Friday, 6 September 2013

Part 2, The Troll Kings Daughter - Chapter 1 - Narrative Intrigues

Here's a little treat for you, and ahead of schedule. 

Orlaith sat at her dressing table brushing her long golden hair while recalling recent events Fairyland. Her bright blue eyes looked sad, and although her gaze was fixed solidly on the mirror in front of her, she did not see her reflection. Sighing softly she laid down her hairbrush and moved over to her bed. Clambering in between the massive sheets she wished she could find a way round a particular problem as easily as she had the problem of Michael the leprechaun and his Megan.

‘Fairyland has to work within certain rules and regulations, or you may disrupt the possibilities of happy endings.’ Orlaith had lost count of the times her father had made it clear to her that sometimes you have to let events run their course or risk ruining the bigger picture. Switching on her light again she thought aloud.

“I wonder how my emissary to King Guralabab’s court is getting on.” She moved over to her mirror once more and sat down. So handy to have a magic mirror’s she though to herself. It saves so much bother. Then she took out her wand and waved it over her dressing table where a cup of hot chocolate and a small biscuit appeared. Slowly the mirror before her clouded over then cleared showing her a scene in King Guralabab’s throne room.

                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *

King Guralabab the seventh looked over the troll before him with a smile on his face. Chloe was an unusual choice for the position of court storyteller to say the least. She had been the nurse, governess and more recently the confidant of his daughter Elspeth. Her stature was not that of a troll, she was far too thin for a start. She had cut with the current trend of short hair, had grown hers long and was now wearing it platted down her back. Now that he came to think of it King Guralabab realised that she had always looked a bit different from the other trolls of his court.

It was not a fitting practice for the king of the trolls to notice the dress of his female subjects but nevertheless King Guralabab the Seventh was not a fool. He noticed almost everything that came before him. This skill had probably contributed to the way he had escaped assassination attempts for as many years as he had. Now he noticed for the first time something that he should have noticed years ago. Unlikely as it may seem Chloe wore a dress, and not just any one. A long flowing dress hung gracefully from her shoulders. Looking at her once more reminded him that she had always worn dresses. Just so unobtrusively that he had never really looked at her as an oddity.

She must be particularly brave to dare to ware such a garment. Female trolls had not worn clothes since the reign of his grandfather King Futhwrath the second, who was admittedly a little bit mad, had decreased that they should not. He thought about asking her about why she felt able to ignore a royal decree. Then he remembered that she was acknowledged as one of the oldest trolls in the kingdom. It might be possible that she had been granted a dispensation at some point in the past. He put the matter aside to ponder on another occasion then looked down at her once more.

“Just think of all the years practice I have had with your daughter your majesty” Chloe begged him her eyes looking directly in to his.

King Guralabab thought again. “My daughter decided that she would go and fall in love with a commoner from the lowlands of my kingdom. How can I be sure that you did not influence her decision in this matter?”

“Your majesty questioned me for days after her disappearance. You must be aware by now that I had nothing to do with her decision to go away with Robin.” At this Chloe’s eyes seemed to grow larger. “That is if she did decide to go away with Robin I still can’t imagine her leaving me with out a note or not contacting me all these years…”

Her voice trailed away though her eyes never broke contact with the Troll Kings.

“Well enough of that for now” he said abruptly “After her disappearance you were left jobless. I do not like having the unemployed scattered around the castle so I am prepared to give you a tryout. You will arrive in my bedchamber at nine o’clock this evening precisely and tell me a bed time story.”

King Guralabab waved his hand to dismiss her then turned to his court advisor and talked quietly with him for a moment.

Chloe left the room with a smile on her face. She walked along the stony corridors of the castle until she reached Elspeth’s room. Unlocking the door she walked inside. The mirror on the wardrobe door was brightly lit so she walked up to it and gently pressed her hand against the glass. Queen Orlaith’s face appeared at once.

They spoke quietly for a moment then the mirror went dark once more. Chloe sat on the bed and waited for the appointed hour to arrive. In no time at all it seemed to her, she was scurrying down the corridors once more towards King Guralabab’s bedchamber. On arrival she knocked on the door and without waiting for an answer, she opened it and went in. She chose a chair close to the head of the bed and sat down.

King Guralabab said nothing so Chloe began her tale.

“Anna Gables was a normal sort of a human girl. Those who knew her would have recognised her anywhere, and those who didn’t, would barely have noticed her in even the smallest of crowds. With brown hair and pigeon grey eyes, and a tendency to hide beneath some of the scruffiest clothes in existence, it was no wonder she was overlooked by so many. However once you had known her for a while you found yourself noticing her endless gracefulness in every situation.”

