With this picture prompt by Brooke Shaden I had to return to the realms of fantasy. There I found my friend Xylan the Guardian. Let’s see what he and Fallon have been up to.”
I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie– Photo challenge — The picture above
Pensitivity’s three things challenge – Disappear – Beer – unable
Word of the Day Challenge – Erudite
Your Daily Word — Flit
Search for Xylan
The hours after dark had never been the same for Fallon Fairley. A week had scurried by since Gobalin came. The evil, ugly bat-goblin had been sent by an evil fairy called Malus Radican. His orders — Kill Fallon and prevent her and her mother the rightful queen of the fairies regaining the fairy city throne. Fallon lived through that night thanks to her Guardian, Xylan Ilexion – a spirit of the trees. He’d hidden in Fallon’s bedroom and banished Gobalin when he reared his ugly head.
Dark circles beneath her parsley-green eyes showed the twelve-year-old had been unable to sleep. Fallon yawned as she stepped into her back garden. She straightened her favourite lilac-and-white dress and felt pretty today.
“Sorry, mum. I can’t do this anymore. I have to sleep. I can’t do that whilst fearing monsters will kill me in the night,” she whispered with a glance at her regular redbrick house.
Walking across the lawn she arrived at a little kissing gate. The old wood squeaked when she opened and passed through. She had entered the ancient oak woods. The canopy so thick, sunlight barely penetrated to the leaf-strewn floor. Bracken grew thickly as did the evil yet tasty blackberry bushes.
Fallon walked slowly, taking care to observe every creature and bird she encountered. “Xylan, where are you?” she called in a soft voice.
Soon the chaffinches and woodpeckers fell silent. The squirrels vanished and the woods took on a deafening silence.
“Xylan, please! I —”
A thick branch snapped like a dry bone splintered by a giant monster.
Fallon flinched. Holding back a shriek, she turned to face her fate.
Two demonic yellow eyes blinked once and disappeared into the darkness. Something scrabbled through the undergrowth, crackling across the old leaves with paranormal speed. It passed behind a mighty oak and vanished.
“Show yourself! I’m just a girl,” Fallon urged. Her feet longed to turn and run from the woods. She was stronger than that, her braveness alone was enough to shrug off the shivers of fear.
A devilish laugh billowed on the wind. Echoing all around the trees. “I’ve got you now, fairy princess!”
“I don’t care if you kill me. At least I can sleep then,” Fallon said folding her arms. “Come —”
A gnarled hand groped down from the canopy. It’s arm like a living branch reaching until the fingers reached their victim.
Fallon felt those rough, skeletal fingers graze her skull as they grasped a handful of her long, rusty-auburn hair. She tried to wrench free. Three more hands lunged into existence grabbing her arm and shoulder.
“Yes, hold – her – tight, Wyches” hissed the yellow-eyed bat-goblin Gobalin stepping before Fallon. The four-foot-tall monstrosity was as wiry as a bunch of black, hairy pipe cleaners. With talon-like fingers and those bat ears, he was a terrifying creature.
“I see you retrieved your head,” Fallon said, fighting but unable to break free of the hands that held her in a vice grip.
“Xylan, will pay for that!” Gobalin sniffed the air like a dog. Sneering, he scuttled closer. “Now, fairy princess. It’s time you didn’t exist.”
‘Remember who you are.’
Fallon heard that deep voice rumbling in her mind. She hid a smile, there was only one being who could talk that way and he was a friend. “Gobalin, I am the fairy princess. I demand you let me go!”
“Haha! You may be the fairy princess. However, you have no power. Only King Radican gives me orders.” Gobalin crossed his claws before him. “I’m going to enjoy this.”
Closing her eyes, Fallon began to channel her imagination. “By the magic of Fairley Fairies; give me —”
Gobalin slashed his talons through the air, slicing toward his prey.
“WINGS!” Fallon yelled as the claws passed right through her abdomen. In a glittering rainbow light, she shrank to two-inches and darted free of her captors with a little giggle. “You missed me!”
“Ahh!” Gobalin began slashing at her wildly.
“You can’t catch me!” Fallon said as she danced about him.
It was then the mighty oak roared into life. His branches flexed as though angry. The gnarled and crack trunk split to reveal the crevassed face of the tree spirit Xylan Ilexion. His hypnotic swirling eyes bored into the skull of Gobalin. “Foul creature, I banished you. How dare you return to these woods!”
“Xylan! Now I’ll make you a pile of bark chippings. Wyches get him!” Gobalin hissed.
The two Wych-elm spirits who’d grabbed Fallon, drop from the tree canopy. Like emaciated gorillas made of branches, they lunged at the oak tree face.
“Take this!” Fallon flashed between them within a shower of sparkles. Hitting them both with balls of green light.
The Wyches screamed.
As they recoiled Xylan left his tree. Stepping forth as a tall, ancient man draped in the green cloak of Ivy. “Wych-elm spirits, you are supposed to be on the side of good. Evil does not become of beings of nature,” Xylan’s eyes took on the glow of hot coals. With an earthen roar, he let forth a blast of fire. The Wych-elm spirits crumpled to piles of charcoal.
“Nooo!” screamed Gobalin backing away.
“He really is a coward isn’t he?” Fallon remarked as she continued to flit about just out of his range.
“The worst, bat-goblins only attack when they have backup, or their prey is asleep,” Xylan said stalking after him.
“Ooh, that’s a good idea.” Fallon sent forth a wave of glittering feathers covering Gobalin.
At first, he giggled as they tickled him and then he was asleep. Snoring as he fell flat on his face.
“Why make him sleep?” Xylan asked looking confused.
“Maybe, he’ll wake up in a better mood,” Fallon smiled at him. “It’s lovely to see you again by the way.”
“You as well, fairy princess. It seems you’ve proven yourself — look!” Xylan motion to an area of clear ground below the mighty oak tree. No less than forty toadstool homes had appeared there. The sparkling air above the fairy city was alive with two-inch tall male and female fairies all fluttering about on their dragonfly wings. Everyone was cheering, applauding and drinking honey beer.
“Fallon Fairley. The people of my city may appreciate your beating Gobalin for a second time. However, I do not. This is my city and I decree, you will never reside here again!” yelled King Malus Radican.
Fallon spotted him easily. He was the only one wearing black. His dark crown glinted in the low light as he winged toward her. “I —”
“I’ll take it from here,” said a new voice.
Fallon looked to see her mother Mary Fairley striding into the clearing in her human form. Even as she watched, Mary sparkled like a rainbow and transformed into her fairy state. She looked powerful in her crystal white dress. “Hi, Mum,” Fallon performed a somersault in the air and waved.
“Hello, my fairy princess.” Mary smiled as she put herself between her daughter and Radican. “For now, the city is yours. Rest assured when the time is right, we Fairley Fairies will return to claim what is rightfully ours. Now, be gone before I scorch your wings off!”
“I accede and will be ready for your return.” Radican fluttered back to the city causing it to vanish as he disappeared into a toadstool.
Mary pointed up.
Fallon nodded, she reversed her magic and grew to human size beside her mother. “Will we really take back the fairy city?” she asked.
“One day, when you’re erudite and strong, we shall,” Mary said hugging her.
“Indeed, the fairy-people adore you now, Fallon. They will fight for you.” Xylan said as Fallon hugged him too. “Take your time to harness your magic. When you return you shall regain your role as the fairy princess.”
Have a great day!