Wow, it has been forever since I posted an episode of The Dust Pixies! If you haven’t read the story yet, click here to see it so far. And here’s a little refresher from the last chapter:
This was too big for four dust pixies to handle by themselves. We needed help. We needed Rosalind.
Rosalind perched on the side of her bed, her chin in her hands, her blue-gray eyes opening wider and wider as I told the sad tale.
“And oh, you’ve just got to help us, Rosalind!” I finished. “How are we supposed to save two of our friends from a band of bloodthirsty fairies by ourselves?”
Lyri held up her hands. “Whoa there, Mae. I wouldn’t call them bloodthirsty, exactly. Just a little…”
“Crazy?” Fiona interjected helpfully. She had quickly made friends with Rosalind, but Petre, on the other hand, cowered behind me, his little hand gripping mine for dear life.
Rosalind finally spoke. “So let me get this straight. Finn went out to collect supplies for him and his wife, who apparently is the fairy Princess, but then the Princess’s friends and family KIDNAPPED him because Finn married her and then they kidnapped the Princess too for good measure? Sounds like such a sweet group.”
Fiona rolled her eyes. “They’re crazy, I’m telling you. And they’re fairies. What more could we expect?”
“They’re not all bad,” I said, remembering Eli. “And what about Annabelle Rose? She’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, even if she is a little dramatic.”
Lyri nodded in agreement. “So we all know they need to be rescued, but how?”
We all stared at each other blankly.
Petre sneezed. Twice.
“Sorry,” I apologized to Rosalind, “Petre is allergic to dust. It’s rather unfortunate since he’s a dust pixie and all, but…”
“That’s it!” Rosalind sat up suddenly, sending us all tumbling into the valley she had made in the bedcovers. “Oops, sorry,” she winced. “But I have it! I have a plan!” She grinned mischievously. “But first, you all need a bath.”
It’s a good thing my parents weren’t there to hear us, because judging by the bloodcurdling screams and shouts and yelps, they would have thought we were being mauled by a house cat or something. Okay, so maybe the water wasn’t that bad, but if you’ve never had a bath in your entire life, you’d be terrified too. I couldn’t believe Rosalind had betrayed us like this.
I put on my best angry face as I finally climbed out of the bubbles and put on my clothes. Rosalind had even washed those too! I gave the teacup-bathtub a kick in passing, and yelped when warm water sloshed out onto my foot. Hmph.
I peeked out from behind the makeshift curtain Rosalind had folded from a sheet of notebook paper. Apparently Fiona and Petre hadn’t particularly enjoyed their baths either. They both wore a frown, clean clothes, and soaking wet hair. Lyri, on the other hand, was smiling.
“It actually feels kind of good to be clean, don’t you think, Mae?” she asked brightly.
All I could work up was a “Hmph.”
“So, traitor, are you ready to tell us that marvelous plan of yours now that you’ve finished torturing us?” Fiona poked Rosalind’s arm.
Rosalind laughed. “Oh you babies. The water didn’t hurt you, did it? And besides, you need to be clean in order for my plan to work. You can’t look like a fairy if you’re covered in dust.”
“WHAT?!” we exclaimed. We were going to be disguised as fairies now? Oh boy, why did we have to come to Rosalind in the first place?
I had to admit, Rosalind was a pretty great disguise maker. I twirled and whirled in my new dress made of willow leaves and decorated with tiny whit flowers, then caught Fiona’s hand and twirled with her. Her dress was shorter, and made of silky lavender flower petals. Petre was not so impressed with his maple leaf shirt and pinecone hat. His little lips were turned down in a pout. But when Fiona stepped out from behind the paper curtain, we all gasped. She looked like she was made to be a fairy. Her long brown hair tumbled down her shoulders and onto her delicate fern dress. Rosalind had woven her a sparkling headband from something in her room that looked natural but probably wasn’t. You could never tell with humans.
Oddly enough, I felt like crying. Lyri looked so much like a fairy with her clean, beautiful face and new clothes that I felt like I had lost my friend and was seeing someone else. But instead of crying I smiled, and twirled with Lyri too.
Rosalind cleared her throat. “Well, girls, I’m glad you like your dresses and all, but we should probably get started. We want to get there well before dark.” I shivered. Yes, I definitely did not fancy creeping around the Inner Forest at night.
So out we went.
It took us a while to reach the woods, but when we reached them, I wished we hadn’t. It was just as spooky as last time – spookier, maybe, because we knew one of the dangers that lurked inside. And we didn’t only know it, we had come to fight it.
The woods were silent, but somehow it didn’t feel like silence. The lack of sound pounded in our ears until it nearly deafened us, and the heavy air pressed about us as if trying to force us back, back, out of the forest with its secrets and mysteries, out into the light where we belonged.
But we didn’t obey the silence.
Finally we heard something – the faint sounds of arguing voices.
We all halted, and peered through a prickly holly bush at what could only be a fairy camp. The fairies’ tents were set around a tiny fire that sent up a tiny wisp of smoke in the middle of a tiny clearing. The tents were camouflaged; they were made of a light but strong fabric of woven grass and leaves, supported by a frame of slender twigs. Rosalind could crush it all in one step, I realized with a mixture of awe and horror.
Then I saw the fairies.
Three of them had appeared at the entrance of one of the tents, arguing and waving their hands in a frenzy. I instantly recognized the midnight skin of Reuven.
He was shouting at the other fairies in an angry voice. “I say kill the pixie. Kill him! Once he’s done with, Princess Annabelle will have no reason to return to that miserable human dwelling.”
Another, younger fairy whom I didn’t recognize interrupted Reuven in a somewhat calmer voice. “But Reuven, Sir, don’t you think he could be useful to us? He knows the ways of the dust pixie and we can teach him the ways of the fairy. He would be the perfect spy. And Princess Anabelle is here now. We won’t let her go so easily this time.”
“Besides,” the other, taller fairy broke in, “killing the Princess’s husband is not exactly the way to win her over, if you know what I mean.”
Reuven was silent a moment, considering the advice. “Fine,” he said in a low voice. “I agree. Being the man who killed the Princess’s husband is probably not the best tactic. So maybe he’ll just suffer an ‘accident.’ ” He lifted his chin, dark eyes glinting.
Rosalind gasped, then shut her mouth tightly. We all looked at each other with panic in our faces.
It was time to put our plan into action.
Cliffhanger! 😀 Hee hee! I hope you enjoyed that, guys. 🙂 Thanks for reading!
P. S. We dusted off (literally) an old record player that we have, and my siblings have been listening to old records all day. They even found a record from 1989 that played a milk advertisement! XD