Luna’s Lesson

This is a short story I wrote for a college assignment.

 


 

 

“Do you understand the consequences of your actions?” the King bellowed to Luna.

“Yes, sir, I do,” Luna replied as she fidgeted nervously, head bowed.

“Well, I sure hope you do! This is the last straw, Luna. Just because you are my niece does not mean it’s ok for you to bend the laws in your favor!” King Jordan continued as Luna fidgeted. “You have pranked your governess, the chef in your home and even your poor ailing Aunt Dorothy! Lucky for you, those are harmless for the most part. But your latest shenanigans have taken things to far.”

The King continued, “When your prank caused Mr. Smith to lose a weeks wages, you sealed your fate, Luna. You will go to the farthest village in the kingdom. There you will work as a farm hand on the farm owned by Mr. Smith’s sister. While there, you will dress for the work and you will do as you are told. Mrs. Hayes is a kind but hard working woman and she will expect you to work hard as well. While there, you will learn a lesson.”

“What lesson, sir?” Luna asked?

“You will know when it is learned.” The king replied. “When you learn this lesson, and not before, you may return here and marry your Thomas. If you fail, you will never be welcome here again. Am I clear, Luna?”

“Yes, sir. Very clear,” Luna replied, nodding her head.

“Very well, be gone with you!” the king replied. “And Luna,” he continued more softly as Luna stepped away, “be safe my child.

Luna nodded, “Yes, Sire,” as she turned to go.

King Jordan was the oldest and wisest of all the fairy kings. He ruled with kindness and understanding. Luna knew she had pushed him to the limits and vowed to redeem herself in his eyes. The mere thought of being banned from her troop was horrible enough, but to live without Thomas would be horrific. And her best friend, Sabrina!

I have to do this! Luna thought to herself. I cannot punish my friends and family, I know they would be saddened if I were banned!

Luna rushed home to pack a few belongings. She knew she could not bring her jewelry and fancy dresses, so she only packed what she needed. She had an old grey woolen dress she wore to work in her garden. She chose this to take to the farm.

As Luna packed, Sabrina bounced happily into the room. “What are you doing? Where are you going? Why are you packing? Can I go with you? Is Thomas going too? How long will we be gone?” Sabrina rambled in her usual manner.

Luna laughed and silently thanked fate for giving her a friend like Sabrina. Without pausing in her packing Luna replied, “I’m Packing. To a farm in the far south of the kingdom. Because the king told me to. Yes, you can go. No, Thomas is not going. I don’t know how long”

“You don’t know for how long? How will you know when to come home? Why do you have to go in the first place? What do you mean the king told you to go? What’s going on Luna? What aren’t you telling me?” Sabrina said throwing her hands up.

Luna stopped packing and sat by her friend. “Remember the prank I pulled on Mr. Smith a few days ago? Well, it seems that my prank caused Mr. Smith to lose a week’s wages. King Jordan has told me I have to go to a farm in the farthest village in the kingdom and live and work there until I learn a lesson.”

“But what lesson?” Sabrina asked.

“The king said I would know what lesson when the lesson is learned.”

“Well, that makes no sense.”

“I know. I can only hope that I know when it happens,” Luna said thoughtfully. “Why don’t you go pack? Come back as soon as you can so we can get started. We can talk while we ride.”

Within the hour, Luna was saddling Gunner while Sabrina waited nearby. Thomas was petting Gunner’s neck. “I hope everything goes well, My Love. I have faith that you can do this and we will be together forever.”

Luna finishes with the saddle and turns to Thomas. Touching one cheek softly, she kisses him on the other, “I’ll be back and we shall marry. I make this promise to you, My Love. “ She mounts Gunner and with a last smile to Thomas, she is off, with Sabrina close behind her.

In the fairy world, birth order is everything. Luna was the first child born in her birth year. The first fairy born each day is gifted four magical powers. The first fairy born each calendar month is gifted eight magical powers. The first fairy born each year is gifted all of the magical powers known. Sixteen years ago, Luna was the first fairy born in the new year, as was her mother and her mother’s mother. With that heritage, Luna’s powers were even more enhanced than normal. Luna hoped that her abilities would help her to understand her quest.

The girls were not far from their village when they ran into AnnaBell and her cohorts Darla, Susan and Alice. AnnaBell is Luna’s long-time rival. She was extremely envious of Luna. She was born the same day and just a few hours after Luna. From AnnaBell’s point of view, everything that went wrong in her life was Luna’s fault. Because of this, AnnaBell spent the majority of her time finding ways to cause problems for Luna. When she learned of the orders Luna had received from the king, she immediately started planning how to ruin everything for Luna, once and for all.

“So, where are you going, Luna?” AnnaBell asks. “Oh wait, I already know. She has to go work on a farm! Isn’t that funny?” When nobody laughed, she repeated herself. “Isn’t that funny?” Realizng their mistake in not laughing the first time, Darla, Susan and Alice all began to giggle as if AnnaBell had told a good joke.

Luna refused to answer AnnaBell’s remarks and rode on in silence.

“Come on, let’s go!” AnneBell ordered her friends. “I have an idea.”

While Luna and Sabrina rode on, they talked about the incident that had put them on this mission. “I really don’t understand how you’ll know when you’ve learned the lesson. I mean, what if you learn twenty things? How do you know which is the right one?” Sabrina asked.

