THE DIABOLICAL SUMMER GAMES- PART 2
With two rounds of the Summer Games complete, the Kingdom of Clarity was transformed for the Marvellous Magical Feast. Long, colourful streamers and twinkling lights were draped across the trees and along the path to the castle. Every colour under the sun was on display and balloons in the shapes of dragons and serpents, fairies and wolves were being sold in the Glittering Garden. Surprisingly, not a single witch or wizard balloon was on display. Their naughty antics had really made them quite unpopular. Magical folk from across the world; including the secret worlds; were gathered amongst the sparkling flowers. The Glittering Garden was home to thousands of special butterflies, with gold dots and stripes that shimmered day or night, giving the Garden it’s beautiful name.
Large tents were set up across the open spaces, filled with long benches and oversized cushions on the ground. Singing birds were perched in all the trees, providing the musical entertainment for the Feast. Potions and spells, enchanted toys and games, special stones from secret worlds, everything was available for this one magical night.
Some of the clouds had been brought lower so that the fairies could be comfortable and laze around on the soft, silky wisps. On one such cloud sat some of the fairies from the Dark Forest, including Stardust and her friends, accompanied by Queen Emilia, Sophia and Zara from Mystical Falls.
“Only two more challenges left, my Queen,” Stardust addressed Queen Emilia with reverence.
“You have all done very well. Sticking together and working as one in Rainfall Forest helped you all advance to the next level.” Emilia smiled at them sweetly and offered some advice. “Make sure you do the same tomorrow. After all, we aren’t witches. Working alone will leave you flat in the water, I’m sure you would agree.”
The fairies all burst into peals of laughter, which sounded like a chorus of melodious bells to the rest of the magic folk sitting below.
“The fairies are rather happy today, aren’t they My Lord?” The dragons were all lounging around a large bonfire, listening to the soft murmurs coming from the clouds above. Masso, a small, shrivelled looking grey dragon muttered to Inferno and Fiero.
“As they should be,” Inferno rumbled in his deep voice. “Have you been spending time with the wizards again, Masso? Nothing good ever comes from listening to their whining.”
“But, my Lord, they have nothing to gain as they were all disqualified by the end of the second challenge. They were simply talking and I was merely providing my ears to be polite.”
“Were you just being polite or were you hoping to sneak away with some of their potions Masso?” Fiero gave him a withering look. “Still trying to find a way to breathe fire?” It was true. Masso’s only dream was to be able to roar and impress the rest of the dragons with his fire breathing skills. Sadly, he was not a fire breather and was easily taken in by those who promised him his dreams in his hands.
“Stay away from them and keep their potions and spells away from us. That’s an order. We will win this contest because we deserve it, not by their twisted magic for your gains.” Inferno admonished Masso loudly and stormed off. The rest of the dragons departed slowly and none of them noticed the fairies peeking through the clouds.
“Do you think the witches or dragons will try and use magic against us tomorrow, Queen Emilia?” The fairies were flustered. Their magic was strong and they could defend themselves, but tomorrow’s challenge was one where magic was forbidden. However, the witches and wizards were not in the games anymore, and no one would be watching them closely.
“Don’t worry my dears, I will speak with the Queen of Clarity tonight and make sure no magic makes it way into the course,” Emilia comforted them. “Except of course, for the magic we create for you.” With that cryptic clue, Emilia gave them an impish grin and bade them goodnight.
The next morning, four fairies, two wolves and two dragons, the only ones left standing after two gruelling contests, stood at attention in front of the castle.
“I hope you have rested enough, because this next game will take up every last bit of energy and strength.” The Queen of Clarity stood on the castle steps and made the announcements. “I’m sure you all enjoyed your time in the Glittering Garden last night.” She said with a mischievous glint in her eyes. “Your next challenge takes place within its four walls.”
As she spoke the pixies standing beside her walked to the contestants and handed them each a small potion bottle. “As soon as you enter, you must drink the entire potion and make it through the obstacles set up inside.”
The spectators gathered along the path wondered why it sounded so simple. The Queen of Clarity gave her soldiers the order to ring the bell to begin.
And off they went. The contestants all drank the potions and suddenly, they felt themselves spinning in the air until they were upside down! Their heads were on the ground and their feet were where their heads used to be. Everything was upside down! Nothing made sense. Then they realized that only they were upside down and everything else was the right way up. This was incredibly confusing. How on earth were they supposed to walk this way and complete the challenge? They couldn’t use any magic at all.
