The Queen of Fairy

Marieke Lexmond
Written by

Chapter 1

A funnel of ice, steam, and water erupts from the Cup of Plenty, one of the four elemental power objects. Mab can see it glimmering as the ice shards pummel her face. The tendrils extending from her fingers connect with it, pulling her up, making it unnecessary to worry too much about keeping her eyes open. With her senses heightened, she can feel the temptation of this exceptional object. The onslaught intensifies and, vaguely, she can make out a figure close to the Cup; that must be its guardian.
Her mind is racing; she will need to retract the tendrils to be able to grab the Cup. Scanning around, ignoring the pain from the endless shards of ice penetrating her skin, she sees one — no, two people. There’s no time to waste. When she’s just a few feet away from the object, she lets go and grabs blindly for it. When her fingertips graze the rim, she unleashes all her power, a shield of massive Fairy magic, flinging it toward her opponents. Her hand locks itself over the rim of the Cup. But when her wall of magic collides with whatever the others have sent her way; a loud bang shatters it, hurtling her and a fragment of it right back into Fairy.
The image freezes, then rewinds, back to the exact moment the Cup splin- tered. Mab, Queen of Fairy, steps through the image which hangs in the middle of her inner sanctum. She walks up to her two opponents who now each have a fragment of the Cup as well. Snowflake, the guardian of the Cup, and that annoying witch, Lucy Lockwood, a thorn in her side for many years. With her long fingers, she touches the memory, and, with a whisper, it folds itself back into one of the globes. A fairy’s way to preserve the past, allowing her to access the memory and history when needed.
Mab is in the only place no other fairy, creature, or human has ever been. Somewhere she can indeed be herself. Today, Mab is in her human form, tall and sensuous, wearing a tight body suit in her signature red, and decorated with all the other colors of the spectrum. Fairies love color; it’s something interwoven in them and their magic. Even though fairies are immortal, she aged in a differ- ent way, the centuries gone by etched in her eyes and the way she holds herself. Her impressive wings are neatly folded away; they might be beautiful and intimidating, but they are not always practical.
The room with organic formed curves and rounded corners gravitates toward a rather disturbing centerpiece. Its eerie form is constructed from the bones of all sorts of living things interwoven with precious stones. The top resembles a bowl; in it lays a shard—one third of the Cup of Plenty—one of the four elemental power objects on Earth. Mab had long coveted one to boost her powers.
At last, here it is. Or rather, a part of one. She can sense its tremendous potential. Even though it’s shattered, Mab can still feel the turmoil of the emotional power of Water. She has been circling it for a while now, and there’s a problem besides the obvious one—that it’s broken. Mab is a fairy, and the elemental powers derive from Earth. There are similar elements in Fairy, guarded and nurtured by the Keepers. Mab, as its Queen, is connected to all of them. Those are Fairy elements, and they can’t help her to link to this one.

She doesn’t possess any witch magic. Witch and fairy magic are the same and yet not the same. It’s maddening! Frustrated, she lets out a roar that reverber- ates throughout Fairy.
With purposeful strides she exits her room, the door swinging shut behind her. Swiftly, she walks through hallways full of fairies and creatures that drop into a deep curtesy when they see her. Mab doesn’t acknowledge any of them; she has ruled with fear since she came to power. Whoever crossed her was dealt with severely. For eons, nobody dared to challenge her or question her motives. Now, she must admit, it has become a touch boring.
This rush she feels after the fight for the Cup is still flowing through her. After she had returned to Fairy, it had taken considerable time spent in a dema- terialized state, drawing on all things Fairy, to restore her to her full glory. But now, full of energy, she’s ready for the next step.
Finally, she gets to the courtyard of her extensive palace. In the middle of the square stands a lone tree without any leaves, its bark intertwined with fairies and creatures that dared to irritate her. It acts as a public reminder that disobe- dience is punished. Slowing her pace, her hand caresses the faces merged with the tree. Her subjects, despite being stuck, shudder under her touch. Slowly circling the tree, Mab stops in front of Mara, a young witch, granddaughter of Lucy Lockwood, who, in order to save her younger sister from becoming Mab’s minion, has sworn to serve her for ten years. But after Mara attempted to grab the Cup for herself, she needed to be reminded whom she served and ended up in the tree.
With a simple command in Mab’s mind, the tree ripples back, releasing Mara, who falls to the ground. Her limbs do not work after being fixed in the same position for such a long time. Mab casually wraps her fingers around the witch’s neck and lifts her up. “Who do you serve?” she asks, looking Mara directly in the eyes.
A gurgling sound comes from Mara’s throat, but no words come out.
Mab shakes her. “Come on, you’re a witch. You should be able to heal yourself from a small ordeal like this. Unless, of course, you’re worthless. In that case…”

Mara closes her eyes, and Mab smiles, sensing the girl draw on her magic. Whenever anybody uses witch magic in Fairy, the Queen is aware. It’s forbidden unless she allows it. “Who do you serve?”
“You, my Queen,” Mara manages to squeeze out. But a defiant flicker in her eyes doesn’t go unnoticed by Mab.
“That’s better,” Mab says. She opens her hand and Mara tumbles to the ground. “Gather yourself, then come to my quarters.” Without looking back, she walks away.

