tagSci-Fi & FantasyBeneath the Flowers

Beneath the Flowers


There are mysteries beneath our feet and for those who are fortunate enough to uncover them a world unlike any other is often opened. That is where fairy tales come from and over time they are altered and manipulated in order to teach our children morality or humility. One such tale is that of a little person no bigger than a thimble. You know the one. . . this is my version. ~ Enjoy, Red.

~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~

The last kernel of barley rested softly against the old woman's hand. She sighed heavily and whispered a quick prayer, giving thanks for the seed and hoping that it, along with a few others that she'd planted would be fruitful. Her possessions were few and the potential crop that she would later harvest would help to insure her survival that coming winter.

The sun beat down on her, casting an unworldly glow on the grain. The old woman smiled and dropped the kernel into the turned soil. She covered it with a thin layer of dirt, scooped a ladle of water from the animal skin bag at her hip and treated the freshly planted crop to a slow, cooling drink. When she rose from her slouched position, she did so with great difficulty. The aches and pains of her years showed not only on her face, but deep within her bones as well. The walk back to her cottage was laborious and exhausting, but one she was used to.

Once she reached the door, she slid the bag from her hip, and poured the remaining water over the flowers that grew beneath her kitchen window. A small bluebird darted passed, singing a melody that the old woman recognized to be one of courtship. The spring season had arrived, and though it was unusually warm, the heat would not deter the desire man or beast has to mate. The old woman smiled, opened the door to her cottage and slipped inside, closing nature off in lieu of the cool temperatures of her sod home.

Wilson flew through the air, his bright blue plumage changed colors as he turned his wings and caught the various currents of air that danced around the old woman's farm. His sharp gaze drifted back and forth over the freshly planted field. He not only looked for a willing partner to a spring romance, but sustenance was always high on his list of priorities.

Thoughts of finding another bluebird as beautiful as he made his heart ache and his wings quiver with desire. It had been a long, lonely year for Wilson, one he hoped would never be repeated. The sight of the dirt beneath him moving caught the bird's attention. He glanced around, while slowing the beating of his wings. Concern that another would see the disturbed earth and possibly devour the insect or worm that moved beneath it, caused Wilson to dive down.

His delicate feet curled into the soil. The ground was still damp from the woman's gift of water and Wilson was sure that it was that water that had caused the worm to slither his way toward the warmth of the welcoming sun. He waited, eyes ever watchful for any living creature that may poach on his morning meal.

The first sign of the worm rising from the ground brought a high shrill from Wilson's delicate throat. The worm's head looked nothing like the bluebird was expecting. Instead the tip of the worm was gold and shone like the dew kissed leaves of a dandelion. Wilson jumped back as the slithering creature continued to grow. It did not take long for him to realize that the worm in question, was not a worm at all, but in fact it was a plant.

His curiosity grew as the tip of the seedling began to rise at an alarming pace. Small leaves sprouted from the stalk, and as those grew so did several small flowering buds. Wilson's bright eyes grew more wide as with each passing second the sprout began to resemble a bush more than a newly planted barley stalk.

The bush was soon littered with flowers that were opening and drinking up the bright sunshine. Wilson by now was fluttering around the strange anomaly. His mating call had been replaced by panic screeches and ear piercing shills. Just as he was about to seek shelter from the magical shrub, the growing stopped and the final flower opened.

He hovered in the air as the petals parted to reveal a small creature curled up. Her hair was long, gold, and sparkled as the light of the sun danced across the sky. Wilson flew cautiously around the bush, slowly allowing the distance between him and the figure to lessen. It took a lot of courage on his part to wrap his feet around the magical branches of the greenery, but when he did, he was able to peer more closely at the mystical creature.

Wilson glanced toward the cottage where the old woman had gone, and then back to the figure in the flower. The resemblance to humanity was uncanny, save for the creature's diminutive size. A gentle wind stirred the air, causing Wilson's feathers to flutter and the golden locks covering the stranger to stir. He watched as the being began to stretch and twist, revealing long human like legs, arms, torso and eventually gender.

