Avalon. Country in the mystic land of Faerie, native home of trolls, magic, and most importantly - Elves. This is the story of Laina, a young female elf who discovers she has mystical powers of the most unique kind possible ...
Laina. That's my name. Dull for an elf. Most girls I know are named Adriella or Galadriel, not just Laina. Well that's basically me -- plain old Laina. My father is human. He's the one who named me. Go figure, huh. Despite this negativity, I really am quite proud of my name. It is the name of my great-grandmother (on my father's side, of course). She was the granddaughter of King Arthur.
Normally, the only magic that elves have is minimal healing. And, as you know, elves are also connected to the spirit of the woodlands. But I had such a strong bond to the land that I felt joy when rain or sun came to the earth.
As I grew, I began to experience life differently. I felt a creature's pain when it was hurt, and animals of all sorts came to me. I could learn the healing capabilities of a plant or herb.
I learned how to harness my magic with the help of Merlin, who had used magic to revitalize himself and renew his youth. He taught me that appearance is never what it seems.
Merlin thought I had more power than what showed. He started to train me in controlling the elements of water, fire, earth, and wind. I learned to transform into all forms but earth. I could also change to animals. At that time I was so intrigued by those powers that I did not think of their usefulness.
One day Merlin brought news that Morgana had risen out of the north and was marching towards Camelot with an army of her demonic followers.
I then left Avalon. I didn't know if I'd ever even see my family again. But now Merlin and I were not headed towards Camelot. We had changed form. I was the wind speeding a Merlin hawk towards the Lake of Silver Waters.
When we arrived at the lake, we changed to our natural forms, and Merlin kneeled at the edge of the beach, whispered an incantation, took a stone from his pouch, and threw it into the middle of the lake. Suddenly the waters started to swirl, and a mystic Nereid came out of the water.
"Who has summoned me?" demanded she.
"Oh great guardian of Excalibur, Lady of the Lake, it was I, Merlin, who has summoned you from your slumber. I have with me the heiress to Excalibur and the throne. She is Laina, the great, great-granddaughter of King Arthur," Merlin replied. "I now require of you the legendary sword of Arthur, Excalibur!"
“This you shall have,” she said.
At that moment a sword came flying out of the lake straight towards Merlin and stopped in front of him. The hilt was set with an obsidian dragon with ruby wings and malachite eyes. The thin diamond crusted steel blade glistened in the clear sunlight.
Then Merlin kneeled down, handed me the sword, and named me heir to the throne. The sword was so light that I felt like I was holding nothing at all. Although I had never touched a blade in my life, I felt as though I could defeat the best of any army.
After I got "acquainted" with the sword, Merlin led me to a grove of slender, silver beeches that fed off of the magical lake waters. He then told me to find the strongest tree. I did, and he cut down the tree and started carving and whittling away at the trunk with his magic. The end result was a staff with branches intertwining to a point where a hand holding a sphere was carved at the top. The wood was sanded smooth and glowed with a light all its own. Merlin handed it to me and told me that a staff improves concentration in a spell.
After helping me adjust to the staff, Merlin and I headed to the nearest town and bought two horses. Mine was pure white, and his was chestnut brown. They were well-bred, sturdy, handsome beasts.
Now that we had proper transportation, Merlin and I headed for Camelot, which was now being ruled by Guinevere's brother's great-grandson, Luther. We rode into Camelot unhindered by guards, for they knew Merlin's powers. When we reached the caste, Luther greeted us. His joy was dampened by the news of Morgana's uprising.
He immediately sent scouts to bring recruits from all over the country and from Avalon to Camelot. Within days we had an army of 10,000 men. I learned one day that my father was among them. After the army was assembled, we rode to battle.
At the battle I rode with sword inflamed, taking down any foe in my path. But after several minutes, I heard a blood-curdling cry on my right. I looked and there was my father with an arrow piercing his shoulder. I rode over to him, dismounted, and caught him as he fell. With tears on my cheek I assured him he wasn't going to die. Yet a pool of his blood was already forming on the ground.
