A Broken Spirit
A centuries old Treaty of Peace between two magnificent kingdoms began to erode as the tendrils of greed and exasperation corrupted each nation. The land erupted into war when the two kingdoms fell victim to a traitorous rumor. Between the two kingdoms was the Land of Imag, a neutral place where all magic originated from. It was whispered that the high court of the Land of Imag had taken a side in the bickering and it ignited the kindling of conflict.
War does not differentiate between young or old, able or infirm, woman or child, and every citizen was conscripted for the efforts. The Land of Imag became the unwilling site of ugly, brutal battlefields. No region was spared the bloodshed. Acres of rich grasslands were razed, ancient forests were chopped down, and sacred streams ran red with the life of man. The Land of Imag began to wither as the turmoil of the war smothered the essence of magic that sustained its existence.
Oddities were born from the depletion of magic, weird crossings of creatures that belonged nowhere and were often killed by the warring kingdoms in fear of ill omens. Groups of skunks that had soft gray fur and long floppy ears were massacred and hung by their legs in what few trees had survived. Bats with wings of a raven were picked from the sky by arrows. The high court of Imag had no idea what to do or how to handle the destruction of their home and the very life of the land. They took it on themselves to use every last scrap of magic in the land to create portals. All who could, including the oddities, fled to unknown realms seeking peace and a new home.
One such creature, an iridescent purple hummingbird with amethyst butterfly wings, took shelter in the realm of Earth. Her name was Ixy and she arrived to this strange land alone, hungry, cold, and frightened. She knew nothing of her new home but the forest she appeared in smelled of fresh air and lacked the signs of war the Land of Imag exhibited. At first, Ixy hid in a tiny tree hole, shaking in fear at every nuance of the forest. The need for food and water soon drove her from her refuge. Berries and clean water were easy to find and Ixy was able to settle into a simple yet content existence on Earth.
The sun was a dim glimmer on the horizon when Ixy took flight in search of a new wild berry bush. Time on Earth had been good to her, she grew bold and confident in her second chance and she spent much of it exploring farther and deeper in her forest home. On this particular adventure, she pushed her limits, going near a boxy structure she had seen in the past. A modest log cabin sat in a wide clearing and Ixy approached with caution. She peered into a window, marveling at all the strange things she saw within. A loud thump from nearby startled Ixy and she retreated back to the safety of her forest home.
It was many days before Ixy found her way back to the cabin and she grew bolder each time. The secluded place was occupied by a family of humans, a mother and father and a young daughter. Ixy found that if she flew through the chimney she could get inside, and she began to filch small glittering items. Her tiny tree hole in the forest was overflowing with trinkets of silver and gold and brass.
Although Ixy was stealthy during her thievery adventures, her luck eventually ran out one dreary day. The family had noticed that things were going missing and laid mouse traps throughout the cabin. A device was placed near the chimney entrance and Ixy failed to notice the scent of rusted metal too slow. With a clang Ixy’s leg was trapped by the rod. Fear gripped her mind and she struggled with every ounce of strength she could muster. It was to no avail and her loud efforts drew the attention of the young girl.
The young girl pulled the mouse trap from its location and gawked at the hampered Ixy. She rushed to the privacy of her room, and ever so gently released Ixy’s trapped leg. The young girl quickly put her into an ornate bird cage, all the while speaking in soothing tones. Ixy frantically hobbled around the bottom of the cage, trying to free herself from its confines. She beat herself into a state of exhaustion and passed out.
When Ixy awoke, she found herself in the horrible cage with a water bottle and some type of seed. The young girl looked at her in fascination and urged her to eat and drink, but Ixy could not do either in her shocked state. With much encouragement from the young girl, Ixy drank a tad bit of water and peeked at the inedible seed. With a loud hmm, the young girl left her room and returned with a ripe strawberry. Ixy attacked the berry with ravenous force, ingesting it quickly.
The young girl and Ixy fell into an uncomfortable relationship, the young girl excited by her exotic pet and the oddity who found herself perishing in the confines of a cage. Slowly, day by day, Ixy began to fade. Her wings and feathers were no longer shiny but a dull purple, as if someone kept sprinkling dust on her body. Her broken leg dragged behind her awkwardly as she hopped around the small space. Her spirit slipped away like the hands of time.
Eventually the young girl realized that sometime was wrong with Ixy, and she tried anything and everything to help her get better. Berries were offered constantly, the cage placed in the sunlight, new tinkling toys added to the cage, soft fluffy bedding. As a last resort the young girl took Ixy’s cage outside to hang on a tree limb, and she threw open the small door. Ixy barely moved. She looked through the open space at her precious forest she had not seen in ages, and resigned, she turned her back to it. Raising her head to the precious sun, Ixy breathed in deeply the scents she had longed for and closed her eyes against the breeze. She swayed and in a blink, Ixy vanished. Where she had once been, wispy tendrils and motes of light drifted into the air, carried away gently by the lazy wind. The magic, the very magic that had once fueled the Land of Imag, could no longer sustain Ixy’s shackled heart.
Tree Artwork: CORE
Ixy Overlay : shinydeino7634 - Tumblr