Crone Magick

Crone Magick 


Mother Nature is rebelling!  Witches, faeries, elves, and others have been granted full powers, and no restraints upon those powers.  But, many want as peaceful a solution as possible to the problem of what mankind is doing to so much of our earth, and all that live upon it.  In one forest, an army of faeries, elves and many other creatures, both normal, and supernatural has formed.  Led by Malva, a witch who has made the forest her home for many many years, they are seeking to win the battle with the more peaceful solution.  A solution that entails finding a rare and endangered species of animal in another region, and borrowing it to put in their forest to stop the loggers in their tracks.  Or, somehow Magickally “producing” one of their own.  In the meantime, to stall things until that creature can be borrowed or “produced”, faeries, elves, and anyone else who can lend a helping hand, or paw, is going to be busy sabotaging machinery, and seeing to it that the loggers are deterred from entering the forest as much as possible.  Can this strange army win this battle, and in doing so provide others with a more peaceful solution to the problems that plague our earth, and save from us Mother Nature’s final wrath? 


Though the lantern she carried revealed some wrinkles in the woman's face, her footsteps were still light and agile as she made her way through the dark forest.  They were also as silent as those of the large wolf that softly padded along by her side.  As she came to a large tree she stopped, nodded to the owl sitting in the tree, then held up her arm with elbow bent and wrist turned down to form a perch.  The owl swooped down, then landed upon her arm. Malva whispered soft words in a language so ancient, most did not know it had ever existed, much less that it still did. The owl nodded its wise old head, and took flight. 

After watching that messenger take flight, she reached down and stroked the wolf's ears, once more softly whispering ancient words.  She stopped chanting after a moment, gave the wolf's head a gentle pat, and sent him on his way.  It was best if he was delivering his message, while she contacted other messengers. 

The full moon was high in the sky by the time she returned to the cottage she called home. The large wolf arrived just as she put the kettle on to boil.  He curled up in front of the fire, and snoozed as the woman tossed a mixture of herbs and flowers into a small teapot.  Once the kettle had boiled, and the tea had steeped, she took a cup of it to a rocking chair by the fire. She let the tea, the gentle motion of the rocker, and the warmth of the fire sooth her. She knew that soon, moments like this would be rare indeed. The message was now spreading far and wide through the forest. The troops were rallying, and the battle to save their world would begin. 

What she was doing had once been forbidden. But that was in a time when people lived as one with the earth, and did not seem intent on completely destroying it. Some of course still lived as one with it.  And she had to admit, many other humans were also rallying and trying to save it. Money talked though, and it's voice had doomed their world. So she was doing what had once been forbidden, and weaving a spell that many would say could never be woven. She finished off her pot of tea, then went to bed. Tomorrow would be a busy a day.  With any luck, the faeries would be arriving by evening tea time.  

Sunrise that morning found her on the small front porch, sipping her morning brew. She enjoyed this quiet peaceful moment as long as possible, then after rinsing out the teapot, went through the little cottage gathering together all the things she needed from it.  She wrapped those things in a large black silk scarf, and placed them in a hemp bag, she then slung over her shoulder. She would gather some of the other things she needed on her way to the crystal cave. 

The narrow winding labyrinth of a trail that led to the Crystal Cave made for a long, and sometimes treacherous journey.  Along the way, she gathered a few other things she would need.  Snaring just the right this, from beneath a gnarly old tree root that resembled an octopus, And just the right that, from a flower filled meadow.  She was very grateful when as she sat taking a break beneath a small group of young saplings, a bird who had lit on a branch in another nearby tree offered one of it's feathers to her while preening itself.  She of course waited until the little bird had left, then collected the feather and put it in her hemp bag. She still wasn't exactly sure what she was going to do with the things in the hemp bag.  She just hoped they would be of help in the coming battle. 

