“Coming Mom,” I answered. I took one last look into the mirror. My horns sparkled with the dusting of diamond dust I spread on them before they dried. Instead of hair, like the silly humans have, we have tendrils of snake like scales which shimmer in the sun. If we turn the right way, we can blind those who spot us with rays that reflect into their eyes.
I tugged the towel over my ear lobes. Sometimes they are more of a curse than anything else. Mine were long enough to trip over if I didn’t roll them up. We weren’t allowed to let them flap free unless it was time for flying lessons. Even the adults rolled them into intricate cases to protect them from accidental damage.
Flying was always a last resort. We should be smart enough to avoid problems that required flight to escape. History told us it wasn’t always possible, and our glider like wings which inflated over the top of our shoulders, have saved more than one pixie from being captured and altered.
Did I tell you? Some humans consider us freaks. They amputate our wings if they capture us, and surgically alter our horns buy digging the root out of our skull so they can’t grow. And they wonder why we keep to ourselves, hiding it the forests and under the water, to stay out of sight. They squabble amongst themselves because they come in different colors, but some of them turn on us to claim we aren’t natural and need to be genetically changed to conform to their standards.
“Nixy! I’ll cancel your flying lesson today if you don’t get down here right this instant.”
My lobes were dry, and I bent to roll them up. One in each hand, I’d learned the trick to save time. They do have some muscles to help the process, and in less than a minute I slipped my plain wooden cases over them. We are allowed to choose a bronze filigree case when we pass our last tests allowing us the privelege of flying in free air.
I clattered down the steps into the kitchen. I could smell roasting crickets and grasshoppers. Mom had made one of my favorite treats. Today was my last day of lessons. It was my birthday, and I was fifteen. Us pixies get our license to fly a year before the humans can take their driver’s test. And we don’t have to climb into weird machines with motors and oddly fixed wings to fly either.
And no, we’re not as big as them, even though we work along side them. Our houses are grouped in parks, with ponds surrounded by trees, where they stand in the narrow shore between. The biggest one belongs to the pixie reeve, and mom says there is a king somewhere on this planet. We don’t know why he agreed to allow the humans to land here in the first place. In their strange flying machines that came from the sky, they burned down half a city as the first one settled on its tail fins.
We’re less than half their height. They considered us oversized pests before they understood we were a sentient species. And some of them are still stuck in ancient history. Why is it all the good is undone by the bad?
No care for us, as much as they don’t care for each other. Greed rules their lives. They use each other with careless disregard for hurt feelings or injured bodies. Each color vying with the next to acquire more. Here they grow food. Delicacies which were long extinct on their distant home planet.
But today, none of that matters. All the practice and lessons, all the time in the air tunnels, would culminate in my testing and permission to fly off the cliffs. Free to soar. At least the treaty has given us the right, without being shot at, or swiped at, for being a strange new creature. This is our home after all.
And if I have my way, the humans will never return. My friends, Bex, Zexer and Moorie have a plan, but first we need to be able to fly free.
“Eat up, Nixy. Happy Birthday! It’s snake steaks for dinner and we’ll celebrate your new freedom then.” Mom sounded so proud of me. She walked over to put her hands on my shoulders. “I know, you’re impatient, you have plans. Don’t throw out the good with the bad.”
How does she always know what I’m thinking? The bad are protected right along with the good by the human leaders.
“Mom, there’s no good to the humans. They all have to go. And I know how it has to be done.”
“Then be smart and stay safe. I expect you to do this with no glory in mind. Do it because it is right and be quiet about it.”
Her advice was good, and her approval was all I needed.
This was the perfect start to my fifteenth birthday. The one that starts the rest of my life. Project Secret Freedom begins today.