Mab isn’t in her study long when a confident knock signals Mara’s arrival. “Come in,” she commands.
Her personal office is a fluent room full of memory globes, manuscripts, and living entities that stroke Mab constantly. It’s one of the ways she’s con- nected to all things Fairy. There are no tables or chairs like a human room would have; Mab simply floats.
Mara steps through the door looking surprisingly fresh. On seeing the Queen, she instantly falls to her knees, her long locks covering her face. “How can I serve you?” she asks.
“I need you to help me connect to the fragments of the Cup.” “You will need the other fragments first,” Mara firmly answers. “Look at me!” Mab orders her.
Mara gets up and, with a blank face, she says, “It will only work if the Cup is whole.”
Mab leans back, clearly enjoying the tickles of the entities in her room. “How do you suggest we do that?”
“I could go back to Greenland.”
Mara didn’t even see Mab move before her hand is around her throat for a second time.
“I bet you would love that. You’re not going anywhere, missy.” Mab’s drawl is laced with venom. “The fragment held by the Guardian will be the

hardest to get, as she’s still connected to it; and Greenland is difficult to reach. Your Granny, however, is our best bet.” She lets Mara go, floating back to her spot between the tendrils. “You’ve burned that bridge; your Gran knows you’re mine. So, we will do nothing. Let them come for my fragment, here. They don’t stand a chance. Until then, you can figure out how I can attune myself when the time comes.”
With a wave of her hand, she dismisses Mara, who slinks away. No need to tell that witch she intends to see if she can get her hands on Lucy’s fragment herself.

Tara Madigan, the family matriarch, a woman in her 70s, is sleeping late. The house has been alive for several hours. The enticing smell from the kitchen has found its way up to her room together with the creaking sounds of the others moving as silently as possible through the house. Not yet! Not yet! Just a bit longer.
Her room in their Garden District home faces East, so now, with the drapes pulled open, sunlight warms her body. It has been her room for as long as she can remember—hers and Lucy’s. Thinking about her twin instantly awakens her twin bond. Lucy Lockwood has been banned from the family since their mother passed on the Wand of Wisdom, one of the four elemental power objects, to Tara. Lucy had attempted to grab the power for herself, but she was a young witch, only in her twenties, and no match for their mother. It was such a traumatic time for all of them. Despite their best efforts, the twins lost touch and their connection waned—until Lucy stole the Dagger of Consciousness. When this whole race for control over the elemental objects began, it inevitably awoke her awareness of her sister.
Tara examines the feelings that flow through their special bond; it is like an invisible birth cord, an open channel through which they can share thoughts and energy. This morning, Lucy seems to be doing better. Tara senses less energy is being siphoned from her. Good.

This happy thought is quickly followed by guilt about what she’s doing— aiding someone who has harmed her family and others. It propels her thoughts back to several weeks ago when the battle for the Cup occurred in Greenland. Tara was handling the bar in Under the Witches Hat, the family business. Out of the loop since she had passed on the Wand to her granddaughter, Bridget, she had found renewed purpose and joy in her work there. Freed from the burden of responsibility, she felt almost giddy.
She was brewing some teas and elixir for the early afternoon crowd when she doubled over, engulfed by an unimaginable pain coursing through her, followed by a desperate scream in her head.
“Mom?!” Ron, her son, abandons his paperwork at the bar, and sprints over to her.
Tara is still bent over, sucking in air.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” Ron can’t hide his concern and runs a scan with his magic, looking for any injury.
“I – I need a moment.”
Ron helps her to a chair in the corner. “Can I get you anything?” “Water?” Tara musters, more to give him something to do. She needs space.
A second bolt of pain hits her; but this time she’s better prepared, managing to let it rush through her. What the hell is going on?
“Help me!” A desperate plea whirls around her mind.
“Lucy?” Tara answers silently.
“Help me! I’m hurt badly.” Lucy has thrown open their old twin connection. Her desperate need must have helped to restore that lifeline, and no words are necessary anymore. Now Tara understands who’s trying to reach her, she can make sense of the pain and desperation.
“Here.” Ron hands his mother a glass of water. Her hand is trembling uncontrollably, and water spills. Ron gently takes it from her and puts it on the table. “Do I need to call an ambulance?”
Tara shakes her head. “This is not right. I’m …”

