The Golden Quill: Part Two
"Leeana, I am glad that you have found someone to take your place. But are you sure that she is the right one? I trust your decisions, but as your advisor I must warn you that she seems to be a weak child. Of course she is so young that we cannot be sure, but just because Flora was powerful does not mean that all of her descendents will be. Her air faerie mother, was she powerful? I have never before heard of her."
Leeana snapped at Maricia, "Why do you dislike this child so? Do you want something more for yourself? Is being the queen's advisor not enough for you?"
Maricia humbled herself before her slightly enraged queen. "But my queen, I have come from the lowest of low faeries. How could I aspire to be more than that which I already am?"
"You are not the only faerie who has overcome her past. I of all should know what a faerie would do to get what she wants. You have heard my childhood story, right?"
Maricia pondered the question. "I only know that you were a poor faerie who was chosen to be the next queen because you helped the queen."
Leeana gestured to one of the chairs in her sitting room. "Sit. We have much to talk about. I'm surprised that of all people, my personal advisor never learned of my history. I would also explain my hesitance to choose you as my personal advisor. It is because you are a dark faerie, but that doesn't bother me in the way that you probably think it does."
Leeana sighed deeply and started her story. "When I was born, it was believed that I was going to be an odd faerie. As you can easily see, my eyes are a mixture of yellow and purple. Nobody knows why that is, but they speculated that I had a mixture of light and dark elements in me. They thought that I would be mocked and ignored by my fellow faeries, so I was going to be better suited as a dark faerie because it was believed that I would dish out insults and not just receive them. Things didn't work out as they planned. I was mocked and ignored by the dark faeries that raised me. I went for days without food and had to scavenge on my own at a very young age.
"When I was just ten years old, I managed to run away. I was often left alone for days because nobody thought that I'd have the guts to run away. Neither did I until I actually did it. I discovered that although I had a second floor room, I could still exit my window and not hit the ground that hard if I was able to spread my wings. I practiced spreading my wings in my room for about a month until I finally was willing to try it. I waited until a dark faerie meeting, one that would last for days and one that I would not be invited to attend. Then I jumped out of my window and hoped that I wouldn't hit the ground too hard. I didn't. I ran as far away from them as I could. I got as far as the Lost Desert before I collapsed. I was found by the princess and her convoy. They saw me on the ground and I guess at first they were going to ignore me because I was a dark faerie, but the princess took pity on me and told them to give me food and water and to make sure that I was comfortable. I woke up and thanked them graciously for helping me, but I needed to get to Faerieland. I thought that if I could just make it to Faerieland, then I would be taken in my any other faerie and not have to face the dark faeries again. Unfortunately, things didn't go that way."
Leeana paused for a moment and sighed before continuing her story. "I eventually got to Faerieland, but before I could do anything or speak to the queen, I was found by a dark faerie. She didn't know my story yet, but she knew that I didn't belong in Faerieland. She decided that I couldn't leave her house until she heard my story. I'd never tell it to her, so I was stuck there for a long time. I don't know specifically how long. It could have been a week or a month. It felt like forever. But at least she fed me, which hadn't happen when I lived in the Haunted Woods. One day she forgot to look the guest room door and I escaped. I immediately ran to the faerie council, but the dark faerie who found me was there. She couldn't interrogate me in public, but she could quickly make up a lie to anyone who asked questions. I found out just what lies she was planning on telling when a water faerie saw me and asked about me. I remember her words exactly: 'Oh, this faerie? She's a trouble-maker. She's always telling lies and getting herself into trouble. She ran away from the Haunted Woods to avoid getting in trouble, so she's staying with me for now.' But more amazing was what I heard the water faerie say, 'Jhudora, the only reason that I believe you is because she's one of your kind. Keep her from destroying Faerieland.' That dark faerie was Jhudora, and she knew that I had run away, but I suppose that was obvious. Anyway, she finally gave up on me and sent me back to the Haunted Woods. They treated me even worse than they had previously. They left me to fend for myself, but I couldn't leave the Haunted Woods. I had to try to avoid Balthazar and all the faeries. At the same time I had to find food, make shelter, and fend for myself. That lasted until I was of age for faeries to live on their own. Something I had been doing for years.
"When I turned seventeen, I was allowed to leave. I never looked back. I decided to live in the Lost Desert. I decided that I would spend the rest of my days trying to find and help stray travelers like the princess had helped me. I did that for three years. What happened after three years led me to the throne. I had learned how to find people, pets, and sometimes even faeries lost in the desert. I also learned all sorts of important survival techniques. One day I found the last faerie I would ever have expected to see, I saw the queen, Jade. For some reason, she was dressed like an earth faerie, but I knew that she was the queen. She had collapsed on the sand and looked like she had been lost for weeks. I already had the princess's permission to bring stray travelers into the palace for care, so that's what I did. I brought her in and took care of her until she regained consciousness. She woke up and thanked me. I remember her words exactly as well, 'You have acted against your natural element, which is darkness. I wish to thank you for saving my life and for breaking the mold into which you were destined. You will be the next queen.' That sealed the deal. I became the queen when she died."
Maricia just inhaled deeply. "Wow."
Leeana smirked a small bit. "It's not quite the glorious tale that it sounds like. I was miserable for all those years until I was seventeen. Even for a few years afterwards I was miserable. My life wasn't that good until I learned how to live in the Lost Desert without suffering from heat stroke and I how to get water from even the most unlikely of places. You'd be surprised in how many different places around the Lost Desert you can find water. But that's beside my point. If you recall, I didn't really want you to be my personal advisor. Now you can easily see why that was the last thing I could have wanted. It was nothing against you personally, it was just that you were, and still are, of course, a dark faerie."
Maricia chuckled lightly. "Well, you weren't the first or last person to be hesitant over me as your personal advisor. Most people seem to think that all dark faeries are bad and I suppose that, on a whole, that's true. But that's like saying that all Darigan pets are bad and all faerie pets are good. There are some really good Darigan pets and some really mean and vicious faerie pets."
Leeana nodded. "I understand and understood that, but surely you cannot blame me for my actions. But what about you? I don't know all of your past. I know that you lived in the Haunted Woods at about the same time that I did, but I have no idea of how you lived or how you were treated."
Maricia sighed. "As of a few moments ago, I don't think that you really would want to hear it, but here it goes."
To be continued...