“I’m hoping my powers will assist me,” Luna replied.

That evening they made camp in a grove of oak trees by a brook. By this time, they were pretty tired and weren’t talking much. They made the horses comfortable, had a bite to eat and turned in with a quietly spoken good night. Within minutes, they were sound asleep.

Early morning found Luna and Sabrina alone in the camp, their horses gone. They rushed about, looking for the horses, but found nothing. As they walked back to camp, Luna saw prints in the sand. Showing them to Sabrina, they quietly followed the prints. The trail led them to a camp where they found AnnaBell and her trio. Tied to a tree was Gunner and Sabrina’s horse, Rebel.

Luna laughed quietly and whispered, “Does she really thing she can keep Gunner from me?” With that, she let out a piercing whistle that silenced the birds, stilled the trees and set Gunner in motion. He snapped the rope holding him, bit the rope holding Rebel and together, they ran to where Luna and Sabrina were hiding.

Dumbfounded, AnnaBell and her trio stood by with mouths agape, barely believing what they had just witnessed. Highly agitated, AnnaBell swears revenge. “I’ll get you for this!” she says, shaking her fist. Luna and Sabrina laughed as they rode their horses back to camp to pack up for the rest of the journey.

The next evening, they set camp as the night before, falling asleep quickly. Several hours later, Luna was wakened by Gunner nuzzling her face. “What is it boy? What’s wrong?”

Turning towards the woods at the far end of the camp, Gunner neighed and stomped his foot. Luna heard the brush rustling and quickly woke Sabrina. They watched the bushes, not knowing what was there. They heard a low growling. Then Gunner stomped again and neighed differently. Luna wondered what could be in the bushes causing Gunner to neigh ‘hello?’

Then she saw him. It was Lobo, the wolf she had rescued as a pup. She had found him caught in a trap and used her powers to free him. Laughing, she flew to Lobo and rubbed his ears. “You big baby, where have you been? I haven’t seen you in ages.”

Lobo let out a low growl as if trying to say something. Sabrina stood in awe at the beautiful beast before her. “This is Lobo?’

“Yes, come on, pet him,” Luna said.

“Are you sure he won’t mind?”

“I’m positive, come on!”

That is how AnnaBell found them when she arrived a few moments later, Luna and Sabrina sitting on Lobo’s head scratching his ears while the giant beast purred like a kitten.

“What is this? I don’t understand! He was supposed to eat you and your stupid horses!” AnnaBell cried.

“What do you mean?” Luna asked.

“I lured him here to eat you. You have been a thorn in my side since the day we were born and I want you gone! Forever!”

Luna, who had flown down to be level with her, now stepped a bit closer. “I had no idea you hated me so much. What have I done?”

AnnaBell told her, “You had to be born before me. You were the first one of the year and you have all the special powers while I have to make do with only one decent power. You! Everything is your fault! I’m in love with Thomas and you took him from me.”

“What? You had a relationship with Thomas? How can that be, I’ve known him my entire life!”

“No, you stupid girl. He doesn’t even know I exist thanks to you. You’re all he can see. You’re all he has ever seen!” With these words, AnnaBell stepped forward in what seemed like a threatening manner, causing Lobo to jump between them, teeth bared to AnnaBell, a deep warning growl came from his throat.

“Oh you ugly beast, get out of my way. I want to end her for good!” AnnaBell threatened while trying to step around Lobo.

While Lobo was a grown, full size wolf, the fairies were a mere six inches tall, but many of them had very strong powers, some capable of hurting a beast Lobo’s size. When AnnaBell told Lobo to get out of her way, it would have been possible for her to hurt Lobo. But he would have none of that. With one swing of his giant paw, he sent AnnaBell turning end over end.

Prepared for fight, Lobo crouched down. AnnaBell laughed and asked Lobo, “is that all you’ve got?” She pointed a finger at him as if about to use her power on him. He pounced and landed with his giant paw on top of AnnaBell. Staring at her, he growled menacingly. Now AnnaBell was scared. She knew she had overstepped with this beast and she knew he could, and would, kill her.

“No! Please don’t!” she cried out.

Lobo growled, his teeth inches from her. She continued to beg for mercy. Luna flew to Lobo’s head and whispered in his ear. He listened closely. Then, after letting out one final growl, he stepped away.

AnnaBell was so grateful to Luna for saving her, she fell to her knees begging forgiveness and promising to never hurt Luna again.

“Of course I forgive you. One cannot live with hate. It is all consuming and makes one do things they would otherwise not do.”

“Thank you Luna. You are too kind. I promise, you will not regret this,” AnnaBell said. “Goodbye for now, I’ll see you back home. Have a safe journey,” as she turned to go.

Lobo said his goodbyes and went off into the forest. Luna stood, thoughtful for a moment and then she said, “That was it.”

“What was what?” Sabrina asked.

“The lesson. Compassion. He wanted me to learn compassion. To learn how my actions affect others.”

“Oh.” Sabrina said, still puzzled.

Laughing, Luna said, “let’s go home. I have to see King Jordan.”

And with that, they mounted up and headed home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About lherren1963

I'm a 51 yr old college student. I'm pursuing a BFA in Creative Writing.
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