Because of the spell that Gaia had placed on most of the faeries and other such creatures to protect them, only a few faeries lived in the forest full time. The rest were confined to their pretty prisons, and could not not escape until nightfall.  But the message she had sent out last night had reached many of daytime prisoners as they had fluttered and played in the moonlight. As soon as the sun set, all that could headed to the forest.  By the time the moon rose, the crystal cave deep within the forest was filled with faeries, and other creatures.

Tonight would mark the true beginning of that battle.  The troops were rallying, and once they had a battle plan, it would be implemented.  Losing the battle was not an option because to lose it, would be to lose everything.  The loggers would come in, and soon afterwards, this place would be destroyed.  She had watched people doing a variety of things to try and save the forest, including chaining themselves to the trees.  If it would work, she would gladly chain herself to a  tree. But she knew that in the end, that was nothing more that a futile gesture. Nothing so far that anyone had tried to do had worked.  Things, she hoped, were about to change though. 

Mother Nature, herself One who could be utterly ruthless at times, was fed up with the way humans were treating the earth, and so many of the living things upon it.  Her Magick was about to be fully unleashed as it had not been in many ages.  Those who had long used that power for healing and good things, were now to be given free rein, and full powers.  High Priestesses, like Malva were rallying the troops, and other powerful leaders were being called upon to lay battle plans, and lead the troops into those battles if necessary. Though the gloves would come off if necessary, those plans which managed to achieve their goals with the least amount of bloodshed and violence, would be the the ones most implemented. 

Malva, had hopes of implementing a plan that would entail no bloodshed or violence. She did foresee some Gremlin like activity by faeries and other creatures.  But no outright bloodshed or violence.  But to do what she had in mind would take enormous power and skills.  As the faeries and other creatures began to gather in the cave Malva carefully placed the items from her bag on the clear crystal center stone.  There were feathers, strands of hair, bits of bones, some leaves, and even a little sack of dirt among those items.  When everyone had gathered, and those who wished to sit, where comfortably seated, she cleared her throat, and began to speak. 

“We are here tonight because we are being given the chance to do all we are capable of to save our forest here. We could retaliate fiercely, and lethally against the loggers if we so choose.  However, there are many dangers to us all in doing that.”  She paused for a moment, gratefully sipped the cool clear water a faerie had left on the stone, then continued.  “But, if we could stop the loggers without resorting to such violent and lethal tactics, in a way that did not expose our full powers, that would be even better.”

Most of the faeries nodded their heads in agreement.  A few more radical ones had no problem with the lethal means.  A few of the elves nodded in agreement.  And the rest of the elves advocated for the more violent and lethal means. Fortunately, Malva had a plan that would help make a little more peaceful solution, more palatable.  Not exactly a spoonful of sugar, but it would make it go down better. She took another sip of water, then continued again.  “We need to mount some sort of a two pronged attack.  At first, we are going to have to rely simply on finding a way to shut down the logging equipment.  Now that we’ve been given the ability to use our full powers, we can keep the machinery, or at least most of it shut down.  But, in the end, that would finally produce an open confrontation that could cause us much harm.  However, if it only stalled things long enough for a more permanent solution, that would be a different story.”

She let the crowd mull over her words as she took another sip of water.  Then she spoke again. “Several more permanent solutions have been considered.  What is thought best, is that we use something that has already worked elsewhere.”  As puzzlement began to cloud the faces of her listeners, she smiled, then continued again. “We need an endangered species of some kind, or one that was thought extinct..”

One of the faeries spoke up and said, “But we have searched for that already!  Turned the forest upside down looking a creature that would fit that bill.”

That’s when Malva smiled even more widely and replied, “Yes, but that was when we were confined to finding one already here.  But now, we don’t necessarily have to have find one already living and established here now.”

More confusion ran riot in the room until suddenly a faerie snapped her fingers, then looked in awed amazement at her.  “You mean, we can make one?”

Malva smiled and said, “Or borrow one if we can.” 