“I am so proud of you, and ... I love you,” his voice wavered. Suddenly a dark shadow fell over us.
“Morgana,” I hissed. The word felt like poison on my tongue. Sitting on her black steed she held an empty bow.
“So foolish of him. I punish those in my way.” With that she held up her hand, created a fireball, and threw it at my father, burning him alive. She rode off on the battlefield, laughing cruelly, leaving me behind screaming, “I'll get you! Mark my words, you will pay for this!”
As my voice drifted into the night, a deafening silence fell over the battlefield. We had won, and yet I felt no glory.
One fateful day in spring, Sweetpea opened her windows and lifted her sweet voice in song.
“Oh-h-h-h, let's go down to the pawpaw patch,
The pawpaw patch, the pawpaw patch.
Oh-h-h-h, let's go down to the pawpaw patch
So early in the morning.”
(She always sang the same song.)
Poor Sourpuss was trying to get some Z-Z-Z's. "Z-Z-Z-z-z-z" he snored. "Z-Z-Z-t-z-z."
On the high note of Sweetpea's “Oh-h-h-h”, Sourpuss woke from his nap.
"Rats!" he said under his breath, as he popped one eye open and then the other. He snatched up the crazy quilt that Sweetpea had given him on his last birthday threw it into a corner and jumped out of bed. He jerked on his clothes, and minutes later he was banging on Sweetpea's door.
"Why, Sourpuss," she said, smiling sweetly. "What a surprise. I thought you would be sleeping."
Sourpuss was so angry, all he could do was spit and sputter. "Sp-i-t-t- Sput-ter-r.”
"Oh, my!" Sweetpea said, her eyes wide. "Are you ill?"
"No-o-o," he yelled. "I am not ill! But I may be in the loony bin before long! Your singing is driving me crazy!"
“Oh, me, oh, my," she stammered, fanning herself and batting her eyes.
"Must you sing that SILLY song all day long?" he yelled. "You should be arrested for disturbing the peace!" he screamed. Then he looked into Sweetpea's eyes, which were filling with tears, and he felt ashamed. "Have pity on me, Sweetpea," he said, softly. "I'm getting old and I MUST have my sleep." Then he left.
The rest of the day, Sourpuss had peace and quiet. It was pure Heaven. The peace lasted three whole days. On the fourth day, he began to worry. It was TOO quiet. Where was Sweetpea?
He knocked on her door. No one answered. He pushed the door open and yelled, "Are you home, Sweetpea?"
He called again. "Sweetpea?"
He heard a small groan coming from the bedroom. Peeking in, he saw Sweetpea lying on the bed with the covers pulled up snug around her. "Sweetpea, are you sick?" he asked.
She groaned, opened her sad eyes and said, "What are you doing here? I don't want to see anyone. Go away."
"Are you sick?" he asked again.
"No-o-o, I'm not sick. I'm sad. Go away."
Sourpuss made a face. "Well, if you're not sick, why are you in the bed?" he asked.
"Oh-h-h, you make me so mad!" she screamed. "Go away!"
Then to his surprise, Sweetpea threw back the covers, and showered him with a smell that took his breath away.
"Pew-w-w-w!" he choked, pinching his nose with his paws. Then his little feet hit the floor so rapidly, they sounded like rain on a tin roof! He ran and ran and ran! But no matter how far he ran, he couldn't leave the smell behind. Finally, when he came to the river, he dove in.
Minutes later, he dragged himself out of the water, removed his clothes and washed and washed. He even washed his clothes, but the smell remained.
"Rats! What am I going to do?" he shouted. He went home, holding his nose and dragging his clothes behind him. "Where is the lye soap?" he said, looking through the cabinets in the laundry room.
To be continued in "Magics of the Elf"