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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chapter Four: Felicie's Secret

The sun shone with a gentle warmth as the three adventurers started up the low hill behind the village. The castle was only a couple of hills beyond, but even as the trio approached the base of that hill, no ruins were visible.

"It's still a real tangle of trees on this side," Felicie said as she pointed upwards. "On the other side, several of the trees have fallen, or died. The cold north wind is hard on that side in the winter" She turned to Addi. "Your cousin's village is only a short walk northwest from here."
"Now," Felicie said in a louder tone, "let me show you how to gather these rose hips."

Addi and Sig had already decided that Sig would make the first clandestine trip up to the old castle. Felicie was completely absorbed in her work, and Addi laughed at Felicie's surprise upon looking up and seeing Sig gone.

It took Sig longer to complete his investigation than Addi. Sig relied on his visual tracking skills, and his ability to blend into the trees and tall grasses. Addi's talents were her speed, and her enhanced sense of smell. Although her eyesight was also keen, Sig's years of training had made him almost as good as picking out the smallest details as Addi herself.

On Addi's return, she and Sig quietly made sure that they were ready to leave, and after a little more work with Felicie, they headed back to her cottage.
Sig glanced at Addi a few times as they made their over the gentle hills, wondering what she was thinking. The cozy village below them, and its bucolic peace, to Sig's eyes, was a comfortable contrast to the desolation he had seen at the ruins. The trees and vines, once set out to protect the castle, were now aiding in its destruction, and wove in and out of crumbled walls and empty windows with blank stares. Sig had actually been surprised to find the footprints of a human, probably a female, among the clusters of animal tracks. Still, he reasoned, it was probably just another botanist like Felicie, or at most, someone else curious about the place. Certainly its bleakness told of a time that had come and gone, leaving only faded emptiness.

Out of courtesy, and a lack of any important information, Sig gestured to Addi that she should speak first, once they were seated again at Felicie's table. Used to Addi's crisp, practical nature, Addi's first words to Felicie still hit him like a clap of thunder.

"Were you planning on telling us that you're a fairy?"

If Sig was startled, Felicie was completely calm. She even smiled. "You are as intelligent and observant as your cousin Louise said you were."

"But how did you figure that out?" Sig said.

"Partially by my senses, and partially, I admit, by guesswork, " Addi replied. "Beings who are born with magical gifts, like fairies, have a slightly different scent than unmagical mortals." Felicie nodded.

"So you could tell right away that she was magical, and you never told me," Sig said. "Did you not trust me?"
"Oh Sig, I trust you absolutely. But I didn't know, Felicie, what kind of being you were. For all the book learning that I've had, and stories that I've heard, I've not been able to travel and meet many others from the Marchen world before. I've come across witches, but they're simply normal humans, whose magic isn't innate. The mostly likely creature you could be was a fairy, especially since I knew for a fact that fairies did live here, but I decided to see what other clues I could pick up before I shared my knowledge. And then I discovered something further at the castle.

"One thing I have noticed, on the evilest witches I've met -- do you remember Beru, Sig? -- was a hint of sulfur. And there was a stronger odor of sulfur at the ruins today, especially strong along the path of those human, or seemingly human, footprints we saw."

Sig was pleased that Addi took it for granted that he too had noticed the signs that any creatures but animals had been there recently. "So whoever walked through there was someone else who has embraced evil. And you could tell it was someone magical."

"Yes. And the underlying scent was very similar to Felicie's. After that, it was a guess, but an informed one." Addi turned to Felicie. "That last fairy that lived on here, that helped rescue Princess Constance. That was..."

"My mother," Felicie said. "She told me her story, and brought me up to work with the other Marchen in this area, like your cousins, to be on watch for any new evil that might arise. I didn't want to tell you I was a fairy, Addi, because I wanted to see what evidence you could discover on your own. Your cousins got close enough that night to sense the presence of evil, but they didn't want to draw attention to their whole village by doing a deeper investigation. A magical being might even recognize them as Ulfer in their wolf forms. You and Sig knew enough about our world to investigate, without drawing attention to anyone here as a Marchen."
"Except you," said Sig.

"Well yes, an evil fairy could probably tell right away that I'm another fairy," said Felicie with a sad smile. "But we couldn't trust a non-Marchen with the story either. Better to put me alone at risk than an entire village of Ulfer."

"You said another fairy could *probably* tell," said Sig. "Do you not know for sure?"

But before Felicie could answer, there was a knock at her front door.


  1. Ah, they ventured outside and left us with a suspenseful knock at the door! Looking forward to more.

  2. Ooo! Getting very interesting! Can't wait to find out who's at the door! Who's at the door?

    1. I'm going to start working on writing the next chapter today! Although I have a pretty good roadmap in my mind of where I'm going to take things.

  3. Hi Barb, I'm a new reader here, but wanted to let you know that I'm really enjoying your story---I love a good fairy tale! Can't wait to read the next chapter!

    1. Thank you so much for reading, and commenting! I bookmarked your blog, but I'm not on any of the social media sites to follow you, except Google+, but I use my real name on there. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your crafts!

    2. Thanks! I was glad to find another blogger who collects Ever After High dolls! Honestly, I'm not too into the social media stuff myself. Out of all of them, Pinterest and Google+ are the main ones I use.