The Great Migration

Olga Steblyk / Lead Photographer

It was cold and the grass was wet at the hill’s peak where the portal was to be opened. In the dusk of night, hundreds of people had come together to leave this realm to journey somewhere they had never been to before. Magic was going to leave these lands.

This was what those people had wanted. Those jealous disgusting cockroaches that feared those who were different.

The story of magic on these lands came from three centuries before the migration. There had been a portal that opened on top of a hill from which came a badly injured being. Seven friends were close enough, having been on a trip to pick the gutenberries, a healing plant that grew on the top of the hill, when they found that being. The original seven nursed the being back to health and were given the gift of magical power. Soon as their families grew, so did the amount of people with the powers.

Everyone knew this. Everyone knew that people who had these powers were also harmless. The seven had learned how to take hatred and resentment out of their body into a pill. They detached themselves from feeling that emotion.

This had led their young to do the same. Tradition which only led to ruin.

Even when the houses were being torched in the middle of night and children were being slaughtered right on the streets, those with magic tried to find a middle ground.

A lot of good it did them all.

Marie watched as her parents had found the way to construct a safe passageway, a way to be killed. Marie watched as her parents found a way to build a safe passageway as they distracted the mindless people of the wretched kingdom. She had never had the chance to remove her hatred from her body and thus, her emotions steeled. She was going to live until the day she would be able to see the kingdom fall.

As all the people with magic left, they built her a new home atop the hill’s peak to look over the kingdom. No person without magic would ever be able to come close or even gaze upon the area where Marie lived.

And so, she lived for years to come. Waiting to see the day the kingdom would crumble.

Then came a little boy crawling on his fours. His golden head of hair shined in the sun even though the rest of his body had seemed dirtied, as he had followed a squirrel all the way to the place no other human should have been able to travel.

Little by little, his steps stopped in a vegetable garden, grabbing at the pretty red fruits. That’s when Marie found him. She hadn’t seen another human so close for so long and she felt fear rise that perhaps everyone could walk past her spell to protect herself. But the tiny bundle of joy was the exception.

“What do I do with you?”

She asked as she begrudgingly enchanted a deer to deliver the child back to the King’s hunting party that had become frantic searching for the young prince that had lost his way.

Intrigue bloomed within Mary’s heart. She looked at the child from afar. And much to her annoyance, the boy would always find his way back.

From a toddler who had lost his way to a toddler who kept walking away from his father and mother to make his way to the frowning woman.

The child had a heart of gold. A heart of gold that melted the frozen soul within a very hurt woman. She finally came out from her home until she made her way down to the palace. Her adopted son, who had adopted her as a second mother to himself, had begun asking for her help to learn about the past.

Kindness had crept back into the lands.

Marie smiled, as her son brought the truth of the lands to the front. He helped her have a family again. When he had a sister, she blessed the baby for his sake.

For his sake, she taught the others about the knowledge she had gathered over the years.

For his sake…

Then one day they came for him.

His sister who had been easily swayed had found herself a creature of disgust.

Victor looked upon Mary’s new family with greedy and envious eyes. So, he manipulated. So, he killed.

And what did it all lead to?

Mary looked at the body of her son, frozen in time, healing slowly and slowly. She was going to bring him back after the little sleep for centuries they would need.

Maybe when they woke this time, it would all be different. Maybe this time, the little prince would get happiness that would last.

This story was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 8 on Thursday, April 4.

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