Part 3 of the Fairy Blight Saga
It had been weeks since Shula el Masri (Fire of Egypt), the visiting Djinn, had arrived at the Texas School of Fairies. He, the healers and Kiera, the Soothsayer, had tried a variety of copper treatments, recommended by Shula, for the Fairy Blight. It seemed to work best in conjunction with the older potions. Slowly but surely the little fairies were beginning to recover from the Blight. They were all still in the middle of a long battle against the disease but this is the story for every species on earth. We fear fungal, virus and bacterial illnesses and are incredulous of their power over us. There is no malice in a Blight’s intent, just a thirst to survive. Fairies understood the interconnections better than humans but they still grieved for those they had lost.
Shula and Kiera were exhausted – Shula with all the alchemical formulations and trials on patient fairies. Kiera was emotionally fraught, her shoulders dropped with absorbing the fear and pain of her students and their families. Shula always looked impeccable with a delightful bow tie but this was not his true appearance because he was a creature of fire and air. Every so often Kiera caught sight of a faint shimmering around Shula and wondered if this was fatigue. Kiera had slipped back into the easiest of outfits with little regard to her appearance. They were all getting closer to a realistic cure for this mutation so Shula suggested that Kiera join him in his suite, provided for dignitaries at the school, for a light meal and some rosehip wine. Keira was a little flustered by the invitation as she knew Shula did not need regular sustenance. Blushing, she said, ‘I would love that’ – Shula’ s green eyes flashed with pleasure.
She ran back to her suite and jumped into a bath scented with night blooming Jasmine oil. Then she chose an indigo blue silk robe embroidered with deep pink hibiscus. Her pink silk slippers matched. She walked past the Hall of Fairies, still resplendent with crimson and gold fabrics but empty… Kiera sighed with sadness but put a genuine smile on her face when she knocked on Shula’s door. He opened the door still resembling a Persian Peri fairy but had chosen to wear an emerald green velvet smoking jacket, subtly embossed with Arabic geometric patterns. ” Please come in my dearest Kiera”, said Shula which made her heart skip a beat. Then she gasped when she saw that Shula had transformed the frankly stuffy suite into a Bedouin tent, resplendent with Arabic rugs, silks for awnings and copper furniture. There were lounging cushions in red and blue velvet.
“It is so beautiful” whispered Kiera. “I feel like I have returned to Arabia, Shula!” “This makes me feel more comfortable in a foreign environment,” replied Shula with a smile. Over the weeks since the Djinn had arrived, he and Kiera had been chattering in both Arabic and English. They both spoke many languages but it helped them bond a little better. Kiera also enjoyed talking in a tongue that was once very familiar. It was obvious to anyone who watched them work together that they also had an unspoken language and were very intuitive. Shula had laid out some plates with pomegranate and walnut pilaf, herb tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, and Kiera’s favorite Baladi* bread. Shula poured two glasses of rosehip wine in delicate blue glasses, handed one to Kiera and said, “Mabrouk!” “Cheers!” returned Kiera with a laugh.
Shula was kind enough to join her in eating the delicious dishes. Kiera felt better than she had for many months, if not years. She had never married but enjoyed the company of male suitors from time to time. Now that she was older, it was a special pleasure to be courted by this handsome Djinn. It is uncommon for different species of magical creatures to have a romantic relationship but Kiera and Shula had a natural attraction to each other bound by the Blight. For months their conversations concentrated on the copper treatment and fairy medicine. This evening they started to reveal a little of their souls. Kiera told him about her Baja and Irish fairy forebears. “So, that’s where those beautiful dark blue eyes come from.” Kiera looked at Shula, the green-eyed Djinn, leaned toward him and kissed him on the lips. They were warm and welcoming with that now familiar shimmering. Shula pulled Kiera to him and they fell back onto the velvet cushions. It was a night to remember…
*Baladi is an Egyptian word meaning local. We had ‘baladi bread’ (a fresh delicious flat bread) and ‘baladi dogs’ (street dogs)
Part 4 to follow