A time before recorded history
Time was kept by the stars in the sky; there were not as many stars in the night’s sky as there are today. There was no faith in gods or goddesses, for no humans ever died. All magical creatures’ souls went into the heavens. There was no need to pray for lost souls. All were at peace. All creatures respected one another, and understood one another. There was no need to fight or hurt one another, for none wanted what the other had. All this changed when the Cinerians arrived on the planet.
Cinerians lived in the woods and forests. Humans were the hunted. They were placed into slave camps to work in the mountains or in the swamps. The best way to stay safe was to live alone in hiding, but no one had the heart to live alone.
Small villages were built in secret, carefully hidden away with the help of the faeries who took pity on humans. The life of a faerie was much different than that of a human. Faeries were mortal. They had always been that way. They loved and were pure of heart. They used magic to conceal the human villages, keeping them safe from the Cinerians.
The help of a faerie was never questioned, and with the passage of time they were taken for granted. Humans began to desire the magic of the faeries, and soon, the faeries became the hunted.
Over time and quite by accident, humans learned that removing the wings from a faerie allowed a human to wield its magic. Doing this killed the faerie within moments. But the wings’ power did not last long after the faerie’s death. Upon this discovery, it was decided that faeries should be held prisoner and forced to do the bidding of those who caught them. Thus, the humans turned on their faerie protectors and became no better than the Cinerians.
One day, a captured faerie was rescued. Her name was Edythe. Edythe was held in a crystal jar, which was powerful enough to hold a faerie captive.
Edythe was captured because she had fallen in love with a man. At first, he’d sought her out by bringing her flowers and reading her poems. As a faerie, she had the power to be any size that she wanted, so whenever she was near him, she was five feet six. She gave this man her heart, and in return he used her love as a way to trap her.
She came to see him on a moonlit night, not knowing that he would not be alone. Another man jumped from his hiding place behind a tree, a crystal in his hand. The light from the crystal pulled Edythe in like a magnet. She could not repel its pull. Her body grew small, and she cried and screamed, not quite understanding why this man whom she loved would entomb her inside. Surely he would never do this to her.
She froze in shock. She could hear every word spoken between the two men. The more she heard, the more her heart broke. He had betrayed her.
Instead of pleading for her release with the other man, he laughed along with his comrade at a job well done.
He then took her back to his home and put her to work. He asked for many things: a bigger home, more food on his table, money in his purse and whatever else struck his fancy. At his will, she did his bidding. She held back the tears in her eyes, telling herself this was not the man she had fallen in love with. She wondered where the man she had loved had gone.
One evening, the man returned home from a party with a woman hanging onto his arm and asked her, “What do you think of your new home?” he asked this woman.
The woman was dressed in a pale pink gown, her long blonde hair spooling over her petite shoulders. Her blue eyes sparkled as she spoke in a soft, sweet voice, “It’s perfect. I will make it our home now.”
“Faerie this is my wife. You will obey her as you have obeyed me.” Laughing, the man and his wife left the room.
Edythe’s pale hand gently touched the crystal tomb, the tears at last falling from her round, violet eyes. Her dark hair covered her pale face.
Later in the morning, she heard the man come down and enter the room. “Faerie,” he bellowed with a harsh tone, “food.”
She found her voice and asked, “How could you have lied to me? Was everything you said a lie?”
Smirking, he held out a plate. “Food. Now!”
For days, his new bride gave orders to Edythe, and Edythe had to obey. Edythe soon lost count of her days in captivity. She no longer cared. Even her own name faded from her memory.
The man entered the room. He was in the process of issuing his orders to Edythe for the day.
Without thinking, Edythe asked him, “Why did you lie to me?” Her throat was very dry. She hadn’t even glanced at him when she asked him her question.
Smirking, he replied, “You’re nothing to me.” He had one foot out the door of the house when he turned to add one final blow: “You are nothing but a faerie.” With a look of disgust on his face, he left.
Edythe soon noticed small children running about the house. She never looked up to see them or ever speak to them. She had no idea what they looked like, yet she knew that these were his children. She never spoke again to him or to anyone. There was no need to. The children would point at her and tap at the crystal in an effort to make her look up or move. They found her amusing. Edythe always sat in the same spot with her head bent down, her eyes vacant.
When she needed to perform a task, there was no need for her to move or to speak. Whatever was asked for was given.
It was not until one night that her mind awoke.
On this night, the house was suddenly lit up with light from torches outside. There was shouting. The house awakened. The man came running downstairs, heading straight outside. His wife and children stood at the bottom of the stairs, frightened.
“Faerie,” the wife cried. “Protect my husband!”
Edythe stood on her feet, waiting. She had grown so thin her legs ached as she forced herself to stand.
Shouting could be heard through the open door. She heard the man scream out in pain. Closing her eyes, she willed her mind to see what was taking place outside.
A woman in a black cloak had run down the pathway leading to the house. Several men were chasing her, carrying torches. They shouted for her to stop. She did. As she turned to face them, her red hair shone brightly, like fire, as the light from the torches settled on her.
One man swung at her. She swept her left leg high in an arch, hitting his angry face with her foot. He fell to the ground, shouting in pain as his hands clutched his nose.
Another man ran up to her with a knife. She jumped down into a squatting position. She swung her body around in a circle, and as she did so she extended her leg, sweeping the man off his feet. As he fell, she grabbed the knife from his hand.
She waited as three more men circled her. One of the men was the one who had captured Edythe. He had a smirk on his face.