This news sent the room into a tailspin, and for a few moments pandemonium reigned. Her calm voice once more brought things under control. “There are no living creatures in this forest who fit the bill for what we want.  We have some rare things, wonderful things, but none that would halt the logging in it’s tracks. We might however find something in a neighboring region if we have time to look.  We might also, if we can’t find what we need, make what we need. With powers and abilities fully granted, we can perform Magick such as not been seen for many many ages.  But, I suggest doing that Magick as quietly as possible, rather than opening flaunting it.  For right now anyway.”

One of the elves grumbled something about, “Caution be damned.  Let’s just Magickally nuke them and be done with it.”

Malva grew serious and replied, “Because although we might win open warfare with them, casualties on both sides would be huge.  And there are so few of some of us already.”

Many nodded in sad agreement on that point. The war might be won.  But victory would come at a terrible price. Malva continued again, “Until we can borrow, or “produce” one of our own endangered, or thought to be extinct species, we will rely on halting the logging by shutting the machinery down, and making it as unpleasant as possible for the loggers here.”  She looked at a few of the elves, and said, “Without killing, or seriously harming them.”

By the time evening tea was served, the crystal cave was abuzz with plans to sabotage machinery, and create potions and spells that would deter, but cause no serious long term harm.  Some faeries were figuring out how to spread their wings, broaden their horizons, and search other regions for a living creature they could borrow that was so rare it would halt all thoughts of logging in their forest in its tracks.  Others were discussing darker powers that might be needed if they had to produce their salvation from scratch so to speak.  At teatime’s end, battalions had formed.  Each with a dedicated cause and plan.  

Over the next few weeks the loggers found that hardly any of their machinery ran like it should.  Chain saws would not start at all, or if they did, promptly threw the chain off.  Bulldozers and other heavy equipment either wouldn’t start at all, or if they did, suddenly started spewing oil, or transmissions fluid, or gas, or all three.  The loggers themselves suffered bouts of vomiting, and paranoia after entering the forest.  No medical reason could be found for the illness sweeping through the workers. But it didn’t take long for fear to also start sweeping through the workers. Especially when the mechanics also began getting nasty shocks, and having accidents while trying to work on the machinery. 

Gaia and others watched with delight as plans to strip the forest of its trees, then turn it into country manors for the rich came to a halt. And in other forests and places where progress was demanding the destruction of nature, the same thing began to happen to machinery and men. In some places the illness and accidents were fatal to those attempting that destruction. Gaia was saddened on one hand to see this happening.  On the other hand, she understood the anger behind the deaths.  For centuries mankind had destroyed those places, and with it, destroyed what was home to many creatures. 

As progress was brought to a halt in many places, people scrabbled to find out what was causing it to. But there was nothing to find, for Magick such as what was being used, left no trace.  Well unless you saw a faerie, elf, or other such creature. But those kind of creatures were being ultra careful not to be seen. And if they were spotted and knew it, promptly addled the wits of the spotter to the point he or she couldn’t remember what the heck they actually saw.

In her search for some kind of endangered, or thought to be extinct animal or plant, Malva had been appalled at the actual number of plants and animals there now were, whose endangerment, or extinction was the direct result of man’s harsh hand upon an eco system. There was no nearby living plant or animal that fit the bill though, so it was decided to produce one of their own.  Two if possible.  One plant species, and one animal species that was now extinct in their forest. If their plan worked, those species would save their home.  In return, that species would be given a chance to re-establish itself in the home it had once flourished in.  Gaia looked so favorably upon this plan, she helped all she could to see to it that it came to fruition. 

A fresh carcass of a thought to be extinct species of bat was discovered. The spell to resurrect a live bat had only worked for 24 hours. But, even that was enough for legal papers to began to fly.  All work was temporarily halted as the courtroom battles began. The work to resurrect the species also continued in a secluded dark cave.  More such courtroom battles began when a thought to be extinct fern leaf was found floating by on a busy breeze one day by those searching for signs of the bats. Then a week later, another bat body was found. Resurrecting even something as small as bat was not an easy task. But the courtroom battles heated up even more with the discovery of that second bat body. Their brief life, along with the fern leaf, had insured that no logging would be going on anytime soon in their forest.  And hopefully, never. 

