Chapter 9

That night Jarmila heard the mystical music play even louder laying there in her bed in anticipation, her hands gripping onto her sheets tight. It was calling her, it was drumming in her ears and she loved the feel of it, the beat, knowing that the woods longed for her return. She sat up slowly in the cold air hearing the clock struck two silently and slipped out of her bed in smooth silence. She walked to her door in a happy trance as she said excitedly "Bumpity bump a bumpity bump."

Celeste was up in her room and was listening quietly to her sister. She was worried when she heard her say bye to her door earlier on and when she heard the gentle close of front door she got up in a heavy gasping breath and left her room quickly still in her nightgown. She opened the door fast and saw Jarmila heading for the trees naked. Her veined eyes widened shocked and she followed as fast as she could but wasn't fast enough for her premature old age.

And to her terrifying astonishment when her sister reached the trees she started to shrink and Celeste gasped frightened.

"J-Jarmila!" she wheezed following her but her sister never heard and she tried to move faster to catch up with her but Jarmila started to run and she coughed as she shouted again "Jarmila!"

Fairy eyes watched Celeste go by from above and even they could see her ageing while she walked on. They jumped across the trees ruffling the leaves and Celeste looked up to the branches frightened but couldn't see anything in her poor old eyesight.

Before long she couldn't see Jarmila any longer as she ran so far away and started to cry frightened.

Zoe hid behind a tree in silence and peeked out cautiously at the young girl when she ran by but heard a silent wheezing far away and blew to the sound blowing around Celeste in amaze.

No! She thought terrified for the old gasping woman and gusted away fast, scaring Celeste even more for she had to reach Jarmila in time.

Isaac smiled at her as Jarmila appeared quietly out of the darkness to the mushroom ring and he said to her with a loving smile,

"I think I know your choice."

"I think you do." she said back with a scared smile and she lifted her wrist up that had the hair tied around it. Isaac took her hand quietly leading her to a pile of nuts on the ground.

"Take one."

Celeste panted fast finding it unbearable to go but swore she heard whispers of the wind say quickly, you have to continue! You have to CONTINUE!

Zoe landed on her feet fast materialising and saw Jarmila kneeling down in the middle of a fairy ring planting a seed in content silence. She ran to her with all her might and shouted,

"TAKE THE HAIR OFF NOW!"

Isaac looked at her warningly and Zoe screamed at him in agony crying.

"No Isaac! I can't see another human die!"

"What do you mean by that?" Jarmila asked confused with wary eyes. Isaac stared at Zoe with a sad face and he said quietly,

"She has to see for herself."
Celeste ran faster for she saw little people ahead of her and startled back frightened as fairies suddenly jumped from the sky and sang hauntingly circling her,

Go back and leave the trees alone, you evil sinister elderly troll,

"I just want to see my sister!" she cried back and ran away from them but they ran beside her hissing and clinging onto her legs "GET OFF!" she screamed frightened and Jarmila looked to the trees seeing an elderly woman burst out of them.

She stood up from the ground and looked at her in quiet surprise. She whispered confused

"…who are you?"

"It's me!" Celeste cried desperately and fell on her knees next to her in tears grabbing Jarmila's little hands "I-it's your sister Celeste!"

"But how… can this be?" she slowly asked confused and Zoe screamed.

"STOP IT! STOP KILLING HER!"

Isaac looked at Jarmila quickly and came to her whispering "Make the seed grow!"

"But I don't know how?!"

"With your heart!"

Jarmila cried. She looked at Celeste who was still holding her hands and she shut her eyes thinking how she loved her sister so much and she didn't want to kill her,

"It doesn't matter," her sister's old voice said weakly,

-How trees needed a soul so they could experience the world

"I just want you to be happy…"

-And how she was willing to become this little tree's soul!

She felt Zoe rip out a chunk of her black hair furiously but she could already feel Celeste's grip weakening and she opened her eyes frightened crying to her sister desperately "Don't die!"

Celeste closed her eyes, collapsing to the ground but Zoe tied the black hair around the newly born tree in lightning fast speed.

Tears streamed down Jarmila's face in agony as she ripped her sister's hair off her wrist and fell on her knees next to Celeste's non breathing body, hugging her head with her small arms.

Everyone and everything was silent… except for the weeps… there had been a death and there was nothing they could do, an unnecessary thing in this world of beauty… there had been a death…

Zoe whispered quietly as everyone stood there in despair "The tree has absolved her soul… she is now part of it."

"Celeste! Celeste!" Jarmila cried and Isaac looked at the body…but smiled when he noticed something… and started to majestically laugh.

The fairies looked at him in pure confusion and disbelief.

Jarmila hugged the head even tighter in tears but felt it move slightly and a weak voice asked,

"Jar…mi…la…"

She looked down seeing Celeste's old eyes open slowly and her sister said to her weakly,

"You're…so…small."

