Nixie, the little pixie, was all set to leave home again and reunite with her newly-made friends, including her boyfriend Neldor, who she could hopefully build a future with…
Just before leaving, her mom — who had passed away and transformed into a ghost several years ago — stopped her.
“Nixie, my darling…” she began, her expression looking drained and helpless, “before you go, I need to say goodbye… I already parted ways with your siblings, but I wanted to save yours for last…”
“Oh, relax!” Nixie teased with an eye-roll, “I can see you any time.”
“I’m afraid not,” she sighed heavily, “I can only go on as a ghost for so long. I need to return to the afterlife, where I can reevaluate my life’s lessons, and then start over in a new body.”
“But, Mom!” Nixie argued, “you don’t have to! Just stay here with us! Aren’t you happy to be with us, still?”
“My heart has glowed, watching all of you grow up into wonderful adults. And now that my youngest is officially an adult, my time here is over.”
“No!” Nixie denied, “what about your grandchildren? Don’t you want to see them grow up, too?”
“If I could stay here forever, I would! That would be my greatest wish!”
“I can’t,” her mom began to cry, “it’s not physically possible at this point. Father Time continues turning the wheel and I’ve fought him hard enough — I’m lucky to have made it this long.”
“Well fight harder Mom, c’mon! You’re a fighter!” Nixie exclaimed teary-eyed and still in denial. “You’re the toughest one I know…” She tried to grasp her mother’s ghostly hands and failed…
“Please, don’t make this harder than it is…”
Tears streaming down her face, “and Dad is just letting you go? What about Beck? Maria? What about everyone else? They’re just letting you go, simple as that?”
“They knew this day would come…”
“I know you said you’d stay until you watched all your children grow up. But no one ever said you’d have to disappear one day! Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t anyone tell me? Did they all know?”
“Nixie… we didn’t want you to worry…”
“Huh? Are you serious? You all knew this day would come and nobody told me?”
“We couldn’t bare it, Nixie… you’re the youngest… we didn’t want to discuss this with you… we wanted you to enjoy your youth… we wanted you to look forward to growing up, not dreading it…”
“I can’t believe it! I can’t believe everyone in the family knew you’d disappear once I turned eighteen and nobody wanted to tell me! You think I can’t handle the truth? You think I’m not strong enough?”
“You’re our baby, Nixie, you always have been… we love that innocent sparkle in your eyes… we adore your sensitivity… that’s why we’ve always tried to protect you.”
“NOBODY TELLS ME ANYTHING! NOBODY BELIEVES IN ME! EVERYONE THINKS I NEED TO BE PROTECTED! I’M JUST TOO WEAK!” Nixie stormed off in anger, hysterically crying, running into the forest the recollect herself. She never wanted to say goodbye, but she knew it couldn’t be done like this…
A few moments later, her ghost-mom reappeared in front of her face.
“I love you,” Nixie whispered.
“I love you so much.”
Little lights flashed and sparkled around her mom’s beautiful body, as she evaporated into the abyss…
Nixie returned to the bunker to reunite with her friends — however, when she teleported there, Rose was the only one in sight.
“Nixie, you made it!” Rose greeted.
“Yeah!” Nixie cheered, “are we the only ones here?”
“Looks like it’s so — that’s okay, now we can have girl talk!”
Nixie smiled and agreed.
“I have to tell you — I broke things off with Oregano.”
“Really?!” Nixie was stunned.
“Yeah,” Rose shrugged, “it just wasn’t working out… how is everything with Neldor?”
“Oh, it’s great,” Nixie nodded, “it’s… it’s good!”
“Hmm,” Rose inquired, digging deeper, “it looks like you’re thinking about something…”
“Well…” Nixie stuttered, “I, uh… it’s, uh… it’s just that…”
“Spit it out, girl! What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong…” Nixie took a deep breath, “sometimes, I guess, I feel like he crosses my boundaries.”
“What do you mean?”
