Fyora and Celandra: From Servanthood to Friendship - Part Two
Fyora still was not feeling too well since she developed a rather irritating cough. Although she continued to insist that she was okay and nothing needed to be done, she had become increasingly fatigued, lacking the energy to be a leader. She had been taking longer naps in her own suite up on the third floor of the castle. Nobody went in to talk to her; nobody dared to disturb her. That is, until one day when Celandra started poking around, cleaning each and every corner of the castle with her feather duster and mop and bucket.
Celandra arrived for the morning in the dining hall, prepared to clean up after the faeries ate breakfast. Anne happened to be there among the other faeries.
“Oh, I see you’ve arrived early today. Why don’t you have some breakfast with us?” Anne offered.
“I’ve already had breakfast, ma’am. Thank you for offering, though,” Celandra refused.
“Well, you can always have more if you want. We’re not short on food here.”
Celandra decided to have a meat feast omelette to nibble on. Meanwhile, she could not resist the temptation to eavesdrop on the conversations going on.
“Hey, did you hear Fyora’s not well? She hasn’t even been sitting in the throne room these few days,” said one of the faeries.
“Yeah, if this keeps up and the citizens find out, they might think Fyora’s incapacitated and unable to rule Faerieland. Oh and I heard that Fyora’s too stubborn to admit that something is wrong with her. She wouldn’t let her closest friends get a doctor for her,” another replied.
Celandra wondered why Fyora wasn’t going to admit she was sick. She was concerned that Fyora might be seriously ill. After a moment of thinking, Celandra decided that she would go visit Fyora when she was cleaning the third floor. A bell rang and the faeries immediately began gathering their things. Luckily for Celandra, each of the faeries also picked up their own trash and tossed it into the wastebasket. All she had to do now was wipe the tables down and sweep the floor. She filled her bucket with soap and some warm water. Dipping her towel into the bucket, she began to clean the tables, carefully wiping in a circular motion and double checking to see if she missed a spot. In fifteen minutes, she had completed the tables and started the sweeping. Anne came in to check on her.
“You know, your work doesn’t really take the whole day, so you can take some breaks if you need them,” Anne suggested.
“I’ll be alright, ma’am. Don’t worry about me,” Celandra replied.
Soon she was done sweeping the floor and ready to complete her work on the second floor, grabbing her feather duster. Most of the faerie offices were vacant and the desks fairly clean. Celandra moved along, meticulously checking each corner for more dust. She did not bump into a single faerie until she went into Psellia’s office, where she found the busy air faerie tapping away on her typewriter.
“Oh! Good morning, Celandra. How has your day been going?” asked Psellia.
“It’s been going alright, just been doing my job. It’s not too hard really. By the way, aren’t you supposed to be high up in the skies?” Celandra asked.
“Actually, usually I’m not up in the skies very often; only often enough that a few Neopets can find me there. I do have a job to do here as Fyora’s bookkeeper and accountant. It’s rough,” Psellia sighed.
“Really? What is it that you are doing, if I may ask?”
“Oh well... not much, really. Fyora just asked me to type up a report on the condition of the Faerieland economy and I’m here crunching numbers trying to get them typed out quickly. Unfortunately, my typewriter and my mind are never on the same page,” Psellia answered.
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a rough day. Anything I could do?”
“No, not really, but thanks for offering. Your company already makes my day brighter.”
Celandra did not want to interfere with Psellia’s difficult task and therefore refrained from uttering any more words. She went around dusting and wiping the cabinets and was soon finished with her job.
“Thank you very much, Celandra,” Psellia called out after Celandra when she turned to leave.
Celandra went around to each office, noticing that none were actually in office, but many of them left notices that they were out running errands. This did make Celandra’s job easier, as she wasn’t familiar with the Faerieland officials anyway. It would be hard to strike up any sort of conversation and dead silence would have also been quite awkward. Now it was time for the third floor, which consisted of mainly sleeping quarters. Celandra went in and made the beds one by one. Each room seemed to be decorated with a different pattern of colors. It was quite obvious that they were designed to match the element of each faerie. Celandra entered a room that had sky blue carpeting and bedsheets. The curtains were light blue with white lace. On the wall were little designs that resembled clouds. Celandra thought that this must be Psellia’s room. She smoothed out the sheets and made the bed. After that, she went on to making sure the carpet was clean and watered the vase of flowers in the corner of the room.