Jarmila just cried harder not believing it was true!

"You're… alive," she whispered quietly trying to wipe her tears away and Celeste sat up in pain, Jarmila not even reaching her height in a sitting position.

"You're… a fairy?" she said quietly and Jarmila replied smartly.

"You're… so old?"

"You are no longer sucking her life force!" Isaac said joyfully and ran over to Jarmila, lifting her up and swinging her about in laughter, "she's alive!" and she laughed too in happiness feeling the small wind blow through her hair, Isaac lifting her up in it.

Zoe walked in quiet steps to Celeste and said to her ear in a whisper, "I'm so sorry… I didn't get to him in time."

"What… do you mean…?" she asked in her croaky voice and when she saw Zoe's serious eyes she knew and said with a tear running down her face, "Oh…no,"

"Celeste…" Jarmila said as Isaac put her gently down and she ran to her sister "This… is my new life."

"But what about home? What about mum?"

Jarmila was quiet hearing this and slowly put her small hand softly on Celeste's face with a weak smile, and her sister understood.

"So this is your choice… if it makes you happy."

"Come and visit me, please."

"It… can't be so."

The two looked at Isaac hearing him say this in confusion.

"Fairies and humans can't live in the same world… we spend too long around humans and they start to question, to not believe. It's happened countless time and they start to not see us… we are only magic to them."

"But I'd always believe." Celeste said desperately and he smiled at her warmly.

"Prove it… day by day."

Celeste looked at him, there was something about him. All the fairies looked like adults, even Jarmila; they were no longer children but adults.

"I will." she whispered and he stared at her with still eyes. She looked at her sister and repeated quietly,

"I will…"

Jarmila smiled at her cheekily and said in a happy voice.

"Go to sleep."

The fairies moved her sleeping body through the air gently back to the house and lay her softly on her bed. Through out the days that followed Celeste's body grew slowly younger and younger and within three weeks she had got her youth back. But looks didn't matter to her anymore… now she knew for certain it wasn't her beauty that made her happy, it was her youth.

Belinda insisted that it was because she was getting good night sleeps that she had gone back to normal but Celeste knew better. When her mother found out Jarmila was forever gone she cried a lot and would wait outside the house, looking into the forest but she just couldn't believe that her beautiful young daughter was a fairy… so she couldn't see them. But Jarmila would stand in front of her at the trees and whisper that she was here… that she just had to know it.

Celeste danced a lot of her teenage years through the forest with the fairies and Jarmila would beg for her to join her but Celeste would just laugh at her.

When Celeste was eighteen she came to the forest just after finishing her last day at school and sat down on a fallen tree.

Jarmila came to her from a gust of wind and smiled seeing her.

"School's finally over." Celeste said to her with a smile but something about it felt sad. She looked at her younger sister and saw she hadn't changed a bit.

"You should be so proud of yourself… you completed it."

"You know how you said I never cared about the future… well I kinda do now."

"Well you do have your whole life ahead of you." Jarmila said obviously and Celeste smirked.

"Yeah."

"But it'll be great."

"And you have your whole future ahead of you." Celeste said gently and Jarmila looked to the ground, a happy smile rising.

"You're right…"

"But I came today to tell you something."

She looked at Celeste confused and interested.

"What?"

"I'm leaving for college in three months."

Jarmila held her breath, something jolting inside her from hearing that.

"I won't really be coming back here for a very long time."

The fairy was silent after that and looked away thinking to herself. Her sister was leaving… she wouldn't see her for a very long time. Celeste had to live life away from the forest, had to be around humans… and she knew it would be selfish of her if she told her that she shouldn't go. She gazed at her sister slowly and said quietly.

"Well… we still have three months."

Celeste laughed in hearing that and she copied fast whispering to the air in joy.

"Come!"

The fairies jumped down from the trees and swirled about around them, mushrooms sprouting up in the shadows of the trees and the two got up and ran through the trees feeling the fairies' wind push them along into forever and Isaac watched from a branch of his two hundred years old oak tree and whispered to himself in a quiet voice, "Things are going to change…"

And the months went by quickly… Celeste got in her mother's car quietly and Belinda looked at her sadly saying, "The house will feel so empty with out you here."

"Mum," she said hard and looked at her seriously "She's still here; she's always looking at you from the woods… just look back. You'd be amazed."

Belinda just shook her head disbelieving and Celeste sighed hopelessly pushing her big bag into the back seat and they drove out of the driveway, getting on the road.

Jarmila looked out through the leaves of the trees with eyes full of tears and she felt someone climb onto the branch behind her gently. She slowly turned around and saw Isaac there with a warm smile. She blinked her eyes barely as she came over to him and they hugged.

He said to her quietly in a loving voice.

"It'll be alright."

And she whispered back with a small smile.

"…I know"