New Fairy Tales. The Queen of Nature and the Velvet Eyed Prince – Part 2

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The phantasms of the night were chased away by the bright light and the cheerful songs of the birds, grateful for a new dawn. The queen put on a sombre dress, readying herself for a new day. Many things had to be settled before sunset…

(Part 1 here!)

The throne hall was filled with the rattle of voices concerned with countless, important matters of government. The Wind was the first to approach the queen, as she oversaw, with imposing stance, the flow of any day at the palace.

‘Majesty, though all is well in the Western forests and the water in the ground is ideal at this time of year for the thriving growth of the black locust young, things are different in the South. There, the chestnut trees are discontent with the meddling of these young black locusts. They say that the roots of the young cannot bear the scarcity of water in that area and that they, the mighty chestnut trees, must watch over them until they grow up.’

‘Unfortunately, they are right. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t continue. We must help the black locust trees thrive in that area. They requested the Southern lands. If there is no other urgent matter, summon the Clouds. I shall speak to them about this.’

The Wind consulted the scroll that he always had with him. As he was looking at it, he mumbled unintelligibly under his breath.

‘No, not here…’, again something unintelligible, ‘nor here…’, again indistinct mumbling, ‘oh, yes, well… so… Yes! Nothing else!’, came the triumphant answer. ‘Greetings and messages of friendship and high regards from the kingdoms at the Northern and Western borders.’

‘Very well, add those to the list, along with the greetings and best wishes we receieved yesterday. Wait for those that will come tomorrow, then send my answer and tokens of good will to all of them. Is there anything else?’

‘Just a marriage proposal on behalf of the Kingdom of Dapir.’

‘Didn’t they already propose?’

‘No, Highness, the ones you refused recently were the envoys from the Kingdom of Dapi.’

‘Write a very polite answer, convey my heartfelt apologies for the refusal and explain that an alliance between our kingdoms is not possible at the time being.’

‘Of course, my queen, leave it all to me, I’ve done it many times before. The Clouds are waiting.’

‘Send them in.’

‘Good morning, majesty! Did you summon us?’

‘I called on you because I wish to discuss the matter of water and the young black locust trees in the South.’

‘We are aware of the slight misunderstandings with the local chestnut trees. The water in the ground is insufficient. At least until the young ones grow up.’

‘Kindly ask the Great Clouds to go there for two months and help out with one rain a week.’

‘Of course, Highness.’

Once that issue was settled, the other subjects in the hall came forward with less important problems. The queen listened patiently to all of them, giving a sign of approval to the graceful swallows or wise advice to the butterflies. But she never dismissed anything and, so, everyone who came to see her left peaceful and satisfied. In fact, it wasn’t at all difficult, as she governed the kingdom in accordance to the natural order of things, asking her subjects to do just what they did best. Thus, they were only too pleased, almost anxious to fulfill any little job that fell into their lot. Such was the tiny, but very rich and peaceful kingdom, that thrived in perfect harmony with all those outside its borders.

The queen hosted a great ball every year and invited all of her friends and everyone else who wanted to attend. It was a very happy occasion for everybody, as the ball had become a tradition for many generations. Most alliances between the great houses had been planned right there, at the ball and, in the merrymaking of the opulent party, many of the quarrels between states were settled.

The Queen of Nature had kept her good relations, partly, due to the wise counsel that she gave on countless occasions to those in need. That was because her kingdom was the only animate realm of them all. In all other places mountains were just motionless mountains, the meadows were nothing but unfeeling meadows, while the waters were quick, yet insentient waters. All animate things that resided in her kingdom were of noble descent, as she was surrounded by all of nature’s royalty: the king of winds, the queens of birds and of all insects, the kings of clouds. All nobility in nature, capable of thought and communication, dwelled in her kingdom. There, not only could they speak, but they were heard, listened to and understood. Moreover, they knew everything that happened to all mountains, to all waters, all birds, in short, to all of nature in the whole wide world. They often informed their queen of what went on in distant corners of the globe. So, whenever some great house asked for guidance or warning of this or that natural hazard, the queen was perfectly able to oblige. And she was often asked for such advice.

After a few hours of incessant audiences, the parade of subjects in the throne hall came to an end. The queen was left with the Wind or, better said, she was left to stare somewhere in the Wind’s direction.

