*This story is based on and inspired by the music and music video of Katy Perry’s “Cry about it later”. After listening to it a few days ago for the first time, I had this overwhelming urge to write the rest of the story out since I felt it was an amazing concept. I was consumed and all I wished for was more about the storyline that in the end, I created my own. Please enjoy and also check out the song. Katy Perry has always been an inspiration to me, so I hope you enjoy this as much as I had while writing it.*
The flight back to her house was devastating. Katy’s mind was blank as the slow dawning realization of what had transpired settled in. It’s over. The long relationship she had with the person she loved was over. Plopping down into her chair, she crossed her arms, holding herself tightly as tears streamed down her face. It was no shock really since she knew this day would eventually come. Being a witch was both a blessing and curse in the world. Many came far and wide looking for her skills and charms, yet there was still the stigma that witches brought bad omen. She was used to the ridicule and superstitions, but it didn’t matter while she had that person beside her. Now without them, the void in her chest gnawed as it grew.
Relaxing her shoulders, Katy was determined. What was the use crying over the pain she expected? If she was easily discarded then it was their loss. No point wasting her tears or her energy. She was a young talented witch! Standing up she grabbed her wand, flipping her book to see what she could do about her plain long black gown. Too long she hid her looks behind unflattering dress codes, all so that she would be taken seriously and not seen as an enchantress out to steal hearts. Flipping pages, she finally found the quick chant and swished her wand. Tendrils of power whooshed out from within as her clothes slithered away like ribbons. The scratchy cloth softened into silk as it shapened around her torso, flaring into a cute black sundress. Adding the final touch of a black ribbon, it pulled her blond hair back with a bow.
Katy didn’t have to check into the mirror to know she looked smokin, adding a little pink lip gloss before flicking her wand once more towards her broom. The last of the ribbon wrapped around the bristle, adding a cute bow to her ride. If she was going out, her trusty broom needed to match. Heading for the door, she realized she was missing one last thing. With a swish of her hand, her black rimmed hat floated towards her hand. Although she could leave home and easily trick anyone into thinking she was a human, she wanted everyone to know who she was. For the last dozen years, she hid silently by the side of her lover. No longer was she going to stay in the shadows and this time she wanted to live with no regret. This witch was free to go and do as she pleased and there was no use if she couldn’t be proud of being a witch. Placing her hat down on her head, she closed the door behind her with a smile.
Kicking off the ground she took to the sky, no idea where to go or where this night would take her. Nothing was going to stop her from having fun, all her troubles would just have to wait. The sun had just finished cresting past the horizon as the cool summer breeze flowed through her hair. Scanning around she looked for the best place to start the night. In the distance she spotted a castle with lights flickering with activity. Turning her course she buzzed with excitement as music grew louder to her approach. Carriages lined the road leading up to the dazzling building. Katy bit her lower lip, she had never been to a castle party before! Spotting a balcony door leading to the ballroom, Katy flew over and landed. Leaning her broom against the wall behind the door, she brazenly walked into the room.
Bright colors of gold and silver lined the ballroom from head to toe as several dancers swirled around in a dance of brilliant colors. Katy stared in awe, walking around the outer wall at the sight. A butler approached her, offering a glass and wine. Taking it to avoid suspicion of crashing the party, she nodded to accept the pour. Her glass now filled to the brim, she sipped at the liquid with delight. A ballroom dance and free booze? This girl was gonna get wasted. The song playing finished as she found a place along the wall to lean against. The crowd clapped before the next song started. Several couples shuffled from on and off the floor, some heading for fresh air while others to the buffet. This was the fanciest place she had ever been, feeling suddenly a little underdressed. Just as her nerves began to get the best of her a masculine voice startled her.
“Would you like to dance, Madam?”
Removing her hat to get a better look at the man, Katy kept from yelping out loud. Not only was she asked to dance, but it was by the prince himself! His eyes sparkled as brightly as his smile while he offered out an extended hand towards her. Her heart fluttered at how gorgeous he was up close. Dark honeyed hair, deep ocean eyes, if rumors served her well this was none other than Prince Casper. Extending her hand out, she accepted his offer.
Gracefully, he led her to the dance floor. People parted allowing them to get into position before he began to lead. Thank goodness Katy had taken ballroom lessons, who would have known that after years it finally came into good use. It was hard for her not to swoon as the prince smiled cheerfully at her. The room blurred around her and all she could see was him.
“Are you from around here? I have not seen you before.”
Katy smiled bashfully. “I am not actually, I’m from the swamp lands to the east of here.”
“The free lands? What is a beauty like you doing out there?”
With a hard swallow, Katy was unsure how to answer that. He must have known she was a witch, her hat was a dead give away. “It’s not uncommon for a witch to take up residence there.”
With a quick swirl and a dip, the prince kept his gaze on her. The look of attraction was one Katy was familiar with. Pulling her up slowly from the dip, their faces came in close. Katy’s heart was pounding as she couldn’t help feel the chemistry between them. Maybe it was the booze or maybe the atmosphere, either way she could feel herself falling. It was like a fairy tale, playing out all too perfectly. As he leaned in to kiss her, she closed her eyes to reciprocate. It was just like a dream where she could see herself happy, even if for a little while. It was all so fast yet in that moment as she felt his breath on her face, the image of them popped into her mind. It wasn’t them she was kissing. Shooting her eyes wide open, she realized that he didn’t even know her name. Maybe she was a little hasty to be hooking up with a prince, one who was wickedly famous too. Raising her hand to block his lips, she bopped him on the nose awkwardly.
“Hey, thank you for the dance and the wine. I had a lot of fun and I will for sure be back here again some day.” Breaking from his arms she rushed to grab her hat and headed for the balcony. What a close call, Katy thought. The prince broke from his daze and followed her out onto the balcony.
“W-wait, I didn’t even catch your name!”
Katy smiled cheerfully, placing her hat neatly on her hair. “That’s ok, you don’t need it. May you find your storybook princess, because I know I’m not her.”
