Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Chapter 2 - Journey to the Gates of Fairyland.

Megan and Michael decided to get married as soon as they possibly could. They knew they would face many problems in the way they were sure they could find means around them. Obviously the biggest problem was that Michael was a leprechaun and Megan was a mortal.

Now the nature of magic is arranged, so that any mortal, who wishes with all of their true heart, may get precisely what they wish for. Megan wanted nothing more than to marry Michael but as he was a Leprechaun and so much smaller than her, it seemed impossible. Every night and she went to bed with the same wish in her head, that Michael would somehow grow to be taller so that they could wed.

Megan thought long and hard about how tall she wanted him to be. Not to tall or she would not be able to reach up and kiss him, but not too short either. She wanted to be able to gaze up into his eyes. Each night she went to sleep wishing with all of our hearts that he might grow to be the ideal height.

Michael meanwhile, been a practical creature of logic and sense, realised that this sort of magic was beyond his capabilities. So he decided to pay a visit to the fairy queen. Before he left he told Megan that he was going away for a while and presented her with a small blue forget-me-not, just the colour of her eyes. He put on his little green walking boots (now newly polished by Megan) and a little green hat, tipped to one side, on top of his head, and then set out to visit the fairy kingdom.

Leprechauns have a way of travelling that is really quite unlike any other. Not everyone knows about this little stick with the pocket handkerchief that they carry everywhere, but even people who've met a  leprechaun, and seen the stick, may not have realised why it is important.

Well I will let you in on the secret. The stick carrying the pocket handkerchief is the key. This stick is where leprechaun keeps its magic. Whenever leprechaun wants to travel, he has only to pick up his stick and untie the pocket handkerchief and hold it tightly by the four corners. Then using the magic in this stick, the pocket handkerchief will fill with warm air to carry him to wherever he wants.

So Michael took out his red spotted, pocket handkerchief and his magic stick. He floated gently on the breeze and landed at the gates of fairyland. He packed away the pocket handkerchief, picked up the stick and walked up to the gatehouse troll guard.

The troll stood tall against the gates. It looked like the gatehouse to be built for a smaller person. The troll would have had to duck his head as he walked through his front door. A little signs that over the letterbox in the gatehouse doorway 'Robin the gatehouse troll' Michael suppose that any fairyland postman would no Robin without a sign but reasoned that perhaps the sign was there so that visitors the castle know who he was.

Michael the leprechaun, read person audience, with her majesty the queen of fairyland, Orlaith" Michael said in his most lofty an important voice.

Robin looked around him with a puzzled air, as if he thought he might have heard something but then again might not have.

Michael the leprechaun, requests an audience, with her majesty the queen of fairyland, Orlaith" Said Michael a little bit louder.

Robin patrol again looked up from his newspaper. This time looking as if he had heard something and was not sure where the noise was coming from.

Michael looked around him unsure whether or not to risk shouting at a troll. They were as well known as dragons for their unpredictable tempers. Then he caught sight of the sign above the letterbox, again. Underneath the words he had noticed before, with some further letters inscribed in some very messy handwriting. 'Knock loudly, I have earache and won't hear you'

Summoning up all his strength Michael took a deep breath and yelled,  "down here!!!"

At last Robin spotted him. "What do you want, little tyke?" He grumbles. He lowered his hand for Michael to step up onto. Then raised him level with his face so that he could better understand what he was saying.

"Michael the leprechaun, request an audience, with her majesty the queen of fairyland, Orlaith" Michael said meekly.

You are looked at Michael with a peculiar expression. Then he exclaimed with surprise "I know you. you're the leprechaun on the front page of the newspaper this morning"

Michael blinked not quite sure what to say to this. He really could not think what he had done to get on the front page of the newspaper.

"I know you are a bit busy at the moment, I imagine that her Majesty is already expecting you, but why don't you come and have a spot of lunch with me before you go up to the castle? I might be of some help in your quest."

Michael hesitated looking at the size of the troll.

"Go right on in" after all it's not often that this sort of thing happens."

The troll lowered him to the ground; Michael's curiosity got the better of him so he went through the gates and cross the threshold of the beckoning dark door beyond. Inside the gatehouse the rooms were not as dark as Michael had feared. There were a few cobwebs hanging round the window panes and the odd chunk of dirt littered on the floor but the place had that homely, lived in air that you only get when someone is happy with their house.

In the middle of the rooms that a huge table, solid and dark. Around it sat for chairs. One had a tattered cushion on the seat and looked as if it was sat in each day, the other three looked as if they were not used for years and two years end. Robin placed Michael on the table then he turned to the mantelpiece and picked up a small pincushion, this he placed on the table for Michael to sit upon.

Then he lowered his great frame into the chair with a cushion on. Michael look shocked at how one minute the chair had looked gigantic to him and the next it look dwarfed in comparison to the trawler contained. Robin cupped his hands together over the plate set before him. Promptly became filled with Robin's favorite meal, sausage and mash and peas. Then he repeated the movement in front of Michael and a miniature of the dish appeared, just the right size to wet a hungry leprechauns appetite.

At this Michael could only stare in wonder. At last he closed his open jaw and plucked up enough courage to ask,

"How did you do that? It's not the sort of magic trolls do normally is it?"

Robin laughed heartily at this. "Each of the leprechaun," he said, "I know you are longing to." At this Michael picked up his knife and fork and proceeded to tuck in.

"I was given the magic by Queen Orlaith after I agreed to come and work here as keeper of the gates." Robin talked slowly so that he did not split on Michael as he talked. "It was at the end of the last war, when the king of the trolls was making the Great Troll – Fairy Peace Pact with herself. Orlaith decided that the time had come when she required a little more security, more of a precaution than anything, and I was chosen to come here."

