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"Castles in the Sky" by kentuckyfrychickenrl
The sun was setting, casting a faint pinkish glow over the ground, as Alaina made her way back to Faerie City. Captivated, the air faerie paused mid-flight to watch its descent. Overhead, the sky was a beautiful mixture of yellows, oranges, and pinks, with a band of blue stretching above. She caught sight of the clouds, painted pink and purple, and an abrupt pang of sadness and nostalgia seized at her as she was suddenly reminded of a different, yet infinitely more familiar set of clouds...ones she had not seen in what seemed an eternity.
She closed her eyes, remembering... She could see all of it so vividly, in her mind's eye -- the great sweep of clouds massing together, so close and connected that they seemed as one. Pastel mountain peaks emerging mysteriously through the thick, swirling white puffs. Streams of rainbows cascading from a series of clouds while other streams of clear, sparkling, blue water flowed serenely into springs. Two long cobbled bridges leading into the heart of the city, where cobblestones of magenta and violet opened to a multitude of bright and colorful shops, carpets of cloud hugging their bases like fluffy, snow-covered flowerbeds. And the castle, appearing in the distance like some lovely utopian palace, its pink and purple towers standing tall and dignified.
Faerieland had been a paradise, a place so perfect that it surely could only have existed in the most beautiful of dreams.
...And now it seemed, her dreams were the only place she could hope to see that majestic view. Alaina squeezed her eyes tighter, trying with a futile desperation to hold onto the vision, just a little longer, but the images slipped away, fading to nothing. Everything seemed to go out of her as she breathed out a sigh, letting her shoulders fall and her eyes release their hold.
Slowly, the air faerie let her eyes open. The sky was growing imperceptibly darker, as the sun dipped ever lower, the clouds retaining their purplish hues. Alaina gave a last, long look at them, her periwinkle eyes sad and wistful.
Would Faerieland ever return to the clouds? she wondered.
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