With a side saddle on her broomstick, she kicked off before he could say anything more. She waved goodbye to her sweet prince and as the distance grew she finally dropped her smile. The pounding of her heart ached more than before. Why at that moment did she think of that person? Threatening tears once again crept up as it swelled. No, she wasn’t going to let this ruin her night. It was still so early and there was much to do. Of course, it was for the best that she left the prince since the last thing she wanted was a strong commitment. Shaking her head from those thoughts, she clenched her fist with renewed determination. Katy was going to push her feelings aside, for now she was going to focus on having fun.
Up ahead she spotted a small town lit up with activity. Maybe it was another party? Lowering down towards the outskirts where it was calmer, Katy spotted a boy in overalls leaning against a fence. He looked over towards the street where a festival was in full bloom. Looking around, he seemed to be alone. With a small landing, she placed her broom and hat down and approached him. With her hands on her hips, she called out to him.
“Hey why are you so far from the fun?”
Startled, he turned towards her, his eyes wide at the sudden appearance. With a playful smile, she waited for him to reply.
“I didn’t have anyone to go with me.”
It was such a simple reply that Katy couldn’t help but bite at her lip. Walking towards him, she leaned in to kiss his cheek.
“Well now you do.”
Katy interlaced her hands into his, pulling him towards the busy streets. It was a small festival for what looked like a celebration of the recent harvest. It was common for the farming communities to throw such occasions as Katy had seen a few in the past. Where there was a celebration, there was more booze! Turning to her companion, she wrapped her arm around his.
“What is your name?”
The farmer boy blushed, turning away to hide it. “Jacob.”
“Do you know where the drinks are around here?”
“Yeah, I helped set up the booth for it. Got a few drinking tickets in return. Let me get you one!”
Jacob pointed towards the stand just past the center of the town. Together they walked through the crowd, several men and women glancing towards them. Of course it would be normal since she was the new comer, yet it was not uncommon for travelers to join in on the festivities. The dancing and music was centered in the middle of the market-like street with a blazing fire in the middle. The smell of cooked meats and pastries filled the air as they approached the beer stand. Jacob let her hand go as he stepped up to the counter and grabbed two drinks for them to enjoy. Taking her mug, they clinked before sipping the frothy brew. Farmer community beers were the best since everything they had was homemade. With a few deep swings, Katy closed her eyes with enjoyment. The music had a lively beat while the crowd cheered and danced.
Opening her eyes, she took a moment to appreciate her surroundings. It was day and night from the party at the Princes castle. From formal to absolute freedom. As much as the elegance of the castle had been, there was so much to offer in the less restricted attire and dance form. Looking back over at Jacob, Katy watched as he took a swig of his beer then wiped the foam with the back of his hand. It was uncouth, which was entirely fine with her. Maybe what she needed was not that of a new relationship but that of good company. Kissing the prince would have chained her from one relationship to another. Chugging her beer, she slammed her glass to the counter behind her with an exaggerated exhale. Jacob was dumbfounded that she had already completed her drink, causing her to raise a brow.
“Well, are you gonna catch up or not? We have dancing to do!”
With a hearty laugh, Jacob raised his glass to the challenge and downed the rest of his beer. Katy cheered him loudly, raising her arms above her head in excitement at his display. Slamming his now finished beer down on the counter in the same fashion as her, Katy clapped as he pounded at his chest. He clearly was not used to drinking quickly, yet wanted to impress her. With a giggle, she placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Way to go, I didn’t think you would do it!”
Standing up straight, he rubbed at his nose to brag. “What, chugging a beer? It’s not so hard.”
The current dance had just come to an end as the next one began to set up. Katy looked over as several people began to hold hands in a circle, dancing around the fire in a line. Dropping her hand from his chest, she watched with piqued interest. The dance seemed pretty simple as she studied the steps. Interrupting her thoughts, Jacob grabbed at her hand.
“It’s an easy dance if you want me to teach you. Come let's go!”
Now being the one dragged behind, Katy laughed as he pulled her towards the circle. He broke the chain, grabbing at the hand of the stranger to add to the link. Looking back at her with a charming smile he helped her join and began to show her the foot work at a slower rate. It was a little bumpy at first, breaking the rhythm of the dancers beside them as she tried to watch him. It wasn’t long before she completely synced with the line, not having to watch at their feet as the dance pattern repeated. They danced several times around the fire, the pace slowly picking up as the musicians played faster each segment. The challenge was to go as long as you could before getting tired. Several people began to break from the circle as it got smaller and smaller. Katy laughed alongside Jacob as they stayed until the last final stanza of the song. Several other dancers had survived and as the song came to its close, the crowd erupted into an overwhelming cheer.
Katy was patted on the back by several strangers she had just danced alongside before the tempo of the music started up into a jig. Jacob thankfully was a great dancer, showing her the steps before they began to twirl and twist through the other dancers. This had gone on for several hours before the crowd began to thin out. The festival would still go on for hours more as the dancing died down to just the drinking crowd. Katy decided this was when she would take her leave. Hugging Jacob, she said her goodbyes.
“Thank you for an incredible time. I am going to head out.”
Shyly, he held her hands. “Will I be able to see you again?”
Katy was unsure once more how she was to reply. Instead of false promises or heart breaking words, she cupped his cheek and brushed it with her thumb. With a smirk, she pulled away from him in silence. Swishing her wrist, her broom flew over towards her. She grabbed her hat and plopped it on her head with one hand while grabbing the broom. With a fluid motion, she took off, leaving him unanswered behind. Surprisingly Katy felt no guilt. Jacob was a sweet boy, however she was not for him. At least she had been able to finally take her mind off the pain she felt before. Looking up at the moon at its full brilliance, she closed her eyes as the breeze cooled her. Even though she had danced for hours, she was still full of energy. Maybe one more stop before finding a place to sleep. Besides, it was the weekend and she had all the time in the world.
Scanning around, she was unfamiliar with the area. A large tree caught her eye as it twinkled in the distance. Sticking her tongue out she decided to check it out. The light grew as she approached it. Instead of circling it, she glided silently past the branches and cruised between several tree houses. “Oh, this is a fairy kingdom.”
There were several fairy folk playing and dancing in clusters around several branches of the tree houses and limbs. Slowing her pace, she giggled at the folk enjoying themselves.
“Not often does a witch stumble into these woods.”
