Young Jhudora and Queen Fyora: Part Three
The Faerie Queen sat proudly on her throne as ethereal music filled the grand hall. She smiled brightly at the rows of faeries gathered to watch the princess’s coronation.
The Queen took a deep breath as she touched her rainbow colored hair to make sure it was in place. She knew what this coronation meant for her, but she was ready to go through with it. She was tired of the constant struggle against The Elders.
As the music swelled, the giant doors at the far end of the hall opened. Through them came Fyora, her hair teased and pinned in place by jewel encrusted pins. The bustles of her dress were wider than her wingspan and she was struggling to walk.
The queen gave a knowing nod and Fyora flapped her wings. The crowd let out gasps of amazement at not only the beauty of her royal purple dress with a long train, but also the sight of such a beautiful faerie effortlessly gliding through the air with such control.
While Fyora seemed to be calm and collected, she was a nervous wreck inside. She kept her eyes straight forward, but she found new things to focus on every few seconds to keep her mind off of what was happening. The throne seemed taller than she remembered. The walls seemed darker. There were so many faeries.
The queen stood and cleared her throat as Fyora arrived at the foot of the throne. The queen pulled the crown off of her head and simply placed it on Fyora’s head. Fyora glanced back at the disappointed crowd and sighed.
The queen then grabbed Fyora by the arm and placed her hand on Fyora’s forehead. The queen bellowed out, “With this crown, I give you my powers. I give you my wisdom. I give you everything I have to allow you to rule Faerieland justly and fairly.”
With that, the queen exploded into a cloud of glitter and faerie dust. As soon as the debris settled, the audience could see Fyora floating in the air, her body glowing. After a minute, Fyora’s body dropped to the floor with a thud.
The crowd stood in shock as they stared at her motionless body. There were cheers as Fyora slowly began to stand up.
She had suddenly transformed into an older and wiser version of herself. Her once plump face was now gaunt and her skin was a few shades lighter. She called out, “Let us eat!”
As soon as she heard her voice, she covered her mouth with her hand. Her voice had even become more regal.
As the crowd became a mob running towards the dining hall, Fyora turned to look at her new throne. She noticed a wiry faerie with rainbow colored hair hiding behind it. The former queen gave Fyora a thumbs up before snapping her fingers and vanishing from Faerieland for good.
Luma rushed over to Fyora with a scroll and a quill pen. Fyora quickly read over the scroll and signed it. Luma smiled softly and hugged Fyora, “Congratulations on your first royal decree, Fyora.”
“Now, for my second,” Fyora smiled softly, “Let’s eat.”
Jhudora’s eyes widened as she heard the bells clanging in the distance. She stood up for the first time in too long. She feebly walked from one end of the room to the other and smiled brightly. She had followed The Elder’s demands. Part of her thought that maybe it would bring The Elder back, but she also knew she needed to be pragmatic. She didn’t get her hopes up, even though she truly wanted to.
Despite knowing she was likely going to be alone for quite a bit, she was ecstatic that she could finally move without betraying The Elder
As she began to spin about and hum the Dark Hymn to herself, a bartamus flew through the window, holding a leg of meat. Jhudora looked up at the window and smiled softly. She whispered to the Bartamus, “Perhaps I won’t need your help anymore!”
As soon as the words left her lips, two more bartamuses flew in, carrying more food. Jhudora froze and stared at the window as five more crowded around the window. One at a time, they flew through the window, dropped the food, and raced off back to the heart of Faerieland. Jhudora hadn’t counted the bartamuses, but there were enough for it to be a steady stream of food.
She knew this was a reason to be concerned, but she also knew that this food was beautiful, even after its trip in the talons of a bartamus. She knelt down before the growing pile and tried her hardest to be ladylike. She tried to pick up one item at a time and thoughtfully consume it, savoring it. However, it wasn’t long before her hunger gave in. She would pick up two different pieces of food in each hand and shove them into her mouth. Her face was covered in grease and frosting, but she couldn’t care. She was just elated that there was real, fresh food in front of her.
Back in Faerieland, Luma was silently standing behind Fyora. Fyora was awkwardly trying her best to listen to all of the Elders’ backhanded compliments and thinly veiled demands, but their tendency to talk over each other and switch to their native tongues for long enough to insult each other without the other knowing about it grated on Fyora’s nerves. What made it worse was the fact that Fyora had studied all of the native tongues of the various factions of faeries. She could understand perfectly when the Light Elder mumbled under her breath that the Earth Elder smelled like the mud of Meridell. She flinched when the Fire Elder responded to the Air Elder in a string of profanities, masked in a sing-song tone to make it sound as if it was an old Fire Fae proverb.
When Luma noticed two light faeries in suits of armor approaching, she shouted out, “Hark! It is the Royal Light Guard!”
Fyora looked back at Luma and smiled in a soft, exasperated way.
The armored faeries bowed deeply. The first to stand began to announced, “There is an increased . . .” She faltered and looked back over her shoulder. She continued, “Increase amount of . . .”
