That night Grace couldn’t sleep. She wanted to desperately. Her eye lids felt weighed down with bricks, but try as she might, the cough stopped her from reaching the dreamland. From her bed, she could see as the stars came out, and as they vanished as clouds drifted across the night sky. There was a break in the clouds and moonlight came streaming in, and filling the room. Macy tried her hardest to break the fever, but still it raged. She had had a glimpse of Josh but he had been pushed away. She had wished he had been able to stay. When her need to sleep finally did defeat her, her blood sickening cough made it so that still she could not sleep. Her chest pained her as she tried to breathe, with all the black muck in her throat and lungs. The fairies had arrived and they wanted her awake. They arrived in a flash of light that sped through the window. They started out tiny, no taller than a thimble, flowers adorning them from head to toe. They whispered something in their high pitched high voices and began to grow. They were taller than Macy and had more graceful than even Grace’s mother had been. Their clothing was made of flowers and leaves that looked like silks and velvets, tailor made to cling in all the right places, flow in all the right places and still allow them to run through the forest without a care in the world. The tallest and most beautiful of the fairies wore a crown of thread thin silver which looked like someone had draped silver cobwebs over her head and called it a crown. It shone in the moon light and Grace couldn’t resist and succumbed to staring at it. This fairy took one look at her and gently directed Macy out of the room.
All through the night, the fairies flew in and out of the room collecting things for the lady with the crown. She never left Grace’s side, bathing her head in cool water and whispering tiny chants to subdue her coughing to mere whispers. The other fairies mixed leaves and flowers and other things that Grace wasn’t to see, until, at last they handed the Queen a tiny vial of purple liquid. The Queen then lifted up Grace’s head and poured 3 drops into her mouth. Grace felt the colour return to her face instantaneously.
“You must take 3 drops every night until the bottle is empty. You must do as I say as I don’t want to have to come back because you failed to follow a simple task.” The Queens voice sounded even more beautiful than her face was. Still weak with exhaustion Grace slowly nodded and the corners of the Queens lips twitched then she spoke,
“Do take care of yourself and we will see you soon little princess,” In the same flash of light the fairies flew out of the window and disappeared from view. Almost at once sleep found Grace and finally she could close her eyes and relax. As she fell into the dreamland a nightmare over came her. It would be the first of many and try as she might she could not wake up from her terror.
Josh was woken by the dawn light hitting his face. He was still in the chair he had collapsed into the previous night. Macy and Pyter were no longer there, they had decided to go to bed and leave him where he was. He had slept funny and had a crick in his neck, as he rotated his head to get rid of the crick, he heard the sound of laughter from the kitchen. He slowly stood up and headed to the kitchen. Sitting at the table with her back to the door Josh could see Grace’s long flaming red hair,
“Grace!” he ran into the room. She turned around and jumped up, giving him a big hug. He lifted her off the ground and twirled her around.
“You’re better!” Grace laughed as he placed her on the ground. They stared at each other for a second then she gave him a quick kiss on the check.
“You are the best Josh,” she said not noticing his face going the colour of a ripe tomato. Stunned he slowly rubbed his cheek.
“Is her Royal Highness feeling any better?” asked Pyter as he walked in and made a bee line for breakfast
“Yes she is,” replied Grace sitting back down at the table.
“So no more of this at deaths door stuff?”
“That would be correct. The fairies fixed me up good and proper,”
“What did they do?” asked Josh as he went and sat down too. Sitting opposite to Grace, he kept his eyes on his plate but couldn’t help looking up ever few seconds. He was just happy that Grace was alive and well.
“They gave me this vial of purple liquid. I have to take three drops of the stuff every night until the bottle runs out,”
“What if you lose the bottle or if it breaks?” asked Pyter
“I will get sick again. At least that’s what the Queen said…” she paused trying to remember, “I think…”
“You spoke to the Queen of the Fairies?” Macy sounded shock and surprised,
“Well I didn’t speak. She spoke to me,”
“What did she sound like?” she asked urgently
“What?” Grace was caught off guard by that strange question.
“I don’t know anyone else who has heard her speak. Is it true her voice sounds like music?”
Grace closed her eyes and thought for a minute. Then she nodded,
“Yes, the most beautiful song that has ever been played,”
They sat in silence eating their breakfast, not looking up from their plates.
“So you will be going soon then?” Pyter looked at Grace,
“Umm, I guess so. Yeah,” She tried to look at Josh but he didn’t look up, still red in the face from the kiss.
“Well we can get you some things, clothing and food, things like that for your journey then you can head off to the forest.”
“Okay, thank you.”
“Grace, come with me. I’m sure we can find you a bag for your trip,” Macy stood up and headed to the door,
“Thank you,” Grace stood up and followed her.
An hour later Grace was standing in the hallway, an old well loved rucksack on her back filled with water and food for her journey. She was wearing an old riding uniform, a dress that allowed her to run if needed. It was plain brown with bits of tan. She was wearing trousers underneath too. All the jewellery and clothing she had been wearing was now packed away at the bottom of her pack because as Macy put it, she didn’t know if she would need any of those things again.
“I can’t thank you enough for everything you did,” she said not wanting to leave,
“It was the least we could do, after all you are our Queen,” Pyter smiled at her and opened the door for her. “So this is it. Goodbye Grace Sonya Adamma. I hope your trip is a kind one.” She smiled as he remembered her whole name,
“Yeah, bye Grace,” added Josh somewhat bitterly.
“Bye Josh,” Grace leaned forward and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, much like before, then walked out the door.