Robin looked a little bashful as he thought about how he had come to be chosen.

"About a week before the pact was finished in writing, it was discovered that the Troll King's daughter, Elspeth, had fallen in love with a commoner. well to cut a long story short the troll King decided that sending this commoner  away to guard the Queen Orlaith's gates would solve two of his problems at once. Needless to say you will have gathered already that I was the commoner in question."

Robin looked down at his plate he had finished every scrap. He looked over Michael who was still tucking in happily.

"Not long after I left, the King flew into a rage at the protests that and Elspeth was making on my behalf and decided that he would send someone to kill me, so that he need not worry about unsuitable alliances any more. I spotted the would-be assassin at one, and tried to knock him out with a big stone. but unfortunately I hit him a bit hard." Robin looked very sad that this. "The King said it was an act of unprovoked aggression against one of his subjects. (He had conveniently forgotten that I was still technically one of his subjects.) He used it as an excuse to declare war once again on the fairies."

Michael suddenly sat up "I remember that, it was in the papers at the time," he said

Robin looked unhappy "then you remember what happened next?"

Michael nodded. "I certainly do. After the King declared war on us it was discovered that he had been building up his armies the years. He had only been pretending about the pact." Michael looked puzzled. I don't understand it one day the papers were full of how the King had declared war on us and the next all was quiet and back to normal, the war never happened."

Robin looked even sadder. "The day Orlaith received the declaration of war she gathered around her some of the most powerful fairies in the land and then performed a magic spell so complicated that to this day I don't understand how they did it. Elspeth vanished from her chair by the King throne and was never seen again. Orlaith had taken her is hostage to prevent the war ever starting."

"I can see it in your face, your appalled. I can't tell you what I was feeling that day when I found out what had happened. But I will tell you how I found out. Queen Orlaith came down here to tell me herself, the day after the spell was cast. She said that Elspeth was still alive and quite happy but I would not be able to see her again for a long time. Then she said that she was depriving me of a wife and a well-known good cook she would give me a present of these powers."

Robin stood up and fetched a bright peach from his fruit bowl. He handed a slice to Michael them put the rest in his mouth at once, Michael chewed thoughtfully on his slice absorbing the information that Robin had given him.

"What about the help you might be able to give me in my quest to bring me and Megan together?" Megan asked.

Robin grinned. "I don't know if I can be as much use you in the way of actual help. I thought you might want to know a bit about whom you're up against. Orlaith is not just a powerful woman who is led blindly by the rules of the land. She will bend them every once in awhile to get to the end result that she likes."

Michael nodded

"Elspeth was taken from me by force but Orlaith let me know herself and she all but hinted that she had one of her grand plans in mind." Robin mused aloud. "If only I could be sure that the rumours about the stockpile of fairy dust in the castle were the true then I be up there in an instant, then I could go and rescue Elspeth."

Michael looked puzzled "do know where she is then?"

Robin looked a little shifty at this "I have a fairly good idea. But you need more magic than I possess to survive there. So I will wait here until she is returned to me."

Both the enormous troll and the minute leprechaun sat in silence for a short time each buried in their own thoughts. Then a peculiar group approached the gates of the castle there was one who is part troll, one who was part goblin and with the cutest looking dog. They were striding around as if they owned the place. Robert Michael decided to go and take a look.

The part troll seem to be the leader of the small company, on seeing Robin he strolled up and demanded in no uncertain terms that he should be left up to the castle. Robin, seemingly unaffected by this rude manner, took down the clipboard from the top of one of the gateposts and ran a finger across the named mittens on it. "Name please."

"Eamon and Dermot" the leader replied. "We do have an appointment with the Queen, here is the letter, we were sent asking us to come."

Robin flicked through the sheets. "You are not due for two days according to this. Let me have a look at your letter."

The taller man fished out a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and handed it up to Robin;

"As I suspected," said Robin. "You have forgotten to take into account the time difference between fairyland and the mortal realms haven't you?"

Robin moved over to the opposite gateposts. He tapped a large stone about the height of his face then waited. Shortly a voice could be heard faintly in the distance.  Michael could see a faint outline of somebody's face on the stone. Robin conversed quietly with the face for a moment then came back to the group.

He handed the leader of the group his letter back. "You will have to wait in one of the hostels in your own section I'm afraid. You will be reimbursed this time, but don't make a habit of this."

Michael meanwhile had removed from his pocket a sausage he had saved from his dinner with Robin and was feeding it to the dog. Seeing this, the part goblin that was holding the end of the rope tied round the neck of the dog gave it a yank. The group moved away from the gates.

Robin meanwhile had opened the gates the Michael to go through. "I hope all goes well with you" each of them said at the same time.

They smiled at each other once more. Then Michael went on his way. As he followed the path to the castle, every person he met called out hello. Many were still reading the newspaper the Robin Hood mentioned he knew him from. Michael realised he perhaps should have asked to see robins copy, but felt sure he would find out what it contained soon enough. He waved uncertainly at the people whom he had never known before and hastened his work to the door of the Enchanted Castle.

Back in the world of mortals Megan was feeling quite upset at Michaels departure.she knew that he would be back soon but thought that it was quite unfair to leave her so soon after their engagement. For Michael had not told of his plan to see the fairy queen, he only let her know that he had to leave for awhile. She planted the little blue forget-me-not in her garden right by the front door and it bloom day after day reminding her of him every time she tended it.

Megan slept every night now wishing that he would come home soon. She started to collect up smokes, boxes, books and tables, and all sort of useful things for their house together. Until her room was quite full, and her mother was quite filled with the despair that she would never see her nice green carpet in the spare room ever again.

Michael's adventure continues as he gets to meet the fairy queen in Chapter 3 - Orlaith's Decision 

Coming soon

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

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