‘All done for today’, he said.

‘Yes, we are done here. Now we must make ready for the flying visit.’

The Wind left the hall for a moment, then came back with some more news:

‘There are other envoys. Just arrived!’

‘Who sent them?’

‘The messenger refuses to disclose that detail to me. He says he is only to speak to your Majesty. I don’t see any trouble in it, as I don’t sense danger coming from them. On the contrary, I might add.’

‘On the contrary? What do you mean by it?’

‘Perhaps it would be best to see for yourself.’

‘Very well, then, let the envoys enter!’, resigned the queen.

The Wind widely opened the hall’s doors. He knew fully well why he was doing that for.

A suite of ten master-puppeteers showed up from behind the doors, each of them wielding a dancing puppet in a graceful ballet. The puppets glided over the marble slates, stepping lightly and drawing delicate pirouettes. A sweet music of harps and violins reached the throne. Behind the puppeteers came five boys and five girls, dancers in flesh and blood. They followed the graceful sway of the same ballet as the puppets. And to the same music. After the dancers came a group of ten acrobats that spread a carpet of autumn leaves, golden and ripe. Among the leaves were countless shiny jewels that made the carpet seem sewn with them. After the acrobats, came a little girl with round cheeks who held ten diamond threads tied to ten ice sculptures. Gliding smoothly on their invisible wheels, the sculptures represented the queen’s ancestors. Upon seeing them, the queen jolted in surprise. After the sculptures came ten doves that had light silk bindings in their pecks. They opened them just above the retinue and an immaterial rain of white cherry blossoms fell in delicate windings. After the doves, ten golden balls rolled into the hall which had become almost crowded. Behind them came the orchestra that had accompanied the entire procession with its sounds: five musicians who played the harp and five who sounded the violin. They all stood in two rows, leaving an aisle between them. A messenger in simple green garments walked casually down it, with a shrewd, playful look in his eyes. He stopped before the throne and took a deep bow, after which he spoke in a solemn voice:

‘Queen of Nature, please accept these gifts sent to you by my master who assures you that, as seasons chase one another in their natural passing, as do his thoughts of you. I come on behalf of the prince…’

‘I know who sent you’, interrupted the queen, who had guessed, more with her heart than her head, that the gifts came from the velvet eyed prince.

‘All the better. It means that this humble retinue carries the faithful image of my master.’

The queen smiled at the word ‘’humble’’, but she had judged the messenger correctly, as one who knew how to make skillful use of words.

‘I should imagine that you did not only came to deliver the presents.’

‘My master would like an audience with you. And he sent me to try and secure it.’

Her approving smile let the messenger know that he was on the right track.

‘I would be very grateful if we could establish the details of such audience in private.’


New Fairy Tales. The Queen of Nature and a Velvet Eyed Prince


The queen stepped away from the edge of the balcony. The hem of her dress caressed the white marble in the swaying rhythm of her pensive stride. The scent of roses reached the transparent door in furtive breezes as the night wrapped the bedroom of the palace in its warm, friendly darkness.

A hand appeared on the door frame and the queen stood still, one step away from entering the room. A sigh, burdened with worries, vanished into the air. Her gaze lifted towards the crowds that glittered happily on the midnight sky, revealing her beautiful face with big, blue eyes shadowed by long lashes and surrounded by the rich waves of a dark hair.

She could feel the night shielding her away from all that was evil in the world.

Every now and then, something that felt like a sweet pain clouded her eyes. Where had that prince came from? She knew almost every great royal house and yet… the calm nobility and the imposing grandness that came from the unknown prince had left a vivid impression on her. Who was he? Where did he appeared from? How could it be that those piercing eyes and the mysteriously charming smile lingered on, like a careless weight, shattering her thoughts? The velvet eyed prince… that was the name she had, playfully, given him when she realized that she didn’t know which royal house he was of. Then came the dance, in fantastic whirls and endlessly sweet pirouettes, with a strong arm that stopped the graceful glide of her rich dress.