Celandra continued on with her cleaning until Anne came up to check on her.
“Hey Celandra, why don’t you go on a lunch break? There’s plenty of food down in the cafeteria. How are you coming along?” Anne asked.
“I have a few rooms to finish and that’s it,” Celandra replied.
“Wow, you’re one quick worker. Go and eat. Take a break; do yourself a favor.”
Celandra made her way down the stairs to the dining hall. The faeries were already seated and had already begun eating. Each table had a large platter of gourmet food that Celandra had never seen before. She stared at the Air Faerie Mushrooms, wondering how food that resembled a cloud tasted. She overheard a conversation at the dark faerie table, where Jhudora and her little group sat.
“Fyora is ill; now is our chance to execute our plan,” Jhudora whispered.
“How are we going to do it? We don’t have any resources or Neopoints to organize anything,” whispered another dark faerie.
“Easy, I’ll just have little pets do the dirty work for me and we’ll have Faerieland and eventually Neopia!” Jhudora answered.
“What are you looking at!? Go away!” one of the dark faeries said as they noticed Celandra near the table.
Celandra went and sat with the light faeries. Her mind was still on the conversation at the dark faerie table. What was Jhudora’s plan? What were her motives? What was the dirty work? She wanted to tell Fyora, but why would Fyora believe a castle maid? She was so busy processing thoughts through her mind that she did not notice one of the light faeries offer her a plate of Fruity Faerie Fingers.
“Is something wrong? Do you not like Fruity Faerie Fingers?” asked the light faerie.
“What? Oh, umm... I’ve never had... I mean... .I’ll have some... thanks,” Celandra stammered.
The light faerie passed the plate to Celandra and then turned to talk with the other light faeries.
“Fyora’s sick, I heard. Perhaps she’ll hand her job down to one of us light faeries,” whispered the light faerie.
Celandra thought it was quite rude to even think such a thing. The light faeries said it in such a way that it seemed that they wanted to wish Fyora ill-will so they could take the throne. Sick of the gossip, Celandra wolfed down her faerie fingers and went back to work. She had one more room to clean, Fyora’s chamber, one of the largest rooms in the castle other than the library, the entrance hall, and the dining hall.
Celandra stepped into Fyora’s room. The first thing she noticed was that everything in the room was either a shade of pink or lavender. The window blinds and curtains were a soft pink. The furniture, on the other hand, was mostly lavender, including the enormous dresser and the cabinets. The carpet was decorated with little pairs of lavender wings that lined up in a pattern. Celandra took a moment to look around. Fyora’s chamber turned out to be complete with a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The only thing missing from the room was Fyora. Or wait, why was a sick queen not in her room? Celandra looked around hard again, high and low, left and right. She finally found Fyora right there, sleeping on her own bed. Fyora just seemed to blend in so well with all the pink and lavender around the room. Celandra went on performing her cleaning duties, trying to make as little noise possible.
“If I disturb Fyora, she’ll think I’m a horrible Gelert,” Celandra thought. Celandra went to Fyora’s desk and began dusting off the desktop. Meanwhile Fyora began to stir a bit.
“Ah... ah... ACHOO!” Fyora sneezed.
Startled by Fyora’s sneeze, Celandra turned around quickly, accidentally brushing a pink vase off of Fyora’s desk. The vase landed on the ground, smashing into multiple pieces. Fyora was wide awake now, looking at Celandra. Celandra looked back at Fyora with fear in her eyes. She had tried so hard to get this job and now she had blown her chance for any success. Fyora took her eyes off of Celandra for a moment, looking at the broken vase and then gave Celandra a long, cold stare.
To be continued...