“Like, sometimes I feel like I don’t know how to say ‘no‘ to him,” Nixie took another deep breath, “he gets so upset…” and then continued, “sometimes he pushes me too far, doesn’t respect my need for space…”
“Girl, please!” Rose immediately responded, “put your foot down! If you want to tell him ‘no,’ then you tell him ‘no‘!”
Nixie took a breath of relief, “you’re totally right! I just try so hard to be the perfect girlfriend…”
“Nixie,” Rose put her hand on her shoulder, “you are perfect, just the way you are. You remind me of an angel.”
“You’re too kind,” Nixie blushed.
Rose reached in for a hug, “I love your hugs, I love how tightly you squeeze me! Most girls hug so weak and daintily!”
“Yeah, right?!” Nixie exclaimed with concurrence, “you’re the best hugger I know!”
Once all six friends were reunited, they decided they would settle down in a nearby village, a forest known as “Emerald Covert.”
Emerald Covert was a newly built forest, designed shortly after the apocalypse by the gods. It wasn’t just Nixie and her friends — many mythical creatures migrated to the area, who had just finished schooling, in hopes of great adventure.
Nixie met many, many new friends at Emerald Covert. She was astounded by how unique everyone was. Instead of classes, now they were all learning from each other! They all spent their days playing in the forest, making new friends, teaching one another, and learning things.
Their days were peaceful and relaxing. At times it became overwhelming, but for the most part, it was paradise! There were small disagreements and rifts between one another every now and then, but for the most part, everyone got along well, figuring out how to keep an open mind and put each other’s differences aside.
However, one day, there was some serious drama. Nixie, Neldor, and Rose were skipping rocks on the lake when they heard a great commotion.
“FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!” They heard screaming in the distance.
Shocked and incredibly curious, the three of them cautiously made their way over to a large crowd huddling over two girls who were yelling at each other.
“Why don’t you just calm down?” one of the girls, an air nymph, said to the other.
“NEVER!” the other — a fire pixie — replied. And although she was tiny, she threw herself at the other girl with full-force, swinging her arm as hard as she could.
“You’re a freak!” the nymph replied, her eye left with a black-and-blue mark, holding back tears and running away.
“YEAH, YOU BETTER RUN!” the fire pixie exclaimed, “YOU’RE SCARED!”
A few girls ran after the air nymph.
“WHO’S NEXT?” the fire pixie shouted as the crowd suddenly backed off and dispersed, terrified.
Now that Rose was once again friends with her ex-BFF Melia, Nixie barely got to see her. While they used to spend every waking hour together at one point, now seeing each other briefly a few times a week, or once a day at most, felt like nothing. And once again, Melia was encouraging her to be someone who she was not.
Rose would even make remarks such as, “I just feel like I’m Melia’s sidekick, not her equal,” so casually that it made Nixie wonder… well then why do you spend so much time with her? She speculated… are you trying to get me to say something? Do you want me to tell you to stop being friends with her? Do you want me to fight for you? But such comments never worked for her previous friends, so instead, she swallowed the bitterness and simply laughed along and nodded.
One day when they were together, they were looking through a crystal ball. Seeing into the future is always blurry and difficult, unless you’re gifted and well-practiced. Instead, they were looking into the past, which is much more clear.
“You have to see this!” Nixie cheered, pulling up a vision as her eight-year old self.
“Wow!” Rose was extremely amused, “I can’t believe it, you were such a sassy little child!” she giggled, “what happened to all of that sassiness, girl?”
Nixie paused for a moment and thought… “I don’t know what happened.” In that moment, she felt so disconnected from her childhood self, which really felt like her true self. She wondered, exactly, in what moment in time did I lose myself? She thought about how powerless she had been feeling these past few years. Was it those final years of schooling, or did it begin on the very first day of class? Who took my power — was it the world, was it the boys, was it my closest friends?
After Rose left — to go hang out with Melia — Nixie sat back with the crystal ball and decided to scroll through memory lane. She went all the way back to when she was a wee little baby.
“Baba juice!” baby Nixie gurgled, holding out her bottle. “Tockle me!” she said, requesting to be fed.
