The Garden at The Royal Palace
The garden was bathed in the golden glow of the morning sun, filtering down through the trees in little beams. A cool wind spun and danced lazily through the woods bringing out the hints of autumn's promise to come soon. The cooler weather was welcome after such a long hot summer. It was a relief for the animals who lived in the garden as they went about their lives within the garden walls. Most of the creatures steered clear of the main clearing where the humans spent the morning with their young.
The two Queens and their grandsons sat quietly visiting while grinding ink from stones as they waited for the Emperor to join them. He had been slow to rise this morning and they were waiting fairly patiently, enjoying their time as a family. The grandsons smiling and laughing with each other while the little girl sat quietly by herself, her little table empty.
Raina had learned a long time ago that these gatherings were not meant for her. She and Grandmother Evelyn would sit off to the side and embroider or practice their calligraphy off to the side. However, she felt a little out of sorts without the elderly woman there to give her purpose and direction. She wasn't even sure how to get the ink and paper required to being practicing... She felt even worse with the draping face mask to cover the bruise on her cheek.
Raina looked around a bit awkwardly for a moment, and noticed no one was paying her any attention and her gaze was drawn to the Cold Palace sitting on the hill just beyond the garden path. A sad sigh escaped her as she fingered the edge of her face mask. Empress Evelyn always had a way of making her feel better. "I miss you…" She whispered as her tiny hand wrapped around the little pendant on her chest. A idea struck her at that moment as she looked at the little forest path beside her. 'No one will miss me…' she thought glancing at the Queens who were still busy with their boys.
Without another thought, little Raina knocked the ink and her brush off the desk a little harder than she had to. The brush landing near the tree line. She stood and walked over acting as though she was going to pick it up. She stole a single glance back at the Queens before continuing to walk into the woods as if she belonged there. The child didn't notice Queen Fae who watched her disappear into the woodlands.
Knowing Raina's age, there should have been a sense of duty for Queen Fae to stop the little one from wandering into the gardens. True, they were not necessarily dangerous for the child unless she came across a untamed beast or a environmental danger. However, there were so many beasts and paths to get lost… Queen Fae chuckled glancing up at the Cold Palace. "Don't blame me because you failed to teach your granddaughter." She whispered imagining Empress Evelyn's distraught expression when she learned Raina was missing. How dare her son consider this brat to interfere with her Grandson's attentions.
Unaware that she had been seen, Raina wandered deeper into the woods. Her sense of direction was still developing and this area of the woods was curiously relaxing for her. A sensation she hadn't felt in the main palace much. Enjoying the sites and sounds around her, Raina noticed a little fairy standing on the edge of a flower.
The Fairy was about 4 inches tall with pretty delicate wings. She looked as if she had tied a leaf around her chest and stepped into a upside down lotus blossom to form a tiny skirt for herself. Something seemed playful and teasing about the way she spun around the flower petals. Raina was entranced and walked closer to the lavender haired fairy. The Fairy waved at the little girl, tilting her head to the side and flashing her a friendly grin.
With a girlish chuckle the Fairy waved for Raina to follow and took flight. She flew deeper into the woods and little Raina followed curiously. The Fairy led her off the path and into the woods themselves. With no signs of other wildlife, the child felt safe until she glanced back at the path… only to find she didn't see it.
"Mally? Queen Fae?" Raina called softly hoping for the first much more than the second, but she was lost. She wasn't quite sure what direction she had come from. Tears pricked Raina's eyes as she looked back to the fairy. However, the fairy had disappeared having achieved her mischief.
Thank you for reading. Here is tonight's chapter.
Have a good night all.
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