Others saw the success of what Malva and her battalion had achieved, and began to follow their example. The fresh carcasses of more thought to be extinct animals began showing up in different places. As well as leaves and flowers from plants thought to be extinct. The scientific community was in an uproar, and courtrooms were ringing with the sound of battle.  Suddenly the balance was shifting.  Greed, and progress at the expense of nature were losing ground. Politicians were being heavily pressured by their constituents to enact new environment laws that would protect the places the new species of animals and plants were being found.  

Not all were following the more peaceful route though.  News of some workers, scientists and others dying in places where natural habitat was being destroyed by man’s harsh hand, begin to give people reading that news pause. They realized instinctively during that pause that if things did not change, whatever was going on in those areas would get much worse.  Then they read the news that some people living in the surrounding areas of those places were falling ill, and demanding the land where the illnesses, and now deaths first began be left alone.  The masses knew then that instinctive feeling had been right. This began to cause a change in the way people viewed what they had once considered their world. Caused them understand that it wasn’t just their world.  It was nature’s world as well, and the time had come when humanity as a whole needed to understand that once more.  This further shifted the balance of power.

That shift in power, along with the satisfaction of seeing the destruction of many of her most beautiful places temporarily halted, appeased Mother Nature.  Which was a good thing because She had been considering tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters concentrated in large cities and heavily populated areas as a means of retaliation.  If humans would just learn from what was happening, stop the destruction, and once more live in some kind harmony with the earth, disasters that would be the death of so many humans could be averted.  The troops had done their jobs, stopped a lot of the destruction, and caused a shift in balance that would allow those humans who truly wanted to save the earth, and themselves along with it, a fighting chance, without yet having to resort to all out warfare between Nature and Mankind. That was a war that no matter which side won, would cause great losses to all. 

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Natures Loophole

The old woman made her way carefully along the river bank. She had found this spot when she was still young enough to easily hike down to it. Now it was very tough going for her. But she gripped the walking stick that had helped her hike so many trails along life's journey, and with great care and determination made it to the place she wanted to be.

She was glad to see the root forming a loophole was still there, and remarkably unchanged. When she had first seen that natural formation she had flashed to her days as a paralegal, and from then on thought of it as Nature's Loophole. The old woman smiled as she thought of that day she had first seen this formation. How much joy something as simple as finding it had brought her. Hers had been interesting, if sometimes very hard life at times. She had seen more than her fair share of pain and sorrow. But, she had also seen a lot of joy and happiness.

As she stood gazing at the formation, a butterfly flew through the loophole. And suddenly she remembered a day long long ago when she had saved a caterpillar. The caterpillar had crawled over the pool edge, then fallen in. Because she loved butterflies so much, she got back in the pool, carefully rescued the caterpillar, and set it free at the base of a nearby tree.

Suddenly that one butterfly was joined by many many others. They flittered and fluttered all around the old woman. Then more butterflies flew through the loophole. Within seconds the old woman was completely surrounded by butterflies. Some covered her. The rest began to fly widdershins around her in one huge fluttering colorful mass.

At first this alarmed her because true Wiccan Wise Woman that she was, she knew that was not normally the right direction for positive Magick. But how could butterflies be evil? Then she heard a soft whispery voice, that seemed to be coming from the butterflies say, "Trust your instincts." So the old woman stilled herself, and did not panic when the very breath of life itself seemed to be sucked from her by those many fluttering wings.

The mass of butterflies circling her slowly stilled as well. Then began to swirl again. This time in a clockwise direction. As they swirled around her the butterflies that had covered ever inch of her began to join the swirling mass. As they did she began to breath easily again. In fact, far more easily than she had breathed in years.

