Mitzi is crying as she sits at her vanity in what was once Stormy’s room trying to stem the flow of blood from a nasty wound down her cheek. At that moment, her thoughts are far from whether it will leave a scar or not but on her anger and her burning desire to have another have-at-her with Morgana. If Morgana is entertaining any thoughts of exacting revenge against this someone named Icy with her help, then, Mitzi is now determined to throw a very large spanner into her plans.
The past few weeks had been hard on her as Darcy said they would. There were several weeks in which she burned with fever and delirium as her body fought to cope with the invasion of Alfean microbes and the pulls and pushes on her body from the influence of Alfea’s two suns and three moons. Sometimes she would open her eyes and look into the face of what she thought was an angel with brown and amber streaked hair who mopped her brow and face with a cool cloth, gently whispered to her that all would be well, and encouraged her to drink warm broth from a bowl she brought to her lips. Sometimes in her delirium she thought she heard sweet singing in a strange tongue that was occasionally punctuated with hot, angry stabs of another voice speaking the same language.
On the Planet of Alfea, Mitzi learns that her family name and wealth mean nothing – a fact that Morgana takes nasty delight in reminding her at every opportunity and telling her just how low among the lowest Witches at Cloud Tower she stood. They take away her one lovely dress and force her to wear only disposable clothes. To her fall all the most disagreeable tasks in the apartment. “I am Cinderella,” thinks Mitzi bitterly, “and Darcy and Morgana are my two ugly step-sisters and this Icy they talk about so much must be the wicked step-mother.”
“Well, that is not quite the truth,” recalls Mitzi. Darcy has been pretty decent to her and she felt that there was a modicum of friendship between them. It was Darcy who saw to it that she had a room of her own, it was Darcy who took care of her when her body was racked with fever and delirium, it was Darcy who eased her in to the Witches’ insect diet and, finally, it was Darcy who stood between her and Morgana’s wrath and disdain.
Both Darcy and Morgana are Mitzi’s instructors teaching her how to use her powers as an energy transmutator. Mitzi finds pride in learning she has such powers and works hard to learn quickly but, although she receives praise from Darcy, all she gets from Morgana are barbed remarks and dirty looks. Then, to make matters worse, when Morgana was training her in Darcy’s absence, Morgana would whip her back and buttocks without letup with a tasselled flail and threaten her with blue plasma fire whenever she failed to snap-to to Morgana’s instructions and wishes. Yet, by-and-by, Mitzi learns that although Morgana’s blue plasma is formidable, Morgana is still a one-trick Witch who needs space and time to call forth her powers.
This day, she and Morgana were training in the Cloud Tower courtyard. Morgana was trying to teach her a very complex manoeuvre that, try as she may, Mitzi could not get it down to Morgana’s satisfaction. After the seventh attempt and the seventh failure, Morgana loses her patience and smites Mitzi’s shoulder hard with her flail and, whether intended or not, one of the knotted tassels of her flail slashes down Mitzi’s cheek cutting a deep gouge. Mitzi screams and with every ounce of pain and anger throws a punch that connects squarely with Morgana’s jaw and a second punch lands directly on her nose with a crack. Morgana attempts to move back and call up her plasma fire but Mitzi knew now to keep close and not give her any room to move. Morgana then tries to throw a punch in return but Mitzi uses its momentum to trip her and she lands with a hard belly-flop onto the ground. When Darcy arrives on the scene to break up the catfight, she finds a screaming and bleeding Mitzi on top of Morgana with a knee into her back, her one hand twisting Morgana’s arm in an excruciatingly painful manner and her other hand filled with a fistful of Morgana’s golden hair as she tries to shove Morgana’s face into a shallow mud puddle.
Darcy pulls Mitzi from off Morgana’s back and is about to have words with her when she sees the rivulet of blood trickling down her cheek, down her neck and onto her blouse. “Go clean yourself up and change,” Darcy orders her.
Meanwhile, Morgana picks herself from off the ground, puts her hand to her bleeding and swelling nose, her bruising jaw and wails, “That witch broke my nose!” but Darcy shows her no sympathy.
“It looks to me like you got what you deserve, Morgana,” says Darcy angrily. “What went down here?”
“I was trying to teach her the double-twist escape manoeuvre,” protests Morgana. “It is simple enough but she’s too stupid to do it so I administered a bit of incentive to make her smarten up and get it right.”