King Guralabab rolled his eyes upwards. “This isn’t going to be one of those boring, but oh so noble, tales about a human is it?”

He sighed “I don’t like humans at the best of times I certainly don’t want to here about some sappy girl just before I fall asleep.”

Chloe restrained herself from rolling her eyes in answer. “How about if I told you that it’s not all about a human girl but you need to hear a bit about her at the beginning for the story to make sense?”

King Guralabab rolled his eyes once more, but motioned for her to continue.

“Anna was adopted at the age of three by two kindly people, Tom and Caroline Gables. She was found above the shoreline on a remote beach of the south coast of England after an especially fierce storm. Tangled in some seaweed, Tom would never have noticed her small mewing cries above the sound of the seagulls circling above him. Indeed he almost stepped on her hand, but as he was lifting his size twelve green Wellington boot, he chanced to look up at the exact moment a seagull emptied its bladder. He lowered his boot once more and took a moment to pause from his brisk stroll along the sands to wipe his face with a clean handkerchief. He heard her cries and so Anna was rescued and came to live with the Gables family.

Along with her older brother Richard, she played and lived a normal and happy life for 6 years until Caroline became ill. The family decided that it would be a good idea to move somewhere a little quieter, somewhere where Caroline could live out her remaining days without so many stresses and strains. And so the Gables family moved to a small, remote village called Tumble-hill, on the west coast of Ireland.

Although Anna felt sad to loose the friends she had made over the last few years by the time she had climbed up to the top of Tumble Hill, stood looking down on the little whitewashed houses that peppered the hillside, and taken a swim in each of the grassy lakes on the top of the hill, she felt as if she had never lived anywhere else in her life and never wanted to either. The summers passed and Anna grew up playing with the deer and the rabbits that shared the hillside with her.

Slowly, and defying all predictions to the contrary, her adopted mother grew better, each passing year saw her grow in strength and blossom, until one Autumn the local doctor pronounced her to be as fit as a fiddle. The following spring her brother Richard whilst climbing a sandy cliff to rescue one of Anna’s shoes that had tumbled off the top of the overhanging ledge, lost his handhold and fell to his death into the sea below.

Wracked with guilt, Anna gradually found herself withdrawing from the word around her. After burying herself in her studies she left home to attend University in Galway two years ahead of her classmates. In her first term, tragedy struck her life once more. Faulty wiring in her parent’s washing machine caused a fire that spread quickly, through the piles of washing she had left nearby for them to wash that week and then into their house. Soon flames were licking up the side of the chimney, and by the time the fire brigade arrived precious little was left of the Gable’s happy home.

Anna once more found herself wondering if she was responsible for the deaths of this time not one but two family deaths. The will was read a few days later, and Anna found that although they had lived quite simply in Tumble-hill, her parents had left her quite well off. Deciding she could not face returning to University she decided to leave Tumble-hill and buy a ticket to go on a round the world cruise. She packed her bags and four days later her friend Amy took her all the way across the country to Dublin Port. The journey passed in a flash for Anna. Amy saw her to her room and then hugged her goodbye.

Two nights out, Anna stood on the deck, watching the waves in the moonlight. Overcome with feelings she was unable to deal with she climbed the rails and jumped in to the churning waters below. No one saw her jump, and officially that is the end of the short sad life of Anna Gables.

However,that is just where her story begins.”

King Guralabab snored loudly so Chloe stood up gathered her skirts about her and walked to the door.

“I take it that means I’ve got the job.” She muttered softly, under her breath.

On returning to her rooms she placed herself in front of her bathroom mirror. She placed her hand upon the surface and at once Orlaith’s face appeared. 

“I was beginning to wonder what happened,” said Orlaith.

Chloe gave her report of how her story had been received by king Guralabab. Orlaith laughed with delight when she heard how deeply he had fallen asleep. Then with her face more serious she gave Chloe the news

“I will be visiting the human world for a time. You are going to be left with this mission, by yourself, for quite some time. It may sound silly, but the storeys you tell the king over the coming months are going to be very important. You must remember to tell him each of the stories as I’ve outlined in the order I have set out.”

Chloe nodded at this then smiled as Orlaith continued.

“He must learn to trust every word you say as true or this plan will never work.”

More to come in the weeks ahead. but for now Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Chapter 9 - Elspeth

Stepping through the door Megan and Michael found a room that was quite unlike any of the others that Megan had seen so far. Michael however a recognised it at once.

“This is just like the gate house at the entrance to the castle.” He said thoughtfully “it’s not all that glamorous is it?”

