Dance of the Dark Faeries
A strange thing happens when the spirit of October settles in. It wakes a slumbering spark inside the hearts of the dark faeries. Unbeknownst to the other faeries, the shifting of the world in that enchanting time is something only a dark faerie can feel. It’s a special bond they share with the essence of all that is mystical and overflowing with magic in the world. It is a call to laugh, and dance, and rejoice.
Malina had never felt the call before. This year, the year she had finally learned to fly, would be her first. She had gone to bed that night, excitedly awaiting the coming of the new day. It happened then in the most unexpected of ways. It came to her, singing gently in a dream. The trees were swaying above her in the darkest, most shaded stretch of forest she’d ever seen. A specter appeared then, dressed in gold and red and brown, the outline of it blurred and fading into the air. It sang in the purest voice, soft like the push of a cool wind. Malina spread her arms and closed her eyes, feeling a rush of air overtake her. It swept along her wings, sending them flaring out wide. She felt her heart flutter in her chest. And when she opened her eyes, she was on her feet, staring up at the stars outside.
She gazed down at her surroundings, wondering how far she had walked without being disturbed. A rustle drew her attention, and she let out a breath when another faerie stepped through the brush. "Did you hear the call as well?" Malina whispered, taking her friend excitedly by the arms.
"I did," Nel said. "But it was so far away and faint. I need to hear it more clearly."
Malina turned back towards the trees, staring in the direction they had been heading. "It was crystal clear for me," she said. "I’ve never heard anything more compelling in my life."
The excited faerie walked gingerly through the wilderness, taking care not to step barefoot on any sharp twigs. The rough dirt gave way to pillowy moss after a time, and she walked into the dewy thick of it, joining a gathered group of dark faeries under the sparkling moonlight.
They swayed hypnotically to some unheard song on the wind, adding their own voices and circling one another in a great display of glee. Malina had never experienced such a thrill before. She lost herself in spontaneous joy, raising her arms and thanking the night for the experience.
When the singing had stopped they felt a great swell of happiness. The faeries rose up into the air, floating around in utter content. When the dark started to fade and light began creeping across the sky, the party finally dispersed. They walked silently in the still hours between night and day, smiling to themselves over what they had shared. No others knew this joy, and that was a special comfort on its own.
Malina linked arms with Nel, walking home in a sleepy stupor. Neither of them spoke, but she could tell, there was some unspoken agreement not to mention this to the others. The fact was it was something no other type of faerie could experience. And Malina was overjoyed to have such a special secret for herself. She stretched her arms as they neared their homes, giving Nel a grin.
"Have you ever been so excited for Halloween?" she said. "And pumpkins and ghouls, and tricks and treats. And most importantly, costumes and celebrations galore!"
Nel let out a laugh. "I’m excited, but you are still the queen of Halloween."
"Not anymore," Malina said. "I think we all have a special place in the spirit of the holiday now. I can feel how spectacular it’s going to be! This year, it’s going to be different. You’ll see."
"Well a party or two I’m fine with," Nel said. "As long as you don’t drag me out every night to dance in the woods; a girl does need some beauty sleep, you know."
Malina looked at her, utterly baffled. "I didn’t drag you out of bed, it was the call."
"Actually, before I ever heard it, I saw you in my dream. You were leading me into the woods and rambling about how we were going to be late for all of the festivities."
"No way," Malina said. "I was in your dream?"
The other faerie shrugged, patting her friend on the shoulder.
"It’s okay," Nel said. "It’s not an omen. It probably means nothing."
They dismissed it without further comment, both of them wondering the significance of it. When the light started to sting Malina’s eyes, she was brought back to the present.
"We should sleep now," Malina said.
"No arguments here. I’ll see you tomorrow, and all month I’m sure!
Malina laughed. "You can count on it."
She stepped into her house, staring at the wooden floorboards in silence while a clock ticked on the wall. After a few quiet moments, she climbed into bed. Her eyes slipped shut, and almost instantly, she was flung into another dream. She was wading through a pool of water now, murky and as deep as her waist. The shore seemed to get farther away the more she tried to run towards it. And despite all of her attempts to fly, her wings were too damp to be of use.
Malina struck at the water in frustration, standing in the pool in defeat. She wanted to go back to that lovely dream, with the beautiful figure who had sung to her. But instead, she was stuck in some awful nightmare where she was immobilized and completely unable to fly!
She rolled onto her back in the water after several aggravated moments, allowing herself to float. The sky was stormy, the clouds a somber grey, and she wondered briefly if it was going to rain. When she muttered the thought quietly to herself, a drop hit her on the cheek. Malina’s eyes opened wide as the clouds poured down heavy torrents abruptly, drenching her and adding to her annoyance.
"Why can’t I just get out of here?" she shouted.
Suddenly, she began to float away from the surface of the water, drifting up into the air. The faerie tried not to panic without the use of her wings, watching the height grow greater and greater. When she’d floated up so high that she'd passed flocks of birds, and then clouds, she began to become concerned. She traveled through a layer of vines then before finding herself seated upon a forest floor. The tall, elegant figure stood poised above her, silently reaching out a hand. Malina couldn’t tear her eyes away, focusing intently in case the spirit began to sing again. Instead, this time she spoke.
"Don’t doubt yourself," that melodious voice said. "You are a part of everything."
Malina took her hand, quickly climbing to her feet.
"What do you want me to do?" Malina said.
The spirit pointed, painting a line of trees in all the colors of fall. It swept its arm out, and with haste, large pumpkins sprouted up from the ground. The air grew cold then, and people wandered past, holding hands and bundled up tightly for warmth. A young faerie picked up a large maple leaf for the first time, holding it in front of her face and laughing at her clever disguise.
"Is that me?" Malina asked.
"Isn’t it? Wasn’t it, at some point?"
The dark faerie nodded, looking at the specter with understanding. "I get it now," she said. "I know what it’s all about. You want me to share that… to make this magical for others."
The spirit nodded, taking hold of her with a chilly hand.
Malina fell backward through the air suddenly, landing on her bed with a bounce. She couldn’t tell if she had really fallen or just been startled awake. She did know though that she had heard something real. A message meant just for her. Malina smiled before rolling over in bed. She drifted back to sleep, imagining what other surprises the month had in store. Whatever they were, she was ready for them.
…A strange thing happens when the spirit of October settles in. It’s a sudden intruder, rattling us awake and whispering to come gallivant around in the night. Only dark faeries feel this spirit, and in their bones can hear its call. Is it calling for you this year? You know in your heart you should answer it.