Another entry which combines two word prompts into one story, or in this case, fairy tale!
Once upon a time in a land far, far away from this planet, there lived a clan of fairies, whose giant, iridescent wings sparkled hues of blue, green, and gold. They were a beauty to behold but of little practical use because for whatever reason unknown to them, these fairies could not fly. Not for lack of trying though. Their wings would flutter and blow a cool breeze throughout their enchanted lands, but lift the fairies into the air, they would not do.
And so these fairies walked among their world like mere mortals, dancing on tiptoes under vibrant blossoms. Their petal skirts twirled and shone in the sun and glittered under the moonlight. A carefree life should have made them happy, but their desire to feel the air under their feet, to see the world from a cloud made it harder to embrace complete joy.
Malinda, an evil, miserable witch who reigned over the kingdom also manipulated the moods of those who dwelled there, flickering the light in hopeful eyes with the wave of her wand. Unbeknownst to the fairies, it was she who kept them grounded and unable to fly.
Then one day while two of the fairies were dipping their feet in a trickling stream at the edge of a forest, Malinda’s carriage teetered by and braked to a stop. The fairies watched as the wretched witch climbed out of the carriage to stretch her legs, and they wondered what a tall, dark hag was doing in their part of the lands.
Malinda was there to capture trolls who lived under a nearby bridge. They made good slaves and henchmen, but the last two had caused her too much grief, and when she’d had enough of them, they were gone with a swat of her wand.
“Fetch me a net,” she commanded her sidekick, a dumpy hunchback named Arlon. Then she turned and marched toward the stream.
Horrified, the fairies saw Malinda cast a spell on the bridge. Her words and wand paralyzed the trolls, who were lugged in nets from their lair and hurled atop a wagon beside the witch’s coach.
As her entourage waddled away on wooden wheels, the fairies sprinted home to share what they’d witnessed with their leaders. Their hands whipped frantically through the air as they recounted the witch using her wand to freeze the trolls. The leaders listened with grim creases worrying their downcast eyes. Though no one liked the trolls who intervened when they tried to cross the bridge and demanded unreasonable tolls, they didn’t like hearing there was someone worse inhabiting their serene, gentle part of the world.
“What do we do?” they asked one another. “How do we stop this malignant creature from contaminating our lands with her selfish and destructive cruelties?”
All night the fairy leaders sat in contemplation. No one spoke a word or offered a suggestion for ten hours. Then as orange light broke through the trees and illuminated the floor on which the fairies were bowed, an elderly sage raised his head.
“This woman’s hate is too strong for us to kill with kindness,” he reported to the group. “We must retaliate by using her spells against her – the power of reflection is the only way to undo her spiteful soul.”
He plan proposed tricking the witch into using her paralyzing spell – only when she waved her wand, its magic would bounce off the illusion which the fairies would place at the intended mark.
In three days’ time, they pulled together their plan, joining forces with other creatures to create a trap for the witch. The fairies approached a troll family living under a nearby bridge. The trolls, having lost their beloved uncle in the witch’s latest raid, were eager to help. They approached the river and asked for a reflective wall, which the water was happy to provide – the witch’s entourage polluted it with trash whenever they picnicked on its bank. And the trees happily carried the rumor of a troll family available for work – or taking – through the rustling of its leaves all the way to the witch’s front door.
The witch, eager to add to her collection of slaves, gathered her wand and carriage, and then set off to grab the family. Tree branches pointed her to the path down which they lived. Her rickety wagons followed them. At the river, she spotted the bridge. Bopping up and down in her seat with glee of her find, she commanded her slaves to halt. Jumping from her carriage, she marched to the water’s edge and pointed her wand at the darkened tunnel.
As she recited her spell, an electric bolt charged from the wand toward the bridge, intent on freezing the family eating lunch inside their home. However, when the bolt approached the tunnel, it bounced off a seemingly transparent wall, one which the witch could not see, and the electric current flew back at the witch. Before she had a chance to react, it zapped her frozen with an astonished expression on her face.
The river withdrew its mirror, revealing nothing on the other side. The real troll bridge resided opposite the one which the witch approached. The trees had done their job well and steered her wrong – or right, depending on whose side you’re rooting for in this tale.
Unbeknownst to all but the witch, who could no longer think in her permanent vegetable state, freezing her had an unintended effect on all the creatures around the realm. But the ones we care about most are our beautiful heroes – the fairies with wings that once couldn’t fly. While they jumped and cheered at stopping the evil witch, their iridescent wings fluttered, and to their surprise, lifted them in the air!
“I can fly!” one exclaimed.
“We all can fly!” another squealed as her feet dangled inches off the ground.
Even the ornery trolls were amazed by this revelation. They clapped at the breathtaking sight of a dozen dainty fairies floating above their ugly heads. After all, these pretty creatures were also the ones responsible for ending their slavery under the wretched witch.
Which is why fairies in this special world will never again have to pay the toll to cross a troll’s bridge.
And the witch? Her paralyzing spell could not be undone, unless by another witch as powerful as herself…of which, in this particular land, there were none.
But everyone else lived happily ever after…for now.
– Written by Miss A on January 10, 2013