A voice from a doorway to the left reached their ears.

“I like it just fine”

“Who’s there?” Megan and Michael said together.

A tall lady put her head round the doorframe.

“I might ask you the same question as you are in my house quite uninvited.” The tall lady spoke clearly, “however as I have not had a guest in this house for more years than I care to think of we will forget the formalities. My name is Elspeth.”

Michael looked at her in amazement “Not Robin’s Elspeth?” he asked.

You know Robin?” The lady replied. Swiftly she recovered from her amazement, she eagerly continued, 

“ Then please do tell me all about how he is for I haven’t seen him for so long. My heart aches sorely just to hear you say his name.”

Elspeth gestured to the table and chairs, Michael marvelled as they sat down, this was an exact replica of the one in the gatehouse where he had been sitting not so very long ago. Megan patiently waited for him to explain how he had met Robin and how Robin had told him all about what had happened to Elspeth and how he was still just waiting for her to come to him. Elspeth listened, captivated by Michaels story.

After a while, Megan, who still had no idea who Elspeth really was, asked her how she had come to be in the lost rooms.

Before she could answer the door swung open with a crash. Queen Orlaith stood in the doorway. Once more the wind was swirling round her feet. Her hair, loose around her face, whipped around with the force of the winds she had used to travel.

Megan handed Michael his magic stick then stood up. Standing side by side they turned and faced the fairy queen. Elspeth stood nearby as though not sure which way her loyalty should lay.

“You shall not divide us ever again. I am not afraid of you or your magic because I have some now of my own.” Megan proclaimed. 

She stood defiantly pointing her wand at Orlaith.

“I am the fairy queen” Orlaith roared, “I ordered that he should be banished here. What right do you have to enter my castle and seek to remove him?”

“Love gives me the right. He gave his heart to me and then you stole him away. I have come to claim what belongs to me”

Orlaith looked thoughtful. Gradually the wind stopped swirling around her. A smile began to creep over her face.

“Well put” she said at last.

She clapped her hands and the room that was so exactly like the gatehouse room, vanished. Megan and Michael found themselves in the throne room. Decked out in pale yellow with touches of gold around the room, Orlaith looked every inch a queen.

 “It is not in my power to return to you Michael’s heart, as you never really lost it. Nor is it in your power to return the fairy dust you swallowed.”

Megan gulped, wondering what Orlaith would say next.

“You are now part mortal and part fairy. Michael is part leprechaun and part mortal. Both of you have upset the balance of our world. I know that Michael stole that fairy dust with the intention in his mind to visit Fairyland occasionally.” She paused as an attendant with some cake arrived.

“As you are both part and part I think that the following arrangement would be the best.”

Megan and Michael held their breath.

“You will spend most of the year in the mortal realms and your holidays wherever you wish.” She chuckled.

“You will soon find out how much power you have left and I am sure that you will not be using them for selfish gain. I expect you have a lot to talk about. I will return you to the rear entrance of the castle so you can fetch Bach and be on your way.”

“What about poor Elspeth” Megan asked. “You have been fair with us, why can’t you let her go?”

“That is not your affair” Orlaith replied. “There are some rules that just have to be obeyed for Fairyland to work. I stuck to the rules when I decreed that you would not be allowed in to Fairyland Michael. Now things have changed for you and I am able to change my decision. I cannot change my mind about the Troll King’s daughter until something has changed in the circumstances that led to that decision being made.”

“But,” Megan started

“This is not anything to do with you?” Orlaith said with certainty in her eyes “besides you will have enough on your plate to think about soon without worrying about the affairs of fairyland.”

Before Megan could disagree once more, Orlaith clapped her hands again. Megan looked around and saw that she was indeed back where she had left Bach. Orlaith’s voice came floating over the breeze; sounding once again like the tinkle of bluebells.

“And don’t try and take what’s not yours again…”

Megan looked at Michael and then at Bach.

“Do you get the impression that this is what she wanted to happen all along?” Michael and Bach exchanged glances.

“Let’s go home,” they said in together.

Megan handed Michael a clean pocket-handkerchief and made another bubble spell for Bach. 

“We had better go back the way that we came,” she said. “I promised another friend that I would take you to meet him.

Treetop was glad to see them again. Without even waiting to be properly introduced he picked up Michael and Megan, then carried them to the boarders of the Dragonlands and as far as the Mermaid Islands. Megan invited him to come and stay with them soon so that they could all catch up properly. Then waving goodbye he wished them all the luck in the world.

