The fairies flew around his head chittering excitedly. They pinched his nose and bit his ears. He tried to swat them but they flitted in and out of his fingers so quickly he was not even sure he’d seen them.
His legs pumped wildly through the bracken as the trees came in sight. Once there he would escape the fairy clutch and move into elf zone. They were larger and he had more hope fighting their advance. These little devils were almost invisible and he’d had enough of them.
He saw Jock in the distance already running into the trees. How the hell had he got there so fast?!
A fairy whispered her ancient words and the thistles grabbed the wool of his socks and kilt now. He felt them slowing him down and he ducked down and ran low but swiftly.
Then disaster. Andrew fell. Face first onto a Spear thistle. He shrieked as the prickles thrust into his cheeks and lips. Then he lay still.
A short while later Jock pulled him up and sat laughing at him as he tried patting his face with the dock leaf the elves had carried over. He tried to ignore the fact they were giggling too.
The race over now, Jock the clear winner, he got up and trudged home, face stinging with thistle thorn and embarassment. Only a laugh, a bit of flumgummery but he had lost and now he had to pay with his special footie cards he had collected. Jock’s prize….his loss.
After the human boys had gone, the forest folk partied until dawn and then slept the rest that only the magical knew. But one small fairy, feeling slightly guilty, quickly weaved a spell of healing for her boy Andy.