Goodness gracious, it has been far too long since I added to this story! (I always say that about my writing posts, don’t I? XD ) Well anyway, here I am now! I hope you enjoy this last chapter of The Dust Pixies.
If you’d like to read the previous chapters, click here. And here’s a refresher from the last part:
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.
I reached into the burlap bag and scooped out the dust bunny. I looked into its bright little eyes and whispered, “This is it, little guy. Time to pay me back for all the trouble you’ve caused.” The bunny cocked its head and looked at me curiously, its small nose wiggling. At last it caught the scent of freedom and raced straight into the midst of the fairies’ camp.
The fairies exploded in a flurry of wings and shouts.
“Eww, it’s all dusty.”
“Well of course it is, Karina – it’s a dustbunny.”
“EEK! You mean from the dust pixies? Gross! Shoo, get away from here!”
“IT TRIED TO BITE ME!”
“What if it has rabies?”
I grinned. Perfect – everyone was distracted. Time for Stage Two.
Lyri and I fluttered nonchalantly past the tents, looking for any sign of Finn or Anabelle Rose. A couple of fairies glanced at us but we ducked our heads and they flew back to the uproar. Our disguises – or more like our baths – had done the job.
We finally found Eli peering between the tents at the ruckus. He jumped when I touched him.
“Psst, Eli, it’s us! The dust pixies! We’ve come to rescue our friends, like we promised.”
His big black eyes widened, taking in our costumes, the absence of dust, and then our faces. He gave us a nod and a tiny smile. We tiptoed past the fairies’ tents, each one different from the others. Some were made of bright flower petals or rich green leaves, others of twigs bound together with vines. We stopped at one of the biggest tents, an enormous orange tiger lily.
“This is my house,” Eli whispered to us shyly.
“It’s very pretty,” Lyri whispered back with a smile.
Eli blushed and looked at the ground.
When he led us around to the back I had to clap my hand over my mouth to keep from shouting. There sat Anabelle Rose and Finn, bound with a thick brown vine, mouths stuffed with its leaves… I gulped: poison ivy.
When Anabelle and Finn saw us, their tired faces lighted up for a moment, but then their eyes widened and they shook their heads violently, gesturing to something behind us.
I turned and all the breath rushed out of me. Oh no. Two tall fairymen were standing behind us with their arms crossed and scowls on their faces.
“FLY!” Eli yelled.
Lyri and I took off, flying high up into the trees. Unfortunately, the fairies were right behind us. We had a head start but the fairymen were much more adept at maneuvering through the branches.
Suddenly, a bird appeared out of nowhere, shrieking and divebombing us. I could see a nest of scruffy little babies with their yellow mouths wide open behind her. I flapped my wings backward as hard as possible but it was too late. The bird slammed into me and I started spiraling to the ground.
“Mae!” Lyri screamed, following me down.
I managed to slow my fall a bit with my wings, but they hurt too much to do anything more than flap feebly. I thudded to the ground and groaned. Ouch. Everything hurt.
“Mae, are you okay?” Lyri asked, trembling.
“Uh… maybe,” I mumbled. Well at least we had lost the two fairymen.
But then I heard voices, and footsteps.
I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to curl into a ball, but my body protested. Why am I here? We didn’t even help anything, just made everything a bigger mess than when we started. I heard my name shouted over and over.
“Mae, wake up! Mae, it’s us! Mae, Mae, Mae!”
I slowly opened my eyes, then snapped them open the rest of the way.
“WHAT?! How did you guys escape?” I scrambled to my feet – or tried to, but only managed to sit up. There stood Eli, Petre, and Anabelle Rose and Finn, a little weak and haggard maybe, but standing. Free.
Anabelle smiled. “While you and Lyri were distracting the fairymen, Eli and Petre freed us. Than you ever so much, boys,” she told them gratefully. Eli blushed again and Petre grinned proudly.
Finn took my hand. “And thank you for coming back to save us.” He gave me a warm smile, and I was glad I’d come, despite the pain. I could see why Anabelle had been so heartbroken about losing him.
Then a thought struck me. We were all together… except Fiona. “Where’s Fiona?”
“Well, the dustbunny situation got a little out of hand, so Fiona went to go catch him.”
“Wait, Fiona just waltzed into the middle of all those fairies?”
They all nodded. “Pretty much.”
I swallowed hard. Better hope her disguise held up. I turned my head to look for Fiona, but all I saw was a cacophony of wings and fairies and noise. Suddenly the commotion quieted and I could hear a shrill, familiar voice saying, “I got him!” The fairies parted a bit and I could see Fiona triumphantly holding up a wriggling ball of fluff. She glanced around until her eyes rested on us.
“Okay, well, I’m going to go, um… dispose of this little rascal now,” she said to the crowd, and started moving toward us. Uh-oh. As she came closer I took in her messy hair, bedraggled clothes, and the dirt and dust covering her all over. This was not good. She looked way to much like a dust pixie again.
