THE KEY TO THE FAIRY KINGDOM The older and wiser fairies whispered among themselves in their little groups of special friends. They said, "The King has finally returned to the fairy rainforest. So what's he going to do about the Fairy Empress Dowager? Does he think she'll just hand him back the key to the Fairy Kingdom?" Next day in this well hidden corner of the rainforest, the morning sun sparkled bright on a trembling of gossamer wings swaying back and forth in time to the gentle tinkling of faraway, fairy bells. Here and there, little fairies fluttered up and down as they jostled ever-so-gently for the best spots in the magic tree. All the while, the unseen bells rang out. Over and over again, they intoned the ancient call to assembly, "Gather at the Magic Tree where all the fairies come to plea." The littlest fairy blushed red and hid behind a bush when her tiny friends heard what she was singing along with the bells. "It's not where all the fairies come to pee," they giggled. In the morning sky, the sun lit the old Fairy King from behind. Everyone strained to see if he was showing any sign of weakness. He was a nice old character and well liked. However, not even his closest fairy friends thought he would be a match for the Fairy Empress Dowager. The King settled into a good spot, high in the magic tree. One of the fairies who was closest, whispered that he looked like he was holding onto the tree rather more tightly than was necessary. After all, he could still fly quite well, considering he was little more than five hundred years old. As they waited for the arrival of the Fairy Empress Dowager, a gentle murmuring of fairy voices rose and fell. Some of the fairies said quietly that the old Dowager enjoys her temporary powers rather too much. They would be glad to see when the Fairy Kingdom was safely back in the hands of the old King. Everyone fell silent when the Fairy Empress Dowager finally arrived with a great whooshing of sound and fairy-dust all about her. "What a dreadful old show-off," a voice at the back called out and a twittering laugh ran through all the fairy ranks. "Who said that?" demanded the Fairy Empress Dowager. But the fairies at the back said nothing. They just looked around and at each other, fluttering and rearranging their gossamer wings. "We'll see about that one later," said the Dowager. She nodded to her two favourite Fairies in Waiting, the ones who spy on the other fairies. The Fairy Empress Dowager carefully adjusted herself on the tree until she was just a little higher than the Fairy King himself. The senior fairies, who knew about such things, raised their elegant eyebrows at this little flight of fairy fantasy. However, what happened next saw all the fairies stirring into a very great fluttering. "Look at you," she said in her grandest voice pointing down at the Fairy King. "You're not fit to rule. We all know you would much rather spend your time anywhere else than looking after the Fairy Kingdom. As long as I hold the magic key, the kingdom is mine and I shall be keeping it for now." With this, she raised the Key to the Fairy Kingdom high above her head where it sparkled with its special powers. None dared look up, not even the Fairy King himself. No one spoke or moved for what seemed a very long time. Then brave little Fairy Farndale took a deep breath and fluttered up. "What key?" Fairy Farndale spoke out in a voice that sounded very clear and firm for such a small fairy. "I see no key." At first the other fairies looked around in surprise. Then they understood, and another and another spoke up. Soon all the fairies were chanting together, "What key? I see no key." "Oh yes, we'll soon see about that." Ever-so- cross, the old Fairy Empress Dowager fairly snorted her words out. However, she was now spreading far too much fairy-dust all over the Magic Tree. This did not go unnoticed in the fairy-ranks. "What key? I see no key," the chant was getting louder and louder. Little by little, the sparkle was leaving the magic key. Even as the key itself was trying to slip out of her hand the Fairy Empress Dowager shouted and shouted.But on this day, the fairies had remembered that in the rainforest the power to rule might be given, but not taken. The Dowager had now become just another old fairy that no one liked. And all the little fairies laughed, and laughed, and laughed. end The Key to the Fairy Kingdom was published in Stinkwaves, Issue 3, April 2014.
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Copyright  Colin W Campbell A Sarawak based writer. from a sarawak based writer