The bluebird had heard of magic, yet he'd never witnessed it. He had been the last of his brothers and sisters to wean and the last to leave the nest. He had heard stories from his siblings about magical beings that fluttered about the forest and the plains, but he had not believed them, though his parents and his parents' parents had worked to convince him otherwise.

Wilson however saw himself as a more grounded bird. He was studious and had an explanation for everything he encountered and magic was not part of his equation. But now, it was obvious that magic was real and it had delivered to him something beautiful. He hopped onto another branch, bringing himself closer to the delightful female.

Zaria rolled onto her back and stared up at the sky. Her blue eyes took in her surroundings and for a moment she found herself concerned and worried about where she was. Just as quickly the feeling was replaced with a sense of wonder and fascination. She opened her arms, lifted them high into the air and stretched, before rising up to greet the heaven's. Her knees were weak and her legs felt boneless. Zaria began to tip, the suddenly she was upright and flying high into the air.

Her fingers clutched the blue feathers of the bird's neck. Wilson turned his head back and smiled. "You looked as if you were about to fall," he told her. It was true – Wilson did think the young girl was going to fall, so he had done the honorable thing and scooped her up, darting between her spread legs and forcing her to take a ride on his back.

"I may have," the girl admitted, before relaxing on the bird's back. She closed her eyes, lifted her face to the sun and sighed happily as the bluebird took her on a ride across the land.

Wilson's heart beat rapidly beneath the fragile layer of feather, skin, and muscle. He felt the creature's legs tighten around his flanks and belly. Her fingers had loosened their deathlike grip and now massaged his neck. He shivered beneath her touch, relishing the softness of her skin as it pressed against his. Wilson felt the swelling of his testes and knew that the height of mating season was upon him and his desire to claim the golden haired one was too great an opportunity to pass up. He knew that he would have to seek the aid of a wizard or witch.

"Where are we going?"

Wilson pushed the desire to seduce the creature away and focused on their surroundings. He did not want to admit that his lust for her had been so great that he'd failed to notice in what direction he'd flown. He looked around and realized they were far from where she'd been born and were instead in a deeper part of the forest that very few humans ever ventured. "A perfect place," he whispered, more to himself than to the girl who stroked his feathers.

"It is certainly lovely," she answered.

"Hold on tight," Wilson said, and when he felt she had listened he darted around the various trees and bushes of the woods. Eventually he found, what he believed to be a safe place to rest. Wilson landed next to a small pond and waited for the girl to dismount. Instantly he missed the feel of her and longed to be on his way, in search of some slice of magic that would change one of them into something more appropriate for the other.

"You wait here. I won't be gone long," Wilson told her, before reaching out to touch her foot with one of his tiny talons.

"Wait? You're leaving? But where are you going and – what is your name? How will I find you? Where will I go?" Zaria was surprised by her sudden worry over her safety, but as she had flown on top of the bird's back, she had begun to question what was to become of her. Her mind was a jumble of unanswered questions, yet at the same time she felt as if she already knew all the answers.

Wilson, unaware of her worry, moved closer and rubbed his head against her bare stomach. He breathed deep the fragrance of her womanhood. His feathers ruffled as his senses filled with her heady scent. He cooed softly, before stepping back and gazing back at her questioning visage.

"I must go. You are so beautiful, so lovely, so," he lowered his gaze and focused on her toes, "intoxicating. I find myself hungering for magic that will transform me into something beautiful too."

"You are already beautiful," Zaria whispered. She reached out to stroke his plumage. Wilson stepped back, not trusting himself to leave the strange creature untouched.

"Thank-you, but I wish to be like you, so that I may claim you as my mate. I cannot do so as I am now. A bird and – well, what are you exactly?"

Zaria laughed. "I am a pixie. My name is Zaria and my people are few in number."

Wilson's brows, though small and almost invisible, narrowed as he eyed the girl suspiciously. "I had always heard pixies have pointed ears and slanted eyes."

"There are different races of pixies, just like there are birds."

Wilson felt his cheeks darken and knew the girl spoke true. "My name is Wilson. I am a bluebird, and up until this morning I did not believe in your kind, nor did I believe in magic."