The voice startled her as she turned to see a fair and handsome fairy folk drifted down to stand on the front of her broomstick, holding a drink in hand. Katy had heard how mischievous fairies could be and was curiously attracted.
“Not often does a fairy sneak up on a witch. What if I turned you into a toad in defence?”
With a contagious laugh, the fairy smiled playfully.
“Then I would hope that kissing you would break the spell. Care to join me in merriment?”
He lured her, leaning in to offer a cup full of sweet smelling dew. How could she turn down a drink with such a charming creature? Caution to the wind, she took the leafy goblet and took a sip of the fluid. It was sweet like honey, the nectar leaving her feeling warm within her core. It was welcoming since the breeze had chilled her from the dancing earlier. With a smirk, the fairy extended his hand.
Katy mimicked his smirk, reaching for his hand to hold. “Katy.”
Lifting off the broom, Feliander let go of her hand and waved to follow. He flew down towards a plant near the base of the tree. Drifting down she followed. The tree was buzzing with laughter, light music and several drunk flying fairies all playing pranks on each other. Touching down on the ground, Katy took her hat off and placed it on her broom. She was unsure if the pranksters would try and steal it, hoping they would know better than to mess with a witch. They didn’t seem malicious by any means, giving her a sense of comfort as they waved with kind smiles. Stepping closer to Feliander, he stood beside a large budding flower that protruded from the plant. The stem of the plant seemed to run through the entire tree as Katy spotted several of these buds over the kingdom. Touching the bud, Feliander used a bit of his magic which caused it to open into a bright colorful flower. Several stamens within the flower held the cup like nectar similar to the one he had given to her.
Plucking the goblet off the plant, he returned beside Katy with a lifted glass. Katy’s eyes filled with wonder as she lifted her cup towards him, drinking it as they cheered. Who would have thought such plants existed! Katy would have to find out the species of plant later, having something handy nearby would be convenient at home. As they began to drink beside the flower, they told stories and jokes, laughing as they sat close. She told him of the party at the castle, then how she danced at the farmers festival. Katy rested her head on Feliander, feeling warm and well past tipsy as she placed her now finished cup by several others they had finished. Feliander turned closer to her, touching lightly at her chin.
“Sounds like you’ve already had an eventful night! But what caused you to venture so far from home?”
Katy’s judgement was impaired as she thought on the question. Her smile fell as she now thought of the heartache she began her night with. “I suppose you could say I am running away from something.”
She stared into Felianders dark violet eyes. What would have made her heart melt and flutter away only brought back the gaping void in her chest. How easily she could just kiss any of the men she met tonight, alas she couldn’t push herself to do it. He waited patiently, expecting her to say more. A small tear pushed through as it streamed down her cheek.
“I had some bad news told to me earlier today, so I wanted to just drink my sorrows away.”
Feliander withdrew his hand from her chin, his face concerned as he adjusted to properly face her. Taking her hand into his, he offered comfort as he spoke softly.
“I am sorry to hear. Was it a loss of someone close?”
Katy broke away from his gaze. “In a way, yes. It’s more of a broken heart rather than the death of a loved one. They broke it off with me.”
There was a moment of silence as Feliander sighed lightly in thought. Katy finally looked back at him, realizing she had affected the mood.
“Ah, don’t worry about it so much. I don’t want to be a downer so let’s enjoy ourselves. I will be alright.”
Sitting up, Katy offered a wide grin. Feliander scoffed, nodding at the realization that she needed a friend more than anything. Reaching up towards the flower, he grabbed the last two cups and passed her one.
“Then here's to you! The adventurous witch who’s looking for fun!”
They clinked their cups and drank deeply. They continued into the early morning as the sun began to peek over the horizon. It was only when the chirping of birds did Katy finally wake up, unaware that she had even passed out at some point in her conversation with Feliander. Sitting up, she felt the material of a grassy blanket slip off her shoulder. Looking around in confusion, there was no sign of fairies as the tree was lit by sunshine. It seemed the entire tree was desolated as several of the fairy folk had drank themselves into a deep slumber. With a great deal of surprise, Katy woke up with no hangover. She rubbed at her face to clear the sleep from her eyes, spotting a small basket of fruits and nuts. Beside it was a note.
“Hope you slept well. Here is breakfast. May we meet again.”
There was no name, yet she knew Feliander was the one who left her the gift. Taking the basket, she ate the fruit while enjoying the peaceful environment. The flower that they had drank from had fully wilted, and the several goblets within were shriveled. Katy felt a little bad about killing such a beautiful flower, yet in its place a new bud had begun to bloom within the shell of the withered blossom. Katy really needed to find out what plant this was if it was able to recover so quickly! No wonder the fairy folk drank freely from the plant. She laughed at the thought of how cheerful and laid back they had been. Why she never had traveled the world like this made her wonder. All this time she had been in her swamp, spending all her time in the clouds and she could have been traveling the world. What other sights and views would she see?
She finished her meal, taking the card left from Feliander. Kissing it, she left the mark within the basket, hoping that he would receive her thanks. Thankfully on top of it all, her broom and hat sat untouched where she left it. Seems she had the wrong idea of how fairy folk were. Maybe she should come here again in the future. Taking her hat off the broom, a startling croak came shooting out of her hat as she turned it to place on her head. Screaming from the surprise, she fell on her bottom as the frog slapped her face. Pulling the frog off, she roared in laughter. Several giggles could be heard from the treetops where the houses all stayed. Turns out they were definitely pranksters. Standing up, she brushed her dress off and placed her hat on her head. Two could play at this game. Pulling her wand out of the pocket of her dress, she whispered a small chant. On a stump nearby, she conjured a large pile of muffins. Giggling to herself, she hoped the small prank would work.The small muffins were not just yummy treats for the fairies, but also would give the eater hiccups for a short time. All in good fun, she thought as they might get a kick out of it. Hoping on her broom, she chuckled at herself as she passed through the leaves into the open sky.
Now into the full sunlit air, she could tell that she was well past midday. She studied the land, making a mental note of the area so if she happened to be in the neighbourhood, she would stop by again. Tapping at her chin, she realized just how much of the world was left to explore. Even though she started the trip in hopes to forget her pain, she was beginning to feel the sense of adventure calling her. She turned to the west, knowing that home layed just beyond. What would be farther to the east if she continued? Excitement bubbling within her, she looked on.
