A fairy tale that I started writing for last week’s Prompt for the Promptless. It was a 30-5 Challenge and was written in 30 minutes.
Once magic was wild and free. Depending on magic’s mood, rain could change into food or lava. The days could end up being bright with life or dark with despair.
Magic seemed to bless different creatures by giving them powers. Fairies were given the power of light and childlike wonder. Dragons were given wisdom and strength. Gnomes were given control over plants and water.
The people thought they would be blessed if they followed magic’s whims. But, try as they may, magic never seemed to bless the people with more power.
Ages went by with the people watching magic bless other creatures. The people began to crave the power that magic was giving away. Some tried to harness magic’s power and use it for themselves. But magic was too strong for them and the power consumed their bodies.
Many died in this quest for power but still the people tried.
Eventually someone had the idea to weaken magic. If magic’s power was weakened, then it would be easier to obtain.
A disease was created in the hope that it would attack magic. But it didn’t work the way they had planned. The disease attacked people and weakened them.
Confused, the creators of the disease worked furiously to create a cure. One attempt after another was made but the disease only grew stronger.
The people cried out for a hero; someone to save them from their mistake. But no one stepped forward.
Years went by with each generation growing weaker than the last. Parents were living longer than their children. Grandparents were raising grandchildren who rarely lived past their childhood.
Eventually, when the people had given up on their fate, a fairy appeared in the village. The fairy, at half the size of a small child, seemed to glow with an inner light that made grown men cower.
The fairy laughed as she danced through the streets gathering the people. “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to help you. Follow me and I’ll teach you the secret of a long life.”
The people of the village followed the fairy, attracted by her light and the promise of a cure. When everyone was gathered in one area, the fairy began her story.
“People were created by magic. Every person has a piece of magic inside of them. When you try to steal magic that does not belong to you, then everyone suffers.” The fairy looked around. People were standing with their arms crossed and faces turned toward the ground. “When you try to make your light shine brightest then you end up dimming it instead.”
The adults of the village scoffed and dismissed the fairy. One by one the adults wandered away but the children stood in awe of what the fairy was telling them.
“When people tried to steal magic’s power, you destroyed your own magic.” The fairy pointed at the adults who were leaving. “It is too late for them but it may not be too late for you.”
The fairy stepped toward the children and sat down among them. She gestured for them to join her on the ground. “I am going to tell you how to get rid of the disease that is plaguing your people. I need you to listen closely to what I say.”
The children nodded and silently moved closer.
“You need to stop being selfish. Your light grows brighter the more you help others.” The fairy opened her hands in front of her with each palm holding a small flame. “You all have a light inside of you that is like the flames I hold. When you think only of yourself and your own power, the flame grows smaller and you grow weaker. This is what you call the disease.”
The flame in the fairy’s left hand slowly grew smaller and the children gasped in fear.
“If you help others in need then your light will grow.” The flame in the fairy’s right hand grew to twice its size. “The more you help others; the more your light grows.”
A small child, no older than four, crawled closer to the fairy. “How does you help him?”
The fairy smiled and her eyes lit up with hope. “You can help others by being nice. If someone has trouble with their chores, you can offer to help them to finish what is left. If your mother feels sick, you can clean the house or make the food. If your father is hurt, you can feed the animals or tend the crops.”
“Why are you telling us this?” asked an older girl who had her arms crossed in front of her chest. “It’s not like it will fix us.”
The fairy laughed. “It won’t fix you but it will keep you from getting sick. I’m here because magic sent me. We’ve seen the plight of people and we want to help.”
“Mom says that the disease was sent by magic because we were close to destroying it and taking its power. If we can get magic’s power then the disease will disappear.” The girl reached over and tugged on the arm of a younger girl who was sitting beside her. “We need to go Carol. Mom will be mad if we’re late.”
“But I want to stay with the fairy.” The younger girl pulled back away from her sister.
“It’s alright child,” the fairy said. “You have heard enough to help. As for your sister’s question, the disease was not sent by magic but was created by people. It was made to weaken magic but those who created it did not know that people were made of magic. This is why the disease attacks people. This is also why you must strengthen your magic to overcome the disease.”
The fairy looked around at the children. The older children looked sceptical and the younger children looked hopeful. “I will not keep you much longer but I will leave you with this knowledge. When you help others you will feel the warmth of your flame growing. The more your flame grows, the more people will try to stop you. People want to extinguish your magic; they will tell you that there is no need to help others. They will try to stop you. You must not let them extinguish your flame.”
The fairy disappeared before the children could ask more questions. Slowly, they wandered off back home; each of them lost in their thoughts of the fairy.
At first life in the village remained the same but soon it was obvious that the children were acting different. They were helping each other with chores and doing more around the house.
The more the children helped others, the older they were before they grew sick with the disease. Some of them were able to avoid getting sick at all.
The next generation learned from the fairy’s children and grew to an age older than their parents. The generations that followed grew much older than the generations before.
Soon, the disease itself was a distant memory but everyone knew the story of the Fairy’s Cure.