Through the forest
Now a month later, Khsta Dawn Bell stood on the stony ground at the base of the cliff. This was where the seeking stone had guided her to, and somewhere up there in that cave was Yenni.
Her quest to get here was quite an adventure, I can tell you, and if I had more time I would go into the full detail of it all. Maybe someday, if those that wish to hear it want to, I’ll tell you it in full.
I could go into the detail of her first trial, stumbling into a confusing and very large serpent who called itself Gerrymander who tried to trap her in its endless coils, all the while telling her that he divided and added into districts and something about categorizing and subtracting. The only way she was able to escape the Gerrymander was by confusing it with her own name. This had come as an accident when she told him her name was Khsta Dawn Bell, but the Gerrymander had misunderstood her and believed she had said her name was Keisha Doorbell. This confusion had caused a loophole to appear in the Garrymander’s body, and she flew through it, escaping the Gerrymander for good.
She also had a few days where she had been hunted by an agent of the Pirate King, a beast named Gmork, who she had finally defeated by dropping a very large hornets’ nest on top of it.
Not long after that she had an annoying encounter with a very lusty Will-O-the-Wisp who had mistaken her tiny pixie form for one of its own kind and had flirted with her to no end, following her around the forest and asking her to marry him. Eventually she managed to ditch him and while she had felt a bit sorry for that, and sad for the lonely Wisp, she had moved on following the glowing blue vapor trail that the seeking stone allowed only her to see.
Then there were those two dimwitted spies for the pirates she had encountered in the forest one night. I will tell you some about them, just to show you how skillful our little pixie was. They had been looking for her, as a matter of fact, just as the Gmork had been, but she managed to change into girl size before they had seen her as a tiny pixie and so had convinced them she was actually a lost girl. Again, like with the Gerrymander, it was her name or the confusion over it that had saved her. Bill, the less intelligent of the two idiots, just couldn’t get her name right no matter how many times she told it to him.
“Dumbell,” he’d asked her, sounding very much like one himself.
“Yes,” she said in a sure tone—this after telling the man her full, correct name six times. “That’s my name, you got it lunk-head.” She didn’t just mean that as an insult, she also said it because the large man like brute had a very square head with lumps on his brow and small, beady eyes.
“Hey, my name’s not that, it’s Bill.”
“Nice to meet you, Bill.”
Bill had squinted his eyes at her and asked. “You a pixie?”
“Do I look like one?”
“I ain’t ever seen one myself so I don’t know” Bill answered as he scratched his head in thought. “I think I need to take you to Harry so he can see you.”
Bill took Khsta to see Harry, who was larger and more brutish than Bill, and only slightly smarter. And Harry, who was fixing them a dinner of hot corn cakes and mushroom stew, was not at all happy about his dumb friend bringing a guest to dinner. “What you bringing lost girls here for? We only got eats for the two of us!”
Bill had explained that he wasn’t sure if she was a pixie or not so he wanted Harry to see her because he was smarter. Harry then hit Bill over the head with a spoon, a very large wooden one—the sound of it hitting Bill square on the head was much like the bonking sound an empty coconut might make when thumped—and shouted, “there’s a reason your mother named you Bill Limbo, I tell you. She’s a lost girl, plain as the wart on my chin!” Harry did have a wart on his chin.
“Well, you sure she ain’t a pixie?”
“Do I look like a pixie,” Khsta then asked as she turned to the side for them to see her form. At the moment she looked like a small human girl with long, flowing dark hair streaked through with blond highlights, wearing a skirt and halter top, holding a bag in one hand, and wearing a belt with a dagger on it. In this form, her wings were invisible to all but those with the most powerful magic, and the only magic these two idiots had between them might be enough to toast one side of a slice of bread, lightly, if that. . .
“I don’t know, I ain’t ever seen a pixie ‘fore,” Bill admitted.
“Pixies got wings, nipple head,” Harry told Bill Limbo, “and they’re tiny as a pea and glow. She’s a lost girl and we ain’t got no food to feed her. Toss her in the woods and forget her.”
“But we’re supposed to be on the lookout for that pixie the pirates told us was on the way to see the Old One,” Bill Limbo told Harry.
“Shut your trap on that subject, Bill Limbo,” Harry warned.
