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Magic and the Heart

September 1, 2019

She remembered it well - her sixth. birthday, the day her best friends left her...the day everyone told her she was “Too old to still have these fantasies...” and how everyone else thought she was “Y’know - weird, like... always talking to some unseen thing.  Don’t care if they say she’s got the gift, it’s still weird... She’s touched, she is... is not right, her always talking, talking as if real people were there...”


And so on her sixth birthday her mother told her it was time to stop - “Just stop it already - stop all this nonsense about angels and wings and little people living in flowers...

It’s just a fantasy, and good little girls don’t believe in this nonsense... besides, all the neighbors are talking, and you don’t want them to talk about you, now do you ? ...

So stop embarrassing me, and just ... just behave already !”


At first she sulked, stormed out and sat under her favorite tree - and maybe even cried a little... and when her real friends came out [yes, the ones that did live in the flowers], she just told them how horrible everyone was to her, and how no-one believed her, and all they cared about was gossip, and spite, and how they were making her life miserable... Why couldn’t they just leave her alone ...


And so her little friends - her only true friends - sat quietly, listening even as she cried a little, and told her not to worry, that she did have the gift, but many other - simple, common humans - did not, and those people were afraid of things they could not understand, could not see, and so would reject anyone who was different...

But they would fix it, would make sure that she was no longer at longer different...


And that night, when she was asleep in her bed, they each came, one by one, to say farewell...that they never meant to cause her trouble... that they did love her, and would never want her to experience such sorrow again.


She thought it was just a dream, a vague clouded image, that they all danced around her, and the golden dust floated around her head, soothing her even as it lifted her memories... until all that was left was a dull ache, a feeling of something lost... just, not very clear...


And from that day on she no longer ‘talked to unseen things, or had these strange fantasies about shining little people with wings’...

And as the years passed people forgot about her strangeness - and some even got to like her, treating her just like one of them “She’s al’right rid of her fluffy nonsense, she did... look at her, she’s one of us now”.


And a few more years passed - and even if she still felt that something was missing, she did her best to make her mother proud... after all, she was a good little girl...


Today is her sixteenth birthday, a day of great celebration, a day that is still considered ‘the coming of age’ - a day many thought to be the beginning of womanhood, a day she would start to make her own decisions, a day she would decide what her life was to be.


It started off as a very fine day, the sun shining brightly, the air fresh even as autumn was fast approaching, much of the harvest had been secured and there was lots and lots to eat. Today she would wear her best dress, put a bright ribbon in her hair, and even fasten a shining pendant around her slender neck ... [strange, she didn’t remember having seen it before...still, it was in her private box, so it must be hers, right ?...]

The pendent felt warm and comfortable, resting just above her heart...and for some strange reason she felt exited, felt as if a very important thing would happen today... and in this state of expectation she stepped out into the yard to meet her guests...  


The party stated off joyfully, with many praises for her beauty and poise [“Yea, she grew up alright...and quite a catch too” she heard the boys say - and for some reason this annoyed her - she was not some ‘object’ for others to stare at, or worse, covet - as if she belonged to those who would barter her... She was not property, to be passed around and evaluated...


And at that point something inside her broke, some unknown chain shattered...she felt her heart grow, even as fury rose to her eyes [later, people said that it looked like she had fire in her eyes... and, if they’d be truthful, felt a little afraid...]


Her fury unleashed, and the weather responded - in just a heartbeat the wind picked up and was howling, clouds gathered and covered the sun, lightning struck and thunder rolled - but strangely no rain came... it felt like some ancient barrier had been torn away, and all that energy needed to rush out, to break free... and for the first time she realized that she could breathe freely...


And even as many cowered away, she felt strong - and in this strength the veil dropped, and for the first time in ten years she could see again, and all her friend - her real friends - were there...and this time they were the ones with tears in their eyes...


Out of the mist great figures stepped out, shining as if lit from within - they stepped right up to her and graciously bowed their head

“We waited for ten years - we gave you the time to grow and consider - time to get to know these humans that claim to be your family... time to be able to make conscious choices... That time is now  - would you come with us... or rest with them...”


It had been a long time since she’d heard the Sidhe - the golden people...

Her memories tumbled out, rushing to break free of the constrains that had imprisoned them... and at that moment she knew - clearly - who and what she was.


“Changeling” she heard whispered, even as people covered their eyes as if afraid she’d curse them.


Her fury shone out, but before she could act the little ones flew out to her “They’re not worth it - do not waste your time or energy on them... Ignorant born, they chose to remain such - and even when presented with opportunities, they still chose to reject it... They made their life what it is now - none can change it - leave them to it”


And so she did, stepped out towards her true future, her hand on the arm of the Golden One she stepped into the mists... never to be seen again.


“Witch” they cried in their fearful ignorance “Never one of us - told you she wasn’t... should be cursed for all the trouble she caused”

They spat on the soil, fingers outstretched in the shape of horns, cursing her for her difference...and they all joined together in piling curse upon curse on she who dared be different.


As the night moved on they drank themselves into a stupor, and filled fake courage they burned all her meager possessions - boasting of all they would do to her if she dared come back...and so they fell asleep, proud of their arrogance, snoring away in their rudeness... foolish, foolish people.


Out of the dark night a soft whisper was heard “As you do so it shall come back threefold”... and now millions of rats came out, devouring what little was left on the fields...grain that had been stored turned rotten, the well-water soured, and even the river dried up... the earth turned arid, the soil cracked as if all the moisture had been sucked out... and even the trees shriveled for life was no longer welcomed here.


“Foolish humans...will you wake up tomorrow and realize you did this to yourselves - or out of your conceit once again blame the innocents... When will you ever learn...”

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