Fairy Tears

by Jane Carver

What's a fairy to do when diseased dragons threaten her world, and she supposedly holds the answer to a cure? Only she doesn't know what that answer is.


Beyond man’s vision in Real World laid Other World, home to immortals. Or at least, it used to be before insanity claimed every dragon in Other World.

Now the winged creatures threatened the existence of those who lived forever—under normal circumstances. Normal being peace and quiet with few squabbles.

Three months before, when life had been normal, a young dragon drank from the Lake of Lichet as he had done every week. A dragon’s life cycle depended on the healing waters of the lake. Instead of being revitalized, the youngster grew irrational within a week then began a reign of terror over the nearest villages. Soon, every dragon on the planet showed the same signs of madness. Elves, were-folk, fairies, vampires, and unicorns—residents of Other World—watched the skies for the ominous sight of flapping wings and hid from killing dragon’s breath.

No one knew how to cure the beasts, once revered as rulers and kings with unicorn advisors. Dragons now terrorized the countryside. If a treatment weren’t found soon, there wouldn’t be much left of Other World.

* * * *

“Bowstanth?” Tilla, the fairy, circled the burned-out structures, her cough slowing her for a moment. Her wings flapped twice as hard in air thick with soot. Smoke still rose from homes the dragon, Encid, had set on fire. “Bowstanth Beech, answer me.” More scared than mad, Tilla lighted on a piece of board only to lift off immediately, the heat too much for her tiny feet. Agitated, she flew higher into the night sky to get a better idea of how much of the village remained.

She had found her vampire friend’s house in cinders, his mother and father dead within. But Tilla couldn’t find Bo and that worried her. He never left the house until the sun set beyond the forest. Dragons favored twilight as a time to attack. Bowstanth had to be somewhere in the rubble.

“Bo?” Tilla moaned. Afraid her best friend was gone forever, she hovered over first one pile of smoldering debris then another. Her erratic flight eventually took her to the edge of the village.

Light from the full moon set the shiny needles on the fir trees sparkling like a million diamonds. The dazzling display only emphasized the tragedy of the burned homes and dead bodies, scattered in doorways and streets.

Bright light grew in the shadow beneath a large fir, not far from the edge of the last house. With sudden understanding, Tilla flew as fast as fairy wings could to meet Bowstanth.

No sooner had the vampire stepped from the magical doorway he used to go between Real and Other World than he felt a tiny pair of arms wrap tightly around his neck…or, at least, as tightly as the arm span of a being only two inches tall could.

“Tilla! What a nice surprise. I didn’t think to see you until later tonight.” Bo opened his hand, palm up, so Tilla could light there. His back to the village, he did not understand Tilla’s great agitation. Pacing back and forth across Bowstanth’s palm, she tried to decide how to break the bad tidings of his parents’ deaths as gently as possible.

Bo laughed at her. “That tickles, Tilla. Be still.”

“You know I can’t. Never have been one like you.” Tilla reminded Bo once again that he never fidgeted, paced or wrung his hands when anxious or afraid. Unlike Bo, Tilla never stayed still.

“Bo, I have something to tell you.”

“All right.” Bo lowered his long lean body to a log and put up his thumb. Tilla leaned against it for support. Years they’d spent together, this leaning on each other an old habit.

“Encid came this evening.”

Tilla rose from Bo’s hand in time to keep from being flung across the forest floor. Like a whip, he jerked around to stare, in wide-eyed disbelief, at his village. Not everything burned, but enough to break a heart.

“My mother? Father?”

Tilla spoke in his mind as she always did. “Merriman, the elf, tried to save them, but it was a matter of bringing them into the daylight and them dying instantly or hoping the house wouldn’t collapse and skewer them with wood. The house collapsed, and the falling timbers impaled your parents. I’m sorry, Bo.” What more could she say?

“Noooo.” Bowstanth ran all the way down the hill to disappear into the ruined village. Tilla remained on the log, too disheartened to follow.

Jane Carver "Fairy Tears"


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