I removed the curse from the little girl but it sapped most of my energy. It had been too long in place to require just simple incantations.
I don't remember much of what happened next but when I awoke I found myself in my rooms, floating above the floor. Silently dropping down onto the carpet I padded over to the window and glanced out across the Primaland.
I hated it here. Why did we have to come here of all places?
A cough behind me made me look around and I saw Damien standing there looking at me. "You have a visitor, your Highness," he said quietly and I took a step forward, startled by the look of awe on his face. "Who is it?"
I pushed past him, and ran down the corridor.
As I entered the throne room I saw the Fyif. They look sort of like colourful birds but in fact they are far from it. Fyifs are magical creatures of the Attic. They have stalk like legs that actually have small colourful feet on the end of them and at the end of both wings they have little hands like a human. They also could choose whether or not to wear a beak. Personally myself I thought they looked like a cross between a bird and a colourful monkey. Fyifs were strange creatures. Sometimes they choose to guide a traveller but that is an extremely rare occurrence.
I sat down on my throne and motioned to the Fyif to perch on the arm of it.
"Tell me noble Fyif, what brings you here?" I spoke in a low voice and the Fyif spoke equally low. "Your Highness, there is a girl that has arrived. She is otherworldian and appears to be of no importance but the prince Imag stated that she has a complex and interesting mind and he has decided to guide her through the tasks because he feels she could bring a little variety to the normal imaginings of the kingdom."
He seemed to thing he had spoken out of turn then and he bent a furry leg and dipped a wing, closed the little feathery hand on the end of it into a fist over his heart. "I beg your Majesty's pardon for such rudeness. The Fyif have long hidden from outside contact and through influence of some younger generation Fyifs we seem to be losing our manners when it comes to royalty. I, Pioché, am deeply embarrassed." Then he tried to hide his head under his wing as he turned a delicate shade of grey in his embarrassment.
"Do not worry little one, I understand perfectly." I smiled at the little ball of colour and held out my hand to him. He hopped on it, still trying to hide his head under his wing.
"Come Pioché." I said gently. "We'll take you to Cook and have her find some cherries."
He pulled his head out and looked at me in awe. "Cherries?" he squawked. "Yes please your Highness!"
I stood up and let the Fyif hop onto my shoulder as I walked out of the throne room and down the corridor towards the kitchens.
Servants flew ahead of me to give warning and by straining my ears I could hear the sound of Cook's loud voice booming through the kitchens.
"The Queen is coming you lazy lot! Look lively! Clean up that mess!"
I smiled to myself as I thought about the Fyif on my shoulder. Fyifs love cherries. It was important that anytime a Fyif visited the castle that it was made to feel welcome so that it went back with nothing but good things to say. We must keep good relations with the Fyifs, they are a good breed of creature.
I pondered on this otherworld girl that the Prince of the Fyifs had chosen to guide. What made her so important to them? Could she be?...but no... The Attic had not seen a writer in over four thousand years, and the Trickster had got the last one and since then there have been none.
A memory of the last writer to visit the Attic rose up in my mind.
Peter. The crime novelist. He couldn't comprehend the idea of the Attic, had gone mad, and helped the Trickster to start a war. A war that had almost been the end of the Matrilanis. There have only ever been 3 writers in the history of the Attic. Peter went insane and died on the tip of David's sword. Rhea was a fantasy novelist, she had understood the Attic and was excited by it. She came to me for assistance and I helped her to find her creativity. She was the first to answer the Riverman's riddle. The third writer, Aether, was a science fiction writer. I do not pretend to understand him or his ideals, but I did understand his feelings about the child he had lost to the river gods. I returned her to his arms and, he also, managed to answer the riddle of the Riverman.
Each of the writers had their own Fyif guide from the moment they arrived. The Fyifs renamed them but Peter had declined his name and killed his Fyif.
I shuddered inwardly. There are beings in the Attic who, though they fear me, I have no control over, Gods of a sort. The Fyifs are considered to be linked to them somehow. To kill a Fyif is considered one of the greatest sins anyone can commit, punishable by death....if the Attic Gods don't get you first.