Posts filed under ‘Story #4 -The Journey of Blue Jax’

The Journey of Blue Jax – p.20

In the blink of an eye, the land for miles around was buried in snow, save the small clearing where the herd of elk stood. They were trapped in their new home.

Jax laughed so hard that she fell off the branch and only managed to flap her wings in time to keep from falling into the snow. She had not laughed that way in a long time, and could not stop herself. She flew over to the Biding Bird, who began chirping merrily too, and together they headed back along the trail towards the winterless valley.

The fairies were happy in their new home, and Jax was included in their lives from then on, no longer made fun of for her indigo coloring. The Biding Bird lived with Jax, until one night nearly a year later when there came a knock on Jax’s door. A gruff voice called out, “You don’t have to invite me in, I don’t plan to stay long.” Jax opened the door and saw the troll who had given her the Biding Bird. “Time’s up, girl.”

“What do you mean? What are you doing here?” The troll ignored her and held out his arm. The Biding Bird flew over and obediently landed on the troll’s shoulder. “Hey!” Jax shouted.

The troll grinned. “One may only keep the bird for a year and a day, and your time is just about up. That’s how these legends work, you see.” As he spoke, the Biding Bird began to vanish from sight. It let out one last happy chirp at Jax before the troll turned and walked away, on to a new adventure.

THE END

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December 31, 2011 at 11:53 pm 3 comments

The Journey of Blue Jax – p.19

The two fairy lads stared at the Biding Bird, which was the most beautiful thing either one of them had ever seen; so beautiful that they no longer questioned Jax’s story, for there could be no doubt that this was the bird of legend. They ran with Jax back to the rest of the fairies, who had taken shelter in an old rabbit burrow. Young and old came crawling out and gathered to hear Jax’s plan. Some of the older fairies wept when they saw the Biding Bird, and all agreed to relocate to the winterless valley.

The next morning, everyone assembled again, and Jax stood before them. “Is everyone accounted for, and are you all prepared?”

Heads of green hair nodded, positive words were mumbled, but overall the crowd was silent, still in awe of what was happening.

“All right then, here we go,” said Jax, and the Biding Bird, who had been on her shoulder, flew up over the fairies. “Biding Bird, please bide my clan.”

The bird spread its wings and the fairies vanished.

“Now comes the fun part,” Jax said, and she flew up to a high branch of a nearby tree. “Biding Bird, bide the clawfoot elk no longer.” Once again, the bird spread its wings, and suddenly the entire herd of elk appeared on the ground below. They were in shock and stood almost perfectly still, their eyes wide and their nostrils flared.

Jax shouted, “Quickly now, before they have a chance to run – Biding Bird, bide the snow no longer!”

December 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

The Journey of Blue Jax – p.18

The journey back to her home was uneventful, and when Jax arrived she was pleased to see that all the snow was gone. The Biding Bird’s reach was vast, it seemed. She walked through the remnants of mushroom homes, but didn’t see anyone around. She flew up a few feet off the ground to get a better view, and the bird followed her. Finally she spotted two young fairy lads walking together, carrying armloads of nuts and seeds. She flew down to them. “Hey!”

The two fairies turned, shocked to see her. “Blue Jax,” said one of the lads, “we took you for lost.”

“Or for abandoning us in our time of need, more like,” said the other.

Jax let the insult roll off her back, there were more important things to deal with now. “I’ve followed the clawfoot elk to a place where winter does not come. I am here to take you all back with me.” As she spoke, the Biding Bird landed on her shoulder.

The second fairy spoke again. “We’ll never make that kind of a journey, even if you are telling the truth; why would we want to live among the creatures who destroyed our homes?”

The bird sang then, sharp short notes, as if trying to scold the fairy lad. Jax laughed and said, “I don’t think the legendary Biding Bird likes the tone of your voice.”

December 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm 1 comment

The Journey of Blue Jax – p.17

Without warning, the trees thinned out and the forest opened up onto a cliff. A warm, gentle breeze blew steadily in from the south, and Jax looked down from the edge. There, grazing on thick grass, was the herd of elk. They had followed a steep trail in the face of the cliff down to the lush valley below, and were now sedately grazing. Winter had not come here.

