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