Friday, April 20, 2012
Pixie Light-One of my Earliest Works
Martin a simple man, a lonely wizard lived as a hermit in the woods. This life was forced on the old man, because in his nation the practice of magic and wizardry were strictly prohibited. Anybody who studied or practiced magic, would be burned and labeled a witch or a warlock. Martin knew he was neither, only a humble wizard. He would have tried to tell them if they’d listen, but he knew they wouldn’t. Gabriel had become a blind and foolish nation. Once others had believed as Martin did. Magic was not a devil’s tool, but a gift of God to the world of Diamic. Now, however there justice and freedom did not exist, and in fact no wisdom prospered on the Northern Continent. Martin knew it wasn’t better in the south in the desert lands of Calamaria and Calashaman. He longed daily to live in the east among the elves. Such dreams were farfetched, however, so Martin continued his lonely, humble existence. Nobody could leave their continent without a lot of money, power, and supplies. He had none of these so he lived his life contentedly in an old cabin he’d built with his bare hands.
He studied everything he could find. He discovered magical energy in every living being. He even began to find magic in the rocks and the dirt itself. He made new spells, and devised various potions. The wizard did more than magic spells and potions though, he was not afraid to work with his hands to survive. He was also a great hunter and a not a bad cook. Martin stood in the doorway of his cabin and rubbed his large rounded belly in up and down motions. He was ready to make himself some stew in the pot under the mantle of his fireplace, which was on the left side of the room in his small cabin. The man stumbled clumsily through papers, books, magical apparatus, and many other conventional items that cluttered his home. Unlike most wizards he never cared for the waste of time and effort it took to pick things up and put them in their proper place. The way he saw it, cleaning simply took time from more important things, like his studies. The fireplace crackled softly as it burned the round logs of wood. The dancing flames under its mantle illuminated an otherwise dark house.
Suddenly his balding head jolted to the side, his long white beard waving gently. He squinted his eyes to try and see better whatever it was that caught his attention. He walked over to the desk on the other side of the room before him. He picked a small pair of bronze framed spectacles from a cluttered heap of other apparatus. Then he put them on his aging gray eyes. “What was that?” he whispered softly in astonishment as he continued to peer around the room. Suddenly he saw it again and jolted his head in its direction, but it disappeared as soon as it came into sight. He could have sworn he saw a bright, small, ball of light flying by him at a high speed. He knew too, that it must be something magical. Suddenly he looked behind, hearing the magical, high pitched buzzing sound again. He looked and saw two, no three of the specks of light. This time they weren’t just flying. They were on the shelf where some of his brand new potions sat. The little specks of light crashed right into all the glass bottles and vials and knocked the potions to the floor. The glass of the vials all cracked and tinkled, as they landed on the ground. The chemicals oozed and spread out on the floor of the old man’s cabin. A large cloud of fumes began to rise from the potions. Dark green in color, it filled the cabin. The old man began to wheeze and gag as the fumes entered his lungs through his mouth when he gasped for air. The smell of the fumes was absolutely putrid and so strong it eventually caused the old man to pass out and collapse to the ground. Everything went black and ceased to exist. He slipped into a relaxing state of unconsciousness, where thought and awareness did not exist. This state was a blissful one and yet entering it for eternity was one of the most frightening prospects the old man could imagine.
Finally he felt his thoughts and memories returning to him, his cares and hopes coming back to him. Slowly his body regained consciousness, and nausea that went all the way from his stomach up through his throat and to his forehead, was back on him at once. He opened his eyes to see the blurry cabin about him and slowly his sight returned. At last he put on his spectacles and stood to his feet. He staggered around the room for a moment drunkenly, until he regained his composure. He looked around his cabin in dismay; it wasn’t a dream! He had hoped when opening his eyes that the memory of the little glowing creatures was merely a midsummer’s nightmare. Now he saw however, that his cabin was an even more terrible and chaotic mess than it had been before. His potions in the vials and bottles that held them were now turned to vapors. The glass containers all lay in shambles. The fireplace sat empty but wood and soot made marks all over the little cabin. His sheets, pillow, and blankets were torn off the bed and ripped into shreds spread across the floor. Pages were ripped from the books that now lay no longer supported by the broken shelves.
The wizard put his head between his hands and pressed it hard as if to either try and squeeze his own brains out, or perhaps in an effort to keep them from erupting out of his ears. He fell to his knees and screamed out in frustration. The books could be mended, the bed things repaired, the cabin could be cleaned, but it would take a lot of work. A few simple spells could help, but even then it would take all day. The glass of the vials could perhaps be repaired, but the potions and the months and months of research it took to create them, could not be restored. No spell could bring back the information on the pages the creatures had burned in the fireplace nor could any amount of work short of starting over the years of research. He put his head down and sighed. The day was cut out for him. He’d spend the rest of that day fixing what damage he could, cleaning up the cabin. He took breaks only for his meals. By sunset the cabin was completely cleaned, and everything that could be restored was. The old man exhausted and ready for bed now, lied down and went to sleep.