Nixie fast-forwarded ahead to five-years old. She was rambling on to her mother, who clearly wasn’t paying any attention, looking off into the distance. So as a result, Nixie grabbed her face, pointing her chin back in her direction so that she was looking at her, assuring she was listening now. Nixie recalled doing this quite often.
Another thing she noticed was that when anyone would kiss her on the cheek — family, friends, strangers — she would always wipe the kiss off, always…
Nixie observed her child-self getting kissed on the cheek by her aunt, as five-year old Nixie stared her aunt dead in the eyes, placing her hand on her own cheek, and wiping it the heck off, as if it was poison.
And then Nixie fast-forwarded to her and Callie playing together in the snow. They were building a snow-castle.
“Callie, look,” she said, “you have to do it this way. Callie, no, you can’t sculpt it like that. You have to make it like this.”
“But wouldn’t it be cool to have a window over here?” Callie calmly suggested.
“Yeah, maybe if you’re a loser,” Nixie snickered.
“Well, I think it’s nice!”
“Okay, Callie, you can be a loser if you want,” Nixie chuckled, “I’m just kidding, Callie. You know I’m kidding, right? Callie?”
Nixie fast-forwarded a bit more to age thirteen, eating lunch with Isla.
“You know what I hate?” Nixie said, “I hate it when you say ‘thank you’ and then the other person says ‘no problem’ instead of ‘you’re welcome.’ Like, doesn’t it sound so rude and passive aggressive? Like, what do you mean, ‘no problem?’ Like, why should there be a problem in the first place? Ugh!”
“I don’t think it matters,” Isla shrugged, “I think they mean the same thing.”
“Ugh, and you know what else I hate?” Nixie continued.
“I hate it when you sneeze, and then the person says, ‘bless you,’ and then the other person says, ‘thanks,’ and that’s it. Like, you have to say ‘you’re welcome.’ Like, it’s just rude to just stop at ‘thank you‘ and then ignore the person!”
“A-choo!” Isla sneezed.
“Bless you!” Nixie said.
“No problem!” Isla added.
“UGH!” They both burst into laughter.
There she was — the fire pixie who had started a fight with that air nymph. Her name was Nova and to her surprise, she didn’t seem at all like an angry person, but a bubbly and bright girl with a lot of passion. She always had a smile on her face, except when she played sports, in which she became fiercely competitive. And her hair was a lovely, vivid turquoise.
Nixie started slowly becoming friends with Nova. She seemed like a really great friend… she just could not shake that first impression of her. The more she got to know her, the harder it became for her to believe that those two girls were actually the same.
Nixie was starstruck by Nova, like it was almost too good to be true that they were friends… eventually, best friends.
To her surprise, one day, Nova bursted out, “I’m obsessed with you!”
And Nixie replied, “yeah, I’m obsessed with you too!”
It was perfect… it was… too perfect.
Even as they got closer, Nixie could never fully let her guard down around Nova. She knew she had a fiery temper and a history of getting so angry with others that she cuts them off without any remorse. Nixie was always terrified of accidentally pushing that button. She adored Nova so much that she convinced herself that she was bound to run away from her eventually. After so many years of failed friendships and relationships, she could not bare to lose someone as magnificent as Nova.
One night, while Neldor was off with his friends, it was just Nixie and Nova alone together, sipping on magic tea and mead. They were hanging out by the lake.
And then out of nowhere, a rush of passion must have bursted throughout Nova’s body as she grabbed Nixie forcefully and threw herself on top of her. She smooched her with intense fervor, zeal conveying from her tongue to Nixie’s.
“God! You are so beautiful!” Nova clenched her fists with exasperation.
Absolutely flabbergasted, Nixie was speechless…
Just then, Neldor and his friends had returned…
At the end of the night, when Nixie was alone with Neldor, she confessed to him, “I kissed Nova!”
“You did?” He was surprised, but calm.
“Are you mad?” she worried.
“No! Thanks for telling me. Just don’t do it again, okay? Not while I’m gone.”
“Sure,” Nixie nodded.