Fyora glanced over the faerie’s shoulder and gasped as a steady stream of bartamuses plucked food off of various tables and flew back to wherever they came from.
“Purple blob things,” The guard sighed, “Purple blob things are stealing our food and taking it to the old Dark Ghetto.”
“Luma!” Fyora gasped, smiling widely, “That must mean there’s a dark faerie! We have to run!”
The Light Elder rolled her eyes and muttered in Light Fae, “What an idiot. Thinking a group of petpets running around means there’s scum running around.”
Fyora stared blankly ahead, unsure of what to do. Luma shot the Light Elder an angry glance before putting her hands on Fyora’s shoulders. Luma cleared her throat before announcing, “As per Fyora’s first royal decree, I believe it is in the Kingdom’s best interest that she goes to attend to this matter.”
The Earth Elder laughed loudly before mocking Luma, “Oh? Fyora gets pulled away from her coronation to see if there’s scum growing on the bottom of the clouds? You’re dimmer than your wings suggest if you think the Elders would allow that.”
Fyora glanced back at Luma. Luma sighed and hugged Fyora from behind. Luma whispered to Fyora, “They won’t let you go, and I don’t want to leave you alone. Just tell them to search the ghetto. If it is a child they find, send them to the academy. If it is an adult they find, send them to the employment agency. No time will be taken away from the Elders this way.”
Fyora nodded and proclaimed, “Search the Dark Ghetto! If you find dark faeries, send them to the appropriate place for their age! Allow the adults to come to the employment agency where they can find the proper place to put their powers to use! If it is a child, send her to the academy so she may learn how to put her powers to use!”
The Light Guards nodded and turned on their heels before taking flight and following the bartamuses.
The two Light Guard faeries touched down in front of the window that the bartamuses were flying through. They shot each other worried glances as they wondered how they would get into the cottage. The brighter of the two simply walked to the front door, closed her eyes, and muttered a spell. Within moments, the boards on the door fell to the ground. She reached for the door and closed her eyes, afraid of what she’d see when she opened it. She pushed it and opened her eyes.
What she saw confused her beyond belief. She gasped as she stared at the dark faerie child in front of her.
Jhudora blushed a deep purple as she dropped the food in her hands. She slowly turned her head to stare at the light faerie who had invaded her childhood home.
Jhudora’s face was still covered in frosting. In her haste, she had even accidentally smeared frosting on her forehead.
The second Light Guard faerie slowly made her way into the cottage. She pulled out a handkerchief and made her way to Jhudora. Jhudora remained frozen as the light faerie began to wipe the frosting off of the child’s face.
“She has frosting in her hair,” The brighter Light Guard whispered, “She literally has frosting in her hair.”
“Then that means she’s a child,” The second Light Guard sighed, “We need to take her to the academy, as Fyora said.”
Jhudora grabbed her Fyora doll and held it close to her as she stood, waiting to be taken away.
She couldn’t understand a single word the light faeries were saying, so part of her imagined they’d take her away to be thrown off the edge of Faerieland.
The Light Faeries glanced at each other before each one of them grabbed one of Jhudora’s arms and pulled her outside of the cottage. From there, they tightened their grasps before taking off and flying to the grounds of the academy.
Jhudora held the Fyora doll as tightly as she could, knowing that it was the last reminder of the Dark Elder she had.
Once the Light Guards finally touched down on the grounds, Jhudora gasped loudly.
She had never been outside of her little village on the edge of Faerieland. She had grown up looking off into the distance at the giant spires reaching towards the sky, but she had always imagined them as miniatures that no one could fit inside. Seeing the massive stone behemoth in front of her made her fall to her knees.
Her old cottage, made with mud and thatch, was suddenly a pathetic hovel compared to the beauty of this castle. Then she put her hand on the ground and felt the perfectly manicured grass. She looked down and stared at the soft plants around her hand. The dirt substrate used to grow plants in the Dark Ghetto was a pale brown that never sprouted any grass like this. She sat there, petting the grass in amazement as the Light Guards stared at her in disbelief.
Within moments, a stocky fire faerie appeared before them.
“What is this?” The fire faerie pointed at the dark faerie who was now rubbing her face against the grass in amazement, “Why is there an animal in my presence?”
“Orders from Fyora,” one of the Light Guard faeries sighed, “Your problem now.”
And with that, the light faeries raced away.
Jhudora looked up at the fire faerie and blushed. She scrambled to her feet and bowed.
The fire faerie stared at Jhudora’s clothes. She could instantly understand why Jhudora was enamored by the grass. Her clothes were woven as roughly as a potato sack that hung loosely on her frame. The fire faerie instantly knew what she had to do. She had to take this poor ragamuffin and make her into a well groomed sophisticate.
“Alright,” the fire faerie rolled her eyes, “Come with me.”
Jhudora stared blankly, unable to understand New Fae.
“You . . . don’t speak New Fae,” The fire faerie slowly began to rub her temples. After a few moments of thought, she grabbed Jhudora by the arm and led her into The Academy.
To be continued…