Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash
This is a rough outline of my 10 chapter novella, The Healer of Istagun. Don’t read if you don’t want it spoiled!! Enjoy if you’re a fan of spoilers. ;D
Chapter 1 –
As Dahlia and Andrea work on the fields of Summer, evil fairies order them about and Andrea points out that there’s a young man staring at Dahlia. They argue about their views on marriage, and then the young man comes up and announces to all the Summer fairies that there’s a great healer named Gesu in town. Andrea and Dahlia go to see the healer performing miracles, and Dahlia wants to ask Gesu if he can somehow heal her sister who lives in Spring, but the crowd gets in her way. A long while later she wakes up from consciousness to find the young man asking her if she’s all right. She asks where Andrea is and he tells her. They introduce themselves. Then Dahlia bluntly states she never wants to get married, which sends Tarquin off running.
Chapter 2 –
Dahlia finds Gesu’s house and tries to get in but Prima the green fairy says he’s busy. Finally, after Dahlia makes a show of crying, Prima and many other fairies who appear give in and let her in. After encountering the strange soothing powers of Prima, Dahlia meets Gesu and asks if he can help. During her encounter with Gesu, she discovers pictures of Gesu with fairies from all four seasons. Gesu tells Prima he needs to talk to her alone, and so they go in another room. Dahlia waits in suspense, and then Gesu comes back and tells her that he is busy so Prima is going to take her to Spring. He tells Prima that she will find a way, with the power he gave her when she was a child
Chapter 3 –
During the trip Prima tells Dahlia about how Gesu has magic beyond healing, and that’s why so many fairies willingly serve him instead of the ruler (albeit in secret). She says that he’s more powerful than the ruler, but he’s waiting for the right time to overthrow the fairies. When Dahlia and Prima approach the wall that separates them from Spring, they don’t know how to get on the other side. They try to dig under but give up. Prima suggests she flies over and asks for someone named Hollis, but they know it would take too long, and Dahlia wants to see her sister for herself. Finally, Dahlia tries to climb the wall and Prima flies, trying to pull her up, but they just fall. Then they watch as fairies pass through it (the mud walls move apart magically for them); they try to just walk right through it, but then the muddy walls show that they are mud monsters and they throw Dahlia and Prima away. After much hopelessness, Prima remembers what Gesu said about the power he gave her, and they rush back. Prima soothes the mud monsters and they let them pass through the wall.
Chapter 4 –
Hollis isn’t in Spring. The fairies don’t remember where she went. Little kids are dying from a plague (They don’t know how it’s spread, but later find out that the ruler is trying to kill everyone because he wants to replace them with the Treelanders—their drinking water comes from a water fall Queen Hazina is poisoning). Dahlia hopes she went to Summer, but Prima says she probably went to Winter since she couldn’t work.
Chapter 5 –
Because Dahlia insists on being hopeful, she and Prima return to Summer. But they can’t find Hollis. In fact, they can’t find a lot of other people, and the people they do find are sick (there’s a plague?). And there’s no cure, not even the great healer, because Gesu is gone with all his fairies (no one knows where). So Andrea and Hollis and a lot of other sick people are in Winter, where the dying people and old people go. When Dahlia is looking in the last sick room for Hollis, she sees Tarquin helping the sick. He sees that she is one of the few people not sick and he hurries her and Prima to a room in the basement so she doesn’t catch the sickness and so they can talk without so much noise (he takes his gloves and mouth cover off.) (Just as Dahlia and Prima entered the room, a green fairy enters who doesn’t want anyone to help the people get better and doesn’t want anyone to find Gesu). Tarquin says that he was planning to go find Gesu if she’d like to come along. Prima suggests they try to find Gesu with Tarquin in Autumn on the way to the center of the island because the only other place Hollis could be is in Winter—and maybe Gesu can come with them. Dahlia sees the ship and Tarquin tells her about how he was building it so he could one day sail away (there were rumors about people called Treelanders who lived across the sea). Tarquin makes Dahlia dress up as a miner and they figure Prima can act as a fairy who is putting Dahlia on a new job.