With the knife still in her hand, she readied herself, moving one foot back and resting on that leg. Her other leg was bent in a cat-like stance. Her arms and hands were folded close to her body as she waited.
The woman did not look afraid. She looked very calm as her gaze moved from man to man. She was careful not to look up at their faces; she was looking instead at the upper part of the men’s chests, watching for movement. If one of the men were to attack the woman, his body language would give it away.
Predictably, the man who had so cruelly betrayed and enslaved Edythe lunged at her. As he did, she quickly sidestepped to the left. Raising her right arm outward, she deflected his attack. Before he knew it, she was behind him, dealing a lethal blow to the back of his neck. He dropped face-first into the mud.
The rest of the fight was soon over. She had littered the ground with the men’s bodies. The woman’s eyes were a fiery green glow, as her gaze settled on the house. She did not enter right away. The fire from the torches crackled on the ground at her feet.
Edythe heard the wife scream. The children ran back up the stairs, the wife following them in distress.
The next moment, the woman with the fiery red hair stood in the house. She lifted the crystal into her hands. It was in that moment that Edythe knew she was about to be set free.
She thrust the crystal high into the air with a flick of her hand. A green wind burst in from the open door and broke through the panes in the windows. The green wind swirled around the crystal and it stayed suspended in the air.
Turning green, then red, then blue, and then back to green, the crystal shattered. The shards splintered up into the air. They turned into a vivid blue. Raising her hand, the woman placed Edythe gently on her palm.
Outside, the villagers had gathered again. The woman walked out of the house, knife still in hand. She opened her palm, releasing it, and looked at each of the villagers.
One man came forward. “Please,” he sniveled, “if you take the faerie, we will be left vulnerable to the Cinerians. Please think of our children!” he whined.
“The Cinerians will come!” another voice cried out. “Don’t do this to us, please!”
The woman finally spoke. “And what of Edythe?” She raised her hand up high so that all could see the faerie.
“Please! Don’t do this to us! What of the Cinerians?”
Looking around at the faces, she could see they were terrified, as they should have been. “The Cinerians are already here, and no, you cannot keep Edythe. You all have become the Cinerians. In your desire for power, you have enslaved Edythe and her people. You showed her and her kind no mercy, and the same will be shown to you and your kind.” With that, the mysterious woman left with Edythe.
They journeyed east for miles and stopped to rest at a stream. ”You know my name,” Edythe said as she was set gently onto the grass. “You don’t think yourself better than me, and you know my name.” As she lay there, Edythe grew in size, almost to the same size as her rescuer. “I cannot speak of how grateful I am that you came for me.”
“You will be fine now.” Her rescuer tried to calm her. She wanted her to lie still in order to regain some of her energy.
Edythe was so relieved to finally be free of her prison. Her days of misery were over. Edythe was ready to move on from this world. She took deep breaths. Her voice was shaky as she said, “Let me bestow a gift onto you, my friend. You have done more for me than anyone else has ever done.”
“It’s fine. You should just rest.”
“I don’t need to rest now. I know where I’m going.” For the first time in what felt like a lifetime, Edythe truly felt alive. She was going to give her rescuer a great gift in return, the gift of her own power and life. “Do you know what it’s like to love a man whose only desire is to use you?” A lone tear escaped. “I don’t know how long I’ve been kept prisoner in the crystal. I thought I would be in there until the end my days.”
“You’re free now. You need to rest.”
Although Edythe had been set free, she was too weak to sustain her energy outside the crystal. Thankful to her rescuer, she said, “To you I give my power, along with a secret that will keep it everlasting with you. Even though I will die, my magic will not. Upon my captors and all man, I put a curse that they shall … they shall be MORTAL! Those who are not gifted shall forget the existence of all things magic.”
Edythe was free. Closing her eyes, she let her spirit travel to the place beyond all human understanding.
With her death, her essence was drawn into the night’s sky, becoming one of the stars above.
Edythe’s rescuer removed her dark cloak, revealing vibrant red hair that fell to her hips, and deep green eyes that had seen more than what a young woman of eighteen years should ever see. A sprinkle of freckles covered her pale face. She lay on the grass and gazed upon the night’s sky. The star that Edythe had become was twinkling down at her.
The young woman’s name was Grasiella, and she had been born with magical powers. Her father managed to keep this a secret from the village. She looked like her mother, who had been taken by the Cinerians. He would not allow his daughter to become a slave for her magic.
Her father had been captured by the Cinerians while collecting fish from his nets. She had been too late to save him. She vowed that she would use her powers against the Cinerians and those like them, who would enslave for power.
Grasiella had learned of the captured faerie. Thinking of her own enslaved family, she set out to right this wrong. She had waited until nightfall. Her power was always strongest at night. Her hair glowing a fiery red, her eyes the purest green, she strode down the dirt street. As she past the homes that lined the street and using her magic, she sealed most of the occupants inside. This, ultimately, was why the rescue succeeded.
Walls had been created between all peoples, creatures and the like. The trust in one another had withered. Over time, anger and hate had replaced all harmony. The Cinerians would soon dominate, unless a weapon could be found to defeat them.
Edythe’s gift, combined with Grasiella’s own powers, turned her into this weapon. Grasiella brought on the end of the Cinerians as well as the death of many humans, who were now mortal. Grasiella’s family had been lost to her. She never found her parents, but her line would live on.
Although she would never learn where her own original powers came from, she knew the combination of Edyhte’s and her own power would never diminish in her line. She trained her children and grandchildren in the usefulness of them.
Man did forget all about magic. But that did not mean that magic had forgotten about man.