Some of the fairies must have thought so too because a few of them turned toward us with odd expressions, like they were trying to place our faces. Suddenly, Reuven leapt into the air.
“After them,” he bellowed, “they’re dust pixies!” Unfortunately, Anabelle chose this time to peek out from behind the small bush where she was hiding. Reuven’s face turned even darker with anger. “And they’re trying to kidnap the princess!” Oh really? I thought. Who’s the one talking?
Once again, Eli yelled, “FLY!”
His father turned on him fiercely. “Oh, so now you’re against us, are you?”
I thought Eli would be too shy to speak up for us, but I was wrong. “No, father,” he said quietly. “I’m not against you – I’m just for them. They’re really not as bad as we think-”
“ENOUGH,” Reuven roared. “We will discuss your choice of friends later. For now, CAPTURE THEM.”
I gulped. An army of fairies surged toward us. I tried to lift off, but pain shot through my right wing. I crumpled to the ground, my friends gathering around me. There was no escape now.
If we could just start Stage Three of our plan, immediately, but I couldn’t do it by myself. The fairies were coming closer and closer. Please, please, please. Suddenly the fairies halted.
“Watch out, it’s a human!” All at once the fairies turned and scattered into the bushes.
Yesssss! I could feel Rosalind’s thunderous footsteps crunching through the dry leaves.
“We’ve got to get out of here. Now,” Finn whispered. “Can you make it, Mae?” I struggled to my feet, feeling fine, but when I fluttered my wings I collapsed again and tears spilled down my cheeks.
I shook my head, “I think my wing is broken.”
Finn pulled me up. “It’s okay, Mae, we’ll help you. Do you think you could let me carry you?”
I nodded. I felt small and humiliated. Only little dust pixies, even younger than Petre, were flown piggyback, when they were too young to fly fast enough on their own, but there was no other choice. I climbed onto Finn’s strong back and we sped off. Just when it seemed we were finally clear of the fairies, I heard a shout and something whistled through the air.
Finn gasped and fell to the ground. A long, thin arrow was stuck in his back, just below where I sat.
“Nooooo,” I wailed. Anabelle swooped to the ground. “Finn! FINN! Are you okay?” Not again. We were so close. We had come to the end of our plan. What more could we do? Suddenly I felt a gust of wind and Rosalind’s huge hand scooped us up.
Somehow, we were going to get home.
I leaped from step to step up the attic staircase. I wanted to fly – needed to fly, but my wing wasn’t healed yet. I sighed, then scolded myself. I should be thankful I wasn’t worse off. Anabelle Rose and Finn were both covered in hundreds of red, itchy sores from the poison ivy vines, and Finn was bedridden from the terrible wound where the arrow had pierced him almost all the way through.
I still hadn’t seen him since we came back since after all the explanations and crushing hugs and panicked scoldings from my parents, we had been stuck inside the house for several days as punishment – which, I had to admit, was more than fair, seeing as we broke two of the most major laws of the dust pixies: Don’t Associate With Fairies; and Don’t Ever, EVER, Under Any Circumstances, Let Yourself Be Seen By Humans. However, after telling our parents all about it, they relaxed a bit and even became curious to see this human and the fairy and dust pixie whom we had rescued.
That’s why we had all come to the attic – my whole family as well as Lyri’s. The adults paled as they saw the giant form of Rosalind laying stretched out on the dusty floor beside Finn’s house, but they made it through the introductions remarkably well, and seemed grateful to meet the one who had saved their children. Then Anabelle came out and we introduced everyone once again. I could tell my mother was impressed with Anabelle’s grace and beauty. Finally we all crowded into Anabelle’s lovely house with the beautiful evergreen forest wallpaper to see Finn. He was laying on the overstuffed couch made from green felt scraps and matchsticks. He looked very, very tired and his shirt bulged in the back with his bandage, but his smile was bigger than ever.
It was then that I knew everything would be alright. We had shown the fairies that we weren’t afraid of them, that though we had a human on our side, we were strong and brave ourselves. Despite their hostility and all the injuries they had given us, I was confident that one day soon, the dust pixies and the fairies would make peace. I remembered Eli with his big, dark eyes and knew for certain that, like humans, the fairies weren’t all bad. They were really more like us than we had ever imagined.
I looked over the mix of dust pixies and fairies and humans, and heaved a happy sigh. It had all been worth it. All the pain and panic, broken bones and baths, had most definitely been worth it.
And as I sat there listening to Finn recount his adventures, I was very grateful to that mischievous little dustbunny on Round Up Day who had unknowingly changed my life forever.
There! Ahh, it feels so good to be able to finish a series like this. 🙂 I do hope you enjoyed it, my dear readers! Thanks for your encouragement and kind comments on this story. ♥
Until next time!