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.