Hours slipped by quickly as the old man slept soundly, exhausted from the days work. He snored like a cave monster. Suddenly a small sphere of light glowing brightly came to Martin and illuminated his white bearded face. The little creature giggled gingerly. It fluttered its glowing wings and flew back just slightly. It grabbed Martin by the beard gave it a strong tug. The old man, pulled forward by this mischievous little being, awoke abruptly. He gasped in a fright but silenced himself, not wanting to scare it away. He slowly took his right hand and then lurched it forward, grabbing the little creature by its small, clear wings. Immediately the creature stopped short, dropped to the ground, and let go of the old man’s beard. Its glow fizzled abruptly. Martin took the little person to his desk, and lit a lantern, still holding its wings. He put it up to the light and watched the tiny person, futilely struggle, squirm, and kick. It screamed in its high pitch but soft voice to be let go, but Martin had other plans. He cast the creature into a magical jar he had found long ago. He poked tiny holes in its lid. He grinned widely now as he realized now what the creatures were who invaded his home earlier. “Pixies!” he exclaimed softly. It was early in the morning, maybe three o’ clock. The sound of singing crickets still rang loudly all around Martin. In the distance he could hear croaking toads coming from the flowing water of a small stream in the woods. He gathered a few supplies. First a magical net that shimmered just slightly under the light of the moons and stars. He then grabbed a small metal hammer, like those used for forging and shaping weapons. Then he hung up a small contraption that he called a pixie-net. It was a small net-like decoration that he could hang from his doorway. It looked like a dream catcher but with a small, green glowing orb in the center of the web-like structure made from brown bowstrings. Green and brown, as everyone knew, were pixies’ favorite colors. When all was ready and in place, Martin went off.
He marched angrily out into the woods. He made his way through the trees, hanging vines, animal holes, rocks, and countless other obstacles of the forest. Finally he came to a plain field of green grass. Then he saw it, a huge gathering of glowing little balls of light. An actual field of pixies! The field glowed faintly under the stars and hovering pixies, and a few wildflowers revealed themselves in various places across its glorious terrain. Martin stood in awe for a moment. He felt his anger subside. Eventually he walked hesitantly over to the field of fairies with his net and hammer still in hand. The fairies just looked at him in horror and dismay. They whispered amongst themselves and discussed the impending massacre they were sure the old man would bring. The mage looked up at the beautiful, clear and starry sky. He glanced to the north, and then to the south, seeing all four of Diamic’s moons illuminate each of the horizons. Then he admired the stars. He couldn’t help but see the resemblance between them and the pixies. He hated to do what he was going to do, to catch the fairies one by one, and smash them with his hammer. But reluctantly he walked over and began his bloody job.
He caught his first set of pixies, maybe half a dozen all in one swing of his net. He lifted his hammer to the heavens and prepared smash them each one by one. He heard them all whimpering together in their soft, high-pitched voices. He looked down at the creatures struggling to escape. He looked closer at them and saw the look of terror that came to their faces. They got on their knees and begged for their lives, crying the tiniest, most silvery, fairy tears you’ll ever see. The man’s sadistic scowl turned to a frown of pity. He put down his hammer and lifted the net. Then he looked around at the other pixies gazing curiously and fearfully at him. “Oh…” he moaned.“Alright!” he told them. “I won’t hurt you! But you must all stay away from my home and promise to leave it alone!” he said. Somehow he could sense them nodding in agreement, in a certain magical way. “And I want the ones responsible for the damage to my home. They will be kept in my jar for my personal use!” Suddenly one of the pixies came up to Martin and shouted in his ear as loud as a pixie could, which was about the volume of an average human whisper.
“Good wizard,” it said in its soft, fairy voice. “The two of the three, that have been invading your home have gone to rescue the third. They said you captured one of our own and went to rescue him!” The old man’s eyes widened in horror…what would they do to his home now? He immediately grabbed his net and hammer, and ran as fast as his old and stubby legs could take him. He panted in exhaustion but kept running through the woods and eventually came to his little house in the wilderness. The old man looked forward in dismay, walking up the hill to his home. He wondered what his cabin would look like now. He came to his door and sighed in relief when he saw the pixie net hanging above. The pixies had flown right into his trap to try and obtain the beautiful glowing orb before they saved their friend. The old man laughed, imagining their disappointment when the magical net collapsed and closed in on them, entangling them in a small fairy prison. The old man giggled gleefully as he took the net down. He brought it into his home, opened the jar cautiously, and released the two mischievous pixies in with the third.
Later on the old man discovered that the pixies for the most part, slept and ate and lived their lives peacefully in the jar. But when he blew into one of the holes on the lid, they squirmed, struggled, and tried to fly free of their entrapment. When they did this they glowed like the pixies they were, and made a bright light as good as any lantern.
He gently stroked his magical jar, now filled with the peacefully sleeping pixies. “Ah,” he breathed contentedly. “It would seem to me there was a bright side to this otherwise dark day. Out of this whole mess…I’ve acquired myself a Pixie Light!”He said to himself. He chuckled happily as he tapped the jar with his finger.“Isn’t that right my little friends?”