Celeste was very startled. She put a delicate hand to her fire truck-red lips in surprise. “Who’s there?” she called. “How did you get past the moat?”
The voice – it sounded like a girl about seven years old – said again, “Don’t get fluorescent lights.”
“Who are you?” cried Celeste, wildly scanning the garden for the source. “What do you want?”
“Fluorescent lights make magic disappear,” replied the voice, which now seemed to come from a trembling rosebush on the side of the path.
Celeste sneaked up on the bush and plunged her hand in, managing to grab a clump of chestnut-coloured hair. “Aha!” she exclaimed as she pulled a very scratched-up little girl out of the thorny bush.
“Ow,” cried the girl, who stumbled onto the royal garden path, “let go of my hair!”
Celeste obediently let go of the girl’s hair. “How did you get inside the castle grounds?” she asked, suspiciously. “Are you a witch?”
“No!” exclaimed the girl, “at least, I don’t think so. I was listening to a bedtime story, and then suddenly I was in a bush with really sharp thorns poking me.”
“What is your name?”
“And is it true that fluorescent light makes magic disappear?”
Emily frowned, thoughtfully. “How should I know?”
Princess Celeste gave a beautiful sigh. “Well, it seems if you were a dangerous witch, you would have already cast a crippling spell on me (most likely having something to do with true love's kiss or spinning wheels), so I suppose you should come into the castle and speak with my father before he demands an audience with the kingdom's electrician. But first, we must get you cleaned up.”
Emily looked down at her dirty, ripped pyjamas and grimaced. “Good idea.”
So she and the princess climbed up the castle's tallest tower to Celeste’s bedchamber and Princess Celeste let Emily choose from some old gowns that she had outgrown.
Emily picked a very pretty blue one with white edging and gold lace. When she spun the skirt swirled gracefully around her legs. She looked just like a princess.
Celeste smiled. “I have not had a friend visit the castle in such a long time. Most of them have trouble crossing the moat. Would you like to have tea with me?”
So the girls had a lovely tea party together, complete with china teacups and saucers and little sandwiches and cakes, and they forgot all about warning the king about fluorescent lights.