Chapter 6 –
Tarquin, Dahlia, and Prima go to the mine to see if anyone knows where Gesu and his fairies are, but no one knows where they are. A lot of people there are sick, so that’s all the more reason to hurry up and find Gesu. (Dahlia wonders if her parents are there but she never sees them.) The three go to the center of Istagun and see the giant tower and all the fairies. (They hear about the Treelanders who are locked up. Someone says that they are going to take the place of the humans because they are a stronger species.). They try to find their way to Winter, but there are heavy guards, and they are taken to the palace to talk to Queen Hazina. Tarquin asks the ruler where Gesu is. The ruler says he put him in winter where he will quickly die. The ruler puts Tarquin in a dungeon and then throws Dahlia and Prima back into Summer with severe headache spells that make them take awhile to get their bearings.
Chapter 7 –
Not wanting to risk the dungeon by going to the center of the island again, Dahlia decides to go on Tarquin’s almost-built ship around the island to Winter with others who want their sick loved ones back. On the ship Prima says, “Gesu isn’t like the others—people just try to live, but Gesu lives–people just try to be good, but Gesu actually wants to be good and gives people the power they need to be more than alive.” Prima gazed off in the distance. “He isn’t like the others—he wants the whole world to be happy—he loves us, Dahlia—no one else is like that,” Prima took a little breath and sighed. “That’s why I love him, too.” Dahlia and Prima see the winter fairies at sea on the way, where Dahlia sees a bunch of dead people including Gesu (they are taking them to Midfuna Island—where humans are buried). One bad fairy says she’s going to go tell Queen Hazina, and she flies off. Dahlia and Prima have no choice but to go to Winter to see who is left alive. Dahlia finds Tarquin holding the frozen Hollis by a warm fire. He says that a ship went off with all the dead people, and he saved Hollis (he says this very humbly though! XD). Tarquin says he still couldn’t find Gesu, and Dahlia says where she saw him. Dahlia suggests everyone goes to the village where the old people live so they can warm up. Old people gladly welcome them and invite them in and help Hollis get better. The old people figure Queen Hazina didn’t give any poison to them because nothing can grow in Winter, so “it doesn’t matter what happens to them.” Tarquin finds the fairy followers of Gesu and tells her about the song they keep singing, “Long live the King, who will never be King! One drop of his blood, will meet all our needs!”
Chapter 8 –
So Tarquin and Dahlia and the Gesu-fairy followers go on the ship to Midfuna Island to find Gesu. On the way Tarquin and Dahlia talk about the horrible fairies and how no one else seems to realize how horrible they are (“Prima would be offended”). After they find Gesu (by hiding from the winter fairies with help from the Gesu-fairies’ powers), they see that he is dead and then they take his blood and put it in a bottle. They go back to Winter and see that there is a huge battle going on, between the few rebels and old people and the ruler and his fairies. The rebels and elderly are clearly losing.
Chapter 9 –
So Tarquin and Dahlia quickly go about giving the sick people Gesu’s blood (She sees Andrea—and Andrea says something “annoying” about Tarquin). People are healed and they start to help fight the battle—including Dahlia’s parents, who recognize her, and they have a short reunion before they have to go into battle. Gesu’s blood gives them extra power and they win over the fairies and the mud wall monsters—and everything turns into summer. Tarquin and the queen start to fight, but Hollis says to stop, because she has something to tell Queen Hazina. Hollis tells the fairy queen that Dahlia looked so hard for her, and she asks her if she ever knew that kind of love. She says that Gesu died trying to heal everyone, and she asks him if she ever knew that kind of love. She points out that she’s been enslaving the humans to do certain tasks at certain times in certain ways. She says that she’s separated the people so the children grow up without mothers and the parents have to say goodbye to their babies as soon as their born: “How can you let us live like this? Don’t you know anything about love, about loss, about healing? Where is your family, Queen?” The speech deeply moves the queen, but Tarquin quickly kills her in anger. The people are happy and decide to crown Tarquin as the new king.
Chapter 10 –
The Gesu-follower fairies have a funeral for Gesu and talk about all that he did for them. They sing sadly, “Long live the King, who will never be king; only the King in our hearts, to all humans and fairies.” Dahlia and Hollis talk about how they thought the queen was going to change until Tarquin killed him. Dahlia and Hollis reunite with their family. Tarquin knocks on their door and tells Dahlia that he’s going to set the Treelanders free and then sail them off across the sea. He asks Dahlia if she would marry him and be queen and go on the adventure across the sea for their honeymoon. Dahlia is conflicted: she is mad at Tarquin for not giving Queen a second chance, but happy in a way that he is king. Tarquin insists that he is sorry. Finally, Hollis reminds Dahlia of how he took care of her when she was frozen, so then Dahlia agrees to marry him.