A gentle breeze played in her hair for a moment, taking her out of the revery. It was the Wind, who knew that it was time for his queen to rest and had come to her, as he did every night. She rewarded him with a smile and then lay in the whiteness of the pillows. The Wind breezed the drapes of the canopy that embraced the bed and its precious burden. Then, he crossed the balcony towards the grove of black locust trees and started to play a song of sweet whispers through the leaves. A wistful melody that would last until morning light…

(New) Fairy Tales. Tale with Toys and a White Kingdom. Part 4

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The next day, at dawn, all of the toy-people gathered in front of the palace. In their mist, in the flower garden, a colorful balloon was tied down, with the nacelle’s small door open. Ani and Carmen stood next to the balloon, bidding farewell to the White Kingdom’s guests and to Giggle Teddy.

(Part I , Part 2 and Part 3 here)

‘Great Counselor, keep in mind that Ella and Tina are in your charge. It is your duty of upmost importance to bring them back safe and sound, in return for the courage that they have shown’, said Carmen. ‘Over there’, the fairy went on, pointing to a small chest on the basket’s floor, ‘you have supplies for the road. Whenever you feel hungry or thirsty, open it. As soon as the lid goes up, the chest will fill with sweets and cups of fresh spring water.’

‘Well, then, let’s shall!’, said Tina, stepping determined inside the basket. Ella and the Great Counselor closely followed.

As the balloon lifted, Ella and Tina could feel the gazes of the inhabitants of the White Kingdom still following them. All eyes were filled with hope. The terrible responsibility of saving the toys in the Human World weighed heavily on their shoulders. The sisters looked at each other with a shadow of a worry in their eyes. But they could not, and would not, allow the ruthless spell to do more harm than it had already done.

And with these brave thoughts, the girls turned their attention to the horizon of the White Kingdom and waited for the balloon to rise above the palace.

‘Balloon, head for the realm of the Witch-with-Water!’, ordered Giggly Teddy.

Tina seemed somewhat absent and utterly uninterested in the landscape that flowed beneath them. Ella, on the other hand, watched every hill, forest or bird that they encountered and assaulted her guide with all sorts of questions about the life of the White Kingdom.

‘So, do the toys only live inside the palace? Or can they be found in other places too?’

‘Only some of them live in the palace. Everyone may come or go as they please. But there are settlements with pretty, little houses all over the kingdom.’

‘How do the toys get here?’ asked again the girl before the plush bear could finish talking.

‘Through the curtain that you saw when you first came. Ani and Carmen hear the signal and help cross everyone who so desires.’

‘Why does…’

‘I’ve got it!’, shouted Tina, bursting out of her day dreaming and interrupting the question that her sister had begun to ask, making Ella stop in amazement.

‘You’ve got it? What?’

‘I know how we can get to the witch faster. Keep in mind that we only have one day.’

‘So how?’ Ella asked, more with her eyes than her lips.

‘We cast a spell with our charmed powder: we ask it to take us to the witch’s castle. Will five seconds be enough for that, Great Counselor?’

‘Hmm… no, not for that. But it could take us somewhere near the boundary of her realm.’

Ella and Tina took out their cubes, lifted them above their heads and said the incantation learnt in great secret from Ani and Carmen, the night before.

In the blink of an eye, the scenery changed completely. From the shining marvel of the White Kingdom, to cold, unwelcoming darkness.

‘We’re in the right place’, said Giggly Teddy, ‘somewhere near the border.’

‘This place is so quiet’, said Ella in awe. ‘So this is how it looks like!’

‘The night is eternal in the realm of the witch. There is never any daylight. In fact, the only light that unveils this place comes from the full moon. Forever night and forever a full moon.’

Frozen silence reigned over the forbidding emptiness. All around them, there was nothing to be seen but narrow paths, lined with barren rocks and sharp mountain tops.

‘My, this is a cheerful place!’, noticed Tina, trying uselessly to look in all directions at the same time.

The stillness seemed deepened by the army of shadows cast by the moon, making it hard to tell what was path and what was rock. What was spot of light and what was pure fancy.

The balloon advanced slowly, melting into the night.

‘We will soon arrive at the Stone Forest!’, announced Giggly Teddy. ‘If we can get through it, we’ll find ourselves at the castle.’

‘If?’, asked the girls in a single voice.

‘All I know is that there is a dreadful trap in the forest. But I cannot tell what it is or, how to keep clear of it.’

‘But we have the magic balloon! Why can’t we just fly over the forest and be safe?’

