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~Number Eight (Also known as Marice El'wing)


Chapter 2: Schedules

"Nothing like that has happened before!"

"This is outrageous!"

"Everyone, everyone; you are behaving as if this will ruin the seasons! Will it..?"

Aurola stood in the corner of the room as she watched the beautiful fairies chatter on about her and her talents. Am I that strange? I seem perfectly normal. She kept thinking. The Ministers, Silvermist, and Vidia all sat at the table, voices rising, hands flying, and wings fluttering. However, Queen Clarion was at her book shelf, searching through scrolls and books; at some points she would smile, but then it would return to a frown.

Hands behind her back and head held high, Aurola approached the Queen without a sound. Clarion didn't notice "Excuse me, but what are you-"she quickly jumped back when Queen Clarion jolted up, shouting, "I've found it!"

Everyone went quiet as her and Aurola joined them at the table, clearing out fallen teacups and dirty plates. "What is it?" the Minister of Spring asked, quickly joining his Queen's side, looking down at the scroll she held. It was old and seemed as if it could fall into ash at any second.

As everyone crowded around the scroll, Aurola once again returned to her corner and created a small tornado in her palm, glancing down at it, quiet as a mouse. Looking up again, her eyes met Vidia, but she turned her attention back to her tornado in a small moment.

"It says here that this has happened before; many years ago, before I ruled. It was a light and garden talent; her name was Kana. Queen Jessamine, the ruler of that time, had created a schedule for her to follow before she was allowed to go on her own. She spent a day of the week training with the light talents, and then the garden talents; like a pattern." Queen Clarion said, reading through the parchment, grinning all the way. "And, on Fridays, Kana trained with both the light and garden talents."

The Minister of Winter picked up the parchment and read it herself. "This... this could work! We could actually do this!"

"Wha-What could work?" Aurola stuttered, once again coming back over to the group. "And who is Kana? What exactly are we speaking about?"

Queen Clarion and the Ministers chatted with a confused Vidia, and a very excited Silvermist. The water fairy clapped her hands and kept agreeing to things until...

"Ah, blast..." the Minister of Autumn sighed, "Silvermist, dear, aren't the water-talents leaving for the Mainland tomorrow?"

The room fell silent, and Aurola's wings drooped at the sudden change in the atmosphere. Silvermist also dropped her wings and her smile disappeared when she whispered, "Yes... we're l-leaving for the change winter to spring." She began sniffling, and the Minister of Summer handed her a few handkerchiefs.

"Ugh," Vidia moaned, "So I suppose that idea as gone down the river... not that I was actually looking forward to it."

"Well excuse me if I was born with two talents; I find it quite interesting and something worth talking about!" Aurola shouted while stomping her feet, much to Queen Clarion's surprise. Silvermist stopped crying and looked up from her hands, taking off guard by her sudden outburst. "And what is the Mainland everyone keeps talking about? I want absolutely answers!"

"Well, pardon me darlings, but I don't have time for this." Vidia said, leaving her seat and flying out of the room. "I should be sleeping in my-"the fast flier was interrupted when Silvermist let out an excited squeal, holding up a hand, as if to be called on.

"Yes, Silvermist?" Queen Clarion said, pointing to her.

The water fairy grinned wide, and spoke slowly. "Well, there is a water talent that isn't going to the Mainland tomorrow; he has to stay. He could train Aurola!"

Silvermist grabbed Vidia's hand, ignoring her protests, and dragged her to Aurola. She held their hands, smiling between them. Aurola gave a smile to Silvermist, but only looked at Vidia. Vidia didn't even give the fairy a look; she only swiped her away from Silvermist, and returned to the center of the room.

"Wait, wait a second now! Who is it?"

"Oh, does she mean Dale?" the Minister of Summer squeaked, fiddling with her fingers. "The one who had the...incident? W-with the hawk?"

"Yes!" Silvermist said, drinking her cup of tea. "I know Dale very well; he'll be willing to help someone! I know he would! He could do it!" she cheered.