Tara grabs Ron’s arm. “I’m okay. Let me be for a minute.” Her angry glare makes him back away. With concerned eyes, he takes over her shift at the bar.
Tara turns inward, trying to figure out which feelings are Lucy’s, and which are hers. It’s obvious Lucy is badly hurt. Tara’s mind is racing. She knows Lucy is in Greenland hunting for the Cup of Plenty. Something must have happened.
“Save me…sister.” Lucy’s life force is waning.
Tara’s first instinct is to send her a boost of energy, but a little voice in the back of her head stops her. Your sister has caused much harm. Wouldn’t the world be a better place without her? She killed a sister witch to grab the Dagger and she tortured Bridget. And let’s not forget the trauma she has caused others.
“Please.” Lucy’s inner voice is barely a whisper now.
Shit! She can’t save her. She can’t betray her family! But her rationale fights with deep-rooted feelings she can’t simply deny. Being twins is like being one. Could she let part of herself wither away? Of course not. At her core, Tara knows she will always love Lucy. Whatever she has done…
Tara impulsively sends Lucy a boost of energy that makes her sag back in her chair.
“Thank you.” Gratitude courses through her.
Tara still struggles between what is right and what feels right. Nevertheless, she needs to know what’s going on. “What happened?”
Lucy hesitates. It’s impossible to hide what you think if the connection is this wide open.
“I need the truth, or I will cut you off.” Tara seizes the advantage, ready to fulfil her threat.
“The fight over the Cup—I’m badly wounded and alone.” That is the truth; it brings tears to Tara’s eyes.
“Who has the Cup?”
“It’s broken. I only got part of it.”

Broken? What did that do to the powers of the Cup? Tara knows she shouldn’t help Lucy. Whom had she harmed now?! Freya? Luna?
Lucy must have sensed Tara’s hesitation and rushes powerful feelings of kinship toward Tara. Yet, Tara is still unsure.
But when Lucy sends love—warm, fulfilling, inseparable, true love. Tara can’t withstand the wave of wholeness. She had felt so hollow and abandoned after she had passed on the Wand to Bridget. It had left a hole that seemed to be unfillable until this moment, when Lucy stepped back into that void. Something Tara had secretly longed for since Lucy was banished from the family.
Both sisters surrender to their love for each other; it fully heals their con- nection. That alone boosts Lucy’s life force, enabling her to move for the first time since she re-entered her physical body. Tara knows now that her sister is all alone in a hotel room in the north of Greenland; she also knows she must get out of there as soon as possible. The Berthelsens, the guardians of the Cup of Plenty, will be coming for her. No doubt, they know where she’s staying.
“How can I help you?” Tara wants to know.
“I need to heal enough to move to a safer place. Can you feed me energy for a while?”
Tara sighed; she had made her choice. “Be safe,” is all she says, as Lucy already knows she is doing it.
“Thank you!” These two words give Tara such an empowering boost, she starts crying.
For the next couple of weeks, she helped Lucy to heal. Every morning, Tara felt guilty about betraying her family, but she couldn’t stop. Her heart and her mind don’t agree. Nobody in her family can know about it; they are searching for Lucy and her fragment of the Cup. Tara has mostly stayed out of everybody’s way by telling them she wasn’t feeling well. Which she didn’t need to fake—it has been an energy drain. Her children worry about her, but they are too over- whelmed with problems, which makes it easy for Tara to do her own thing. She had slept more, meditated in the garden, and worked as many shifts in the Hat as she could manage; it allowed her to soak up people’s energy. Psychic Vampirism on customers is not something Ron allows. She had to be subtle.
Okay, time to get up. With a glance at Seamus’ empty magical portrait, she confirms he’s still missing. The familiar pang of loss is less these days, replaced by the satisfaction of the restored bond with her twin.
Before getting dressed, she grabs her favorite tarot deck, shuffling it, and pulling out her card of the day. It’s the Ten of Cups; it shows a family of rays frolicking around next to a stack of ten cups. Ah, maybe she’s doing the right thing. What a cheerful card. What more can she wish for than love, happiness, family, and satisfaction?