“Look out world, here I come!”
Bending close to her broom, she zoomed off with great speed. As the landscape changed from farmlands and forest, it gradually became rock and mountainside. Slowing down her pace she spotted a large patch of trees with a hole in the middle. Curious, she turned towards it, taking high to the sky to get a better look. It was breathtaking as Katy now realized the hole was much deeper than she thought. It was a dwarven city! Brightly it glowed as the sun began to set, the twinkling lights bouncing off the river that ran down into it. Along the walls were buildings and housing layering on top of eachother as it ran deeply into the earth's crust. Lowering down into it, there was a steam that battled against the mist of the water fall. It was humid and refreshing as hot and cold droplets of water tickled against her legs. Drifting away from the middle to avoid getting wet, she circled just outside of the street ways deeply embedded into the stone wall. The carvings and architecture was stunning. Several dwarves spotted her with surprise, few offering her a smile and wave.
She waved back, grinning ear to ear. Lowering down a few more layers, she finally landed on the floor. The streets were wide, lined with buildings of all kinds. The streets were busy with hustle and bustle as people shopped, carting goods and wares. A few dwarves were even riding on donkeys with small wagons. Taking a deep breath in, Katy caught a whiff of a delicious aroma. It was mouth watering, causing her stomach to rumble.
“Oops,” Katy thought. “I’ve been flying for a while and didn’t think about food.”
Rubbing at her stomach, she followed the scent, avoiding running into people as she explored. Eventually she came to a grand opening where several tables were set up within it. A giant oven-like structure lined the wall facing the forge and waterfall. It glowed brightly, cooking something within. Stopping a dwarven male close by she spoke.
“Excuse me, what is happening here?”
Hiding his initial shock, he switched to a grand smile. He spoke with a thick accent, rolling his r’s heavily. “My! Whadda day! Well youn’ Miss, today we holdin eh celebration. Te King Thane's eldest son had’is first hunt. Will ye be stayin te honor him? Tis not oft’n we have eh witch visitin’ these parts, especially one as good lookin as ye.”
The stout dwarf’s eyes lit up with excitement, waiting for her response. Before she could reply, her stomach growled loudly. With a hearty laugh he planted his fists proudly on his hip.
“Ay, sounds like ye are. Come! Let me git ye something.”
Katy blushed a little, thanking him as she followed behind. Passing several tables, some with piles of plates of meats assorted. Bowls of fruits, vegetables and potatoes filled the other side as it held a defined line where the meat started and ended. Several tables had been arranged in such a way, and on each end were several kegs stacked on top of eachother. He eventually stopped in front of a table, grabbing at a plate of turkey. It looked thick with juicy meat and perfectly crisped seasoned skin. Kate’ sparkled as she stared starry eyed. The dwarf cackled, leading her to a table as he placed the plate down.
“Here, ye go Miss. And I’ll grab ye an Ale.”
Unsure if she should start eating right away or wait, Katy licked at her lips hungrily. What a lucky streak she was having! The dwarf returned, two grand pints brimming with ale. Some of the liquid sloshed out over the side as he plunked them down on the table. With a grunt he sat down on the other side of the table from her, sighing as he eyeballed the witch.
“Well, wut ye waitin’ fer? Dig in!” He chuckled as he watched Katy, rip the leg off the bird and chop away at the meat. With a moan of delight, Katy closed her eyes as she savored the meal. The plate had several buns stacked beside it as she opened her mouth to rip a bite out of one. Her mouth was still full when she grabbed at the pint, drinking deeply from it. The mixture of meat, bun and ale complimented each other exquisitely. This was the life, she thought as she swallowed it all. Looking at the dwarf, he sat quietly with a grin on his face while lighting up a pipe. He took several tokes of it before blowing a smoke ring. Katy realized she had been so distracted by her hunger, she forgot to thank him.
“Thank you...er.. Sorry, what is your name?”
The dwarf jumped, his eyes shooting wide. “My! ‘Cuse me fer bein rude, Miss! Names Gurk.”
“Nice to meet you Gurk. I’m Katy.” They nodded happily at each other as she continued to stuff her face. Slowly, the area began to fill in with several dwarven citizens. Several heading to different tables, then sitting at the tables in the same row. Katy leaned in to Gurk as she watched.
“Why are people selectively eating from certain tables and rows?”
Gurk took a deep drag of his pipe before answering. “Those be their Family house’s. Each house has eh Thane on te council. Ye can tell by te flag hangin on te roof.”
Katy looked up, never noticing the flags. Each was a different color and symbol. Intrigued, she nodded, looking at the banner they sat on. It was a dark forest green with a bow and arrow. On the string of the bow was a snake that wrapped itself around it. Gurk continued to speak, explaining his house banner.
“Each house represent eh cast. Te cast of each house is wut their job is, see? Me house cast is eh ranger. We hunt te food served here tonight.” As if he was boasting, Gurk wobbled with pride. Katy chuckled, given the feeling that the bird he served her was shot by him.
“Well, I must say, the hunter who killed this feast must have been very talented. I may want to meet them.” She offered him a wink, turning the dwarf bashful. He blushed crimson, figuring out that she caught on. Several other dwarves joined in at the tables as the feast was in full bloom. Cheers and song’s burst out at several points unprompted. Katy couldn’t help but to get caught up in the energy, clapping along to the chants she didn’t know. Each song was a tale of a house’s accomplishment as Gurk would explain them. The last song was of the Son who killed the beast plaguing the sheep pens. It was a wolf sang to be 10 times the size of a dwarf, mightier than a giant and ruthless as a tyrant king. How the King Thanes son bravely slew the beast without hesitation nor fear. At the last repeating chorus, all the dwarves sang in harmony, raising their pints towards the head tables where the son sat proudly by his father. Ale continued to flow as they drank heavily into the night. Arm wrestles and braggarts swarmed to different tables as they mingled after the songs. Katy was pickled by the time the dwarves around her began speaking of myths and legends. Some talked about the glory of golden treasures buried deep in the mountains nearby, others arguing it wasn’t buried but a dragon's horde.
Gurk scoffed. “Id’ots all of em. Tis buried gold and jus a Dragon! Two diffen kinds!”
