A Light Faerie's Quest: Part One
High above the clouds, Flora the Light Faerie lived with her sisters in a small cottage on the outskirts of Faerieland. She had a comfortable life, sharing her knowledge with her younger siblings and making sure they knew the lay of the land and the ways of their people. Folks around town knew of her kindness, as she was constantly doing her best to help others in any way they might need.
While her days were filled with warmth and with learning, there was a part of Flora that yearned for an adventure. One of her greatest joys was snuggling up in her bed at the end of another beautiful day, library book in hand. She read of far away lands and exotic cities, and fell asleep with fascinating adventures racing through her dreams.
One morning, Flora awoke to another beautiful day; same as always. The sun streamed in her windows, the air radiated with happiness, and the familiar sounds of her sisters fetching breakfast downstairs reached her ears. The little Light Faerie stood up and stretched, shaking her wings out behind her. This wasn't just any day though; this was her birthday! She brushed her teeth and went to greet her family below.
"Good morning!" she called out sweetly, reaching for a green apple on the table. Her younger sister Firye, appeared by her side carrying a cup of freshly brewed tea.
"Happy birthday Flora!" Firye said softly.
Flora thanked her and gave her a hug, gladly accepting the steaming hot beverage. She was about to take a sip, when a knock sounded at the door.
"I'll get it!" Another of her sisters, Flizia, fluttered to the door and peeked out of the glass. She opened the door, popped her head outside and looked around. "That's strange. There's nobody there!"
Flora hopped up from the table and went to her sister's side. Just as Flizia had mentioned, their front yard was empty. Apart from their neighbours going about their usual business, the street was as quiet as ever. Flizia shrugged, and disappeared back into the kitchen.
Flora gave the yard another cursory look and was about to do the same, when something shiny caught her eye. It was a letter, wedged in between the fence posts and shimmering in the early morning sunshine. Flora grabbed the envelope and turned it over in her hands. There was fancy writing on the envelope, and it looked very important.
"For the attention of FLORA the LIGHT FAERIE."
"It's for me?" Flora said aloud, surprised. "How interesting!" She decided to open the envelope back inside, so that her sisters could be there too. She walked back inside and closed the door gently behind her.
"Did you find something, Flora?" Firye asked, looking up at the envelope in her hands.
"Well, it has my name on it... I guess we should see what it's about!" Flora smiled at her sisters, and began to open the envelope. She was surprised to find her hands were shaking - it was as though she already knew something strange was about to happen, even though this was all very unfamiliar to her. A piece of thick parchment was inside, and she pulled it out carefully and began to read out loud.
"Her royal highness, Queen Fyora, would like to request the presence of one Flora the Light Faerie, of 734 Floatycloud Street, Faerieland, at the Castle on the evening of November 31st. Festivities are to begin at 6pm, and a royal carriage will be waiting at your residence at 5.30pm sharp. The dress code is formal."
Flora looked up, her eyes wide.
"A royal summons? To the castle...tonight? Oh my!" Flizia gasped.
"Oh, Flora. Whatever could it mean?" Firye wondered.
Flora's heart was racing with excitement. It was every Faerie's dream to meet the Queen, something they would pretend to do during make believe play sessions as small children. Maybe this was a special birthday gift? She gave a smile, and drew her sisters in close for a hug.
"This sort of thing doesn't happen every day, does it? I think we'd better find something for me to wear!" Flora let out a small squeal of excitement, and her sisters followed suit. They raced up the stairs into Flora's bedroom, and began peering through her wardrobe, trying to find the perfect outfit for the evening's celebration.
The day passed quickly, with Flora and her sisters spending most of their time trying on dresses and fiddling with Flora's hair. As the sun began to dip in the sky and the lights of Faerieland began to twinkle in the distance, Flora descended the stairs as her sisters watched on from below. She wore a sparkling blue dress, her long blonde hair loose upon her shoulders, twinkling as she moved. It was simple, but elegant, and Flora knew that she would be comfortable in this ensemble.
