The Fairy Godmothers' Retiring Room
This week, I am delighted to showcase the work of Rosemary Dight. And here is her bio.
I grew up in Greater London near Twickenham Rugby Ground. Single mum of two children, I retrained as a teacher. After 22 years with very small children I took early retirement and travelled extensively.
I enrolled in a creative writing course five or six years ago and have enjoyed exploring my imagination ever since.
The Fairy Godmothers' Retiring Room
by Rosemary Dight
Celestine flew wearily towards the Castle of Dreams. Circling her personal turret, she drifted down to the central courtyard and landed in front of the door to the Godmothers Retiring Room. It was opened by Alexander, the Major Domo. He bowed. "Good afternoon, your Grace. Tea is about to be served."
Celestine sighed with relief. "Thank goodness. I've had a very busy day."
With a flick of her wand, her hat and cloak detached themselves and floated towards the coat hooks on the wall to join those already hung there. She strode into the Retiring Room and with a heartfelt sigh, flung herself into an empty armchair. There were three other godmothers taking their ease after completing their allotted tasks. A parlour maid was in charge of the tea tray. She placed a small table beside Celestine's chair, serving her with a cup of apple blossom tea flavoured with honey and a dish crystallized berries.
"Just what I need," Celestine murmured.
"Difficult assignment?" asked Drusilla, one of the other godmothers.
"You might say that." Celestine replied, sipping her tea. "Stupid girl couldn't keep to the time table. Then she goes and loses a shoe! One of my best enchantments those glass slippers were. So then, of course, I have to ensure that it won't fit either of her step-sister’s feet. That took some very precise magic. It took twice as long as it should have done to resolve the matter. It would be so much easier if human beings would just co-operate."
"I couldn't agree more."
The comment came from Annaliese, who was occupying a chaise longue set under a high window on the other side of the room. She swung herself into a sitting position and handed her cup and saucer to the parlour maid.
"The stupid girl I was assigned to went poking about in areas of her castle where she had no business to be. How on earth was I supposed to protect her from the curse if she didn't do as she was told."
"Well at least you didn't have to deal with Carabosse as well," Babouska interrupted from her chair by the fire.
Annaliese gave a very undignified snort.
"I wouldn't be surprised if Carabosse was also involved with the curse I was dealing with. It had her signature written all over it but she wasn't actually on the scene with you, was she?"
Annaliese shook her head.
"Lucky you," Babouska continued. "I had to contend with a whole troupe of enchanted girls who had no gumption whatever. All they did was wring their hands and bemoan their fate. Then Carabosse created a doppelganger to distract the Prince my girl was supposed to captivate. I had to use every trick in the book to get around that ploy," she paused to sip her tea.
Drusilla leant forward. "Don't stop there! Tell us what you did to resolve the problem."
Babouska shrugged. "The only thing I could do. I killed them off of course.
The other godmothers were shocked.
"Never! You couldn't! It's against all the regulations!" they cried.
Babouska smiled slyly. "Got you there, didn't I? No, of course not. I didn't actually kill them. I just transported them into a different dimension where Carabosse couldn't get at them. Unfortunately, the silly girls that had attached themselves to my client were not included in my remit. I can only hope that Carabosse didn't take her revenge on them."
"Fat chance!" Annaliese folded her arms and leaned back into the chaise lounge. "You know how vindictive she is. Those girls will be lucky to still be in one piece. It was only luck that I hadn't given my gift before she interrupted the christening. If only her parents had kept a closer eye on the girl, I wouldn't have had to send them all to sleep and then build that bramble hedge around the Castle. You have no idea how much magic that took! I was exhausted."
The parlour maid refilled Annaliese’s teacup. Drusilla held hers out to be refilled also.
"I wonder if she was the evil stepmother in the case I was given. It had all her hallmarks - deception, enchantment, magical disposal of any rival. If I hadn't got to the huntsman before she did, things might have been different. Even so, if I hadn't been able to feed the girl with the antidote to the poisoned Apple, she could still have won."
Celestine had been listening to their reports with keen interest. She put her cup and saucer on the table. "My assignment also concerned a family with a step-mother. There seems to be a pattern occurring between all our cases. Perhaps we should be concerning ourselves with discovering what or who is behind these patterns. Don't you agree with me, dear?"
Smiling she turned to the parlour maid who was refilling her cup with tea.
"I don't understand, your Grace," the parlour maid stammered.
"Oh, I think you do!" Celestine's expression hardened and power blazed from her wand. Your assistance, Ladies! Alexander!"
The other godmothers drew their wands and surrounded the parlour maid with a ball of magic. The Major Domo stood in the doorway.
The parlour-maid shrieked with fury, discarding her disguise to reveal the form of Carabosse. She twisted and turned in a vain effort to escape. The godmothers rose to their feet.
"Alexander!" Palestine gave the order.
"Your Graces!" The Major Domo bowed then touched the ornate star pinned on the left breast of his uniform.
The godmothers and Carabosse were transported to the Council of the Sidhe. This was composed of twelve members representing every magical creature - elves, gnomes, go in, dwarves, fairies, unicorns, giants, Phoenix, spirits of all kinds. They regarded Carabosse grimly.
Queen Mab spoke for them all. "We have spent much time discussing what action we should take. We have now agreed. You will be banished to the human realm. You will retain NO magical ability. You will retain your knowledge of herbs and potions. What you do with that knowledge is up to you. You may find that the human race is suspicious and distrustful of things they do not understand, and often react to them in violent ways. Perhaps in your new life, you may learn some measure of compassion."
The Council members raised their hands. With a cry of despair, Carabosse disappeared from the magic ball.
The godmothers lowered their wands.
"Well, that should make our jobs a little easier," Drusilla remarked.
Queen Mab shook her head. "Evil is a many-headed monster. There is always another to replace the head you have cut off. You have done good work today, but continue to be on your guard."
With a wave of her hand, she disappeared. The godmothers were returned to the Retiring Room.
"May we have some fresh tea, Alexander?" Celestine requested.
"I don't think any of us fancy drinking anything Carabosse has been near."
The Major Domo bowed. "Of course your Grace. I will see to it at once. Oh, and the Council will deliver your new assignments in the morning after you have had some rest."
The godmothers groaned.
"You'd better make that a really strong brew," Babouska sighed from the depths of her armchair.