Once upon a time, in the village of Inglewood Hamlet, there lived scribe.
He would tell tales bigger and wider than the impassable sands that bordered the Eastern side of the kingdom. He would spin tales of love that could fill the waters that bordered the Western side of the kingdom. He would write with his quill and paper well into the night, until his candles had burned down to stubs.
Many asked him how he wrote such moving tales of love. Surely there must be an inspiration? He would smile politely and thank them for their compliments, but would say he didn’t know where the inspiration came from.
The truth was, he wrote about what he wished for. There were a few times he thought he had found love, but it was of the darker variety. It would start out light and beautiful like a flower come to bloom, but every time it would end the same way, as if it were a flower with thorns that would make him bleed the tighter he held onto it.
So the Scribe let go of the dream of ever finding love, the other half of him. It was simply the way it had to be. He spent his days watching his friends fall in love and build lives with others. He could see the trees that they had planted together taking root in the ground and growing into gorgeous trees full of leaves. They could not see the trees, but he could. It was part of the Scribe’s curse, seeing that which others could not see.
When the whispering of the leaves became too much for him, he took himself to the furthest point into the Eastern border, deep into the sands that made up the desert. He built himself a small hut. He didn’t need any more space than that; space enough to sleep, eat and write. He lived only for his words now.
On his seventh night in the hut, away from civilization, he received a visitor.
He heard the sound of bells, playing a delightful tune that made him want to get up and dance to their tune. She always arrived this way. He remained sitting and put down his quill. A light began to shine in the middle of his hut and soon, it grew brighter, more vibrant. The light began to hum along with the sound of the bells and, with a small pop, she stood before him.
Her wings didn’t have much room to flutter in the small hut, so she kept them close to her back. Looking around at his living quarters, she huffed out a small sigh that sounded like wind flowing through leaves. “Well, I can see why you moved here, Jaxon. This is so spacious and lovely, it just takes my breath away.”
Jaxon let out a breath. “Good day, Suzanne. To what do I owe this pleasure?”
“Is that any way to greet your mother?” She smiled and moved closer. “Come give me a hug.”
He stood and did so, holding his mother in his arms. She was so much smaller than he was. Though she was Fey and had the smaller stature like all her kind, he knew she possessed the heart of a lion. When he went to pull away, she held on for one last squeeze and his body was filled with light.
Like all Fey, she had magic. Hers was the gift of light and wisdom. Her touch always brought light in the darkness and made your mind clear when it was clouded. To some, this was not a great gift, but Jaxon knew it for the power it was. She had inspired many an artist, helped many law makers in the land make sound decisions and had brought light to people most in need.
Now, she gave him the look he knew so well. “I’m worried about you, Jaxon. Why do you hide yourself away like this? To what purpose?”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh, I’ve lived for hundreds of years and have seen more than you can begin to dream of. Really, why do you live like this? You came from magic and have magic all your own, with words that bring dreams to so many. Why do you hide away as if you are nothing?”
“It’s easier that way. I won’t get hurt that way.”
“You are hurting yourself. Do you not want to find love?”
“I do, but it isn’t for me. I’ve tried.”
“Then try again. You have to be open to love for love to find you. When was the last time you went on an outing? Almost a year ago now?”
“Sounds about right.”
“You write of the love you wish for, the love you desire, yet you hide yourself away where you cannot possibly meet any man you desire. Is there no one in Inglewood that has shown you some interest?”
Jaxon fiddled with his quill. “Well, there is one man. A man at the money lenders who I’ve spoken to through letters. His last few missives have become more open and honest.”
“Well, if he’s shown you interest, than perhaps you need to show some back.”
“I wouldn’t know where to begin.”
“It’s quite simple, people have been uttering this magical words for eons now.”
“What word is that?”
“Hello. It all begins with hello. The story blooms from there. When do you next go into town?”
“This afternoon. I’m almost out of ink and could use a new quill.”
“Fabulous. Then we have time.”
“Time for what?”
“To clean you up.”
“I look fine.”
His mother let out a small laugh. “I mean no disrespect Jaxon, but you look as if you’ve rolled with the pigs. You smell like it, too.”
She waved her hands and the little hut he lived in was filled with light once more. However, this time he was the source of the light. He was filled with warmth and heat and every part of him hummed with magic. When it faded, he looked down at himself.
His ratty trousers were new and made of a thick weave of cotton coloured in grey. His shirt was new too, and made of a finer weave than his trousers. He even wore a little vest that was coloured in shades of gold and silver.
“I don’t look like me.”
“Yes, you do. You look like everyone else sees you now. Your magic, Jaxon, it’s time you started acting like it. Now, did you need a lift to town?”
“No, that’s quite all right, I-”
Suzanne snapped her fingers and he was standing in front of the money lenders, quick as a flash. He really hated it when she did that. He had his bag slung over his shoulder, filled with his inkwells. He stood there in front of the money lenders, not sure what to do.
Wanting to gather courage, instead of going in the money lenders, he went to a small pub that served some elixirs and foodstuffs. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness of the pub, he saw a spark of light in front of him.
The man he had been speaking to through letters, Mikhail, was there at a table; and he was looking at him.
It was as if he were propelled forward. With a few steps, he was in front of Mikhail. Though Jaxon had sensed his kindness through his letters, nothing had prepared him for seeing Mikhail in the flesh. Jaxon’s heart beat with something he could not name at first, so foreign it seemed within him. However, after a few moments, he could put a name to that emotion: Hope.
He smiled at Mikhail and said the only word that came to mind: “Hello.”
“Hello.” Mikhail responded
As Jaxon looked into Mikhail’s blue and grey eyes, the hope within him grew brighter. The light inside of him matched the light that shone from Mikhal’s eyes, and that light came from inside of him.
There are those that said on that day in the small village of Inglewood Hamlet, the sky was filled with stars. Others said that surely a great and powerful witch or sorcerer had cast a spell so large it could be seen miles away. Even more said that they saw a bright light emanating from the pub that filled them with every happy memory they had ever experienced.
There was one woman who knew what had happened, however. She looked out from the clouds at the light shining below and knew that the light meant that her son had fallen in love, so pure and powerful was the light.
Or, so the story goes…