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Rain was falling from the sky like tears. Laurine watched the rain fall, deciding to bake cookies. Laurine had turned 14 last week and she was already expected to give up her childish ways and playing in the rain was definitely a childish way. Laurine baked the cookies and called, “Snack is done!” Tine little fairy children flew down from the tree top and devoured the cookies before Larine could eat one. Laurine sighed and began to wash the plate. Laurine’s mother, Flora, came in drying her hands on a dish towel. Flora smiled and commented, “You’re dedicated to becoming a house mother, aren’t you?” Laurine smiled at her mother and said, “I want a good husband and the only ones that are good want a wife that takes pride in their home.” Flora smiled and answered, “Yes, that is true, but you’ll never meet a guy if you stay in here all day. And you know guys, they love the rain. GO on out, I’ll finish today.” Laurine smiled and flew out the window, kissing her mom on the cheek passing her. As soon as Laurine was hit by a rain drop, she heard all her friends calling to her. Smiling, Laurine flew toward them. Then, just a few yards away from her friends and the only safety, a Hawk landed in front of her. Laurine stopped quickly and stared, terrified, at the Hawk. The Hawk regarded her hungrily and a child’s cry broke that stare. The Hawk cried and flew toward the child fairy. Laurine screamed, “No!” She flew after the Hawk and Grabbed a father off his back. When Laurine stopped flying the feather was uprooted from the bird and fell away. The Hawk turned around and flew/ charged straight at Laurine. Laurine hovered in the air and held her arms open as if to hug someone. Laurine whispered, “Rains Goddess, please save me. Magic Goddess, please bless me. Aim Goddess, please aid me.” Laurine yelled, “Let your hunger be flowers forever!” A ball of red and green energy formed inside Laurine’s hands. Laurine aimed at the bird’s chest and let go of her magic. Rain continued to fall and the bird fell to the ground. Laurine sped downward and called, “Help me Goddesses of Animals and strength!” Laurine caught the huge bird and laid him gently on the ground. Flowers began to spread around him like a wild fire. Laurine gasped and thought, ‘If that spell worked correctly, he is very hunger.’ Laurine called to her friend Care, “Gather food for him, he’s starving!” She had chosen Care because Care cared about all animals and got over shock quickly. And she knew almost every animal’s diet. Cara nodded and sped off with a few of her sisters and brothers in tow. Laurine’s mother flew out of the house and asked Laurine, “Are you okay? Get away from that beast!” Laurine shook her head at her mother and said, “Not until Cara comes back with food. Mom, I made a spell! I said, ‘Let your hunger be flowers forever.’ All these flowers you see are from his hunger! The poor creature was starving!” Flora looked at the flowers and said, “My, he was hungry. The flowers are still growing.” Care returned with fruit, berries, snakes, and nuts. Cara laid the food assortments on the ground by the bird, followed by her siblings. A young man dragged a mouse in front of the bird. He said, “I didn’t kill the mouse, I killed the snakes that killed the mouse,” when all fairy folk looked at him with disbelieving eyes. Laurine smiled at him and sweetly said, “Thank you, he’ll probably be hungry for meat.” The bird shot up and Laurie fell back. The young man was right behind her to help her back up. Laurine nodded her thanks and watched as the bird ate hungrily. When the flowers stopped growing, the bird stopped eating. The bird turned to Laurine and started once again to regard her. This time it regarded her calmly and Laurine watched him. Finally, the Hawk squawked, “Thanks, I haven’t had so much food in months. My last meal was a worm and a blackberry.” Laurine nodded and raised a hand in farewell as the bird disappeared in a rain cloud. Flora turned to her daughter and said, “You have a gift child.” The clouds suddenly parted and the sun sent rays down to the ground. A brighter ray became a fairy with flowing blue skirts that were long enough to cover the fairy’s feet as she flew. All the fairies bowed and a finch cried, “All hail, Queen Ree.” The Queen looked at the ground, marked with blood. The Queen turned to the young man and gracefully called, “Torrell, please come here.” The young man, Torrell, flew to the Queen and asked, “Yes, your grace?” The Queen gestured to the bloody ground and asked, “Torrell, do you know who is responsible for this act?” Torrell gulped, nodded, and answered, “I did.” The Queen nodded, as if she had known it was him and now he had just sealed his fate. Queen Ree nodded and proclaimed, “Torrell of Sun Court; I, Queen Ree, ban-” Laurine cried, “No!” She flew in front of Torrell and explained, “The blood you see is snake blood, and he killed snakes that killed a mouse! He brought both back to feed a starving Hawk!” The Queen looked taken aback and