
"I hope these are your
final questions, my dear, because the tribe is beginning to grow restless.
I should be out partying with them, and with you by my side my people
will have a double reason to celebrate." She looked deep into Brielles
eyes and explained how she came to choose the individuals who would
give up their youth before the break of dawn, but be blessed in the
"For months now I have
sent out scouts in search of young womyn who would actually benefit
from the loss of their youth. Two such creatures were found, and then
the scouts worked a spell on them to lure them into the woods early
this evening." She saw a look of horror cross Brielles face and
immediately continued. "You must understand that these womyn are evil
of soul, and that is why it was so easy for the scouts tonight to establish
their whereabouts in the woods.
"One of the gifts of
the fairies is that we can distinguish through vibration the difference
between good and bad. These young people have already tarnished their
souls and created a living hell on earth for themselves. They would
never, without our help, be able to rise above the deeds that have already
damned their souls to eternal condemnation. Their hearts are black,
and even though they will lose years of existence, they will change
for the better and their souls will be saved. It is not a vicious thing
we fairies do; in fact, you might even say we are giving these humans
a second chance. Its true that we do not give them the choice,
but they would not believe us if we told them that what was about to
happen to them would save their immortal souls.
"One or both of them
will leave these woods a changed person. The fate of one is in my hands
and the fate of the other in yours."
"Mine? How can I be responsible
for the fate of another human being? "
"Do you think I want
to live my extended years with a mate who will grow old before I have
even begun to use my time? When you become my confidante you will gain
the opportunity to receive the gift of immortality with me. After your
metamorphosis, you will be given the elixir, which will extend your
life. The choice is yours, Brielle."
"Youre sure that
what becomes of the two humans is for their greater good?" Brielle asked.
"I promise you it is,"
The smaller woman smiled
and nodded her approval.
"You will never regret
this decision," Anex vowed, as she held out her hand to her new companion.
"Come; its time for the ceremonies to begin."
Hand in hand, the two
walked out of the hut and stood before the queens throne. Anex
then made the announcement that she had found her soulmate and the love
she had been seeking for so long. The tribe rejoiced in food, drink,
and song, and the two reunited souls were congratulated by each Amazon
fairy that they passed on their way toward the center of the circle.
The newly devoted couple
clasped hands and stood in the middle of the clearing for everyone to
see. As she gave her heart and soul to the Amazon Fairy Queen, Brielle
looked up into the early morning sky. The moon shone directly overhead
and bathed the duo in its silver glow. Shimmering through the celestial
light was a rainbow resplendent with colors that the young human had
never before seen. It was a fitting visual conclusion to an evening
that had been filled with surprises and ended in a dual proclamation
After some incantations
and a short ceremony, Brielle stretched her newly acquired wings and
kissed the full lips of her new mate. She had never been happier in
her life, and it no longer mattered if the skeptics of the world did
not believe in fairies. She not only knew the truth but would spend
eternity living it.
All Hallows Eve
was officially over. The night of witches, goblins, ghosts, and fairies
would be put into the realm of memory.
The forest was quiet
in the pre-dawn light as two frail and pitiful crones slowly emerged
from the wooded area. With shoulders bent and hands and legs gnarled
with age, they unhurriedly raised their heads to get a glimpse of the
first beams of sunlight as it streaked across the horizon. A smile graced
both sets of lips, and there was a peace in their hearts that neither
had known for many years.