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Twice upon a time, there existed in the sky a small Crystal City inhabited by fairies. The city was beautiful, with sapphire spires stretching upward and streets populated by glowing azure creatures with delicate silver wings. These fairies lived a simple life, playing fairy games, singing fairy songs, and most of all, teasing the humans below them. Every fairy relished breaking oxen yokes, tripping up children, and stealing household items.
Every fairy, that is, except one. L’Rayin always watched sadly as the latest mishap befell a human by fairy hands. She would spend hours sitting on her special spire and observe as humans went about their daily lives. It filled her with sympathy for the creatures.
One day, she approached her teacher. “N’Farill,” she asked, “why is everyone so mean to the humans?”
He looked at her with a strange expression. “L’Rayin,” he answered in his low, gravelly voice, “you’re young, but I’ve seen you perched on your tower, observing the humans. Certainly you’ve noticed how barbaric they are.”
“Sure, they can’t fly,” L’Rayin said, “but they’re kinda cute.” She sat on a stool and rested her wings against her back. “I just feel so sorry for them. Their life is so hard, even with us making it worse. Can’t we help them in some way?” Realization dawned in her eyes. “What about the cloud water? They always have trouble getting enough water, and we have plenty to spare in our clouds.”
“Enough!” N’Farill shouted, slamming his fist down onto the desk. “I cannot let this preposterousness continue. Haven’t you seen the way the barbarians have treated the aid they’ve already been given? Elves gave them wood, but they only ravaged the forests to make houses and bind animals. Dwarves gave them stone, and they pillaged the earth, hoarding the beautiful stones away and fashioning the gray rocks so they could kill each other. No, L’Rayin, any help is lost on those barbarians. Water already falls in the mountains and feeds the rivers. That’s enough for them.”
L’Rayin sadly flew away and sat on her silent tower. She gazed across the land, seeing the things N’Farill had spoke of. In a small house, a man drove a spear through another man’s heart. On the open country, oxen labored beneath wooden yokes. L’Rayin shed a tear at the sight. Certainly there is hope, she thought. There must be some way to save them. They are capable of so much more.
Her hair fell in her face. She brushed it aside and saw a boy lying in a dusty road. It looked like he hadn’t had a drop to drink for over a day. Two fairies held a bowl of water before him, but pulled it out of the way whenever he reached out his hand. The boy let out a cry of pain, and it tore at L’Rayin’s heart. She balled her fists in fury. How dare they torture that child! They’ll kill him!
She flew down in a rage and landed next to the fairies. “Leave him alone,” she ordered.
The fairies dropped the bowl and stared at L’Rayin in astonishment. One of them flitted closer and stared at the tears running down her face. Then he broke out in a laugh. “Look, Fa’Galil,” he said derisively. “She actually cares about this pathetic barbarian.”
His fellow fairy joined him in cruel laughter. “I mean it,” L’Rayin said, tears still running out of her eyes. “I’m warning you.”
“And what will a little fairy like you do?” the first fairy asked.
“I’ll…I’ll…” She tried to think, but their laughter was interrupting her thoughts. She pressed her hands against her head, trying to block out the sound, but it still forced its way in.
Meanwhile, the boy’s hand touched the bowl of water. The second fairy noticed and promptly turned the bowl over, spilling the precious water across the dirt. The boy moaned in agony, and L’Rayin’s crying renewed in earnest.
The first fairy slapped her across the face. “Shut up, stupid fairy,” he said.
L’Rayin looked at him with eyes as wells of sorrow, but they didn’t sway him. She turned away, stomped the ground in protest, and lifted off. She flew as far and fast as she could, fed by the fury and sadness. She didn’t stop until she reached a cloud. Inside, she turned and saw the boy still there, the two fairies dancing around him happily.
Something inside her broke. She let out a tremendous cry full of all the suffering inside her and lashed out with her wings. One of them pierced the cloud, and water started dripping out. L’Rayin fell silent and stared at the falling water as an idea formed in her mind. Then she took off and zoomed around the cloud, cutting openings wherever she could.
The two fairies were still laughing and enjoying their fun, when one of them felt something wet hit his head. He stopped, looked up at the sky, and froze, wide-eyed. His partner stopped dancing and looked up with him. Then his mouth fell open in astonishment.
Drops of water were falling from the sky! The two fairies cried out and flew away as water started pelting them. The boy turned over and opened his mouth, accepting the gift from the sky.
L’Rayin descended and sat next to the boy. He looked at her and smiled, water dripping out of his mouth. “You’re welcome,” the fairy said with a laugh. “I am L’Rayin.”
“Rain…” the boy croaked.
L’Rayin shrugged. It was close enough to her name. The boy smiled again and turned back onto his back, drinking the falling water. L’Rayin smiled, too, and tears again ran down her face, but this time in happiness. She had found what she wanted to do.
For the next several days, L’Rayin went from cloud to cloud, sending down water to any human who needed it. Tales of the falling water spread, and the boy’s word “rain” was used to refer to the wonderful phenomenon. L’Rayin’s joy grew and grew, and she appeared in Crystal City less and less. Eventually, the fairies agreed that something had to be done.
N’Farill took it upon himself to correct his student. He found her speeding towards a cloud pregnant with water. “L’Rayin,” he called out.
She halted and turned, a smile spread across her face. “N’Farill, have you come to join me?”
“No,” he said, grabbing her arm firmly. “I have come to stop you.”
“What are you doing?” she asked frantically. She tried to pull away, but his grip was too tight. N’Farill shook his arm and rocked her body. L’Rayin cried out and hung her head.
“Come to your senses, child,” he said. “What good could ever come from helping barbarians like them?”
She slowly lifted her head and looked at him with eyes wiser and deeper than he had guessed. “Only barbarians refuse help to their neighbors,” she said. N’Farill stared at her in shock as she slid her hand out of his grip and continued towards the cloud. He returned to Crystal City empty-handed.
The story of L’Rayin spread, and soon other fairies left the city to join her. L’Rayin and her followers formed a Cloud City, and from this city, every rain-bringing fairy would set out. Over time, L’Rayin developed a method, how to bring the right amount of rain and where, for too much would cause a flood and in the wrong place could cause catastrophe. She married another fairy and had a son named M’Chel, who started the art of making shapes in the clouds for the entertainment of young hearts below.
Even until her dying day, she never lost her compassion towards humans and all living things. She would tell whoever needed to that these values were essential in all things. And, after her death, her story lived on, and all the fairy children would rejoice in hearing the tale of L’Rayin’s pity.
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This idea was created entirely by me.