Michael looked for the mermaids with eager eyes but they were all at the bottom of the ocean. Megan noting this decided that it would be a wise move if she provided a bubble for them to travel in also. She expanded Bach’s bubble until it was big enough for three. Then they all floated gently back to the cliffs where she and Bach had watched the sun rise and where she had grown wings for the first time.

Reaching her home on Tumble-hill at last, they all ambled in together. Michael was wearing his smart green suit and Megan now wearing a pretty blue dress, both looking so smart that Megan’s mother, Mrs. Merrow hardly recognised them.

Megan and Michael decided to make their home in Tumble-hill just down the road from Megan’s mother’s house. Michael began to build a home for them to share. As soon as it was up Megan replanted the blue forget-me-nots by her own front door.

Megan worried from time to time about the Troll Kings Daughter but it was as if she had a spell upon her for each time she wondered about Elspeth, she found that the thought would slip away as soon as it came. So for a while at least she must remain in her prison.

Preparations began for their wedding day and Bach decided to live with them. He would pluck one of the blue forget-me-nots and give it to Megan if ever she forgot her promise, never to give him tinned dog food. Megan was always cross when he plucked one of her flowers but she felt so guilty about forgetting her promise that she would conjure up a huge feast. As Megan was such a good cook, Michael would insist on sharing.

On Tumble hill life continued on as normal. The tourists climb up for the view and tumble down again. The villagers swap tales of the people who have adventures and bring their story’s home to share.

Orlatih (c) Emmelina Audigier


In part two "The Troll Kings Daughter" Megan and Michael return for further adventures. You can expect it sometime next summer, hopefully. Meanwhile, If you've enjoyed reading this story to your kids, or even just reading it to yourself please do tell your friends about it, and do check back every now and again as I'm going to be posing a series of short stories from time to time.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Chapter 8 - The Lost Rooms

Megan looked around her.

“So this is Fairyland. It’s so dainty and pink. Have you been here before Bach?”

“Yes I know my way round alright.” Bach replied. “Now follow me, we have to get round to the back of the Enchanted Castle every other entrance is guarded.”

On the outskirts of Fairyland, everything was dainty and pink. Pink flowers and shrubs were intermingled with occasional white flowers. No houses were around that Megan could see. However as she followed Bach she realised that Fairyland had a variety of homes for the people who lived there. Many of the flowering bushes sheltered beneath their branches, little creatures, the like of which she had never imaged. Tall trees had little windows carved in their trunks. Megan hardly noticed them until she realised that in one there was a tiny little man.

Every now and then they would pass a field that was a very different colour from the pinks that appeared in most places. When she came to a field that was full of green grass and large toadstools with red spots, she almost stopped. ‘This must be where the leprechauns come from’ she thought.

Before she had a chance to look closely and see if she could spot one, Bach had led her past and in to the center of Fairyland, into the town that surrounded the castle.

Here houses appeared and streets that looked like they could be from any mortal city, except they were so much smaller. Around the houses, trees and bushes still grew. The older fairies, liked the bustle of the town but not the more modern houses, still made their homes in the traditional way. Every now and then Bach stopped to chat to a passer by and would be pointed in the direction of where he should go.

Megan felt huge amongst the small houses. The small creatures wandering around below her did not seem to notice her size. Realising that they were probably mistaking her for a Giant, she trod carefully along the streets.

Bach lead Megan though the maze of little streets and houses until they came to an ordinary looking oak tree. He stopped underneath it and sat down indicating for Megan to do the same. After a short while a tree sprite appeared. Climbing down from the top most branches he carried on his head a small pot.

He handed the pot to Megan and gave Bach a hearty wink, then clambered up the tree again. Megan looked most surprised at this. Bach stood up again as if this was an everyday occurrence.

“This way” he called over his shoulder.

Megan followed, wondering at the miniature marvels she saw along the way. They passed out the other side of the town and headed up to the top of a middle sized hill with a very round top. Bach led her up to an old, stone, wall, the size of a door, standing in the middle of what looked like nowhere. Again he sat down.

“Take that pot that the oak tree sprite gave you.” He said. “Then dip the tip of your wand in it.”

Megan did as he requested. “What is in the pot?” she asked.

“Some of the glue from the oak tree.” he replied “You know they use this stuff to stick the acorns into the cups. Orlaith’s fairies will have used some glue from that tree to stick up the back entrance to the castle. You have to use some of the same batch in your spell to un-stick the entrance or it will not work.”

“What do we do next?” Megan wanted to know.

“You will have noticed this particularly useless looking wall already?”

Bach continued without waiting for an answer “this is the back entrance to the castle. As long as the fairies spell is on it, it will look like a wall. When you have succeeded in un-sticking it, it will look like a door. You must open that door and go inside by yourself.”

