So I’ve been reevaluating my stance on morality.
Hm. I thought I had a whole spiel about that, but it turns out I don’t! I drew a picture that I’m not very proud of. My style is completely out of whack because I’m knocking apart and reforming my previously flawed approach to perspective. My abilities, on the whole, have not yet re-cohered from the emotional renovations, but here’s the study:
A Terrible (in my opinion) Picture
And now, for the road, some jean-desiring fairy rebel:
(If you recall, we last saw our heroine speaking to Moffer Bones after he attempted to dump her outside the forest and block her return with magic. Outraged, our fairy rebel returned and demanded answers. She received some jeans, a hoodie, and a partial explanation. Enjoy.)
Dark Details About the Fairy Queen
Moffer Bones told me that the Queen Mother is really old, and has basically reincarnated several times by stealing power from different fairies throughout the years. He said it’s customary for the royal family to keep their position that way, and it’s a pretty accepted practice that no one gets too upset about. He said she doesn’t kill anyone, but when a powerful fairy pops up, she’ll put a charm on them and skim some of their power.
Well, you guys remember how I told you that, um—that the Queen Mother had put a charm on me to make sure that I couldn’t wear modern clothes? This was way back when she caught me wearing those boxer shorts a long time ago, and I said that she put magic on my skin to make non-regulation clothes disintegrate. Yeah, it turns out that was actually a power-seeping charm and she was stealing from me. Nasty old creep.
Also, it turns out that people won’t tell me things because I’m an anomaly and have a lot of power, and the Queen decided to send me out of the forest because I was getting too grown-up and showing a lot of potential, and she doesn’t want me to develop into a political rival.
This sounded pretty thin to me, because I’m really a backwards nobody who isn’t that great at things, honestly, but Moffer Bones laughed at me and said that the Queen Mother was in a tizzy because those trolls who visited a few weeks ago wanted me to come and be an ambassador in Europe, and the Queen was pissed off and scared because she knew (Moffer said) that if I got out of the forest and around other magical peoples, I’d figure out really quickly how special and gifted I was.
So, according to Moffer Bones, the whole credit card, human vacation thing was a trap to get me out of the forest, and once I crossed the border of the woods, the charm on the credit card would immediately start to destroy my wings—which I told you are the source of my power—and then—Oh, I didn’t say this, though.
So the credit card had a couple of different charms on it, and was a nasty piece of magic, Moffer said. The first effect was that:
- Once I crossed the border with the credit card in my hand, I would turn human-sized, and the second effect was that:
- My wings would start to burn up.
- Also, Moffer Bones told me that the Queen was probably aiming to make sure I couldn’t enter the woods again, but that since his spell to keep me out hadn’t worked, the Queen’s wouldn’t either.
Moffer Bones said that he’s a good bit more powerful than the Queen, and that unless she’d managed to discover some dark form of magic he’d never heard of, there wasn’t anything she could whip out that he couldn’t figure out or counteract.
So the end of the conversation was me going, “Yeah, but I’m not sure if I believe you about any of this.”
Moffer Bones was like, “Cool, Winstance. I have no horse in this race, but if you go back there, she’ll kill you.”
“I thought you said she didn’t kill people,” I countered.
“I said she usually doesn’t. You remember that one kid, Monacsta? Lost her wings and got turned into a statue?” Moffer Bones asked. (This Monacsta is the fairy I told you about from two hundred years ago who lost her wings for trying to assassinate the Queen.)
I said yes, I knew about Monacsta, and Moffer Bones told me, “Monacsta was powerful, not as strong as you seem to be, but gifted. The Queen was draining her and Monacsta came to me to get help in stopping it. I told her the same stuff I’m telling you, and Monacsta called me a liar and went to have a polite negotiation with the Queen about laying off with the stealing, and now she’s a statue with a reputation as an assassin. You want to be the next bit of statuary in the fairy court?”
When Moffer Bones said this, I was kind of taken aback. I asked him what his advice was, and what I ought to do, and he laughed and said, “I don’t know. Don’t go back. She’s a greedy old bat and you scare her.”
“If the Queen’s so bad, why do you live here in her forest?” I shot back. Moffer got this steely kind of glint in his eyes (ugh, super handsome eyes! Oh, and I had gotten the black hoodie on by now, over my clothes, and I started pulling my dumb old leaf gown apart and off underneath it. And. I. Felt. So. Good. Aaaah, fabric.)—sorry, I got kind of lost there.
Um, so I asked why he went on living in the forest, since he said the Queen was such a bad person, and Moffer got all grim and heroic looking, and he said, “This isn’t her forest, Winstance. This is my mother’s land.”
Then he refused to say anything more about it and told me to go away, and I could see he was pretty upset and raw, so I gathered up my scraps of used-to-be-a-dress and flew out of his window (I made some tidy holes in the back of the hoodie for my wings, in case you were wondering about that), and now, at this moment, I am sitting at the very top of the rotten oak under which Moffer Bones’ hut resides and am thinking like mad about my life.
Because gosh. I’m just not sure what to believe at the moment.
One thing is for sure: I do NOT want to be the next bit of fairy statue decorating the Queen’s flower court, so I have got a whole lot of thinking to do. I mean, right now I have my wings and all my powers. I’m not willing to risk them, and if the Queen is insane enough to steal magic or try to sabotage my standing as a fairy (which, if she was really planning to do that, what a complete meanie), then maybe the Queen also is crazy enough to spy around or try to keep tabs on me to make sure I leave the forest. I figure Moffer Bones’ is the safest spot to be for just now, because all the fairies avoid him and I think (and I’m pretty sure I’m right) that the Queen is a little afraid of him.
Part of me is like, great, I’ll go out of the forest and be a free-wheeling magic person pretending to be human, but—I don’t know. That seems pretty short-sighted. I have a lot more questions, and I really, very much want to find out what Moffer Bones meant when he said I was a ‘creature.’ Like, what kind of creature? He was acting like I wasn’t a hundred percent fairy, and he obviously knows a ton, so—right now I’m hanging out—okay, to be honest, I’m hiding.
I’m hiding inside a hollow branch at the very top of the old rotten oak, and I’m keeping an eye on the surrounding area through a small hole and reviewing my options, because jeepers, this is not how I thought my day would turn out.
And yes, I maybe, a little bit, might have an eensy-weensy crush (just a marginal one) on Moffer Bones. But it’s mostly just that I need answers and he has them. I mean, I’m not just lurking around to catch glimpses of him when he’s out and about. That would be weird!
Also, if I am perfectly, completely honest, I’m in a kind of hazy nirvana now that I’m wearing jeans and a hoodie, and I’m partly focused on soaking in the total perfections of this whole situation. My clothes feel so freaking good. Mmmm.
You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my latest novel, someone was just murdered (and the body is now being disposed of!). You can get my latest story here.