"Wh-who is Dale?" Aurola whispered, while feeling positively ignored. "I have yet to get some answers."

"You will get your answers, my dear." Queen Clarion said, smiling to Aurola. But that didn't give much reassurance.

"Viola!" the Queen said, clapping her hands. A fairy entered the chamber quickly, wearing a long red and purple gown, and carrying what seemed to be some type of instrument. "May you go and find Dale for me? A water fairy. He should be in his home at the moment."

"Yes milady." Viola said, the quickly exited the chamber through the open sky roof.

Aurola fluttered her own wings in an attempt to follow her, but stopped in her tracks as Vidia called her name. "Oh Aurola, we still have business here to handle, sweetheart."

Aurola did come back down, her shoulders squared in what seemed to be slight anger. Flittering in front of Vidia, she placed her hands on her hips and gave a sweet grin down to the fast flier.

"I believe I can fly on my own if I wish; not unless you wish to follow me around like a babysitter and feed me smashed peas, now would you? You've already seemed to lose interest in the current matter."

After a few silent minutes and picking her jaw up off the ground, Vidia opened her mouth to counter the words, until someone cleared their throat. Down at the entrance of the chambers, a boy fairy with shining blonde hair knocked his fist against the pixie dust covered walls; and on his right shoulder, a tiny bird with blue and white feathers was perched nicely, looking around and tweeting softly.

"May I come in?" he said, loud enough for the fairies above him to hear. Everyone lowered to the ground at his level, yet Aurola stayed in her place, reaching yet another level of confusion.

"Hello Dale," Queen Clarion said, putting a hand gently on his left shoulder, "How are you feeling this morning?"

"Very good, your highness, quite good...just a few back pains..." he motioned behind his back, where there seemed to be something missing... "All is well!"

Queen Clarion smiled and turned behind Dale, and motioned up towards Aurola. "I'm very sure you've heard of Aurola, the newest arrival. A fast-flying water fairy." Dale gave a weak smile as he glanced up at her, but she stayed in the high corner, and only stared back at him. "Also, I unfortunately understand you aren't going to the mainland tomorrow-"

"Yeah, I'm sure that's gotten around the Hollow..." he whispered, and sniffled lightly. Silvermist handed him a handkerchief as Vidia chuckled.

"Water talents..." she moaned.

After he whipped his tears and blew his nose, Queen Clarion continued without missing a beat. "Dale, Silvermist informs me that you are a very caring friend, and would do anything, right?"

"Anything that doesn't involve hawks!" he laughed, and the others joined him; except Vidia and Aurola. "So, would you do the kindness of favors to train Aurola?" Queen Clarion dropped the bombshell quickly, and Dale fell silent.

"Uh... err..." he stammered, and Aurola cleared her throat.

"We don't have any day now, Dale!"

"Agreed." Vidia whispered.

"I... I guess I could. But, how-how exactly will this work out, I mean, how should I train her?" Dale had an absolute boatload of questions, but Queen Clarion silenced him with the scroll. He read it through and through, and whispered just a few things to her before nodding in approval.

"Wait wait wait!" Vidia suddenly exclaimed, her hands in the air, "Why exactly do I have to do this? Unless you have forgotten, I have to leave for the Mainland as well. I'm not finished packing, and-and someone else could train her!"

"Vidia!" the Minister of Winter said firmly, "You of all people know why this is your responsibility. And this past winter was a terrible one; your winds will make the snow harder to melt. Unfortunately, you will have to stay for at least two weeks." Trembling slightly, Vidia rubbed her arm in understanding, since this has happened before.

Seeing just a tiny tear roll down her cheek, Dale walked over to the fast flier and touched her shoulder.

"I-I'm going to be honest with you Vidia and everyone else... I'm not too excited about it either; but you could never know, it could be fun. And we could use the company, since the nature talents are leaving tomorrow."

