I have written before about the Fern Faery who inhabit my fern garden.
I have not written about the Wood and Axel Faery who live at the bottom of my yard and whom I tend to avoid.
At the bottom of my yard is a large wood heap, put there many years ago by relatives past. They were people who saved everything, as you never knew when you might need to use it again.
The wood heap is home to the Wood Faery. These are a nasty egocentric group of faery who will take the shirt off your back before they eat you.
Like so many of the faery clan they are sweet and cute to look at. You can be mistaken in believing that butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. But where the Fern Faery are benevolent the Wood Faery are malevolent.
Smiles that disguise a mouth full of razor sharp teeth, soft delicate hands that become ripping talons in seconds.
My cousin Alfred found this out much to his detriment. He fell for the sweet and innocent look and was never seen again save for a few bones we later had DNA tested to prove it was him.
To the Wood Faery humans are a rare delicacy. Mostly they survive on rats, mice and rabbits which are plentiful around my way.
But behind the wood heap is the Axel Faery. If you thought the Wood Faery were mean these ones make them look like beginners.
The Axel Faery are red in colouring, wear purple outfits and have a growl that will leave you quaking in your boots. The Axel have been behind the wood heap as long as I can remember. You can’t help but notice them but never go near them. Not only will they devour you but its what they do with your bones that is most disturbing.
They grind up the bones of their victims into a powder, a very fine powder, which they mix into a paste, add a charcoal colouring and paint their bodies with it. They do this once a year in their fertility time. Once painted they become reproductive machines singularly focused.
In the weeks prior to Fertility time they are most active, at their cutest, at their nastiest luring victims in. We suspect that Mr Wilson who lived three doors up from me and who used to wander in the paddock behind my place was one of their victims.
Mr Wilson must have stepped a little too close as the Axel have the ability to emit a spit that has a venom like no other. He wouldn’t have known what hit him, it acts so fast, I have seen what it can do to a rabbit, instant death. Once down they descend on the body with a voracity that has to be seen to be believed.
The Axel are the land version of the piranha.
Once they have their supply of boned powder their ceremony begins.
It can look like the worst of depravity or the best of mating, depending on your views of such things.
The ceremony lasts only a few days, there is much conjugality, there seems to be no order, its literally every man and woman for themselves. In the end there are red and black bodies lying all around their place. Their naked bodies lay where they performed their last union, they take their sated sleep, their purple attire heaped in the middle of their enclosure, retrieved only as they recover and return to their daily lives, their reproductive urges satisfied for another year. A month or so later births occur and so the faery population is maintained as some do disappear as the year goes on and I am not sure what happens to them other than to surmise they meet the same fate of so many who venture to far into the Axel world.
I know all this, as I am the keeper of the yard. It is I who protects their world, who supplies the Wood Faery with new pieces of timber for their world and who also maintains the wood heap allowing the Axel to flourish in their space. In the faery world each keeps to his own. As malicious as the Wood and Axel are they would never venture into the domain of the Fern Faery. The Fern Faery as you know have a magic of their own and the Wood and Axel’s are terrified of them.
So the balance of the Faery worlds is sustained by the understanding each has for their respective worlds.
Though the day is coming when the wood heap may go, the next generation of yard keepers may not be as understanding as I am. Though if they are not educated in the ways of the Wood and Axel it may not happen at all. My lips, of course, are sealed.