Stardust and the fairies were so small and light that the wind spun them around a few times before they stayed in place. The Dragons were so heavy that once they were upside down, they couldn’t figure out how to move their bodies at all. The wolves, who were used to rolling around on their backs, started wriggling forward, using their entire bodies to move forward. Now they just had to get past the obstacles. The dragons finally started rolling their bodies a little to the left, then a little to the right, until inch by inch they moved ahead. The fairies weren’t used to flying upside down so they kept tumbling into each other. They finally realized that if they moved their feet like they were walking super fast, it created enough motion and their tiny bodies flowed forward.
While they were all struggling, the crowds gathered around the Garden were having a gala time. It was a very funny sight indeed. Massive fearsome dragons, stealthy and fierce Husky wolves and magical fairies were all dangling with their feet in the air. Laughter could be heard around the Kingdom as loud as thunder coming from the heavens itself.
“Oh dear, oh dear, I think I feel faint. All the blood has rushed to my head and nothing has reached my wings!” Stardust tried to help the other fairies but she couldn’t even see them clearly. Finally they stumbled, rolled and slithered over to the first obstacle. Piles of rocks were placed in a haphazard manner and they simply had to walk through them to the other side. Well, that was easier said that done!
The two dragons, Tring and Trang, kept falling over every time they bumped into the rock piles. The wolves slithering technique worked well here as they simply twisted their bodies when they felt the rocks touch their skin and avoided falling or hitting the rocks. They relied more on their sense of touch than sight. The fairies stuck together as well and figured out how to pedal their legs so fast that they actually floated up. Once they could fly upside down, it became much easier to navigate. They stuck their arms out wide so they could feel the rocks before they hit them.
“Get away,” Trang grumbled at Tring. “Stop bumping into me then,” Tring fired back in a huff. Their bickering continued as the wolves and fairies ignored them and painstakingly made their way past the rocks. At least they had made it to the second obstacle.
“Owww, my eyes!” The wolves howled in distress. The brilliant lights in front of them blinded the fairies too. The Glittering Butterflies swarmed the grass in front of them. The onslaught of colour was dazzling and magical for the spectators, but sadly for the contestants, it just made it that much harder. They were already upside down and now they couldn’t even open their eyes against the glare created by the shimmering wings. They could hear music faintly, a soft song flying across the wind into their ears. The wolves and fairies could all hear the music, but how were they supposed to cross the field of butterflies in the correct direction and find the source of the music?
“Fairies, let’s all close our eyes and try and float towards the sounds.” Moonlight and Sunbeam grabbed Stardust’s hands and they glided forward slowly. Even upside down, they looked like graceful dancers commanding their own stage. With their eyes closed, the sound of the music seemed louder in their heads.
“It’s getting louder towards the right,” Sunbeam whispered to the others.
The wolves heard her as well and quickly started slithering in that direction. Just as Stardust was going to admonish them, she saw Sunbeam holding a finger to her lips as she cracked her eyes open a sliver. She felt a tug on her hand and Sunbeam and Moonlight took her towards the left. Stardust heard the music become louder instantly. She laughed softly. Her fairies really were the smartest. While the wolves went further and further into the waves of butterflies, the music disappeared and all they could hear was the light flapping of the butterflies wings. The poor dragons were still rolling and stumbling around the rock piles. It was just between the fairies and the wolves now!
“I can hear it clearly now, Stardust!” Moonlight said softly.
“I can hear it too! It’s so beautiful.”
All the fairies spoke excitedly as they approached the music.
“Open your eyes girls, the butterflies have gone!” Stardust flew to the tree in front of them and spotted the beautiful Golden Parrot from the Dark Forest singing melodiously.
“Well done, Fairies. You are the first through to the last and final round of the Summer Games. You may stand upright now.” Queen Emilia came floating towards them and sprinkled them with water from Mystical Falls.
“Ohh, it feels so good to have my head on my head and my feet on feet,” Moonlight cried out. “You’re so funny Moony,” Sunbeam snickered at her. “Your head was always on your head and your feet were always on your feet.” While the fairies joked around and giggled, they heard the wolves approaching the tree finally.
“You may have tricked us once Fairies but never again!” The Huskies glared at the fairies as Queen Emilia turned them upright again.
“I believe the Coven of Unicorns has rescued the dragons from the rock piles and that means the fairies and Husky wolves have made it to the FINALS!” Queen Emilia cheered with the rest of the Kingdom. Oh what a day it had been!
As the groups celebrated, no one noticed Masso the dragon talking softly with one of the witches as they furtively glanced at the fairies. What on earth were those two up to? And would it affect the Finals of the Diabolical Summer Games tomorrow?
To be concluded in Part 3.