The Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:
“My dear,” Sud addressed her, “now that introductions are over, it is time to address a disagreement between the West Wind and myself about your possible use of the faery crown to cheat on our tests…”
“Cheating? Tests? What? You tested me?” Jasmine asked.
Sud answered, “Oh yes, from the moment you arrived on our doorstep… you have been ours to play with…” Sud paused, to address the West Wind, “Ah, Wein, dear, the entertainment value alone grants enormous points!”
“What were these tests?” Jasmine asked.
All four Winds halted their interactions and faced Jasmine. One after another, in rapid succession, they took turns answering her: “Many times, we tested you… We tested your courage to open up and your courage to be vulnerable. We tested your reaction when shown the truth of history. We tested your ability to become lighter than air, and we dared you to think with your heart. Maybe the crown made opening the gateway of ecstasy more accessible…”
Ost interrupted the litany and spoke loudly, “or maybe the difference is her birthright and not the crown at all! You two just don’t want her to succeed. Since you are not in a position to provide her with aid anyway, your opinions in this case really don’t count, do they?”
The West Wind blew, a cold blast of fury at Ost, who quickly pushed himself away. Wein followed. Both took the forms of nasty, fast-moving, funnel-shaped spirals. Right after Wein’s blast of frigid air circled Jasmine, another energetic blast knocked her off her feet, as Noird left to join the windy fray. Out in the dense forest, two mighty winds chased and abutted each other in the form of tornados, wreaking havoc on the local weather and on the land below. In their beds, the people below crouched in fear. They will long remember the terrible winds that visited them on this day.
Sud suspended Jasmine from her fall and pushed her gently back to her feet. “Ost and I believe you have passed all of our tests,” she said, sweetly. “And everyone knows Ost will win. He’s the strongest at the moment. I would guess they are putting on a show for you, my dear.” She mused.
“Why would they do that?” Jasmine asked.
“Don’t you know you are only half mortal?” Sud explained, “Your mother is a well-respected air elemental. You exist because of Erlkyng’s magic. This crown, err-r-r ring, is a curious thing. It easily pulls you into the awesome beauty of the Faery Realm. Right now, you are standing on a portal in a spot between two worlds. But, with that device on your finger, you have your own portal into Faery.”
“Then, when I see stunningly beautiful vistas…”
“You’ve wandered into the Faery Realm.”
“And the voices I heard talking to me?”
“Denizens of Faery. They’ve been very concerned. That’s why they directed you to us. That you listened and made your way here is astounding. I noticed last night that when you visit the Faery Realms, your substance lightened and you easily took on the qualities of an air elemental. You were also able to fly under your own soul power. I was with you but you did not need my help. You did fine, until you left Faery…”
“Things have become so complicated since I left home.”
“Things are much more complicated than you can guess. It’s not your fault, but you have enemies. There are factions that strongly disagreed with Erlkyng’s plotting and tried to prevent it. That’s why you were born in the Crystal Caverns. But the moment your mother left the underground, Aria was abducted and whisked away from the Mid-Realm… Well, all I can say is of all your enemies, the West Wind is one of the worst. Always be on your guard in the afternoons. Try to stay in doors. Wain means you no good.”
“Thank You, I don’t know what to say.”
“As a reward for being worthy, you have earned the right to use this spot, the Meeting Place of the Winds, to go to any place you desire within the Mid-Realm and probably Faery. You might want to use it now…”
© 2018 DARLENE
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