Once they reached the center of the village, they found the festivities in full swing. Music from harps and flutes filled the air. The aroma of freshly baked breads and pastries tickled their nostrils. Tiny Fairy children were dashing about giggling with glee, flying around banners and streamers of colored ribbons.
All the Fairies were dressed in their fairy finery. No longer were their faces covered with plain masks. The masks they wore to the festival were beautiful works of art. Some were covered with colorful feathers. Some were decorated with leaves or flowers. Others sparkled with gems and crystals. Each one seemed to be more grand than the last.
An endurance flight had begun several hours before Carling even arrived in the town square. Fairies were racing around the mountain castle. The leaders were just crossing the finish line, with barely enough wind to sing their final notes. The audience cheered and threw flower petals into the air to greet the competitors.
Carling’s interest was piqued by a game going on near the village square. Fairies, still in their childhood, judging from their small size, were playing a fast-paced game with balls and hoops. Two teams of Fairies, dressed in matching uniforms, were tossing balls, catching them in the air, and throwing them through one of the many hoops that circled the square. She noticed that the teams were awarded more points if the ball went through one of the smaller hoops and fewer points if it went through a large hoop. Carling and Higson cheered as they watched the scores climb.
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