The Fairy Ring

The grass was soft, like carpet. It gently bloomed with the flowers of spring, and new saplings of fruit trees. It had not been trimmed for a while, for there was no one to trim it. But anyone was free to do so, since the scythe lay on the stone wall surrounding the six great pillars that pierced the ground. Ancient, they were. The arches between them had crumbled over time, leaving fallen bricks on the turf to be taken back by nature. In fact it was not just the unfortunate fallen bricks that had been reclaimed by the earth, but the whole structure was covered in vines and moss. The bricks were discoloured due to years of neglect and the terrible storms of countless springs, of which more to come. Even the scythe that lay near was rusted, the lone structure hadn’t been touched in years, left hidden in plain sight on the soft green hill just past the forest. The soon midday sun shone down through the ornate anterior window onto a statue of a woman in robes, holding a sapling. She stood in a shallow pool of water covered in algae and lily pads along with reeds growing out the sides. The woman’s gaze looked down upon a circumference of pearl capped toadstools. That grass-cutter should have been wary of letting poisonous mushrooms grow in a sacred place! Nay, toadstools don’t belong here. An experienced gardener knows to hex the soil from growing toadstools. Perhaps the hex was broken? A rare case a bit too rare for this curious affair, because pearl capped toadstools don’t grow in the spring. The suspicious mushrooms flaunted their smooth round caps and slim stems, surreptitiously hiding their true visage. Their chicanery was not alone, a perfectly ripe pile of lust-berries lay softly in the middle of the ring. Their shiny surface reflecting a heart-bird perched on the statue. It’s feathers lay flat and its senses sharp as it looks for danger. A perfect snack for a mother bird. No danger in sight. Go for it. It lifted its wings and launched into the sky, it glided down into the ring of fatal fungi. It landed its feet onto the tasty prize, and began to open its beak. Unfortunately for the bird, it had already been impaled by a long sharp wooden spike that fell from the sky. The heart-bird should have known better. Lust-berries don’t grow in the wild, they can only be created through means of magic. How obvious it was that it was a trap, such a shame that it only caught a tiny heart-bird.

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