Flax and Rye were the bane of their younger sister Blu’s life. She had just started her first semester at the Texas School of Fairies. So far, all of her tutors had made some comment about her older brothers. Sometimes they mentioned their academic achievements but often they referred to their love of Mischief and Magick… “Just wait until I get home to tell Mom and Dad”, thought Blu.
Her mother and father were also alumni of the Texas School of Fairies. Her father was a coastal fairy from Corpus Christi, on the south west Gulf of Mexico. His hair was the color of the golden white sand and his blue eyes matched his pastel blue wings with honey tips. Blu’s mother was the most beautiful Prairie Fairy from Oklahoma. Her wavy wheaten hair glistened in the sun like the many grains and grasses of the prairie. Father was smitten after one gentle kiss from her rosebud mouth that made their wings vibrate with excitement. Mother’s wings were metallic hues of bronze and copper with just a hint of amber. Their love was so great that Father left his beloved seaside abode to live with Mother and her family in the Prairie. His sand and blue coloring made it easier for him to fit into the Prairie world but sometimes his blue eyes clouded over as he dreamed of the Gulf’s gentle waters.
Blu had inherited her mother’s glorious looks and was named for her beautiful eyes. Her hair was a riot of golden curls and like all the Prairie fairy children she had light colored wings. Hers were the color of seashells – it was her greatest hope that when she blossomed she might inherit her Father’s hues and live in a coastal community. Mother and Father really didn’t want their baby girl to leave the Prairie but were happy for her to go to such a prestigious school. “They won’t be happy if Flax and Rye get suspended from school”, Blu shared with her new friend Ria from Brownsville. Ria had never seen boys quite as handsome as Blu’s brothers and her dark brown eyes sparkled with delight when she saw them. Blu noticed this and could not understand why anyone would like her horrible brothers! Fairy families have very similar dynamics to Homo Sapiens…
Flax and Rye had a penchant for having insects for pets. No pets were allowed at the Fairy School but the brothers tucked them into their hammocks at night. The other fairy boys were driven to distraction by the endless ticks and chirrups that emanated from those hammocks. At home on the prairie, Blu would often find an unwanted pet in her own hammock! Her brothers loved to hear her scream but then Father would get out his Fairy Switch. The Texas School of Fairies was conservative so each tutor had a switch, usually made from willow twigs, but a sharp comment usually did the trick. Sometimes a strict tutor would cast a harmless spell on a miscreant youth turning them into a Cicada for a day creating much hilarity among their classmates.
Blu and Ria were trying to decide what classes to take. Blu had signed up for Apothecary Arts because her beloved Grandfather was a Fairy Healer. Despite a resemblance to humans, Fairy physiology is quite different – more akin to that of a dragonfly, with a pupation cycle before the Blossoming into adulthood. Flax and Rye also took Apothecary Arts but only to finesse their skill of fermenting grasses and tree saps. It was probably the only reason why their fellow bunk mates put up with all their nonsense – you can’t go to school in Austin without a libation or two. On their first week Blu and Ria tried some tree sap but after two acorn cups they were dizzy, so they both sensibly decided to wait until they were older to enjoy the delights of the Fairy Bar. Humans have those in Austin too.
When Blue returned to her dorm and stumbled into her hammock, she could hear some of the other fairies giggling. She was mortified that they had seen her, especially as she was really so shy, and normally well behaved. The next day one of the Red River fairies, with glorious auburn waves, pointed at Blu in the classroom and whispered to the girl next to her. Blu blushed from head to foot; their tutor Miss Aloe just had to touch her willow switch and everyone quieted down. After class, Blu rushed out to the forested recess area, tears welling in her big sad eyes. She sat under a toadstool hoping to hide from everyone. Blue jumped hearing a familiar voice, “What’s up little sis?” asked her oldest brother Flax.
To her own surprise, she tearfully told Flax everything from the Fairy Bar to the classroom. When she started sobbing, her wrapped her up in his arms and wings, gently soothing her. “Dry your eyes and come with me” said Flax. He walked straight up to the mean Red River fairy who started fluttering her russet wings at the sight of the most handsome fairy boy. Blu hung behind him, feeling miserable. “Rose, I would like you to meet my sister Blu” gently pulling her to the front. Rose looked shamefaced especially when Flax said, “I would be so grateful if you could help her feel at home in Austin. It is so far from the Prairie”. He smiled widely at Rose, who told him that it would be her pleasure to help Blu settle in.
Rose stuck to her word, making sure that Blu settled into her first semester. In time they would become friends and eventually imbibed Tree Sap together after their blossoming. For now, Blu thought she might just be grateful to have a thoughtful big brother to help her settle in at Fairy School.
Each of my fairy stories have been based on the lives of friends here in Texas. I write them and give them as a gift. They seem to give more pleasure than traditional gifts.