"The Queen?" I said again, more insistent.
"Yes, the Queen, as in a ruler, she who has dominion over this whole land, excepting that which The Trickster has claimed as his own," Imag answered.
"The Trickster?" This was becoming confusing.
"Yes. The Trickster is the villain; the bad guy; the one we must avoid. As I assume you would know, every good story needs a good, or rather bad villain."
That was true. "So is this, is this a story?"
"Why ask me? This land could be, and yet if you are here in the flesh it just may not be. But still, everything isn't always as it seems to be."
"Ugh! You are one confusing bird!"
"And yet, to add more confusion to this swirling mixture of perplexity, I am not a bird, Andromeda!"
"Then what are you?" I did notice that he wasn't exactly like a bird, but it was the closest thing I knew that i could identify him with.
"I, stupid girl, am a Fyif, similar and yet much different than a bird. We are creatures who dwell here in the Attic, but rarely do we show ourselves to mortals and/or non-mortals alike. Only when just cause for surprise and interest allows and shows itself to us do we venture to make contact with any outside our sacred race."
I didn't even put effort into trying to comprehend what he was saying. "Okay, Imag, the not-bird who is yet a Fyif, whatever you are. You said that you were my guide here, right?"
"Yes. I see that some inkling of knowledge has permeated that thick skull of yours."
"I'll ignore that. Okay, so if you are my guide, are you not supposed to help me, explain to me, guide me, instead of confusing me more?"
"Yes, and I am and shall. In time. But you, O Writer, however mortal you are, have a complex mind. I believe that you can handle at least part of my wisdom."
I stood there, abashed. "Sure, whatever you say, Imag. Nice name, by the way."
Even with a beak, I could tell that he was smiling. "Why, thank you, Andromeda, and your name is beautiful as well! I knew that someone like you could appreciate names."
"Yes, I do love names; their sounds, origins, meanings. I have a notebook with just names I've come across in school books and such; cities, elements, or just words, that I've saved for story writing. When writing you must choose a name that embodies that what you wish to imbue in your charac--" My eyes narrowed on the Fyif. "Wait a minute. How did you know that I like to write?"
He stared at me. "You do not merely 'like to write', Andromeda, I know it. You are A Writer, and you are among the most powerful otherworldians who enter our world. You can comprehend our ways with your imagination and creativity, and have the sense of adventure required to escape. I knew instantly that you were one of these Beings. You were equipped with such weapons that your mind formed, for one thing," --He motioned to my sword and bow-- "and I could sense your type of mind."
I opened my mouth to ask one of the many questions that raced within me, but before I could speak, I was interrupted by a sharp: pop!
I spun on my heel. There, floating before me was a piece of paper, magically in place at my eye level. It was scrawled in a beautiful script. Imag swooped down, and in a flash of color he'd snatched the parchment away before I could touch it. He perched on a lower limb and read the words aloud:
'Aahh, Greetings to you Oh Weary Traveller,'
--"It's from the Queen!" He exclaimed--
Welcome To The Attic....Where fantasy becomes reality...
So glad you paid a visit to my humble abode...
Let me explain a little bit about The Attic....
Anything can happen in The Attic Of Lost Things. Many people come
here in search of something lost, but few people ever leave. What you have lost does not concern me, it could be anything from an old sock to a childhood dream. Keep the knowledge of what you have lost to yourself because there are entities here that would try their best to find and conceal what you look for to obtain power over you.
--"The Trickster being among them..."--
If you can find me, then you may be guaranteed of clean clothes, food, a bed to sleep in, and most importantly, my help.
--"I'll say that this is pretty much your goal in being here."--
I am the Queen of The Attic and I can grant you one wish, but one wish only.
Then, if you can answer a riddle for the Riverman, he might take you home.
You see another thing that I forgot to explain about The Attic is that, although you can find your way here, it is nearly impossible to find your
way out, and so far, only three people have guessed the answer to the Riverman's riddle.
So here's the dilemma for you....
Do you ask me to return you to your world?
Do you ask me to return what was lost?
Choose wisely my friend, your future depends upon your answer.
--"And truly, it does, I kid you not."--
High Queen of The Attic
Imag finished reading and rolled the paper up with his little hands.
"Do you understand now?" He fluttered down to me and shoved the Queen's letter into my quiver with the arrows. After that, he settled lightly on my shoulder, looking around at me.
"No, not entirely, but it doesn't look like that matters, now does it, Imag? Now, how about we go find this High Queen Alli..."