As she watched the swirling mass of butterflies begin to disperse and go off in several different directions she realized there had been many species of butterflies in that swirling mass that had surrounded and covered her. Then one butterfly flew back to her, and for a just a second, landed on the hand still holding her walking stick.

Her eye of course had been drawn to the butterfly as it had landed on her hand. But now she stared in disbelief at the hand itself. It was no longer the gnarly wrinkled hand that had gripped the walking stick coming down to the river bank. It was now the hand of a young woman. As was the arm attached to the hand. And the moment her free hand flew to her face, she knew it too was now the face of a much younger woman.

She didn't understand the how and why of had just happened completely. But she knew that it somehow had something to do with saving that caterpillar so long ago, and her naming that formation Nature's Loophole later on. The spell she had unwittingly cast doing those two things had resulted in magick finding a way through that natural loophole in a most amazing way.

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A Solitary Beauty


The red flower had burst forth in bloom last year, and shared her beauty with all who had an eye to behold it. As is Gaia's rule, her pollen and seeds had been shared with the wind, busy bees, and chirping birds. Under the brutal Texas sun the beautiful red flower began to gradually wilt and die. As that dying process for the flower continued the wildfires that swept through that summer destroyed acre upon acre of this beautiful hill country. One such fire was caused by a human idiot driving down the road with a lit BBQ pit in the back of his pickup on Father's Day.

But, even as she wilted in the brutal summer sun, that little red flower must have surely been smiling, because she had seen her seeds eaten by birds, and blown about by some of the harsh winds that had helped fan the flames of those wildfires. That little red flower knew if all went as Mother Nature planned, some of those seeds would one day become other beautiful red flowers.

It would be the next spring before anyone would know exactly when, and where those seeds would spring up. Most of the seeds that survived would spring up nearby the plant that had given birth to them. They in turn would follow Mother Nature's plan, and reproduce their kind. If left to their own devices, they would create a stand, then perhaps one day a field of beautiful little red flowers.

Some seeds however would not be such home bodies. They would really go places sailing along with the wind, or flying in a bird's fat belly. Some of those seeds would spring up in some unlikely places. One such seed, probably in the belly of a bird, finally settled on a spot on the entrance road of a beautiful place called Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area. All winter long that solitary little seed would lay dormant. Fortunately, the winter was a mild one. So mild, that even as early as February the showers we had been getting brought forth a springtime bloom to the hill country.

More rains during March really got things going in the beautiful natural world that is this hill country. Creeks that had not seen water in a couple of years were now running. And the Guadalupe, that life giving ribbon of beautiful water that winds through this hill country, was flowing fast and furious at times. Lush landscapes were everywhere the eye looked. The grass was so thick and green, rumor had it some cows ate themselves to death. Trees that had come close to being kindling last summer, were now starting to unfurl bright green leaves. And flowers were blooming all over! Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, and a host of other flowers lined the roadsides.

Along that one certain roadside, a certain little seed sprang up. Fed, watered, and warmed by the sunshine, it grew into a beautiful little red flower.
That beautiful little red flower sat all alone on the side of that road. Oh there were other flowers around it, but it was the only one of its kind in that spot. Did it sit wondering perhaps if someone would drive by behold its beauty? Or go off the road too much admiring the view all around, and smash it to a small red pulp?

If that little red flower did wonder that, then on a beautiful Saturday afternoon it received its answer when I beheld the beauty of that little red flower as Mr. Grinch was taking me into the park so I could go for a hike. Fortunately, Mr. Grinch did not go off the road as he admired the view all around us, and leave that little red flower nothing but a little red pulp.

I saw no more red flowers like that one on that 3.2 mile meandering hike I took, so snapped a pic of the one by the roadside as we left after my hike. I shared that pic via Face Book, and it appears that beautiful little red flower is a lone poppy. After reading some of the comments about the picture I took of that flower, Morris, my maniacal little blue muse inspired me to write the little story I just did.

