by Hilary Robinson
Chapter One – Wings and Things
Galien had defied the Warlock once too often and was beaten for his insolence. When Imi found him he was bound to a white birch tree with spider silk. There was a strand of the almost invisible thread across his throat, forcing his head back against the white bark. His eyes were closed and there was a purple bruise on his left cheek. Strands of his long black hair blew across his elven face. She approached him with care, hovering on her rainbow wings so no footfall would alert him. He was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen, even the purple bruise made his skin look translucent.
She reached out and stroked his other cheek, her faery touch lighter than thistle-down. He didn’t react. She tried to prise his arm free without waking him but it was too tightly bent behind him. When she glanced at him again she was shocked to find him watching her.
“I was only … I was trying to…” She was embarrassed at being discovered.
“I know.” His voice was low and soft.
“What can I do to help?”
“Get away before my master sees you.”
“Your master did this to you?” She was surprised at the anger in her voice. “Why??”
He looked at her with his pale lilac eyes and did not answer.
“How long have you been trapped here?” she demanded.
“More than a heart beat, less than a life time.”
“A pretty answer,“ she said and began to pull at the spider silk.
“No!” Galien cried hoarsely, “Do not!”
She stopped in surprise. “Don’t you want to be free?”
“The Warlock will kill you!”
“I don’t believe he…”
“Believe!” a voice thundered in her head. She was hurled bodily away from the tree by an invisible force. When she sat up it was to see the Warlock striding into the glade, his black robe flying around him. She found her heart thudding and her hands shaking. He was a tall, thin man with dark, haunting, piercing eyes. She had heard of the Warlock. The woods folk were warned about him as children, he was the bogey man that mothers threatened ill-behaved children with. The Warlock will get you if you’re bad…
“I will let you go this time, missy” he said almost casually, “but if you come back…” he left it unfinished but Imi’s heart pounded with fear of the unspoken menace.
“Go…” Galien pleaded.
“Go!” the Warlock commanded and a sharp gust of wind caught Imi and bowled her head over heels out of the wood, over the clover meadow, across the stream where it broke over white stones and flashed in the sunlight, dropping her at last into a patch of nettles.
That’s just spiteful, she thought as she scrambled out, bare arms and legs stinging. Her small mouth tightened. This might be the first time she had encountered the Warlock but she had a feeling it would not be the last.
copyright February 2010 Hilary Robinson
The start of my first real fairy tale which features not only a faerie, an elf and a warlock but a unicorn, a sleeping dragon and a sea-sick knight on a quest. Come with me……All of this story is copyright protected and is not in the public domain.