asked, “He fed a starved Hawk just so it could come back and eat us later?” Laurine blew at her bangs angrily, “No, I fed him! He was starving!” The Queen angrily answered, “Yes, but that does not mean feed the very thing that will surely kill us later!” Laurine stared at the Queen definitely and said< “Then we’ll let everything that is hungry die. All the animals and plants, because if one animal cannot be helped then why help the rest? If we don’t feed them, it is a known fact that Hawks will come back and feed on us. But if we help them, they might thank us by not hurting us!” The Queen stared down at Laurine with clear distaste. The Queen thought it was necessary to break it down, “Yes, but that does not mean that Torrell should not be punished for his actions on killing other living animals.” Laurine, angry for not being understood, stamped her foot angrily. The air around her sizzled as the rain became air, heated from the angry magic forming around Laurine. When Laurine stamped her foot, the grass under her foot burned. She angrily exclaimed, “You don’t want anyone to disobey you! And that is wrong! It is wrong for you to forget that all things die and we are the Helpers of the Goddesses! We were sent here from the Heavens to help the Earth and Animals. If I see an animal in trouble, I will help it and if that means killing another creature, I will.” The Queen looked at Laurine in surprise, but smiled wickedly moments later. The Queen raised her voice so all could hear, “This child and Torrell will die together, fed to the Hawks.” When no one cheered the Queen’s smiled faltered and for a moment terror became the only emotion in her eyes. Flora rushed forward and begged, “No, please! Please, don’t have her condemned to death! She is my only daughter!” The Queen showed no remorse and answered, “You should have taught your only daughter to hold her tongue! No husband would take her for a wife if her tongue is loose.” Flora collapsed in sobs and Torrell said, “I would take her for my wife if we weren’t going to die.” Laurine smiled warmly at him and the queen laughed. Flora ran inside the house and emerged with two oak boxes. She laid one in Laurine’s hand and the other in Torrell’s. Flora whispered, “Love is the Keys.” Then she hugged her daughter and the Queen’s spell took Torrell and Laurine to the canopy, binding ropes around them. Both Fairies waited for their death while puzzling over the oak boxes. Finally, Laurine whispered, “Thank you for saying those kind words, Torrell.” The boy looked at Laurine and answered, “I’ve been trying to convince myself to ask you ever since your Becoming. I had just come over to do that.” Laurine smiled warmly and said, “I love you.” Torrell said, “More that you.” The oak boxes opened and the ropes that had bound both fairies dropped. Laurine screamed and Torrell looked up in the sky and screamed as the Hawk scooped the both him and his new wife. The Hawk didn’t swallow though and Laurine whispered< “It’s the bird I saved.” The Hawk’s beak opened and Laurine and Torrell flew out cautiously. The Hawk said, “Almost all debts repaid.” Laurine thanked the Hawk and he flew off. In being in a new place, both fairies could do as they pleased.

Flora, too old and sad to fly, sat on her front root and watched the flowers wither and die from her sorrow. As she watched sadly, her remained two sons healed the plants heal the plants only to watch them die again. Flora’s heart was broken and she was too sad to stop the dying of the plants. A voice of her daughter, Laurine, said, “You’ve always healed them.” Flora talked to the voice that came to her as a voice and only a voice. Flora dreamed, heard, and saw a ghost of her daughter everywhere. Now that all her children were gone, her husband dead, all friends gone to live in the castle walls, Flora saw only the ghosts now. Flora answered sadly, “Everything dies now that you are dead, Laurine. Everything dies, but me.” Laurine floated down to sit on the root in front of her mother and smiled. She said, “I don’t know what to name my child and Torrell is no help at all, he wants to name our son Theo and our daughter Peni, which ever we have. I said no, I would not have my first born child named like a goose! I always said you would name my first born.” Flora gasped and stood slowly. She asked quietly, “Is that really you, Laurine?” Laurine flew to her mother and wrapped her arms around her. Laurine whispered, “I’m here now, I’m here; don’t worry.” Flora pulled back and examined her daughter’s face, pushing a stray strand of hair away. Flora cooed, “I knew you weren’t dead, I just had to wait for you.” Laurine smiled and nodded, putting her mother’s hand on her bulging stomach. Laurine whispered, “I miss you.” Flora smiled and both mother and soon-to-be-mother walked into the house. The rain outside that had been falling for three years finally stopped falling and the sun burned through the grey clouds. Flowers bloomed that day and never withered.





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