Megan gave a gasp of horror. “I can’t go inside there by myself Bach. Please come with me.”

Her eyes filled with tears at the thought of leaving her friend behind. Bach put his paws on her shoulders and licked her face.

“I will wait here for you. You must go in alone; the Enchanted Castle is not a suitable place for a dog. Remember you have all the power of a fairy in you for all that you are a mortal. Orlaith is only a fairy for all that she is a Queen. You needn’t fear her magic is stronger than yours because as long as your love for Michael remains pure you will succeed.”

With this assurance Megan walked boldly up to the wall and tapped it with her wand. She walked around it and tapped it on the other side. This is not going to work she thought. Then she remembered Michael and the way that he gazed adoringly in to her eyes.

She pointed the wand at the centre of the wall, shut her eyes and chanted,

“Un-stick, unlock, un-glue.
Michael my love
I will soon be with you.”

The door swung open. With a last wave of goodbye to Bach she waked though into the lost rooms of the Enchanted Castle.

A fine grey mist surrounded her. Megan realised that through the gloom, were doors, leading to the rooms no longer wanted by the occupants of the castle. Thousands of doors! Too late she realised that she did not know which one she had come through.

Wondering what was behind the doors she walked up to one and opened it. Beyond was a room so small that the door really felt quite the wrong size. Each of the fittings in the room was also very small. It was obviously a bedroom but instead of a bed, a large pond of water was situated in the middle of the room. ‘This must have bean for a water-sprite’ thought Megan. She shut the door and retreated back in to the grey mist.

Opening the next nearest door to her she discovered what looked like a perfectly ordinary bedroom. When Megan stepped inside she realised that actually it was actually upside down and she was now standing on the ceiling. With great difficulty she managed to turn herself around and leave again. Megan could not imagine what type of creature would want to live upside down but here was the room so someone must have used it once.

The next door she tried turned out to be a room decked out in gold. This must have been for a gnome guest she thought. Shutting the door she looked around. I don’t think I will find him by just looking in every room, she thought mournfully, I think I will try another spell

“Over land and sea I travelled
To find my love today
But I cannot choose which door
So wand please point the way”

The wand twisted until it pointed at a door that seemed an awfully long way off from where she was standing. Megan flapped her wings and flew towards it. Slowly at first then faster she sped towards the door.

Still she got no closer. Megan stopped flapping and let the grey mist envelop her for a moment. Out of the blue she remembered how she had travelled so far and so fast, when she was trying to escape from Orlaith.

“Add wings to my feet
Think of things sweet
Swift travel will be with me now.
To be with my love
I shall fly as a dove
To get to him quicker I vow”

Megan’s body slowly shrank then started to alter shape. As she changed she sprouted pale grey and white feathers until she was at last a dove. Then she flew as if her tail feathers were on fire. Towards the door she sped carrying in her claws Michaels Magic stick and her own wand. This time the door was getting closer. Faster and faster she flew, her now tiny body travelling much faster than she ever could have imagined.

At last she reached the doorway. Drooping with exhaustion she landed. Clutching the wand in her beak she waved it from side to side. She changed back to being a girl and looking over her shoulder Megan realised that although she was once more a girl she was also a fairy. Her wings seemed more solid somehow, as if they were no longer a convenient method of getting from one place to another but a part of her.

She picked up Michaels stick. Pushing open this door she found a green room with a soft downy bed. Fast asleep on the top lay Michael. Sleeping beauty here I come thought Megan with a smile. It must make a change having the girl wake the boy with a kiss.

She walked up to the bed and softly kissed his cheek.

Michael opened his eyes and sat up. He looked around and saw a fairy sitting on the edge of his bed.

“Yes, what did you wake me up for?” he asked a little rudely. He did not recognise Megan as a fairy with wings.

“It’s me! My love, I have found you at last” Megan hugged him tight.

Michael looked in her eyes and found that it was indeed as she had said. He remembered the warmth in her eyes when they first met and hugged her back.

“But how did you come to be a fairy?” he said with wonder.

“It was because of the dust you gave me.” She replied. “No more questions we have to find away out of here.”

Michael sighed. “I have done, I have opened door after door after door after door after door. But each one leads to just another room. After I saw this one I decided to lie down for a while and then you were here.

“Well let’s try a few more. You do want to escape don’t you?”

Michael nodded. “Then, before we go how about you do a bit of a conjuring trick with your new wand and zap up a bit of a snack, I am starved.”

Megan gave one flick of the wand and sure enough a hot dog appeared in Michael’s hand. “We will have to eat and run.” She said “we do need to find a way out of here.”