“So you struck her with this, didn’t you?” says Darcy, levitating Morgana’s tasselled flail from the ground and brandishing it under her nose. “How long has this been going on?” asks Darcy rhetorically. “Don’t bother to tell me, I know how long. How many times have I told you that I want her compliant and not broken? We need Mitzi’s cooperation to defeat Icy and the Winx and, thanks to you, we won’t be getting much without using an obedience spell on her, will we?”
“So who cares? We’ll use and obedience spell on her,” retorts Morgana and Darcy explodes.
“Look, Morgana,” rages Darcy. “I need Mitzi’s power but you are not irreplaceable. I’m sure that if I got rid of you, I could find more than one or two Witches with a bone to pick with Icy who would be more than willing to take your place to form a new trix and not give me any trouble. You are the one who needs shape-up or ship out! Now, go have Alysoun take care of that and, when you get back, just stay out of my sight and out of my way.”
“By your command,” growls Morgana and vanishes.
Back in her room, Mitzi’s thoughts are once again on Bloom as she is still trying to stop the bleeding down her cheek. “Is this what I have become?” she asks herself as the mirror before her reflects back not her own face but Morgana’s with a cruel and spiteful smirk. “Why have I been so mean to Bloom?” she asks, searching her heart. “It was jealousy, pure and simple,” she realizes as more tears flow down her cheeks. Mitzi had wealth and, because of her family name, some position in Gardenian society. Mitzi wore fine clothes, ate gourmet food, went to the finest private schools and was considered by all to be beautiful and intelligent. But what Bloom had were two parents who loved her dearly instead of a social butterfly mother who treated her existence as if it were an accident and thought it more important to attend parties to rub elbows with the rich and powerful than to take the time to raise her daughter and a father, who although a good man, had no concept of female issues and who believed that all of Mitzi’s problems would vanish if he threw enough money at them. And Bloom had friends – true friends – instead of her fair-weather friends who were friends so long as they could sun themselves in the light of Mitzi’s wealth and position and enjoy the lavish gifts and parties she threw for them. And, “while Mitzi had the bling,” as the expression went in Gardenia, “Bloom had the boys,” – hundreds of them who worshiped her and the very ground she walked on for just being Bloom while for Mitzi the only thing any guy seemed to want from her was to bed her and take her money. And that made Mitzi’s heart fat and burn with jealousy of Bloom.
Mitzi has her forehead in her hands when there is a hum in the air and suddenly Darcy is there with a comforting and sisterly arm about her neck and shoulders. “Why didn’t you tell me that Morgana was doing this to you?” she asks Mitzi softly.
“I was afraid to,” sobs Mitzi. “I thought you would punish me for complaining and Morgana’s whippings would become worse.”
“Morgana had a right to be strict with you but no right to whip you and hurt you like this,” growls Darcy. “There will be no more of this because I alone will finish your training. Morgana’s name is high in my bad book at this moment. So, if she dares to threaten you or touch you with her flail or anything else like that again, you tell me and, by the Goddess and the Tree, I’ll settle her hash in a hurry,” Darcy steams. “Now,” says Darcy gently, “let’s have a look at what she did to your cheek.”
“I think it will need stitching and will leave a nasty scar,” observes Mitzi.
“Stitching?” Darcy asks Mitzi, looking at her quizzically. “That’s so like out of the Dark Ages. No, no stitching and no scar,” Darcy assures her, “but you must hold still for me,” and with that she moves two fingers that are pulsating with light energy in an erasing fashion down Mitzi’s cheek. “Take a look now.”
Mitzi looks into the mirror which is now reflecting her own image. She puts her fingers to her cheek and feels and sees no wound or scar – just the firm and blemish free skin of a young woman. “It’s like gone!” exclaims Mitzi. “Did you use magic or witchcraft to make it better?”
“Magic, yes,” explains Darcy but not witchcraft. It was actually a bit of Faerie magic I picked up from a Faerie named Flora. But hush! No telling!” she adds with a grin. “Everyone would think I’ve gone soft if they heard that I used Faerie magic – and I do have a reputation to keep up as a Witch.”
“What might I do to thank you?” asks Mitzi.
“Nothing,” replies Darcy, “except to promise me that if you come to blows with Morgana again that you will break both her arms and crack her shins for me instead of just busting her nose,” and before Mitzi can reply, Darcy passes her hand before Mitzi’s eyes, causing her to fall into a deep sleep. Then, levitating her body, Darcy stretches Mitzi out on her bed and covers her with a blanket then commands the lights in her room to dim. “All will be well,” she whispers to a sleeping Mitzi. “I promise,” then departs.