This lead to a long argument between the two idiots, which ended with Harry slugging Bill in the gut and shouting at him to toss the girl in the woods and forget her.
Khsta took advantage of that and pouted like a human girl would, stomped one foot and shouted, “but you said I could have dinner with you if I sang!” Why was she doing this you wonder? To find out more information about the pirates who were looking for her, of course. She wasn’t sure how to go about it, but hearing what Bill had said had both sacred and interested her and she wanted to see if she could learn anything from them that might later help her avoid being caught.
“You said what,” Harry asked as he turned on Khsta and made an ugly face at her.
“He said I could have dinner with you if I sang you a song.” Yes our little pixie was very clever, I tell you.
Angry again, he seemed to be angry a lot, Harry snatched onto Bill’s nose and squeezed it, while asking, “you promising lost girls food for a song, is it?”
Bill howled loudly at having his nose squeezed and protested before saying he had not done such a thing, the girl was lying.
“That the truth of it little one, you making stories up is it,” Harry asked as he turned on Khsta.
Khsta acted delighted at this and shouted in girlish excitement, “oh I like stories!” She then sat down on the log beside their campfire, and glanced at the nice corn cakes and simmering stew before looking back up at Harry. “Especially scary ones. Which one are you going to tell me?”
“You said what,” Harry asked again, appalled by the idea of telling anyone, especially a lost girl, a bedtime story.
“I did not,” Khsta said to Harry.
Harry frowned at her. “I think you’re a little nuts in the head, is what I think.”
“I think she’s that pixie the pirates and their king want,” Bill suggested, showing that maybe on some level he was smarter than Harry.
“Quiet you,” Harry warned Bill.
“You guys are spying for the pirates,” Khsta asked, wanting to know more about this subject.
“No,” Harry shouted.
“Yes,” Bill blurted out, so Harry belted him across the face with the spoon a second time.
“How do you know they’re looking for a pixie I wonder, if you’re not spying for them,” Khsta then asked aloud, and she wanted to know just that.
“A rock-pixie-goblin thing,” Bill then said with a smile. “He was disguised as a rock and hiding outside their cave, spying on them and heard everything.”
“I said quiet,” Harry shouted and belted Bill in the gut a second time and then stomped on his foot. As Bill howled again in pain, Harry then looked back at our little pixie and said, “you ask a lot of questions. What you say your name is again, girl?”
Before Khsta could answer him, Bill blurted out, “Dumbbell!”
Khsta, having seen the way Harry seemed to enjoy hitting Bill, seized on this and shouted, “you said what,” as she pointed at Bill.
“What,” both idiots blurted out confused by the girl.
“He called you a dumbbell,” Khsta told Harry as she pointed at Bill. I told you, our little pixie was very smart and clever, and had decided that the best thing she could do now was find a way to get away from the two brutes before they discovered her true nature.
“I did not,” Bill shouted in protest.
“So I’m a dumbbell is it,” Harry shouted and slugged Bill right in the snout. “And after I spent all night cooking for you!”
Bill was mad at that point, and done with being hit by Harry, so he picked up a branch and knocked Harry over the head with it. That was it, it was on after that, and both brutes went at each other, beating and punching each other senseless until eventually, they both knocked each other out.
With both of the brutish spies down for the count, our little pixie girl settled in and helped herself to a nice hot corn cake and a bowl of simmering mushroom stew. After that, she rummaged through the spies’ belongings to see if she could find anything in regards to the pirates looking for her. Instead all she found was a few gold rings, jewelry and some coins. That upset her and she jumped up on Harry’s chest as he lay unconscious on the ground and drew her dagger.
“I wonder what poor fairies you stole these from,” she said to the comatose brute with the large lump on his forehead, as she looked from the objects she had found to her dagger, to the brute again. “Or who you killed to get them. I should run you through or turn you to stone if I had that magic.” She didn’t have that magic, and she didn’t run either of those idiots through with her dagger while they lay there unaware of the night around them. Instead, she put that stolen jewelry and coins in the sack with the payment to Yenni the tribes had given her, transformed herself into her tiny form and flew off, leaving Bill and Harry behind for good.
I believe both of those idiots currently are working in the mines as punishment for letting her go, but that’s the longer part of the story, as is much of the story behind what took place that night, but you get the idea.