They stepped in to the foggy mist once more. Each of them taking it in turns to open doors, they wandered around with no particular haste. At last Megan opened a door that looked as if was just a little bit different from the rest. It had a slightly purple tinge to the frame and it looked almost as if there was sunlight on the other side.

Megan and Michael face Orlaith together in her own castle in Chapter 9 - Elspeth

Coming soon
Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Chapter 7 - A New Friend

Megan and Bach landed on the carpet of pink and purple flowers. Like the world she had left behind, the sky was blue, but that was where the resemblance ended. Rolling hills covered in flowers were rudely interrupted by a series of cliff edges that dropped down hundreds of feet to the sea.

Megan picked a flower from the carpet. She touched the large purple petals with wonderment. Each was as soft as velvet. At the heart of the flower was a set of smaller pink petals, that gave out the most delicious smell Megan had ever encountered.

“I don’t believe it,” said Bach pointing, “look over there”

On the top of a nearby hill Megan saw two fairies chained to posts. Both were weeping copious quantities of tears. A Dragon was leisurely walking up to the posts. Small puffs of fire were coming from his mouth.

“How awful, he’s going to eat them”

Without thinking Megan raised herself into the air once more. Flying straight to the post she landed behind the fairies. Taking out her wand she tapped silver cord that bound their hands to the post. At once it uncoiled from around their wrists.

The fairies vanished, but the dragon was still approaching. That was when Megan remembered Bach’s warning about not making them angry. Surely if anything was going to make one angry freeing its dinner would.

That was when she noticed how up close dragons don’t look anything like they do in books. Mortal artists had done their best to portray dragons but somehow they had made the dragons look a little bit cuddly and lovable, despite the pointed teeth and the fire coming from their mouths. Nothing could have prepared her for the sight that was now advancing on her and Bach at speed. Close up each of the dragons brightly coloured scales flashed as he moved, with the sharp edges catching the sunlight. The teeth looked more menacing than she had ever seen in any other creature before. His face was covered with scars and along one side there was an open gash still gently weeping slimy blue blood.

Bach was now by her side. “I guess we are for it now” he whined.

“Who let those Fairies go?” The dragon’s voice rumbled through the valley like a thunderstorm.

Megan took a step forward and pushed Bach behind her.

“I did,” she said as politely as she could.

“Why?” the dragon’s voice dropped even lower.

“Because I didn’t think that anyone should have to be eaten by a dragon.”

Megan took a deep breath and continued “I don’t mean to be rude but they are so small that they would hardly make a meal for you and well… I don’t think that being swallowed by a dragon would be a nice way for anyone to end up, let alone a little fairy.”

The dragon sat down hard. It cocked its head to one side and stared at her.
At last it began to chuckle, a chuckle that turned into a laugh and it laughed for a good long time. Eventually it looked at her again.

“What makes you think that I won’t eat you?”

Megan’s knees began to tremble “I don’t think that you won’t,” she said, “Rather I hope that you won’t”

The dragon chuckled again. “Well said little girl,” he pointed to a patch of ground near him.

Megan and Bach sat.

“I suppose you have heard all sorts of stories about how dragons are fierce creatures who like to eat people who are rude to them and devour maidens tied to posts.” He continued without waiting for her to nod.

“I suppose it would surprise you to hear that all dragons are vegetarian nowadays?” he paused and looked at her closely  “Dragons have been vegetarian ever since my great, great, great grandmother decided to make a feast of various fairies and goblins etc. She tried her hardest to make it a splendid occasion. She invited all the dragons in the world and when the meal was brought out we realized to late what her plan had been.

The silver lids were lifted off the platters and out of each one rose a fairy with a wand pointed at the dragon who was about to eat. They cast a huge spell on us all. Now any dragon that eats anything other than a plant or vegetable turns to stone and does not eat anything until the spell wears off.

It turned out that my great, great, great grandmother had made a bargain with the queen of the fairies. Dragons would become vegetarian and the fairy queen granted us our own lands to grown our food on. (Dragons eat quite a lot you know.) So the Dragonlands were born. This land is separate from the rest of Fairyland so that we can do what ever we wish. Officially we are still under the rule whichever fairy queen is on the throne but no one really takes much notice of that.”

The dragon paused reflectively to catch his breath.

“I did try once when I was younger, to eat a goblin I found, tying up a fairy to a post just like this one and I ended up being a statue for nearly 20 years.”

Megan smiled at him “May I ask your name?”

“Treetop” replied the dragon. “I was coming over here to set those fairies free myself you know. That sort of thing happens quite a lot. Those pesky goblins still believe that we will devour anything they tie to those posts. So they bring any fairy that upsets their mischievous plans here, to dispose of them.

