Part 2 of the Fairy Blight Saga
Kiera, the soothsayer, was exhausted by the ravages of the Fairy Blight. During this pandemic the healers at the Texas Fairy School of Magic, were struggling to find efficacious potions and treatments. The headmaster had suggested that he ask an old friend of his to visit the school. His friend’s name was Shula el Masri. Keira looked at the headmaster with surprise because it was a curious name. She was familiar with Peri fairies who originated in Persia but they had Farsi names not Arabic. Shula el Masri translates from Arabic to Fire of Egypt.
As a young fairy, Kiera had been fortunate enough to visit the Arabian world. Her best friend was a Peri fairy – Niloufar which means Water Lily. Peris were renowned for their beauty and Niloufar was no exception. Her face was a fair as the Water Lily Blossom with vivid green wings; her hair was black like silk but her eyes were a bright green. As much as Kiera loved her, Niloufar made her feel a little dull by comparison. She was as kind as she was beautiful and made beautiful Persian dishes for them to share. Just a thought of walnuts and pomegranate brought back delicious and happy memories.
“Kiera”, said the Headmaster, “Are you feeling well, my dear?” She emerged from her reverie to pay full attention. “Of course, Sir, I am just weary with the Blight. Who is your friend?” “He is a Djinn from Egypt; an old and dear friend”. Kiera suddenly snapped to attention with excitement and anticipation. Djinn are desert creatures, made of fire and air, able to shapeshift into any form. For the most part, they are benevolent and eager to help. “Shula has been studying the Fairy Blight and thinks he may have a possible treatment”.
The fairy healers had been using so many new and old potions to treat the Black Shade, as it was called, but were struggling to cope with this outbreak. Fairy plagues are transmitted from plants with disease, not dissimilar to the animal to human transmission of the Coronavirus. The Black Shade spreads from Late Tomato Blight much like to the Irish potato blight. This tomato variation has mutated to cause a devastating browning or desiccation of fairy wings and occasional wing drop. A fairy without wings cannot survive.
“Does he have a magical cure?” asked Kiera. “Not exactly magical but alchemic” said the headmaster. He went on to explain that Djinn have an aptitude with metals because they are creatures of fire and air. Shula was a brilliant mind who had formulated a possible cure with copper. In the human world tomatoes affected by the blight is also treated with a copper mixture*. “I can’t wait to meet him”, said Kiera excitedly, vibrant for the first time in months.
Kiera ran to her room to prepare for Shula el Masri’s arrival which was imminent. She looked in the mirror with dismay. So many months of quarantine and work treating patients had left Keira looking care worn. Her hair had more silver and she had cut it into a pixie style to make life easier. This was generally frowned on in the fairy world where beautiful long hair is an attribute. Kiera remembered how charming Egyptians were and was suddenly concerned about her appearance. In her closet she chose a long silver velvet gown, put some golden seed oil on her hair, jasmine oil and a little rouge.
As she returned to the main hall, she noticed a golden shimmering in the air which transformed into a male Peri fairy. Shula el Masri had arrived. His dark wavy hair was dappled with gray but his eyes were a vivid green. The headmaster started to introduce him to Kiera who was flustered when he lifted her hand to kiss it in a courteous fashion. She stuttered, “Salaam Alaikum” and Shula’s eyes flickered with delight as he responded “Alaikum Salaam”. This is a traditional greeting in the Arabic world meaning Peace Be With You. “So… you are familiar with Arabia, Miss Kiera?” Keira told him about her friendship with Niloufar, an old Peri friend. “I chose the perfect disguise, then?” said Shula with a light chuckle. In that moment Kiera remembered that he was a magical creature – the shimmer she had seen before was his true appearance. He had chosen wisely to resemble a fairy so that the young ones were not frightened. Kiera wondered why he had chosen an older appearance but perhaps it was more honest given his immortal life.
The headmaster asked Shula if he would like a repast but he asked to go straight to the healers’ infirmary. In truth, he only ate to be polite as it was unnecessary for him to have nourishment of that type. Human mythology has reduced the remarkable Djinn to an image of a pretty lady Genie jumping out of a lantern but Shula was much more impressive and gifted. The little fairies started to smile broadly at Kiera’s entry into the infirmary – she had counselled so many students and their families. There was a titter of excitement when they realized she was not alone and they looked beyond her with curiosity at the handsome Peri fairy.
Shula warmly introduced himself to all the children, parents and staff and Kiera watched as they responded so well to his natural charisma. Then she let out a sigh of relief – perhaps the worst was over and the Fairy World could hope again.
*Copper treatment only works on tomatoes/fairies…not humans.
**Like Kiera, Kerry has a weakness for green eyed Arabic men.