The King’s Wish
The King closed the door to his bedchamber and wandered to the open window. A soft breeze fragranced by roses wafted in. He knew he should be happy. The crops and animals were flourishing and promised a fruitful harvest in autumn. His people would not be hungry during the dark and cold days of winter. He had successfully negotiated treaties with the allied kingdoms to combat the trolls and brigands that still roamed the countryside. His coffers were filled with gold and silver.
Yet, he did not have what he truly desired; a queen to share his life. He had met several lovely ladies from his and neighbouring kingdoms but not one had captured his heart. As he gazed out the window he suddenly remembered a most unusual experience he had when he first became king. A dream of a beautiful woman that seemed so real he still could not be sure if he had actually been asleep. He had even written a poem about the vision and searched amongst his belongings until he found it. He unrolled the parchment, brought a candle to the window, and read it aloud.
Oh red fairy,
where did you get to?
Come visit me, won’t you,
at my window tonight?
Like you did before,
back in the age of possibilities.
Slip the green foreboding gaze,
of the fairy queen,
defy her jaundiced law.
Slip in between,
the hornbeam trees,
come flutter on spring-loaded breeze
to see your mortal lover once more.
Come via the old familiar path,
over the crooked stile,
along the brook a winding sunken mile.
I’ll mark the way,
with tea lights in jars,
draped from groaning oaks,
and sleeping beeches,
tied with golden ribbons you left,
and strands of fairy hair I stole.
Follow the fuzzy bunting,
through the boundary gate,
and around the dry stone wall,
past the pacing caged old mare grunting.
past the hanging tree …
but look away for me …
Mistress come to your master,
I need to believe in fairy magick again tonight,
to bring me back from the brink,
before I sink too low,
before I let this last ponderous tangle
of strands of childhood wonder go,
in exchange for those that twang in off-key tones,
which bode no good for battered bones,
before the book of fairies closes,
for the long bedtime.*
As he finished reading, a light appeared in the distance. As it drew closer, it assumed the shape of the woman from his vision. Golden and sparkling with stars, she extended her hand to meet his. He was not dreaming; she was real.
*A Kiss Before Bedtime ©Doubtpuppet 2017
The King’s Wish, A Faerie Tale ©Morgaine du Mer 2017
I was inspired to create this illustration after reading “A Kiss Before Bedtime”. Many thanks to my friend, Doubtpuppet, for allowing me to incorporate his beautiful poem in my short story.