What Lies Beneath?

By Becca Burrell (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

The last sign of her light was traced up to the woods. After being chased by sticky fingered, nosy children, Raindrop, a fairy, had no choice but to turn to her last resort, Pearl City. She hadn’t been there in years, and was wondering what had changed in the years that she’d been gone.

Raindrop arrived at the nostalgic, crooked, molded, rusted, and uneven doorway that brought back very uneasy feelings. The door itself was a trick for humans because it was sealed shut. The only way to enter was to be one millimeter small.

After Raindrop’s eleventh attempt to open the lock located in the tiny keyhole, it gave way and Pearl City stood before her eyes once again.

Nothing seemed different at all. The rain fairy workshop was still just beyond the ever-present rainbow over the grassy fields, and the gleaming silver castle was still right in the center.

Raindrop passed the twinkling lagoon filled with air-headed mermaids. Next was the magic sparkle factory, which made her wince. “This is the reason that the humans think we’re so cliché.”

After passing over more mysterious hills and valleys, the time had come where she would have to open the silver door yet again.

Reaching for her key necklace which she hadn’t been able to rid herself of, Raindrop’s stomach was doing flips. It had been such a long time since she’d last seen her daisy flower petal bed, twig desk, and specially designed kitchen.

Taking a deep breath, Raindrop slid her key into the familiar lock, shut her eyes, and pushed the squeaky door open.

A gasp escaped her mouth. Rather than the expected dust-filled, untouched room, there was nothing. Panic set over Raindrop as she flew all over the room looking for obviously gone materials. Then she sought for Sunny. Her old neighbor had to be home! She just had to!

Raindrop rushed out of her old room and across the hall. Knocking frantically, her eyes began to drip.

Sunny finally came to the door. As she registered who was standing in front of her, her eyes widened and her mouth gaped open. “R… Raindrop?”

“Uh, yeah,” Raindrop answered, “Do you know where all my stuff went?”

“They took it a while back, figuring you wouldn’t be returning.”

“Oh.”

“I’m sorry. Would you like to come in for some tea? I have a kettle on now.”

“Sure,” let out the disappointed Raindrop.

As Sunny made the tea, she explained to Raindrop what she had missed. A new queen, Dawn, had come into power after defeating Delilah, the former queen whom everyone loved.

Regarding Raindrop’s belongings, Sunny explained what she knew.

The larger-than-most servant fairies came the day after the inauguration of Dawn and took everything. Apparently, the new queen didn’t care too much for fairies that left the realm.

Ever since the new queen came into power, the Pearl City had never been the same. No more festivals for each season, no more weather dances, and especially no more leaving the fairy realm.

Or getting back in.

“That’s why I was so surprised to see you. Dawn put an enchantment over the city,” explained Sunny.

Raindrop merely shrugged and tried to put her finger on why the name Dawn rang a bell.

Of course, Raindrop would have to go and see this new queen. She asked if Sunny would like to come along but was interrupted when Sunny jumped up quickly and grabbed Raindrop’s arm.

Sunny began to describe that the new queen was Raindrop’s ex best friend, and had set the enchantment over the realm so that specifically Raindrop could not come back in. Ever.

Immediately, Raindrop thought to go and visit Delilah. The only problem was finding out where the queen lived.

In a spark of sudden clarity, Raindrop called for Bud, her pet bumblebee. He’d know for sure!

It took Bud a mere five minutes to appear before Raindrop and start spilling all of the information pertaining to Delilah’s whereabouts. In no time, Raindrop, Sunny, and Bud were on their way to the Black Woods.

Of course, the Black Woods was where Delilah was thought to be. It was the only place in the entire realm that sent a shiver up Raindrop’s spine.

Putting aside he fears, Raindrop led the way as they ventured up to the edge of the woods and began the next part of their journey. With each step, more and more light began to disappear. The tall, lurching trees reached up and appeared to touch outer space. It wasn’t long before all of the light was gone and the group was the epitome of “a shot in the dark”.

They were going to get out of the labyrinth; it just depended on how.

Raindrop felt a tug on her arm and it definitely wasn’t from a bumble or Sunny. She let out a screech but was shushed by a very soothing voice.

“Delilah?” questioned Raindrop. She finally felt the warmth she hadn’t felt since the day her parents were killed by Dawn.

“Yes, dear. Is this really Raindrop? The one who left?”

“Mhm.”

“Well, in that case, follow me. You and I have an awful lot to talk about,” insisted Delilah.

Raindrop let herself and her company be pulled towards an unknown location. An understated, dimly lit cottage appeared in the distance. Delilah led them there and opened the door. Immediately, she went to get a paper and pen. When she came back, a plan was already being drawn out on the paper.

The plan involved bees, the rebellion fairies, Delilah, and Raindrop.

Sunny was allowed to go back to her cottage, and happily obliged.

First, Bud would go and collect a bunch of other bees from his hive, and then all of the bees would go out and collect all of the rebel fairies. They’d be fairly easy to spot because they wore red strips of fabric that hung from their belts.

Next, everyone would report back to the cottage and they’d leave when the moon filled the sky.

Finally, the group would go in the back door and take down the inside of the castle.

The bumbles didn’t waste a single second and went out to find the rebels right after the plan was devised. In the mean time, Raindrop and Delilah had to make sure no guards were suspicious of anything.

Raindrop went down underneath the floorboards and into a secret room. Just as she did, a husky servant fairy knocked on Delilah’s door.

Delilah opened the door with a smile on her face and sweet talked the guard fairy. When he left, he had the idea in his head that Raindrop was dead because she tried to leave the realm again and was shocked by the spell.

The rebels and bumbles came back just as the sun was setting. As the moon came up, everyone set out and flew low to the ground on the way to the castle.

When they arrived, a single guard fairy was protecting the back door. Two rebels went down and took care of it easily. Delilah opened the door with a secret combination and everyone piled in.

At first, the guard fairies were sparse, but as they traveled further towards the center, the numbers increased.

An hour passed and the mini-army was finally close to the center of the palace. Two more guards were between them and the golden chair that held Dawn. Delilah got rid of the guards quickly with a simple spell.

Everyone surrounded the chair.  Delilah leapt towards Dawn but with the lift of Dawn’s pinky, she was thrown against the back wall.

“I want Raindrop,” hissed Dawn.

“How funny, I was hoping you’d say that,” retaliated Raindrop as she shot a death spell at Dawn.

The queen deflected it with a yawn then threw the same spell back. Raindrop dodged it with ease. The two went back and forth for a couple of minutes before Raindrop was able to throw in an extra spell that sent Dawn to the ground.

Raindrop went and stood over the balled up fairy with the death spell accumulating in her hand. For some reason, she just couldn’t do it. Raindrop threw the spell right next to Dawn’s head and yelled, “You must leave. You are banished from the realm after you give the crown back to Delilah.”

Shakily, Dawn shook her head and stood back up. Delilah limped over and snatched the crown off of Dawn’s head.

Raindrop escorted Dawn all the way to the doorway leading to the human world, and pushed her through the door.

The next day festivals of celebration were held and the people of the realm were once again living in peace. Raindrop retrieved her old belongings and brought Bud back to her old room. “Maybe sticking around here won’t be too bad,” Raindrop said to Bud with a wink.

Dawn was never seen or heard from again; just as the fairies of Pearl City liked it.

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