"We are a dying breed, as is magic itself. There are not many of my people left, let alone various other races. Humans have moved into our lands, destroyed our homes, and most have forgotten about us and the mystery that surrounds us." Zaria sighed and took a deep breath. "When I awoke from the flower, I was at first excited, realizing upon wakening that I had been one of the lucky ones chosen to repopulate my people, but now, now that I am here and you tell me that you had no belief in my kind – well, I wonder what good I will be to my world?"

Wilson frowned. "Then it is now more important than ever that I seek a way to transform myself. I shall return to this spot before nightfall and hopefully with me I will have the magic I need to be what you desire. Stay here, and dine on berries. I will fly up and gather a stalk of them for you. There are soft leaves and small vines that you can use to cover yourself – if you feel the need."

Zaria stared down at her breasts and naked torso, as well as the soft patch of hair that covered her sex. "Does my form offend you?" she asked. "You said you found me 'intoxicating' – whatever that means."

The bluebird's testes swelled further, causing Wilson great discomfort. He swallowed the groan of lust that had formed deep within his chest and answered Zaria with a soft voice. "You do not offend me. I just thought that if another creature comes along, you should cover yourself. No one should see the beauty that I wish to claim as my own."

Zaria smiled. "I shall see what I can do," she answered, before walking over and wrapping her arms around Wilson's neck. She hugged him tight and kissed the side of his beak. "I shall be here when you return," she promised.

Wilson ruffled his feathers, cleared his throat and flew away. His body ached to possess the pixie and it was that desire that drove him out of the forest and back toward the old woman's cottage. He had to find clues as to where she got the seed that brought Zaria to him.

The golden-haired pixie watched Wilson disappear into the canopy of trees. She took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and pivoted on one toe. As she slowly spun around, she took in her surroundings, making note of the different colors and shapes that gave life to this new and foreign land. "Mother Earth," she whispered, "once again you have outdone yourself and I thank you for finding me such a lovely home and equally lovely friend."

Once Zaria was done paying homage to her goddess, she walked over to the small pond. She dipped her toes in and found the temperature cool, but not overly chilly. Her lips formed a grin and soon she was plunging into the crisp water. As she swam around, she thought of Wilson and his proclamation to transform himself for her.

He was already so beautiful and yet he wanted to change that beauty for her. Why? What was this 'intoxicating' effect she had and why did he wish to 'claim' her. Zaria knew her role as one of the chosen pixies was to copulate with another of her kind or another species that resembled her kind, but what if one transformed for her. Would she still be able to produce heirs and extend the life of her people? Zaria floated on her back and contemplated her future with the bluebird.

A pair of dark black eyes stared at Zaria as she swam. A long tongue darted out, coating a pair of narrow lips with sticky saliva. Blanch, a member of the Boreal race had overheard the conversation between the bluebird and the pixie. She knew that if her nephew Sonoran mated with the pixie, it would only bring honor to their clan. She reached down and smoothed the leather tunic she wore over her pale green skin, before stepping away from the newly sprouted moss that grew on the rocks where Wilson had left Zaria.

"You'll catch a cold, if you tarry to long in that pond," Blanch called out. She smiled inwardly when Zaria spun around and blushed. The pale skin was a contrast to Blanch and Sonoran's green hued flesh and she knew their offspring would be stunning. "Come out child and Aunt Blanch will clothe you."

Zaria recalled Wilson's desire to see her covered and blushed. She looked around, suddenly embarrassed at not having followed his wishes. Once out of the water, she felt more aware of her nudity and moved to cover her breasts and sex with her small hands.

Blanch openly gazed at the pixie's body and felt desire to lie with the creature growing deep within her belly. She licked her lips imagining the withering body thrusting against her own and for a moment contemplated taking Zaria as her lover and not giving her to her nephew. She knew the bird sought the necessary magic to transform himself, but unlike the birds of the air, the Boreal race had everything they needed to mate with not only their own kind, but other species too. She could take Zaria as her lover and produce children too – but unlike Sonoran, Blanch was a female Borealian and held no real power in her people's government. No, she would seek permission from Sonoran to couple with the pixie – after he had used her.