My life as a pixie? It’s more fun than you’d imagine. First, I can fly! Who wouldn’t want to do that? Flying is probably the best part of my daily life. My ears are superior to the other pixies, and they help me zoom in and out of the flowers when I visit Maggie, the local herb collector. I usually visit Maggie once a day, and while I’m there, I pick up the special herbs that I use to create poultices at the clinic where I work. I use the poultices to treat the worker bees‘ wings that are injured during flight. You see, we take care of the bees by planting flowers for them. Once the flowers are grown, the bees drink their nectar and collect their pollen. Sometimes bees are injured while doing this, or their wings just get overworked. So they come see me at the clinic, and I help them heal.
Since we help the bees in more ways than one, they give us enough honey so we can survive the colder months. The cold months were coming soon, and I hated them. I couldn’t visit Maggie as often as I liked because of the cold.
We have a huge nesting area nestled in a grove of trees. The bees love it here because there is a Lot of room to plant flowers. Everyone here has their job. Workers ride the bees and guide them to the best flowers that are ripe and ready, nurses work at the clinic, and nursery workers help tend to the baby bees and make sure they have enough food to help them grow. We also have gatherers, like Maggie, who collect things that are useful from the woods around us. This is a dangerous job because you can be seen by humans. Only the fastest pixie’s are gatherers. Even though I am one of the fastest pixies here, I was able to land a job working with the bees because of my ability to make such good poultices. I spent many hours with Maggie, perfecting this method, so that I could work in the clinic. Everyone here has their job. We all work together to accomplish great things.
Born into mother's breathless arms with a story of guilt wrapped around my bloodshot eyes and hideous horns- at least dad calls them that.
He threw spears of hate into those eyes as he clung to his wife I'd just murdered, or maybe my birth did.
I was an orphan with a father who saw me as the opposite ghost he'd rather live with.
What was I expecting anyway?
I wasn't gorgeous or remarkable.
I wasn't my mum.
I was a scoff for the name.
Too hated to be embraced by any besides me.
Broken wings are sad,
But aggrieved wings adorned with colors that look like scars can't dare to fly.
A morning, the only glorious one I ever had as an adult, I came across a Polaroid of mum.
She was soaring high in the Ataskka forest and I made that picture my mission.
I found the forest and nature has a way of nourishing beauty without fail.
Gorgeous leaves and celestial petals...
I basked in it...
Something began to rise from me,
Above the ground and nearing the skies, I shed a tear as I felt closer to mum and nature.
How could I have known I had this in me?
The universe never gave me a rainbow that spelt my name.
But this moment was nothing earthly words could amount to.
Mum called me Hyacinth and I'll live the rest of my days trying to blossom.
Whisky pixies fast-track it to hell.
I’m the troublemaker . . . you ne’er wish to meet.
You bet I’m a shaker, bed down in the heat.
When I feel salacious, flying fast I scamp.
Sure, my word’s fallacious. I’m a primo vamp.
I’ll take up the gauntlet. I will never fail.
Uttering my tauntlets, crudities prevail.
Hungry for some fresh meat? (Sinful grin I flash.)
Crunching bones in my teeth, gleefully I gnash.
Tendrils dangling idly make you wonder why
I fly effortlessly, flutt’ring lobes, my, my!
Hanging by a tendril to this hellish life,
I trod ever downhill, digging all this strife.
My life’s testimony to the scum I am.
I’m an acrimony, a fickle, black lamb.
Compete with my father, as well, with my son.
I’ll beget with fodder from where’er it comes.
Whisk until I’m sixty, rush for many more.
Such is life for pixies, devils to the core.
The life of a pixie is very good indeed. I can do as I please all day long and into the night. I can go where the humans do when I’m bored and watch them live their strange lives. I can even invite myself into their homes and cause mischief to see how they react.
The humans have so many strange things, big things, little things, things that glow, and things that make noise. Things I wish I could take back to my nest. Sometimes I do; pretty chains that I can wrap around my horns and rings that fit my head just so. The humans wear them differently, they wear them wrong. Who would decorate their hands, surely that only gets in the way? Silly humans with their silly ways.
A pixie knows much better.