I hope all who read this story, and beheld the beauty of that solitary little red flower, enjoyed both the story, and the picture. I know that stumbling upon that little red flower, then taking that photo and sharing it with others has been a truly enjoyable, and very inspiring experience for me and the muse.

I am left wondering if perhaps one day in the future other little red flowers like that will pop up in that beautiful place called Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area. Did Gaia bless me with witnessing, and actually photographing the beginning of those flowers becoming a part of that park? No matter what happens to that one little red flower, I must say here and now, "Thank you Gaia, Great Goddess of Our Earth, for blessing me with such a truly awesome, and in many ways, very humbling experience. Through that one little red flower I have learned what one little seed can do when You are left to Your own sometimes precocious devices."

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Pretty Prisons

Pretty Prisons

Marabell gazed out from her pretty prison, and gave a sad sigh that nobody heard as people bustled about all around her. When nightfall came she would escape from the spell that currently held her captive, and for a few hours do some bustling about of her own. When moonlight softened all the daylight shadows, she would spread her gossamer wings and flit among those diffused umbras. The ancient curse that held her captive in this modern world was only lifted between the witching hour, and dawn's first light. The second the sun's rays shone past the horizon, she would once more be imprisoned until the clock struck the witching hour again.

Once upon time, she and others like her had flitted about free and happy in the many great forests that had dotted the earth's landscape. Back then many people had believed in and accepted her kind as a rarely glimpsed, but natural part of that well forested landscape. Times had gradually changed though. So many of the large forests that had been their homes had been decimated by axes, then later large noisy chainsaws. Each time a tree had been felled, a little bit of the belief that had kept her kind alive and well, had also died. Ironically, some of the paper that had once been living trees had been used to write amazing stories about her kind. Upon that paper were also stories of other kinds of creatures who had once roamed the forests that paper came from.

By the time the forests began to ring with the dreadful sound of those noisy chainsaws, many kinds of creatures that had once found safe haven in the forests were becoming extinct. Gaia wept as the forests were decimated and the creatures who depended upon those forests began to die off. The Great Earth Mother had given a few of the witches and wizards whose magick was still strong and true the power to cast a spell that would insure her favorite magickal creatures would survive in some form. Those creatures were not exactly thrilled with the spell that had been cast upon them, but understood that it was necessary for their survival.

During the day the spell held them in forms which allowed them to exist in this new world that the hand of mankind was creating. The words written about them first on paper, and then later on digital screens helped to keep the spirits of those many magickal creatures alive. The pretty prisons that held their bodies helped to protect them from the often cruel and unfeeling hand of modern mankind. Though the forests that once gave safe haven to so many creatures were mere shadows of their former selfs, there was an abundance of pretty prisons that could be used to house and protect Gaia's favorite magickal creatures.

Marabell had been inside her current prison for many months now. She had been confined to it when her previous prison had met destruction during a great storm that the humans around her had called Katrina. She had been reasonably happy in that previous prison. During sunny days the surrounding garden had been filled with the sounds of birds singing, and the sight of many colorful flowers. As humans went, the older couple who had lived in the house the garden belonged to had been pleasant enough. They had even made sure her pretty prison was set safely in a secluded part of the garden that offered plenty of shade and protection against the elements. The couple kept the garden well tended, even installing a small pond and waterfall two years before the great storm. The pond and waterfall had been near her pretty prison. She had enjoyed the sound of the waterfall, and the sight of birds and other creatures drinking from the pond.

The great storm had brought that reasonably happy time to a terrible end though. The couple had begged their son and daughter-in-law to let them take some of things from the garden with them when they had come to whisk the older couple away to safe ground. But, time had been short, space in their vehicle limited, and along with the pond and waterfall, Marabell's pretty prison had been left to the mercy of the great storm. Unfortunately, that great storm had shown no mercy to city it had devastated. As the walls of her pretty prison shattered in the storm, Gaia's loving hand had rescued Marabell. She had taken her a place where many pretty prisons were manufactured. There she was safely deposited in another pretty prison.

