“Dearest Mother, with eyes of blue,
Who watches over us and all we do,
For your love and guidance keeps us true
And know that we shall always love you”
Akiko awoke to the flash of bright orange light. Squinting in the darkness of the room, he was blinded by another flash of light, as if Cressedea herself was snapping in the shadows.
“Futo… what are you…” Akiko groaned, sitting up from his bed and wrapping himself in his childhood blanket. The dreams of blossoming flowers fading as his eyes adjusted to the dark room.
Across from him, a figure sat forward in a bed, leaning over what appeared to be a pile of papers. Akiko heard the folding of a piece of paper, light crunches as the creases were made. Then, in a light click and snap, a fiery form burst into life, engulfing the paper and flashing the figure’s face, staring down at it with a concentrated grin.
“Sorry, Kiko”, the figure, Futo, whispered. The embers of the paper lingered in his palm for a moment, before being absorbed of their heat and returning the room to shadow once more. “Just need to make sure everything is perfect for tomorrow.”
Akiko shook his head, though he knew Futo couldn’t see in the dark of the room. A calm breeze drifted in from their open windows, letting the mid-spring scents of Illyria relax the magikid.
“You’ve been practicing for weeks now,” Akiko whispered back, setting back into his bed. “Mother will love it, no matter what. Now go to sleep. You know how Mother gets when we’re not well rested.”
Futo’s form shivered from across the room, as Akiko smirked at this. That ought to stop this practicing business, and he could finally get some rest. With some additional shuffling of papers and sheets, Akiko soon heard the soft breathing of his brother, and sighed with a smile.
As Akiko relaxed under his sheets, his mind drifted back toward the Unconscious realm’s welcoming arms. The cool breeze swirled about the two boys, lulled back to sleep for the day ahead of them.
The morning air was crisp as Queen Misaki sat under her favorite tree. A graceful smile curled her lips, as she observed the light dance of fallen leaves from the treetops. Before her, small sprites fluttered about, performing chores and actions to keep her Magikingdom looking as beautiful as she. Flowers bloomed and the gold-imbued walls glistened as Cressedea gazed brilliantly down.
Misaki looked down at the purring mass on her lap. Fuwafuwa, whose snowy white coat appeared patched with the overcast shadow of the trees foliage, appeared to have fallen asleep, head nestled in her lap. Not wanting to wake the poor beast, she gently raised a hand and snapped her fingers softly. Two sprites appeared with a bow.
“My dears… ”, the Queen smiled, blue eyes like vast oceans staring down at the beings before her. Her smile appeared gentle and sweet. “Have you seen my boys? It isn’t like them to ask me here without appearing themselves.”
The sprites shook their bodies, and the Queen nodded. With a flick of her wrist, the two sprites vanished, returning to their tasks of pollen transfer and leaf disposal, respectively.
The Queen looked down at Fuwafuwa and sighed. “At least you know how to be in attendance for your mother.” With a light pat, she stroked the feline’s head, causing another loud purr to emit from the beast’s form. As she pet, Misaki’s hand glowed a light white, as white orbs seemed to lift from Fuwafuwa’s head, being captured in her outstretched palm.
“Not as delicious as theirs,” she purred, as she closed her palm and lightly squeezed. Opening her hand again, a small pulsing white orb glowed in the middle of her palm. A savory scent came from the orb, reminding Misaki of summer days by the bay, when she and her family would enjoy the salty sea air. She raised her hand to her mouth and swallowed. A taste of fish filled her mouth as the orb vanished. “But your sweet dreams still keep me feeling as young as ever, dear.”
The cat, still purring, awoke to his mother’s voice. It raised its head from his front paws, anticipating a pet from the body it rested on. Misaki smiled down at the cat, and obliged the request. As she pet, she looked up again, and relaxed in the cool breeze.
“Mother!” A voice broke the silence as two forms came running down the courtyard. Misaki looked ahead and felt her smile grow slightly wider. Ahead of her the two forms of Akiko and Futo barreled passed the busy sprites, accustomed to such distractions and intrusions, as they drifted out of the way of the young magikids.
The sound had caused Fuwafuwa to change his position, turning his white ears toward the boys. As they got closer, Fuwafuwa knew his chance for rest and quiet, along with some quality pets, were gone. With that, the cat gracefully descended from Misaki’s lap, and strolled in the opposite direction of the incoming children.
“My dear children,” smiled Misaki, adjusting herself for their embrace. The two boys came in with a quick hug, and then separated from her as she smiled. “Now what had you send for me to be here?”
Akiko was the first to speak. “We have been practicing our magic, Mother. We know you want us to be stronger, so we wanted to show you what we could do!”
Futo nodded at this. “I’ll start! I’ve been practicing for weeks now!”
Before Misaki could respond, the fiery boy pulled out several sheets of paper. These sheets, unlike the ones from the previous night, had already been shaped and cut, folded into the desired appearance. Now in his open palm, the boy stared down at them, almost frozen with anxiety. As Misaki watched, she saw a flicker of passion swirl within the amber irises of her child.
“Behold!” Futo announced as he clicked his fingers. In a flash, the top sheet of paper in his palm erupted into flame. As the sheet burned, it’s form shimmered and shifted, until it appeared to be that of a butterfly. Then, as if it understood what it looked like, it flicked its fiery wings and floated up into the air. As it fluttered about, Futo clicked his fingers again. Again, another sheet transformed and fluttered about. Click, click, click. Three more burning butterflies, glowing orange and red in the warm light of day, danced around Misaki as she watched.
Before she could speak, Akiko jumped up onto the root before Misaki and spoke.
“And from me!” Akiko raised his hand in front of him and concentrated. As he did, sheets of paper from his other hand stiffened and began to glow. Slowly, the air over his hand shimmered and waved, as if an invisible object sat above his outstretched fingers.
Suddenly, green aura drifted from the pages in his hand, swirling in the air before meeting the shimmering space. As the aura glowed and flowed, the pages returned to their black inked appearance, as if drained of whatever magic lay within their texts. Once the last bit of magic was removed, the pages fell limp, and Akiko dropped them to concentrate on the spell.
Now with this magic flowing above his palm, Akiko whispered into it, and tensed his fingers. Slowly, the magic took shape, becoming a branch-like form, floating before Misaki. Misaki sensed the change in the air, and detected a scent of sweet crolley and lavender. The branch of Sylvan magic, being the source of these relaxing odors, shimmered and glowed, as the fiery butterflies danced gracefully in the breeze.
“We know you work so hard to protect us and make sure we grow up strong!” Akiko said, with a large smile on his small face glowing light green in his spell’s light.
“And so we wanted to give you something to show how much we love you, and hopefully helps you relax from these past stressful days”, Futo added, a light smirk on his face as his butterflies swirled about him.
Misaki, now finally able to speak without interruption, could only smile at her children with warmth and deep appreciation. For she knew words could never express the joy and praise she wished to bestow upon them.
But, before she could speak, she was again interrupted. Together, as the two had planned for weeks ahead, the boys spoke in unison.
“Happy Mother’s Day!”
With that, Misaki smiled at them, and could only let out a truly heartfelt, “Thank you”, as she watched the breeze pick up the dropped pages of paper, joining the relaxing scents and joyous embers in a calming dance. And as she praised her sons for their skills and surprise, Misaki couldn’t be happier.
Happy Mother's Day
To All Mothers
From the Fabled Sagas Team
Written by Christopher Rentko