This is in response to a writing challenge. 1000-2000 words about Fairies.

Mischeif Maker

In the land of twilight, under the moon, Faye dodged deftly around the thousand-year-old trees. Flitting up and down, darting about as a minnow would in shallow water, her wings were a blur of colour in the night. Her emerald eyes shone brightly, reflecting her exhilaration as she made her escape.

A handful of apple blossoms clutched to her chest, she giggled as their scent wisped by her upturned nose. The petals were soft against her tiny hands, the pollen fresh; it had been perfect until that same pollen had made her sneeze. The first echoes of their shouts caught her then. The other faeries, outraged, she would be dipped in honey and thrown to an anthill if they caught her. That's my role, I suppose. She laughed again, spinning on the wind as it caught her between trees. The undulation of giddiness rose higher as she did. Spiraling up and up, she followed a path she no longer needed to recognize.

Landing gingerly, shaking twilight chill from her shoulders, she stepped inside the hollow branches of her home. The smoothed bark was cold against her bare feet, and she squinted at the brightness of the magic lights.

"I was positive they would catch you this time," an innocent voice, matching a childlike face, greeted her, and Faye carefully set her prize beside the hearth. She sashayed towards the youth, breathing in and out as her heart slowed.

"And what would you do if your master were captured, Gin?" Swatting at the back of the apprentice's blonde head, the younger girl evaded expertly and shot away.

"I would become the mischief-maker immediately!"

Rolling her eyes, Faye moved to the entrance and gazed upon their ancient forest. Faeries with wings coloured green and pink, it meant they would be mischief-makers from the day they were born until the day they passed it on. Just as Gin, the younger of the two would come to learn, this was the only way of life they could ever enjoy.

"I wish you had let me come." Joining her, Faye glanced down to the round face framed with fair hair and spider webs.

"I wanted once more on my own." She shrugged her shoulders, reticence at leaving the girl behind creeping into her heart. It was time. Just as the flowers and blossoms were opening, she would need to open her hands and accept the end of her tenure. But, a secretive smile lurked just behind her lips, lighting in her eyes. It will be a grand send off indeed.

Long fingers pulling the petals from the blossoms, Gin sighed. "I wanted to be the one to steal the first blossoms of the year."

"Don't do that!" Faye snatched the flowers away and hit her apprentice with them. "I worked hard to swipe these and you destroy them?"

"Well," Gin giggled and dodged another flowery attack, "I am a mischief-maker."

"You can't make mischief on the mischief-maker." Tongue flopping awkwardly on her last few syllables, Faye made a face and flitted away from the entrance. As she folded the petals and tucked them away, the sound of music jolted her. The first notes of the spring dances reached even their lair, and she tensed inside as they heralded the future. Gin was at her side again, following loyally and playfully tugging on her arm.

"Do you hear that? They're calling us! They're saying: 'Come put sap in the singers' hair and fill our pipes with dew!'" She laughed and lifted into the air with a flutter of wings as she spun.

Eyes glinting deviously, Faye shook her head and Gin slowed. "I have a much better idea. This is going to be a title passing that will be talked about for generations."

Gin clapped her hands and squealed, cheeks pinching and flushing with excitement. "What is it? What will we do?"

Waving a finger, and lifting her nose to ridiculous heights, Faye strode out of their dwelling and dropped into the air. "You'll just have to follow me."

They raced through the forest then, listening to the singing, recognizing the sound of feet dancing upon the hollow drums. Faye and Gin swirled around each other, faster and faster, an elated dance of their own design until coming to the clearing. Eyes that could see through the darkness, both faeries followed the lines of the fallen rotting tree. The smell of mushrooms and earth permeated everything, and Gin wrinkled her nose.

"Why did we come here?"

"Shh…" Faye placed a finger to her lips, smiling cleverly; she flitted to the ground and lit upon a blade of grass. The apprentice watched with intense curiosity, memorizing her master's movements. The way she stepped heel to toe, and swung her legs as if she were still flying, it filled her with awe and inspiration. Her chocolate brown eyes widened when Faye disappeared, only to round and blink when she re-appeared, riding the back of a monstrous cricket.

Whooping at the insect leaped over the log, Faye screeched with delight and beckoned Gin at the same time. "They grow bigger here! Come along then, we have a gift to deliver!" Her words were jaunted by the creature's wild movements, and Gin hovered in a moment's trepidation. She has never done something this strange. Why is she acting this way?

Yet the ever-seductive call of mischief making drew her forward, and she followed her master through the ancient forest. They chased the sounds of the dance, the glow from their wings brighter than before, anticipating something entirely chaotic.

She deserves this sort of beginning, Faye nodded to herself, loosing the tendrils in her heart that whispered her doubt. Perhaps she was too spontaneous in her decision, and all her blustering would be for naught, but if she didn't take this chance on a whim she would never do it again.

And she would stay the mischief-maker until it rotted her.

Wings and glowing halos, the faeries of timeless fantasy gathered upon a drum. Fashioned of springy leaves and a hollow stump, easily the most sacred place of their kind, Faye the master guided the monstrosity she rode to leap into the very center. And Gin followed, spinning and adding her screams to theirs. She marveled as the dance stopped and floated carefully to Faye's side as the master stood on the back of her cricket. The silence was thick, suffocating, and Gin gave a frightened whimper before turning her blonde head to face her leader.

"Let it be known! On this, my twentieth spring, that I am no longer the mischief-maker!" A wave of whispered, a riot of emotions inside as she spoke those words. In her head, in the silence of the night, it had always played out so much differently. She didn't feel the severed connection between her heart and the girl's. In her imagination, she couldn't have fathomed the pain of the sudden goodbye.

"Master?" Gin's voice wavered, and Faye forced a grin to her face. Eyes rimmed with wetness, shoulders hiding her trembles as they tensed, she slapped a hand on the young faerie's shoulder.

"I introduce your new mischief-maker! Gin!"

"What? Faye!" Gin started to protest, yet there was no time. She felt the jeers of the crowd before she heard them, grimacing as her stomach twisted, she pushed the youth down. Unceremoniously sitting a top the hideous insect, Gin's bemusement broke her heart.

Scared eyes, wide eyes, Faye was ripping apart with every action she made. I shouldn't have done this so suddenly… I should have thought about it more… The decision was already made, however, and Gin was in danger.

"Make me proud, mischief-maker," she winked then, biting the inside of her cheek as she stepped away and kicked the insect. It jumped, flying away into the night, and carrying her apprentice away in what had to have been the most memorable title exchange in faerie history. Cries of outrage followed her as the rest took to the air. Flying after her to punish the mischief-maker. Faye lifted her face to the sky, closing her eyes and crying in the land of twilight, under the moon.

Not something I would have written on my own, but I suppose it's good to be challenged with things outside your favourite genre every once and awhile. And I stole the beginning line 'in the land of twilight under the moon' fromthe .hacksign soundtrack. Cookies for anyone who recognized that!