Suddenly, Marabell heard a familiar voice. She had heard that voice only a few times before. The last time she had heard it the owner of that voice had been begging Gracie to please stop worrying about a bunch of easily replaceable knick knacks, and get in the car so they get out of town before evacuation traffic became worse. Marabell felt a hand close around her pretty prison and Susan say, "Look mother, this is just like the little faerie you had in your garden." Marabell felt her pretty prison exchange hands, and the fingers of the old woman lovingly stroking it. Then the very familiar voice of Gracie said, "We can put it under the new tree Gerald planted, and bring a bit of magick back to the garden."

Susan gave her mother-in-law an indulgent smile, and handed the clerk her own credit card. Gracie and Donald had lost so much to the storm. Their house and the beautiful garden Gracie loved so much had been completely destroyed by Katrina. Between the insurance and the fact that Gerald owned a construction company, the house and garden has been rebuilt in a very timely manner. But losing certain things that couldn't be replaced had taken a toll on Gracie. If Gracie thought having the little garden faerie she now held so lovingly in her hands would bring back a little of the magick that once made her faded blue eyes twinkle with mirth, Susan would gladly pay for the little faerie and give it to Gracie as a gift of love.

Gaia smiled as one of her favorite faeries was returned to the care of Gracie. She knew Marabell would be lovingly cared for by her. She also knew when Gracie's time on earth was finally up, Susan would take the little faerie and keep it in her garden as a memento of her beloved mother-in-law. As Gracie's fingers lovingly caressed the statue, Gaia felt the terrible depression that had overtaken both Marabell and Gracie since Katrina had blown through their lives like a very ill wind, lift slightly from both their hearts and souls. Through Gracie's loving touch Marabell would come to understand the inexpensive ceramic facsimile of herself that she always thought of as a pretty prison was in reality, the only safe haven to be had in this modern world for faeries and other magickal creatures.

Perhaps there would once more come a time when faeries, elves, unicorns, leprechauns and other magickal creatures would roam great forests and be considered a natural part of those forests. Until that time came again, they must learn to live within the protective ceramic facsimiles of themselves during the daytime. During moonlit nights, between the witching hour and dawn's first light, they could freely roam about the gardens their ceramic shells resided in, as well as in any nearby forests.

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The Troll Test

Unicorn & Fairy
Trixie fluttered her wings to dry them. She had stood beneath the magick waterfall earlier and allowed it to wash the last of the troll goo from her. The terrible stinky goo they often left behind them is just one of the many things she detested about trolls. The fact that some of them had learned the art of shape shifting, made them even more detestable to her.

Trolls had always been a plague upon any land they inhabited, but deep within the Onyx Forest, some of them had learned to alter their true ugly little shapes, and appear quite attractive. They used their newly developed ability to shape shift to bring pain and anguish to as many other creatures as they could. Appearing as a handsome man, or a beautiful woman, then winning the heart of their quarry was one of their favorite sports. Once they had won the heart of their quarry, they would then proceed to break it so they could enjoy the pain of that broken heart.

Trixie had once had her own heart broken by such a troll, and was now far too wise to give her heart to anyone without running them through a troll test first. Fortunately, trolls were not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier of life, and if one presented a troll with the right test, it would invariably fail it. She had presented her latest suitor with just such a test, and quickly discovered a troll beneath what appeared to be loving exterior.

As her beloved unicorn made its way across the crystal lake, she reached down to pat his neck, and smiled a slow soft smile as she thought of how handily she had exposed this latest shape shifting troll for what it really it was. She had been ever so careful to make sure when she presented it with the troll test, should it react as only a troll would, there would be no way for it to deny its evil intentions. She could now continue her journey knowing that even if she crossed paths with other trolls along the way, none would ever be able to truly fool her again.

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