Timothy is a writer and artist who enjoys writing poetry, stories and articles. Timothy earned his BS in psychology from Albright College
I stood there for a second thinking about who was coming.” Althea didn’t seem too concerned so maybe there was nothing to think about. Still she was fae and fae didn’t worry about much because…it was there nature. I guess I better ask her what she knows. “Wait...wait, Althea,..I need to ask you something before you go?”
“Oh bother,” Althea said. She popped back in. On her head she wore a nightcap and she now had on a long lace nightgown. “What part of not being disturbed do you not understand?”
My cheeks turned red. I looked away. “Althea you never told us who is coming. Should we be worried?”
“Since I am incapable of holding back information when asked. If I had known who or what is on their way here I would have told you. However they are masking themselves. So, now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to get some rest before they get here.”
Althea blinked out again.
I looked at Knor and Selda. “Swords, who knew they could be so finicky. I guess since we don’t who is headed our way I guess we get prepared for the worst and hope for the best.”
“I suggest we all get some rest.” said Knor.
The night seemed as short as the amount of sleep we all got. At first light we got up and ate a hearty meal Althea had prepared for us. When I say prepared. I mean she snapped her fingers and the food was there.
We sat around and pondered our next move. We decided the best course of action was to head up the road and meet our guests. We put out the campfire and started on our way. We hadn’t gone far when Althea alerted us to the presence of two beings ahead. We found a clearing to the side of the road and ducked behind some brush.
After a few moments we heard some voices a few paces off. The one I recognized as belonging to a well meaning but sometimes annoying pixie. The other voice I hadn’t heard in a while. A smile crossed my face. We stepped out of the brush.
“Kyla, it’s been a while. So what brings you to the Borderlands? Hopefully you finally came to your senses and came back to walk this land by my side”
Kyla laughed. “You wish. Besides is that any way to greet the Kings Daughter?”
I pretended to kneel. “Sorry, your highness. It’s been rough out here in the Borderlands.”
Kyla laughed again. “Are you mocking my royalty?”
“Me...never,” I stood up. “So if you’re not here to see me. What brings all the way out here?”
Knor and Selda stepped from the brush.
Kyla looked over at them.”Knor and Selda I presume.”.
I started to ask how she knew their names but then I noticed Wren talking to them. No question needed. I had my answer...Wren. Pixies were famous for a lot. Talking was on top of the list. I looked back at Kyla. She looked the same as the last time I saw her, long red hair which framed her angular. Even her outfit was the same. Along with a green coat over the traditional elven hunting attire. My heart fluttered a little. She was beautiful. She caught my gaze and smiled.
I blurted out the first thing to come to my mind. “So why did we break up?”
Kyla looked up at me. “Are we really going to do this now?”
My cheeks grew red. “What...what...I mean no..of course not.”
“Good,” She came over and kissed me then whispered in my ear. “I still love
you. Don’t fear. We’ll sort this out later. Now I need to tell you why I’m here.”
“Does it have anything to do with the magic fading?” Knor asked.
Kyla looked at all of us. “Yes, But there is more.”
Wren fluttered over to my shoulder. “Did you miss me?”
I looked at Wren. “Well…it has been quiet.”
She harrumphed and flew over to sit on Knor’s back.
Knor scowled at me. Well I guess it was a scowl. I’m not really sure a cow is capable of that kind of face.
“Sorry,” I said. “ It was only a joke. Knor, Selda this is my...well the King’s daughter Kyla and Wren you know.” I looked at Kyla. “This is Knor and her assistant Selda.”
Kyla looked at Knor. “You’re the sorceress...how?”
“I am,” Knor said.”my condition has to do with a magic mishap.”
“Ah, kind of what had been bestowed on my father.”
“No Princess, this was self enflicted. I cast a spell which went wrong due to magic slowing down.”
“Oh,” said Kyla, “Then you understand what is going…”
“Only what is going on. I do not know why and how to fix the problem.”
Althea popped back into existence. “I see you have arrived, Princess and also you annoying little one.”
“Wait, you knew they were coming? You told us you had no idea who travelers were.”
Althea smiled. “I did not want you to get over zealous and run off after the princess. I mean you and her have a history.”
“I would not have run off after her. Hold on just a minute. You said you were incapable of telling an untruth.”
Althea smiled. “I must remind you I was forged with fae magic.”
“Dyn,” Kyla said. “Can we proceed?”
“Yeah sure..Kyla, you're up. Why are you here and how can we help?”
“Well as Knor suspected magic is dying. As of now we don’t know why.
However we do know the source of the problem is up in the outer realms. Somewhere near The Great Lake. Dyn your mother and others are headed there now. We are to meet them in a couple of days.”
“Yes, she is the strongest mage among us other than Knor and a few others. She felt with the number of strange creatures popping up she needed…”
“Wait,” said Knor.”Strange creatures...”
“Yes, all manner of foul creatures have been popping up in Fairhaven and beyond. Killer rabbits...,”
“Killer Rabbits,” said Althea. “Interesting.”
“Yes, among other atrocities.”
“Like Golden Warriors…” said Knor.
“Yes,” said Kyla. “You would not want to see what was under the Golden Armor.
I looked at the group. “Let’s go find mother.”
We headed north on the road. Wren flew ahead. She had a pixies eyed view of the road ahead. She reported back periodically to give us the all clear. When she rested on the back of Knor the rest of us kept a wary eye on the road. I wanted to talk to Kyla some more but figured it best to keep quiet. It took us about three hours to get to the cut off lead to the border of Fairhaven and the outer realms.
