Springtime brought all sorts of little surprises, and Sean loved to look in the gardens as soon as the snow melted and see what flowers would poke through the rejuvenated earth and surprise him. He used to do this at home, before Mother and Father sent him to be with Master Pollyworth. Now, his new Master understood his curiosity and allowed him to travel the Gardens freely.

He wrapped the woolen scarf around his neck and stuck his hands in his armpits for warmth. The Master followed a couple steps behind his spry footed apprentice. He watched as the child scooped up the clumps of forgotten snow that lay between the lilies and the sapling pine and toss it somewhere into the struggling grass. Young Sean Maluene had a lot of natural talent, even without the Green Touch. He cared about the world around him and sought to take care of it. This was the reason why Amos Pollyworth agreed to take Sean on as an apprentice. He found out about the lad’s magic only later, and though a surprise, it was not an unwelcome one.

He smiled. As his new apprentice seemed prone to saying, springtime was full of all sorts of wonderful surprises.

Sean leaned over a shrubby evergreen plant, his blue eyes inspecting it carefully. It was strange to him, different from the common trees that grew around the little cottage in the woods where he grew up. He reached out his fingers to touch the small star-like blossoms that sprouted along its growth, but his master grabbed his wrist.

“Be careful about touching the Pyxie Plant, young Sean. Legend says that it is a dangerously beautiful plant, but prone to ensnaring it’s attacker and making them one with the plant.”

Sean looked up into his concerned master’s eyes, but shook his head. “Something is already trapped,” he insisted. He could almost hear a little voice calling for help, right on the edge of his consciousness.

Amos Pollyworth looked down at the boy, but slowly loosened his grip. The secret of the Pyxie Plant was to swallow whatever being encountered it, but it could only hold one at a time. If another tried to touch it, it had to free whichever being it already ensnared before it could try to acquire another. It was a defensive magic. He felt nothing from the plant, which had been growing in his Gardens for nearly a decade. But if his apprentice became snared, he could at least free the young boy. Apprentices had to learn through actions and mistakes. He let his hand fall to his side.

The boy smiled, and seemed suddenly very peaceful. He reached out to touch a flower that glimmered in the sunlight from its morning dew. The Pyxie Plant shuttered and Pollyworth stepped back, not wishing to be caught in its defensive attack.

To his amazement, from the ground reached a little hand, then another. Sean knelt in front of the plant, far enough away so it could not brush against him, even with a strong wind. Finally, a head peeped out from the dirt, two daring blue-green eyes. Sean smiled.

“Who are you?” he asked the little being. His master wiped his spectacles, amazed at the sight.

The creature pulled itself out of the dirt and climbed on Sean’s outstretched hand. For the first time, he saw two leaves on the back of the creature, positioned as though they were wings. “Don’t ye know? I am of the blessed Realm of the Fae, imprisoned in this plant for near ten years.” She bowed, her tangled brown hair falling over her shoulders. “For my freedom, I am forever in thine debt. Be there anything ye desire, young master? I can make it be.”

Sean shook his head. “Nothing, miss…”

“Oh, how rude of me! I am Enchaine, the Faerie of the Grass of Springtime!” the little wings on her back fluttered with pride.

“Well miss Enchaine,” Sean struggled with the name. “I’m afraid I don’t really desire anything. But I’m happy you’re safe!”

“A Kiss, then?” the faerie asked, with such a look in her eyes that Sean could not refuse. He blushed, and the faerie took that as a response. from behind, his master looked on in awe. A Fae Kiss was a way of marking a mortal, so that if they ever needed to call in a debt, they could, just by saying the faerie’s name.

Enchaine crawled up Sean’s arm and pursed her lip. Then she pulled back with a wicked grin. “Ye must close thine eyes!” she chided. Sean obeyed, and she leaned in and pecked him on the cheek. When he opened his eyes, the faerie was gone, but his master could see that his eyes now swirled with the Fae magic, fading like a gradient from blue to green then back again as his moods changed.

Then, as though nothing had just happened, Sean jumped back on his feet and resumed his tour of the gardens. Pollyworth smiled, and followed behind his apprentice. Surely, from this day on, his days would never be tedious. Young Sean Maluene had more power than he realized, and Amos Pollyworth was going to make sure that the boy could tame that power, and use it for good.

.

Word: Rejuvenate. || Time: 15 minutes. || Character: Amos Pollyworth.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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