Crossing her arms, and turning her back to him, Vidia chuckled. "Well, if you would have come sooner, Miss Aurola said she's ready to fly on her own, without anyone's help. I say we let her fly on her own." Smirking slyly, the fast flier saw Aurola's approving look.

Getting ready to fly out into the rising sun, the fast-flying water fairy stopped when she heard Silvermist's small plea.

"Aurola... dewdrop, that's not how things work around here. Here in Pixie Hollow, we help every leaving creature, and that obviously includes new arrivals. This is also for your own safety too; there's many dangerous here. Poisonous spiders, hawks... take Dale for example." She whispered.

Looking below her at the fairies at ground level, Aurola saw Dale's back was towards her. That's when she saw the two tiny silver stumps on his back; he was practically wingless.

Silvermist explained to Aurola on how he was attacked by a bald eagle a few months ago; it scratched up his back and ripped off majority of his wings, except the part where the wings are rooted to the back. "They should grow back," Silvermist pointed out, "Let's just keep our hopes up..."

Aurola craned her head around to look at her wings, which reached for the sky; she felt instead pity on the young sparrow man. She fluttered down to the wood floor, and gave a smile that was slowly widening. "Uh... it'll be nice to train with you, Dale." She gave a small curtsy, which made Dale bubble with laughter.

"Then it's settled!" Queen Clarion cheered, "Aurola, you shall train with Dale and Vidia to practice your talents, until you gain full use of them. After you have found yourself a home, and get settled in, I shall send your schedule to you. Everyone is dismissed."

The Ministers disappeared through the oak doors, and then through different hallways. Silvermist shot through the open window, laughing as she flew to her home, ready to leave for the Mainland.

That left Vidia, Dale, and Aurola in the room, in an awkward silence.

"So..."Vidia said, stretching her wings out behind her, and giving a groan. "A home..."

The bird on Dale's shoulder suddenly gave a loud tweet, and suddenly glided onto Vidia's shoulder. The fast flyer gave a loud laugh, and greeted the bird. "Hey Twiddle!"

"Twiddle? I very much like that name." Aurola said; Twiddle, hearing his name, hopped on over to Aurola. While the new arrival cuddled the bird and talked to it, Dale strolled on over to Vidia again.

"Do you think she'll like the beach house?" Dale whispered.

"The one that belonged to Rosalie...? Dale, sweetie, I actually think she'll like something other than an old bamboo-made beach hous-"

"Beach house? I would love a beach house!"

Vidia and Dale looked at Aurola with wide eyes, not even noticing she was eavesdropping on their conversation. She simply smiled, and let Twiddle flutter back to Dale. "Ok then... to the beach house?" he said, turning to Vidia for confirmation.

"Ugh... to the beach house then..."


To Vidia, the small journey to the beach house was long, and annoying. She's used to flying to places in an instead; but to Dale's wingless state, she had to cut down the speed, and travel at a normal rate. "Can't you both run?" Vidia called, looking up at the cloudy sky. "It's going to rain any minute now!"

Down below, Aurola and Dale walked frustratingly slow, chatting endlessly about Pixie Hollow, her schedule, and the other talents. Dale kicked sand as he walked, and watching Twiddle fly ahead, and come circling back.

"So, you've gotten used to having... no wings?" Aurola asked, cautiously.

"Well, I guess I have." Dale answered, kicking more sand. The palm tree above them swayed as the wind slowly picked up. "A few weeks after the incident, I sometimes forgot I couldn't fly. I remember jumping off a branch, and nearly broke both of my ankles when I hit the ground." The image of him falling instantly flashed in his mind, and he cringed in memory.

"Is that it?" Aurola suddenly said, pointing through some bushes.

The beach house was there, on the shore. It was lifted up off of the sand with thick bamboo sticks, and away from the tide. It seemed relatively large, and Aurola's heart fluttered.

As the three fairies began to run for the house, the first clap of thunder rung above the darkening sky.