The forest became denser here. I knew from past sojourns through this section of the forest we better be prepared for anything. I moved to the front of the line next to Knor. Kyla dropped back with Althea. I heard the two of them talking. I hoped it wasn’t about me.
All of a sudden something wrapped itself around me and pulled me into the trees. I heard the others calling my name from below. I looked up into the tree tops for any sign of my attacker. There was none. A vine had, at least I hoped it was a vine, wrapped itself around my midsection. It effectively pinned my arms by my side.
”Excuse me ladies. A Little help up here. I seem to be wrapped up in some kind of vine. “I yelled to the others below.
“We have our own problems down here.” responded Kyla.
I realized there’d be no help from below. They had their own problems. I struggled with the vine trying to loosen its grip. A sound caught my ears. A sort of chittering like a giant sized cricket.
I glanced to my left and saw something big moving through the trees. I had to get out of these vines. I pushed off from the tree and started to swing. The vines grip appeared to ease a little. I pushed off again and again. One arm came free. I reached back and grabbed my sword. The sword glowed in my hand. I managed to use my one hand to slice through the vine.
Then tumbled a few feet to the ground. Not waistline time I jumped to my feet and sliced through the brush till I came to the road. Kyla and the rest of the party we’re busy protecting themselves and Knor from the vines. Using swords they were hacking at vines. I ran to join in the fight.
“About time you got here,” Kyla chided.
“I would have been here sooner but I was tied up for a few moments.”
“That’s what all men say.”
I looked to see Althea brandishing a sword. How odd a sword entity fighting with a sword. We continued to hack away at the vines as we made our way up the road. Most of us were exhausted from flailing our arms for a long period of time. We reached a point in the road where the attack stopped. We walked a little farther and decided to rest for a little while.
“So can someone please tell me what that was all about. I’ve never seen vines act in that manner before. I mean I’ve traversed this road a number of times…”
“Yes,” said Kyla. “I’ve been on some of those journeys with you. The vines must be another side effect of the magic dying.”
“I even tried using my magic against the vines,” chimed in Knor. “It would not work. I tried every spell I could think of. I would like to thank you all for coming to my aid in my time of defenselessness. The only one who seemed to have her magic mojo was Althea but she is fae and her powers exist outside the normal realm of magical rules.”
Althea nodded her head.
“I can only speak for myself but we are in this together so we must look out for each other.”
“I am but the mages assistant but I agree.” said Selda. “we protect each other.”
“You wield a pretty mean sword yourself…” I smiled at Selda. She blushed.
“She is more than just looks, Dyn, '' said Knor. “She has a certain power herself. Make her mad and you’ll find out.”
I looked over at Kyla. She gave me her usual wrinkled brow which meant be careful with my flirting.
Living in the Land of Ott was truly not boring. Every time you thought you were able to chill for a while. Life threw a strange creature at you or some new quest. We rested for a few more minutes but felt it best to move on. We walked until we heard water running off in the brush.
One by one we went in and washed up while someone stood guard. Well except for Althea and Wren they didn’t need to bathe in the traditional way. We watched the woods as we walked. A fluttering of wings caught Wren’s attention.
“One of my kind is coming.” she said.
A fairy dropped down from above. She landed on the back of Knor. She looked at Kyla. es “Greeting Princess Kyla. My name is Essa. I have some news from Mistress Kander.”
The pixie looked my way. Dyn Kander I presume.”
“Yes, why did my mother send you?”
“She wanted me to tell you and the Princess that due to the cessation of the magic earlier spells which had been cast are rendered null in void.
“Which means?” Kyla asked.
It means the transformation spell the witch cast on you father is gone. The King is longer a dragon. He is now a man. She also instructed me to tell you about the magical stones.”
“Wait...wait..my father is no longer a dragon?”
“Is that not what I just said?” Essa quipped.
“Yes...yes I just cannot believe it.”
I looked around. Knor was nowhere in sight. “Maybe just sidled off the bathroom.” I thought. Oh well. I wondered if Kyla would stay here or not. I loved having her around. At the same time it was hard not knowing her feelings for me. Once we were betrothed. Now who know. Essa started talking again. She interrupted my thought.
“Mistress Kander also wants this small group to proceed to the town of Welloy to investigate a killer bunny infestation. After you have dispatched the bunnies you are to begin a small quest in search of the two missing magics. The mistress has the use of white magic. You need to locate someone who has the use of the old magic, the magic of the old races. You will also need to find someone aloof in black magic. Which should not be hard in our realm.”
“We are only six in our group. How does my mother expect us to carry out these tasks?
Essa looked at me. “She knew you would ask that question. She told me to tell you to stop whining and figure it out.”
I looked at Kyla. “Hey don’t look at me to help you with this one. I agree with your mother.”
No help there. I turned to Althea. She smiled. “Don’t look at me I’m stYing out of this one.”
“Oh bother… hey has anyone seen Knor?
“Why?” Said Kyla. “She’s not going to help you out..”
Just then an older woman came bolting down the trail. She looked like a fairy godmother but not as plump and a little more attractive. She ran past screaming, “Run!” I turned and looked in horror.
This ends the first third of the novella The Magic Cow. i am currently working the next section of he story entitled Killer Bunnies and Magical Emeralds. The story will pick up with the group looking for the magic emeralds and trying to rid a town of killer bunnies.
© 2020 Timothy Whitt