Katy leaned in, hanging on his words.
“Is there really a Dragon?”
“Ay, Tis. Near te boarder lands o’ te desert. Seen it meselves. Black as te dark’st nights! Beady evil eyes, is has.”
His eyes widened as he regaled the tale, swaying as he held his hands up to add to the story. His buddy beside him slapped him on the back, howling. “Can’ believe ye still tellin te tale! He was eh wee lad, claimin he saws it since we bu’ pups.”
Gurk slammed his fist angrily on the table, his face red with a vain popping from his forehead. “AY! I’s SEEN te dragon! Na eh soul believe me, eh!”
Sitting down, Gurk grumpily crossed his arms. Katy burst out laughing at the stout dwarves childish outburst. Reaching out, she grabbed his arm.
“I believe you, though! In fact, I will go see this dragon for myself!”
The dwarves around her burst out laughing, teasing her as she stood up, pint in hand.
“You all laugh, but I will prove Gurk is right! I’m gonna fly over there, ask him for a tooth, then come back here and show you all. In Gurks Honor!”
Slowly they looked to one another, deciding and nodding collectively at the strange quest the witch had set out. Who were they to judge if she wanted to prove someone's honor? Cheering her on, Katy downed the rest of her wooden cup and slammed it down on the table. She led them towards her broom, her pointed hat sitting crooked on top of her head. With a wave of her hand she grabbed her broom and saluted the crowd. She hopped on with a stumble before kicking off in a wobbly line. The cries of the dwarves slowly drowned out as she raised into the sky. Everything was a blur, even while attempting to scan the mountain range she had a hard time staying right side up on the stick. With a hiccup, Katy pointed in the supposed direction. “Onwards!”
Sitting in the sky unmoving, Katy glanced down at her broom.
With still no movement, Katy planted her fist on her hip. “Listen here, twiggy. I made you, I can discharm you too!”
There was a small hesitation before the broom launched into a full jet. Katy gripped on tightly, grabbing at her hat at the sudden lurch. Grumbling under her breath, she tried to focus on the ever changing landscape. It was hard to keep balance as she swerved up and down, barrel rolling here and there as she nearly slipped off to the side. Still only holding the broom with one hand and her hat with the other, she leaned heavily over to squint at a mountain before colliding into the tip of a pine tree. The sudden slap against the boom and her leg caused her to plumid narrowly towards the ground, hitting several other branches and limbs along the way. Thankfully landing in a bush below, Katy groaned at the pain in her body. She took a few moments to catch her breath before rolling out to the dirt floor. Pulling out her wand, she swished for a magical swirl to clean off her dress, leaving her looking fresh. With only a few minor scratches, she considered herself lucky.
“Phew! That was a close call! Alright, take two!”
Waving her hand towards her broom, she watched as it hovered above her. The magical stick shook the top of it’s handle in a “No” like manner, the lantern attached swaying as it creaked. Flabbergasted at the outbreak of her broom’s disobedience, Katy stomped her foot while crossing her arms.
“Oh shush, this isn't the first time I’ve drank and flown. Come on, let's go!”
The broom avoided her attempt to grab it as she leapt out at it, swishing out of reach. “Listen, if you don’t come down here, I will use you to clean the floor of my house!”
A silky voice calls out from behind her, nearly scaring her half to death. “Troubles with your steed?”
Turning to face the voice, she came face to face with a unicorn. It was dazzling while with a glowing aura, unlike anything she had seen before. Years she had read about them, knowing them to be pure beasts, kind hearted and caring. It was hard not to feel ashamed of her behalver, now being in the presence of such a magnificent creature.
“Oh, I uh.. Maybe. I think it’s trying to say I am a little too drunk to be flying.”
Looking around, not only did she feel ashamed but she was also horribly lost. With a light laugh, the Unicorn readed her mind.
“Ah, yes. I think your broom is correct. I see you have lost your way as well. Would you like it if I gave you a ride back to town?”
With a droopy head, Katy frowned. “Actually, I was hoping to try and find the dragon’s lair. This might be a little silly, but after drinking alongside the dwarves and hearing their tales, I was looking for a little adventure. I promised to restore someone's honor by finding it and proving it was real.”
Without looking towards the magical creature, she could feel the disappointment on his face. Crossing her arms, she looked to the ground. “I haven’t really been having the best of luck lately so I thought if I could find him, I would have an epic tale everyone would sing of the tale for years to come. At least something to replace… Ah, never mind.”
A small tear welled as she began to feel the pain boil within her. The unicorn felt bad, watching her sigh in defeat. Finally looking up at the unicorn, Katy offered a weakened smile.
“I will take your offer for a ride back to town. My broom is right, I am a little too drunk.”
Leaning down on one knee, he offered for her to climb up. Even though she felt her streak of fun had finally come to an end, never would she have ever dreamt of riding on a unicorn. Timidly she approached him, touching at his pure snow white hair. His mane was silky to touch, untangled while she pulled herself up. Taking off into a slow trout, his gate was smooth and unhindered. The grace and elegance of the unicorn's movements were like a river seamlessly flowing, no matter which way he turned it was natural and effortless. Making their way through the rocky terrain, they began to speak.
“I am curious, Why would you want to do something so risky in the first place?”
Katy chuckled. It was risky. Everything she had done over the past few days was careless and unplanned. There was no real reason so she told him the truth.
“I was dumped.”
Dismayed, the unicorn turned his head to look back at her. “All this from a broken heart?!”
Katy gave a painful smile. It was time to finally come clean. No more was she going to avoid her pain. “I know, you're not the first to say it. I had known them for years, we started as friends and lo and behold, fell in love. We never really officially dated, it was mostly kept secret because of their stature.”
Katy began to fidget, twirling the unicorn's mane between her fingers.
“I can’t be mad. I knew from the beginning we were from two different worlds. I am a witch and they… Well, it doesn’t matter anymore. They are engaged now and here I am.”
The unicorn kept his pace as he listened. “So you are looking to replace that love?”