“They don’t look so dangerous now,” Jax said, though she knew if provoked they would certainly rampage again. She sat down, her little blue legs dangling over the edge of the cliff, and the Biding Bird landed beside her. “I wish I could bring the whole clan here; with you to help me keep the snow away I think we could make the journey. I just don’t know what to do about them,” she said, pointing down at the herd.

The Biding Bird chirped happily, and hopped up and down.

“Don’t tell me, you could actually bide them, too?”

The bird flew around Jax in a circle, trilling a single high note.

Jax smiled. She thought about the other fairies, and wondered if she would make it in time. “Don’t worry, you won’t have to keep them for long.”

December 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm 1 comment

The Journey of Blue Jax – p.16

Jax floated down from the tree in a state of shock. The Biding Bird flew down beside her, reclaiming its perch on her shoulder. “How did you do that?” Jax asked, and without a moment’s further hesitation, she took off on the trail of the clawfoot elk again.

When the sun had risen almost to its zenith, Jax stopped and clutched her stomach. She couldn’t remember ever being so hungry in her life. I can’t ask the bird to take this, too, she thought, and looked around to see what might be good to forage. She had made good progress that morning, and was now in a part of the woods that she rarely visited. The trees grew tall and close together, leaving little sunlight reaching the ground, so the undergrowth was all thick carpets of moss. Jax could see that the elk must have had to slow down when they reached this point, weaving through the trees in rows instead of a bulky herd; there were only a handful of places where the moss was trampled.

She looked up, and was overjoyed to see that there were nuts on some of the trees. Jax flew up, picked six in all, one by one, and dropped them to the ground. The Biding Bird stayed below and cracked the shells of each nut with its beak. They ate their fill, and resumed the hunt.

December 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

The Journey of Blue Jax – p.15

The snow had drifted right up to the entrance of the shelter, and Jax dismayed that the litter and destruction that had let her follow the elk was now completely covered. She flew up and landed on a branch of the nearest tree to get a better view, but it was smooth green drifts as far as she could see.

“What am I supposed to do now?” Jax lamented.

The Biding Bird reached over and bit her gently on the ear.

“Hey, what was that for?” She shook her head. “I’m not sure what you want from me but I’m a little short on ideas…and directions…and food…”

The bird nibbled her ear again, and then chirped three times.

This is it, Jax thought, now I’ve made it mad and it’s going to curse me or something. “If only it wasn’t for this bothersome snow!”

The Biding Bird left its perch on Jax’s shoulder then, and flew around her head, chirping and singing, making loud, beautiful noise. Jax suddenly thought, or felt, or knew, what she should do. “Can you…can you bide the snow?”

As soon as she spoke the words, the Biding Bird landed on the branch beside her, opened its wings wide, and the snow from miles and miles around them disappeared.

November 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm 1 comment

The Journey of Blue Jax – p.14

That night, Jax slept so soundly that she didn’t notice the cold, or hear the wind, or feel much of anything but relief. The next morning, she was woken by the low, soft warblings and chirps of the Biding Bird as it stood near her head. Rubbing her eyes, she sat up and smiled.

“Good morning to you, too. I was so excited to have you with me that I forgot to even ask you for anything,” she said. “It seems wrong, somehow; I know all the stories about you, and everyone always dreams about being able to own you and what they would ask you to keep, but…” She yawned and stretched her wings, stiff from the chill. “Don’t you mind? What I mean is, if I asked you to keep the cold for me, wouldn’t that make you cold? It seems selfish.”

The bird chirped at Jax, and hopped a bit nearer to her. Jax held out her hand, but the bird skipped over her entire arm and landed on her shoulder. It was still making low sounds in its throat, like faraway chimes in a gentle breeze. In answer, Jax’s stomach made its own low noises.

I can’t ask it to be hungry for me, she thought. I’ll just have to find something. She crawled out of the makeshift shelter, only to see that the sunlit forest was covered with almost a foot of sparkling green snow.

November 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm 1 comment

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