The following days to come, Nixie’s friendship with Nova continued as normal. But she kept replaying everything in her head… over and over… she couldn’t stop thinking about it… it was driving her nuts. Still, she just pushed it away… trying to control her own thoughts… and now she was much, much, much more terrified of losing Nova…
And then… of course — Nova had completely disappeared. Nixie tried reaching out to her, sending telepathic messages, asking around where she had gone. Yet she was nowhere in sight.
Months went by, and there was still no trace of Nova. And now, Rose was even more distant then ever, constantly spending time with Melia.
Luckily, Nixie still had Neldor. They were best friends. They loved drinking magic tea together, watching plays, talking to animals, and exploring the thick of woods.
It had now been a few years since they first settled in Emerald Covert. Gradually, many of the nature spirits were beginning to leave, finding a home where they could settle down and start their own families.
Nixie pondered to Neldor, “do you suppose we leave Emerald Covert soon? Seems like it’s getting more crowded here, as all the younger ones come and take our place…”
“Yeah,” Neldor agreed, “my family has been missing me dearly, I should probably return home to my parents for a while…”
A bit disappointed, Nixie suggested, “don’t you wanna… find somewhere we can live together?”
“Of course,” Neldor nodded, “it’s just that — there’s a lot I’d like to accomplish beforehand.”
“I’d like to travel more… maybe even go into space someday, go live on another planet… I’d like to earn more coins… become a rich man and buy myself whatever I want… perhaps create an empire! I want to learn more, discover more, experience more!” There was deep yearning in his eyes for so many dreams… “but I want to do all of it with you,” he added with assurance.
“Neldor, I don’t know about all that,” Nixie shook her head in deep thought, “it sound amazing, but… I don’t care about the world… I don’t care about any of that — money, travel, career and politics… truthfully, I just want to be a wife and a mother. All I care about is love.”
“We can do all of it together!” Neldor insisted.
“It sounds like you’re just too scared to do it all alone… if you’re not ready to move forward, then…”
Neldor panicked, “of course I want to move forward! Let’s do it, let’s find a nearby village where we can start over and eventually raise our children!”
“Are you sure that’s what you want?” Nixie worried, “you’re not just saying all this, so that I won’t leave you?”
“Nixie, you are my whole future! I cannot see it with anyone else!”
Nixie was extremely hesitant.
Neldor pulled out a ring from his pocket, carved from rose quartz, “take this ring as a promise,” he offered.
“Really?” Nixie beamed, “an engagement?”
“Well, sort of! I mean, we don’t have to tell anybody about it right now… because then they’ll ask us all these questions and everything… but I want you to understand that I do see my future with you.”
Nixie was overcome with mixed emotions.
“Let’s just break up,” Nixie relapsed, handing him back the ring. “What’s the point of a secret engagement? Why don’t you wanna tell anybody?”
Neldor was agitated, “you know how people are! They’ll ask a million questions that we don’t have the answer to!”
“I guess,” Nixie shrugged. For some reason, his words made sense. Something about being engaged to Neldor didn’t feel right. She hoped that her feelings would change soon enough. It was possible that the two of them simply had a bit more growing up to do before they were ready for such a responsibility.
A full year had passed just before Nova returned.
“I can explain,” Nova apologized, noticing the disgust on Nixie’s face, “I went through some stuff… I fell into a depression… but I’m doing better now!”
Nixie was distraught, “if you needed alone time, I totally understand… but you just left without a warning! You couldn’t even give anyone the heads up? You completely disappeared! You could’ve been dead for all I knew!”
“Please forgive me!” Nova got down on her knees.
“Sure,” Nixie half-smiled, but it was clear she didn’t mean it. At this point, she felt like she had already lost Nova, that she wasn’t good enough for Nova, that her return meant nothing after the way she completely ditched her.
“I have to return back home to my mom, but I needed you to know that I’m so sorry… I really hope we can be friends again…”
The trust was completely broken. Nixie pretended to agree, politely saying “goodbye” before Nova left once again. However, she was furious. And it was decided that Nova would have to work her butt off in order to rebuild that trust.