‘Unfortunately, Tina, the forest is so tall that it would take years to fly over it. Besides, the branches of the trees are so thick and tangled, that there would be no room for the balloon to pass. The only way to take it with us is by floating along the path. Not to mention that this trail is the only lit one. If you stray from it, deep among the trees, you will find yourself sunk in pitch blackness. So profound that you won’t even know if your eyes are open or shut.’

Soon after, the forest came into sight. A sea of gray stretched forever on either side of the trail. They all stepped onto.

The moon poured golden glitters all around. The girls’ feet thumped on the stone beneath, sending echoes far into the thickness of tree trunks and shrubberies. The only ones who made no noise were Giggly Teddy and the balloon. The former because the fuzz that covered him from head to toes was soft and thick enough to muffle any sound and the latter because it floated calmly a few inches above the path.

As they moved along, the eerie silence seemed to deepen ever more. Disturbed only by the echoes of their footsteps, it sounded more like the roar of thunderbolts than the stride of little girls. By then, they could no longer see the point where they had entered the forest.

‘The echo is so loud!’, complained Tina.

Nobody answered. There was something in the air that reminded them of a cathedral where it is forbidden to disturb the silence ritual. They walked on without speaking, tight against each other, lost in their own thoughts. Step by step, they ate away at the road’s length. Hurriedly. Anxiously.

But the forest proved difficult to cross, as they had been walking for hours withought getting anywhere. And they couldn’t even estimate the distance they had covered, because the scenery was always the same! The same moonlit path, the tree trunks that sank in the dark, shrubs here and there turned by their imagination into fantastic creatures of the night.

‘Hey!’, shouted Ella, making everyone jump, ‘we’ve been through here before! It is the exact same place! I know because I remember that bush, which looks just like a giant bear ready to attack!’

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Finale here.

(New Fairy Tales). Tina and Ella. The Invisible Man. Part 4.

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The mist from the morning was all gone now, and the light was bright and strong, reflected back from the shiny, immaculate snow. Tina, Ella and the Invisible Man managed to search all the rooms from the West wing and were now outside, in the watch tower. 

(Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 here)

It was freezing. Except them, no other visitors dared to be amazed by the city sightseeing in the icy frost. As such, they could talk and lift objects in peace, without worrying about how they could sound.

‘Not much work to be done here!’ said Tina while carefully analyzing the walls. ‘The clock, the bell, and the old chests. Then, we can move to the East side wing.’

The Invisible Man was gently shaking all the chests disposed in a circle all around the watch tower.

‘Don’t forget to admire the view. You might not get another chance to visit this tower. Visible or invisible.’ said Ella while looking to the last shaken chest.

‘Behind you!’ said the Invisible Man.

‘Oh, sorry! Didn’t ‘see’ you move.” joked Ella.

‘Hey, were’s the bell?’ Tina suddenly asked. Ella followed her glance to a higher point of the tower, where, normally, an old iron bell was hanged. Its place was now empty. Only the cord remained and was leaning back and forth as if the wind was blowing.

‘Invisible Man! Again with the shenanigans? There’s no need now to move objects around. Seriously! Put it back! The museum’s keepers will notice its absence.’ Ella said with a faint trace of a smile.

‘What bell?’ asked the Invisible Man.

Tina turned to him and started to feel the air to get a hold of the Invisible Man exact position.

‘Ok. Where is it? If you had it on you, I would see it somewhere mid-air, just like our script book. What did you do with it?’

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about! I haven’t seen it. I don’t even know how it looks.’ said the Invisible Man.


‘Why are you laughing now?’ Tina asked with a trace of exasperation in her voice. ‘Seriously, we’re the only ones here! If it disappears we’ll take the fault for it. Everybody saw us getting in the tower.’

‘I didn’t laugh!’ made the Invisible Man. ‘And I know of no bell!!! You have to believe me!’

‘Maybe the wind blew it over…!?!’ said Ella with an incredulous voice.

“Yes! The wind! Let’s look for it!’ said the Invisible Man and moved away from Tina’s hand.

‘You don’t sound suspicious at all. How can the wind untie the cord? It’s not like there aren’t winds in this tower all year round…’ Tina said with a shrug. Then she started to, meticulously, look around. Maybe the Invisible Man was panicking again and was under the pranking influence once more.

‘Found it!’ she shouted to Ella from the side of the tower. ‘It’s here, on a chest!’