“I thought so at first, yet when I started this trip I came across a castle. I met a prince who took interest in me. We laughed, danced and as we leaned in to kiss, I realized this wasn’t what I wanted. So I fled. Every girl's dream is to meet a prince and become a princess yet it didn’t feel right. So then I continued on. I met a farm boy at a festival, got drunk in the fairy kingdom and it was at that point I realized I just wasn’t looking for love. Here I had men at my disposal and I could have picked any one of them. Instead I thought, I didn’t know anything about the world. So I chased after adventure and to explore. Getting drunk with dwarves and chasing dragons enthralled me. All to chase my pain away.”
The subsisting resistance faded as the tears began to spill freely. The walls she had focused so hard to build were cracking, emotions leaking through she sought to fight.
“I just… wish I would have fought more for them, you know? Instead, once I found out they were having a celebration for the engagement, I ran like a coward. How could I face them being together? The one I loved with someone they didn’t. I couldn’t bear it.”
Wiping the tears quickly she slapped at her cheeks. “Nope! I promised myself I would not cry over this! Sorry for pouring my heart out, and also for the ride. Once we get back to the city, I will sober up and just head home. I am sorry to drag you into all this.”
With a change of heart, the unicorn stopped in a huff. After hearing her plight, he decided to help her.
“You know what. Today is the day you find the dragon! I will help you and together we will get your song!” With a stomp of his foot, he pivoted into a gallop off towards the dragon's den. Convinced, he decided to help make her small dream come true. They race off towards the mountain peaks, making great leagues with the fluid movement of the unicorn. Katy’s heart raced, and with a cheer, she hugged his neck. Planting a kiss on his neck, she thanked him.
The trip wasn’t long as they made their way to a cave entrance. With excitement, Katy hopped off his back and snuck up towards the rocky wall. The unicorn huddled in close behind as he whispered.
“How are you going to convince him?”
Katy nervously chuckled. Not once did she think of a plan the entire way here.
“No clue. Can’t I just walk up to him and just ask for a tooth or a nail?”
The unicorn nudged her hard on the shoulder with his nuzzle.
“Ok ok, stupid idea. Well, I can cast a quick spell on myself to turn invisible. It won’t last long though since I kinda didn’t do so well on those kinds of spells in school.”
Shaking his head, the unicorn huffed. “They can sense you so it won’t be much help. Dragons are also magical creatures who can sense magical presents. I would not doubt he already knows we are around.”
Katy leaned her back against the wall to pounder. Slapping her fist into her palm, she looked at her friend. “What if I cast a minor charm spell?”
Quizitorily the unicorn shrugged. Katy frowned, it could be that the unicorn didn’t know much either about dragons. It was common that each creature was just as secretive to another on what they were like or capable of. Which meant, he probably was unsure how effective her own magic would be. Dropping her hands to the wall, she thought deeply of the risk. Coming so far already, she wasn’t going to give up. What was the worst thing to happen? At the first sign of danger she could protect herself and flee. Turning to her friend, she touched the side of his face.
“Thank you for helping me get this far. Whatever happens, I will make sure I get out alright. For now maybe get out of here in case he comes out angry. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
For a moment he leaned into her caress before nodding. With a smile, she kissed him on the tip of his snout, parting towards the opening.
“Before you go,” The unicorn called out just before she stepped into the darkness, “Thank you for sharing your story with me. You are a kind witch. I hope the man you cherished knows what they lost.”
Katy sadly smiled, yet was moved. Unable to reply in fear of losing control of her emotions, she nodded. Facing the unknown, she moved forward into the tunnel aware that the unicorn stayed to watch until he could no longer see her. There was no longer any light source within the cave, leaving it frightfully eerie while Katy stumbled blindly through the tunnel. Reaching into her pocket after some time, she chanted a spell bringing light to the tip. It offered very little help however, since there was no sign of where the tunnel started or ended. All she could see was darkness. Confused, Katy turned back towards the exit, seeing the walls and dirt path behind. How was it possible not to see the end of the tunnel? A chilling shiver ran up her spine, realizing as she turned back towards the void. This time looking back, in the pitch black were golden orbs that reflected the light.
Petrified, Katy was only a few feet from the dragon. With a couple steps back, the beast grew in size as it stood. Towering over her it sneered, rumbling the entire mountainside as he spoke in a growl.
“How dare you wake me from my slumber!”
The tremor of the ground shook Katy to her core, almost knocking her over backwards. She held her wand up while trying to find courage to speak.
“I.. I uh, Hello! I am so sorry to wake you. Y-you see… I have a small miniscule request for such a … uh… Regal dragon as yourself.”
He took a step forward, leaning in closer with a distrustful look. Katy took this moment to continue.
“A lowly witch like me was merely trying to prove that a great exalted dragon lived up in these mountains. A-and uh… they didn’t believe me.” She chuckled nervously, backing up further before hitting a wall. “Ah, and well uh.. I wanted to prove that you are truly as glorious as I made you out to be! Which you are! Heh heh. S-so to correct the error of their ways, I-I wanted to ask if I could have a small tooth, nail or even a scale to bring back as proof.”
Snapping his teeth, the dragon lowered inches from her face.
“I will not! A slithery witch like you cannot be trusted. You would use our parts for your spells and potions.”
With his claws he pinned her to the wall, almost knocking the wind out of her.
“Don’t even try to use your spells against me either, witch! None will work.”
Katy swallowed hard while the dragon licked his chops. If she didn’t do something quick, she was surely going to be his next meal.
“No no, I wouldn’t dream of using any of your parts! I just wanted to prove that my dwarven friend was right! None of them believed him that you exist and I just wanted to help him!”
He pulled back his face with narrowed eyes, giving Katy confidence she might yet convince him. “Fly out over top of the city, just do a lap around to show that you really are real and how noble of a beast you are. It will show them your superiority and how all this time you have ruled over this dominion, allowing them to live as they please.”
Playing off the dragon’s vanity worked as he considered her words. He removed his claw from her sitting as he looked down at her.
“And how do I know this is no trick to slay me.”
Katy took a deep bow, removing her hat. “On my honor as a witch, I promise that no hard will come of you. If you want, take me with you. That way if you go down, so will I.”
Not moving from her bow for several painstaking seconds, the dragon finally answered her.
“Fine. The moment I see a knight or am attacked, I shall tear you to shreds and devour you.”
