Ayla’s Story by Nicole DragonBeck

Per Ayla Noel Sexsmith. Ti amo a causa di sei strano in un modo bellissima e meravigliosa! E grazie tantissimo per mi hai dati i draghi!

The Fey no longer fly and the dragons don’t come out of their caves.

The last unicorns had disappeared, the phoenixes had flown into the sun. The hobbits hid in their holes and the dwarves in their caves.

Jule sat on the ledge, watching the sun go down. Every day the goblin watched the sun go down and the moon rise, hoping to see any sign of the Fey creatures. He kept his vigil far into the night, until he couldn’t keep his eyes open.

Jule sensed a presence come up behind him. When he turned he saw the small creature in the spider’s-silk dress, gold veins in her beautiful translucent wings shining with all the colors of the sunset.

“Did you see anything?” Ayla asked, her musical voice hopeful.

Jule shook his head. “But the stars have yet to come out. Maybe today is the day.”

The faery sat beside him, resting her cheek on his shoulder. “Do you think they’ll ever come back?”

“Of course,” he said. “Some of them will.”

He remained optimistic mainly for her sake, but at times he felt traces of magic in the world and it gave him hope. All the others had left so suddenly. Ayla had come back for him. They had tried to go after the others, but it was too late. The others had taken the magic with them when they left for the silver shores. As far as Jule could tell, he and Ayla were the last. They were stranded without the magic.

The first stars came into view as the sky darkened. The goblin and the faery sat side by side. The moon came out, almost full. It hung over them, watching them as they watched the world. The world remained as mundane as any other night, devoid of magic. It gave the world an empty, lonely aspect. It was a small wonder Men were so unhappy.

“I talked to a fieldmouse the other day,” Ayla said, drawing her knees to her chest.

“That’s nice,” Jule acknowledged. “What did it say?”

The animals had lost the ability to speak when the magic left. Sometimes they found talking animals near the pockets of lingering magic. There was never enough to do anything with.

“He said he couldn’t remember where he’d put his winter stores. He kept saying, seeds and nuts, seeds and nuts over and over again.”

“Oh. Anything else?”

“Not really. I asked if he had heard any of the flowers singing. He said no, then went right back on about seeds and nuts.”

“Well, that’s alright,” Jule said. “We can look for other signs of magic. There are plenty, after all. Rainbows, toadstool rings, happiness, music, shimmers and seven-sided snowflakes.”

“Maybe we can look for magic among the humans,” she suggested, her voice sleepy. “Sometimes I think I can hear magic in them when they walk by. Some of them have even seen me. Even if they think I’m not real, that’s something, isn’t it?”

“It is something,” Jule said noncommittally.

He knew the humans had magic, at least some of them. Many of them tried to ignore it, or hide it. Some of them even denied it blatantly, said it couldn’t exist and used “science” to disprove it. Most of them were completely oblivious. But it was there. Maybe Ayla was right. Maybe they could be convinced that their magic was real.

Stranger things had happened and anything was possible.

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