The Disobedient Faery Childe
This Document Copyright ©2014 By Laura Morrigan All Rights Reserved
THIS STORY IS FOR ADULTS, NOT CHILDREN
“Never go near the Waterstone House”, Mother Rankin cautioned the young faery folk she taught. “It is a terrible place, a place of death.”
Most of the young ones listened to Mother Rankin, after all, she was a wise old crone, her knowledge of herb lore had saved many a faery and human life. To humans she seemed like an old woman, rather bent, with browny sun-worn skin and odd, unmatching clothes. The faery children could see her as she really was, the greeny tinge of her face and her blind white eyes, but she did not scare them. Crones were not the best looking of the witch folk, but age had mellowed them and most could be trusted with the care and discipline of young faery folk.
There were two faery children who did not listen to the words of Mother Rankin. Thistledown was a pretty young faery girl, as light and air-headed as the thistledown she was named for, and her best friend Cocklebur, as spiky and bad tempered as his own name. The two caused no end of trouble, disrupting her classes, running away and hiding from her, and eating berries that shouldn't be eaten, making themselves sick. Even her most awful stare couldn't scare the two young rascals.
Of course, Waterstone House was one of their favourite topics of conversation. They longed to go there. They talked about it constantly, why was it such an evil place? They were sure they were much braver than all the other faery children, for they were not scared to go there!
It was the middle of summer, hot and muggy, and emotions always ran high among the faery folk at this time. Cocklebur and Thistledown had decided that today was the day they would finally visit Waterstone House and prove beyond a doubt that they were the bravest of the faery folk. They flew through the hot summer air, the fanning of their wings keeping them cool. “I bet they'll give us an award for bravery once we conquer whatever evil lies within!” Cocklebur boasted.
“The only thing they'll give you an award for is your big nose!” Thistledown jeered, sticking her tongue out at him.
“I dare you to go in, scaredy-cat!” Cocklebur retorted, they were now in sight of the house, and it didn't look that scary. It sat in the middle of a field of rich, purple clover, and there was sunlight everywhere, far from the terrifying ruin they had imagined.
Thistledown flew off towards the house, turning to blow a raspberry at her friend. As she flew near the house, however, the ground shook, and a net came down over her, trapping her! She screamed and flailed!
Cocklebur watched in horror as his friend was captured by a human. The man carefully shook the net over a glass jar, so that Thistledown could only fall down into the jar, then slammed the lid on screwed it closed. Thistledown beat the glass with her tiny hands, but the human did not care, he carried her away into the house.
Cocklebur followed, not wanting to get too close to the human, but terrified for his friend. The human opened the door of the house and stomped inside. Cocklebur darted through the door as it closed, nearly catching his feet.
Inside the house, he followed the human down a long corridor into a small dark room. The human turned on a lamp, flooding the room with pulsing neon light that made his head hurt.
It was then that Cocklebur saw the thing that made him gasp. He quickly covered his mouth so the human would not hear the tiny sound, but he was so filled with horror he could barely beat his wings.
The walls of the room were lined with frames, and inside the frames were hundreds of dead fairies, held to the backboard by a pin through their middles.
Cocklebur gazed around him in horror, unable to look away from the gruesome sight. This person collected fairies, killed them and displayed them on his wall! What monster would do this! Even trolls only killed for food!
The human put Thistledown's jar down on the table. Cocklebur would not have thought that he could feel any sicker, but at the sight of his friend about to become the next in the hideous collection, he felt a dread fill him. He had to do something! Thistledown was beating at the sides of the jar, red in the face. The human had put another jar down next to her, filled with noxious fumes. Another faery lay dead at the bottom. It was clear he meant to put her in there to suffocate too.
Cocklebur was only a faery child and his magic was small, but he closed his eyes and concentrated as hard as he could, silvery sparks floating around his head. He sent the thought out to the human that someone was knocking at the door.
It worked! The human turned, grumbling, and walked towards the front door, leaving the door of the horror room open.
Weak with the effort of his magic, Cocklebur flew down to the desk where Thistledown's cage was. With what strength he had left, he pushed the jar off the side of the desk, Thistledown fluttered inside, a terrified expression on her face, as the jar rushed towards the ground. It hit the ground with a crash, breaking open. Thistledown's still- weak faery glamour prevented the glass from cutting her.
Fluttering up to her exhausted friend, she grabbed his hand and their touch gave them both strength, they whizzed out of the room and out through the open front door, where the human stood babbling to his imaginary friend about the new addition to his collection.
After school, they came clean to Mother Rankin about their terrible adventure. They took their punishment gladly. Many hundred years later, they would tell their grandchildren of it, when they were disobedient.
And as for the man who pinned faeries to his wall? Well legend has it Mother Rankin turned him into a toad, cursed to spend eternity living in a bog, being chased by ogres for their dinner.