Although she had successfully convinced the dragon, Katy still was unsure if this was a win or a death sentence. She could not promise that his sudden appearance would not startle the kingdom into a frenzy, yet she was certain at least the dwarves were expecting it. Suddenly grabbing her, the dragon clutched her close as it rushed out of the tunnel. The startling rush caught Katy off guard as he began to run at full speed. Grabbing onto her hat tightly, all she could do was hang on for the ride. The dragon continued his pace and as the opening of the tunnel greeted them, he leaped off the mountain ledge. Spreading his wings, the sudden lurch as he flapped made her stomach churn. Flying on a broomstick was much easier than in the claws of a dragon. Without warning, he rolled and tossed her into the air to land once more onto his back. Holding on for dear life, Katy sat on the back of the wondrous beast as they circled the skys. It was exhilarating as the wind blasted her face at tremendous speed. In a grand display, the dragon cried out into the night sky. The call could be heard echoing on for miles, announcing his presence to the world. With a growl to the wind, he called up to her.
“Where are the non-believers?”
Shakily she pointed to the small circle of stone within the tree’s. They were farther into the sky than Katy could bear doing on her broom. She couldn’t even achieve half the speed they were going as he enclosed the distance within seconds. With a second thunderous cry, Katy couldn't help but laugh. They circled the city several times before the dragon made one final call, heading off towards the mountain range once more. Looking back Katy couldn’t wait to return to see the praise the dwarves would sing of her accomplishment. Yet as they continued past the dragon's den, Katy felt fear creeping up within her.
“Where are you going? Isn’t the cave back there?”
No answer was given to her as he continued deep into the dessert. The land shifted from sand to dried barren lands, the soil cracked and ridged with dead plants and shrubs shed their carcusses. Before she could think of a solution, the dragon dipped deeply towards a small thicket of trees. In a flash, Katy was ripped from the dragons back. For a short touchdown, the dragon dropped her harshly on the ground. Covering her face, Katy screamed for her life while wind assaulted her face. Fearing he was going to eat her even though no one attacked, she shoudded her face with her arms. Anticipating an attack that never came, she finally dropped her arms and looked around. The dragon was nowhere to be seen.
Shakely, she stood up and dusted herself off. The gust from the dragon's wings had thrown her hat several feet from her. Retrieving her hat, she took a deep breath in and closed her eyes.
“Great. He ditched me in the middle of nowhere! I guess I should have arranged with him before asking to ride on his back where to let me off back with the dwarves.”
Tisking as she picked up her hat, she felt the presence of several entities around her. Slowly standing, she was surrounded by several creatures. Few growled and laughed while others stood staring. She couldn’t see their faces with the myst surrounding them adding to her fear.
“Look what we got here. Stray little witch.” The voice came from in front of her as a talk slender man stepped forward. He was pale with dark thin lips, framed with long straight raven hair. His smile almost glowed in the night, his fangs glinting from the moonlight. Vampire, Katy thought. There was no doubt about it. She was deep within the wastelands, far from home or safety. Unless there was a miracle, there was no getting out of here alive. Katy held her hat close as the looming creatures closed in.
“Come, don’t be shy. You’re coming with me.”
With no other options, she obeyed. The vampire turned to lead, his army keeping a close eye on her as they walked towards the castle looming close by. Within the castle, she was led into the main halls where the vampire dismissed his followers.
“Excuse me for my curtness earlier. I am Lord Mercial. I govern these lands and the creatures within them.” Turning he pushed back his cape to extend his arms out towards her.
“I see the black dragon Eurlun has brought me yet another gift.”
He paused to scan her head to toe, sending shivers up her spine.
“And what a gift indeed.”
Katy treaded carefully as she held the rim of her hat in her hands. “What do you want with me? Help you with household duties? Have brooms carry mop buckets around for you?”
Lord Mercial chuckled humorlessly. “To be my bride. I have been in need of one for some time since the last one.”
Katy swallowed hard. The last thing she wanted right now was to be in a relationship, yet being forced into a marriage she didn’t want? With widened eyes, it finally dawned on her. If by some how she ever made it out of here she knew what she needed to do. Coyly, she stepped up to him. Somehow she needed to find a way to distract him so she could flee. The monsters under his command were nowhere in the room so she could flee towards the balcony. Thankfully she had sobered up from the exhilaration of the dragon ride that if she could enchant some object, she could haphazardly fly out of immediate danger. How she would make it back home would be something she would figure out later. Right now she needed to save herself. Besides, she felt invincible after what she had been through so far. This was one crazy weekend and she wasn’t going to let it end like this. Submissively, she stood in front of him as he wrapped his arms around her.
“That’s it. Succumb to your fate. Don’t worry, I will give you thousands of children to spawn. And together we will rule over this kingdom.”
Caressing her face, Katy looked frantically around for something, anything to aid her. He pulled back her hair from her neck, preparing to bite her when she looked back at his own. That’s it! Launching quickly at the vampire's neck, she chomped down as hard as she possibly could. Ripping a chunk of his neck, Mercial howled angrily and shoved her hard from his arms.
Katy hit the floor hard, spitting the rotten flesh from her mouth. It was so putrid, it almost made her ralph. The room suddenly darkened, drawing Katy’s attention back to the matter at hand. Lord Mercial in his rage called forth thousands of bats, looming above him as his eyes turned black.
“For your insolence, I will kill you instead!”
“Not today, but thanks!” Rushing to her feet, Katy turned towards the balcony and fled.
Mercial roared, sending his bats after her as he stumbled. Making it outside, Katy didn’t have time as several of the small winged creatures pelted her. Pain erupted in her arm from scratches and bites nicked at her. Losing her footing in disorientation, Katy backed up into the railing and felt backwards as it crumbled from her weight. The slow motion of her fall crushed her. She had still so much she needed to accomplish. With a small prayer, she closed her eyes.
“I just want to see them again.”
Unable to do anything else, she extended her arms to await her death. Memories flashed of her time she cherished with her love. How she wished she was braver back then. Smiling, she let the tears flow unrestricted. All that matters is that I loved them. The freefall felt unending, and as the sudden slam against her body winded her she gasped hard. Instead of being hitting the ground, she was in the arms of a brilliant shining angel. With his wings extended, he flew straight to the open sky. In a dumbfounded stuper, she yelled at him.
