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The Faraway Fairies: The Final Adventure. Book 13
The Faraway Fairies: The Final Adventure.
THE AFREET. (an excerpt from the Final Adventure)
‘So what do I have?’ a voice rumbled. ‘You’re not goblins, bugaboos, yowies! Are you just big bats?’
‘I am the queen of the fairies!’ Astara searched the wall of orange flame for a face to go with the voice. ‘Who are you and why have you set this fire?’
‘I am the Afreet,’ replied the voice. ‘And I am fire. This is my home. It pleases me to know you aren’t bats. Fairies? I’ve heard of fairies. Goblins and yowies hate you. But you can talk and think. You should be interesting little toys.’
‘Toys?’ Blaize fluttered his wings.
‘You’ve come in here without being invited,’ the Afreet boomed, ‘and now you’re mine to play with.’
‘We don’t want to be toys,’ Eden said firmly. ‘We came in here to look at the dwarf city. We would like you to let us go now please.’
‘I don’t let things go,’ the Afreet stated. ‘And, I’ve never caught five toys before so you should provide me with some entertainment.’
The pile of bones so close to the fairies now seemed very sinister indeed. Astara knew they were in terrible trouble, but the Afreet would never have heard of fairy magic, so they had a chance to escape this cruel beast. She turned to Cedar. ‘See if you can make a spell to put out this fire.’
Cedar took her wand from Eden’s bag, held it high.
‘Afreet we will not play your game.
This spell will put out your flame.’
Her wand sparkled brightly, but the imprisoning wall of flame flickered for only a moment and flared stronger than ever.
‘That tickled,’ the Afreet laughed. ‘You are the best toys ever. No one has ever tickled me before.’
‘What will we do?’ Cedar cried. ‘The Afreet won’t respond to my spells.’
The fairies sat mournfully beside the fountain, wracking their brains for a way to escape the Afreet’s trap.
Astara looked up towards the roof searching for a way over the flames.
As she scanned the fires she noticed a little bat darting this way and that until it found a tiny gap in the wall of fire. The bat dashed between the tongues of heat and fluttered down, landing on Astara’s shoulders.
‘Hullo little mother bat.’ Astara was surprised the tiny creature had risked its life to come to see them.
‘I’m sorry you’ve been caught by the cave monster,’ the bat whispered. ‘We bats have many legends about it and we tell our children to watch out for its flames.’
‘Anything you might know would help us,’ Astara pleaded. ‘We really must get back to the castle and I don’t want to be a play thing to this horrible creature.’
‘It is worse than you think.’ The bat’s wings drooped sadly. ‘The Afreet doesn’t feed its captives. It just uses them and when its captive dies, then it happily waits for another. The gold and jewels it has collected usually attracts a greedy creature.’
‘How horrible!’ Astara was shocked by the bat’s news. ‘Where did this monster come from?’
‘Our legends say it came to this area long ago. It first arrived in a forest that grew outside the caves. We used to feed there, but the Afreet killed the plants with its horrible fire. After a while we had to fly elsewhere to feed.
When nothing was left of the forest, the Afreet became bored and moved underground, searching the abandoned dwarf tunnels for something to do. It found the dwarf city and moved in. Over the years we bats have heard it talk to many prisoners that have never escaped. We have very sensitive ears and can hear lots of things from our rookery. Two things you should know. One thing is the Afreet is a little bit deaf. If you whisper it can’t hear you. It can’t hear us bats talking at all, so it isn’t interested in bats for pets. Also, one of our ancestors once heard the Afreet talking to some goblin it had trapped. The goblin must have done something that amused the Afreet because the Afreet enjoyed playing with it. Anyway, the Afreet told this goblin the only way it could ever get free was if it could make the Afreet cry. But the goblin only ever made the Afreet laugh. When the goblin died, the Afreet spoke to itself and said, ‘Nothing can make me cry, for I am flame and I have no heart.’
‘What’s going on?’ the Afreet’s roared. ‘What’s that on your shoulder fairy queen?’
‘Just a bat,’ said Astara. ‘Are you going to keep it too?’
‘Bats are boring,’ replied the Afreet. ‘Though I might scorch it. There’s too many bats and they’re annoying, flitting in and out between my tongues of flame.’
‘Go quickly,’ Astara whispered. ‘It may hurt you. You have given us a lot of help with your knowledge. Thank you for risking your life.’
‘I know you’ll escape,’ the bat said. ‘Nothing kind and caring has ever come into these caves.’ With those words the tiny creature fluttered up to the ceiling and dashed away to safety.
Eleanor Coombe reading The Faraway Fairies: The Last Adventure.
Where to find the book. The Faraway Fairies: The Final Adventure.
- Amazon.com: Eleanor Coombe: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
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