Chapter 4

Written by: Anna Zhigareva

As someone’s heavy hand clamped her mouth shut over the smelly hood, Kali struggled for breath. No matter how much she writhed and wriggled, the outcome was only a tighter hold. 


“This’ll teach you for snitching on us,” a familiar voice growled behind her. “You should know you can’t get away with crossing us.” It was Jay, the angry boy from the village. But he couldn’t be alone in this plot to get back at her. Where was…


“No one crosses us!” Kali heard the rumble of Sime’s unfriendly voice and felt a shiver run down her spine. When had the boys become so rough? And where were the fairies when she needed them? Hadn’t Hest been keeping a close eye on her for this particular situation?


Kali gave up the struggle and let herself be dragged out of the stables and into a shaded area, perhaps under a tree. Though the hood covered her head and face, she could tell when light patches turned to shadows. The boys were planning something unwise. The mothers of the village would find out and beat them but they wouldn’t care because they would have gotten their revenge.


But they might want to get it again once they’ve been punished for it, Kali suddenly realised, tears welling in her eyes. Why had the fairies abandoned her in this time of need? Where was the Fawn, the fairy kin she had grown closer with though his presence had also brought idle worries?


Kali’s frightened mind raced back to the day she had met the Fawn. Had he truly said Bless you, child? This phrase, imagined or not, had been circling her head ever since the harvest festival. Could the Fawn’s words have had some effect on her… Abilities – my abilities may have changed! Kali realised and, shocked, stopped breathing completely for a couple of seconds so that both Jay and Sime knelt in synchrony towards her. Jay even released her mouth and whispered something to Sime. It sounded something like What should we do with her before she suffocates? She has to learn her lesson.


Finally granted some breathing space, Kali, hands clammy and throat parched from the rising anxiety in her mind, sucked in a large gulp of air.


If she was going to test out her abilities there was only one way she could do it. She wanted to know if the fairies and Fawn had abandoned her or if they were on her side and had truly given her their blessings.


In a low tone, Kali began chanting the song she had read as a child in many books. If she had been touched by fairy blessings, the song would work and they would come to her rescue.


“What is she doing?” 


Jay and Sime’s voices rose to high-pitched pleas as they saw a cloud of yellow and black build up from a beehive in the neighbouring villager’s garden and gain momentum, heading towards them.