Unfortunately I was putting up a shelf when the goblins responsible for today’s fairies ran past me talking about it at the top of their voices. I dropped the shelf awkwardly and it tore this hole in my side.”

Megan looked closer at the wound then over at Bach who nodded at her.

“Would you mind if I had a go at fixing it?” she asked the dragon “I am a bit new at this whole spell thing but I might be able to help”

The dragon laughed again. “That’s very kind of you,” he said “but hardly necessary Dragon’s heal super fast”

Sure enough in front of Megan’s eyes, the wound was slowly but surely closing, the flesh knitting together and the blood drying up.

He stood up and reached into the branches of a nearby tree. Plucking some strange looking fruit from the top he passed them down to Megan and Bach. Opening hers Megan found that the flesh was a deep blue colour. Bach’s was more like crimson.

“I think that you will like these,” said Treetop.

Megan and Bach thanked him properly as they had good manners. Sure enough in a short while the fruit soon disappeared. Treetop fetched some more while Megan and Bach took it in turns to explain why they had come to the Dragonlands. 

Treetop scratched his head. “I think that it would be best if I gave you a ride on my back to the Fairyland border. You both must be very tired by now. This way you can have a bit of a rest. After that you will have to be on your own.”

He looked at them sharply “I don’t want you thinking that I am offering to do this because I am a tame dragon or a wimp because I am a vegetarian. You can’t boss me about. I am doing it because you showed yourself to be brave when you set those fairies free and because you were polite and said thank you when I gave you the fruit. I am doing it because I like you and would like it if you would be my friend.”

Megan put her arms up to hug him “I would be honored if you would be our friend.” She declared.

Bach climbed up the dragon’s tail until he reached a place where he felt he could curl up and go to sleep. Megan fluttered up and chose a spot at the base of his neck.

Treetop flew high in the air. Passing over the land that changed from pink and purple to blue and through yellow and green he never swerved from his course. Scattered below were dragons going about their business. Growing crops of beautiful flowers seemed to be the chief concern of the dragons down below. Some of the dragons were so old that they were as big as a block of flats. Many of them waved as they saw Treetop. Megan and Bach slept soundly never noticing the wonders that passed beneath them until at last they landed. Megan reached up and hugged Treetop’s scaly neck.

“I will never forget you,” she said with a catch in her voice “I will tell everyone that I know that not all dragons are scary”

“Don’t be doing that. We would never be having any peace and quiet,” Treetop said with what sounded like a purr in his voice. “But you can come back and visit anytime you like and bring that troublesome leprechaun of yours as well”.

They hugged again. Then Megan and Bach turned and crossed the boarder in to Fairyland.

Megan and Bach cross Fairyland and enter the lost rooms in Chapter 8 - The Lost Rooms

Coming soon
Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Chapter 6 - Pathway to the Dragonlands

Megan and Bach woke to a wonderful view at the top of the cliffs. Megan loved the way the early morning sunshine crowned each wave with pale gold. Bach, with other needs on his mind, liked the way that the fish were coming in close to shore. He was sure that he could catch some for breakfast.

They wound their way down the narrow path to the beach. The white sand, streaked with rivulets of water trickling down from the mountain, was warm underneath her feet. Bach dived into the waves and had breakfast.

“How can we possibly manage to get across the water?” Megan sat on the sand and wriggled her toes. “I can’t afford to get a boat and we certainly can’t swim the whole way.”

Bach sat down next to her. “Do you remember what I told you about how people know things deep down inside, when they think they don’t?” He asked.

“Yes”-replied Megan

“Well, what about it? Do you think you could do something? After all you have the fairy dust in you and you have Michaels travelling stick.”

“I think that this is too big for instinct alone.” Megan said mournfully. “Somehow I can’t imagine a mortal crossing a distance this wide without the help of a boat.”

Bach stood up and passed along the sand in front of her. “Time for Lesson two” he began.

“You have your wand for when you need to act instinctively and you don’t have time to think of a rhyme. This is sloppy way of doing magic and you can never be sure of the result. Your emotions will cloud your judgement when you try to use it in a stressful situation.”

He sat down facing her and looked deep in to her eyes. “Right now you have the time to sit and think about what you want to achieve with your spell once you have decided this, all you have to do, is form it in to some sort of a rhyme.”

Megan thought about the problem for some time, until the sun was high in the sky. Then she stood up. Looking out across the sea she began to chant.

“Water is an element of life
Life is what I am.
So I may save the one I love
I’ll do what ever I can.”