Not expecting him to reply Katy leaned her head against his chest in relief. Exhaustion crashed her all at once from the rollercoaster of emotions and events. After they landed, she was never leaving her house again. Well, at least for a while. Several minutes had passed and yet he still said nothing to her. Thoughts raced through her head and when it was at its worst, she finally broke the silence.
“Why on earth would you save me? I thought you hated me.”
She knew who he was and even though she was sure he would never accept her kind, here he was protecting her as he flew off towards familiar grounds.
“We may never see eye to eye, and sure I despise your kind, However, if anything happened to you, we both know they would never forgive themselves.”
Katy was touched. She had been reckless with heart ache and not once did she think about how her love would react if she had disappeared.
“Wait, how did you know where I was?”
The angel kept his composure, never smiling yet never frowning. Such a typical thing for a warrior angel.
“After I heard what happened, I followed you to make sure you wouldn’t get into trouble like you usually do. I’ve seen witches do worse things than you have.”
His words were no more comforting, yet she was still grateful. Bright lights pulled her to the present as she realized they were not heading towards her home. There was cheering, music and flashing lights as they drew nearer.
“Where are you taking me?”
Alex said nothing upon lowering towards the outer ring of the cathedral. Touching down to the ground, he lowered Katy.
“You can’t choose who you love, and even though I shouldn’t be helping you I know they feel the same way.”
Katy looked up at the angel, then followed his gaze as it led her to the stage in the middle of the full packed house. There they were, the one she loved standing in front of thousands celebrating the announcement of the wedding. Katy hoped after hearing about the party that she could escape far enough away to avoid being here, and yet after everything she had gone through she had ended here. Fate was cruel as she spotted the flashy man beside the beautiful woman he was going to marry walk out from behind a curtain. With the words of the angel replaying in her mind and her prayer only moments ago, she knew exactly why he had brought her here. He wanted her to take her love back. Without further exchange with him, she knew what she needed to do. Grinning, she brought out her wand. With a flick of her wrist, she enchanted a broom nearby. Unsure where her old one was, this one would have to make due.
On the stage, the man’s attention was solely to the crowd. He was a superstar, known across the kingdoms for his innervation and talents. A bachelor well desired and wealthy to boot. And lucky for Celistain, she was engaged to him. As he stood to the crowd, he shoved his way in front of the women. Waving and soaking it all in, he completely neglected her. The women watched as he let his ego run while the crowd chanted his name
“Sabito! Sabito! Sabito!”
Of course he would be so arrogant, Celistian thought bitterly. Irritated by his display as he revved up the crowd, she rolled her eyes in boredom. How much longer do we need to continue this? As she looked towards the sky, her jaw dropped. Finally noticing just above her was Katy. Thoughts ran wild as she glared at her. What the hell was she doing? Didn’t she tell her not that long ago this was their engagement party? She may have been invited, yet here she floated above them in front of hundreds in the kingdom. The nerve of this witch.
In a harsh whisper, she waved her to leave. “What are you doing! Get out of her!”
Katy’s look of determination did not sway. “No. I am not leaving. Not alone anyway.”
Celistain’s eyes widened with a brief moment of fear. “He’s engaged to me, Katy. Please just give up.”
Katy reached down, offering a hand as Sabito turned to see what the commotion was about.
“Oh, don’t worry about her. The pathetic witch can’t take a hint when she’s not wanted. Let her be. She’ll learn her place soon.” Waving her off he returned to the crowd, as they laughed at Katy. Sabito only thought of her as a joke, he always had.
Celistain lowered her head, ashamed by his manner. Katy held strong as she held Celistain face with her eyes.
“Celistain, I love you. I always have. I know you don’t love him in return.” It was a soft whisper, only loud enough for her to hear as her eyes shot up. They stared longingly at each other for a brief moment as Katy continued. “Come with me.”
Torn between the arranged marriage and being with the one she loved, Celistain knew either choice could be devastating. Yet as she watched Katy, her hand slowly reached up to grab hers. There was no taking back her choice as Katy pulled for her, determined to not leave her behind. The crowd gasped, warning Sabito to turn around. Angrily he cried out.
“What are you doing?! This is to help save your kingdom from falling! You choose this now and our alliance with the heavens will end!”
Stretching out her wings, Celistain pushed off the ground speeding off behind Katy as she turned her broom to fly off into the sky. Flapping her wings hard, she could barely hear the cries of the man she almost married. She didn’t look back, she couldn’t even if she wanted to. Her attention was solely focused on how dazzling Katy looked with the moon in front of her and the wind blowing in the wind. She turned around looking back at Celistain with a shocked smile, laughing at how she really was holding her hand once more. Celistain knew the feeling as the settling idea of the choice she made sank in. Oh no, she thought, What are we going to do now?!
With miles placed between Sabito, They finally slowed down. Katy had flown them well past the clouds and all they could see was the moon at its peak and the stars. Celistain flew up to rest beside Katy as they sat on the broomstick. The cool breeze was welcoming as she took a deep breath. They sat in silence before Celistain spoke, her voice weak.
“I told you to let me go. Why couldn’t you just leave it be.”
Katy squeezed her hand, unwilling to let it go. “I love you. I could never let you go even if I wanted to. Trust me, I tried. And the story I have will astound you.”
Celistain sighed heavily. No matter what story she had, it wouldn’t matter. She knew there was no way Katy would have, because she too couldn’t let her go. The pain she buried deep down bubbled forith. All she wanted was to please her father by bringing unity between the alchemists and angels like he wanted. If only she hadn’t fallen for Katy already. Tears poured as she turned away from Katy.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t let you go either. I am so sorry…”
Katy reached out, caressing her chin gently to pull her face towards her. “It’s ok. I would say don’t worry and that everything will be alright, but it won’t. And that’s ok because together we will figure something out. I know your kingdom needs resources but after the crazy weekend I’ve had, I may have a solution. For now, at least you are free from Sabito.”
Her words were comforting while mesmerizing Celistain. She was right, at least now she was free from him and all she could see was her. Leaning in she closed her eyes and when their lips touched into a tender kiss, Celistain knew at least with Katy everything would work out fine.