"You look beautiful!" exclaimed Firye, clapping her hands together with glee as Flizia nodded with approval.
Just then, there was a soft knock at the door. Flora hurriedly rushed to the door, and opened it to find a royal coachman standing on the porch, hat in hands. "Miss Flora, I presume?" With a small bow, he extended his hand, which Flora took a hold of gently.
They walked to the waiting carriage, and Flora gently patted the Peophins standing at the front of it. The coachman helped her step up into the coach and closed the door behind her. Flora waved out of the windows to her sisters, as they began making their way through the town.
Faerieland was always a beautiful place, but it was especially spectacular in the evening. Lights twinkled, the clouds glinted in the sun's last shimmering ways, and Queen Fyora's Castle stood high amongst the bustling streets of Faerie City. Flora had never been quite so excited in all her life; perhaps this was the adventure she had been yearning for, for so long?
The carriage made its way expertly through the city and was soon entering the castle gates. Dozens of royal guards stood watch upon the drive way, and Flora looked around her in expectation, waiting to see where the other carriages and guests were waiting. Perhaps they were already inside, liaising with the Queen. She hoped she wasn't late! The carriage rumbled to a stop.
The coachman helped her exit the vehicle, and escorted her towards the enormous main doors of the castle. Flora gasped, looking up at them, admiring the exquisite artwork in shades of pink and purple. The castle was even more incredible up this close, and she couldn't believe she was actually standing here. Flora felt like the luckiest Faerie in all the land!
A nearby guard opened the doors, and Flora waved goodbye to the coachman. He once again bowed, and she lost sight of him as she was ushered inside the grand building. They entered through a large foyer, and through several beautifully furnished rooms, each more extravagant than the last. The Light Faerie soon lost track of where she was, as they ventured through the castle. After a short while, the guard knocked on another large door, and stepped back into the shadows.
Flora looked around her, surprised. Was she supposed to enter? She reached up a hand to the brass handle, but just as she was about to twist the knob, the doors opened of their own accord, swinging magically inwards.
"Presenting Miss Flora, the Light Faerie!" A voice boomed across the room, and Flora jumped in surprise. Trumpets bellowed, and she looked around and took in her surroundings.
She appeared to be in a greeting room of sorts, with beautiful chaise lounges scattered throughout the room, tapestries on the walls, and even more royal guards lined up along the edges. Most importantly though, a giant pink throne sat upon a raised platform; and on it, sat the Queen herself. Flora quickly took control of her manners, and performed a small curtsy.
Queen Fyora smiled, and bowed slightly in return. She then stepped down from her royal throne, and made her way towards Flora, her gown shimmering gracefully around her as she moved. The little faerie looked around to see who else was in the room with her, but there was nobody there except for the guards. Whatever could this mean?
The Queen reached Flora's side, and reached out and took her hands in her own. "Flora. Thank you so very much for attending me on this night. I am so very glad you could make it. Please, sit." She gestured to one of the nearby lounge chairs, and the pair sat together.
Flora cleared her throat nervously. "Your grace, I am so happy to be here, and to meet you! You have a lovely home."
Queen Fyora smiled, nodding her head. "Thank you, kind one. It is a very special place indeed, as is this whole city we call home. And that is why I have brought you here - I have a very special quest in mind for you."
Flora looked up, surprised. Quests were usually for Neopets, and the Faeries were the ones to grant them. Faeries didn't perform quests themselves! This was the Queen though, so of course she would do as she was bid. "I, er, well, of course!"
"Thank you, kind Flora. Your warmth and charity is well known throughout the kingdom. You see, I'm in quite a bit of a predicament. Please, follow me, and I will explain more." The Queen stood elegantly, and walked towards a large basin near her throne. Flora followed, and peered into the basin.
It was filled with a strange liquid which was obviously very magical. It swished and swayed, moving gently like the currents of an ocean. Flora could see nothing but a blurred reflection of herself, until Queen Fyora reached in with her hand and gently stirred up the contents. Suddenly, a shape took form. Flora gasped in shock as she saw what lay before her...
To be continued…