This story is by R. AmRi and was part of our 2020 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Lily-Rose had always been too small around her fellow fairies. Shorter than a little bird, taller than a mantis. She didn’t complain, though. Lily-Rose was happy with her deer-like antlers, even if the rest of the fairies laughed at them because they said they looked like ant’s antlers. She took pride in her physique, with her colorful feathers decorating her shoulders and arms, pointy ears, snowy skin, big emerald eyes, and sharp golden teeth.
Lily-Rose knew the drill: get to the kids’ house after everyone was asleep and start the guard. Secrecy was key to protecting the kids’ dreams to fight the shadows and nightmares away. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t treat herself while doing it. Settling a deal with her first kid’s cat to keep guard of the evil spirits in exchange for a cardboard box next week, while she got into the refrigerator to get some snacks, seemed like a smart move.
No grapes, no sugar, Lily-Rose liked meat to chew on with her sharp teeth and lick the bone when done.
She opened the refrigerator, and climbed to the top shelf as nimbly as a squirrel. She adjusted her neon green swordstick on her back before lifting a buffalo wing from a dish. Lily-Rose gasped. She adjusted the wing over her shoulder as she blew away a red hair that escaped from one of her tangled braids around her antlers, before calling for the cat to get to William’s room. Her kid.
She devoured the chicken wing as the cat moved, and she had enough time to clean her teeth with her nails and lick the oil and salsa from herself.
Lily-Rose pointed her chicken bone at William when the cat pushed the door open as if he were the chosen one. The boy always slept so beautifully, she thought. With his messy brown-chocolate hair and those high cheekbones she could sharpen her swordstick with, William was beautiful enough to make Faerie gasp in jealousy.
She patted the cat’s head and jumped to William’s bed with her bone in her hand. He was sleeping soundly, and Lily-Rose twirled the bone in her hand as she pulled her swordstick out. She moved towards the boy’s pillow as her watch began. No bad omens or shadows were trying to enter the perimeter, so Lily-Rose hurried when seeing the dream about to start; a cloud of light and spark popping over William’s head. She went to his hair, took a good look around the room as she dragged the tip of her blade on the mattress to scare away any daring nightmare away, and let herself fall over those dark curls’ softness to watch the show. Leaving her swordstick close by to grab it easily at any sudden threat, and starting to chew on the salty, sticky bone, Lily-Rose smiled when the light turned into an image.
Tonight’s show: His swimming team reliving their victories or maybe the Carnival? But Lily-Rose’s tongue stopped moving when she saw Willa, her Willa. Her other kid she was to guard at dawn. Lily-Rose recognized the curly blonde hair and round face, with mesmerizing deep eyes. Lily-Rose preferred William’s as one was a deep blue and the other an intense green like hers.
The fairy went to see the boy’s expression and touched his cheek when seeing the distracted small smile form on his lips. Lily-Rose focused on the girl’s face and the boy she was watching over. William’s heart was pounding as Willa waved at him, and Lily-Rose sensed the nervousness crawling over him as he sighed and turned in his sleep, stopping him from approaching the girl.
Was it love?
At dawn, she arrived at Willa’s room. She sneaked through the window and hurried to the girl when seeing the shadows approaching. Lily-Rose roared as she raised her swordstick, and jumped into battle to scare the shadowy spirits away.
Lily-Rose adjusted her hair when the dream’s light appeared, and saw Willa in a big and bulky dress made by a so-called fairy godmother. Willa was running away and slipped when her slipper fell from her foot. The prince arrived, and Lily-Rose’s mouth fell open when seeing William picking up the shoe and calling Willa to stop.
Lily-Rose rewatched the fairy creating the dress with a magic wand and telling Willa the magic would disappear at midnight. Why? Wasn’t the woman powerful? She jumped to her feet, her small heart turning wild, and the Queen’s crown popped into her mind. Power! The crown was the most powerful object in Faerie, known to have no limit with its power. Anything could happen when crowned with it, with no midnight nonsense. And Lily-Rose remembered William’s dream and now seeing Willa’s… she connected the dots, “I’m the godmother!”
In Faerie, Lily-Rose went to the Queen’s chamber, using her smallness to keep the guards from seeing her. She dragged herself through the grass, rolling and reaching the Queen. She swallowed when she heard the Queen’s loud breathing as she slept. And, shaking her fingers, Lily-Rose reached for the golden crown over her sovereign’s gold curls.
Lily-Rose jumped with excitement as she ignored the crown’s weight, hurrying to place it over her head. But bumped against her antlers. She struggled to put it on, and only managed to get it through one of her antlers, letting the crown hang.
“Crowned enough for me,” she ran off when seeing the Queen rubbing her eyes as she woke up.
Lily-Rose rushed through the woods. She stopped at nothing, not even when the Queen screamed, waking up all the forest, and the guards charging everywhere. She just ran until she reached Wind-oo, her red-faced hummingbird, jumping on its back she grabbed the reins as she commanded it to fly.
She saw the arrows flying around them, and she couldn’t see straight as the crown bumped into her face, and Wind-oo cried out as he hurried his strong yellow wings. Lily-Rose knew she needed to get back. She was going to be thrown to the bees to sting until she was bloated, but she was the godmother of William and Willa. She had the magic crown that would give them their forever and not only till midnight. She had the power to make their dreams come true!
Lily-Rose took the fastest way to get to William and jumped off Wind-oo to the boy’s backpack as he closed his house door the next morning. She managed to get over William’s jacket hood and hid when hearing the guards’ birds. Wild and fully awake as they surrounded William’s house, but Lily-Rose knew they weren’t going to hurt the kid.
William entered the bus and greeted his friends. Lily-Rose poked her head out enough to notice Willa in the back of the bus. The girl glanced at William–red cheeks, and pulling a blonde lock away. The boy looked away with a flushed face. The raging heartbeat returned, and Lily-Rose remembered the crown stuck on her antler.
She saw Willa’s flushed face, and jumped to the floor when no one was looking. Lily-Rose swallowed, remembering Cinderella had a pretty dress and realized she couldn’t give them that. Think!
She saw the Queen’s guards entering the bus when the doors opened. The kids screamed, a flock invaded the perimeter, and Lily-Rose brought her sword out again.
“Lily-Rose!” A guard called behind her, “Return the crown at once.”
“No, I’m the godmother!” she shouted.
It was a warzone: feathers falling all over the place, human boots threatening to crush her as she ran away from the guards. Lily-Rose felt the crown’s weight pulling her down, or was it the power?
The kids rushed out of the bus, and Lily-Rose turned back and hurried to find her kids. She found herself jumping off the bus, not stopping to gasp for air, and saw William and Willa on opposite sides. She wanted to scream to them to hold hands, but humans weren’t that easy to unite.
She felt the crown warming over her head, and it glowed strong enough to make the guard stop and gasp in awe.
Lily-Rose imagined the invisible cords that formed the kids’ hearts until they became real, and she could see them. Stretching enough to reach each other, but they weren’t long enough. The fairy rushed to grab both ends and, like a warrior, pulled them together, knotting them until they turned into gold.
“I give you forever if that is what you choose,” Lily-Rose promised them, and the crown’s glow vanished, and she saw her kids going towards each other.
Lily-Rose smiled, not caring that the Queen’s guards were grabbing her feathered arms.
“Love?” one of the guards frowned, looking surprised at the two kids talking with such nervous enthusiasm. “Really?” They tried to take the crown off, but her antlers got in the way.
“No,” Lily-Rose let them drag her back to Faerie, “Courage.”