Smoothing her hair into place one last time, Aria took a deep breathe, and walked out into the clearing. For a moment all she could do was stare. This wasn’t the first leave-taking party she’d attended, but this was the first time the party had ever been for her! Normally she loved the atmosphere, the crowd of fairies flying around, and all the beautiful decorations. Today it made her feel a little sick.
Welcome to my serial fiction - Aria's Quest! If this is your first time to my blog, be sure to read the back story. You can find it here.
This was the moment she’d been waiting for, seeking for, and yet the reality of it was overwhelming. She knew these parties had two purposes. Everyone said it was to wish the quest-taker good luck, but they also all knew this could be the last time they saw her. She might never come back.
With a shake of her head Aria banished the dreary and frightening thoughts from her head. This was her party and she was going to enjoy it!
The rest of the party passed in a blur. Since completing your quest was a requirement to being accepted as an adult in the woodland fairy community, many of the fairies were reminiscing about their quests, and of course they just had to tell her their stories! Fortunately Aria loved listening to tales, but after awhile they all started to blend together. Of course that also could have been a result of the honeyed wine that was flowing freely. All this attention was a heady feeling, and Aria wisely switched to drinking a fruit punch. She was used to being well liked and having friends, but popular was never a word that would have been applied to her.
The sky drew dark as night approached, but the party was no where near over! All fairies love a chance to celebrate, and Aria’s woodland tribe was no different. As the sky darkened they turned on brightly colored lights, and the musicians brought out their instruments. If Aria had been feeling a little light-headed before from the honeyed wine, she now was even more so from been twirled about! As the quest-taker she was the center of attention, and every fairy wanted a chance to dance with her.
Finally, as the hour truly grew late, the fairies began to take their leave. Each one came by to briefly embrace Aria, or give her a kiss on the cheek, or even both. More than once Aria’s eyes overflowed with tears as her closest friends said their good-byes. It would be months, maybe even years, before she saw them again!
Aria had just finished drying her eyes yet again when she saw Eiowinn approaching her. She stood up a little straighter and greeted Eiowinn with a smile and a slight bow.
“None of that child, soon we shall be equals, adults both of us.” Eiowinn said with a gentle smile.
“I may soon be counted as an adult Eiowinn, but I have years to go before I can be said to even approach your learning and wisdom.” Aria responded, in awe that the great Eiowinn would use the word “equals” when talking to her!
“Thank you my dear. You show great promise Aria. Never doubt yourself, or your ability to think. The task ahead of you will be hard, I think harder for you than for most, but don’t give up. You’re being tested for a reason, and the rewards will be great.”
“Tested? What do you mean?” Aria looked at Eiowinn with searching eyes. “I don’t understand.”
“That’s all I can say m’dear. As you know, I can only see into the future dimly. I know that your quest will be challenging, and I know you have great potential. Do not give up, and I look forward to your return.” With this Eiowinn gave Aria a kiss on the cheek and departed.
Aria talked to many more fairies before the night was over, but it was Eiowinn’s words that stuck in her head as she fell asleep that night. Tested? What was she facing?