Part 4 of the Fairy Blight Saga
Kiera opened her eyes and couldn’t believe the vista in front of her. She was lying on a sumptuous canopied bed covered in golden silks looking at an oasis. She sat up and saw some wild camels drinking at the pool. Suddenly there was a shimmer and Shula El Masri appeared. He smiled broadly at her and Kiera realized that she was unclothed. With a blush and laugh, Kiera pulled the golden silk up to hide her modesty. “It is a bit late for that, isn’t it”, chuckled Shula. She met his twinkling green eyes and smiled as broadly as he had. “Is this a mirage, Shula?” asked Kiera. “No, this is my home in the Sahara. I whisked you here before you woke up.”
Kiera clapped her little hands with joy – the wonders of a Djinn suitor! Lovemaking with a Djinn was a sublime experience. She felt that they were both transformed into the four elements – fire, water, air and earth. “What do you see in me, Shula?” asked Kiera very aware that she was an older fairy. “I love your essence, Habibti (darling). Your kindness, your laugh, your warmth and those blue eyes”. Shula explained to Kiera, that as a Djinn who was able to shapeshift into any creature, his perception or vision was different from hers. It was though he could see her every molecule and loved her entirety. “Ana uHibbuka (I love you) Shula” responded Kiera with happy tears in her eyes.
Shula had prepared a light breakfast of dates, hummus and bread. Kiera ate with relish; her evening had been more energetic than it had been for years. She was content and warm but aware that they had to get back to the Texas School of Fairies. It was time to get back to work. No one seemed to have noticed their disappearance but they both emanated a subtle golden glow. Shula’s copper treatment for the blight combined with some old potions was working for most patients so there was some reason to celebrate. The survivors of the Fairy Blight, however, were faced with long term problems. The worst was wing drop – their wings desiccated and fell off. This left the fairies unable to live a normal life and they had to rely on others for their care. The Fairy Crafters had been working on prosthetic wings. They had used plant fibers, spider silk and balsa wood but it was as impossible as recreating a dragonfly’s wing.
As soothsayer, Kiera was again struggling with the feeling of despair in the school and the entire fairy world – the contentment in her personal life contrasted starkly. Shula noticed how bad she was feeling and asked her to join him in his suite again that evening. “I might have some good news…” Kiera shook herself out of her gloom and later knocked gently at his door. The suite was still transformed into an Egyptian scene but this time it resembled a blacksmith’s forge. Shula’s greatest skill was with metal so she was curious about what he had been working on. She gasped when she saw that he had constructed a fairy wing out of titanium, the lightest of metals. Titanium turns into a rainbow of different colors depending on what level of heat is applied to it. Shula held out prosthetic wing that was colored deep blue. “Stand back, Kiera dearest”. He blew a fiery breath on the wing and it changed color to fuchsia pink.
Kiera looked at Shula with astonishment – what skills this alchemist had. “I think this might work because it is light and flexible yet indestructible”, said Shula. They spent the rest of the night working on ways to attach the prosthetic wings. By morning they were bleary eyed but excited. They flew down to the infirmary to try the titanium wings one of the invalided children. It was attached by a brace around the chest area made of beetle silk, strong but soft. The first little fairy to try it was a Tumbleweed fairy with a mop of white fluffy hair. Her name was Teasle and like all Tumbleweed fairies was pragmatic and straightforward. Her first attempt was a little clumsy but after a few times she was flying around the patio outside the infirmary. “Don’t go too far,” pleaded Kiera. Teasle gently dropped to the ground her face gleaming with joy, then she ran to Shula and hugged him. “Do you like them?” asked the caring Djinn, while gently caressing her fluffy hair. “I love them but could they be a different color, please?” – everyone started laughing and crying. These prototype wings were a deep pink color but Tumbleweed fairies are unusually neutral in color. “How about a nice copper or golden color to match your outfit?” said Shula with a chuckle. Teasle grinned, her amber eyes sparkling; she was wearing mule hide suede pants with a matching fawn cotton sweater.
As the weeks flew past, lucky little fairies were attached with prosthetic wings of their color choice. Kiera’s old friend, Niloufar, a Persian Peri fairy, had brought her granddaughter to the Texas School of Fairies. Little Fariba had lost both her wings to the Fairy Blight. It was with the greatest of pleasure that Kiera fitted her with delicate bright green titanium wings; perfect for a Waterlily Fairy. As Fariba took her first faltering flight, Niloufar burst into delighted tears hugging Kiera and then Shula. Once the excitement was over, Niloufar and Kiera, spent the evening together. It had been years since they had met but chattered happily as though it was yesterday. “So, tell me all about this handsome Djinn, Kiera”, asked Niloufar. Kiera laughingly said, “I wondered when you would ask about Shula El Masri!” Neither of them knew any other Djinn and Fairy unions so Niloufar was fascinated by the details of the courtship. “I think Shula is my soulmate”, sighed Kiera knowing that this might be a fleeting affair. Niloufar’s beautiful emerald eyes looked sadly at Kiera and she reached across to hug her.
Fariba, the little Peri fairy, and all the others with new wings stayed at the infirmary for a few weeks to make sure that they had truly convalesced. The day came when Niloufar and Fariba had to leave for their home in Persia; Kiera tearfully waved them off. Shula spotted Kiera sitting thoughtfully by the fountain. “Would you like to go to the Oasis, tonight, dearest Kiera?” “Yes, please Habibi.” Shula fashioned a golden shimmer around them and in an instant they were at Oasis dipping their toes into the cool water. “Kiera, said Shula, “I need to talk to you about the future.” Kiera’s big blue eyes looked at him with dismay but she understood without words that his time at the Texas School of Fairies was coming to an end. The Fairy Blight was a worldwide pandemic and his skills were needed elsewhere. Tears dripped down her cheeks and he kissed her on the forehead. “Would you come with me?” he asked. She looked at Shula with a tremulous joy. “We could spend years traveling the globe helping our species” said Shula. Kiera whispered “Yes, Yes…”
Even fairies like a happy ending.
Part 4 – New Wings