Ella and the Invisible Man came running.

‘Oh, good thing it’s here! Can you put it back, Invisible Man? I assume you’re taller than us. Proper adult-size?’ Tina asked while handing over the bell to the air where she heard the Invisible’s Man steps running.

When she sensed a faint breeze close to her hand she, quickly, pulled back her palm and squeezed the bell to her chest.

‘You’re not going to move it away again? Are you?’

‘I didn’t move it the first time either!’ he made with a discouraged voice.

Tina handed the bell the second time.


Tina dropped the bell on the floor. In front of her, in translucent shades, was the shape of a man in a Baroque, old attire. He was a fairly tall fellow, with brown hair that was coming out in curls from under a hat that, once, probably, had a determined shape, but was now resembling more to a pot with breeches. He even had a sword to his belt. Tina was not sure he was wearing one, two or three capes mashed together. From somewhere underneath his peculiar cape multiple, colorful rags where dragging out for one meter behind him. Everything was completed by a pair of silver, sparkly glows without fingers. And, as if, that wasn’t odd enough, his skin (or the part of it that was visible, anyway) was in a constantly rotating rainbow color state.

‘Invisible Man!?!…’ she dared ask. ‘ I wouldn’t presume…’

“No!” came a determined answer that confirmed her suspicions from her right hand side. ‘I’m completely invisible! Not just by 3 thirds.”

“I am … Lowwd Gauchy! Welcome to … my domain’nd!”

“Your domain?” Ella asked. “Oh! You mean the museum? Tina, I think we just met the ghost from the museum. See that! It is real!”

“I aaam not…an it. I am… Lowwd Gauchy! A heee ’nd!” he said with an affected voice. He accentuated the importance his words by making looong, boring pauses between them.

“Why do you add a “d” to all your sentences?’ Tina asked. “It’s confusing!”

“I amm do not add anything to… my sentences’d! But I have… a talk endeawwwing… defect ‘ nd. I aamm… unable to pwwonounce ….the wwwr’s… cowwectly’ d!’

“You can’t what? He can’t what?” asked the Invisible Man.

“He can’t pronounce the “r”s correctly!” Ella translated for everybody.

“Oh! wwwight! ‘nd” imitated the Invisible Man.

Tina bursted into laughter.

“Do you think … it is funny … to smash … the sacwwwed bell?”

“The bell!” Tina made and quickly bended to gather it from where she had dropped it. “I hope I didn’t break it.’

After she lifted it and checked if unspoiled, she gave it to the Invisible Man.

“Here, touch it. Finally. Maybe this time we can actually see if it’s doing anything.”

“Amateuwwwws! nobody is … touching anything… on my domain’nd!”

With that Tina and Ella saw Lord Gauchy loudly slapping the air and taking the bell back from the Invisible Man.

“Heyyy! Don’t slap my hand! I was going to put it back. It is of no use to me!”

“Wait! He can see you?” Tina asked the Invisible Man.

“Suuwwwwe …I can see him. And I can see …. he only has…6 days left…until he gets stuck… in his invisible fowwm.’d” Lord Gauchy concluded with a changed voice and a mysterious smile. ‘ Come’d! I will…help! You …and nobody else…can touch … anything in my domain’d. Without my…telling you so!” and he yanked the bell from the Invisible Man and put ii back in its cord.

Ella though the bell was somehow content to be back. It made a short, ringing tune afterwards that sent chills all over her spine.

“To the …libwaawwwy! Follow me!”


“To the library, Invisible Man! Apparently we’ve got ourselves a bit of a help!’ said Tina and followed the ghost. “Hey, in the library there are so many people. Won’t they see you?”

“No. I am do….appeaww only to….whomewwewww I want!”

‘Hold on. Why did you move the bell in the first place? Tina, Ella, you’re not still going to believe I took it.’

‘Right! If you saw us, and you saw the Invisible Man, why toying around with us?” Tina asked.

“To…test you.’ nd Come! …We do not… have much time.’nd’

“Test us? How?” Tina wanted to know.

But Lord Gauchy said nothing more. For a split second Ella saw the mysterious smile again. However the group was on the move and she followed it along to the promising warmth of the inside. Her nose was starting to turn purple and her fingers were going to be very happy with a serious temperature increase.

 Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Finale here