She patted her pocket to check she had not dropped Michael’s stick. Then picking up Bach, she walked into the water.

“Stop!” exclaimed Bach.

“I told you that you had the power of a fairy, not the power of a mermaid.”

Megan walked back to the beach and sat down again to think. Once again she cradled Bach in her arms. She began to chant for a second time.

“Fairy, fly though the air
On wings that shimmer and shine.
I wish that I could rise up now
To find that love of mine

 “A little bit soppy” growled Bach.
Then seeing the disappointment he changed his tone “That’s more like it” he said encouragingly.

Megan shut her eyes tight and imagined a way to cross the ocean. ‘Flying’ she thought ‘that’s what fairy’s are famous for. I will fly to Michael.’ She thought about what it must feel like to fly above the clouds, in the warmth of the sun. Gripping Michael’s stick harder she felt something begin to happen.

All at once she felt her feet leave the ground. A strange feeling was growing from her back. She opened her eyes and looked down. She was hovering above the water. She looked over her shoulder to where the funny feeling was coming from.

“Wings!” she exclaimed with delight. “I have wings”

Flying up to the top of the cliff she saw the path of the sun moving across the sea. She landed again. I really need to do something about Bach she thought. She held her wand over him.

“Wish to fly too Bach, so you can come too. I can’t fly all the way over the ocean with you in my arms you are much too heavy.”

“Dogs,” said Bach “are not meant to have wings. You can only bend the rules so far. That would definitely be breaking them.”

Megan looked disappointed for a moment. Then she grinned.

“What about a travelling bubble?” she asked. “I think that I could produce some sort of bubble for you to fly in. You could use Michael’s travelling stick to direct it, the way that he does with his pocket handkerchiefs.”

Bach thought for a while and then agreed.

Megan thought quickly this time.
“To save us some trouble
From this big wet puddle
We need air to thicken and
Create a travelling bubble.”

Bach groaned with despair. “I think the only redeeming feature of that rhyme, was you leaving out the word Cuddle.”

“You did not say that it had to have rhythm as well as rhyme” Megan replied cheerfully “and it is working.”

Sure enough the air around was thickening and within a few minutes a bubble had appeared. It had a faint pink and blue sheen to its surface and looked as delicate as a soap bubble. Megan and Bach peered closely at it.

Megan poked it with her finger to see if it would burst. Her finger came up against a wall that felt as if she was poking a baby’s tummy. Bach took Michaels stick from Megan then nudged the bubble with his nose. It enveloped him entirely. Megan realised that although she could still see him, Bach looked fainter than before.

“I think that no one will notice you flying around in this.” She shouted

Bach’s voice wafted through the bubbles’ wall to her. “There is no need to shout I can hear you perfectly well.”

So, Bach and Megan set off to fly across the ocean. Half way across Megan began to get tired. Having to flap wings for mile after mile was more exhausting than she expected. Bach suggested a quick stop on an island below so that they could both rest.

Resting on the beach of the tropical paradise, Megan realised that the rocks she could see scattered around the bay, were covered with people; people with long vary-coloured tails.

“Who are they” she quizzed Bach.

“They are the Mir-people.” He replied. “I think I will go and talk to them for a while. You wait here and rest. They may know some handy tips for getting through the Dragonlands. We must be getting close now as the Mermaid islands are quite close to the Dragonlands boarder.”

Bach pranced into the water and doggy-paddled over to one of the mermaids’ rocks. Megan remained on the beach thinking about the wonderful exhilaration of flying. The feeling of the clouds, as her feet brushed by them, and the heat of the sun on her back, the memory of them made her smile.

Bach returned soon from his chat with the Mermaids.

“We are getting close.” he warned, “We will soon be at the boarder to the Dragonlands. You had better prepare yourself. If we meet a dragon you must be polite and respectful. They are known to be quite the grumpiest of creatures and we don’t want you burnt to a crisp.

Megan nodded and picked up her wand. Bach’s bubble appeared again. With a wave goodbye to the mermaids, they floated off towards the now setting sun.

The curve of the sun disappeared beyond the horizon. Megan realised that instead of the darkness she had expected, she was surrounded by a dazzling orange and red blaze. Beneath her the ocean vanished and was replaced by a carpet of pink and purple flowers. Then the orange radiance of the border between her world and this one receded. The sky was filled with cloudless blue of such a deep shade that it almost hurt Megan eyes to look at it.

Bach looked around. “We have made it! Welcome to the Dragonlands”

Megan saves a fairy from a fierce looking dragon but will she find herself eaten in it's place. Chapter 7 - A New Friend

Coming soon

Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.