It is white as far as the eye can see, the wind whipping Snowflake’s face, making her shiver. Desperately, she twirls around. Where is it? The deep feeling of loss propels her beyond desperate; hysterically, she starts to cry. The sky, the ice, the whole world around her cracks open like an egg, blood-red water gushing through the crevasses, mixing red with all the white…
Snowflake sits up, soaked in sweat and tears, breathing heavily from yet another nightmare. When she opens her eyes, it’s like she’s looking through broken glass; so much so, she can barely make out Freya moving around in her room. Freya is Tara Madigan’s eldest daughter, who stayed behind in Greenland. Snowflake struggles to focus through her thwarted sight, shattered like her, like the Cup. Since the breaking, she hadn’t slept more than two or three hours in a row, always dreaming about her loss. As its guardian, she’s broken in every way, unable to function normally.
Still, the Cup itself gives her enough life force to keep going; pushing her on, urging her to find the other fragments—desperate to be whole. Snowflake can’t sense Mab’s shard, as Fairy is another realm, and it’s beyond her reach. One can’t simply go to Fairy and demand it back. The Queen of Fairy is all-powerful there, making it a near-impossible task. The second fragment is the best place to start; she can still sense it. Lucy is moving.

“Another bad dream?” Freya’s voice snaps Snowflake out of her downward spiral. “Here.” Freya hands her a cup of herbal tea.
Snowflake thanks her, the aroma of valerian and chamomile instantly soothing her. She opens and shuts her eyes, not sure which is worse, her mud- dled mind or her poor sight.
“Take it slow,” Freya whispers, resting her hand on Snowflake’s arm.
To Snowflake, her touch feels warm, comforting. “We should have taken you and Luna’s warning more seriously,” Snowflake says.
“It would not have mattered,” says Freya, brushing it away. “If anybody is to blame, it’s my family. The Goddess knows my grandmother didn’t handle the passing of the Wand of Wisdom very well. By expelling Lucy, she set her on the path of hatred for us, and desire for the elemental objects.”
“It’s not your fault,” Snowflake answers, taking another sip of her drink. “I don’t know what I would have done without you. My family can’t – won’t understand. You’re the only one who I can talk to.”
Freya shrugs. “I can relate a little with how it feels to be incomplete. Because my parents gave away part of my memory and, with that, part of my being. It has been frustrating and turned me into a bitch. But it’s not comparable to your loss.” Freya fusses with the blankets. The fight over the Cup has torn Snowflake apart and healed Freya. Finally, in her power, the calm and magical waves com- ing off Freya soothes the guardian.
Snowflake puts down her cup and attempts to clamber out of bed.
“You’ve got to stay put,” insists Freya, gently pushing her back down. “You’re not strong enough yet.”
“There’s no time.” But her protests have no strength, and she allows Freya to cover her back under the blanket.
“Soon,” Freya tells her. “We need you to tell us where the Cup is going.”
Snowflake grabs Freya’s hand. “I don’t know. My mind—” She stops, unable to find the words, a single tear wetting her cheek.
Freya starts to sing in an ancient language; its guttural sounds are mes- merizing. The room begins to glow. Thin, flowing ribbons of gold emerge from the floor and weave a blanket above Snowflake. She can feel the magic swirling through the room. Freya’s hair is swaying around her. Swiftly, Freya pulls three long curls from her scalp; they keep flowing and become one with the blanket. When the song ends, the blanket settles down on Snowflake, and a warm sense of protection envelops her. “Heal, my friend,” Freya simply says, and Snowflake knows it to be true. “Rest, be well.” Freya gets up and kisses Snowflake on her brow.

Freya, evading the others in the Berthelsen’s home, steps outside onto the perma- nent snow. It’s a beautiful evening out, and the aurora borealis is weaving its electrifying light dance in the sky. Freya’s body reacts as soon as she stands under it; she can’t get enough of it. The colors, like plucking fingers, pull at her and, within seconds, it surrounds her, recharging her energy and filling her up. She sends waves of gratitude up to the Fates. These last months have been a whirlwind of emotions; to be almost sixty and finally reach your full potential has been a mix of anger, frustration and, above all, exhilaration. The soothing green dance of light turns angry-red around her when her mind relives the rage she felt towards her parents for what they had done to her. Allowing the Ferrymaster to take such a vital memory from her that changed her being, condemning her to a life of misery, of constantly feeling less and so upset all the time. Now she can see that all these years her frustration had come from being incomplete. Her sister, Luna, had left for Boston as soon as she could. However, Freya had chosen to stay to help this family. The colors turn blue and green, adjusting to her mood. Her journey is exactly what has been of service to Snowflake, her ability to understand in some way has helped draw the Guardian of the Cup back from the abyss. Thankfully, the Berthelsens don’t know the old Freya. They take her as she is now, with no baggage. It’s refreshing; they listen to her and take her seriously. They see her as a leader, something she had always known she was capable of. This had encouraged her to let go of her resentments, and seeing Snowflake has put her years of loss in perspective. It doesn’t diminish it, but it makes it bearable, even to the extent of stepping beyond that, feeling free and surprisingly happy.
The warm glow of the Borealis has sated her; time to go back into the house.

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