The recent heavy rains had slowed Pearl down; as much as she loved the rain and how it graced leaves and flowers in tiny liquid water jewels, it had made the narrow dirt tracks running through the borough of Shadewell difficult to navigate. Her wagon wheels ground to a halt in many places, choked up with mud and rocks.
At one point all that could be done was to sit there in the middle of the muddied track, pouring rain and wait it out until at least the deluge eased enough so she could see what exactly was stopping the wheel from turning. It was quite miserable, and for the hundredth time Pearl wondered what had possessed her to embark on this seemingly endless journey.
But of course she knew. She had no choice. Father had passed away and there were no more of her kin or kind living in Laylei Vale. All her kind had either left already or passed on into the realm of ancestors. Father and Pearl were the last, mostly because father was the most renowned expert on Falabella ponies… which were favoured by the High Council of Elves.
Laylei Vale was the only home Pearl had ever known and she loved The Vale, even though she had never been fully accepted by anyone, being a Halfling as she was, born of mixed parentage, an Elven mother and a Fairy-Pixie father. Father himself was a Halfling and so dashingly handsome and so deeply caring that her Evlen mother fell madly in love with him.
Such a union was frowned upon of course, but because mother came from royalty no one could stop her, although the Council could and did petition for her royal name and role be strictly prohibited. Mother willingly became a commoner for the love of Pearl’s father.
First mother passed away, and more recently father, after which Pearls sense of belonging vanished. She sold what she could, packed what she could and simply left.
And here she was… several months later, slowed down by rain and mud, so much so she decided on an early day, it was all too much for Jesii, her very own patiently enduring Falabella pony. Jessii was such an obliging travel companion, she would do anything for Pearl, tackle any job, this Pearl knew and was careful to make sure that Jesii didn’t feel obligated to push herself beyond her capacity.
The two traveled on just far enough to find a suitable place to set up for remained of the day and night, deciding on a thick strand of sugar maple trees that thevwagon would fit under and offered places to tie up the cover to keep Jesii dry.
How grateful Pearl was that she always kept a few bundles of kindling and small logs in a trunk under her seat! With the little brazier flickering warm light and heating some soup, Pearl felt better, although she did sigh deeply in a long shuddering way, so filled with melancholy that Jesii looked up from her bucket of oats and apple.
“Oh I’m ok” the little Halfling assured her friend, “it’s just been a long journey and not a very successful one at that! Remember the reception the gnomes of Agate Mountain gave us?”
Jesii nodded her glossy head.
“And what about the Fai who lived by that sparkling waterfall? They laughed at us when I asked if we could settle in their Shire”
Jesii blinked, nodding again.
“Don’t forget what happened when we attempted to befriend the Griffins! They wanted to eat us! And the Centaurs wanted to steal you and lock me up!”
“Oh pishposh” continued Pearl “I’d turn around and go home, if we had a home to return to!”
At this the Falabella pony stamped one tiny hoof, shaking her head vigorously her luscious fringe flopping forward, covering her liquid brown eyes.
Pearl chuckled, dashing away a single tear which had threatened to trickle down her rosy cheek. She stood up and hugged Jesii, gently brush the pony’s fringe away from her eyes.
“Thank you” Pearl smiled, kissing Jesii’s warm forehead “tomorrow is another day, isn’t it”
Morning dawned filled with tattered clouds and dripping sunshine. Birds sang joyous melodies and small forest folk peeped from burrows and hollow tree trunks, whiskery faces judging the weather.
Pearl and Jesii waited long enough for water to drain away from the dirt track a bit before setting off. After a time they came to a crossroad.
“Oh I do hate crossroads!” Retorted Pearl… “one never knows which is the right one. The last crossroads took us straight into a battle between two rival troll clans. That was a terrible sight. And the smell! We had to hide in a horrid cave for three days while those fools slaughtered each other. Although I did discover that wall embedded with those gorgeous yellow rocks, I managed to dig out quite a few while we were there. If we ever find a home I will make some lovely trinkets with them. Oh Jes, I don’t know which way to go… will you choose please!”
The pony snorted, shaking her head.
“When have I ever gotten cross with you my sweet Jesii!” Pearl chuckled “I promise this time will not be the first time. You choose”
Jesii looked around for a second or two, then veered left heading towards the left fork.
“Interesting choice” Pearl mused ” and why this way and not another? “
Jesii tossed her head towards the sky in front of them, and there stretching across a deep green valley was an astonishingly brilliant double rainbow.
“OH!” was all Pearl could say, and sitting back she let Jesii take control.
The path they now travelled down seemed somehow magical… verdant greenery danced along the edges of the dirt track, huge trees grew fruit and nuts from every shire they had ever travelled through. Somewhere a musical little river sang and giggled along happily and the beautiful double rainbow glowed over everything, never moving or fading, as rainbows usually do.
Who would have thought that chasing a magnificent double rainbow on a morning infused in the woodsy scents of oak and mushroom, lingering in petrichor rich air from early rain, could possibly lead to such a picturesque place! It almost seemed lost in Time.
The very beauty of such a location gave Pearl chills of delight. And when they finally reached a little hamlet the local inhabitants were so friendly! They rushed out to greet them and offer them dainty treats with dandelion tea, inviting them to stay as long as they wanted.
When Pearl noticed just who the inhabitants of this quaint little village were, she knew she had found her forever home, for gathered around were elves and fairy and gnome, and centaur and treants and griffins and all manner of different souls, all smiling and happy and sharing life together.
And that is how the tiny hamlet of Prisma acquired the auspicious little shop known near and far as
“Pearls Miraculous Bumblebee Bizarre”.
So if you ever happen to see a Magnificent Double rainbow glowing in the sky perhaps you should follow it, without asking why!