"Aunt Blanch, you said you would clothe me?"

Blanch shook her head, dislodging the lust that had filled her mind. "Yes, my dear. My apologies. I was consumed for a moment by your beauty. Come with me. I've a robe you can wear." Blanch led Zaria back to the rocks and quickly presented her with the robe Blanch had worn earlier that morning, just before the sun had risen. She helped Zaria slip it on, fighting the urge to linger over touching the pixie's almost translucent skin. "I couldn't help but overhear that the bird is looking for magic and will be gone most of the day."

"Yes," Zaria answered. "He wishes to couple with me, but must transform himself. He asked me to stay here and he will be back before the sun sets."

The Borelian shook her head in understanding. "Yes, I heard that, but did he not consider you would need to eat something? Nor did he think of protecting you from those who would seek to harm you. You said so yourself – you are a dying breed. A rare gem like you would make any creature the envy of all those that surrounded him – man or beast."

Zaria's skin paled. "I had not thought of that. Am I truly in danger?" she asked.

Blanch nodded her head. "I shall take you to my home and bring you back before the sun sets. You will be safe with me. You are far too innocent to be left alone."

Blanch had spoken true in regards to Zaria's innocence. The young pixie, though newly born from the seedling and well aware of her role in life and the history of her people, was still young and untouched by the world around her. Her path had been outlined long before the old woman had planted the seed. Zaria was to procreate and give life, yet she had also been thrust into a world she didn't understand. She looked around the forest and back at Blanch's obsidian hued eyes. "Yes, please let me go with you," Zaria whispered, before taking the hand Blanch offered.

As Blanch held Zaria's hand and led her away from the pond, Zaria found herself gazing upon the green-tinted creature. Aunt Blanch, as she insisted on being called, was a tall being. She had long legs and sinewy arms, as well as toes and fingers that seemed to stretch out and stick to whatever it touched. Even Zaria seemed glued to the woman's hand. The Borelian had a strong chiseled face, with a pair of wide lips and seemed to house a long and sticky tongue. Several times Zaria had witnessed the snake like appendage dart out to grasp a flying insect from the air. Zaria secretly hoped she would not be dining on bugs once she reached Aunt Blanch's home.

It did not take too long for them to reach the opening to Blanch's home. The woman opened the door and ushered Zaria in. The pixie looked around and saw that Aunt Blanch had decorated her home with the colors of the Earth's floor. Varying shades of brown and green covered the walls, chairs, and floors. The air around her smelled damp, yet because Zaria was born from the Earth, it all seemed familiar and safe to her. She stepped in and took a seat on a couch that Blanch had pointed out to her.

Blanch bustled around the dwelling, preparing Zaria something to eat. She had noticed the frown of disgust on the girl's face when Blanch had eaten gnats and small mosquitoes, so she knew that Zaria would want something more human like. She pulled a jar of pickled grub from her cabinet and quickly poured some into a large pot, which rested over a low flame. As the food cooked, she moved over to claim a spot next to Zaria.

"I know your name is Zaria and you are a pixie. I heard that from the bird. But what else is there to you?" Blanch asked, before slipping her arm over the back of the couch. Her fingers toyed with Zaria's golden locks.

Zaria toyed with the strings that kept the leather robe closed. "I am one of the few women from my tribe that were chosen to be reborn. As you heard me telling Wilson, my people are dying and several of us untouched women were chosen to become seedlings again. We were carried across the plains and hills, deposited by the elders in regions where they knew our kind, or those resembling us existed."

"And those left behind?"

The pixie sighed. "Their fate is their own, as is mine. We all hope and pray to the goddess that she keeps our numbers from fading too quickly and that overtime we will again flourish, but if not, then at least she's allowed some of us to live."

"So you are not opposed to breeding with other races?" Blanch asked, while twirling a long strand of Zaria's hair around her green sticky finger.

"Not at all. Though I do not like the idea of another race changing for me. Wilson is seeking a way to do that, and yet I do not believe he should. Are the birds in your world low in number?" Zaria glanced at the creature who was toying with her hair and lifted a questioning brow. "Can he not find a mate?"

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